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The Awakened PodcastThe Mojito Mind

So what’s the question?

Student: How do our instincts fit into the concept of fundamental mind?

Zen master e: Yeah, so there’s a couple of things. So the interesting thing about the Buddhist, Buddhist Dharma is one, it’s sort of part of the process is getting you to undo nature.

Because nature wants you to preserve yourself, self preservation, right? Self preservation, and I’m going to do everything in my power to get, to protect.

And even in one of the things that we fundamentally do every time, in practice, right, is – that’s why I asked you the question about, “Who your practice is for? What’s the direction of your practice?”

Because if it’s like a self centered practice, this is good, right? Like we we have some trauma, or we have some thing that’s going on in our body, we want to feel better, right? We want to feel happier, and most people come to the path that way. They want to feel better, they want to feel happier, they’ve had some sort of experience, some sort of pain that they want to get rid of, get past, move through, and be happy and be free of this again.

So it’s like calm abiding meditation, right body scans. The things that are in the MBSR program are very good. Very good medicine. Right? We need that, right? Things that are happening here, right? Like, they have float tanks here, massage, right? These things are good, right. They’re good for the body, to heal the body, right. But there’s still me. I want to feel better. I want to be free of this right.

In, in the Buddhist Dharma, it’s sort of like, you start to go beyond the self clinging and the self reference and a self referential, right.

And in the Buddhist, they talk about, the three fundamental poisons of a sentient being are greed, hatred, and delusion. And to notice, when you’re getting caught up in, “I want. I don’t want. or I’m just sort of sticking my head in the sand.”

These are the three fundamental aspects of being a human. And notice and go throughout your day – how many times that you’re wanting, and not wanting, or just going into power down mode, because you’re bored and not stimulated, right? So look at how often you’re trying to be stimulated throughout the day. Right? Stimulated throughout the day.

Because we’ve been sort of told the story when we were born, Mary was born and they held Mary, beautiful little baby Mary in their arms, right. And they kept telling Mary, that she’s a sentient being. And as a sentient being, you need to fend for yourself, you need to work for yourself, you need to get what’s yours, you need to protect what’s yours. There’s only probably a chosen few people that are part of your inner circle that are deemed worthy of you. Right?

Make the most of yourself! Get all the money that you can. Build up a house. Have a family and pass on that gene, but keep it close. Keep everything close.

And we get down to the end of this life. Right. And at the end, if we look back, we’ve had maybe a little bit of sex, some food, some vacations, couple of scrapbook memories and we call that a good human life.

For some people, that’s just that’s how it is. Right? That’s great. That’s great.

But this getting to the end of life and having that, “Is that all there is to it?”

That’s probably one of the biggest things that sort of drives people to the path, right?

Because you’ve had all the sex that you can have, you’ve had all the food that you can eat, you’ve had all the vacations that you could go for, you’ve smoked all the smokes, you’ve done all the drugs, you’ve made all the money, and you’re still not goddamn happy.

And you’re still hurting, and you’re still alone. And you’re still a jerk. And you still only have a chosen few people that you grace with your presence. Right? If that. If they can tolerate you at this point in your life, right? Because you’re deep grooves and deep habits. Right?

We call that a good human life.

That’s all we know. That’s all we’ve been told. Right? That there’s no other possibility. That there’s no other possibility.

And then the Buddha showed a different possibility.

Teachers, but then lots of different traditions showed a different possible.

No, no, no, no.

Why do you keep believing that you’re a sentient being?

Why do you keep believing that you’re going to find happiness in the next burrito, the next joint, the next orgasm.

The next, the next, the next, the next,

And you’re continually chasing after pleasure, and mitigating pain. Or going into neutral or looking for stimulation because you’re bored out of your mind. Right?

Because we haven’t been shown another way. Right? We haven’t had the time or a person stop us and say, “You’re Buddha. And we’re going to slow you down until you know that for certain. And when you know that for certain – you – this idea of you – which is ever changing, like a puff of smoke – will disappear. When you and the self referential-ness, this me-me-me quiets. If we talk about the incessant mind, talking-talking-talking, what’s left?”

Everyone and everything.

Then it becomes clear what our mission is. What our purpose is. Why we practice.

