Zazengi: Shikantaza is the Ultimate Koan

Audio loading...

Welcome! You can log in or create an account to save favorites, edit keywords, transcripts, and more.


Rohatsu Day 2


AI Summary: 



So yesterday I was, I said that we would, the theme for our Sushin is Zazen. So don't get me wrong, quite a number of, not a lot, but a number of works dedicated to Zazen. Fukan Zazengi was his introduction to Zazen, which he brought from China to Japan. And Zazen Chin, what is his work on think not thinking. And, but there was a shorter work. which is called Zazen-Qin. Zazen-Qi. Zazen-Gi.


Zazen-Gi. Just rules for Zazen. It's shorter than Fukan Zazen-Gi and is not so philosophical and presents all the points And although short, it's very pithy when you start to unfold it. So this morning, I'm going to comment on zazengi. But before I do that, I want to know if you have any questions from yesterday. yesterday and today. I was listening to the chant that we did this morning, and I wonder which Buddha we're speaking of when we say that the Buddha will hear and respond. It's in the Shantus, or the person who chants for us said that.


The Buddha will hear and respond if we x or y, which I missed because I'm too new. But which Buddha are we speaking of, or what Buddha? Whether or not I heard that. Which Buddha responds? That's a good question in itself. Which Buddha responds? There's one Buddha. with many faces, many facets. So you can say the universe. When you devote yourself to practice, the universe responds.


So Buddha responds to our effort. When our effort is pure effort, the universe responds and meets us halfway. That's the secret of practice. Buddha responds and openness, both resistance and non-resistance. So when Buddha meets us with openness, that's embracing. And when Buddha meets us with resistance, that's teaching. So thanks for your question. It can go on and on. So it's, that's why it's very important to, that's how we, that's called having faith.


When we meet, when we meet that embracing and resistance, and we see how that promotes our practice, it's really Buddha meeting Buddha. Then we automatically have After you spoke yesterday, the images of the fields that we are often chanting came up for me because you talked about a kind of expansive ease of mind around certain painful aspects. So I was thinking of fields far beyond form and emptiness and tending buddha fields and the Suzuki Roshi's field for a cow. I grew up with cows, and they're almost Bodhisattva-like themselves, so I think mine is more like a... my creature is a little more... Yeah. Overly? Mean. And spirited.


Well, I don't think I talked about all that, but that's great. I did, but not in those terms that I remember. Didn't we? Did I talk about the field? Well, you... That's where my... That's where you got. Well, each one of us has a field of practice. And when we practice, we have a Buddha field that is our realm, our corner of the world, so to speak. So when we have practice, our practice radiates. If we have a weak practice, it radiates in a weak way. We have a strong practice, it radiates in a strong way. and reaches many other people. So, when we have a selfish practice, it doesn't radiate at all. But when our practice is not selfish, there are no barriers to our life.


So, I don't know what you're talking about, But it's kind of interesting, though, giving the cow the wide field. This is a Suzuki Roshi quote, right? You should give your cow or horse or your animal, your student, a wide field and watch, see what that animal does. If you try to control it too much, then it balks, kick you, run away. But to not ignore, to just watch and see what that cow does, but not ignore the cow. But he only talked about that one side. He didn't talk about the other side. And so people get attached to that understanding.


of giving your cow a wide field. The other side is, sometimes you put the cow in a corral, or put him in the barn. Make sure that he has not just a wide field, but a narrow field. So the narrow field is very important. I don't know if you've ever seen this tapestry in New York. It's hanging in the clusters. The unicorn tapestry. The unicorn tapestry was a beautiful white man and a tree, probably a pomegranate tree. And the unicorn is in the fence because the unicorn has to learn how to learn what to do by being confined. If you just let the unicorn roam around freely, without understanding how to be confined, or how to have some kind of discipline, then it just gets lost.


