2009.04.18 13:00 - Mauka and Makai

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Pema Pera.  I didn't find time to add comments, since I had two sessions to handle today.  Pila started with a description of how he had trained himself to remain aware of where North is, almost all the time, and from there the discussion went into various directions.  The title is Hawai`i for the two main directions there, toward the mountain and toward the sea.

    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello QT
    Qt Core: Hi Scath
    Scathach Rhiadra: very quiet here tonight:)
    Qt Core: yes, but sometimes quiet is good ;'-)
    Scathach Rhiadra nods:)
    Qt Core: is there a theme for this session ?
    Scathach Rhiadra: um, no I don't think so, that is tomorrow night
    Qt Core: hi Pema
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Pema
    Pema Pera: Hi Qt and Scathach!
    Pema Pera: Sorry to be late
    Scathach Rhiadra: :)
    Qt Core: np, we just quieted ourself after (at least for me) a hurried day
    Pema Pera: Hi Pila and Mick!
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Pila, Mick
    Pila Mulligan: greetings everyone
    Qt Core: Hi Pila, Mick
    Mickorod Renard: hiya Pema
    Scathach Rhiadra: hey Mick, looking very debonair!
    Pema Pera: :)
    Mickorod Renard: thanks,,just been at a wedding
    Mickorod Renard: sneeked out during photoes
    Mickorod Renard: photo's
    Scathach Rhiadra grins
    Mickorod Renard: same as RL reaslly
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Fael
    Pema Pera: more difficult to drink too much perhaps?
    Mickorod Renard: hiya Fael
    Pila Mulligan: hi Fael
    Pema Pera: Hi Fael!
    Fael Illyar: Hi Mick, Qt, Scath, Pema, Pila :)
    Qt Core: hi Fael
    Fael Illyar listens to the silence.
    Mickorod Renard: nice
    Pila Mulligan: a thought ... maybe (not to interrupt)? ...
    Mickorod Renard: yes?
    Pila Mulligan: something I've done for many years that began with my contemplative practice is to keep a sense of orientation, and awareness if what is north
    Pila Mulligan: an*
    Pila Mulligan: it is so ingrained I forget I'm doing it
    Pila Mulligan: is this something you also do?
    Pila Mulligan: an awareness of the compass direction north
    Mickorod Renard: I am aware of my orientation due to position of the sun
    Mickorod Renard: if that what u mean
    Pila Mulligan: yes, it is
    Pila Mulligan: I don't keep a compass in my pocket :)
    Mickorod Renard: yes,,
    Pila Mulligan: just an awareness
    Fael Illyar: can you keep it no matter what?
    Pila Mulligan: usually
    Qt Core: awareness about the place yes, about cardinal points no
    Fael Illyar: Hi Wol :)
    Wol Euler: hello everyone
    Pila Mulligan: hi Wol
    Wol Euler: sorry I'm late
    Pila Mulligan: orientation it seems to be helpful in terms of not letting illusions get ahead of balance -- I recommend it if you'd like to try -- as Mick said, the sun (and shadows) will help
    Pema Pera: Good evening, Wol!
    Mickorod Renard: hi wol
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Wol:)
    Pema Pera: An interesting exercise, Pila
    Pema Pera: I've heard that some cultures don't use left and right as much as they do directions like North, East, etc
    Mickorod Renard: its something I have done since a child
    Fael Illyar: must be useful when navigating in new cities :)
    Qt Core: as i am most of the time in place i know well when i know my orientation is mostly knowledge not awareness
    Mickorod Renard: very,,doesnt help at night though
    Pila Mulligan: Pema, in Hawai`i the common oritentation terms are mauka and makai -- toward the mountain and toward the sea :)
    Mickorod Renard: although u can often get a sense where sunset was and sunset will be
    Pila Mulligan: because those features a re som dominant
    Pema Pera: :)
    Pila Mulligan: Fael, the funnny thing is when I do get disoriented as to north, it is noticably absent
    Pila Mulligan: and I try to restore it
    Fael Illyar: Yes, you've probably built many things you do around the awareness of where is north.
    Pila Mulligan: so it seems
    Pila Mulligan: inlcuding not being disoriented :)
    Fael Illyar: well, I'd think the disoriented comes from your habits not quite functioning with the knowledge missing :)
    Mickorod Renard: I wonder if muslims have a good sense of orientation for direction towards mecca?
