2008.09.06 13:00 - Bad weather?

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

    Arriving on time at the pavilion...

    Umbriel Levenque: Hi Storm
    Umbriel Levenque: Metta
    Storm Nordwind: Hi moon of a distant planet.

    Umbriel is the darkest Uranian moon.

    Storm Nordwind bows
    Umbriel Levenque: :-)

    In typical British style, I opened by talking about the weather!

    Storm Nordwind: How are you this windy evening?
    Umbriel Levenque: Good thank you (weather hasn't been the best today down south either) and yourself?
    Storm Nordwind: Bearing up thank you
    Storm Nordwind: Hello Adams
    Umbriel Levenque: Hi Adams
    Umbriel Levenque: Metta
    Adams Rubble: Hello Gentlemen :)
    Umbriel Levenque: Looking lovely Adams if I may say so
    Adams Rubble: Thank you Umbriel :)
    Umbriel Levenque: :-)
    Storm Nordwind: Well I must be excused if I make no comment - my fiancee arrives for a short stay on Monday! :)
    Adams Rubble: Oh that is great Storm :)
    Umbriel Levenque: :-)
    Adams Rubble: We have a big storm arriving here in RL as we speak
    Storm Nordwind: We are just letting go of several
    Umbriel Levenque: Yes heard some news about storms there Adams
    Adams Rubble: Ah
    Adams Rubble: Yes, it is a tropical storm now moving up the east coast
    Storm Nordwind: The equinoctial gales have arrived early here this year
    Storm Nordwind: And you have Hurricane Ike to follow, already at cat 4
    Adams Rubble is thinking and the Republicans don;t believe in global warming
    Adams Rubble: Yes and Josephine behind Ike
    Storm Nordwind reads Adams mind and chuckles
    Adams Rubble: I bet you don't now the next part
    Adams Rubble: I had a grandmother Josephine who died before I was born
    Storm Nordwind waits eagerly
    Storm Nordwind: oh!
    Adams Rubble: I feel a strange bit of connection-have no idea of why I would
    Adams Rubble: Hi Sunyata :)
    Adams Rubble: Hi Neela :)
    Umbriel Levenque: Hi Sunyata
    Storm Nordwind: Greetings Sunyata
    Umbriel Levenque: Metta
    Neela Blaisdale: Hello Adams, Storm, Umbriel and Sun
    Sunyata Margulies: hi!
    Storm Nordwind: Hi Neela
    Storm Nordwind: we are doing a very British thing and talking about the weather :)
    Umbriel Levenque: Hi Neela
    Umbriel Levenque: Metta
    Sunyata Margulies: :) it's raining a lot here
    Neela Blaisdale: Yes we're expecting a hurricane here in the northeast
    Storm Nordwind: We can stop now though!
    Adams Rubble: with stiff upper lips
    Neela Blaisdale: :)
    Umbriel Levenque: :-)
    Storm Nordwind: Just a non-porous roof is fine
    Adams Rubble: I am in the NE Neela

    All this talk of weather got me thinking. The British use such talk as a conversational ice-breaker and to do something that they are very good at: complaining about the unchangeable. But why grumble? Indeed, with a name like mine one might guess that I like "high contrast" weather. So there was an underlying question I wanted to ask...

    Storm Nordwind: Here's an odd question...
    Storm Nordwind: We get weather every day, and sometimes quite severe...
    Storm Nordwind: Has your outlook on natural occurrences like this changed at all with PaB practice?
    Adams Rubble: I was writing about it a little today
    Storm Nordwind nods
    Umbriel Levenque: Yes Storm. I tune into weather rather than get affected by it
    Neela Blaisdale: Did you say something Storm.I can't see it
    Adams Rubble: I think I may be more aware
    Adams Rubble: But maybe it is just that I have a place to write about it now. hehe
    Storm Nordwind: Hmmm. Neela you may have some lag...
    Storm Nordwind: I said "Has your outlook on natural occurrences like this (severe weather) changed at all with PaB practice?"
    Adams Rubble: I was very focused on the humidity and how it was affecting me and also the barometer as I felt it dropping
    Neela Blaisdale: Interesting, not so far
    Storm Nordwind: Many people are affected by weather if they have arthritis, for example. Is that the sort of thing you mean Adams?
    Sunyata Margulies: haven't done much PaB, but meditation has helped me disconnect the dreary feelings that weather changes used to cause....much more even keel no matter what
    Storm Nordwind nods to Sunyata
    Adams Rubble: No I could feel it almost pressing against me, almost like a smothering
    Storm Nordwind: I sympathise Adams
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Umbriel Levenque: Excuse me. Answering a call. Have a good day/night.
    Umbriel Levenque: Metta
    Neela Blaisdale: Yes well today is very oppressive int the NE
    Adams Rubble: bye Umbriel
    Storm Nordwind: Bye Umbriel
    Adams Rubble: Everyone in the house is sluggish
    Adams Rubble: In answer to your question, yes I think I am more aware of all that

