In this episode, we talk with Meido Moore Roshi about the big picture, goals, and advanced stages of the meditation and inner exploration journey; ways to advance our practice; navigation of a variety of traditions/methods; teacher selection; extension of practice into daily life, Meido’s own practice at his current stage, and more.
0:00 – Intro
1:43 – How Meido describes his role
4:40 – Main objectives pursued by intermediate practitioners when they enter more advanced stages of inner exploration and meditation
7:50 – Key stages practitioners go through on the journey to awakening
12:09 – Why Meido does not like the word concentration
14:34 – Non-duality and Samadhi
18:22 – Recommendations to keep investigation beyond initial non-dual or oneness experiences
21:21 – Developing trust and conviction in the practice without having glimpses of mystical/spiritual/psychedelic experiences
24:05 – Common vs Zen non-dual states
27:33 – Ways Zen teachers help practitioners realize awakening
36:10 – Benefits of practice for laypeople who are not interested in awakening
39:40 – Recommendations to advance our practice
43:35 – Importance of a more personal and customized approach to practice when transitioning to more advanced stages
46:08 – Ways for practitioners to navigate the many teachings, traditions, and methods available today
52:10 – Meido’s view on mixing practices from different traditions and methods
54:46 – Common issues and pitfalls to avoid in selecting a practice
59:50 – Recognizing situations when persistence with practice is needed vs situations when it’s time to change the practice
1:02:34 – Role of a teacher in the more advanced stages of inner exploration and meditation journey
1:06:40 – Teacher selection approach
1:09:43 – Main hurdles or typical challenges faced by intermediate practitioners and ways to troubleshoot them
1:15:35 – Practice and modern lifestyle
1:18:47 – Ways of extending formal practice into daily life
1:24:14 – Meido’s current daily life practice
1:31:34 – Samadhi vs flow state
1:33:47 – Monastic vs lay path
1:37:58 – Parting thoughts
Meido is the abbot of Korinji, a Rinzai Zen Buddhist monastery in Wisconsin, and the guiding teacher of the international Korinji Rinzai Zen Community. Meido Roshi began Zen practice in 1988 and trained under three teachers in the line of the great 20th century Rinzai master Omori Sogen Roshi. He has completed the koan curriculum of this lineage, and in 2008 received inka shomei: recognition as an 86th-generation Zen lineage holder empowered to transmit the full range of Rinzai Zen practices. Aside from Zen, Meido is also ordained in the Mt. Koshikidake tradition of Shugendo. He is the author of two books: The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice and Hidden Zen: Practices for Sudden Awakening and Embodied Realization
To learn and practice with Meido Roshi check his courses, and live events on Innercraft and his website:
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- Video Course Library: https://www.inner-craft.com/video-courses/
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- Podcast: https://www.inner-craft.com/podcast/
- Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1632152067129586
Music by DJ Taz Rashid:
Speaker 2 00:00:25 In this episode, we’re speaking with me RO it was a really great conversation. Me is the a of Kaji. It rings Theen Buddhist Mon in Kinson me Rashi began his practice in 1988 and trained on the three teachers in the line of grade 20th century, za master Amor, Rashi. He has completed the Quran curriculum of this lineage and in 2008 received in kho, which is recognition as an 86 generations and Minage holder and power to transmit the full range of ring Z practices. Me there is also of two books, um, the ring Z way compared to practice and giving them practices for sudden awakening and embodied visualization. Uh, we cover a lot of topics in this, uh, episode. Uh, we talk about a big picture of goals and stages of the meditation and in exploration journey, we also talk about ways to advance our practice, how to navigate a variety of traditions and methods available today. Um, the process of teacher selection and extension of the practice in daily life and need his own practice at his current stage and much more. So now without first ADU, welcome to our first episode, advancing the practice we’re here today with Meda Romita. Thank you for joining us. Um, and to begin the conversation, can you tell us, how do you usually describe what you do?
Speaker 3 00:01:55 uh, good question. I’m, you know, I, I describe things in terms of my duties or my job. Um, I’m the Abbot of cor G, which is a Sze Z monastery, uh, here in Wisconsin, in the United States. And I’m ordained in the Ze Zen tradition. Uh, so my, uh, daily work is to of course take care of this place, but to, uh, be in charge of the training that goes on here. So we have a resident trainees who are here doing full-time, uh, Buddhist monastic practice, but I also lead an international community, uh, with students in, you know, across the United States and in Europe. So I’m responsible for their practice or for helping to guide them along the path of Renze Zen practice. Um, that’s, that’s my main job as a so-called Zen teacher.
Speaker 2 00:02:43 Um, so in this conversation, the way we kind of, um, have questions, we’ll be using couple of terms. And, uh, I think those terms are not sort of defined or commonly used. Um, but just for sake of like this conversation, we wanna use them. Um, so it kind of provide you some sort of guidelines, uh, or guide how to answer the, some of the questions. So the first one would be sort of, um, inner exploration or Medi inner exploration in meditation journey. This is basically the way we see any practitioner can start their, um, journey from, uh, with different objectives, right? It can be anything from awakening or spiritual experiences, more conscious way of leaving, uh, mindfulness, for example, and then all the way toward awakening and beyond. Um, so basically, um, um, let’s think about it as that funnel. And then we know that the path is sort of not linear and more complex, but just for, for sake of simplicity, we’ll be using the term.
Speaker 2 00:03:45 And then the second term is we use intermediate practitioners. So basically when we say intermediate practitioners, we mean someone, uh, who have either practice meditation for a while, uh, or any sort of mindfulness, uh, teachings, uh, maybe used some meditation applications that are pop popular today, uh, like Headspace and others, and kind of experience benefits beyond, um, initial ones they wanted to experience, and now they want to deepen and advance their practice. Uh, or it could be someone who had some sort of non-dual or mystical spiritual experiences and wants to understand what happened now through sort of, um, uh, through practice. Right? So when we say intermediate practitioners were kind of referring to people like that. Um, so with that in mind, um, our first question would be like, from your experience, uh, what kind of main objectives do intermediate practitioners pursue when they enter more advanced stages of in exploration and meditation?
Speaker 3 00:04:49 Uh, and again, uh, as you know, it’s very hard to generalize, uh, but I think that, uh, how I would define that line, uh, when someone enters a so-called intermediate stage or the stage of being open to a more, uh, profound training, uh it’s somehow when the concern for the benefit or the result of the practice is a little bigger than themselves. So in the beginning, uh, you know, as you note, we have many different me, uh, motivations, uh, for doing something like meditation practice, and it’s fine, and it’s very common for someone to have what we would call sort of mundane or worldly, uh, concerns. Uh, I like to be less anxious. I like to sleep better. I like to function more effectively in my relationships, in my work, all of those common benefits, which people can have, uh, are certainly fine, but there’s a time where that starts to transform.
Speaker 3 00:05:47 It could transform because they start to have, you know, with, with a little more opening of their, uh, uh, conception of them theirselves, or a little less rigid self referential way of seeing they start to feel more connectivity or compassion, uh, for other people they’re, in other words, they start to encompass others in their concern. That’s one gateway, I would say to a more profound or, you know, so called intermediate trading. The other one could be that someone has what we call in Zen, uh, kind of doubt where we say the great doubt, which is to say the real pressing sense of existential questioning, uh, question about my own being who I am, what is a human being? What is the purpose or meaning of this, you know, existence in which I strangely find myself that is another moment I would say that the practice becomes more profound.
Speaker 3 00:06:46 So, so those two things, somehow that the concern goes beyond just myself and the mundane benefits I can get for myself. That’s one. And the second one, again, is a real question of meaning. Uh, some people have that right from the beginning. They’re really driven by that. Even from a young age, some people, they arrive at it when they start to turn around the light of awareness to sort of examine inside themselves. Those questions naturally arise. Both of those conditions are really fertile and really important. So if someone has some amount of that, even if it’s just a little bit, you know, we say, great doubt. It can be a small doubt. that’s okay, too. but I would say that’s the time when I would say, okay, this person’s ready for something a little more deep.
Speaker 2 00:07:33 Okay, perfect. Let’s say you, um, um, I’m, I’m assuming you have a lot of, uh, meeting a lot of people who are coming to you, um, with, um, those kind of conditions and motivations. Um, and how would you, um, describe sort of, I know it’s hard to generalize, but sort of what would be, um, the stages they typically go through in their, let’s say practice
Speaker 3 00:08:01 Again, it’s very hard to generalize. Um, but when we are talking about practice, okay, so we’re talking about practice means to me, we’re talking about methodology and, uh, practice has, uh, signs of fruition or, you know, sort of signposts along the way that we look for that we can use to observe the progress of the practice. Generally speaking, uh, in Zen practice. And I think this, this holds for meditative practice in general, um, we kind of see a couple different stages in the beginning. There’s this stage of just settling, calming the body mind. Um, we might talk about it in, I don’t like the word concentration so much, but we might talk about it in terms of developing a basic concentration, developing a basic focus, not so reactively or impulsively following every movement of the mind and the emotion that arises, but learning to remain present within one skin, so to speak.
Speaker 3 00:08:59 That’s very important, uh, stage of practice in the beginning, we can’t talk about, uh, spirituality or, or awakening or those kinds of things. If I, I cannot even be present in my own body and mind where I am. Uh, so that’s the first stage after that, as, as that sort of, again, I’ll call it concentration or focus or presence starts to manifest. We start to cultivate what in Zen we call, uh, or the in Indian, uh, meditative, uh, traditions we call Soma, which is a state of meditative absorption. Uh, this is a condition where the, the real habitual way of seeing which we all have, what we call a so-called dualistic, seeing or dualism, the manner of seeing which is very much, uh, habitual subject object way of experiencing starts to become more permeable or starts to shift. So we, we may start to experience a feeling of, uh, less rigid boundaries of our so-called self.
