2009.03.05 13:00 - Dialogue Fefonz-Pema #1: Being

    Table of contents
    No headers

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

    The first part of the session was simply everyone turning up and saying "Hi!". Before long I had Fefonz, Lia, Pila, Scathach, Shilv, Pema, Wester, Chiauiu and Myna with me, and Wol and Mickorod joined shortly after. (I have taken the liberty, just for these sessions, to edit out the greetings.) We did, however, have an especial welcome to make:

    Pema Pera: As you may have read in the emails, Chiaiu is our 50th guardian, welcome Chiaiu!

    And Pema mused further:

    Pema Pera: weter is nice, in Dutch: it means someone who knows!
    Pema Pera: weten = to know
    Wester Kiranov: hi all
    Pema Pera: (Wester, like me, is from Holland)
    Wester Kiranov: true
    Pema Pera: weten = wissen in Deutsch
    Pema Pera: eine weise Wissende ist Wester

    So I kicked things off.

    Storm Nordwind: So for this session we have a dialogue between Fefonz and Pema
    Fefonz Quan: :)
    Fefonz Quan: should we start?
    Pema Pera: Yes, please!
    Storm Nordwind: yes please. Or else we will never finish!
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Scathach Rhiadra: :)
    Pema Pera: finish?
    Fefonz Quan: thanks for your patience Storm :)
    Storm Nordwind smiles
    Pema Pera: when we start at the end?


    Fefonz began by laying out his questions.

    Fefonz Quan: so, the idea to have this dialogue started when i asked pema about two large couriousities i had lately about PaB
    Fefonz Quan: the second one is that i bumped into terms like YSBS, ESEB, and other that i didn't undestood
    Fefonz Quan: and since i saw they weree dealt in the summer, i thought newer comers might enjoy them too
    Pema Pera: and the first one?
    Fefonz Quan: The first issue was that while talking to people here about our practice, and from pema's explaanitions
    Fefonz Quan: explanations, i wondered whether i got it all wrong with the PaB itself to start with
    Fefonz Quan: mostly - with the BEING concept.
    Fefonz Quan: so i would like to start with the first one (sicne that term appear also in the more complicatd versions)
    Pema Pera: fine!
    Fefonz Quan: So, i will try to describe my conflict:
    Fefonz Quan: when i "do" PaB 9-sec process, i mostly try to drop all concepts,
    Fefonz Quan: look at what i see/feel/experience in the moment
    Fefonz Quan: and adding some time the "loooking at things as appearances"
    Fefonz Quan: (a little like phenomenological view or vipassana)

    (Vipassana is a word from Buddhist traditions. It involves insight into the nature of reality. How this is gained varies according to the particular tradition. The phenomenological view that Fefonz refers to is the subject of our Friday workshops in the Kira Cafe!)

    Fefonz Quan: But then i heard pema talking about "as Being", like Being, this whole reality, i looking through me in a way
    Fefonz Quan: or expresing itself in a way,
    Fefonz Quan: and it didn't sound like my practice at all.
    Fefonz Quan: moreover, inorder to follow it, i felt i need to imagine thing, which i found confusing or even distructing
    Fefonz Quan: So - am i playing as being wrongly?
    Pema Pera: :)


    The doctor is in!

    Pema Pera: Well, I don't think there is a clear right or wrong here . . .
    Pema Pera: what you described as your meditation practice and such is definitely very helpful
    Pema Pera: and given the "Play" in play as being, we are not trying to find just one right way
    Pema Pera: rather we dance around Being in a free way
    Pema Pera: many dances are possible, and yours is a fine one !
    Pema Pera: What happens then, though, is that it may be a bit hard at first to recognize each other's dances . .. .
    Pema Pera: so maybe I can say a few words about Being
    Pema Pera: If we start with Buddhism, we can say that all is empty, but not a kind of dead or nihilistic dark stark empty nothingness
    Pema Pera: rather what in Tibetan Buddhism is often indicated as "emptiness and clarity"
    Pema Pera: the emptiness has a knowing dimension and a dimension of clarity of clear seeing
    Pema Pera: and in fact, the nature of reality, sometimes called "suchness" or "Buddha nature" (I won't worry here about the slight differences in those terms for now)
    Pema Pera: is beyond all distinctions
    Pema Pera: like empty or full
    Pema Pera: emptiness could also be called fulness
    Pema Pera: as in the heart sutra: emptiness is form and form is emptiness
    Pema Pera: so whether we start with Buddhism, with emptiness, or with Daoism, with the Tao (the Path), or with Christianity's Trinity, and so on
    Pema Pera: in all cases the ultimate nature of reality is "empty of",
    Pema Pera: namely "empty with respect to any and all attempts of us to grasp it"
    Pema Pera: if we throw out our nets of words and concepts into the sea of reality
    Pema Pera: we pull up an empty net
    Pema Pera: and we conclude: the nature of the sea is empty
    Pema Pera: because we can't catch the fish of reality
    Pema Pera: So emptiness is more a description of a method than an ontological attempt to describe what reality really is
    Pema Pera: it is like the "via negativa" in Christianity, or as the Buddhist "not this not that" method

