2008.09.16 19:00 - Anger and other physiological phenomena

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    Sylectra Darwin was the guardian for this meeting and the comments are hers.  


    Adams Rubble: Hello Steve :)
    Adams Rubble: Hello Threedee :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Treedee
    Threedee Shepherd: hello
    Sylectra Darwin: Hello Threedee, Steve, Adams
    stevenaia Michinaga: what form will Sylectra take?


    Steven was alluding to a previous meeting in which I showed up as a very large beetle.  

    Sylectra Darwin: Just a girl!
    Adams Rubble: Hello Syl :)
    Sylectra Darwin: smiles
    Sylectra Darwin: Hi, good to see you all.
    stevenaia Michinaga: I've been out of town for a few days, I thought today was my guardian day
    Sylectra Darwin: smiles
    Sylectra Darwin: No, Steven, it's mine tonight. But I will switch with you if you want Tuesdays :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: no, wednesday is fine for me
    Sylectra Darwin: they are both excellent days, as far as I am concerned. :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: ny idea what this document is on the table?
    Threedee Shepherd: a book Adelene left
    Sylectra Darwin: it appears to be the Principia Discordia, owned by Adelene.
    Threedee Shepherd: sort of anti-establishment everything
    Adams Rubble: whoa
    Adams Rubble: what happened?
    Sylectra Darwin: Well would anyone like to talk about their day today?
    Adams Rubble: I was late for work
    Adams Rubble: hehe
    Threedee Shepherd: A good fraction of my last 24 hours has been at sessions here :)
    Sylectra Darwin: Excellent, Threedee.
    Sylectra Darwin: You could say I was late for work too.
    Sylectra Darwin: I was so beat when I woke up I called in sick and slept.
    stevenaia Michinaga: have there been marathon sessions?
    Sylectra Darwin: Oooh, a 24-hour intensive...what an idea, Steven.
    Threedee Shepherd: No, it's just this is my fourth in a row and each went almost 2 hours
    Sylectra Darwin: Yoga practicioners sometimes do similar things.
    Sylectra Darwin: Wow, Threedee...
    Sylectra Darwin: I need to check out those logs.
    stevenaia Michinaga: care to summarize?
    Threedee Shepherd: One thing I said: "Being is Becoming. Becoming is Being."
    Sylectra Darwin: nods
    Threedee Shepherd: I also quoted form Zen "The relative is the articulation of the absolute."
    Threedee Shepherd: I also came to understand that while anger is just an emotion, not itself good or bad" meditative practice and "right-mind" can decrease occasions that trigger anger.
    Adams Rubble: yes
    stevenaia Michinaga: what brings you to anger Three?
    Threedee Shepherd: not much, anymore.
    Sylectra Darwin: smiles
    Threedee Shepherd: Either older and wiser or older and more cynical, or some of both.
    Sylectra Darwin: Three, do you find that you are able to avoid situations that make you angry, or that you can be in these situations without them making you angry?
    Threedee Shepherd: I guess it's a bit of both, though more that situations don't evoke anger as much as in younger days

    Two people were standing outside the Pavilion.

    Sylectra Darwin: Hello Repri, join us?
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Corvus
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: hello all
    Sylectra Darwin: Welcome Corvus


    Adams suddenly went offline. Threedee continued to relate a little bit of background. Three's background as a retired neuroscientist brings in two interesting dynamics which nicely fit PaB's general emphasis: starting with science, then exploring for what might be there in addition to what's observable. 

