2010.05.27 01:00 - Birth and Death

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Zen Arado. The comments are by Zen Arado. Present were Cosmicflower Ushimawa, Calvino Rabeni and Darren Islar.

    Worship of boxes :)

        Zen Arado: Hello Darren:)
        Darren Islar: hey Zen :-)
        Darren Islar: and Yaku's box :-)
        Zen Arado: wondered who owned that
        Darren Islar: Yaku seems to be unaware of leaving them
          Darren Islar: he doesn't know why it happens
        Zen Arado: they don't look very nice
        Zen Arado: and we can't return it
        Darren Islar: no
        Darren Islar: storm will take care of it eventually
        Darren Islar: but I have been talking about the box with QT
        Zen Arado: yes or Yaku can take it
        Darren Islar: and when you keep starring at it
        Darren Islar: in this environment
        Darren Islar: it almost start to feel as an object of devotion
        Zen Arado: ha ha a box Buddha
        Darren Islar: :-)
        Zen Arado: we'll be prostrating to it soon:)
        Darren Islar: probably
        Zen Arado: my Zen teacher told me the Buddha told his followers not to make statues of him
        Zen Arado: but they did anyway
        Darren Islar: true
        Zen Arado: we have them in Zen too
        Darren Islar: but I guess as long as you understand that the statue is a symbol of something else
        Zen Arado: yes - or else we would be worshipping idols
        Darren Islar: right
        Darren Islar: and when it is this easy to become devotional about a box......
        Zen Arado: :)

    Health and disability issues:

        Zen Arado: how are you this morning?
        Darren Islar: pretty well, thanks
        Darren Islar: you?
        Zen Arado: you feel more tired in the mornings?
        Darren Islar: the nights are my best times
        Darren Islar: mornings are always hard
        Zen Arado: ah me too
        Zen Arado: such a struggle to get out of bed
        Darren Islar: yes
        Darren Islar: so I try to attend the morningsessions
        Darren Islar: a good reason to get out of bed
        Zen Arado: I am just managing to get up from lying down
        Zen Arado: worry about that
        Darren Islar: I understand
        Darren Islar: do you live alone Zen?
        Zen Arado: yes
        Zen Arado: I have cleaners come in 2 times a week
        Darren Islar: is there also a system in England of nurses that can help you with getting out of bed, that sort of things
        Zen Arado: yes - I had carers come in mornings for a while to make sure I could get up
        Zen Arado: but I stopped them again
        Darren Islar: you didn't like it them being around?
        Zen Arado: no - they came at different times
        Zen Arado: and I had to show them what to do to make me breakfast
        Darren Islar: hmmmm
        Zen Arado: more of a nuisance than a help
        Darren Islar: I understand
        Zen Arado: and some of them talk down to you
        Darren Islar: and I can imagine it feels also as an intrusian in your personal life
        Zen Arado: as if you are feeble and stupid
        Darren Islar: ah yes the ones that treat you like you are a kid
        Zen Arado: yes
        Zen Arado: they shout 'how are you this morning Dear' :)
        Darren Islar: wow
        Zen Arado: not good for my ego
        Darren Islar: no, definetly not
        Zen Arado: or it is good for seeing through eg maybe
        Zen Arado: :)
        Darren Islar: maybe, but sometimes it can be too shocking
          Darren Islar: there is already a big confrontation with ego, just sitting in a chair and being dependant on it
        Zen Arado: yes - there were lots of stages to go through before that too
        Darren Islar: right
        Zen Arado: having to use a cane
        Darren Islar: and there is always the next stage that is coming up
        Zen Arado: I don't think too far ahead
        Zen Arado: better not to
        Zen Arado: we all face that I suppose
        Darren Islar: no but you are worried about you getting yourself out of bed
        Zen Arado: I have a panic button to press if I can't
        Darren Islar: okay
        Zen Arado: so I will think about it when it happens
        Darren Islar: but I know what you mean about not thinking to far ahead
        Darren Islar: it is doing no good


     Death Meditation:

        Zen Arado: though just thinking - sometimes do a death meditation
        Zen Arado: which I think is good
        Darren Islar: yes
        Zen Arado: because it makes you appreciate the time you have left
        Zen Arado: was listening to a Stephen Batchelor video
        Zen Arado: he says we only have a certain number of breaths left
        Zen Arado: and every time we breathe it is one less :)
        Darren Islar: yes, there are stories about that in Boeddhism
        Zen Arado: I tole this to a 75 yar old woman freind and se got very angry
        Darren Islar: *Buddhism
        Darren Islar: :-)
        Zen Arado: many don't want to be reminded
        Darren Islar: no
        Zen Arado: told me I was very morbid
        Zen Arado: :)
        Darren Islar: myabe, but it could also mean you are just very realistic
        Zen Arado: yes
        Zen Arado: it is in the attitude you take
        Darren Islar: quite right
        Zen Arado: it can be a cause for celebrating the precious life we have at this moment
        Zen Arado: and I don't have any pain or heart problems
        Darren Islar: oh, that is a great thing
        Zen Arado: I am quite healthy otherwise
        Zen Arado: I had a friend who did jogging, was very lean and fit
        Zen Arado: died when he was 58 from cancer
        Darren Islar: riht
        Darren Islar: *right
        Darren Islar: if it comes to breathe counting
        Darren Islar: sporters do have a problem then .....
        Zen Arado: :)
        Darren Islar: at least the ones that are overdoing it
        Darren Islar: I'm curious Zen
        Darren Islar: what does meditation on death mean in Zen
        Darren Islar: ?
        Zen Arado: Batchelor puts it: death is certain - only the time of death is uncertain - so what should we do?
        Zen Arado: and you meditate on that
        Zen Arado: not sure it is completely zen though
           Zen Arado: Hi Cal :)
        Darren Islar: hi Cal:-)
        Zen Arado: Hi Cosmic flower:)
        Darren Islar: hi Cosmic
        Cosmicflower Ushimawa: Hi Zen ;)
        Cosmicflower Ushimawa: Hello Darren ;)
        Calvino Rabeni: Hello, Zen and Darren
        Zen Arado: we were talking about death meditation
        Zen Arado: not very cheerful:)
        Zen Arado: Zen Arado: Batchelor puts it: death is certain - only the time of death is uncertain - so what should we do? [1:44] Zen Arado: and you meditate on that
        Darren Islar: there is also something that is called the nine round death meditation
        Calvino Rabeni: I was listening to some video interview with Batchelor
        Darren Islar: nine points to consider about death
        Zen Arado: oh@ never heard of that
        Darren Islar: it is a long time ago and I use a different one nowadays
        Darren Islar: but maybe I can find out for you, if you want
        Zen Arado: ok sure    

    Books  and traditions:

        Zen Arado: Batchelor studied in Tibetan and zen traditions
        Zen Arado: the Skeptical Buddhists group in SL use his book 'Buddhism without Beliefs' almost as a bible
        Calvino Rabeni: :) hmmm
        Zen Arado: he appeals to people with science background
        Darren Islar: I seem to have read something of him, but I don't know him that well
        Zen Arado: lots of them susicious of rituals in Buddhism
        Zen Arado: anything religious at all they don't like
        Zen Arado: like chanting and prostrations
        Zen Arado: but I am ok with those things
        Darren Islar: ah
        Darren Islar: well I guess there are a lot of bibles all over the place
        Calvino Rabeni: http://blip.tv/file/3347011
        Darren Islar: but if you can pick out the good things and keep on thinking yourself, you're in the clear
        Calvino Rabeni: That likes to Batchelor talking about his background and thinking
        Darren Islar: and I remember it was a very interesting book
        Zen Arado: ty Cal
        Darren Islar: thanks :-)
        Zen Arado: he is promoting his new book atm
        Zen Arado: I like to read widely
        Zen Arado: and decide for myself if it feels helpful
        Darren Islar: right
        Zen Arado: I get a lot from Eckhart Tolle
        Darren Islar: the name rings a bell, but that's it
        Zen Arado: he wrote 'THe power of Now'
        Zen Arado: and 'A New Earth'
        Darren Islar: no
        Zen Arado: he does a very good explanation of the workings of the ego
        Darren Islar: okay
        Darren Islar: so much interesting stuff out there and so less time
        Zen Arado: yes
        Zen Arado: I read too much maybe
        Calvino Rabeni: i don't read much, but sometimes I'll pick up something based on a personal recommendation
        Zen Arado: I am re-reading A New Earth'
        Calvino Rabeni: Sometimes I like to review / revisit stuff I thought about in the past.
           Zen Arado: and find it very similar to Ralston's book Cal
        Calvino Rabeni: I'm revisiting a Sufi / 4th Way book lately, about Presence and practice - somewhat more of a "spiriitual" flavor than Ralston / Tolle, but practical none-theless
        Calvino Rabeni: http://www.amazon.com/Living-Presenc...4950619&sr=8-2
        Zen Arado: thanks Cal - looks interesting
        Calvino Rabeni: That's the closest I get to "tradition"
        Calvino Rabeni: :)
        Zen Arado: I haven't read any Sufi stuff
        Zen Arado: only Rumi poems
        Calvino Rabeni: I'd recommend that one
        Zen Arado: maybe Nasridin was a Sufi?
        Zen Arado: Nasrudin*
        Calvino Rabeni: Sure, if I had to guess :)
        Calvino Rabeni: What a joker!
        Zen Arado: ty Darren
        Darren Islar: thanks Cal
        Zen Arado: looks like Batchelors was a cut down version of that
        Calvino Rabeni: Oh, also there are some pretty good Himalayan mulberries I've been eating lately :)
        Calvino Rabeni: Delicious in fact - lots of life forces in them
        Calvino Rabeni: Wiildcrafted from high elevations
        Zen Arado: sounds delicious   

    Back to death questions :)

        Zen Arado: what's the answer to questions in 3. Darren
        Zen Arado: 3. What can help me at the moment of death? a. Wealth, possessions? b. Relatives and friends? c. My own body? Only my positive karma from practising dharma can help!
        Darren Islar: those are considerations
        Zen Arado: ONly my karma?
        Darren Islar: do they help?
        Darren Islar: all the answers turns out to be 'no'
        Darren Islar: except for the second line behind c
        Darren Islar: yes
        Darren Islar: the theory is that what is giving force after death is karma
        Darren Islar: in life you are able to change karma
        Darren Islar: in death you no longer have that chance and karma is 'working itself out'
        Zen Arado: only thing that would concern me is having a lot of pain at death
        Zen Arado: and there are lots of good painkillers these days
        Darren Islar: yes well in buddhism there are 8 stages of death defined
        Zen Arado: are you ok Cosmic?
        Darren Islar: in Tibetan Buddhism, I don't know about Zen
        Cosmicflower Ushimawa: yes
        Cosmicflower Ushimawa: I am ty
        Cosmicflower Ushimawa: :)
        Cosmicflower Ushimawa: was fweeding simo
        Cosmicflower Ushimawa: feeding
        Zen Arado: good - you seem quieter today:)
        Darren Islar: ah :-)
        Zen Arado: ah
        Cosmicflower Ushimawa: and listening
        Darren Islar: and if you want to get the death proces 'right'
        Darren Islar: you need to have some conscious left when dying
        Zen Arado: birth and death:)
        Darren Islar: and pain is interupting that process
        Darren Islar: as is getting passed out by morfin
        Darren Islar: difficult questions
        Zen Arado: 'One who achieves the way will be freed from the duality of birth and death' Metta Sutra
        Darren Islar: :-)
        Darren Islar: it was nice talking to you all
        Darren Islar: need to go
            Zen Arado: yes I need to go too
        Darren Islar: by all :-)
        Zen Arado: thanks for coming
        Darren Islar: my pleasure
        Zen Arado: bye
        Calvino Rabeni: See you two later, friends
        Zen Arado: bye all
        Cosmicflower Ushimawa: bye

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