2016.10.20 13:00 - Heart Sutra: Why Study This? How? Let's start anyway :)

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    The Guardians for this meeting were Eliza and Mick. The comments are by Eliza, who is trying something different in posting this session, highlighting questions that were missed, so that we can come back to them or I can try to find an answer for the comments section.


    Link to reference text:

    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Aph :)
    Aphrodite Macbain: Hiya
    Eliza Madrigal: what a wonderful coat
    Aphrodite Macbain: thank you. It's an 18th century man's coat :-)
    Eliza Madrigal: suits you
    Aphrodite Macbain: How are you?
    Aphrodite Macbain: thanks :-)
    Aphrodite Macbain: I didnt change...
    Eliza Madrigal: I'm doing pretty well thanks
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Tura
    Aphrodite Macbain: Hello Tura
    Tura Brezoianu: hi folks
    Eliza Madrigal: wow love the print and material of your pants too. I must need to go shopping :D
    Aphrodite Macbain: Hiya Bruce
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Bruce :)
    Aphrodite Macbain: He he
    Bruce Mowbray: Hi, Eliza, Aph, Tura!
    Aphrodite Macbain: come to Sorrentina and I'll show you some cool dress shops
    Bruce Mowbray: Heya, Bleu.
    Bleu Oleander: hi all :)



    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Bleu :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Sorrentina still thriving Aph?
    Aphrodite Macbain: oh yes
    Aphrodite Macbain: we are having a harvest festival this weekend
    Aphrodite Macbain: stomping grapes,
    Eliza Madrigal: nice!!
    Bruce Mowbray: !!
    Aphrodite Macbain: dancing
    Bleu Oleander: hi Zen
    Aphrodite Macbain: and a hunt for grapes :-)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Zen :)
    Zen Arado: Hi all
    Bruce Mowbray: Heya, Zen.
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh, and Hi Blub!
    Aphrodite Macbain: Hi Zen, Bleu
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Mick :)
    Bleu Oleander: hi Mick
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Folks
    Bruce Mowbray: Blub says "Blub" (aka, Hi.)
    Zen Arado: Hi Mick
    Eliza Madrigal: 'blub blub' Blub
    Bruce Mowbray: Heya, Mick.
    Mickorod Renard: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: I keep looking behind me.... really nice setting Bleu
    Bruce Mowbray: None
    Bleu Oleander: ty! details will be announced shortly :)
    Eliza Madrigal: exciting :))
    Bleu Oleander: :))
    Eliza Madrigal: yay...seeing Eos signing on :)
    Mickorod Renard: wow
    Bleu Oleander: nice!
    Eliza Madrigal: yes that's wonderful... has been too long. So will give a few minutes.

    pab thurs_003.jpg

    Eliza Madrigal: In the meantime has everyone taken a look at the Heart Sutra text?
    Eliza Madrigal: Eos! So happy to see you
    Bruce Mowbray: yes.
    Zen Arado: we used to chant it
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Eos
    Bleu Oleander: hi Eos!
    Aphrodite Macbain: Eos! Hello
    Bruce Mowbray: Heya, Eos.
    Eos Amaterasu: Hi gang!
    Tura Brezoianu: yes, several versions
    Zen Arado: Hi Eos
    Mickorod Renard: yep, me too,,and I have a youtube link to the chant with english subtittles
    Eliza Madrigal: I chose the version that Pema had once linked to, since it was his reference we began with
    Eliza Madrigal: but does anyone prefer a different version?
    Mickorod Renard: all good to me
    Zen Arado: I was used to SF Zen center one
    Zen Arado: but doesn't matter much I guess
    Bleu Oleander: are the versions very different from each other?
    Mickorod Renard: I spoze its the understanding we are after
    Bruce Mowbray: Heya, druth.
    Bleu Oleander: hey druth
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Druth, that cushion seems to wait for you
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Druth
    Zen Arado: Hi druth
    druth Vlodovic: ahoy
    Bruce Mowbray: (the instant weight reduction cushion)
    Mickorod Renard: :)
    Bleu Oleander: :)
    druth Vlodovic: maybe it is trying to tell me something
    Aphrodite Macbain: ahoy druth

    Eliza Madrigal: Hm, so I didn't gather too much background, but a little.... let me post that, and then the text, as a beginning point...

