Practice Sincerely

Practice Sincerely

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So warm welcome again everyone here in IMC as well as those who are online on YouTube You know from all over the world I just came out of a week-long online Retreat on Friday And so I'm still feeling some Rippling Effect of it And so at the end of The Retreat and I got an opportunity to share a gem That arose out of the retreat And what came to me very strongly Over the course of the retreat was this Deep sense Of trust and rootedness In Sincere practice Sincerity of the practice And then the context of the retreat we Had a retreat theme And there was samadhi And some of you know this concentration As translated as concentration and many Words Samadhi Just by naming samadhi So often our mind immediately get to I Want to get that Okay I don't want to have that And so that becomes a goal of the Retreat you know we get concentrated Or in the Bliss of a samadhi And the teachers knew this very well so

On the very first day Philip Moffett One of the teachers of the retreat Said this We need to be cautious that we don't Turn this Retreat into a hunting party For concentration We're learning to recognize that Concentration naturally arises As a felt sense Such wisdom Such a wisdom You know we have a theme of Samadhi Awakening We can so easily get caught that that is Something that we're getting So I must retreat And fill up with the lead and this Guided meditation each morning at 8 A.M And English guided meditations He would offer a preliminary kind of Process Or you can call it Preparatory process To prepare our body mind and heart So that We're ready and open To the whole process of the meditation And this preliminary process is called Arriving sequence And I won't be talking about the Arriving sequence But I wanted to share something I Learned from this process And so

Um Usually this morning third is an hour or A little over an hour or something like That And the Philippa would offer this Microscopic level great minute details Of What happens as a we arrive on the Cushion On our seat With tiny little shifts in our posture Some shifts in our mind and heart and Great detail great details Is this arriving sequence You know could be 15 20 30 minutes 35 Minutes Sometimes it feels like a forever and You know this is an experience the Student Retreat to so many people have Heard about this arriving sequence and Practice the weather differ Many times you know and in a hundreds of Times so Sitting there Just being with the arriving sequence Was not easy Wow that was not ex what we expected you Know our mind wants to get to somebody Um But such a teaching so one day Sitting In this Timeless arriving sequence It just dawned on me

Wow what a sincere practitioner What a sincere teacher And he wasn't going to rush over it He wasn't actually going anywhere He was just there Was what was present Right in front of him with him While he was offering and sharing Pointers to the rest of us who was Practicing with him There was no shortcuts No Fast Track Just arriving I was so touched and moved by that And when I recognized that All of a sudden my body relaxed my heart Softened I was humbling and inspiring And I had this immediate sense in my Being and I finally arrived And I didn't have to go anywhere And so that's what I thought I was going To Um Share today Um that is The sincerity of the practice And it's easy for us to come to the Dharma practice Using the same attitude that we may be Having Um in engaging in all kinds of aspects Of Our Lives right we're here to get Something or to achieve something

Uh something we want Or we wanted to come here to get rid of Something that Really bothered us the bad stuff Bad habits or You know the lousy neighbors and you Know who knows So we can come here with the attitude Attitude of Getting or getting rid of I don't want to diminish that because All of us probably come to on the Dharma Through that we had something that Connects to us and and we needed Something And yet and as we began to have some Understanding of the Dharma teachings And began to engage with the practice Ourselves My soul will find out maybe for Ourselves That usual patterns of attitudes Don't work They just don't work They actually hinder how we practice And so what's asked of us Is something quite drastically different From our usual attitudes And I would say what is asked of us Is to learn to practice sincerely I'm intentionally passing here Just to practice sincerely Nothing else Period practicing sincerely period

Just take a moment to feel into your Being your heart and mind and What did that what does that feel to you Know I've had many moments when this was Said you know my mind would go what Don't we have to sincerely practice in Order to Get something get somewhere and Have something happened to us you know We have lots of plans That are we okay to just practice Sincerely So I'm very fond of the Suzanne story That Uncle tells us sometimes and I Think many of you probably have heard This that someone asked Um About Enlightenment and uh and he Responded if you practice it sincerely It's just as good So how is that possible Unless I wanted to unpack This sincere practice A bit maybe in a few different Dimensions This is just something that kind of Arose from the reflections of Of the retreat and that I just came off And doesn't mean that those are the only Dimensions there may be many other Dimensions associated with this as well And so the first one And the first one about practicing Sincerely

