What Now, I Don't Know

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good morning everyone
ah overcast morning here in berkeley
can't believe how quickly the summer is cooking by ha
so this morning what i would like to do is to were
give you an update on
how i've been thinking about our
situation vis-a-vis the pandemic and to put it in a dharma context ha
and then hopefully to have some discussion
and i think that are
we're going to need
we ought to have substantial discussion in the next in the next immediate period ah to relieve have an opportunity to
find out what people think and what course the want to follow
when i think about the pandemic lately or what
but came to mind
worm michael corleone owns words in the godfathers three
he said just thought i thought i was out they pull me back in
so by late june
i think the whole country believe
breathed a sigh of relief
so between
ah increasing vaccination her hand the hopefully approaching herd immunity
ah many of us had the the thought that
coven nineteen was playing itself out
for some short period of time the mask requirements were relaxed
and restaurants in public venues were reopening
and you could feel
a kind of energy and joy in the streets again i certainly felt that as i walked around is
lauren i took walks are would've liked to walk down ha along jack london square by the the estuary ah and you could just feel that joy
at bc see we were strategizing
ah what will climb a soft opening of the zendo
one that was careful was requiring
verified vaccination and was going to have a
strategy for socially distanced sitting in the zendo but it seems that seem like that was a hand naturally we had decided to do this by
the we're gonna do it august first
so simultaneously
the course of this sprain
this new delta variant
carried a second wave of infection across india
by july it had spread to one hundred and twenty four countries
and it was found to be much more infectious than the earlier variants
ah and even vaccinated people ah we're capable of when risk of what they call breakthrough infections and they were capable of transmitting the virus without them being themselves being symptomatic
so in the u s
and in the bay area businesses and institutions including p c busy see we're rethinking
our opening plants
and they continue to do so
ah now
i've been following data ah
it seems that ninety percent of the new infections are ah gotta variant
but it's also true that there are other variants coming down the pike and
does it agree that we are not
sufficiently vaccinated those variants are generated and they ah they've taken root in places around the world ah and the first cases are beginning to show up here us what i heard more
what i read the times ah this week is that
the vaccination rate and i assume this is what pigmeat is the full vaccination rate in the us ah is and something i fifty one per cent
and that herd immunity
would call for something like
ninety percent
and i think as you may have
gathered the course of this last week
the cdc is now
recommending that those who had been vaccinated with a visor madonna
medications stake it did we get a a booster shot after six months in what they're finding the that d immunization is rate is declining
from lisa from the first wave of ah
vaccinations are it's it's slowly but steadily declining and the delta variant according to statistics today is ah slowly but steadily increasing
just emotionally
i find this has been really difficult
and i tried to hold this this difficulty
ah with some
equanimity and some ah
relaxation in my doesn't it my thinking but ah
as i said we we thought that we were seen
a possible easing of our circumstances and right now that's not been the case
i feel for myself i'm still adjusting to that
change reality
which which really puts into
it highlights
the mark of impermanence
the irrespective of what we think something else can happen something unexpected
so question that comes up
the least in the context of our community is what now
what precautions should we be kicking
pepper it represent center as we think about having
want to think about reopening
the can get a deeper and more
more unsettling question
which is
is this the new normal
will we be ever be
will we
will there be a time of relative safety here and the wider society at least within the near future
and of course if some version of coffee nineteen or some other
pandemic agent is the new reality then
what does that mean
for the warm and to warm hand st practice that we love
and that we have
feel we've practiced and experienced for years and years with it's been the practice ah since the time of buddha
when they
didn't have zoom
so what does this mean i don't know
so this gives me too
an exploration of not knowing
and it brings us to
ah case twenty in the book of serenity
which is sir
the john's not knowing
and this can use can be a guide for some can start to be a guide for us
although actually it's always been died
so here's the
the case without of all of its other incumbent apa interpretive apparatus
de jong as fire on where are you going
fire i'm said i'm going around on pilgrimage
dijon said
what's the purpose of pilgrimage
fire said
i don't know
deja said not knowing his most intimate
dear he his articulating
a primary principle for us that we recognize
in so many of the teachings
this is
bodhidharma his response to emperor wu
when emperor wu
as dharma who is standing in front of me in bali don't be seen
but he said i don't know where he said no knowing
the authors have slightly different meanings to me but it's still to same principle this is the same principle as suzuki roshi is beginner's mind
the beginner's mind
the mind that does it have everything figured out there are many possibilities and an experts mind the person who knows there are a few
this is the first of the three tenets that
ah roshi bernie glassman articulated the three tenets of ah not knowing bearing witness and an appropriate response
