The Practice of Patience

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so it's have request mid autumn mornings
ah looks like the air is fairly clear of smoke at the moment at least here so i'm grateful for that
we are having our one day sitting today which is the the closing of our month long aspects of practice period
and we're sitting from ah five in the morning until nine at night
just finishing up not completing ah not a exhausting
the our study of the parameters of the the perfections the bodhisattvas practices
and today i'm going to speak about reagan a trip
go back even though ah
oh marianne laurie spoke of frasure power meter on thursday ah as we've been joking in the course of via the classes when the subject was announced ah a number of people judge
i'm in very quickly with their favorite part of me ducks
and top
my favorite is
shanti the part me to have patience ah because i need to have more of that
someone to start by reading a poem
and also just by way of i realized by way of complete transparency that ah
how much of what i'm going to speak about these different perspectives different angles and patients ah they begin by drawing from the teachings of robert akin roshi ah
and i was reading just this morning i was reading in in his book the practice of perfection
and just realized how influenced i am by his ah his deep
his deep understanding of our zen tradition and ah the elegance of his thinking and writing the elegance and economy of it ah and i'll say little more about that later but so there's all these borrowings in this
top and so i ah
i confess that i've stolen this point at that point in there there's nothing original but there's nothing original under the sun you know ah so want to start with this poem
it was written in earth a stormy night in july of sixteen eighty nine in the far north of japan ah it was written by the the zen poet by show who was on
and it had been raining for three days
and you know there were no
trains or buses in those days you he walked from place to place so he took shelter in a ah in a barn in the countryside
had he composed this haiku
fleas lice
a horse pissing near my pillow
the tip
fleas lice
a horse kissing near my pillow
it's very vivid is think you can you can see this you can almost smell it
or feel it
it's not a complaint
it's not an idealization
it's not some romanticization of been on the road
it is just as very immediate
have patience with things as it is
will this palm looking at his experience
oh completely enters a moment of what had to be as own discomfort
ha and he shares it with us in a way that we can have a
almost essential experience of it

and what i realized as i was thinking about it this morning is that
look and will go into this moore's that the practice of patience
which has
number of different aspects and dimensions and there's different kinds of patients but fundamentally
it's about being patient with myself
it's been patient with my responses to circumstances
it's not so much being patient with the circumstances or being patient with this person was insulting me it's actually being patient with how i feel internally at this moment and accepting that has essentially
so patience is one of the six parameters ah and we translate them as perfections or realizations we had a discussion in one of the earlier classes about the meeting or the the eyes
what the derivation of the word patience is i wanted you will use something that i found a not patients of prevention parameter
ah so the scholar donald lopez
ah describes the etymology
you said the term me a commonly translated as perfection has to etymologies
the first derives from the word perama
of which means the highest or most distant and therefore primary or most excellent
ah hence it can be rendered as excellence or perfection
and then he cites it is this reading is supported by the ah
magenta of the baga with the twelfth excellences perama are associated with the can perfections or meta
so there's a
there's a a residence established with that meaning
then he says a more creative yet widely reported etymology derives parramatta the divides power me to into para and meta with para meaning beyond
ah the further bank the other shore or the boundary and meta meeting that which has arrived
ah or into meaning that which goes supply me to that means that which has gone beyond a transcendent and the reading is reflected in tibet in translation
which says gone to the other side so this is wonderful the wonderful richness of of language you can which you can look at ah from multiple angles and perspectives
so the six parameters will
we spoken of is donna part meter which is generosity giving of yourself of oneself sheila power meter which is
virtue or morality ethical conduct
jaunty power meter
which will go into more depth often translated as
patience tolerance forbearance acceptance dorrance via power meter
ah which i think carried lectured on right your trying via mary mary recollection via ah which is energy diligence
vigor or effort gianna power meter which is meditation or one pointed concentration
and then price your part meter which is the perfection of wisdom
these parameters the way i see them is again from multiple perspectives they are descriptions of how the body sought for practices
ah the for
avalon located far the bodies are from manjushri in all of their activities they manifest they can be their activities can be expressed as these six para meters ah and they just actualized them be
cause they have attained this perfection in their practice
for the rest of us who are
bodhi sought for works in progress
ah oui
practice these parameters as ah
abilities or activities which we have to cultivate
in other words even though doctrinally we're all buddhas
ah we still have to we have to cultivate these practices and the cultivation means that we're not really right there in know it's like we have to cultivate patience because we can see how we're impatient
we have to cultivate generosity because we we can see ah her
maybe are
tendency toward stinginess and don suffered in the context of of all of these parameters
homs fear is a in a cairo she's book or he quotes the zen master eq
who says i'm convinced there is no natural shakyamuni
by which he means
ah we have to cultivate these qualities in ourselves we're not born with them ah
and i i think i would verify that from my own experience practicing here for many years that i see people who
ah and in different situations i see people come in with difficulties ah i see
i see
how dare they have balconies but personally i see my own shortcomings
i you know if i thought that shock and mooney was a state of birth
i would have given up long ago
if you think that
you should probably leaves his endo now but wait for is going

