Hai! Here I Am

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thanks for attendance of the next
and the idea is that
our prayers
ah the prayers by us to called living can help lead the so-called are dead towards an auspicious reapers now
whether one believes in that or not ah
we follow the way of our teachers and their teachers and so we observe it and
it certainly gives us
a martyr a point in time in which we can ah
check-in with ourselves and with each other but how we're doing in the face of this loss
oh so we will observe this on the the forty nine days figured from the day that one passes away so efficiently the forty ninth day would be on the wednesday the twenty fourth until will have a as a short service on wednesday morning the twenty fours and will heavy
a little longer service on thursday nights when we've been gathering to ah she recollections of sojourn on thursday night the twenty fifth of this week
i was also really
i just was you
very touched to be able to do the memorial this morning for from off at all
had to have her husband and son there ah i've really appreciated being able to talk and work with them over the last of the last week after oh
really not being in touch with moffett for
for quite a number of years ah she had some some really difficult and painful health issues and ah now she's she's at peace and i hope you will read doesn't morial pages there to really ah it's site opening a way
window on honor a life and actually this could be true for any of us right all of us have these very complex and rich lives that ah others of us only know the barest outline tough
so i appreciated that lot
so over the last couple of months i've been reading the hebrew bible
sure why
ah i think it has actually something to do with working out aspects of my relationship with sojourn
hello i'm not
clear i can articulate that
i was born in jewish family
and had considerable ha
and highly dysfunctional jewish education at the synagogue
and ah
following by my bar mitzvah never really set foot back and now so i'd ha ha i am not a jew but i am deep sea jewish information ah not in belief systems and
i want to
maybe reassure you that i'm not i hope i'm not on the road tour her a religious revival or reconversion
ah but
what i find i'm opening my door to the appreciation of things that are there in the tradition that i
i rejected her rejected outright
ah for reason of family dynamics ah for reason of that unskillful religious education and also for elements of the theology
and scripture that are still very dear impossible for me to accept
but they're also thinks that are truly human deep
it's worth noting i think that before he came to his in ah surgeon was studying mystical judaism
ah kabbalah hand i believe that he knew quite a bit about it and he referenced this in his talks from time to time
i'm getting a note that my volume is low is that true for other people
no okay ah
he referenced that from time time and i regret that ah i really never disgusted with him
and that was not the
i think he would have been open to it but ha
okay hang on just a sec i'm gonna look at my might put my audio settings
how about this is it's any better
yes okay right
anyway we never discussed those traditions and i have regretted it's a brilliant missed opportunity
so in
very strange and i've been encouraged to have been slowly trying to move into surgeon's office and make it i own and i have a lot of difficulty i go in there and i'd go plan of blank ah because his presence is so thick
in there for me ah hand but i found this book on his desk where it been i think it had been on his desk for a number of months and ah
i picked it up and took her home and started reading it it's called the last of the just and ah
it's about it follows a family ha
one family in which was reborn every generation what is called her one of the law valve sadie kim
the thirty six righteous once and there's a there's a in mr judaism there's a legend that there are thirty six a hidden wise men in the world
who preserve the order of the world however flawed that water might be
so in our buddhist context we can refer to these as phony surface and actually in in shingon buddhism they referred to the five secret bodhisattvas
and we also have the in dogan ingen gioco on we have this wonderful line when buddhists are truly buddhists they do not necessarily notice that they are buddhists
however they are actualizing buddhists who go on actualizing buddhists
and i think that that is really resonant with this notion of the ah the lama valve
and finding that book on surgeon desk was ha
a curious
because it leads me to think maybe he was one of the warm and
yeah ah
a hidden a hidden wise we're not so hidden but still not making much of it
so to go to these two words that the to me
to express a teaching of serjeant ah the two words that
the japanese word that we've all heard him say again and again his eye
you know you knock on his door and he would give an abbreviated hey
which technically means yes
ah but it means much more depending on the context in the tone of voice ha
it's an affirmation
a confirmation that
here i am
i'm responding
i am ready to turn my attention to you
and in hebrew
