2010.08.12 01:00 - Runaway Minds, Self and Suffering

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Zen Arado. The comments are by Zen Arado. Present were Archmage Atlantis, Calvino Rabeni and Qt Core.

    Sleeping with problems:

    Zen Arado: Hi Cal :)
    Zen Arado: how are you?
    Calvino Rabeni: I'm well overall maybe noticing the late hour ... and you?
    Zen Arado: I'm fine ; didn't sleep well though
    Zen Arado: if I have a problem I seem to keep thinking about it and it stops me sleeping
    Zen Arado: should be able to let go of it but I can't seem to
    Zen Arado: so I tend to just resign myself to the fact that the problem will churn away and just let it
    Zen Arado: a bit like meditation I suppose
    Zen Arado: Hi Arch
    Zen Arado: what do you do if something is on your mind Cal?
    Calvino Rabeni: thanks for asking :)
    Archmage Atlantis: Hi, Zen.........needed a place to fall asleep :)
    Calvino Rabeni: I guess I like thinking about things
    Zen Arado: feel sleepy myself :)
    Archmage Atlantis: And hi to you too, Cal
    Calvino Rabeni: but if not, I can meditate, and then usually fall asleep if I'm tired
    Zen Arado: you can't switch your brain off - at least I can't
    Calvino Rabeni: and I have a stash of fatigue to use as a resource
    Zen Arado: my brain has a mind of its own :)
    Calvino Rabeni: and kind of sink into it
    Archmage Atlantis: And my brain has a mind of it's own.......why don't I get to call all the shots?
    Zen Arado: my brain likes to keep mulling over things it should let go of
    Archmage Atlantis: Dang, even half asleep, I still try to be humorous
    Zen Arado: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: that's valiant :)
    Archmage Atlantis: No Shoulds
    Archmage Atlantis: Life is a gift
    Zen Arado: yes - but I want to sleep
    Zen Arado: not go through the next day half asleep
    Archmage Atlantis: Then I will bore you to sleep *g*.........it is a specialty of mine :)
    Zen Arado: suppose there is a need for more acceptance
    Calvino Rabeni: :)
    Archmage Atlantis: Let go of analysis
    Archmage Atlantis: Feel the story
    Zen Arado: I know...but I can't...

    Arch's Frog and Princess story :

    Archmage Atlantis: once upon a time there was a prince.......
    Archmage Atlantis: he sought a beautiful maiden
    Zen Arado: don't we all :)
    Archmage Atlantis: He had to become a frog to get her attention
    Archmage Atlantis: Because she was afraid of frogs
    Zen Arado: Hi Qt :)
    Qt Core: Hi all
    Archmage Atlantis: Hola, QT
    Zen Arado: Arch is telling us a story
    Archmage Atlantis: Hey, my fingers hit the Q
    Archmage Atlantis: Good omen
    Archmage Atlantis: No, I only told the beginning of the story
    Zen Arado: about a prince becoming a frog
    Archmage Atlantis: To get the attention of the princess
    Zen Arado: so...did it work?
    Archmage Atlantis: No
    Qt Core: got the attention of some local predator ?
    Zen Arado: what eats frogs?
    Archmage Atlantis: She said she wanted a frog, then picked a snake........you know how that goes
    Zen Arado: French people?
    Archmage Atlantis: No one eats the frog
    Calvino Rabeni: I saw a crate of them in chinatown once
    Calvino Rabeni: in the market
    Qt Core: italians too (mainly fried legs)
    Archmage Atlantis: He becomes himself again in this story
    Zen Arado: I seem to remember she had to kiss the frog?
    Archmage Atlantis: Oh, I do like frog legs
    Archmage Atlantis: They gig them in the swamps
    Zen Arado: gig them?
    Archmage Atlantis: Not very vegan
    Archmage Atlantis: gig = a way of sticking with a sharp object
    Zen Arado: ok
    Zen Arado: it was a wicked wizard turned the prince into a frog in the movie
    Archmage Atlantis: That is interesting to me tho........I went to the grocery store yesterday
    Archmage Atlantis: Ah, the wicked witch........
    Zen Arado: and the maids kiss set him free
    Archmage Atlantis: You know, she has her own book and broadway play nor
    Archmage Atlantis: *now
    Zen Arado: set in N.Orleans
    Archmage Atlantis: Turns out the good witch was a bitch
    Zen Arado: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/filmb...disney-company
    Archmage Atlantis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicked_(musical)
    Zen Arado: amazing how we are still captivated by fairytales
    Archmage Atlantis: We live as human in our stories
    Archmage Atlantis: I think that may be what defines us
    Archmage Atlantis: My cat, birds and fish live in this day.........but humans can imagine anyday, anywhere