Speaker 3 00:09:59 We may start to feel a sense of greater connection to the environment. Uh, you know, when I look at something, for example, I may not rigidly see it from the standpoint of I’m here looking at an object there, I may start to not really be able to tell within that way of seeing where the awareness so-called awareness is located. We may even have this Soma experience to the point that I feel I am a completely the universe or one with the universe. That’s a very profound experience. That’s not yet what we call awakening , but that would be the second stage that kind of progression of developing a deepening meditative absorption, this thing we call Soma, and then the final stage, the so-called point of awakening and the training that goes beyond that is the moment where we let go. Even of that, the, the last vest of self reification or of seeing from the standpoint of, I, even if only momentarily drops away, that’s the moment in Zen, we call Ken show, uh, so called seeking your true nature, or we use the word awakening.
Speaker 3 00:10:59 And once that experience is had, clearly it becomes the basis for the lifetime of subsequent practice. So again, I know I’m using Zen terminology here, but I think these stages hold in most meditative traditions, there’s kind of a stage initial stage of settling, concentrating, focusing, learning to remain present. There’s a stage there where we then enter into the actual condition of meditative absorption, what I call soAnd. And then there’s the moment where that somebody is broken or shatters. And we have the real true experience of what we call awakening that third stage, the most important stage after awakening is what lasts the whole lifetime. And that’s, that’s the stage that Zen books don’t talk about so much. They like to talk about the awakening experience but the, what happens after awakening is the most important thing. And so I would say that that third stage is really the, the core or the meat of the, the path, so to speak. That’s kind of a long answer, but I hope that’s clear.
Speaker 2 00:11:58 Yeah, it is. Uh, there is lots of, sort of, uh, interesting follow up questions. Um, but before I go to the awakening itself, you mentioned that you sort of, don’t like the word concentration, which is, um, sort of very popular right now in all this meditation apps and, and things like that. Um, can you kind of expand a little bit why you are not liking it?
Speaker 3 00:12:19 So one reason is that concentration, uh, the English word, at least to, I think for many people has a feeling of a restriction or tightness. Uh, so when we concentrate on something it’s as if we push away anything else, but that, you know, like a horse with the blinders on almost, and there is a way to practice using that quality, uh, you know, our so-called concentration or our awareness has to be very one focused, almost like a laser beam. We have to develop that quality, but in the Zen way of training, we don’t do that by excluding anything that so-called concentration has to encompass everything. So we open the senses, the eyes remain open during meditation. For example, the sounds, the feeling of touch, all the senses are still functioning and all of that becomes part of this so-called concentration or focus. So that’s one reason I, I don’t want to give people the sense that they have to make their minds rigid and tight and exclude anything.
Speaker 3 00:13:22 Our way of meditation is actually a little different from that. The other reason I don’t like it so much is when we say concentration, we are inherently sort of talking about I’m concentrating on something. So already that dualistic, uh, way of experiencing is built into that word the way most people, uh, interpret it. And again, that’s something we have to let go of. Our true concentration has no object of concentration separate from the one who’s concentrating, so to speak, that experience has to come out. So I guess what we’re talking about is the limitations of language, and we have to be careful how we use the words, uh, or I should say we have to be aware what our assumptions are about the meanings of these words.
Speaker 2 00:14:05 Mm-hmm, , mm-hmm, , that’s great. Um, you also mentioned that, um, through the, uh, you can get sort of like non-dual insights or experience through somebody. Um, but, um, when we, um, I think in general, the resources we use and sort of like, uh, researching and listening about different teachings today, there is sort of, um, a way to categorize somebody and then non-dual experiences as a two separate categories. And then you mentioned you, you could, uh, experience the non-dual, uh, state, uh, with somebody. So can you talk a little bit more about that?
Speaker 3 00:14:44 We have to talk about how we’re using that term non-dual because we can actually use that in several different ways, too. Somadi is the gateway to the experience of, again, a lessening or even a temporary dropping of the sense of subject object to dualism. Um, so, you know, for example, if I look at something, like I said before, I, I look at the, you know, this statue, which is here in front of me, my habitual way of looking at it is I’m here statues. There that’s a statue. It’s not me. It’s separate from me. You know, this is how, this is how we see, right. But in the somebody condition, none of those lines are so clear. And I cannot tell at some point, am I looking at statue statues looking at me? Where is the looking located? That’s one kind of non-dual experience, but that is not the non-dual experience of Zen.
Speaker 3 00:15:34 The true so-called higher non-dual experience is that dropping away of the separation between so-called ultimate and relative or absolute and apparent, which is to say that experience, that what we call Buddha is not different from this mind or being that’s a different kind of non-dual experience than the common sort of non-dual, uh, dropping way of subject object perception. If that makes sense. I, I think the common kind is known by many people, even if they don’t do meditation, they may have had some time on their life, especially when their kids maybe, you know, sitting in the woods or something. And you have you find yourself in this condition where you feel connected to everything, you, you cannot really tell what the boundaries of yourself are. That’s a common kind of Soma or a common kind of non-dualism, but the true non-dualism, the non-dualism of awakening, uh, is higher than that.
Speaker 3 00:16:31 Something deeper than that, it’s the non-duality of so-called Buddha and human, or I could say it’s the dropping away even of the duality of non-dual versus dual , if that makes sense. And that’s what we call awakening. It it’s important not to conflate or confuse those two, because anyone can have a kind of meditative experience where they feel very connected to things. Even like I said, to the point that they feel one with the universe, but there’s still an eye in that. That’s not the true non-dualism. And I, that I think any path which goes profoundly into this subject reaches the point where that kind of calm non-dualism is not sufficient. And you have to take one more step in Zen. We say, you have to go to the top of the hundred foot pole and take one more step off that’s that’s what that refers to is that, that final letting go, even of I am the universe the common non-dualism is not, is not enough. Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:17:30 Yeah. Um, yeah, that’s very interesting because, um, one of the sort of, um, things that rises from this, especially, um, in our stages, right, when, uh, we might have that initial, let’s say non-dual experience from, um, different things. It might be a through meditation or through like psychedelic experiences or through, through some other sad spiritual experiences. Right. And, um, I would say if you don’t have any knowledge or have done a research, you might think that that’s basically, that’s sort of like end or, um, um, just being one with everything or having this, um, dropping of sense of self kind of experience is, uh, not awakening, but sort of end, uh, end state of your experience. So what would you say are kind of actions or things that practitioners can do in order to, um, kind of see that there is things beyond, beyond that point? Um,
Speaker 3 00:18:32 Yeah, that’s a very good question or a very good point also, and, and we can have that kind of experience by the way, not even from so-called spiritual activities, you can have that experience in athletic endeavor. You can have that experience as an artist, so absorbed in the painting, you’re doing that. Something drops away that kind of, you know, timeless experience. Um, some people call it, uh, being in a flow state or being in the zone. That’s that, again, what we would consider a common kind of somebody and that kind of common non-dual experience can come from that. But if we seize on that, the danger is if we seize on that, as you said, as some kind of completion or some kind of, uh, um, real spiritual insight, it’s dangerous because since there’s still an eye in it, it can become a real, uh, uh, object of clinging, a real, uh, ego attachment and even worse.
Speaker 3 00:19:30 You know, I could have experience I’m so called one with the universe, that’s a very big eye . And if I become attached to that experience, I can become a dangerous to other people. You know, I’m one with the universe, I transcend all morality and ethics. You know, that’s how some cults have started. I believe some people had that kind of experience and, uh, didn’t know that there was something more than that. So at that point, what I think is when a teacher becomes very important, you need another human being who has been down that path to spank you a little bit and tell you, okay, your experience is good, but it’s not enough. You have to go further. And here’s the methodology, here’s the practice to go further. If we have a non-dual experience of complete oneness, for example, with the universe, we still have to look who or what is the one who’s having that experience. We have to always go back to that root and not get caught up in the branches of so-called experience. True awakening is not an experience. It’s a fundamental shift in the way of experiencing. So that’s the point. I think if teacher, uh, you know, Zen teachers like to hold a stick and give you a little whack with it, that’s the time you need someone to give you a whack and tell you, you know, good work, but not good enough. You’re very far from done. Keep going.
Speaker 2 00:20:49 Yeah. Um, that’s very interesting. Um, we’re also wondering like, um, when you sort of a lay person, right, you have your day to day job, you have your family, um, and sort of, um, given the modern day challenges, your, um, let’s say attention is all over the places. And it’s like, even just to get, to get to the sort of stable concentration levels, it takes a lot of time, right? So from that perspective, how realistic is for a lay person to have those kind of objectives, you know, and to, um, have sort of conviction or commitment to move towards that, uh, goal and yeah,
Speaker 3 00:21:31 How bad do you want it?
Speaker 3 00:21:36 Honestly, uh, the lay person’s path is very reasonable, very able to be accomplished very doable. In other words, we say to practice Zen in a normal life, but the normal life of a practitioner might not be the same as other people’s normal lives. You have to put the practice time in. There’s no avoiding that, but there are practice methods that can be used in the midst of work, in the midst of family, in the midst of whatever your daily activities are. The point is, how do I structure my life around practice? If that’s really my priority, let’s be honest with ourselves. That’s a very important thing. Or am I a person who wants to arrange practice to fit my life? Those are two different kinds of people and, and everyone should practice to whatever extent they want. Everyone should get benefit to whatever extent they want, but we have to ask ourselves, am I a practitioner?