the word appears one hundred and seventy eight times in the hebrew scriptures the word is in a knee
which also has a technical translation
here i am
and of course means so much more than that
he is
how a child response to parent
can also how apparent response to a child
ha how lover to respond to each other
how a person responds to god
and in certain instances how god responds to a person
it's a it's a confirmation of presence
ah saying
you have my full attention
and also that i am prepared
for whatever i am called to meet
and i hear the mutual residence of sojourns hi
and the biblical honey
they're the same thing to me
and they have a different they may have some different of lobster meaning but let me just give you some context in the hebrew bible say you ah see see you have a sense of how it was ah
how it was written that was spoken ah
in genesis twenty two
after abraham has been
ah rewarded with the birth of son's very late in his life
that is the most precious thing to him
ah in genesis twenty two
and it came to pass after these things that god didn't tempt abraham
i'm not sure how he tempted him i looked and i can't quite see but he said unto him ah and said unto him abraham
and he said and abraham said behold
here i am
and then god said
take now thy son they only son isaac whom now lowest and get the into the land of mariah and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which i will tell the earth
oh that
is what
the hebrew god was asking of his servant abraham
and by saying here i am
abraham was
himself to the possibility of anything that god i asked him i'm gonna come back to that
in exodus three
this is when moses is still in egypt before the plagues
he saw a flame
a fire out of the midst of a bush and he looked and behold the bush burned with fire and the bush was not consumed
and moses said i will now turn his side and see this great site
why the bush is not burnt
and when the lord saw that he turned aside notice he he said turned away because it was he was
ah a mysterious miracle
god called unto him and in the midst of the bush said moses moses and moses said
here i am
can this is where he was instructed
as to how he was to lead
the jewish people out of slavery not of egypt
and in the third
ah version which is which is little different in the book of isaiah was one of the profits
isaiah is saying
two people you will call and the lord will answer
you will cry and the lord will say here i am
so this is the parent responded to the child
and i'll say just one more example
of which this is
very early in the book of genesis
eve and adam had eve eaten
of the fruit
of the tree of life
the lord was in the garden and looking for adam
and the lord god called on to at him and said unto him where art thou
nana did not say here i am
adam said i heard thy voice in the garden and i was afraid because i was naked and i hid myself
and that starts a whole painful dialogue between god and adams like both had it you know toward her naked in own
discovers that they had eaten of this tree that they were forbidden
so these are the biblical these are biblical are moments ah
and i just ask you to hold them not asking you not giving them to you as religious instruction
when one knocked on sojourn store
if he was there and you could you know you can usually tell if he was there by whether his blinds were open
ah and i will confess that hinder six weeks since his death i think every day and look out my kitchen window
to see if the blinds are open
it just it sowed
it's so deeply imprinted in me
ah anyway
if he was there he would answer height
and ah
as i said in japanese as is translated often is yes it also means ah
something like i hear you respond to you
the surgeon explained can be once that he had made a practice for himself
i'm responding to every person who not
no matter what he was doing that he was reading or writing or reading or doing calligraphy
he would sit down his task
and turn himself to the person who came through that door
now it's true that from time which i one might not feel that one had his entirely complete attention ah you sometimes one's presence was an interruption but believe that was that was the exception
mostly he really turned his attention to you if you came for the door and that door was open to everybody
and just so you understand that's actually pretty unusual
that's pretty unusual maybe it's unusual in that our life it's unusual in my experience ah with zen teachers ah
but it was really usual with him and i always i really want i understood it i really admired this practice i still admire and i aspire to myself
so i hear high or hindi amy
has parallel expressions of readiness willingness
reset tv
the readiness and the ability to respond to
whatever arises moment by moment
this i think is or
the miraculous baptists
and actually i think it's the heart of zazen
that in zazen our mind and body
i'm open
to what arises to the call of each moment
you could think of it also
as our practice of kin him
every step
in this walking meditation
every time i put my foot down
i have a realization
here i am
in amy
i feel my feet on the ground
then i move forward

i think that that's what we practice in in
in zazen with every breath it's nanny
it's hi yes i am
