Showing Up to Your Life
Any insights revelations challenges frustrations, since the last time I saw everybody?
I didn’t mean to look directly at you but…
Nobody? I got something in the background I can talk about probably
Student: I had a small revelation. Insight. When I first started on this journey 10 years ago I got very excited about what I was learning then. Like, “Oh my god how did I not see this before?”
And then I had this desire to tell everybody in the world. And I think I was probably kind of obnoxious about it. And so this time around my two older kids and my younger one as well but he doesn’t really understand. But my two older kids – I think in the last two years since I’ve been on this this journey, easily talking about it – and they’ve been both “No. No. You need it. I don’t need it.”
Then in the last two weeks, my son and I have gone – he asked me to go for a walk and then we talked about the Four Noble Truths. And he was very receptive – asking questions and stuff like that – it was such a different experience. And when I went to newfoundland my daughter – she’s a doctor and she was like, “Can you teach me to meditate? I can see the value.”
And I was like, “This is amazing!”
So with me just showing up my kids have become somewhat interested in what I’m learning.
So that was my insight – Just to show up. To be a lighthouse – like what you called it. So when you said that about yourself I think I’m that for my kids.
Zen master e: That’s the thing right, we’re not we’re not missionaries right, we’re not preaching, our life is it. Our life, because there’s always somebody watching.
There’s always somebody watching you.
And they see, “Oh, how did – oh look how Chris handles that situation, how he handles all these children, this thing that came up. What is he doing?”
And they become curious, curious.
When humans – We learn best from pain.
So we, if we seem to be – I don’t want to say pain free – but if, if we seem to be able to navigate through life, like a dance, and we’re flowing and we’re able to, “Oh hey there’s this! Oh look there’s this.”
And we just sort of, we embrace every moment. It’s open and fresh.
Because they see people resisting every moment. They see people freaking out over the littlest things. They see selfishness and greed and anger and delusion all around them.
So by you not even saying anything about the Dharma, but embodying it in every moment – in every inconvenience. Right. In every frustrating situation. In every stress. In every ache. In every left turn when you wanted to go In every moment where your hopes have been dashed.
They see this, “Look! Look at Mary she still has an open and resilient heart willing to be wounded again and again and again with compassion. With openness. With bravery.”
So they’ll get to a point where their pain is so much, and that they’ll follow the rules of like, just suck it up, or whatever it is that society as a whole has agreed upon…
“This is just how it’s supposed to be!”
Like all this crazy talk right.
And that’s when that sort of like that little voice goes in that starts to talk. That will speak to them that…
“No. There’s a different way.”
And once it starts to speak, “Actually there’s a different way. You could be free of this. Wouldn’t be nice to be free of this?”
And then they start to be – that potential – their pain maybe starts to becomes too much, “I want to be free of this.”
And then, unknown to them, they’ll start to look around, and that person that seems to be free of it then becomes the lighthouse.
Student: I think they see the pain I’m going through but I’m handling it so differently. There’s no anger. Kind of accepting what’s happening and accepting their Dad for being who he is. And when they see when I do that they’re like, “Oh! You’re being awfully generous and compassionate.” and I’m like, “Well – he’s a human being. He’s suffering too.” And then you see the lightbuld because they’ve never heard someone say it before.
Zen master e: When we say that kind of phrase, “They’re hurting. They’re hurting.”
The behavior is not who they are. It’s just arising because a multitude of causes and conditions that are unseen, right, they only see just the tip of the iceberg of what’s going on. And they’re hurting and of course because they’re hurting they’re going to do these things – say these things – we don’t condone the behavior – we don’t condone it – but I know. We know..
And especially like you know like your inner circle that say maybe you were a jerk before a hothead before. Right. Wanted to control everything because everything had to be perfect, all the time. And then all of a sudden you’re okay when the teapot spills over all over the carpet and floor and everything gets knocked over and Buddha’s almost toppling off of the top of the altar, and you’re okay.
Where before you will would have lost your mind.
People are watching all the time. People are watching. And we can show them through our words and actions, and our everyday moments, a different possibility. A different way to be. A different way to respond. A different way to look at life and the situation. Right.
In the Four Noble Truths right to see – as one of the biggest (makes ringing the bell sound)
Whoa! Everybody’s hurting. Everybody’s hurting in some way. And it’s this pain that’s making them do crazy things.
This pain is created by causes and conditions.
And you can be free of these causes and conditions.
You can be free!
And there is a way.
It’s quite the sales pitch.
(Goes into salesman on a commercial voice) Do you like this pain? No, probably not. That pain – I know the reasons why that pain arose. Would you like to be free of that? Would you like to experience happiness bliss and joy?
But it’s true, right, because it’s like the master key right and it’s interesting because they refer to the Buddha a lot as a physician.
Right. And it’s this four step diagnosis and cure.
He looks at the problem. Sees what caused that problem. Knows that there’s a different way and prescribes, the proper medicine. Right.
