2010.10.17 19:00 - Awareness, Considered

    Table of contents
    No headers

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

    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Hi Calvino ... quiet evening so far?
    Calvino Rabeni: So far at Play as Being yes
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: I see ... but otherise ...
    Calvino Rabeni: meanwhile, behind the scenes ... ?
    Calvino Rabeni: We may be graced by a glimpse of Paradise
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Ahhh ... a fresh breeze of delight
    Calvino Rabeni: We're confronted with the usual existential question .. what to import to "here", what to leave behind, .. and the opposite too, what we don't want to import but can't help and would like to import but don't seem able ...
    Calvino Rabeni: Does that about cover it? :)
    Calvino Rabeni smiles at Paradise
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Do you mean - import from our so-called "Real Life" to this "Second Life" ... or, a different meaning?
    Paradise Tennant: smiles hiya mitzi cal :) gtsy :)
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Ciao Bella
    Calvino Rabeni: yes I meant that
    Paradise Tennant: one of the most engaging aspects of sl is how you express yourself in sl your real self well that gets confusing too :)
    Paradise Tennant: smiles
    Calvino Rabeni: For example, there's a great deal of rather choice gossip, we choose not to import
    Paradise Tennant: or we go back to the things we liked as kids .. the colour purple and mermaids :)
    Calvino Rabeni: We could do that ... I'm not sure what our values are on childhood regressions. But as long as you've brought it up, why not?
    Paradise Tennant: or green :)
    Calvino Rabeni: No doubt certain things were put into motion then...
    Paradise Tennant: smiles
    Calvino Rabeni: that are still rolling on one way or another
    Paradise Tennant: do not think you should ever let go of some aspects of childhood ..wonder the spontaneous element of joy ..
    Calvino Rabeni: Young minds are so impressionable
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: The fact that this environment is different, and we can control our appearance and words more than in RL, creates new opportunities for self-definition.
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: It allows us to play with different modes of expressing ourselves.
    Calvino Rabeni: Well costumes are cheaper
    Calvino Rabeni: but in RL we can probably do more ... just ask an actor
    Paradise Tennant: hmm I go with whatever makes me smile :)
    Paradise Tennant: love the flowers ... the shiny things :)
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Originally I wanted to have a whole stable of avatars with different personalities. Mitzi is the only one so far. I gave her a specific personality and style; yet my RL self seems to come thru rather strongly in spite of Mitzi's own nature ...
    Calvino Rabeni: I was talking to a friend today about that choice
    Paradise Tennant: hmm I have never created an alt
    Calvino Rabeni: the phrase "shiny objects" has a certain currency these days
    Paradise Tennant: call them shiny moments at work
    Paradise Tennant: when I want a brief brain stretch will google earth bali or lake como :)
    Paradise Tennant: or look something up I do not know or have never heard of
    Paradise Tennant: I think our real selves come through in sl very clearly
    Calvino Rabeni: So, you can be whatever you want ... a whole fresh green field to replant ... starting with a tabula rasa
    Paradise Tennant: they are expressed by the choices you make
    Paradise Tennant: smiles
    Calvino Rabeni: Or not, depending on what we believe about human nature
    Paradise Tennant: do not think we stray that far really
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: I am inspired by your "shiny moments" at work idea
    Paradise Tennant: hmm they really work
    Paradise Tennant: travel sites are good one too ..just knowing you can get on a cheap flight to rome if you really wanted to .. just makes the day brighter :)
    Paradise Tennant: when I was sick my dad would take out the maps and the guide books and we would .. plan road trips ... same idea really
    Paradise Tennant: brief excursions
    Calvino Rabeni: That's charming to hear about
    Paradise Tennant: he was a charming uniquely wonderful person :) I was blessed
    Paradise Tennant: you know we are all blessed :)
    Paradise Tennant: a matter of perception
    Calvino Rabeni nods, letting that idea work
    Paradise Tennant: appreciation .. divining our grace :)
    Calvino Rabeni: It seems to me that's one of the many answers to "what good is mindfulness"
    Paradise Tennant: be right back have to stir the jam
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: I like that topic "what is mindfulness"
    Calvino Rabeni: That's the current topic in the Ways of Knowing workshop
    Paradise Tennant: listens
    Calvino Rabeni: Here's a quote from one of the readings
    Calvino Rabeni: The Buddha and the original people who practiced this saw mindfulness as a concrete, almost physical location in the mind and in the heart, a place of craft where you could do some work. Roll up your sleeves and do some work. We have no concept in our cultural life of the craft of working with the mind and heart as if it were actually "stuff." But that is exactly the sense of it. To work with the mind and heart is something very practical, very grounded, very real. It is touchable, concrete, and located in a place.
    Calvino Rabeni: so
    Calvino Rabeni: somehow later it became abstract ...
    Calvino Rabeni: That quote ended at "located in a place"
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: This is wonderful, Calvino. I think the idea of mindfulness as a craft opens up a whole different, more grounded way of thinking about spirituality. Not like something that just falls on you from out of the sky ... instead, something you learn, practice and gain skills within.
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, it keeps it from "someday, pie in the sky"
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: I wonder which contemporary teachers approach the teaching in that way?