    Living in the Now illustration:

    Zen Arado: I saw this represented lately by two lines - one horizontal, one vertical
    Zen Arado: where they meet is the Now
    Zen Arado: but we run backwards and forwards along the horizontal into the future and back to the past
    Zen Arado: instead of going more deeply into the Now...the vertical
    Zen Arado: thought it was a nice illustration
    Archmage Atlantis: Yes, and that is who we are now
    Archmage Atlantis: Sorry, got a cat on my leg, brb
    Zen Arado: it was in this book which I am reading atm
    Zen Arado: http://www.amazon.com/Stepping-Out-S...1603135&sr=1-1
    Zen Arado: it's very good I think
    Archmage Atlantis: Sometimes I love the links.......sometimes I wish the person would speak
    Archmage Atlantis: And, sometimes, I try to speak through links

    Anatta, self and suffering:

    Zen Arado: I have always thought the teaching of 'anatta' - that we have no permanently abiding self, very important
    Zen Arado: probably because I came to Buddhism from philosophy throught that teaching
    Zen Arado: what do the rest of you think?
    Archmage Atlantis: I think I see you more clearly, Zen
    Calvino Rabeni: hmmm
    Archmage Atlantis: QT and Cal will answer, or not, in their own time
    Qt Core: that while i dislike the english way to always capitalize I i'm quite attached to my self, maybe to much, but hey, i'm not a buddist ;-)
    Qt Core: always forgot the h in buddhist
    Archmage Atlantis: Neither an I, QT
    Zen Arado: neither am I
    Archmage Atlantis: Still there are good ideas there
    Zen Arado: I don't like the label anyway
    Zen Arado: though I practice Buddhist techniques
    Qt Core: yes, Arch, there are
    Qt Core: (i wasn't labelling you Zen)
    Zen Arado: I know Qt
    Zen Arado: I think it was Christian missionaries first came up with the label 'Buddhist'
    Archmage Atlantis: Still......a good thing to say
    Zen Arado: I think it is clinging to this idea of self that causes us so much suffering though
    Calvino Rabeni: I think selves are a marvelous invention for reality to be self-aware
    Archmage Atlantis: The peoples who label.......not always Christian,,, mostly N world
    Zen Arado: "I believe the teachings when they point to ego, to self-cherishing, to always being on the lookout for recognition, approval, comfort, and pleasure, as being so many hammers that fatally pound in the barbed nails of suffering." I just read that this morning
    Archmage Atlantis: Very Sufi
    Zen Arado: self awareness is a start to seeing through its emptiness though I think Cal
    Calvino Rabeni: Maybe that's as far as it goes
    Archmage Atlantis: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Dropping the droppable ideas of "self" but not the true self
    Zen Arado: why is taking me so long to learn put this into practice though?
    Archmage Atlantis: Here comes the sun......song on Pandoraa
    Calvino Rabeni: I don't know - do buddhists really put so much attention on suffering, or is that just a beginning stage?
    Zen Arado: I see the suffering it causes too
    Archmage Atlantis: Because, Zen, you keep measuring it
    Zen Arado: I would say the main teaching of Buddhism is relieving suffering
    Calvino Rabeni: If buddhism defines life as suffering, that's not necessarily liberating, if it's a biased label for experiene
    Zen Arado: not all life as suffering
    Calvino Rabeni: If that is really true, then Buddhism would seem to be stuck on a low level of consciousness
    Calvino Rabeni: I'm not sure that's the case however
    Zen Arado: but suffering is present because of ignorance
    Archmage Atlantis: And I would say Sidhartha understood there would be suffering.....and saw a way through it.....
    Calvino Rabeni: or ignorance can lead to unnecessary suffering, sure
    Calvino Rabeni: maybe it's worth thinking about sorting out the stupid suffering from the unavoidable suffering, or making some distinctions
    Zen Arado: is there anything more important than the elimination of suffering?
    Calvino Rabeni: living
    Archmage Atlantis: to me, yes, Zen
    Calvino Rabeni: elimination of suffering seems like a low priority
    Zen Arado: depends how much you sufffer maybe
    Calvino Rabeni: if people are dominated by suffering, it is more important, yes
    Archmage Atlantis: But when one suffers, there is nothing more important
    Calvino Rabeni: if they don't suffer much, they have attention for other things
    Calvino Rabeni: if they're less ignorant, they probably suffer a lot less
    Zen Arado: for goodness and caring for others
    Archmage Atlantis: Not a good word, ignorant
    Zen Arado: yes - we cause most of ur own suffering
    Calvino Rabeni: suppose their experience is 90% suffering - it would be a priority
    Calvino Rabeni: what if it's the other way around - 10%?
    Calvino Rabeni: Then not so important
    Archmage Atlantis: What if it cannot be quantified by mathematics?
    Calvino Rabeni: And I'd caution people not to feel so responsible for their suffering - not to blame it all on "self"
    Zen Arado: not sure of it is valid to categorise suffering in percentages :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Sure, zen, it's throroughly mixed and unquantifiable, since it is a qualitiative thing - I was just making a point about its salience relative to other aspects of experience
    Zen Arado: I find my own suffering is mostly self caused by how I react to things
    Calvino Rabeni: Maybe that's just a "hopeful story" of some kind
    Zen Arado: going to crash I think
    Qt Core: time to go, bye all
    Calvino Rabeni: To feel in control ?
    Zen Arado: bye Qt
    Calvino Rabeni: I feel it's sometimes true, sometimes not
    Calvino Rabeni: Bye QT
    Calvino Rabeni: it's a bit overly psychological and overly individualistic
    Calvino Rabeni: to claim responsibility for all one's suffering
    Archmage Atlantis: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kB67H...s&feature=fvst
    Zen Arado: we can't do much about external things anyway Cal
    Calvino Rabeni: Where does it start?
    Zen Arado: we can only control our own reactions
    Calvino Rabeni: And the idea of disconnecting the inside from the outside, if that is being suggested, seems questionable
    Zen Arado: we can't change the world
    Calvino Rabeni: nor can we change our internal reactions much
    Calvino Rabeni: except perhaps through practice
    Archmage Atlantis: Disagree Zen. in part
    Zen Arado: if we see our self-centred ignorance - it can be dropped sometimes
    Calvino Rabeni: sometimes, true
    Calvino Rabeni: Doesn't it need to be replaced with something?
    Calvino Rabeni: world-centered knowledge?
    Archmage Atlantis: I hear the question Cal
    Calvino Rabeni: Hi did you crash, Zen?
    Zen Arado: yep - it always happens in this session for some reason
    Zen Arado: I can see it coming too - get all sorts of strange lights and shapes before it
    Archmage Atlantis: Dang, Zen......we solved all existence while you were gone
    Zen Arado: oh - I missed it then :(
    Zen Arado: I always do :)
    Archmage Atlantis: Me too
    Zen Arado: it's all appearances I hear lately :)
    Zen Arado: not existence

