2008.11.25 13:00 - Pema and Stim Part II: Here We Are, Now What?

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    The Guardian for this session was genesis Zhangsun.  The comments below are hers.

    This was the second dialogue between Pema and Stim.  Pema sent out the below email before the session.

    Here we are, now what?

    This will be a follow up from our first dialogue, three weeks ago, where we talked about Three Notions of Being, in the session:

    Toward the end Stim said:

    Stim Morane: There is no need to "wait" for this kind of higher or more direct way of knowing. It's quite fine to start with what you can actually see in more ordinary or modest ways. This brings us back to point "1" on Pema's list.

    the beginning of which was:

     1) when we start with our usual understanding of who we are and what
        the world is we find ourselves in, we can . . .

    I propose that we continue our conversation by again starting from scratch: given the way we find ourselves, as we find ourselves, who we seem to be, in this world we seem to live in, how can we get more clarity, about the world, about life, about ourselves?

    My suggestion has been to use the sentence: Appreciate the Presence of Appearance as a Presentation by Being

    APAPB for short.  I would like to talk with Stim about the question of how to step into that exploration.  Here we are, now what?

     Quite a crowd had gathered for the second dialogue between Pema and Stim. Present were: Wol, Adams, Gaya, Fael, Maxine, Doug, Adelene, Solobill, Fefonz, and Tarmel.

    Maxine Walden: hi Pema, Stim, Adelend
    Pema Pera: Hi Maxine, Adelene, Stim, Gen!
    genesis Zhangsun: Hi All!
    Stim Morane: Hi everyone!
    Pema Pera: Hi Gaya!
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^
    Maxine Walden: Hi, Gen, and Adelene (spell your name correctly)
    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    Pema Pera: Hi Fael, Fefonz!
    Adelene Dawner: 'Addie' is fine, if you prefer to shorten it, or most people call me 'Ade'
    Fael Illyar: Hi Everyone :)
    Stim Morane: Hi Fael
    Fefonz Quan: Hi all :-)
    Stim Morane: & Fefonz
    Solobill Laville is Online
    Maxine Walden: OK, Ade. Hi, Fael, Fefonz
    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    Maxine Walden: Lots of folks coming today
    Fefonz Quan: we've heard there is a dualecture
    Pema Pera: no lecture, for sure!
    Adams Rubble: Hello everyone :)
    Fefonz Quan: dualog
    Pema Pera: Hi Adams!
    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    Maxine Walden: hi, Adams
    Fael Illyar: Hi Wol :)
    Adams Rubble: Hello Wol :)
    Wol Euler: afternoon everyone
    Maxine Walden: hi Wol
    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    Stim Morane: I like your glasses, gen
    Adams Rubble: Hello Bill :)
    Wol Euler: hello solo
    Pema Pera: Hi Solo and Wol!
    Solobill Laville: Hi, everyone!
    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    Maxine Walden: hi Solo
    Fefonz Quan: hi solo
    Stim Morane: Hi Solo, Wol
    Wol Euler waves to the slowly rezzing world :)
    Faenik is a hairy black ball with eyes and ears.
    genesis Zhangsun: Oops sorry in the delay thanks Stim!
    genesis Zhangsun: I am dealing with some work things which I am attempting to wrap up :)
    Pema Pera: Shall we get started?
    genesis Zhangsun: Yes pleas
    Stim Morane: OK

    And so the dualog/dialogue begins...


    Pema Pera: Today Stim and I will talk for a while, not too long, about "Here we are, now what?"
    Adams Rubble: Hello Doug :)
    Stim Morane: Hi Doug
    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    Pema Pera: and then we hope all of you will join in
    doug Sosa: hi all :)
    Wol Euler: hello doug
    doug Sosa: hi.
    Pema Pera: My reason -- hi Tarmel! -
    Tarmel Udimo: hi everyone
    Wol Euler smiles at tarmel
    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    Pema Pera: was to emphasize the experimental, or experiential nature of PaB
    Solobill Laville waves to Doug and Tarmel
    Pema Pera: we stop, but why?
    Pema Pera: one simple sequences I've mentioned recently is stopping-> seeing
    Pema Pera: and to learn to stop, we can use appreciation, so
    Pema Pera: appreciation -> stopping -> seeing
    Pema Pera: you could say that that line, in a nutshell is one way to define the PaB exploration.
    Pema Pera: Stim, what do you think, is that a good way to start, from scratch, from where we are?
    Stim Morane: The emphasis on Stopping and Seeing derived from my retreats over the past 20 years or so. But here they have a different meaning I think, so I look forward to see what that meaning is and how they're both facilitated by approaches developed in this context
    Pema Pera: to start with, the minimal suggestion with the 9-sec exploration is to stop or drop
    Stim Morane: yes, of course.
    Pema Pera: stop what you are doing, at least by dropping the fixed identification you have with doing it (you can continue the activity, but just don't identify with it fully)
    Faenik loves wells!
    Pema Pera: and we have said little about why we stop