    Paradise Tennant: nods back to the buddist concept of everyone having perfect buddha nature .. but there is a fair amount of work to uncovering .. removing the obscurations :)
    Paradise Tennant: shining our foggy mirrors is the common metaphor )
    Calvino Rabeni: The quote was form Norman Fischer on the "Everyday Zen" web site
    Paradise Tennant: nods
    Calvino Rabeni: http://www.everydayzen.org/index.php?option=com_teaching&task=showTeachings&topic=Meditation%20and%20Mindfulness&Itemid=26
    stevenaia Michinaga: greetings
    Paradise Tennant: hiya steve gtsy :)
    Calvino Rabeni: I was talking to a friend about the metaphors we'd heard for "ego" (if you believe there actually is such a thing)
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Stevenaia ... nice to have your presence here around this lovely fountain.
    Paradise Tennant: smiles
    Calvino Rabeni: Those metaphors express a belief system
    stevenaia Michinaga: thank you
    stevenaia Michinaga: happy to be here
    Calvino Rabeni: Hi Stevenaia :)
    Paradise Tennant: oh I firmly believe it exists .. I keep butting heads with my own ego on a daily basis :)
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Oh Steve ... you're outshining Paradise ...
    Calvino Rabeni: The one I rather liked was - one's ego is like a "little donkey" - it's a helpful beast that will do things for you, but it
    stevenaia Michinaga: dificult to do
    Paradise Tennant: smiles ..a very big smile :)
    Calvino Rabeni: is better to ride it than have it ride you
    Paradise Tennant: stevenaia is a vision of colour and light :)))
    stevenaia Michinaga: smiles
    Calvino Rabeni: I liked the metaphor better than (1) a raging bull elephant, and (2) a little devil
    stevenaia Michinaga: can someone simply define Buddah nature?
    Paradise Tennant: oooo
    Calvino Rabeni: Steve ups the ante :)
    Paradise Tennant: smiles
    stevenaia Michinaga: just nieve
    Calvino Rabeni: Snow?
    Paradise Tennant: well it is perfect consciousness
    stevenaia Michinaga: ok, as opposed to what?
    stevenaia Michinaga: isn;t all consciousness perfect?
    Calvino Rabeni: So which do you like better of the following word choices for the indescribable - (1) mindfulness, (2) awareness, and (3) presence
    Calvino Rabeni: (4) authenticity maybe, in the same region?
    Paradise Tennant: Buddha-nature or Buddha Principle (Buddha-dh??tu), is taught, within Mahayana Buddhism, to be an intrinsic, immortal potential for reaching enlightenment that exists within the mind of every sentient being. Buddha-nature is not to be confused with the concept of Atman, or Self, but instead is viewed to be empty of defining characteristics (also see Sunyata and Nondualism).
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: I don't think we can define Buddha nature very well in terms of what it *IS* - that would presume we have had an experience of that. Instead, perhaps one way to talk about it is what the story of the Buddha inspires in us - a direction to move in
    stevenaia Michinaga: hmm, a nice selection, probably perfect 4
    stevenaia Michinaga: nods
    Paradise Tennant: likes when it is referred to as luminous mind somehow I get the picture more clearly with those words
    stevenaia Michinaga: now I have a framework to listen from :)
    Calvino Rabeni: So with awareness, one can for instance, notice when oneself is going into some state of identification, e.g. some kind of emotional pattern, and have some "free attention" outside it, and just possibly, make choices on that basis to change "form"
    Calvino Rabeni: Or as some say, catch oneself "falling asleep"
    Calvino Rabeni: Or with awareness, one can do other things which seem somewhat dubious, like try to eradicate desire and achieve some imagined transcendent state of being
    Paradise Tennant: hmm
    Paradise Tennant: blinking
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: perhaps the attempt to achieve these ends can yield important insights, even if the original aim "fails"
    Paradise Tennant: more like letting go to what is not to find what really is
    Calvino Rabeni: I agred Mitzi
    Calvino Rabeni: But isn't a lot of discovery based on floating imagination and seeing what flies, what interacts with reality in a useful way?
    Calvino Rabeni: In tai chi practice lore there's a slogan "invest in failure"
    Calvino Rabeni: I don't agree that we can create a relationship with reality by just taking things away
    stevenaia Michinaga: seems the best way to learn lessons
    Calvino Rabeni: although that SOUNDS easier
    Calvino Rabeni: Actually, I think, it just might be needed for balance, as a temporary "affirmative action"
    Calvino Rabeni: I mean the focus on dropping, detachment, stillness, silence, etc.
    Calvino Rabeni: just as a counter to the automatism of modern life
    Calvino Rabeni: however, impermanence means equally - things pass away - things arise
    Calvino Rabeni: and if we are "one" with what's going on, we are completely implicated, in the arising also
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Any kind of experimentation is at least a positive thing ... on the other hand it seems to me that one can be more efficient by using approaches proven out by more experienced others ... and sticking with one approach for a while to give it a good go. Then, maybe, try something different with similar serious intent. And see what emerges as one's own effective synthesis.