So, yes, take the cow out to pasture, and in the night you bring him in, put him in the barn. So that's also, that's called practice. It's called formal practice, is go in the barn, go in the corral, and learn how to do things. and then go out into the field and munch the grass. Actually, Master Isan had 97 circles that he used to teach with, and many of them were about these circles, a circle involving a cow. And I think this is where Suzuki Roshi probably got his cow thing. because he was very popular in the Tang Dynasty, circles and cows. And Yi Sun used, as an example, he had a circle and a character for a cow inside the circle.


And he said, this is a cow eating patience grass. That was one of his teachings. So it exemplifies patience. as a practice. In the Tenzo Kyokun, Dogen's rules, practices for the Tenzo, he quotes one of Isan's poems. After I die, I'm trying to remember this exactly, maybe not. When I die, I will be reborn as a cow in the field down below the monastery. And on the side of the cow, it will be written, I am Esan, and on the other side it will be


Rules for Zazen. Do you have any other questions? It's okay if you do. Okay, you might, in the course of things. So Dogen says, practicing Zen is Zazen. In other words, Zazen is practicing Zen. But he says, puts it the according to the translation. Sometimes translations are all different. And so we have to have some room or give your mind some room for interpretation. Practicing Zen is Zazen. So promoting Zazen is the way to practice Zen. And then he says, for Zazen, a quiet place is suitable. Lay out a thick mat. Do not let in drafts or smoke, rain or dew.


Protect and maintain the place where you settle your body. There are examples from the past of sitting on a diamond seat. That's Buddhist, Zafu, basically. Diamond seat is a Buddhist seat. of grass, you know, a patriarch, Sikhito, Stonehead. The place where he sat, it's a little uncertain whether he's named after the place where he sat, Stonehead, or the place is named after him. But apparently he sat on a big boulder, or a stone of No, but if I had, I probably would have seen his knee marks on the stone.


This is Chinese mythology, you know, they take a fact and turn it into a myth. And they say, and when you go to the six patriarchs temple, there's his footsteps on the stone, you know, where he ground the rice. Well, they did have his mummy, but the communists destroyed it. I think it's been restored. I'm not sure. Whatever. But making mummies was not an unusual practice in Tang Dynasty in China for, you know, important people. There was one at Soji-ji in Japan, which was supposed to have been the mummy of somebody, but I can't remember who. So, maybe we'll revive that.


They're still sitting in, they're sitting in Zazen posture, dipped in, soaked in liquor. Yes. The myth is that these ancient ancestors would drink, every day they would drink a little bit of lacquer. They were not lacking. So then he says, day or night, the place of sitting should not be too dark.


It should not be too dark, and it should be kept warm in winter and cool in summer. But that's very nice. But that's not always a practice that has been followed. So there's a ritual. from Wuzhu Fayan, Chinese ancestor, Fayan. He said, when I began living here in this building with the crumbling walls, all the platforms were covered with jewels of snow. Scrunching up my shoulders to my neck, I exhaled into darkness, reflecting on the ancient ones abiding under a tree. He lived in a dilapidated temple where half the roof was gone, and the monks were sitting on the tan, and they're scrunching up their necks, and they said, can't we fix the building?


And he said, don't waste your time fixing buildings. Sit zazen. That's his story. And, you know, in Japan there's no heat. in the winter. And you'd go to light, we only had kerosene lamps, we didn't have any electricity. And we'd light a match and try to light the lamp. And then the drip from your nose would put out the... It seems like we did not have heat in this cendo for a while.


Oh yeah, we never had heat in the beganning. But now, you know, the degeneration of the practice has already started. Everything is speeded up now. It used to take 500 years, now it takes 20, 30 years, or 50 years for the beginning, the development, and the end. Set aside all involvements and let the myriad things rest. So when you come to Sashin, you should make sure that all of your affairs are in order. You're not thinking about who's going to take care of the cat, or is the house going to burn down, or my insurance all paid up, or the car, or my wife, and all that stuff that can be burdening your mind.


