2008.08.31 19:00 - Gene pools, cats, and kakrafoon

    Table of contents
    No headers

    Rowan Masala was the guardian for this meeting.  The comments below are hers.

    Adelene was sitting peacefully in her own meditation when I arrived at the pavilion.

    Rowan Masala: Hello Adelene
    Adelene Dawner: hi :)

    And Threedee joined us soon thereafter.  We tried to get a sense of what time of day it was for each of us.

    Rowan Masala: Hello 3D
    Rowan Masala: welcome
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^
    Threedee Shepherd: hello folks
    Rowan Masala: Adelene and 3D, where are you in RL? what time zone?
    Threedee Shepherd: Colorado, MDT * PM
    Adelene Dawner: New Jersey, here, Eastern time.
    Rowan Masala: me too
    Threedee Shepherd: 8 PM
    Rowan Masala: ah, mountain time
    Threedee Shepherd: the "forgotten" time zone
    Rowan Masala: forgotten? in what way?
    Threedee Shepherd: never gets mentioned when TV is announcing when things will be on

    Prospero appeared next and joined in our chit chat about time zones.

    Rowan Masala: Hello Prospero
    Rowan Masala: welcome
    Rowan Masala: ah
    Threedee Shepherd: Then again, there's only about 16 million people in the entire time zone :)
    Rowan Masala: that's a lot of people :)
    Prospero Frobozz: Hey
    Prospero Frobozz: Which is the forgotten time zone?
    Threedee Shepherd: more than that in most metropolital areas
    Threedee Shepherd: Mountain
    Prospero Frobozz: I'm confused about time zones all the time 'cause I live in CST but work in PST....
    Rowan Masala: ah yes, that would be confusing
    Threedee Shepherd: telecomuting I hope :D
    Prospero Frobozz: YEs
    Prospero Frobozz: Otherwise, the commute would be murder
    Threedee Shepherd: hehe

    And then Steven...

    Threedee Shepherd: Hi steve
    Rowan Masala: welcome, Steven
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Rowan...smile
    Adelene Dawner: Don't mind me, I'm not entirely here. Rough day at work.

    And we launched into our discussion of the 9-second practice.

    Rowan Masala: how is the 9-second meditation going for everyone?
    Prospero Frobozz: So, I've only been to one of these sessions before; apologies if I'm ignorant about protocol and such.
    Rowan Masala: ah, well, I'm new as a guardian, so we're in the same boat
    Rowan Masala: do we have your permission to record your chat, Prospero?
    Prospero Frobozz: Yes
    Rowan Masala: thank you
    stevenaia Michinaga: http://playasbeing.wik.is/Informatio..._in_a_Nutshell
    Rowan Masala: Adelene, I'm sorry you had a rough day at work
    Prospero Frobozz has not been doing 9-second meditations, but is curious what folks' experiences with it are. Are you able to really defocus within 9 seconds so that you really are able to reflect?
    stevenaia Michinaga: this is a good starting point prospero
    Adelene Dawner: Eh. Happens. I'm off for the next two days; I'll be ok.

    And where some of us deviated from the 9-seconds...

    Rowan Masala: well, Prospero, to be honest, I find that 9-seconds doesn't work for me
    Rowan Masala: I tend to take longer periods a bit less often
    Rowan Masala: but I think Pema's concept of 1% of your time is a nice one
    stevenaia Michinaga: Prospero, speaking generally, any tool or method if worked with intently has the ability to be productive, and refined in time
    Adelene Dawner: I do the same, Rowan.
    Rowan Masala: I just take it in a different way
    Rowan Masala: what about you, 3D?
    Threedee Shepherd: usually a bit longer than 9-sec, and often when I "need it" or it is an appropriate response to the moment
    Rowan Masala nods
    Rowan Masala: do you have a meditative practice, Prospero?
    Prospero Frobozz: I don't
    stevenaia Michinaga: I know artist that can take any .5 mm pencil, for instance and produce art, it;s just a matter of focus, I belive any "method" of meditation can also produce.... something
    Rowan Masala smiles
    stevenaia Michinaga: so why not 9 second?

    And Prospero brought up an issue I struggle with myself--how to quiet the mind...

