2008.04.10 07:00 - The Joy of Being

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    This morning Maxine and I arrived at the tea house at about the same time.

    Maxine Walden: hi, Pema
    Pema Pera: Hi Max!
    Pema Pera: always good seeing you here.
    Pema Pera: That was such a great report yesterday, that you gave!
    Pema Pera: and now your floating (^^)
    Pema Pera: I think you have to stand up and sit down again to stop floating
    Maxine Walden: and good to see you as well…oh, thanks, it was intense for me, hoped it was for others. Yes, I am floating
    Pema Pera: definitely inspiring for others too — did you read yesterday evening’s blog? Sky commented on it.
    Maxine Walden: now, there, that is better…still getting used to Sl and the moving around
    Pema Pera: moving from one cushion to another while remaning seated seems to increase the risk of starting to levitate ^^
    Maxine Walden: guess so, not quite the kind of space I was looking for..
    Pema Pera: so, how are you today?
    Pema Pera: Did you sleep well?
    Pema Pera: These are early sessions, at the West Coast, aren’t they, 7 am!
    Maxine Walden: you know, I did not sleep especially well, yes, early but for me the better time to meet seems to be early morning..
    Pema Pera: And how are you feeling now?
    Maxine Walden: because I am an early riser and actually have my most creative times, ie that sort of foot in the conscious and the unconscious world just upon wakening.
    Pema Pera: yes!!!
    Maxine Walden: now, I am feeling alert, here, and pleased to be talking with you because in a strange way, I have been feeling a bit lonely after yesterday ’s dreams and realizations…not quite sure why
    Pema Pera: after waking up, and before we put on our clothes, we first put on our body and habits and judgmental attitudes
    Pema Pera: if one can catch oneself before taking on all that, the moments after waking up are a gold mine
    Maxine Walden: that may be but I think that those ’still in bed ‘ moments come before putting on the trappings of the self
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: sorry
    Pema Pera: that is what I meant
    Pema Pera: “catch oneself” I meant “what we really are”
    Pema Pera: ultimately Being
    Pema Pera: not what we normally consider ourselves to be
    Pema Pera: sorry — habit of language ;>)
    Maxine Walden: yes, thought we were both appreciating those earliest moments are so ‘real,’ so Being; no a purer sense of just being
    Pema Pera: yes indeed!
    Pema Pera: In RL we can shop for clothes and try them on
    Pema Pera: in SL you also shop for shapes and skin and hair, to put on before clothes . . . .
    Pema Pera: But in RL, too, in the morning, we put on our shape and skin!
    Maxine Walden: it is so interesting to sometimes feel the cloud of doubts and uncertainties just settle as if they are clothes of some sort
    Pema Pera: yes, it is all on a continuum!
    Maxine Walden: I am interested in this SL but feel like staying as unclothed as it were in terms of just being. have not done anything about choosing things’
    Pema Pera: that will all come in time
    Maxine Walden: maybe I am a bit conservative in that way as others seem more playful, but then it feels important to be oneself
    Pema Pera: the more comfortable you get here, the more you will feel a “natural” urge to change and blend in with the culture here — it is really akin to immigrating
    Pema Pera: no rush at all, Maxine!
    Pema Pera: everyone has their own pace here.
    Maxine Walden: is it? akin to immigrating…interesting
    Pema Pera: In fact, I stayed looking like a newbie for a long time, until I finally made the plunge around Christmas, when I had a few days almost full time — a rare luxury

    We went on to talk about shedding and watching:

    Maxine Walden: Pema, I am interested in hearing about your journey if you care to mention; astrophysics…meditation…and I have noticed you did the Principia and so many other things on the web…very interesting sojourns it seems to me…through many aspects of the cosmos
    Pema Pera: Principedia — yes, that is still more an idea, may or may not get realized ;>)
    Pema Pera: before talking more about may, may I ask, you mentioned feeling a bit lonely . . .
    Pema Pera: we were caught up in other strands at that time, ten minutes ago
    Maxine Walden: yes, of course. Lonely, I think that I have over time developed a good internal companion, my own inner discourse, and I felt in touch with it yesterday morning…
    Maxine Walden: but then after being here yesterday and going about my day…
    Maxine Walden: I then began to feel or rather to sense a loss, maybe just a temporary distance from that inner companion. ..
    Maxine Walden: It may be that I do not discern well between fatigue the natural product of concentrated effort and other inner quietness which might be experienced as loneliness.
    Pema Pera: There can be many many reasons . . .
    Pema Pera: but the best reaction may be to just watch
    Pema Pera: as I’m sure you do
    Pema Pera: taste the feelings and watch them and see what happens
    Pema Pera: while being grateful for them all
    Maxine Walden: yes, watching, tasting, and not being too attached to what comes, what flows by. Agree that to attain that gratitide for the capacity to be there, feel all and watch the river
    Pema Pera: when we become more open and let our defenses down further, we sometimes feel kind of nostalgic for those defenses ;) that may be one reason to feel a bit lonely, but there can be many others
    Pema Pera: Yes, watching the river! so important
    Pema Pera: we are trading in self for Being
    Maxine Walden: right, nostalgia for what we are no longer using, nostalgia for the old even when we are in a better place for having let the old go
    Pema Pera: giving up something that you thought you had is certainly a good reason to feel some loneliness at first!
    Pema Pera: yes, and then Being smiles at us and we notice it, and we smile about our own reactions . . .
    Maxine Walden: yes, as if I have given up a familiar part of myself…and as you say we then see our reactions from a different perspective
    Maxine Walden: I do like your sense of Being smiling, reacting (not a good choice of words) to us, but as a separate and interacting presence
    Pema Pera: reacting, responding, sure, Being is dynamic!
    Pema Pera: beyond static and dynamic, if we use our terms, a kind of deeper dynamic sense, impossible to put into words
    Maxine Walden: Isn’t that a remarkable concept…would be easy to slip into a sense of a God, but may be more intriguing right now to think of an interaction in a kind of mirroring way, but that does not capture the sense of Being not being just a projection
    Pema Pera: no words capture it!
    Pema Pera: But it can capture us
    Pema Pera: has already captured us
    Pema Pera: it being Being

    And we tried to use words to point to the joy of Being:

    Maxine Walden: How do you envision that? Being being active or..and we aligning ourselves to receive or resonante with it (Being)?
    Pema Pera: yes for the latter, as for the former, that is hard to picture for us in our usual conceptual ways . . .
    Maxine Walden: Interested in that question, but also just noting perhaps in a musing way that lately when I have been practicing PaB and am also in my consultative role, that I have more available to provide my patients, by which I mean that my scope of presence and potential understanding seems more spacious…not finding satisfying ways to express what I think is enhanced inner space
    Pema Pera: yes that is so important — an essential part!
    Pema Pera: The point is that Being is playing us, already
    Pema Pera: So the more we acknowledge that the less we step in the way
    Pema Pera: and the more Being can let us be spontaneous and natural
    Pema Pera: normally we think that we are in control and we try to reach, manipulate, “do” everything ourselves
    Pema Pera: but when we realize that we can simply let Being be . . .
    Pema Pera: .. . then everything changes.
    Maxine Walden: could it be that when we become more resonant with Being..oh, from your last statements I am thinking that the more we allow the potential Being in us to sculpt the inner experience…something like that?
    Pema Pera: All religious utterances ultimately come from this
    Pema Pera: more than that
    Pema Pera: difficult to use words
    Pema Pera: Being sculpting something is already using a split between subject and object, Being as doer and what it sculpts as object
    Pema Pera: But in fact Being is everything everywhere already always
    Pema Pera: and it takes a while for us to come to terms with that
    Pema Pera: but when we do
    Pema Pera: a truly marvelous sense of realization begins to open
    Pema Pera: and unfold
    Pema Pera: and unfold
    Pema Pera: and unfold . . . .
    Maxine Walden: right, but maybe we are nudging toward our openning ourselves to the potential Being which resides dormant until/unless we open to it.. reminded of the Implicate Order (Bohm)
    Pema Pera: more than that
    Maxine Walden: more…?
    Pema Pera: Being is never dormant ;>)
    Pema Pera: Being is also playing us having the sense that Being may be dormant ;>)
    Pema Pera: or think we become more open to it
    Pema Pera: before we open to it
    Pema Pera: IT is us already
    Maxine Walden: so It is always here, us, and we may just be unaware of it, maybe fighting it unconsiously as if we feel we need to be in charge, not letting it clothe us, so to speak
    Pema Pera: the truly shocking thing is: there is nothing to open to — we don’t have to open — we cannot open — we are hopeless and helpless . . . . . .
    Pema Pera: . . . . no hope . . . no help . . . . because none of that is needed, it would only be a distraction, seducing us away from what we alreay Are!
    Pema Pera: May I quote my favorite Tilopa song?
    Maxine Walden: please
    Pema Pera: Very short and so much to the point
    Pema Pera: Let go of what has passed
    Pema Pera: Let go of what may come
    Pema Pera: Let go of what is happening now
    Pema Pera: Don’t try to figure anything out
    Pema Pera: Don’t try to make anything happen
    Pema Pera: Relax, right now, and rest
    Pema Pera: Tilopa (988 — 1069)
    Maxine Walden: that is beautiful and as you say so simple and to the point. Thank you for mentioning it. A wise man