You should make sure that all that's in order. And then you come to Sushim, so that you're leaving the world in order, and it's not nagging on you. And let the married things rest. Zazen is not thinking of good, and it's not thinking of bad. It is not conscious endeavor, and it is not introspection. So I'll talk about these things. It's not thinking of good and not thinking of bad. So it's non-dual, of course. We don't make these distinctions. These distinctions between good and bad are what create our problems. And, you know, The Sixth Ancestor, Eno, when he was fleeing from the monastery of the Fifth Ancestor, was pursued by Hui Ming, a Chinese student who had been a general in the army.


A lot of the monks were pursuing him apparently, but Hui Ming was the strongest, and he actually found the Sixth Ancestor. And so he had the robe and the bowl, and he put the, in that six stances, you know, put the robe and the bowl on the rock, and he said, you know, these are just symbols of the Patriarchate. If you want them, you can take them. And when, there are two stories. One is when we went to pick them up, he couldn't lift them. probably what, you know, both are true, is that I can't lift it. That's one story. And the other is, you know, I see that how foolish I am, you know, these really belong to you. And then they sat down, and just, you know, said, well, and oh, and then the Pui Ming said, well, give me the teaching, please.


And they sat down and crossed their legs. And then Enoch said, now, here's the teaching. Sit here and think neither good nor bad, neither right nor wrong. It's talking to you in a dualistic manner. So a non-conscious endeavor needs some explanation. The endeavor, I think, here means to accomplish something, to gain something, sitting to become Buddha, or sitting to gain enlightenment, or sitting to have some reward. This is the hardest thing for people to not fall into.


Not because everybody wants something. The second noble truth is the cause of suffering is wanting too much. So this is the answer. When you don't want too much, you know, we say don't want anything. You always want something, of course. but not to build up a self based on wanting. So when you sit, you give up wanting and just be there. And this sounds very lonely. Wait, I didn't hear that. Lonely. So it is not conscious endeavor toward gaining anything.


And it is not introspection, which means you're not examining yourself. And you're not doing visualization. You're not doing analysis. mental or physical analysis, and you're not doing Koan study. There are practices in which Zazen is the place where you do Koan study, but at that point it's no longer Zazen, because then Zazen becomes the servant of the Koan. nest for the koan to be the major activity. So the koan is zazen itself.


As soon as you bring up something to examine, or to place it in your mind, then it's no longer Zazen. During Zazen, all kinds of thoughts arise, but they don't become the subject of Zazen. purpose of bringing up. So this is the difference between Shikantaza and koan study in Zazen. It's fine to do koan study, but not in Zazen, because Zazen is the ultimate koan. Zazen is the universal koan that all koans relate to.


That's why Shikantaza, all Rinzai and Soto, our teachers, agree that koan study is about Shikantaza. So there's no need to do a koan study aside from the Shikantaza that you're already doing. It's just that there is enlightenment, but that doesn't necessarily mean realization. What do you mean by that? Because enlightenment is our true nature, but we don't necessarily realize it. That's why everyday activity, as practice, is enlightened activity, but we don't realize it.


I'm just doing the dishes, or I'm just sweeping the floor. I want to get enlightened. So it's like sailing water by the river or not seeing what's under your feet. So all roads of practice lead to your feet. That's why shikantaza means just this. And when you can realize just this is it, that's realization. But usually we're doing something and it's always over there. It's always over there. That's why, you know, busy mind, has to come down to here.


That's why when we're, I was talking about yesterday, to have a beginning, a middle, and an end to each activity. But most of the time, we have a beginning, and then we're thinking, and then we go into the next activity before this one is finished. We're already walking out the door before the door's closed. Of course you have to do that, but... We're closing the door on our foot before we get out the door. Yes. Why do we do that? Because we want something. Because we want something. Because we're distracted by some other desire at the moment? Yes. Because we're distracted by some other desire in the moment. But it's so peculiar because one can find, I can speak for myself, I can be in the middle of a totally satisfying activity and watch my mind veer to that other activity.


