2012.07.30 19:00 - Theme Session : music, the I, and is that what you mean by Quality?

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Pema Pera. Eliza posted this session.


    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Myna, San
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Pema
    Myna Maven: Hi everyone.
    Pema Pera: hi Myna, Eliza, Santo!
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Myna Maven: Hi
    Santoshima Resident: hello everyone :)
    Pema Pera: Eliza, is being green part of showing beginner's mind, or an ecological outlook, or alien affiliation, or something else? (just curious :-)
    Eliza Madrigal: sure, why not :) it is representative of various qualities I suppose
    Santoshima Resident: "it's not easy being green" —Kermit the frog
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Eliza Madrigal smiles
    Pema Pera: yes, I do remember that quote
    Santoshima Resident: have to hum it to know it
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Stevie
    stevenaia Michinaga: waves
    Pema Pera: when I was a grad student, in Holland, the muppet show was one way in which I learned colloquial American English
    Eliza Madrigal: Lia!
    Pema Pera: hey, Lia!!
    Myna Maven: :)
    Santoshima Resident: hi Stevie
    Eliza Madrigal: 'why are there so many, songs about rainbows...'
    Pema Pera: talking about grad students :-)
    Lia Rikugun: hi
    Lia Rikugun: yes?
    Pema Pera: so good to see you again
    Eliza Madrigal: lovely to see you Lia - I mentioned you in this morning's session
    Eliza Madrigal: *morning
    stevenaia Michinaga: rainbow are magic
    Pema Pera: oh, I reminisced about my days of being a graduate student, and then you came in
    Pema Pera: as grad student now
    Pema Pera: hi Bleu!
    Lia Rikugun: yes somehow i felt i wanted to come to SL tonight
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Bleu :)
    Lia Rikugun: :)
    Bleu Oleander: hiya everyone :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Korel :)


    Pema Pera: did you know that this is the fourth in a series of 8 theme sessions about "quality"?
    Lia Rikugun: no
    Lia Rikugun: i am sorry to interrupt
    Lia Rikugun: please continue
    Pema Pera: Here is a brief summary: When we watch a movie, there are three elements: there is a real story content unfolding, there is the fact that ultimately the movie is not real but just a play of light, and there is the `quality' of the movie that is independent of either the story content or the ultimate unreality; it is this `quality' that we can find in our own life, when seen as a movie or a dream.
    Pema Pera: so we're reporting here, as well as in the comments section of the session logs (the ones you once chased!) and in the PaB email group
    Eliza Madrigal: I would think at first that 'play of light' would be a quality
    Lia Rikugun: intresting
    Pema Pera: sure, all part of it, would you like to share more, Eliza?
    Pema Pera: (and hi Korel and Steve!)
    Korel Laloix smiles
    Eliza Madrigal: just noticing that if considering a film and the underlying light... that is the shift I would make to quality... but you said there is a third step
    Pema Pera: well, light is one aspect, but there is the artistic beauty, etc, too
    Pema Pera: in the composition, and so on
    Pema Pera: and *all* of these aspects can first be seen as part of the content, and *then* as something beyond that
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Aphrodite :)
    Pema Pera: and that *beyond* cannot be put into words :)
    Pema Pera: hi Aph!
    Pema Pera: yet we can tiptoe around it (^_^)
    Eliza Madrigal: :))
    Aphrodite Macbain: Hi
    Pema Pera: like falling in love, as was mentioned earlier
    Aphrodite Macbain: sorry I'm late
    Santoshima Resident: please excuse me, house cat emergency, have to go ~
    Pema Pera: can't catch it in a definition, but it's a very definite awareness/experiene
    Pema Pera: bye San!
    Eliza Madrigal: hope cat is okay
    Aphrodite Macbain: sounds intriguing

