2008.12.07 13:00 - Hesitations about Practice and Worship

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    The guardian for this meeting was Maxine Walden.  The comments are hers.


    The gathering at the Pavillion was well under way when I got there. By the end of the time 15 avs had joined the discussion. Of course there was lots of time spent in greetings, including a RL birthday for Stevenaia. Our congratulations extended the greeting portion of the meeting.

     Pema Pera: Hi everybody!

     stevenaia Michinaga: helo Pema

     Fael Illyar: Hi Pema, Becka :)

     Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Pema

     Fael Illyar: Hi Maxine :)

     Quilty Bookmite: Hi Maxine, Pema, Becka

     Maxine Walden: hi, all

     Aurora Kitaj: Hi Pema, Scathach and maxine

     Quilty Bookmite: hi Gaya.

     Hana Hendrassen waves

     Fael Illyar: Hi Gaya :)

     stevenaia Michinaga: hi Hana

     Fael Illyar: Hi Hana :)

     Quilty Bookmite: And hi Magdalena.

     Quilty Bookmite: And Hana.

     Fael Illyar: Hi Magdalena :)

     Magdalena Colclough: just Maggie :)

     stevenaia Michinaga: hi Maggie

     Gaya Ethaniel: _/!\_

     Fael Illyar can't seem to be able to keep up.

     Magdalena Colclough: hi birthday boy

     stevenaia Michinaga: ...smile

     Hana Hendrassen: Hi everyone ^_^

     stevenaia Michinaga: yes, today is my RL birthday, so pardon my liberties with the moment

     Pema Pera: :)

     Quilty Bookmite: Happy Birthday Steve!

     Fael Illyar: Hi Tarmel :)

     Gaya Ethaniel: Best wishes stevenaia ^^

     stevenaia Michinaga: if I would ahve known the turn out I would have brought a case

     Fael Illyar: Happy birthday Steve :)

     Becka Finesmith: Many happy returns

     Hana Hendrassen: Happy birthday! Kippis!

     Tarmel Udimo: hi all

     Maxine Walden: yes, steve, Happy Birthday

     Gaya Ethaniel: Hey Tarmel ^^

     Quilty Bookmite: Hi Tarmel

     Faenik: could be

     Maxine Walden: a cake or a case, Steve

     Quilty Bookmite: Hmmm. Depends on what it is a case of. :-)

     Hana Hendrassen looks around for Faenik...

     Faenik is around here, somewhere.

     Quilty Bookmite: Has Faenik turned into a cassette tape?

     Hana Hendrassen sees Faenik sparklies!

     Hana Hendrassen: ^____^

     Hana Hendrassen: he's hiding in your hair Fael

     Fael Illyar: Yes, he's shy ... well, sometimes.

     Hana Hendrassen grins

     Quilty Bookmite: :-)

    Then during a silence as goc I tried to steer attention to PaB issues and Pema soon takes up the discussion.

     Maxine Walden: Wondering about what questions, concerns we might have about PaB or other issues?

     Maxine Walden: (interesting that such a question often brings at least initially a silence)

     Quilty Bookmite: There are quite a few of us so we each think someone else is going to speak. :-)

     Maxine Walden: maybe so, Quilty

     Quilty Bookmite: I loudly declare that I have nothing to say.

     Faenik: indeed?

     Maxine Walden: lol

     Gaya Ethaniel: ^^

     Pema Pera: may I ask, then, whether anyone sometimes takes notes during/after 9-sec explorations, on paper or on a computer?

     Pema Pera: I'm curious how we all approach the exploration

     Quilty Bookmite: No. I never have.

    Fael then brings up another topic, that of 'worship' which then creates for a time two entertwining threads of discussion

     Fael Illyar: ok, perhaps continuation of earlier meeting today. What is worship and why do people do it?

     Becka Finesmith: I write down single sentences about what's in my head sometimes. It's not always possible though

     Quilty Bookmite: I haven't worshipped anything since I was quite young.

     Pema Pera: do you find it helpful, Becka, to do so, either for the practice itself, while you write, to make the discipline more coherent, or later on, looking back?

