2010.05.13 01:00 - Expressing the Inexpressible

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Zen Arado. The comments are by Zen Arado. Those present were Bertram Jacobus, Darren Islar, Pema Pera and Wol Euler.

    Wol has a holiday:

        Zen Arado: Hi Bert:)
        Bertram Jacobus: hi zen and pema ! :-)
        Pema Pera: hi Zen, hi Bert!
        Zen Arado: Hi Pema:)
        Pema Pera: Nice to be hear at 1 am, for a change!
        Zen Arado: are you back in Japan Pema?
        Bertram Jacobus: hello darren
        Zen Arado: Hi Darren:)
        Pema Pera: Yes, and that's why it's easy to attend this session; it's 5 pm here now
        Pema Pera: hi Darren!
        Darren Islar: hi Pema, Zen, Bert
        Pema Pera: Hi Wol!
        Darren Islar: hi Wol
        Zen Arado: Wol?
        Wol Euler: good morning pema, darren, bert, zen
        Zen Arado: Hi Wol:)
        Bertram Jacobus: hello wol ... ... ... !
        Darren Islar: I am as surprised as you are Zen
        Zen Arado: they gave you a day off Wol?
        Wol Euler: four in a row.
        Pema Pera: !
        Zen Arado: wow
        Wol Euler faints from surprise and excitement.
        Bertram Jacobus: whaow - congrats ! :-)
        Darren Islar: ah feiertag
        Zen Arado: you won't know what to do with yourself :)
        Wol Euler: well, today is a public holiday and the world takes tomorrow off too.
        Wol Euler: and the competition is over, we handed it in at the post office on MOnday evening with 12 minutes to spare :)
        Darren Islar: great Wol
        Darren Islar: :-)
        Zen Arado: competition?
        Wol Euler: architectural, hoping to win a job to keep us going for hte next 2 or 3 years
        Pema Pera: wow, that's cutting it close!
        Wol Euler: oh, it has been closer :)
        Zen Arado: ah yes
        Pema Pera: like 9 seconds?
        Wol Euler: :=)


    New theme session planned:  

     Pema Pera: Wol, I heard through the grapevine that you may be interested in another theme session on timeless time, or something along those lines?
        Wol Euler grins. Yes, that occurred to me last night in the session
        Pema Pera: you see, I have my spies . . . .
        Wol Euler: Eliza mentioned needing to think about milk again
        Wol Euler: just a sec, brb
        Zen Arado: wasn't the idea of measuring time conceived by monks?
        Darren Islar: I'm not so sure I like that you having spies Pema
        Zen Arado: so they knew when to get up for prayer?
        Darren Islar: :_)
        Pema Pera: :)
        Pema Pera: I think there were various reasons, in various cultures, but yes, that's probably one of them
        Zen Arado: they used candles I think
        Zen Arado: how long they took to burn
        Bertram Jacobus: timeless time - did somebody from here experience it once or sometimes already ?
        Pema Pera: :-)
        Zen Arado: maybe at retreats?
        Zen Arado: meditating all day


    Difficulty of expressing time concepts:

    Pema Pera: it is a funny topic to talk about, since the logic of our language excludes the topic -- the logic works in time and has no room for the timeless
        Wol Euler: back, reading
        Zen Arado: yes - no way to express it
        Pema Pera: we either think of stopping time or letting it go on forever
        Pema Pera: we always think and talk in terms of "not this, then that"
        Zen Arado: yes dualistic
        Pema Pera: whereas something like timeless time points beyond dualities, beyond extremes, yes


    Wu Wei:

    Bertram Jacobus: but "wu wei", for example - isn´t such "different" ?
        Bertram Jacobus: oops - sry
        Pema Pera: it is related, yes
        Pema Pera: wu-wei jumps beyond the logic of subject-action-object
        Pema Pera: which is part of the past-present-future logic
        Zen Arado: "The aim of wu wei is to achieve a state of perfect equilibrium, or alignment with the Tao, and, as a result, obtain an irresistible form of "soft and invisible" power."
        Pema Pera: that's a nice summary, as an attempt to project wu wei onto the wall of language
        Pema Pera: but it is not a "state"
        Zen Arado: from Wikpedia
        Pema Pera: all our words are shadows on the wall . . . .
        Zen Arado: yes
        Bertram Jacobus: why "not a state" pema ? please ? what instead ?
        Pema Pera: and within the logic of the shadows, it seems that "a state produces results"
        Pema Pera: if you go into a state like wu-wei then as a result you get mysterious powers
        Darren Islar: hmmmm
        Zen Arado: kind of 'being in the zone'?
        Zen Arado: fully mindful?
        Pema Pera: and indeed, that is the impression you would get, when translating it back into our logic -- but it is very misleading
        Pema Pera: for one thing, there is no person there to "have" a power
        Darren Islar: :-)
        Pema Pera: and no "state" in the sense of something having various options for states, and choosing one
        Pema Pera: it is open and empty, not captured in a state
        Pema Pera: so yes, "being in the zone" points to what it can feel like
        Wol Euler nods.
        Bertram Jacobus: the finger which points to the moon ...
        Zen Arado: "The majority of those who have entered wu wei have no fore-knowledge of the event and only know that something extraordinary happened that they couldn't put into words."
        Zen Arado: from Wiki again
        Pema Pera: I'm not sure about majority, but yes, you can fall into it, and then call it an experience, and remember it as an experience -- which pretty much prevents you from "getting back to it"
        Pema Pera: the way I understand it, is that you have theory and experiment, roughly speaking
        Pema Pera: the "experience" which is not an experience, can happen spontaneously and also after long training, but not predictably
        Zen Arado: maybe as self diminishes we are more open to it as a natural ...way to be
        Pema Pera: and the "theory" then helps you to understand what happened and how to not lose it
        Wol Euler: "experience" doesn't feel quite right to me, because that is something that happens to me, whereas wu wei seems to happen *near* me (hard to explain)
        Pema Pera: it just happens :-)
        Wol Euler: mmhmm
        Pema Pera: there is no separation between experiencer and what is experienced


    Wu Wei and Theme Session arranged:

    Pema Pera: so shall we make this a theme topic, Wol?
        Wol Euler grins. We certainly could. It comes up often enough that there is clearly much interest
        Zen Arado: and trying to put it into words makes you further away from the experience
        Zen Arado: ?
        Pema Pera: it will have to be at 7 am I'm afraid
        Darren Islar: I'm not sure Zen
        Pema Pera: at 1pm I sleep, at 7 pm you sleep, at 1 am the US sleeps
        Wol Euler thinks. Then either a weekend or a Friday. Let me check the calendar
        Bertram Jacobus: but - wiki knows about a majority of wu wei realisators !
        Pema Pera: it depends on the trying, I think, Zen and Darren
        Pema Pera: hehe, wiki is very cleaver indeed!
        Pema Pera: *clever
        Zen Arado: :)
        Bertram Jacobus: impressed* ... ;-)
        Wol Euler: or Monday the 24th, will be a holiday here!
        Darren Islar: well, you need something to 'frame' it and then let go of the frame, something like that
        Pema Pera: that's fine, Wol, May 24, 7 am SLT, okay? What title?
        Zen Arado: that's Eden's slot I think
        Wol Euler: Wu Wei in 17 syllables?
        Wol Euler: nah
        Darren Islar: :-)
        Pema Pera: if you use words to try and get "into" wu-wei, that may not work, although even that may work in some way if you use the words skillfully, as inspiration -- and if you use words to describe what happened, again it depends on how glued you are to the words; wearing them lightly would not disturb you, necessarily
        Wol Euler: Applying wu wei to Wu Wei
        Zen Arado: wiki clever wiki / speaks about Wu Wei / of that which you can't
        Pema Pera: Wol, do you prefer to talk about timelessness, or wu wei, or both, or something else?
        Darren Islar: I guess that is what I meant Pema
        Pema Pera: hehe, Zen
        Wol Euler: I'm easy. Timelessness has been "done" though clearly not ehausted :)
        Wol Euler: so perhaps wu wei
        Pema Pera: hahaha, I for one don't feel to have exhausted any of these topics
        Zen Arado: wu wei through meditation then?
        Pema Pera: I feel I'm just beginning to scratch the surface
        Wol Euler nods
        Pema Pera: Yes, Darren, I also guessed that that's what you guessed :-) so I tried to make it a bit more explicit.
        Pema Pera: "the way of wu wei" ?
        Wol Euler: good :)
        Darren Islar: I guess it is a mixture of things that can 'guide' you there, and you never know what works on somebody
        Darren Islar: thansk Pema, I know you did :-)
        Pema Pera: and language can be a help and a hindrance, sometimes both at the same time in subtle ways
        Darren Islar: yes
        Darren Islar: it is al in the paradox to 'overcome' dualism
        Zen Arado: zen koans seem dsigned to dislodge us from over adherence to words
        Pema Pera: so you and I will be the moderators, Wol?
        Wol Euler: sure
        Pema Pera: okay, it's up on the wiki already: http://playasbeing.wik.is/PaB_Theme_Sessions
        Wol Euler grins
        Wol Euler: I just IMed Eden to warn/ask her
        Bertram Jacobus: i´ll disappear - ty all once again for your wonderful companionship - may be all beings be happy plz and blessings to all - *wave* ...
        Wol Euler: bye bert, enjoy the holiday
        Pema Pera: by Bert!
        Zen Arado: bye Bert
        Darren Islar: bye Bert
        Pema Pera: Ah, thank you, Wol !
        Bertram Jacobus: ty
        Wol Euler: yw


