The Three Marks Of Existence

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so i think that's where we're going to close it says all authentic practices a buddha carry with them than them the three essential teachings called dharma seals
just as all important legal documents have the mark or signature of a witness all genuine and practices of the buddha their the mark of these three teachings as witnessed by buddha as witnessed by ah the buddhists before him so
so you could say that these are
discoveries of the buddha that he spoke to a while he was ah gathering his thoughts huh after his awakening under the bodhi tree
ah but i also think that in a way that we see the long historical picture of buddhism or a buddha dharma ah it wasn't so much that it was in discovery it was his awakening under the bodhi tree was
the recovering
have wisdom that all the buddhas the past had
and that in our world
it goes through cycles where it's very vivid pretend someone that it sort of
it tends to be hidden and we have to be just a buddha has to rediscover it so
these three marks true auction of option means mark car a nature impermanence
a lotta non-self
then we have a question in the traditional rendering of the three marks the third mark is duca
on satisfactory this are suffering
and in some of the mahayana teachings
the third mark is nevada
it's buddhahood persists asian
can i just want to lay that howard and i'll come back to that to see how how i look at it necessary
he had these
alternative views are also something that that surgeon or she spoke of in that in that lecture
the that he said that i thought was really interesting is that you could you could boil these the three marks if you use his remarks as hum
impermanence non-self in nevada
they boiled down to one mark
and that is the mark of interdependence of intervene
let me speak a little about the nature of these of these marks
i feel like i'll go around once in a negative review and go round again
the first of these these are the characteristics of our
phenomenal existence of our existence in this world
can't we see them as
horizon with the four noble truths with the three treasures
and they really speak to they speak to our world and what i think important the use that we put them to is
how do we live
you know these are not just abstract principles if they're if they left in their abstraction then you really useless
you know hear their ideas is just another philosophical perspective on ah the nature of reality but that's not the point the point is how to live the point of buddhism is how to live
so understood with nature
each means impermanence
ha is pointing to the fact that
all phenomena all
things all thoughts
or unstable
hard in a constant state of flux
ah that they will arise and they'll be a transformation the wolf best way
our bodies are like this
you may have noticed
that our cars are like this this is why god invented car shield ah
our toasters are like this
even a mountain has led to some mountain persists for ah
hundreds of thousands or millions of years but it is changing
at every moment
when i
in surgeon gave his lecture
in august from his office downstairs
had what he said was ah i'm giving my lecture from the office and i gave my lecture last week from the office and even though it this is where he said even though it looks the same there are things that are changed in it
and i'm really experience in this because ah i've been working with her maria winston too kind of sort through the office and sort through all surgeons papers and
things ah
select blessed
the last question he he asked of me
it speaks to the nature of improvements he said ah and i don't know if this was a mufe you can take this is a zen question that you could take this is a very practical question is it what's gonna happen to all my stuff
yeah doug
you know what
he doesn't care anymore
but ah
we've had to deal with the end it's interesting because we sorted through so much stuff and the office is both the same
and not the same
ah so ah
we have to be mindful of all compounded things
all things are impermanent and that includes of course
ha it may seem now it may seem pessimistic can it mean not that is a question of our attitude
so i'll come back around to that
the second mark
is another non-self
this means that all things off phenomena
do not have a fixed self they do not have
hey irreducible identify a ball
ah assets
and they are not eternal
they are not nothing is independently existing
same time we have the core rising prints or have ah impermanence so
we are changing
in a deeper sense
ha what we're
encouraged to do is
not to take any of our views or our opinions
as correct
whereas absolute
can what we try to do but we rip what we try to recognize is that whatever we see
and whatever we think
is a mental projection
something like a dream
except that we don't think of ourselves right now as i don't think to myself at the moment has been asleep but there's something of
something characteristic of my thoughts that is not so different
from my dreams that that may thoughts and i'm looking
i'm looking at the screen i'm happy to see the little picture of mary beth
you know how that is a perception ah
i can't tell you at the moment
what the real mary beth is
ah neither can she was
ah but
it's an idea i have a hit
it involves knowing her for for a few years so it involves my opinions it's it's not self it's not the irreducible mary beth it's the idea but i'm look at her i get the idea of who i'm looking yet
i don't get the self and given that it's impermanent that idea can of course change
so harm
this is a basic fact of
our perception so we have these two aspects of perception
or reality ah we have
impermanence whom we have non-self nemi come to these other two characteristics and to me
what i've come to think about them is that
whether we perceive
reality has
of the nature of suffering
or we perceive it has
is really a question of our perspective on
impermanence in non-self
if you think impermanence and non-self
that's a really bad idea you know and i really want to nail things down and at one things to be a of things to be trustworthy and fixed then you we are going to suffer if we hold to that view
if we
understand that impermanence and non-self allows things to grow and change if we celebrate them and welcome those characteristics then
our perception in the third seal is nirvana
so to speak to duca first
it's the perception that we have that there's something wrong
you know we just sort of carry this certainly are not suddenly
in our minds in our bodies
because what we're grasping is what we're what we're influenced by is the instability
of everything of every thought
the instability and the transience that sooner or later
ah those things are going to change will go away
where they're not gonna be exactly you know if you leave if i leave the the flowers that are on the altar but leaves him up for week they're going to decay
can if i resist that then that brings forth
suffering or pain hum
if we think that is i spoke to someone
a few days ago
who is putting on his shoes
and the chalet snapped
he got mad at the shoelace
for its impermanence
he wasn't he wasn't seeing himself he wasn't seeing that he had noticed the condition the schumer is he didn't realize oh these issues that are might take care of an end those shoes are part of my subjective reality
it was as if the shoe and a separate existence and then made some sense to get angry
because we see things has separate from ourselves
we either desire them
are we more will be killed by them which of course is the second noble truths right
now nirvana is interested
one way to think of it is the it's the realization from food of bed
it's the fall unfolding have
our potential buddha nature
that every person has the capacity to experienced tranquility
enlightened view which which fully accepts
impermanence and non-self
and ah
another way of looking at as it means that one is
liberated is free from the poisons of greed hate and delusion
it means that were free of non to was thinking
something that zojirushi spoke of over and over and over again that
we have
an almost endless habit
imposing our perception of the world
on to everything onto reality itself and so we divide the world into
self and other
into beautiful and ugly
into right and wrong
it's good and evil
now some of this i think you know
in mammalian sense he is
a necessary it's been evolutionary a necessary survival technique
but we have to understand when is it just survival technique and when is it ah just a habit that divides
so as