     Tarmel Udimo: I don't write things down, but whatever has arisen reemerges outside of the 9 secs and I then think about it

     Hana Hendrassen: worship to me is placing complete value and trust in something, someone or some idea

     stevenaia Michinaga: I was wondering ..over time , how the group will be focused on the subject with a multitude of intensities and degrees ranging from new arrivals to the more regular practicioners and how the group may need to figure out how to offer something for each person at each level of understanding

     Pema Pera strongly susptects that many here have never written down something after the 9 sec, while being absolutely convinced that it is useless, but never having tested that conviction (^_^)

     Maxine Walden: interesting point, Steve

     Maxine Walden: Why do you think so, Pema?

     Quilty Bookmite: I'm not convinced it is useless. I'm just too lazy to have done it.

     Pema Pera: isn't lazy another word for . . . . ?

     Pema Pera: "lazy" can be used for not wanting to spend an hour working on something unpleasant, but a few seconds writing? Can you really use "lazy"?

     Quilty Bookmite: What would you say my reason is then Pema?

     Becka Finesmith: Sorry Pema - Lag again :(

     Becka Finesmith: I just vgot your question

     Pema Pera: As I said, I'm mostly curious -- don't want to strongly suggest to do something, but very interested in why some of us don't

     Fael Illyar: Hi Wol :)

     Quilty Bookmite: Hi Wol.

     Wol Euler: hello everyone

     Pema Pera: well, Quilty, you tell me :-)

     Aurora Kitaj: Hi Wol

     Scathach Rhiadra: Hi Wol

     Tarmel Udimo: hi wol

     Gaya Ethaniel: Hey Wol ^^

     Pema Pera: And Steve, yes, very interesting question, about structure

     Becka Finesmith: I did it because it was suggested so I thought I would try it

     Pema Pera: Do you have a suggestion, Steve?

     Fael Illyar: Lazy to modify habits perhaps? Lazy to make sure you can write things down? lazy to train yourself to remember to write things down? Lazy to figure out what to write?

     Quilty Bookmite: I'm really not sure. I always thought it was laziness.

     Quilty Bookmite: Probably lazy to train myself.

     Becka Finesmith: It doesn't help initially but when you look back over maybe a weeks worth of writing, it seems to suggest where you are in your mind

     Pema Pera: Oh yes, you did, Becka, but many didn't -- which is fine, just curious why, since it only takes a few seconds -- perhaps fear of doing something new, even once?

     Quilty Bookmite: It's not the act itself it's getting it into my routine.

     Pema Pera: yes, isn't that interesting?

     Becka Finesmith: Perhaps its the worry about what you should write

     Faenik: why not?

     Becka Finesmith: I tend not to think about it and just put down the first thing that comes into my head

     Pema Pera: I can totally understand someone not wanting to do it many times -- but not doing it one time is fascinating, and must point to something else

     Quilty Bookmite: There could be an element of fear there but Ican't really see it at the moment.

     Becka Finesmith: INitially, it was more forced

     Becka Finesmith: then I found I was writing things I hadn't planned

     stevenaia Michinaga: I jsut see the degree of focus from regular practitioner to casual practitioner is quite a lengthing continuium

     Pema Pera: yes, Steve

     stevenaia Michinaga: a starting point to reflect on this

     Becka Finesmith: even if it's total garbage

     stevenaia Michinaga: I think the two points of mine and quilty's are related

     Pema Pera: Quilty, I may be wrong, but perhaps not fear to do the new thing, but fear to leave one's old pattern, as Fael suggested?

     Fael Illyar: I'd need to train myself to not filter what thoughts get from mind to the paper... which come to think of it might be useful even for other reasons.

     Pema Pera: absolutely, yes, Fael!

     Becka Finesmith: It's like externalising your inner feelings which is a little unnerving

     Tarmel Udimo: i didn't write things down because it didn't occur to be to be honest - it felt/feels more experiential to allow whatever happens in the 9secs to flow into the expereince outside the 9secs

     Pema Pera: And yes, Steve, when we concretely talk about some action, like writing, not only experience or ideas, we may map out your continuum better

     Becka Finesmith: I guess it's like writing a diary that you fear someone else might read

     Pema Pera: :)

     Maxine Walden: exposing our inner thoughts to ourselves can feel very exposing

     Fael Illyar: but I've been doing something perhaps related. I sometimes just doodle something on my buddha board in a couple of seconds and if it looks interestin enough, take a photo of it before it evaporates.

     Becka Finesmith: exactly

     Magdalena Colclough: what's a Buddha board?

