— PART 1 —
(jump to part 2)
Good evening. You know Zen really isn't about anything. Zen is what
we all have just been doing, being present, opening the heart,
hopefully opening the mind as well. So, not really much else needs to
be said. But since I was asked here, I will say a few things.
In 1988, I went to the farm of San Francisco Zen Center in Marin,
California. I grew up in Maine. I had never seen California, much
less the Pacific Ocean. I grew up on the Atlantic Ocean. I've not
been able to find the ocean near here. Can anybody help me?
So, I was there. I went there because I had been studying Zen in
Massachusetts with a Zen teacher there, and... [is this water for
me, too? Should we fight over it? Oh. Thank you. Thank you very
much.] Maurine Stuart was her name, and she died shortly after I
went to California.
So, I was going to go to California and do this heavy-duty practice
period that was for about, I think, six weeks, which seemed like a
lifetime for me. I had doubts that I could make it, that I could do
it, and at some point during it, I asked one of the Zen priests how
long this in-training thing was supposed to be, and she said with a
straight face, “Oh, 20 years.” Twenty years. And I
thought she was fooling of course. She wasn't.
And actually I was just thinking about it. I left the Zen Center just
a few -- let's see -- just a few months ago. So, I was there over 20
years. I didn't realize I had signed on for that long. I had not
read the small print. Most of that time I spent at a monastery in the
mountains inland from Big Sur. It's in the middle of absolutely
nowhere, in a crevice between the mountains on a creek. They say it's
very beautiful, and they say it's very pretty, very peaceful. Of
course, if you're doing Zen training, it is not peaceful, which I'll
mention in a moment.
So, has anybody here been to India? A few. So, I went about 10 years
ago now, and -- which was -- I was not prepared for India in any way.
And it was difficult, and I did end up in Bodh Gaya, where the Buddha
had his great awakening. It, too, is in the middle of nowhere, and
there is a giant temple there now, which was just about half-buried
until the British came and liberated it and the country. They dug it
out, so it was buried by about maybe 20 to 30 feet. So, we had to
take our shoes off. I was with a small group. We took our shoes off,
and it was very, very hot, and the sun was very, very bright. So you
know that cartoon where the insects step onto a hot pan? Tk, tk, tk,
tk, tk, tk, tk. That's what it was like, actually, with bare feet,
trying not to touch the ground.
It was very difficult, but finally we got down the stairs and into the
temple. The temple was very tall, and there was a big door, and
inside it was kind of dark, and there was candlelight, and off in the
distance, there was a very, very big golden Buddha sitting in
meditation posture. And behind the head of the Buddha was a halo made
of LED lights, and they blinked and flashed and went in patterns, and
my first thought was, this is either the tackiest thing I've ever seen
or the most awesome. I decided on awesome. Yes.
So, we left the inside of the temple, the interior, went around back.
That's where the tree is. When I thought of the tree, the things that
came to my mind were the cherry tree of George Washington and one
other one, which I don't remember. Can you think of a famous thing in
this country that happened because of a tree?
Male: Johnny Appleseed.
Kosho: Johnny Appleseed. That's the other thing I thought of.
So, in the back, there was this giant tree, which is supposedly what
had survived of the original tree, which is how these things go. And
in front of the tree, between it and the temple, was a platform, a
marble seat a little bigger than this, than what you're sitting on,
and that was the diamond throne, and that's the place where the Buddha
sat and decided he would not move until he woke up. And there was a
sign off to the left of the seat, which caught my attention.
It said, “On this spot, Siddhartha Gautama sat. 2,500 years
ago, Siddhartha sat unmoved and resolute until he awoke.”
Unmoved and resolute. For some reason, that really touched me,
because when you think of meditation, we're usually told, “Don't
move.” Like, “Don't move. Don't move or somebody comes
around with a stick and starts whacking you,” for your own good
of course. So, I found that very helpful that it wasn't sitting there
without moving. It was sitting there unmoved by sensation, unmoved by
thought, unmoved by -- well, sensation and thought and emotion.
Emotion is the third one. So, I found that very helpful.