i'm married to her i don't know what to think about that
so did you know and i've seen this i've seen this in my teachers i've seen this in my friends i've seen this with people in the community and to some extent i see it in myself that the cultivation the immersion in practice
allows how bodhisattva nature to emerge
it allows us to settle into these kinds of activities i just as it allows us to settle into so the fundamental activity that we're that we're
practicing today which is in session to practice of zazen ah
you know that
it was so hard and there's some there's some people who are newer here ah and maybe your experience in this specific all of us experienced it ah it's so hard to sit still
social wrote his first session probably some of you heard this story ah
in the middle of the day he
realized oh there's just can be more of this
and he left
he went out this is he went out from this session with suzuki roshi he went out to the marina
and he walked around
and he realized
well this doesn't work either
until you went back
but it's really hard
typically when you're really it's hard to sit still it's really painful
ah it's you have to deal with all of one's own
shortcomings in hands-on ah wandering mind
and i think that many of us who have persisted have found that something shifted and lead over the years it's a very long slow shift
ah hello this is where to me the relationship between
patience and area is very close that ah
whence when zojirushi saw that
it wasn't gonna work to wander around the marina
he added to make the effort to bring himself back and sit down again even though it was hard and i know it was because he spoken of this often it was really hard and painful for him
and i'm sure that many of us have that have that experience

and this cultivation stage calls for the relationship between a close relationship between shanti and via
varia his effort yeah effort to vigor it's ah
i think the latin the latin root is this v i s it's it's like virile ah it's the same this yeah the energy right ah
have i think that christianity has been
it's fill out a really pivotal practice for me yesterday we had a question answer with with such roshi ah in the afternoon and he was talking about four key elements of of for
actus zazen study work and questioning or meeting meeting with a teacher and in the course of he said oh yeah and the fifth his patients
so this is like if a table needs five legs maybe the fifth want his patients
so the japanese character or the chinese character for patience is our is interesting the word in japanese is needs and i am
and the character consists of
two conjoined radicals
at the lower part of the character is ah the character is is the radical for for shin heart mind
and on top of that is the character for first sword
a sword yes so the character consists of a sword hanging over your heart
and so this is our predicament
that our patience is not tested in the context of safety
but actually in circumstances of
risk danger challenge
and living in just that predicament
is the circumstance of of waking up