Speaker 3 00:22:30 And I will arrange my life around practice, or am I a person who wants to use practice to the extent that it’s comfortable in the life that I already have? Those two approaches are different. Now one pro approach may evolve into the other. That’s certainly possible over time too. But the bottom line is you can practice in daily life. You can make every moment of your day, whatever your activity is, practice. And as Z tradition has practices that were originally created for people who are not monks, they’re working in the fields, they’re working as, uh, government officials in ancient, China, whatever, how do I use every activity as a mode of self examination? We have that kind of thing. But at the end of the day, you have to decide, am I gonna do it or not? And how badly do I want to do it? How badly do you want it? Yeah, that makes sense. We have to be, we have to be honest with ourselves, honest with ourselves. It’s the most important thing.
Speaker 2 00:23:29 Right. Yeah. That’s what we’re trying to figure out right now. Like how to structure life around the practice. And, uh, it’s kind of a task on its own, you know, it’s not, not, not that straightforward. Um, Mattia um, so one more question on this one, um, sort of, I’m not sure I’m gonna say it correctly, but you mentioned there is like, let’s say basic non dual experience, which everyone sort of can experience. And then, um, the more, um, higher station on dual experience. So, um, like how do you get to that higher station on dual experience? Is it through somatic practice only, or is there other practices you can do in order to, um, to get there?
Speaker 3 00:24:15 Okay, so, so here’s why I could only speak as a Buddhist practitioner because we have our own explanations for these things and I would leave it to other people to figure out how that applies to them. But some of it honestly is just your own karma. What’s your, what’s your current condition, or what are the causes and conditions that you’re dealing with right now, some people are more ripe for that experience than others. Um, some people, it maybe take them some time to become more ripe for it, but in terms of the path of practice itself, Soma is one of the most effective, most direct ways to become, uh, so-called ripe for that experience because when we go deeply into Soma again, that kind of habitual way of reifying myself and seeing always from the standpoint of, I starts to become softer. It starts to fall away.
Speaker 3 00:25:09 When we go into a really profound somebody through some time of practice and with input from the teacher and so on, uh, we can reach a point where we’re right on the edge of letting go in a, in a really profound manner. That sense of so-called I that’s the moment, a little input from the teacher can be useful. Um, sometimes just a random occurrence can happen. Um, for example, I don’t talk about my experience so much, but I had to experience one time and it really profound somebody. And I heard the sound of a wave because I was near to the Puget sound actually by Seattle. The sound of the wave crashing was sufficient to shatter that somebody when the, somebody, which is really deep is shattered suddenly like that through some, uh, happening from a teacher or random occurrence, there’s an opportunity to suddenly have that recognition.
Speaker 3 00:26:04 We call Ken show or to have awakening. So what I’m saying is Soma itself is one of the best ways to create the conditions for that. And then classically your teachers there watching you. And when the moment comes bang, they can help you cross that threshold. Even if the teacher’s not present, even if you only see your teacher once a year, you could still have that chance through interaction with them through attending retreats and things like that. Sometimes it could be something as simple as reading the right words at the right moment, if you’re really cultivating and resting in that state of meditative absorption in your daily activities, the smallest impulse sometimes can cause it to break open for you. So it’s, it’s a mysterious thing. Again, when we talk about it, we have to talk about karma. Why did it happen to this person?
Speaker 3 00:26:49 Not that person. Why did it happen just at that moment? And not another moment it’s mysterious. We cannot say, but the Somadi cultivation, which is the foundation of Z training, uh, and many meditative systems creates the conditions forward. It, it removes the obstructions to awakening and it puts us in a state of ripeness. Once you’re in that state of ripeness, something, something can happen, something will happen. So that’s why we use the method or we stress, I should say, meditative absorption, somebody. So, uh, so much because it’s such a direct way and quick way to get to that state of readiness.
Speaker 2 00:27:30 Yeah. Um, that, that’s great. And then can you expand a little bit in terms of, uh, how teachers help to get to that awakening stage? Is it through pointing out instructions for other other things teachers do?
Speaker 3 00:27:43 So in, in Zen, we don’t use the term pointing out instructions so much. Uh, that’s perhaps more common in a Tibetan tradition, but we use a similar term direct pointing. And basically what it refers to is all the actions that a teacher may take because here or she perceives your condition. So that’s the first thing the teacher has to have the eye to see what your state is. What’s the depth of your Soma was your so-called ripeness. When the moment is ripe, the teacher can cause the Soma condition to shatter and classically. When you read Zen text, you hear about the, uh, such and such teacher, suddenly shouted, and the student had an awakening, or the teacher hit the student with a stick. I have one here. ,
Speaker 2 00:28:32 That’s a pretty big stick.
Speaker 3 00:28:34 It’s only like it looks big from the screen. It’s only like a two and a half feet long, but it’s, it’s very thin that, so it does, it’s not, it doesn’t injure anyone, but it makes a, a sharp, sharp blow. And if the person is in the right condition, of course they’re not expecting it. It comes suddenly. That can be enough to cause the sudden turning around and the sudden breaking of the meditative state. In other words, the final step off the a hundred foot pole, um, it’s a very practical thing. The teacher has to have the eye to see it. Um, and I, and I won’t say it always has to be in person. It could be that the, even on the format like this, if I could see the condition of the person, I could say the right word to cause them to suddenly have that experience shallow or deep.
Speaker 3 00:29:20 Again, it’s hard, very hard to generalize about this because it’s a spontaneous means. Skillful means that’s used by that teacher. But in general, I would say that the most often it’s something shocking. It’s something that’s designed to cause the student to have a little shock. And in that moment of shock, the meditative condition breaks open, and they have a chance. They have a chance to have the recognition we call, uh, senior nature or awakening. Yeah. So in Zen, we classically, they talk about the shout and the stick. So that’s a kind of shocking methods, right? The shout and the stick, but sometimes, sometimes a single word can be shocking. Yeah. I, I won’t do it to you now. I promise
Speaker 2 00:30:07 Um, yeah. That’s, that’s very interesting. And then like from experientially, let’s say you had this sudden awakening in that moment. What happens after? Like what, how does your practice change? How do your life change? What, what do you feel experientially probably afterwards.
Speaker 3 00:30:28 So when we talk about awakening, what I like to say, first of all, uh, again, it’s not, uh, so called experience. It’s not something that you see, it’s not a sudden understanding what you have, but it’s a kind of the arising of a, a knowledge or recognition or confidence. And if I had to describe the content of that, I would say that it’s a complete, uh, recognition that what I thought I was as a human being is not the case at all. Our true so-called nature has no limitations. It’s completely boundless. There’s no, so-called I within it at all. And yet there’s still a remarkable wondrous illumination of a phenomena so-called awareness when you have that recognition or that, that awareness, that, that knowledge arises within your body mind, uh, it changes everything from the standpoint of the path of practice. It’s crucial because all the practice that you then do from that moment, onward takes that recognition.
Speaker 3 00:31:37 As the basis before that awakening, we cannot actually say, you’re doing Zen practice. We can say you’re doing meditation, or you’re doing Buddhist practice, but until you have that true recognition, we can’t really call it Zen. But when you do have that recognition, then the practice from that point, which as I said before, that kind of third stage of the training, which lasts a lifetime in which most Zen books don’t talk about too much, your practice using many different methods, becomes one of how to sustain that, that recognition, how to rest within it, how to embody it or integrate it in all of your activities. In my relationships, in my work, even just walking down the hallway, how do I continue to have all the functioning of my body speech and mind in accord with that recognition? How do I not depart from it? In other words, we in the beginning find this very, very difficult.
Speaker 3 00:32:36 You take many, many years of intense training to be able to not depart from it. And when I say not depart, I mean seamlessly, ultimately 24 7. If we get to that place where we don’t depart from that wisdom twenty four seven, that’s what we call the state of being a Buddha. But, uh, most of us are somewhere in the stage of trying to get to to that point. Sometimes we are able to sustain it. Sometimes we fall back into habitual delusion. So the practice becomes a, a, a series of returning to how do I return to that recognition in the midst of my habitual upwelling of delusion? How do I dissolve that with the recognition or the knowledge that I experienced at awakening again and again, and again, and slowly over time, we changed the habit. We dissolve the so-called karma traces or the habit of delusion, which is deeply in our bodies and we more and more become able to rest in it. So that that’s the path ins end called becoming Buddha. Uh, the famous words describing Zen are to see your true nature and become Buddha. See your true nature means awakening, but become Buddha is the long path after awakening, which takes awakening as the basis. So I, that that’s the most important thing to understand is the Zen training, true Zen training is based on awakening. It doesn’t result in awakening. It starts with awakening and that’s the, uh, real profound path of Zen.
Speaker 2 00:34:06 Yeah. Um, one aspect, um, that is interesting, uh, for me is, um, after that, let’s say your entire life becomes embodiment of that realization, right. Uh, but in terms of your, let’s say, uh, practical aspect of life, do you feel like most of the people afterwards, um, devote self to teaching, or they still continue doing whatever they were doing before, but was this difference or, but with these different sort of, uh, um, ways of looking on things.
Speaker 3 00:34:39 Yeah, no, I mean, have a clear awakening and practice to embody that, as you said, and then it’s all good. You do whatever you like, , you don’t have to be a teacher. Some people don’t have the, the skill to be a teacher or the desire or the capacity, and that’s fine, but in terms of the path of liberation, uh, it’s all good. You can do whatever you like of, you know, of course we should have a ethical livelihood but the question is whatever I’m doing, how do I integrate the realization within that? There’s no, there’s no limitations in that regard. Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:35:17 Yeah. That’s interesting. So I think for, for many listeners, um, who let’s say doesn’t have any experiences like that, or haven’t been practices for a long, uh, haven’t been practicing for a long time, it might be challenging to sort of, um, have this view of how this can benefit them. Right. Might say, oh, it’s like takes a lot of time. Um, you need to practice a lot. Um, I don’t care about awakening for example. Right. Um, what would you say to them in terms of the benefits of not necessarily going all the way towards awakening, but at least like basic, um, like let’s say Prema states, uh, or any sort of stages of, uh, inner exploration and meditation journey. What would you say to them, uh, in terms of how it will change their life, uh, from a practical layperson point of view, you know, and what’s the benefits of being, uh, being on a journey and doing practice.
