Sangha Jewel

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June 19th, 2021, Serial No. 02864

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see you in the morning good morning
so can you hear me out there and radio land
and can you all hear me back out here in zendo lamp good and does not turn a feeding back on future
well armed it's a beautiful day out science maybe the heatwave is broken ha
and we are on the second day of our three-day sixteen and were involved in ne
in a in an experiment behind the experiment geezer a kind of hybrid session
ah where
ah there's a small group of people of the residents who are sitting in them in rosendo and news a larger group of you sitting outside ground and word everything that we do we have to
figure out oh what happens now is very best paying her bills slewing ring the bells
it's ah
it all has to be thought about with
with patients and composure
and ah i think everybody's really doing their their best at that been having a good sushi
my topic for today i heard he spoke about the three treasures are the three jewels earlier in the practice period
this is a also known as the three refuges refuge p them being buddha dharma and sangha
and i'd like to come back circle around again today and speak about the song a jewel
but first but i want to acknowledge is that
today is june tenth
this is the first recognition
as a federal holiday
have a celebration that has taken place largely in the african american community since her
eighteen sixty five
so thats
what a hundred and fifty five hundred and fifty six years is and right ah
so it was amazing how quickly
henry is surprising ah widespread support in in the congress who right
often don't expect that you can be the case ah
but it was all it all went through with ah
will rapidity this week through the data representatives and senate and then got the bidens desk and then it was law ah
and that
i just felt very encouraged by that
so that the holiday itself if you're not familiar with what it will comes from it celebrates the emancipation of
former enslaved
african people in ah in the united states and particularly on
it references a
a declaration that was made by a general gordon granger
on june nineteen ninety eighteen sixty five ah he made his in galveston texas
ah this is two months after the civil war had ended but the reach of the federal government was ah to replace as distant as texas was not so strong and so enforcement of the emancipation proclamation with good ticket place tears before was was
rather weak and or he proclaimed the end of slavery in texas
the celebrations began
ah the following year
at church communities throughout texas african american churches and how it's a surface more widely in the nineteen seventies ah he and african american communities ah
throughout major cities in the in the u s celebrating arts celebrating freedom and ah for those of you that there's quite a few of you who are upset
june sixteen in other years here and often on his weekend we'd be we'd be sitting in we'd hear the ah
ah shit been doing the beat of the the bit of the drums in the top of the base a hard because it was usually a bandstand set up the on adeline in alcatraz and
i miss that maybe that's going to happen later today i'm not sure but ah it might not be appropriate still in in this ah
tentative environment of ah
the pandemic but anyway i wanted to celebrate we celebrated here ah at represent center in ah we are part of his wide community the sangha
that joins in this celebration
i wanted to read you something that ah
i found that sojourn had written
it's about community and actually the context for ah this song that i'm
speaking of you could also view it as
what martin luther king referred to as beloved community
sojourn road if someone were to ask me what would make me happy
i would say
sitting together with the with a diverse group of people from all corners of the world
even though because the world is more or less round there are no real corners
we all belong to this great circular form whirling in space
he says ever since i can remember i had been either thrilled or brought to tears
experiencing people from diverse cultures or orientations working together in loving harmony
when we opened the zendo in nineteen sixty seven i thought of it as a grassroots endeavor where people from around here could find a zazen practice that they could devote themselves to
and for however long or short a time
work for them
over time this vision has developed and little by little a diverse group of members from all over the world have found their way here
we have folks from the deep mid west
from usa to afghanistan pen japan
is a little while ago that he spoke these words and in the context of the pandemics are sanga has continued to broaden
ah is product in aged it frightened in diversity her it's broadened geographically so if i look on screen right now i see someone from ah sacramento
i see someone from los angeles i see someone from santa cruz ah i see
someone from colorado ah
i see someone from india
ah often we have friends from ha
from europe sitting with us we we've created or we've facilitated we haven't created we've just we've opened our
resources in such a way that people can participate ah
widely in a geographic sense
and we're also
