Heart Sutra Class

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It's quite a trick to present the Heart Sutra and Abbot Labarra's commentary in the length of time that we have, because everything he says is pretty important. So that's my objective, and I think it's a good idea. He does have some good stories. So I wanted to begin tonight on page 36, which is kind of It's Section 3, awakening to the character of our individuality.


And this is in reference to the part of the Heart Sutra which says, an element that hasn't been entered before, pretty close to the beginning of the Heart Sutra. So, Avalokiteshvara, when coursing through the Prajnaparamita, perceives that all five aggregates in their own being are empty and was saved from all suffering, we say, passed beyond all suffering. So I'm just going to read a little bit of this, because he talks about faith, which I think is a really important aspect of our practice, and it's something we should understand, what is meant by faith in our practice.


Faith is not particularly faith in a deity or in something, but he says faith is not just worshiping Buddha, but rather realization of the truth of one's self. So sometimes we call that confidence in ourself. So he says, this is the human vision, seeing things as they really are. Suzuki Roshi used that phrase a lot. He said, the purpose of practice is to see everything as it really is. And then he used the term, seeing things as it is, which is a kind of plural singular, singular plural way of expressing seen things, which is plural, as it is, which is singular.


So it's kind of a nice koan, seen things as it is. He says Satori is the real character of everything that is seen. So if you have Satori, which means a realization, then you realize the real character of everything, things as it really is, not as they appear to be, or as we construe them, or our opinion about them, or our partiality, but as it really is. So, we've talked about the wisdom Four Wisdoms, the Mirror Wisdom, Great Round Mirror Wisdom, the Wisdom of Equality, the Wisdom of Differentiation, and the Wisdom of Appropriate Activity, Appropriate Action. Those are the Four Wisdoms.


to see everything. You can just sit down somewhere. So seeing things as it is, in a large sense, is the So this is the mirror mind which has no opinions, no partiality, no ideas, no thought, simply direct perception.


So direct perception sees everything as it really is. And that's pretty hard to maintain, this direct perception, because we're always interpreting, always falling into duality. But the dualistic world is supported by non-duality or reality. That's hard for us to perceive that, except in Zazen. And even in Zazen, we don't realize always that that's what's happening. If we sit Zazen for a reason, then we fall into duality or partiality. If you think, I am going to be tranquil, or to be this, or to be that, or to maintain this or that, then whatever doesn't come up to that ideal is wrong.


So you never really are sitting as I was in. The only time you're sitting as I was in is when you give up everything. Which doesn't mean that there's no thought or whatever. It's just that there's no intention. The only intention is to sit up straight and breathe. So, when somebody was telling me about renunciation, also, he said, when renunciation, remember last time we talked about renunciation. We talked about the renunciation of non-renunciation and the non-renunciation of renunciation. Do you remember that? If you think this is renunciation, it's not renunciation. If you simply do the same, then it's renunciation. But if you think, oh, this is renunciation, then it's not renunciation, because it's an idea you have about renunciation.


So, when renunciation of self is complete, the Absolute, the state free from all conditions, in which at present we are putting our faith, will actually be realized. The world of faith is to act in trusting all to Kanan. So what does that mean, in trusting all to Kanan? Kanan, of course, is the expositor of the Heart Sutra. He's the one that's telling us about formless emptiness, emptiness of form. So the heart, you know, Shakyamuni, as you may remember, asks, �Would you please explain what it means to course in Prasanthi Paramita?� and Shakyamuni asks Avalokiteshvara to explain it to him.


So, you know, Manjushri is the Bodhisattva of Wisdom and you would think that he would ask Manjushri to explain it. So compassion, of course, is the activity of wisdom. Without compassion, wisdom is dry, wisdom is crazy. So compassion is to explain it. So, Avalokiteśvara is explaining the wisdom of prajnaparamita as compassion.


And that's what Abbot Obora is saying. That's his theme throughout this commentary. or Avalokiteśvara. So the world of faith is to act entrusting all to Kanan. So in other words, entrusting to your own compassion, your own compassionate shin. Shin means both mind and heart. Religion is not logic and all that. Forget that. Which doesn't mean that it's not. To entrust all to Kanaan means to immerge self in the state of Kanaan, or which is compassion.


By the power of myself I can do nothing, not even check one tear to the truth at the bottom of that self, the holy form of the Bodhisattva Kannon appears, which rescues the I into the absolute unconditioned, which is called emptiness. Surely this is the true world of faith also. Faith is not just worshipping Buddha, but rather realization of the truth of oneself. penetrate to the truth in itself. Face it, it's just there. You can't fake it. It's there, but it's unshakable. Zen Master Dogen is always telling us to learn how to withdraw is the radiating mind, the mind released toward objects.