Speaker 3 00:36:19 Sure. And, and I, and again, I would stress that however far someone wants to take it, that’s fine. Um, I will always give someone the benefit of the doubt and assume, or, or teach in the way that here’s the whole path. If you like to go all the way, but it’s not necessary for everyone. Uh, someone can get whatever benefit they like. So what I would say to such a person is, um, you know, are you happy if you’re not happy, you can be happier. Uh, you can learn to not be so attached to and reactive to every thought and emotion that arises. You can learn to actually be comfortable in your own skin to have a kind of a basic fearlessness and confidence as you go through your daily activities, social interactions, relationships, uh, you can learn to calm your nervous system and your body.
Speaker 3 00:37:13 You can use the breath and the body to just feel more comfortable in your body and to be more healthy, to be more clear, to, to understand that you have a kind of intrinsic natural clarity that you can revisit whenever you need to, again, rather than constantly spinning and being at the mercy of your emotional states and so on, uh, you know, we can talk about focus, concentration. Um, do, would you like to be able to do something with, uh, kind of a certain focus and presence for a long period of time without being distracted, you can learn that, you know, all these qualities which are useful for a daily life and especially modern life, you can gain them and you have the capacity to be a happy, effective, clear, grounded person. It’s all, it’s all for you. You can do it. And if those are the kind of benefits, which are the primary interest to someone, I would not say it takes a lot of work to, to experience immediate benefit, even just establishing a basic meditation practice, 15 minutes a day, 10 minutes a day, you’ll start to notice change.
Speaker 3 00:38:23 Uh, if you start to understand how to regain a natural, deep way of breathing, one of the things I will teach, that’s not a Zen thing per se. That’s just a, a human, normal breathing, but most people lose it. when they become adults, because they’re so, they’re so bound up with tension. So you can reset your nervous system and remember what it feels like to be relaxed again, what, what a wonderful thing. So, yeah, I would never tell anyone that they should only do practice if they’re have some deep, profound, motivation, whatever benefit anyone gets to me is fantastic. And I would like to stress to them. They can get it, they can get it
Speaker 2 00:39:01 Right. Yeah. That’s great. I think, um, this is a good way to transition kind of to the next topic of, um, basical. basically, if I’m a, let’s say, um, again, uh, use this term intermediate practitioner, right. Um, so now I want to transition to, let’s say I practiced, uh, through some, either, uh, meditation apps like Headspace or any others, or did some sort of mindfulness practices. So, uh, and I realize there is something, some, um, substantiality to it. Right. So, and now I want to explore. Okay, what’s next? Um, so what specific recommendation would you provide, um, to intermediate practitioners to sort of, um, advance their practice? Let’s say,
Speaker 3 00:39:53 Well, I I’m supposed to say that they should, uh, join inner craft and start to use the resources there. Right? Of course. But the, you know, that that’s a joke, but not really. Um, I, at some point we call it a practice, right? Because it requires practice. So if someone has used a app or something like that, and they realize, oh, this is really helpful for me. I, I feel like I want to go a little deeper and I can get some more benefit from this. Now it’s time to, maybe we don’t need to depend on the app. Maybe this can become the app. This O our body mind can become the app, which is to say, we can learn a basic practice and really integrate it. Sufficiently start to do it on a daily basis. Even if it’s only 15 minutes a day, that’s fine.
Speaker 3 00:40:42 But start to not use the crutch of the app so much start to get the teachings from a living lineage and put them into practice. So what I tell beginners, for example, and I have many beginners who come in because they used something like Headspace, uh, you know, and that generated their interest. But then I teach them the basic method of, oh, usually Z end, which is a formal seated meditation practice, which I will teach here on aircraft. And then we say, okay, 15 minutes a day, that’s all set a time each day. Or if it doesn’t even have to be the same time every day, but 15 minutes a day now set aside everything else. And just with all your might go into this practice, that’s a little bit of a barrier for some people, but it’s not such a big barrier. And the people who can do that within a few weeks, the amount of change they start to experience can be tremendously profound.
Speaker 3 00:41:39 Once they have that foundation, then we can start to add whatever practices they’re interested in. If they want to work on the breathing, or they want to learn internal, energetic visualizations, they like to start to lurk with mantra or the use of vibration and sound. They may have different interests. For example, they want to learn how to integrate a kind of meditative practice into athletic activity. For example, maybe someone’s a runner or something like that. We have all those tools at, at that moment, the toolbox opens and all the thousands of tools are there. So then I would just tell that person, Hey, whatever you’re interested in, let us know, use it. And you know, again, you’re on aircraft. We’re gonna give people those tools. But I, the first step, again, I would say is learn the practice. And now we have to have a little bit of a discipline daily experience of it. Uh, even if it’s only 15 minutes a day, I think to convince people that 15 minutes a day of investment in oneself is worth it. So worth it. And the return is gonna be so amazingly huge beyond what they can imagine, if we can let people or help people to really believe that that’s the door that opens up everything, if that makes sense.
Speaker 2 00:42:56 Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense. Um, and then I guess at this stage, um, from personal experiences, um, once you start practicing more, there is, um, if at the beginning of the stage, you were fine with sort of generic instructions of sitting and focusing on your breasts. Let’s say, uh, with more time and more consistent practice, you start realizing, okay, there is some questions that not necessarily covered in book or apps or whatever. Um, um, and then you realize there is like many sort of personal questions that you have that needs to get answered. So from that perspective, what, um, how important would you say is more personal and customized approach to practice becomes at this stage of, uh, um, of meditation? Let’s say,
Speaker 3 00:43:48 I would say very that’s the traditional answer. And, um, I think as much as we could, we try to provide that access to people again, even through this platform. And I think what’s important. This is maybe somewhat related, um, many people at that point, I think start to look at the different traditions and try to determine, oh, this one’s interesting to me, this one’s not interesting to me, or, or they hear about certain practices. For example, in Zen, we have this thing called Ko training in, uh, Tibetan VA Buddhism. There’s a de de yoga. There’s all these kinds of different practices, which people could read about and believe that they’re interested in. But my advice to people always would be that when that time comes, that they have those kinds of questions and they need to contact with the teacher, don’t seek out the tradition, seek out the teacher who is appealing to you.
Speaker 3 00:44:39 In other words, try to find the human being that you feel some connection with, or some attraction to, rather than looking at what tradition they represent, because the human relationship is, is going to be more important in many ways than which tradition, whether it’s a Zen or Z gen or whatever that the person’s doing. So don’t hesitate if you have questions asked and who should you ask, ask the person that you have some feeling for some attraction to some feeling of affinity with, regardless of what tradition they do that is most often going to be the useful approach.
Speaker 2 00:45:15 Yeah. Yeah. I think we, we had a question regarding, um, navigation of different traditions and, uh, teachings and you little bit answered to that. Uh, but still, um, wanted to expand you a little bit because today there is like, there are many traditions and teachings available, right. And then, yeah, it takes a lot of time and effort to research them, but still, um, you can spend immense of immense amount of time, uh, kind of learning about the tradition, picking up practices within it and, uh, doing it on your own and sort of going, going around and shopping for different, uh, practices and teachings. So from that perspective, um, you kind of, um, alluded a little bit by saying, look for teacher, not to teaching, but let’s say, uh, a person doesn’t have an opportunity to look for a teacher yet. What would be your recommendation to, um, sort of, uh, ways to navigate different teachings and how to select a teaching and then a practice within it?
Speaker 3 00:46:18 You know, I get, I don’t know if I’m the best example or the best person to ask that because when I first became involved, um, I don’t know. And I mentioned this, I think in my teacher intro video, I don’t know how I got interested in the beginning. It just happened. And suddenly I found a book, a Buddhist book in my hand, and that struck me. So again, I would, we would call that karma, but I would encourage people to, if they really have no idea what tradition really attracts them, go out there and experience as many as you can watch all of the videos on aircraft, read as many books as you can, um, go to talks, listen to podcasts, find something that strikes you. And when that thing strikes you or feels like there’s an affinity there, then within that, you can start to search for the individual teacher.
Speaker 3 00:47:07 But, um, I would tell people if they really don’t know what, what direction their interest lies stay open 100% open and be hungry, try to experience as much as you can. At some point, I believe something will grab you. Something will grab that person. And then you could start to think, okay, so this tradition seems like it fits me, or I’m really attracted to it. Who’s the teacher, who’s my teacher. Let me now explore all of those. And again, be hungry, get out there and listen to as many as you can. And ex read the writings of as many as you can until you find that person. But I, I, you know, I firm believe when we op when we open ourselves that way we start that search, something starts to carry us. This is my personal faith, but something starts to carry us. And somehow the doors open if you have that kind of openness.
Speaker 2 00:48:02 Right, right. Um, yeah, this is very helpful. Me. And then, um, I think many people, um, especially at the early stages of that, um, their journey, let’s say, um, they might have a limited understanding of what tradition is, right. So when you say, uh, let’s say ring Z or Tibetan Buddhism, they might, uh, feel some association with religion or some cultural aspects of it. Um, and not necessarily understand the fact that it’s like practice based. And, uh, it’s more about personal experience rather than learning something. So, uh, can you, um, help to, uh, can you help listeners to sort of ex what would be your explanation based, uh, first of all, to them, and then how to help others probably to explain that it’s not a religion and it’s more like personal practice and things like that.