have opened our resources so that people can go more deeply
can go as deep as they wish ah and we're trying to work our way back to the kind of depth of practice that we ah that we've had for many years
so harm the idea of saga has expanded for us but i want to go back and talk about ah
kind of the history
and then about what it is means to me
manipur had have some time for you to talk about what it means to you
the word sanga
he is a war there was that found in many have
in many indian languages from going going far back even pre buddhist ah
ah literally means that which is well bound together ah
so you can you can view this as like a bundle of sticks that when bound together incredibly strong and singly have bear easily broken
the word existed in many spiritual communities in early india but it came to be the heart of the buddhist way
the idea is that the buddhist community is
join together
it's harmonious and it's unbreakable
it was put forth as kind of ideal community again ah
resonating with martin luther king's concept of beloved community
in the buddhist time joining the saga was
was really are
people met the buddha
and if they wanted to
become a bigger but cooney or lay follower ah he would just say come come forward and that was it the are that toba ritual that there was initially
but as it evolved and other as other people were empowered to ordain people
there was more of the a ritual to it to join the formal sunk so that's one of the definitions one of the ways of looking at saga is to look at it ah in the in that surf historical formal sense and so you add
you had
a saga of monks
in the saga of nuns
ah they were all they were part of they were the part of the song that also included ha
what's called the area sanga which is the saga of
enlightened once of our arts of actually of everyone who was on the path and there were four stages ah in the path as in the path to enlightenment and if you were on the path you are seen as part of the art
a sanga
they develop day
a complex ritual for ordination
which was witnessed by seniors seniors samba members hand which ah took place within
ah sanga existed within place this is something that's very ah i think really relevant for us that
in order to ordain you had to create ha you create what was called a schema which is a boundary around the temple
and that seem up was the location in which your ordination took place then you took it with you everywhere but it took place somewhere
and to me this is very important this is this is what we were talking about when we
recognize that we belong to a place
this is what we're talking about now
when we recognize that the place that we that are temple is him
and the place that we
live in
was formerly occupied by
what we call the loney people's
but the loney people's there are only the the latest ah historical
name for indigenous peoples who lived here from from very very early on
when we look at a place
we look at p ancestors
we also look at the ancestral earth
and the ancestral waters
in berkeley there are screams that run down ah from the mountains something had been covered over but they they persist they're still there these are part of our received these are our ancestors and so
the role of the ancestors for for us is or should be very important just as we value
is part of our ordination part of our ordination process is actually taking our place in the lineage of ancestors some of whom we know
some of whom
we don't know because their histories had been erased particularly ah the women in the in his and tradition
but we would not be here without them

we owe a debt to the people who took care of this land for thousands of years
ah they did not willingly
or freely give us
this land it was
it was taken from them
usually against their will
in the same way that the labour's that built this country which is also part of our extended sanga
were taken from peoples who were stolen from their own lands
and we've never forgotten their lands
so this fits i think with a wider definition of song
ah the way
i feel like i've come to learn it and probably many of you have come to learn it is a in my on a sense sanga was extended to the community of all practitioners
in more recent times
we talk about
the saga of all beings
and i thinking in a lot of a station buddhism
those beings include sending an incentive
they include rocks and mountains streams and oceans and pastures and forests ah all of that is part of our maha sangha that we are responsible to
when i think broadly about sanga
i come back to a principal
that sort of stands in contrast to some of the principles that we might see in ha
religious traditions including my own ah jewish religion tradition which which refers to chosen people
and i think that are many
cultural or religious traditions ah sometimes their name for themselves are the people as opposed to everyone else who is toward a non people
but what i would say is that
my vision of saga is that all people are chosen
and concomitant with back
all lands are wholly
there is no land
we can thoughtlessly
what pillage or steal from
so to me this is this is the this is maha sangha
in the widest view
so there's some principles to sanga that
i'd like to
just lay out there not all inclusive but i can feel important
first-principles friendship
supporting each other