So it's the same mind that goes out to things, like I hear, I see, I smell, I taste, I touch. So when a sound is heard, the mind is released to that sound. You can sit down. We are attracted by the Or when a form is seen, the mind transfers to it, and we are attracted by the form. So the mind is always going out toward things, seeking things. Things are like a magnet for the mind. We feel that they are like a magnet for the mind. The five senses are the five mouths. The hungry ear, the hungry nose, the hungry mouth, the hungry fingers.


And so we're eating through those five senses, those five mouths. So the light of the mind, which is attracted to objective things, we are to pull back. And the training in the Zen school is this withdrawing step and considering. So instead of reacting, it's response, which I talk about a lot, the difference between reacting and response. Reacting is to get attracted to something and attach to it, whereas response is to step back and consider, is this something to do or not? Because when we react, when we just react, we create karma automatically. karma, as you may remember, means a volitional action. So he says, what is all this anger? which is important.


There are different currents in the one-Zen sect, but the doctrine of Master Dogen is indeed a true doctrine. So to go out charging headlong to another place cannot be called training. Today, people have to be hot-headed in rushing around. Perhaps some of them think that life is an arena of competition and that charging around is the thing to do. People do. not just rushing after objects. Its basis is at every step to withdraw and fully realize the truth of what is called self. The trick of withdrawal is the basis of Buddhist training. Does anybody have a question? I mean, you can ask a question anytime. truth of selfhood is known, the world of faith manifests clearly.


And that faith, which entrusts everything to come on, is illumined vision, and with it comes the entering into faith, namely realization. So actually, faith is realization. True faith is realization. Or we say enlightenment. Enlightenment is faith. When the life of faith manifests, it is the life of satori, or realization. The one who enters into the state of faith is one who verily has entered into the state of satori. That person is awakened. And then, the I who was saved soon becomes the one who saves. I who was saved by Kanaan, who was merged in the world of liberation and now no different from Kanaan. and saved by Kanaan that one becomes holy Kanaan and must not be active for the salvation of all. So saved by Kanaan, merged in Kanaan, being Kanaan is the state of satori and awakening.


So this is like totally being merged in practice. without practice. And practice brings forth enlightenment and enlightenment reinforces practice. But I don't feel enlightened. That's good. If you felt enlightened, it wouldn't be enlightenment. It's actually a mystery. You know, this is what faith is. It's not faith It's something that practice is... I just feel I have to practice in my life.


And everything that I do is referenced through practice. So it's called Gyoji, continuous practice. Dr. Hiroshi? Yes? If things are referenced through practice, And there's faith as a result of that. Is doubt in abeyance at that point? Or is doubt fueling it in some way? Doubt is also faith. Is it really? Yeah. Doubt is also faith. You can't have faith without doubt. So faith and doubt are dualistic. component. Doubt is the handmaiden of faith.


If you're a woman, faith is your boyfriend. I mean, faith is your activity, but doubt is your boyfriend. Or maybe your little brother. your mother, or your father, or yourself. Doubt is important. So if you don't, say you shouldn't have doubt. Doubt is important. In the Rinzai sect, it's the most important thing. There's the faith types and doubt types. Doubt types need to have reassurance. I don't know. But faith types don't need a great Siddhartha experience. For a faith type, all of our experience is practice.


So we don't worry so much about that. But Dhamma is important because it's a balancing point. Faith wants to go, you know, let's go! But Tao says, just a minute, hold your horse, yes, and be careful. Let's keep going, but I'll supply the keel to your boat. So a big boat needs a big keel, a heavy keel, so it keeps the boat from tipping over. So it's an anchor. Doubt is an anchor. But it's not skepticism. Skepticism is different. Skeptical doubt is a hindrance. But doubt is not a hindrance. Or it's a little bit of a hindrance. An annoyance.


Damn it! Leave me alone! But we need it. So, our doubt is good. Is there a relationship between doubt and koans? And koan? Koans? Well, yeah. In the koan system, as provided by the Rinzai school, mostly, although some people also use koans, they say you should have big doubt. When you practice Mu, you should have big doubt. And then you raise this big doubt until it becomes a great ball of energy, you know, and then it explodes. So the doubt is important for those people, but it's not so important for us. It's a facilitator of koans, but for us it's not so important, because in Soto school we have faith, and doubt is helpful, but it's not necessary.


and the other kind of doubt, which you say is good. What is good and what is not good? Our faith practice is based on intuition. Faith practice is pretty much based on intuition, which means directly touching. But you may feel you have intuition, But there has to be some verification through reason. And that's the doubt. It's not exactly doubt. It's like you want to make sure that you're doing the right thing. It's that kind of doubt. Whereas skepticism means you're only throwing stones. And so you never really enter into practice.