Speaker 3 00:48:57 You know, I, I personally don’t have a problem with the word religion. I was a religious studies major. I like to stress the, the fundamental human religious impulse. In other words, that we all have a, a sense of seeking and wanting to know meaning and wanting to explore the, our existence. So I, I will often describe to people religion from that standpoint that, Hey, we don’t have to speak in terms of dogma or doctrine, uh, or even so-called traditions. Um, but let’s just look at, you know, what is a human being? Why am I here? If you have that question at all, any time and in your life, that’s a religious impulse, that’s a spiritual impulse. And then we can say, uh, we have all of these in different cultures and different time periods of human history, these lineages of people who explored those questions deeply and devised and pass down to us incredible systems of practice, which can help you to do that.
Speaker 3 00:49:53 And which still exist. It’s kind of miraculous. So let’s look at it from that most general standpoint, and you are free to choose any of it that helps you. But the important thing is to find a lineage, which is living and has integrity. Of course, if you are working with a teacher, you wanna research that person, make sure that they’re legitimate and so on. Uh, but I would never tell people that they have to become something like a Buddhist. You don’t need to become any IST or follow any ism, but the practice where it happens is here your own body and mind. So because these so-called traditions have such rich inheritances of practice method and teaching and so on, you can use it. You don’t have to hesitate, but the place it’s going to happen is here. It’s not by putting another label on yourself that I’m, this kind of is, or I follow this kind of ism.
Speaker 3 00:50:47 , you know, Buddhism, Budd, you know, you know, you said as not a religion, more like a philosophy or practice, that’s one way to say it. But again, I don’t mind the word religion. If we remember that religion comes from a very deep and very sincere human impulse, going back to the beginning of our evolution of, I don’t know, you know, looking up at the sky and wondering what the heck is this that’s real religion. to me, that questioning, if you start from that place and you keep the purity of that motivation, then I don’t think the problems arise so much. Um, but again, from my standpoint, if a student comes to me and say, oh, I’m a Christian, I’m a I’m Muslim. I like to practice Z methods. Oh, okay. No problem. I don’t care if you’re Buddhist or not. If you’re interested in Buddhist teachings, I can tell you about them. And I happen to personally to believe they have great value, but if you just like to use the methodology, even if you have no beliefs at all, but somehow the methods help you. It’s okay. That’s enough too. So I, I leave it to the person and I want people to feel free to explore any so-called tradition, which can help them.
Speaker 2 00:51:51 Um, what’s your view on mixing practices from different traditions? Right? So like from personal experience, um, I can say that, um, kind of learning and, uh, researching different, um, traditions and methods, there are some, uh, good practices within each, right? And sometimes I might, um, sit down and in a session have like three different methods practice in one sitting. So, um, what’s your view on that? And are there any like pros and cons doing that?
Speaker 3 00:52:19 Yeah, it’s it’s case by case. It’s hard to say, because in some cases the practices could be complimentary or not conflict with each other. Uh, in some cases they might be duplicating each other, which is just a waste of time. In some cases they might actually conflict with each other, or one practice may require a prerequisite, which you don’t have yet. Uh, you know, there, there could be ways in which it’s, it doesn’t fit. Uh, you know, we often use the example, French cooking is good. Japanese cooking is good. Master one of them. Then you might be able to mix them together well, but if you haven’t mastered them and you try to mix them together, sometimes it’s just a mess. Yeah. What I usually tell people is if they want to do that, of course you’re free and the mess is your problem. please, please figure it out.
Speaker 3 00:53:09 But I could only, I could only speak from the standpoint of my own tradition. We have a, a path which has a particular, as I said, sign posts are signs of fruition and has the, the steps clearly laid out. So it’s very clear. There’s no confusion. I would encourage people to find that kind of approach in whatever so-called tradition they like to follow. And then if they’re working with the teacher, that teacher may also be able to tell them, Hey, why don’t you also use this method or this method that’s the other important part is we are sometimes the least qualified person to prescribe practices for ourselves. We tend to choose based on a kind of habitual preference, or because we have so much delusion that’s we use, you know, from a Buddhist standpoint, we describe things that way we tend to choose based on that.
Speaker 3 00:53:58 So it’s kind of, it’s like sometimes one is one’s own worst doctor, you know, you need another doctor to help you see what the condition actually is. otherwise you might take the medicine you want instead of the one you need. Sometimes the method, which we are least attracted to the practice, which we hate the most is the one we actually need. So that’s again, where a teacher is so useful to help us, you know, to be like the doctor, to prescribe the medicine. So again, everyone’s free. Um, never tell someone they can’t do what they want. I would just say the mess is your responsibility. And if you’re interested in Zen practice, I can help you. I can give you those methods. Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:54:37 So maybe you were talking about, um, the pitfall of a person selecting a practice based on their personal biases. Um, what are the other sort of common issues or pitfalls to avoid in selecting the teaching and practice? For example,
Speaker 3 00:54:58 I mean, the practice has to fit the student. Again, we always use the example that it’s like a medicine. Um, some practices can be too advanced for people. Uh, some practices, if they’re not understood correctly, if they’re done incorrectly. In other words, the, the instruction that came with the practice was not sufficient can actually be used in a way that reinforces a kind of habitual delusion rather than helps to dissolve it. There’s there’s many possibilities. Again, you can take the wrong medicine, you can take a medicine, but too much of it, you can take a medicine that’s correct, but you don’t get enough of it. You can take a medicine, which is correct, but, uh, you know, the instructions for when to take it were not given to you. So it doesn’t work. It’s, it’s very much like that, that example, I think holds most people I’ve noticed are attracted to practices because for some intellectual reason they’re, they’re attracted, uh, or it appeals to them.
Speaker 3 00:55:56 Um, you know, something seems mystical for example, or something’s very colorful, um, has an interesting art attached to it, or, oh, I’m a singer. So I like to use my voice. So I’m gonna do mantra practice because that, that feels comfortable to me. You know, people are attracted to something for some reason, sometimes the practice that’s best for you is exactly what you hate the most are not attracted to at all, because it’s forcing you to change your qualities or to challenge your limitations. That I guess that’s the basic principle. I wanna stress it. Practice is not always something you’re gonna like, it may not always even feel present. Like a medicine can be bitter sometimes, but it’s important to choose the correct one
Speaker 2 00:56:46 Nita. I have a follow up question on this. So you have said that the practices that we feel avers towards, um, are the ones that are best for is the opposite situation is true as well. Um, for example, in situations where practices that we feel good about, uh, also probably the best for, uh, for our advancement.
Speaker 3 00:57:09 Of course, that’s a really good question. And I, I know that I can tend to stress the necessity of practice, which challenges us and which helps us to sort of dissolve our limitations. But that doesn’t mean practice shouldn’t feel good. And there are many practices which do feel very good. Um, I have one in particular in mind, it’s an energetic visualization we use, which just really helps to calm and pacify the body and the mind and help us to feel, uh, very grounded and, uh, helped the mind be to become more clear. I have never done that practice where it didn’t feel wonderful.
Speaker 3 00:57:48 I would even say that the practices, which as I described, uh, challenge us, and we may even hate them sometimes, eventually they feel good too, because we start to feel a kind of confidence. And we, we start to feel that this process is like breaking out of a shell or, or dissolving my limitations and the, the freedom, the, the joy of that feeling, even when a practice is challenging starts to just really build up steam. Eventually I would say we have to love practice. Um, something like ZZA and seated meditation. When I first started here, I hated it because I didn’t like to sit still and to, to work on myself, I, my mind wanted to go everywhere, but I wanted to change deeply enough that I stuck with it. And as the benefit became clear to me, I started to love it. And now I would say that I love it.
Speaker 3 00:58:42 Uh, I think everyone gets to that point, even when practice is challenging, you know, if you’re a runner for example, and you do a challenging run, it could be challenging but you still love it. You love that feeling, especially the feeling after you’re done. You really love that. right. I think prac practices like that. Yeah. But to, to answer your question. Yeah, of course. So many practices are just good for us. Good for the body. Good for the, the mind and they feel wonderful. So I would never want someone to think that practice is always a bitter medicine. Sometimes it’s very, very sweet also.
Speaker 2 00:59:18 Right, right. Um, I think one of the, one of the questions out of this, um, when you sort of, as a practitioner, when you have this notion of, okay, what is challenging for me is good and you keep practicing and then you might be practicing for years without realizing that it, there was a time where you should have stopped practice and moved to some somewhere else, because it’s not your practice. So it’s not good for you. So what would you say is sort of like the right moment for a practitioner to switch their practice as well as what are the sort of, um, signals that the practice is not good for you?
Speaker 3 01:00:01 So again, in terms of prescribing the practice or when it’s time to change a practice, uh, that’s where the teacher’s role really comes in. But generally speaking, and for people who don’t have a teacher, yet, we can say that if the general trend, as you engage with the practice, is that your sort of habitual stuff, uh, we say your vexation or your delusion, your reactivity, your tendency to get stuck in negative emotional states, like anger, sadness, and so on. If all of those things are slowly improving over time, you’re noticing more and more that you are a little less affected by them. That practice is probably going the right direction. It’s probably okay. If you find over the period of time that it’s going the other direction, then it could be time to change the practice or to find out if you’re doing them practice correctly, it could be time to change something. So that’s when it’s really important to consult with the teacher. Yeah. But we can look at the general trend. Now, the, the short term, it’s like a stock chart, right? The short term stock chart of practice sometimes is like this day to day, we feel up and down, up and down, but long term, it should be going like this.
