2008.06.14 19:00 - Who is Impatient?

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    I had great trouble getting into SL that evening. Whatever I did, I encountered huge lag and when I started walking or flying, I couldn’t stop until I crashed. Finally I got in through a teleport from Adams.

    Stim Morane: Pema is asking for a teleport … did you already try Adams?
    Adams Rubble: here he is
    Stim Morane: Ah, a grand entrance
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello pema, on false move and yu will be walking on Adams
    Adams Rubble: rough note on SL
    stevenaia Michinaga: drinking
    stevenaia Michinaga: I will be in philly burbs tomarrow frinking scotch for father’s day
    Pema Pera: Hi there!
    Adams Rubble: Din;t know if I want to think about drinking
    Stim Morane: Hi Pema
    Pema Pera: I haven’t had this severe kind of lag for ages
    Pema Pera: can’t even walk!
    stevenaia Michinaga: Were you near the quake Pema?
    Adams Rubble: I had same problem
    Adams Rubble: couldn’t get in door
    Pema Pera: had to relog several times
    Pema Pera: which quake?
    stevenaia Michinaga: northern Japan
    stevenaia Michinaga: a day or so ago
    Pema Pera: nope, not me
    Pema Pera: strong?
    stevenaia Michinaga: can’t say
    stevenaia Michinaga: we were just discussing geography
    Pema Pera: okay, just saw it on the web
    Pema Pera: you see, I’m so immersed in SL these days
    Pema Pera: can’t be distracted too much by RL it seems . . . .
    stevenaia Michinaga: and Adams, no I am not a buddist
    Pema Pera: this is more than a thousand miles from where I am now
    Adams Rubble: Didn;t realize Japan was that big
    Pema Pera: or thereabouts
    Pema Pera: yes, Japan is very long, NE to SW
    Pema Pera: not very broad though
    Adams Rubble: No
    Adams Rubble: I guess that includes all the islands
    Pema Pera: I probably should have said a thousand kilometers :-)
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Pema Pera: but the main island is certainly more than 1000 miles long

    Catching up with the conversation.

    Pema Pera: what were you discussing, before I finally made it in?
    Stim Morane: Steve has opted for a “soft” and “deep” topic.
    stevenaia Michinaga: my analytic brain has a headache
    Stim Morane: fine with me, if we can find one
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, if we can
    Pema Pera has difficulty catching on to the conversation . . .
    Adams Rubble: I had one thought today and that is that PaB leaves lots of time for learning
    Adams Rubble: between mini-meditations
    Stim Morane: Can you say more?
    Adams Rubble: It was a pretty complete thought
    Adams Rubble: but I am interested in pursuing knowledge
    Adams Rubble: of Buddhism and I have had time to explore
    Adams Rubble: it between the stopping times
    Stim Morane: Yes, I guess the same could be said for other types of knowledge.
    Adams Rubble: Of course
    Adams Rubble: In my case I have been able to look things up
    Stim Morane: do you see a connection between what you’re reading about, and the nine-second format?
    Adams Rubble: No but that may be because of my interests

    Adams brought up Zen.

    Adams Rubble: I was reading about the zen tonight
    Stim Morane: yes?
    Adams Rubble: and they seem to spend so much time in meditation
    Adams Rubble: no time for reading
    Stim Morane: Ah! That’s true for some groups, yes.
    Stim Morane: Reading much was traditionally discouraged.
    Adams Rubble: yes
    Adams Rubble: for me iot is important
    Adams Rubble: to what I want to know about Buddhism
    Adams Rubble: maybe I am too impatient for zen
    Stim Morane: the main point of Zen may not be the long sits … it should include something more immediate
    Adams Rubble: awareness, right?
    Stim Morane: yes, of sorts.
    Stim Morane: There was a northern school that emphasized very long sitting sessions, but maybe that doesn’t matter for us now.
    Adams Rubble: It would be nice if there was a niche for me
    Stim Morane: we all look for such things. I’m not sure if people really find perfect fits, though.
    Adams Rubble: I expect that is probably so

    And Steve and I made connections with PaB.

    stevenaia Michinaga: isn;t the point of Being is to Be the fit not make something fit?
    Stim Morane: Yes, that would seem right.
    Pema Pera: One zen approach is to take one question, a koan, and really really really focus on that — like “who am I” for example — the problem is that in the modern world it may be hard to really stick with that . . . . but actually PaB gives the chance to recharge the batteries for questioning every 6 hours, so here you can do that if you like — and Stim and I would be more than happy to be available for feedback if you would like to plunge into such a koan
    Pema Pera: yes, Steve
    Pema Pera: but the question is how to get some grip, handle, traction
    Pema Pera: and then you have to give up that scaffolding :)
    Pema Pera: complex
    Pema Pera: very few people can take the sentence you wrote and work with it directly
    Pema Pera: but I certainly would encourage everyone to try!
    Pema Pera: and here we can help each other doing so
    Pema Pera: each such question can be a koan
    Pema Pera: and instead of sitting every day for many hours
    Pema Pera: you can remind yourself of that question once every 15 minutes
    Pema Pera: it’s amazing how far that can get you already
    stevenaia Michinaga: giving up seems to be the bigest problem with many people I run in to. their impediment is the grasping
    stevenaia Michinaga: rather than the letting go
    Stim Morane: that is a central issue, yes
    Adams Rubble: Pema, may I ask which sentence you were referring to