    (Or the Hindu "neti neti" approach.)

    Pema Pera: inspecting all that shows itself to your mind and concluding that no, none of that is what you were looking for
    Pema Pera: Now, having said all that about emptiness, Being in some way is the opposite emphasis:
    Pema Pera: the ultimate nature of reality, so to speak (dangerous words) seen in a more positive light: the "IS" of all that is
    Pema Pera: And it can be sensed, seen, experienced to some extent in infinitely many ways . . . in fact, we are experiencing it right now
    Pema Pera: in all that we see, feel, hear, remember, all thoughts, feelings and sense impressions, all phenomena really, each and any of those expresses all of Being
    Pema Pera: sorry to go on for a long time . . .(^^)
    Pema Pera: I'll stop here -- Fefonz, do you want to say more, before we invite everybody to join in?

    Pema had been typing for 10 minutes! Fefonz had more questions. Firstly, about Being...

    Fefonz Quan: yes
    Fefonz Quan: i want to connect it to the practice
    Fefonz Quan: if Being is all reality, how can i play like it?
    Fefonz Quan: all reality is also teh wall behindmy screen, and i can;t even see it.
    Fefonz Quan: i can humbly play as being myself, or myself seeing appearances, or even drop the me and just see appearances, but that's all
    Pema Pera: Being is playing you, we can say
    Pema Pera: and Being is playing everything that we say, giving us the illusion that there are separate things for example
    Pema Pera: so our true nature is Being, which is playing us, not our bodies, not our minds, not our thoughts or feelings, not our personality, not our personal history -- all that is what we have, not what we are
    Pema Pera: However,
    Pema Pera: when I first heard that, of course it only made sense to me as a story, an idea
    Pema Pera: and that is probably true for most of us . . . .
    Pema Pera: so how to realize what we already are?
    Pema Pera: how to realize Being
    Pema Pera: the traditional path is to search for many years, or many lifetimes
    Pema Pera: until your eyes are opened, one day, so to speak, for what you *already* are, and *always* have been: Being
    Pema Pera: but there is an alternative path
    Pema Pera: (and both path can be used simultaneously as well)
    Pema Pera: and that is what I call "Play as Being"
    Pema Pera: in some sense you pretend-play, you test out what it would be like if
    Pema Pera: you are already Being
    Pema Pera: so you play as if you are already Being
    Pema Pera: and by doing so you feel your way into the dark of what that might mean
    Pema Pera: and sooner or later Being may show itself to you in your play

    ...and about practice...

    Fefonz Quan: but when i start to practice now, before those insights, in what "view" (in stim's words) should i approach this "as being"
    Pema Pera: no need for a view
    Fefonz Quan: Being everything for me is too much, so i can't use it as a practice tool
    Pema Pera: let's go slow:
    Pema Pera: Being is not everything, it is more accurate to say: "Being is All"
    Fefonz Quan: so should i bare it in mind while watching what's arround me?
    Pema Pera: and if that doesn't make any sense, then it may be best just to start dropping whatever you can find that you have, to make more opening for what you are to shine through, for Being.

    ...and about appearance...

