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Breaking the chain through classical teaching!




And I am going to be exploring the teaching on the 12 length, it is another classical teaching.
And we're continuing to bring these teachings in the practice into the heart and the grit of the everyday and I have been hearing news that people have been listening to these talks whilst walking or sometimes sitting or lying or even in the car, sometimes even jogging.
But wherever you are right now, whatever posture, in whatever situation, I welcome you.
I’m still sitting in my studio, looking out at the huge tree in the courtyard and the leaves are turning yellow, have all of my notes and sources around me as I usually do when I teach.
I was just reflecting before about teaching in northern India with the open Dharma and Ajay walking into my room and seeing all my notes on the ground, he said whoa, yes we all have our different way, without making me laugh.
 
We also remember the writer Jillian Mears, who was a friend for some time, mentor and is she saying keep all your scraps, keep all your notes.
It's all part of the compost of the forest floor that will help you grow beautiful trees in your work.
So, let's hope that's the case in this talk.
We could grow a beautiful tree with the 12 links.
This teaching that speaks to the process of conditioning and the way out conditioning can further compound suffering also in quite a matter-of-fact way speaks to the way one moment then conditions the next moment because of this then that happens.
When this is that is, from the arising of this, comes the arising of that.
When this isn't, that isn't.
From the cessation of this, comes the cessation of that.
And we've already been exploring the sense of this possibility to rest and see deeper than our conditioning.
Spoken of their unconditioned in the Buddha nature, you know, when the Buddha was lying and dying him saying to Ananda, everything that is conditioned is destined to fall apart.
You know, what's deeper? Everything that is conditioned is destined to fall apart to break apart and what is deeper? So, as I've mentioned we've been speaking about Buddha nature and the unconditioned, I have offered the metaphor of the ocean bed, the capacity to rest deeper, to see under all the movements of mind all that moves through us as a human being, that we have the capacity to see openly innocently freshly without bias and this is connected to the teaching on right view, to have a complete authentic open view.
And I know for some of us, the Buddha's teachings in these words right view, right understanding, right intention, right speech, it can sound a little prescriptive.
We could feel again, we're back hearing and overbearing father, who is telling us what to do, the right way to do things.
I've also mentioned sometimes, we can come upon a body of work or a canon of work.
We can come into an institution, it can trigger those old feelings of having to be the good girls and good boys.
We can lose our ease, our sense of freedom, this image of people bending their backs in apology in church pews.
But I continue to be really curious about how we can keep our conversation alive with these teachings.
Buddha being this human man, who saw it into life and it seems as very potent news for us who has put forward this framework.
And this framework here to support our practice, to be a support for us to use in a way that helps us flourish.
If we can keep seeing, this is something that we're having a conversation with, you know not something that is kind of oppressing us or there's more for us to know again, then we don't know enough.
It's what I love about these teachings is the way I feel they press us back into ourselves, they're pressing us back into our own experience and it is this true for you.
How do we make this our own? As the Buddha said: be a light unto your self like yourself up with your own awareness and see, slow down and see.
I feel when we think about right view, it's really saying about having almost no view, the viewless view, a view that is not conditioned, that is fresh and free to really see.
The Buddha would speak about getting, you know, I’m just, I just laughing, something I’m constantly having this conversation with the Buddha at the moment, how I say that, you know, the Buddha says, the Buddha says, so the Buddha would speak about a fetter of views, a contortion of views, arriving a views, a thicket of views and calling us to see deeper, in the way he called people back into the forest, to sit down close to the roots of trees and to start to look openly.
And we see that through this practice, something quite revolutionary began to occur, that began to have wider implications in the culture.
At that time of the Buddha, when they are all originally practicing together, there was a lot of extreme views, one view being about lower caste people, that somehow they did not have the same capacity to practice spirituality, that the monopoly of power was usually in the Hindu priests, they had the telephone line to the gods and we had to go through them.
It was said that if a lower caste person was to hear the teachings, he or she should have molten lead poured in their ear.
So, we can see how extreme and generating some of our views are and how they are not having a whole picture, how they will cancel out so much of what's right in front of you.
In the way of seeing that supports our own egoic hold, our own power base, very convenient views that keep us in power, that allow us to feel okay about what we're doing even if what we're doing is very very questionable, we don't let that in.
So one of the monks was out walking one day and I use this story a lot in Dharma talks because I think it illustrates this questioning of view, the liberation of view really beautifully, in a very human way.
The monk was walking outside and he came upon a young girl, a lower caste girl she was drinking from a well and as he came closer to have a drink she stopped him, "a bhikkhu, you can't drink this water.