as we were talking on the class on the from the he for passed on thursday ah i think
the idea of nirvana is one of connection
of how do we can nick cutaway into be or inter are as did not hunt as with with all things read then dividing ourselves from them
now here in a classical understanding of nevada nevada nirvana new banner in the care of a caravan school ha
it's the only
i even had a really hesitate to call the thing ah but it points to something that is
not that is beyond impermanence
it's actually recognized as have because it is it's the unconditioned
it's not subject to change
and therefore it's not it's not impermanent ha
that's it that's a traditional and rather lofty
conception to me ha
and year when you read some of the early commentaries ah what you find is that are the goal of
the buddhist practice is
it's something that transcends
our normal
the normal aspects of our life
ah it
it's actually pointing to prominence
that is not i don't think that's a particularly
a helpful perspective in the context of our lives
a student wants as suzuki roshi
what is nirvana
and he said
scene one thing through to the end

in the lecture that i was listening to sodium roshi he says a couple of things ah he says
nirvana is our every day this when we allow it to appear nevada so nirvana in my on a teaching nirvana and samsara
our coexisted
but as i said before experience of nirvana is dependent upon your attitude towards impermanence and non-self
if you understand that has
the law
like a newtonian law then
you can find that then it will appear to you nirvana will appear you another thing that surgeon said is arm
when everything drops away
what is left is nirvana
quite elegant i think
the elegant way of thinking when everything drops away
you could have seen everything drops away there is just
you are seeing one thing through to the end
you can see that on a macro level
macro level it's
seeing one's life through to the end
or you can see it in a micro level operates very subtly and for me anyway maybe not for you ah yeah i can be doing something i'm writing something or editing something or ah or practicing something on the guitar
of the blue
there is some
peculiar urge to just stop doing that and do something else
did he ever change that
it's not have a huge off on so
that's not doing one thing through to the hand
that's allowing yourself to be pulled around
by your monkey mind
if you're doing the dishes
can you just do the dishes
and finish them that seen one thing through to the end you know you may experience momentarily some paul
to you know i'm gonna put these down i'm gonna go into something over here ah with if when we subject ourselves when we allowed that to arise
that's already been pulled around by the world that is not
whenever it's not allowing
everything else to drop away except the completion of the task that we have intended to do