    Fefonz Quan: how is it connected to the appearances we talk about?
    Pema Pera: you can watch whatever is around you, and appreciate each single appearance as the TOTALITY of Being
    Pema Pera: not a small part
    Pema Pera: and if that doesn't make sense, you can make it into a kind of prayer (if that is your cup of tea :),
    Pema Pera: you can ask a single phenomenon: "please, Being, show me your true face"
    Fefonz Quan: well, i liked the dropping as a cup of tea :)
    Pema Pera: or if you are more into meditation/contemplation, you can just sit with the phenomenon in the must humble way, allowing IT to show itself to you
    Fefonz Quan: a drop of tea in a way
    Pema Pera hates to find droppings in his tea
    Fefonz Quan: maybe we've talked enough?
    Pema Pera: Dogen wrote poetically "the depth of a drop is the height of the moon" when he saw the moon reflected in a dew drop
    Pema Pera: yes, I think so!
    Pema Pera: anyone else?
    Pema Pera: :)

    The floor was now open. There followed a number of small discussions, questions and answers. I record them here as discrete units without further comment

    Pila Mulligan raises his hand
    Pila Mulligan: I would add to Pema's comments (and maybe slightly diverge) by saying 'emptiness' is a term used by contemplative schools as a description of a condition (as in situation, not a prerequisite) of being, and that there are many conditions of being
    Pila Mulligan: emptiness seems to be one of the happier conditions of being, by the way :)
    Pema Pera: how do you use the word "condition" here, Pila, can you say more about that?
    Pila Mulligan: well, like in times and conditions -- weather has conditions
    Mickorod Renard: would emptiness be that clarity before we add to it to make it cloudy?
    Pema Pera: the cloudiness is also empty and also clear . . . .:)
    Pema Pera: and emptiness does not change like the weather . . .but that is perhaps not what you meant, Pila?
    Pila Mulligan: being in New York is a condition, or a situation, andbeing there on a rainy or sunny day is a further description of the condition
    Pila Mulligan: no, it is not, Pema
    Mickorod Renard: I was meaning,,clear before we add our own life's mess
    Pila Mulligan: I meant to say just the emptiness is itself a condition
    Fefonz Quan: more a characteristic i would guess Pila
    Pema Pera: yeah, it is hard to talk about this -- I'd also like to say that emptiness is a kind of aspect of Being, but that's not quite right either . . . Being is "empty of" anything, it is more than a single aspect that is distinct from other aspects -- but perhaps it is not necessary to be too precise here...
    Pila Mulligan: yes Fefonz, one of the many pssible characteristics
    Fefonz Quan: yes, but one that doesn't change Pila
    Pila Mulligan: being is inclusive of many conditions :)

    Mickorod Renard: Pema,,,this bit was cloudy for me:-ll that is what we have, not what we are: "[13:28] Pema Pera: However,"
    Pema Pera: the beauty is, Mick, that no matter how messy our life becomes, it is still 100% emptiness and clarity -- that is SO VERY important!! Seeing that, you are free
    Mickorod Renard: thankyou
    Pema Pera: the blood in a movie is still light . . . .
    Pema Pera: (but that's still an imperfect metaphor)

    Fefonz Quan: i wondered if others here also feel that Being need some imagination in our practice
    Mickorod Renard: Fefonz, I feel both elevated by this and also frustrated that I dont understand
    Scathach Rhiadra: mmm, I will admit to being confused too, maybe by the word 'Being'
    Fefonz Quan: can you say in what way Scath?
    Mickorod Renard: this bit here was confusin for me :- that is what we have, not what we are
    Scathach Rhiadra: well I can connect to expressions like 'all that is', or things as they really are, or primordial awareness, but what 'is' meaans more to me than 'Being'
    Fefonz Quan nods
    Scathach Rhiadra: its just a word, I know:)
    Pema Pera: Yes, and you can look at Being as the "isness" of what "is"
    Pema Pera: "is" is the portal to Being, I believe that Stim once said
    Pema Pera: but we don't have to worry too much about what we call it
    Pema Pera: when we all describe what we see we will soon recognize from each other what it is we see :)
    Fefonz Quan: indeed i feel that "watch what is" is closer to my practice
    Pema Pera: ah, but then we get into YSBS :-)
    Pema Pera: letting Being watch you!
    Fefonz Quan: yep :)
    Mickorod Renard: and will we be looking at subject or object or the world, or ourselves?
    Pema Pera: anything, Mick :)
    Pema Pera: maybe next week?
    Mickorod Renard: ok