For them.

For them.

Instincts then change. Yes, fundamental like, I need to jump and not touch the flame or get out of the way of a car and everything like this, this is still happening.

To have a body, we need to have these fundamental programmings that get passed down from generation to generation to generation, right? And we need to see as well how the self referential self centeredness, Go get yours and what you deserve, consume everything on the planet, doesn’t matter what gets in your way, as long as you’re happy and you get that bobblehead for Christmas. Right?

That’s going to start to disappear and dissolve.

But that has been passed on to us in our DNA.

Because that’s the only story that’s been the predominant story of dominance and passed down through the species right

Part of it Yeah – You’re going to do what you can in order to procreate – to have babies.

When we hit the dharmic path, we start to see how we’re ruled by these primal instincts, primal tendencies.

And we stop getting bamboozled by them, enchanted by them, dragged about by them, tossed about by them.

Because when we’re at ease…

Say you’re on a beach, sipping a mojito, perfect temperature, whatever that is for you. 27.5 degrees, slight breeze, had breakfast…

Feel it right…

Feels nice.

Even in this construct, of ease, it’s going to take a little bit for you to be a jerk. Right? For you to freak out. For you to have a natural tendency with – somebody spills you your drink – for you to fly off the handle, right?

These moments they give you a little bit of a glimpse of the possibility of the fundamental ease that’s within you.

The clarity of mind, the openness of heart, the responsiveness, that’s who you naturally are.

But you’ve never been given the testing ground to allow that to come through.

That’s why Sangha is so important.

These times when we get to come together

What do we do?

We sit!

We rest.

We sit and we rest.

And we rest in the trust, and our tradition is a little bit different because we trust Buddha Mary.

And what’s your name again? Julie?

Julia! Buddha Julia.


We just rest in that the fundamental – that you’re wise and more compassionate, and more skillful and more at ease than you can ever imagine.

So when we come here and we sit, what we’re doing is we’re not practicing. We’re not – we’re actualizing this state so that we can get familiar with it. So that it may pour through us in every moment and every word and every gesture and every action.

Choices become easy because you’re from a choiceless place.

That’s beyond reason and intellect.

Reason and intellect will tell you what you should be doing. The minute that should comes up- you’re in a whole heap of trouble, right?

Because behind that is stories upon stories and conditions right?

But if you come back and if you rest at ease with the truth of who you are which sheer potential reality – you just rest there.

Even in mojito mind – even there – choices are easy, words are soft, actions are fluid.

At mojito mind we’re still – it’s about us.

When we start to go beyond Mojito mind then we want everybody to experience this ease, this openness, this freshness, this spontaneousness.

We see how it transforms us.

How, what used to trigger us, what used to have us fly off the handle, there’s nothing to grab any more.

Or less.

Instincts. Yeah, am I going to dodge out of the way of a car? For sure.

But the fundamental instincts of like…

It seeps into everything.

It seeps into everything. Where you start to look at the choices that you make, the words that you use, right?

And that any like this word sacrifice doesn’t even like sort of happen anymore – because it’s just like, Why? Why would I choose this, do this, say this, act this way? It just…

Say you’re still at the beginning stages of it, you’ll notice you’re reaching and it stops.

You’ve caught yourself reaching for that, whatever it is.
Like we do in the tea (ceremony), then you get to put it down because we’re holding so much.

Holding so much – so many concepts and so much about what it’s supposed to be, what it’s supposed to look like, how it’s supposed to sound, everything like this, right?

But we have to come down to…

It’s naturally you!

When you’re natural, when you’re at ease, when you’re free of your concepts and conundrums, your worries, your fears, your hopes – when you’re resting and seeing that you are not an isolated unit of one you’re a seemingless of suchness – there’s no separation – this idea of distance.

You see how the choices, the words, your actions, your job, everything, everything that you do isn’t in isolation anymore.

That’s one aspect from – that’s even that’s still like like the teaching word phase, right? The concept phase.

When you look at the inter-penetration, inter-being, interconnection of it all.

Like the lady the lady from last week, oneness, right? We use this word oneness a lot, but we don’t act like it is. Not even close.

Not even close.