    Sylectra Darwin: oops, we lost Adams.
    Threedee Shepherd: More important. I am a retired neuroscientist and understand tat raw emotions themselves just ARE, followed by interpretative feelings that cause all the "porblems". So, I was accepting of the fact that the emotions happen and using PaB and meditation to "deal with them" mindfully. Now, I realize that mindfulness could modify how situations evoke emotions themselves.
    Sylectra Darwin: Threedee, you credit your years of experience but I wonder if maybe it's the work you've been doing...
    Sylectra Darwin: that's a really great insight, Threedee.
    Threedee Shepherd: hard to know :)
    Sylectra Darwin: I've not yet heard the viewpoint of a scientist about emotions, except maybe my dad who taught biology.
    Sylectra Darwin: It's interesting. You start from a place of accepting what already is.
    stevenaia Michinaga: Hello Rowan
    Sylectra Darwin: Hihi Rowan
    Rowan Masala: hi all
    Threedee Shepherd: Well, as a scientist, I can "see" emotions happen using brain scanning techniques (in experiments done by others). Our brain is built to have emotions as "information" mechanisms to us.
    stevenaia Michinaga: one minute you accept what is, the next time it becomes easier and less of an effort
    Rowan Masala: what types of brain scans do they use, 3?
    stevenaia Michinaga: but emotions can have both a good and bed affect on you and your surroundings
    stevenaia Michinaga: bad
    Threedee Shepherd: functional MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
    Rowan Masala smiles
    Rowan Masala: just had one yesterday :)
    Rowan Masala: well, maybe not functional
    Threedee Shepherd: In the last few discussions we played with the idea that the emotions themselves are not good, bad, right, wrong, they just ARE. All the judgmental terms relate to what we do in response to them.
    Threedee Shepherd: Rowan, I hope all is well.
    Sylectra Darwin: I feel that I have to start from that standpoint of being friends with my emotions.
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, true Three
    Rowan Masala: I understand eliminating the right and wrong labels, but some emotions are inherently unpleasant
    Threedee Shepherd: yes, Syl, they happen so denying them is not useful in the long run, in my opinion
    Sylectra Darwin: smiles
    Threedee Shepherd: what emotion is unpleasant, disgust, perhaps? or does unpleasant come after?
    Rowan Masala: fear, shame, heartbreak--these are unpleasant, at least for me
    Threedee Shepherd: From a brain-mechanism there are only a small number of *emotions: anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness and surprise.
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, but they are also signs to be read, listened to and learned from
    Threedee Shepherd: Feeling such as shame, guilt, heartbreak are oour interpretations that occur in response to this small constellation of *emotions*
    Sylectra Darwin: emotions are unpleasant if you have bad experiences associated with them...depends on each person.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire sighs...some are physically painful.
    stevenaia Michinaga: like a stop sign, while moving, you see it read it, react to it, (cease moving), then begin again
    stevenaia Michinaga: cease motion
    stevenaia Michinaga: or ignore it and end up in potential disaster,
    Threedee Shepherd: Perhaps it seems like just words, however, I am trying to distinguish between the small number of wired-into-the-brain *emotions* and the concept of *feelings*
    Rowan Masala nods
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: can you explain feelings a little then?
    Sylectra Darwin: yes, ignoring it completely can make it stronger.
    Threedee Shepherd: feelings are the conscious stories we tell ourselves about the situations in which the emotions occurred.


    A new person joined us who had only been on Second Life for one day.  He jumped right into the conversation without missing a beat.