and this is beyond conventional
what we might think of is conventional friends friendship which involves like and dislike it's it's friendship and connection which is tantamount to my tree
or meta or in the
christian ah greek rendering a guppy
it's unconditional love
quite apart from like and dislike it's a recognition of our connection
the second principle of practice of over sanga his practice
for us his arm
the practice of zazen
hell it's extension
in to the moment by moment by moment activity of our life
so it's see it's the realization in the the enactment of ginger go on
really the inquiry in question that we raise
in our moment to moment life and zazen is our way of we explore that we'd ground ourselves in it so that we can actually
carry that forward in a continuous way
the third principle is discipline
discipline is a living by the precepts are living by some order
allowing ourselves to
and training means
really shifting our habitual perspectives
to be in accord with is
right relationship
relationship to things
relationship to others and relationship to ourselves
fourth principle ah
his democracy
we look at them at the
this context to which the buddha was raised he was raised in in this
a north indian federation that was highly democratic
there were you know they were
ah certainly rulers are kings but ah decisions were arrived at ah in council with each other
and that of course was a model that he
that he brought forward in creating sanga himself ah so it was a a community that was based on
and you know i'm probably idealizing this a bit
there are many examples within within the blue pali texts and within the
the vinaya text the within the suitcase and with and vinaya they talk about ah
could the principles of governance
last night
lori and i have been we've been watching some of the film cinder the premise springs benefit film festival in
could watch a wonderful films ah called paddock
about it's basically a
a film about ha
the unfolding of the brim of the present
cool in burma and be ah resistance to it and the great yearning it's being led by young people in the great yearning is for democracy and not for sham democracy and it's incredibly moving to see
in this documentary how
ah you see young people who at last we're seeing through the propaganda that they had been barraged by from the military free for years about other ethnic groups about the muslims about the row
hinges and see how they bought this and say no more
if we're going to be a country it actually based on democracy has to be based on respect for all people
that is also that applies right here
data flies in the zendo in the community

the final ah
prince paul
his work
and that was if i think to
ah the model of in sri lanka that was developed by dr i katie or your rodney ah
his son he formed a huge network of village organizations each self managing called sarvodaya from madonna and it's about shared work it's about the the power of working together on working side-by-side so
oh sir
those are the elements that i would underscore
some want to take up a breath here and
just speak
personally but ah
referencing something else that i watched last week i watched a video by tip no hon
that he gave in plum village in ah two thousand and thirteen
and the title was sanga and a beloved community
and what he says he said
even from the time of being a child
he said my dream was to be in sanga
and he had a model for that and in vietnam there was a saga it was strong it was visible and you could join it you could be ordained and joined sanga and he did from a relatively early age
what i feel myself is that
from very very early days
i wanted to be in sanga
although i had no name for it
ah and frankly
no model that i could see
so i remember
the very day
that ah
we had we began the the uprising at columbia university and nineteen sixty eight
that then that k a group of us have been meeting over lunch in the cafeteria which was called the lion's den ah can we were sitting round table we had no idea this was not plan this is not going to happen you know this wasn't something in anyone's mind but we were sitting around the table thinking how would we lie
like to live in the future
how could we be how could we develop
where we could grow and learn and flourish and support each other in the widest way
and then
finn comes knocking on the door
and a day later
ah i found myself
living in the president of the university's office for a week with one hundred people ah and suit the snack quite what we had in mind but it's what we were given
and it was not fun but it was alive
and those friendships persist to today actually we're having a little gathering of people from my building that we occupied a two weeks from now people are some people were out here
and from there you know i
i've lived in a week we created a printing collective and communal living situation in san francisco ah where we worked and lived together
ha i've been in bands that have lived together so there's a community and fill in community with ah with a saga of of like minded musician friends around the world
ah and various other iterations and then i came here
and when i came here
i think what immediately drew me
was this sense of community and the sense as i've i've said in other people said of immediately recognizing that day had come home
