Any insights, revelations, challenges, frustrations, since the last time I saw everybody?
Everybody’s great? That’s perfect.
Student: I’d like to share something. I was looking for a Buddha for my altar and my grandson was with me and he – I suggested that I buy him some crystals to help him sleep at night. He’s having a hard time. So we went into the store and he made his selection of crystals and when we went to cash out, he connected with the salesperson for some reason and they had a conversation about miracles.
And she was clarifying for miracles, because he was saying, you don’t see miracles or something to that effect. And she she was saying that, and I was humbled by it, “Everything you do is a miracle.”
And it just brought it back full circle, because it’s so true. And she said to to Giovanni, that “Where did you park? And he said Right out the front door, she said, Well, that was a miracle that that spot was available for you, so that you could walk in the store without any problems.”
And she just different things. And she connected and he and he understood and I I was so happy that he experienced that. So I was humbled that she took the time to spend the time with my grandson.
zen master e: One of the greatest gifts that we can give anybody is our presence. Right? Is our attention. Right? Even they say that these times right now – it’s the attention economy, right? And we’re paying for things with our attention, right? And right now the lion’s share of that attention is going to Facebook and Instagram, right? YouTube has a thing right?
If you look at how much of your how much these guys have of your mind share? Of your mind share, right?
So that when when we have these normal everyday interactions with a human being 1), they seem very boring. Because they’re not filtered, right? There’s no Instagram filter on them. Or they’re not have you seen they get really good at these YouTube videos, right with the cuts and the sound bites and everything like this, right? All specifically designed to stimulate your brain and keep you wired and attached to it. Such that when we’re looking directly at a human being – It’s little bit bland almost because our brain is being trained for stimulation, right? For movement, for sight for sound and like these other ways, right? That make life for a lot of people seem very boring and we want to run away from it.
And you see it, the next time you’re standing in line, count how many seconds it takes for everybody in that line to reach into their pocket and pull out their phone.
And how terrified they are – “I better not make eye contact with anybody! Because how dare I like I might have to have a conversation and I’m too tired to have a conversation.”
It’s like an epidemic, right? Fatigue is an epidemic, right? But then we do everything that we can then to suck everything, all our brain juice out of ourselves, right?
And such that for these moments, right, where we can connect authentically and truly with another human being – we don’t have it in us. So we do everything in our power to avoid that.
I was out on a walkabout and oh my gosh, yeah, like I was having a great time. But nobody wanted to like even connect with me at any way. Other than it was beautiful. Like it was like 26 degrees outside. Blue skies. Sun is shining. Right. I was just taking a walk about enjoying my life. I was having a great time.
Oh my god, everybody everywhere is on their phones like this (hunched over).
And I was just like, “You’re missing this! This is amazing! This is amazing!”
And like she said, “The miracle is everywhere.”
That’s why I like Thich Nhat Hanh said something cool, “A true miracle is to walk compassionately on the earth.”
Yeah, man. We need to start putting things way up high right?
On that walkabout and my day, – I was watching a plane go and I was like, “How is that even possible?”
And somebody would be, that knows about planes and all that stuff would be, “Oh, it’s the it’s the air currents and the”
But I’m like, “But how? It can’t be possible. That huge hunk of metal is in the sky right now. Like this is craziness. It’s just crazy!”
What’s glass made out of?
Just look everywhere.
That’s like, like, and that’s one of the things about the practice, right? The practice and Dharma as a whole gets you to slow down.
Life is fascinating man. It’s crazy fascinating. Humans are especially fascinating, right? Oh my god and right. And like to be able to it. That’s a good thing about kids. Right? Kids break us out of ourselves. And they’re just like, “Oh my God, look at this world. Look at that. Look at that tree. See the sunset? Grandma did you hear the birds?
That’s why I like one Zen master, I can’t remember who exactly, they were like asking him about awakened and fundamental nature of mind and all this crazy stuff. And he was like, “I don’t know much about that. But I just teach my students how to hear the birds again. I just teach my students how to hear the birds again.”
“I just try to teach my students how to hear the birds sing.”
Shunryu Suzuki Roshi
How to feel the breeze. How that sense the sun on your skin. How to taste the tea. That first sip of that tea. There’s no Chris drinking tea during that time. Just Ah!
I’m driving in my car hurtling down the highway…
Not hurtling, of course, doing the speed limit everywhere I go.
Don’t you ever just – like this is crazy. Honestly, all the moving parts, everything that had to come together for that moment of me, doing the speed limit, down the highway.
Student 2: And it’s crazier to think that you’re not actually moving. No.
zen master e: It is nuts.
Yeah, man. We’re missing the miracle of every moment.
And I think that’s like, as you start to put more and more stuff down you start to see what really matters more and more in your life.
Then it just, everything becomes simple.
Everything becomes clear.
And like I don’t want to use the word magical, but magical.
Even the most ordinary things. doing the dishes, brushing your teeth, taking a shower.
This morning while taking a shower I was like, “This is crazy. Like this water – people didn’t have this at one point. And I have this. And I’m just taking this for granted. And it’s just flowing here for me. Thank you. Thank you, plumber. Thank you and like all the parts. Like somebody made the showerhead. Design the shower head, thought about it, delivered it, packaged it, on and on.
You’re surrounded by wonder in the whole world all the time.
Yeah. He’s a miracle. Yeah.