    A newcomer enters and Wol swiftly implements the new "newcomer" IM tactic 

    Wol Euler: hello reno, I'll give you an introduction to the group in IM
    Pema Pera: that is one thing I hope will come out of our so very many PaB sessions: what are we getting out of all this stopping? what are we seeing?

    Yes indeed what the heck are we doing?  What are people seeing?  Reminded me in some ways of Solobill's brave call to attention of our intention in PaB.

    Stim Morane: Yes. So it sounds like a good approach, and obviously much has been done with it already since this group started. The questions I have included the two you just mentioned.
    Reno Michalski: hello everyone, do you mind if i sit down and just listen for a while?
    Pema Pera: so I see the stopping in the middle, as central, and the two questions at both sides:
    Pema Pera: sure, Reno, make yourself at home here!
    Reno Michalski: ok great
    Reno Michalski: thanks
    Pema Pera: 1) how can we use appreciation to learn to stop better and more fully and more naturally
    Pema Pera: 2) once we stop to some extent, what do we see
    Stim Morane: Here perhaps it's worth going more slowly. I too have always taught that some form of "appreciation" is crucial, but that tended to involve yogic practices and other things to bring out that appreciative capacity. Can you say a little more about what appreciation means in PaB? That would help me, at least.

    The subtraction quality of Appreciation


    Pema Pera: One way to define appreciation is, on a logical level, the minimal thing you can do with what you find
    Pema Pera: rather than interpreting what you experience, as matter, as memories, whatever, the minimum you can do is appreciate that there are phenomena, that there is appearance
    Reno Michalski: ok :)
    Faenik: ah :)
    Stim Morane: I see.
    Pema Pera: in fact, the very minimum is that there is the *presence* of appearance -- that there is something at all, rather than nothing
    Pema Pera: So that's the logical approach
    Stim Morane: Okay. Perhaps I should press this point now... but it might be interesting to see what everyone else thinks about appreciation, what it means for them etc.
    Pema Pera: the other side of the coin is more emotional/devotional is you like
    Stim Morane: *shouldn't
    Pema Pera: to really fully appreciate what appears as it appears, without adding anything
    Pema Pera: yes, Stim?
    Pema Pera: *as you like
    Stim Morane: Yes. I'll c ome back to this. For me, appreciation means something more full, not "bare".

     The fullness of appreciation v. the bareness of appreciation

    Stim Morane: But I agree that it has to start with something as simple as possible.
    Pema Pera: Yes, for me the logic road is one of subtraction, baring appearance,
    Pema Pera: and the emotional road is then what gives room for the fullness to show
    Stim Morane: Yes, letting things go is important
    Faenik: ah :)
    Pema Pera: both are implied, simultaneously
    Fael Illyar: for me, appreciation is too hazy to mean anything without context and because of that, I avoid using it myself.
    Stim Morane: Yes. The word is not going to have the meaning you may wish, without some pointers..
    Pema Pera: of course, yes
    Stim Morane: It actually means "to see the value of", and that's already probably not what is wanted here.
    Pema Pera: unless the value is "the one taste" . . . .
    Gaya Ethaniel: me nods... implies that there is more to do than seeing...
    Solobill Laville: this may be semantics, but for me it goes this way: -> stopping -> seeing -> appreciation
    Stim Morane: yes, but that goes very far beyond the basic stuff you started to mention.
    Tarmel Udimo: and yet this is what I have been noticing
    Stim Morane: ANyway, the basic sequence you mention is fine with me!

    Tarmel shares her experience with 9 seconds... 

    Tarmel Udimo: first the 9 sec is a like a stone being thrown into a pond - its sends out ripples
    Tarmel Udimo: so that's like the stopping, then the seeing is the effect
    Gaya Ethaniel: me wonders... how about stopping -> seeing -> appreciating?
    doug Sosa: in the process of living, and then starting the 9 sec, why introduce "stop"? that seems to be a disruptive act that gets in the way of "seeing" (all senses) how we are living and where?
    Faenik is a hairy black ball with eyes and ears.
    Maxine Walden: Are we now coming in to the dialog space? Thought this was time for Pema and Stim; we can join in later perhaps
    Tarmel Udimo: and then I have begun to notice a subtle feeling of appreciation of in fact dare I say it being protected
    Solobill Laville: (Yes, I was hesitant, Max, but Stim had suggested getttings some feedback on appreciation)
    Tarmel Udimo: sorry
    Maxine Walden: OK, solo.