     Fael Illyar: it's a small board that changes color when it gets wet and returns to original in a few minutes

     Fael Illyar: when the water evaporates

     Magdalena Colclough: ahh

     Fael Illyar: "just add water" :P

     Magdalena Colclough grins

     Hana Hendrassen: sounds sort of like some of those tattooed barbie dolls

     Fael Illyar bought it from New York.

     Fael Illyar smiles.

     Becka Finesmith: must get one of those :)

     Fael Illyar: I saw it at the shop and just had to buy it, didn't know why. Then I ended up testing it and decided to keep it to myself.

     Becka Finesmith: Do you write down your 9 seconds Pema?

     Pema Pera: Tarmel, yes, it may feel more natural not to write -- but even so, perhaps you can write one out of ten times, leaving the nine times more natural, and experimenting with what seems more unnatural every once in a while

     Pema Pera: yes, I do about half the time, Becka

     Becka Finesmith nods

     Pema Pera: depends on how busy the situation is I am in

     Becka Finesmith: can you share what sort of things you end up writing?

     Pema Pera: I see it on a par with rituals, as a gesture to show my seriousness -- but that is just my approach

     Tarmel Udimo: gd thought, in looking at why I don't its because i spend sooooooo much time writing that I almost

     Pema Pera: it may tie in with Fael's question, at the start

     Tarmel Udimo: didn't want to 'taint' the process with my work process :)

     Tarmel Udimo: but its always worth a try

     Pema Pera: oh, it takes so many forms, Becka, from diary-like notes to playful remarks to sheer nonsense to . . . .

     Faenik: why not?

     Pema Pera: yes, Tarmel, I understand!

    Pema then tries to reach back to Fael's mentioned concern earlier in the session. Soon an interesting discussion about several aspects of 'worship' involving different perspectives ensues. While Pema focusses upon the awe incumbent in the term, others bring their concerns from more fundamentalist views of 'worship'.

     Pema Pera: Fael, do you want to summarize what it was you proposed to continue from the previous session, at the start?

     Becka Finesmith: a 9 second image

     Tarmel Udimo: yes that could work becka

     Fael Illyar: Well, it was at the end and the discussion didn't get far.

     Quilty Bookmite: Hi Pila.

     Pema Pera: oh, sure, doesn't have to be words, could be a picture, anything

     Fael Illyar: Hi Pila :)

     Pila Mulligan: greetings

     Gaya Ethaniel: Hey Pila ^^

     Tarmel Udimo: hi pila

     Tarmel Udimo: hummm I seemed to be drawn to pics of bears lately not sure why :)

     Maxine Walden: Fael, weren't you wondering about worship?

     Fael Illyar: Yes, it's something that I'm not quite sure what it is.

     Pema Pera: One component of worship is expressing awe -- like the way Adams writes in her blog about being full of awe about being alife on this beautiful planet, every morning

     Pema Pera: rituals, awa, gestures . . . related to writing for PaB :-)

     Pema Pera: *awe

     Pema Pera: appreciation

     Pema Pera: stepping out of your normal patterns

     Magdalena Colclough smiles

     Pema Pera: seeing rain as a gift from the Gods rather than as H2O or something that makes you wet

     Pema Pera: or as a presentation by Being :-)

     Maxine Walden: a reverential perspective, then

     Fael Illyar: all of those feel about equally vague expressions in my mind.

     Pema Pera: yes, but not as slave to a master, Maxine, I think that distinction is important

     Pema Pera: that's where exploration comes in, Fael

     Hana Hendrassen: [13:17] Hana Hendrassen: worship to me is placing complete value and trust in something, someone or some idea

     Pema Pera: the more you do, the more you see

     Maxine Walden: for me reverence has nothing to do with master and slave, for reverence also implies to me self-esteem

     Pema Pera: thanks, Hana, for reminding us!

     Hana Hendrassen: ^_^

     Gaya Ethaniel: ^^

     Tarmel Udimo: its going to ger harder as we progress because we can switch between it just being H2O and being a gift from being, perhaps we can hold both thoughts simultaneously

     Pema Pera: And Hana, is that trust that the other one is absolutely right, or trust that it is very much worth spending a lot of time and energy in trying to find out whether the other is right?

     Hana Hendrassen: I'd say the latter

     Pema Pera: Oh, yes, Tarmel, for sure!

