2008.08.04 19:00 - Avoiding Repetitive Reality Syndrome

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    That evening, Thorberg was the guardian.

    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i don't know if any of you are in the midwest, but i have a friend there who is quite distressed - there are serious storms, and tornado alarms going off in chicago
    Thorberg Nordlicht: hello everyone; i got here just in time
    stevenaia Michinaga: nothing missed except some lion petting
    Threedee Shepherd: calm here in colorado
    Thorberg Nordlicht: was anyone else having trouble teleporting?
    Adelene Dawner: Not me
    Threedee Shepherd: not me
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: threedee: that reminds me of the people in that movie Fight Club who used to crash support groups...
    Threedee Shepherd: didn't see it
    stevenaia Michinaga: don;t remember if I did or not
    Thorberg Nordlicht: so, i'm totally frazzled because i had trouble getting here
    Thorberg Nordlicht: but now that i'm here, let's get started
    Threedee Shepherd: :)
    Thorberg Nordlicht: does anyone have any 9-second-moment meditation experiences they'd like to share?
    Thorberg Nordlicht: or anything else, for that matter?
    stevenaia Michinaga: tonight I was reading some of the blogs to catch up
    Thorberg Nordlicht: yes, i'm waaay behind in reading the blog
    Thorberg Nordlicht: did you find anything interesting by catching up?
    stevenaia Michinaga: The degree of the intensity that the meditation has on some people
    stevenaia Michinaga: impresses me, like lightning out of the blue
    stevenaia Michinaga: I find that comforting in everyones ablitiy to adapt and change
    Thorberg Nordlicht: any particular examples to cite?
    stevenaia Michinaga: well there have been a few, they all run together in this thought
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: in all fairness, and I don't think this contradicts anything said so far, i think we need to include the entire PaB experience - community, discussion, support in teh equation. i don't think it's /just/ the practice
    Adelene Dawner: Definitely, Fred.
    Threedee Shepherd: agreed
    Adelene Dawner: 9 seconds is to short for me to even begin to think about anything, but I come, and I listen and talk, and think later. And I've had some pretty intense experiences doing it that way.
    stevenaia Michinaga: there's much to learn from the narrow view and wide view
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: adelene - a metaphor that used to get tossed around alot, but hasnt't for a while, is "poking little holes in reality"
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^ neat
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i'm actually reminded of a (probably apocraphyl) story of why old time typists never got carpal tunnel syndrom
    stevenaia Michinaga: for those of us who don;t do the 9 secs regularly .. raises hand... there are different ways that work for each of us to get to the same place I suspect
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: supposedly, its because they took micro-pauses... to advacne the paper!
    Threedee Shepherd: ha
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: so, PaB is all about avoiding repetitive reality syndrome ;-)
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^
    Threedee Shepherd: :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: I do the same in my work.. ,, I jsut overtly ...sigh.. and come back to work, my micro pause
    Thorberg Nordlicht: (("micro pause" i like that))
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: sigh.. cute.
    stevenaia Michinaga: less than 9 secs but enough to change your perspective
    Threedee Shepherd: mm hm
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: for me, its the no-thought, not the thoughts, that is most valuable.
    stevenaia Michinaga: to short to amass a complete moment to write down, however
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: my train of thought has a tendency to go on and on... (in case nobody noticed)
    Threedee Shepherd: I'm still at a place where the main experience is calmness, and sometimes my head expands when I try the switch to Being Seeing.
    stevenaia Michinaga: Being Seeing moment may be what the micro pause it
    stevenaia Michinaga: is
    Threedee Shepherd: could be
    stevenaia Michinaga: the moment everything changes, then reverts back
    stevenaia Michinaga: like a quick outside in view for me
    Thorberg Nordlicht: some distinctions as food for thought: is it what happens *during* the 9 seconds that's significant, or is it the effect the 9 seconds has on the rest of the time when you're not in the 9 seconds; also, is it the thoughts that come up during the 9 seconds that's significant, or is it what you're left with after the thoughts "boil away" that's significant?
    Threedee Shepherd: yes ;)
    Thorberg Nordlicht: ok, you got me: the right answer is "all of the above"
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: along those lines, and its likely too soon to categorize, but imagine an alphabet of experiences
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: is there some kind of periodic table, with a natural order?
    Thorberg Nordlicht: what i'm really getting at is to not just get hung up on what thoughts come up "during" the 9 seoncds; that's just part of it
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: PaB, BaS, EaS, ...
    Thorberg Nordlicht: any "thoughts" about that (pun intended :-)
    Threedee Shepherd: Friedrich, the period table analogy/homology? has never accurred to me before. I will ponder it.