    Bleu Oleander: is it like the concept of "qualia" in that it is subjective and can only be known by the observer or one experiencing it?
    stevenaia Michinaga: how does one hold anothers hand and guide them to love?
    Pema Pera: yes, related for sure, Bleu
    Aphrodite Macbain: inspire rather than guide?
    Pema Pera listening for Steve's answer :-)


    stevenaia Michinaga: not sure of the difference
    Aphrodite Macbain: Hmm one can be a deliberte planned action, while the other is acting as an unconscious catalyst.
    stevenaia Michinaga: the answer is an example of the dificulty we have in the task before us
    Aphrodite Macbain: neither are guaranteed to work!
    Pema Pera: can you say more, Steve?
    stevenaia Michinaga: you don;t "learn it" you.... feel it
    Aphrodite Macbain: exactly
    stevenaia Michinaga: (done)
    stevenaia Michinaga: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Pema Pera: yes, intuition is an antenna for quality :)
    Pema Pera: would anyone like to report about their ongoing explorations of quality?

    Pema Pera: (and also perhaps Lia, do you have any immediate responses to that notion, from your own life experience?)
    Lia Rikugun: i am wondering a little bit
    Lia Rikugun: i just watched a lecture on amnesia
    Lia Rikugun: and i am not sure it is very related
    Lia Rikugun: but i am trying to but these things into one explanantion
    Lia Rikugun: and it seems difficult
    Lia Rikugun: where does the "I" go with amnesia
    Lia Rikugun: the feeling of quality is something I have
    Lia Rikugun: but there is a problem
    Lia Rikugun: if there is no continuous I
    Lia Rikugun: (maybe it is not very related)

    Pema Pera: that's a very interesting question, the relation between a sense of I and quality
    Pema Pera: I feel that when listening to music, say, more quality means less of a sense of I
    Lia Rikugun: yes i agree
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Lia Rikugun: i feel there are two kinds of "understanding"
    Lia Rikugun: one with the mind - a single thread
    Lia Rikugun: and a different more parallel one :)

    Bleu Oleander: where does quality reside, with the observer, "I" or with the object or somewhere in the middle, maybe floating in the relationship?
    Lia Rikugun: haha riddles
    Pema Pera: yes, quality doesn't seem to take them the way reasoning does, it just shows up, is there
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Lucinda :)
    Aphrodite Macbain: Hi Cinda
    Bleu Oleander: hi Luci
    Pema Pera: yes, Bleu, I think quality transcends the subject/object division
    Pema Pera: hi Luci!
    Aphrodite Macbain: You can relax now
    Eliza Madrigal: awareness seems to have its own glow... suppose that is a quality
    Eliza Madrigal: coinciding nicely with underlying light
    Pema Pera nods
    Lucinda Lavender: Hi All..
    Pema Pera: anyone else who would like to share `quality' explorations/experiments?
    Pema Pera: or `presence'?
    Pema Pera: another topic that was brought up last week

    Aphrodite Macbain: Can the concept of an ocean of being correspond to what you mean wwhen you say quality. For it seems they are on the other side of the objective , singular, "I"
    Aphrodite Macbain: Both of them
    Pema Pera: can you say how you experience that, Aph?
    Aphrodite Macbain: Or am I confusing two different dichotomies?
    Aphrodite Macbain: well, when I loose the I, the ego,
    Pema Pera: can you share an actual experience or situation in which you felt that?
    Pema Pera listening
    Aphrodite Macbain: I connect more with something bigger, wider, all encompassing b\\
    Aphrodite Macbain: There is me/I on one side, and a wide variety of othernesses on the other
    Aphrodite Macbain: Hard to explain
    Pema Pera: you're doing fine, Aph!
    Aphrodite Macbain: Then the division between the two sort of melts


    Pema Pera: and if you can remember an actual situation, as a concrete example, that might helpfurther
    Aphrodite Macbain: nods

    Aphrodite Macbain: Music conjurers up that feeling.
    Aphrodite Macbain: Music in a big space. Like at the market on granville island, when a musician plays, his/her music fills up and occupies the whole space. Wraps us in sound
    Eliza Madrigal smiles
    Pema Pera nods
    Aphrodite Macbain: Even the pidgeons feel it and wheel around in the sky. At time s like that I move out of myself and into something so much bigger. Is that what you mean n by Quality?