it's a few more comments looking at a commentary fi
did not on harm

one thing that he says is
it's not that nothing exists
but it does change so for example is actually a he uses an examples car
from care cletus
ah greek philosopher and he asked could not as been him when we bathed in a river today
that we bathed in yesterday
is it the same river
heraclitus said we couldn't step into the same river twice
the water
which is one of the elements that comprise something that we call the river
the physical water in that river is totally different from the water that we have stepped into yesterday
yet it's the same river
the water we stepped in yesterday's hundreds of miles away
but we perceive the river
as the same way i'm i'm looking at our for some reason and are thinking of jake and leslie who i see their who live up by the smith river
and we used to have some meditation we had we had some sessions of under smith river and was just
was so wonderful to the river didn't
appeared to change it was always what you would call the river but it was flowing through completely i think it's it's it's a wild rid of it right here it's statement eighteen to see only wild river in northern california but that's when i saw deception sort of heraclitus
that's the river that i thought of
so what we see by understanding the principle of that of the river he is that the river is the same river
is not the same river and it's not different either know that's true of me
that's true of each person that we see here

i wanted to point to a way that i practice with impermanence he's become a really poor practice for me ah ticknor i put simeon ah president in his
we're a big turn he saved her when we're angry what do we usually do
we shout can we try to blame somebody else for a problems
anger at each other in the ultimate dimension angry at each other and elton to intervention
we close her eyes look deeply we try to see three hundred years into the future
what will you be like what will i be like where will you be but what will i be
in a practical sense
what i have come to do when i'm angry when i'm hurt when i'm frustrated
he is too
take a peter a mental or physical step back
can i ask myself i don't think three hundred years
into the future i think hum
how will i feel in an hour
how will i feel tonight
how will i feel tomorrow morning
the unusually this is
it's post how i feel
internally but it's also
asking what was the streets and my projection about this person that i feel angry towards are hurt by what will that projection what power will that projection have ah indulge respective after those respective intervals
and i've found it to be really effective tool ah because when
when something comes up that triggers the you know it feels like you been
step punched in the gut knocked over the head
i might want to respond immediately and usually that response will be a
in one sense or another a kind of violence
i think the practice allows me to to take that backward step
can reflect
and know that the feeling that i'm having that this woman is impermanent canned it's not going to last it's not going to have the same impact on me than it has a you know in in its immediacy
yeah and
i really found that to work
and i've avoided
certainly avoided a quite a few confrontations that way and it's it's become conscious practice
it's embracing impermanence
hum in a very practical way
neither me it's not that everything is not is not repression
and it's not that everything goes away
hum there may be some residue of hurt you may be something that has to be worked out or talked out
ah but if i do it tomorrow
it's likely to be more productive if if i'm if i have been triggered
it's likely be more productive fighting too thin
and i think that the the
the related practice
of the second mark mark of nonsense not none self nonsense year that everything i've been saying ah work of none self is
also commit to to tell myself that if if i'm angry and a person
what i've hurt by that person that person does not boil down to that action
you know a person
is not just very bluntly a person is not the worst thing they've done in their life
not to go that far it's not necessarily ha
just they don't boil down to that there's more to them and usually if one is hurt by somebody it's because there is some feeling of connection that one has turned in the immediate sense
i feel that the connection has been broken or lost
can so i asked myself
how do i want to
recover that

