2008.07.13 13:00 - Expectations and Frustrations

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Maxine Walden. The comments are hers.

    That afternoon, Maxine was the guardian. She provided the title and the comments below.

    When I got to the pavilion Fael was already there. We were soon joined by Adams and then soon thereafter by Quilty

    Fael Illyar: Hi Maxine
    Maxine Walden: hi, Fael, nice to see you
    Fael Illyar: You too :)
    Maxine Walden: lots seems to be going on re wiki and other things, and your knowledge in these areas is invaluable
    Fael Illyar: thank you :)
    Maxine Walden: oh, a new shoulder pet?
    Fael Illyar: No, the same as always :)
    Fael Illyar: oh, you mean the left one
    Fael Illyar: part of this outfit :)
    Maxine Walden: oh, had not noticed the white on your left shoulder
    Maxine Walden: ah, sorry, it looked like a dove or bird
    Fael Illyar keeps forgetting it comes with this outfit :)
    Fael Illyar: Hi Adams :)
    Maxine Walden: hi, Adams
    Adams Rubble: Hi Fael, Hi Maxine
    Maxine Walden: with so much organization going on, how are you both with the practice? or just Being?
    Adams Rubble: Oh my
    Adams Rubble: Hi Quilty
    Maxine Walden: uh oh, not meaning to put anyone on the spot.
    Quilty Bookmite: Hi all.
    Maxine Walden: hi, Quilty

    Fael began to speak about some concerns that were difficult to pin down

    Fael Illyar: I’ve had some trouble the last 3 days. I’m starting to suspect these chocolate coffee drinks I’ve been drinking are the cause.
    Adams Rubble: Let me catch my breath
    Fael Illyar: Hi Quilty
    Adams Rubble: I was shopping :)
    Maxine Walden: oh, what kind of trouble, Fael?
    Fael Illyar: getting restless very easily.
    Maxine Walden: ah…
    Quilty Bookmite: Combination of sugar and caffeine? That would do that. :-)
    Quilty Bookmite: Especially the caffeine.
    Faenik: why not?
    Fael Illyar: possible. But the effect lasts hours.
    Quilty Bookmite: How much do you drink?
    Fael Illyar: just a single cup per day so far
    Quilty Bookmite: maybe it’s not that then…
    Fael Illyar: expensive compared to tea or normal coffee. That one
    Quilty Bookmite: Does normal coffee have that effect?
    Adams Rubble: Hi Pia
    Fael Illyar: I haven’t drunk any coffee after starting PaB before this
    Pia Iger: Hi, Adams, everyone.
    Quilty Bookmite: Hi Pia.
    Maxine Walden: hi, Pia
    Fael Illyar: Hi Pia
    Maxine Walden: intensive involvement such as in PaB can cause some restlessness I have found
    Maxine Walden:as if a kind of excitement about the endeavor
    Adams Rubble: Maxine, was it you who talked about the onions the other day?
    Fael Illyar: I had that at first.
    Fael Illyar: but this is different
    Maxine Walden: no, not me re the onions, Adams
    Pia Iger: true, when I do long meditation, I notice I were thinking often about PaB.
    Adams Rubble: I wonder if fael is on the edge of an idea trying to break through
    Faenik: ah :)
    Maxine Walden: that may be of course, the restless of creativity
    Quilty Bookmite: Faenik does it again. :-)

    Fael then thought that restlessness was not quite the right word…

    Fael Illyar: restless doesn’t really describe it very accurately. Things that didn’t use to cause any disturbance might cause slight annoyance and such.
    Maxine Walden: what was the onions reference, Adams?
    Adams Rubble: Sorry, that one wasn;t related to Fael but to me. I interjected it into the wrong place
    Adams Rubble: we can wait on that

    Frustration seemed a better term and it became clear that Fael and Adams were having some internal concerns about how living up to some internal expectations