You're just standing there criticizing. That's good. My question is from something about five minutes ago that you were reading. For the individual practitioner, for lack of a better word, the words enlightenment and the word renunciation earlier sparked me. These are words that we should put on a shelf way back in a closet or something and not be concerned with as words. I won't go as far as saying why they, to ask why they aren't important, but they Well, I think that... I understand your point. If you... I think they're important terms, and you shouldn't ignore them.


But also, you shouldn't attach to them. So the trick is not to ignore them, and not to attach to them, just like anything else in this world. So, you... That's the whole point of practice. If you can do that, you've got it. In any endeavor in your whole life. Say it again? Sorry, I forgot it. But one thing you would want to do is say, I am renunciating now. Right. Not to ignore it and not to attach to it. That's practice, in a nutshell. Do not ignore it and not attest to it. If you really can do that, moment to moment, you're enlightened. But if you think, I'm enlightened by doing that, you're not. Yes.


How do you turn the light and shine it back? Say that again. Turn the light. Oh, turn the light. And shine it back. Is what he's saying. But it means, in other words, take a step back and shine the light inward to illuminate the Self. How do you do that? So I said, that's the backwards step. But it's also, in all of your daily life, step back is a necessary step, a metaphor, right? Or consider, if you reveal, take a step back and let illumination take place.


Because your natural Your natural endowment is illumination. So if you take the step back from attachment to things which cover your illumination, then your illumination will come forward. That's what he's saying. But, you know, it's a good thing to ponder, rather than for me to explain. I think that I don't like to explain it, because then you think, oh, now I know what that means. So it's just a kind of pointer. I can't deliver that. Peter? Could you say that a demonstration of this might be, like, climbing an apple tree and can't get down, too far, and I trust gravity, I have faith in it.


Yes. But can I jump or not? I have doubt. But I have also faith in gravity. I'm going to have to choose one way or the other. Oh. And then somewhere I go, I'm climbing down or I jump. Yes. you find that there's always a place to step. When you leave everything up to faith, not fate, but faith in your life, there's always another place to step. Maybe there isn't, but, you know, has different circumstances.


So the trick is how to be true to yourself in every circumstance or any circumstance. So there's no way to explain that. You just have to. And it may mean that you die. But then, well, of course you do. Who doesn't? You know, someone was talking to me about dying and saying that we think, oh, this person was too young to die, or that person was not in the right place to die, or this shouldn't have died. There's no way to explain what is right and what is wrong about dying. in the right place, even though it's not what we want, or like, or think it should be.


What does it mean to be true to yourself? That's a good question. That's a very good question. No, I don't want to answer that. It's good for you to find that out. We all have to find that out. If there was legislation, you'd just do this and then you'd be good. unveil this heart sutra? Maybe it will become clear. That's a great question. So, when he's saying that the one who is saved naturally wants to say,


That's what you naturally do, because that's what Kaman does. But we all have that within us. It's not like we stick Kaman under ourselves. But the compassionate heart is what makes us human. And so when that is awakened, then we want to share that with others. This is what Dogen means when he says, Jinju yuza mai. In Bendowa, he says, Samadhi that we enter, it's just a way of speaking, we don't enter something called Samadhi, but Samadhi which wells up in us is the compassion that we share with others.


That's what that means, Jiju Samadhi. It's the wisdom which brings forth compassion. And then that becomes the Bodhisattva's career. a Buddha appears in the world in order to do that. That's the only thing that the Buddha has to do. Otherwise, there's no reason. So that's why we don't cross our lives. Because we're so busy saving ourselves.


Saving what? Saving what is ours. Well, I wouldn't say qualify. Sometimes we do good. Sometimes we don't do good. Sometimes we do good. Sometimes we do bad. But it's all somewhat arbitrary. The Bodhisattva has become karma. What I mean is we don't proselytize because through practice we are bringing forth our wisdom of compassion. That is it. When we act according to that, according to our inner karma, whether people realize that that's what's happening, they're attracted to that.


