2008.06.07 19:00 - Respecting Anger

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    That evening, Rajah was waiting in the tea house, when Stevenaia and I arrived around the same time. Stim followed on our heels.

    Rajah Yalin: hi steve
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Rajah
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Pema
    Rajah Yalin: hi Pema
    stevenaia Michinaga: brb, tea brewing
    Pema Pera: Hi there, Rajah and Steve!
    Rajah Yalin: :)
    Pema Pera: Hi Stim!
    Rajah Yalin: hi Stim
    Stim Morane: Hi Pema, Steve, Rajah!
    Pema Pera: Anything on your mind, Rajah or Steve, that you would like to talk about?
    stevenaia Michinaga: back
    Rajah Yalin: Hmmm…
    Rajah Yalin: it’s very hot
    Pema Pera: :)
    Stim Morane: Hi Pia
    Pia Iger: Hello
    stevenaia Michinaga: on one hand drinking tea, on t’e other turning up a/c as it;s over 80- in here
    Pema Pera: Hi Pia!
    Rajah Yalin: hi Pia

    Pia joined us, and so there were five of us already.

    Rajah Yalin: I don’t have an A/C - very american
    stevenaia Michinaga: we have become intolerant of extremes, I personally prefer fewer clothes
    Pema Pera: yes, to the point of it often being colder inside in the summer than it is in the winter . . .. .
    Pema Pera: Pia, is there anything you would like to talk about?
    stevenaia Michinaga: I didn;t mean to be talking about the weather.. never a good sign
    Pema Pera: :)
    Pia Iger: sorry, My view went to outside of tea house.
    Pema Pera: ah, you can read the “communicate” box
    Pema Pera: even when your camera is elsewhere
    Pema Pera: actually an easier way to follow the flow of the conversation
    Pema Pera: has the whole history of a session in “local chat”
    Rajah Yalin: yep
    Pema Pera: “communicate” is at the bottom left of the screen, the big button
    Pia Iger: Ok, I am back.
    Rajah Yalin: welcome back
    Stargate Tone: Hi all
    Pema Pera: Hi Stargate
    Rajah Yalin: hi Star
    Stim Morane: Hi Stargate

    Stargate was the sixth participant in our session, soon followed by Lessa as number seven. The tea house was filling up again!

    Pia Iger: basically, from practice, I do have deeper appreciation of daily life. but still puzzled by my own emotions.
    Stargate Tone: there’s this Lessa; my friend…can I tp her to this meeting too ?
    Rajah Yalin: yes
    Rajah Yalin: do it
    Pema Pera: sure, *
    Pema Pera: Hi Lessa!
    Rajah Yalin: not to sound demanding or anything lol
    Pia Iger: like anger,
    Rajah Yalin: hi Lessa
    Lessa Llewellyn: Hi Pema
    Stim Morane: Hi Lessa
    Lessa Llewellyn: Hi Rajah
    Lessa Llewellyn: Hi Stim
    Pema Pera: Can you say more about anger, Pia?
    Pema Pera: Lessa, welcome to our group!
    Lessa Llewellyn: Thank you, Pema
    Pia Iger: I feel I can recognize my emotion and my attachment to it, but hard to detach my self from being a victim.
    Pema Pera: We have a blog at http://playasbeing.wordpress.com/, Lessa, with a summary of what we are doing here
    Lessa Llewellyn: thank you
    Pia Iger: Care to share some tips?
    Pema Pera: Stim, do you have any suggestions?

    PaB session, 2008/06/07/19

    After we all settled, Stim took Pia up on her question.

    Stim Morane: What would you recommend to yourself, if someone else describe this problem to you?
    Stim Morane: skip the “to” … what would be your own advice?
    Pia Iger: first, I would say it’s not everything, the incident is just part of life.
    Pia Iger: put in perspective.
    Stim Morane: What would you recommend to yourself, if someone else describe this problem to you? What would you recommend the very least, it’s important that there should be awareness of the fact of anger, the feeling of being a victim, etc.
    Pia Iger: then maybe ok to see/feel what is the emotion
    Stim Morane: Sorry, I’m having text problems.
    Stim Morane: awareness of anger from the point of view of anger is not very liberating. Do you agree?
    Pia Iger: quite right. It makes you more agonized.
    Stim Morane: yes, more justified, inflamed, etc
    Stim Morane: anger is fire, it likes to burn
    Stim Morane: traditionally it is mentioned as particularly dangerous because it wants to break everything, come what may (later)
    Stim Morane: on the other hand, anger too has intelligence
    Pia Iger: oh?
    Stim Morane: it’s not completely lacking in an awakened nature
    Stim Morane: So the “answer”, packaged one way or another, is to restrain but respect the anger
    Stim Morane: there too is this “Being” thing Pema likes to talk about
    Pia Iger: respect anger? I did not think that way before. More like, I was anger at my own being anger.
    Stim Morane: yes, that’s part of the reverberative character
    Stim Morane: we get angry at people for making us feel angry
    Stim Morane: but anger also likes itself, in a way. The trick is to not indulge that absorbtion, but also to respect anger in its essence
    Stim Morane: continuity of Being is the issue here, perhaps, although that’s for Pema to say.