That’s crazy. Have you ever thought about that? Like, I’ve seen two kids be born. I haven’t carried babies. Nothing. But I saw them come out. That was crazy. That was crazy. That’s weird. That’s a human coming out of you. And we’re just like, “Yeah that’s just every day life”.
It’s crazy. It’s amazing.
And like, I don’t know, the more the more that I’m in it. The more I’m just like, “How do you guys not see all this? It is just so crazy! Amazing! Beautiful!”
Like we’re missing it all the time.
Student 2: I think that’s part of it too – it’s almost the presence for it. Yeah, It makes it beautiful. It’s almost the fact that you can be so present to see it that makes it beautiful. There’s sunsets every night but it’s the ones that you are present for seem the most beautiful.
We have to make it a priority.
So I brought my kids up to up north camp twice this year. And so I dropped them off and to avoid traffic, I’ll stay overnight up north and I’ll usually, on the the drop off, I usually stay at a hotel pretty close to their camp. And so, I’m in no rush in the morning – and so I was out on the front bench. Right? I’m like, “I’m in the middle of the North here. I grabbed a coffee and I’m just on the bench. And like the beautiful sunrise coming up.
And I go in the hotel and the front desk lady stops me, “I saw you on the bench. It’s beautiful eh?”
And I’m like, Oh my God and almost at the same time we say almost the same thing, “Everyone’s missing it.”
And then she just went on and on about why she moved up north, all her favorite secret little spots. And even I guess I was under the assumption that I guess it’s like you get used to it right? Like I live in Toronto. And people come to Toronto like, Oh my god, Toronto is amazing. Right? I love Toronto, Toronto is the best city in the world. I think. I think it’s like the future,I think like, like our future hope for humanity and is happening right here in Toronto. And we’re not even trying. We’re all just sort of getting along and doing our thing and being courteous about it and sort of helpful and kind, right.
And so I’m up north. And I’m like, “Oh my God – this, these people came up here for a reason, you know, they’re living here in the middle of nowhere.”
But they’re not. They’re not. There might be little moments where they’re like, because it then maybe it’s a little bit easier to have something take your breath away.
A tree, bird song, the sunrise, right?
Help to bring you back to presence.
To that moment, to the miracle of that moment.
There she was, enjoying me, enjoying that moment. And she knew, as I knew, what that was like, and how much I enjoyed it, and how much, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we all enjoyed it.”
And the same thing happens with dharma. Right?
The more and more that we get rid of our obscurations, right. The more and more that we find the innate stillness, the innate joy, the innate compassion, wisdom, the more and more that we want people here to feel this like us.
But they have to come to it on their own. Maybe we can be the ambassador. Right? And that’s right. That’s the thing. That’s, that’s our job, right? Like, we don’t need to go and solicit. Our words. Our actions. They can’t see our thoughts, but they can – through our words and actions. Then show them. And hopefully you’ve had it, that people have said, “There’s something different. What are you doing? You’re not the same person.”
Student 1: It seems that the conversation always ends up with the same thing. Because it is what it is. When you’re so immersed in the simplicity things the simplicity of life and, and you’ve accepted it – You ARE different because of it – you can’t help but be. And then you do recognize the miracles that are presented to you on a daily basis because of that simplicity.
zen master e: Maybe at first, we have to we have to hunt them down. Look for these moments, right? Because the brain is hot wired to look for the negative to keep us alive. Right? Has a negativity bias. Right? And then we start to notice that and then we start to look for something different.
And the practice opens us up because it frees us from ourselves.
Because we’re bearing down on each moment with our want with our don’t wants with our hopes with our fears. Right? We’re never looking at the moment nakedly.
We’re always looking at it through a lens, But that lens gets clearer and clearer and clearer.
With each breath you take. Every time that you go and sit on the cushion. When you come here for Dharma talks. When you listen to the podcast – it gets clearer and clearer.
And then natural.
You become more natural.
You become more natural.
Things become easier because you’re easier. You’re easier with yourself, you’re easier with life. You start taking things off of life. All the burdens that you placed on it. All the rules that you’ve placed on it. All the expectations that you’ve placed on it.
You’re like oh my god, “I’m sorry. Let me…”
Not to say that we want to be a pushover but you know, a moment is going to be whatever it is, like we said last week – fresh – every moment is fresh. Allow it to be what it is.
The car’s broken down on the side of the road. The car is broken down on the side of the road. Instead of fighting what is – there it is – simple – broken car. Hey, make friends. Time to make friends.
That’s a good thing about travel. Travel helps us get outside of ourselves.
“Oh I love traveling.”
Because you’re free of you.
That’s what you love.
You love being free of yourself.
Then life is fresh again. When we’re on vacation – life is fresh.
The water tastes better. The breeze is breezier. The sunsets are shinier. Oh my gosh.
Student 1: All that baggage is gone.
Is gone. Gone.
But yeah, yeah. And we think, when we hear even to hear that word miracle, and that’s why I love Thich and how he just brought it right back, “Honestly, the true miracle is to be able to walk on the earth with compassion.”
Whatever he said, but it was something like that. He’s just he’s amazing like that, “Whoa! It’s right here, guys.”
It’s right here. It’s right here in that next breeze. And that next encounter with that person that you meet, right, how can you connect with them? Even just saying “Thank you.” The next time you’re going to get a coffee be fully present to them.
Look for those moments that you can connect fully.
Be present fully.
Okay, you guys want to meditate again?