And so, that's how we light people up. Just by being ourselves. Without trying to do something, not saying, you should do this, just by people attracted to that light. What do we mean by saving here? Saving can be very presumptuous in Europe. Yes, from suffering and delusion. That's what saving means. So that's why we preach the Dharma, is to help people realize first that they're suffering, and then there's a way to deal with that called the Four Noble Truths.


So the Four Noble Truths is Buddha's first sermon, and that first sermon sentient beings, or beings, are living in a world of suffering, it doesn't mean that there's not other things besides suffering. You know, happiness, there's also happiness and so forth. Some people say happiness is also suffering, but if we just say it's all suffering, that's too much. But it's a world that's that is subject to suffering, and we have all experienced it, and some of us are really stuck in it, and that there is a way, and that the reason is called desire. But you can also say delusion. or whatever.


So Buddha is the physician. He gives us his opinion. He says, well, the problem you have is that we're living in a world of suffering and it's caused by desire or delusion. So that's the assessment. And then there's the cure. The cure is entering the Dharma gates. And then entering the Dharma gates means the fall of the eightfold path. So when we say beings are numberless, I vow to save them, delusions are inexhaustible, deal with them. Dharma gates are boundless. I vow to enter them.


And the Buddha way is unsurpassable. I vow to become it, we say. So that's what it means to save. We say, awaiting return, which is nice, you know, that's why we say that. So because we think, well, you know, I'm not going to mind, the hateful mind, the blah blah blah of unwholesome dharmas. I'd rather say because the unwholesome dharmas of his own mind are sentient beings.


But this is an impossible commitment and that's why it's so nice. People go, but I'm not going to commit to that because I can't. And that's just not a literal thing. It's this impossible thing. It's not that I'm going to do all this. But the intention is that it would be great to do all this. It would be great to say, well, I think you'd be. So I commit myself to that, even though I can't do it. Even though I can't do it, I'm going to do it. Even though I can't do it. do it, it wouldn't be the Dharma. I would like to do this, but even though I can't, I will commit myself to it anyway. And that's what I thought. That's Abhora's take on the Heart Sutra, is that that's what it's all about.


Even though I can't do it, I commit myself to doing it. As Huckaman says at the end of his commentary on Hawki Ozanai, foolish wise men filling the well with snow. He said, you have to be a little bit stupid. God wants to do that. It was time to take two minutes of break. I mean, not break, but if you like, you can stand up. Don't go anywhere.


I'm actually happy. what he's talking about, a really nice way of putting it, about to free them. Yeah, but that's still a little bit, that's still a little bit arrogant. Give them the key to the jail. OK.


Page 43. He talks about life impelled by karma, that so much of our life is impelled by karma, volitional action which keeps repeating itself over and over and we get caught in our habit energies. And so freeing ourselves from our habit energies is really difficult by our conditioning.


To have freedom means to be free of our conditioning, or free within our conditioning. So it's pretty hard to be free of our conditioning, but it's possible to find freedom within our conditioning. And instead of fighting our habits, how to find our freedom within our habits. So in tranquility we consider ourselves, when in tranquility we consider ourselves, the first thing that comes up is the problem of the flow of time. Through time we feel impermanence, 50 already, 60 already, we ourselves were young and how we can never alas return to that time. Well then, let us return you to your youth, say about 20, but under one condition, and it is that you will have to relive your life once more in exactly the same way.


So he says, when young, life seems like a level, flat highway. That's paragraph 2. As the years pass, it is not like that, driving through waves, great and small, as sand by storms. I sprint through up to the slope of the 60s and out of the 70s to repeat again this life of turmoil that I should not like. That I should not like. Someone said that life is a tightrope from cliff to cliff across a valley. And my stunt was to be a Zen priest. I was not so much of a priest, but that was the trick I performed. That's very humble of you, actually. So performing our various stunts, we've escaped through so far, but it is a life that makes one shudder at the thought of going through it again.


It would have been better not to have done that, and as for this, if I had done it, I should have fallen into the sword valley and perished. Truly, I should not like to live through it again. So how do you feel? Never mind, going back tens and tens of years. I don't want to have last year over again. I don't want to have this year over again. I don't want to repeat. And the reason is that my life never had any meaning. But when it was a life I had lived in which the Buddha heart never at all manifested, a life pointlessly, lived past pointlessly, I do not want to live it once more. So, here's an example, they say, come and tell us that paradise is on the other side, you know, like in the West, the pure land in the West. This is Pure Land Buddhism, which is very prevalent in Japan, of course, and they tell us that if you just chant the name of Buddha sincerely, Amritabha will take you to the Pure Land in the West.