and are also just too
remember the korean zen masters some sun
ah who often said only don't know
so this kind of not knowing that the john was articulating is
the not knowing of possibility
it's the not knowing of
it's a really it's the vital creative force
for a musician say who's improvising
it's not knowing
what the next know rephrase is going to be
i'm letting
one moment lead you to the next
mrs a really powerful principle
but it's interesting because i was looking around i'm sitting in the abbott's office ah which resurgence offices it's full of books
these books have these books it is he studied so much and over so long and these books are full of full of notes and god
in an one i looked at his note for the book of serenity for this case and it pointed me towards ah
he can rashi's commentary on another case in the give skate that involves fire and i'm not going not only that but ah
there's a follow up to this dialogue
which i think is really interesting for us ah don't get the whole case where you have been going round on pilgrimage what purpose of pilgrimage
i don't know not knowing his most intimate
the next day fire prepared to set off again on his pilgrimage
t song walked with him focus on walked with him to the gate and as they pass through the gate these aren't pointed to a bolder and said
most monks say that the three worlds exist because of the mind
and all phenomena a writ arise from recognition or i'd say all phenomena arise from simply from our perception of those phenomena
ah tell me does that stone
by the gate exist in mind or outside the mind
fire said
in the mind
de jong said
that stone will be very heavy for you to carry about he remind

the eight roaches comment with this fire and realized that he was not as enlightened as he thought so he remained with the town for further training and ultimately became his dharma successor
there's a difference i think what would you can read waking up ah and this is also found in commentary on a case their team the case now keeping the grace twenty in poker serenity there's a difference between
firearms i don't know
d john's comment that not knowing his most intimate
to some extent
finance i don't know as an honest response
it certainly was an armed response he didn't know
where he was going
and what guitar was
pointing them towards was
okay go deeper
go deeper there's something really alive in not knowing
you're really close to
but you haven't quite
got it yet
and when you get it then you realize then you will realize ah that it is most intimate

there's another call on that i'll just again comment on briefly a ring in which is in the gate is gate
we all know we probably heard this the ah
nonsense master nonsense says to josh you
so after explaining to joe shoe was his student that ordinary mind is the way maize kernels that a research in response to judges further questions saying
the way is not a matter of knowing or not knowing
knowing his delusion
not knowing his confusion
even though not knowing anything
with absolute certainty
he is an expression of the truth
and can be very highest expression for any of us
not knowing is insufficient
it's not insufficient in the sense that
it's not
the replicable circumstance is replicable principle for every circumstance sometimes we have to sometimes it's really important not to know but if we go immediately to not knowing and hold them up as a principal then as
a nonsense there's that man knowing leads to confusion
whereas if we locked down on knowing
then that knowing his delusion
so without knowing
the outcome of
our speculation or strategies around
around the virus and its in its relationship to our community ah without knowing that outcome we still
have to make our best guess
as to what will serve us what will serve authentic piece
we have to follow a course
without being certain that is the correct course
and we continuously make course corrections
this is in line with suzuki roshi principal don't get stuck on anything
don't lock down on perspective don't walk down on idea in an idea
so in the face of the continue and pandemic
we ask i asked what now
and i don't know
another translation of
this case that i mentioned with the young and fire is a not knowing his nearest
so this question what in hell
is very near to me
a raises concerns and it's probably very near to you
it certainly clear that
there are many different responses and i think that those of us who have been ah
hanging out on the see list serve and conversations among saga members know can that their different perspectives
and layered
underlying underlying that those perspectives for me anyway his grief
i feel
grief with the loss of friends and family and teachers
and so many people unknown to me
i feel real anxiety about him about how we're going to continue christian traditions
i also think
as we've seen there's something to some creative opportunities that of terrorism
and of course wow this is going on stunned by the natural disasters the earthquakes to wars the regime change the oppressions that are
running free in our world
i'm trying to keep my mind open to multiple perspectives
in the face of opening
have we been overly cautious
i'm being not cautious enough
what just right
people raised the question of are we are we allowing for personal responsibility
why do something protocols and ah rules that we've create policies that we created to those undermine that responsibility
i often think also of how is this pandemic been for people who are living alone
what people would go live with others in small homes or apartments
where people who have to work and care for ah children young children
we've been faced with questions extensive discussions and about should busy make a significant investment him
invested in ventilation
for the sendo and for the pygmalion room
any questions go on iran
i feel it
my responsibility as abbott