    Maxine gets us back on track 

    Stim Morane: "Stop" is the key word in my own teaching, and really should be taken pretty seriously... there are all kinds of things that we bring into our engagements with life that need to be seen and released, or at least not continued in an indulgent way.
    Stim Morane: But I agree with Doug that in conjunction with the approach used here, in PaB, maybe "Stop" isn't so clearly right.
    Stim Morane: Certainly there are other things too that might be appropriate to emphasize.
    Stim Morane: I used "Stop" more in a different context, using different methods.
    Gaya Ethaniel: do you mean 'more open' when you say 'stop' Pema?
    Adams Rubble whispers "bye" :)
    Pema Pera: well, I see the basic approach of PaB as being very playful, not defined, not circumscribed
    Stim Morane: Yes
    Pema Pera: in that sense open, yes
    Pema Pera: so before worrying about what stopping can mean, or why we do it, or what good it would be to do it, or who has told us to do it
    Pema Pera: in PaB you just do
    Pema Pera: only 9 sec
    Stim Morane: :)
    Pema Pera: it seems people are willing to "just do" almost anything for 9 seconds
    Pema Pera: beyond that, they start to sputter
    Stim Morane: 9 seconds is a long time ...
    Pema Pera: yes!

     Tarmel notices the newcomer who has joined us whom I had been chatting with for a few minutes.

    Tarmel Udimo: hello cathy
    Faenik: why not?
    doug Sosa: i find in the 9 sec that i don't "stop" but let, let standard assumptions fade, which happens quite quickly if I "let" them go.
    Pema Pera: that's equally fine, Doug, "let" or "stop" as labels!
    Cathy Swansong: i dont know how to sit...lol
    Wol Euler: right-click on a cushion and choose "sit" from the pie menu, cathy
    Stim Morane: brb
    Fael Illyar: I'd describe what I do in 9-seconds as letting beliefs about things go temporarily.
    Cathy Swansong: thank you

    The many faces of "Stopping" 

    Pema Pera: stop, let, let go, drop, put on hold . . . . .
    Pema Pera: shift, switch . . . .
    Pema Pera: look up . . . look to the side . . . .
    Wol Euler: (can someone introduce cathy please, I'm still talkingto Reno)
    Gaya Ethaniel: ^__^
    Solobill Laville: That would be step 2 for me, Doug, I literally stop...
    Fefonz Quan: i think also fo "atopping the effort to do something"
    Fefonz Quan: *stopping
    Pema Pera: (is someone talking with Cathy?)
    Stim Morane: back
    doug Sosa: Interesting difference. I like to keep doing what i am doing, but observing it as if for the first time.
    genesis Zhangsun: Yes I am talking to cathy :)
    Pema Pera: thnx, Gen!
    Pema Pera: yet another nice way to characterize it, Doug!

     Doug adds another one: Observing

    Solobill Laville: Ah! I do that in between the 9-secs!
    Gaya Ethaniel: ^^
    Solobill Laville: (When I can...)
    Tarmel Udimo: it feels more like a ripple effect for me
    Faenik is a hairy black ball with eyes and ears.
    Tarmel Udimo: one that I try to sustain until the next meomory jolt - ahhh 9 secs
    Tarmel Udimo: *mempry
    Tarmel Udimo: *memory
    Stim Morane: so it seems there is much to learn about how different people are approaching the basic PaB method and the sequence you mention, Pema.
    Stim Morane: But within that broad range of options, you are raising the issue of "what next?"

     Yes indeed coming back to the title of the session...

