2008.07.01 13:00 - HAHA

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    That afternoon, Genesis was the guardian. The comments added to her chat log are mine, apart from the first paragraph, which is hers.

    First Gen waits at the pavilion for a while by herself, and uses the time to write the following text.

    Last week Adams, Fael, and I talked a bit about the “self” getting in the way of fully opening up and experiencing reality as it truly is in these PaB sessions. There is a tendency of the self to latch on to pre programmed and conditioned themes in our lives which are distracting to really experiencing what others are really trying to communicate. Rather than really listening we process by looking for cues to the themes already present in our lives. Taking our interpretations as “true” when in fact our interpretation may have little relation to the significance of this experience to this person. In some ways this is the only way the mind “knows” something by searching for cues or hints at reality and then latching on to this points of reference in constructing our vision of reality. This is the way we often stay interested in conversations, life, relationships. However this process seems often circular, we only look for the things we already understand creating “evidence” for principles we already hold as “true” rather than learning and opening to new things.

    Then Fael drops by.

    Fael Illyar: Hi Gen
    genesis Zhangsun: Hi Fael!
    genesis Zhangsun: wow new look
    Fael Illyar: I was going to come earlier but forgot to check the clock in time.
    Fael Illyar: Yes, I felt like having something a bit different for a change :)
    genesis Zhangsun: no problem I actually have been writing a piece for the blog in case no one came
    Fael Illyar: Ah :)
    genesis Zhangsun: it was about our conversation last week
    genesis Zhangsun: What it up with you?
    Fael Illyar: Sorry?
    genesis Zhangsun: How are you doing?
    genesis Zhangsun: sorry a little slangy
    Fael Illyar: Ah, I’m good, a bit exhausted again I guess.
    genesis Zhangsun: *is
    Fael Illyar: You?
    genesis Zhangsun: Same
    genesis Zhangsun: a little exhausted
    Fael Illyar: Remind me, what were we talking about last week?
    genesis Zhangsun: ah yes we were talking about the “self” and how it gets in the way of opening up to new experiences
    genesis Zhangsun: well that was one theme anyway
    genesis Zhangsun: which I remember
    genesis Zhangsun: it was in relation to Adams’s dream
    Fael Illyar: Ah, yes that.
    genesis Zhangsun: yes I was sort of frustrated for some reason with my inability to really grasp what it meant to her

    Fael reports an observation.

    Fael Illyar: I had an interesting observation about myself today. I noticed that I was acting like I was restless but couldn’t find restlessness from my mind.
    genesis Zhangsun: hmmm…interesting how did you notice it then?
    genesis Zhangsun: if it was not from your mind?
    Faenik loves wells!
    Fael Illyar: By paying attention to my body. The way I was would’ve been quite clear to anyone looking that I’m restless. Even though, I could find none of that in my mind.
    genesis Zhangsun: how was your body behaving?
    Faenik is a hairy black ball with eyes and ears.
    Fael Illyar: bent forward to the table, resting on hands, one hand moving restlessly between 2 positions.
    genesis Zhangsun: hmmm yes sometimes when I am concentrating I do sort of repetitive movements with my hands too
    genesis Zhangsun: perhaps was it this concentrating
    Fael Illyar: except that I wasn’t really concentrating. I was just sitting on my chair looking at the screen. All I could find from my mind was calm.
    genesis Zhangsun: did u feel as though your body was moving independently?
    Fael Illyar: sort of, yes
    Faenik is a hairy black ball with eyes and ears.
    genesis Zhangsun: like a puppet?
    Fael Illyar: Well, I could make the movement stop but that only stopped it for as long as I kept concentrating on it.
    Fael Illyar: this week has been weirdly quiet time at PaB
    genesis Zhangsun: yes?
    Fael Illyar: most meetings seem to rather small.
    genesis Zhangsun: summer vacations?
    Fael Illyar: could be :)
    genesis Zhangsun: or do you sense a shift of some kind in momentum?
    Fael Illyar: Just that there are less people here than I’m used to seeing
    genesis Zhangsun: on this topic I know it is a little funny but would you mind subbing for me next week?
    genesis Zhangsun: :)
    genesis Zhangsun: if you can’t no problem
    Fael Illyar: subbing? you mean take your slot?
    genesis Zhangsun: ah yes sorry yes acting as a substitute
    Fael Illyar: Well, I probably could, yes.
    Faenik loves wells!

    Genesis, grateful that Fael can take over her shift, talks about the effects of her cramming for her exam.

    genesis Zhangsun: I would appreciate it greatly I am now studying for an exam and it is very demanding
    genesis Zhangsun: next week will be impossible
    Fael Illyar: Yes, that can be hard work :)
    genesis Zhangsun: yes I feel a little crazy from the amount of isolation
    genesis Zhangsun: i feel like a litle monk;)
    Fael Illyar: crazy, how do you mean?
    genesis Zhangsun: just so completely in my own head
    genesis Zhangsun: not connected to reality
    genesis Zhangsun: to the outside world
    genesis Zhangsun: distanced from others
    Fael Illyar: Ah, does SL count for connection?
    genesis Zhangsun: yes definitely but I have less and less time for this too
    genesis Zhangsun: this is the first time I have been on this week
    Fael Illyar: Ok, that’s quite little contact with others then.
    genesis Zhangsun: yes…and even when I am with others I feel a great effort to come out of my own head
    genesis Zhangsun: I feel a frustration sort of building as this process goes on and I feel as though it colors my vision of the world
    genesis Zhangsun: I am frustrated with myself so I am more frustrated with others
    Faenik: why not?
    Fael Illyar: Yes, that’s the way it goes.
    genesis Zhangsun: yes indeed

    The conversation shifts to the 9-second explorations.

