2009.03.13 01:00 - Encouraging tales of struggle and insight

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    Wol Euler was guardian and commenter for this session, which began in her absence. Thanks to Scath for stepping in.

    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Tarmel
    Tarmel Udimo: hey Scath
    Scathach Rhiadra: ty:)
    Tarmel Udimo: checking out something I found when looking in a shop
    Scathach Rhiadra: mmm, shopping in SL:)
    Tarmel Udimo: freebies
    Scathach Rhiadra: haha:)
    Tarmel Udimo: found out where stargate gets it from
    Scathach Rhiadra: so how are you?
    Tarmel Udimo: good just dropping in before going out to dinner
    Tarmel Udimo: I didn't volunteer because i thought I would have left already
    Scathach Rhiadra: ah, going somewhere nice?
    Tarmel Udimo: just up the road to a local
    Tarmel Udimo: how about you how are you?
    Scathach Rhiadra: I#m fine:)
    Scathach Rhiadra: no complaints
    Tarmel Udimo: :-)
    Tarmel Udimo: it was great to be able to attend one of Stim's sessions I normally miss out
    Scathach Rhiadra: yes, it was great to see you there
    Scathach Rhiadra: his sessions are very good, really focused, but relaxed
    Tarmel Udimo: yes
    Tarmel Udimo: and clear and concise and to the point
    Scathach Rhiadra: mmm, yes, very clear
    Scathach Rhiadra: makes you wonder about all the talking we do:)
    Tarmel Udimo: hhehehehehe
    Tarmel Udimo: but his is around specific exercises so its simpler I think in a way
    Scathach Rhiadra nods
    Tarmel Udimo: and there are a quite a few people in PaB who seem to still struggle with a lot of the concepts
    Tarmel Udimo: and the best way is to perhaps just keep talking about it until the AHHA factor occurs
    Scathach Rhiadra: yes, that is a good way of putting it:)
    Tarmel Udimo: but you've been meditating for a while haven't you?
    Scathach Rhiadra: we all struggle with some concepts
    Tarmel Udimo: yes I do too


    Twenty minutes late! tsk tsk tsk. 

    Wol Euler: good morning Scath, Tarmel
    Scathach Rhiadra: me, yes about 30 + years:)
    Tarmel Udimo: eveing:-)
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Wol
    Wol Euler: thank you for covering for me!
    Tarmel Udimo: you made it here pretty quickly
    Wol Euler: yeah, the appointment was shorter than I feared it would be
    Tarmel Udimo: I'm heading out soon off to dinner at a local, haven't eaten out for a while so it'll be fun
    Scathach Rhiadra: :)
    Wol Euler smiles. Sounds like a good idea.
    Tarmel Udimo: sorry Scath you were saying - 30 years
    Tarmel Udimo: what did you start when you were a baby;-)
    Wol Euler grins
    Scathach Rhiadra: haha, I'm not that young:)
    Tarmel Udimo: that would have been a very early morning appointment Wol.
    Wol Euler: Tarmel thinks she's our grandmother :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: ha:)
    Tarmel Udimo: I do...


    A digression into German habits of work and thought. The use of rules. 

    Wol Euler: 9am, that counts as mid-morning in Germany. A land of early risers.
    Tarmel Udimo: ahh the old work ethic
    Wol Euler: "work hard, play hard, know the difference"
    Tarmel Udimo: nice
    Wol Euler: actually it's hard to argue with that
    Scathach Rhiadra: hmm, very apt:)
    Tarmel Udimo: Yanks would say: "work hard, play harder"
    Wol Euler: "... and dress down on Friday". You'd never see a German office doing casual Fridays
    Scathach Rhiadra: really?
    Wol Euler: it crosses boundaries, for them.
    Tarmel Udimo: yes lots of straight lines
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Wol Euler: the Germans like rules, which is something that immigrants have to learn to live with
    Wol Euler: but after a while you figure out that rules that make sense and which are actually followed
    Wol Euler: are a Very Good Thing.
    Wol Euler: They reduce the number of things you have to think about.
    Scathach Rhiadra: so really useful, pragmatic rules
    Wol Euler: mmhmm, the Germans are nothing if not pragmatic
    Tarmel Udimo: sounds like you fit right in :P
    Wol Euler: actually yes, after making this realization I fit much better. I too am in favour of reducing the number of things I have to think about
    Wol Euler: I always say when programming and designing user interfaces, that monotony is underestimated as an organizing principle
    Scathach Rhiadra: :)
    Tarmel Udimo: grins
    Wol Euler: make the UI less interesting, not more. The user's interest should be in their own words (pictures, spreadsheet numbers ...) NOT in your screen buttons
    Scathach Rhiadra: now that is a good principle, I do UAT in my job


