2008.08.28 13:00 - Naked and aware

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    The guardian for this meeting was Storm Nordwind. The comments are Storm's.

    I walked across the bridge to the old pavilion on the hour and sat down.

    Adams Rubble: Hello Storm
    Storm Nordwind: Hi everybody
    Wol Euler: wb storm
    doug Sosa: hi storm.
    Adams Rubble: :)

    We embarked immediately on a brief but thought provoking discussion on a point raised by doug.

    doug Sosa: may i share a thought?
    Wol Euler: please :-)
    Adams Rubble: yes please
    Storm Nordwind: sure
    doug Sosa: If we have a basketball, it comes alive when it is in play, but we can see the ball but not the game.
    doug Sosa: Yet the game is real, maybe even more real than the ball.
    doug Sosa: What are the implications for what we "see" in meditation?
    Storm Nordwind: Why do you say "we can see the ball but not the game"? Can't we see both at the same time?
    doug Sosa: well, we see the ball in a different way than we see the game, no?
    Storm Nordwind: no
    doug Sosa: ah!
    Storm Nordwind: One cannot exist without the other
    Adams Rubble: We see the playing of the game
    Storm Nordwind: It is a totality
    doug Sosa: ok, i agree with that, now what about economics?

    Ball coming in from left field! ...

    Adams Rubble: :)
    Storm Nordwind: what about economics?!
    doug Sosa: we see the dollars and the objects, but not the game of economics.
    Storm Nordwind: We do if we are intent on watching economics
    doug Sosa: What about in meditation? Doesn't it tend to focus (in its defocus) on objects?
    Storm Nordwind: If you choose it to
    Storm Nordwind: Not if you choose not to
    doug Sosa: ok, the role of choice in meditation?
    Storm Nordwind: If I choose to become Being with no boundaries, no self, then the word 'focus' makes little sense
    doug Sosa: ok.
    doug Sosa: yet..
    doug Sosa: I'll mull it for a while.
    Storm Nordwind smiles

    When I had arrived there were already people there. I wanted to make sure I hadn't interrupted anything.

    Storm Nordwind: My apologies for disturbing any prior conversation
    Wol Euler: oh no, storm, we arrived just before you.

    My turn to ask a question...

    Storm Nordwind: I was thinking about Pema's new email today about APAPB
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Wol Euler hesitates to go and look, remembering Maxine's annoyance.
    Adams Rubble dusts off her keyboard

    Oh! I seemed to have touched a nerve without knowing it. This is probably in a log or blog somewhere. Sometimes I get time to read these things. Sometimes I don't. Oh to be full time on the project! Soon... Anyway, I clarified what I meant.

    Storm Nordwind: I realised that when I started Play as Being, I found the practice instructions a little woolly.

    Of course, Pema had given us hints for our exploration, rather than instructions for a practice, and had not wanted to steer things too closely.

    Storm Nordwind: So I went researching what Pema meant
    Storm Nordwind: And found it was a past research project
    Storm Nordwind: That we used as a subtitle for the Hall of Appearance
    Storm Nordwind: And consequently, I expect that I've been doing APAPB anyway ever since! :)
    Adams Rubble remembers Pema talking about the Hall
    Storm Nordwind: So has anyone else tried APAPB yet? :)
    Adams Rubble: Do you mean besides Doug and I?
    Wol Euler shakes her head.
    Storm Nordwind: Well, I do not know to what extent you and doug have tried it. Please tell.

    doug and Adams were very patient with me, and graciously described what they must have written about elsewhere.

    Adams Rubble: I am doing a number of different things and I am not sure what part APAPG has played in my recent movement
    Storm Nordwind nods
    Adams Rubble: I think the important thing for all the exercises is that we begin to see from the vantage point of the person who was there at our birth and will be there at our death
    Storm Nordwind: That sounds very personal and intimate Adams
    Wol Euler: that's a nice statement, adams.
    Adams Rubble: A little Nisargaradatta

    Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj was an Indian Advaita guru, well publicised in the West.

    doug Sosa: i found, like the 9 sec, it very quickly infuses the rst of time.
    Storm Nordwind: I can certainly understand that doug
    doug Sosa: the hard parts for me were, first the alliteration of the words, made it music, not meaning.
    Storm Nordwind: haha! Yes.
    doug Sosa: second, was giving status (?) to being before my experience.
    Storm Nordwind: Please explain what you mean by "status" doug
    doug Sosa: well, something like what stands in front of you independent of you.
    Storm Nordwind: Hmm... doug - are you implying that you must become aware of separation as a prelude to the exercise?
    doug Sosa: not aware, but grant that Being is, before my experience begins.
    doug Sosa: I realize that to need not be in temporal sequence, but that was a difficulty for me in the first week.
    Storm Nordwind nods

    A monk arrived and greeted us. We returned the gesture.

