2008.06.16 19:00 - Cats and Dogs and Happiness

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    1. 1. 3 responses so far ↓

    That evening, Thorberg was the guardian. He later sent me the following log. The comments are mine, and the photographs are provided by Sylectra.

    Sylectra Darwin: Hello Adams
    Adams Rubble: hello
    Gambhira Skytower: hi Adams
    Gambhira Skytower: Hi pema
    Adams Rubble: whoa
    Pema Pera: Hi Adams, hi Thorberg!
    Thorberg Nordlicht: hello Pema
    Pema Pera: Hi Gambhira!
    Sylectra Darwin: evening
    Adams Rubble: hello everybody
    Thorberg Nordlicht: hello Adams
    Thorberg Nordlicht: hello everybody
    Pema Pera: Hi Syl!
    Sylectra Darwin: how are you?

    A tumble of greetings, and there we were: Adams, Gambhira, Sylectra, Thorberg and me, five in total.

    Pema Pera: Thor, I won’t be able to stay long
    Thorberg Nordlicht: ok Pema
    Pema Pera: so I’m glad you are the guardian for this session!
    Pema Pera: I have an early lunch meeting here in Tokyo
    Pema Pera: but glad I can at least stop by and say hi!
    Thorberg Nordlicht: glad you could stop by
    Sylectra Darwin: me too
    Thorberg Nordlicht: Gambhira and I were just sittin’ here talking about the 9-second micro-meditation technique, when everyone else suddenly showed up all at once
    Thorberg Nordlicht: so, just jump right in with a new topic, anyone
    Pema Pera: hi Steve!
    stevenaia Michinaga: powerful thing
    stevenaia Michinaga: you think, we appear
    Sylectra Darwin: Hi Steven
    Pema Pera: :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello
    stevenaia Michinaga: waiting for pillows and people to rezz
    Pema Pera: Hi Pia!
    Thorberg Nordlicht: hello Pia; join us
    Pia Iger: Hi, all.
    Adams Rubble: Hello Pia

    And with Steve and Pia, there were seven of us, filling up the tea house. It is becoming more and more clear that we will have to move to a larger location soon.

    Thorberg Nordlicht: you haven’t missed anything; no established topic; just lot’s of folks showing up
    Pia Iger: you look like a serious prof
    Thorberg Nordlicht: ha ha
    Adams Rubble: Is there an easy way to tell whose blog is whose on the webpage?
    Pema Pera: Adams, it is up to the writers of blogs to say who they are
    Pema Pera: I have just provided links
    Pema Pera: I don’t want to provide more information than the writers themselves do
    Pema Pera: but in most cases I think we can guess
    Pema Pera: is there a blog that you are puzzled about?
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, rather impressive to read Adams blog
    Adams Rubble: It just makes it hard when someone says something is on somebody’s blog
    Adams Rubble: Oh Pia mentioned something on Stim’s blog
    stevenaia Michinaga: I see some of her 9 second thought take 14 minules to put down, jsut in time fir the next 9 secs
    Pia Iger: no, stim has no blog

    Pia was right at the time. A couple days later, Steven would start his own blog. See http://flipp6er.wordpress.com/

    Pia Iger: as far as I know. I meant a PaB blog entry, which includes Stim.
    Adams Rubble: Oh in the daily log?
    Pema Pera: http://playasbeing.wordpress.com/2008/06/07/respecting-anger/
    Pia Iger: yes.
    Pema Pera: was what Pia refered to
    stevenaia Michinaga: Oh Adams I didn;t see you
    Pia Iger: Yes. as Pema said.
    Adams Rubble: Thanks
    Adams Rubble: Yes I am here Steve
    Adams Rubble: Thanks for the kind words
    Pema Pera: When Stim says something, it is very much worth listening :)
    Pema Pera: he talks a lot less than I
    Pema Pera: but I suggest you prod him to say more :-)
    Pema Pera: the blog entry above is an example
    Pema Pera: of some really good insights
    Pia Iger: this pm, Stim said a lot
    Pema Pera: ah! Look forward to reading it
    Pema Pera: ah yes, it was his guardian slot, one of his two slots
    Pia Iger: basically we talked further about anger, continued from this 7am session.
    Pia Iger: maybe now we can talk about something happier??
    stevenaia Michinaga: I am very interested in anger as it has escaped me for a very long time, due to inherent happyness
    Pema Pera: :)
    Sylectra Darwin: smiles
    Pia Iger: wow, inherent happyness!