    Calvino Rabeni: When you have a culture that is harried, busy, on automatic, not feeling themselves in their depths, etc., then ... the notion of a retreat to stillness seems like a kind of deliverance
    Calvino Rabeni: but only as a gesture of balance, a dialectic, anyway that's a current idea I've been entertaining
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Yes, indeed, .... people find a refreshment that's well needed in any kind of contemplative act if they haven't done it before.
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: "Gesture of Balance" - a lovely phrase. Wasn't it the title of a book by Tarthang Tulku?
    Paradise Tennant: smiles
    Calvino Rabeni: Well transferring of "knowledge" form experienced others might be possible and useful, but ... I suppose "consciousness" might be "transmitted" also, but it is much more ephemeral - it can't be externalized
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes I think so Mitzi (about the book title)
    Calvino Rabeni: Certain spiritual paths emphasize balance and wholeness principles
    Paradise Tennant: is it a dream or not ...if it is a dream .. then one course is called for if we believe this life to be reality then .. it is another :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Is "mindfulness" beneficial ? It would seem to depend a lot on what one does with it, andwhat "for"
    Calvino Rabeni: I'm not sure what the valid distinction is between reality and dream
    Calvino Rabeni: (I must be very confused ... ?)
    Paradise Tennant: well the premise of buddhist thought is that are dualistic outlook is baloney
    Calvino Rabeni: Suppose all this is a dream ... then what course does that seem to call for?
    Paradise Tennant: *our
    Paradise Tennant: dropping :)
    Calvino Rabeni smiles at that word "baloney"
    Paradise Tennant: stepping back
    Paradise Tennant: seeing the dream
    Paradise Tennant: for a dream
    Calvino Rabeni: Stepping back, to ... where exactlyh
    Paradise Tennant: but then reengaging and playing with the dream
    Calvino Rabeni: So in our culture, "dream" is extremely ambiguous as a term
    Paradise Tennant: in a way that makes you appreciate the dreamy qualities
    Paradise Tennant: smiles
    Calvino Rabeni: often it means "error about reality" or wrongness ... rather derogatory
    Calvino Rabeni: on the other hand, someitmes it refers to exalted imagination
    Calvino Rabeni: as in martin luther king's "I have a dream"
    Calvino Rabeni: or other coherent acts of imagination that have power in the world
    Calvino Rabeni: And one could take it as showing that the creativity of the "dreamer" is very much at work in the construction of the appearance of reality
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: There is a famous teaching story from India ... a king falls asleep and has a very vivid dream
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: ... where he is poor and has no food ... he gets some rice together and finally cooks it up in the forest ...
    Calvino Rabeni: so it takes the "hard edge" - "can't change it" off the definition of the world
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: ... then two bulls come by fighting and tread his precious hard-gained food into the dirt ...
    Calvino Rabeni: Mitzi, is that the famous "Teach me what Maya means" story?
    Calvino Rabeni: ... sorry, different story :)
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: ... he awakes to find himself in his gogeous bed with silk covers, servants at his beck and call ...but the dream was so real, he can't get it out of his mind.
    Paradise Tennant: smiles
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: ... So, he issues a challenge to all the wise men of the realm, explain this dream to him and get his daughter's hand in marriage or some such reward. Many wise men come ...
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: ... finally one wise man says to him, "Oh, King, the reason you know the dream was a dream was that you woke up from it. This life is a dream as well, from which you have not yet awakened. They are BOTH dreams O King."
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Anyway that was the winning answer. I like that story a lot and it touches on what Cal said - step back ... to where?
    Paradise Tennant: out of dualistic thought out of the dream
    Paradise Tennant: smiles
    Calvino Rabeni: I don't think, nondualism provides any place to step into ... that would be dualistic to have such a place?
    Paradise Tennant: lol
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: You could kind of think of anything that's not in the here and now as a dream ...
    Calvino Rabeni: It seems perhaps equivalent to fully step INTO the dream
    Paradise Tennant: smiles a very big smile
    Calvino Rabeni: a dream could be lucid, or maybe just an automatism in which there is litle will
    Paradise Tennant: ok to do if you remember it is a dream
    Calvino Rabeni: The IDEA of a "here and now" ... what's involved in that?
    Calvino Rabeni: Some people have said ... the "here and now" is outside space and outside time
    Calvino Rabeni: it is not a zero-dimensional point in a geometric space/time
    Calvino Rabeni: it doens't have "no information content"
    Calvino Rabeni: not limited in any wayh
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: maybe "here and now" pushes us into sensate reality alone ...?
    Calvino Rabeni: can't be defined by exclusion of any aspect of reality
    Calvino Rabeni: I think that's a good point Mitzi
    Calvino Rabeni: as what it often means is body awareness
    Paradise Tennant: i am peeling an orange in my dream ..which I plan shortly to eat .. also in my dream .. a sensory .. progression of experience .. that seems both real and tasty .. but on some level I firmly in fact devoutly believe that I am dreaming the orange . and dreaming me :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Another point of view that is being considered in "Ways of Knowing" is ... doesn't "mindfulness" really mean "bodyfulness" essentially
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: "That's what I'm talkin' about!" Mitzi exclaims.
    Calvino Rabeni: Maybe it's the same dreamer, whether awake or asleep
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: (sheepishly) I mean ... I agree with that.
