2010.07.31 19:00 - Chat and Contemplation

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     The Guardian for this meeting was Calvino Rabeni. The comments are by Calvino Rabeni.

    Calvino Rabeni: Hello Aphrodite
    Aphrodite Macbain: Hi Calvino are we the only ones here?
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, sometimes saturdays are quiet
    Aphrodite Macbain: Nice nod!
    Aphrodite Macbain: What have you got there? The colours of the rainbow?
    Aphrodite Macbain: What have you there? The colours of the rainbow?
    Calvino Rabeni: It is something one of the members here made [Yaku's Wierd Thing].
    Aphrodite Macbain: hmmm
    Calvino Rabeni: I think it is basically a toy - a just-for-fun object
    Aphrodite Macbain: What are you up to?  What time is it for you?
    Calvino Rabeni: It's early evening, 7:25 PM
    Aphrodite Macbain: chat is a little jerky
    Aphrodite Macbain: 7:25? You must be on the west coast
    Aphrodite Macbain: I'm in Vancouver
    Calvino Rabeni: same time zone
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, chat is a little off today
    Aphrodite Macbain: I've ben reading about Ram Dass - wishing I had known about him more. Have you read his stuff?
    Calvino Rabeni: No, unless you count "Be Here Now" when it was first published

    Editors's Note:  http://www.amazon.com/Remember-Here-Now-Ram-Dass/dp/0517543052


    Aphrodite Macbain: No need to chat if you don't want to. I'm in the middle of cooking dinne:-) of course it counts
    Calvino Rabeni: I remember it made that kind of spirituality "cool" by presenting a visually rich and tactile format
    Aphrodite Macbain: I always thought that "be here now" was an EST saying

    Editor's Note: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Werner_Erhard

    Aphrodite Macbain: Were you trying to be cool back then?
    Calvino Rabeni: Maybe in my own way... teenagers :)
    Aphrodite Macbain: Sorry I talk alot.
    Calvino Rabeni: This place was built for talk :)
    Aphrodite Macbain: Yeah. I was in my very early 20s then and completely ignorant of the world and its isues. Being Canadian I always felt like I was way out in the margins
    Aphrodite Macbain: Things were happening in the US
    Calvino Rabeni: heheh - they were :)
    Aphrodite Macbain: Despite the fact that I was living in Montreal then - a very cosmopolitan city
    Calvino Rabeni: Canadian identity was a little vague to US'ers I think - if young and politically unaware
    Calvino Rabeni: I remember frankly, at that time I thought of Canadians as "Americans who are not crazy" or something :)
    Aphrodite Macbain: Except for a place for draft dodgers to go
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, if you were related to Quakers you'd be aware of that connection
    Aphrodite Macbain: Oh I guess, good point. Are you a Quaker?
    Calvino Rabeni: No, but I lived with some occasionally. They had an underground railroad for war objectors, people of conscience
    Aphrodite Macbain: Just had the most amazing clap of lighting!! Yipee I like a storm. I can connect to its being like Bruce does!
    Calvino Rabeni: Exciting :)
    Aphrodite Macbain: A number of my friends married Americans so they could imigrate to Canada
    Aphrodite Macbain: thought that was going a bit too far :-)
    Calvino Rabeni: Making the political personal
    Aphrodite Macbain: Yes. Perhaps a bit to personal for my lkng
    Aphrodite Macbain: But I admire them for doing so.
    Calvino Rabeni: These Quakers had to migrate - I mean emigrate - themselves,  to Canada
    Calvino Rabeni: they had created too much history with their governnment for those activities
    Aphrodite Macbain: Yes A history of removing themselves and moving elsewhere! b smells coming from the kitchen, dinner is ready.
    Calvino Rabeni: Good chatting with you Aphrodite :)
    Aphrodite Macbain: I'm glad we got to talk a bit I'm going to settle down now and eat my dinner and listen to the storm!
    Aphrodite Macbain: Take good care.
    Calvino Rabeni: Bon apetit - see you again :)
    Aphrodite Macbain: Merci! Bye
    Calvino Rabeni: Bye


    Calvino is contemplating contemplation (or thinks he is...), comparing several approaches.

    Calvino Rabeni: There are many variations of the idea - or practice - of contemplation
    Calvino Rabeni: They seem to have in common the principle of a deep inquiry into the truth of some matter
    Calvino Rabeni: But *what* matter ? That seems to differ, except if one assumes somehow "all roads lead to mecca"

    Calvino Rabeni: For Thomas Merton, contemplation seemed to be closely related to prayer, as a way to connect with God, as conceived in the Christian faith
    Calvino Rabeni: http://www.amazon.com/New-Seeds-Contemplation-Thomas-Merton/dp/0811217248
    Calvino Rabeni: Then there's the "Work" of Byron Katie, which I think of as contemplation in the realm of peoples lives and relationships and sense of identity:
    Calvino Rabeni: http://www.amazon.com/Loving-What-Four-Questions-Change/dp/1400045371/
    Calvino Rabeni: "Loving What Is" - not a bad position from which to do contemplation
    Calvino Rabeni: And the contemplative teaching / practice of Peter Ralston
    Calvino Rabeni: which is presented in a rather abstract form, but represents a very "embodied" practice.
    Calvino Rabeni: http://www.chenghsin.com/orientation-the-cornerstone-principles.html
    Calvino Rabeni: This formulation I think could both help and hinder, since contemplation could be about anything, but in practice at any time, seems to need to be directed to something (if not an "object" in the classical sense)
    Calvino Rabeni: But it's good to remember, that is an oral teaching, and has both study / abstraction and embodied practice. 

    Reading further from the previous source - I think these are excellent statements about the nature and experience of contemplation:

    Calvino Rabeni: Well, the hour's up - how time flies when chatting or contemplating...

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