You don't have to practice at all. As a matter of fact, it's not possible to practice for any good reason. That's Pure Land Buddhism. So, perhaps we want to hasten forward to that glorious pure land? Here again, I don't feel much like it. What? Don't I want to go to paradise quickly? No, not too quickly. There's a story about an old woman who used to pray very earnestly in the temple every morning. He ever overheard her one day. I am getting older and older and the children and the grandchildren are too much of a trial. The family is so quarrelsome and have no more interest in staying in this world. I pray that your grace will take me to you soon." All this from the bowed head. He thought he would see whether she really meant it or not. So he hid one day behind the Buddha image. The old lady came as usual and unsuspectingly prayed her usual prayer to be taken soon.


He averted her. In answer to your prayer, I'm going to take you now! the old woman shrieked, won't the Buddha let me take a joke? Every day we are making such jokes. If we were taken now, we should be aghast. So we say things, you know. All the time it's like that. There is a pure land, but as we go in there, So it is that I do not want to return to the past, nor to hurry to the Pure Land, which soon awaits. Not to hurry forward, nor yet go back. Then how should we go in life day after day? Not really days, but each step. Let us be neither hastened forward nor retreated." So, you know, no matter what the promises of the future, you don't really want to go there, and you can't go back.


So, what do you do? That's the goal of our life. How do you actually be here, present? Making your life real. Meaning something. What does it mean to actually have meaning in our life? We do all these things, you know, but do they add up to the meaning of our life? The true meaning. So, why do we suffer in life, is the next question. It is just because we are simply being pulled along. Each step is a compulsion. In the Buddha heart chapter of the Shevogenso classic, Master Dogen says, from this body to the intermediate state, and from the intermediate state to another body, all moment by moment are changing. In this way, unwillingly impelled by karma, the wheel of birth and death revolves without an instant rest.


In other words, we know that our life is going in a certain direction, and we know that there is an end, or we think there is an end. We presume it is because we see people dying. What is that? So, by force of karma made in former lives, all our heckles are going over and over the round and never stopping. The force is karma, irresistibly compelled along, praying to become without I, without a self, and yet unable to be without the self. So I am pulled along by it. The world for which we pray is called, in Buddhism, bhūgā, or without self, without I. All seek somehow to live without an I. I don't know if that's true.


Not so. But have I in the heart to live from the bottom of the heart. But there I am, in spite of my personal ability to be without the I. In other words, if you practice the Dharma, you want to, you know, be free of self, but no matter how much we want to be free of self, we're not. But how do we be free of self? Because we want to be free of self, we think that we have to get rid of self to be free of self. But how to be free of form is emptiness, emptiness is form. That which is form is emptiness, that which is emptiness is form. It doesn't say to get rid of form is to be without self. How to experience, realize the emptiness within the self, within the I. So he said, my prayers were no greater


I pray just that, with 150 odd families to which I minister. He's a priest of a temple, 150 families. The Japanese temple system is like that. I should live in peace in a state of no I, but it doesn't turn out so. One family who was very hospitable to me, I say hospitable, but this is the country, so it means a radish or a carrot from time to time. Well, they were hospitable. Then the grandfather died, and they asked me to perform the funeral rites. When the day came, the rain was falling in torrents, and the roads were flooded. Kukuli came to tell me he had been sent to take my things, including the ceremonial chair and the umbrella, which are used in the rite. I think it's outside. With kindly attention,


on a day like this, they surely won't have a funeral like the open. So there is no point in your struggling through the storm with that big chair. Please just take my things. For a chair, you can ask the school next door to lend one, and I'll use that for the ceremony." The coolie happily agreed, and went off just like that. I followed a little later and came to the front door. imagining that it would obviously be held indoors because of the rain. The young master was standing at the door with a countenance like thunder. Your Reverence, we're not going to have the funeral ceremony. I had a sinking feeling that something was wrong. Not going to have a ceremony for your grandfather? But why? Never mind why, but we've cancelled it. What to do? I can't think what might have made you cancel it. Now tell me, what is it that happened? Abbott, it's no use pretending you don't know.


Pretending? I'm not pretending about anything. Please tell me what it is. All right then, I will. saved, but now we're not going to when the ceremony is off. Poor grandfather is not going to get saved. What sort of thing, what is the sort of thing that happens where there is no I which we're always thinking about in our heads? Where is the support? It is not so easy when one actually comes up against life. Where is that faith and enlightenment which were there just now, and what remains in our heart at this moment. However, I pray to be peaceable when such unreasonable accusations are made.


