2008.05.13 07:00 - No anchors

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

    That morning I sat down in the tea house, and pretty soon Maxine dropped by.

    Pema Pera: Hi there Maxine!
    Maxine Walden: hi, Pema
    Maxine Walden: first time I had some trouble logging in, system seemed slow today
    Pema Pera: well, I’m glad you made it!
    Maxine Walden: yes, glad to be here too
    Maxine Walden: nothing specific on my mind this morning, right now other than the beautiful natural sounds here
    Pema Pera: The whole system went down for more than an hour, several hours ago, it seems to be quite unstable — it was an unscheduled closing
    Pema Pera: Yes, this really is a lovely spot
    Pema Pera: and we don’t get tired of it, it has a special quality
    Pema Pera: soothing and inviting you to relax
    Maxine Walden: I see, thanks for that info;…lovely surroundings and agree it seems to have a flow, so inviting
    Maxine Walden: to flow and relax, what PaB is about in a sense
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: Have you thought more about what was bugging you earlier? Or do you prefer to let that lie for a while?
    Maxine Walden: the issue I ‘ranted’ about last time? or another bug ?
    Pema Pera: haha, no the first, and you were not ranting — I enjoyed you putting your finger on what didn’t quite seem to fit — and I compared it with doing scientific research ;>)

    Maxine then added a new image.

    Maxine Walden: yes, well, I have had a further thought, and the notion of an internal civil war came to mind
    Maxine Walden: a civil war between ancinet gripping forces, survival forces, and the more contemplative mind which the ’survivalist’ hates
    Maxine Walden: because the Rightness of the survivalist mentality is overturned by the softenss of contemplation.
    Maxine Walden: Not so scientific, but addresses the massive forces and resistence to the ‘relaxing’ aspect of contemplation and PaB…
    Maxine Walden: so more in tune with PaB and perhaps appreciating the massive resistence from these other forces
    Pema Pera: I like your vivid pictures!
    Pema Pera: And what do you think you can do with the resistance?
    Maxine Walden: I do have vivid pictures sometimes…from my own survivalist struggles perhaps…oh, what can I do
    Maxine Walden: an interesting point and one I study every day in RL
    Maxine Walden: what I try to do is bridge the survivalist with a compassionate mind and absorb the violence which can be significant, the violence
    Maxine Walden: which is aimed at the mind…to bridge and absorb the violence while still offering understanding…when I can do that sufficiently the survivalist mentality loses its grip and the mind now freed can breathe new life, as it were
    Maxine Walden: the issue which has fascinated me is that such a mind thus freed can be overwhelmed again by the survivalist stuff and lose the previous learning/freedom which then needs to be won again in the same way.
    Maxine Walden: Fascinating that the forces against the contemplative can reassert themselves so significantly…that is what led me to conside the power of the evolutionary forces in all of us
    Maxine Walden: millions of years of survivalist hardwired in our neural circuits makes the Goliath win over the David much of the time

    While I very much appreciated Maxine’s description, I also wanted to raise a possible way out.

    Pema Pera: how about just watching the violence without responding/absorbing/resisting?
    Pema Pera: like watching a movie?
    Pema Pera: tasting, appreciating, feeling deeply
    Pema Pera: yet without a need to react?
    Maxine Walden: I would like to try that…in my recent expereince my mind gets penetrated by the violence (which is coming from another mind, not my own in these instances)
    Maxine Walden: the virulence of the violence is such that it makes it hard to just observe quietly, but I would like to try to do so as you are suggesting…
    Maxine Walden: if that is possible from a PaB way, it gives me a new consideration in terms of existing in the presence
    Maxine Walden: of the survivalist forces, existing in their presence without being overtaken
    Pema Pera: Here is the conjecture: we have a mind and a body, and it is not true that we are a mind and a body — if that conjecture is true you can just watch your mind — and in doing so you can both let the mind settle without buying into its antics and at the same time you can get a sense for what you _are_
    Maxine Walden: a soft armor, as it were…see, my current thought is that the survivalist forces (pre-thinking) HATE quiet thought…
    Maxine Walden: looking at your last comment…
    Pema Pera: If I can get back to the movie image: you can appreciate ALL that happens in the movie, without treating ANY of it on the same terms as you yourself — there is nothing to be afraid of, nothing that you need to balance/fight/change . . . .
    Maxine Walden: think I am suggesting that within one mind there can be a civil war, one ancient pre-thinking self attacking the more contemplative self and mostly that attacks the softer observing mind, as if it, the new kid on the block is unwanted by the gang that is already there, owning the neighborhood
    Pema Pera: yes, for sure, but then you can watch that mind — it is not you.
    Pema Pera: if you identify with one part then you throw yourself in the battle against the other parts — that is not necessary, not a good idea.