    Prospero Frobozz has always had a very hard time getting his mind to "quiet down" -- even for going to sleep at night, for instance.
    Rowan Masala: Steven and I have had this discussion before. I think I argued that the artist couldn't produce very much if there wasn't time for the pencil to reach the page
    Prospero Frobozz: I guess one question I have about the 9-second meditation thingies is -- do you really try to get your mind to quiet down? Or is it more self-observation?
    Threedee Shepherd: some of both, for me
    Rowan Masala: for me, I think it's mostly about the pause
    Prospero Frobozz: Rowan : some artists would be able to do something neat in 5 seconds, others wouldn't... depends on the artist.
    Prospero Frobozz: When you pause, do you just *pause*, or are there particular questions you ask yourself?
    stevenaia Michinaga: I use breathing I leaned in yoga, a deep breath or two can change mental and physical states
    Rowan Masala: I try to focus on my breathing as well
    Threedee Shepherd: I try to not-ask
    stevenaia Michinaga: focus on opening your mind and changing your perspective, the questions come
    Prospero Frobozz: Onions
    stevenaia Michinaga: for me at least
    Rowan Masala: layers and layers?
    Prospero Frobozz: Whenever I've tried to clear my mind, or stop with whatever I'm focusing, all that happens is I find other things on my mind... "gee, my foot is falling asleep" or "I will need to go to the bathroom soon", or "hey, perhaps I could try using that method to solve that coding problem I haven't thoughth about in three days"
    Prospero Frobozz: (The first two came from right now, ... TMI probably :) )
    Rowan Masala nods, smiling
    Rowan Masala: not at all TMI
    Rowan Masala: I think it's fascinating to find out what the experience is like for people
    Threedee Shepherd: excuse, what's TMI?
    Rowan Masala: too much information
    Threedee Shepherd: ah
    Rowan Masala: have you ever tried counting your breaths, Prospero?
    Prospero Frobozz: Rowan : not sure. I do things like count steps, count the number of times I stir, things ilke that.... in an OCD sort of way.
    Prospero Frobozz: Sometimes at night when I'm having trouble going to sleep I try counting backwards, but generally I find that my thoughts have drifted and I'm actively thinking about something else before long....
    Rowan Masala laughs--I know what that's like--one of the reasons I had to shift from 9-seconds to "a few moments" is that I kept worrying about how long 9-seconds was
    Threedee Shepherd: I have decided that if my head wants to race as I am trying to sleep, I will go with it and see what happens. Then again, I have the luxury of waking up when I want to.
    Prospero Frobozz: Heh
    Prospero Frobozz: Yeah, usually I just go with my mind racing, but sometimes I really want to go to sleep....
    stevenaia Michinaga: have you meditated using any other ways before, Prospero?
    Prospero Frobozz: I've found another solution recently to going to sleep fast, and that's to stay up too late every night....
    Prospero Frobozz: stevenaia : only sort of.
    Rowan Masala: can you tell us a little bit about what it's like to watch your mind race, 3D? that sort of mindfulness of the racing?
    Prospero Frobozz: I've tried emptying my mind and just paying attention to what's there... sounds in the enviornment that I've filtered out, that kind of thing. I don't do it often.
    Threedee Shepherd: I try to do a 9-sec type "observation" without judgment or conclusion, sort of turning it into a waking almost-dream
    Rowan Masala: and what does that look like?
    Threedee Shepherd: Hard to answer. I have always spent lots of "time in my head" though now (being retired and all that) it is not usually coupled with anxiety.
    Rowan Masala smiles
    Rowan Masala: nice to know that there's an end to anxiety out there for some

    Starseed joined us for a few moments, but never spoke...

    Rowan Masala: hi Starseed
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Starseed
    Rowan Masala: welcome
    Threedee Shepherd: hi
    Rowan Masala: forgive me, I'm new at guardianship, so I don't know you. have you been to PaB meetings before, Starseed?
    Threedee Shepherd: Yes, I wonder what would have been had I reached this state years ago, oh well ;)
    Adelene Dawner chuckles.

    9-second cat meditation...