i am or i want to be open
two what
whatever arises and the practice of zazen
i think to
the inner mechanism of zazen
creates that capacity in ourselves
we might not have you know some of us effect and i include myself i have quite a bit of impatience
we don't
i don't want the next moment i want something that i think it's gonna be better
nonetheless i'm point to get the next moment hand
as we practice we develop
the skill not turn away from that moment can we just we developed the patience
to incorporate
and except that moment has
exactly as it is
so there's a difference i will say between what i hear as or read as sojourns practice
and the hebrew scriptures
now this is just my interpretation eight i must on dad
i feel
cough a beginner
in beating these scriptures in of its peculiar to read the scriptures at the age of seventy three ah to start reading them ah but i appreciate that i'm able to and interested in it but the distinction that i hear has to
do with the nature of one's response
sojourns hi
was not just an announcement to the person who was knocking at door
it was a call to himself
to remind himself of his vow and practice
not to be attached
to the last moment
but to pay attention to the new moment
the new call
and to begin again
with the awareness that that's a real opportunity
starting again and again
and i would say
once more that is the heart of zaza
in fact i've heard certain sadness that com
often we think that there's something wrong with our zazen because we can't
maintain our attention on our breath or because our
slippery minds start thinking about
launch or work or whatever
and what i was taught very early on as that's not a problem
that actually the fundamental act
of zazen is returning
it's noticing oh yeah i am
i'm thinking about lunch okay now what was it that i was trying to do as trying to sit upright make sure that my mujer was was open
and so it's debt re centering listening to the call of one's own practice
beginning again and again and again
so the biblical funny
again ah my understanding may be incomplete and i know that there are there are
mystical ways of reading it that are probably a lot closer to what we're talking about
in the context of sin
but the but i see as a kind of
open message of the hebrew scriptures is
a call to be obedient to god
that's difficult for me
i remember her
did any of you ever read the empty mirror by a young founder veteran he's a he is incredible
book ah he's a dutch
mystery writer
who in the fifties did intensive zen training in japan
hand i river i heard him interviewed by terry gross once and she was se knew that his religious or
orientation hand he he he shouted i want to beat up god
and i can understand that
god asked abraham to sacrifice his son
and only at the last minute when when abraham has the knife raised because he was a good boy and he was very obedient and he was gonna kill us only son because that's what god has them to do only the last oh my god stay that
and of course without getting into further theology
god sacrificed his son
his own son
in the form of jesus you know you just do not see this in the buddhist tradition what you do see in the jonathan tales the tales of the of the buddha or of the bodhisattva before he was a shakyamuni buddha is
bodhi sought for sacrificing his or her own body to save other beaks
but not to a higher power
and in fact where
the hebrew bible
if if you read it includes
goods vast
trance and passages descriptive of how precisely to do animal sacrifice
ha which was also very common in the pro monocle tradition that that the buddha
lived in
there's no the buddha eliminated animal sacrifices in in his in his religious practice so on
i think we're taught to be responsive to ourself not obedient to pay
higher power or another be
and that's that's quite unique in religious traditions in many ways

i just think about
the sound of sojourns voice the that
pretty sharp height
then i always felt
i always felt that will allow me to walk in the door
and i think many of us found that hard to that his door was was opened to
was open to us
and this is a practice that i i certainly encourage for myself and so practice that i want to continue ah
not just in a figurative way but in a liberal way ah to and i think to some extent loin i have done it in terms of
wanting i had the door door house to be open so that anyone can knock on it ha
in part of that motivation is
well whatever somebody brings the door is probably gonna be interesting
sometimes can be trouble you know but generally interesting and sojourn was interested he was really interested in what was going on in his students' lives and ah
i really cultivate to album
cold to that principle even though i may not be perfect my attention
so just say yes
just say here i am
see it is i was you who are around you and say it
did universe and zazen
so that that's the practice that i wanted to speak of this morning ah
let me leave time for for questions ten thoughts know
and i'll continue with other
other points of practice in in the weeks to come

thank you goes on for anyone who has a question or please raise your digital hand or send a check to the saturday director and i'll be dead for you thank you
okay i see been
let's see