So when we’re here, when we’re in the practice, when we use the mind meal, to quiet, to give medicine to the small mind – we use the koan, whatever it may be for you, “What am I?” or “Atha” or “Ham Sah” or “Maranatha” in the Christian tradition – It spoon feeds the selfish you
until it’s satiated almost from within. And then it could go to bed, go to rest, go to sleep, dissolve. I’m at ease.

It’s like a hungry belly that’s always hungry though. Right?

Insatiable, they call it “tanha” insatiable hunger and thirst.

And that’s why when we come together, this helps strengthen it. Right? When you do you practice at home, right? That’s why if you find something that resonates with you, say it’s the koan practice, even with the visualization, or it’s the mantra work. Say you can’t just rest sitting in that trust of your innate Buddhaness…

That’s right now.
That we can use the Koan, we can use the mantra, we can use the breath work, right? We can use these things and then we’ll know we’ll see, I can put it down, (the practice).

And more and more, you’ll discover, like, we can use the sentence it sort of creates the space but no, it helps you see the fundamental space like nature of mind that’s always there, that everything else is arising within it, the creative display.

Before you would reach out and you’d be grasping at it or fighting it off, right?

And now just watching the show.

And if you get called to be an actor within that show that there’s a lightness and the ease and a flow.

Student: Because it’s not real?

Zen master e: These are words right? We have to be careful with these things. We have to be careful, right?

In the Buddhist tradition form is emptiness and emptiness form.

We can get caught up in the nihilism of it all. Yeah, we can sometimes I say that it’s like a dream. So why not create the most beautiful dream that’s possible?

You don’t like that? It’s too soft?

This whole it’s not real, it is real, this that and the other thing, these are all words, concepts and conundrums.

Student: I just keep repeating when I’m in intense pain, “It’s just a dream. It’s just a dream. It’s just a dream.” That makes me feel better.

Zen master e: Yeah? Some people like to go into it. Go into the thing, the pain.

I remember I had my tooth got infected. I had a tooth pulled. That got infected. I had never experienced pain like that in my life. I’ve done a lot of painful things with this body.

And there was nothing I could do. So I just sat in front of my kitchen sink, because I’ve been rinsing my mouth out with salt water, crying, full, as I go right into it.

I’m going right into it.

That was what worked for me.

A lot of the Buddhist tradition is about running full force into it.

Allowing “it” to be whatever it is.

Joint pain. I’ve been suffering from joint pain. I’m not surprised.

One: I have a track record it runs in my family.
Two: I didn’t really take care of this body for a long, long time.
Three: I smoked for 20 years. Right?

So it was a perfect breeding ground to activate that genetic expression.

I couldn’t even open a jar at one point it hurt so much. Every move. Every subtlety. Even not moving.

It was like thousands of needles. Just everywhere. All these…

I didn’t. I didn’t run from it. I just allowed it to be.

In this space, there are these sensations. I’m not clinging to them. I don’t want them to be any different. Right? They just are what they are. Sure I have a hope to be pain free. But if I keep clinging to that hope that this every every piercing pain is going to be three times 10 times worse. Because I’m not with it. I’m not with me or not with whatever it is that’s arising right. And the practice as well, gives us the courage to welcome in whatever it is.

Sure, sure.

We want the ideal Pinnacle, full health, ease, full range of motion, everything. Of course who doesn’t.

But we have a body and this body is susceptible to lots of things.

Suffering, illness and death.

And we’d like to believe that that’s not true. So that when we do get sick, then we’re so mad and it’s like a blind side and I can’t believe it!

Of course! You have a body. It’s part of the rules.

We’re not given that manual as well.

You have this body spaceship.
And this body spaceship – here’s the the care and instructions on how to use it. How not to get overwhelmed by it. The previous owner.

We don’t know. We get this body and right. We’re born an Aquarius in Canada, white male to this type of family, with these type of parents.

That’s very revealing right there. This body spaceship is going to lean to the right. Has a craving for salty. Not sweet, you know, like, Okay, I’m navigating. I’m getting this. I’m getting the hang of this body spaceship.

In this one I kept putting in the wrong fuel for a while.

And so now that like it’s I’m working through some stuff.

I’m not surprised.

I’m not surprised. I have used this body and it was durable enough that I could do it scot free.