    Pema Pera: very nice, thank you, Aph, yes, that's a very concrete example

    Lucinda Lavender: Hmmm Luci is imagining...there is the sound of music made as object...the the musician...subject?...and harmony/resonance as quality perhaps...
    Aphrodite Macbain: interesting
    Pema Pera: yes, all part of it
    Aphrodite Macbain: the musician is the delivery vehicle
    Myna Maven: But is not the I, the ego, still present, however in an altered state of experience.
    Aphrodite Macbain: I suppose it never looses itself entirely
    Pema Pera: yes, music can lift
    Eliza Madrigal: permeating
    Aphrodite Macbain: absorbing

    Pema Pera: and whether what happens than can still be called ego related is an interesting question
    Pema Pera: there are probably many layers to "ego"
    Pema Pera: so funny that we can count all the bones in our body, but have so very very little knowledge of the "bones of the mind"
    Myna Maven: I'm talking about a state of observation, not of identity.
    Bleu Oleander: bones of the mind :)
    Aphrodite Macbain: we're slowly learning them.. they are harder to locate
    Myna Maven: Or not so much of identity.
    Bleu Oleander thinks of the expression "bone head"
    Aphrodite Macbain: all bone, no brain

    Pema Pera: can you say more, Myna?
    Myna Maven: First off, I suppose I'm suggesting that "I", and ego are not necessarily tied to identity.
    Myna Maven: I imagine when many people talk about losing themselves, they are talking about losing of a sense of their normal identity.
    Myna Maven: Even with dissolution into the "we" there remains the anchor of "I".
    Myna Maven: We may have a hint of dissolution but not anything in the absolute.

    Pema Pera: oh, I fully agree, Myna! What we often experience of "letting go of self" is just a first step, a first curtain that is pushed aside
    Pema Pera: encouraging us to go on . . . .
    Aphrodite Macbain: or frightening us to pull away
    Pema Pera: and the more we learn to see clearly, the more we will notice that every second of our life our sense of self is fluctuating, become weaker or stronger
    Pema Pera: and the question of whether we can totally escape a sense of self is perhaps unrealistic . . . .
    Eliza Madrigal: the fullness of the orchestra /choir consists of each musician in full expression Luci?
    Lucinda Lavender: yes..


    Lucinda Lavender: and I was thinking that the quality that the music is related to or something...is a meatier thing...
    Lucinda Lavender: like harmonization, unity etc...
    Lucinda Lavender: many flavors of quality perhaps
    Aphrodite Macbain: the different qualities of musical expression...

    Pema Pera: yes, there is the quality as part of the content, very precious in itself, and then there is something else, as if a bottom drops out -- doesn't have to be an overwhelming experience, though, can be very simple

    Aphrodite Macbain: Can you give an example Pema?
    Pema Pera: for example, for me, recently I have been very busy at work, and sometimes when I return from the research center I'm visiting, and sit down for a cup of coffee, the whole world around me suddenly can feel like a lucid dream, very vivid, clear, silent
    Pema Pera: (you're reading my mind, Aph :-)
    Aphrodite Macbain: wish I could Pema!
    Pema Pera: :)
    Bleu Oleander: what kind of coffee is that? :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)

    Aphrodite Macbain: and the quality of your presence changes?
    Lucinda Lavender: dreaming I read to day is happening in 1 of 10 people all the time!not to get tangential...
    Pema Pera: caffe latte
    Pema Pera: all the time -- in what sense, Luci?
    Lucinda Lavender: dreaming can seem so pure...a deep at times
    Aphrodite Macbain: you mean daydreaming?
    Pema Pera: (yes, Aph, definitely!)
    Eliza Madrigal: daydreaming without content
    Lucinda Lavender: the REM is assoiciated with dreaming...I will look for the link
    Aphrodite Macbain: Daydreaming without a storyline
    Pema Pera knows some people who always have rapid eye movements but . . . . :-)
    Aphrodite Macbain: :-)
    stevenaia Michinaga: remembers reading that recently Luci
    stevenaia Michinaga: don't remember where (perhaps in a dream)
    Aphrodite Macbain wonders what happens in the brain when people reach such a state
    Aphrodite Macbain: How it can be biologically explained