    Eliza Madrigal: These are just little facts from wikipedia:

    A sutra (IAST: sūtra सूत्र) is a Sanskrit word that means "string, thread"

    Sutra or 'sutta' refers to mostly canonical scriptures, many of which are regarded as the records of the oral teachings of Gautama Buddha. Sariputra is one of Gautama Buddha's main disciples. Regarded as having founded the Abhidharma tradition.

    Zen Arado: I used to have a commentary but gave it away :(
    Eliza Madrigal: (in the text, Buddha is talking to Sariputra, so that is why I mention him. It is a kind of chat log, though compiled later)

    Eliza Madrigal:

    Some in the West have considered the Abhidhamma to be the core of what is referred to as "Buddhist Psychology". //  Other writers on the topic such as Nyanaponika Thera and Dan Lusthaus describe Abhidhamma as a Buddhist Phenomenology, while Noa Ronkin and Kenneth Inada equate it with Process philosophy.

    Bhikkhu Bodhi writes that the system of the Abhidhamma Pitaka is "simultaneously a philosophy, a psychology and an ethics, all integrated into the framework of a program for liberation." Abhidharma analysis also extended into the fields of ontology, epistemology and metaphysics.

    The prominent Western scholar of Abhidharma, Erich Frauwallner has said that these Buddhist systems are "among the major achievements of the classical period of Indian philosophy."[10]

    Eliza Madrigal:

    The Heart Sutra conveys the heart essence of what is called prajnaparamita, the “perfection of wisdom or insight.”

    Eliza Madrigal: And that's enough for now ^.^
    Bruce Mowbray: ty, Eliza.
    Eliza Madrigal: Is it helpful for anyone for me to post the text, or are we okay with the link?
    Zen Arado: don't know
    Eliza Madrigal smiles
    Aphrodite Macbain: I have it in another window

    Eos Amaterasu: Useful glossary here: https://www.nalandatranslation.org/o...ent-knowledge/

    Mickorod Renard: no knowing
    Bruce Mowbray: I also have it in another window -- and have printed it out, as well.
    Eliza Madrigal: thank you!

    Eliza Madrigal: So in the Zen tradition this is chanted how often, Zen?
    Zen Arado: depends where you are
    Zen Arado: there are a lot of chants
    Bruce Mowbray: several times a day, in monasteries.
    Zen Arado: changed from time to time
    Zen Arado: we were learning it at a Zen center
    Zen Arado: but it closed down
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Eliza Madrigal: Just the last lines are chanted mostly, in the gatherings I sometimes attended, but the text is referenced a great deal. What about for others?
    Bruce Mowbray nods, same.
    Tura Brezoianu: I've never been in a group that studied scriptures, so I've only read these things on my own.

    Mickorod Renard: I found a piece that suggested that one could include 'no this or no that' that may be more appropriate for ones indivivual lifestyle
    Eliza Madrigal: interesting, nice
    Bleu Oleander: hi Raffi
    Zen Arado: Hi Raffi
    Bruce Mowbray: Heya, Raffi.
    Eliza Madrigal: Care to say more Mick?
    Mickorod Renard: Hi raffi
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Raffi :)



    Mickorod Renard: well, there is so much one could say
    Raffila Millgrove whispers hi.
    Mickorod Renard: where to start is the problem
    Aphrodite Macbain: smiles and waves at Raffi
    Mickorod Renard: have you a plan Eliza?
    Eliza Madrigal: (moment, bell ^.^)

    Eliza Madrigal: We are getting to to this text by way of the question of heart flourishing
    Zen Arado: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Heart-Sutra...he+heart+sutra ...good version
    Eliza Madrigal: so my thinking was that general spirit being our context, and today just beginning with sharing impressions and personal knowledge
    Eliza Madrigal: then over the next few weeks, going by sections...
    Eliza Madrigal: but I don't want to feel we can't jump ahead or discuss the whole
    Eliza Madrigal: does that seem okay?

    Mickorod Renard: it was new to me prior to reading this week,,yet it seems so familiar from our past practices
    Mickorod Renard: yes, all good Eliza
    Eliza Madrigal:

    Pema Pera: it's like a movie
    Pema Pera: if you really would believe that people are being killed in front of you, you couldn't appreciate all the details
    Pema Pera: but since you know it is a movie, you can actually fully go into all the human emotions entering in it Pema Pera: so inherent emptiness enhances appreciation
    Pema Pera: it was only after learning to see it in this radical way that I finally began to understand what the heart sutra was saying Pema Pera: before that it was mostly inspiring poetry