    Calvino Rabeni: But if the bodymind is a unity (which I like to believe), then the "act" of mindfulness or presence, would actually put one more in touch with the whole, which would appear as "bodyful" to the extent that the state of the body was shadowed or ignored by conceptual conditioning
    Calvino Rabeni: (or something like that)
    Calvino Rabeni: brb
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: OK ....
    Paradise Tennant: smiles
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: ... beyond that general description, though, would lie an infinite number of variations of experiential states that would minimally meet that definition ... perhaps the only similarity among them might be that they differ from previous states in the same person by being "more mindful" than before ...
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: thus, a relational definition rather than a concertete on?
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: ... a concrete one?
    Calvino Rabeni: re
    Calvino Rabeni: both might be interesting, I think Mitzi
    Calvino Rabeni likes Para's smiles and feels that way too :)
    Paradise Tennant: life as a puzzle :)
    Calvino Rabeni: One idea mentioned earlier was the idea of mindfulness (or awareness, presence) as an opportunity to "roll up one's sleeves" and do some work
    Calvino Rabeni: If life is a puzzle, well, awareness helps with puzzles
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: the whole attempt to define mindfulness might be a bit ambitious ... we are so complex internally and language is so inadequate ...
    Calvino Rabeni: I was playing the game of Go, thinking - ... well mindfulness is coming in pretty handy right now for what's happening here
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: For "Go" I imagine you would need both your right brain and your left brain (if that's meaningful at all!)
    Calvino Rabeni: Sure, we'll never "capture" mindfulness - or anything else - in a bell jar made only of language ... but of course that's impossible anyway
    Calvino Rabeni: As all those meanings and significances exist in consciousness only, not in language
    Calvino Rabeni: IT would be like taking a piece of DNA and putting it into my laptop computer DVD drive and wondering why nothing grew from it
    Calvino Rabeni: the language only makes sense in the context of consciousness
    Calvino Rabeni: if the consciousness were there, we could say "X" and have it mean mindfulness
    Calvino Rabeni: and it would
    Calvino Rabeni: because language is a speech act perfomed by conscious agents
    Calvino Rabeni: basically pointing at the moon I guess
    Calvino Rabeni: and if you can't see the moon, then the pointing is ..
    Calvino Rabeni: well I guess pointless
    Calvino Rabeni: The freshness of any insight or meaning can't be packaged
    Calvino Rabeni: language contains nothing
    Paradise Tennant: well it skims the senses .. paints the pictures (
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: since we have evolved together as a species, perhaps we can just assume a general range of meaning correlated with language will be there in the awareness of another person, even though we can't know how closely or distantly our two experiences correspond - perhaps we CAN assume they correspond at least to some extent ...
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, a smile can be a perfect "word" for mindfulness in the right context
    Calvino Rabeni: Good notion, Mitzi
    Calvino Rabeni: We might be able to "redeem" the ideas of Goodness, or Beauty for that matter, using that strategy
    Calvino Rabeni: They do need to be redeemed, don't they. from the "that's just 'subjective'" ghetto
    Paradise Tennant: why do they need redeeming ?
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: this is kind of a Francisco Varela insight I think ... this dynamic might be a corrollary of the concept of "autopoeisis"utopoeisis
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: ... oops! evidence of spelling dilemmas spills out
    Calvino Rabeni: in the belief systems of many - Beauty and Goodness have no intersubjective relevance
    Paradise Tennant: lol
    Calvino Rabeni: they can't be used in supposedly rational conversation
    Paradise Tennant: lol
    Calvino Rabeni: because they are *defined* as "merely subjective" or personal
    Calvino Rabeni: therefore they can't designate anything in the world of shared experience
    Calvino Rabeni: which they used to have the power to do, in previous times of history
    Calvino Rabeni: thus they lost their power
    Calvino Rabeni: Can you connect the dots.. with Varela?
    Paradise Tennant: smiles is eating home made strawberry jam on toast that if you could share would consider both beatiful and good :) do not believe they have lost any power
    Calvino Rabeni smiles
    Calvino Rabeni: the words "live" with Paradise :)
    Paradise Tennant: beauty and good are like chords in life we vibrate to them
    Calvino Rabeni: yes
    Calvino Rabeni: I think it valid to say they have objective correlates
    Calvino Rabeni: that can be shared
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: yes ... those words still have power .... how would we quanitfy that they have less than they used to?
    Calvino Rabeni: not just ... well Para likes strawberry jam, what of it :)
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: I'm not sure I agree that they have less power than they used to.
    Calvino Rabeni: But you have heard of the modern and postmodern philosophical critiques of those notions ? Supposedly they are starting to make a re-entry into philosophy, or so I've heard
    Paradise Tennant: maybe the roll up your sleeves kind of work in the tangible place we call our hearts .. can open up an appreciation of the objective nature of beauty the divine . the good :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Of course it's mostly in intellectual circles, but those have influence on the culture
    Calvino Rabeni smiles
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes
    Paradise Tennant: smiles but homemade strawberry jam is a shortcut :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Where is that "place" where the work can be done?