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: (err, whatever abbreviations we were using)
    Thorberg Nordlicht: ((ok, I guess it really wasn't a "pun"))
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: snicker
    Thorberg Nordlicht: my 2 cents worth: in addition to the 9-second-moment meditation, i also try to do a 40 minute Zazen sitting every day
    Thorberg Nordlicht: i used to expect something "special" to happen *during* the 40 minutes -- some profound, ecstatic experience
    Thorberg Nordlicht: i was disappointed to find the 40 minutes to be very... well, ordinary
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: I'm a lazy slob. maybe a baker's dozen pauses on a good day
    Thorberg Nordlicht: my teacher pointed out that i should just accept the "ordinaryness" and watch what effect the 40 minute session has on the rest of my day
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: that's phenomenal. 7 days a week? did you start noticing stuff udrring the un-zen times?
    Thorberg Nordlicht: yes, it has an effect, but it's just the nature of the effect that it's nothing i could have expected ahead of time and i could only describe it poetically; it's very difficult to "explain" what the difference is
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: see - we need a formal language... an alphabet of sorts
    Thorberg Nordlicht: but it's such an important difference, that i'm willing to sit through 40 minutes of "ordinaryness" just for the effect it has the rest of the time
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: when you put ordinaryness in quotes - do you mean boredom?
    Thorberg Nordlicht: ((in reference to "boredom")) not to get too, uh, philosophcal about it (is that the right word), but if you're "bored" in Zazen, then just *be* bored; just be mindfull or "sit with" the boredom
    stevenaia Michinaga: isn;t it like any moments ... once you look to see the affect, you have created an affect to see, even if it's ordinaryness and its affect on the rest of the day
    Thorberg Nordlicht: Zazen is called "the single minded effort"; if you're "bored", you are not "of a single mind" because "boredom" entails a comparison of some desirable state of mind (not bored) against my actual state of mind (bored)
    Threedee Shepherd: the brain's equivalent of the Heisenburg Uncertainty Principle :)
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: hey, i wasn't the one to introduce scare quotes ;-)
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes
    Thorberg Nordlicht: to make such a comparison, obviously i'm not "of a single mind"; my mind is "divided"; i'm not making "the single minded effort"
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: you also talked about being "willing" to sit - as in, it is a task? or, not necessarily enjoyable?
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: maybve that's what i was pikcing up on ?
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: but, i don't mean to grill you. i was just impressed by the daily devotion
    Thorberg Nordlicht: yes, i know you weren't meaning to "grill me"; i was just taking the opportunity to chip in my 2 cents worth
    Threedee Shepherd: <tangent> dolphins sleep with one brain hemisphere awake and one asleep (keeps from drowning)
    Thorberg Nordlicht: whenever i encounter a "difficulty" in Zazen, i always know to just "let it go" -- just sit with it -- and "return to the single minded effort"
    Thorberg Nordlicht: whoah, didn't know that about dolphins; as Mr. Spock would say "fascinating"
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: or, click-whistle-sqeak
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: (they have names too, you know)
    Threedee Shepherd: hehe
    Threedee Shepherd: names? no, I didn't
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i'd have to dig up a citation, but i think that's farily well established. unique click sequneces per dolphin for life, used to refer to one another
    Thorberg Nordlicht: in regard with "willingness to sit", i find that I "want to sit"; there's a momentum to continue every day
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: same time, every day?
    stevenaia Michinaga: I find that true with yoga, I miss is when I don;t do it
    Thorberg Nordlicht: kind of like physical exercise: when I'm out of the habit, i really don't want to get started, but when i'm in the habit of exercising every day, then i really want to continue
    Thorberg Nordlicht: yes, same time every day
    Threedee Shepherd: I KNOW that one!
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: well, hate to zen and run, but I need to get going - fair thee well
    Thorberg Nordlicht: it's difficult to sit same time every day when living a secular/"householders" life
    Threedee Shepherd: being here regularly is somewhat like meditation for me
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: Threedee - I agree!
    Thorberg Nordlicht: i look forward to some day practice in a monastic setting that "encourages practice"
    stevenaia Michinaga: bye Freidrich
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: pleasure chatting
    Threedee Shepherd: bye
    Thorberg Nordlicht: thanks for joining us, Freidrich
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: eek, can't teleport /out. now
    Thorberg Nordlicht: yes, i was having trouble teleporting to get here tonight
    stevenaia Michinaga: you going to a monestary, Thorberg?
    Thorberg Nordlicht: yes, eventually i'd like to live at San Francisco Zen center for a while to see what it's like; with the intent of just staying a long time, maybe forever.... or not
    Thorberg Nordlicht: i'll just take it a step at a time
    Thorberg Nordlicht: i've been going to SFZC off and on for 20 years, but have never actually stayed in the building
    Thorberg Nordlicht: next step is to just go stay for a week
    Threedee Shepherd nods
    Thorberg Nordlicht: i've also been visiting a very rustic Zendo in the Santa Cruz mountains called Jikoji http://www.jikoji.org/
    Thorberg Nordlicht: i never intended to live in such a rustic zen setting, but i'm falling in love with the place and the people there
    Thorberg Nordlicht: just possibilities, don't know where i'll end up
    Thorberg Nordlicht: anybody else here living -- or ever lived -- in a monastic setting?
    stevenaia Michinaga: no
    Adelene Dawner: nope
    Threedee Shepherd: no
    stevenaia Michinaga: I can see it for others...
