2010.07.17 19:00 - Mere and Sheer, & Being with Being

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Eliza Madrigal. The comments are by Eliza, joined by Paradise, Bruce, and Arch. In this session we discuss Play as Being AS practice, and share ways of working with "mere" and "sheer" appearances.

    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Paradise :)
    Eliza Madrigal: I hope not to be too slow... am typing from starbucks tonight
    Eliza Madrigal: massive power outage in the neighborhood
    Paradise Tennant: ouch
    Eliza Madrigal: yes, but at least I have a close Starbucks
    Paradise Tennant: happy .. situation..
    Paradise Tennant: am drinking a starbucks soy hot chocolate
    Eliza Madrigal: so I'm drinking green macha tea (no syrup) and promising them I'll be out by 11 :)
    Paradise Tennant: smiles
    Eliza Madrigal: Yum :)

    Seems I was a bit nosy this evening...

    Eliza Madrigal: I've not been able to ask you about practice lately. How's that going?
    Eliza Madrigal: Hey, Bruce! Back to being a tiger I see
    Paradise Tennant: been trying to spend time every day and you
    Bruce Mowbray: Did not want to interrupt your talk...
    Eliza Madrigal: not at all :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Where are you? :)
    Eliza Madrigal: I've been trying to 'stay' in practice...
    Eliza Madrigal: however this way I'm not sure if I'm succeeding. hah
    Eliza Madrigal: I'd like to get back to waking early

    Eliza Madrigal: Do you have a daily practice of some sort, Bruce?
    Eliza Madrigal: aside from pab I mean. I do consider this 'practice' personally
    Paradise Tennant: yes I do too
    Bruce Mowbray: Yes. . . though not as disciplined about it as I used to be.
    Bruce Mowbray: PaB is definitely "practice" for me, also.
    Eliza Madrigal: It is a practice which defies all kinds of boundaries...
    Bruce Mowbray: ;-)
    Eliza Madrigal: religious, geographic, time zones...
    Bruce Mowbray: I sit for between 40 and 60 minutes in the morning. . . just before coming here.
    Paradise Tennant: a good practice
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, that is disciplined
    Eliza Madrigal: yes
    Bruce Mowbray: Well, the "undisciplined" part comes when I sip my evening practice -- either on-line or watching something (DVD or TV).
    Bruce Mowbray: skip.
    Eliza Madrigal smiles
    Eliza Madrigal: I like the idea of everything being practice... but I was thinking that that seems to depend on one's 'motor running' already...
    Eliza Madrigal: strange thing to say? heh
    Paradise Tennant: yes it is a very powerful idea
    Bruce Mowbray: but, "my deciding to pause is quite enough" as Eliza says.
    Eliza Madrigal smiles
    Eliza Madrigal: quite enough indeed. I'd like to meet her. Hah

    Bruce brings up Pema's recent chapter...

    Bruce Mowbray: ;-) --- Are you involved with the Time Sessions, Paradise?
    Paradise Tennant: no not the right time for me ..working during the day
    Eliza Madrigal: there are a few people keeping up without going to the sessions...
    Bruce Mowbray: I see -- I was wondering why I didn't see a "note" from you at the Time Sessions wiki.
    Eliza Madrigal: I emailed with someone who doesn't even have an SL account anymore but is reading at the wiki...
    Eliza Madrigal: inspiring talks and topic
    Bruce Mowbray: It truly is!
    Paradise Tennant: yes I read them :)
    Eliza Madrigal: so you're in there :)))
    Bruce Mowbray: Have either of you read Pema's chapter - just published?
    Eliza Madrigal: yes! What did you find most interesting?
    Bruce Mowbray: It is simply amazing -- I want to read it a couple more times -- to get the vocabulary down. . . as well as the ideas.
    Bruce Mowbray: What was most interesting to me personally?
    Eliza Madrigal: yes, I'd like to read it a few more times also
    Eliza Madrigal: yes

    Bruce Mowbray: I guess that would be the idea of an "economy" -- That we "trade" sheer appearance for "existence" -- at a price!