    (User Acceptance Testing, for the non-geeks among us)

    Tarmel Udimo: BRB
    Scathach Rhiadra: could do with more pragmatic designers:)
    Wol Euler: eheheh
    Wol Euler: I am a fairly lousy designer, I must admit. None of my projects will win any awards
    Wol Euler: but I know that they are easy to learn and use, because nobody ever reads the website nor the help files nor the PDF documentation :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: haha, as long as they work and are easy to use the users are happy:)
    Wol Euler: sure
    Scathach Rhiadra: if they were voting for best applications, you might be surprised how highly they value your work
    Wol Euler: I would like to think that people are that aware of the tools that they use.
    Wol Euler: a good tool should be invisible.
    Scathach Rhiadra nods
    Wol Euler: which speaks against noticing how good it is :) So designers glue go-faster stripes on them
    Scathach Rhiadra: mmm, every bell and whistle they can dream up sometimes
    Wol Euler: do you read Joel Spolsky's blog? He talks a lot about something htat may apply here, that mamagement needs to trust the judgement of its staff and let them do what they need to do - even if that isn't clear to the manager.
    Scathach Rhiadra: no, haven't heard of him sounds interesting
    Wol Euler: (Left out a thought before that: Some overdesigning may be them feeling pressured to show what they do all day long)
    Scathach Rhiadra: ha, that could well be the case:)
    Wol Euler: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/
    Scathach Rhiadra: ty
    Scathach Rhiadra: it does amase me sometimes, how much we complicate life, seemingly just for the sake of it
    Wol Euler nods
    Wol Euler: solving problems that don't actually exist.
    Scathach Rhiadra: yes

    And then we were four. 

    Wol Euler: hello bertrum
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Bertrum
    Bertrum Quan: Hi everyone
    Tarmel Udimo: back - sorry, pre-dinner drinks while waiting for my roommate to get ready
    Wol Euler grins.
    Tarmel Udimo: hi Bertrum
    Bertrum Quan: Hi Tarmel
    Wol Euler thinks: a late summer Friday evening, drinks, dinner... Not bad at all.
    Wol Euler: +3° and raining here.
    Scathach Rhiadra: :)
    Tarmel Udimo: getting warmer:-)
    Wol Euler: true, and the crocuses are up!
    Tarmel Udimo: beautiful
    Wol Euler: so encouraging. "Don't do it, things are getting better"
    Tarmel Udimo: ?
    Wol Euler laughs, Those particular crocuses are next to a railway level crossing ...
    Scathach Rhiadra: ah
    Tarmel Udimo: want to explain or is that a quote from a song?
    Tarmel Udimo: ah did it as i was asking
    Wol Euler: no, just a joke in extremely bad taste
    Tarmel Udimo: yes please don't railway deaths are the pits, there's way too much cleaning up to be done
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Tarmel Udimo: that was a joke in bad taste
    Wol Euler: true, though.

    Turn back the clock to the discussion that my arrival interrupted. 