    This triggered various animal related reactions :-)

    Thorberg Nordlicht: “inherent happyness”; i live with a cat like that
    Sylectra Darwin: a case of the relentless happies
    Sylectra Darwin: My dogs are like that.
    stevenaia Michinaga: no, cats suck happyness from the world
    stevenaia Michinaga: it serves them so
    Pema Pera: but give it back too :-)
    Thorberg Nordlicht: “relentlessly happy dogs”
    stevenaia Michinaga: I jsut finished petting my cat for 1/2 an hour… I got the fuzz and the runny nose, cat purrs
    stevenaia Michinaga: but I too purr
    Sylectra Darwin: nice
    Sylectra Darwin: brings you to a simpler mind state
    Pia Iger: Animals do live in the moment, first of all, right?
    Sylectra Darwin: oh yes
    stevenaia Michinaga: only after you feed them, befoe that they live to get you to feed them
    stevenaia Michinaga: do i sound like my cat runs my house?
    Sylectra Darwin: they run all houses
    Sylectra Darwin: or the house runs the cat
    Thorberg Nordlicht: yes, and it didn’t occur to some of us that it was at all unusual
    stevenaia Michinaga: perhaps this is a good example of giving to receive happyness,e ven if it is provided by a cat
    stevenaia Michinaga: or anything for that matter
    Sylectra Darwin: a cat is a living creature fully in its own right; it is no less capable of giving or receiving love than a human
    Sylectra Darwin: brb

    Time for me to leave.

    Pema Pera: Steve and Pia, I mentioned just before you got in that I have to leave for an earlier lunch here. See you all soon again! And Thor, I look forward to see the log later and to read up on the rest of the conversation! — cats are my favorate animals =^+^=
    Thorberg Nordlicht: ok, Pema
    Thorberg Nordlicht: see you later
    Pia Iger: bye, Pema
    Adams Rubble: bye Pema
    stevenaia Michinaga: enjoy your lunch
    Pema Pera: thank you all for joining — wish I could take you all out to lunch in Tokyo!!
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Pema Pera: Alas, teleporting in RL is still not yet realized . . . . .
    Pema Pera: RL is soooooo 21st century
    stevenaia Michinaga: shouldn;t you be working on that?
    Pema Pera: shhht
    Gambhira Skytower: Jerry Seinfeld said once that if Aliens were observing us they would think dogs were the leaders because we clean up their poop
    Pema Pera: hahaha, Gamb
    Pema Pera: how about cats?
    stevenaia Michinaga: there is a book about that, that dogs and cats are invaders from another planet and are sworn enemies, alsa we are jsut pawns
    Gambhira Skytower: lol
    stevenaia Michinaga: who would have thought?
    Pia Iger: so the point of view is really powerful. All depends on how we see it.
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, I don;t know if the dogs or cats wrote that book
    stevenaia Michinaga: or Stephan King
    Sylectra Darwin: wow, not him
    Gambhira Skytower: percieving something in a new way can be helpful or funny I think in some cases
    stevenaia Michinaga: no, it was an illustrated children’s book
    Sylectra Darwin: OK, definitely not SK then
    stevenaia Michinaga: wb Sylectra
    Sylectra Darwin: ty

    Back to happiness.

    stevenaia Michinaga: is everyone happy here tonight?, jsut to try for a differing perspective
    Thorberg Nordlicht: i’m happy
    Pia Iger: not really…
    Sylectra Darwin: no, but at peace
    Thorberg Nordlicht: my avatar is happy — not a care in the world
    stevenaia Michinaga: do you know why?
    Pia Iger: why?
    stevenaia Michinaga: why you aren;t happy?
    Adams Rubble is feeling content
    Pia Iger: feeling can just be, like wake up there is
    Pia Iger: hard to be happy or content all the time.
    Thorberg Nordlicht: come in, nicau
    Thorberg Nordlicht: hello nicau; join us
    Thorberg Nordlicht: join us; have a seat
    Thorberg Nordlicht: ((right-click a cushion and select “sit here”))
    nicau Laville: konbanwa
    stevenaia Michinaga: wonders if not being happy means it is displaced or it can co-exist with contentment or other things?
    Thorberg Nordlicht: sorry, Pia, i think you were interrupted
    Pia Iger: no problem, prof:)
    Thorberg Nordlicht: :)
    Pia Iger: I am afraid, unhappyness is important part of life, too.
    Thorberg Nordlicht: brings to mind the first Noble Truth
    Pia Iger: in what sense?
    Sylectra Darwin: true, and I honor my unhappiness just as I do my happiness
    stevenaia Michinaga: Noble truth?
    Pia Iger: of buddism, right?

