2008.07.25 13:00 - Chuang Tzu and Lao Tzu

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    Solobill Laville was the guardian, and the comments are his.

    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    Solobill Laville: Hi, Gaya!
    Gaya Ethaniel: How are things with you both?
    Akasuki Aichi: Hello Gaya, I found my way :)
    Solobill Laville: Fine with me, and you?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Nice to see you again Aki - you're looking good today
    Gaya Ethaniel: Well thanks Solo
    Akasuki Aichi: me? ty
    Gaya Ethaniel: smiles
    Gaya Ethaniel: Just had a quick look at your profile again Aka - the group Taoism has a lovely quote by Lao Tzu as group charter
    doug Sosa: hi
    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    Akasuki Aichi: Yes it does

    Doug joined us.

    Solobill Laville: Hi, Doug
    Gaya Ethaniel: what got you interested in Taoism?
    Akasuki Aichi: a need to relax more and worry less
    doug Sosa: did i miss it? to whom the question?
    doug Sosa: so i got my answer!
    Solobill Laville: Gaya was just discussing with Akasuki about Taoism
    Gaya Ethaniel: how to you find it / did you try other traditions before settling down with Taoism for a while?
    Akasuki Aichi: No I went straight to the dao
    Gaya Ethaniel: oh... i see
    Gaya Ethaniel: tell us some more?
    Solobill Laville: Have you read the Tao Te Ching, Gaya?

    Akasuki suddenly vanished...
    Solobill Laville: Oops, I think Aka crashed...
    Gaya Ethaniel: i will need to look up all these names - though same chinese characters, Korean pronounce it differently
    Gaya Ethaniel: yeah...
    doug Sosa: I am loosely a taoist and have struggled through enough chinese to be able to read and write it in the original. does that count?
    Solobill Laville: I'd say, Doug!
    Gaya Ethaniel: yes, please tell us
    Solobill Laville: Do you find the English translations compare well at all to the Chinese?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Was that Q for me?
    doug Sosa: no. too wordy. the ambiguity of the chinese is part of the story.
    Solobill Laville: No, for Doug
    Solobill Laville: Ah, so the English version try to hard to explain perhaps?
    doug Sosa: My favirite is red pine's because of the inclusion of lots of commentary, and the chnese is there to remind me..
    doug Sosa: to explain, or just to be grammatical in english. But then individual words are so rich in chinese, as are english words if you know their origin, like "truth" which comes from troth, or faith..
    Solobill Laville: Yes, so I've been told for Japanese as well, in regards to similar concepts...
    Solobill Laville: I just checked, I have the Jane English and Gia-Fu Feng translation of the Tao Te Ching
    Solobill Laville: It has beautifiul imagery to compliment the text
    Solobill Laville: The connection to nature is so vibrant
    doug Sosa: like shang, translated "good" also means "talent"
    Solobill Laville: that's interesting
    Solobill Laville: is there a negative side, akin to Pali, like "a-shang", or "not good"?
    Solobill Laville: (As you can see I a very ignorant in regards to Chinese...)
    doug Sosa: bu shang not+good
    Solobill Laville: ah, "bu"
    Solobill Laville: and "troth", as in "betrothed", or "in faith to" I would guess
    doug Sosa: bu, not, is wonderful. looks like an arrow rising vertically and hitting something. it is an arrow, hitting the sky. not possible, hence "not".
    doug Sosa: Yes, on troth.
    Solobill Laville: Ah...I am learning!!

    Gaya and I continued on the exploration of Taoist practice.

    Gaya Ethaniel: so do Taoist practise meditation as well?
    doug Sosa: but the experience of the tao, ones self plus the flow. it is not the self alone, nor the flow alone. It really wants oscillation between extremes, no fixed point.
    Solobill Laville: Doug, I don't know if you saw Gaya's question, you were typing, is was about Daoism and meditation?
    doug Sosa: meditation. i think there is a bias against any fixed ritual. Keep moving, or resting, but not holding on to one or the other.
    Gaya Ethaniel: i see thanks
    doug Sosa: taoism can be practiced at any moment, even inthe 9 sec, i think!
    Solobill Laville: But there is "dedication", if that is the right word, to forms of quietude, yes?
    doug Sosa: no, not necessarily. Sometimes to be quiet is not honoring the flow.
    Solobill Laville: Ah :)

    Taoism and PaB.

    Gaya Ethaniel: could you expand on that a little doug - how you would practise taoism during 9 sec
    doug Sosa: It suggests moving toward non-action, but not holding on to it.
    doug Sosa: Well,the problem might be "practice" since i do not think there is a daoist practice, it is anti-practice. so in the 9 sec, why not tao?
    Gaya Ethaniel: that's quite interesting doug
    doug Sosa: but careful, that is ust my interpretation.
    doug Sosa: "just"
    Gaya Ethaniel: smiles
    Gaya Ethaniel: so i wonder what practicing non-practicing means in plain terms while you're in the 9 sec zone
    doug Sosa: i think it means be aware of being aware ofbeing aware, but with some playful casualness.

    Gaya recognized the simillarities between Taoism and Buddhism, which led to a greater discussion including Christian beliefs as well.