i don't see anybody ben go ahead and and new yourself
i'm thank you for your tacos on
i'm can you hear me okay okay great
i remember from a dharma talk that i heard on the san francisco zen center website many years ago when i i first started practicing
and i think the talk focused around a nanda and on to say yes to the buddha and i don't know if you or anyone else here knows of that that story just came to my mind during your talk and i didn't know if you could share anything about that i remember the talk of focusing on how and on to was always ready to say yes i'm here and how that was a a good
practice for us well i don't remember that in specific but ah that's what we're supposed to do right has good zen students are supposed to say yes ha
yeah i would say that's not an absolute
sometimes they're on which when you should say no
ah but always i think it's good to say here i am
i'm paying very close attention to what's been presented but it's not an absolute some in in some
then settings and other religious settings or
you know if the teacher or figure of authority
says you should do something ben
on question unquestionably you should do it but i don't feel i never
had that instruction or message from sojourn roshi and i don't feel it and i think we really have to we have to hold on to how are
moral agency did the same time
but the buddha and every has nothing to do anything
i'm told
i truly believe that
thank you sir
i good morning i decided give you a who report on the movie that went on here when you started to compare hi to him he needs
i yeah
as soon as you mentioned the example of abraham saying that to god on that occasion
i went into a kind of molten near volcanic eruption because of the nature of that story thank heavens that i didn't explode all over you are yeah i didn't have to because you then actually made as important distinctions that you made later
so the biblical he needs though you could say it sounds like i'm here like the xin i'm here
i don't think i would compare it to me that story of abraham is an obscenity and as you said it's about obedience and about abandoning our sense of moral agency
ah so ah thanks first
acknowledging that and i i really have a question i just wanted to report what i went through right well thank you on let me say something to that because
this is my second time in the last ten years
reading the five books of moses
and the first time
everything about them
catalyzed a response the responses that i feel you're describing
the second time ah
i'm asking myself what's going on inside me
and i'm using those stories are not a green when anything
i'm just using it as an examination and i feel their ah
virtually every virtually every major figure
in the hebrew bible is seriously problematic
a number of different perhaps moral grounds so i don't want to get into a long discussion about it ah
but i think that
what speaks to me about a nanny is to ask where am i
if i can use that i will use it i will use anything i can
try to pay attention
two how i am
and cow living without necessarily ah believing the
the doctrines that they said it seems to be attached to so anyway would we can certainly talk about this more but i'm not ah for me there's residence for you there may not be a residence i understand that there wasn't you know how this reasons for me as new found
and i could also move through it to another place
but ah this is what i wanted to share today thank you good yeah
ah thanks roseanne further talk ah there is a letter calling star yes sir his death where eat the wrong years death where he can have references that it's kind of opening himself but the
the question that i hear he had to do with
i guess the a little bit what you might see as being self denial in obedience to something else or might be let him go south
it and so suck when you are talking about zaza and how
you may want something better and index from all that but you're willing to just accept the next moment
in a way you're letting go what you're wanting least when i practice you enjoy trying to get something or i'm trying to have some state or and while to get enlightened
and so in some way letting go of their wedding ring of trying in just sitting just being president is
ah almost a as the letting go of your own self or what you were an eye opening to something larger and when you are talking about a stojan and always answering if it ain't with a doc it brought to mind are
our services rukia i think in fighting began one of his books he mentions are that if you're studying the suit dress or something and someone brings you t you should take that t even though you feel like i'm studying the searchers now and yet here
talking about his wife pregnancy and he feels like saying hey quit blog began doing something really afford yeah i'm studying district but really the important thing is to let go of what you think is so important and just me the present moment which is something
he's bringing new t somebody knocking on your door ah there's a pain in your wag or whatever that is and so i'm in my practice try to do the epoch also
struggled a bit with that issue or agency and and so if i'm really open to the next same and i guess it's like being open to the doll where the way than i'm willing to let go on my plans for some emerging thing with