    I was responding immediately to Steve’s sentence “isn;t the point of Being is to Be the fit not make something fit?” but at the moment I think I didn’t get Adams’ questions, in the heat of the conversation. Meanwhile, Friedrich joined us.

    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: hi everyone
    Pema Pera: I was responding to what you said, about being interested to explore and learn more about Buddhism, and that you thought it was hard to get into zen, which discourages reading a lot — so one way to do that, is to do it in a group, but that was just a suggestion
    Adams Rubble: Hi
    Pema Pera: hi Fred!
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Fred
    Stim Morane: Hi Friedrich!
    Adams Rubble: Thanks, I see
    Adams Rubble: I have not had patience with the traditional koans
    Pema Pera: The problem with giving up, Steve, is that it is very hard to see for most people what the alternative is, what you get instead (Being) . . . so there seems to be no reason at all, no motivation to give up grasping, it’s like jumping into a black hole
    Pema Pera: so that’s where PaB can come in, I think
    Pema Pera: to let those of us who have had at least some glimpse of Being
    Pema Pera: as the positive counterpart to not-doing, not-grasping
    Pema Pera: encourage and share with others
    Pema Pera: and the more we do that
    Pema Pera: we can all encourage each other
    Pema Pera: and help each other to see
    Pema Pera: at first we think we are impatient or we don’t “get it”
    Pema Pera: but once we get a glimpse, everything gets soooo much easier!
    Adams Rubble: That describes me - impatient and don;t get
    stevenaia Michinaga: I certainly understand that as I see much “grasping and holding tight not only what holds people back from themselves, but also keeps them from seeing so much more of themselves, like a clouded vision, it only becomes clear when you let go
    Pema Pera: that’s how we all start off, Adams :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: the angry person, for example, stays angry not because the anger solves anything., but because they can;t let go of the anger
    Pema Pera: our life is like hot milk, if we don’t stir often, a thick membrane forms on the surface; the PaB 9-sec practice is a trick to keep that membrane from forming . . . .
    Pema Pera: yes, Steve!
    Pema Pera: we get stuck
    Pema Pera: that’s the main problem
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: but, it doesn’t put you to sleep ;-)
    Pema Pera: and no matter what we do, every 15 minutes, if you do something, it is likely to prevent getting stuck
    Adams Rubble: hmmmmm
    Pema Pera: and then meeting here four times a day helps to take the next step
    Pema Pera: so four times an hour you unstuck yourself
    Pema Pera: and four times a day, whenever you have time, you can come here
    Pema Pera: so that you can learn from each other how to move on

    Stevenaia talked about his learning experience.

    stevenaia Michinaga: usually, as with me, it took a stressful event to lead me to a point where I simply would not allow it to happen again, that was what unstuck me many years ago, and I applied it to everything
    stevenaia Michinaga: once calmness takes hold, it;s hard to shake
    Pema Pera: yes, that is like a zen master hitting you over the head, perhaps, at just the right time
    Pema Pera: yes, once you get the taste it gets much easier, indeed
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: Adams: sorry I missed the beginning o fhtis conversation, but what are you impatient about? what are you expecting?
    Pema Pera: This is what Storm refered to in his blog, when he said A place where faith is not a strained attempt to believe but a deep certain knowing.
    Adams Rubble: Learning anf undetrsstanding Fred
    Pema Pera: Fred, if I may summarize
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: well, is your experience of impatience teaching you anything about yourself?
    stevenaia Michinaga: I think the learning we speak of here is about ourselves,
    Pema Pera: 1) Being is beyond words
    Pema Pera: 2) so traditional teachings describe what it is not
    Pema Pera: 3) so when we follow those we get easily stuck
    Pema Pera: 4) so we need something positive beyond all the not-this not-that
    Pema Pera: and we were talking about how to find that, initially — Steve talked about a big shock in his life, that helped, for example
    Pema Pera: I mentioned how PaB can help us share the positive side of the coin
    Pema Pera: Steve, can you say more about “learning about ourselves”?
    stevenaia Michinaga: you mentioned the asking of the question that you meditate on Pema… it;s similar to that for me
    stevenaia Michinaga: you can only change through awareness and knowing
    stevenaia Michinaga: and asking the questions of yourself
    stevenaia Michinaga: Like why am I impatient, Adams
    stevenaia Michinaga: for instance
    Pema Pera: and at the same time also: who is impatient
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes
    Pema Pera: the why can be an ever-branching river of reasoning
    Pema Pera: the who puts you in front of a brick wall
    Pema Pera: and then you walk through it :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: these are the important qustion to rid yourself of impatience and move on to the answer