     Faenik: could be

     Hana Hendrassen: well... maybe the former

     Pema Pera: That worship I like, Hana, the other one leads to wars . . . .

     Maxine Walden: retaining a locus of authority in oneself is part of reverence

     Hana Hendrassen: as a Christian, I don't worship the church, I worship God

     Pema Pera: I think the former is very dangerous . . . .

     Hana Hendrassen: I feel that God is absolutely right

     Hana Hendrassen: I feel the church is not

     Pema Pera: that's an essential distinction, Hana

     Pema Pera: I agree

     Tarmel Udimo: and isn't it amater of through that exploration in fact making it 'real' so even what didn't exist before now does

     Tarmel Udimo: *mater

     Tarmel Udimo: *matter :)

     Pema Pera: so what is right is God and not any image we can make of God

     Hana Hendrassen: exactly

     Pema Pera: Being and God here can be used more or less interchangeably

     Hana Hendrassen nods

     Tarmel Udimo: glad you said that pema :)

     Pema Pera: wars happen when people confused their own picture of God with God . . . .

     Pila Mulligan: how about reality and god being used interchangeably?

     Pema Pera: Being doesn't fit on a flag or banner

     Pema Pera: Fine, Pila, to use any word, as long as we know what we mean by it

     Pila Mulligan: :)

     Pema Pera: "Donald Duck" would be fine too . . . .

     Tarmel Udimo: i like to call it life force - just energy really

     Hana Hendrassen chuckles

     Pema Pera: Appreciate the presence of appearance as a presentation by Donald Duck

     Tarmel Udimo: :)

     Pema Pera: BUT we then have to change the meaning of Donald Duck :-)

     Quilty Bookmite: Can you worship reality?

     Pema Pera: sure, why not?

     Hana Hendrassen: I think so

     Tarmel Udimo: well that's what happens with mystics - they see their god in the form of who they worship -often the virgin mary

     Hana Hendrassen: if you trust that reality is absolutely true

     Pema Pera: it worshiips you, so why not return the compliment?

     Wol Euler smiles

     Quilty Bookmite: Maybe my Christian past makes the idea of worship an uncomfortable one.

     Pema Pera: ah!

     Hana Hendrassen: why so?

     Pema Pera: "idea of" is always the bottleneck

     Pila Mulligan: there may be relative qualities of reality Quilty, some deserving of worship, some not

     Pema Pera: yes, Pila!!

     Pema Pera: we have to be precise about what we mean with each term . . . .

     Magdalena Colclough: and that all makes the SL-RL artificial dichotomy all the more problematic and potentially harmful

     Quilty Bookmite: Well,m there are a lot of words that can be thrown around here that I would be happy with: trust, faith etc. but worship is a sticking point.

     Pema Pera: yes, Maggie

     Pema Pera: Quilty, what about Adams' blog, can you read her "happy to be alive" as worship?

     Tarmel Udimo: adams' blog?

     Hana Hendrassen: maybe you feel that way because often the CHristian idea of worship is equivalent to total surrender?

     Faenik: ah :)

     Magdalena Colclough: good point, Hana

     Pema Pera: http://playasbeing.wik.is/Website_Links

     Quilty Bookmite: I will at some point. Thank you.

     Tarmel Udimo: ta

     Pema Pera: has the links to blogs of some of us

     Gaya Ethaniel: Well I'm uncomfortable with some Buddhist forms of worship also

     Quilty Bookmite: Browser and SL don't like each other. :-)

     Pila Mulligan: is meditation close to worship?

     Quilty Bookmite: Fair enough Gaya.

     Tarmel Udimo: depends...

     Magdalena Colclough: close to prayer, I think

     Quilty Bookmite: Well, I could say that I do a form of worship but someone else may take a completely different meaning from that.

     Magdalena Colclough: perhaps worship too

     Pila Mulligan: nice distinction

     Pema Pera: Interesting, Hana, about total surrender . . .

     Gaya Ethaniel: Guess what you mean by worship here is appreciation and respect Pema?

     Fael Illyar: total surrender, relinquishing all control.

     Pema Pera: so the challenge is, Quilty, should we totally toss worship, or can we salvage some important part of the notion -- and the energy and creativity that has gone into it for many centuries?

     Fael Illyar: or perhaps just recognising there was none to begin with

     Quilty Bookmite: Worship seems like a much stronger concept than appreciation and respect.

    Pema Pera: ah!