I want to shout, shut up. But I can't. I can't. Let the avid think. If I give that shout, am I not doing something which I shall never be able to retrieve? That is in another part of my head. I want to shout, but our life is this. That one can't shout. We are impelled on the wheel of birth and death, born and long on the round of karma, and for all my prayers, inevitably, my character appears. The illusory character appears. However I pray to be without I, my character is that I cannot be without I, and I come gradually to comprehend this. As I come gradually to comprehend this, I can't help feeling but in the contradictions revealed by introspection, there is a great feeling of desolation, this contrary life in which we can't be what we like to be when examined from within, producing desolation.


So, even with one's parents, unable to discard the meanness of self, even with spiritual people unable to throw off our deceits, yet when I come to penetrate to the very bottom of that desolation, then, as I stand, there suddenly manifests a power of absolutely unconditioned forgiveness. It is a power which will never desert us. Impelled step by step, as we are in the circling of absolute forgiveness is dimly glimpsed, and then a joy comes to the heart. It was wrong to have caused you anger, but for the sake of your grandfather who has just died, will you not let me take the funeral service that we would like to have said? To be able to say these words from the bottom of the heart is through no power of my own. It is the joy of the grace of Kanaan. When the self seems merged in Kanaan, enveloped in the power of absolute forgiveness,


which has come on, for the first time, the heart becomes empty. If all I can manage is, well, let's bust over it, let me take the service, then the joy is only a faint one. Some people dub it self-intoxication, the spiritual joy. When conditions are favorable, they say, you experience a feeling of well-being within. So they say, and let them say it. I have the deep certainty that it is an ecstasy. So when he finally lets go and gives up, then something comes forth, which is not based on, I'd say, It's not based on self.


It just comes up. This is self-negation without negating the self. It's renunciation without renouncing anything, but simply letting karma do the speaking instead of himself. That's dropping the eye. That's true dropping of the self. He's giving up the investment in the eye. He's giving up the investment in the eye, yeah. So here's another example. The isolation from others, on page 48. I had described realization in terms of isolation. But it does not mean the isolation of separation from others. That isolation comes from being deserted.


I'm old and the family don't want me to talk now. How lonely I am. It's not just the isolation of being separated from others. I guess old people feel this way when they're living with their family. You know, everybody, all the young people are busy doing their own thing. And the older you get, the young people are avoiding you, mostly, not necessarily, but you don't fit in to their life, which is going around. And this is what happens to older people. I don't feel that, because everybody is as old as I am. But this is what happens. So when I go to a house, as they arrive, they say, this way, in reverence. Go right in, right through.


And they take me to the reception area. It seems like a great honor. If you ask me, I must say that it is no honor at all. It's just that hanging about the living rooms, the old man will be getting in the way. So it's this way, please. And I'm tucked away safely. It is a loneliness to be pushed into a corner. When I come to a house, I should like to talk to the young people, but I'm not allowed to, and I'm tucked away without meeting them. This is the loneliness of isolation from others. The old lady of the house doesn't enjoy being told, Granny, today we are spring cleaning, so you sit in the corner and rest. She feels how she's getting old and being pushed to one side. Instead, they say to her, oh, Granny, there's no one who can then she feels it is so, and does them with great satisfaction. This is the way to understand old people. So, please do that.


So, the loneliness of isolation from others is the feeling of having been deserted. There is a longing to be appreciated, and when this is cut off, the loneliness is unutterable. As I see it, our whole life is a demand to be appreciated. Everyone, young or old, is seeking to be understood. Our life is a quest And when the sought-for understanding is cut off, what a bitter feeling it is. So these days there is talk about the deadlock in thought and the deadlock in economics, but in one sense the frustration is the perpetual cutting off of the understanding sought by each one. On this frustration arise all the manifestations of deadlock. In frustration and deadlock we are bound to feel loneliness of being isolated from others as having been left behind by the world. But then there comes a reaction to the loneliness. There is a karmic reaction and a desire to find light, and a conviction that there is still one way remaining open, and it is to confront directly our true nature.


And in the deeps of our inner isolation to find the power of the absolute. So if we come to page 50, So, down to the last paragraph. Next in the sutra comes the declaration to the disciple, Shariputra. Form is not different from emptiness. Emptiness is not different from form. Form is emptiness and emptiness is form. Such is human life. It is seen by Holy Karnatana. When it is said that form is not different from emptiness and emptiness is not different from form, it does not mean and take up something called emptiness. On the contrary, through the form body of illusion, the body which is revolving in birth and death, we are to make emptiness and embody the meaning of emptiness.


Emptiness does not mean a void with no content. How much time do we have? 50 minutes. I'm just going to read you some.