    Anderson Gravois: Namo Amitofo
    Wol Euler: hello anderson, join us.
    Adams Rubble: Hello again Anderson
    Storm Nordwind: Hello Anderson
    Anderson Gravois: Nice to see you again
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Storm Nordwind: If you would care to join us, we are discussing our experiences with Play as Being
    Adams Rubble: Anderson was here with us this morning and has returned
    Storm Nordwind: Cool
    Anderson Gravois: Happy to be here
    Wol Euler: ah, then we'll spare you the introductions :-)
    Storm Nordwind: And already is OK with our logging and publishing

    So with an an apparent proliferation of techniques, and only 60,000 waking seconds in a day, I wanted to ask how people distributed their practices. What emerged were descriptions of obstacles to our chosen practices.

    Storm Nordwind: So we have PaB, and then YSBS, then ESBS and now APAPB!
    Storm Nordwind: So I was wondering, with these different practices, but with PaB at the core, do people spend more time doing one than another, does it go in waves, or are there even favourites? :)
    Adams Rubble: I try everything :)
    Storm Nordwind nods
    doug Sosa: the 9 sec is my favorite.
    Wol Euler: I've only done YS/BS, in work the last few weeks if I sit still for 9 seconds, people start shouting at me :-(
    Storm Nordwind: haha!
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Storm Nordwind: Sorry - mustn't laugh!
    Wol Euler: it'll be back to normal on Tuesday, though, and then I can try gain.
    Storm Nordwind nods
    Storm Nordwind: I think I've had my deepest experiences with this practice a work
    Storm Nordwind: Probably because that's where I tend to try them first
    Wol Euler: ah :)
    doug Sosa: from the beginning I've done the 9 sec without stopping the stuff I am doing.
    Wol Euler: really?
    Storm Nordwind nods
    Storm Nordwind: I can understand that doug
    Adams Rubble: One thing about work is that since I am busy doing something else, things can creep up on me. Sort of what Doug just said
    Adams Rubble: busy
    Storm Nordwind: I have found there is one other practice that I can do without stopping doing other stuff though
    doug Sosa: the reason for me is, i like to watch my mind(?) in various states.
    Storm Nordwind: I see
    Storm Nordwind: Although I return to 9 sec PaB most often, my 'home' practice is ES - and this I can do while doing anything
    Storm Nordwind: At least I can when in it. (Engaging from zero is hard when doing other things.)

    We moved on to the effects of our practice and meanwhile doug slipped away quietly

    Adams Rubble: I have been in a period of incredible calm the past few days and things just seem to be coming to me
    Wol Euler smiles. Very good.
    Storm Nordwind: Good things? Or anything at all - and your reaction to them is calm?
    Adams Rubble: Very good things :)
    Storm Nordwind: To what do you attribute that - (if you do at all)?
    Adams Rubble: Storm, so many things. Reading, attending many PaB sessions the past week, Pema, other friends, and it finally coming together
    Adams Rubble: and exercises :)
    Storm Nordwind smiles deeply
    Adams Rubble: My "self" is standing on a bridge looking at wonderful scenery
    Wol Euler: lovely
    Adams Rubble: It seems that it may be time to leave the "self" there
    Storm Nordwind: It may have had a use for a while. It may be time to drop what you no longer need.
    doug Sosa: must go, so easy to stay but...:)
    Adams Rubble: bye Doug
    Storm Nordwind: bye doug
    Wol Euler: bye doug,, take care.
    Anderson Gravois: take care
    Adams Rubble: I have learned that I can keep my identities, knowing they are transitory, and try to find the person who was there at birth and will be there at death
    Adams Rubble: Sorry about the long description..it is the only definition I know now
    Adams Rubble: but I hope to know more soon
    Storm Nordwind: That is a good description. It is lyrical :)
    Adams Rubble: The person who is witness to Being seeing
    Adams Rubble: The person who walks with God
    Wol Euler smiles.
    Storm Nordwind: You remind me, Adams, of an old Indian saying about Bhakti Yoga - the yoga of devotion
    Storm Nordwind: There are many people who practice spiritualities like this who want to merge, unite, lose all self, become Being
    Storm Nordwind: But the devotee says otherwise.
    Storm Nordwind: He says, "I want to taste sweetness and get as close as I can to it. I do not want to become sweetness itself!"
    Adams Rubble: :)

    We had a little chat about the impossibility of using words to communicate what we were touching on, and lovely images flowered in our minds, as we touched upon the central theme...

