Usually we hear Sokuzan say “Don’t do the math”, or don’t add or subtract from your experience with your commentaries and opinions….but in this dharma talk, Sokuzan says “DO the math.
Sokuzan gives the first dharma talk to retreat participants at SokukoJi Buddhist Community’s annual eight day sesshin November 30 to December 8, this year titled “How to Deepen Your Practice: The Sevenfold Mahayana Puja”. He talks about various practice forms like bowing, prostrations and chanting that serve to support awareness beyond intellectual understanding of the forms.
Sokuzan Bob Brown will be teaching on the paramita of generosity at 2:00pm on 12/26 and on the paramita of exertion at 2:00pm on 12/29 during this 6 day series of online meditation classes and dharma talks with various accomplished teachers. This is a FREE event. Follow this link for schedule and to register: http://lodrorinzler.com/building-a-mindful-new-year/
Mountains and Rivers: This is a regular practice at SokukoJi where Sokuzan responds to questions related to practice and study. This is from a session where the questions were about the sense of a solid, continuous reference point:
Student:….“I can see how the eyes (reference point) always switch….you can be a completely different person… but it seems that there are just a couple of reference points within me that have never changed as far as I can remember….”
Sokuzan: “…See, that’s awareness. Now let me ask you–first though best thought– what’s aware of that?”
Student: (long pause) “I have no idea.”
Sokuzan: “Ahhhh…….bingo. No idea. So the reference point is only seen. That which sees cannot be seen. No self. No self in the skandhas. No self in the forms, no self anywhere, there’s no self. So what is this?
Self centeredness doesn’t want to make the leap into nowhere. So that very thing that you said when I asked “what’s aware of that” and you said “I have no idea”…that’s usually bonded to an idea of a self. But when you start to step away and look at the reference points like you just did and I asked who sees that…and it’s like “I don’t know who sees that”….you can’t actually go and get that, you can only be that. Once you be that, that means, you could say, you basically trust yourself. You trust everything that comes out of your mouth. You trust everything that comes out of everyone else’s mouth. That’s why I say there’s nothing to correct. There’s just suffering, that’s what the Buddha said, the First Noble Truth: Life is suffering…and it is. Intensely.