just to say impermanence and non-self are not rules that have been given to us by the buddha
they are ways to see into the nature of reality
can like everything else and i've talked about this a bot ah
they are medicine
the teaching of impermanence
is a medicine we take
to heal herself from the delusion or the sickness of believing impermanence
it brings us into balance
but if then we get caught on the idea of say non self
then we fall into another car
these are not absolute truths
he did not answers we do not die or kill for them
in buddhism he says there are no ideas or prejudices that we kill for
the teachings of the buddha are skillful means they are not absolute truth
no self and impermanence
or ways that we can understand truce but they're not the truth itself
their instruments they're not the ultimate truth
and if we can understand that then we have the fluidity to
go in the direction of freedom from suffering and fearlessness
so it's it's very much way surgeon and
suzuki roshi cause and we seen don't get stopped on anything
impermanence and non-self a really good useful ideas as medicine
but if we hold onto them if we eat them as food
can we you know really pig out on them they'll make us ill
so i think
that's where i would like to stop and we have some time
for questions hum
i wanted to try something else for the question period first of all before we started i'd like to take a minute of silence and maybe once with once we say go married mary beth greene bell after a minute ah
so that
people get to collect their thoughts and find their questions
if be really be great if
you come up with a question
ah and
also encouraging people to be lean of expression
just to remember that the time this time that we have your lips and fifteen minutes ha belongs to everybody
and if you're like me i'm in a different position you know is that it was always wanted to ask a question and now i feel like i need to make room for i don't ask questions very much in other people's talks i need to make room for people to let the song
a s question so with practice or we can practice these principles in the he saved meditation center have communication guidelines ah of stepping forward and stepping back if you're someone like me who talks easily and freak
take a step back and wait for somebody to come forward who may do that less so those are my you know that's just some ah some instruction for how we can address the una so let's have a minute of silence and then you can raise your digital have
hands and i think he will call on people's cigarette and deep and call you also you can put a question in the chat and he will ah to get that so my best this a permitted here

thank you so the floor is open
thank you can we have a question from gary
a new gary
i am that i don't have a question but i i thought of something interesting
early early when i started practicing at busy see i had docusign with sojourn and i asked him what are the you know what are the key marks or attributes of buddhism and he said
he said non-self and impermanence and that was it
he didn't say anything about the third mark which i think you know it listening to your target it's not probably not something you will tell a beginning student or talk much about yet with a beginning student i just wanted
to see what you think a around that well to me those are the those are the juicy ones ah and yeah i mean duca on
do we can be discouraging if you say it's one of the three marks it's really subject to sick oh life is suffering it boils down to suffering that's and you can certainly read some of the early texts with that perspective and on the other hand
guevara may be too remote he have prospective for for a beginner it's like the are just has to learn how to sit and look at their mind so i think that that's really good destruction
we now have a question from daniel o'hare daniel please can i meet yourself and ask your question
oh goes on
you presented the
idea of of reality with two faces or a mundane and a super mundane a base ah that would get that was thursday right
not sure wasn't today but any welcome
oh but with i am
it in terms of like
purse is perception though
one way of seeing only the his perception them mundane aspect of reality in and is is that was a impermanence
governing dynamics only in that perception mundane reality a system
that philosophical question are certainly perception is ah he's one of the
inevitable activities of our daily life in his body
ah and so that is
that is conditional
ah until it subject the impermanence and non-self ah
the are are
the the scene of the act of britain
being able to to see the act of perception itself the active awareness
but is not necessarily synonymous with nevada
it still it may be subject to
she was the same conditions that we can't necessarily see harm but there there ah and
nirvana i i can't tell you in classical comes with nevada is but i'm much more interested in suzuki roshi and so general she's
perspective which is
to apply
oneself to see one thing through to the end
ah and
i still think that that that exists
to me that the the unconditioned but the super mundane feels i know i'm supposed to think of it as the as the goal but it feels very remote and it doesn't feel particularly relational
it feels abstract
so and the only way this is one of the things we talked about thursday the only way
that you can
arrive at that is by way of
looking very closely at how you live
so right now i'm still at the stage of looking at how i live
okay i thank you know we have a question from lynn her which chicago had a new him
he heard hands on i my question was about the seen through to the end
because of course i experienced that you're saying with this distracted mind doing and than this map and but there's another aspect that i feel very profound and and in fact is that time made them or less sorry
well i'm experiencing laura
an ineffable communion with
the the intimately interdependence the inner penetration
just do it so this
this then when you say you're playing on the new drawn off to this and that's i've seen it through yeah i've had this experience more and more recently last year's only doing something enough scented something else will come to my month a person a feeling that this feels
imminent innovators shows oh it's immediate is there is no question about of the netherlands
now we've lost you when you go
i think i was something certainly important that you could say
where did i leave up to you how about twenty seconds ago you
sometimes i'll have the feeling immediate played that it is something amuses an immediate the awareness larry present no question not rational so a active the emotive me that i have to just go pick up the on and call that person and their yeah
when their child just that is an insult i'm finding more and more so my question q
and you realize you're not you're not have been distracted you're not dropping something way year
her attention is being brought to see you are sitting and playing guitar doing your activity and yet the whole universe is doubtful awful interpenetrated and community so then that times's this communion comes up where i feel
this is what's immediate need not as hurricanes that this is let's active and my definite are you distinguish
there you have to distinguish it and this is what i did that what i was getting to saying that
none of what is in these texts or know what i'm saying is the ultimate truth you have to decide what to do in a general sense
i really subscribe to ike i am aware of my distractibility and i don't feel unnecessarily discounting my intuition but
also i may ask myself
i'm having there's something intuitive happening
and let me just set it aside and finished the thing that i'm doing because
i will then then i move my up my attention to something else is a what surgeon to me what i learned ah fundamentally from surgeon ha was
i've seen it before he had the practice of allowing himself to be interrupted
if you knocked on his door he would say hi
can you can come in and he would direct his attention to you com
he wasn't causing a distraction something else was coming and distract and and knocking on his door and he turned admit it you have to decide when it is appropriate to do that there's no instruction book
good luck