    Ways of dealing with suffering:

    Calvino Rabeni: There's also the dynamic that - what one puts attention on, grows
    Calvino Rabeni: that would seem to include suffering
    Archmage Atlantis: Getting old does have some value,,,, just not in appearance
    Zen Arado: good point Cal
    Calvino Rabeni: because giving it attention amounts to "practicing" it
    Calvino Rabeni: I think that would lead to getting better at it
    Zen Arado: we can't epress things either
    Calvino Rabeni: as a matter of unintended training
    Zen Arado: repress*
    Zen Arado: I am trying to remain 'open' to something in my life atm but it causes me suffering
    Calvino Rabeni: I suspect, the "mind" doesn't need to be constantly controlled
    Calvino Rabeni: and that to do so might lead to some forms of suffering
    Zen Arado: it;s more a kind of openness and allowing though?
    Calvino Rabeni: if that were not true, then there wouldn't be so much emphasis on relaxation, dropping, non-doing
    Archmage Atlantis: Then protect yourself Zen......do not hurt others,,,,still protect yourself
    Calvino Rabeni: as suggestions for a kind of meditation
    Zen Arado: it goes on and on and on I find
    Zen Arado: you might be right Cal
    Zen Arado: no need to be a masochist either
    Zen Arado: anyway I better go
    Zen Arado: thanks for insights
    Calvino Rabeni: Thanks for hosting, Zen - good to talk to you :)
    Archmage Atlantis: Yes, I go also
    Zen Arado: you too Cal, Arch :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Bye :)
    Zen Arado: bye

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