But now the bill is due.

Yeah, so no problem.

I got pain – no problem.

So what. I don’t care. That’s what it is.

So then I find the rules. Well okay, heal my gut. Okay, that seems to be the role play now. I just move this light picture show now it’s a L glutamine and this that and the thing you know, and probiotics and I stopped eating gluten. I’m vegetarian vegan all the time. Just play the game. Just go on with the game.

Or I can fight, “No it shouldn’t be this way! Why me?!”

Forget it. Forget it. Put down that whole story. Here it is.

Joint pain.

No problem. No problem.

Would I like to be pain free? Yeah. Of course. That’s beautiful. That’s why they say like, what is it like, health and time is wasted on youth.

Enjoy this.

You don’t know. When you’re young, you don’t know.

I have kids, I tell my kids, you don’t know guys.

And I tell them what I’m going through everything that I’m going through. Right. So that they don’t have to go through it themselves. Or they can as best they can.

We don’t know what’s going to unfold.

And the practice gives us the openness and the responsiveness.

Here it is.

Joint Pain, here it is.

Whatever, whatever it is. Right?

Because it’s for you.

Whatever it is, it’s for you.

To be gentle with yourself.

To take care of yourself.

As if you are the Buddha.

Is the food that you’re eating worthy of the Buddha?

Are the actions that you’re doing worthy of the Buddha?

Are the words that you’re saying worthy of the Buddha?

Just even look at your life like that.

Would you lay that feast down in front of the Buddha?

It’s all for you.

Even the things that you don’t think are for you. They’re all for you.

To come back.
Right now we can see the state of the world is running on instinct, right? That primal selfishness. Or we believe that we’re separate. Right?

There’s pockets, right? Even here we see it. There’s a different possibility. There’s people here that don’t aren’t thinking like this.

That are seeing togetherness. Together action. A different possibility and trying to give birth to that and hold that vision.

Like Maitreya said. Just hold that vision.

This is all a dream. And we can all dream such a beautiful dream.

So we just hold to that.

We hold to that.

And then every day we show up.

Every day we show up.

How would Buddha Mary talk? Act?

No problem we just do it.

That’s why we’re like remember that teaching I can’t remember? Was it from the opening of the Lotus Sutra. And I read it that time, “A day, the life of the Buddha.” It’s great.

And it just like it’s this little little blip and people just skirt over it all the time. Right?

But it’s the Buddha. The Buddha wakes up and he goes through his day. And it’s just it’s very like you won’t even give it a second glance. He woke up. He put on his robe, grabbed his begging bowl, walked into the town, went from house to house, begged for meals, filled up the bowl, walked back to the grove, ate the food, cleaned the bowl, put the bowl away, sat down to meditate, meditated, the monks showed up, gave a teaching.

In all those instances, the Buddha was the Buddha, knowing he’s the Buddha all the time and to know that he was the Buddha, he was free of knowing he was the Buddha – which is free, natural and every moment.

He didn’t say, “I’m the Buddha, I shouldn’t be begging. He monks!” He’s surrounded by thousands of monks that were more than willing to go off and do that for him.

This is just this is what we do. I want to eat. This body needs food. This body needs some clothes. It’s a little bit windy today.

They didn’t say like, oh, he waited until 11 o’clock when the forecast said that it was going to be sunny skies. The Buddha didn’t have a weather app. He just went.

(Stomach growls) Oh I’m hungry.

That’s why in the Zen tradition they talk a lot about like, when hungry you just eat. When tired you go to sleep

If you just did these things and look how often that you don’t. Ever notice that when you are hungry (and the stomach growls) and you look at your watch. You know you’re hungry. But it’s four o’clock. Well I can’t eat at four o’clock. What are you talking about? You know? You’re hungry so eat. You’re tired so rest.

That was great that you rested. Perfect. Beautiful. You felt it, “I just need to put it down.”

And you rested.


You were free of how it was supposed to look, how it was supposed to…

Free – you were just free.

It’s beautiful. You woke up. Beautiful. Refreshed. Made some new friends. Just natural.

No premeditation.

No concepts.

Just natural.

When we’re there – then this natural expression comes through. More and more and more and more.

You guys want to meditate?