includes guarding the wellbeing of the dharma and sangha as an individual
i choose
to take certain personal risks
ah but as
i feel that my responsibility to the saga sets costs for a higher war
and also ungrateful grateful that so far how are
turf conservative collective portion has meant that it served as well
you know even though
many of us have had our fill of zoom
as far as i know they've been no widespread outbreaks of covered ah among pcc members
i don't know of any direct members who have died or suffered badly from the from the cease i don't have all the information
so going forward
we have to live live with distention of
not knowing
best guess
and so going forward
means practicing great patience
the perfection of the parameter of champagne
such patients we know from or is awesome it's it's at the heart of our zazen as we sit there and we encounter whatever saw for perception
without pushing it away
without getting caught on it
ha allowing it to arise and naturally pass away
you know even in the face of circumstances where we might want to jump out of our skin
you know after all these months i think that
that patience is wearing thin for many of us and i would really ask you to as i asked myself to double down on it
can you really hold it
as a principal not just stuff ah
not a principle of resignation but actually principle of
the heart
i would love to join file on on pilgrimage
wandering aimlessly
frankly i would be preferred to go anywhere
ah teeth taste you know flurry suggests we have two hundred and errand ah you know it would you go with me to run an errand in marine say well a great adventure a ago yes
let's go anywhere
but i'm also really happy and content to be here
i think i'm content because be here because you're here
and i'm content to be here because neither of you interest
being in this
surrounded by
the relics
of my teacher
it's a very good place to be
so i like you
like to ask you to be compassionate yourself
and others one of the things that i wanted to win x we've talked about this of the senior student ah meeting yesterday it is that like to
can't make some suggestions and also here
from you what you're doing
to create ritual small mountain ritual for for ourselves
even when we're not able to come together it gets that there's a possibility for more
creativity you our practice
ah at least until we can return to the forms that we that we know
so again be patient and compassionate to yourself and the others
then let your mind travel freely
i'm pilgrimage
and otter
on her others who car
following their own pass these days
and have their own views
zazen will sustain us
buddhists and ancestors will support us
they'll support us
even when this world is on fire
so i think that's where i'm going to end and leave it
ah leave time for
questions or comments or and blake is are gonna facilitate the ah
oh definitely raised hands and and and coin you and you can raise your hand it really you can also put something in the chat
indeed kelsey trillin i invite you and me yourself in the make a statement ask a question
hey hey
thank you so much for your top
i have a little group us
fine friends meet with and we discuss the game and we actually talked about not knowing the speak ah
and that
it's really up for me right now and he'll hot of ways and if you're going to know something very soon maybe
i'm gonna really not know a lot of things really stand
for something that you can do not know a lie
i really appreciate this talk in the way
your holiness and i think what colors coming up for me around our practice is just
this is our practice now
and that there's kind of i feel like there is a i wanna go back to the old craft some wanna go back to in a sitting together on the to tommy and you know seeing people face to face but there's also this yeah that like the in this moment this is ah
our practice and how do we mean until what the says right now i guess changed and this kind of longing for the past are hoping for a future i feel like it just causes it does cause a better inflate the emotional pain and suffering and yeah i think that's just make
comment is that this was our practice now i think it yeah that that's right and i think that the
part of that practice is actually how we might watch you refer to as you emotion emotional pain and suffering of ah basically experience at least a sense of loss in this moment and then just
in the the open and creative question of
not how did we rewind things but arm
what's this what's the safe and effective way of going forward ah i don't think we're going to forget
what our bodies have learned in terms of the practice but ah
it's it's not going to be quite the same but i really want to i do not want to lose the richness of that
but i also don't wanna push it as he entered untimely way
i guess i wonder
what makes that in in practice the rich vs doesn't practice i don't think you have to answer that such as that's kind of a question and wondering you know what's the difference
yeah i mean i don't know the full answer but you know you could say ah
limbic resonance
you know just how our bodies
change our bodies yeah how one's body effects another body
ah that that scamp a powerful reality i think
thank you thank you
damn self is on meet yourself and ask a question or make esteem warning hung on morning
oh i have a quick question and a comment but i'm afraid i've made before but i don't remember can you remind me of the citation of the case about is the stone and the mind or outside the mind ah
you see here
i'm gonna listen to the whole lecture again so i can always write it down when you say it next time i'm i don't have the case know just see one second this is case twenty six minutes listed here

why don't the it seemed the commentary the thing is i don't know where it's in probably in in the record but it's in the commentary for case twenty six in robert aiken
the gate list barrier
okay thanks
on assets