so we live in this circumstance and our practice in the in the context of buddhism is ah
not to return harm not to escape
but to endure
this situation
in the dhamma pada one of the earliest ah what what seems to be come in among the earliest layers of buddhist buddha's teachings verse one eighty four says enduring patient
it's is the greatest posterity
it this means
looking at conditions and the possibilities that are that it right there in our present situation
another early sutra
it says this this is a versatile
i really like ah
face it sink
patience is the incinerator of defilements
patience is the incinerator of defilements a few get spinner it's been a kind of watch word ah expression for for both me and laurie
ah we we heard it from one of our friends sunday karl ah who's you may have met him ah but
if we we put our afflictions or difficulties
our shortcomings we put them into with
we put them into the fire of patience
and they're transformed

so to go back to akin roshi
he speaks of three aspects of patients of the perfection and patients
ah one is gentle forbearance
ah the other is endurance of hardship
and the third is
acceptance of the truth
for most of us gentle forbearance
may not be immediately so hard but

it has a very close boundary with endurance of hardship
so ah
again referring to the question and answer with sojourn roshi yesterday a question came up about
speaking or not speaking
say it is indoor in a class or something like that and he was suggesting forbearance
sometimes for some people that's easy actually for some people it's too easy
ah because they may tend towards silence and may be affected by their their fear of speaking
for others office and i would include myself ah
there's an urgency that arises to speak and sometimes it's quite it's simple and it's manageable and i can just say
you don't need to say that lets me wait and see
because chances are somebody else is going to say or ask quorum but i'm thinking
and i also see words the the boundary of endurance of hardship ah because sometimes
which is one of the most alarming expressions that i know ah when somebody says this is my truth it's like watch out you know put up your guard all shield on
my truth has an urgency to it
that i feel that i really need to speak and then then it's a hardship harm
come just honestly i'm still working on this
and then there's acceptance of the truth
acceptance of the way things are things are
now as i was reading a convert fees book was interesting ah
i came on a question
a i realized that it was
literally my question
that the i had the way he developed his bookie had left series of lectures and then there was a question and answer period which is drawn from two or three different sessions where that that was all transcribed and actually i helped him and he edited the the qaa sex
one and when i read this this morning that was all that was me
tom and i said
i asked the idea of forbearance brings me to attention i feel engaged buddhism which tells me there is a role for acceptance and a role for taking action
could you comment on the attention
i think his answer is really good he said you put your finger on it the forbearance and permission involved here is acceptance of the truth
what we see what we are seeing in the world is not in keeping with primal truth
let's bring some harmony here as best we can
i'm sure that this cognitive could be misinterpreted as an excuse for not doing anything
i don't think that was the buddhist intention
he didn't stay under the bodhi tree after seven days he got up look for his disciples and then on for almost forty years he walked through india turning the wheel of dharma for and with many beings
although he accepted whole heartedly the state of mind of the people that he met
he wasn't satisfied with them
to me this is this is
this is the virtue of a teacher
this is a virtue
a fake and roshi this is the virtue of of surgeon roshi that and i can see it very much in how we hear about suzuki roshi the remarkable thing about suzuki roshi that i see and i never and your pet him was that