    Sylectra Darwin: Hi Albertus!
    Albertus Urvilan: Hope I'm not intruding
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: Emotions..are they just brain things? What about the variety of body things that happens as a response to the brain thing?
    Sylectra Darwin: Please join us.
    Rowan Masala: hi Albertus
    Sylectra Darwin: We're discussing emotions such as anger.
    Threedee Shepherd: for example, I like to use the example that "guilt is a judgment, not a feeling"
    Rowan Masala: and do you think that guilt is a judgment often paired with a particular underlying emotion?
    Threedee Shepherd: Oh, Corvi, emotions are totally brain-body-in relation to the world things.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods...but an emotion..a brain thingy...could it have more than one set of body responses?
    Threedee Shepherd: Interestingly, consciousness of fear has been demonstrated to depend strongly on the gut muscle tension that is an involuntary response to a fearful situation
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods.
    Rowan Masala: hmm
    Threedee Shepherd: I don't want to sound like I'm lecturing :), and...I think it has been shown in many situations (and experiments) that *emotions* are and involuntary reaction of the brain-body-total organism to events in the world. Then come feelings..and
    Threedee Shepherd: what I have discerned here in the past few discussions is that even though the *emotions* are not voluntary, they are not inevitable if one achieves a certain state of mindfulness.
    Rowan Masala: interesting notion
    Sylectra Darwin: That's fascinating, Threedee, especially the part about the gut being involved in the fear response.
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes it is
    stevenaia Michinaga: interesting
    Threedee Shepherd: I must say I like the statement: Involuntary does not imply inevitable. :)
    Rowan Masala smiles
    Rowan Masala: I like that too
    Sylectra Darwin: like my fear of spiders.
    Albertus Urvilan: Breathing being an important key to loosening that fear response
    Rowan Masala nods
    Sylectra Darwin: That's definitely involuntary, but I am working with myself to be more understanding of the actual nature of spiders.
    Sylectra Darwin: Breathing is a wonderful technique.
    Albertus Urvilan: I highly recommend it ;)
    stevenaia Michinaga: can mindfulness be a natural state or is it something you learn?
    Rowan Masala laughs
    Albertus Urvilan: Several times a minute, in fact
    Rowan Masala: at least
    Sylectra Darwin: LOL
    Albertus Urvilan: I think we can learn to become more natural. It can involve releasing deeprooted conditioning
    Rowan Masala: "learn to become more natural" interesting phrasing
    Albertus Urvilan: Tricky to word it at all; you get caught at every turn!!
    Albertus Urvilan: But we must try.
    Threedee Shepherd: Steve, it would appear that mindfulness is not a *default* state. If it were that would be well reported by folks who readily achieve it without some practice, I would think.
    Sylectra Darwin: what role can mindfulness play in "unlearning" these emotional habits?
    Albertus Urvilan: Central role.
    Albertus Urvilan: Basis
    Albertus Urvilan: Some are naturally in accordance with mindful state quite easily.
    Albertus Urvilan: Others struggle with many layers of inauthenticity
    Albertus Urvilan: I'm in the latter camp ...
    Albertus Urvilan: ;)
    Sylectra Darwin: Inauthenticity, I like that word.
    Threedee Shepherd: Albertus, who are those in accord quite easily?
    Albertus Urvilan: It could be any of us!
    Albertus Urvilan: In a flash!
    Albertus Urvilan: Ding!
    Albertus Urvilan: Bong!
    Albertus Urvilan: Clank!!
    Sylectra Darwin: Like the mindfulness bell.
    Albertus Urvilan: Or even the garbage can lid.
    Albertus Urvilan: Probably more likely the garbage can lid actually
    Sylectra Darwin: smiles
    Sylectra Darwin: Albertus, are you familiar with the 9-second moment?
    Rowan Masala laughs
    Albertus Urvilan: No, haven't heard that
    Sylectra Darwin: In the Play as Being group (which this is), we talk about our explorations of mindfulness after practicing the 9-second moment.
    Threedee Shepherd: I agree that the "transition" can be (probably is) instantaneous, getiing to the transition can be a Way involving one (or more) whole life.
    Sylectra Darwin: It's like a micro-meditation.
    Sylectra Darwin: Then you can observe in a journal or however you like what your state of mind is afterwards.
    Sylectra Darwin: This is done 4 times per hour for 9 seconds each.
    Sylectra Darwin: Most of us don't manage to do that schedule all day ! Just whatever we can.
    Albertus Urvilan: OK, interesting. Of course I've just barged in sat down and started yakking without having any idea about what the group is. Typical of me in RL too. Is anyone actually any idfferent in SL??
    Sylectra Darwin: smiles
    Sylectra Darwin: Actually you had a number of interesting points!
    Sylectra Darwin: It's an open discussion.
    Sylectra Darwin: Here's a link to our group's wiki:
    Sylectra Darwin: We save the chat logs from discussions. Is this okay with you?
    Threedee Shepherd: In SL, it probably depends on which Sim you visit. I HOPE Avs in Gor-ean sims are unlike themselves in RL :)
    Sylectra Darwin: Threedee, me too.
    Albertus Urvilan: Thanks. No problem to keep chat. Public domain!
    Sylectra Darwin: Cool, thank you. :)
    Albertus Urvilan: Cite source when publishing.
    Rowan Masala smiles
    Sylectra Darwin: You got it! haha
    Albertus Urvilan: Footnote
    Sylectra Darwin: You seem to be from an academic background.
    Rowan Masala: I prefer parenthetical, myself
    Albertus Urvilan: "SL avatar, 2008:"
    Sylectra Darwin: Directly in the text or footnoted? LOL
    Albertus Urvilan: Did a bibliography course in grad school.
    Albertus Urvilan: **YAWN** But I did learn a bit about writing.
    Albertus Urvilan: I don't know anything about different sims. Only here for 1 day so far
    Rowan Masala: there's a reason bibliographies are classified in the Zzzzzzs in LC classification
    Sylectra Darwin: Yes, I work for a professional society which pubishes a scholarly journal, so we are all about the citations.
    Albertus Urvilan: Ha
    Sylectra Darwin: How do you like Second Life so far, Albertus?
    Albertus Urvilan: So far I have had gratuitous avatar sex, sat with a meditation group, visited a mall,
    Corvuscorva Nightfire snorts.
    Albertus Urvilan: so in other words, not very unusual from real life
    Albertus Urvilan: OOOPS did I say that!!
    Threedee Shepherd: an interesting RL indeed!
    Albertus Urvilan: *** Shredding the computer ****
    Sylectra Darwin: haha
    Sylectra Darwin: You have only been here a day!
    Albertus Urvilan: LOL
    Rowan Masala stares at Albertus pensively, not quite willing to believe he's not an alt
    Albertus Urvilan: Busy boy
    Albertus Urvilan: What's an alt
    Rowan Masala: an alternate avatar
    Rowan Masala: newbie birthdate, old soul, SL-wise
    Albertus Urvilan: Oh OK
    Albertus Urvilan: No, I've just been **chatty** for years,
    You: I like that, Rowan.
    Sylectra DarwinUrvilan: in various forums
    Albertus Urvilan: forae?
    Rowan Masala nods
    Rowan Masala: fora?
    Sylectra Darwin: Fori?
    Sylectra Darwin: LOL
    Rowan Masala: the plural of... oh god, Latin was so long ago
    Albertus Urvilan: Fora vs Forums