If you drink this water, you'll become contaminated, you know, I’m a lower-class girl." in the view being, that one human being because of their caste could poison another human being and a monk with his clean not seeing through concept through ideology but through his own direct experience, he said that's not true.
We can drink from the same water and nothing terrible will happen.
We are both human beings, we have the same capacity to see clearly for dignity, something like this.
The girl was very surprised.
She lit up.
This view that had bent so many backs into seven mission for so long in this moment seen as not true, it says she went to see the Buddha and she said that she hadn't fallen in love with with the monk.
You know, Buddha sat down with this girl and he said you know, he wouldn't have said you no.
He said, I’m not sure if you have fallen in love with this monk but possibly you've fallen in love with the awakened mind that can see clearly and truthfully.
It's easy to sometimes look at other cultures and to see the different forms of views that cause such oppression.
But, I think it's always something to turn us back towards our own culture, to see the oppression that's right in front of us.
And we know the story of Australia, here this beautiful country, that the majority of us in this course are practicing on right now.
We know some of the entrenched, again very convenient views, that were happening towards indigenous people in the time of the colonialization, the first settlement, seeing indigenous people as having lesser intelligence, the view that indigenous people didn't really have the strong connection to this land, that it wasn't theirs.
Of course, they just had a whole different relationship to the land, this view that the people here were simply hunters and gatherers were not relating with the land in other ways.
And it's really interesting reading Bruce Pascoe, I think he's one of our national treasures books, the dark mu, and how he writes really clearly about the absolute level of sophistication in terms of cultivating the land, in terms of farming in some areas, in terms of making the most beautiful sophisticated nets for fishing, having areas of dams, whole villages here, beautiful architecture where many many dwellings were built and people lived for certain periods and he writes about the way the early settlers would be seeing this in moments and even writing about it in their journals and you can read this, seeing this before their own eyes but then very quickly refuting this evidence.
But that must have been another early white person who came who built that village or those fishing nets that they must be from someone else who was here.
Not everyone, some people were actually seen clearly and were amazed but many would just cancel this information out because it wasn't going to be online with their rights to occupy the land.
So again, very convenient views to support your action.
So, you don't have to question.
I think this book is a song to this country speaks about the richness and the intelligence in the relationship to the land of indigenous people, how much we have to learn? How much we could gain, we could be supported that could really help the environment right now by that knowledge? That apparently, Australia, not the Egyptians were the first bread makers, that's put forward.
So much to celebrate in the history here.

So, seeing through false views, that partition off a whole lot of reality and stop us from being in relationship to life as it is, it can cause so much harm has been so much writing about the way the view of the oppressor will become internalized.
So good to be able to see openly.
We've been talking about the four noble truths, not again something to believe in the injunctions to act, that we don't have to keep running and destroying ourselves, that we can stay and meet what's here, we can meet our pain, that the natural forces of suffering in life are not undignified, they're part of our situation and we can be with this and we find what we're running from isn't as solid as we thought that it's moving it's changing, that we can find a creativity in or resourcefulness.
So wild responses that are off the map of our own conditioning with its fresh energy to meet life to meet our situation and this Four Noble Truths supports us on this path to flourish in this way to be less handcuffed by our own reactions, to go to see into the nature of experience, the Four Noble Truths.
Spoken about the hindrances, the five hindrances, the different habitual forces that can move through us and all that can move through us as a human being and how we can cultivate this inner strength to meet this, this openness, this wisdom and we can find different ways to effectively soothe and meet and liberate the disturbances that move through us.
So, we can realign again with fresher ground, less conditioned ground, that we can do this through our own practice but we also can do this through our community, a Sangha, to have people around that can support us to be with our experience in a way that can be really liberating, that we need this web of support, this community of support and the ground.
It's also been mentioned how we have these different kinds of inheritances as part of us human situation.
But on the one hand we could say that we are the some of our conditioning whether some of past causes and conditions that have made us who we are now.
You know, and some of these we just do not choose, you know, we come into this life to certain parents, we're born into a certain culture at a certain time, with certain privileges or lack of privileges and who we are is made up about ancestors.
I could say that you know this is my nose, but I know that my nose is like my great-grandfather's nose or my own humor, you know, it's got my own uniqueness to it but it's informed by my father.
We all grow up in different houses, where there was different atmospheres, where love was withheld or was given in a particular way.
Some of us have experienced really difficult traumas but the life around us in that atmosphere we've grown up in, the culture where in, our history, it's all written in the body.
And we all reckon with this inheritance in our practice and this is something that we shine a light on, that our very unique situation with our very unique trials and tribulations that is the fodder and is the compost for our practice.