    Calvino Rabeni: That's a practical question, really
    Calvino Rabeni: something about mindfulness and practice
    Calvino Rabeni: maybe influencing emotional intelligence, quality fo realationship, physical real-world outcomes, and the rest
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: just returning our attention to a body part. For me I use the chest and heart area. Sometimes the feet if I'm really revved up. The gut area has a lot to say as well.
    Calvino Rabeni: "tangible place" reminds me of the importance of embodiment in practice
    Calvino Rabeni: Indeed, messages
    Calvino Rabeni: and those places are loaded with their own nerve plexuses that do as much "information processing" as the cortex
    Calvino Rabeni: So part of that "work" might be about bridging between the different "centers' of intelligence
    Calvino Rabeni: you might call "awareness" a kind of global process that is capable of doing that kind of thing
    Calvino Rabeni: coordinating events into more of a functional unity
    Paradise Tennant: looks carefully at mitzi's toes
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: my toes!
    Calvino Rabeni: (Reminds me of the I Ching ... all motions said to start at the toes)
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: I hope they are acceptable. This is a standard avatar altered by me.
    Paradise Tennant: smiles at mitzi's heart
    Calvino Rabeni: smiles at Paradises smiles (again)
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Ah! Now I am tracking ... toes and feet are the foundation. Humbly they serve as the foundation of all movement.
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: (smiles back at Paradise's heart).
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: (and Calvino's as well)
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, they convey the power of the Earth into one's movement
    Calvino Rabeni: takes a deep breath
    Calvino Rabeni: now smiling at mitzi's heart
    Calvino Rabeni: and remembering stevenaia
    Paradise Tennant: smiles at stevenaia :) from head to toe :)
    Calvino Rabeni: lol
    stevenaia Michinaga: smiles
    Calvino Rabeni: I'm interested in how "awareness" can unify as well as divide things ... and also temporarily "inhabit" different parts of oneself to liven and energize them
    Calvino Rabeni: as in, attention into the heart, making it the center for a while
    Calvino Rabeni: or the gut, or the toes, etc. same thing
    Paradise Tennant: I think it is pretty easy to inhabit bits of our body with our consciousness .. the exercises they were doing at the retreat strike me as harder ..trying to invest your awareness into an object that in turn observes you ... difficult I suspect ...
    Calvino Rabeni: I have a practical philosophy - start with the easy stuff and work up to the fancy stuff :)
    Paradise Tennant: smiles with you there !
    Calvino Rabeni: The "foundation" would best be ... the easy stuff
    Paradise Tennant: smiles
    Calvino Rabeni: when looking into an "object" one sees, it's supposed objective facets, then its personal facets - that is, oneself looking back
    Calvino Rabeni: I think that's a good halfway house
    Calvino Rabeni: as it enlivens oneself to that object, giving receptivity
    Calvino Rabeni: The idea being to see others as objects, than as projected subjects looking like oneself in some way, then discriminating projections from the more foreign otherness
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Looking into an object, very interesting idea. Objects are easy to be with ... they don't talk back (much) and are simple in their "is"ness. Kind of relaxing.
    Calvino Rabeni: Empathic insight
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: what you said, Calvino, "see others as objects, rhan as projected subjects ..." ... wow! that would take some focus. I think I'll start with the easy stuff, actual objects!! Ha ha!
    Calvino Rabeni: where could an "other" even reflect in consciousness, except in a more open space of oneself ?
    Calvino Rabeni: That makes sense Mitzi
    Calvino Rabeni: Start with the easy stuff
    Calvino Rabeni: What happens in nature meditation?
    Calvino Rabeni: Where it is more than just abstract qualities on a felt level
    Paradise Tennant: hmm
    Paradise Tennant: the closest I have come to it I think is with nature
    Paradise Tennant: flowers trees ..can see them in me and me in them ...
    Paradise Tennant: very hard with a chair or a cup :)
    Paradise Tennant: smiles
    Paradise Tennant: glances at the clock and thinks of pumpkins :)
    Paradise Tennant: getting late >> I should scoot :) or will be slush in the morning ..
    stevenaia Michinaga: pumkins look back
    Paradise Tennant: they grin even
    Paradise Tennant: smiles
    stevenaia Michinaga: I should go too, I ahve a morning ahead
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: plants are nice that way - they are alive but not so active that they overwhelm your senses like another person can easily do (with me at least)
    Paradise Tennant: thank you mitz .. thank you cal .. thank you stevenaia .. a lovely session
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: a pleasure, Paradise, as usual. Fly away like a fairy!
    Paradise Tennant: namaste !
    Paradise Tennant: smiles
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: How pretty. Ah, they both are taking wing!
    Calvino Rabeni: _/!\_
    Calvino Rabeni: Paradise :)
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Nice twirling departure!!
    Calvino Rabeni: _/!\_
    Calvino Rabeni: stevenaia
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Bye steve!
    Calvino Rabeni: what is it about "nature" ..
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: ... yes?
    Calvino Rabeni: there's complexity, organization, many layers
    Calvino Rabeni: and organic unity
    Calvino Rabeni: but also
    Calvino Rabeni: there's the fact that it is somewhat foreign
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: uh huh
    Calvino Rabeni: in the sense of not having so many things we get identified with
    Calvino Rabeni: so for instance after my nature meditation, in which is fairly easy to "open" awareness, I could sort of "remember" that and then go open equivalently in a grocery store ... but it is harder to do it the other way around, to open first, in the grocery store or cafe
    Calvino Rabeni: and in some way, those two contexts are "connected"
    Calvino Rabeni: how does that work ...