    Threedee Shepherd: I find I like the quiet times AND the times of energetic engagement with others in daily life
    Thorberg Nordlicht: yes, i can understand that, but i wonder what it's like to "deepen one's practice" in a monastic environment
    stevenaia Michinaga: the one I do know who has traveled the world and stayed in monastaries seems very peaceful
    Threedee Shepherd: cause or effect?
    stevenaia Michinaga: I didn;t know him long enough to answer that
    Thorberg Nordlicht: haha, you got me there, Threedee; i was about to say "that's part of the effect" but you're right
    Thorberg Nordlicht: Alan Watts was fond of his made-up word "goeswith"
    Thorberg Nordlicht: the calmness just "goeswith" meditation; not cause or effect; they just seem to come into being together
    Threedee Shepherd: mmm
    Threedee Shepherd: like smoke, light and heat of a fire
    Thorberg Nordlicht: kind of like day doesn't "cause" night and night doesn't "cause" day, but we could not know light without dark or dark with out light, so night just goeswith day and day goeswith night; they just come into being together
    Thorberg Nordlicht: we wouldn't know one without the other
    Thorberg Nordlicht: yes, i like that, smoke, light, and heat aren't really involved in cause/effect
    Thorberg Nordlicht: they're just all aspects of the same thing
    Threedee Shepherd: I suggest they are all aspects of the thing.
    Thorberg Nordlicht: yes
    Thorberg Nordlicht: i've always thought the notions of "cause" and "effect" are a bit suspect
    Threedee Shepherd: Being isn't entirely chaotic, there must be temporal linkages
    Thorberg Nordlicht: Alan Watts once suggested the following thought experiment: imagine a pickett fence with a slat missing, and a cat walks by the missing slat on the other side of the fence
    Thorberg Nordlicht: you first see just the head through the missing slat, then the body, then the tail
    Thorberg Nordlicht: and you *always* see the events in the same order (no matter which way the cat is going, right to left or left to right)
    Thorberg Nordlicht: but just because we always see the events in the same order does *not* mean that the "head" phenominon "causes" the "tail" phenominon
    Thorberg Nordlicht: it just seems that way from our point of view; that's not what's really happening; the apparent cause and effect is just an illusion of our limited view of what's really happening
    Threedee Shepherd: true, yet if the Zen Master slaps you upside the head, you KNOW the cause of the pain ;)
    Thorberg Nordlicht: hmm, have to ponder that a bit
    stevenaia Michinaga: well I must be off, thanks
    Thorberg Nordlicht: isn't the "cause/effect" still a matter of our interpretation? not sure what i think; just asking
    stevenaia Michinaga: enjoy the rest of your evening
    Thorberg Nordlicht: thanks for joining us Steve
    Threedee Shepherd: cause and effect is a primary axiom, not proveable, which makes it hard
    Threedee Shepherd: night Steve
    Thorberg Nordlicht: yes
    Threedee Shepherd: Yet, no one has constructed a worldview without it, as opposed to the differing worldviews of Euclidian and non-Euclidian geometry.
    Thorberg Nordlicht: elaborate?
    Threedee Shepherd: Euclidian and non-E. Geometry start with opposing axioms about parallel lines, and both yield a consistent system. I can't think of any approach to Being that has an axiom different from cause/effect
    Adelene Dawner: This is interesting to read, but I'm getting tired, and I want to try to catch Pema at the next meeting, so I'm going to go chase some Zs. 'Night, guys.
    Threedee Shepherd: night, tomorra :)
    Adelene Dawner: mm-hmm ^.^
    Thorberg Nordlicht: good night
    Thorberg Nordlicht: ((pondering notion of "worldview without cause/effect"))
    Threedee Shepherd: sort of jumpy and chaotic, I think, and lack of predicatbility is not consistent with natural selection
    Threedee Shepherd: or survival period
    Thorberg Nordlicht: yes, i see your point; and i agree it's difficult to imagine a worldview without cause and effect
    Threedee Shepherd: The problem with scientism (and I'm a scientist) is that it places too much emphasis on overt cause/effect
    Thorberg Nordlicht: this is an interesting discussion, and i'll have to give all this some more thought; sorry to cut it short, but my housemate is calling me for dinner; perhaps we can resume next week
    Threedee Shepherd: indeed. enjoy dinner
    Thorberg Nordlicht: good night, threedee; as always, you've given me a lot of food for thought
    Threedee Shepherd: and you, me :)
    Thorberg Nordlicht: maybe next time you can say more about "scientism"; i sometimes use that term myself, but don't often hear anyone else make the distinction between "science" and "scientism"; i'd be interested to hear more next time we meet; please bring it up again; thanks
    Threedee Shepherd: ok
    Thorberg Nordlicht: good night
    Threedee Shepherd: 'night
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