    Thorberg talked more about the four noble truths.

    Thorberg Nordlicht: some basic principles of Buddhism as summarized as “the four Noble Truths”
    Thorberg Nordlicht: the traditional interpretation of the first truth is that “suffering” is an inherent part of life
    Gambhira Skytower: not sure about the word “inherent” there
    Thorberg Nordlicht: Pia’s comment that “unhappyness is important part of life” brought this to mind
    Pia Iger: Why, Gam, not sure about inherent?
    Gambhira Skytower: because the third noble truth is that there is an end to suffering that is possible. In other words, our mental suffering is unnecessary
    Adams Rubble: Yes, but most of us do not get to that point
    Pia Iger: at least me now…
    Adams Rubble: but we can keep trying
    Gambhira Skytower: but Buddha says it is possible
    stevenaia Michinaga: or be patient
    Adams Rubble: Yes, but few do
    Adams Rubble: It gives us some hope
    Sylectra Darwin: Unhappiness tells us what we care about, or what we might be grieving the loss of.
    stevenaia Michinaga: not sure you can rush to anything
    Adams Rubble: although hope is kind of a Christian tghing :)
    Adams Rubble: thing
    Adams Rubble: term
    Thorberg Nordlicht: perhaps the point is that there’s a difference between pain and suffering; pain is unavoiable (sickness, old age, death), but suffering *is* avoidable because it’s self created
    Gambhira Skytower: i agree
    Adams Rubble: Yes me too

    Gambhira brought up a fascinating pointer.

    Gambhira Skytower: I heard a teacher say once that unhappiness is like a teacher that we seldom listen to
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Pia Iger: ah.
    Pia Iger: maybe it is painful to listen to…
    Pia Iger: we ran away.
    Thorberg Nordlicht: an alternate view is that since even pain can be extinguished, then the first Truth must only be referring to the fact the life is unprdictable and that we create both our own suffering *and* pain
    Sylectra Darwin: that’s good.
    Sylectra Darwin: I like the idea of unhappiness being a teacher.
    Adams Rubble: Don;t some people translate the term as misery and not suffering?
    Gambhira Skytower: i think so Adams
    Pia Iger: Misery does sound more self created.
    Gambhira Skytower: the Pali term is dukkha
    Pia Iger: ?
    Sylectra Darwin: dukkha
    Sylectra Darwin: hmmm
    Adams Rubble: If so, Buddha may have differentiated between suffering from pain and misery
    Thorberg Nordlicht: yes, i believe that’s the traditional interpretation
    Adams Rubble: although he was moved by people in pain
    Thorberg Nordlicht: but recently isen told me the literal menaing of the word is just “wobbly” like a wheel that wobbles
    Adams Rubble: and dhying
    Adams Rubble: dying
    Adams Rubble: hmmmm
    Thorberg Nordlicht: so the first Truth is just acknowledging that the world is unpredictable
    Thorberg Nordlicht: the question is whether “dukkha” is inherently “unsatisfactory”
    Adams Rubble: I don;t think I understand
    Adams Rubble: Do you mean the use of the word, Thor?
    Pia Iger: I think the answer would be “it is not inherently unsatisfactory”. But in my own life, I have not really felt that yet.
    Thorberg Nordlicht: no, not the use of the word, but the notion the word refers to
    Adams Rubble: an unsatisfactory state?

    Gambhira introduced another Pali word: sukha.