    Pila Mulligan: yes, at least someone must have a sense of it to pray
    Mickorod Renard: as it is a well practiced thing for them
    Pila Mulligan: some meditation traditions recommend sitting facing north when practicinig
    Mickorod Renard: some have strange idea's about what direction to face their beds
    Pila Mulligan included
    Pila Mulligan: my bed faces north because it is easier to just sit upm and meditate then
    Mickorod Renard: it may be valid
    Pila Mulligan: some culutres associate characteristics with thecardinal points
    Scathach Rhiadra: ah yes the ancient celts did that:)
    Qt Core: nost temples in most religion are oriented
    Pila Mulligan: in many Native american tipis a partciular color thread is hung at each cardinal point
    Qt Core: most
    Fael Illyar: hmmh, the way I've used to position myself on my bed when I've meditated seems to point me to north :P
    Fael Illyar just checked.
    Pila Mulligan: naturally
    Fael Illyar: my bed doesn't face north though :)
    Pila Mulligan: see, your internal compass is at work, Fael :)
    Pila Mulligan: just like an internal lcock
    Pila Mulligan: clock*
    Wol Euler: mine does, it felt like the best orientation but I didnÄT actually choose it for any special reason
    Mickorod Renard: mine faces north,,just by nature of house build
    Pila Mulligan: perhaps that is how the tradition arose, where it did
    Mickorod Renard: and the master bedroom position
    Pila Mulligan: spontaneous
    Fael Illyar: interesting, the way I meditated while at my mother's place when she lived next door last year was also north...
    Pila Mulligan: the subconcious mind of early contemplatives may have noticed one star that did not rotate in the night sky
    Qt Core: well, in ancient times astronomers,priests,contemplative, they were often the same person
    Mickorod Renard: its likely they did notice,,especially as the night sky would have been so much clearer
    Mickorod Renard: I would guess that the night sky ,,in the absense of houses and light and tv was the main attraction
    Fael Illyar: Ah, I need to leave. See you later everyone :)
    Wol Euler: bye fael, take care
    Mickorod Renard: bye Fael
    Scathach Rhiadra: bye Fael
    Pila Mulligan: bye Fael
    Pema Pera: bye Fael
    Qt Core: (thinking about another more mundane activity that could be done on night where there are no tv.book, and such ;-) )
    Mickorod Renard: ;-)
    Pila Mulligan: another physical element of meditation practice is the mudra, or finger positions -- these are probably already familiar to meditators here
    Mickorod Renard: not me
    Pila Mulligan: mudras also seem to havea kind of orineting effect
    Mickorod Renard: please tell
    Pila Mulligan: the simplest mudra is to touch the tip of your thumb to the first joint of your forefinger, Mick
    Mickorod Renard: ok
    Pila Mulligan: it is an energy circulating device
    Pila Mulligan: to recycle the energy in your hand
    Mickorod Renard: ohh
    Pila Mulligan: there are variations, a common Zen mudra is to rest your hand facing upward on each other on your lap
    Mickorod Renard: thats why people I observe meditating are holding hands that way?
    Pila Mulligan: yes
    Pila Mulligan: it is part of the posture
    Mickorod Renard: makes sense now,,ty
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pila Mulligan: another habit, I usually walk around like that also :)
    Pila Mulligan: a lesser known variation, from a Hindu guru, is to place the tip of your thumb on the first joint of your middle finger
    Mickorod Renard: do u think it works,,or just like the tradition?
    Pila Mulligan: it is a non-recpetive variation, when you are in a place where the external energy seems overly distracting
    Pila Mulligan: I can see an effect in my practice
    Pila Mulligan: I think it works
    Qt Core: as i can't say i really meditated i wonder if it is the "position" that works or it is a "placebo" effect
    Pila Mulligan: well, there are some reasons to believe ti could be both, Qt
    Pila Mulligan: expecting somehting to work is what creates a placebo effect
    Qt Core: exactly
    Qt Core: and that create the conditions for it to really work
    Pila Mulligan: there are aslo some accupuncture theories that support the non-receptive one and krilian (sp?) pgotography for the whole idea
    Qt Core: full circle
    Pila Mulligan: pictures of hand energy that is
    Pila Mulligan: there is also tongue mudra
    Pila Mulligan: this one really works for me
    Pila Mulligan: curl the tongue back so the tip touches the roof of the mouth
    Pila Mulligan: there is one partciular point where the taste seems to change
    Mickorod Renard: yes
    Pila Mulligan: and if you are exercising that seems to help keep you from getting thirsty
    Pila Mulligan: as well as being an element of meditaiton posture
    Qt Core: that was unexpected
    Mickorod Renard: I do that sometimes,,as a child i had a hole there,,where they took out a huge tooth
    Pila Mulligan: an old Chinese meditation saying seems to me be associated with the tongue mudra: 'the lead of the water regions has but one taste' -- the tase is somewhat lead like
    Pila Mulligan: also, re the previous hand energy -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirlian_photography
    Mickorod Renard: ty
    Scathach Rhiadra: placing the tongue against the roof of the mouth stops saliva building up so you don't have to keep on swallowing, which is distracting to meditation:)
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pila Mulligan: an accupuncturist told me there are two accupuncture points that are joined by the tongue mudra, that may contribute tot he effect
    Mickorod Renard: never had accupuncture before
    Pila Mulligan: while I was meditating this morining I got to thinking about physical elements of meditation that I also do almost subconciously during the day, and those inlude orientation to the north and the finger and tongue mudras, so I wanted to share those thoughts
    Mickorod Renard: thankyou,,I will make use of the finger one perhaps
    Pila Mulligan: I hope it helps
    Mickorod Renard: just need to meditate then
    Wol Euler: :)
    Scathach Rhiadra grins
    Mickorod Renard: I am going to a budhist centre for a day class soon
    Pila Mulligan: for a meditation?