    Wol Euler: let's go back 20 minutes. You were having a serious discussion as I arrived. [1:21] Tarmel Udimo: but you've been meditating for a while haven't you? [1:21] Scathach Rhiadra: we all struggle with some concepts [1:22] Tarmel Udimo: yes I do too
    Scathach Rhiadra: mmm?
    Wol Euler: [1:22] Scathach Rhiadra: me, yes about 30 + years:)
    Tarmel Udimo: okay tell us more Scath about those 30 + years of meditation:-)
    Wol Euler: tell us encouraging tales of struggle and insight!
    Scathach Rhiadra: haha, a lot of struggle, don't know about the insight:)
    Bertrum Quan: Can you talk about the struggle?
    Scathach Rhiadra: well, no matter how long you have been meditating, there are always times when nothing seems to work, or happen, so to speak
    Scathach Rhiadra: so, i find I just have to keep on going, and it passes
    Scathach Rhiadra: it is worse to give up, just because there seems to be no progress, much harder to start again
    Wol Euler nods
    Tarmel Udimo: yes
    Scathach Rhiadra: and the meditation I do is basically the same as I have always done, most like Stim's exercises, mindfulness
    Bertrum Quan: When you mention progress (or the lack of progress) what are you referring to?
    Scathach Rhiadra: sometimes when I meditate, I can just slip into the practice very easily, become aware, centred, without much effort...
    Tarmel Udimo: back again
    Tarmel Udimo: sorry keep ducking in and out
    Wol Euler: wb, np :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: other times, I could sit for a long time and can't seem to find that point, so to speak
    Wol Euler finds that quite encouraging :)
    Bertrum Quan: Don't you feel, even then, the practice is worthwhile?
    Scathach Rhiadra: yes, that is why I have kept going
    Scathach Rhiadra: also, another very important thing is what Stim mentioned, 'the view' that motivates my meditation
    Wol Euler: mmm?
    Scathach Rhiadra: without haveing intention, or a view to give a framework to meditation, it would not seem worthwhile to me
    Scathach Rhiadra: I suppose that is the spiritual side
    Scathach Rhiadra: otherwise it is just a nice exercise to maybe focus the mind
    Bertrum Quan: Would you explain a bit more about "intention"?
    Scathach Rhiadra: well, in Buddhism intention is everything
    Tarmel Udimo: well sorry to iterrupt, but time for me to go... looks like we downgraded dinner to take-away:-) but have to do my share and walk up the hill...., will be back on later, bye for now...
    Wol Euler laughs. What a pity! Enjoy it nonetheless, tarmel
    Tarmel Udimo: see ya
    Bertrum Quan: bye

    View, intention and practice.

    Scathach Rhiadra: the difference between walking a path to enlightenment, or awakening, and just living in this world, sort of mindlessly, if that makes any sense?
    Scathach Rhiadra: I find you have to want to 'awaken' to even start on the path, otherwise you just drift
    Wol Euler nods thoughtfully
    Scathach Rhiadra: and intention is behind every thought and action
    Scathach Rhiadra: if we give some thought to our actions, we become aware of the real intentions behind them, and effect change in our lives
    Bertrum Quan: That makes alot of sense.
    Wol Euler: ah, so your view is to use meditation to see the real intentions?
    Scathach Rhiadra: hmmm, yes, in a way looking at reality, what really is, we become aware of the intention, or lack of it
    Bertrum Quan: Wol, what about you?
    Wol Euler: well, the concept of view is new to me. I am very much an amateur meditator
    Wol Euler: I started with the hope of bringing a little peace and calm into my life, at a point when I was very stressed. That has worked
    Wol Euler: coming here in retrospect seems to have been the search for a "next step" in the process
    Wol Euler: I have been doing the exercises in what Scath just called a mindless way :)
    Wol Euler: undirected.
    Wol Euler: satisfied with a short-term result, which did solve a RL problem
    Bertrum Quan: Do you agree that the short-term result when continued can produce a long-term result as well?
    Wol Euler: probably :)
    Wol Euler: it is changing my life beyond the relief of short-term pain, that is clear.
    Wol Euler: One of my first leaders in meditation said that the way to become a particular kind of Buddhist monk, is by pretending already to be one (in PaB terms, starting fromthe end). Do the practices as though you were enlightened, until they enlighten you.
    Wol Euler: That has RL application too. The way to become a good speaker is by speaking well.
    Wol Euler: practice improves you.
    Bertrum Quan: yes it does. Practice allows one time to integrate and sythesize... that can lead to what I think of as a natural state.
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Wol Euler: I looked at the thousands of hours that my nephew devoted to learning to skateboard well. Not htat he saw it as "learning" or as "practice", those were school concepts that had nothing to do with his life :)
    Wol Euler: but the skills eventually became transparent, part of his life.
    Bertrum Quan: Exactly.
    Scathach Rhiadra nods
    Wol Euler: Bertrum, what is your view?
    Bertrum Quan: I agree with what you've just said.
    Wol Euler: :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: :)
    Bertrum Quan: The path to a natural state, to transparence...
    Bertrum Quan: In a way I think of being in tune with a natural state as Being.
    Wol Euler nods
    Bertrum Quan: Need to say good night, Wol and Scath
    Wol Euler: 'night Bertrum, sleep well.
    Scathach Rhiadra: bye Bertrum,
    Bertrum Quan: Take care.
    Scathach Rhiadra: suppose I should go get some breakfast
    Wol Euler: :)
    Wol Euler: we can't have you falling over faint!
    Scathach Rhiadra: haha, no fear of that:)
    Wol Euler: good :)
    Wol Euler: let's end here, then.
    Wol Euler: enjoy the day, Scath. See you this evening?
    Scathach Rhiadra: ok, see you later, have a good day:)

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