Total Dynamic Working

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that's our plan variously translated as on divide undivided activity
or the whole works which is a nice play on words ah or total dynamic working which i am or i'm generally inclined to or the go with
so in these recent days like many of you i feel in the midst of a
a swirling
a rapidly swirling reality
a reality of change reality of laws reality of difficulty
ah and
it's hard to
stay upright and steady
in the brooklyn record one of the
the key collections of call on stories that we have the sixty first case
familiar to too many of you ah it says if one raises a speck of dust
the house in the nation flourish
if a speck of dust is not raised the house in the nation parish
it's actually interesting to consider
this in terms of the covered nineteen virus ah raising or not raising a speck of dust or a ah particle of virus ah it's important is actually reversed
so i want to read you a little from janky
ah and will have a chance to explored and
actually discuss it among ourselves
at one point it says
life is like one riding in a boat
though in this boat one works the sale the rudder and the pole
the boat carries one
and even and one is nothing without the boat
riding in the boat one even causes the boat to be a boat
one should meditate on this precise point
at this very moment the boat
is the world
even the sky the water and the shore have all become circumstances of the boat
unlike circumstances which are not the boat
so are other words there is no boat
unless there's you a lesser the sky and the water ah if those things are not missing or missing then the boat is just a a piece of wood stranded on the shore that has a peculiar open shape
it's not until all of those elements combine and we get in that you can call the book a boat
this is really a wonderful example of total dynamic working
nothing exists until all of the proper causes and conditions ah cooperate
for this reason to go on for this reason
life is causing life
life causes us to be ourselves
and you could say
all of the elements of our body and mind in circumstances
cause us to manifest life
when riding in the boat
the mind and body object and subject are all workings of the boat
in all of space or both workings of the boat
we that our life life that is we are the same way so the boat is an analogy
for the entirety of our of our life

it says little further
zen master ngos said in burse there is total dynamic working in des there is total dynamic working
one should thoroughly investigate and understand the same
so i was always put in mind of this because on thursday evening
a sojourn row she spoke about person debt s to the assembled saga and ah
indirectly he was commenting both on this facile and also on ah a can a partner in fascicle a short physical which five dogan which is called shoji or birth and death
so again going on a little inzaghi
ah token says
in the manifestation of this total dynamic working there is birth and there is death
therefore the total dynamic working of birth and death
our like a person
bending their arm bending and straightening their arm
in that act there are so many spiritual powers and lights which are manifest in other words in this simple act of bending and straightening your arm there is a limitless mystery
how do we do this
how does our body do this so easily and so readily
recognizing that there comes a time in our physical and mental life when ah
it's almost as it may be impossible to imagine bend your arm like this ah right now it seems very simple to me i know there will come a time when
despite the greatest effort i can make
this mystery we'll be beyond me
so as i said
zinke's this short festival is partnered with are often partnered with shoji the person death and they've been very much on my mind
they both point to this ceaseless reality of birth and death
in its various an infinite
locations in time
by that i mean we can think of birth and death over the course of an entire lifetime
yeah the span of whatever years we are allowed
ah or according to
some schools of buddhism and other religions are over several lifetimes
at the same time
we live
by moment we live in moment by moment birth and death
the the birth and death the rising and passing away of
a tiny feeling or sensation
a thought or a particular event
i know of any of you saw this it it i i saw it on on the news and also on some facebook posts ah
if if anybody saw the collapse of the radio telescope in arecibo puerto rico ah on december first this huge ah telescope complex is fantastic
receiving dish and then three hundred and fifty feet above it and say all the control apparatus and electronics and ah
in one moment it was just as it has been intact for decades
in the next moment one cable snapped
single cable
and the entire structure catastrophically failed
and plummeted
the electronics which were massive plummeted more than three hundred feet
ha to smash the
video the receiving this
and they have some video of and and just it all happens within ten seconds gone

so all these years that i've been at represents her
at this time of year we would usually be in relative safety
right now we'd be right in the middle of it you know only be we maybe had been crossed over that threshold of intense pain into a into a kind of normalization of eighteen days have
and samadi
and this is our roy hodgson's and row row hard to safety and celebrates the buddha's enlightenment which in the east asian calendar ah
falls on the eighth day of the twelfth month which is what role hard to translate to the were item
ah and
after all these years paternal thirty seven years of doing that
that i've done it this year it's different
ah because of the pandemic so we're not having our usual rawhide zoo we're having i will say were having an abbreviated three-day real hard to ah so-called or had to from
december nineteen to twenty first and i think that the sign up as available on the on the website so so please do join us for that
and so that's different
usually on the eighth of december we would celebrate buddha's enlightenment ah and we do this with a great with great joy in the zendo circumambulate in the zendo and