    Fael Illyar: frustration might be better term than restlessness
    Maxine Walden: ah
    Quilty Bookmite: Is there a root to your frustration?
    Adams Rubble: Ah there I am with you Fael
    Fael Illyar: many things seem to cause it.
    Fael Illyar: I’m having harder time letting go of attachments
    Adams Rubble: Yes, me too
    Adams Rubble: That’s the onion analogy
    Fael Illyar: I can still do it but it takes more time.
    Quilty Bookmite: Letting go can also be an attachment. :-)
    Adams Rubble: I hit a big one this morning–it’s on my blog
    Fael Illyar: I don’t think about doing that in words.
    Maxine Walden: oh?
    Adams Rubble: It’s geting hard in words
    Maxine Walden: hard to…
    Adams Rubble: hard to express; hard to admit
    Fael Illyar: it’s sort of like, I get a small stir of annoyance every time I see something I didn’t do yet.
    Maxine Walden: and it may be one thing to express privately to oneself and another to express to the public
    Quilty Bookmite: Adams, you don’t need to bare your soul to the world. Maybe if you can describe it to yourself.
    Quilty Bookmite: :-)
    Adams Rubble: I am torn by that Quilty
    Faenik: なるほど^^
    Adams Rubble: If my log is to show the struggle then I should be doing that
    Adams Rubble: but I don;t want to right now
    Quilty Bookmite: Fael, i also think it is enough to be moving in the right direction. How fast doesn’t matter.
    Quilty Bookmite: Ah, the s word. :-)
    Quilty Bookmite: I mean “should”.
    Adams Rubble: s word?
    Maxine Walden: Fael, sounds like you may be hard on yourself, expecting a lot
    Maxine Walden: and you perhaps as well, Adams
    Quilty Bookmite: Well said Maxine. :-)
    Adams Rubble: Fael, you are grasping the whole Being issue much better than I am

    We continued to explore the ‘shoulds’ which can make us impatient with ourselves and how this might hamper our being able to accept ourselves with compassion

    Fael Illyar: Quilty, that’s not it. This hasn’t happened earlier. I don’t think I’ve got any particular hurry to get anywhere … in fact I don’t even know where I’m going :P
    Quilty Bookmite: it seems that as soon as we start setting rules for ourselves we immediately find we have to break them.
    Maxine Walden: I find that when I get into the ’should’ mode that I can really lose touch with the other parts of myself
    Adams Rubble: we have been at it pretty intensely for a few weeks–there might be some burn out too
    Fael Illyar: I’m thinking it’s the coffee that’s causing this.
    Quilty Bookmite: Fael, is that what is frustrating you?
    Adams Rubble: Interesting Maxine
    Quilty Bookmite: I mean not knowing where you are going?
    Fael Illyar: or if not causing, bringing it out much more strongly.
    Maxine Walden: and thus lose touch with Being
    Adams Rubble doesn;t have any touch with Being
    Maxine Walden: but maybe feeling ‘not any touch’ is part of Being for you right now
    Adams Rubble: thanks Maxine
    Pia Iger: yes, Being can have some many different appereance:)
    Fael Illyar: I mean, I’m not even doing meditation or exploration because I want to get closer to Being. I’m doing it because it helps me keep my mind in peace.
    Pia Iger: now you feel restless, it bothers you?
    Faenik loves wells!
    Fael Illyar: after 2 days, sort of
    Quilty Bookmite: being close or far away from being is just a delusion. You are already there.
    Fael Illyar: oh wait, 3
    Maxine Walden: nd yet maybe questing vigorously after Being means you become impatient with other parts of yourself in the moment
    Pia Iger: nods.
    Maxine Walden: and they seem to get left behind, and devalued
    Quilty Bookmite: I’m going to paraphrase something…
    Quilty Bookmite: You are not being and yet there isn;t a part of you that isn’t being.
    Maxine Walden: Being may involve more compassion for all the parts of ourselves, even the ‘less attractive’ at the moment
    Quilty Bookmite: Especially the less attractive. :-)
    Pia Iger: It feels nice to hear this.
    Adams Rubble thinks about compassion for the less attractive parts of herself
    Adams Rubble: So in order to be more compassionate overall, we need to accept our limitations