and then of course asking myself how could i know that well let's test it
seven testing it for thirty seven years
i think it's home you know ah but the reason that i felt that way was
just to be around the people who were there then
the only one that i see
well actually so ron was one
and peter overton was one
i'm not sure there's anyone else from back in the day that i i knew but i looked in those people they were they were models for me and they are still models to me
this was beloved community
beloved community is not without conflict
sanga is not without conflict
but it has principles for how to resolve and work in those conflicts without violence without verbal violence that physical violence
and now we're expanding will also looking how do we how do we conduct
how do we have sanga without
doing violence to
without doing violence to the memories of what
took place
in this land
and i often feel that note i think i've spoken of this
that i also carry
descent a sense of community forward from
burst in my heritage
and they they converge in me just as all the traditions of your lives converging you and this is what this is i think what surgeon was talking about had just moved him greatly to
to recognize that people have so many different backgrounds
had arrived at this practice and they didn't shock that background they didn't dump it in know you know canada ah
refuse bin of culture nice treat but they actually we every person who comes brings their history with us with them and it's helps to expand his beloved community
helps to enriching
this song

so i've longed for this all my life
ha and are probably some psychological reasons why that's the case
i feel so happy to have
arrived at this and so grateful to be
doing this with you
so many of us know each other so well
and we will know each other
and we will know each other's through
our joys of victories
and our losses and are departures
and we will see each other because we were in stuff we are in samba we will see each other
completely through

just what sojourn ness
suzuki where she was what is nirvana suzuki roshi said seen one thing through to the end
we see our lives due to the end we see our life in sanga through to the end for ourselves but also for every member here
and so we constantly weaving that fabric
and there's always an edge to it
the edge which we expand the fabric
so i'm going to stop here and allow for questions if their questions from inside the zendo ha
people here can raise your hands to and i will repeat your question in case it can be heard so we're open for the moment
okay so will ask people in the thing though anyone who wants to please in digital and now come on you or you can have a circus
in the time
looks like duty has her hand the to eating ask your question
will smith that of players i play everyday
ah well as i'm grateful for your toddler in the themes and also and the underplayed functions more this while can you hear me okay
oh to explore the edge and the edge that i want to explore is ah
canoeing listen
is what happens when we see things a little different way and say you as you can have a certain tension and i as the listener feel a certain impact which has happened for me this morning that i felt on
a real staying in my heart when i heard you reference
that are chosen people you know trying to the jewish
the phrase in hebrew
and that all people are chosen and your your experience of that as i heard you is not inclusive contrasting with ah
then you were speaking a few minutes later and talking about the christian principles of mcgarvey as a buying a buddhist was all practice with matter
so i'm
you know i'm working hard as i'm listening to the
the stay in the road to stay present and what came up for me was really the edge of i am we so i as an individual and also we have some of us might feel the we belong
two different groups or multiple religious traditions with myself
or on people's you know ancestry all this kind of stuff and all of it shows up in the body them so i'm wondering you know in in the sense of respect for all peoples who really practicing together
how do you see that that well how do we me and really having a dear friends and actually you know it lands in the body but to stay prisoner into the able to see i'm trying to do right now i'm trusting that you're hearing and
somebody's participating in this to be able to really mad for this is the places that have an edge of not know i'm not assuming either way i had had a week
why don't we do that because it seems to me when i think about fall and the whole sense of belonging to certain clean to that
now what's the edge of belonging if it's gonna be all people than how i leave room for i don't know
you know i'm not actually sure i would i what i understand is that i said something bad would that was painful to you
i'm and that bad i can understand about hub
i'm not entirely clear about it but i consider guess about it
i'd rather go to be specific
what happened because i got i got kind of lost in larger is larger question i felt my mind get fuzzy yeah i met clear it was something very clear happening at the beginning yeah i think what it is
it's the pain of the contextualizing in of belonging to a group so like you know i i could bring in now my understanding of different a very contemporary voices on that whole thing how the hebrew is fine how different congregations have actually changed it sometimes to say