    Aphrodite Macbain: nods at Eliza
    Mickorod Renard: ah yes, that was what brought us here
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Mickorod Renard: great to remind
    Eliza Madrigal: so this may be a key to open heartedness?

    druth Vlodovic: when I was reading it I got to thinking that emptiness is an extreme reaction to stress and emotional pain, often it is a symptom of breakdown etc
    Eliza Madrigal: the text sort of pulls out the rug... bit by bit...
    Bruce Mowbray nods.
    Aphrodite Macbain: nods, emptiness can be a relief and a release
    Mickorod Renard: could you say more Druth?
    Mickorod Renard: maybe it is the fail safe inbuilt in us?
    druth Vlodovic: just experiences and discussions with people with mental/emotional disorders
    druth Vlodovic: you bend and bend and finally "break" and a complete lack of emotion is a common symptom
    Mickorod Renard: I think it would be good to remember that as we progress and see how it fits
    druth Vlodovic: regaining emotional capacity is considered a goal of treatment

    Bruce Mowbray ponders: "Breaking" might be a result of the non-capacity to "bend."
    Mickorod Renard: maybe its like a reboot,,?
    Eliza Madrigal nods, it seems that kind of experience of emptiness can sometimes open into the liberating one that people often cite when talking about the sutra?
    Eliza Madrigal: like Pema calls it 'radical'

    Mickorod Renard: I have a small piece I could copy in..re loving kindness and emptiness
    Aphrodite Macbain: It is a challenge to my 21st century western mind to be unable to point to any absolutes, to any certainty
    Mickorod Renard:

    The knowledge of emptiness allows us to practice mindfulness and see how mental phenomena arise and pass away. When we see this process we become free and we see how others are overwhelmed by life because of ignorance. Our responsibility is to practice loving kindness and help others see the path to liberation

    Zen Arado: nods for all of us
    Tura Brezoianu: I'm in two minds about the emptiness teaching.
    Bleu Oleander: could someone define what is meant by emptiness as we are refering to it here? if not too difficult a question :)
    Aphrodite Macbain: thanks Mick
    Eliza Madrigal: ha ha....
    Bruce Mowbray listens for more... from Tura?

    Tura Brezoianu: On one hand, things are always diferent from our ideas of them
    Mickorod Renard: I thought of you Aph
    Tura Brezoianu: Not just our beliefs can be wrong, but our very concepts , the things that we think exist
    Tura Brezoianu: But on the other, it seems to veer into nihilism
    Tura Brezoianu: Nothing is real, nothing is true, all is illusion.
    Aphrodite Macbain: nothing to lean on?
    Eliza Madrigal: nothing but openness?
    Aphrodite Macbain: this can be freeing as well as frightening
    Mickorod Renard: I think part of the practice is nihilism
    Zen Arado: it's a very deep teachng
    Eliza Madrigal: we've never been able to 'define' emptiness, which is kind of the point
    druth Vlodovic: often a thing is good or bad depending on how it is used or manifested

    Bleu Oleander: doesn't that negate the experience of being human? or under this idea, is even being human is denied in a way?
    Mickorod Renard: also like a russian doll..it keeps opening up..it is deep
    Zen Arado: it's the 'two truths' thing?
    Eos Amaterasu: Traditionally it is said in mahahyana buddhism that madyamika, the middle way, avoids the extremes of nihilism and eternalism
    Eliza Madrigal: well, being human as a concept... a 'person'
    druth Vlodovic: perhaps emptiness is something that should be taken upand put down as needed
    Aphrodite Macbain: which 2 truths Zen?
    Zen Arado: 'n short, "form" is the conventional truth, "emptiness" the ultimate truth. '
    Bleu Oleander: yes, that's what I was asking in a way, isn't being a person a useful concept? or no?

    Eliza Madrigal: Zen and Eos, you are referencing the same thing?
    Eos Amaterasu: No
    Eos Amaterasu: "emptiness is not other than form" :-)
    Aphrodite Macbain: one truth negates the other?
    Eos Amaterasu: To me that's always been the koan
    Zen Arado: emptiness is often ascribed to no self in Buddhism also
    Zen Arado: not easy to grasp
    druth Vlodovic: lol,reminds me of someone here telling me that he asked a zen master what he would do if he had a choice between enlightenment and his perfect women, and the master chose the woman
    Zen Arado: I don't understsnd it
    druth Vlodovic: maybe an ideal isn't something to achieve
    Eliza Madrigal: pre-thwarted
    Tura Brezoianu: but would the woman choose him? :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Aphrodite Macbain smiles
    Mickorod Renard: I think the middle way..is like finding the point of two paths,,but to reach that ability there is some nihilism of present concepts to be gotten rid of