So, you all know the story, I suspect. After a long time, and there
are many different versions of the story, finally he awoke. And when
he awoke, the legend, the story says that he said something, and what
he said, according to the earliest writings, was, “It is
liberated. It is liberated.” Centuries later, the Mahayanists,
who -- well, let's see. The Mahayanists -- Mahayana means The Big
Vehicle. The Big Vehicle that everybody can fit in. They looked at
the earliest Buddhists, the Theravadins, and called them Hinayana, the
little vehicle. So, it's a term of actually derision coined by a more
popular open larger movement, which is neither here nor there. But
how they -- what they said the Buddha said was that he said,
“Wonderful. Wonderful. All living beings possess the wisdom
and the virtuous sign of the Buddha, but they do not realize this
because of their clinging to desires and delusions.” This is
totally radical, you know?
What this says in my mind is that when he awakened, everything
awakened. All beings awakened. That means us, that actually you may
think you're who you are, but actually you are a living Buddha, a
living Buddha. Later on, these words were put into his mouth. He
said, “When I attained absolute perfect enlightenment, I
attained absolutely nothing. That is why it is called absolute
When he woke up, he saw a few things that were to him the nature of
reality itself. He saw that suffering is real. It actually is real,
and no amount of activity or repression can make it go away. You
know, especially -- well, I suppose especially in our culture,
suffering is not cool. Losers suffer, and so we're at a -- if we
believe that, we are at a great disadvantage, and actually nothing can
happen on the spiritual journey if you don't take suffering seriously.
The reason is because compassion is the key. We're just saying to
Avalokitesvara, her job isn't to do anything else other than be aware
of other people's suffering. Being aware and feeling other people's
suffering. You know? That's compassion. Loving-kindness is
something else. Loving kindness is surrounding people with love.
Compassion is being open to and accepting suffering of others and
And he found that suffering actually could end only by facing it with
compassion, or willingness to feel it, by developing this new
relationship to it. Instead of trying to kill it or crush it or make
it or scare it away -- none of those work. Only allowing it to be
there works and meeting it with loving-kindness.
One teacher has said that we see affliction -- ducca -- it's called
ducca -- not as an unavoidable evil, let alone as the curse of mankind
that the path is designed to eliminate, but rather we see suffering as
the essential starting point without which the spiritual journey would
not be possible. Suffering is necessary.
The second thing the Buddha saw was change. You know how you hate
change? I mean, who likes change? Well, I like it when I'm the
author of it, right? I'm not so sure when someone else does it, which
is kind of a partial view, because the Buddha saw that every thing,
assuming there are things, are always changing from instant to instant
to instant. I mean, when you think about it, that's not such a
surprise, if you look carefully. Everything changes, and there's
nothing you can do about it. There's nothing you can depend on to not
change, and you can depend on that. You can rely on it. No matter
what, it changes.
The third thing he noticed was that, oh my goodness, we're not
separate from each other. We're not separate from anything.
Different, yes, but not separate. In fact, that everything we think
and say and do affects everyone and everything else. We are not alone
on this planet, none of us. In fact, we are intimately
interconnected, that all beings are interconnected with Being, capital
B. And of course, if you think about it, intimacy is what we desire
most. I think that's what we long for the most, intimacy, contact,
touching. Certainly in human terms, to be able to actually touch
heart-to-heart, mind-to-mind with another. A puppy will do. They're
more open than most people, I think.
So, we long for connection. We long for intimacy, and the last thing
-- well, he didn't discover this certainly, but he realized that the
truth of karma, that anything we do with any intention creates a
stickiness that needs to be resolved sooner or later. And it is this
intention that appears when we deal with suffering or pleasure.
They're not so different, where we will want pleasure. Like an
amoeba. You know what an amoeba is? A single-cell glob of protoplasm
that acts like we do. When it sees something it wants, it goes
towards it, engulfs it, and consumes it utterly, makes it himself,
itself. If there's something nasty, it recoils. It tightens,
constricts, just like us. If it's something that's neither pleasant
nor unpleasant, if it's neutral, it doesn't even notice, just like us.
So, when we are faced with suffering or pleasure, usually what pops up
is I, the ego. It's not just the cookie over there. At first it is,
but then pretty soon it's, “I want that cookie,” turning
into, “I need that cookie. I must have that cookie, whether you
want it or not.” So, that kind of clinging to oneself, to I, the
ego, is the cause of suffering.
We are here tonight, I think, because of one reason, and in Buddhism
it's called bodhicitta, which is the mind of awakening. It's that
consciousness that arises in us in which we wish to awaken, but to
awaken to help others, to be of benefit to others. And that's the
key, to be of benefit to others. And once it awakens, there is no
hope for any of us to get out of it. You cannot ever go back. Once
it bites, it lasts forever, even if you are in this business on this
journey to help yourself. That's good enough, because it includes
ourselves if we see our self as a separate object that needs to be
fixed. We can make our self other -- other -- so to awaken for the
benefit of others includes myself if I think it's separate. So, it's
fine and not to be worried about. It may sound selfish, but actually
it's not selfish. It's just deluded.
