An animated dialog about mindfulness

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    From: Clear Cloudless Sky, 2008, July 21, Monday

    Started from sharing the experience of doing 9 sec stopping, the session grew into a dynamic discussion about mindfulness, With contributions from people of different background. A pertinent quote of Zen Master Dogen Zenji connected the threads.



    Thorberg Nordlicht: so, folks, pardon an abrupt change of subject, but has anyone been practicing the 9-second moment?
    doug Sosa: i’ve been trying it in strange circumstances, like this afternoon I had guests, and its amazing how, like a pill slipped into a drink, one can just slide the nine into a conversation.
    Thorberg Nordlicht: you “slid the nine into a conversation”?
    doug Sosa: right, just tried the 9sec without breaking the conversation.
    Pia Iger: ppl thought you were amusing or thoughtful, :)
    doug Sosa: no. they didn’t notice.
    Prosper Telling: interesting
    Pia Iger: so this practice is very doable in our modern life.
    doug Sosa: i felt warmer toward them, easier, becaue of 9 sec i didn't have to do anything.
    doug Sosa: Modern life remember the line nobody knows you are a dog.
    Pia Iger: hehee
    Pia Iger: just projecting. even if you were angry or cold to someone, after 9-sec break, it may be possible to change your mood to be warmer.
    doug Sosa: actually i find the warmer comes on as soon as the nine seconds starts.
    Pia Iger: why it is that?
    Prosper Telling: For myself it is in letting go of my thoughts and just being in the moment for 9 secs.
    doug Sosa: i think because i just let go of the arrow direction of the conversation and see them as people, almost as extras drafted unwillingly into the war of life.
    Prosper Telling: It is easy to lose focus on the petty stuff, the things that are not you.
    Threedee Shepherd: I'm new here, and to this. I find it hard to do with my eyes open.
    doug Sosa: ... had MY eyes well, if not closed, not seeing.

    Threedee Shepherd: I recognize that I am trying to see/be in a different way in the 9 seconds. I accept that much of the rest of the time is obscured in *clouds* that are generated by me (using me as opposed to you) thus I want to somehow respect and embrace that part of me in some useful way as I seek to learn more
    Pia Iger: nicely put, Threedee.
    doug Sosa: "clouds" is interesting. What is the experience of the cloud that leads you to call it cloud?
    Threedee Shepherd: I used clouds metaphorically to imply a haze generated from many sources that obscures clarity
    Prosper Telling: it is a good word imho

    Pia Iger: Not ripping off Threedee, actually on my today's note, I was using the word Cloud.I feel 9-sec kind of clear up my cloud is like being mindlessness, not clear where you are, what you are
    Threedee Shepherd: I guess I am suggesting there is not false-self but false-perception
    Prosper Telling: Do we have anything other than our perception?
    Threedee Shepherd: Based on experience, no.
    Pia Iger: but there are different perceptions,
    Threedee Shepherd: I meant and probably might have better said obscuring haze
    Pia Iger: the opposit of haze/cloud would be clear, fresh.
    Threedee Shepherd: direct
    Prosper Telling: I still like clouds :-) Also the clear blue sky is a metaphor for the unobscured mind.
    Threedee Shepherd: yes, that works

    Thorberg Nordlicht: Clear water, all the way to the bottom; a fish swims like a fish. / Vast sky, transparent throughout: a bird flies like a bird.
    Thorberg Nordlicht: a quote from Dogen Zenji; see
    Pia Iger: oh. I am speechless now.
    Prosper Telling: :-)
    Thorberg Nordlicht: the entire quote is.. Realization, neither general nor particular, is effort without desire. Clear water all the way to the bottom: a fish swims like a fish. Vast sky transparent throughout; a bird flies like a bird. Dogen Zenji

    A question came up from the quote.

    Threedee Shepherd: I am not sure I understand effort without desire
    Thorberg Nordlicht: ((pondering))
    Adelene Dawner: We've discussed that, Three - I'll go find a quote to remind you.
    Pia Iger: I noticed I still have desire with my efforts.
    Prosper Telling: What does it take for a a river to be wet? Or the day sky to be blue?
    Threedee Shepherd: neither effort OR desire
    Thorberg Nordlicht: effort with desire would be effort that seeks to attain something
    Adelene Dawner: [2008/07/15 20:01] You: Life is learning. The societies that we live in, their main function is to provide lessons, which conflicts strongly with them being fair. I still strive for an end to predjudice - ableism especially, as that's my calling this time, but sexism and racism are closely enough related to be relevant. I know, though, that it might be necessary for those prejudices to stay with this society for a while longer, or even permanently. I strive, but I'm not attached.
    Thorberg Nordlicht: Zazen requires the single-minded effort but without attainment
    Thorberg Nordlicht: Suzuki Roshi says *we” don't do Zazen; Zazen does Zazen”
    Prosper Telling: Knowing the Japanese words would be helpful and knowing the Sanskrit from them but I think a case be made for just being to be, just  doing to do.
    Threedee Shepherd: mmhmm
    Prosper Telling: You practice to practice, cultivate to cultivate, without calculation.
    Thorberg Nordlicht: yes
    Threedee Shepherd: I was thrown off by a concrete and physical sense of effort
    Thorberg Nordlicht: Zazen has a benefit but it's nothing we can understand ahead of time, so any idea we have that we're doing Zazen in order to achieve something isn't it. And our effort to achieve something through practicing Zazen just gets in the way
    Adelene Dawner notes to Threedee that her concept of ‘parse is a skill that everyone can improve in :D
    Thorberg Nordlicht: so it's better to just practice without attainment
    Thorberg Nordlicht: enlightenment will take care of itself
    Threedee Shepherd: yes

    Another quote .
    Thorberg Nordlicht: there's another quote from suzuki rosh. I can't remember exactly how it goes, but it's something to the effect that when the shepard is away (we're not living mindfully) then the sheep will stray (thoughts will wander), but when the shepard is simply paying attention (being mindful) then the sheep will not stray; the flock will take care of itself
    Thorberg Nordlicht: and now that i typed that, i realize i did a very poor job of reproducing the quote; I'll have to look it up and get back to you
    Prosper Telling: I like that one
    Threedee Shepherd: the meaning came through :)

    Thorberg Nordlicht: to me the point was that all that's necessary is to live mindfully, just *be* present and the rest of our state of mind will take care of itself
    Pia Iger: so far, the core of what I realized is be at Now, at Moment. It is so essential.
    Thorberg Nordlicht: yes, we spend so much time living in the past (our memory) or in the future (our imagination) that we forget to as you say be at Now
    Threedee Shepherd: that is difficult given that so much of consciousness itself deals with memory and they future.
    Prosper Telling: I'm smiling here, Thor. Thank you. I guess it takes a lot of patience, like emptying an ocean with five gallon bucket, it is through this simple act of mindful for this that in the Sutras it is said that Amida Buddha established his Pure Land. Such a simple practice yet with profound merit and viirtue.
    Prosper Telling: Pia, Now and Being are just two sides of the same thing, when seen in the context of time, the other in Space I think
    Pia Iger: Space as Here
    Threedee Shepherd nods
    Prosper Telling: What is the couplet,
    Prosper Telling: No doubt, No fear,
    Prosper Telling: Just now, just here.

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