everyone everyone who met him seem to feel seen by him and accepted
you know you are perfect just as you are
and you need some improvement
so i like that the expression of a she's like acceptances truth actually is not a state of passivity
it's a deep vision
ah of what he called the primal truth
and i think the teacher's responsibility or practitioners responsibility is to align ourselves with the primal truth
not just align ourselves with the
dysfunctional or oppressive circumstances of our world
but actually
to work in a way to transform them
so suzuki you if he spoke it's interesting he spoke of of shanti in a he and not hard spoke with and in very ah parallel ways
ah suzuki where she spoke of he defined on t as constancy
and you can find that chapter i think in ten my beginner's mind
he wrote i have always said that we must be very patient if we want to understand buddhism
but i was seeking for a better word and patience i think it is better to translated as constancy
constancy means the constant faculty or ability or possibility to accept things
there's no particular effort involved but only the constant ability of faculty which we have to accept
this is our way of practice and our way of continuous practice even after you attain enlightenment
so he's emphasizing patients as an activity
has the constant application
have oneself to reality again and again even the face of difficulty in the face of frustration and face of resistance
and did not have doubts about it to slightly different ah
but very similar he translates shanti as inclusiveness
so the couple he says the capacity of the bodhisattvas heart is very big
the capacity to receive to embrace and to include
the reason why we suffer
is because the capacity of our heart is very small
we hear the words we have the same treatment and some people can accept it but we cannot
we suffer a great deal
therefore we have to practice the capacity to include to embrace
if we practice if we train the capacity of our heart will grow and we will suffer much less
and he uses the metaphor
ah that's drawn from the sutras metaphor is ah
a metaphor of a handful of salt
if our heart is small
then those words that action that injustice will make us angry
a small injustice what causes many sleepless nights and we may not even be able to eat for a week
if our heart is great like the river then those words will not have any effect on us
that behavior that injustice will not have any meaning
then our heart will become a river so the metaphor is if you throw
a pound of salt into a small pond
you can taste it it would be poisonous to the fish
pounds of salt and won't be technical if you saw that same amount into a river or into an ocean
it will hardly be noticed so the ideas to make our hearts pig
to be able to include everything
and that is of course
the watch word of ours as and practice
again yesterday surgeon roshi was distinguishing two different aspects of concentration which is the fifth of the parameters and
he spoke of the aspect of a very narrow a focus concentration which is
really infused with energy
but he also he was saying that our style of practice he is an open receptive inclusive concentration so you could say i i tend to say concentrate on everything
the and receptive mind
and i think that's what suzuki roshi that's what technorati is talking about in ah
in his
translation of jaunty as inclusiveness
henwood suzuki where she is is advising is
just stay with that dwell with that
pratt with that inclusiveness which means quite realistically as i'm sure all of us are encountering and the course of today it means we put our mind in that place we settle our mind in our bodies and we find
in the next moment or mind has drifted away
you know and we just saw like to cook just walked out and with thinking i wonder what's for lunch
you know and
then just to bring ourselves back so to bring ourselves back his discover conjoined practice of patience and energy or effort just to return
so when we return we can include
the whole reality of our circumstances