    Bruce Mowbray: I feel that Western minds might be looking for something "credal" (a creed) here, when this is a method, a process, not a "Truth" (in the Western sense.)
    Eos Amaterasu: "emptiness' is a dangerous term
    Eos Amaterasu: I think here it doesn't mean that there's no more beer in the mug
    Bruce Mowbray: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eos Amaterasu: it means the mug is empy, the beer is empty, and the good taste is empty
    Aphrodite Macbain: I am trying to understand "nirvana is already here"

    Bleu Oleander: perhaps these concepts can only be fully grasped from within the "concept" of Buddhism? and can't be defined generally or in a contemporary way? does context matter?
    Aphrodite Macbain: nods at Bleu
    Zen Arado: isn't it a bit like us seeing objects as solid but if we look more closely they are just energy fields and empty?
    Aphrodite Macbain: it has a scientific aspect
    Bleu Oleander: but we see them as objects not as energy fields
    druth Vlodovic: a goal is an object, emptiness as a goal becomes an object
    Bruce Mowbray ponders the ever-expanding Giant in TSK.

    Mickorod Renard: the Heart Sutra teaches emptiness through the epitome of compassion. It is often said that, in a sense, emptiness is the heart of the Mahayana, but the heart of emptiness is compassion.
    Zen Arado: but they can be either Bleu> isn't that the point?
    Eliza Madrigal: nice, Mick
    Bleu Oleander: isn't the point how we experience that rather than how we intellectually know something?
    Zen Arado: conventiional view and atoic view
    Zen Arado: atomic
    Bleu Oleander: we don't see atoms
    Zen Arado: both have their uses
    Aphrodite Macbain: we can hold two opposing truths
    Zen Arado: we do with a microscope
    Zen Arado: and we know matter is like that
    Eos Amaterasu: Yeah, what is the personal experience of "emptiness" - like seeing a vivid sunset
    Eos Amaterasu: and then it's gone
    Eliza Madrigal nodding...

    druth Vlodovic: we fill our hearts with compassion and pity, and concern for others, we know this because we feel it when it happens, emptiness must be a temporary state, not something to be always felt
    Eliza Madrigal: We've never been successful at debating emptiness... but maybe our frame can be, why study this? We were talking about what makes for open-heartedness
    Bleu Oleander: yes, but not in our phenomenal experience in the world, we need tools to understand concepts like atoms
    Zen Arado: like using idea of a self which is useful but knowing it is really an illusion?
    druth Vlodovic: perhaps emptiness means creating a container for the world which we can choose to feel or not
    Eos Amaterasu: The sutra describes a path to understanding and experiencing emptiness. A practical path.
    Zen Arado: I like the term 'conventional truths'
    Bleu Oleander: for me, self is not an illusion, its a process the aids us in navigating the world

    Bruce Mowbray: Mantra is method --- in mantra meditation, the mantra inevitably disappears.... One "goes beyond) -- Gate Gate -- the mantra into emptiness.
    Zen Arado: yes we go beyond conventional truth?
    Bleu Oleander: so why study this? I like that question Eliza :)
    Mickorod Renard: I think its an important stepping stone..Eliza..to get to the other shore /bank of the river where open heartedness can be performed
    Bruce Mowbray: Yes, we go beyond everything.
    Eos Amaterasu: Perhaps because we tie ourselves up in knots that are inherently empty
    Eliza Madrigal: yes for me this is a really practical piece, and a relationship that has unfolded over years... I think that is why it is chanted and worked with a lot more than talked about, so of course this is challenging :))
    Zen Arado: yes //empty concepts?
    Zen Arado: takes years to sink in maybe
    Eliza Madrigal: that's a good point Eos... the sutra says,
    Eliza Madrigal: Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva doing deep Prajna Paramita Perceived the emptiness of all five conditions, And was freed of pain.
    Bleu Oleander: so what can a non-buddhist gain or take away from reading this? is it more in the practice of chanting it?
    Zen Arado: 5 aggregates often used
    Bruce Mowbray: Ram Dass' translation (interpretation?) of "Gate, Gate, Paragate Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha" is interesting. It is "Going beyond. Going beyond. Going beyond beyond. Hail the goer!"