    Rowan Masala: Steven, I think you suggested once that we pause when the chimes ring, and meditate for 9 seconds as a group then
    Rowan Masala: can someone with better sound tell us when it chimes?
    stevenaia Michinaga: I'll try to remember, thanks
    Rowan Masala: oh, and my cat is trying to lie across my keyboard, so any odd typing is him, not me :)
    Prospero Frobozz: heh
    Prospero Frobozz: I get that
    Prospero Frobozz: My cats like to rename the hard drive on my mac
    Rowan Masala: oh my!
    Rowan Masala: do they have favorite names?
    Prospero Frobozz: }{:ll0...
    Prospero Frobozz: mostly
    Rowan Masala: ah yes, such a powerful name in feline
    Rowan Masala grins
    stevenaia Michinaga: careful, my laptop vacuums cat hair better than you can imagine
    Rowan Masala: I find snuggling with my cat to be very meditative
    Threedee Shepherd: Interesting about anxiety and even annoyance (there is some now at a RL situation), I just noticed once again that the *only* one I am *arm-wrestling* is me :D
    stevenaia Michinaga: so said my apple repair man
    Prospero Frobozz: They've also turned on various desktop features (like, once, an accessibility option so that it spoke the name of every icon I clicked)
    Prospero Frobozz: They never tell me how to turn them back off
    Prospero Frobozz: Threedee : true re: anxiety and annoyance, although sometimes there's an external arm-wrestle fuelling the internal one
    Rowan Masala: I can become so absorbed in the sound of his purr and the feel of his fur, it's as if the rest of the world disappears
    Prospero Frobozz: That sounds like meditation to me :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: you ahve 9 second cat moments
    stevenaia Michinaga: GONG
    Rowan Masala: ah, chimes
    Rowan Masala: 9 seconds everyone
    Rowan Masala: ok
    Rowan Masala: I think that's about 9
    Prospero Frobozz: Heh

    Continuing with the discussion of external v. internal sources for anxiety...

    Threedee Shepherd: Prospera. The external usually has a real aspect to deal with. The internal I am making up to no good end :)
    Prospero Frobozz: I started late
    stevenaia Michinaga: I agree, threeD, that is a choice how it affects you
    Rowan Masala: The external v. internal anxiety issue
    Rowan Masala: a very interesting one as it relates to Being
    stevenaia Michinaga: there is no external anxiety, is there
    Threedee Shepherd: no, there is not
    Prospero Frobozz: But there can be external sources of stress, assuredly.
    Rowan Masala: yes
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes
    Rowan Masala: and for those who are more externally focused, particularly so
    Threedee Shepherd: stress is the *feeling*, anxiety is a later judgement or evaluation that is a choice, even if I don't realize it at the time.
    Threedee Shepherd: as in stress happens, anxiety is invented ;)
    Rowan Masala: I agree that we create the situation in our mind that leads to anxiety, but I think that's the same with stress
    Prospero Frobozz: "Create" is such an active term, though... sometimes creating stress in our own minds is very unconscious. E.g. the stress you get when a loud noise goes off unexpectedly behind you -- autonomous reaction.
    Threedee Shepherd: stress has physical comcometants that have alot to do with rational survival goals, I suggest
    Prospero Frobozz: Yeah
    Rowan Masala nods
    Prospero Frobozz: Our survival mechanisms run amuck way too often.
    Threedee Shepherd: true, but the alternative was not to contribute to the gene pool, way back when :D
    Prospero Frobozz has decided not to have kids, so he thinks that he should be exempt from gene pool considerations :)
    stevenaia Michinaga is a generous donor

    And back to clearing the mind...