    I had to smile at the way Stim and I are sometimes handing the ball to each other. Stim then pointed to the ethymology of emotion, from the original Latin, `out’ plus `moving’, moving out.

    stevenaia Michinaga: perhaps emotions have their own being
    Stim Morane: an interesting point
    Stim Morane: would you add more?
    Lessa Llewellyn: but is the point that anger (or any emotion) is bad?
    Stim Morane: emotion moves
    Stim Morane: that’s what it means
    stevenaia Michinaga: anger seems to be a noun and a verb, with personality and intellligence, perhaps many emotions can have that too
    Stim Morane: the issue is, can we keep the energy of emotion without being moved out of appreciation of presence
    Pia Iger: good question.
    Lessa Llewellyn: but couldn’t one argue that anger–or any strong emotion–makes us be more in the presence than anything else?
    Pia Iger: I was not able to unite them.
    Stim Morane: repressing emotions isn’t very realistic, especially since they include some very important features of our existence.
    Stim Morane: yes, then that “was not able” is the next thing that is within the continuity of Being
    Stim Morane: each thing has its own character, but the same essence
    Pia Iger: same essense? I will make a note of that.
    Stim Morane: in a sense, what I’m saying isthat we usually want “to do something” about these states, but perhaps it’s also important to really have them, rather than just sort of having them.
    Stim Morane: if this is possible without being carried away further from presence …
    Pema Pera: Everything has its own intelligence and energy, every aspect of anything in life, and it also has a tendency to move — the choice we have is to blindly follow this motion, or to appreciate the intelligence and energy ; is that a reasonable summary, Stim? Being extends an invitation to us to “stop” rather than to move, and so to appreciate
    Stim Morane: sure

    We returned to Being.

    Stim Morane: it’s difficult to convey without some discussion, because everyone sees things a bit differently
    Stim Morane: But “Being” would not be a very important topic if it were not inclusive of all
    Pema Pera: Being implies appreciation, as the positive side of the coin of not-doing, a term that sounds negative perhaps
    Pema Pera: appreciation of intelligence and energy of everything, certainly also of anger
    Pema Pera: And yes, Lessa, in that way anger can be experienced as very positive
    stevenaia Michinaga: even as a learning experience, as all shoud em
    stevenaia Michinaga: be
    Stim Morane: yes, exactly
    Pema Pera: Being may sound cold and philosophical, but its character of appreciation connects with devotion and love and all that makes us tick within spiritual approaches . . . .
    Pema Pera: starting with appreciation is perhaps a bit more cautious an approach
    Pema Pera: compared to many spiritual traditions that start with more specific instructions, that can be very powerful but also lead to a more narrow approach
    Pema Pera: to the exclusion of other approaches
    Stim Morane: As most of you probably know, the more traditional angle on this is also to ask “who” is angry. The point here is to see how we get redefined by our states… once redefined, it’s difficult for us to work things out, because “we” are part of the limited condition.
    Stim Morane: But to flip this over, our real nature is the same as that of the anger.
    Pia Iger: real nature means being?
    Stim Morane: it does seem related, but again, it’s up to Pema

    It was a real pleasure to see Aladuns walking in! I had met him before, quite a while ago, as a neighbor in Rieul, and this was the first time he joined us for a Play as Being gettogether.

    Stim Morane: Hi Aladuns
    Pema Pera: Hi Aladuns!
    Aladuns Writer: hi stim :o))
    Stargate Tone: Hello Al
    Pema Pera: I would say Being is close to real nature
    Aladuns Writer: hello pema
    Pema Pera: but not exactly the same
    Pema Pera: though good enough at first to get an idea
    Pema Pera: We shouldn’t do as if everything means the same, that would be disrespectful to the traditions
    Pema Pera: each tradition has its own terms and flavors
    Pema Pera: and we can learn from all of them
    Pema Pera: but also we should not wait
    Pema Pera: till we understand them all!
    Pema Pera: We should start to appreciate our life
    Pema Pera: the world
    Pema Pera: each other
    Pema Pera: ourselves
    Pema Pera: and move ahead with that
    Pema Pera: then in the process we can learn to discriminate terms and traditions
    Pema Pera: like learning to taste wine
    Pema Pera: at first it is just red wine and white wine
    Pema Pera: but then we learn to appreciate the differences
    Pema Pera: same with Being and emptiness and openneess and suchness and true nature
    Pema Pera: each have their own vintage :)
    Pia Iger: Yah, I can learn to expand my appreciation. It is easy for me to appreciate the good things, love, beauty, happiness, but hard to appreciate the other kinds, hardship/anger/, etc.