    Mickorod Renard: I am finding it quite exciting..and also very much a natural progression from our tsk and mindfulness sessions
    Bruce Mowbray: Yes, me too, Mick.
    Zen Arado: The five aggregates or heaps are: matter or body (rupa), sensations or feelings (vedana), perceptions (samjna), mental formations (sankhara), and consciousness (vijnana).
    Bruce Mowbray: ty, Zen. I needed that reminder.
    Eliza Madrigal: I think so too Mick. Do you have a response for Bleu?
    Mickorod Renard: I had something for Blue
    Zen Arado: I'll shut up and listen now
    Mickorod Renard: but got distracted
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Bleu Oleander: sorry if asking too many questions ... just trying to understand :)
    Eos Amaterasu: I think it's only meaningful as practice, "doing deep Prajna Paramita"
    Mickorod Renard: he he
    Bleu Oleander: ah ok ty Eos
    Eos Amaterasu: What is prajna? What is paramita?
    Bruce Mowbray agrees with Eos.
    Zen Arado: maybe you feel these truths more than cognize them?

    Eos Amaterasu: Paramita means practice or perfection of
    Eliza Madrigal: Do you think we have time to share first impressions one by one in the circle?  <--beginning next week!
    Eos Amaterasu: prajna is a sanskrit term
    Zen Arado: that's the practice?
    Eliza Madrigal: (erase that, didn't mean to send) please go on Eos
    Zen Arado: prajna means wisdom
    Aphrodite Macbain: sure Eliza
    Zen Arado: 'great perfection of wisdom sutra
    Mickorod Renard: yes Eliza
    Tura Brezoianu: there's a sutra called "The Perfection of Wisdom in One Letter"
    Eos Amaterasu: Prajna is often translated as "clear seeing"
    Bruce Mowbray: and "Heart" implies the core - the main teaching.
    Eos Amaterasu: More particularly, non-discursive discriminating awareness wisdom
    Tura Brezoianu: the letter is the Sanskrit equivalent of "A" -- the negative prefix.
    Eos Amaterasu: so seeing without discursive bias
    Zen Arado: ok is that same as wisdom?
    Zen Arado: yes
    Aphrodite Macbain: clear seeing is the same as wisdom I think

    Tura Brezoianu: the perfection of wisdom is "not". "Not this, not that."
    Eos Amaterasu: I think from a practical point you can observe the negatives - like when you notice you're biased
    Zen Arado: seems more though?
    Eos Amaterasu: It's not necessary to observe the positives :-)
    Zen Arado: being able to act wisely?
    druth Vlodovic: debating the meaning of wisdom us another rabbit hole
    Bleu Oleander: isn't wisdom subjective and recognized as such with a belief system?
    Aphrodite Macbain holds her head as the words go round
    Bruce Mowbray ponders, no mug, no beer, no bar, no drinker....
    Tura Brezoianu: no hangover...

    Eliza Madrigal: :)))
    Eos Amaterasu: I think whether this is for "buddhists", if there's a practical practice that can be described, anyone can do it
    Aphrodite Macbain: no Trump?
    Zen Arado: :)
    druth Vlodovic: sitting in a bar drinking beer and simply existing next to the bartender
    Bruce Mowbray: no one to have a hangover.
    Eliza Madrigal: these first sessions are always interesting... seeing what first comes to the fore as interesting to everyone
    Zen Arado: I feel the need of a commentary
    Bleu Oleander: so a practice can be done by anyone, but the wisdom behind it might only be grasped from within an individual's own belief system or context?
    Mickorod Renard: I think we like to turn over every stone..somewhere in this will be some wisdom



    Eos Amaterasu: Wisdom needs to be personal, personally experienced, to be "true"
    Eliza Madrigal: one could recite, study, practice, and still not have anything to expound 'as' wisdom
    Bleu Oleander: yes
    Mickorod Renard: I found some interesting stuff on 'the lions roar' website...I think we could explore more websites for homework
    Mickorod Renard: oops
    Zen Arado: 'Prajñā is often translated as "wisdom", but is closer in meaning to "insight", "discriminating knowledge", or "intuitive apprehension".'

