2008.05.12 19:00 - Cutting through

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    The guardian at this meeting was Pema Pera and the comments are his.  


    That evening, I was all set to get into SL at 7 pm sharp, from the nice bakery in Kyoto where I had just finished my breakfast. Alas, it was two floors below street level, and my internet connection was not strong enough, it turned out. I quickly packed my stuff, and moved to the coffee shop in a nearby hotel.

    Pema Pera: Hi Maxine!
    Maxine Walden: hi, Pema
    Pema Pera: Sorry to be late
    Pema Pera: unusual for me ;>)
    Pema Pera: I was in Kyoto in an underground coffee shop
    Maxine Walden: not a problem, actually it is unusual…
    Pema Pera: but my wireless did not have a signal
    Pema Pera: so I had to pack and run!
    Maxine Walden: wow, hard to imagine how you do it
    Pema Pera: Now as a bonus I got an extra cappuccino ;>)
    Pema Pera: in a different place
    Maxine Walden: wow, love those lattes or cappuccinos
    Pema Pera: well, I just make this my highest priority — that’s all.
    Maxine Walden: yes, as do I
    Pema Pera: How are you?
    Pema Pera: thank you!
    Pema Pera: Yes, your dedication to PaB is very touching
    Pema Pera: I’m really glad you are enjoying it so much
    Maxine Walden: I am well, appreciate…oh, thanks, it has become very important, yes and enjoyable
    Maxine Walden: and meaningful so good to be here

    I felt the same, and Maxine expressed very well some of what helps us here with the sense of immersion.

    Maxine Walden: the sounds of nature really add a nice touch here…so relaxing
    Maxine Walden: and refreshing
    Maxine Walden: better perhaps than green tea
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: is there anything you’d like to bring up?
    Maxine Walden: appreciate also that you may have lots of IMs and such so please do what you need to during his time
    Pema Pera: oh no
    Pema Pera: this time is for PaB
    Pema Pera: only occasionally there is an interruption
    Pema Pera: and then I announce it
    Pema Pera: like last time
    Maxine Walden: perhaps, and it is not a strong issue, as it has at other times, my seeming different views about some of the things you are suggesting
    Maxine Walden: not really so big in mind, however, tonight so that does not seem to be an ‘in the moment’ issue
    Maxine Walden: I guess I am trying to gain balance between certain ways of seeing and when to privilege them and when the wider view…ongoing stuff like that
    Pema Pera: yes
    Maxine Walden: because certainly there are ongoing inner voices tugging at the sleeve, if voices can do that, for attention
    Pema Pera: I had another thought
    Pema Pera: after last discussion
    Maxine Walden: oh, please your other thought
    Maxine Walden: yes

    Following up from our discussion a day earlier, I started with emptiness.

    Pema Pera: imagine that someone hears about Buddhism for the first time
    Pema Pera: “everything is emptiness”
    Pema Pera: that sounds very negative
    Maxine Walden: yes
    Pema Pera: but in fact, once you get a taste, you realize that this implies the opposite
    Pema Pera: fulfilment
    Maxine Walden: hi, Stim
    Pema Pera: freedom
    Pema Pera: openness
    Pema Pera: hi Stim!
    Stim Morane: hi all!
    Pema Pera: so the same is true with “no self”
    Pema Pera: at first it may sound a bit negative
    Pema Pera: as I sensed you were sensing
    Dakini Rhode: hi Maxine, Pema, Stim :-)
    Maxine Walden: right…hi, Dakini
    Pema Pera: but in fact I think — hi Dakini! — that the opposite it true
    Pema Pera: here too
    Maxine Walden: hi,
    Stim Morane: Hi Dakini!
    Pema Pera: in that it implies that we can with no-self really be more ourselves
    Pema Pera: also individually
    Pema Pera: doesn’t imply a bland mixing
    Pema Pera: does that make sense?
    Pema Pera: Does that address your concern?
    Pema Pera: Hi S & D ! Sorry, just in the middle of a discussion
    Pema Pera: about no-self

    With Stim and Dakini having joined us, Maxine and I continued.

    Maxine Walden: yes, may do…let me think for a moment…as there seemed to be another concern but I cannot quite capture it…
    Dakini Rhode: just popping in to say hi
    Maxine Walden: it may pivot around that sense of ‘no self’ as you describe…
    Stim Morane: same here, can’t stay long.
    Maxine Walden: and I have to go for another meeting in about 12 min
    Pema Pera: Glad to have you here both, of course, and please join the conversation!
    Pema Pera: It would be very good to focus on that concern, I think, Maxine
    Maxine Walden: there may be areas of pain which are not easily given up and I think that was what concerned me…sometimes
    Pema Pera: yes, those are perfect indicators of where we can find more insight
    Maxine Walden: one is gripped for reasons which cannot be easily explained and they feel that in not being able to give them up they are failing
    Maxine Walden: I was not feeling so gripped myself last discussion but was imagining that state
    Maxine Walden: think that was where my concern lay
    Maxine Walden: sorry to be taking up so much room, please folks come on in
    Dakini Rhode: please go ahead
    Dakini Rhode: content to listen
    Dakini Rhode: coming in late, not sure where you started
    Maxine Walden: but the notion of compassionate mindedness certainly applies to aid the ‘gripped’ states
    Maxine Walden: so maybe that is where there would be a conjoining of views…compassion seems so central to all areas of pain
    Maxine Walden: that I am aware of

    I brought up something I have not yet spoken of much, the connection I see between PaB and scientific research.