And we wish to awaken to undertake the spiritual journey because of
suffering. And the Buddha when he talked about suffering said,
“This is what suffering is.” He said, “Birth is
suffering. Sickness is suffering. Old age is suffering. Death is
suffering. Grief, lamentation, pain, depression, agitation are
suffering. Suffering is being associated with what you do not like,
being separated from what you do like and not being able to get what
you want.” That pretty much covers it, doesn't it? It covers
most of my day.
Incidentally, you know, what do you think the opposite of suffering is?
Kosho: Yes. Who said that? Did you say that? Good for you.
Most people say happiness. Happiness is not the opposite of
suffering. Contentment is. Contentment. Who'd have thought? It
doesn't sound very thrilling as happiness, but actually it's
contentment, being at peace with no complaint, actually. Without
suffering, there is no need to be free from it. There is no need to
awaken. There's no need for liberation. There's no need for
enlightenment. So, suffering is not exactly our enemy, even though we
think it is.
Those in the realm -- in Buddhism, there are six realms of existence,
and the realms of gods and animals are two of them. The gods are very
happy. There is nothing wrong. They have everything they need.
There is no pain, only pleasure. The trouble is it's temporary. It's
like heaven, only temporary. The realm of the gods ends when they
notice that first gray hair. Then everything falls -- then they
immediately fall into the hell realm, the hell realm. And the hell
realm is one of torment, but it's temporary. It's temporary. It is
the unpleasant residue of unwholesome karma. It's not like you've
been bad, just kind of unwholesome, made a few mistakes. And animals
are, you know, like animals. They are -- what -- often the sweetest
things and sometimes vicious, but there's no intention, I think, to
hurt, except for maybe chimpanzees, which I've heard actually do take
up a rock and hurt a chimpanzee with in anger. Too close to us. Too
close. So, I think by and large the realm of the gods and the realm
of animals don't really have the need to awaken.
Then the other realms are the realms of the hungry ghosts, which are
depicted as a person, but they have a distended belly of one who is
malnourished, and their neck is very, very long and thin, pencil thin,
with a tiny mouth. They cannot get what they need. They can never be
satisfied. Do you know anybody like this? It's sort of like the
seeker, who continually is seeking for relief, for enlightenment, for
the true thing, the right thing, and the minute they get there, they
notice the fence over which on the other side is much greener grass.
So, that kind of dissatisfaction is the realm of the hungry ghost.
And the last one is the realm of the titans or the asuras. Mostly
these are beings with constant road rage. They are always, always
angry. There is something that happens moment-to-moment that pisses
them off continually, and again, all these are temporary. Once the
karma that created the condition wears off, then they move on to a
Myself, I came to Buddhism because I wanted wisdom. I was not
suffering. There was no suffering in my life. Actually, there was a
whole pile, but I just thought it was my life. I didn't know it was a
problem. So, mostly I wanted to -- having grown up in a crazy family,
an alcoholic family, I wanted to find out what is real here? What's
going on? And how can I save them? Any of you who have experience
with that know, nice try. Yeah.
So, there's an old Zen teacher from the 13th century in Japan, where
my school comes from. Dogen is his name, and he said, “The more
abundant the clay, the bigger the Buddha,” clay being suffering.
The more suffering there is, the bigger the enlightenment, the bigger
the liberation. Makes sense, doesn't it? So, we kind of have to
rethink our notion about suffering. Incidentally, we don't have to go
find it somewhere else. We have enough. So, the Buddha awakened, and
that started... [that was a nice song. Thank you.] That
started people looking for enlightenment. He started people wanting
liberation of a Buddhist kind.
And one of the things I noticed in Zen Center where I came from was
that this often, that the enlightenment is presented like a carrot on
a stick, on the end of a stick, you know? That, “Keep trying.
Keep trying. Keep trying.” And the more you run after it, the
faster it gets ahead of you, and that if you only tried, you would get
it. You would get this giant carrot of freedom and wisdom and
compassion, and if you didn't get it, then you were doing it wrong.
Well, I think some of us actually do believe that, that maybe next
lifetime, certainly not this one. I can't seem to separate the veil
between me and what I want the most, freedom.