    Aphrodite Macbain: does it explain how to achieve prajna?
    Bleu Oleander: the truth is that there are many wisdom concepts ... perhaps one person's wisdom is another's "I don't get that" ... so we need a compassionate approach toward understanding each other ... cross world views
    Eos Amaterasu: good question, Aph
    Raffila Millgrove: good point Bleu
    Eos Amaterasu: If prajna is "seeing clearly", then the approach to it is usually just noticing when you're not seeing clearly, when you're being emo or biased
    Eos Amaterasu: then you don't have to manufacture prajna, clear seeing
    Mickorod Renard: also http://buddhistsangha.tripod.com/ was informative
    Eos Amaterasu: you do always manufacture emotional and conceptual waves
    Aphrodite Macbain: I like that Eos

    Bleu Oleander: clear seeing ... who's telling you that you are clearly seeing? is there such a concept as an unbiased seeing?
    Eos Amaterasu: Good question :-)'
    Eos Amaterasu: take that personally
    Aphrodite Macbain: But how do I know when I'm NOT seeing clearly?
    druth Vlodovic: how do you manufacture clear sight? isn't that meaning obscuring or manipulating?
    Eos Amaterasu: sometimes the phenomenal world gives you feedback
    Mickorod Renard: I think that was the phenemological approach
    Mickorod Renard: yeh eos
    Raffila Millgrove: I think some of us have core values so deeply embedded that we don't recognize them as bias.. we seem them as truth.
    Zen Arado: gets so complicated
    Bleu Oleander: yes Raffi :)
    Bruce Mowbray: My sense is that this sutra is a method through which the discursive mind commits intentional suicide....
    Zen Arado: prajna is only one of 6 or 10 perfections or paramitas
    Raffila Millgrove: so if we are to recognize our bias.. for clear seeing.. we are already blinded by taking our values as truth, not bias.
    Mickorod Renard: raffi, I think that is where this heart sutra comes in,,to take that appart
    druth Vlodovic: well, a core value that can't be discarded this way is the desire to discover
    Aphrodite Macbain: lol Bruce
    Zen Arado: some forms of Buddhism have 6 others 10
    Eos Amaterasu: Perhaps, Raffi, the meeting point is not in perceived or expressed core values, but in an open space that our individually held values help create

    Raffila Millgrove: i would like to say my impression which is exactly on this.
    Mickorod Renard: I like that Bruce
    Bruce Mowbray: Well, even the intention needs to be slain.
    Aphrodite Macbain: listens to Raffi
    Bruce Mowbray also listens.
    Bleu Oleander: ditto
    Aphrodite Macbain enjoys the quiet emptiness
    Raffila Millgrove: with a small experience here at Pab one day I proved that everyone there that day... as such a deep value of belief in forgiveness that they don't see that as a bias.. and in fact in China..forgiveness is NOT a value. and we're studying a religious text while holding Christan values without even recognizing that they bias us.
    Bruce Mowbray nods, agrees.
    Zen Arado: yes
    Mickorod Renard: yes, I remember that day
    Bruce Mowbray: me too, Mick.
    Bleu Oleander: me too
    Aphrodite Macbain: sorry I missed it
    druth Vlodovic: heh, nobody reads enough gothic sci-fi and fantasy
    Eliza Madrigal: so to see that Raffi, we experientially put it to the side, as in question... the whole concept
    Raffila Millgrove: even tho i am not sure if we'd have people who'd say they are Christians.. i say that we hold Christian values dear and as "given truth" and that affects our understanding of a text such as this.
    Eliza Madrigal: so it is a good example of the text walking through a process of no, no, no
    druth Vlodovic: true to me
    Bruce Mowbray: Yes, that's what I meant earlier by "Western minds" might see that as a creed.
    Eliza Madrigal: no as in, not fixed, we could say
    Aphrodite Macbain: being aware of this doesn't negate it
    Tura Brezoianu: some say that Buddhism in the west is a form of secular Christianity

    Mickorod Renard: this is at the heart of the matter..being to open to the unknown we are liberated
    Zen Arado: we don't notice our enculturated Christian mindset
    Eliza Madrigal: Can I share a personal story? Sorry to those who have heard it before but I think it might be a little bridge...?
    Aphrodite Macbain: listens
    druth Vlodovic: we do have to keep in mind somewhere that every philosophy was created by people of a certain culture(s) to solve particular problems which they likely projected onto the whole of humanity
    Bruce Mowbray: sure, Eliza.
    druth Vlodovic: listens
    Mickorod Renard: cocks ear
    Zen Arado: nods
    Tura Brezoianu listens
    Eliza Madrigal smiles...ty...