    Myna Maven: Fefonz, to your question of imagination. I can say that over the years I am acquainted with the feeling of "being felt"...and then there is when I am feeling and imagining.
    Fefonz Quan: thanks myna, i didn't understand the last part
    Fefonz Quan: this feeling is connected to imagining?
    Myna Maven: The feeling of "being felt" is different from what I experience as imagining...
    Fefonz Quan: isn't being felt is like something from outside is involved?
    Myna Maven: No. At least to me, that's not what it feels like.
    Myna Maven: It feels all inclusive.
    Mickorod Renard: do you mean someone feels your compassion,,or love?
    Myna Maven: No, Mick.
    Pema Pera: Being is outer and inner, no distinctions . . . Being seeing you is very much along the lines of what Myna describes
    Fefonz Quan: maybe what bothers me is that i imagine being somehow as outside of me,
    Fefonz Quan: or including me but much larger
    Pema Pera: ah yes, that is not correct
    Pema Pera: that is still within the story of our lifes, of our world
    Pema Pera: Being allows this whole world to (seemingly) arise
    Mickorod Renard: ok,,sorry i was gettingh the wrong being mixed up
    Pema Pera: but is not part of it
    Pema Pera: yet is all of it
    Pema Pera: not separate from it either

    Scathach Rhiadra: could you say it underlies all phenomena or all phenomena arise from it?
    Pema Pera: yes, in some approximate sense, Schathach . . . but when we use that kind of language there is the danger that we see Being as separate from what arisese "out of" it, and as "under"lying . . . that part is not correct

    Mickorod Renard: do we all have an individual being,,or are we collectively linked to one being?
    Pema Pera: neither Mick
    Pema Pera: each of us IS Being
    Pema Pera: not linked, that would be far too separate
    Mickorod Renard: ok,,getting there,,slowly
    Pema Pera: and Being is beyond the distinction of individual vs. collective
    Pema Pera: it is neither
    Pema Pera: neither one neither many

    Shilv Tigerauge: sometimes when i look at things the wall beteem meits like the ocean and the waves
    Pema Pera: yes, Shilv!
    Pema Pera: that's a nice sense of opening up, Shilv

    Myna Maven: I can say that having experienced "being felt", that in some ways it is accessible like shifting gears. In this way I 'm not certain whether I am then experiencing my memory of "being felt". And by this, I mean that feeling/knowing of no separation. Because it has entered my exerpience as direct knowledge. And I can think of it and feel it.
    Pema Pera: love to pick that up next time, Myna!
    Myna Maven: (I have put that fairly poorly. Sorry, child here wanting some things.))
    Pema Pera: I got the drift, Myna

    The hour was nearly up.

    Storm Nordwind coughs gently "Please excuse me for interrupting!"
    Storm Nordwind: This has been a wonderful discussion but we're running out of time before Stim's workshop at the Kira Cafe. I feel we have only scratched the surface so far in this dialgue. We certainly did not get onto terms such as YSBS and ESBS. May I invite both Fefonz and Pema to return at the same time next week to continue? :)
    Fefonz Quan: Sure Storm, be glad to
    Pema Pera: Happy to, Storm!
    Storm Nordwind: Then I suggest we adjourn until then :)
    Pema Pera: Either on Thursday, or next time we meet in PaB!
    Pema Pera: okay, over to the Cafe :-)
    Pila Mulligan: thanks Pema and Fefonz, and everyone
    Fefonz Quan: thanks all for attending :)
    Lia Rikugun: i say good night
    Lia Rikugun: thank you!
    Scathach Rhiadra: thanks Pema and Fefonz:)
    Pema Pera: Thankyou Fefonz, and thank you all for being so patient with us (especially with me, sorry for talking so much!)
    Mickorod Renard: I would love to know more myna,,I have had some strange experiences to,,that maybe i am looking for answers to
    Storm Nordwind: Please join us a he Kira Cafe now!
    Wol Euler: thank you and goodnight to all who aren't going to Kira.
    Myna Maven: Thanks everyone. Over to the Cafe.
    Myna Maven: Mick, sure.
    Mickorod Renard: thanks Pema ,Fefonz and all

    Tag page (Edit tags)
    You must login to post a comment.
    Powered by MindTouch Core