    Phone timers:

        Zen Arado: I put a timer on my iphone
        Zen Arado: trying periods of 15mins for 6 hour perieds
        Pema Pera: wonderful, Zen -- how did it go?
        Wol Euler: how's that working out?
        Zen Arado: hmmm
        Zen Arado: gives me a jolt
        Zen Arado: think it's a phone call ot text
        Darren Islar: heheh
        Pema Pera: :-)
        Wol Euler: oh dear
        Zen Arado: then remember
        Wol Euler: that sounds rather un-meditative
        Darren Islar: need to get used to it I guess
        Zen Arado: ah but it's a conditioned reflex
        Pema Pera: next thing is that you won't pick up the phone . . . presuming it's just Being again . . .
        Zen Arado: I can uncondition it
        Darren Islar: :-)
        Wol Euler wonders how Being's voice would sound
        Zen Arado: :)
        Darren Islar: yes
        Darren Islar: ding ding ?
        Pema Pera: can you choose different tunes?
        Darren Islar: a being-tune
        Zen Arado: funny how when I get a call I start wondering who it is....
        Zen Arado: it has bells
        Zen Arado: you can turn down the volume


    Reactions to 15 minute timer:

    Pema Pera: so how did it feel like, Zen, apart from the startling side effects?
        Zen Arado: well...I notice I am usually thingof two thinga at the same time
        Zen Arado: thinking*
        Pema Pera: and what do you then, watch those thoughts?
        Zen Arado: think my concentration power is poor
        Zen Arado: no..I go back to what I should be concentrating on
        Pema Pera: perhaps it is less a matter of concentrating, and more a matter of watching in a broad way, accepting whatever appears
        Zen Arado: I could be painting but thinking about something in my life at the same time
        Pema Pera: ah yes, I see
        Zen Arado: yes maybe Pema
        Pema Pera: but during the 9 seconds you could just try to embrace whatever you happen to be doing
        Zen Arado: I am finding this a problem in meditation atm
        Pema Pera: paradoxically, accepting is a form of dropping, or can be
        Wol Euler: um, is that a problem though?
        Zen Arado: yes...but if I spend almost all of a meditation period just thinking...


    Multitasking, awareness and concentration:

     Wol Euler: (thinking of N while doing M)
        Wol Euler: well, perhaps not while meditating!
        Wol Euler: but while painting, say?
        Zen Arado: maybe too much brain left unengaged
        Pema Pera: interesting question, Wol . . .
        Zen Arado: trying to paint abstracts from intuirion
        Wol Euler: to me that is one of the signs of being in Flow, as opposed to working hard while not in it
        Darren Islar: it is a flow and it is form of concentration, but is it meditation?
        Wol Euler: when things are flowing, I can think about something entirely different -- and the work still gets done
        Zen Arado: that's what worries me Darren
        Zen Arado: seems unmindful
        Zen Arado: I have such a tendency to daydream as well
        Pema Pera: I think there are two very different ways of thinking -- "thick thinking", to give it a name, which is clunky and bleeding on (to use Stim's description) and "thin thinking" which is much less step-by-step, less time-bound, more like a "flow"
        Darren Islar: yes but awareness is something we probably try to force ourselves to, sometimes
        Darren Islar: when it comes natural in a flow
        Wol Euler nods.
        Zen Arado: interest stimulates better thinking?
        Wol Euler: true for me :)
        Darren Islar: but at the same time i think awareness is the key
        Zen Arado: natural interest
        Pema Pera: interest + practice may be the best combination :-)
        Darren Islar: I guess the question is, what is awareness
        Pema Pera: interest in itself can lead to franticness
        Zen Arado: yes
        Pema Pera: what is awareness, Darren?
        Darren Islar: quite right Pema
        Zen Arado: franticity ?:)
        Pema Pera: fracticity :)
        Pema Pera: frantically fractured
        Zen Arado: :)
        Darren Islar: well, I actually don't know, but the awareness seems different in a meditation then in a flow
        Darren Islar: I think flow is more a form of concentration
        Pema Pera: there may be a continuum between the two
        Darren Islar: part of what meditation is
        Zen Arado: I read somewhere that concentration is like the structure that allows the flow of awareness
        Darren Islar: being aware of it is something different I think
        Darren Islar: that sounds about right to me
        Darren Islar: concentration is the backbone so to speak
        Zen Arado: yes
        Zen Arado: an anchor or foundation
        Darren Islar: right
        Zen Arado: though not a zen idea
        Darren Islar: not ?
        Zen Arado: I think
        Darren Islar: smiling at the same time :-)
        Darren Islar: in Tibetan meditation there are often different techniques that are used
        Zen Arado: ah yes
        Zen Arado: probably all pointing in the same direction
        Zen Arado: just different words
        Darren Islar: becoming aware of something, concentrating on it, dropping it and so on
        Wol Euler: well, that is so often the case, Zen :)
        Darren Islar: visualizations can be used as such, I mean visualizations of the Buddha and his/her qualities
        Zen Arado: yes
        Pema Pera: wonderful to talk with you all !
        Darren Islar: you're going Pema
        Zen Arado: you too Pema
        Pema Pera: see you next time
        Darren Islar: bye :-)
        Zen Arado: bye
        Pema Pera: bfn
        Wol Euler: bye pema, it was good to see you again
        Wol Euler: take care
        Darren Islar: yes, it was


    Regular meditation groups:

    Zen Arado: just thinking it would be nice to have regular meditation sittings with pabers
        Wol Euler points to Liza's workshops
        Wol Euler: and yes, it would :)
        Darren Islar: trying to facilitate that :-)
        Zen Arado: yes
        Darren Islar: but it needs to grow
        Darren Islar: needs some time
        Zen Arado: you are going to continue after 4 sessions are finished?
        Darren Islar: I intend to
        Wol Euler: I like the open conversations here, but it's really nice to do some directed and purposeful sessions too
        Zen Arado: yes
        Darren Islar: I hope to do about 8 sessions, because then you get the hang of it, especially for the 'new' ones
        Darren Islar: And during or after the summer I would like to continue, but with Liza talking less :-)
        Darren Islar: But I would like it if we have a weekly session going on
        Darren Islar: during summer maybe and afterwards
        Zen Arado: yes it would be nice
        Wol Euler nods.
        Zen Arado: though there are plenty of meditation sessins already in SL
        Darren Islar: yes, but not always in a 'sangha'
        Zen Arado: but not the same with people you don't know so well
        Darren Islar: you know your own group
        Darren Islar: and mostly not with voice
        Zen Arado: yes
        Darren Islar: and I tend to keep using that
        Darren Islar: and we also can experiment with experiences
        Zen Arado: a guided meditation every now and then is useful
        Darren Islar: when we get more aware and focused, we can explore things in meditation
        Zen Arado: or how about a bodyscan meditation?
        Darren Islar: oh I can think of different approaches and just experimenting with them
        Darren Islar: being playful :-)
        Zen Arado: yes
        Zen Arado: bodyscans good for beginners
        Zen Arado: as Kabat Zinn promotes
        Wol Euler: agreed
        Darren Islar: but I have experimented in rl with experiences used in meditation
        Wol Euler: instant useful results :)
        Wol Euler: beginners like that, and "advanced" too :)
        Zen Arado: we are all so in our heads most of the time
        Darren Islar: it can really give you another perspective on how you 'feel' about things
        Wol Euler nods strongly
        Zen Arado: ignore our bodies....till something goes wrong
        Darren Islar: but you need to get the hang of meditation first before getting there
        Darren Islar: so after the summer we can experiment more
        Zen Arado: well...it is a kind of meditation too....
        Wol Euler: my therapist used to hit me on the head with that, when there was a contradiction between my words and my body
        Darren Islar: yes Zen, that is why I alo put in the exercises
        Wol Euler: "you say it doesn't scare you, but are you aware that you've stopped breathing?"
        Zen Arado: what way Wol?
        Darren Islar: but a bodyscan will be more useful for you
        Darren Islar: good therapist :-)
        Wol Euler: oh yes, she was. I owe her a lot, and still remember her fondly
        Wol Euler: and her cat :)
        Wol Euler: a therapeutic aid
        Zen Arado: :)
        Darren Islar: and yes becoming aware, even in therapeutic sessions
        Darren Islar: it is so important
        Zen Arado: stroking cats very therapeutic
        Darren Islar: awareness I mean
        Wol Euler nods.
        Darren Islar: getting to know your body as well as your mind
        Darren Islar: because as you said Wol, the body can tell you a lot
        Zen Arado: with mental upsets I try to notice effects in my body now
        Darren Islar: yes
        Darren Islar: and the other way around
        Zen Arado: helps get away from thought churning too
        Zen Arado: thoughts magnify problems
        Darren Islar: I hope to be able to do some exercises of becoming aware of parts of your body, without the repetitive motions
        Darren Islar: yes
        Zen Arado: good
        Darren Islar: it puts you in your body
        Wol Euler: brb
        Darren Islar: but I know Ara would like to do regular sessions too
        Zen Arado: yes
        Darren Islar: so if there is enough interest, then we can continue
        Darren Islar: and maybe others want to lead a meditation as well
        Darren Islar: I'm very curious what is going to happen :-)
        Zen Arado: yes...could be interesting
        Zen Arado: a friend and myself are hoping to start a zen group in RL soon
        Darren Islar: great
        Wol Euler: oh nice
        Zen Arado: he and his partner are moving to an apartment near me
        Darren Islar: it can help so much
        Darren Islar: okay

        Darren Islar: you are going to do that at home Zen?

        Zen Arado: so we will begin sitting there...so we will see what happens
        Wol Euler: I'm off, my dears, there is some bacon and scrambled eggs with fried mushrooms in my immediate future!
        Wol Euler: enjoy the day, see you all anon
        Zen Arado: probably at their apartment
        Zen Arado: bye Wol
        Wol Euler: bfn
        Darren Islar: oh wow Wol
        Darren Islar: you sound like Mick
        Zen Arado: thanks for coming
        Darren Islar: bye Wol
        Wol Euler: heheh
        Wol Euler: it rubs off
        Darren Islar: :-)
        Darren Islar: I'm going too
        Darren Islar: getting a bit tired
        Zen Arado: ok
        Zen Arado: I have a busy day myself
        Zen Arado: understand
        Darren Islar: see you, it was a nice morning
        Zen Arado: yes thanks for coming
        Darren Islar: thanks for being here :-)
        Zen Arado: see you soon :)
        Darren Islar: cu
        Darren Islar: you are going to do that at home Zen?
        Zen Arado: so we will begin sitting there...so we will see what happens
        Wol Euler: I'm off, my dears, there is some bacon and scrambled eggs with fried mushrooms in my immediate future!
        Wol Euler: enjoy the day, see you all anon
        Zen Arado: probably at their apartment
        Zen Arado: bye Wol
        Wol Euler: bfn
        Darren Islar: oh wow Wol
        Darren Islar: you sound like Mick
        Zen Arado: thanks for coming
        Darren Islar: bye Wol
        Wol Euler: heheh
        Wol Euler: it rubs off
        Darren Islar: :-)
        Darren Islar: I'm going too
        Darren Islar: getting a bit tired
        Zen Arado: ok
        Zen Arado: I have a busy day myself
        Zen Arado: understand
        Darren Islar: see you, it was a nice morning
        Zen Arado: yes thanks for coming
        Darren Islar: thanks for being here :-)
        Zen Arado: see you soon :)
        Darren Islar: cu
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