tossing flowers wildly into the air and and at each other ah it's really fun ah and it's very celebratory celebratory of all of our enlightenment ah and we haven't figured out how to toss flower
hours digitally so the it's too complicated to do this ceremony
and then last night we celebrated also we would usually celebrate transition we celebrated the the passing of suzuki roshi suzuki roshi memorial ceremony which marks his passing on the
the first day of session in nineteen seventy one ah forty nine years ago
so things are different because of causes and conditions because of the total dynamic working
the circumstances of this moment was born is different than what we might have expected
and that's fine
some years ago
ah i remember i can't quite remember the context someone asked sojourn roshi
what he thought about
the wonderful practice and community that we have here at berkeley's and center
call us at his answer was something like
yes it's it's really wonderful
and you know
it can all go away in a moment poof
just like that
you know just like what happened to the radio telescope at arecibo

so total dynamic working
the unfolding of cause and effect
governor newsom announced a shelter at home order
for large parts of california beginning tomorrow i think
alameda county in the city of berkley
they've made their own stay at home order ah which is operative until january fourth
and that means that people should congregate only within their own household
ha will i take that to mean
no more walks with ah with residents year or with others ah
just lori and i can hang out ah
and the headlines in berkeley side this morning said something like well the social bubbles are caught
this is total dynamic working
as it applies to the hazards of sickness and death
i accept it i accept this order i don't resist it
ah i'm going to do it i'm going to observe it without a lot of protest without any protest ah but with concern
and with regret

i had a dream less than not quite sure what the relevance of this dream is but ah in the dream somehow because of
the fact that we had a lot of vacancies in our residency here at busy see ah we suddenly
without a lot of discussion
we sold
the building next door we sold ninety thousand twenty nine where the community room and kitchen library are ah we sold that building to someone
and they changed the locks and we couldn't get in and ah
then not pricing there was a cascading ah series of
events in confusions about well what do we do now that we don't have this community meeting space
which i think is interesting given the fact that
right now we don't have this community meeting space
so i'm not sure what the impact of the in the midst of this dream you know dreams are really interesting in a recent stream i was i was
somewhat consciously thinking about
preparing for this talk
ah fm
what was in the dream
it it seemed so immediately relevant to the question of total dynamic working and it was like wow i really have to ah
share this and talk about this
right now i'm not exactly sure how it connects but ah
i think it goes back to
taking in
what so general she said about the impermanence of everything the impermanence of our of our physical life the impermanence of burpees cents in her ah how quickly things can change
yeah how quickly
they have changed
for all of us in the last nine months and we keep sort of hoping had yearning for so called normality but really we just have this dream of normality
you know normality is just kind of what do all we calling normal is what we've experienced in the past and that
may not apply going further so we can't i mean the the fact of total dynamic working is
to remain flexible and fluid this is the and this is the fact of
this is the fact of zaza
the fact of zazen is to maintain an openness
ah to everything that a curse
it means investigating the dharmas
and it also means accepting them including each one
whether they are pleasant unpleasant or neutral
ah it means allowing the activity of birth and death allowing the constant unfolding of this total dynamic working
there's a really excellent if you google 's anki
ah one of the first thing since going to come up is of a lecture by sojourn roshi that he gave in chapel hill north carolina i think in two thousand and eight ah
and it's really really good talk ah
and in that talk he says he says this his is commenting on
and he says wherever you are
wherever you stand is the center of the universe
but it doesn't mean that you were alone that you alone are the center of the universe
wherever anybody stands is also the center of the universe
so everyone and everything is standing in the center of the universe together
even though we're all in different places

so one thing i i take away from com
from this comment and also from from janky as a whole is
i think one of the really important points that the dogan peaks over over again in his he's writing in his teaching is
to learn to
the world around us and to see ourselves from an from ever shifting points of view
never can be caught in one view and saying this is it
yeah ah or
in a kind of more vernacular terms ah i
tend to cringe when i hear people say
this is my truth
as if you know it's fixed contents it and i feel it and that's the way it is ah
because i've learned that my truth what i think to be metres one moment shifts according to the causes and conditions
and i think that the message of this blouse and practice is that things are always shifting
wow that then we can become flexible and open not in some abstract way but really actually open to all the people and all the situations around and within us
that we can recognize that whatever we grant as shifting within myself
is also happening for
everyone else
so in his commentary
you know surgeon is is talking about
the large matter of each individual's perspective each person's person deaths which are certainly if we see the an auditor's when we see ourselves as a center of the world ah the center of the universe
that's a big thing that's a big thing for us ah associate explains the buddha dharma is really about small