    Calvino Rabeni: the transference of awareness from one context to another
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: yes, good example. the grocery store is more loud, for one, and more chaotic, and plain old more going on
    Calvino Rabeni: maybe .. there are seemingly infinite things going on in nature too
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: either overwhelms the senses, or has less coherence of structure, or more points of identification; and/or some of all of these
    Calvino Rabeni: bugs walking around, unexpected life forms appearing, birds chattering away in their hard-to-understand languages
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Yes, but as you say, nature is more connected. The structures are more coherent and resonant; make sense, and are naturally / organically structurally resonant with each other.
    Calvino Rabeni: bark flaking off trees, wind blowing over leaves knocking them together or fluttering, water sounds echoing off rocks...
    Calvino Rabeni: I can't really see it as less complex than a human-built setting
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: also they are more inherently pleasant or easy to take in, whereas the grocery store has many jarring or inharmonious components to it.
    Calvino Rabeni: Maybe, the human setting is TOO coherent, and we get a little bored with it
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: No, I don't think so ...
    Calvino Rabeni: boredom shuts down the mind (or is it a defnition of the mind in a shut sown state)
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: The latter I think
    Calvino Rabeni: Sure, but the human setting can be "opened" in depth too
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Yes, sure. But as you say, it is easier in nature. So, an inquiry could be as to why that is?
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, I was proposing it was because we don't identify with nature, and get mechanically identified with human-built settings
    Calvino Rabeni: they run our neural nets in "already recognized" mode
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: I think that may be part of it. But I think there's much more to it as well.
    Calvino Rabeni: Rather than the natural setting of "hey just what is going on here?"
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, what else ?
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: ?? say more
    Calvino Rabeni: Was hoping you'd fish into the "much more to it" bit :)
    Calvino Rabeni: It's easier in "nature" / it's harder in "human environment"
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: I kind of said some things above, about loudness; coherence; quantity of complexity; that's a good starting point. You want more?
    Calvino Rabeni: Suppose we were professional nature observers, trained in it, e.g. naturalists or foresters ...
    Lucinda Lavender: HI guys:)
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes but I don't buy it really ... human settings aren't inherently loud,
    Calvino Rabeni: take a library for instance
    Calvino Rabeni: it is quiet, well organized, coherent
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Hi Cinda!
    Calvino Rabeni: Cinda :)
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Well you gave the grocery store example. I was still responding to that particular example.
    Calvino Rabeni: Ok, but I think it's true in most human-built settings
    Calvino Rabeni: independent of noise, etc.
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: I think I could have a much easier time in a library to do something like nature meditation. Yes.
    Calvino Rabeni: Have you done music meditation, and then tried doing the same thing with the sound of a rushing stream, and then the same with traffic noise?
    Calvino Rabeni: Basically, mind is the same in each setting
    Calvino Rabeni: hmmm, I'm wondering now how Cinda listens to music
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Yes ... I think I'm just really easily overstimulated especially by loud or chaotic noises.
    Calvino Rabeni: the thing I was wondering about earlier is, how can we "transfer" qualities of awareness between those different contexts
    Calvino Rabeni: Well I am too, Mitzi, but have been albe to "relax" into them
    Calvino Rabeni: "Chaotic" is a subjective effect - in terms of sound quality, a rushing stream is the pure expression of chaotic behavior of turbulent water, whereas, traffic is an expression of well-defined mechanisms that are much less chaotic in an objective sense
    Calvino Rabeni: It might be, part of that "listening" is to perceive the processes at work, and discriminate them
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Calvino, I think we certainly can transfer qualities of awareness learned in nature meditation to more-manmade environments. It would just take practice, the same as improving any other skill.
    Lucinda Lavender: I find that when music has a certain agreement of sound...unified vowels for example...and certain intervals...have a way of deepening ones perception...feel the brain waves change...
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Side note - I'm not sure I agree about the definition of chaotic sound. Perhaps it's just a misunderstanding of the meaning of the word chaotic or difference in personal definitionl.
    Calvino Rabeni: Good evening, Ewan :)
    Lucinda Lavender: hi Ewan
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Good evening, Ewan, welcome.
    Ewan Bonham: Hi folks..
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: There is "chaos" and then there is "chaos!"
    Calvino Rabeni: I've found it useful to use awareness to meditate on traffic sounds and relax with them
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Traffic can sound a lot like the sea
    Calvino Rabeni: in the sense you mean, I think, mitzi, chaos means unexpected, and "didl't like the surprise"
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes it can, I noticed that today - a car came by, but the sound reminded me of a wave rushing in over rocks
    Ewan Bonham: When I visited NY, I was able o sleep near trsffic because it was steady and never ending...:)
    Calvino Rabeni: When the mind is agitated, even the birds singing, can be an irritable or toxic experience
    Calvino Rabeni: :) Ewan
    Ewan Bonham: Yes, the mind is where it all starts..:)
    Calvino Rabeni: I liked visiting foreign cities and getting used to the noises of the dogs barking, roosters crowing, discos thumping, etc.