    Pema Pera: yes, I think the main difference between more traditional ways of teaching these kind of explorations, and our peer-based joint exploration, is that we start with a minimum of definitions and instructions
    Pema Pera: so we are here
    Pema Pera: what next?
    Pema Pera: stop
    Pema Pera: how?
    Pema Pera: by starting with appreciation
    Pema Pera: and then what?
    Pema Pera: seeing
    Pema Pera: and indeed as Solo and Gaya mentioned, again appreciation/knowing
    Pema Pera: but each term needs to be unpacked, clarified, illuminated
    Pema Pera: and that's what we can do together in our many sessions . . . . .
    Stim Morane: I think what you're saying is that each of these terms, in a PaB context, can come to acquire many different meanings as people proceed.
    Pema Pera: yes, and we can compare notes
    Stim Morane: well, sounds good to me.
    Pema Pera: we haven't done that in any systematic way yet
    Pema Pera: perhaps we can be a wee bit more systematic in doing so . . . .
    Solobill Laville nods
    Stim Morane: Given this very broad way of defining an approach, is there really a need to go further, re "what next?"
    Pema Pera: like we started doing in talking about what "stopping" can mean
    Pema Pera: good question, Stim :-)
    Stim Morane: I wasn't raising an objection ...
    Stim Morane: just wondering.
    Pema Pera: btw, everybody should feel free to join in, given that this happened already 20 minutes or so ago -- no need to remain quiet!
    Stim Morane: The things you and others have already mentioned are very rich, and could be explored for a long time.
    Faenik is a hairy black ball with eyes and ears.

     So what next? Are you ready...

    Pema Pera: yes, "what next" may have as an answer "let's do that a bit more explicitly"
    Stim Morane: Were you feeling that in addition, another theme is due for explicit inclusion?
    Pema Pera: no, I meant with "what next" the very first step in PaB exploration: here we are, we start, what is the *first* step, how do we really do it, what is next after starting off?
    Pema Pera: sorry to be unclear
    Maxine Walden: seems to me this dialog underscores the value of the many varied experiences each of us may have with the 'same' practice, and highlighting the differences lets everyone feel his/her experience to be valid, valued...
    Stim Morane: yes
    Maxine Walden: and that may be very generative in our sharing, in that some may have felt they were not 'doing it right'
    Faenik: indeed?
    doug Sosa: i will be abset a fe moments to help bring in the groceries.
    Solobill Laville: :)
    genesis Zhangsun: I notice appreciation in two phases
    genesis Zhangsun: I notice it in the beginning of the process appreciate-stop-drop and at the end
    genesis Zhangsun: the first feeling appreciation though I notice is just a taster
    genesis Zhangsun: and the end appreciation is much deeper
    Stim Morane: Yes
    Stim Morane: that certainly fits Pema's overall scheme
    Pema Pera: and what Solo and Gaya added
    genesis Zhangsun: almost makes the first phase of appreciation look quite small indeed
    Pema Pera: kickstarter :)
    genesis Zhangsun: you get a glimpse and then the process starts so perhaps what I am called first phase appreciation is just seeing
    Solobill Laville: Yes, starting at the end...which as Stim noted was part of the PaB mold

     Yes...starting at the end sounds nice but is it possible? I suppose if there is no time "starting at the end" would be "ending at the start" like well a circle...

    Pema Pera: but then you go through it like a circle, perhaps every 15 minutes, perhaps more often
    Pema Pera: app->stop->see->app->stop->see->.....
    Pema Pera: yes, Solo, very much so
    Pema Pera: integration before you even know what it is you integrate
    Pema Pera: that part is rather unorthodox
    Fael Illyar: happens unconsciosuly :)
    Pema Pera: yes, by repition
    Pema Pera: frequency rather than duration
    Pema Pera: *repetition
    Maxine Walden: ...each appreciation may be a greater opening, so a spiral of increased open seeing may occur with each series of 9 sec
    Pema Pera: yes, cooking until done
    Stim Morane: Yes, it's an interesting approach. Much of what you're mentioning will figure in any, more traditional, approach to meditation too. But this kind of concerted emphasis is perhaps unique.
    Pema Pera: and the peer-based nature
    Faenik: could be
    Stim Morane: I don't pretend to know where it will go ... but it seems worth giving free rein to
    Pema Pera: and the open undefined-at-the-start nature
    Maxine Walden: and perhaps needing to remain undefined as anything 'discovered' will evolve
    Tarmel Udimo: this means each person can begin where they are at and still have a personal experience
    Stim Morane: Yes, exactly.
    Tarmel Udimo: in fact it seems like a pretty speedy way to connect
    Stim Morane: Even in the traditions, there has to be a great respect for each person's own natural Way.
    Pema Pera: yes, clarifying for each other is a nice alternative to defining beforehand
    Maxine Walden: and perhaps the atmosphere of these meetings can keep that sense of respect for each person's experience in balance. It is so easy to feel doubt or isolation when one's experience feels different from others
    genesis Zhangsun: to me the greatest mystery of this process is how something can feel so deeply personal and universal at the same time
    Fael Illyar: yes, that's why it's important not to have expectations (or said in another way, goals) with this.
    Tarmel Udimo: my thoughts exactly
    Pema Pera: yes & yes!
    Gaya Ethaniel: ^^ beautiful
    Pema Pera: Being is by definition beyond dichotomies

