but a tremendous amount of human suffering comes from comparisons, and comparing ourselves to ideals. We don't live up to ideals, we do live up to them as though everyone else should, should. Other people are not living up to them. Compare a comparing ourselves to people compare themselves to each other. Sometimes the comparison is that I'm not as much x as someone else, someone else says that, you know, that you're, I'm more you than you, like the letter you. And the and then people, you know, tremendous amount of suffering when those us projecting other people that people are somehow wrong and bad for cross have something about them. Because they're old, and people is ageism, and people are older, as well, often to kāma, to how they're now ignored or not treated well, or sometimes they're treated, you know, ways that they wish they weren't because they're seen in some kind of category being old and incapable. And people are treating them a certain way. People because of their size, their compare this comparison, people, their hair color, the hair length of here, kind of here, skin color, ethnicity, all kinds of things that people do compare each other, that they make judgments about the value of one over another. We compare ourselves to who we were before. Before I was young, and now I'm not. And I wish I had been younger, still young, or now I'm not as not as much as my as as z as I was before, whatever Z stands for. I'm not as you know, now, I'm wrinkled. And rather than and think, Well, in our, you know, beautiful people don't have any wrinkles whatsoever. I grew up with a person, a friend of my parents, a woman who apparently never smiled, because she was attempting not to get any wrinkles. And so, but what about the suchness of the human being? What about your suchness? Is there such a thing, where you can be held up like a flower? And you're allowed just to be as you are? And perfection of suchness? In the simplicity of suchness, without any comparisons at all? What's the beauty of each of us of each of you? In what way? Are you a flower? In what way? Are you? Perfect, wonderful as you are? It is that is that valuable? Is that somehow sentimental or pollyannish? Or not really realistic, because we should be comparing ourselves are those comparisons are real, or they're not real, but they're imposed on me, the world around me is constantly making comparisons and I'm having, I don't feel I'm not I'm not safe in the world because of what people are doing and their comparisons to against me. And so, to emphasize a suchness of us of us, maybe that just allows the status quo to be there. And the status quo is is harmful. Is that the case? Or is there some way valuable way where we can appreciate our own suchness? Can we gaze upon ourselves in such a way that the gaze does not have any comparative thinking? We're not compared to before, to after, to even ideals, even wonderful ideals. We're we're not compared to other people. Each just the simplicity of who we are in a way that maybe we allow the flower to be itself. Now, it's possible in the course of flowers being flowers,
and maybe beginning to kind of gather its forces together to focus on making seeds. that a wind comes along, and it blows off the pedal. And now we have something new in this world, that kind of maybe wasn't as clear as before. Now we have the suchness of the pedal. And the pedals just allowed to be itself. And it's kind of beautiful pedal just itself. And the other option is to look at the flower that's still here. And believe that the essence of a flower that we have to maintain at all costs are the petals, all the petals. And if a flower loses a petal, it's no longer perfect. It's no longer right. But is that the case? The natural course of things. The petals fall off as seed is made. What what why, why do we carry with us the idea of the perfectly full in blossom flower with all its petals is the only suchness of the flower. Can't it be that as it as it begins to lose its its petals that it's just as much as suchness as when it was before. This rose that came from the year at the grounds of IMC is already weathering up. You can maybe see it here. But some of the pedals are kind of beginning to curl up and turn brown and probably going to fall off soon. And it's possible to see it as being starting to become ugly. It's possible. But is there a way of seeing this that is seeing it neither as ugly? Or as beautiful? Just a suchness of it? Or is it possible to see beauty in its decay? After all, it's just a natural process in which it takes the suchness of everything, maybe it's beautiful. Maybe everything is beautiful. In its suchness maybe wrinkles are beautiful. I've seen people with exquisite faceful of cobweb wrinkles, and it literally I thought wow, that is beautiful. There's something special about it. And I've seen people with just a little bit of wrinkles. Wow, that's beautiful. And as in faces with no wrinkles. Wow, that's beautiful. Why not see it all as beautiful? Why do we have these judgments, these comparisons these ideas. Now if we take a flower let's take another one. Let's take this one and we single one part of the flower out as being the most important part of the flower is being anything that really counts. And we're gonna protect that at all cost we're going to be upset if it's not there anymore. And maybe with this flower what's most important is that it has supported by these beautiful green leaves. But then someone comes comes along and takes it or it falls off. But but but but that's what made the flower flower or maybe it's a long stem, maybe the length of a stem the more longer it is what makes it flower a successful flower. But then somehow or other the flowers is made smaller. Oh no. Shorter. Oh no. I was so attached to it being long. That's what really made it a flower. And then the petal start folding off the people who thought that petals were the essence the most important part of the flower and that's glued back on. You know they have they sell petals at the local craft store. And you know, it's important to make the flower perfect. So let's go buy some other buy petals and glue them on when they're falling off.