     Magdalena Colclough: what about adoration?

     Hana Hendrassen: indeed... I appreciate and respect many but can still find them wrong

     Pema Pera: but that may mean that appreciation and respect are not strong enough, Quilty

     Pema Pera: Worship can have afterburners to help you :)

     Tarmel Udimo: depends how deep the respect and apprecaition goes

     Magdalena Colclough: afterburners

     Magdalena Colclough: interesting

     Maxine Walden: afterburners??

     Quilty Bookmite: Indeed Hana. worship seems to exclude the possibility that something might be wrong.

     Hana Hendrassen nods

     Pema Pera: but can include that your ideas about it may still be wrong

     Pema Pera: must be wrong in fact

     Quilty Bookmite: It also seems to remove the possibility of scepticism or unease.

     Pema Pera: all ideas are wrong

    Pema Pera: no, Quilty, not for the ideas

     Pema Pera: in fact, it can increase unease about your ideas

     Quilty Bookmite: I don;t worship ideas either. :-)

     Pema Pera: in contrast to what it IS

     Magdalena Colclough: I share the discomfort of some of the group members with the term worship

     Magdalena Colclough: To me, the term "adoration" encompasses most of the loving, playful, parts of it

     Pema Pera: yes, Quilty, but your unhappiness is about seeing others worshipping (their own ideas of) a God or whatever

     Quilty Bookmite: Thank you Magdalena. I feel a little like I am being backed into a corner here.

     Quilty Bookmite: I don't mind what other people worship.

     Fael Illyar: Yes, you're just wary of doing the same yourself.

     Becka Finesmith: I'm happy to align myself with quilty

     Quilty Bookmite: Yes.

     Hana Hendrassen: understandably so

     Quilty Bookmite: Thank you. If we all rise up together we can smash the opressors. :-)

     Wol Euler grins

     Magdalena Colclough smiles

     Gaya Ethaniel: ^^

     Pema Pera: Sorry, Quilty, if you felt I was pushing you in any corner, that was certainly not my intention . .. . .

     Becka Finesmith: The term "Worship" to me seems to have an indication of something greater then the whole

     Fael Illyar shares the wariness about worship.

     Quilty Bookmite: I'm sure you weren't Pema. You have a particular understanding of the word worship but it has connotations.

     Tarmel Udimo: is it perhaps something as simple as that we have outgrown the use of the word through the process of exploring 'worshop' in other ways

     Maxine Walden: maybe the sentiment Quilty jokingly mentioned is one that does trigger 'holy wars' of a kind throughout history

     Magdalena Colclough: my experience leads me to believe that a departure from the Christian faith at some point tends to leave such wariness in its wake

     Pema Pera is wary to of the wong use of worship -- but hates throwing out something altogether, just because others have hijacked a word for bad purposes

     Quilty Bookmite: Yes. It is difficult to shake.

     Brad1 Rexen: can i join you?

     Wol Euler: sure brad, I will give you an introduciton in IM so as not to disturb the others

     Pema Pera: can't we be wary of bad usages and still appreciate good usages of the same term -- why should we choose one or the other only?

     Pila Mulligan: Quilty's unease reminds me of Jung's book, 'Answer to Job' -- not flowing with the compelling tide of religious inertia can be physically or psychologically harmful sometimes

     Quilty Bookmite: Could a better word be chosen Pema?

     Wol Euler: sit on a cushion, that prevents you sinking into the floor :)

     Quilty Bookmite: Or would it be better to face the unease?

     Pema Pera: of course, Quilty

     Pema Pera: appreciation for example

    Too soon I have to go for another meeting.  So I take my leave.

     Maxine Walden: I need to go to another meeting; will take the chatlot, can someone send me the rest for the wiki?

     Quilty Bookmite: Appreciation I can appreciate.

     Pema Pera: yes -> Pila

     Pema Pera: :)

     Gaya Ethaniel: Good day Maxine ^^

     Quilty Bookmite: bye Maxine.

     Wol Euler: bye maxine, see you later

     Fael Illyar: See you later MAxine :)

     Faenik is a hairy black ball with eyes and ears.

     Hana Hendrassen: have a nice day *waves*

     Maxine Walden: will see you all later. If anyone can send the rest of the chatlot I will post it

     Maxine Walden: bye

    Pema Pera: I think facing unease is a good idea, in measure :-)

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