    Fael may still have felt that her frustration was still not fully understood and Quilty tried to speak of some of the frustrations involved in a spiritual practice

    Fael Illyar found a frustrated kind of feeling of peace after giving up trying to explain.
    Quilty Bookmite: Or maybe just accept your limitation without a particular goal.
    Maxine Walden: I think so, and that can be difficult
    Adams Rubble understands Fael’s thought
    Quilty Bookmite: Sorry Fael. We seem to have shifted from you.
    Faenik is a hairy black ball with eyes and ears.
    Fael Illyar: uh, please stay there :)
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Quilty Bookmite: Fair enough. :-)
    Maxine Walden: Frustrated feeling of peace, Fael?
    Fael Illyar: yes, trustrated but also not at the same time.
    Fael Illyar: kind of like the earlier excited without being excited I talked about after my first week.
    Quilty Bookmite: I think frustration is a natural state for anyone with a spiritual practice.
    Fael Illyar: After I had gotten somewhat deep meditation.
    Quilty Bookmite: Can I talk about myself for a few moments, to illustrate a point?
    Pia Iger: Is this in Buddhism called “passionless”?
    Fael Illyar: sure
    Maxine Walden: please, Quilty

    Quilty asked if he could share some of his experience and his perceptions of others’ re spiritual practice and the dangers of burnout

    Quilty Bookmite: I started buddhist practice some years ago now. when I started I was very excited about it.
    Quilty Bookmite: I also saw many other people join the practice with this heightened level of excitement.
    Quilty Bookmite: however, after a while my excitement died down. Sometimes I entered a state of, not exactly boredom, but of almost disinterest.
    Quilty Bookmite: But I kept going back. I made it a habit and it saw me through.
    Quilty Bookmite: but many people who seemed to burn with a passion burned themselves out and left the practice.
    Quilty Bookmite: Somehow the reality didn’t meet their expectations.
    Faenik: could be

    Fael and others continued to talk about what might be at the root of her frustration, and some thoughts about whether Fael was working too hard at PaB related issues were expressed

    Fael Illyar: for the last 3-4 weeks, I haven’t been especially expecting anything from the practise. I noticed that when I did, I got nothing out of it.
    Quilty Bookmite: i feel that the way to true happiness isn;t necessarily an exciting one. It’s a path of unease couple with contentment.
    Pia Iger: also, Fael, you did much work for wiki last two wks, it may wear you out a bit.
    Fael Illyar: the wiki work isn’t exactly practise related. More like practical social thing.
    Adams Rubble: All these things are newly inserted into your routine
    Adams Rubble: hard to find time to do things
    Fael Illyar: I don’t really have a problem with time at the moment.
    Pia Iger: or just as ebbs and flows, it is natural to have some time not getting anything.
    Fael Illyar: If I stopped doing PaB suddenly, I’d spend some time wondering what to do.
    Quilty Bookmite: What if you stopped some of the other activities associated with it, like these discussions?
    Fael Illyar: umm, that’s what I meant
    Maxine Walden: when I began PaB i was very excited and then found a period which may be close to burn out and I have come to feel that my early excitement had left some parts of myself out and so I needed to reconnecct with them and came back to the practice in a quieter less excited manner
    Quilty Bookmite: I see. :-)
    Pia Iger: this recall me Pema’s notion of 4 stage.
    Fael Illyar: the stops themselves are something I don’t want to stop in any case.
    Pia Iger: our progression will never be a straight line.
    Quilty Bookmite: Maybe you should consider a break though.
    Fael Illyar: although, lately, I’ve been doing much more things related to PaB (like these meetings, 3 a day, wor for the wiki) than I did during the first 2 weeks.
    Quilty Bookmite: Sometimes it is a good idea to take a step back and consider.
    Quilty Bookmite: 3 a day? Wow!
    Fael Illyar: after those I spent a week, maybe a bit more visiting 2, sometimes just 1 meeting per day. Rest of the time I was doing completely unrelated things.
    Fael Illyar: well, except when someone contacted me through SL, I left this running for that.
    Fael Illyar: Yes, 3 a day :)
    Quilty Bookmite: I am at a loss what to say for the momet. :-)
    Fael Illyar: I’d probably have done that from the start but I had my sleeping rhythm blocking 2 meetings per day.
    Quilty Bookmite: Has your sleeping rhythm changed?
    Maxine Walden: Perhaps PaB is a very major focus in your life right now, Fael

