2008.08.11 19:00 - Pragmatic for a Moment

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    Thorberg was the guardian that evening. I (Pema) posted the chat log that he sent me, and added a title.

    Thorberg Nordlicht: hello Threedee
    Threedee Shepherd: hello Thor
    Thorberg Nordlicht: hello Adelene
    Threedee Shepherd: what is the TP address for the new meeting hall under construction?
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: hey
    Adelene Dawner: ‘lo Fred, Lac.
    Lacuhwonda Siamendes: hello
    Thorberg Nordlicht: hello everyone
    Threedee Shepherd: hello folks
    Thorberg Nordlicht: so, how is everyone? anyone have anything to report about 9-second-moment meditation experiences, or anything else for that matter?
    Tahuti Thor: hello everyone
    Threedee Shepherd: hi
    Rowan Masala: hello all
    Lacuhwonda Siamendes: I am Lacuhwonda Siamendes
    Threedee Shepherd: Lac, are you new to SL, or is this an alternate Av of yours
    Thorberg Nordlicht: hello Lacuhwonda
    Lacuhwonda Siamendes: I joined today
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: hi lacuhwonda
    Thorberg Nordlicht: welcome
    Tahuti Thor: hi Lacuhwona
    Thorberg Nordlicht: hello Avastu
    Avastu Maruti: hello my friend
    Rowan Masala: Hi Avastu
    Threedee Shepherd: hello Avastu
    Avastu Maruti: hello all
    Tahuti Thor: hello Avastu
    Thorberg Nordlicht: does anyone have anything to report about 9-second-moment meditation, or anything else on your mind?
    Tahuti Thor: yes
    Rowan Masala: I’ve been trying the 9 second meditations, but I find that it isn’t long enough for me, for anything really to happen
    Tahuti Thor: how many people meditate regularly here
    Threedee Shepherd: more than 9-sec?
    Tahuti Thor: yes
    Tahuti Thor: meditation as a daily exercise
    Threedee Shepherd: not I
    Thorberg Nordlicht: the 9-second practice doesn’t have to be limited to 9 seconds, but the suggestion is to take at least 9 seconds out every 15 minutes during the day
    Thorberg Nordlicht: does anyone have the link to the Wiki handy, for the benefit of newcomers?
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: http://playasbeing.wordpress.com/
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: ;-)
    Tahuti Thor: lol
    Tahuti Thor: what joke is this
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: no joke. that will take you to playasbeing.wik.is
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: but, it took a little while to rig things up properly
    Threedee Shepherd: I think he meant the actions of Lac
    Tahuti Thor: yeah
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: now that it is, people forget that it works the simple way
    Tahuti Thor: i meditate regularly and sometimes as result of increased sensitivity to noise
    Tahuti Thor: sometimes noise irritates me
    Tahuti Thor: so how to overcome this
    Threedee Shepherd: auditory noise, you mean?
    Tahuti Thor: yes
    Tahuti Thor: unncessary noise seems to irritate me @ times
    Rowan Masala: I have the luxury of simply taking out my hearing aids when that happens :)
    Threedee Shepherd: Tahuti, what do you mean by irritate?
    Tahuti Thor: like the irritation u may feel if someone were to play a song over n over
    Thorberg Nordlicht: my 2 cents worth: the term “meditation” covers a broad range of approaches; some forms of meditation seek to filter out external distractions; in this case, you might try some type of earplugs, or there are things that look like audio headphones but which filter out sound creating a personal space of total silence
    Thorberg Nordlicht: in other forms of meditation, the idea is to simply “observe without judging” in which case one might simply “sit with the annoyance” observing it without judging it
    Thorberg Nordlicht: neither is the “correct” way to meditate; work with both approaches, and “find your own practice”
    Threedee Shepherd: I assume these are noises you have no control over?
    Tahuti Thor: yes @ no control
    Tahuti Thor: as in no control over the noises
    Tahuti Thor: u think its my judging which manufactures this irritance
    Threedee Shepherd: noise is hard to ignore (other than earplugs, etc) your reaction might be under your control
    Tahuti Thor: or the irritance hits me before able to judge
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello
    Threedee Shepherd: heelo Steve
    Avastu Maruti: hello my friend
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: hi steve. i was actually on my way out. tag!
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello freid. see you soon
    Tahuti Thor: i rather reduce the irrtiation naturally
    Tahuti Thor: without using any earplugs, etc
    Thorberg Nordlicht: personally, I would consider the notion you suggested, that it’s our judgement that makes it an irritant
    Thorberg Nordlicht: sound is just sound; it’s neither good nor bad; neither pleasant nor irritating in and of itself; isn’t it our judgement that “this is undesirable” that makes it an irritant?