    Stim made the crucial observation that `appreciation’ here means appreciating without judgment, without discrimination, across the board.

    Stim Morane: but here “appreciate” means something new, and applies in the same way to all
    Pema Pera: This is such a fascinating discussion, I wish I could stay — thank you for bringing up this topic, Pia! Alas, RL is calling and I have to leave now. Stim, you’re the guardian of today, so I’m looking forward to seeing your transcript (or Stevenaia’s if you stay longer than Stim)
    Stim Morane: Actually, I will need to go shortly too. Sorry.
    stevenaia Michinaga: it can be dificult to overcome anything without understanding and experienceing and learning from it
    Pema Pera: Aladuns, welcome here, great to see you! Sorry I have to leave now, but I hope to have more time next time.
    Stim Morane: Yes, I hope we can follow your point Steve … it seems so central.
    Stim Morane: Bye Pema!
    Aladuns Writer: always a pleasure
    Rajah Yalin: take care those who are leaving
    Rajah Yalin: Namaste
    Lessa Llewellyn: bye Pema
    Pia Iger: bye Pema, Have a good day!
    stevenaia Michinaga: bye Pema
    Aladuns Writer: of course
    Stargate Tone: bye Pema
    Pema Pera: Looking forward to talking with all of you again, thanks for joining us! Gone with the bell . . .

    I was referring to the PaB gong that was just reverberating again through the area near the tea house.

    Pia Iger: I want to say I am glad we have blog. sometimes I went back to read them and would have better understanding.
    Pema Pera: thank you, Pia!
    stevenaia Michinaga: I agree
    Pema Pera: It’s taking a lot of time, but I’m happy to keep the blog up
    Pema Pera: at some point we’ll have to share some of the upkeep
    Pema Pera: I figure I’m spending about five or six hours on it every day . . . :)
    Pema Pera: but no hurry, perhaps in a month or so
    Lessa Llewellyn: wow
    Pema Pera: four sessions each day, Lessa
    stevenaia Michinaga: I can imagine but amazed at your abilities to be so consistant
    Pema Pera: an important part is rereading each session and erasing what is too personal
    Pema Pera: I don’t want people to censor themselves
    Aladuns Writer: consistancy is the hardest part of keeping a blog history
    Pema Pera: so after each session I take out what seems unfit to appear on the web
    stevenaia Michinaga: you have create an interesting buracracy, pema
    Pema Pera: haha
    Pema Pera: well, this is in a way what I have been wanting to do for my whole life
    Pema Pera: and this is the first time it really seems to work
    Pema Pera: so I’m deeply grateful for all of you
    Pema Pera: to allow me to share this!
    Rajah Yalin: :)
    Pema Pera: well, RL is calling
    Pema Pera: see you soon!
    Stargate Tone: I also need to go
    Aladuns Writer: you too
    Rajah Yalin: bye everyone
    Stim Morane: Bye!
    Stargate Tone: U all have Good Time *
    Lessa Llewellyn: good night Star
    Aladuns Writer: and i havent yet said hello star
    Aladuns Writer: pardon my manners

    Afterwards, Stevenaia sent me the rest of the chat log. The comments are again mine.

    Lessa Llewellyn: Good night Rajah
    Pia Iger: bye, Star. see you later.
    Stim Morane: So Pia, we have used this example you mentioned of anger, and said that it too can be appreciated in a way that is fruitful and relevant. I’m not sure if we’ve really explained how to do that. That’s probably our next order of business, if not now, then sometime soon.
    Stargate Tone: stargate
    Stim Morane: neat
    Lessa Llewellyn: well, the anger could indicate, at minimum, something that is important to you
    Stim Morane: yes, you would think so.
    Stim Morane: or at least important to the “you” who is caught in the anger
    Pia Iger: You showed me a new possibility to see anger. Yes. I don’t know to do that yet ;-( but hopefully we will get there someday.
    Stim Morane: it’s funny how we can care so much we’re willing to kill, and yet with more clarity, we don’t.
    Lessa Llewellyn: but even the you before the anger, or the anger wouldn’t be triggered
    Stim Morane: yes, we have to acknowledge the point you’re making, Lessa.
    Stim Morane: I’m very new to SL, and very poor at communicating here.
    Lessa Llewellyn: you are doing fine, Stim
    Pia Iger: no. You sound clear to me. I am glad we can talk about this here.
    Stim Morane: thanks for the kind words. I fear I’m prettly hopeless at this. I’m very slow to catch up to this sort of environment.
    Aladuns Writer: what are some of the ideas that have been presented about anger?
    Lessa Llewellyn: your perception of you being hopeless at communicating is not quite accurate, Stim

    Stim answered Aladuns’ question, and in doing so give a great definition of Being, or It: some fundamental dimension of all things, not one thing among many.