    Pema Pera: For me, a role model for PaB is scientific research, where you question all and everything — in order to know more and better, not cynically or sarcastically, but very very thoroughly — so ANY notion of something not quite fitting comfortably is a great boon, a valued extra entry point.
    Pema Pera: so pain is a great indicator
    Pema Pera: and even any tiny concern
    Pema Pera: slight feeling of unease
    Maxine Walden: any point….yes something that catches attention or seems unknown or ‘other’ as a point for friendly attention,
    Maxine Walden: while to the one gripped, where mindedness is not felt to exist, to that one attention and the acknowledgement of difference can feel shaming…I think the issues
    Maxine Walden: issue has to do with the experience within gripped states of mind which cannot envision ‘being seen’ in any creative way…evolutionary stuff from human pre-thinking history…(I think)
    Maxine Walden: but you are speaking from viewing from outside those states, and so these are just different views of similar phenomena, perhaps…
    Pema Pera: well, my suggestion is to try to cut through all that
    Pema Pera: 9 seconds
    Pema Pera: no time for detailed analysis
    Pema Pera: respectful for analysis
    Pema Pera: but willing to let go sometimes
    Maxine Walden: I much prefer your view,
    Pema Pera: and cut through
    Pema Pera: without denying
    Pema Pera: like a mother smiling at a child
    Pema Pera: (this is Stim’s image I am borrowing)
    Maxine Walden: yes, I like that too.
    Pema Pera: lovingly accepting the antics of the child
    Pema Pera: but without need to analyse it all to the bottom
    Pema Pera: but when the child cries
    Pema Pera: the mother comes running over
    Maxine Walden: and the child’s pain perhaps without being overtaken by it
    Pema Pera: so indications are important
    Pema Pera: indications not implications
    Maxine Walden: I like that contrast

    By this time, both Stim and Maxine had to leave.

    Stim Morane: oops, gotta go! Interesting discussion …
    Maxine Walden: afraid I have another meeting to go to in a moment as well
    Maxine Walden: bye for now.. bye all
    Pema Pera: bye!
    Pema Pera: bye Stim
    Pema Pera: oops
    Pema Pera: that was quick!
    Dakini Rhode: and i have an appointment with my pillow
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Pema Pera: cutting through
    Pema Pera: I said
    Pema Pera: and look what happened
    Pema Pera: they take me too seriously
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Dakini Rhode: wow you know how to clear the room
    Dakini Rhode: hahaha
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Pema Pera: what fun
    Pema Pera: I’m sitting here again
    Pema Pera: laughing out loud
    Pema Pera: in a coffee shop

    We turned to the large differences in personality between the different visitors to the tea house.

    Pema Pera: I love all the people here for different reasons, and I am amused to see how they rub off each other — somehow I seem to find ways to engage different people in different ways
    Dakini Rhode: yes you are gifted that way
    Pema Pera: thank you
    Pema Pera: my mother deserves a lot of credit for that
    Dakini Rhode: you seem to be able to understand where people are coming from and meet them
    Pema Pera: love people
    Pema Pera: each one a universe
    Pema Pera: I feel like a court astronomer for each new person I meet
    Pema Pera: (^_^)
    Dakini Rhode: haha i can see that
    Pema Pera: grateful and humble
    Dakini Rhode: when i’m the guardian
    Dakini Rhode: i wish for some of that ability
    Pema Pera: we grow into it — and in fact you’re doing better than I could have done I think with your zen sittings — I so admire how you do that!!
    Pema Pera: it is different from PaB
    Pema Pera: a bit more structure
    Pema Pera: and you find a balance
    Pema Pera: between structure and letting people be
    Pema Pera: VERY impressive
    Dakini Rhode: well that’s natural to me
    Dakini Rhode: i guess that’s why i offered it :-)
    Pema Pera: I basically give people 100% freedom
    Pema Pera: you give them 80%
    Pema Pera: I think appropriate in either case
    Pema Pera: as a start
    Pema Pera: then we both start to reign in hahaha
    Dakini Rhode: hahahah
    Pema Pera: I’m the crazy radical — you are the freethinker
    Dakini Rhode: meditation practice is something i’ve done quite a bit of… and i’ve found it valuable
    Dakini Rhode: for the transformation possible

    At the time, we wondered whether to include all this in the blog :-)

    Pema Pera: perhaps none of this in the blog? hehehe
    Dakini Rhode: haha
    Pema Pera: yes
    Dakini Rhode: yes we all left
    Pema Pera: transformation
    Pema Pera: yes, we left ;>)
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Pema Pera: we’re talking in the bardo here
    Dakini Rhode: yes transformation, shifts, insight
    Dakini Rhode: i know nothing so effective

    But rereading it, I thought we may as well give an honest view of how we look at our various activities.

    Pema Pera: have you seen Storm’s water scenerey?
    Pema Pera: in Magoja?
    Dakini Rhode: i saw a snapshot - amazing
    Pema Pera: sorry to interrutp
    Pema Pera: shall we go over for a sec?
    Dakini Rhode: i was about to mention it too
    Dakini Rhode: but didn’t want to interrupt you
    Pema Pera: I did a chocolate disco there already with Moon Fargis yesterday ;>)

    We quickly flew over.

    Dakini Rhode: this is better than the snapshot
    Pema Pera: isn’t it beautiful?
    Dakini Rhode: it’s breathtaking
    Pema Pera: oh
    Pema Pera: a tp
    Pema Pera: from astro group
    Pema Pera: a meeting
    Pema Pera: sorry
    Pema Pera: have to run
    Pema Pera: isn’t it amazing this waterfall — what you can do beyond words??!!!
    Dakini Rhode: it really takes my breath away
    Dakini Rhode: the water effects are stunning
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: this gives an idea of what the forest can become
    Pema Pera: in due time
    Pema Pera: . . . . .
    Pema Pera: bfn!
    Pema Pera: ciao!
    Dakini Rhode: bye

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