2009.01.10 19:00 - Deep Appreciation or Wonder

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    That evening I, Pema, was the guardian on call. It was also the first of our four weekly guardian meetings, in which we encourage guardians to come preferentially, to meet each other. These meetings are held on Saturdays, 7 pm, Sundays, 1 pm, Mondays, 7 am, and Tuesdays, 1 am.

    Soon after I seated myself, Crusty also arrived.

    Pema Pera: Hi Crusty!
    Crusty Goldshark: hi

    We were both silent for a while, and then Crusty disappeared. For a few minutes, I was the only one present, until Adams showed up.

    Pema Pera: Hi Adams!
    Adams Rubble: Hi. You are here by yourself
    Pema Pera: It's quiet here. Crusty came, we both said hi, and then he left or crashed
    Adams Rubble: Sorry I didn;t realize it
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Adams Rubble: I am here representing a whole bunch of selves, avatars and something else
    Pema Pera: hahaha, what is the something else?
    Adams Rubble: That I am not sure of. Maybe z-self but that is a self
    Pema Pera: maybe a reduced self, hmmm, an elf?
    Adams Rubble: I came as a youngster last night
    Pema Pera: ah, how did that go?
    Adams Rubble: Tonight I did the watching exercise and was surprised I am still in the past
    Adams Rubble: As for last night, it seemed better not to mess too much with my avatars at this point
    Pema Pera: still in the past . . . in what way?

    At that point Adams crashed, and it took him a while to re-enter SL.

    Pema Pera: wb Adams!
    Adams Rubble: Thanks. I am having connection problems
    Adams Rubble: Hmm
    Adams Rubble: I am having connection problems
    Pema Pera: First Crusty disappeard, then you -- perhaps SL is unstable again?
    Adams Rubble: It is also my setup here
    Adams Rubble: I was starting to tell you that I feel I am still looking for something in the past
    Adams Rubble: I got as far as a move we made in mid childhood
    Rowan Masala gave you Hand Sun Tattoos.
    Adams Rubble: I wouldn;t think it would be important but I seem to want to explore it
    Adams Rubble: My feeling is that I should be trying to find the neutral level in the present
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: at this stage any kind of exploration is important!
    Pema Pera: Hi Stim
    Adams Rubble: I kind of have to go along with what is being dictated to me, don't you think?
    Adams Rubble: Hi Stim :)
    Stim Morane: Hi Adams and Pema

    Stim joined us, and Adams and I started talking about appearance and appreciation.

    Pema Pera: dictated in what way, Adams?
    Adams Rubble: If I am watching thoughts, I have to go with the thoughts, don;t I?
    Pema Pera: oh yes, as much as you can -- or perhaps better not "with the thoughts" -- words are tricky: just watching the thoughts come and go, without attaching yourself to them. Does that make sense?
    Pema Pera: then automatically you will stay in the present
    Adams Rubble: even if the thoughts are about the past?
    Pema Pera: sure, the content of the thoughts are twice removed, and what the content is pointed at is thrice removed!
    Pema Pera: there is your attention and appreciation of all that arises and disappears, that is primary, that is where you stay with
    Pema Pera: now what appears, thoughts, images, memories, fantasies, expectations
    Pema Pera: all that is secondary
    Pema Pera: and the contents of those is tertiary, twice removed from the exploration itself
    Pema Pera: does that make sense?
    Adams Rubble: hehe
    Adams Rubble: yes, believe it or not I followed you :)
    Pema Pera: I can believe it :-)
    Adams Rubble: I need to pay more attention to the appreciation rather than the content
    Pema Pera: and I really admire you stick-to-it-ness of continuing to do this exploration so single-mindedly for more than two weeks now
    Pema Pera: yes!!
    Adams Rubble: I have benefitted tremendously
    Pema Pera: and if you *really* want to finetune it: to the *presence* of the appearance
    Pema Pera: then the content becomes, what, quarternary, did I count that correctly?

    Adams mentioned reactions from people around her.