These are all kind of silly examples. But don't we do this to ourselves? Aren't we judging ourselves and selecting parts of ourselves out as being what's important and what needs to be held up and made to be the way it is. But aren't we innocent and doing this comparisons are in the center or maybe isn't inevitable, we do this, when the world around us is doing it, the social world, the people, the advertisements, the they're all doing it, and they're all holding up a certain way, that's supposed to be the ideal in the right way. And then people behave that way. And people do judge each other. And if they're judging each other, they might judge me. And if they're judging me, and I don't feel safe, and so I better figure out the right length of here that acceptable person is supposed to have, I better figure out the right something and this and that, and people do make adjustments to themselves. And, you know, the ability of people like myself, had moved between cultures. And then they were different standards. And then you kind of figure out like, how do I fit in here? And what is expected? And what clothes and what ways of speaking or what ways of being and all kinds of things. And so, you know, this, once we get into all this complicated social world, it's sometimes difficult not to be pulled into this world of selecting parts out of the hole.
And maybe it's reason to protest, maybe it's reason to stand up and point these kinds of terrible things out that goes on. But what about the suchness? Is that going to be eclipsed? Is that that, does that never have a place? Is there a time and place where we can appreciate the suchness of ourselves of the flower or the situation? The suchness of a moment in time? Or do we are we always on that treadmill that keeps going on and on of the mind, involved in the activity of comparative thinking, the mind involved in not seeing the simplicity of the moment, seeing how much suchness is here, it's a wonderful way that the treadmill is that kind of going and going and going, churning away thinking of wandering. And I think sometimes meditators, especially when they when they begin or maybe when they get up at any time it is possible to be in awe at the treadmill in which the mind is just thinking and comparison stories and ideas and concerns. Just like the thoughts just keep going and going. But it's not that necessary to live that way, all the time. Just like it's important to eat meals or to eat it shatter, usually not a good idea to eat, non stop. But the mind somehow can go non stop just churning away churning away. And even if some of that churning and thinking and reflection is important. Does it need to be all continuous. And so we come to meditation, I think not just to calm ourselves down. But it's possible to come to meditation, to come to a gaze upon the suchness of ourselves, which I'd like to propose is beautiful. To be able to gaze upon the beauty of who we are, which is which is you know, that which is most natural without being a human being, what is that? This this rose which is decaying turning brown is in the suchness of it all I would say I can buy look upon it with a certain reverence and beauty as it ages and gets brown. Of course it will, Why'd it why does it beauty only reside in the full kind of peak vitality of the of the rows in one of the one but one of the fascinating important ways in which such pneus can be seen is with a mind that is not caught up in unskillful states of mind, a mind that's not caught up in these comparisons that are driven by fear, ill will, greed, vanity conceit, jealousy that a whole spectrum of kind of ways in which we get caught in the mind that's tense and contracted, attached to something that selecting something out of the hole is being what's important. And some idea that it has to be a particular way. The mind they can see suchness is the mind that is not caught in all these mental states of attachment. And that is a beautiful mind. That's, that's a mind that has beautiful is looking out across the here in California for the beach, the the ocean view, looking out across the ocean is seeing the beauty of the ocean. Looking at Half Dome in Yosemite, Eric, looking down into the Grand Canyon, looking up into the night sky and seeing the constellations and stars there are times we look at the natural world and we're in awe and it's
beautiful. But to look into our own mind, to look into our own being, and be as bar at Marvel without as much as we would at the world at the universe, the world outside. To be able to see our mind as being they should probably make it a national protected national monument. Or maybe each of us that who, you know. Maybe, you know, maybe that's where the next time the Park Service kind of makes a national park. It should be the suchness of everyone's minds. The mind that does not get caught up in these concepts and comparative thinking. It's a phenomenally beautiful thing, his mind, his heart. And to see the world with that beautiful mind that beautiful heart allows us then to see the suchness of people suchness of other people dip their beauty as they are we look at the Rose that's decaying, and it's a beautiful rose. Maybe we'll want to bow down to the rose. It's so beautiful, we have a reverence and care the ability to see the beauty see the suchness of things. I've been to the bedside of someone who had died. And it was profoundly beautiful and the suchness of it it is it okay to say that? Probably I'd be careful to say that, if the relatives are all quite upset and grieving and whatever, I might not say it then. But is there something about seeing everything in this life except those things that are driven by hatred, driven by greed, driven by delusion or attachment. Do they belong to the world of suchness? In some ways they do. But they are born from an inability to appreciate the suchness of life. They they're born from a mind that doesn't see the beauty of its of itself. They're born from hearts that are withered and contracted and in pain and so that they don't have the ability to touch into or be resting err be grounded in this beautiful quality of our life.
