October 15, 2003

We will begin with a fifteen minute sitting. Then this talk and the exercises. Then some large group discussion. The remaining time will be devoted to small groups.

I am Aaron. My blessings and love to you all. It will be best for you each to have a copy of this transcript and to read it aloud in the class, each person reading a paragraph or two.

In our last class, we spoke of sambhogakaya, the transition body. I asked you to get to know the direct experience of each of the three kayas. Today we will take it a step further. We want to look at what this means in your daily life, working with whatever difficult experience you have decided to focus on for the beginning weeks of the class. Before we proceed, I want to introduce one more element for our consideration. Some of you are already familiar with the descriptions of energy that I will present. What I am doing here is establishing a consistent vocabulary which we all may share so that we can speak with more clarity amongst ourselves. There are many descriptive terms about energy in many traditions. I like the statement of it taken from shiatsu, so we will use this model.

Shiatsu speaks of the need for a balance between active and passive energy. The name given to active energy is jitsu, the name given to passive energy is kyo. As an example of these, I would like you to turn to the person sitting next to you, person A and person B. Person A, close your eyes and hold out your hand in a receptive manner. Person B take an object, it might be your pencil or your watch; if you have no other object, crumple up a piece of paper. As the hand is outstretched, I want the As to feel the active tension, an active energy, wanting to hold and receive. As person B puts the object in A's hand, I want the As to observe the relaxation of that energy. It will be a momentary relaxation. The active energy, reaching out, is jitsu. The relaxation is kyo. Watch this carefully. After a moment, the kyo departs and there is jitsu again. What do you do with this hand with the object in it? Bring the hand back into the body, and in the bringing there is still jitsu. Let the hand come to rest against the body, feel the kyo. You might try holding out the hand again, still with the object, and bringing it back to rest against the body again. This is the balance of kyo and jitsu.

Please try this now. After A has practiced, B will practice. (time of practice)

You can see this pattern of balanced kyo and jitsu in your body and in the world around you. Winter is a kyo season. Spring is a jitsu season. The hottest part of Summer is a kyo season, Fall is a jitsu season.

Waves coming together in the ocean build up as a jitsu energy. The moment when they crash onto the beach and stop is a kyo moment. The undertow then pulls them out again, as jitsu, building into a new wave. There is a kyo moment at the peak of that wave before it begins to crest and move into shore. The breath follows the same pattern. Breathe in deeply, feel the breath become increasingly jitsu as you force the lungs to hold air. Feel the moment of release as it shifts to kyo. Force the air out and watch the jitsu energy return. The jitsu is a grasping energy, wanting to bring in a new breath. As soon as a new breath is allowed, in that moment of fulfillment of the grasping, there is kyo.

There is one more aspect to this energy, that which we call hyper-kyo. This name is a bit misleading because hyper-kyo is not really a kyo or passive state, but is jitsu energy that has become so compacted that it takes on the guise of passivity.

Picture logs flowing down a river. They float freely but occasionally bump into each other. There is a dam in the river; as the logs approach the dam, there is congestion. The logs become packed in so they cannot move. This non-movement gives an outer semblance of kyo, of passivity. But you can feel the enormous tension beneath. If you open the dam gates, and move a few key logs to alleviate the blockage, the rest will erupt through the dam, very jitsu.

In kyo energy, if you add some energy, some tension, it becomes a bit more animated. With hyper-kyo, if you add energy, in this case if you add more logs, it just becomes more jammed. Hyper-kyo is often experienced as the result of contraction. I would like you to try an experiment now, to each literally hold out one arm. Do it slowly, first the arm resting on the lap, kyo. The intention to lift and move, jitsu. Extending it out, now feel the tightening of the muscles. I will ask you to hold out the arm until there is some actual discomfort. At this point, the resultant kyo, jitsu or hyper-kyo will depend not so much on the muscles but on the relationship with the discomfort. Feeling discomfort, if the mind contracts around it, there will be a sense of separation from the physical experience. When there is awareness of the discomfort, awareness of the aversion to the discomfort, and the whole of these experiences is held in the loving heart and mind, there is no separation from the arm, no separation from the self.

Try this. When you hold out your arm until you experience some mild pain, if the body contracts with aversion, the whole experience shifts to jitsu and then hyper-kyo. When you relax with the experience, noting discomfort and even aversion without judgment but with kindness, there is a balanced kyo-jitsu energy. Tension with the physical discomfort and relaxation with the spaciousness around that discomfort. Please try this now, I pause.

(some time of practice)

Let us now bring these two pieces together, the energetic movement of kyo, jitsu, hyper-kyo, and the three kayas. Clearly, dharmakaya is beyond the realm of kyo and jitsu, and yet it contains kyo and jitsu. They are in such perfect balance that you can no longer say this is kyo and this is jitsu. In dharmakaya, we find the kyo that is inherent in the jitsu and the jitsu that is inherent in the kyo.