This is what we work with, this is what we see in to, this is what grows us this is what makes us unique.
We have this kind of inheritance.
You know, it's grace and it's great.
You know, and we all know that the power of conditioning in even our own generational lines can be very strong and it's cycles of suffering, that if not seen into if not interrupted can play again and again.
We see this personally, we can also see this socially, politically in the cycles of poverty, cycles of patterns of abuse, cycles of views that can keep getting you re turned out again and again if not questioned, the tenacity of habits.
So this is all inside of us, it's people.
But then we also have and this is what I would say the Buddha points to an other spiritual traditions in slightly different ways, that we have this spiritual inheritance we could say, aware of how these words can land on people in very different ways in the word spiritual.
But using it now we have a spiritual inheritance, where we have all of us in us this capacity to bring the light of awareness on to our situation, that we can all touch into something wildly free, an unconditioned that is not bound by the past.
We're suffering Kenzie's, where we can be indirect innocent contact with life just not under the thumb of conditioning.
I keep speaking about the calm abiding practice the function of that to be able to settle deeper, to have some come calm ground, so we can see differently.
We can step outside of the frame, as Salman Rushdie says, and see the whole picture.
It does take a disciplined, there's a velocity in the inner movements of our mind and the emotions and everything, it can it can feel very constricted, very claustrophobic sometimes.
Albert Einstein says that we cannot solve problems by the same awareness that created them.
You see, here we're talking about this capacity to bring the light of our awareness to our own unique unfolding.
This is part of this evolutionary movement of the light of questioning of awareness, meeting our own humanists, our own situation.
We talk about the calm abiding and then we talk about inside of a personna and I say they're inside when the fabric of the gnome is penetrated in some ways opened and something fresh comes through, something off the map can arise and can illuminate and can be freeing.
And just a, my own example here, that I've been ruminating on.
When I first began meditating, as a young woman, as a teenager, waking up in the middle of the night to see to my own mind, the dinner uptight, a period where I was feeling troubled and in my own thinking, snagging on itself and remember one night, beginning to really see well but the confusion I am in right now, the suffering I am in right now is not mine alone.
It is dependent on a whole lot of other causes and conditions, cultural views.
The other way, I grew up the environment I was in and I was thinking it's no wonder that I have masked myself in a certain way that I have put on as I saw it like this a male suit to meet my situation.
And I was feeling another life move through me arise my own poetry, my own sense that there was something deeper than just these conditions, than where my mind was taking me in that moment.
But it was a light bulb moment that my suffering is not just my fault, it's dependent on a wider network.
I know in some cultures when one person is suffering, the whole village will start to question itself.
One person's suffering might have news for the rest of us, it's not an independent isolated phenomenon.
So I could say the way I am thinking now, it's because of what has happened to me in the past and there is a deeper way to look and was very liberating.
There is no one that you know, culture that can have a suspicion of innocence and femininity.
That I was having some trouble to allow this sensitively to fully live in me.
Trying to articulate this now but feel like I’m not totally getting there though, it may be another conversation.
But, just this these power to go well, what I’m suffering when I’m feeling here is not just my fault he's dependent on other causes and conditions.
Yeah, because of that this is.
And in that time, as I was watching the movements of my mind and I was you know hitting a bit of a dead end in how I was living and feeling it there was another way for me that was quite different than what was offered, you know that I could see around me at the time, you know, starting to write like my pen like a torch lighting up my mind, you know, I could sense that there was something deeper in my mind that I couldn't touch it but I sensed I sniffed, I sense there was more possibility for me to live, in ways I wasn't sure what that would look like but I sniffed it and I sensed it I intuited it.
And I think in this that and I think it's beautiful to see that when we liberate ourself of our own constraints, when we see deeper into the false views that the giver views the wilderness of views that have hamstrung us in some way or that have cloaked us or that have constricted our own open creativity or flow or sensitivity, aliveness and a sense of dignity or natural okayness.
And as we start to see into these knots of use these thickets of views we don't just do that for ourself, that that has wider ramifications.
Our own freedom will support others freedom.
Like the writers I've mentioned before James Baldwin, the way he helped so many other younger black writers to be able to write freely, fully, to feel their subjectivity and speak their own experience, even though their own experience wasn't always reflected back in and then in mainstream America at all.
All we could think about women, think about Virginia Woolf and how much she offered other woman by really speaking her own interior, her subjectivity.
The way she was able to let her own rhythm, her own cadence her own natural movement flow.