you may not be exactly what i am
mine and saw asking myself how am i to there when i think of the that story with abraham in prison and got a new broken that tradition where it almost seems like it's it's a testing how open are you to the next thing how will you let go of know
what is your agenda or most important to you and are you ready and saw it is an obedience to god is no obedience to the dow is no beating just next moment i mean not the obedience is in the good work i guess it's a dropping himself and they realize
that that there is no separation between you and god that it isn't it's you wanted to be some the indifferent that's trading this space that's right you go that space than it is like i have to obey i'm just expressing my true nature right right so good
the distinction as they said between obedience and response and i have talked often about you know is just go on what's the one is the summation of a buddhist whole lifetime an appropriate response
and where did i mean if he trumpeted as destroy from suzuki roshi
that's what sojourn experienced that's when cheap kim was just those kinds of teaching suzuki roshi
the root of are suffering to me is in wanting things to be different from how they are but this is not so easy
to pin down you still have to decide you know in in a moment that arises when a thought arises of something else or i thought arises say of something that is not right that needs to be
you know if you look it
for example sojourn
will she approaching the altar
he often we've often seen this
he would stop he would look he would align the the objects on the altar to according to mysterious principles that he had in his mind ah to me and mysterious are now you could say
well he wanted things to be different from how they weren't right
ah yeah he wanted he thought oh i can put this in alignments i have i have some agency here so let me do this so it's not just accepting is not a passivity you know it's it's not just the kind of ah blind acceptance of the moment you still have
to have ah a moral or ethical agency ah and the very thought that's coming up in your mind about what bone might be the next moment might be the thing that you need to pay attention to
you know ah it's not so simple anyway thank you thank you for that through that question to help orleans up ah ginny
was i'm a very are provocative talk thank you so something he said i'm reminded me of a quraishi where he used to say way way back in the day and it seems i'm realizing that
it's the thing i remember most from him ah so he was nobody wants the next moment everybody wants the moment after next
i always thought i understood that but maybe now i'm not so sure i wonder if you might say something about that
the mean i don't know cause i wasn't i wasn't there is a dead sort of
make sense what you want is you know is what is what you want your enjoyment
you know do you want the enjoyment that you could that you think is going to come from the next moment that's that's how i would be the understand that you know which is not the next moment itself
so maybe it's like
at some deep level
we want to keep the moment we're n maybe not need something that of cornell when we would desire but we have the side of the future that we're projecting into that's the moment after next year that's right and the fainted read there is ah
the buddhist first sermon where he describes the nature of suffering and he explicate it very
very clearly and includes ah wanting what we don't have ah not wanting what we do have you know and all of all of these permutations of that ah and you go back to that it's really easy to to
i see somebody who might don't know what i'd like to hear from him chris
is a crystal palace yes and less last name last name is guys guys where are you i'm indirectly on this is my first time joining so thank you for the wonderful tarkin of a nice introduction
chuck be a muted yourself oh wait sorry about that
so i'm curious for those may be like me you tend to look inward often and even live and where to the bed
how to respond to the moment on and be attentive present ready to answer the call of each moment while also recognizing a need for kind of
restoration i guess
i guess everybody exists obviously on a spectrum of may be introverted extrovert it as a bit too simplified but and indifferent yeah for those who candles recognize the need for am kind of introspection to feel kind of whole and to be the best version of themselves in some way
re how might you advise someone like me am
in terms of identifying
am i guess
when a when is sort of i don't know if healthier adaptive is right word but when
maybe making more generally just how to find that balance and how that might have a question may be
explored within zen tradition i think that is explored within zen tradition by the fact that our practice is really a path of it's it's really the shape of the practice a whole life
ha that
it's not just that we meditate and face the wall we eat together we work together we can together we cook together we walk together in one kind of organism and so gradually of he you can't avoid