    Rowan Masala: Prospero, can you remember a time when you have been able to clear your mind more effectively, intentionally or unintentionally?
    Prospero Frobozz: Hmm... I can remember when I was *worse* at it.
    Prospero Frobozz: I don't know if I remember a time ever being especially adroit with it.
    Rowan Masala: what do you think contributes to the times it's more difficult?
    stevenaia Michinaga: then it may take you more time... but with patience, who knows
    Prospero Frobozz: Rowan : I'm addicted to thinking, always want to be thinking about something. I like it. And, I often have things going. But... the unhealthy part is that I'm a worrier. Not so bad right now, but in the past I've been a compulsive worrier, and that's what would take over my mind if I gave it the chance.
    stevenaia Michinaga: I live for the quiet mind moments / worry free moments
    Rowan Masala: I read something interesting yesterday, regarding neurolinguistic programming
    Rowan Masala: that relates to the worry issue
    Rowan Masala: the author argued that since we're able to procrastinate about so many things
    Rowan Masala: perhaps we should try to procrastinate worrying
    Prospero Frobozz is a world-class procrastinator
    Prospero Frobozz: And, yes, sometimes I procrastinate worrying too.
    Rowan Masala: a sort of Scarlet O'Hara thing, I guess
    Threedee Shepherd: haha
    Prospero Frobozz: But that means if somebody reminds me of something I have to do, it makes it all the more stressful :)
    Rowan Masala: but really, if the worry isn't serving a purpose... why not take at least 9 seconds of time away from it
    Threedee Shepherd: procrastination can often be productuve-delay. By the time you get around to it, it is no longer necessary :D
    Rowan Masala: yes, 3D!
    Prospero Frobozz: Threedee : I learned that lesson in spaces when I was a post-doc....
    Prospero Frobozz: There was a particular task that when done before the absolute last minute meant that it had to be re-done repeatedly as long as there was time, to no significantly different result.
    Prospero Frobozz: But... everybody else (who wasn't doing it) wanted to quesiton the way it was done and suggest ways to redo it. I learned not to do it before the last minute so there wasn't time to question....
    Prospero Frobozz: s/spaces/spades/
    Rowan Masala nods
    Rowan Masala: chime
    Rowan Masala: 9 seconds all
    Rowan Masala: ok
    Threedee Shepherd: <aside> although, Prospero, that may fit my rule that you can do in 3-hours almost perfectly on a computer, what you could have done more than adequately by hand in 30 minutes ;D
    Prospero Frobozz: heh
    Rowan Masala smiles
    Rowan Masala: or the notion that the work of a task expands to fill the time alotted to it, and conversely contracts if little time is alotted at all
    Threedee Shepherd: mmhmm
    Rowan Masala: did anyone have anything noteworthy in that 9second period?
    stevenaia Michinaga: I was distracted (as usual)
    Threedee Shepherd: a moment of detachment

    Then Pia, after internet connection frustration, was able to join us...

    Rowan Masala: Welcome, Pia
    Threedee Shepherd: hi Pia
    Rowan Masala: it's good to see you
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Pia
    Pia Iger: gosh, my wireless was not working. Just got home to use landline.
    Pia Iger: how is going?
    stevenaia Michinaga: thanks for joining us
    Threedee Shepherd: "technology" never let a machine know you are in a hurry or have a real need :D
    Rowan Masala: we're having an interesting discussion about stress and worry
    Pia Iger: Yes. 3D.
    Pia Iger: Please continue
    Rowan Masala: and I think Prospero is interested in learning methods to help him clear his mind during meditation
    Rowan Masala: do you have suggestions, Pia?
    Pia Iger: We all need that. In the last 30 min, I was clearly in frustration and not knowing how to keep cool.
    Threedee Shepherd: Well, I experienced that it took regular and repeated 9-sec moments to get to the clearer point. sort of *grew* on me.
    Rowan Masala: how regular, and for how long, 3D?
    Threedee Shepherd: at least hourly, probably for a week or two
    Rowan Masala nods
    Rowan Masala: hourly, all day?
    Threedee Shepherd: mmhmm
    Pia Iger: a few tricks I learned here for meditation, is to stay with your breath, observe your mind without judge
    Pia Iger: so while I still feel frustration or stress, frequent 9-sec breaks prevent them from accumulation.
    Rowan Masala nods
    Pia Iger: every day there is still ups and downs, but they don't impact me too deeply. in average, I am quite stable and contented.
    stevenaia Michinaga: ..smile, a nice thing
    Pia Iger: and meeting friends here definitely help. Once I saw you all sat here peacefully, I feel much better, relieved from my internet frustration.
    Rowan Masala smiles
    Rowan Masala: I'm sorry you were worried, Pia
    Rowan Masala: chime
    stevenaia Michinaga: Gong
    Threedee Shepherd: Prospero, I observe that there is "something here" about PaB that *works* and does so in different ways for each of us.
    Rowan Masala: I wonder if trying to filter out a few of the distractions at a time might help--perhaps to try to focus on input from just one sense, for that nine seconds
    Prospero Frobozz: Once I close my eyes, most of the distractions for me usually tend to be auditory.... those are the things my brain latch on to
    Prospero Frobozz: latches
    Prospero Frobozz [doesn't mean to imply with verb conjugation that he has multiple brains]
    Rowan Masala: and what if you focused only on those, rather than viewing them as disctrations?
    stevenaia Michinaga: hmmm, this last moment I get this shaking up activity inside then almost a stopping of time outside, like the click in Tomb Raider (for those of us who are Laura Croft (angelina Jolie) fans
    stevenaia Michinaga: like the clock, rather
    Prospero Frobozz: I was thinking click, must be something you do with the mouse in the game :)
    Rowan Masala: I'll be interested in hearing how your meditative attempts progress, Prospero
    Rowan Masala: as I try the same
    stevenaia Michinaga: some people do a blog of their moments
    Threedee Shepherd: <total tangent of a neuroscientist> It's interesting that vision is the only sense we can actively *close*
    Rowan Masala: 3D and Pia seem to have good suggestions, and Steven is typically inherently serene
    Rowan Masala: ah, well, 3D, I have the luxury of removing my hearing aids and having the world become much quieter, although not silent altogether
    Prospero Frobozz: heh
    Pia Iger: it helps if you don't intent to de-latch, just observe, sit with either vision or audio distraction. then they will disperse somehow, or not bother you that much.
    Pia Iger: the more you try to get rid of them, the more bothersome they become
    Rowan Masala nods