And that medicine might not be the same for everyone.And that’s why they talk about the Buddha and why he is the master of masters and the Buddha of this time is because he just taught so much and so many different ways and met people where they were at and just mossied about everywhere.
And he was so free of himself that he wasn’t bound by the teachings. He was a Buddha free.
And in that freedom he was able to see the people around him, clearly. Clearly. Because he saw into himself, clearly.
Just saw the vast openness – that sheer potential. And that’s why like in certain traditions when, when he saw that morning star, “How interesting… Not only myself but all beings are free. And they don’t even know.”
And this is the thing we don’t even know. We don’t even know that there is another way possible.
But once we start down this dharmic path and we start to take the medicine and we start to experience that truth for ourselves. That’s when our heart breaks open. Breaks open and, “Oh my gosh! I was such a fool before.” And all this feeling of openness and welcoming and clarity and spaciousness, compassion, ease and joy.
I want everybody to be here you know?
I want everybody to be here.
And that’s the thing, say you start to help somebody just just whatever. This is what I’m doing. We’re, we’re hanging out and what we’re reading, listening to and talking about right and say they start to take the medicine for themselves.
Even last week – or was it this week? Somebody was like, “I can’t believe that my drive to work, used to be just filled with anger and frustration. And it’s just so different now. Just so peaceful and open. And I’m not triggered.”
And I was like, “It’s nice right?”
And they’re like, “It’s beautiful!”
I’m like, “I know. This is why I do what I do. This is why I show up every week. I want everybody to be here. Because this is wicked. This is awesome. I want this for everybody.”
So like to make these wishes right for the benefit of all beings. Of course! Look, it feels amazing.
I think about the benefit that I bring, without even trying.
So we just keep doing it.
Whatever “it” may be.
Your practice, teaching, showing up.
And everyday you show up to your life.
Your life is your teacher.
Your life is your teaching.
Your life is your Dharma Hall.
And we show up.
It’s as if right, imagine you showed up here, and then yelled at me. For the teachings. Got mad at me for the teachings.
That’s what you do to your life.
So if we just show up with clarity and openness. When you’re here you’re just open and receptive, just like no bias, no stories going on. Just crystal clarity and spaciousness.
Imagine showing up to every moment like that…
Every moment – here it is!
Drink the tea of every moment.
Then we become the lighthouse.
And people can see it because the whole world – the Buddha even said one time “The whole world’s on fire.” People don’t even know.
They think it’s fine. Their hairs aflame. Oh my gosh, it’s crazy, right. Okay well I can only do what I can do. That’s the thing – we don’t get caught up. This is what I’m doing. And we wait,
Like the person that asked me about meditation and anxiety. This isn’t the first time. But they knew, “I have a point of reference in my life that I know is exhibiting what I want in my life. That peace. That clarity. That openness. That compassion. That understanding. That connection.”
And your presence – because you’ve been present to yourself, allows them that gift as well.
And because you’ve done that, in a non-judgmental way and you’ve worked through your garbage and you’ve seen it.
“Ha ha ha! I see you – house builder.”
That’s what the Buddha said too, “I see you!”
I’ve got you in my sights. You can’t bamboozle me anymore! Pull the wool over – well they probably can alot. We’re still baby Buddha’s and we need to see it moment to moment and awaken moment to moment.
We just be a little itty bitty lighthouse. Just all the time.
I don’t care. I’m just gonna shine. I’m going to do what I’m gonna do right.
Have you ever seen like a lighthouse just getting crushed with like waves.
I don’t know how they build these things.
That is crazy how strong they are. Just getting mashed by the whole ocean. Just watch. One night I watched lighthouse videos, it was just mesmerizing. Wow! How’s that even possible? It’s like a feat of human engineering.
But it’s us. (The waves of our life coming crashing down upon us and we are strong) Shining the light. Shining the light. Don’t matter.
What’s the light housekeepers job? Keep the light shining.
Simple. We make it so complicated.
Even when we hit the Dharma path, and make it so complicated.
Keep the light shining.
Be a bit of hope and peace and understanding and joy, and compassion for people. Listen.
It doesn’t have to be complicated.
In every, every situation, every seeming adversity – it’s all you.
All of it.
All of it.
So when it arises don’t fight it.
(greeting your life) “Hey! Hi! What’s the wisdom here? How do I embrace this moment? The situation? This awkwardness? This uncomfortableness?”
The mind makes it awkward and uncomfortable.
The story layered on top of it, “I don’t want it to be this way.”
Because the moment is just trying to be what it is and you keep trying to reject it.
Of course it’s going to make it worse. You’re going to get that pushback against you. You’ll feel it in your nervous system and your emotional triggers and anxiety. But when you notice it too right when you just accept it. Haha.
Right, it might take a bit for it to roll through the body.
But it’s different then.
Oh, this is what it is.
Sure, I’d rather have unicorns and rainbows. Who wouldn’t? That’s pretty cool. Right.
But this is what it is.
We just we be a lighthouse.
And we just offer, “This is what I’m doing. Here’s how I look at life.”
Have a great day.
And we just keep going.