    Pema Pera: btw, we have a few more minutes left. Any suggestion of how to guide our ongoing `quality' exploration in the next few days, before we meet again on Thursday evening?
    Lucinda Lavender: I thought it was at Brain Pickings on Facebook
    Aphrodite Macbain: ??
    Pema Pera: brains-behind-the-face-book :-)
    Eliza Madrigal: "people just imagine that their brains are hard"
    Lucinda Lavender: :)
    Aphrodite Macbain: they're squishy
    Eliza Madrigal: sorry that was an zen outburst, hah
    Aphrodite Macbain: lol
    Lucinda Lavender: more quality?
    Pema Pera: sure! :)
    Aphrodite Macbain: I'm out of my depth
    Pema Pera: a qualified yes!
    Pema Pera: hi Calvino!
    Aphrodite Macbain: smiles at Cal, It's the happy wanderer!

    Eliza Madrigal: I like continuing along this track...maybe with a different angle too? Seems each week we add one - inner/outer , then presence, etc
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Cal :)
    Pema Pera: yes, Eliza?
    Calvino Rabeni: Hello everyone :)
    Bleu Oleander: hi Calvino
    Myna Maven: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: well thinking of tonight's themes... the i question came up
    Pema Pera: (I'll have to leave in a minute)
    Eliza Madrigal: I'm not sure how to hone that down really but it is one idea :::looks around desperately for help::::
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Pema Pera: just try to speak as oracle :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :P
    Lucinda Lavender: qualities of I
    Eliza Madrigal: oh interesting
    Pema Pera: sure!
    Aphrodite Macbain looks down at her toes
    Pema Pera: layers of quality?
    Lucinda Lavender: except that I is quality and I?
    Pema Pera: qualities of veils we are wearing?
    Pema Pera: thank you all, and c u !
    Lucinda Lavender: yes... qualities of veils

    stevenaia Michinaga: perhaps we can each focus on music and let it take us where the movies have in pema's description

    Lia Rikugun: bye pema thanks
    Eliza Madrigal: Thanks Pema !
    Bleu Oleander: bye Pema
    stevenaia Michinaga: bye Pema
    Eliza Madrigal: nice idea Stevie
    Aphrodite Macbain: waves at Pema.
    Aphrodite Macbain: Enjoy that coffee


    Eliza Madrigal: "Music, I, and its layers" ?
    stevenaia Michinaga: :), see you Thrusday
    Lucinda Lavender: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: noticing listening to music is very tangible
    Bleu Oleander: bye steve
    Eliza Madrigal: Night Stevie
    Myna Maven: Bye all. See you next time.
    Lia Rikugun: I will head out as well, was nice to be here again thanks
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye Myna, thanks
    Lia Rikugun: byebye
    Eliza Madrigal: Lia, good to see you :D
    Eliza Madrigal: And Bleu and Aph ...
    Bleu Oleander: bye all take care :)
    Lia Rikugun: yes good to see you too
    Lucinda Lavender: Bye everyone leaving...
    Eliza Madrigal: Hugs
    Lucinda Lavender: take care:)
    Aphrodite Macbain: Bye everyone

    Lucinda Lavender: Music is an interesting field to discuss quality in...
    Eliza Madrigal: so agree
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Paradise!
    Lucinda Lavender: it has musicians, the stuff they make, and and overarching ways it is all expressed
    Lucinda Lavender: with
    Calvino Rabeni: sorry to drop in and then disappear, but, tech is sooo sloooowww tonight
    Calvino Rabeni: take care everyone
    Eliza Madrigal: k... nice to see you Cal
    Calvino Rabeni: byee
    Lucinda Lavender: HI Para
    Lucinda Lavender: bye for now Cal
    Paradise Tennant: nite nite cal
    Lucinda Lavender: with music...the I has many parts engaged