    I tried to explore the power of just watching, without judging.

    Maxine Walden: yes, I do like to movie idea, which you have mentioned several times…and I would like to hold it closer in terms of observing this so-called civil war, or the warring element…oh tell me more
    Maxine Walden: about not observing various warring parts of the mind
    Pema Pera: observing yes, identifying no
    Pema Pera: by all means, watch the battles going on
    Pema Pera: but do so like a mother watching a child play
    Pema Pera: intensely concerned about the child
    Pema Pera: but not about the play
    Pema Pera: not about the content of the play, which is not real
    Maxine Walden: that may offer a bridging capacity, the observing with concern but realizing the ‘war’ is not real
    Pema Pera: When the mother has two children, say, who play as if they are battling together, the mother of course has no need to take sides or interpret the play — the mother just smiles and loves the children
    Maxine Walden: considering those evolutionary ‘givens’ as not real…wonder what Darwin would say(!)
    Pema Pera: Well, Darwin is part of the movie
    Pema Pera: and I invite you to watch the movie rather than identify with one or more of the players to such an extent as to forget that it is a movie — that is not a good idea.
    Maxine Walden: oh, oh (smiling) not sure what some folk would say about that…but I’m open to that, Darwin and all ‘players’ not being real
    Pema Pera: Maxine is not real either
    Pema Pera: Pema is not either
    Maxine Walden: it puts all of our history into a movie role,
    Pema Pera: Maxine’s typist is not real, and Pema’s typist is not real
    Pema Pera: all four of us are bit players in the RL/SL movie
    Maxine Walden: roles in the movie
    Pema Pera: the movie in which RL appears and within it SL
    Pema Pera: yet the “AM” as in “I AM” that is your core and that is my core, those “AM” can watch the movie
    Maxine Walden: RL appearing…still tweaks the imagination, but I can see it
    Pema Pera: each moment the whole world appears
    Pema Pera: that’s the ONLY thing we know about it, that there is appearance, everything else is deduction — also known as speculation :>)
    Maxine Walden: ‘appears’ but is part of the movie
    Maxine Walden: ‘created’ by our mental constructs

    Which is creating what is something I tried to get back to later on.

    Pema Pera: Descartes went into the right direction, but wasn’t radical enough
    Pema Pera: Husserl was more radical
    Maxine Walden: oh?
    Pema Pera: and we can be more radical yet
    Maxine Walden: afraid I do not know Husserl
    Pema Pera: don’t worry about Husserl, I just tossed him into the mix ;>)
    Maxine Walden: ok
    Maxine Walden: more radical?
    Pema Pera: Descartes concluded that he existed, because he had experiences
    Maxine Walden: yes
    Pema Pera: but I would say: there is the appearance — of an I and of experience and of a “having” relationship between the I and the experience — and all of that may be unreal . . . . the appearance is all that can be pointed to, as the most prior, the most primordially given
    Pema Pera: So instead of Descartes’ “cogito ergo sum”
    Pema Pera: I have cognition, so I exist
    Pema Pera: I would say “there is appearance, so appearance appears” ;>)
    Pema Pera: and the only interesting thing in there is the IS
    Pema Pera: nothing more
    Pema Pera: no I
    Pema Pera: no cognition
    Pema Pera: no existence
    Pema Pera: in terms of individual existences, beings
    Pema Pera: only BEing
    Pema Pera: IS or Being or whatever you like to call it
    Pema Pera: a hyper-Cartesian stance
    Pema Pera: I think Descartes would have liked it — had he only been able to talk with a Zen person or a Dzogchen person . . . .
    Maxine Walden: and our various packets of body, mind, experience, may be packets of energy or something that we do not know of
    Pema Pera: well, everything in a movie is light, right?
    Maxine Walden: yes, light
    Pema Pera: totally independent of what it is that is depicted within the story of the movie
    Pema Pera: similarly, everything in ALL appearances is of the one taste
    Pema Pera: as Buddhist sometimes call it
    Pema Pera: the one taste of Being

    Like with any metaphor, we have to explore which part of the sketch is meant to be accurate.