    Adams Rubble: :)
    Adams Rubble: except some people think I am a little looney
    Pema Pera: that's unavoidable
    Pema Pera: you may not want to broadcast too widely what you're doing :-)
    Adams Rubble: Yes, the author of the "Clouds of Unknowing" makes a big point about that
    Pema Pera: yes, and so do others
    Adams Rubble: yes
    Pema Pera: pearls before swine is the most forceful way to say it . . . .
    Pema Pera: not only won't they eat, they will turn around and attack you for giving them non-edible pearls!
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Pema Pera: so may I ask you to add that extra step, whenever you feel like it?
    Pema Pera: the *presence* of appearance -- as what to focus on and appreciate
    Pema Pera: so that emphasises that the content is not what you focus on, only the sheer fact that .... appears, whatever it may be, may mean
    Pema Pera: cuts off past and future, cuts of content, cuts of associations
    Pema Pera: very clean and precise

    We would come back to the notion of presence later on as well.

    Pema Pera: hi Susi!
    Adams Rubble: and it does seem to be pointing me to the right place
    Adams Rubble: Hi Susi
    Stim Morane: Hi Susi
    Susi Alcott: hi Stim, Adams, Pema
    Pema Pera: yes, isn't it nice, that when you jump into an exploration, wholesale, whatever irritates you are pointers to how to do it better? This past thing is what you brought up, not me -- so you saw already where next to go!
    Pema Pera: I just finetuned it a bit
    Pema Pera: very soon the exploration will guide itself -- it is already doing that
    Pema Pera: Susi and I had a very nice talk about that, half a day ago
    Pema Pera: I asked Susi about healing, how he does that in RL, and it was wonderful to hear his responses
    Pema Pera: in fact it was a very nice way to summarize Play as Being, in the concrete setting of helping others, of healing
    Pema Pera: I'll put up the chat log in a few hours
    Pema Pera: Hi Solo!
    Susi Alcott: _/!\_
    Susi Alcott: hi Solo
    Adams Rubble: Hi Bill :)
    Solobill Laville: Hello, all :)
    Stim Morane: Hi Solo

    After Susi had joined us as well, Solobill arrived.

    Solobill Laville: Hey, Stim
    Solobill Laville: (I listened to an audio file of yours the other day...thanks for posting that stuff)
    Stim Morane: :)
    Pema Pera: what was it about, Solo?
    Solobill Laville: :)
    Solobill Laville: One of Steven's classes, about practical aspects, I'd guess to summarize
    Pema Pera: may I ask what was most striking -- or perhaps hard to put your finger on?
    Solobill Laville: Hmmm...
    Pema Pera: (and do you have the URL?)
    Solobill Laville: It was indeed a class, so there was a lot of interaction
    Solobill Laville: and students were at different levels, many just starting some sort of practice
    Adams Rubble had listened to some a while back and keep meaning to get back
    Solobill Laville: yes, hang on I'll find it...
    Solobill Laville: http://berkeleymonastery.org/steven/fall07.asp
    Pema Pera: wow, I didn't know there was so much there there!
    Pema Pera: great
    Susi Alcott: sry; got the call again
    Adams Rubble: bye Susi
    Pema Pera: yes, good seeing you Susi!
    Susi Alcott: _/!\_
    Solobill Laville: Bye Susi
    Stim Morane: bye Susi

    Susi had to leave, with someone requesting his help, and Solobill returned to my question.

    Solobill Laville thinking about most striking...
    Solobill Laville: Well, not that is was most striking...
    Solobill Laville: But one part that I really liked
    Pema Pera: . . . from striking to liking . . . !
    Solobill Laville: was the idea of just appreciating...looking out the window...sipping coffee whatever
    Solobill Laville: basic
    Solobill Laville: simple
    Solobill Laville: anytime...
    Solobill Laville: I think we can often get caught up in the grandiose aspect of things sometimes....
    Solobill Laville: laughing with your child solves that oo
    Solobill Laville: *too
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Pema Pera: :)
    Pema Pera: (oo)
    Solobill Laville: hehe
    Stim Morane: Getting sleepy, time to go ...
    Pema Pera: Bye Stim!
    Adams Rubble: night Stim :)
    Solobill Laville: Night, Stim
    Stim Morane: Bye everyone!

    Stim left, and Adams, Solobill and I continued.

    Adams Rubble: Children can cut through so much
    Solobill Laville is thinking Stim goes to bed at a VERY healthy time!
    Solobill Laville looks at his watch
    Solobill Laville: Yes, Adams
    Pema Pera: he didn't say he was going to bed :-)
    Pema Pera: just getting sleepy, and going . . . :)
    Adams Rubble: I used to take my children to work and it always amazed me what a different day it was
    Solobill Laville is full of assumptions...
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Solobill Laville: I need to do that soon, Adams...a day at work :)
    Adams Rubble: you or the children?
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Solobill Laville: hehe
    Solobill Laville: Well, my office is quite boring though...
    Adams Rubble: We kept stuff there for them. A big box of cfrayons and a barrel of monkeys
    Adams Rubble: They left pictures in my office. Covered every bit of space
    Solobill Laville: We can do PaB's every 15 minutes together! Well...maybe when they're a bit older
    Solobill Laville: Yes, I have all sorts of kid art on my walls :)
    Adams Rubble: This was right before they started school
    Adams Rubble: best days at work I ever had :)
    Solobill Laville: :)
    Adams Rubble: Nothing like kids hiding under the desk

    Back to presence.