chosen with all people and have a whole you know trump on that as well as struggling with the actual trips does we sometimes fellow with buddhist texts you know how do we have you know or or any of these tests so i i just want to stay with how do i say to you i have this big contests
it's that i hear being narrowed to a certain statement
that i now feel like i don't belong
how do i say that to you so the week of net no larger sense of belonging to fluid our defense
have you know
i feel like we've said it
and i hear it and the next thing to do is to talk about the particularity ease
i really can't talk about the abstract ah you know and just to know is a you know
and i'll say it publicly ah
i have an ongoing struggle
will the hebrew scriptures
i'm pretty educated in them
and i have an ongoing struggle and i'm not shy about saying that and i don't exclude the fact that there
they're very they're complex and they are
ah every rich when i would assert and i thought that i contextualise this by saying that you find a in many bit of illustrations and was citing a particular one that grew out of my own experience
the matter is that
much of the trouble that we have in the world is because people identify themselves as the chosen
i so i i see it differently and i feel a pain in my wife and i look forward to him
the be reopened the fucking birthday

salima would you like to ask your question
readings i
i don't have a question or to sponsor
offer thanks i'll pass on for on the mention of jiangxi being that i love i descended upon form of slaves are actually new life so that was important to that for new and then i have an add on to
ah you said that be all attacks the ancestors of the someone again on in my opinion which doesn't really mean a whole but like sometimes i think me on many tasks on to the ancestors of this land and then last
we are
growing up in the south in the fifties on you know i didn't hear the word sanga but community was definitely on one thing that's on was alive and well and the a very poor poor face and i think we see that
that today where georgia has some politically has smooth a lot of the county's has moved from a weird state enjoyed georgia true conservative when the cavalcade two or more glue on stay and the lastly
i just wanna and i think this my tie the hands of dana
sadhana than iraq
so i i had the pleasure of actually working in an elder who broke in the natchez mississippi
and i asked her about eighteen years ago how as how did we make it how the african americans make it than she shared with me
we made it because we gave our first harvest away
and that first harvest could be call it rains could be
you know potatoes or peanuts and so i just wanted for me if i can bring in the top and let it land and my lap and then give it back to your as i just have i just wanna thank you will the offering an then
i think summer
mayhew and one of the things that i remember
you know i left for college in nineteen sixty five and ah
it was really the first year the do as a relatively significant ah come on of african american students
and almost all of them at that time were from the south
so almost all of them had had grown up with segregation
an almost all of them had grown up with a very tight sense of community
and they and their screens to rely on that hum
group remarkable and when we came north
it was really really hard
ah they launched much more atomized ah that community wasn't as available to them
and are just to as they were they had grown but when which struck me what i learned from from them ah but it didn't learn it for forty years
when we took over the buildings at columbia first building was taken over by the african american students
and an sds mostly white port in and they will they were had a respectful relationship with the african american students but after about eighteen hours
the african american students as the white sts people to leave
henderson please go take your own building and part of that
was coming from the discipline which is one of the elements that i mentioned oath ah sanga from coming from the discipline in the necessary discipline for survival in the south the african american students were highly organized
and they took care of their space
did he didn't go right in graffiti all over the walls are trashing the building or anything like that they were respectful of the space that they were in and in many ways we were not
that did not come out
until nineteen sixty ninety two thousand and eight forty years later when we had a reunion or be gathering of people would participated in that event and finally
the african american students hadn't had the honesty to tell us
what they saw in us
and ah how they had to take care of their own space
this was an enormous listen to me and i've been thinking about ever since then i've been thinking about place
how do we take care in the police cambrian
so thank you
hey go
the dangerous i have my question is are about today
the beginning middle and end of understanding and beginning or we had religion so it came from the ground and the earth and became judaism and all visions are in our practice we had the ever discussed my yesterday the indian reservation