    Fael Illyar: How often do you do PaB explorations?
    genesis Zhangsun: you mean the 9 second practice?
    Fael Illyar: yes
    genesis Zhangsun: I am engaged with it at least 6-7 hours a day
    Fael Illyar: do you think it helps at all?
    genesis Zhangsun: oh yes very much
    genesis Zhangsun: I think it would be much worse in fact I know it would be much worse without it
    Fael Illyar: I’m still amazed at how big the effect is.
    genesis Zhangsun: yes?
    genesis Zhangsun: how is the effect with you?
    Fael Illyar: Well, since I started, I’ve been much calmer and feel more in control.
    Fael Illyar: Also less problem with boredom. I tend to drop into a meditative state instead of being bored.
    genesis Zhangsun: yes I know what u mean
    Fael Illyar: now it feels like kind of waste of time to be bored :)

    What a wonderful observation Fael made! Yes, that is exactly how it is, once contemplation takes root. Genesis then connects it to grounding and calmness.

    genesis Zhangsun: yes it is in a way
    genesis Zhangsun: What I am amazed with is the way in which the longer I do it the deeper my instinct to ground and calm becomes
    Fael Illyar: instinct to ground and calm?
    genesis Zhangsun: yes it feels more instinctual then analytical or logical the return to calm
    Faenik: why not?
    genesis Zhangsun: it comes from someplace within myself like from the heart or the stomach rather than the brain
    Fael Illyar: ah, yes, I’m seeing similar effects.
    Fael Illyar: although I haven’t noticed the source.
    Fael Illyar: but there was this one exploration I did during one PaB meeting a few days ago where I dropped completely instinctively.
    Faenik: could be
    Fael Illyar: My conscious mind was concentrating on the topic and forgot to pay attention to the bell sound and was completely dropped as a result I guess.
    Fael Illyar: The only memory I’ve left of that is the bell sound starting, a feeling of shutting down, then feeling of starting up again as the end of the bell sound is just vanishing.
    Fael Illyar: oh and a feeling that a very long time just passed.
    genesis Zhangsun: yes that it quite amazing
    genesis Zhangsun: wonderful
    genesis Zhangsun: perhaps one day you will not need the bell at all
    genesis Zhangsun: although it has a nice sound
    genesis Zhangsun: :)
    Fael Illyar: I was a bit disoriented for a moment after that.
    Faenik: ????^^
    Fael Illyar: I find the bell helps me stop.
    Fael Illyar: I’ve got the sound on my cellphone and if I play it, the stopping happens much more smoothly.
    Fael Illyar: if I’m away that is
    Fael Illyar: I’ve got timed alarms for when I’m home
    genesis Zhangsun: so would you say you are engaged with the exploration most of the time u are awake?
    Fael Illyar: Yes
    genesis Zhangsun: wow

    Wow indeed! Then a fascinating discussion follows about perceived shallowness of contemplation. On the one hand, it is important to accept it and not fight it, when it occurs. On the other hand, it is also useful to explore a bit with various degrees of freedom, mental muscles perhaps in some way, to see how you can deepen your contemplation.

    Fael Illyar: Although, sometimes I feel like the explorations are left a bit shallow.
    genesis Zhangsun: yes of course
    genesis Zhangsun: there is no goal
    Fael Illyar: well, sort of isn’t but leaving them shallow seems to make it harder to retain calm which isn’t so pleasant.
    genesis Zhangsun: ah yes I understand I only say this because for me its important to remember that there is no goal so that I don’t feel frustrated
    genesis Zhangsun: because some days for me the practice feels more shallow then other days
    genesis Zhangsun: or some hours are much better than others
    Fael Illyar: ah, frustration, I somehow haven’t felt frustrated with either meditation or explorations.
    genesis Zhangsun: yes well frustration is my theme!
    genesis Zhangsun: :)
    Faenik: why not?
    Fael Illyar: a bit uneasy, yes but not frustrated.
    genesis Zhangsun: yes I would like to return to a bit uneasy!
    Fael Illyar: you had that earlier?
    genesis Zhangsun: yes like a little uncomfortable or a little restless
    genesis Zhangsun: but not frustrated as I am now with this exam preparation
    genesis Zhangsun: but the funny thing is the more I talk about it the more I am it
    Fael Illyar: the more you talk about being frustrated, the more frustrated you get?
    genesis Zhangsun: the more I say I am the more I am
    genesis Zhangsun: I almost felt like laughing because this was exactly what I was writing about before you came here
    Fael Illyar: :)
    genesis Zhangsun: I was writing about how we impose certain themes in our own lives on to others
    genesis Zhangsun: :)
    genesis Zhangsun: HAHA
    genesis Zhangsun: just like how I imposed not having a goal on to your discussion about your practice!
    genesis Zhangsun: Its so funny how we can realize things, understand things mentally but then the practice is so much harder!!
    Fael Illyar: There are more than one level of understanding. You can think, logically, that “yes, this must be so” but still not have it reflected in your actions at all.

    Genesis had just made the second step, perhaps the hardest one, of three steps in dealing with a problem: 1) realizing that it can occur; 2) recognizing when it actually occurs; 3) dealing with it. With enough clarity, 2) implies 3) almost like just an afterthought. What a great accomplishment, to move from 1) to 2) in one session, and then to be able to share that with a fellow guardian!

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