But actually, it's not really like that. Cheri Huber, if you've
heard of her, a Zen teacher in California, who said, “That which
you are seeking is causing you to seek.” That that you are
seeking is causing you to seek. It's not outside. It's not over
there. It's inside. In fact, between you and it, there is no
between. We sometimes want to be, I think, enlightened so that I'll
get smarter, more attractive, better personality, to be invulnerable,
or to get peace of mind. Those are kind of self-centered. Do you
notice that? Kind of self-centered. But again, that's fine.
Anything that gets us through the door of practice is just fine, even
if it's self-centered. What else are we going to be at that point?
One teacher said this about enlightenment -- said, “Do not think
that enlightenment is going to make you special. It's not. If you
feel special in any way, then enlightenment has not occurred. The
funny saying about enlightenment is that when it is authentic, there
is no one to claim it. Enlightenment is very ordinary. It is nothing
special. Rather than making you more special, it is going to make you
less special. It plants you right in the center of a wonderful
humility and innocence. When you are enlightened, the whole notion of
enlightenment and someone who is enlightened is a big joke. I use the
word enlightenment all the time not to point you toward it, but to
point you beyond it. Do not get stuck in enlightenment.”
That Master Dogen, who I referred to a minute ago, he said it this
way. He said, “Supreme, perfect enlightenment is bowing to
someone and not thinking whether you like them or not.” It's as
simple as that.
— PART 2 —
(jump to part 1)
So, this not knowing that we are actually a Buddha, and we are
actually enlightened is a veil that our ego -- egos are really cool,
don't get me wrong. The last thing you want to do is to get rid of
it. We don't function well without a sense of self. So, it's not a
matter of getting rid of ego. It's a matter of seeing what it
actually is, and what it actually is is a part of our consciousness
that's able to separate off from the rest of consciousness. It's very
small. It's just that it thinks it's the whole thing. Well, it
isn't. It isn't.
And so there's only one way to find that out, and it's through
meditation, where you actually watch it. You watch how it behaves.
You watch its habits, its opinions, its points of view, its needing to
control everything, and nothing is controllable. Everything is out of
control, except my room, and even that I wonder about.
I mean, when you think of the earth, it's falling. When you think of
it's in freefall -- this thing that seems so solid actually isn't.
You know, of course, from physics that most of what we call matter is
actually space, vast, empty space. So, there's not really much there.
Then when you think of this fragile earth, our island home, as not
being stationary in space and time but actually in freefall, how
frightening that is. But not only that, but our galaxy is also in
freefall. Of course, the good news is that it's not going anywhere,
right? Because it's infinite.
Now, so the key to awakening is of meditation. In Zen, we call it
zazen, which isn't all that clever. “Za” just means
sitting, and “Zen” means meditation, so “sitting
meditation.” And to make it maybe just a little more
complicated, zazen meditation can happen in standing, sitting,
walking, or lying down, so you're pretty much covered. And it's
called in Zen the method of no method. We like to talk like that. It
makes really good bumper stickers.
So, the method of no method. You know how we are when we get a
method? We try to kill it to death, to use it to death, to strangle
the opposition, or is this just me? Sorry for revealing everything
about myself. We tend to focus -- with a method, we tend to focus on
the goal, and we push the goal way out there, and the more we struggle
and the more we grasp and the more we cling, it keeps moving ahead of
us, so that's why we call it the method and no method. That's no
method. So, do it, but don't take it seriously. But do it completely
and utterly, wholeheartedly.
So, in a way, zazen meditation is working hard, very hard, not to work
so very hard. Working hard not to work so very hard. And it takes
astounding effort, right? As you know. As you know. So, the two
things are necessary. One is awareness of the body, which is watching
your breathing, and the other is awareness of your thoughts, which is
the activity of the mind. The mind is like a popcorn machine.
Thoughts are like popcorn or like bubbles in a glass of ginger ale.
Where do they come from? The same thing with thoughts. Seem to come
from nowhere and will not stop.
So, in dealing with the thoughts, the idea is not to eradicate them.
It's not a good sign when the thoughts stop. OK? Really. So, the
idea is not to -- again, not to kill them, not to make them disappear,
but to hold them instead, which is not to identify with them. You
know how you can start thinking, and you're gone? We are astounding
beings that way. Like we can be sitting here, and some of you can be
in Hawaii at the same time, right? We have this amazing gift of
daydreaming. I think it's really wonderful.
But I don't know if we really want to dream our life away. You know
that song from the sixties, the fifties? Dream, dream, dream, dream.