    There are so many powerful words we can borrow from various cultures: grace in Christianity, wu-wei in Taoism, openness or emptiness in Buddhism:

    Maxine Walden: Your mentioning it helped me to see that I was getting twisted in a knot because I could not easily ‘envision’ this simple truth, perhaps because it is so simple
    Pema Pera: whenever we are glad and greatful for what is called variously — grace in Christianity for example — our first reaction is . . . and let me put it in Christian terms just to translate it to our culture:
    Pema Pera: “thank you, God, that is wonderful! Now let me help you!”
    Pema Pera: and then our help tends to screw up everything (^_^)
    Maxine Walden: yes, as if we can ‘help’ Being, rather than just receive and resonate…something like that?
    Pema Pera: yes!
    Pema Pera: the only way we can `help’ Being is to Be ourselves
    Maxine Walden: And to recognize our being ourselves is sufficient, but as you say, more than that, as it then allows us to experience the unfolding, unfolding…
    Pema Pera: and to Be ourselves is very very different from to be ourselves, the way we normally use that phrase — which is the reason to put the clumsy capital B in Be.
    Caledonia Heron is Offline
    Pema Pera: We can Be in whatever we do
    Pema Pera: and that way all our doing becomes a non-doing
    Pema Pera: wu-wei in Chinese
    Pema Pera: core point of Taoism
    Maxine Walden: the non-doing of Being?
    Pema Pera: non-doing as in non-friction
    Pema Pera: non-forcing
    Pema Pera: stopping
    Maxine Walden: relating to doing not in a ‘get it done’ way but as part of the flow of Being?
    Pema Pera: yes, no goal-oriented doing-in-order-to but simply doing
    Pema Pera: all very very paradoxical
    Pema Pera: and that way you can reach your goals much better
    Pema Pera: just Being means just doing
    Pema Pera: no future and no past
    Pema Pera: AND NO PRESENCE
    Pema Pera: *PRESENT
    Pema Pera: oops
    Pema Pera: presence, yes, but no present as a point in time
    Pema Pera: I’d better learn to spell before YELLING lol
    Maxine Walden: yes, I think I am getting it, presence but not in a pointed self-conscious way.
    Pema Pera: yes, and it will grow on you
    Pema Pera: at first it feels like a form of cultivation
    Pema Pera: and then more and more just a flow
    Pema Pera: just what is
    Pema Pera: nothing needing to be done
    Pema Pera: not even cultivating . . . .
    Pema Pera: but I’m speaking about what is happening to myself as well as to you and to anyone; I don’t want to be presumptious in any way! Pema-the-avator or Piet-the-typist or Maxine or anyone, we all are playing these very limited roles, and in that sense I am terribly limited too — so don’t take anything Pema/Piet says for granted (^_^) ; but at the same time we all Are, we all Are already, already part of Being.
    Maxine Walden: I think I understand, to be open to your experience and to learn from that but also open to my own experience and and being….I lose track of time in these meetings. I had better go, sort of like the trappings of schedule and RL, but very grateful for this time. I hope to be here tomorrow at this time, but will then have only 30 minutes due to an early appointment
    Pema Pera: fine, Maxine, any time, and as long as you have time!
    Pema Pera: I am also enjoying these meetings and exchanges tremendously
    Pema Pera: It is this kind of conversation that I had hoped would present itself here
    Pema Pera: and I’m delighted to see this coming out already so quickly, just a week after we got started!
    Maxine Walden: these are wonderful experiences, Pema, very grateful for them and so glad that they are mutually enriching. Just to say this something I have also been looking for probably my whole life. Thanks for the opportunity.
    Pema Pera: well, me too, seriously!
    Maxine Walden: Wonderful! See you tomorrow
    Pema Pera: I have started so many groups, in RL, or as email groups, etc etc
    Pema Pera: This feels much more complete and workable than anything I’ve tried before.
    Pema Pera: okay, thanks for stopping by, and c u !
    Maxine Walden: how interesting, more dimensional in some way perhaps?
    Maxine Walden: BYE
    Pema Pera: I have many thoughts about that, at least half a dozen reasons!
    Pema Pera: some other time we can discuss.
    Pema Pera: bye!
    Maxine Walden: Right, some other time…bye

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