    Calvino Rabeni: it got to be soothing / reassuring
    Calvino Rabeni: whereas when I got there at first it was disturbing
    Lucinda Lavender: I think I rarely judge the sounds...just have noticed that truly unified vowels are a bonding experience
    Calvino Rabeni: but I found, a little awareness helped with the transition
    Calvino Rabeni: vowels are powerful
    Calvino Rabeni: singing together even more
    Lucinda Lavender: yes
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: I need to find better words to articulate my meaning a bout the differences between natural and manmade sounds. Unexpected is not really what I feel when it's unpleasant or hard to merge with.
    Calvino Rabeni: I'm asking, exploring
    Lucinda Lavender: I had an interesting experience with a child last week
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Yes, cinda?
    Calvino Rabeni: there's a whole world of sound, it is likely to have any number of interesting qualities
    Lucinda Lavender: he was disturbed by a casual country sounding music..while very dependent upon having Baby einstein on in the classroom
    Lucinda Lavender: he seems to be able to memorize it all in someway...it is familiar in a way
    Lucinda Lavender: but I have yet to understand what the country sound did for him
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: a friend of mine is an early childhood teacher and she has described other cases where children are very sensitive to sounds or changes in accustomed sounds. I think we are numb to that by now, very important to notice what children notice.
    Lucinda Lavender: he heard it and started saying Ma ma ma
    Calvino Rabeni: Back on mitzi's question ... well human sounds are often communicative in nature and make a claim on our attention
    Calvino Rabeni: Agrees with Mitzi about that numbness
    Ewan Bonham: And what we really notice...whether we cover it over or not..:)
    Lucinda Lavender: I hope to uncover what the response meant
    Calvino Rabeni: I also read a study / experiment, showing that overhearing cell phone conversations is disruptive because people hear HALF A CONVERSATION - a "halfalog" - while whole conversations in the ambient noise surround were not nearly as distracting
    Calvino Rabeni: So what we "notice" depends a lot on its nature as communicatin
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: sounds plausible!
    Calvino Rabeni: the people could tune out the "whole" conversations
    Calvino Rabeni: but the "half" ones they couldn't tune out as easily
    Lucinda Lavender: makes sense...that we want to figure out the missing parts
    Calvino Rabeni: presumably their minds - mirror neurons - mechanisms that make us skillful human communicators - were working overtime subconsciously
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: yes, makes sense
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: I also find that lots of conversations like in a coffee house, blend together into a nice white noise ambient background, but if there's just ONE conversation going on, I'm totally listening to it!
    Calvino Rabeni: The presence of these subconscious / automatic mechanisms of perception would seem to put a constraint on what "awareness" can accomplish as an active / intentional force
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: No Shit Sherlock!! (ooops)
    Calvino Rabeni: Again? Another interesting but divergent question is ... just how "powerful" is awareness ... some say it can do almost nothing, others say it can do a great deal
    Calvino Rabeni: and I suppose it depends on the application, the practice, the concrete strategies and mechanisms involved
    Calvino Rabeni: that awareness must be VERY contextual and specifically embodied to function well
    Calvino Rabeni: and probably needs to be trained
    Calvino Rabeni: Although some would say - "water the root"
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: I have a thought on this. I think it can "lean on" processes with long momentum behind them. So, there might not be an immediate, strong effect, but over time, the changes can be really significant and powerful. But long-grooved habits can't inherently change in a flash.
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Yes, that would be watering the root.
    Calvino Rabeni: Nice, Mitzi
    Calvino Rabeni: I agree, that is a powerful reason to cultivate long-term-awareness
    Calvino Rabeni: and in fact, it might be undercut by ideas of "living in the present" ? Unless the "present" can somehow notice the traces in the mo0ment of those long-term processes
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: well, yes! I think the present can notice the traces in the moment ... as well as anything else
    Calvino Rabeni: When the indigenous people pray to their ancestors and also their descendents, and consider actions in the context of "deep time: - the "seven generations" ...
    Calvino Rabeni: That deep time - is it a concept? Is it related to the simple act of bridging moments by aware attention?
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Beautiful. That's certainly what people in American society are not doing much of.
    Calvino Rabeni: Sadly
    Lucinda Lavender: Lucinda is thinking about when walking from a dream...the moments of awareness thatare like flashes of truth expanding ones awareness...
    Calvino Rabeni: As those images get taken into the waking mind?
    Lucinda Lavender: yes
    Calvino Rabeni: I know what you mean
    Lucinda Lavender: awakening to them is outside ones own mental judgemnet
    Calvino Rabeni: for me it takes attention to "allow" that to happen
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes
    Lucinda Lavender: judgement
    Calvino Rabeni: I think, that's "pre-judgment"
    Lucinda Lavender: I guess I am talking about that which may awaken a more cosmic awareness...perhaps
    Calvino Rabeni: Can we do something to help / allow it?
    Lucinda Lavender: a bigger picture...hmmm
    Lucinda Lavender: perhaps accepting that it lives in all our minds yet we must somehow recognize that there is potential to mirror everything.