    Tahuti Thor: our karma - bad reaction to the noise in the past
    Threedee Shepherd: depends, a jet circling over my house would get annoying no matter what
    Tahuti Thor: judgement and karma ….yeah
    Thorberg Nordlicht: playing devil’s advocate: but it’s still *our* irritation; I submit that “irritation” is not an aspect of the jet noise, it’s an aspect of our experience; we may think we don’t own it, but the “irritation” is our own
    Threedee Shepherd: I understand. Yet it might be possible that some noises are like pain qualia, and thus primary
    Thorberg Nordlicht: good point; for the sake of this discussion, let’s distinguish between “pain” and “suffering”; i suggest “pain” can cause real damage, whereas “suffering” is our reaction to pain, and (according to some meditation traditions) there is a cure for this form of suffering
    Thorberg Nordlicht: so, assuming you’ll go with my distinction for the sake of discussion, is the jet noise “pain” or “suffering”; or you’re free to reject my distinction
    Threedee Shepherd: I know what I think pain is, and to be a bit stubborn, it may be that grouping all the rest as suffereing, begs the question because suffering is a reaction.
    Tahuti Thor: so i have to create good karma to tackle this noise issue?
    Threedee Shepherd: what is the noise, if I may ask?
    Tahuti Thor: a door
    Tahuti Thor: repeatedly opening and closing
    Rowan Masala: ah, but that’s more than simply a noise. that’s a threat of invasion
    Rowan Masala: I can understand how that would be difficult to ignore
    Thorberg Nordlicht: our discussion here is informed by many traditions, and I’m sure some would say this is a matter of karma, good or bad; however, i’m not suggesting you “have to create good karma to tackle this noise issue”; perhaps someone else can address that prticular point
    Tahuti Thor: by good karma i meant trying to react positively to the noise
    Threedee Shepherd: can I be pragmatic for a moment: Is there anything about the RL situation you can change?
    Tahuti Thor: so in future occurences hopefully my mind will do it automatically
    Tahuti Thor: no
    Threedee Shepherd: What you just said about automatically strikes me as easier to say than to do.
    Thorberg Nordlicht: is the “threat of invasion” real? are you in real danger if someone opens to door?
    Tahuti Thor: no its not a danger
    Tahuti Thor: it jus bugs me
    Thorberg Nordlicht: i understand
    Threedee Shepherd: I am a bit lost in terms of an applicable way to approach this. For example, if there was an unavoidable strobe light flashing in your face from time to time and over and over, meditation is not the first solution I would think of.
    Rowan Masala nods
    Tahuti Thor: u would politely ask the person stop flashing the light?
    Threedee Shepherd: yes, or as a last resort destroy it :D
    Threedee Shepherd: hello sky, hope all is well
    Avastu Maruti: hello my friend
    Rowan Masala: Hello Sky
    Thorberg Nordlicht: speaking only from my limited understand of the Zen Buddhist tradition, I would suggest it’s not a matter of karma; while Zen addresses karma, this is more basic than that; it seems to me, the Buddhist analysis, is that if there’s something you can do about it, change it, but if you really have no control over the irritation, then simply “observe without judging” the irritation; this is not an attempt to react “positively” to the irritation, only to observe it with equanimity
    Sky Szimmer: Hi Everybody! Thank you Threedee. I am getting my mind right, slowly
    Thorberg Nordlicht: a Zen master might suggest the irritation is an “opportunity for practice” — to observe how you mind reacts to irritation
    Rowan Masala: that makes a lot of sense, Thor
    Thorberg Nordlicht: hello Sky; we’re discussing “irritations during meditation”; esepcially irritations we can’t change, like outside noise
    Threedee Shepherd: An ongoing noise dealt with by Zen takes up lots of energy that could be useful elsewhere. I tend to PragamZENism :D
    Thorberg Nordlicht: “PragmaZENism”? can you expand on that?
    Threedee Shepherd: Pragmatism + ZEN —->PragmaZENism
    Tahuti Thor: has anyone else experienced increase in one or more of senses as result of meditation?
    Thorberg Nordlicht: if I’m understanding you correctly, Threedee, pragmatic Zen suggests doing something about it if you can, but what if there’s no pragmatic solution?
    Thorberg Nordlicht: a similar concern is “what to do when you have an itch during meditation”?
    Thorberg Nordlicht: pragmatic suggests “scratch when it itches”
    Threedee Shepherd: perhaps then one of the following: look harder, leave, learn to put up with it, be continually distracted.