The only trouble is, gee whiz, I'm dreaming my life away. Right?
That's how the song ends. So, dreaming is OK, but it may not be the
best thing to spend our life doing. In fact, it's the dream that we
want to wake up from, the dream of our culture, the dream of our
history, the dream of our future. It's OK to have them, and one wants
to awaken from them, to be free from them.
So, when you're aware of your breathing, which is a good thing to
cultivate, that's the one thing that the Buddha really stressed about
meditation. Watch your breathing. Watch it. And when you watch it,
you'll notice you want to control it immediately. You know, it's hard
to let the body breathe itself, and it will, but letting go of control
is really hard. That's why it takes a long time. That's why we do
this for a long time.
And incidentally, if you want to be intimate with another person, sit
with them and watch your breathing while they talk or while they sit
there, while they look at you, because if you are in your body, you
are intimate. There's no much separation between the two people.
Just so you know. It's something to do this evening.
So, when you're aware of your breathing, you're present in your body,
because you know the thinking business, a lot of folks -- by a lot of
folks I mean me, too -- live up here. In fact, we can also live maybe
even out of our bodies, actually. Trauma makes that happen. But just
thinking, we can be in our heads. Do you ever notice somebody walking
and they're leading with their head? That means that they're not
really -- they're not in their body. They're in their head thinking.
You can walk from here to your car and not even notice.
So, awareness of breath puts us in our body. Awareness of thoughts
brings the mind and the body together. They become one instead of
separate, warring factions. Aware of breath, posture, and watching
the activity of the mind.
Now, also there's a thing about the Buddha was clear about opening the
senses. Opening, not closing them down. Often when you see somebody
meditating, you know, maybe they're really doing the right thing. I
don't know. All I know is the Zen approach, which is it's not to --
well, one of my favorite movies was Karate Kid. Karate Kid 1, because
I really liked Pat Morita and Mr. Miyagi, you know? And I only had
one problem with that movie, which I thought was just terrific, was
that they showed him mediating in his room in front of a butsudan, an
altar, and he was sitting there going, “Mmmmm.” And I
went, what the hell is that?
That's kind of like a popular version, I think, of what some folks
think meditation is, zoning out. Zoning out. No. That's not
Buddhist meditation. Buddhist meditation is opening out, so that when
you sit in zazen, you keep your eyes slightly open. It's not like
you're looking at something, but you're letting your eye do what it
does, which is to see. You open your ears. You feel your body. Pain
helps. It's a great focus. You hear people's cell phones everywhere.
Incidentally, in India I was amazed that everybody -- everybody -- had
a cell phone. Every kid pretty much had a cell phone, and the
grown-ups, of course. So, they are a part of our bodies now.
So, to open, to open the senses. And another thing in watching the
thoughts, you'll notice after a while that every now and then, there's
a space between the thoughts, where nothing's happening. We usually
don't like that. We don't like nothing happening. It's kind of
scary. And actually, if you keep watching it, you can actually
increase the gap between the thoughts. You learn how to practice what
Dogen called non-thinking. He said, “Practice
non-thinking.” And then a question, “How do you practice
not thinking?” And he said, “Non-thinking. By practicing
So, in that practicing, you'll notice that the gaps get a little
larger and that if you look really close at those gaps, they're
actually windows, and if you look through the window, you see the
nature of your mind, which is big, which is everything else. Thoughts
are these little things that the mind produces like bubbles, but they
occur in the vastness of our mind, of mind -- not ours, but mind. So,
that's a neat thing. It's very settling.
The other thing you do with practice is to stop the stories, so when
the stories start, the practice is just notice it, to bring it to a
gentle halt, and go back to the breathing. It can persist, and when
it does, we just gently halt, go back to the breathing, go back into
the body, not residing slowly in the head. Yeah.
So, the Buddha's recipe for suffering was to remove the fuel. If
something is causing us suffering, he says, “Find out the cause,
and remove it.” Just remove it, which is easy, I guess, when you
live in a monastery where there are 350 rules. That pretty much keeps
you out of most ditches. So, those of us who are not in monastic
practice, it's a little more difficult.
So, like with AA, for example. AA is a very good example of
successful spiritual training. It says, “OK. You have
recognized you have a problem, that you have no power over it, so the
first thing we want you to do is to remove the cause of the
suffering,” which is the alcohol in that case. And then the
rest, of course, is hard, hard work.