    Calvino Rabeni smiles, not ready to have an opinion but likes the topic
    Lucinda Lavender: I have recently been reading about awareness...and that is part of the reading I have done...it points to this being a pardoxical realm...
    Lucinda Lavender: physical body being a place that the awareness is communicated through
    Lucinda Lavender: listen to the body...
    Calvino Rabeni: yes, body awareness is really helpful
    Calvino Rabeni: as the place where lots of knowledge can "register"
    Lucinda Lavender: mmay be why prejudgement makes sense
    Calvino Rabeni: it's almost like the body is a blackboard that many different minds write upon to communicate
    Lucinda Lavender: nids
    Calvino Rabeni: even when they are not there at the same time
    Lucinda Lavender: nods
    Lucinda Lavender: like having dreatime all the time in the body...
    Lucinda Lavender: dreamtime
    Lucinda Lavender: perhaps balancing goes on...
    Calvino Rabeni: yes
    Ewan Bonham: Thank you folks....nice seeing and listening to you..:)
    Calvino Rabeni: Bye Ewan, take care :)
    Lucinda Lavender: bye Ewan:)
    Calvino Rabeni: Friends, it's the hour ... and I need to go also :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Thanks so much :)
    Lucinda Lavender: and thank you!
    Calvino Rabeni: Dream well, Cinda and Mitzi :)
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: So long ...
    Lucinda Lavender: same for you...
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Hi Cinda, are you still here?
    Lucinda Lavender: yes
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: I haven't been attentive but enjoy connecting with you
    Lucinda Lavender: thanks:)
    Lucinda Lavender: any thoughts before going?
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Your theme has seemed often to be dreams, But, I want to say that you should feel free to be there in any other theme or topic as well, I know you are not limited to that area of interest.
    Lucinda Lavender: well ...Many areas that I am less familiar with ...
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: I just want you to know that I see you not as just "dream Cinda".
    Lucinda Lavender: are hard to begin to communicate about...
    Lucinda Lavender: Thanks! that is very nice...
    Lucinda Lavender: do you have an area that you specialize in ...?
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Sure! And knowing you are friends with Calvino for many years. We have some kind of connection,
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Well I am interested in a lot of things around cognition, and parallel processing/neural networks. I studied that in college. But these days I'm very interested in Gurdjieff work, Sufism, etc. Stuff that Calvino are both really interested in.
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Body based awareness contemplation pracrices. "Nature meditation," or "impressions" work in the Gurdjieff tradition are big focuses for me.
    Lucinda Lavender: ah I see:)
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Also use of language and social stuff around language and communication.
    Lucinda Lavender: Hi alexis:)
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Hi Alexis, nice to meet you.
    Alexis Sommerfeld: Greetings, Ladies. Namaste! I trust both of you are doing well this evening?
    Lucinda Lavender: you have been here before yes?
    Alexis Sommerfeld: Yes, I have been here before.
    Lucinda Lavender: yes...well
    Alexis Sommerfeld: And I acknowledge that I'm being recorded so that my words of wisdom will touch the face of the Internet.
    Alexis Sommerfeld: And embarass my offspring for generations to come.
    Lucinda Lavender: it Nice:)
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: I always forget that part! :)
    Lucinda Lavender: understand that!
    Lucinda Lavender: :)))
    Alexis Sommerfeld: I take lots of pictures, but mostly of me.
    Alexis Sommerfeld: So no worries. :)
    Lucinda Lavender: I took alot of pictures in RL tonight at a Havest party...
    Alexis Sommerfeld: I am drinking a bottle of what was formerly a harvest wine.
    Lucinda Lavender: The Seattle Farm Coop had a party for bartering goods people had made and a square dance.
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: How fun! and seasonal as well!
    Lucinda Lavender: Lots of people and kids.
    Lucinda Lavender: and music and there was one really neat contraption...
    Lucinda Lavender: A bicycle that grionds wheat
    Lucinda Lavender: grinds
    Alexis Sommerfeld: I love barter.
    Lucinda Lavender: kids really like that!
    Alexis Sommerfeld: I wrote a paper once about the benefits of barter, and the benefits of abolishing interest earned on money in savings.
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: a good way to productively harness all that kid energy
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: ha ha!
    Alexis Sommerfeld: The current system is a clever way to insure enslavement of the working class by the noble / upper class.
    Alexis Sommerfeld: So how about them Dodgers?
    Lucinda Lavender: :)))
    Lucinda Lavender: sorry but don't know about their current stus:)
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Good evenings, lovely ladies, I must depart ...
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Hope to see you again, Alexis, and next week perhaps, Cinda?
    Alexis Sommerfeld: Good night, Mitzi. Namaste, new friend.
    Lucinda Lavender: Mitzi, nice night to you...
    Alexis Sommerfeld: I guess I should wander off to.
    Alexis Sommerfeld: Bedtime approaches.
    Lucinda Lavender: I have been here a while and better ready for the week
    Alexis Sommerfeld: Nice meeting you, Lucinda. Have a good night!
    Lucinda Lavender: yes have a good night..Alexis

    Tag page (Edit tags)
    You must login to post a comment.
    Powered by MindTouch Core