we have a question from ken thousand and mister moment oh no he's yes go ahead raise razor need a new yourself
actually for me
hi katie all thanks for your top can hear you
how can anyone get closer look
maybe that's it yes that's better okay get terry and i was just wondering am
sometimes when i hear the four noble truths or i really liked what you were saying about
kind of the newtonian laws of
you know if we resist impermanence than we will suffer sometimes my mind translate into oh you're gonna suffer you better not do that you know and i know that's not what you were saying but i was wondering if you have anything to say to that part of my mind it's going to turn it into a way to scold myself
well that's a habitual part of your mind
ha and
you can tell yourself that is not the truth
let me just wait and see how this unfolds rather than predicting with a with a ah
you know a
canada as a self fulfilling prophecy
yeah i mean that's what are they certainly something that i try to do myself
thanks thanks
well i don't know if there's any more questions on the one more question has an crumble catherine barbara jean they can't raise their end so i'm reminded you call on them to a new please
and then let me spotlight you
he is moving and i don't know what
i see you
where where are you guys we are here we are here a culture here here can you see me drooling over again i don't know i know i meant physically where are you know we are in oakland oh okay glad he written in the in the other reality on whatever
reality wearing a cocoa and even physical reality we're an open dollar couch
thank you for your talk and swiss i i and i will work to make this mean not my forte but i am
in i am deeply appreciate the recognizing the disruptor and continuing to fulfill the task
that's huge work for me the question that arose was when when the task is completed whether i read an article and don't water the plants in a meadow or finish washing the dishes before i finished the city go
is is that feeling of completion and satisfaction
how and and then the idea of
nevada and suffering as kind of two sides of the same third mark or two interpretations of the third mark how does fit and attitudes towards the okay yeah to attitudes toward so does that mean
mean then that perhaps nirvana is accepting suffering that perhaps the way to like there's this idea in my mind that nirvana is kind of cult letting go not feeling this suffering or the sorrow this sadness and pain
could it be that it's oh this jeff is another example of impermanence aha and a kind of equanimity poor suffering a i guess i'm struggling with the and
the real feelings that arise when impermanence accepted yes no i i think that years
you're onto something harm
is it

perhaps is distinguishing suffering from the particularity of you're feeling so i feel your pain a feeling of grief you know ah and suffering is what we add onto that
suffering is the aspect that another way that mean
this is what lori and i talk about lot that her at the essence is suffering is wanting things to be different from how they are
which would include
difficult and negative experiences
and then the question is how do we encompass that
how can we be big enough and how can we be large enough to understand that whatever it is that i'm experiencing
is very much wood
what other people in so many places are experiencing and so it brings forth compassion
so i think i like to blame a home too close if again i eventually just the beginning and something that i wrote i found it i wrote it on march twenty first which i have two thousand and twenty which i think is pretty soon after we closed
ah after the pandemic to the shut everything down it's called the for marks of existence
i suffer because i want things to be different from how they are
i want to go to the gym
and i have to do sit ups in my office
i longed for tacos and beans had picante
can i set off a lukewarm take out
impermanence is all i can count on
the world we knew has turned around in a handful of days
my god will always be like this
and it always has been this way
blossoms fall and weeds grow
the ache of social distancing is the suffering of no self
i am pulled away from all of you who are myself
the woman behind me on the checkout line
the prisoner i visit the steel cage
the fiddler whose tune is now naked without accompaniment
take a breath can enjoy it
things change and we change too
universal truths flourish even in pandemic
resisting truth is suffering
except in truth is nirvana
which does not make her life any easier