2010.08.26 01:00 - Viewers, Retreats, Centers and Traditions

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Zen Arado. The comments are by Zen Arado. Present were Archmage Atlantis, Strannik Zipper and myself.

    Viewer problems:


    Zen Arado: Hi Strannik
    Strannik Zipper: greetiongs
    Zen Arado: how are you?
    Strannik Zipper: laggy
    Zen Arado: me too
    Strannik Zipper: how are you?
    Zen Arado: I switched to Linden viewer from Emerald and it seems slow
    Strannik Zipper: yep
    Strannik Zipper: But I love the advanced media on a prim
    Zen Arado: emerald is supposed to have viruses or something they say
    Strannik Zipper: Emerald is good
    Strannik Zipper: SLV2 is the future, but it will take time to work it ut
    Zen Arado: I'm not used to SL viewer
    Strannik Zipper: out
    Strannik Zipper: I can run web apps in my virtual office
    Zen Arado: what's 'advancd media on a prim'?
    Strannik Zipper: SL Viewer 2 has a complete web kit. You can put any web page enabled app on any prim
    Strannik Zipper: I made a working computer so I could work on google docs
    Strannik Zipper: its good for youtube, etc. as well
    Zen Arado: I'm getting behind with this stuff :)
    Strannik Zipper: You do Shikantaza in SF?
    Zen Arado: a computer in SL?
    Zen Arado: SF?
    Strannik Zipper: I can have a biz conference and have a shared whiteboard
    Strannik Zipper: San Francisco

    Zen in San Francisco and N.Ireland:

    Zen Arado: I do shikantaza but I live in N.Ireland
    Strannik Zipper: ah! transmission from SF, but in Ulster - my family is from Portstewart
    Zen Arado: ah amazing!
    Zen Arado: I have a friend lives there
     Strannik Zipper: I was there in 2003, after having not bee there since 1971 - boy did it change!
    Zen Arado: I live in a seaside town called Carrickfergus
    Strannik Zipper: I think I went through there
    Zen Arado: yes - lots of tourists go to see the Castle
    Zen Arado: were you born in Ulster?
    Strannik Zipper: Not me - my grandfather
    Strannik Zipper: came here in 1925
    Zen Arado: Hi Arch :)
    Strannik Zipper: (San Francisco Bay area)
    Archmage Atlantis: Hi, Zen :)
    Strannik Zipper: Hi Arch
    Archmage Atlantis: Hello, Strannik
    Zen Arado: my teacher is abbot of SFZC
    Zen Arado: Paul Haller - you know him?
    Strannik Zipper: I don't - but I've heard of him
    Strannik Zipper: Its funny - I was just quoting Suzuki Roshi tonight
    Zen Arado: he comes here twice a year because he was born and raised in Belfast
    Strannik Zipper: In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few.
    Zen Arado: yes - his famous book
    Zen Arado: Paul is here at the moment
    Strannik Zipper: Cool
    Zen Arado: I am going to do a 5 day retreat with him next week
    Strannik Zipper: sounds wonderful
    Zen Arado: difficult too though
    Strannik Zipper: It would be wonderful if he would come on SL and give a Teisho
    Zen Arado: yes - but I don't think he is into SL and computers much
    Strannik Zipper: understandable
    Zen Arado: I told him about it one time but don't think he was impressed
    Zen Arado: you know Michael O'Keefe?
    Strannik Zipper: no
    Zen Arado: he is a movie/TV actor and Zen priest
    Strannik Zipper: interesting - what is he in?
    Zen Arado: he often comes with Paul when he comes here
    Zen Arado: he plays bit parts mostly
    Strannik Zipper: I'll have to look him up
    Zen Arado: he was in a movie with George Clooney recently
    Strannik Zipper: "The American"?
    Zen Arado: was a judge or something
    Zen Arado: I forget
    Zen Arado: Paul teaches 'mindfulness meditation' to health professionals also when he comes here
    Strannik Zipper: cool
    Strannik Zipper: Ulster has changed a lot since my Grandfather left!
    Zen Arado: it seems to be catching on with the health profession here
    Zen Arado: but still a lot of religious bigotry exists unfortunately
    Strannik Zipper: Its very big here as well
    Strannik Zipper: mindfulness, that is
    Zen Arado: it is good for relieving stress
    Strannik Zipper: that is how most people seem to gravitate to it nowadays
    Zen Arado: but I like Zen practice best
    Zen Arado: it is more complete if you see what I mean
    Strannik Zipper: right
    Zen Arado: you ok Arch?