So, we can all in a way mask ourselves to fit in to the kind of norms of the culture, to go along and then every now and then our inner life and I'd call this the Buddha nature comes in and wants to burst upon the scene, pull us back into deeper authenticity, something wants to break through.
We don't know where that comes from sometimes but it's very beautiful, the light of awareness shining.
You have a piece, we're passing them, sometimes said when like a lightning bolt lights up the whole scene and we can see, we see what we weren't able to see before.
And when we can kind of see the way that past circumstances are what's been in our past affect us in the moment, we don't have to take so much responsibility, an enormous amount of compassion can be released.
Compassion fact you know the situation that we're in.
I mean the statistics are so potent, you know you talk about most of people who sexually abused, eighty percent have been abused themselves, doesn't make up right, doesn't make it okay, doesn't make it fair, but it makes us feel more.
Because of this, then arises them.
If unchecked, the tenacity of habit repeats itself.
And so, what the 12 link teaching office, you know, what pretty much all of the teachings in in the Dharma, in Buddhism offer, isn't it is possible to break the chains of suffering, it's possible to see fresher to open to new possibilities, it's possible to not be bound by our conditioning.
And I mentioned about checking these teachings for ourselves and to seeing how they relate to our own lives and so I just continue to encourage you to do this as I I'll try to go through this a little bit slower just to give us a time to move through these twelve links but I'd like just to talk about them a little bit before we dive in and just to offer another personal story.
You know, I mentioned having this intuition that yeah I think there is something deeper than the movements of my mind.
You know and then after being 17 going and studying with different teachers and monasteries and in hearing, you know those teachings that we've been exploring now on Buddha nature on the unconditioned, on the way to really be with reality and the way that the Dharma didn't shy away from the hard truths of life but looked at them squarely was very relieving to me.
I liked the rigor, I was like okay cool someone's speaking it like it is as I've mentioned before.
You know, I practice in the monasteries.
Then I was always wanting to to really test it for myself and so I will go into solitude in the header a long period in my early 20s living in a unpowered Shack.
I wanted to see and if I do just let go, is there something I can trust in my human experience.
You know, where I’m not manipulating or that Katie more trying so hard.
And I wanted to test this I wanted to see this.
Of course, for a while it was I was really up against my own mind, very strongly.
We are working with all the hindrances, of working with the way the past would erupt in my mind and color the way I see.
We're really seen when I was fresh and when I was not fresh at all.
And as I stayed with it as I stay and as the reactivity settled.
There were nights when a luminosity kind of blossomed in my being.
Yeah, there's something here, something wildly open and free to these human life that we can touch.
It was very precious.
I think some of that still feeds me now.
Of course, you can't you know past insights it's not like you can bottle them and preserve them and put them in the cupboard.
You have to relive it freshly, given again changes but, um, you know this capacity to give ourselves the time to see what's happening in this human body, heart, mind, what's possible? So, the 12 links, so traditionally the 12 links point to this wheel of suffering like sometimes feel a bit tired when I can here this teaching, it was like when this endless wheel of suffering, always exhausted, tossed here and there by the forces of life, never getting down to the ocean bed and it moves us into life after life after life.
We're never stopping to really feel.
It's also put forward the idea that we can jump right off this wheel you know that the goal is to kind of just get it off, get off.
But I like to see it more how can we open in the here and now I bring more consciousness into this will of life, in a sense, these twelve links support, will speak to the unconscious movement when we're not aware of how we condition our next moments into more suffering.
And as this traditionally, these twelve links in the wheel of samsara, it does start to raise these questions of reincarnation and future rebirths.
And this is something I’m sure we will all have different feelings or thoughts about and in another moment this would be lovely for us to all explore together what we all feel about this.
But here, I’m most concerned with is this worldly examination of the 12 links how they affect us in the here and now.
Troopa, a pretty wild teacher he used to say that these twelve links really speak to the way we get entrapped by our own reactivity.
We get entrapped by our own conditioning.
The samsara, we could then see is responding to new situations in old self-defeating and neurotic ways.
Part of what the twelve links point to as the Four Noble Truths tea is a way to intelligently be with the unlived life that is inevitably will rise up in us because the body knows and the body remembers and when we slow down, the unlived life will arise for a reckoning, for a meeting and how can we not be further caught up, when this happens, but how we can have the steadiness to meet this in a open regenerative way.
I think that really does take some ground, how we can reckon with, perhaps the the wrongs of the past, the pains of the past in order to bring us through to fresher ground and again we can see this personally, we can see this politically, we can see this culturally.
You know, the old Greece don't just go away, if not seen into.

I'd like to once again warmly welcome you all into our final Dharma talk for this online program ground.