    So I tried to summarise.

    Storm Nordwind: So this is interesting. Umbriel feels more in tune rather than being affected. Sunyata has disconnected from the destabilising parts of it.
    Storm Nordwind: And Adams has increased awareness.
    Adams Rubble: and Adams talks too much :)
    Storm Nordwind: Haha! But look at it: those are non-trivial effects (even the talking!) :)
    Adams Rubble: The rain outside the kitchen window is like a waterfall
    Neela Blaisdale: Actually now that I think about it it may be that the grey days have less effect on me than before, I'm not as likely to be pulled down by them
    Adams Rubble: Unfortunately that means the gutter is clogged :)
    Storm Nordwind: That's great Neela. I know that horrible feeling
    Storm Nordwind: Adams you are a fabulous mixture of romantic and pragmatist!
    Neela Blaisdale: :)
    Adams Rubble: :)

    So our practices, Play as Being or meditation, was having considerable effect of our outlook, even extending to how we regarded something as everyday as the weather. We lapsed into a long silence.

    Storm Nordwind: Sunyata - may I ask about the sort of meditation that you practise?
    Sunyata Margulies: various...mantra, calm abiding, insight, some other stuff..
    Sunyata Margulies: you?
    Storm Nordwind: Various sorts too. Lamrim meditations, tranquil abiding ... etc
    Storm Nordwind: I can thoroughly recommend the Play as Being practice though. And the extensions that have been suggested too
    Sunyata Margulies: cool
    Neela Blaisdale: What is lamrin?
    Storm Nordwind: Lamrim means 'stages of the path'
    Sunyata Margulies: it's more Tibetan stuff
    Storm Nordwind: yup
    Neela Blaisdale: I never heard that word before, of course have only begun studying Buddhism itself recently. As opposed to meditation
    Storm Nordwind: There is quite a lot to study! But yes this goes back quite some centuries and is a well known practice in Tibetan Buddhist schools
    Storm Nordwind: I don't hink I've mentioned it here before.
    Storm Nordwind: I try not to use jargon unless asked! :)
    Neela Blaisdale: :)
    Adams Rubble raises an ear
    Sunyata Margulies: from what i can tell...Tibetan Buddhism lays down a very structured progression of meditations that is really powerful....and leads to awareness over time. There is Lamrim information and teachings widely available on the net....google or yahoo will give a good overview :)
    Neela Blaisdale: ty
    Storm Nordwind nods
    Storm Nordwind: There are extensions of Play as Being, Sunyata, that are very like generation stage Vajrayana Mahamudra tantra - but I don't normally say that because (a) very few people have a clue what I'm saying, and (b) it takes too long to type!
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Sunyata Margulies: :) cool!
    Adams Rubble: What is like VMT Storm?
    Storm Nordwind: ESBS
    Storm Nordwind: Especially, for me, ES
    Adams Rubble: ah. The ES hasn't worked so well for me so far
    Storm Nordwind: Well I guess all these things work in their own way and we respond as we can. For me, as you know, ES has had the deepest effect on me - although not initially the most spectacular
    Sunyata Margulies: I'm not storm....but Vajrayana is another Tibetan system that is interrelated to the other ideas....it involves a transmission from a lama...the visualization of a tutelary deity, and the use of the deity's associated mantra...in it's simplest form
    Sunyata Margulies: Mahamudra is a state of awareness...and there are practices that directly lead to this state
    Sunyata Margulies: it is all related intimately
    Storm Nordwind nods
    Sunyata Margulies: ES?
    Adams Rubble: Enlightened self seeing
    Storm Nordwind: One of the extensions of Play as Being
    Sunyata Margulies: ah
    Adams Rubble: We try nto see as we would see and then how Being would see
    Neela Blaisdale: I am actually still doing you as seeing, being as seeing
    Sunyata Margulies: i.e. witnessing w/o attachment or aversion?
    Storm Nordwind: That's YSBS - for Sunyata's benefit
    Neela Blaisdale: Don't feel ready to move on from that yet
    Storm Nordwind: That's quite fine Neela
    Storm Nordwind: But not really Sunyata
    Adams Rubble: Each of us has to find what works for us
    Storm Nordwind nods to Adams
    Storm Nordwind: The normal Play as Being practice will bring the witnessing, in my opinion
    Storm Nordwind: The You Seeing Being Seeing is comparing awareness by you with awareness as Being
    Sunyata Margulies: what's the difference? :)
    Adams Rubble: I often substitute God for Being, YSGS because I can relate to that better
    Storm Nordwind: The difference, Sunyata, is that I am not normally aware of universes forming and being destroyed, but as Being I am! :)
    Sunyata Margulies: ok
    Adams Rubble: Storm does very powerful seeing
    Adams Rubble: It is an inspiration to the rest of us
    Storm Nordwind thinks Adams is very kind, and is honoured to inspire
    Adams Rubble: My BS is more awkward but it does help me see the world from a less selfish perspective
    Storm Nordwind: Brilliant Adams :)
    Storm Nordwind: So your name, Sunyata, is very deliberately chosen :)
    Sunyata Margulies: yes
    Adams Rubble: please explain :)
    Neela Blaisdale: Goodbye all, must go. Take care everyone
    Adams Rubble: bye Neela :)
    Sunyata Margulies: bye Neela
    Storm Nordwind: Bye for now Neela. Good to see you
    Adams Rubble: What does Sunyata mean?
    Sunyata Margulies: Sunyata = emptiness in Sanskrit
    Adams Rubble: ah
    Sunyata Margulies: Heart Sutra and some others teach about it
    Storm Nordwind: Emptiness is ... hmm... very important in Buddhism
    Storm Nordwind: So I feel I have the only name that is not an ancient one!
    Adams Rubble: :) but a very powerful one!