I think I reported this last time, but I didn't read the concept monster. He's talking about people who say, well, I don't have, you know, they're kind of passionless. On the previous page, he's talking about In the heart of a person with elevated views and penetrating light, I talked about that last time, I believe that a world of concepts where the no-I or sameness of it are only things thought in the head, and where there is no effort at spiritual practice, is an empty ideal. It is only something thought about, and so it is an empty ideal, which has no content. It must be admitted that those who think themselves fulfilled through the ideal of a void that you're not suffering from the passions of life. So people want to escape from the passions of life.


But since there are no passions, naturally there's no holy awakening. Believing a nature fulfilled by more pictured concepts, they have of course none of the sufferings of life, and as they have no suffering they cannot experience the real holy awakening. So it's necessary to have suffering to have awakening. This is, you know, like in the Koan study, the big ball of doubt is your suffering. And then proportionate to that suffering is your awakening. And so Suzuki Roshi always used to say, the people that have the hardest time have the most benefit. You know, a teacher always a good teacher will never turn away from a student who, no matter how bad they are or how difficult or whatever, how much of a hard time they have, if they really practice with sincerity, the teacher will never turn away from that person.


That's the valued student, the one who has the most difficult time. The so-called no-I of people like this, which is built on concepts, is no more than the no-I of a child in an ironic sense that one could call them good quiet people or happy people who just have no compulsion. It is a widespread aberration in our thought today that many think self-completion is attained by concept building. and fail to make any efforts toward the ideal. Even among Zen aspirants are numbers who fall into the same error, lying on the face or sleeping on the side, I have freedom, they quote, and thinking that getting up just on one life is enlightenment there and then, and that the state of satori is to express everything just as it comes. He's not writing a Buddha.


So this is kind of like talking about Buddhism over coffee. So here's an example. There are some middle schools which profess adherence to the sect of Buddhism, to which I am a priest, which is the Sobhok school. And at one of them, I used to give instruction. The subject was morals. And the talk had to be based on the imperial rescript on education of the great emperor Meiji, I found that however sincerely I spoke, they never listened sincerely. They used to jump up to sleep or start whispering to each other. I realized that to go on talking about ethics and morality in this way was having no effect at all. So here he is at this goal, the re-script, you know, the emperor Meiji was not such a good guy, in the middle of the realign Japan.


So, one time in a fourth year morals class, I came down from the platform and I said, today I'm dropping my position as teacher and you're going to drop yours as pupil. And I want you to give me a question straight and without feeling, you have to be polite. My question is this, in the syllabus, and subjects which you least like least, and I want you to tell me honestly what they are." Nobody said a word. I repeated my question, and finally, one clever boy said reluctantly, well then, I will answer the teacher if he asks. In our syllabus, subjects like math and English are difficult, but the more you do them, the more you find in them, and gradually they get quite interesting. But you, teacher, come here just once a week for one hour and you talk about national morality, loyalty, and filial piety all the time?


It's the most uninteresting subject. Could the morals class be taken out of the syllabus? I was forcibly impressed by these words out of the mouth of a child. The rescript is a reflection of the character of the great emperor. But we teach nothing of his great thought about logically in the head. There was no life in what I was saying, and so there was no reaction from the pupils. Rather natural, one might say. I remember once asking a man who was a big name in the education world, what is the foundation of the nation's morals? And he replied at once, why, the rescript on education, of course. What a forlorn answer When religious people talk about religion today, when Zen priests talk about Zen today, I'm afraid it tends to be like that.


It is shameful how without touching upon the sublime life of the Buddha, Buddhism is simply presented as spun out of our own heads. What relevance will that Buddhism have to life? For it has never had any life in it. The basic error of the intellectual is to think that the aims of Buddhism are elevated views and penetrating intellect. and that these things will in themselves be a fulfillment of human nature. I believe that this is what the Vimalakirti Sutra means when it says that the lotus is not born in the soil of high meadows. The lotus of faith does not bloom in the heart of a man of elevated views, nor is there any supervisor. His non-egoity is a conceptual non-egoity and it can be compared to the no-eye of a child So someone is saying that the heart of God is the heart of a child. In a way it is true that a child's heart is pure and free from malice, and we can also call it muga or without eye, but we cannot say that there is no eye of the child, there is no muga of the Buddha.