I is to become aware To become aware of What is happening here How we are practicing and what is here Right now That's the very first thing So even right now as we're all sitting Together I'm speaking and you're Listening What's here Are we aware What's in our mind in our body in our Heart And if we are preoccupied with some Plans Projections interpretations We are not aware what is actually Happening And whatever arises Maybe habitual patterns out of the Storytelling mind Our impulsive mind And so the first thing is to become Aware And make contact with our lived Experience And not something in the past or in the Future And so that's the first aspect of Sincere practice is just to become aware Come in contact with The lived experience Here and Now When we're not aware we can't be sincere I'm gonna say this again when we're not

Aware we can't be sincere Because we don't know what is truly here We're only going to be kind of living in The surface level of or storytelling Stories and Ideas imaginations So that's the first one Now once we're aware the second Dimension of a sincerity Is that of truthfulness Honesty So when we practice it sincerely we're Aware come to contact with our present To lived experience And what's called for immediately Following that is to meet those Experience truthfully Not how you prefer how would you'd Rather But this Whatever is happening right now here This is the truth And so if you're sitting down and you Find yourself having aches and things in The body There's a truth to that Can we be with that honestly Or if there's something in the mind And I'm irritated and Or I have certain fear coming in my mind Is it okay To be with that As they are Meet with this truthfully

And we all know that our minds tend to Skip over You know things that we don't want Unpleasant experiences and And of course you know we don't like That and it's not comfortable And You know my mind tends to have this Habit of Turning Away And then to just kind of Um Reflecting you know often in our Dharma Teachings we offer this lists and Maps You know when we offer a list of eight You know our mind Can't stay at one or two we jump to Number eight Within an hour The first 10 minutes we're not getting To number four something is totally Wrong with us Right and then But uh sincere practice asks us to be True to where we are how we are just as Is We're not moving away And so Um Do I dare to stay true To this This is another phrase that a fella be Used very often on this retreat Do I dare do we dare And sometimes the what's here

We're afraid of So we run away Do we dare so it takes courage and Um Trust and integrity to really be here And I really liked the Chinese Translation of a sincerity I don't know If any of you would know this and Um And it's meaning something like you know Our heart it's what it means is that It's something that our heart and mind Can trust When were sincere there is a certain Kind of trustworthiness In our heart in our mind And maybe it's because that we can stay True With what is here And so in in this way our heart and mind Can trust it And then the third aspect that I like to Speak about and after us being aware With what is happening and stay true or Honest with our experience The third dimension of a sincerity comes In in the form of being open To what is here And this is a kind of opening on You know I had this sense of a gesture I Don't know some of you may be doing yoga And it's a mountain pose in a mountain Pose you stand On your mat you know with your kind of

Hands open a heart lifted and And that you're open To what comes This is that kind of a gesture we're Open to this experience fully Wholeheartedly You know not half-hearted and you know Partially checked out But we're really here fully I'm also find a find a fond of this One-liner that girls sometimes talk About you know in order to get it from A To B you stay at a fully And so the same sense of Opening up to embrace Stay With the experience fully And we all have probably lots of Examples of how we might be experiencing What's happening Half a half-heartedly Right not totally fully You may have had experience where you Are with someone and you know someone is Keeping and Company with you But they're really not there Maybe they're on the phone And they're kind of Gesture is you know they're not looking At you or they're not there with you and They are Kind of there but they're really not There with you We all have experienced this and we can

Be experienced with that part of Ourselves in our inner being You know some aspect of us that we may Prefer not to be here is here Maybe somebody said something about me That That the defensive part of me is here I don't like it I really want to wiggle Out of this Hurt feeling but it's here Can I be with this Can I allow this to be here Without shuffling it around and pushing It away And I remember on One Retreat a recent Retreat that gill Had given a Long extended posture instruction I was struck by The details that he offered in this Posture instruction kind of again as my New details of Different parts of the body energetic Field and you know the jaw the eyes and The eye socket and You know just kind of Everything And I was struck with me was wow how Attuned he was With all of us Just with all of this is sitting and It's just sitting here And it wasn't just For one sitting but it's over time over