I mean, I'm better at controlling it now, but it's a peculiar function of mind. I don't know about reasons. Because we need momentum in order to keep going. And to stop the momentum is the embarrassing silence. To actually be where we are and not think about what the next move is. We have to think about what the next move is. to be able to, this is why we sit satsang, to sit down and not think about the next moment, or the next moment's activity. There's just this moment, this moment. So we have this opportunity to see the reality of stillness, which is not predicated on


what's coming next. And we depend on normal momentum, which is okay. The momentum is not bad. We live our lives with this momentum. But that's called doing. But being is not separate from doing, but being is just being, and doing is just doing. And being is doing and doing is being. Form is emptiness, emptiness is form. But just to experience pure existence, when we can experience pure existence and just be in that place, then within our momentum, we're still, we're able to have bare existence. Yeah, momentum and momentum, yes.


Moment, that's a big word. Moment. Yes, yeah. So just to build on that from another point of view, as you're talking, I'm appreciating the conversation as you're talking, I'm thinking about how monkey mind works when we sit Zazen. It's very much the same principle, I think. And when I think about how monkey mind functions for me, I'm always creating a self. It's like if I stop for a moment, I need to do something else to figure out who the self is and continually create it.


So to just reside in a moment and pay attention, the self drops away, right? That's part of our experience in Zazen sometimes. There is no self, but oh my goodness, who am I? Yes, so Zazen is to let go of the story. We're not a man or a woman. We're not good or bad, right or wrong. We're simply Buddha nature. And that's how we realize our nature. And then when we realize our nature, we realize that our nature is there And that's, you know, we can't stay in, we can, but not really stay in the moment of momentous oneness without moving.


So the movement is the expression of that stillness. Emotion depends on stillness, even though we don't realize it. But when we realize stillness, then we find our satisfaction. There's an interesting quote from Suzuki Roshi, which I really like. In the evanescence of life, meaning to motion, we find the joy of eternal life. Within the evanescence of life, within the motion of life, we find the eternal life, which is stillness. We call it stillness. So, yes, we can


Enlightenment is our nature, and realization is our practice. Ross? I just had the thought of Dogen's teaching about the boat and the shore, and I wonder if this motion of stillness and what Alan brought up about catching oneself has something to do with we think that the shore is moving, we think that our life is moving, we have to take care of things, that in fact we're the ones that are moving. And if we remember that, then we can perhaps be more gentle and cultivate some kind of comportment and be more in sync with things. I think we tend to want to do stuff And we're uncomfortable with that stillness and with the silence, so we start creating things.


And in fact, everything around us is still. Well, that's the problem, is that we think that we're still and the world revolves around us. That's what I'm talking about. But everything is moving. The shore is moving. And the boat is moving. And the person is moving. Everything is moving at the same time. When we realize that everything is moving and we are part of the movement, then we can create harmony. But when we think we're the still point and everything is moving around us, that's a delusion. But we need that delusion because we also have a still point, a standing point, even though it's a temporary standing point. So it's like hammering a nail into space. And then you relate to everything from that nail.


So this is where I stand. And then you can do something. So you're born, you go to school, and you study stuff, and then you get out, and then you need something to do in order to relate to the world. And so you hammer, you put up your shingle. I'm a doctor, I'm a lawyer, I'm a fireman, or I'm a dishwasher, whatever, then you have something. But if you don't have something, then you're just drifting around because you don't have a standing point in which to relate to the world. So we create these momentary standpoints. But if you know how to stand without doing all that, if you know where you stand in reality, That's our practice, is to establish yourself in each moment where you are. Because there's no permanent place to stand.


Relating this to something you said yesterday, you were talking about when there's a great difficulty learning to expand. You talked about expanding around something. And I find that sometimes, I think that happens maybe through practice kind of unconsciously, and we just find that we've moved on and taken care of something in front of us. But other times, you know, we catch ourselves and we have some aversion to whatever's happening and we step aside. And I was gonna ask you about that, but I think you've just answered it in your talk today about the stillness part and how to face that. Yeah, that's called getting caught. So, getting caught. And it's very related to what I was talking about, because what I was talking about was insazen. Specifically, when you get caught by discomfort, I'll call it, and suddenly, and then you don't want it.