so i think that i'm going to stop there and and leave time for some questions or comments ah
and know
all of us are
our patiently impatient but i wanted to do eighty one more ah one more quotation this is from the
the blue cliff record
hello i think it's it's apropos of our
ah activity today
a monk asked zhang lin
what is the meaning of
bodhi dharma coming from the west
shumlin said
i'm stiff from sitting so long
a monk as shown when what is the meaning of bodhi dharma is coming from a west and champlin said i am stiff from sitting so long
so the floor is open


i think a relationship is very close and you know we've got these different systems these different garmin systems so equanimity he is had actually over the years sojourn wrote she has been
tense little more to favour the the factors of enlightenment ah seven factors realignments right ah and equanimity is one of those and you know it's sort of like it made the cut in that list and didn't didn't listen
you know who knows but i think that there ha

it's hard to say what is cause and what is effect
equanimity may be a fruit of patience
ah so i don't know it's like i i think we use all these to thing about the thing about all these these systems is that they're basically
they're aimed they're not absolute teachings their aim to bring us back to the center bring us back into balance
so that's why you have these different these different systems because you're looking at things from different from slightly different ways but i think you're quite related
some discussions of patients

of defilement

which has a lot of energy
right so the question there is how
and i'll tell you what i do and i think this is part of bad practice of patients and it's not perfect you know sometimes i'm caught
anger comes up so quickly
ah and weekend
we can begin to understand over time what are what our triggers r and b b hip to the circumstances that are likely to bring it up
and sometimes you can see it almost before it happens and sometimes not
what my practice is
and actually in the sutures what it says is the poor the the heart of the practice of patients he is
patience in the face of insult
ah you know in the face of being patients in the face of being unjustly accused
i would just like to point out the other side of that is ah which may be worse his patients in the face had been justly accused but for me when when that trigger happens and i can realize that i'm triggered
i try to step back
almost literally this you know there's an urge to come forward and really get in
your opponent's face
and it's good to step back whether this is literally or figuratively and i will
say to myself
actually do this in i think this is rick i'm triggered i'm really angry or i'm really hurt ah
right now and right now this feels like
i've swallowed a burning molten piece of lava
and has a as a okay let lemmy let's see let me step back and not engage us now and see how this feels in an hour
or tonight or tomorrow morning
because i know from experience from long three instead
that that impulse which feels like it is the absolute center of the universe at that moment
will actually feel differently
and the same thing you know i just to give you a stupid example which is not about anger my my first session
and the after lunch which i didn't find entirely satisfying i remember what was i really wanted a hamburger
i originally wanted a hamburger and i was obsessive lee thinking about this
you know it was that was the center of the universe you know this bread disk with a piece of meat in between and i what am i gonna do about this and i says to okay i'm going to go to the ball
and i walked over to the ball
and i just was just looking all around and
i saw a beagle
and i said well that's close enough
and i put up eagle and the urgency of that impulse dissolves instantly now that was an anger that was maybe the realm of desire but that's but i do i literally tell myself i wonder how this is gonna feel can i see how this can field an hour
our or later today yeah can

very simple
for students
because my columns
that it teaches them first of all to
we recall a and experienced they have started with a happy experience then they go to it
the tactic is called soles of feet and it's a kind of very simple mindfulness and okay you remember this anger
now go back to your feet just like we told you
he also follow your feet you wish
those three this right thing that anybody can pick up pretty quickly
when it asks them were so you're really calling repeat okay what happened to their energy field
and they will say
either that is kind of went away or is a lot less
now and there's there's nothing else it's not like you're trying to write
that you then you start getting them into a trick recognizing that frightening what caused that a girl was will be asked out or something
so now go back to your feet now we're happy to configure
so if they can get to get it when the trigger happens the ideas that they teach them to come back to this when the trigger happens to the and your may never even arrives right or if it arises it's argued case forget to go that anyway i was think
thing that was kind of
there is nothing said about patience right in their instruction but actually what it's doing is that the students are learning that when a printer arises you focus on your feet just like we focused on right now
and then it's not that you're repressing that that it's just that you're in the context of this other thing that trigger way to spend it dissipate or it's less important it's not like to focusing on it your focused on one hundred feet and as you're told me what
all this so i think that's that's yeah that's a great it is a patient practice that's you know that's a practice that i was given early on
and i use it a lot just as people i to say people
you can always pay you can always ask yourself where are my feet
in any circumstance that literally ground your practice and what it does in the in the context you're saying it's like you you can
really have to things foremost in mind at one time so you're redirecting your mind ah
in what i was seen the j it's also we read to my mind but it's also but it's on
it's a more open
investigative process but yours is is really helpful that's really helpful practice in terms of actually redirecting and that is the practice of patients send to take one more mary
interested in the relationship between patients
seems like there's any sign of offshore
feeling about patients days com
since i can
right why
you will that he mostly came to mind is that somebody like to learn
as just as your last man
the energy
still a toilet
waiting on
yeah i think that on this is where what i was seen at the beginning we can to think of patients as a quality that we project on something external so to be paid you know any italy
patient about that line in the supermarket cause it's just you know it's it's kind of go but actually the patience is a totally internal reflection it's a the line is an impatient i'm impatient
and so it's a it's a that's why it's a bodhisattva practice that's why it's something that we have to cultivate in you in ourselves and that and it's hard because ah it might be that biologically we're impatient
you know but some are just also think about the frog
stream on sitting by the side of the pond and is waiting for the fly to come by very patient
in patients may be motivated by hunger you know but ah
i need to cultivate that within myself and i also feel like the activity of zazen his a moment by moment training
in that in a practice
so thank you very much enjoy the day