Speaker 3 01:01:18 If long term it’s going down, then we may need to sell that stock, find something else. Yeah.
Speaker 2 01:01:25 Yeah. Yeah. So miss, it seems like basically your, uh, behavior and ways of, uh, seeing in, in the real life and day to day life, it’s a good proxy for, uh, for, let’s say your practice, right?
Speaker 3 01:01:38 Yeah. There should be transformation and the transformation should feel positive. We should feel more free, more calm, more alive, more aware and so on. That’s a very good sign. And again, I, I said that the short term stock chart is like this also after some time of practice, even this starts to change, it becomes a little more like this. The ups and downs are less, less sharp. That’s a, that’s another sign, more stable. Yeah.
Speaker 2 01:02:07 Yeah. I think we’ll look forward to that stage of our practice.
Speaker 3 01:02:12 Yes, we all do.
Speaker 2 01:02:15 Right. Um, may they ask a kind of, um, series of questions we had around, um, importance of teaching and selecting a teacher. And I think, um, in the course of our conversation, you covered a lot of those questions already and answers them. Um, I think one question we wanted, we wanted to cover is what would you say is a healthy, um, kind of student teacher relationship, uh, is
Speaker 3 01:02:44 Well classically in the Buddhist tradition, we view the teacher as a spiritual friend. So this is someone who has walked the path further than we have, or ahead of us, and can, you know, is qualified to guide us, but they’re a, a friend, a true friend of the heart. So the, the closeness and the, the mutual respect of the human relationship is what’s at the center. We Revere our teachers. I mean, my teacher, uh, if he told me to do something in my practice, without question, I would do it because I trust him. But the point is that that trust has to be built up over time. And we should not be in a hurry to throw ourselves at the feet of a teacher. And, and to simply do what they tell us to do. We should take our time to examine the teacher or various teachers, of course research, are they legitimate start to spend time around them, listen to their talks, read their books, all the things we’ve talked about and slowly like any deep relationship like a marriage, it, it needs time to develop.
Speaker 3 01:03:56 So I always tell people, as they’re looking for a teacher, take your time, don’t be in a rush, be open. And again, when you find that person that strikes you, you start to get a little closer and you start to receive guidance from them. How does it feel? How is the communication is the trust and the communication there, and starting to, you know, build, if that’s there, then we have no problems and, and all these questions will kind of resolve themselves. Uh, we will feel comfortable very long term with that person. I think that’s the most important thing is the trust and the communication to take your time and to build it up. Does that make sense? Yeah.
Speaker 2 01:04:41 Yeah, it does. Um, it’s also, um, I think nowadays that, uh, kind of, um, relationship is moving from, well, we might have a wrong perception, but sort of, um, there is maybe at least a transit is starting right now. This relationship is moving from, uh, in person interaction to, to online interaction. So not many people can travel right now. Therefore they have this, um, sessions with their teachers, um, always the Skype zoom or whatever. Um, so kind of curious from that perspective, do you feel like there is any impact on, on, on the potential relationship from perspective of practice, uh, or it’s working out pretty well?
Speaker 3 01:05:28 So there’s some practices that cannot be done except in person. Are there some practices that are very much informed by that face to face meeting to actually be in the energetic space of the person and to, and to be able to reach out to them. That’s, that’s unavoidable that those things right now may not be as possible, but we are doing creatively, whatever we can. And, uh, you know, of course we hope that that situation is more temporary than permanent. Um, I think it’s a good time to explore what we can do rather than to focus on what we can do. And I know that’s very much part of the rationale behind aircraft. So, so I wanna, I wanna look at that positively. I wanna be honest and say, yeah, there’s some things I cannot do with a student except in person. For example, if that person’s breathing is wrong in person, I can put my hands on them and show them in a very quick, clear way. This is how you fix that. That’s hard to do in this kind of format. Maybe it might take more time to help them address that issue than it would if they were right here in front of me, but I’m still willing to try. Yeah, we’ll still do our best.
Speaker 2 01:06:36 And then, um, when someone, um, let’s say a practitioner wants to select a teacher, um, what kind of attributes or skills you would recommend them to look for, uh, in a teacher in order to make their decision? For example,
Speaker 3 01:06:51 That’s hard to know what to look for. If you don’t know what to look for, right? like, what, what attributes and skills should a teacher have? If you’re a beginner you may not know at all. So that’s, I know that’s difficult for people. First thing is to research is the person legitimate? Is the lineage legitimate? Were they well trained? Was their teacher well trained? You know, do do that basic due diligence as you would with any person that you are considering to let into your life. I mean, you would probably do that. If you’re gonna hire an attorney or if you’re gonna buy a car someplace, you’re going to read the reviews for that place. Just do a little bit of that research. That’s the important thing. So at least you can have the confidence that whatever this person has inherited and is teaching has some integrity to it.
Speaker 3 01:07:36 That’s the first thing. But after that, I would say you have to go with your gut, you know, observe the person’s interactions with others. They may not always appear kind or comfortable to you, but are they acting with honesty with integrity? Is there motivation a compassionate one, even if they’re seemingly harsh or sharp with the students, does it feel clean? Is it coming from a place of helping the person or is that person indulging their own emotional stuff? We can sense that stuff. I think we should have confidence that we can sense that stuff, even as beginners, it does something feel wrong or off than it might be, or it might just be that, that person’s not for you. I guess that’s the way to start. Uh, you know, it’s like, uh, meeting, uh, someone on a blind date. What’s your initial impression. You, you, you get a lot of information right at that moment.
Speaker 3 01:08:29 Right. And not all of it’s going to be accurate, but a lot of it, the gut feeling might be something to trust. So I guess, I guess people need to do that. Yeah. Trust themselves a little bit, but look at how they interact with others. Look at how you feel around them. Also look at their students. How do their students act towards them? What kind of qualities do their students have? I mean, sometimes a teacher cannot help who their students are. The students might be awful and the teacher can still be good. but still you can look at the, the general mood of their community, whether it’s online or in person, what’s the tone, what’s the mood. There are people supporting each other. That that’s the important thing too. Yeah.
Speaker 2 01:09:14 Yeah. Now this is very helpful me. Um, so let’s assume now that the practitioner, um, selected teaching, he found, he was lucky. He found a great teacher. He’s very excited. He starts his practice, um, sits, uh, every morning and evening, uh, every single an evening and everything goes well. And then the first obstacles come, come in, right within a practice. So what would you say for if, if we go back to our definition of intermediate practitioner, what would you say are the typical, um, or common sort of hurdles and, um, challenges that, um, intermediate practitioners face faces in their practice, um, and the ways to address them.
Speaker 3 01:09:56 It’s D again, difficult to say, because it could be different for everyone. Uh, if the person has established the basic discipline of the practice, that’s the first obstacle, okay. To establish the basic, uh, schedule or discipline of the practice. If they’ve done that, and they’re really doing the practice, which means they’re not sitting there, part of them is practicing. A part of them is off thinking about something else. They’re really throwing themselves into it as they’re doing it. That’s the time when the obstacles will come up. That’s precisely the time when all their habitual stuff will start to become very clear to them. And I guess what I would wanna say to someone in that situation, that’s an intermediate practitioner right there. They’re, they’re practice is no longer something that has a shiny, uh, uh, sort of new feeling to it. Now they’re actually in the mud of their own stuff.
Speaker 3 01:10:48 And I think it’s what, at that moment, they need to be reminded or they need to remind themselves, this is where I’m supposed to be. It might not always feel good right now. Or I don’t like everything that’s coming up or that I’m experiencing, but the practices like my anchor line, or let me say it this way. One of my teachers in the past described practice this way, you’re at the bottom of the ocean, holding onto a rope. And it’s so dark. You can’t see anything. And all you know is you’re supposed to do this, but you have to keep doing that. And whatever obstacles you feel, swimming around you, whatever difficulty you feel, you’re cold, whatever. You just keep doing this with a little bit of faith. And at some point, the light starts to slowly change. At some point, your head breaks above the surface.
Speaker 3 01:11:34 Just keep doing this, reminding yourself that the practice is your lifeline, whatever obstacles or junk comes up in your own body and mind it’s coming up because of the practice it’s supposed to happen. That way you’re supposed to have that stuff come up. Obstacles are supposed to be become clear. That’s why you can work with them. But you just remember to hold the thread of the practice. He said that the worst thing to do is to stop because you’re worried cuz then you start to slide back down. So I always use that image in my mind that the practice is like, it’s, it’s your lifeline? It’s your anchor, whatever rises in your body in mind, we tell people just acknowledge it. Don’t react to it. Don’t push anything away. Don’t seize onto anything that feels pleasant. Just be aware and go back to the thread of the practice. 99.9% of the time. That is going to be the best advice for the person because what they call obstacles are temporary stuff, transient stuff. That’s just arising. The practice itself is going to dissolve that. Uh, so most of the time, best answer to that question is going to be okay. That’s interesting. Go back to the practice. forget about it.
Speaker 3 01:12:51 And it’s hard that that, that can be, I was gonna say that can be hard for a beginner to hear or intermediate person to hear because they feel like what’s arising or what they’re encountering can seem so important or can seem so difficult to deal with. It’s not that important. We are not that important. And our obstacles, no matter how unique and difficult we think they are, they’re not so big. I should say, they’re not so important. The practice itself is your lifeline. Just go back.