It's an intrusion. And so instead of averting it, you keep opening up so that it has enough space to be there. That's the secret. It has enough space to be there. If you don't give it space, it will destroy you. It's like gas in your stomach. The outlet is to expand. Well, how do you do that? My body is only so big, right? But it's not. It's bigger than you think. But we can find it. And of course, you know, you're sitting here and your muscles are, you know, doing what they do. But this is why, when you sit down to Prasadhan,


recognize the sensation right away of what's going on in your body, and you keep opening up to every sensation that's there. In the beginning, it's just kind of nice, you know, pleasure, or whatever it is, pleasurable sensation, but then at some point, that pleasurable sensation turns into pain, and you're caught. So if you don't open up to every sensation from the beginning, you get caught by something extreme. And then it's hard to open up because it feels like an intrusion. But if you keep opening up, to every sensation with concentration. This is what we should be concentrating on, opening up to every sensation. And then when some bigger sensation comes, you're already doing that, so you're not caught by it. It's just another sensation instead of being the big whammy. So you keep opening up and your body's loose.


to include whatever comes up, and then it's called the comfortable way. But in our daily life it's the same thing. We don't get surprised by something, or even if we do get surprised, we're ready. Not clogged up with thoughts, but just open. And then when something went by, he sees it and the tongue goes. And if he likes it, he'll go. He doesn't like it, he'll go. So you have a choice. But just to be open and ready for anything is called Zen practice. If we're not, you know, if we're just in our head, buzz, buzz, buzz, and as you get older, you get more into your head.


Yeah. Yeah. Yes? What's the distinction between volitional choice-making and renunciation in this context? Well, renunciation is to let go of your ego. What was the first one? Thought comes up. So in zazen, thought comes up, thought has a duration, thought passes. But when I get up off the cushion, it's a little harder. So sometimes I have this experience that living by vow is seeing choices, assessing, and making a choice. There can be a volitional quality to that, and then other times I have the experience that it's just something flowing through me, and there was no thought process really involved. Or maybe it's thinking, not thinking activity. Well, I would say don't worry about it.


It's just stuff. All of it. It's just stuff. We've put so much importance on stuff. It doesn't, nothing's important. except being open. The only thing about Zazen is just to be open. All kinds of stuff will pass through. And if you start introspecting it, you have a problem. That's the problem. As soon as you start introspecting, you're creating self. Don't introspect. It's just, oh, there's this. Oh, there's that. Oh, there's my grandmother. It just goes on. It's the scenery going on. And we worry too much about what we think. So stop worrying so much about what you think. What's important is what you're doing, which is the body sitting.


And we separate the body from It's all one piece. There's nothing more important than anything else. So is this the practice of the body or the practice of the mind? Are you a monk of Zazen? Are you a monk of body or a monk of mind? That's a great koan. Dogen writes a wonderful classical on that. But while the mind is doing all the steps, the body is doing Zazen. So don't worry about it. You worry too much about it. Don't worry about your thoughts. They're just thoughts. But they're connected to my life, right? They're all about my life, these thoughts. But you don't have to worry about anything in Zazen. Just stop worrying. You're dead. But you're totally alive. It's pure life. So Jing, I think you've heard that the vows seem to present a ready answer that we have in our kit.


And I'm not sure if this is what she's getting at, but ready for the moment when it arises reminds me of Da Mo and Kung Fu. So which is it? You know what I mean? Do we have a ready answer that when somebody's going to present meat, we don't eat meat? Or do we eat the meat sometimes or how do we Yes, I think maybe... Yeah, it's all improv. Right. Yes, it's all improv. So, you may have answers, you know, when you think, and we have, you know, some answers to things. But basically, to just stay open, it's called unassuming. Unassuming mind. In other words, the mind doesn't assume that something is a certain way, but when you're more easily how it really is, and then trust that a response comes up because you are. You've been practicing for 10, 20 years.