    Stim Morane: well I’ve been mentioning an inclusionary approach, rather than a “how can I make it go away?” one.
    Stim Morane: The reason is that the main topic here is Being, which means some fundamental dimension of all things, not one thing among many.
    Stim Morane: So anger too has to be appreciated as being It.
    Stim Morane: How, exactly, may be beyond my powers to convey.
    Stim Morane: But you could start by just asking questions while you’re angry. The traditional question is “who?”, who is angry. But you could use others.
    Stim Morane: You could ask, “what is anger like in my body?”
    Stim Morane: Then “my energy?”. “what does the world look like in this anger?” Etc.
    Pia Iger: really feel the anger and understand the anger…
    Stim Morane: The reason is that such questions are a simple way of approximating a view that doesn’t just run with the rationalizations of the anger. And they also are at least a bit appreciative.
    Stim Morane: the main point is that anger is not anger.
    Stim Morane: there is always more there than we think
    Stim Morane: so we start with the bits that are easy to discover.
    Stim Morane: eventually we can see that anger is within a kind of sacred dimension.

    One of those sentences that can be the topic for a year long practice.

    stevenaia Michinaga: Hello Rowan, welcome
    Lessa Llewellyn: Hello Rowan
    Rowan Masala: /smiles at all
    Rowan Masala: hello
    Stim Morane: Hi Rowan!
    Pia Iger: hi, Rowan,
    Stim Morane: we talked about this before, and I realize the problemmatical character of my phrasing. But I think you know what I mean.
    Stim Morane: How are you, Rowan?
    Pia Iger: yes. I read what you said again on blog and appreciate what you mean.
    Rowan Masala: I’m tired, but happy tonight, Stim
    Stim Morane: Good. I’m mostly just tired, myself!
    Stim Morane: I’m glad, Pia. I look forward to exploring this more, and thanks for your question. I also hope we can follow up on Steve’s comment about learning …
    Pia Iger: but usually ppl donot include “negative” feeling in sacred dimension.
    Stim Morane: By the way, Steve … should I send you the chat file I promised you last week? Or did you get the text from the blog?
    stevenaia Michinaga: thank you Stim, I only said that as I am angry so little that at some poit I must have learned how lettle there is to be gained from it
    Stim Morane: I see, Pia. I’ll be happy to find other ways to phrase some of these points.
    stevenaia Michinaga: I don;t remember Stim
    stevenaia Michinaga: …smiles
    Stim Morane: At this point, I should leave … I look forward to more discussion soon.
    Pia Iger: no, I was not picking on the term. I was saying I need to learn to include the “negative” feeling into sacred dimension, maye?
    Stim Morane: I think I understood. But thanks, Pia.
    Stim Morane: This will be a good thing to follow up on …
    Pia Iger: I look forward to it. Thanks for today’s talk.
    Stim Morane: More generally, we are really talking about “experience”. This was mentioned previously, and we should probably come back to it.
    Stim Morane: Anger is just an example.
    Lessa Llewellyn: thank you all. This was very interesting.
    Pia Iger: agree.
    Lessa Llewellyn: have a good evening
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, it can applied to many things
    Aladuns Writer: i am sorry that i missed much of it

    Everyone got ready to leave.

    Stim Morane: OK, well I’m make an IOU. Bye all!
    Aladuns Writer: and once i got here bad crash ……
    Pia Iger: bye, Stim, until next time.
    Rowan Masala: goodnight, Stim. Be well.
    Stim Morane: Aladuns, there is a record of these chats at the website Pema mentioned.
    Stim Morane: Bye!
    Aladuns Writer: thank you
    Aladuns Writer: enjoy your evenings !
    stevenaia Michinaga: bye
    stevenaia Michinaga: aww, everyone’s time is up so it appears
    stevenaia Michinaga: Pia, in any case being anger free is a direction worth finding
    Pia Iger: I usually stay a hour or so. So it is my time, too.
    Pia Iger: yes. Steve, I really look forward to having more perspective.
    stevenaia Michinaga: thanks for coming, it was very interesting
    Pia Iger: Can you make sure to send chat to Pema? I want to read it again what stim and Pema just said.
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes
    Pia Iger: Thanks. I will see you next time.
    stevenaia Michinaga: I hope so
    Pia Iger: I notice you come quite often.
    stevenaia Michinaga: this is a good time for me, peace in my household allows this
    Pia Iger: Peace in household, many ppl will envy that :-)
    stevenaia Michinaga: it;s the exception
    Pia Iger: Oh, enjoy. see you soon!

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