    Thorberg Nordlicht: consider just sitting with the itch and observing that too, with equanimity
    Thorberg Nordlicht: my practical solution is just sit with the itch until it goes away or i forget about it, but if my mind is drawn back to the itch three time, then i scratch it
    Sky Szimmer: does it really matter?
    Threedee Shepherd: Tahuti, perhaps I am not understanding. Are you saying the door becomes a heightened irritant during meditation?
    Tahuti Thor: no your 5 senses
    Tahuti Thor: increaese in sensitivity
    Tahuti Thor: hear further, smell deepens, etc..
    Sky Szimmer: perhaps increase in awareness heightens the senses
    Sky Szimmer: just like doing PaB can heighten the senses
    Thorberg Nordlicht: but even with increased awareness isn’t the sound just a sound; “this is irritating” “this sound is bad” is a value judgement
    Threedee Shepherd: yes, PaB has done so for me at times–better *listening* I assume
    Tahuti Thor: yes @ value judgment
    Thorberg Nordlicht: value judgement resulting from “I desire no sound”
    Tahuti Thor: right
    Thorberg Nordlicht: “i desire silence, so this sound is bad; it’s irritating”
    Sky Szimmer: how is the sound outside of you?
    Sky Szimmer: should meditation be only silence as in no noise?
    Tahuti Thor: so desiring silence is a problem
    Sky Szimmer: i’d venture to say desiring anything is a problem
    Sky Szimmer: I have lots of desires unfortunately
    Tahuti Thor: we all do
    Thorberg Nordlicht: even this, i would suggest is not a “problem”; it’s simply an analysis that the “suffering of irritation” derives from the “desire for silence”
    Thorberg Nordlicht: to end the suffering, let go of the desire
    Tahuti Thor: right @ not a problem
    Sky Szimmer: to see it as irritating already shows that you are aware of a self that is irritated and the witness of that self is…
    Sky Szimmer: emotions are very useful pointers.
    Sky Szimmer: you can call it “am”, “Being”, “buddha nature”
    Sky Szimmer: the great nothing
    Tahuti Thor: judging faculty has to be completely turned off to walk the path?
    Sky Szimmer: just seen, i think.
    Tahuti Thor: juding anything might lend itself to either extreme
    Sky Szimmer: the buddha nature is what is aware of the sounds, and notices the irritation, sees the desire
    Sky Szimmer: for me, judging is a huge problem
    Sky Szimmer: it gets me all emotional
    Sky Szimmer: but then it is still part of me
    Sky Szimmer: the trick is to see its action
    Sky Szimmer: and not judge the judgement
    Sky Szimmer: it is all so much easier said than done, sad to say
    Threedee Shepherd: perhaps not judging, folks, yet ALONG THE WAY it may be useful to take note of where you are and where you might be going, from time to time.
    Sky Szimmer: what does that mean “where” you are and you are going?
    Sky Szimmer: there is no “where”
    Sky Szimmer: wherever we go, there “am” is
    Threedee Shepherd: and whereever you are going “there” are you
    Sky Szimmer: if you like to find out more about how judgement works in action, and its effect in our emotions, go to pathwaytohappiness.com
    Sky Szimmer: but I like to say I like to play with noise, just see where it is, if it is outside of me or is it a part of me
    Sky Szimmer: i think you’d find that noise and you are no different
    Threedee Shepherd: I just finished reading the Dalai Lama’s “The Art of Happiness”. I find I am being a bit heretical tonight, as play
    Sky Szimmer: thanks Avastu!!!!
    Avastu Maruti: you’re welcome, my friend
    Threedee Shepherd: and as being
    stevenaia Michinaga: I must go…. in mind
    stevenaia Michinaga: /afk
    Sky Szimmer: how so Threedee?
    stevenaia Michinaga: /afk
    Sky Szimmer: sorry folks. i’d love to ask some questions, but RL kid is preventing me. got to walk out of here.
    Avastu Maruti: good bye my friend
    Sky Szimmer: bye everyone!
    Threedee Shepherd: I am trying to extract essences from what we are discussing by using Zen-like contradiction/contraryness
    Thorberg Nordlicht: further thoughts, anyone?
    Threedee Shepherd: thank you all for energizing my thoughts
    Thorberg Nordlicht: and thank *you*
    Thorberg Nordlicht: good discussion, tonight, folks
    Threedee Shepherd: goodnight
    Avastu Maruti: good night my friends
    Adelene Dawner: ‘night
    stevenaia Michinaga: night all
    Thorberg Nordlicht: good night

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