    Eliza Madrigal: now many years ago I began working with a therapist/hypnotist, to try to get beyond some anxiety. He identified one of the main things to work on as my sense of lack of support, and began to guide me through visualizations. He would build scaffolding of a sort beneath me.,,, that kind of thing...
    Eliza Madrigal: After weeks this still wasn't helping. But at the same time as I was in formal therapy I was beginning to practice meditation and study insight texts that were coming up in the exploration, and had entered SL. I actually learned about The Heart Sutra in SL. :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Anyway, what happened experientially is that the text sort of transmitted to me in a deep way ... a kind of no support
    Bleu Oleander: I do think that there are many variations on the western and/or Christian base belief system and also that if you go back far enough you can see how each influenced each other before we crystalized the words as a concept.
    Eliza Madrigal: that struck as really honest ... openness of context...that was incredibly liberating. I laughed so hard at trying to have anything to hang on to. It was an experiential openness that put me into some feeling of security, oddly enough, rather than trying to sort of talk myself into pictures of support.
    Bleu Oleander: sorry to interupt Eliza
    Aphrodite Macbain: no support Eliza?
    Mickorod Renard: I can absolutely ...relate to that Eliza
    Eliza Madrigal: liberating sense of no support
    Eliza Madrigal: so i could stop trying to 'get' that
    Aphrodite Macbain: no need of support?
    Eliza Madrigal: Okay end of story, ty :)



    Eos Amaterasu: Empty turtles all the way down :-)
    Zen Arado: 'However, this wisdom cannot be understood by intellect alone. So how do we understand it? Through the practice of the other perfections -- generosity, morality, patience, energy. and meditation.'
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Bruce Mowbray: Thank you, Eliza.
    Mickorod Renard: a wonderful story too
    Mickorod Renard: yes eos
    druth Vlodovic: no-support to me sounds like the fact that each human is human,and the more they trust you the more they act in that way, support is inherently one person subsuming personality and desire to another person's projects

    Zen Arado: maybe we are too enamored of intellectual explanations
    Bruce Mowbray: Perhaps we need the training wheels for a while... before we can ride our bikes without them... and then we learn to surrender the bikes, as well.
    Zen Arado: we do worship intellect in Western sociaties no?
    Eliza Madrigal: the story sort of makes a distinction between nihilism and liberating openness, though it is a fine line
    Aphrodite Macbain: Knowing that everything is ultimately "up to us" is quite liberating
    Mickorod Renard: through nihilism one finds more than nothing
    druth Vlodovic: I suspect that the west uses intellect as a shield against the abuses of trust and emotion from our past
    Zen Arado: that's one purpose of koan study
    Zen Arado: defeat explanations
    Mickorod Renard: this is a koan study of a sorts
    Aphrodite Macbain: feel it instead of think it?
    Bruce Mowbray nods, agrees.
    Bruce Mowbray: In a sense, BE it, Aph....
    Mickorod Renard: each no is a study
    Eliza Madrigal reads back

    druth Vlodovic: eliza is being deviant by uses the pauses to pause
    Eliza Madrigal laughs
    Eliza Madrigal: when we finished TSK I set a new determination
    Mickorod Renard: I would like to think we are far too clever to need to do the sutra each day..but still need to understand it
    Zen Arado: this shows how prajna fits with the other 'perfections or paramitras: http://buddhism.about.com/od/Paramit...erfections.htm
    Eliza Madrigal: in Christian terms a 'rededication'
    Eliza Madrigal: :)

    Bruce Mowbray: This Sutra is FINE grist for our mills.
    Eliza Madrigal: So next week we'll be more orderly....
    Eliza Madrigal smiles
    Aphrodite Macbain: oh?
    Mickorod Renard: yes?
    Bleu Oleander smiles
    Eliza Madrigal: we have a week to digest everything everyone has said today, ahhaha
    druth Vlodovic: well,except for the advertising in the english translation maybe it would be good to try it for a while
    Aphrodite Macbain: cant believe it's 2
    Bruce Mowbray: Time is empty, Aph.
    Eliza Madrigal: ooooo
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Bruce Mowbray: May all be well.
    Mickorod Renard: btw,,may I ask we all think of Bert and wish him well

    Eos Amaterasu: Re the quote from Pema, we could ask if "dropping" is prajnaparamita practice, which in the Sutra is described as the way to discover the emptiness of the aggregates, constitutuents of our experience.