You should be able to have a response come up in an unassuming way. That's how you meet a situation as it is, and then just have a response. that hopefully meets the situation in a correct way. Sometimes it's not, you know? That's okay. But by and large, that works. And so then you have faith in your nature that the right response will leap forth So when we say everything you do is azan, it's not always so. It's when you embody non-doing, so to speak, that your actions and responses come out of your practice.


That's why when you have the shuso, the head monk, that sits up here, and people ask questions, and the questions should not be da-da-da-da-da, but a response, because it's useless not thinking about anything. Not thinking about what my answer is going to be, and how many answers do I have, and blah-blah-blah. You're just there with nothing. And then someone presents another question, and you respond. Because you can respond. As soon as you have something, it's a hindrance. I just wanted to actually go back to vow and ethics because they kind of are connected. Sometimes before you become a seasoned practitioner, we rely on some of these things in order to learn


behavior. It's almost like cognitive behavioral therapy. When this happens, here's a suggested way. If you're a vegetarian, prepare for the time when you're going to be tempted. If you're a young person, a sexual, think about how you're going to behave ahead of time because it may not be that you're that evolved. helps you do that, of course. It's not like, you know, you're like a babe in the woods. All of your experience helps you to come up with an appropriate response. Yes. But it doesn't mean you're always thinking about what the response is going to be. No. Yes. But if you have that in the background of your mind.


Yes, of course. a kind of a sense of wholesome behavior. Yes, that's why. That I kind of think about, right? So I intend to have wholesome behavior. Yes. It can't be too vague. No. That's why someone who has realization didn't just get there. It's maturity, right? And the more mature you are, the less you have to depend on stereotypes. But you have all this background that just comes out. It's called up in a moment without you having to access it, because it's already there. And it's like two arrows meeting, but it's not premeditated.


So vow is important, but I usually don't like to talk about vow because of that for the very reason that it locks you in. It can lock you into a certain state where you don't have flexibility. I think intention, I have strong intention to practice, which is a kind of, I'm not saying vow is not right or wrong, but I don't usually who begins practice will, because of enthusiasm, say, I take this vow. And they shake their head and they come to the door. And then they sit one prayer to Zazen and leave. I've been thinking about this a lot lately, the vow and reading.


The vow has the aspect to happen that are beyond my conception, of my small self conception. But, I understand that, but there's also vow, which is, you vow to allow yourself to be moved rather than... Yeah, yeah. Yes. So that turning yourself over, instead of relying on But there's this interplay between moving and being moved.


So we say, well, you turn yourself over to Buddha and let Buddha direct you. But then you're also a thinking person, right? And so you also have that. So there's both. The secret of practice is to turn and be turned by. In a way, this seems to me to be the same kind of conversation we have about enacting precepts. So vow isn't prescriptive, just like precepts are not prescriptive. They're really an integration of the appropriate response that's fueled by a deep desire to manifest the way. That was the same thing in my mind. Yeah, yeah. So this takes us back to meeting Buddha halfway.


Yeah, that's right. So it's all, you know, different ways of talking about the same thing. So, you know, the less self, the bigger our connection with the universe is. But we still have to have some sense of self. So, I just think of it as a co-operation. We co-operate with failing itself. Sometimes we have to direct things and sometimes we have to be directed.


And so when we are turning the dharma and the dharma is turning us, and that's the co-operation between ourself and the dharma, and then there's no difference between ourself and the dharma when everything is in sync. cooperating. I remember Suzuki Roshi used these terms, should be and to be. We know what should be means. To be is his way of saying, as things are. The should be is like a speculation. And to be is like what's actually happening. So he said, well, it should be. What you're doing and what you want are the same.


What should be happening and what you want to have happen are the same, and everything's the same. Like Master Rinzai said, You have to understand the sense of it beyond the practicality. How to let things be and also how to make things happen. Is that like the posture of Zazen?