    Gambhira Skytower: in Pali there is also the word “sukha” which refers to any type of pleasure or happyness
    Thorberg Nordlicht: that’s interesting; can you say more about the distinction between dukkha and sukha
    Adams Rubble: yes, that would be helpful
    Gambhira Skytower: Hmmm… I’m not sure what else to say about it at the moment. The Buddha said there is sukha, dukkha, and neither sukha-nor dukkha. three types of feelings
    Sylectra Darwin: the neutral state - neither sukha nor dukkha.
    Gambhira Skytower: and there are three underlying tendencies with regard to the three feelings, aversion towards dukkha, delight in sukha, and ignorance of neutral feelings
    Sylectra Darwin: what do you mean by ignorance of neutral feelings?
    Sylectra Darwin: what is a neutral feeling?
    Gambhira Skytower: I’m not sure I understand the meaning of it. My interpretation is that we tend to overlook things are aren’t pleasant or painful
    Sylectra Darwin: ah, yes
    Sylectra Darwin: okay
    Gambhira Skytower: does that seem to be the case to anyone?
    Pia Iger: make sense.
    Sylectra Darwin: i would definitely agree
    Sylectra Darwin: It’s like our reaction to foods
    Sylectra Darwin: Some are delicious and some are awful
    Adams Rubble: yes or opening mail
    Sylectra Darwin: We tend not to notice the ones that are from the middle spectrum, as in just so-so
    Gambhira Skytower: and the scripture says further that knowledge of the neutral feelings is pleasant. This seems difficult to understand to me
    Sylectra Darwin: Is it possible that spending too much time in sukha or dukkha brings one out of balance?
    Gambhira Skytower: i would like to spend all my time in sukha!
    Adams Rubble: Wouldn’t enlightenment by all sukha?
    Adams Rubble: or also neutral mixed in?
    Sylectra Darwin: did the text mean sukha as in material delight or as in spiritual delight?
    Gambhira Skytower: it makes a distinction between the two Sylectra, it is a very important distinction

    From sukha in general to bliss and to Nirvana.

    Adams Rubble: wouldn;t it equate with “bliss”?
    Thorberg Nordlicht: or does “enlightement” transcend the entire realm of dukkha, sukha, and neutral?
    Gambhira Skytower: Nirvana is described at the highest or best sukha possilbe
    Adams Rubble: Then that is bliss, Thor?
    Adams Rubble: and Gambhira
    Gambhira Skytower: because it is lasting sukha, not impermanent
    Gambhira Skytower: sukha can also mean bliss
    Pia Iger: I feel a bit hopless now, cause it’s unusal for people to get Nirvana.
    Adams Rubble: I don;t think it is hopeless
    Adams Rubble: we can lessen our misery
    Gambhira Skytower: people have done it and so could you
    Thorberg Nordlicht: yes, “lessen our misery” by recognizing the extent to which it is self-created by our attachment and desire
    Pia Iger: That is constant inner work.
    Adams Rubble: that can pay big dividends
    stevenaia Michinaga: my happyness evolved from my own misery and the recognition that I am done the that, time to move on
    Adams Rubble: nice thought
    Pia Iger: great, Steve
    Sylectra Darwin: A personal choice about how one reacts to a situation can be very powerful stuff.
    stevenaia Michinaga: life changing
    Pia Iger: I was gonna ask Syl, if you can give an example of how you honor your unhappyness
    stevenaia Michinaga: or transforming

    Sylectra gave a great and succinct summary.

    Sylectra Darwin: I will try.
    Sylectra Darwin: I honor my unhappiness because it is my truth at the moment, and a sign that I care about something.
    Sylectra Darwin: It may be caused by desire or lack of letting go, but there is caring wrapped up in it.
    Sylectra Darwin: Then I am not in a position of controversy but more a compassionate observer of my feelings.
    Sylectra Darwin: The unhappiness can be my little sister who does as she wishes and is not necessarily my essence.
    Sylectra Darwin: There are great lessons in one’s feelings, especially the unhappy ones.
    Pia Iger: thanks, Syl.
    Sylectra Darwin: smiles
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, and in love
    Pia Iger: it is inspiring.
    Sylectra Darwin: ty
    Pia Iger: I feel we have such good talk tonight.
    Sylectra Darwin: yes
    Thorberg Nordlicht: :)
    Adams Rubble: I agree :)
    Gambhira Skytower: thanks for listening and sharing everybody
    Sylectra Darwin: thank you as well
    Thorberg Nordlicht: it’s getting late; i’m going to have to leave soon
    Sylectra Darwin: Me too.
    Sylectra Darwin: Namaste, all.
    stevenaia Michinaga: will you pass the log on?
    stevenaia Michinaga: to Pema?
    Thorberg Nordlicht: I’ll send the log to Pema, but doesn’t hurt if anyone else also sends one
    Thorberg Nordlicht: just lable it clearly
    Adams Rubble: Thank you everyone and bye :)
    Adams Rubble: namaste
    Pia Iger: so long, everyone.
    stevenaia Michinaga: bye all
    Gambhira Skytower: goodbye
    Sylectra Darwin: goodbye
    Thorberg Nordlicht: good night, everyone

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