And this talk is called breaking the chains.
And I am going to be exploring the teaching on the 12 length, it is another classical teaching.
And we're continuing to bring these teachings in the practice into the heart and the grit of the everyday and I have been hearing news that people have been listening to these talks whilst walking or sometimes sitting or lying or even in the car, sometimes even jogging.
But wherever you are right now, whatever posture, in whatever situation, I welcome you.
I'm still sitting in my studio, looking out at the huge tree in the courtyard and the leaves are turning yellow, have all of my notes and sources around me as I usually do when I teach.
I was just reflecting before about teaching in northern India with the open Dharma and Ajay walking into my room and seeing all my notes on the ground, he said whoa, yes we all have our different way, without making me laugh..
We also remember the writer Jillian Mears, who was a friend for some time, mentor and is she saying keep all your scraps, keep all your notes.
It's all part of the compost of the forest floor that will help you grow beautiful trees in your work.
So, let's hope that's the case in this talk.
We could grow a beautiful tree with the 12 links.
This teaching that speaks to the process of conditioning and the way out conditioning can further compound suffering also in quite a matter-of-fact way speaks to the way one moment then conditions the next moment because of this then that happens.
When this is that is, from the arising of this, comes the arising of that.
When this isn't, that isn't.
From the cessation of this, comes the cessation of that.
And we've already been exploring the sense of this possibility to rest and see deeper than our conditioning.
Spoken of their unconditioned in the Buddha nature, you know, when the Buddha was lying and dying him saying to Ananda, everything that is conditioned is destined to fall apart.
You know, what's deeper/ everything that is conditioned is destined to fall apart to break apart and what is deeper/ so, as I've mentioned we've been speaking about Buddha nature and the unconditioned, I have offered the metaphor of the ocean bed, the capacity to rest deeper, to see under all the movements of mind all that moves through us as a human being, that we have the capacity to see openly innocently freshly without bias and this is connected to the teaching on right view, to have a complete authentic open view.
And I know for some of us, the Buddha's teachings in these words right view, right understanding, right intention, right speech, it can sound a little prescriptive.
We could feel again, we're back hearing and overbearing father, who is telling us what to do, the right way to do things.
I've also mentioned sometimes, we can come upon a body of work or a canon of work.
We can come into an institution, it can trigger those old feelings of having to be the good girls and good boys.
We can lose our ease, our sense of freedom, this image of people bending their backs in apology in church pews.
But I continue to be really curious about how we can keep our conversation alive with these teachings.
Buddha being this human man, who saw it into life and it seems as very potent news for us who has put forward this framework.
And this framework here to support our practice, to be a support for us to use in a way that helps us flourish.
If we can keep seeing, this is something that we're having a conversation with, you know not something that is kind of oppressing us or there's more for us to know again, then we don't know enough.
It's what I love about these teachings is the way I feel they press us back into ourselves, they're pressing us back into our own experience and it is this true for you.
How do we make this our own/ as the Buddha said: be a light unto your self like yourself up with your own awareness and see, slow down and see.
I feel when we think about right view, it's really saying about having almost no view, the viewless view, a view that is not conditioned, that is fresh and free to really see.
The Buddha would speak about getting, you know, I'm just, I just laughing, something I'm constantly having this conversation with the Buddha at the moment, how I say that, you know, the Buddha says, the Buddha says, so the Buddha would speak about a fetter of views, a contortion of views, arriving a views, a thicket of views and calling us to see deeper, in the way he called people back into the forest, to sit down close to the roots of trees and to start to look openly.
And we see that through this practice, something quite revolutionary began to occur, that began to have wider implications in the culture.
At that time of the Buddha, when they are all originally practicing together, there was a lot of extreme views, one view being about lower caste people, that somehow they did not have the same capacity to practice spirituality, that the monopoly of power was usually in the Hindu priests, they had the telephone line to the gods and we had to go through them.
It was said that if a lower caste person was to hear the teachings, he or she should have molten lead poured in their ear.
So, we can see how extreme and generating some of our views are and how they are not having a whole picture, how they will cancel out so much of what's right in front of you.
In the way of seeing that supports our own egoic hold, our own power base, very convenient views that keep us in power, that allow us to feel okay about what we're doing even if what we're doing is very very questionable, we don't let that in.
So one of the monks was out walking one day and I use this story a lot in Dharma talks because I think it illustrates this questioning of view, the liberation of view really beautifully, in a very human way.
The monk was walking outside and he came upon a young girl, a lower caste girl she was drinking from a well and as he came closer to have a drink she stopped him, "a bhikkhu, you can't drink this water.