The decades and Decades of a practice he Was paying attention to how Posture shifts and changes So as if you're meeting this As an old friend at the same time as a Brand new friend And so that's kind of the attitude that We're bringing in through the sincere Practice And we Embrace this So wholeheartedly that as if we've never Well actually we have never met this This moment before we just give Ourselves over to it bowing down to it And then The last Dimension comes in Which is To be content with this Now that you're aware present honest Truthful Open receptive And be content with Where We Are How we are just as it is It is easy for our mind to feel that Somewhere else would be a better place To be Just not this But the sincere practice asks us to to Check Can we be okay with this experience Whether it's a bliss Pleasant experience or unpleasant Very uncomfortable So whatever is happening is good enough

It's good enough You know our mind are tricky We don't always have clarity And so on an invitation for this sincere Practice Is to also open to this as a learning Process As an ongoing learning process that's Part of the sincerity Sincere practice Bring humility and modesty to our Practice Setting ourselves up against some high Standards Reading only kind of bring To come to us And I want to share this poem that I Just Heard this morning And this is from this little book and The first free woman It's a poems from the early Buddhist Announce And this is a from this nun whose name Is Rahini The title of the poem is wandering star You don't cut sorry I'm gonna restart You don't become the cloth just because You put on ropes You don't don't turn into empty space Just because you carry a bowl The sun doesn't Bow Down Trees don't throw flowers at your feet

Birds don't start answering when you Call The path will hold even the biggest Mistakes The path will make room for even your Deepest regrets But you don't become the cloth of the of The robe overnight You can begin very quietly Something you barely even notice Like the touch of water on your skin Like a knife in a drawer Like the next five minutes Unless they are your last The path isn't a line on a map It's a great shining world Enter wherever you like You might get thrown back once or twice But if we push through the outer layers Oh my siblings Then you will know The true welcome that is the very Essence of the path So we can always begin To enter Wherever we like May we all practice sincerely Hmm So we have a little time For some reflections And or questions oh let's see ah okay Nancy please Thank you Hi Yang thank you for being here today

I was wondering since we have this Auspicious occasion of you being here if You can tell the greater Sangha a little Bit about the Asian Dharma Sangha okay Oh okay thank you thank you Nancy for Bringing that in And yeah we do have Um IMC have Um many different Affinity groups and For me I'm specifically part of an Asian Dharma Circle And offered through IMC that happens on Sunday afternoons it's usually Twice a month and you can check on our Calendar And this is for those who are Self-identified as Folks who have Asian background and to Join it and we usually have a very Simple format and we Meditate together and we have a short a Dharma Reflections offered and then we Engage as a community kind of discuss The Dharma And so to welcome anyone who joined and Please just check on the IMC calendar And then a website thank you Nancy for Bringing that in Okay any other announcement Not and we have some time for yeah just Some Reflections and questions you may Have Thank you Hi I I'm just curious to know what the

Name of that book you read the poem from Is yeah I like that poem yeah the first Free woman And this this is the book feel free to Come up and take a look if you need but It's called The First the free woman Thank you I want to thank you for your talk and That poem was very moving also um I Think I like the difference between That we're content with something versus Something is okay So for me the okay is less judgmental or It's not as warm and fuzzy as content And yes can we be okay with things just As they are so yeah great thank you yeah Great yeah we find our own words you Know words are tricky you know we have Our own associations with them so I'll Find the words that work for you you Know and for me sometimes it's just oh This is good enough That's that's enough yeah Great While you are very quiet and if there is No other comments or sharing I guess we can end So maybe we'll end with a dedication of A merit And together Yes take a moment to Gather ourselves And allow a sense of a gratitude to Arise

Being grateful to be able to practice Together Sharing Dharma together Grateful for our own presence right here Our courage to be here And may whatever benefits and goodness That arose out of Our practice together and our sharing Together May they be shared All around in all directions With all beings May all beings be well May all beings be happy And may all beings be free To everyone

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About the Author: James Quinto

James is a content creator who works in the personal development niche.