    Gaya Ethaniel: sounds much like buddhism to me
    Gaya Ethaniel: they all point to same direction it seems
    doug Sosa: some similarities. but then it is also like western monastic practice - in some ways.
    Solobill Laville: http://www.sacred-texts.com/tao/taote.htm
    doug Sosa: similar thoughts :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: i'm not entirely sure how those two are connected? could you expand on it a little? within catholicism, one can find different monastic practises i think
    doug Sosa: here is a very intersting site. http://zhongwen.com/dao.htm
    Gaya Ethaniel: is this text contain the verse on dream of butterfly?
    Gaya Ethaniel: does*
    doug Sosa: Quiet, even chanting, in the middle ages there were sitting and breathing practices.
    doug Sosa: Butterful is chuang tzu, not laotzu, i am mostly sure.
    Solobill Laville: Meister Eckhart, and what are considered "esoteric Christianity" has many similarities as well
    Gaya Ethaniel: well different book then - i read the text containing that particular verse :)
    doug Sosa: yes, thanks for reminding us ..
    Gaya Ethaniel: so christian meditation is not really mainstream - is that what you mean Solo?
    Solobill Laville: Wow, that is quite a site, Doug, thanks
    doug Sosa: It takes a while but is very useful, giving the etemology of the chinese characters..
    Gaya Ethaniel: thanks for the links doug
    Solobill Laville: It depends on what is meant by mainstream, Gaya
    Solobill Laville: SOme would consider Southern Baptists mainstream
    Solobill Laville: SOme Catholicism
    Gaya Ethaniel: i haven't met many catholics who practise meditation
    Gaya Ethaniel: maybe it's just uk
    Solobill Laville: But there are some churches who regularly dedicate time to it, Univeralists, for example often do during service
    doug Sosa: well, the monastery is really full time meditation.
    doug Sosa: And quakers.
    Solobill Laville: Yes, quiet refection on the Holy Trinity
    Gaya Ethaniel: i've been quite interested to listen to people with different religious background at PaB
    doug Sosa: I must apologize, time to go. Thanks for the conversation.
    Solobill Laville: Bye, Doug
    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    Solobill Laville: Yes, isn't it Gaya?
    Gaya Ethaniel: yes it indeed is and seems that they are similar in many ways
    Gaya Ethaniel: including those who don't consider themselves religious
    Solobill Laville: How so?
    Gaya Ethaniel: well the 'trimmings' are different depending on which tradition or point of view you're coming from
    Gaya Ethaniel: but it seems that most of main religions point to same direction - does this make sense?
    Solobill Laville: Sure!
    Gaya Ethaniel: and i've been wondering the difference between the group who are religious and who are not especially in PaB
    Solobill Laville: Yes, I agree that is interesting, first though, how would you define religious?
    Solobill Laville: Definitions are important sometimes... ;)
    Gaya Ethaniel: i can think of one ex. here, depending on the criteria, buddhism can be regarded as religion and not
    Gaya Ethaniel: it doesn't have a 'god' feature, a 'creator'
    Solobill Laville: Right
    Gaya Ethaniel: but my definition of religion is broader than that i think
    Gaya Ethaniel: more verging on philosophy
    Solobill Laville: OK, then do you think that there is an aspect of "spiritual" or some other word, for those who are not "religious"?
    Gaya Ethaniel: yes... spiritual could be a better word
    Solobill Laville: Do you think, then, that these concepts are connected somehow to each person's internal motivation?
    Gaya Ethaniel: possibly Solo hard to say
    Gaya Ethaniel: not sure whether it's natural incling or aversion
    Solobill Laville: In what way way aversion? So I can understand your meaning more clearly...
    Gaya Ethaniel: hm... sorry
    Gaya Ethaniel: i find comfortable in buddhist belief though always been interested in other religions
    Gaya Ethaniel: when i went to churches, i didn't feel 'fit' there - wasn't about the teachings or people there
    Gaya Ethaniel: i simply cannot think of why this is so
    Solobill Laville: To Christian churches?
    Gaya Ethaniel: i don't believe it's due to 'conditioned aversion' at least on my part
    Gaya Ethaniel: yes catholic and some protestant ones
    Gaya Ethaniel: studied various religions also
    Solobill Laville: That's probably not very different from someone in the UK moving to Korea and going to a Buddhist temple though
    Gaya Ethaniel: hm.. went to these churches in korea
    Solobill Laville: There are pretty big cultural differences too
    Solobill Laville: Ah
    Solobill Laville: Never mind... ;)
    Gaya Ethaniel: korea is a land of religion including odd ones :)

    I was thinking along the lines of religions as being, first off, created by people, and thus compiled of many cultural ingredients that are tied to a specific geography and time.  And secondly, how the Dalai Lama had recommended that for most Westerners, Tibetan Buddhism was not something he'd recommend, again due to those wide chasms of cultural disparity.  Of course, in this context with Gaya it was turned on its head though...

    Then Rajah joined us, briefly, wearing a tremendous tie-dyed hat...

    Solobill Laville: Hi, Rajah!
    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    Rajah Yalin: hi Gaya, Bill
    Solobill Laville: Nice hat!
    Gaya Ethaniel: how are you today Rajah?
    Rajah Yalin: I'm good
    Rajah Yalin: thanks, I just got this hat today hehe
    Gaya Ethaniel: smiles
    Solobill Laville: Gotta take a picture...
    Rajah Yalin: lol
    Gaya Ethaniel: smiles
    Solobill Laville: For the front of the newsletter...
    Solobill Laville: lol
    Rajah Yalin: kinda like a hat I have in RL
    Solobill Laville: Too cool
    Gaya Ethaniel: excuse me, need to go now
    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    Solobill Laville: Bye, Gaya
    Rajah Yalin: okay Gaya, take care

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