    Maxine Walden: one tast of Being…interesting
    Pema Pera: that’s what I’m peddling here ;>)
    Maxine Walden: one taste of Being…the physics analogy perhaps being energy or light as basic to all?
    Pema Pera: yes, that is an approximate metaphor, but that still falls short of the real thing –
    Maxine Walden: ok
    Pema Pera: Being is not a basic fabric out of which everything else is made — though it may be a good starting point to view it that way — that would be too passive
    Maxine Walden: am I having trouble with the ‘wider’ picture; probably so
    Pema Pera: Being is beyond active-passive, life-lifeless, personal-impersonal, etc
    Maxine Walden: yes…ok beyond duality
    Pema Pera: we cannot understand Being
    Pema Pera: But Being already understands Being
    Pema Pera: if you play as Being at that moment you already understand
    Pema Pera: here and now
    Pema Pera: or more accurately if you let Being play you playing Being
    Maxine Walden: yes, open to the ineffable, unknowable, infinite….maybe that is akin to letting Being playing you playing Being?
    Maxine Walden: garbled the last of that comment, but I am reminded of awe in the face of the unknowable
    Pema Pera: yes I think that is a nice way to phrase it — as long as it is not the you you think you are that is open ;>) if that you tries to take an open stance, she is sabotaging the whole thing right there !!
    Maxine Walden: taking an open stance is not being open (Being open)
    Maxine Walden: if I understand you, but awe in the presence of the unknowable may be Being open
    Pema Pera: taking an open stance is like being on a boat, throwing out an anchor and THEN giving yourself over to the water — that won’t do
    Maxine Walden: ok
    Pema Pera: letting go of the anchor means letting go of the one who is trying to take an open stance
    Pema Pera: letting go of the taker
    Pema Pera: tricky
    Pema Pera: seemingly impossible
    Pema Pera: but actually surprisingly easy
    Pema Pera: beyond easy and hard
    Pema Pera: but we probably shouldn’t worry too much about all this.
    Pema Pera: Starting with an open stance is certainly a good start
    Pema Pera: as long as we don’t stop there

    Maxine asked further about the image of an anchor.

    Maxine Walden: I am just trying to understand the letting go of the anchor, whether that is sought in the practice or not…could not quite follow that
    Pema Pera: ah
    Pema Pera: normally when we take an open stance
    Pema Pera: we have implicitly anchored ourselves somewhere ALREADY
    Pema Pera: in order to take a stance, any stance at all
    Pema Pera: without realizing we did
    Pema Pera: so better than taking an open stance
    Pema Pera: is to drop any “stancing”
    Pema Pera: now THAT will be really open
    Maxine Walden: got it, got it…yes I understand
    Pema Pera: If I may add one more piece
    Maxine Walden: not ’stancing’ …please
    Pema Pera: there is a shortcut
    Pema Pera: instead of hauling up the anchor and/or cutting the chains of the anchor
    Pema Pera: there is an easier way:
    Pema Pera: to WATCH the anchor
    Pema Pera: and see that it too has never been real
    Pema Pera: and then it becomes clear that there is no need to even drop/cut off the anchor . . . .
    Maxine Walden: ah…the anchor has been a construction as well
    Pema Pera: Play as Being is so much easier than anything else
    Pema Pera: but because we can’t accept such a precious gift, we feel it has to be more complicated
    Pema Pera: we have to pay
    Pema Pera: no pain no gain
    Maxine Walden: all the trappings that we construct…anchors…chains
    Pema Pera: so off we go . . . . not necessary at all!
    Maxine Walden: pain…
    Pema Pera: I would turn it around
    Pema Pera: no gain no pain
    Pema Pera: we don’t need to gain anything
    Pema Pera: since we are already AM or ARE or IS
    Pema Pera: so no need for pain either

    Maxine Walden: yes, we come back to that again and again in these conversations…yes, not need to gain anything since we ARE…right
    Pema Pera: but now the coffeeshop in Kyoto is closing . . .;>)
    Pema Pera: so there is a need
    Pema Pera: for me
    Maxine Walden: very nice to come to this realization,…yes
    Pema Pera: to pack up
    Pema Pera: (^_^)
    Pema Pera: it is almost midnight here
    Maxine Walden: me to, just to say that tomorrow I have an RL thing at 7amSLT so will come later in the day…yes, good night
    Pema Pera: but I’m so glad we had this conversation!
    Maxine Walden: me too, me too
    Maxine Walden: bye
    Pema Pera: I feel we’ve covered some central ground.
    Pema Pera: Thank you!
    Maxine Walden: very central, thank you so much
    Pema Pera: These conversations are only possible between two or more people
    Pema Pera: Neither of us could have created this alone, not in a living way
    Maxine Walden: yes, yes
    Maxine Walden: interesting thought…
    Maxine Walden: the creativity of the conversation..but the coffee shop needs to close
    Pema Pera: yup
    Pema Pera: see you soon!
    Maxine Walden: I will go too, Bye
    Pema Pera: BE well ;>)
    Maxine Walden: and you too.
    Pema Pera: thnx!

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