    Diversion about old sayings :)

    Strannik Zipper: he has an endangered species on his shoulder
    Zen Arado: :)
    Zen Arado: better than a chip anyway :)
    Archmage Atlantis: I am fine, ty Zen.....I was just listening
    Strannik Zipper: I get as far as bompu Zen
    Archmage Atlantis: Yes, white tigers are endangered
    Zen Arado: do Americans know that expression about having a chip on your shoulder?
    Strannik Zipper: yes
    Archmage Atlantis: Yes, it is common in the US
    Zen Arado: you the origin of it?
    Zen Arado: know *
    Strannik Zipper: I'm guessing peat?
    Archmage Atlantis: I've read it somewhere, I think, but I can't recall what I read
    Zen Arado: it was about some place in England I think where the workers got to take home free planks of wood
    Zen Arado: then they reduced the quota to small pieces 'chips' which mad them very resentful
    Strannik Zipper: ah!
    Archmage Atlantis: The first reference I see is to a practice of putting a chip on the shoulder to indicate a desire to fight......but that is a random net page
    Archmage Atlantis: Would require cross reference to confirm
    Strannik Zipper: I think the resentfulness reference makes sense
    Zen Arado: oh? I heard this on a radio prog a while ago
    Zen Arado: but often hard to say - many theories
    Archmage Atlantis: Information on the net and in wikipedia only get one into the general area of meaning and origin.......everything requires some cross reference, imo.
    Strannik Zipper: context
    Archmage Atlantis: Better than having to research the local library, tho
    Strannik Zipper: a lot of the library is now on the net as well
    Zen Arado: useful though
    Archmage Atlantis: True
    Archmage Atlantis: to both comments

    About a retreat I am attending next week:

    Zen Arado: looking forward to this retreat next week
    Archmage Atlantis: I was looking up the names of the Zen related individuals as the 2 of you spoke
    Zen Arado: over 50 will be at it
    Strannik Zipper: wow - where does it take place?
    Zen Arado: at an old Servite priory at a small town called Benburb
    Zen Arado: it's about 60 mile from where I live
    Strannik Zipper: folks bringing their own zafus and such?
    Archmage Atlantis: How will you travel there, Zen?....I remember you have some challenges, as do I, in transortation.
    Zen Arado: yes though Belfast zen 
    Zen Arado: centre supplies some
    Archmage Atlantis: Ah, goood
    Zen Arado: yes but someone is giving me a lift
    Archmage Atlantis: Even better
    Zen Arado: I have been there many times before
    Strannik Zipper: it looks beautiful
    Zen Arado: you can do just the weekend but I am doing the full 5 days
    Zen Arado: it an old dilapidated building though :)
    Archmage Atlantis: The name sounds like it (be beautiful that is)
    Strannik Zipper: like a small sesshin
    Zen Arado: well 5 days is quite common time for a sesshin

    Benburb and other retreat centers and temples:

    Strannik Zipper: http://www.servites-benburb.com/
    Strannik Zipper: lots of muscle twitching time!
    Zen Arado: ah yes - they have improved the website - it used to be terrible
    Zen Arado: there are two old fat dogs hang about the place
    Strannik Zipper: are there any monastics in residence?
    Zen Arado: but it has nice grounds
    Zen Arado: no not nowadays - just a few retired Catholic priests
    Strannik Zipper: I went on a tour of old monasteries when I was last in Ireland
    Zen Arado: it was supposed to have been turned into a retirement home for priests couple of years ago but they changed their minds
    Zen Arado: you saw this plave then?
    Strannik Zipper: not that place - I went to Glendalough, Clonmacnoise, Monasterboice, etc.
    Zen Arado: you should come here and do a retreat
    Strannik Zipper: sounds intense
    Zen Arado: but you kinda get into it after the first day
    Strannik Zipper: I found out this year that I'm eligibile for Irish citizenship
    Strannik Zipper: I can't sit on a zafu anymore, I have to use a chair
    Zen Arado: I can have British or Irish citizenship
    Zen Arado: lots of people like that Strannik
    Zen Arado: I have to use a wheelchair

    Accessibility issues:

    Strannik Zipper: there was an article about a woman using a wheelchair at the SF Zen Center
    Zen Arado: was there - interesting
    Zen Arado: I hear it is not too accessible
    Zen Arado: and Tassajara completely inacessible
    Strannik Zipper: It is on the top of a very steep hill
    Strannik Zipper: Green Gulch isn't too accessible either
    Zen Arado: yes - many of my friends from Belfast have been there
    Zen Arado: otherwise I would love to go there myself
    Strannik Zipper: well, you will be getting a "piece" of it soon ;-)
    Archmage Atlantis: Odd to hear that in as liberal an area as SF, there would be access issues unaddressed
    Strannik Zipper: SF is difficult - lots of old 3-5 story victorian houses
    Strannik Zipper: lots of hills and steep stairs
    Strannik Zipper: they do try to make it accessible, but it is very costly
    Zen Arado: there is another zen priest called Ingen Breen, also from Ireland but trained in SFZV
    Zen Arado: yes - it is always a matter of cost
    Zen Arado: I can't access the Belfast zen centre
    Strannik Zipper: its much harder in the older neighborhoods
    Zen Arado: at all because there is a flight of stairs
    Archmage Atlantis: That makes sense, Strannick, now you say that
    Archmage Atlantis: Florida is flat, and we still have access issues :)
    Zen Arado: but they are supposed to make 'reasonable' attempts to provide access here
    Zen Arado: I go to retreats in this place sometimes
    Zen Arado: http://www.drumalis.co.uk/
    Zen Arado: it is accessible
    Archmage Atlantis: Same here, Zen........but like you mentioned the other day, someone who has not experienced the difficulties
    Zen Arado: I attend a mindfulness meditation group there once a week
    Archmage Atlantis: probably doesn't "get it"
    Zen Arado: I make sure I remind them of the inaccessibility quite often though :)
    Archmage Atlantis: :))
    Strannik Zipper: that is good - the squeeky wheel gets the grease!
    Zen Arado: DRumalis is a beautiful place too

    Temples and Buddhist Centers:

    Strannik Zipper: Have you ever been to Iona?
    Zen Arado: no
    Archmage Atlantis: Is that also a Zen proverb, Strannick :) - (just attempting humor)
    Strannik Zipper: Have you heard of the Zen call to action?
    Strannik Zipper: "Don't just do something, sit there!"
    Archmage Atlantis: No, actually not....tell me
    Zen Arado: :)
    Archmage Atlantis: :)
    Strannik Zipper: Have you ever been to Dzogchen Beara?
    Zen Arado: never been there either - have friends who go there
    Zen Arado: I have been to Samye Ling place in SCotland
    Strannik Zipper: not familiar with that one
    Zen Arado: a big Tibetan temple that has been going since the 60's
    Strannik Zipper: I have done a retreat with Ngakpa Chogyam
    Zen Arado: was there 3 years ago and stayed for a weekend
    Archmage Atlantis: Time for me to begin morning chores.......It has been pleasant learning from you both.....Bye for now.
    Strannik Zipper: cheers Arch
    Zen Arado: bye Arch
    Zen Arado: http://www.samyeling.org/
    Zen Arado: it's a really big place
    Zen Arado: Chogyam TRungpa was there for a while
    Strannik Zipper: Oh yes
    Strannik Zipper: I have been to his center in Boulder, CO and the Naropa Institute
    Zen Arado: I read a lot of Tibetan authors as well as zen
    Zen Arado: have read Trungpa's books
    Zen Arado: and I love Pema Chodron
    Strannik Zipper: She is big here - she just gave a talk here not long ago
    Zen Arado: she is a beautiful woman
    Zen Arado: I am reading he commentary on Shantideva atm
    Strannik Zipper: she is a good writer as well
    Zen Arado: her books are very helpful for people with emotional problems I think - very practical
    Zen Arado: very down to earth
    Zen Arado: would love to do a retreat with her too in Nova Scotia
    Strannik Zipper: s;he understands how to create practical applications of difficult ideas for modern people
    Strannik Zipper: I spent a fair amount of time at the Nyingma institute as well - which is where I met Pema
    Zen Arado: I have a friend who is doing a mindfulness Msc with Samye Ling