Oh, you just need some comfort food here’s the comfort food. Oh, you need a quiet space. Oh, right, whatever it is – here.
We don’t. Yeah, of course, we hope that it’ll stick. That they’ll hear the words that you say. That they’ll feel the vibe be putting out for them. And we hope, of course, we hope that that’ll stick. Right. And that they’ll find their own way to their own Dharma.
We become sensitive because we even though we make this great vow, right, to bring benefit to save all beings. They have to want to be saved too.
Because they might be super happy eating flame burgers right? Flame burgers of hate and anger. There’s no way – You just keep – Just hold that, “Here’s what I’m doing. Here’s how I see it. Here’s the practices that I’m doing. Here’s the commitments that I’ve made. Here’s the discipline that I have in my life. Here’s my daily practice from when I wake up towhen I go to bed.”
Student: You have to show them the pain you’ve been through.
Zen master e: Yeah, and this is what I went through.
Student: Finally I acknowledge when I’m stressed out or anxious – suffering. And I explain this is how I’m feeling – I’m not hiding it anymore. And then they can see – okay this is how you deal with it. And I think you also have to be honest with yourself. You have to know yourself.
Zen master e: This is why your Dharma name is what it is, because you weren’t allowing people to see that.
Student: Not at all. Not even myself.
Zen master e: Let alone the people that you needed to be strong for. Right.
Part of Protibha’s name is Sahaja – Natural. Just be natural. What does natural mean?
This is what is arising naturally in this moment. Why are you rejecting it? You’re rejecting yourself. We have to see that.
That’s the thing right, they don’t see, they don’t see, they just see you, flowing through your life with ease and grace.
They don’t know that you’re up at 5:30 in the morning lighting incense stick and doing your prayers and your meditation even though you went to bed four hours earlier. They don’t see it – that you’ve just had the most stressful day at work and you come home and you roll onto your meditation cushion. They don’t see it that you didn’t want to do anything tonight you hopped in your car and you drove your ass here to be here with us for us.
They don’t know that backstory.
But they know it through you and how you are showing up to each and every moment.
You want to show up in the world differently – to be a blessing we say right – we want to be a blessing. For most of our lives up until we hit the Dharma we’re probably a burden of some sorts right?
You know we’re trying and we’re trying but usually it’s like that inner circle – these three cups are my favorite cups and I’m just going to give them all the love and attention, these others six. Mm hmm.
Those three though.
But even then, even those three though – Depending on how I feel. What I ate. What happened at work.
That’s the thing, when we hit the dharmic path, it’s a very different ball game altogether.
It’s no longer the swinging back and forth and back and forth.
That’s what Buddha said it perfectly – that middle way.
Straight down that middle.
No longer being tossed about – whipped about by wants and don’t wants.
So we just keep showing up.
And yeah, of course, we hope. We hope
That eventually everybody will show up for tea.
I say this every day, multiple times a week, “You know where to find me. You know where to find me.”
It’s simple. You know where to find me. And when you’re ready, you know you have a doorway into it. Right, but the currents of your life and your karma. Right. Put me close but you still gotta workout some stuff.
(zen master e pretends to float through your life for a moment) Hey!
You know. Oh my god! Look at that guy! I recognize him. Because really you’re seeing yourself, right, and you’re seeing a different way.
“Oh that’s what I want.”
And then we just get caught up – in the great forgetting – is how I like to phrase it sometimes we forget. We pretend that all this other stuff is important.
But it is. It is. Right.
But what’s really important is your freedom. Your freedom.
And then once you’re free you free everyone.
You free everyone.
You free everyone from the burden of yourself.
Right? It’s great.
But yeah, that’s all we can do. That we have, we have looked at ourselves enough with enough clarity and open heartedness that we can start to be like, “Ooh, I need to change some of this.”
And that’s why we take, we have ideals.
You know, there is the Buddha, there’s lots of teachers, the lineage. Our teacher – hopefully our teacher embodies it and exudes it somehow.
And it’s tough for us too, because we have, we’re getting pulled in a lot of different ways. So much responsibilities and commitments and everything like this right.
But in each of those moments is training – is your training – is your Dharma training.
You go work – work is my temple. These are my students – they’re all my people.
They don’t know that they’re my students, but they are. And I love them. And each of them is all very different and I know them and I see them. And they feel safe.
And I know, at some point, they’re going to come to me, because they’re going to feel safe enough with me and hurt enough in their own life that they’re going to ask.
Sometimes it’s a hug. Sometimes it’s a couple of words. Sometimes it’s a teaching. Sometimes it’s a practice. Sometimes it’s an invite.
I don’t know what it’s going to be.
Every moment is different.
Every person is different.
I just show up.
“Hey! I’m here.”
That’s it. You just show up. I’m here.
You ever see Tarot, the Tarot deck, The traditional tarot. The first card is the fool. Have you ever seen this, He’s just the fool.
That’s how I feel.
Everybody’s like, That guy’s an idiot.”
And I’m like, “Yep!”
Okay, we good? You guys want to meditate?