    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Eliza Madrigal: that we have access to great abundance yet hm... in trying to own or store up perhaps, lose that sense of wonder...
    Bruce Mowbray: "paradise lost" is how Pema put it -- in the Judeo-Christian tradition.
    Paradise Tennant: smiles
    Eliza Madrigal: very powerful... to see that
    Eliza Madrigal: trading our 'brithright' as it were
    Bruce Mowbray: Yes. I am watching myself making that sad "deal" on several different levels -- virtually all the time.
    Eliza Madrigal: say more?
    Bruce Mowbray: well - - - when I preoccupy myself with "security" -
    Bruce Mowbray: or worry about how I am going to be "seen" or "accepted" --
    Bruce Mowbray: or how I identify myself differently in different groups. . . SO many ways!
    Eliza Madrigal: mmmm, nods
    Paradise Tennant: smiles yes

    Bruce Mowbray: Currently I'm having a bit of a self-made "challenge" with Quakers in SL...
    Eliza Madrigal: To not worry about security, seems one needs to have a sense of security that runs deeper....
    Eliza Madrigal: that is an 'is' rather than a 'have'
    Bruce Mowbray: Although I'm not a Friend myself, it seems to have fallen to me to be the Clerk of that Meeting. . .
    Eliza Madrigal: how interesting
    Bruce Mowbray: so all I do is show up and evceryone expects me to run the Meeting. . .
    Eliza Madrigal smiles
    Bruce Mowbray: So last night - I intentionally arrived a couple of minutes late...
    Paradise Tennant: grins
    Bruce Mowbray: an instantly folks were IMing me about whether I'd prepared a Centering Thought (etc.)
    Bruce Mowbray: and I just said, "nope.
    Eliza Madrigal grins
    Bruce Mowbray: and was silent for the rest of the Meeting. . .
    Bruce Mowbray: and it was one of best Meetings we've ever had!
    Eliza Madrigal: Which, in a Quaker meeting, is encouraged... right? to be quiet unless moved?
    Eliza Madrigal: truly moved, from within rather than by expectation...
    Bruce Mowbray: oh yes, but you would not believe all the subtleties of that!
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: I'm intrigued

    Bruce Mowbray: I stayed with what Pema would call "mere appearance" as much as I could.
    Bruce Mowbray: Other were citing Bible verses, and offering "Leadings" -- and it was really wonderful because I had no preferene or prejudice about what was happening.
    Bruce Mowbray: I was present -- but not as the ROLE that everyone expected me to be in.
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, excellent... a true experiment
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Bruce Mowbray: I'd just finished reading Pema's new chapter and wanted to try it out.
    Paradise Tennant: ;)
    Bruce Mowbray: ha ha!
    Eliza Madrigal: wonderful to do that from time to time... something I've had trouble with now and again... especially as 'mom'
    Bruce Mowbray: oh, for sure!
    Bruce Mowbray: There's a price we pay for "roles," also.
    Eliza Madrigal: the last year or so especially, as I've been involved in regular practice here, I've been able to allow some of the things that came piggybacked onto things I took on willingly... to fall away
    Bruce Mowbray: wonderful.
    Eliza Madrigal: as we were saying this morning, allowing associations to unravel a bit.
    Bruce Mowbray: untangle. . . yes.
    Eliza Madrigal: amazing, yes, when we begin to really practice this!
    Bruce Mowbray: It works!
    Paradise Tennant: it does indeed :)
    Eliza Madrigal: the next phase seems to be that it is easy to fill up the space once we make it... to replace one role with another, etc

    Bruce Mowbray: Funny thing -- I've done Buddhist work for years - decades - and I'd always thought "experience" indicated something was "real."
    Eliza Madrigal: !!
    Bruce Mowbray: I'd say, "my experience is that. . . " as if experience itself were proof of something "solid."
    Paradise Tennant: listens

    Eliza Madrigal: yes, yes... or "I think" or "I believe" based on __ experience?
    Bruce Mowbray: well, (I'm talking too much here...) --
    Eliza Madrigal: not at all
    Eliza Madrigal: not to make you lead or anything ;-D

    Bruce Mowbray: Working with "mere appearance" and "sheer appearance" has opened up a whole different way of practice for me. . .I can't quite say what I mean.
    Bruce Mowbray: Guess ya gotta do it.!
    Eliza Madrigal giggles
    Bruce Mowbray: Hope I'm not putting you to sleep, Paradise.
    Paradise Tennant: lol
    Paradise Tennant: no
    Paradise Tennant: nice sometimes just to listen

    Eliza Madrigal: Have you read in the wiki about 'appreciating the presence of appearance as a presentation by Being"?
    Bruce Mowbray: Yes -- that was the gist of Pema's first chapter (actually Chap. 0.
    Eliza Madrigal: This was the first 'exploration' I encountered here, and I've loved and worked with it for a year... yet Pema's recent writings have made it completely new, I have to say...
    Paradise Tennant: smiles
    Eliza Madrigal: seems a very special time
    Bruce Mowbray: APAPB -- Appreciate the Presence of Appearance as a Presentation by Being.
    Paradise Tennant: yes!
    Eliza Madrigal: yes!
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Bruce Mowbray: a life-changing idea.
    Eliza Madrigal: I love that it isn't an escape...
    Bruce Mowbray: exactly. or a denial of some sort.
    Bruce Mowbray: it is right here and now.
    Paradise Tennant: yes

    Being a storm...