    Different traditions and reconciliation between them :

    Zen Arado: do you prefer Tibetan Buddhism?
    Strannik Zipper: It was a stop on my journey, where I learned a lot
    Strannik Zipper: but I like the simplicity of Zen
    Zen Arado: good way to put it Strannik
    Strannik Zipper: There were too many entaglements for me in TB
    Zen Arado: yes me too - that;s what I was going to say
    Strannik Zipper: er entanglements
    Zen Arado: exactly - too many 'add ons'
    Strannik Zipper: not that I mind liturgical complexity
    Strannik Zipper: I am an Orthodox choir director, and they don't call it the "byzantine rite" for nothing ;-)
    Zen Arado: Orthodox?
    Strannik Zipper: Orthodox Christian of Russian tradition
    Zen Arado: ah yes
    Zen Arado: can you reconcile that with Buddhist teachings?
    Strannik Zipper: I don't try - reality reconciles itself ;-)
    Strannik Zipper: ironically, I'm a better Buddhist now that I'm a Christian than I ever was as a Buddhist
    Zen Arado: yes - there is a Jesuit priest who is also a zen teacher who comes here to lead retreats
    Strannik Zipper: Have you ever read anything by Hugo Enomiya Lasalle?
    Zen Arado: I struggle with how people fit two traditions together like that
    Strannik Zipper: A Jesuit priest who was also a Zen master
    Zen Arado: no
    Strannik Zipper: he has some interesting writings - he was in Japan
    Strannik Zipper: I know someone who knew him
    Zen Arado: yes Robert Kennedy lived in Japan too
    Zen Arado: many like that
    Zen Arado: http://www.blackmountainzencentre.org/8.html
    Strannik Zipper: Oh yes - I saw a book by him
    Zen Arado: it is just my logical mind
    Zen Arado: I have one of his books - something about 'Zen Gifts to Christians'
    Strannik Zipper: thats it
    Zen Arado: maybe I have the idea that there is one truth
    Zen Arado: instead of a variety and complexity
    Strannik Zipper: I think there is one truth, but my mind is too small to contain it
    Strannik Zipper: my eyes are too small to see it
    Strannik Zipper: perhaps until there is big mind and big eyes
    Zen Arado: yes maybe
    Zen Arado: It's because I studied philosophy and am still influenced by ideas of reason and logic
    Zen Arado: which can also be a narrow path
    Strannik Zipper: reason and logic is good - but it can become a box
    Strannik Zipper: sometimes the box falls apart and you see a wider world
    Zen Arado: you have to think of these things as stepping stones to something greater I guess
    Strannik Zipper: I think of reason as an after-the-fact event, like a reporter making sense of something they just saw
    Zen Arado: anyway - I think I'll have to go now Strannik
    Strannik Zipper: nice chatting with you - have a great retreat!
    Zen Arado: you too
    Strannik Zipper: gassho!
    Zen Arado: gassho

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