    Another silence. I realised that, although it was clear that Sunyata had been here before, I didn't know how many times. I felt duty bound to warn him of "the other side" of these meetings.

    Storm Nordwind: I don't know how long you have been coming to these meetings Sunyata, but quite often a great deal of tomfoolery breaks out! :)
    Adams Rubble: uh oh
    Sunyata Margulies: this is time #2
    Sunyata Margulies: or 1.5 if you want
    Storm Nordwind: That's like a software release
    Sunyata Margulies: bring the tomfoolery!

    Adams got the drinks out.

    Storm Nordwind: Before we do, have you been shown where the Play as Being reference material is on line?
    Sunyata Margulies gave you Hoooo!.
    Sunyata Margulies: wordpress blog?
    Storm Nordwind: also the Wiki
    Storm Nordwind: seen that?
    Sunyata Margulies: ok...haven't seen the wiki yet
    Storm Nordwind: OK. There's a hints pages and a nutshell page for the practices
    Sunyata Margulies: cool
    Storm Nordwind: http://playasbeing.wik.is/
    Sunyata Margulies: ty
    Sunyata Margulies: Hoooo!
    Heineken whispers: Drink up!
    Sunyata Margulies: sorry...i get carried away w/ those :)
    Adams Rubble: Hoooo!
    Storm Nordwind: easy to do - no problem!

    I poured myself a Guinness. Adams got up, drink in hand, and before she could say blearily, "You're me best mates, I really love you!" she staggered, twisted round and fell under the table.

    Storm Nordwind: I don't remember lager being that strong Adams
    Storm Nordwind: fabulous
    Sunyata Margulies: :)
    Storm Nordwind: I hope you're going to clean up after you
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Storm Nordwind: One beer and she's anybody's
    Adams Rubble: hey!
    Storm Nordwind: (It's the Guinness talking)
    Adams Rubble: Ok then
    Sunyata Margulies: it's ok....don't have to worry about me hitting on you Adams...I'm spoken for
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Storm Nordwind: I think you need to wait till the caffeine hits the bloodstream for a longer response Sunyata :)
    Adams Rubble: hehe

    And though the meeting did not end at this point, we got drawn into RL politics and comparative geography, and I will draw a discreet veil over it!

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