    Quilty raised the issue more specifically about burnout

    Fael Illyar: Yes, although the change wasn’t originally caused by PaB. But it certainly is what keeps me to this rhythm now
    Quilty Bookmite: I could be very wrong here so please feel free to correct me.
    Quilty Bookmite: Fael, I think you are in danger of burning yourself out without realising it.
    Quilty Bookmite: It is hard for me to say because I can’t see you in RL.
    Fael Illyar: I do not spend my entire waking time on PaB related things.
    Faenik: indeed?
    Quilty Bookmite: I’m not saying you do.
    Quilty Bookmite: But i think you are attaching a high level of importance to these activities.
    Faenik: could be
    Quilty Bookmite: I think I may be speaking out of turn. I haven’t been attending these meetings long. :-)
    Fael Illyar: I don’t think I’m attached to the meetings.
    Quilty Bookmite: and yet you don;t want to stop them. :-)
    Fael Illyar: nor the other things.
    Fael Illyar: not want to stop was the explorations (and meditation)
    Quilty Bookmite: I see. I’m sorry.
    Fael Illyar: I don’t think those can cause burnout? can they?
    Faenik: indeed?
    Pia Iger: (I am sure Fael will be fine:)
    Quilty Bookmite: Yes, sorry. I don;t mena that you will burn yourself out in that sense.
    Fael Illyar: I’m normally highly averse to attachment :P
    Adams Rubble: a sign of burn put is when you think you should be doing it and don’t want to do it
    Quilty Bookmite: I just meant that you will get fed up with it all.
    Adams Rubble: can’t bring yourself to do it
    Adams Rubble: or drag yourself to it
    Faenik: why not?
    Quilty Bookmite: then you are an exceptional human being Fael. :-)
    Fael Illyar: at least long term attachment.
    Fael Illyar: before I started PaB I had problems with short term attachment
    Fael Illyar: that is, getting stuck doing something even though I should’ve gone to bed.

    I realized I had to leave soon and wondered about my task of taking the chatlog but that some of this important conversation would not be fully recorded. It became clear however that it was more interruptive to bring this uncertainty up

    Maxine Walden: I am going to need to leave in about two minutes, and I am supposed to take the chatlog. But we are in the middle of a discussion which would be good to get the whole thing. Would someone else like to take the whole discussion to the wiki?
    Quilty Bookmite: Sorry I don;t yet know how.
    Faenik: indeed?
    Adams Rubble: I will be leaving in about 8 minutes
    Maxine Walden: Or I can take the portion I am here for and let the rest be with you
    Fael Illyar: I suppose I’ll err on the side of caution and leave that for someone else.
    Maxine Walden: I will take the chatlog for this afternoon then.
    Maxine Walden: My turn anyway
    Quilty Bookmite: thank you Maxine.
    Fael Illyar actually sort of wants to do it though.
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Pia Iger: I did not catch the beginning.
    Quilty Bookmite: i’m feeling quite uncomfortable with myself.
    Pia Iger: why?
    Maxine Walden: Did not want to interrupt the discussion with my question; sorry if I did
    Faenik is a hairy black ball with eyes and ears.
    Quilty Bookmite: I didn;t mean to put Fael on the spot and I have made some rash assumptions.
    Maxine Walden: Have to go, please carry on with this important discussion. See you all later ,
    Quilty Bookmite: Please accept my apologies.
    Adams Rubble: bye Maxine
    Pia Iger: bye, Maxine.

    My leaving thoughts were that there may be different perceptions of the nuances in this chatlog and that it might be edited significantly once on the wiki.

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