If you drink this water, you'll become contaminated, you know, I'm a lower-class girl." in the view being, that one human being because of their caste could poison another human being and a monk with his clean not seeing through concept through ideology but through his own direct experience, he said that's not true.
We can drink from the same water and nothing terrible will happen.
We are both human beings, we have the same capacity to see clearly for dignity, something like this.
The girl was very surprised.
She lit up.
This view that had bent so many backs into seven mission for so long in this moment seen as not true, it says she went to see the Buddha and she said that she hadn't fallen in love with with the monk.
You know, Buddha sat down with this girl and he said you know, he wouldn't have said you no.
He said, I'm not sure if you have fallen in love with this monk but possibly you've fallen in love with the awakened mind that can see clearly and truthfully.
It's easy to sometimes look at other cultures and to see the different forms of views that cause such oppression.
But, I think it's always something to turn us back towards our own culture, to see the oppression that's right in front of us.
And we know the story of Australia, here this beautiful country, that the majority of us in this course are practicing on right now.
We know some of the entrenched, again very convenient views, that were happening towards indigenous people in the time of the colonialization, the first settlement, seeing indigenous people as having lesser intelligence, the view that indigenous people didn't really have the strong connection to this land, that it wasn't theirs.
Of course, they just had a whole different relationship to the land, this view that the people here were simply hunters and gatherers were not relating with the land in other ways.
And it's really interesting reading Bruce Pascoe, I think he's one of our national treasures books, the dark mu, and how he writes really clearly about the absolute level of sophistication in terms of cultivating the land, in terms of farming in some areas, in terms of making the most beautiful sophisticated nets for fishing, having areas of dams, whole villages here, beautiful architecture where many many dwellings were built and people lived for certain periods and he writes about the way the early settlers would be seeing this in moments and even writing about it in their journals and you can read this, seeing this before their own eyes but then very quickly refuting this evidence.
But that must have been another early white person who came who built that village or those fishing nets that they must be from someone else who was here.
Not everyone, some people were actually seen clearly and were amazed but many would just cancel this information out because it wasn't going to be online with their rights to occupy the land.
So again, very convenient views to support your action.
So, you don't have to question.
I think this book is a song to this country speaks about the richness and the intelligence in the relationship to the land of indigenous people, how much we have to learn/ how much we could gain, we could be supported that could really help the environment right now by that knowledge/ that apparently, Australia, not the Egyptians were the first bread makers, that's put forward.
So much to celebrate in the history here.

So, seeing through false views, that partition off a whole lot of reality and stop us from being in relationship to life as it is, it can cause so much harm has been so much writing about the way the view of the oppressor will become internalized.

So good to be able to see openly.
We've been talking about the four noble truths, not again something to believe in the injunctions to act, that we don't have to keep running and destroying ourselves, that we can stay and meet what's here, we can meet our pain, that the natural forces of suffering in life are not undignified, they're part of our situation and we can be with this and we find what we're running from isn't as solid as we thought that it's moving it's changing, that we can find a creativity in or resourcefulness.
So wild responses that are off the map of our own conditioning with its fresh energy to meet life to meet our situation and this Four Noble Truths supports us on this path to flourish in this way to be less handcuffed by our own reactions, to go to see into the nature of experience, the Four Noble Truths.
Spoken about the hindrances, the five hindrances, the different habitual forces that can move through us and all that can move through us as a human being and how we can cultivate this inner strength to meet this, this openness, this wisdom and we can find different ways to effectively soothe and meet and liberate the disturbances that move through us.
So, we can realign again with fresher ground, less conditioned ground, that we can do this through our own practice but we also can do this through our community, a Sangha, to have people around that can support us to be with our experience in a way that can be really liberating, that we need this web of support, this community of support and the ground.

It's also been mentioned how we have these different kinds of inheritances as part of us human situation.
But on the one hand we could say that we are the some of our conditioning whether some of past causes and conditions that have made us who we are now.
You know, and some of these we just do not choose, you know, we come into this life to certain parents, we're born into a certain culture at a certain time, with certain privileges or lack of privileges and who we are is made up about ancestors.
I could say that you know this is my nose, but I know that my nose is like my great-grandfather's nose or my own humor, you know, it's got my own uniqueness to it but it's informed by my father.
We all grow up in different houses, where there was different atmospheres, where love was withheld or was given in a particular way.
Some of us have experienced really difficult traumas but the life around us in that atmosphere we've grown up in, the culture where in, our history, it's all written in the body.