    Eliza Madrigal: Eos can you keep coming at this time?
    Aphrodite Macbain: looks inside and sees nothing
    Bruce Mowbray: Yes, well wishes and prayers for Bert.
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, ty Mick, yes
    Eos Amaterasu: I think so, Eliza!
    Aphrodite Macbain: yes- best wishes for Bert
    Mickorod Renard: Great Eos
    Eliza Madrigal: excellent!
    Mickorod Renard: bye bruce
    Aphrodite Macbain: Yayy Eos
    Eos Amaterasu: I have an RL meeting to go to, so ciao, nice to drop back in here and see you all!

    pab thurs_004.jpg

    Eliza Madrigal: maybe others better versed in western philosophy than I am might bring some other references that seem to jive well , also?
    Bleu Oleander: nice to see you all .. take care
    Aphrodite Macbain: bye
    Mickorod Renard: well..i thought this session was great
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye Eos, Bruce, Bleu
    Mickorod Renard: bye everyone
    Aphrodite Macbain: Thanks for this Eliza
    Mickorod Renard: who is going
    Bleu Oleander: thanks Eliza!
    druth Vlodovic: heh, the lack of emptiness in a meeting can be measure by how quickly it clears at a specific time
    Eliza Madrigal: I loved it Mick, cept the feeling (that isn't quite liberating yet), that we'll never 'get there' :D
    Eliza Madrigal: but what else is new :)
    Mickorod Renard: he he
    Zen Arado: http://buddhism.about.com/od/Paramit...erfections.htm
    Eliza Madrigal: and I want to make time for everyone's expressions

    Mickorod Renard: Siddhartha went well too,,on tuesday
    Zen Arado: that's a good one but nobody looked at it :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Druth started off with an important practical focus
    Aphrodite Macbain: OK I'm back to Sorrentina and the grape harvest
    Eliza Madrigal: ah, ty Zen
    Eliza Madrigal: bye Aph
    Aphrodite Macbain: Bye all
    Zen Arado: bye Aph
    Eliza Madrigal: Mick, I got a chance to see.... really nice session
    Eliza Madrigal: It is fun to try to study a text together this way
    Mickorod Renard: yes, I thank all who came as without it would have been pretty quiet
    druth Vlodovic: referring things back to various forms of science helps keep us from going entirely into the art of imagination
    Tura Brezoianu: thanks for the discussion, everyone
    Eliza Madrigal: thank you Tura!
    Zen Arado: I think we need background reading though
    druth Vlodovic: btw
    Zen Arado: maybe I am too bookish
    druth Vlodovic: do people really do the sounds of the untranslated text without chanting the translation?
    Zen Arado: thanks everyone byee
    Eliza Madrigal: we can learn from one another, so that's why the sharing in the round may work better for this too
    Zen Arado: we chanted in English
    Eliza Madrigal: some do Druth... but they come to know the text as well
    Mickorod Renard: I still think I am Christian btw,,even for all the Buddhist stuff I read
    Zen Arado: did other chants in Japanese or Pali though
    druth Vlodovic: seems odd, but maybe practice would make it sensible
    Eliza Madrigal: I used to meditate on Christian scriptures too

    druth Vlodovic: I rejected my old religion and morals only to readopt the morals
    Eliza Madrigal: so to me it is a natural way of learning
    Zen Arado: wish we could actually chat it together
    druth Vlodovic: not sure if that says more about the morals or about myself
    Zen Arado: chant
    Eliza Madrigal: hm :)
    Mickorod Renard: oh yes, i frequently relinquish my morals
    Eliza Madrigal: Teak is a teacher in SL who used to chant the whole thing before teachings
    Zen Arado: ah yes
    Eliza Madrigal: always enjoyed that... not sure that he is still active
    Zen Arado: it's quite difficult to get the right stress on the right syllables
    druth Vlodovic: I think relinquishing one's morals is against most religious teachings :P
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    druth Vlodovic: or maybe that is a way to evaluate a religion
    Zen Arado: byee
    Eliza Madrigal: no one says we have to choose a religion
    Mickorod Renard: he he ,,bye Zen
    druth Vlodovic: I am off to grape
    druth Vlodovic: have fun all
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Tura Brezoianu: goodnight all
    Mickorod Renard: you have to test everything
    Eliza Madrigal: yes
    Mickorod Renard: nite Tura
    Eliza Madrigal: Night everyone
    Mickorod Renard: nite Eliza, Druth Raffi
    Eliza Madrigal: haha, didn't expect so many so I will have to get more organized :)
    Eliza Madrigal: hope you can keep coming too Raffi
    Eliza Madrigal: bfn
    Raffila Millgrove: wnet quite well.. i thought. tc

    pab thurs_005.jpg

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    A few other translations:



    Posted 19:23, 21 Oct 2016
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