    Eliza Madrigal: I had an experience with a piece of music once, in a doctor's waiting room... it was like imagination on its own steam ... constructing and dissolving sand castles ... stories stories stories
    Lucinda Lavender: memory, muscle, the images the performers are given to understand what they should produce
    Eliza Madrigal: to some extent that often happens but in this case it had little to do with me outside of just being there with the music... like tapping in

    Eliza Madrigal: does your director feed you images Luci?
    Eliza Madrigal: for performances?
    Lucinda Lavender: oh yes!
    Lucinda Lavender: And sometimes it is something like...the music is now like a truck going in to one of those lanes so they dont go out of controll...and off shute of sorts
    Lucinda Lavender: the gearing changes radicaally
    Eliza Madrigal: oh my... can feel that
    Lucinda Lavender: I have music with much marking of images
    Lucinda Lavender: I am wondering Eliza...if perhaps you were drawn in to another mental state by the music
    Lucinda Lavender: hearing the quality
    Eliza Madrigal: utterly relaxed and carried along
    Eliza Madrigal: sense of texture and light and movement
    Eliza Madrigal: I think what made it notable was duration

    Lucinda Lavender: I just keep getting the feeling quality is bigger somehow more than all the parts coming to make it up
    Eliza Madrigal: and stability
    Eliza Madrigal: think there is a lot more here too

    Eliza Madrigal: btw sorry to miss the last dream circle date
    Eliza Madrigal: mea culpa
    Eliza Madrigal: but we can do it any time :)
    Lucinda Lavender: np!
    Lucinda Lavender: gave me a moment to reflect
    Eliza Madrigal smiles


    Eliza Madrigal: you are so generous Luci
    Eliza Madrigal: sorry to type in the bell but I'd better go... eyes stinging
    Eliza Madrigal: zzzz
    Lucinda Lavender: thanks:)
    Lucinda Lavender: rest well:)
    Eliza Madrigal: Night :) thanks, you too!
    Eliza Madrigal: and night Para and Korel too ;-)
    Paradise Tennant: nite nite
    Paradise Tennant: sorry to have got here so late
    Paradise Tennant: I've missed it again :)
    Lucinda Lavender: it is ok!
    Paradise Tennant: smiles always it is all ok :))
    Lucinda Lavender: subject object quality
    Paradise Tennant: nods Yes !
    Lucinda Lavender: by Korel:)
    Paradise Tennant: nite nite korel
    Lucinda Lavender: looking for a link I mentioned before
    Paradise Tennant: ok
    Lucinda Lavender: hang on because it is interesting
    Lucinda Lavender: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.p...-introduction/
    Paradise Tennant: clicking on the link
    Paradise Tennant: wow
    Paradise Tennant: have you had any dreams lately luci ?:
    Lucinda Lavender: night before last an earthquake dream:)
    Lucinda Lavender: and I was looking at a table I could get under much like my kitchen table...but some one said...not go stand in the doorway:)
    Lucinda Lavender: no...go stand in the doorway


    Lucinda Lavender: then as I was next noticing...I was in a truck moving down the road...earthquake going the whle time
    Lucinda Lavender: whole time
    Lucinda Lavender: sorry to bell:)
    Paradise Tennant: hmm
    Paradise Tennant: wow so lots of movement and basically being shaken up
    Lucinda Lavender: movement and undulation of the earth
    Lucinda Lavender: riding the wave
    Lucinda Lavender: was not scary
    Paradise Tennant: so you were one with it
    Lucinda Lavender: yes..not resisting
    Lucinda Lavender: and standing in a doorway is one of the older responses I remember...to earthquake...now they say rool over near a wall or shelf
    Lucinda Lavender: sorry, roll near a wall
    Lucinda Lavender: or shelf
    Paradise Tennant: hmm
    Lucinda Lavender: so that a trangular shape is created for air
    Paradise Tennant: ahh ok
    Lucinda Lavender: doorways are openings:)
    Lucinda Lavender: pathways
    Lucinda Lavender: new views thru them
    Paradise Tennant: smiles a new view is a lovely thing
    Lucinda Lavender: nods
    Lucinda Lavender: new roles
    Lucinda Lavender: stop drop and roll:)
    Paradise Tennant: hmm maybe a new baby ?
    Paradise Tennant: lol
    Lucinda Lavender: doubt that...
    Lucinda Lavender: :)
    Paradise Tennant: well you never know :)) weddings are usually the first step :)
    Lucinda Lavender: lets walk:)
    Lucinda Lavender: I will have to go soon:)
    Paradise Tennant: me too eyes are getting buggy ..thanks for the company and the dream images :) and that great link
    Lucinda Lavender: yes an interesting one
    Paradise Tennant: very interesting !
    Lucinda Lavender: so welcome...have a good rest...quality...
    Paradise Tennant: you too hon