    Bruce Mowbray: I mentioned this in one of the earlier sessions. . . but the very night that I'd read that for the first time...
    Bruce Mowbray: there was a thunderstorm that woke me up -
    Bruce Mowbray: and I was able to "see" the storm as an appearance presented by Being.
    Bruce Mowbray: Hi, Arch!
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Arch :) We're discussing APAPB
    Paradise Tennant: hiya arch :)
    Archmage Atlantis: Hi, Eliza
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, wonderful observation Bruce... those moments when we are startled or feel vulnerable are  opportunities perhaps?
    Bruce Mowbray: Hiya, Koya!
    Archmage Atlantis: Howdy Para
    Archmage Atlantis: Hello Bruce
    Archmage Atlantis: Ok, now I can ask
    Bruce Mowbray loves the purring!
    Archmage Atlantis: What is APABAB
    Archmage Atlantis: or whatever that was.....)
    Bruce Mowbray: APAPB -- Appreciate the Presence of Appearance as a Presentation by Being.
    Archmage Atlantis: That sounds convoluted
    Bruce Mowbray: from Pema's Introduction . . .

    Eliza Madrigal: I had a bit of trouble with meditation practice before encountering this 'way of appreciating' here ... because i worried about 'shutting down thoughts' etc...
    Bruce Mowbray: how so, Arch?
    Archmage Atlantis: I often say things
    Eliza Madrigal: I had come out of religious paradigms which told you to 'cast down' thoughts...
    Archmage Atlantis: in a convoluted way
    Archmage Atlantis: it causes ppl not to understand me
    Eliza Madrigal: ...like bug zapping, as Stim would say :)

    I misunderstood Arch for a moment but the session set itself aright...

    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, don't worry Arch. We all have good days and off days...
    Archmage Atlantis: Um. ok
    Bruce Mowbray: Would you be willing to give up your thoughts in order for them to understand you?
    Bruce Mowbray: I mean YOUR thoughts. . . authentically yours.
    Bruce Mowbray: a big price to pay for "understanding."
    Archmage Atlantis: Bruce, you understand the concepts......could you give me an example, as I do not understand
    Eliza Madrigal: Ohh..
    Bruce Mowbray: OK --
    Bruce Mowbray: did you wish to do so, Eliza?
    Eliza Madrigal: No, please... I'll listen :)
    Bruce Mowbray: Ha!
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Bruce Mowbray: I am starting to feel guilty for hogging the "show" tonight.
    Bruce Mowbray: OK -- I was just saying before you arrived that I'd woken to a thunderstorm. . .
    Paradise Tennant: smiles
    Archmage Atlantis: You are not hogging
    Bruce Mowbray: right after reading the First Chapter.
    Bruce Mowbray: And because the idea of Being . . . presenting . . an appearance . . . was still in my mind.
    Bruce Mowbray: I was able to "see" the thunderstorm as an appearance -- not as anything more than an appearance. . .
    Archmage Atlantis: yes?
    Bruce Mowbray: that Being was presenting to me.
    Bruce Mowbray: That's it in a nutshell - for me, anyway.
    Eliza Madrigal is enjoying your clarity Bruce and is impressed with all the homework you've done :))) feel free to hog any time
    Bruce Mowbray blushes.
    Paradise Tennant: so is paradise
    Eliza Madrigal: :)

    Archmage Atlantis: The thunderstorm was not real then, only an apparation, Bruce?
    Bruce Mowbray: Well -- let's have a dialogue. . .
    Eliza Madrigal: For me apapb is 'welcoming inclusion'
    Bruce Mowbray: not an apparition, actually.
    Eliza Madrigal: whatever arises... greet it with awareness...
    Eliza Madrigal: and yet not as a doing... awareness, I don't think, can be done...
    Eliza Madrigal: or 'worked up' ?
    Bruce Mowbray: yes. . . a very gentle distance. . . and a way of "seeing" that is different from our normal "assumptions". . .
    Archmage Atlantis: So the thunderstorm was real, as much as this reality is real, but the perception of it differed?
    Archmage Atlantis: Apologize for the interruption of the 90
    Bruce Mowbray: no problem there, Arch.
    Eliza Madrigal: Thanks Arch :) and what a good question... listening...
    Bruce Mowbray: OK -- Thanks for your question -
    Bruce Mowbray: because I just realized that I'd not said what the BIG DEAL was for me -- Instead, I was trying to explain APAPB.