    Solobill Laville: There was a line from a chat log a few days ago
    Solobill Laville: "A River of Continuity of presence" I think it was
    Pema Pera: We were just talking about appreciation too, after talking about Adams' blog, and about the difference between appreciating appearance, any appearance, as such, as it appears, and appreciating just the *presence* of appearance.
    Adams Rubble: Hello
    Pema Pera: Hi Anonymous
    Anonymous: Hola
    Pema Pera: come join us if you like
    Anonymous: hablo español
    Anonymous: :(
    Riddle Sideways: hi everybody
    Pema Pera: sorry, I don't speak much Spanish :(
    Pema Pera: parlo l'Italiano un po
    Adams Rubble: Hello Riddle :)
    Solobill Laville: Hi Riddle
    Pema Pera: Hi Riddle!
    Riddle Sideways: sorry I late
    Anonymous: o no sorry solo español :((
    Anonymous: byee
    Pema Pera: bye!
    Adams Rubble: byde

    There was not enough time to ask our Spanish speaker for an okay to be logged. Meanwhile Riddle arrived.

    Riddle Sideways: testing if connection will hold in arizona
    Pema Pera: (and thanks for your wonderful scribe job, Solo, that was impressive -- a hard act to follow!!)
    Solobill Laville: I know I am coming in late to that, is appreciating the *presence* of appearance
    Riddle Sideways: :)
    Adams Rubble hasn't read scribe notes yet
    Solobill Laville: ...hard to word my question....
    Solobill Laville: and thank you :)
    Solobill Laville: (don't want to make anything hard to follow though)
    Pema Pera: oh, please do!
    Pema Pera: And we'll all pitch in to help simplify
    Pema Pera: we're all explorers
    Pema Pera: you can't make it longer than Adams' blog, hehehe
    Solobill Laville: 1) accepting appearance as a nuetral action, no attachment to anything about what you observe, see, engage, whatever
    Adams Rubble blushes
    Solobill Laville: :)
    Solobill Laville: just "as such"
    Solobill Laville: appreciating just the *presence* of appearance = just that whatever is "Is" at all (?)
    Solobill Laville: e.g. deep appreciation or wonder...hmmm....
    Solobill Laville: sorry
    Solobill Laville: :)
    Pema Pera: yes, very clear, Solo, and yes, that points into the direction of the unsayable that I, too, was mumbling about :)
    Pema Pera: and it is NOT to deny, ignore, look away from what happens, or from the content of appearance -- just not to stick to it, as you said -- and focusing on the *presence* of appearance is a great antidote to sticking to the *content* of appearance
    Pema Pera: it is a kind of super-solvent
    Pema Pera: the final solution :)
    Pema Pera: That then become "A River of Continuity of presence"
    Solobill Laville likes that
    Pema Pera: and so "just appreciating...looking out the window...sipping coffee whatever" at the highest grade
    Solobill Laville: yes...and that one gets looked over sometimes (I'll speak for myself in that regard)

    We then brought up some other ways of appreciation.

    Adams Rubble: or falling asleep
    Solobill Laville: :)
    Riddle Sideways: or as I am, ppreciating having my hotel room upgraded to a suite
    Solobill Laville: Yay!
    Adams Rubble: hehe
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Pema Pera: and I appreciate that I am going to have a nice bento box lunch in fifteen minutes . . . .
    Pema Pera: . . . meaning I have to leave now
    Adams Rubble: I must go too
    Pema Pera: please send me the chat log if, as I hope, you stay longer, and I don't break up the party
    Riddle Sideways: ok
    Pema Pera: oh-oh
    Pema Pera: oops
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Adams Rubble: Good night all except for Pema..good ay to you :)
    Solobill Laville: Bye, Pema and Adams
    Pema Pera: haha, good night everybody!
    Adams Rubble: bye :)
    Riddle Sideways: I am bye, and night everybody

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