Dogen, the Zen master Dogen, he said that to study the Buddha way is
to study the self. To study the self is to see the true nature of the
self, which is to see that you are an interconnected part of the whole
universe. So, this study of the self, the little self -- we have a
big Self. We also have a little self. The little self's the ego.
Remember? It's only this big, but thinks it's the whole show? We
study this. We study it. And you may have noticed something that
Trungpa, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche -- he said that self-awareness is
one insult after another. Have you noticed that when you really study
yourself, it's sometimes horrific? Certainly surprising and wonderful
and marvelous at the same time. So, when we sit on these cushions,
what you're actually studying is yourself. You're not really studying
anything or anybody else, because there's no separation.
So, how do we keep from this wonderful aspiration to benefit all
beings, which is at the core of who we are? How do we not fall back
into selfishness and self-centeredness, which is detrimental to
oneself and to others? Well, we do it right from the beginning. The
technique we use is taking refuge, which you did, we did, just a
little while ago. We take refuge in order to remember who we really
are as followers of the Way. It's called the Way, capital W. It
opens us from this little, tiny self. It reminds us that there's
something much bigger that contains this little self, even though it's
actually a complete fabrication. But the whole self holds it
So, we take refuge in the Buddha, which is not necessarily a statue or
a person long ago, 2,500 years ago, but actually the Buddha is the
true nature of all things. Incidentally, when you're reading anything
Buddhist, when you see the word “Buddha,” replace it with
the word “reality.” I think what you're reading will make
more sense. So, when we take refuge in the Buddha, we are taking
refuge. We are fleeing for the safety of the true nature of things.
Taking refuge in the Buddha means to continually return to the vast
stillness of our deepest nature, our true self. This is the stillness
of the awakened, all-embracing heart, which tenderly and fearlessly
accepts all that arises in life. When we take refuge in Buddha, we
fully know this awakened heart deep within us, and we can trust it.
Then we take refuge in the dharma. Dharma means many things. It can
mean the teaching. It can mean a particle of existence. Of course,
there are no particles, but it's a particle of existence. For us,
dharma is the truth of existence. To take refuge in dharma is to
continually return to the present moment, to what's actually happening
here and now, not worrying about the past or feeling guilty about the
past or worrying about the future. Both of those actually don't exist
when you think about it. All there is is the present moment, and
there's not much of that.
So, to take refuge in the dharma is to take refuge in the
present moment. It is a willingness to forgo self-centeredness, a
willingness to meet everything that arises with an open mind and a
And the last thing we do is to take refuge in the sangha. Sangha just
means group or crowd. That would be us, in this case. We take refuge
in each other. We take refuge in our common humanity. To take refuge
in the sangha is to continually return to the community of those who
have followed the Way by studying their own greed, hate, and delusion,
and who have realized that to truly know the self is to know the
other, that to truly know the other is to know the self, and in the
end, to know that there is neither self nor other, which is the end of
I wanted to end with what another Zen teacher said about who we truly
are. I wanted to know. I hope you do, too. I think he says it
pretty good. He says that -- his name is Ezra Bayda, by the way. He
said that when we bring a gentle awareness to the layers of our
conditioning -- conditioning, the training that we've had to be who we
are or who we should be. Oftentimes it's who we shouldn't be, or
whatever we are, we shouldn't be that way. You know, that kind of
training. When we bring our gentle awareness to the layers of our
conditioning and to the struggles that arise out of that conditioning,
the power of that conditioning slowly dissipates. Love then moves
toward the unconditioned, where the vastness of love just flows
through. Our true nature is love. This is where we can see that we
are more than just the thoughts, more than just the body, that this
very body-mind is the vastness and is a unique manifestation of the
You know we're made of stardust? There's nothing out there that's not
in us. So each of you is a unique, irreplaceable, one-of-a-kind
representation of the whole shebang. I think of it in my mind as each
of us is an extrusion of the universe, you know, like toothpaste. An
extrusion. We are it and the unique expression of it. As the curtain
of separation lifts, we begin to know what life really is. We come to
see that the purpose of human life is to become awake to who we truly
are, which is the vastness itself, no longer limited to the notion of
a separate little self. From this place of connectedness, we
understand that our deepest wish is to live more openly from the
heart, and we also understand that saying yes to life means saying yes
to everything, even the hard parts.
So, I think when you sit again, to maybe remember that key to
unleashing or to unlocking, freeing love, the loving-kindness that is
within us. It is to develop and cultivate the curiosity of an open
mind and the tenderness of a forgiving heart. Thank you very much.