    Anderson Gravois: "Become Being" --- interesting phrase...seems a bit detached
    Anderson Gravois: Becoming IMHO is only an illusion...there is only Being...No was or will be-- a continuous present
    Storm Nordwind: Sure. Words are an impossibility. There are no right words for this.
    Anderson Gravois: Of course..like communicating the scent of a rose with words...never can suffice
    Storm Nordwind: Indeed. Yet we gather here to describe the rose, to describe how we have sniffed it perhaps. All inadequate words, and each fails in his or her own way in the process. Yet we still come here. :)
    Adams Rubble: Maybe it is a little like being outside a garden and knowing there is a wonderful smell emanating from behind the wall and not having any idea what it is
    Anderson Gravois: sure....
    Wol Euler: nicely said, both of you :-)
    Anderson Gravois: Are you familiar with the term from the Dzogchen tradition "Naked Awareness?"
    Adams Rubble: Hello Gaya
    Adams Rubble: no Anderson
    Wol Euler: hi gaya
    Anderson Gravois: Hello, Gaya...
    Storm Nordwind: I am Anderson, though the others may not be. This is not really a Buddhist group! :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    Storm Nordwind: Hi Gaya
    Wol Euler: no, it's new to me.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Sorry joining in for a short time
    Anderson Gravois: I understand, but it is still relevant
    Storm Nordwind: Yes it is. One of the exercises I would describe as generation stage Mahamudra tantra, but that wouldn't be much use to many here!
    Anderson Gravois: I am trying to express something here that is a bit difficult
    Adams Rubble: We're used to that Anderson :)
    Wol Euler: fire away, we'll wave flags when we need explanations.
    Storm Nordwind chuckles
    Anderson Gravois: In my tradition, Mahamudra is not necessarily the same as Buddhist yoga tantra...But it does bear some similarity to Dzogchen
    Anderson Gravois: The idea of resting in naked awareness
    Anderson Gravois: SImply Being
    Anderson Gravois: Relaxing into Being
    Wol Euler chuckles at Adams.
    Anderson Gravois: Uncontrived, nonstriving, natural awareness
    Anderson Gravois: They are all nonetheless experiments of mind at simply Being
    Storm Nordwind nods
    Storm Nordwind: I think the founder of our group here would have a lot of sympathy with where you're coming from there :)

    And deeply personal memories of awareness flowered...

    Anderson Gravois: I have a memory from, believe it or not, infancy....
    Anderson Gravois: My mother was bathing me in the kitchen sink
    Anderson Gravois: There was no thought...no emotion--simply a natural state of naked awareness
    Adams Rubble: That is a nice analogy for naked awareness

    ... Naked and aware - with naked awareness.

    Storm Nordwind: Yes. And that awareness is constantly experiencable Anderson. Not IMHO just in our infancy
    Anderson Gravois: You are totally correct, Storm
    Adams Rubble: I believe. I have a memory from 6 months old
    Anderson Gravois: Adams can you remember what that memory "felt" like?
    Adams Rubble: Hmm. Funny I never thought what it felt like
    Adams Rubble: Yes I do
    Adams Rubble: It was fear in my mother
    Adams Rubble: The apartment house next door burned down
    Adams Rubble: I remember the fire engines and the hoses in the street
    Adams Rubble: and my mother's fear
    Adams Rubble: I had no fear
    Adams Rubble: I was a witness to fear
    Anderson Gravois: In Taoist teachings, we are reminded of the Infant and its state of simply Being in the "Tao."
    Storm Nordwind considers "in the Tao" and "in the Now"
    Anderson Gravois: The memory from my infancy gives me a taste of this state of Being--to remind me of this simple act Being
    Storm Nordwind nods
    Adams Rubble: Yes, Anderson, thank you
    Anderson Gravois: Imagine using the contrived memory to remind us to relax into uncontrived Being---Ironic
    Storm Nordwind: These practices are full of many ironies :)
    Anderson Gravois: They are
    Wol Euler: Adams, were you aware of that memory and its emotional load previously?
    Adams Rubble: I never connected the memory to what I was experiencing
    Adams Rubble: Thank you again Anderson
    Adams Rubble: So I now have birth, death and the baby witnessing fear
    Storm Nordwind: and the scent of roses drifting over a wall :)
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Adams Rubble: Yes Storm

    There was a natural and beautiful pause. I thought I would forewarn our nearly new guest that sometimes - well quite often really - we shift, in a heartbeat, from the sublime to the ridiculous, revelling in both!