Speaker 2 01:13:24 Yeah. Um, and it ends there. And I, and there, there are also like some kind of antidote, right? For some of the potential obstacles that you can, um, um, that you can use in order to address some of them. So, um, any, do you want to make any comments on that? Uh, something around like for example, um, downness or like agitated minds or things like that, you know,
Speaker 3 01:13:49 Of course, and, and again, the, we can always use different tools in the toolbox in that way. Um, I’ll say again, most of the time, the best anecdote will be just to go back to the practice you’ve been given, but sometimes if something becomes truly overwhelming. Yeah, of course. In the Buddhist tradition, we classically have things like, uh, met practice, for example, compassion, practice as an antidote, to the arising of anger or aggression or feelings of resentment. And so on that’s one example, or if we have feelings of sadness and depression, the fastest way to deal with those things is often not through using the mind, but using the body, you can use different methods of breathing. You can use different kinds of physical exercises to completely reboot the nervous system. So we have all that stuff, but most of the time, just go back , let’s go back to your practice. it’s, you know, teacher’s job is very boring. Sometimes.
Speaker 2 01:14:47 Just tell people, go back to your practice. yeah. Well, sometimes you’d have fun with, uh, heating people with sticker rights.
Speaker 3 01:14:56 Oh, I don’t call it fun, but I would, I would be lying if I didn’t say sometimes it’s a little bit of fun.
Speaker 2 01:15:05 Yeah. Um, I think one other interesting moment maybe is, um, once you start practicing and, um, you are becoming sort of more aware about your, like your sense of self, of everything that happens around you and you realize how many habitual things or, um, things you used to do, uh, sort of, first of all, probably does, um, doesn’t bring much value to you anyway, and they also impact the practice. So from that perspective, um, what would you say? What aspects of the modern lifestyle, um, kind of, um, affect the practice and then the journey itself?
Speaker 3 01:15:47 Oh, I mean so many, uh, we’re sedentary. We don’t use our bodies enough. Um, we forget how to breathe. A diet oftentimes is bad. We don’t use all of our senses and in a alive manner, we tend to, especially right now we tend to be very vision focused, which can cause a certain tightness or neurotic tendency in the mind. Um, and we’re bombarded by information by media. Uh, you know, we can go on and on all of the kinds of aspects of modern life, which are not necessarily conducive to experiencing your natural clarity and being in your skin. That’s why practice is so important. And again, just a little bit of discipline, a little bit of daily schedule, 15 minutes a day to begin for beginners is enough for you to start to see those things. Once you start to see them, notice them, as you mentioned, you know, that’s what we call mindfulness.
Speaker 3 01:16:41 You’re, you’re aware of what’s actually happening. And you can remember to return to a more clear way of existing, or you can remember, oh, maybe I should put my phone down now, or you can remember the best thing for you right now is to practice some breathing or to go for a walk instead of sit, sit down in front of my computer or to watch TV. We, the, the, the awareness of those things is not something in other words to be discouraged about or depressed about. It’s the opportunity. It’s the opportunity to choose differently or to make a, a change to transform and the energy to make that transformation is what the practice can help us start to develop too. So I, I don’t like to complain about modern life. I do all the time, but if it weren’t, these challenges we’d have other challenges and people all through history have had tremendous challenges.
Speaker 3 01:17:31 And in large parts of the large parts of the world, getting enough food is a challenge. I mean, we’ve got it pretty good. Uh, so in terms of a practice opportunity, we have almost a miraculously ideal situation, right? We can access these things online. We have books, we have videos. There’s a thousand teachers. You can send an email to now instead of having to jump on a ship or travel by caravan across China, through bandit infested deserts. I mean, , it’s so easy to have access to the do to the, uh, teachings and the practices now compared to the path. So modern life has unique challenges at the same time, the opportunities are miraculous. It’s like a paradise right now, so we should take advantage of it,
Speaker 2 01:18:13 Right? Yeah. Yeah. I guess that’s, that’s how your view changes. Once you start practicing, like everything that was a huge problem before now, you sort of shift your way of looking at it as more like an opportunity for practice, you
Speaker 3 01:18:27 Know? Yeah. Maybe. Yeah. Yeah. For sure. You feel, you feel more freedom, you feel more freedom.
Speaker 2 01:18:33 Right, right, right. I think this is a good kind of, um, place to talk about kind of extension of your practice into the daily life or day to day, uh, life. Um, what would be, uh, what would you say is the importance of doing that? And any recommendation you would give to practitioners, um, on sort of, let’s say best practices of extending, um, extending your on cushion practice into daily life.
Speaker 3 01:19:00 So the importance of it is that it’s absolutely crucial. Um, I mean the on cushion practice is for the daily life, the, the qualities or the, uh, ultimately the awakening we can experience through practice has to be integrated in the daily life, or it’s not an actual path of practice. So, you know, I don’t think this is, I’m not saying anything controversial that we haven’t talked about already, but just to stress that again, you have to, your, your practice off the cushion is the point of practice. , it’s not something that’s in addition to practice. Yeah. Um, the general advice I would give again is it depends on the person, but okay. Now I’m speaking as a Buddhist practitioner, right? Uh, Buddhism is essentially Buddhist practice is essentially a yogic practice. And what that means is that it is a practice which encompasses and uses the body, the breath, the mind, the whole being, not just the mind alone.
Speaker 3 01:19:57 In fact, we have a saying, I, I don’t know if I’ve used this before in one of the other videos or something, but we have a saying in Zen practice that you cannot wash off blood with blood, which is to say that if you want to, you know, you have blood in your hands, you like to clean it off, putting your hands into more blood is not effective strategy. you have to use something else to wash that off. What that means from the perspective of practice is you cannot change your mind, your way of experiencing effectively, efficiently using the mind itself. We have to use the whole being yoga practice. We have to use the body. We have to use the breath. So returning to your question, the advice I give to people and how to integrate practice in day life is they have to use the body, which is to say in Zen practice, we are working constantly all day long.
Speaker 3 01:20:45 How do I cultivate my posture? Because if the posture is in a particular way, that changes my experience of my mind. This is different from this. That will change how I experience, just how I hold my body. How am I changing my breath? I have to work with my breath in each moment. If I’m breathing deeply and correctly, kind of intrinsic clarity starts to come out, especially at the end of every exhalation we experience. And we’ve known this for 3000 years, we start to experience a moment of real clearness, and we can start to use that and ride that or inhabit that if we’re breathing correctly, if we’re not breathing correctly, the way many modern people breathe up in the chest, for example, we actually become more tense, more anxious, and the kind of gross thought activity proliferates. So again, the YOIC approach to spirituality is how do I use this, this thing that I have called a body and the breath and the energetics to change my mind, the daily life practice becomes to take the, the deep, profound experience and way of cultivation we experience on the cushion.
Speaker 3 01:21:48 And then in every activity, if I’m typing, if I’m talking to you, if I’m working outside drinking coffee, whatever, some amount of mindfulness awareness is still present, how am I using my body? How am I using my breath over time that becomes so habitual and begins deeper and deeper and deeper. And eventually your experience is completely different from a normal person because of that. Oh, I should say, you’re a normal person. They’re not so normal. , that’s how you feel. but you will start to experience differently because you’re using the whole, the whole system in a different way. I think most people view meditation or spiritual practice as primarily a mental activity. And even in the Zen world, there’s a habit in the west or a trend in the west, which has developed to kind of conflate sort of psychotherapy or psychological Western psychological understanding with meditation. To me, it’s a bit of a misunderstanding. The original practice is yogic. It’s a whole body it’s in your flesh and your bones. So when we talk about again, daily practice, not to belabor this point, we’re talking about how do I use my body? How do I use my breath in daily activity to support and reinforce my realization and to sustain the natural clarity, which my practice, uh, makes, you know, brings out for me,
Speaker 2 01:23:11 I think from my personal experience, um, I can relate to what I was saying through practice of, uh, uh, let’s say keeping mindfulness throughout my daily life activities. So for example, I might be eating or working on computer, uh, and I maintain, um, sort of awareness of my body sensations of, um, different sounds around me, uh, of mind activities, where my attention is. And, uh, what kind of mind state I have while I’m working, um, or I might be doing some sort of background practice where I’m engaged into activity and, um, purposefully maintaining the awareness of how the breast, um, feels in my, let’s say abdomen and what kind of body sensations I’m experiencing during the inhale and exhale. Um, so I can relate to, um, to what you have said, um, from that, um, keeping mindfulness perspective, but I’m wondering, um, is it same kind of practice for you? It’s very different and you maintain something beyond mindfulness
Speaker 3 01:24:23 Because I’m a great Zen master, right?
Speaker 3 01:24:31 I have, I have particular practice, which I’m doing, and I can tell when I am in that condition or not. So I’m trying to use my body and mind to sustain that. It may not be exactly the same as someone who’s more of a beginner, but it’s the same, the same intention, the same kind of effort is necessary. Um, I think it what’s important when we talk about mindfulness. Again, it’s, it’s common. Even for people, when they’re talking about this thing, we call mindfulness to make it a very dualistic thing. I’m mindful of something I’m mindful of my body. I’m mindful of my breath. I’m counting my breath. Even we have that method of meditation, right? That’s already dualistic. I like to say different ways. So for example, instead of I’m counting my breath, I like to say you, no, you don’t count your breath.
Speaker 3 01:25:23 You breathe the count, which is to say with your whole body and being, you become that count each, each breath daily life practices like that too, when you’re typing on the computer, oh, I’m mindful of my body. As I’m typing on this computer, this already is separated. But if I throw myself into that action with all of my being, with my body, with my breath, with my concentration, some point the somebody can come out very easily. I, I don’t know where the computer starts and where I end, or you may have the experience sometimes driving. If you really relax, you spread your vision out. You kind of just settle into the action of driving. You can, you feel like your body and the car are one thing, and you can feel the road almost as if it’s through your feet. I don’t know if you had that experience, but that’s an example of a throwing yourself into an activity with your whole being, uh, that makes a different way of experiencing come out. So I, I guess that’s what I wanna say about the daily life practice about mindfulness. Um, the simple way to describe it is you throw your, your whole being your body bodily into everything you’re doing, typing, talking, drinking, coffee, whatever you do it with your whole existence. And that, that becomes the natural gate, the natural gate to the so-called Soma. This is, this sounds like a very simple thing, but this is a very advanced practice.