Allowing things to be, but still making something happen? Yes, that's right. You assert yourself, and at the same time you let everything happen. Everything is exactly the way you want it to be. But when you say want it to be, it's a little off, but everything is right the way it is. Everything is correct. If you think that, oh, this is not right, and you want something else to be there, then you're neglecting what's actually here. In order to trade it for something that would be better. And ordinarily, that's right. you're missing part of your life. You're not appreciating the part, the difficulty. In order to actually sit that zen totally, you have to appreciate the difficulty.


I don't say you have to like it, but you have to acknowledge it and experience it and appreciate it so that you appreciate everything. You appreciate everything. You may not like it, but you appreciate everything that's happening. And you don't say, oh, this is good, this is bad. Otherwise, you fall into dualistic thinking. The hardest thing is to not fall into dualistic thinking. It's just really hard. But the more you experience, the more maturity you have in your zazen and your life, we do have to work on one side or the other, the other side should always be there. This is the secret of the koan mu. Does the dog have the Buddha nature?


No. But that's the opposite of yes. No has to include in a non-dualistic way. And then another of my guests judged me, does the dog have a Buddha nature? Yes. Well, is it yes or is it no? Come on. So no has to include yes, yes has to include no. I can't follow it, my logic doesn't go along with this logic, or whatever it is. So, in order to have some understanding of the koans, we have to get off of our dualistic thinking.


But the great koan is Zazen. We can just experience all the koans right there in Zazen. which is not fall into duality. And it's right there in our experience. As soon as we fall into duality, we start to suffer. Or we don't like it. It's so hard not to bring up our conditioning, which says like and dislike. Want, not want. That's our conditioning. And I've become innocent. Yes? There's a cartoon, a New York cartoon, outside. If best I can remember, it's a therapist and his client, and it says, I keep bringing up the past because that's where I grew up.


It seems like our practice is, that's where we grew up and this is where we are. Somehow a forgiveness has to take place of what mistakes were made in the past to really be completely present. Okay, that's called repentance. But when you're in Zazen, At all. And we do that. Our conditioning is to criticize us. Oh, I'm bad. Oh, I'm doing this wrong. Or, you know, I shouldn't do that, and I shouldn't do that. No criticism. Yes? Our intention, like with Joshu's yes and no, one has to include the other, our intention also has to include our mistakes, our missteps. Of course. All missteps are correct. But we tend to say, well, I'm making a vow.


I'm intending to not move. I'm intending not to bark at somebody and get impatient. But in fact, if we can forgive ourselves and accept that that's part, that includes our intention, is making that mistake, then we can be easier on ourselves and maybe have a little... All of our mistakes are the compost that help a tree grow. In a certain way, I find that forgiveness adds another, to frame it in that way for me, adds another layer of complexity to it. It's repentance and acceptance. I accept that this is how it is, this is what happened, this is what I did, this is what I do, and I repent it. And that clears it into the present moment. That does, because when you say forgiveness, But I understand what you're saying, and sometimes I say that too, you know. We say, well, forgive yourself.


Well, I think what you're saying is more correct. You recognize and acknowledge and repent. But forgiveness is for other people, I think. Sometimes it's okay to forgive. I mean, you know, this is not... I'm sure there are times when you should forgive yourself, but basically, But then there's your own private stuff, right? And there's nobody to forgive but yourself. But acknowledging and making amends, I think, is probably—anybody else? My feeling, I want to, maybe I want to keep being a child.


Maybe I want to, or that's one way, or maybe I want to just keep growing up and incorporating, letting things touch me deeply now as they ever did. idea that we should change, but not necessarily. We are who we are, and then if we think, I should change into somebody else, then we're not appreciating who we are. To accept everybody as they really are, as they appear, is, I think, really important, and acknowledge everyone the way we really are, and ourself.


And that allows for change. And if there is change, it's change. But if it's not, it's not. And to be able to accept ourselves and others as we are, as Suzuki Roshi said, you're fine the way you are, it just needs a little... So to deal with who we are, rather than make ourselves into somebody else and deal with that, it's better to deal with who we are. I have no contradiction with that. I just think that who we are is also subject to constant evolution and change. So that's already happening. Oh, enough.