i've started i have a practice book with the i started at the beginning of the year which is kind of new to me and it's also become my work book on anti racism on i just i am finding that all of the justice and equity work i'm at my workplace is jack
really well them with so my chance the dharma talks this year and including about i as i think about tokenism and of the ring on
this is that a stone i'm pretty sure to stone i know it's a stone and it exists and you know there has to so applicable to
trying to not know who anybody else cause
but i wanted to make a comment about this practice and i think i've said this before to me this zone based practice as am i feel so much more included on android that i did when we were in the zondo i'm socially as somebody who has a
i'm being in close proximity to people or making eye contact or top game or just is so much richer for me i get to see all your faces i'm getting to know you better uncomfortable and i'm practicing up and down practicing mar
originally a little bit more in this very lay practice partly because it's a short distance to the zondo now
so am
i love the word i love the atmosphere i love the altar
but i'm really happy being just as close to everyone
get you mean the i think the that's what i was getting at
whereas as reflecting that each person has their own path
well and not just talking about each person has a strategy for
had opened the zendo but actually there's a very wide range of perspectives of how to practice that we are doing is working for people to thank you i'm glad you're here and kill my back gotcha
andrea thatch rights and in the chat an additional a different response between de dijon and via and after filing on says i don't know why i'm going on pilgrimage is can you say more dyson says the vast blue sky does
not keep the white clouds from flying have always found this helpful losing my and loosing my ideas and then in andrea also right that we read the whole thing again please sure violence says i don't know why i'm going on poem or pilgrimage
ah and they are
then i think the responses can you say more dyson says the vast blue sky does not keep the white clouds from flying
i've always found this ah
eight in yes yeah yeah i'm andrea also writes
with regard to ritualized sing the ritualized the very day that she's quoting and think paula awry
or m bring brings and home
yeah excuse me for
stumbling over words let me call a heather mean just raise around pet facilities go yeah that's on
there was something came up in the in the senior in the senior student meeting and ah i do i really are
i recommend if it's in the is not in the jet paula arise book bringing them home it's it's about ah
home practice lay practice in japan mostly that by women ah and yes i think this is if we wanted to actually we could be creative about how to how to do that ah
though it's a good it's something we really need to explore
heather surround to sign that you set up and bite you to meet yourself
born in one way
well if to thoughts
one about you know i've heard a lot of discussion of
wanting to be able to meet in person so we can protect the dharma
and my knee-jerk response to that was
preferred way to protect protect the dharma is to make sure that we don't introduce more risk into the holders of the dharma at bc see meeting you and laurie and the residents and all of that so to me that's an act of protecting the dharma by not increasing or
because it would just be the worst to think that i brought the delta variant into bcc
i just can't imagine living with that on the other thing i wanted to mention was i've noticed so i have an eleven year old son who just started middle school and he's not eligible to be vaccinated yet and i can feel a gap
more and the greater world and it bc see between people who have been vaccinated and feel like we're on to a new chapter in those of us who have to act like were not vaccinated because our kids are protected and i've been thinking about the bodhisattva vote at boats scuse me of going back in may
making sure everyone's across the river before we go to the next phase and i live in a zone where not everyone has even been able to get in line to cross the river yet and i think that if we're not living around people with higher risk it's easy to think we're onto the next chapter but many of us are
not onto the next chapter even though we've taken full advantage of the technology and science available to us today
thank you that below that's a coach and point that it will say that a just reminder that we're going to have a a song a meeting on sunday evening the twenty ninth of this month's her which is
going to provide an opportunity for people to explore their different views and perspectives in eight on
in a harmonious were in a respectful way to go back to to your first point is briefly which is hum
i'm i'm not worried about the dharma
i'm not so worried about protecting the dharma home ah
am more concerned about protecting
and letting the dharma take care of itself can in fact leaving the dharma take care of us
ah more and more as i get older that's that's the perspective that i ah then i'm exploring is how is is taking care of how does it take you got me and then reciprocally of course how do i respectfully take care of it
which is not not as necessarily by making sure that we're doing all the the correct rituals this is actually one of the the interesting elements of intentions in japanese buddhism or going back to getting a the
the ritual lighting ah
of buddhism was about actually the purpose of it was to support the nation
yeah not necessary individual well so there's a lot of really interesting stuff to explore but i don't worry about the dharma but i do want but at the same time i want to honor
what has been passed to us by
the surgeon roshi suzuki roshi and ah those ancestors and ah
keep it alive to the extent that that's possible