individual particular things that have no inherent existence in themselves
though those are called dharmas
and the dharmas themselves as we know from the heart sutra are empty
and they themselves are
go constructed of
other causes and conditions
but the small things
that create our world and it's are small actions are small war words the small ways that we interact with each other and was the things around us that really
heaven and hell
in goes on he says
for dogan been confirmed by all dharmas in other words allowing all dharmas to arise
is proven by the fact of oneself in zaza
so that's a that's a kind of it
complex expression proven by the fact of oneself in zazen ah
one way that i can take that is to see that
from these
mt dharmas
i have a sense of myself even though that itself is empty
and i may feel it in zazen
and i also may feel it
and fade in zazen
and then immediately come back when the bell rings
but to have this fluidity
this fluidity of the whole works
to see that from one
perspective of time things are swirling our world is swirling my world is swirling and sometimes it throws me off balance
but that's just from one perspective of time
from another perspective of time
it's like being in the bottom of the ocean
in the bottom of the ocean even though everything is fluid and things are changing it appears like there's this great stillness
that's true
only in the perspective of
only in the frame of time by which you are looking at it
so we have to constantly
have the long view
and i've had this experience i'm sure that all of you have had this experience in your life where something happens
say that was something happened years ago
that was painful actually just happen this is an example of this came up with i'm not by to
be specific about came up yesterday he was something that occurred that occurred in my life in and in my circle of activity that was very painful to me
how of the blue
a person called me up and said could we talk about that
i recognize something happened there and ah
maybe we can have a discussion about it
so i've come to have face
in not just the fluidity of existence but the fluidity of time
i don't want to get in a more abstract in this ah because i think that in essence this is not an abstract think this is this is something that takes on a takes takes place on a molecular on an insult
lecture hall on an intern relational basis in our in our very contact with the people around us so
this is a hard time
and sometimes it's swirling and i feel dizzy
and i may want to take to my bed
ah and sometimes
i feel
clear and present
in each of those circumstances i really try not to prefer one over the other
my effort is to accept them
as they are
except things as it is
that this principle of total dynamic working
is also the law of impermanence and non-self
and it's my choice though the two of the three marks of existence the third mark is conventionally duca are suffering
and my understanding is that ah
suffering is contingent on want attitude towards impermanence and non-self
if you read if i resisted
then suffering is inevitable
if i say well you know that's the law that's the way they are
then i can be free
so i'm constantly asking myself in the midst of this total dynamic working where am i
and i would
i passed that question to you where are you
so thank you very much and i think we have time for some we have good time for some question and discussion
he just a couple words about question a question so as you know you can either raise your virtual and the bottom of your screen for post question in the chat box which i'll keep an eye on and passed along to hossa
and we asked you'd be as brief as past forced come on the one follow up question just so he can allow for as many voices as possible and if you don't usually ask a question when by new to do so and i'm pleased when you have
ask your question you can unmute yourself and lower your hand and if you forget i'll do it for you
thank you

he looks like our leslie has a question was you'd like to on turn on her bike
because going to be checked okay is a movie or took them out
thank you i just want to see hose on speaker
ah thank you hugs on for a very rich or chalk when you mentioned arecibo it brought to mind that the purpose of r c boat with its motif
this was to look for extraterrestrial life he sets out the crunchy enough for well out but up when you talked about each one of us is the center of the universe but i'm the center of my universe your the center of near universal cetera
without human perspective without human point of view where is the center of the universe
is there a center of the universe know
i mean yet did according to buddha dharma and it will be no you there's no universe right so if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it there's no tree that false i think i think that's the that's the or said
ox interpretation ah i have a little trouble with that but you know and maybe you do too
i did yeah
but you see have to see it it's ah that's because you have an idea of a tree
you know ah we we have these concepts such as keep you know it's like turtles all the way down we have the this concepts that that are piled and interconnected with each other so i don't know ah what i do know is
just that you and i each have to pay attention to our to our perception this is this is what lorries talk lorries talk was about this last was last week ah we've been we've been studying and struggling and arguing over yoga ch
our mind only ah school
buddhist philosophy for the last eight or nine months so i'm just giving you i'm not telling you what i think because i don't know i know that whatever i think is conditioned but i'm just saying what what i've been reading with some difficulty in these techs is this a final
at on a from what i've read astronomers souza wherever being is ah consciousness that is the center of the universe yeah that makes sense thank you
okay we have a young a comment from sean
who says and the chat i interpret speaking ones truth in quotations is the opposite of being silence been okay with who you are and what you have said in a moment