And we all reckon with this inheritance in our practice and this is something that we shine a light on, that our very unique situation with our very unique trials and tribulations that is the fodder and is the compost for our practice.
This is what we work with, this is what we see in to, this is what grows us this is what makes us unique.
We have this kind of inheritance.
You know, it's grace and it's great.
You know, and we all know that the power of conditioning in even our own generational lines can be very strong and it's cycles of suffering, that if not seen into if not interrupted can play again and again.

We see this personally, we can also see this socially, politically in the cycles of poverty, cycles of patterns of abuse, cycles of views that can keep getting you re turned out again and again if not questioned, the tenacity of habits.
So this is all inside of us, it's people.
But then we also have and this is what I would say the Buddha points to an other spiritual traditions in slightly different ways, that we have this spiritual inheritance we could say, aware of how these words can land on people in very different ways in the word spiritual.
But using it now we have a spiritual inheritance, where we have all of us in us this capacity to bring the light of awareness on to our situation, that we can all touch into something wildly free, an unconditioned that is not bound by the past.
We're suffering Kenzie's, where we can be indirect innocent contact with life just not under the thumb of conditioning.
I keep speaking about the calm abiding practice the function of that to be able to settle deeper, to have some come calm ground, so we can see differently.
We can step outside of the frame, as Salman Rushdie says, and see the whole picture.
It does take a disciplined, there's a velocity in the inner movements of our mind and the emotions and everything, it can it can feel very constricted, very claustrophobic sometimes.
Albert Einstein says that we cannot solve problems by the same awareness that created them.
You see, here we're talking about this capacity to bring the light of our awareness to our own unique unfolding.
This is part of this evolutionary movement of the light of questioning of awareness, meeting our own humanists, our own situation.

We talk about the calm abiding and then we talk about inside of a personna and I say they're inside when the fabric of the gnome is penetrated in some ways opened and something fresh comes through, something off the map can arise and can illuminate and can be freeing.
And just a, my own example here, that I've been ruminating on.
When I first began meditating, as a young woman, as a teenager, waking up in the middle of the night to see to my own mind, the dinner uptight, a period where I was feeling troubled and in my own thinking, snagging on itself and remember one night, beginning to really see well but the confusion I am in right now, the suffering I am in right now is not mine alone.
It is dependent on a whole lot of other causes and conditions, cultural views.
The other way, I grew up the environment I was in and I was thinking it's no wonder that I have masked myself in a certain way that I have put on as I saw it like this a male suit to meet my situation.
And I was feeling another life move through me arise my own poetry, my own sense that there was something deeper than just these conditions, than where my mind was taking me in that moment.
But it was a light bulb moment that my suffering is not just my fault, it's dependent on a wider network.
I know in some cultures when one person is suffering, the whole village will start to question itself.
One person's suffering might have news for the rest of us, it's not an independent isolated phenomenon.
So I could say the way I am thinking now, it's because of what has happened to me in the past and there is a deeper way to look and was very liberating.
There is no one that you know, culture that can have a suspicion of innocence and femininity.
That I was having some trouble to allow this sensitively to fully live in me.
Trying to articulate this now but feel like I'm not totally getting there though, it may be another conversation.
But, just this these power to go well, what I'm suffering when I'm feeling here is not just my fault he's dependent on other causes and conditions.
Yeah, because of that this is.
And in that time, as I was watching the movements of my mind and I was you know hitting a bit of a dead end in how I was living and feeling it there was another way for me that was quite different than what was offered, you know that I could see around me at the time, you know, starting to write like my pen like a torch lighting up my mind, you know, I could sense that there was something deeper in my mind that I couldn't touch it but I sensed I sniffed, I sense there was more possibility for me to live, in ways I wasn't sure what that would look like but I sniffed it and I sensed it I intuited it.

And I think in this that and I think it's beautiful to see that when we liberate ourself of our own constraints, when we see deeper into the false views that the giver views the wilderness of views that have hamstrung us in some way or that have cloaked us or that have constricted our own open creativity or flow or sensitivity, aliveness and a sense of dignity or natural okayness.
And as we start to see into these knots of use these thickets of views we don't just do that for ourself, that that has wider ramifications.
Our own freedom will support others freedom.
Like the writers I've mentioned before James Baldwin, the way he helped so many other younger black writers to be able to write freely, fully, to feel their subjectivity and speak their own experience, even though their own experience wasn't always reflected back in and then in mainstream America at all.
All we could think about women, think about Virginia Woolf and how much she offered other woman by really speaking her own interior, her subjectivity.
The way she was able to let her own rhythm, her own cadence her own natural movement flow.