In nirmanakaya -- in the forms of physicality, thought, emotions and energy itself -- we lose touch with the non-duality of kyo and jitsu. Dharmakaya is the see-saw perfectly balanced. There are two ends, but only one board. In nirmanakaya there is still one board and two ends, but the weight goes from one end to the other, up and down, back and forth. In dharmakaya there is not really any fulcrum. The fulcrum is non-dual with the ends. In nirmanakaya, the fulcrum shifts back and forth. These are the worlds of relative and ultimate reality.

When you find too much jitsu energy and attempt to fix it, that is simply more jitsu energy. When you find too much kyo energy that is out of balanced kyo, and attempt to "fix it," it keeps you running back and forth. There is still the duality, jitsu-kyo-jitsu-kyo. So on the relative plane, we speak of balancing kyo and jitsu. But what we are really after is beyond that. It is that state of the non-duality of kyo and jitsu.

I want to give one more example here to make this clear. Red is a distinct color, blue is a distinct color. When you mix them together you get purple. Imagine the difference between a pointillist image, many dots of red and blue, and an image where the red and blue have been thoroughly blended before the paint is applied. In purple, there is still red and blue, and yet in purple there is only purple.

On the relative plane, dealing with only nirmanakaya, there is only kyo and jitsu, in balance or out of balance. On the ultimate plane, in dharmakaya, while kyo and jitsu are still present, they are not experienced as kyo and jitsu any more than red and blue are experienced in purple. These elements-- red, blue, kyo, jitsu-- have not gone anywhere. But what is perceived is the place where they all come together, purple, innate perfection, balance. I hesitate to use the word balance, as it brings us back to separate elements. There is no balance in dharmakaya, just pure being.

When something pushes at you and there is an experience of contraction, this is a jitsu tension. The mind that says, "I need to fix this," or even, "I will attend to this," is still in the world of duality.

Let us return here to sambhogakaya, the transition body. We cannot live in the perfect, non-duality of dharmakaya. At least most beings can't, and that's okay. We do need to remember the dharmakaya and touch it through sambhogakaya. Let us replay the scene above. Something pushes at you, contraction. That is a jitsu energy. Even noting is a jitsu energy. Noting, "pushing" or "contraction" or "discomfort" is doing. One then returns to the innate spaciousness that holds all of that energy within it. One returns to one's deepest intention to non-harm, intention to joy, to wholeness, to clarity. Returning to that intention is also a jitsu movement, a doing. There has to be the intention for there to be the result.

Just as I had you hold your hand out and feel the jitsu tension and then the release of tension as the object was placed in the hand, so with the intentions to do no harm and toward clarity and wholeness, the offering of the intention is jitsu and then there is awareness of the ever-presence of that wholeness, clarity and joy, which brings the fulfillment, kyo. When the mind thinks there is somewhere to go, there is tension. When the mind remembers, "I am already home," there is no more tension.

We are going to be talking more about this in future weeks. I do not ask you to totally understand it at this point, only to explore these various words and concepts. We are going to do an exercise, again in pairs, A and B. Each of you will have a dozen balls of paper. I wish these could be heavier objects; a ball of aluminum foil or a ball of socks. Balls of aluminum foil would be wasteful and balls of socks would be difficult to sort out at the end. Try to make your newspaper balls as compacted as possible.

Here is the process. Sit about three feet apart. First, A will be the recipient of B's throwing and then reverse. A, sit with your eyes closed. Breathe, meditate. B, throw a newspaper ball and hit A somewhere on the body. A, watch the process as carefully as you can. Touching, probably not particularly unpleasant and yet the body will contract, just because there is a slight surprise. Jitsu energy with the contraction and then kyo, as there is space for that contraction, release of it. Another newspaper ball, touching, contracting. Watch what happens if the contraction is held in a spacious place, in essence, the non-duality of contraction and non-contraction. This is the main point of this exercise; to deeply experience that awareness can continue to rest in the uncontracted, even with the experience of contraction. Watch when the board is a see-saw, moving up and down on the fulcrum, kyo and jitsu. Watch when the whole board seems to melt into a glob which contains undifferentiated kyo and jitsu.

A's continue for several minutes, through the throwing of all 12 balls, then reverse.

The assignment for the next class is simply to further reflect on all this information and look at it in everyday experience. The primary question here: what best dissolves the dualistic concept that arises with difficult experience? What enhances that sense of dualism? Watch this with the burned toast, the angry words, the traffic delay, the splinter in the finger or the sudden rain storm. There will be contraction. Be aware of the pattern of kyo and jitsu energy, and if there is balance or imbalance. Then ask yourself to step beyond balance into the spaciousness of non-duality. What do you experience? Please notate this in your journal so that you may more easily share the details with your group.

We will have a large group discussion now and then break into your small groups.

Copyright © 2003 by Barbara Brodsky