yeah well that's right and that's an that's an example of ah the fact of conditionality ah i would not argue with that at all
the context there is ah the very to me the very real context that ah that people are silenced and that it's impact it's really important for those people to speak
i have i am challenged by the idea to me the idea of truth
here is itself conditional what's true for me
may not be true for you and actually
what we have to find
in action together in dialogue together in exploration together is what we can what we actually what ground of agreement we can find what space to be able to cooperate that that is
that's the space for me of truth but that but again that's my opinion and ah i don't feel fixed on it but i i think that sean point is a good one
kale sound k has his hand up sam can you turn on your bike
i was the and thank you for on picking my question
he talked about on these feelings are are you know feeling just like you wanna go to sleep and of get away from that all vs on you know been clear minded
and then accepting mad and the that seems like a very core
idea on
and the end of a big challenge because one wants to be delighted in the clear minded times and try to avoid those times when you just wanna get away from at all and you feel like you're suffering and
and gotta sleep
and so i wonder then you mentioned the word except i think in those times and i wonder if there's a similar word allow yeah i did get better that's a better word
and so if to allow that
does that mean what is the practice then so is the practice to then go to sleep or what is the practice i don't have a prescription you know on i
certainly there are circumstances that i have experienced in the face of ah
billy in the face of depression
where every gravitational force he has tried to
ah literally or figuratively pull me into bed and pulled the collar covers over my head right and what i've learned through experience is ah to be kind to myself and also to push myself a little harder but
cause i know that
it will be the relational option is the one that's going to move me into the next moment ah that are
you know just hiding out and it can be really pathologically hiding out is not going to served me very well but but i allow
it's like you allow so this is the difference between which of talk about this a lot ah being pushed or pulled around by your karma
or living by vow
living by vow is not like beating yourself up or forcing you to do simply just remembering what my vow is you know if my vow is not to turn away from whatever i'm feeling
then i may decide to
get good or bad get dressed and go outside
ah but i don't have an instruction book for this
but allow is a better word
that accept
oh the one thing i just can't struggle with a little bit is just the idea of oh following feelings
and i'm i wonder if that's problematic
did i say following feelings that are you didn't say that but so but i think i wonder so it's just what comes up for me when you talk about this right about the word allow sometimes i imagine following viewings and i'm wondering if that's problematic
it might be but what i'm talking by allowing is allowing myself to have the feeling which is different than acting on the feeling
okay i'm on form of this the distinction between to be
to get angry
or to feel heard
is there's nothing nor abnormal about that that's that's just human activity ah and then the question is do you wanna get pushed him to something reactive ah in relation to acting on that feeling or do you have do i have a vow
how to return to
that can help me in this difficult moment say oh i'm having this feeling
how and in accord with the dharma how would i want to respond respond not react
that's our life's work
thank you thank you very good question where where do you live other in berkeley have we met before we have a while ago is a way long time ago but a good well thank you for being here thank you
oh hi i had a question but i think i was on you just answered it you can move onto the next person think okay thank you
okay next we have stephanie
suffering us where she comes
alan definitely i wanted to thank you so much freer talk thank you working with people as i do during the pandemic
our practice of impermanence and helping are supporting my clients
in really sitting with the fact that this will not always be the way it is is really helpful
i also appreciate how authentic you are in sharing your feelings and thoughts about yourself it really inspires others including me to do the same so thank you so much they used to be here thank you for for doing
that that work you know it's it's really important we all those who can support others are just really precious in this moment
thank you awesome i appreciate them
okay that's we have a genetic or ginny i'm sorry if i cut it wrong
that's okay thank you focus on and just just i don't make the same mistake next week to deal yesterday it is the end like you
thank you
so are you hearing me because i am the sound is coming and going for know it by okay
okay thank you ah i can't see dare you i thank you so much
two things hassan sensei
relating to what sam just brought up about following your feelings you had said earlier that you are always asking yourself where am i
did i get that right okay to the hideous one is wedding outfit i don't get everything that's being said
so my question is when you're asking that are you investigating what you feeling or was that part of it or is it something larger that's i have two questions that's the first one will let me as limeade give you an instruction that
ah maybe is a simplistic response ah it's a practice that that certainly sojourn is so george has given me and many people are and i will say you should always know where your feet are
so where am i is a very literal question
got it
okay i mean okay i'm seeing that right now i realized oh my feeder kinda scrunched up behind me and said oh wait
put them flat on the ground so that my energy and weight is balanced and so we're always this is just what we're doing in zazen where we're constantly ah we're constantly adjusting our posture to have ourselves in alignment and so that's where i'd start and then