    The personal/universal dichotomy

    Pema Pera: personal and universal is one such dichotomy
    Stim Morane: Yes
    Pema Pera: to come closer to Being *has* to imply going beyong that dichotomy too
    Pema Pera: strange as it may sound
    Fael Illyar is already rather used to being on the both sides of fences at the same time.
    Tarmel Udimo: what about gratitude is this another word for appreciation
    Stim Morane: I think it's closely related
    Pema Pera: yes, Tarmel, that can be used too
    Stim Morane: I have given many talks to that effect.
    Pema Pera: contentment too, it all depends how we use it (Sonic used contentment recently here)
    Stim Morane: But it's actually not so common for people to feel gratitude for life, as it is.
    Fefonz Quan: but isn't graitude is like injecting some feeling to the experience?
    Stim Morane: I try to encourage that.
    Fael Illyar: acceptance could also be used, perhaps?
    Stim Morane: The "attitude" of gratitude is not the only kind.
    Tarmel Udimo: its totally experiencial
    genesis Zhangsun: :)
    Maxine Walden: ...going beyond how we humans generally think of polarities...trying not to foreclose even tho to do so may be inviting to do so as a boundary of 'what is'
    Stim Morane: The word can mean some very different views, as practice grows.
    Pema Pera: you might say: "focusing on the one taste" -- and then each of those words may express that . . . .
    Tarmel Udimo: I was referring to a feeling state which at the moment I am calling gratitude
    Fael Illyar: also Love is something that might describe it :)
    Maxine Walden: (will need to go in about two minutes, but will stay til then)
    Pema Pera: it starts with feelings, but then those feelings deepen, to the point of feelings no longer being a very accurate term . . . .

    Perhaps the feelings have gone through this process of appreciation we have been describing in this session, which is bare and yet full...and these "feelings" are  transformed from hunches about what something real feels like, a mere "feeling out" of reality, to actually seeing reality and being real.

    Stim Morane: earlier the text chat has me saying I try to encourage (something). The "something" wasn't meant to be the "injecting" that was mentioned.
    Stim Morane: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: me smiles at the puffs of hearts
    Fefonz Quan: why is there a need for gratitude then after/with the stpping and seeing?
    Stim Morane: Yes, Love is a core aspect
    Tarmel Udimo: is there another way to describe those deepned feelings
    Fefonz Quan: in my personal experience, it somehow emerges spontaniously
    Stim Morane: if gratitude is an "add on", it should be skipped.
    Pema Pera: no need, but a way to invite, yes, indeed, Fefonz
    Stim Morane: This is why I mentioned I didn't mean to say it should be "injected".
    Pema Pera: btw, I will have to move over to the Kira Cafe
    Faenik: why not?
    Stim Morane: Yes, it's that time.
    Pema Pera: as part of the Happy Hour
    Stim Morane: We can continue later.
    Pema Pera: more precisely the Kira Alumni meeting
    Fael Illyar: Ok, see you later Pema, and everyone else :)
    Pema Pera: where every week one person gives a short talk
    genesis Zhangsun: Thank you Stim and Pema and all :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_
    Fael Illyar: I'd better head to bed :)
    Wol Euler: bye pema, thank you.
    Stim Morane: Thanks, everone.
    Pema Pera: It's my turn this week
    Wol Euler: and thanks stim too.
    Fael Illyar waves.
    Pema Pera: feel free to come over if you like
    Tarmel Udimo: thansk you all
    Pema Pera: Thank you, Stim, and everyone
    Pema Pera: Thanks, Gen, for letting us use your slot!
    genesis Zhangsun: Come on over to the Cafe if you have time
    Fefonz Quan: bye Pema, and thanks to you all for this discussion
    genesis Zhangsun: Oh sure anytime :)
    genesis Zhangsun: Piet will be discussing Pema with the Alumni group
    genesis Zhangsun: oops Pema will be discussing PaB
    genesis Zhangsun: and Pema too I supppose ;) hehe
    Stim Morane: I was getting intrigued there.
    Tarmel Udimo: me too
    Solobill Laville: amazing how that happens, Gen!
    genesis Zhangsun: well anything to get you over there
    genesis Zhangsun: I try :)
    Caledonia Heron is Online
    Stim Morane: :)
    genesis Zhangsun: See you all!
    doug Sosa: bye.
    Solobill Laville: Bye, all!
    Stim Morane: Bye everyone!

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    Posted 21:15, 19 Mar 2013
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