Everything is beautiful when they are free of greed, hatred and delusion
but a lot of it depends on the wow your mind is the ability to see it. So for looking out and expecting to see the beauty in such this and appreciate that in the world, without somehow finding it at ourselves, it's probably not so stable or so accurate or something. So omitted that. So meditation, Buddhist meditation is a way of coming into ourselves to set ourselves free of our attachments, or clinging. Not so that we just are, I don't know, detached, but so that we can appreciate and see the beautiful suchness of this world where there's no clinging, no grasping, no hatred. And then we can be and then we can start kind of being the suchness. There is a acting and living in the world from the suchness with the suchness What's that, like? It's a life which is free, free of attachment. So for me, this whole movement of mindfulness and meditation is such a phenomenally wonderful thing we're doing something I almost have, you know, kind of a deep reverence for, like I do for the night sky, looking into the amazement of ether. Beautiful scenery in the data in the natural world or taking the time to walk in the garden, see the flowers and appreciate each flower for itself or take a time to see hummingbird and the incandescent color and the fluttering around, it's so beautiful. It takes time to stop and appreciate the suchness of our mind the suchness of the world. And then we're available to live a wiser life because of what what a wonderful thing and to live a life that comes out of that recognition of such this recognition of beauty that is so easily overlooked in ourselves and others in this world. And it's overlooked when we our attention becomes excessively selective. It's only about how long the stem is only about the kind of the full complement of petals are there. It's only about some aspect of it that we hold on to this is what it's about. This is who I have to be this is what I'm about. There is a few mentions in the ancient teachings of the Buddha, have people who are just such the suchness of themselves and one of them which may be a little bit interpretive. But there's the Buddha most frequently refers to himself as not as the Buddha, not as skipping named Gotama. But he refers to himself as the target. And it's a ancient title that probably preceded the Buddha. No one quite knows what it means. But it's a compound of two words, but they don't quite know which two words because of how a compound words get letters kind of merge. But my favorite interpretation of it is that it means the one who is thus the Buddha is the one who is thus the one who has such like such. So imagine that, you know you go up to the Buddha and he listens like an unusual guy. So you ask him, you know, who are you what are you? What are you about? And you have your notebook out you're going to write down notes because after all, you don't get talked to Buddha that often. And he says I am this I am such this is this. The suchness of this would you be irritated?
Or would you now appreciate Wow rather than picking and choosing the parts and defining who he is in some particular way that the he just is not defining himself, he's just there. And you can put in what is apparent what is there, he's not going to define any more than the suchness of it the.
Here's a few quotes, versus so if you if you see the selective process that doesn't see this suchness as one that has an opinion about things, a story about things, a view of how things are, then maybe you appreciate this poem. One who is attached, argues over doctrines, how and with what does want to argue with someone unattached, embracing nothing, rejecting nothing, right here, at person has shaken off all of us. So there's a time it's sitting in meditation, where it makes a lot of sense, to embrace nothing, and reject nothing. If what we want to do is to see the fullness, the wholeness of the suchness of this moment.
There's another verse. They aren't enemies to anything seen or heard or thought out? How in this world? Could one have assumptions about those who see in this way, whose conduct is open? So people who are not opposed to anything that they see or hear and think that's thought out any opinions? They don't have that. How could you make assumptions about that? How can you define that? And Hector versus them as these are people whose conduct is openness, I guess you get what you see, you see what how they conduct themselves how they are in their suchness and one more, this is the one that one does not construct, prefer or take up any doctrine This
is Sage is not led by precepts or religious practices is someone who has gone beyond who does not depend on beliefs. It is someone who is versus someone who is thus so. So why did the Buddha hold up a flower? And why did the monk smile? Can you hold yourself up in such a way that you smile? In your lessness, your suchness I certainly hope that you could gaze upon yourself in such a way be present for you're in such a way with a bias that's quiet enough from its attachments, its fears, its desires, it's so that you can gaze upon this beautiful being that you are in its suchness and then to look upon others, every other person with a reverence and care and respect that can come to see the suchness of that as they are what a great world would be if we were to be loved and respected people just as they are. In a world where we don't see the world through the filter of greed, hatred and delusion.
So thank you very much. My friends, my friends and flowers We've made a bouquet here today the individual flowers are just as wonderful in the bouquet as they are apart that you take your wonderfulness with you through the day. Thank you