it moves from there
it moves from the physical just like the five scanned is through all of the mental are all of the states of of mind
so that's what i would say tobacco
good thank you the other part is when you spoke earlier of i'm a person saying a this is my truth and that you a kind of flinch because that inferred that that truth was ah
rigid and not valuable or open to change
but could you
would it be that was to say in the moment in a very conditional way ah to say something like that meaning
where i am this moment this is how things appear to me your field to me but with that flexibility of knowing that it will change or allowing it to change or to be affected by what you're getting back from the other
yeah i it i think
i fail to contextualize that properly
and the context that
comes from my experience is that often when that said what it's saying is i really don't care what you think
this is the way it is this is my truth and so but i think from what you're saying and what sean was saying yes it's true there's a broader context in that it doesn't have it doesn't have to be this are does
need to have an aspect of aggression or assertiveness to it necessarily and i need an elephant i need to listen to a to
don't thank you for that correction
thank you sunday
hey and hold i'm just a tiny jack we're for more questions and the widows and yeah let's just take take those and then close okay okay so i'm kicking you please on meet yourself
thank you thank you hassan
in know you you talked about openness this kind of relates to sam's question or possibly helens question know openness to such an important part of our practice my practice and and close at nessus always looming you know sojourn trains us to look at the opposite side
so what what's the most important aspect of open ness and how do we hold openness and closeness
at the same time you know how do we hold it when we when we see that were closed if we see that were closed you know you know what the image that comes to mind immediately when you said that they thought of a clam
yeah there's sometimes when a clam needs to be open and there maybe sometimes when the clam needs to be closed it will never stay closed
so you we even if you feel
when i feel
instinctive closing or backing away
i try to recognize that i'm doing it and i don't force myself to open
if i can i would say
you know i i need to step back and ah
reflect on his think about this collect myself and i'll get back to you
you know so if i close i know i'm not gonna stay closed and if i owe if i am open i have no idealization that i'm always gonna be open
so it sounds like you know of acceptance of some kind of deep acceptance of of whatever state you might be passing through or might be passing through you yes i then i really like the sam's word allow you know or ah
include which suzuki roshi talks about a lot and
inclusiveness is actually a did not hons ha
his translation or interpretation of the fourth brom a horror lupica which we translate usually as equanimity he translates it as inclusiveness i think that's fantastic
yeah that makes sense to me a equanimity as inclusivity and including i think and it it and it just reminds me just stem you know that allowances is being gentle with ourselves and accepting these parts of ourselves that down a little hard for
us to accept some thank you thank you
kenneth you to comments and a question in the chat box of first a dad he's beat up self said the tree isn't the center of the universe and ross flom said when suzuki was asked the quest
sound in the forest if no one is able to hear it he said it doesn't matter
and then finally from a chap barkley i want to just respond
quickly to to deb yes you you are completely right the tree is it's own being and the tree is the center of the universe to it's only from our anthropomorphic are anthropocentric perspective that we think that it's human consciousness
is that is the only kind of consciousness that is not the case thank you for correcting my misspeaking
came heiko as the question could you compare or contrast original face with total dynamic working
not off the top of my head
let's come back to that heiko i have to think about that
okay next either randy or charlie as a question
his eternal a thank you know how to turn terrific talk when you talked about era zibo and just prior to that the collapse of bc see i thought about maintenance and how important may
maintenance is arecibo collapsed because one cable broke in the navy on aircraft carriers in and other ships ah wire ropes are replaced on a regular basis and there are logs can
kept on every wire her and when they should be replaced so
without maintenance
we endanger ourselves
a by bad habits and the bad habit that might collapse as his header ah of course or three block iceland's so i just wanted to make i can and see what you had to say i think you can
play the right and the maintenance exist on a a
a mental level and also let's not forget ross and rob lions ah who are and although and all the other people were constantly doing these little unseen tasks of maintenance and you know and maintaining our our digital practice all of this
this are all this is part of the total dynamic working of berkeley's and center scrape and is necessary
so thank you
so finally we have a question from jaw
hi person thanks for a lovely talk really beautiful just a quick comment and your reaction when you said total dynamic are lurking is the whole works i was struck because i have this express
in which have used all the time that we try to be one with the whole nurse a kind of pointing out to the swirling and confusion and try so i just wondered what your reaction might be to that because there was something that has said a lot people that we try to be one
with a whole nurse disarming clean stop crying you not be other than one with the wholeness okay great
okay thank you that's terrific
thanks where you can click you can be diluted you you may be rebooted that you're not one with the wholeness i'm sorry you are
a of a
okay they did you all and all you know have a good a good weekend in a good day and we close with