    Does speaking pause thought?

    Prospero Frobozz: Kakrafoon
    Threedee Shepherd: I guess that is what Zen means in suggesting trying by not-trying :D
    Pia Iger: yes.
    Threedee Shepherd: Kakrafoon ???
    Prospero Frobozz: My brain makes random connections... I was thinking of the race in Hitch-hiker's guide to the galaxy that had people constantly talking, because if they stopped talking, their brains started working, and that was bad because they were all telepathic.
    Prospero Frobozz: Human brains seem to be afraid of being quiet, as it were, always looking for something to latch on to and think about.
    Rowan Masala: hmm--I'd forgotten about them
    Rowan Masala smiles
    Prospero Frobozz is well-versed in the classics
    Threedee Shepherd: A quote from a book I read long ago: "birds fly, horses gallop, rabbits burrow, people think"
    Prospero Frobozz: heh
    Prospero Frobozz: yes
    Pia Iger: at least we can start from not latch on anything in 9-sec. That is doable start.
    Rowan Masala: by that argument, maybe reciting something during the meditation would clear our minds
    Rowan Masala: I guess that's part of what mantras are about
    Rowan Masala: and chanting
    Threedee Shepherd: yes pia, it is important, I think, that it seems possible in the way 9-minutes does not.
    Pia Iger: yes. i was introduced to a 9 min meditaion before, but I could not do it.

    Fiona wandered through...

    Rowan Masala: Hello Fiona
    Rowan Masala: welcome
    Pia Iger: 9-sec, I can. and it is already effective.
    Fiona Teardrop: hello :)

    And Pia suggested that we close for the night...

    Pia Iger: (thinking maybe we should let Rowan get off her first shift earlier?)
    Rowan Masala smiles
    Rowan Masala: I didn't want to cut off the discussion
    Pia Iger: Normally our session is about a hour.
    stevenaia Michinaga: nice session Rowan
    Pia Iger: the longest one is 6 hours. God. never again
    Threedee Shepherd: yes, Rowan, thanks :)
    Rowan Masala: good gracious!
    stevenaia Michinaga: wow Pia, one of yours?
    Pia Iger: not me, I would not let it happen.
    Prospero Frobozz: Yikes
    stevenaia Michinaga: gong
    Pia Iger: so is this a good place to stop?
    Adelene Dawner: 'night, guys
    Rowan Masala: goodnight, Adelene
    Rowan Masala: thank you all for being here
    Tag page (Edit tags)
    Viewing 1 of 1 comments: view all
    Originally written on 02:12, 03 Sep 2008
    Rowan: amazing! Can't believe this is your first time as guardian. What a natural host of the meeting! And you did the very first log perfectly, both the comments and formats. so impressive.
    Posted 03:24, 9 Apr 2010
    Viewing 1 of 1 comments: view all
    You must login to post a comment.
    Powered by MindTouch Core