    Adams seemed to be caught in friendly cross fire from Steve and me :-)

    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: just curious - have people been discussing their experiments w/ PaB with friends? outside of SL? even non-PaB’ers?
    Adams Rubble: I have with my family
    Adams Rubble: and, of course, my blog
    stevenaia Michinaga: I am a non, PaB practitioner… but it seems to fit comfortably on me
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i am intrigued by the recursive nature of this kind of practice. how talking about it, brings me to a similar place as precticing it
    Pema Pera: yes, both are forms of subtraction
    Pema Pera: getting rid of the crud on top
    Pema Pera: to see the real thing below
    Pema Pera: wiping windows
    Pema Pera: to let light shine in
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: stir constantly
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: but, yes, it seeps into areas of life beyond the formal pauses and teahouse meetings
    Pema Pera: hopefullly yes — that is the main point (^_^)
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, or it seeps into this place from the outside
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: heh. so, Adams, are you considering those sidebars too?
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: as teaching/learning moments?
    Adams Rubble: ???
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i mean, those conversations w. your family. i guess, its worth asking how those played out
    Adams Rubble: It was more me talking. I don’t know that I have had the effect you have had yet. If so I haven’t recognized it
    Stim Morane: Sorry to duck out at this point, but it’s been a long day for me …
    stevenaia Michinaga: bye Stim, I would love to hear of your day sometime
    Adams Rubble: They have been patient with the wannabe Buddhist in their midst :)
    Adams Rubble: Bye Stim. Thanks for the thoughts
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: cya
    Stim Morane: we just sat there, much as Adams described earlier.
    Pema Pera: bye Stim!
    Stim Morane: Bye all!

    Stim left, and to my own considerable surprise, I saw me making a concrete suggestion to Adams as to what to do during 9-sec practice. So far, I had been able to avoid doing that, prefering to leave it open . . . .

    Adams Rubble: This will be a very helpful session for me
    Pema Pera: in what way, Adams, if I may ask?
    Adams Rubble: I may have been losing the focus on what I am doing with this
    Pema Pera: the advantage of a koan is that it is like a good but nagging friend nearby . . . . .
    Adams Rubble: So my first official question is why am I impatient and who is
    Adams Rubble: ?
    Pema Pera: you are unusually persistent
    Pema Pera: so I have the feeling that you can take a question like “who am I” or “who is impatient” or “who is . . ” (fill in the blank of the moment)
    Pema Pera: and really run with it
    Pema Pera: really apply it
    Pema Pera: In general I don’t give specific suggestions for the 9-sec practice
    Pema Pera: in fact I make a big point of not doing so
    Pema Pera: but perhaps in your case I am thinking about making an exception :-)
    stevenaia Michinaga: for me… a happy person seems to get the answer sooner
    Pema Pera: asking the “who am I” or “who is xxxxing” in whatever xx you are involved
    Pema Pera: may be a great way for you to do the 9-sec practice
    Pema Pera: would you be willing to try that for, say, a few days?
    Adams Rubble: OK but I am slightly confused by the second one but maybe i have to figure that out :)
    Pema Pera: please ask, Adams
    Pema Pera: like, when you’re impatient, you can ask “who is impatient”
    Pema Pera: when confused “who is confused”
    Adams Rubble: I get it
    Pema Pera: when bored “who is bored”
    Adams Rubble: yes
    Pema Pera: when sick of PaB, “who is sick of PaB”
    Pema Pera: etc
    Adams Rubble: haha
    Pema Pera: like an engine that runs on any fuel
    stevenaia Michinaga: lol
    Pema Pera: a cheap steam engine
    Pema Pera: anything that burns lets the water boil
    Pema Pera: gets you under steam
    Pema Pera: burn all your activities
    Pema Pera: and you’ll get wu-wei, not-doing
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: renewably ;-)
    Pema Pera: yes

    I had to leave, leaving Adams with her koan.

    Pema Pera: well, I’d better get going too
    Adams Rubble: Yes me too
    Adams Rubble: bye everybody
    stevenaia Michinaga: thank you Pema, enjoy lunch
    Pema Pera: by the way, Steve, the main island of Japan is 1300 km, a bit shorter than I thought :)
    Pema Pera: just looked it up
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Pema Pera: thanks, Steve, I will!
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: nighty nite
    Pema Pera: by Fred, Adams, Steve!
    Adams Rubble: Thanks again everybody
    Pema Pera: day here Fred :) noon
    Adams Rubble: Bye Pema, Fred and Steve
    stevenaia Michinaga: nice meeting you Friedrich
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: not in SL!

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