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    Viewing 3 of 3 comments: view all
    I enjoyed reading Myna's story last week, smiling and thinking of moments like this with my own children - shared synchronicities that blur divisions. Sometimes this comes up in dream circle too, because the moments can have 'dream qualities'... like having clear impressions of each of my three children before they were born.

    Until this exploration I had considered synchronicity as revealing open interconnectedness, as pointing to what is often termed emptiness, however hadn't consciously noted the interrelationship of inner/outer in quite the same way. So at times I tried to put the idea of synchronicity out of my exploration. What I observed then was that when I 'didn't' think of synchronicity, there opened different rhythms in patterns which one could still call synchronicity but doesn't seem quite right to call that. Am still taking notes. :) edited 23:28, 30 Jul 2012
    Posted 23:25, 30 Jul 2012
    Looking for `quality' in daily life situations has been an interesting adventure for me, the last couple weeks. Often I start with a two-step process. As a first step, I compare the real-unreal sides of everything, the world we live in and my own experience. On the one hand, things around us look very real, and indeed, if I jump out of a window, as Storm and Wol at times have reminded us, I will really get hurt. On the other hand, things also have a dream or movie like quality: each moment everything changes, we cannot hang on to anything, an everything we perceive is a mixture of what we ourselves project on it and what comes from outside.

    As a second step, I then look for `quality' as an intermediate something, in between the real/unreal divide, what the Buddhist like to call the form/emptiness divide, or the Christians what is of the world versus what is of God, in various variations. A movie can serve as an example. There is the movie content, the reality that is depicted within the frame of the movie. There is also the fact that ultimately a movie is unreal, just a pattern imprinted on a piece of plastic film or a bunch of digital pixel information. Yet there is a third aspect of the movie, namely the quality of how the movie is made, the artistic composition, the care that was given to setting everything up and editing the final product, etc. This quality is unrelated to the content of the movie: two movies can have the same overall story, yet can be executed with very different degrees of quality. Yet there is something really real about the quality as much as about the content.

    So in a similar way, I have been looking around for this third aspect of the world, independent of "form and emptiness", independent of "secular or spiritual", independent of the contrast between the story that time tells us and the ultimate emptiness and transience of time. Early on I mentioned looking at a piece of garbage and seeing beauty in there as well as in a flower -- the stories of "this is garbage" and "this is a flower" are independent of the quality of how each "identified/identifiable object" can strike us. Yet this quality is something direct, concrete on the level of awareness, not just a fiction. Quality can hit us with at least as much force as what we normally consider a fact.

    So from this angle I have been looking out for `quality' as a kind of third form of awareness, going beyond the usual inner/outer division that is still part of the content of the movie story of our lives, and more connected with a sense of `presence' that we talked about in our last session. Appreciating the presence of appearance as Being, this has been a helpful sentence for me too, recycling it from four years ago, when we talked along these lines. Right now, typing this in a Tully's cafe in Kobe, Japan, early in the morning, and looking around, I feel almost overwhelmed by the rich depth of awareness that I feel, visually when looking at `outer objects' as well as emotionally when sensing the gratitude that wells up in me about this life, just sitting here, just being here. edited 00:23, 31 Jul 2012
    Posted 00:14, 31 Jul 2012
    Luci - thanks for the link to Brain Pickings - very cool site :)
    Posted 20:19, 31 Jul 2012
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