long those lines heiko rights in a chat or asked the question what about chanting about together over zoom each day after is awesome
i think it's a it's that's an idea
and ah
it's something we have to investigate a
i'm not a big i'll just say for me personally i'm not i'm not a big fan of the
jacking together with the kind of chaotic latency issues that he have you know it's it's to me doing that seems a little
the idea is better than the reality but that's for me
you know and that go you know the whole thing that goes into
that idea goes into the pot of ideas that we talk about
ah from somebody who often is a chant leader i wanna say how beautiful the evolution has been on the other hand
barba joan and jeff to on yourselves and ask a question
you're learning and thank you
one of the one of the frame since you said i think i read it down oh exploring not knowing really triggered a lot of ideas for me and and allow me to think more about what what
but the last eighteen months than the opening and now the poor the the possibility of shutting down again what that's felt like and i just wanted to share a little bit
so i'm very tend to be buried so social a dog on the phone over by and i see people by and was i meant network t kind of social person animals her writer and that's been hard to find my way
eight in and into my silence and first i got laryngitis and then i got covens to that can shut me up from a my friends are really worried partly because they were so unused to my silence
and then when things were so shut down and that was just yelling i had this thought about projects i thought a consider doing
that i put in the shed till day and all of a sudden i realized that this was sunday and that was an incredible gift and and spoke to my privilege and i think i've i've really been confronted with
what i do with the his privilege that i'm safe i'm safe from fire and safe from war i'm safe for the most part it's safe as i can be from it even though i had a m
i'm vaccinated i have access to a i can live in my house without going out have plenty of food and so the unknown that i explore is the unknown over a bug in term
galactic brain space
and when things open that it was rich and wonderful to see people again and were parliament a song with red anderson and and we were able to go rhythm one open no bone said and it was beautiful it was so kind of
astonishing to have that limbic as you said residents with people that i don't know mostly personally out well but that have been sitting with for a number of years and at the same time i kind of me
just the forced isolation and so that's been an interesting thing to contemplate is how to or high ritualized a salvation without necessarily being forced but also hideaway you know
well as this opportunity to to confront the unknown the red lippy and so thank you for offering the question i think that's that's i will continue to
meditate on the app the please do and
i think also we have to be
we have to realize that the circumstance that we didn't have it is
is tight it's narrow and tight and
which means that
we have to take more time for ourselves in in we may have to lower expectations of what we accomplish and i think that that's important which is not to say
don't set objectives and goals but it just like
give ourselves space so thank you for sharing
peter overturn please i'm yourself often do it you do mine was a
murray peter and exploring
chatting and visual and own space for them by be young people's and feel little confused with to show for the kind of activity
recently reading during the real tune before getting a green man
i realized that a voice in the which is connected to all of your voices
when his swam there would have been asking myself wearing my values that is that is inaccessible he and on it just feels like when i find that ah i can invoke your presence on the was a tremendous support
so i think there's something interesting that i hadn't really realized it's possible wants to oh
to be the same amount ousted come joining the present law deals where the same time
prelim just something's and you i've enjoyed using the experiment thank you have a great global collaboration
ha covers all of us right
this and
yeah i think god
he would be good for us to do the road kid
and i mean i do it i think
we do it individually but we should probably bring that back
to the start of our program seen them in yeah maybe there would be useful yeah yeah
so on
vickers time for one more if there's if there's one more for a weekend we can also end

let's see it he he earns a ignorance anything in the chair
so thank you all and up there's one more
hey man well i have your password
last question
i just wanted to thank you for where i thought was a excellent talk i'm weaving together all these principles and our circumstances and
i think what drew me to busy seen the first place was every day's end
he's not
what's new together when of those things is not the object it's a vehicle and what i found
with practice that was so rewarding to me and your tacos so in the comments of people make a rewarding because as a i confronted difficult circumstances in my life
at that moment i could stop not always and i could create a space and sees it
that nothing at this second is happening
but i'm confronted by something they have to deal with and so it actually expanded
the practice expanded
in to all of my life
and your words today i like that so i think she
thank you i mean i think this is word
this is what we learned from surgery procedures that are we learn from suzuki roshi a very directly ah both from their teachings and also from the teachings of there
have they lived their lives having through the world here and par
jess or practice there's an element to the formal practice that is really powerful and necessary ah
and i think that how it works with us is too
just expand our capacity to receive
to love
so that's a good place to end its end right there