realizing who there's other people helped there
ah and ah that's the way we practice we don't go in a meditation hot or a cave and just and just go inside ah so so that's what i would really recommend and you can
you know you can do this in your family you can do this in your work ah and i would say
what came to mind instantly was
take up a practice of listening
listening to your environment around you
listen to
notice the
you know from berkeley you can hear the trains you know you can hear the birds in the trees ah you can hear a motorcycle going by just recognize ha that these saw the sounds that are so cold outside you are also part of your entire
reality and you know i wouldn't the thing is i wish i could encourage you to come and practicing this face to face but they'll be a time for them
that's all roads that's a start
yeah i don't know if you or anybody else is familiar with the poet david white but to use a poem called everything is waiting for you and that has a similar feeling of like if you pay attention
to the world around you sort of inviting you in a sense out of yourself
yeah so and modalities of meditation to major modalities of meditation one is ah is a very intense inward focus
a kind of visualization and a kind of closing off of the world and the other is an open awareness a receptivity to all that is around us and i think that's our that's actually our orientation
thank you very much with energy renew the alien i'm sorry
you're not a question in the chat box from peter and would you like to hear that yeah i e yes could you say a bit more about the dysfunction of your early child early jewish education in which peter is his cousin okay i need to know if peter because it can i tell a different story for to from purse
can i suppose that fff fff ah
the dysfunction was
understandable ha since the destruction of the temple which were destroyed twice the the temple in jerusalem ah find the romans destroyed it ah the
center of jewish
practice is really the house the household the synagogue is not a temple it's a gathering place ah and the i think that the assumption is that
one would get the fundamental teachings at home
and then what you got by way of your jewish education that the temple was kind of supplementary it filled it out ah and i think that part of it part of the problem was i never got it at home
mino weary of this completely secular ha and i was part of the dysfunction also was that i was compelled to have like six years of jewish education for the sake of a grandfather that i could hardly communicate with ah and so we sort of forced on me ha
it wasn't very skillful and i've often felt if i had
had jewish education and teachers who were a anywhere air scoop was the buddhist teachers that i've had ah i might have had a different response but that that's setting aside the major
doctrinal on theological problems the day that i have with with religion ah not with culture but with the religion so anyway it was just he wasn't very well done and sad that people were unkind they just weren't
they didn't feel like they had to give us the basics and com
i wasn't getting that a home in the same way so that that's that it far as i want to go
i see rondi notes it last hand i see raised
what charlie yeah charlie
thanks very much were extremely engaging talk today shows on i have two questions about 's am thirty six hidden wise men the first question is due to is
it always the same thirty six throughout time
no the
i i don't know i don't have to study the
the and the legend but in this in this book them in the last of the just what it follows is it is that the just nano was one of the thirty six was belonged to a particular family and was born generation after generation someone was born into that family who played that
rock like i understand i don't know if that is of that's that that that's good enough for me
the second question is a contemporary a jewish theology might include thirty six him wise women what would they would it not
i think the sauna and i'm schools world and some schools have been better
you know i mean there's just ah happened
well the reason i asked that is in the realm of politics a women certainly have been leading
a great great portion of political theory and practice so i wondered whether m
the that reality my carry over to were jewish theology well you know what i think is that all theology is still painfully patriarchal
that not just jewish it's like across the board and this is what we have responsibility to to change
well i i thought of mother teresa is a possibility of one of these wise women holding up the world baby
you know i read
these are myths and so i don't
don't understand you to any of them ha
can we play a charming you know ah and she was one of them ah but there's lots of maybe mainly you know ah
we have defined we have to find wisdom wherever it's been offered to us a of course thank you
is that a eco
yes it is served okay thank you very much and enjoy the sunny crisp weather and we'll see you just remember that begin to do the surgery she's forty nine
day ceremony on it'll be on wednesday morning ah but if you can't join us will do it on thursday evening when we have a more for their recollections of bad sojourn