since then we have encountered bodhi dharma and i dug in and case on who have changed a lot of the doctrine
presentation and in fact i think in some of its actuation so today mentioned how you troubled by the ancient hebrew attitude which was in the beginning and in a middle they began to adjust and by us now we have
kazan following dogan i think andy the idea that some other things that we can to are no longer
as valuable and in fact need to be shed so what is it about the ancient things that we are troubled by that we just don't let him go
that's my gosh
want everybody here can you hear that or don't need to repeat it yes okay so on
the doctrine
we're talking that living religion and living practice which means it it grows and breeds and changes ah and that's true of every religious tradition ha in buddhism just looking at
the looking at the the eastward journey of buddhism ah every culture it moves through
in changed
it absorb parts of it and ah
ah perhaps left some other parts behind or de-emphasized it you know arm
that's true for us that's and we're still figuring were still it's not like it it's just begun here ah but we have already a hybrid of religious consciousness that we carry with us from ah fei
from other religions that people come have have brought here ah and i think it behooves us to learn those traditions and we have both we find creative ways to to bring those in you know
i'm so ah
i'd really important not to
and not to be original lists not to think that the the original is the right is the right way ah you know like
the so-called strict constructionists of the constitution ah it's
strict construction is not actually the spirit of the constitution
you know but we find his people have that tendency to lock down ah so how do we open and listen how do we learn how do we learn from each other how did we learn from each other's
traditions and find the ways that they resonate with core principles that that we have inherited in buddhism but that those principles are breathing as well
would you say that forgiveness are facing truth and forget letting go and dropping or something else
i don't exactly know how to apply those words ah i'm not sure who we would be forgiving
i'm not sure what you refer who for years for a to as forgiving
well if i could say so i would say forgiving that we are attached to the ideals that are no longer presently have a or
dance the forgiveness and we we get those from ancestors but we don't always get back an older
don't you get them now yeah
ah more to me accepting than forgiven
forgiving this soap and some opens a big door for me to tears a lot of questions about that which i don't want to get to ah
maybe one more
until i am do you want to meet yourself in your question please

live older pokemon
i'm i already be
yes your audible gets yes
yeah hassan you you have a talk about the
who is portable d are talking about democracy
your connection is elemental your connection is not good on
could you could you write your question
the whatever know better
you have a given a talk with five principles of the summer so the port the principality are talking about the democracy the pinch the only indian ah there had been practiced the democracy especially the sanga
the principles of governance so my question is that
you can be early indian histories
if pettitte minaya we can find the eight good the the eight additional rules
so democracy is some way emphasizes the equality equality for all but the eight good the mouth it is anti-democratic it is it denies the equality so is it constantly it is
came up the time of the buddha after the buddha it has been appeared in the saga
call it is my dog
so what i understand the question to be when when the admitted women into the saga
are there were a guru damas that were placed ah on top of the precepts ah and they basically mandated they were the men mandates of of male supremacy
he basically correct
you know how does that square with democracy ah it doesn't
it just does it and whether it was
the sutras and parts of for naya
which were fundamentally oral teachings initially were not written down ah until probably three or four hundred years after the buddha
and in those years ah it was enough time for the men to get back in charge of things and so whether that is an original teachings of buddhism
i have i have serious doubts on the problem there is that
the vinaya became
concretize the sutures became country computerised ah and we don't have with their their no scholars do not have very good ways of discerning the layers ah
where's a composition know when something was written ah and
i think that you know in all cases in india in the united states we have principles of democracy some of them are quite beautiful but we don't live them
and ah so we have to keep working at that
but i'm glad that i'm not i'm we're not enter the
i'm not in tradition in this in this zen tradition that that recognizes the girl dollars
i don't think i would
be willing to be part of that
and there are some radical caravan of monks who are
ha were really challenging that but it's really hard because there's there's a whole institutional
super structure that is defending it so we have to do our best
i think that's where i'm going to end for today and i will see you
tomorrow ha and the for to continue in this