It has to be admitted that it is not the non-egoity and freedom from malice of the Buddha. We must be clear on this point. Take for instance this poem, the infant step by step is attaining wisdom. Alas, he is also moving away from the Buddha. You get that? So, we say that the child's innocence is without I, there is not much ego there. I mean, there is instinct. desire, so there's not so much the desire of ego until the child grows. But the non-ego of the Buddha or the Bodhisattva doesn't return to the child's innocence, but has to find


a transformed innocence. Innocence means tireless, or humorless. So, although there's some similarity, it's not the same. You can't return to being a child. So the child is indeed free from malice, and he seems pure, but gradually, with the years he advances in the wisdom of all the goods and bads and rights and wrongs, Sad it is that through this he becomes estranged from the Buddha, and so he must return to that long-lost child. But when we say that, do we really mean it? In a sense, the child certainly is without eye and seems pure, but in fact it is not so. It is a mudra of escape from the sufferings of life. This is on page 57, the second paragraph.


A neighbor made a present of some very delicious cakes to a certain family. He gave them to the little boy. It so happened that an important guest came to visit. Nancy? Nancy? Oh, water. No, I'd rather you take the water. Sorry. I think I will. Yes. Thank you. So a neighbor made a present of some very delicious cakes to a certain family, and he gave them to the little boy. It so happened that an important guest came on a visit at that very time, and the mother wished to make use of the cakes to offer the guest.


But the child to whom they had been given resisted the proposal. They were given to me, and it's not fair to give them to an uncle from somewhere. And finally the mother had recourse to a lie. They are yours. I'll give it back to you." Well, if it's only lending. And the cakes were taken and laid before the guests. You know what happened? This man was unusual. He did not drink rice wine at all. Not even a drop. But he had a great liking for tea. And between sips of tea, he'd And then another.


He managed to hold himself in while the fourth kick went. But at the fifth, a howl burst forth. I'm going to be eating all my cakes! Is this no I? Is it purity? Is this sort of no I? If this sort of no I is the life of Mu-God, It is simply that he has not yet risen to consciousness of individual selfhood. When they talk of returning to the state of a child, it is not really returning to childhood, it is remaining. If you did return, what would it be? The no-I of the child is not the real no-I, but no consciousness. His world is not the world of unalloyed inmate instincts. When he wants to laugh, just laugh at him. When he wants to cry, just cry, such is the world of the child.


And in that happy-go-lucky state, there are no ties, but also no bodhi. In this sense, we should understand the Vimalakirti Sutra. People today follow their whims and think human life can somehow be fulfilled by so doing. They think the point of life is this laughing when the innate impulse comes to life, and crying when it comes to them to cry. Well, I'm not sure about that. Those who think the thing is to expect When laughing, totally laugh. When crying, totally cry. And then, go on to the next thing. This is bhūgā. Bhūgā is when happy, really be happy. And then, go on to the next thing. When sad, be really totally sad. Nothing but sadness.


And then go on to the next thing. Not taking anything with you. This is no baggage. That's renunciation. Not trying to renounce anything. You're simply letting go. You've done something thoroughly. And because you've done something thoroughly, you can let go of it. You don't need it anymore. Suzuki Roshi talked about this adept. I like to smoke. He didn't smoke all the time, but he did smoke. He walked up to the top of a mountain, and he went up, and it was foggy. And to those of you who ever once smoked, you probably know that when you smoke in the fog, it's wonderful. There's something about the mixture of the smoke and the fog, which is just... I haven't done that since 1973.


But it was so satisfying, really satisfying. He said, I have smoke, the ultimate smoke, and I'm totally satisfied. I don't need to smoke anymore. And that was the last time he smoked. When you live your life really thoroughly, one moment at a time, you simply enter the next moment free. That's the point. When you thoroughly live each moment, each moment is a lifetime. A moment has no particular duration, a minute is 60 seconds, but a moment just has no particular duration. A moment can be a thousand years, or something so quick you can't even... and these moments pass by. Lifetimes, we live lifetimes.


moment by moment. We could see that we would live a pretty long time. We said life goes by really fast, but it can also go by very slowly. It all depends, you know. I remember when I was in Sikkim, we were traveling to Bhutan, and we were in Sikkim, and the hotels there It was a great hotel, you know, but it was thick and neat. Not like our hotels. And the light switch, the main light switch, was outside the door in the hallway. And the lock somehow was like that. And my son Daniel and And it was time to go downstairs for a talk.


And somehow they left and turned off the light and locked the door. And there was no way I could get out. The lights were off. I can imagine what it's like to be put in a dungeon or something. to call somebody or seek anything, you're just there in this dungeon. Finally, I just pounded on the door and yelled and screamed and somebody walked by, you know. I finally got released.