    According to the Oxford English Dictionary...

    forum n. (pl. forums)

    1) a meeting or medium for an exchange of views.

    2) (pl. fora) (in an ancient Roman city) a public square or marketplace used for judicial and other business. Origin ME: from Latin, lit. what is out of doors.

    But everywhere else I've looked, it seems that forums and fora are interchangable. I personally prefer to use the word forums, when referring to a group of workshops and meetings.

    I want to argue for this at my work because the term fora is being used and I want to know if there's more evidence that I'm actually correct, besides what the Oxford English Dictionary tells me.
    Rowan Masala looks over at Steven
    Rowan Masala: ahem
    Albertus Urvilan: That's from http://www.painintheenglish.<wbr/>com/post.php?id=627
    Rowan Masala: Steven and I were just discussin the OED last night
    Albertus Urvilan: Sorry I'm a real Googler.
    stevenaia Michinaga: you're the expert, Rowan
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: common ailment here, I think.
    Albertus Urvilan: Inveterate
    Rowan Masala laughs
    stevenaia Michinaga: didn't you teach a class on this today?
    stevenaia Michinaga: ironic
    Rowan Masala: on the OED, yes--on latinate plurals, no
    Albertus Urvilan: OK so what would the 9-second rule do for us at this point?
    Albertus Urvilan: oops, not "DROOL" -- "rule"
    Rowan Masala laughs
    Rowan Masala: maybe we should try a 9 second drool and see what happens
    Albertus Urvilan: moment
    stevenaia Michinaga: lol
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: yeah
    Albertus Urvilan: Back to the avatar sex ... **Drool ***
    Rowan Masala: lol
    Sylectra Darwin: TMI! LOL
    Rowan Masala: and... that was a conversation stopper... hmmm
    Albertus Urvilan: In Zen there's often talk of "one-breath zazen"
    Albertus Urvilan: Not dissimilar to 9-second, but keyed to the natural cycle of in and outbreath
    Rowan Masala nods
    Sylectra Darwin: We are all from different backgrounds, and not necessarily religious.
    Sylectra Darwin: I find it very refreshing to hear from all the various philosophies.
    Rowan Masala nods
    Rowan Masala: can you tell us more about the 1-sec zazen practice?
    Rowan Masala: er, one breath
    Albertus Urvilan: Sorry I have to takee a tel call ... brb
    Sylectra Darwin: Albertus, this is just about the end of the hour anyway, although you all can stay and chat.
    Sylectra Darwin: I need to go...can anyone else take the chat log from here on out?
    Threedee Shepherd: Well folks, this seems a good time to say goodnight, for me. Thanks and see you soon.
    Albertus Urvilan: Do you meet regularly here?
    Sylectra Darwin: We do! It's on the wiki, but basically 4 times a day.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: gnight
    stevenaia Michinaga: 4 times a day
    Rowan Masala: goodnight, Sylectra and 3D
    Sylectra Darwin: Goodnight, everyone!
    Rowan Masala: Goodnight, Corvi--was good to see you
    Neela Blaisdale: Hello all. just wanted to stop by and say hello
    stevenaia Michinaga: I must go too, the info is in the wiki page

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