Speaker 2 01:26:50 Yeah. You made us very curious about, um, your, uh, daily life practice, um, that you have mentioned, um, unless you don’t wanna talk about, uh, we can go to the next question, but I think it’ll be really useful, um, uh, to know what the practice is for you.
Speaker 3 01:27:10 I, I mean, I can name, I can name it. There’s a point, uh, in Ize end training, we have something called a co practice. Probably you heard about that. What many people don’t realize about a qu practices? It’s not just a one practice, but it serves as kind of a structure that points you to many other practices over time. If that makes sense. And in Zen practice in Rin Zen practice, there’s the kind of Soma experience we call the cul ZMI, which, which means the ju mirror Soma. And this is the experience that every phenomena so-called phenomena that you encounter is precisely your own original face. It’s, it’s the it’s. In other words, it’s the sustaining of the so-called non-dual state. And we have to be able to, uh, do that without gaps. We have to really put a lot of effort into sustaining it seamlessly.
Speaker 3 01:28:03 So one of my teachers described the practice this way. He was at that time, he was, uh, making bookcases wooden bookcases at home. He says, I am working on the bookcases. I can feel everything. I can hear everything. I can taste everything. I’m completely inhabiting the action of just the making of the bookcase. And in that condition, I don’t know where I am at all that doesn’t give a sense of the experience. So I don’t want someone to hear those words and try to imagine, oh, I had that experience. I know what that means. No, it’s, he’s, he’s limited by language, but my own personal training when I’m not sitting or doing something specific, cuz I have many practices I do is I’m trying to feel everything, taste, everything, use my body and mind and breath and throw it completely into the simplest activity. Even as I said, picking up a coffee cup or talking to someone or typing on the computer, writing a pencil that has to be the universe for me, completely with my whole body. That’s how I’m training myself. I don’t say that’s such an advanced practice, but uh, that’s the best way I could describe it. I don’t know if that’s interesting to the viewers at all.
Speaker 2 01:29:21 And when you say you sort of, um, uh, throw your whole being into the activity and make that activity, the universe for you, is there sort of awareness outside of that activity?
Speaker 3 01:29:39 It’s all encompassed. The activity includes that there’s no separation at all. Yeah. So it, so again, this is why I said I don’t like the word concentration so much because if I say, oh, I’m concentrating something. It’s like, I’m not sensing that because I’m focused on this. But my teacher he’s talking about working on the bookcase, the whole universe is the bookcase working on the bookcases. There’s nothing excluded anything in his senses. Yeah. Oh, one of my teachers, another teacher, he was a good cook during our retreats. He was Japanese teacher and I would watch him cut the carrots, how he was using his whole body. You could, you watch him from behind as he’s at the counter, cutting the carrots and the smallest cut from his toes to his head, the whole body was involved. Very interesting. He was a martial artist also. So he had that kind of cultivation. Right. But the, you watched him and you almost could go into somebody just watching him because somehow in his body and mind that moment, the whole universe was cutting the carrots. His condition would affect you just by watching how he did that simple task. That’s I don’t know if that makes sense to you, but that that’s a pointer to how our training can transform us. It’s also a pointer to what the teacher’s role can be for the student.
Speaker 2 01:30:54 I mean, I think there is a chance that our listeners, uh, might, uh, relate to this activity saying, well, not activity the state saying that it is similar to a flow state, uh, where we so absorbed by activity that we sort of lose track of, uh, the time and sense of self. So can you expand on how, um, the state generated by your practice is different from a flow state
Speaker 3 01:31:23 To yeah. Well you already did it. I think the way you described it, just now you said I’m so involved in activity, that’s one kind of state, another one is the, activity’s just flowing. That’s a different kind of state. Does that make sense? I’m so involved in the activity or there’s just the activity, that’s the difference
Speaker 2 01:31:47 In the second one? There is no eye, right? Right. Or,
Speaker 3 01:31:51 Yeah, even the question of getting rid of a eye doesn’t arise. So I could, I, I could that first kind of, of non-dualism we discussed, I can be so in the state of oneness or absorption, but there’s still the, the one who’s experiencing that I experience. And even if it’s a very subtle way as me, I I’m the universe. How wonderful I’m God, but the other kind of experience that last eye drops away also. And that’s the miraculous activity. That’s the experience of my teacher when he was cutting the carrots. That’s why just watching him cut. You could be changed. Yeah.
Speaker 2 01:32:39 Nice. Um, it seems like a very great scene to observe while, uh, being on the street. Yeah. Um, the last question we have me is around lay and monastic pass, um, you know, practicing for a while now. Um, I have thought sometimes, um, that it would’ve been nice to be in sort of monastic environment, uh, where you don’t have a distractions and commitments of daily life and you can fully focus on the practice itself and sort of work through all the start this right included in that. Um, what’s your view on, uh, on monastic versus lay pass and then, um, any recommendations for us as a lay practitioners to make, um, the practice as rigorous as the ones available in, uh, monastic, um, environment. Let’s say,
Speaker 3 01:33:37 I think we don’t need to make the distinction so strongly between monastic and lay. I mean, monastic life has a certain ideal conditions for practice. If someone has interest to do it and can do it, wants to do it wonderful. Even if it’s only for a month or a few months, then that’s their advantage. That’s wonderful to have that experience. Lay life also has advantages. Uh, one of my teachers said that if you want to do real training, get married, that’s a kind of a joke, but it’s, he wasn’t joking. It’s really true because what in, within that kind of human relationship, especially in a modern world where we don’t have so much community or tribal networks, we just have mostly our households, right? So there you are with your spouse, the one person you have to face every day, like a mirror for you and you see everything you don’t like about yourself and them.
Speaker 3 01:34:32 And that relationship becomes a real crucible to, to work on yourself. If you approach it in a healthy way. So that’s a fantastic opportunity too. And a monastic might not have that advantage. So I would never say one is better or worse. I would say the person should pursue what interests them. But as lay people, I would say that it will be really useful. You’re working on practice in your daily life. You’re integrating your practice with all your normal everyday responsibilities from time to time, once a year, twice a year, go someplace like a monastery and do a retreat. Even if it’s just a few days, even if it’s a week because dipping into that environment and what you learn from that. And, and to set aside your other stuff just for a little while, and then returning to the life normal life, that rhythm becomes really powerful.
Speaker 3 01:35:23 It might be the best of both worlds actually to, to have so-called normal life, which I know is not so normal. No, no life is really normal, right? but so called normal life and then have periods of retreat, then return then return. Something like that. That rhythm I think is what fits the modern people really well. So, you know, I’m, I’m living here in a monastery cor G, but uh, we have people who come here for retreats. We have eight re we have week long retreats, eight times a year, 99% of the people who come in are not monastics. They’re just normal folks who take a week from their year to come and really go deep in the training. And then what they get from that, they go back into their normal life and they implement it and they apply it. And that’s, that’s how over time their training goes like this, the, the stuck chart I was talking about. Yeah. So I, I hope that’s a good advice for people. I don’t want anyone to feel like, oh, I, if I’m not a monastic, I’m not serious. No, you have a lot of challenges. It’s great material for your practice, how you approach the situation is what’s important. Not the situation itself, how you use it.
Speaker 2 01:36:36 MEA what’s your view on online traits? Have you done any so far?
Speaker 3 01:36:40 Um, we haven’t done too many of them. I have a Zen group in Madison, Wisconsin. Uh, they do once a week. They do online sitting. So I think it’s great for a sense of community. I think it’s great to have a contact with a teacher who can give a talk online, for example, there’s some parts of a retreat, which you cannot get in that format, but especially right now, as a, as a measure to help people stay connected and, and feel like they’re part of a larger community of practice. No problem. It’s wonderful. Take advantage of it. Yeah. And then as soon as, as soon as things settle down with COVID come, come to the monastery, go, go, go meet with the people in person. And, and remember what it’s like to actually have to deal with a living human being in front of you, because that’s a more challenging than online .
Speaker 2 01:37:29 Well, me, um, thank you very much. I feel like we have covered a lot of valuable, um, topics and insights that would be really beneficial for practitioners and listeners. Um, before we wrap up, are there any other topics you think you should have talked about?
Speaker 3 01:37:47 No, I think I probably, I said enough. I hope it’s useful for someone. And, uh, again, my, my background is just a one tradition, Zen Buddhism, but, uh, I think the commonalities apply rather broadly. So when I hear other teachers, for example, some of the other teachers involved with aircraft speak, or when I read the stuff that they have written, uh, I see the same principles there. So, uh, I, I would just tell people as they take advantage of the resources here to stay open and take what is useful to you, cuz I think it’s gonna be a tremendous, tremendous resource for people.
Speaker 2 01:38:25 Thanks a lot for your time. Me. It was a great talking to you and looking forward to see you again here, have a great day. Bye bye.
Speaker 3 01:38:33 Thank you. My pleasure.
Speaker 1 01:38:37 Thank you for listening to this episode, to find the links mentioned today, please visit our firstname.lastname@example.org. Here. You will also find resources for indepth and personalized meditation training such as video courses and live events conducted by highly qualified teachers. If you enjoy this episode, please consider leaving a rating and review on items and subscribing to the podcast. This helps spread the word and reaching more people who could benefit from this work. Thanks again and see you next time.