    Bruce Mowbray: The really important thing for me was sharing my own Being with the Being of the storm.
    Eliza Madrigal: !
    Bruce Mowbray: We were one "thing" not two.
    Paradise Tennant: smiles
    Archmage Atlantis: understand
    Bruce Mowbray: We shared our being ---

    Eliza Madrigal: Oh, thank you for sharing that, Bruce
    Bruce Mowbray: Well, thanks to Arch for pulling it out of me!
    Eliza Madrigal: yes... an entirely different sense of things from one seeing---> thunderstorm
    Eliza Madrigal: heaven *in* a flower...
    Bruce Mowbray: I was able to release anxieties about the storm at once:
    Paradise Tennant: yes !
    Bruce Mowbray: like whether lightning would strike one of the tall trees mear my house.
    Bruce Mowbray: Yes, Arch!
    Bruce Mowbray: from the Blake poem...
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, I wonder if I will greet the power outage with welcoming inclusion if it is still going on when I go home ...
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: "be" the power outage... hehe
    Bruce Mowbray: ;-)
    Eliza Madrigal: well why wait, I can make peace from here :)

    I was to arrive home to a powered neighborhood, only to find that the rest of the family had gone to see a film. What is more, I had forgotten my house keys! I therefore took the time to sit in the car editing a paper I'd lost changes to earlier, and happily posting this log. :)

    IOW, greeting the disruptions with "Welcoming Inclusion!" :) hah...Practice, practice, practice...

    Bruce Mowbray: sorry, I meant yes, Eliza! about seeing Heaven in a wild florwer.
    Archmage Atlantis: Yike, where it mind goes !!!! - To be or not to be, that is the question........sorry, poor impulse control
    Eliza Madrigal: no worries... and I like the addition of 'wild'...
    Eliza Madrigal smiles @ Arch
    Bruce Mowbray: great honesty -- who cares about imnpulse control?!
    Eliza Madrigal: whether tis noble...
    Eliza Madrigal: nobler...
    Eliza Madrigal: hehe
    Bruce Mowbray: too many slings and arrows!
    Bruce Mowbray: [all mere appearances. . . ;-)
    Eliza Madrigal: haha. Well, another nice session... apologies for my chatterboxing. I missed PaB while wandering around here and there...
    Archmage Atlantis: That is what the poet sees, the honesty
    Eliza Madrigal: and have enjoyed this so much
    Eliza Madrigal: starbucks is closing... alas
    Bruce Mowbray: yes, Arch. Good poetry is honest -- or nothing by ornamental words.
    Bruce Mowbray: but.
    Eliza Madrigal: "Whatever we do or don't do, we are utterly exposed" Kay Ryan
    Paradise Tennant: yes
    Bruce Mowbray: mmmm.
    Eliza Madrigal: Night friends. Namaste'
    Paradise Tennant: namaste :)
    Bruce Mowbray: Namaste, Eliza. Thanks you.
    Paradise Tennant: thank you eliza
    Bruce Mowbray: Eliza apparently uses Starbuck's wi-fi.
    Bruce Mowbray: It's almost 11 p.m. here - so I shall be off as well.
    Paradise Tennant: yes she had to go .. there is a power outage at her home
    Archmage Atlantis: Happy disconnect, Eliza *g*
    Bruce Mowbray: G'night Paradise, Arch, and Koya.
    Paradise Tennant: good nite . bruce .. thank you :) for the conversation
    Archmage Atlantis: I feel the meeting ending
    Archmage Atlantis: Nite
    Archmage Atlantis: Bruce
    Bruce Mowbray: Thanks yo both of you, too.
    Archmage Atlantis: You have a statement or a question that requires answer, Paradise?.....that is what I feel......
    Paradise Tennant: how have you been ?
    Paradise Tennant: smiles at you
    Archmage Atlantis: Troubled
    Archmage Atlantis: But not lost
    Paradise Tennant: listens
    Paradise Tennant: smiles
    Archmage Atlantis: I have a poem, I would share.....but it will take a moment to find it.......it is a poem only because I say it is......not because it fits a form
    Paradise Tennant: ok
    Archmage Atlantis: Actually I have 2, pardon the extra moments
    Paradise Tennant: no worries
    Archmage Atlantis: This is the first
    Archmage Atlantis: Belief Belief To believe is to commit to what may be That is all It's that simple
    Archmage Atlantis: And there is another
    Archmage Atlantis: one moment
    Paradise Tennant: ok
    Archmage Atlantis: This is the second.....a bit more in the insane prophetic vein, I fear
    Archmage Atlantis: Scatter my children Scatter my children Flee all intelligent life The end time attempts again We shall not allow it to be Stand strong my children give my great, great children Life without end Life with meaning Love my children, as the creator made us in the image we shall rise
    Paradise Tennant: smiles
    Paradise Tennant: when you write .. you must feel the flow very strongly
    Archmage Atlantis: Thank you for allowing me to share those
    Paradise Tennant: thank you for sharing them :)
    Archmage Atlantis: I need to go now, thank you again
    Paradise Tennant: ok nice to see you arch namaste :)



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