    Storm Nordwind: Sometimes, Anderson, these sessions can be intense or deep. Sometimes there is more levity. We do Play together sometimes! :)
    Adams Rubble: or do both
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Storm Nordwind: yes - at the same time!
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles
    Anderson Gravois: B R B
    Storm Nordwind nods
    Storm Nordwind wonders whether Gaya's pets count as "play" :)
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles
    Gaya Ethaniel: Perhaps Storm
    Wol Euler: appearance perhaps.
    Adams Rubble: or dinner
    Wol Euler: :)
    Storm Nordwind: haha! How do they survive out of the wet Gaya? Perhaps i should help with that :)
    Adams Rubble: oh no
    Storm Nordwind: oh - ok
    Wol Euler: perhaps we are all deep underwater and have not noticed?
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles

    Anderson attended to something in RL and it reminded me of another occasional guest of ours.

    Anderson Gravois: I am back...In the RL, I have an acupuncture practice...had to tend to a patient
    Wol Euler: ah.
    Wol Euler: wb
    Gaya Ethaniel: wb
    Storm Nordwind: I see
    Storm Nordwind: We have another wandering monk who visits too
    Anderson Gravois: Oh, really?
    Storm Nordwind: He runs an internet cafe bookshop in Alaska
    Anderson Gravois: Cool.
    Storm Nordwind: and frequently dips out to make lattes for his customers
    Wol Euler: Latteman!
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles
    Wol Euler wonders whether anyone else is reminded of Northern Exposure?
    Anderson Gravois: I step out to stick some needles
    Anderson Gravois: I loved that show!
    Wol Euler smioes
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Anderson Gravois: The philosophical DJ was my favorite character
    Wol Euler nods. And his brother on the motorbike.

    A brief thundery rain shower dampened our clothes but not our spirits.

    Gaya Ethaniel: Thanks... rain suits my mood
    Anderson Gravois: I love the rain....even SIM rain...
    Wol Euler: ah :-)
    Wol Euler nods.

    But it soon passed.

    Storm Nordwind: Just a brief squall it seems
    Wol Euler: not much of a storm, then.
    Adams Rubble: Shhhhhh
    Storm Nordwind: At least I'm not doing chocolate disco tonight
    Storm Nordwind gives his timezone away
    Wol Euler raises an eyebrow enquiringly.

    At the mention of dance, Gaya got up and treated us to a Cretan display as the music played...

    Wol Euler: ah, gaya is turning Zorbish.
    Storm Nordwind enjoys Gaya's dancing
    Gaya Ethaniel takes a humble bow
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Anderson Gravois: That was awesome!!!
    Storm Nordwind applauds
    Wol Euler applauds
    Gaya Ethaniel: ty !
    Storm Nordwind: We have a friend who creates these things for us
    Storm Nordwind: Most of them are quite crazy
    Storm Nordwind: And of course we love them
    Gaya Ethaniel: Chocolate Disco ♪

    Of course, Gaya looked wonderfully cute dancing Chocolate Disco. So I decided it was time for something much more incongruous: me dancing Chocolate Disco!

    Storm Nordwind: チョコレイト・ディスコ  ♪
    Wol Euler: yay!
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel smiles
    Adams Rubble: Go Storm!
    Gaya Ethaniel laughs

    And our guest somersaulted and sang...

    Anderson Gravois: IM A MONK!!!!

    And we all laughed and drifted away after a lovely session.

    Gaya Ethaniel laughs
    Gaya Ethaniel is off to bed. Good day/night all
    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    Anderson Gravois: Good night
    Anderson Gravois: Namo Amitofo
    Adams Rubble: Good night Gaya
    Wol Euler: good night, Gaya, see you tomorrow.
    Storm Nordwind: Good night Gaya!
    Adams Rubble: I must go to too. bye :)
    Wol Euler: actually, I too will have to run soon.
    Wol Euler: bye adams, take care
    Storm Nordwind: A natural conclusion then
    Wol Euler smiles.
    Storm Nordwind: Please excuse me too. Good to meet you again Anderson
    Wol Euler: good night Storm; Anderson, nice meeting you. Take care, all.
    Storm Nordwind waves
    Storm Nordwind: Namaste

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