So, we can all in a way mask ourselves to fit in to the kind of norms of the culture, to go along and then every now and then our inner life and I'd call this the Buddha nature comes in and wants to burst upon the scene, pull us back into deeper authenticity, something wants to break through.
We don't know where that comes from sometimes but it's very beautiful, the light of awareness shining.
You have a piece, we're passing them, sometimes said when like a lightning bolt lights up the whole scene and we can see, we see what we weren't able to see before.
And when we can kind of see the way that past circumstances are what's been in our past affect us in the moment, we don't have to take so much responsibility, an enormous amount of compassion can be released.
Compassion fact you know the situation that we're in.
I mean the statistics are so potent, you know you talk about most of people who sexually abused, eighty percent have been abused themselves, doesn't make up right, doesn't make it okay, doesn't make it fair, but it makes us feel more.
Because of this, then arises them.
If unchecked, the tenacity of habit repeats itself.
And so, what the 12 link teaching office, you know, what pretty much all of the teachings in in the Dharma, in Buddhism offer, isn't it is possible to break the chains of suffering, it's possible to see fresher to open to new possibilities, it's possible to not be bound by our conditioning.
And I mentioned about checking these teachings for ourselves and to seeing how they relate to our own lives and so I just continue to encourage you to do this as I I'll try to go through this a little bit slower just to give us a time to move through these twelve links but I'd like just to talk about them a little bit before we dive in and just to offer another personal story.
You know, I mentioned having this intuition that yeah I think there is something deeper than the movements of my mind.
You know and then after being 17 going and studying with different teachers and monasteries and in hearing, you know those teachings that we've been exploring now on Buddha nature on the unconditioned, on the way to really be with reality and the way that the Dharma didn't shy away from the hard truths of life but looked at them squarely was very relieving to me.
I liked the rigor, I was like okay cool someone's speaking it like it is as I've mentioned before.
You know, I practice in the monasteries.
Then I was always wanting to to really test it for myself and so I will go into solitude in the header a long period in my early 20s living in a unpowered Shack.
I wanted to see and if I do just let go, is there something I can trust in my human experience.
You know, where I'm not manipulating or that Katie more trying so hard.
And I wanted to test this I wanted to see this.
Of course, for a while it was I was really up against my own mind, very strongly.
We are working with all the hindrances, of working with the way the past would erupt in my mind and color the way I see.
We're really seen when I was fresh and when I was not fresh at all.
And as I stayed with it as I stay and as the reactivity settled.
There were nights when a luminosity kind of blossomed in my being.
Yeah, there's something here, something wildly open and free to these human life that we can touch.
It was very precious.
I think some of that still feeds me now.
Of course, you can't you know past insights it's not like you can bottle them and preserve them and put them in the cupboard.
You have to relive it freshly, given again changes but, um, you know this capacity to give ourselves the time to see what's happening in this human body, heart, mind, what's possible/ so, the 12 links, so traditionally the 12 links point to this wheel of suffering like sometimes feel a bit tired when I can here this teaching, it was like when this endless wheel of suffering, always exhausted, tossed here and there by the forces of life, never getting down to the ocean bed and it moves us into life after life after life.
We're never stopping to really feel.
It's also put forward the idea that we can jump right off this wheel you know that the goal is to kind of just get it off, get off.
But I like to see it more how can we open in the here and now I bring more consciousness into this will of life, in a sense, these twelve links support, will speak to the unconscious movement when we're not aware of how we condition our next moments into more suffering.
And as this traditionally, these twelve links in the wheel of samsara, it does start to raise these questions of reincarnation and future rebirths.
And this is something I'm sure we will all have different feelings or thoughts about and in another moment this would be lovely for us to all explore together what we all feel about this.
But here, I'm most concerned with is this worldly examination of the 12 links how they affect us in the here and now.
Troopa, a pretty wild teacher he used to say that these twelve links really speak to the way we get entrapped by our own reactivity.
We get entrapped by our own conditioning.
The samsara, we could then see is responding to new situations in old self-defeating and neurotic ways.
Part of what the twelve links point to as the Four Noble Truths tea is a way to intelligently be with the unlived life that is inevitably will rise up in us because the body knows and the body remembers and when we slow down, the unlived life will arise for a reckoning, for a meeting and how can we not be further caught up, when this happens, but how we can have the steadiness to meet this in a open regenerative way.
I think that really does take some ground, how we can reckon with, perhaps the the wrongs of the past, the pains of the past in order to bring us through to fresher ground and again we can see this personally, we can see this politically, we can see this culturally.
You know, the old Greece don't just go away, if not seen into.

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