    Mickorod Renard: I guess so
    Mickorod Renard: its something to do with dealing with old rubbish in the head
    Mickorod Renard: need a clearout
    Pila Mulligan: Buddhist sure have a handle on that
    Mickorod Renard: I am going for me,,of course,,but also to accompany a friend who recently lost his wife
    Pila Mulligan: ahh, to clean the heart as well then
    Mickorod Renard: yes
    Pila Mulligan: tears do it well, also
    Mickorod Renard: yes,,I think he's done enough of that though
    Qt Core: sadly i have to go, nice session learned something new ;-)
    Mickorod Renard: bye Qt
    Pila Mulligan: bye Qt :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: good night QT
    Wol Euler: bye qt
    Pema Pera: bye Qt!
    Qt Core: Bye
    Pila Mulligan: yes, now your firend will begin to integrate his grief and loss into his daily life
    Pila Mulligan: the Buddhist session should be helpful there
    Mickorod Renard: his loss was over a year ago now,,I think he's not doing so bad
    Pila Mulligan: they say (folkore) it takes a year to begin ot intgrate such a loss
    Wol Euler: well, grief has its own timetable...
    Mickorod Renard: yes,,i can believe that
    Pila Mulligan: I don't usually chant, but there is a Tibetan Buddhist temple nearby where you can go to sit while the priest chants and it is quite refreshing
    Mickorod Renard: I can believe that,,i have always loved budhist monk chants,,and the trumpet thingies
    Mickorod Renard: I remember being in one place in the himalayers,,lookin over the mountains,,wonderful
    Scathach Rhiadra: :)
    Mickorod Renard: with the trumpet things and chants
    Mickorod Renard: u can really loose yourself in it
    Mickorod Renard: and that lovely thin air
    Pema Pera: time to return to SL, good seeing you all and hearing these various insights!
    Mickorod Renard: bye Pema
    Scathach Rhiadra: good night Pema
    Pila Mulligan: bye Pema
    Pema Pera: till next time
    Wol Euler: bye pema
    Wol Euler: enjoy the weekend
    Wol Euler: I should be going, too, actually. Goodnight all, see you tomorrow
    Pila Mulligan: bye Wol
    Mickorod Renard: are u all goin to maxines class tommorow?
    Scathach Rhiadra: night Wol.
    Mickorod Renard: bye wol
    Pila Mulligan: I hope so, Mick
    Scathach Rhiadra: which class is this?
    Mickorod Renard: is it here or at kira?
    Pila Mulligan: time is a terrible master, so with its permission I'll be here
    Mickorod Renard: dreams and time
    Pila Mulligan: this session tomorrow
    Mickorod Renard: ok cool
    Scathach Rhiadra: the theme session here
    Mickorod Renard: eeek,,i may not be here,,gotta pick up wife n son at airport
    Pila Mulligan: see -- time is a terrible master :)
    Mickorod Renard: yep
    Scathach Rhiadra: you will have to read the log
    Mickorod Renard: yes,,true
    Scathach Rhiadra: I must be off too, see you both tomorrow, Namaste
    Mickorod Renard: nameste Scath
    Pila Mulligan: bye Scathach
    Mickorod Renard: bye
    Mickorod Renard: you were a theologian Pila?
    Pila Mulligan: no, I went to an old Presbyterian college however where theology course were required
    Mickorod Renard: I see
    Pila Mulligan: it was interesting to study
    Mickorod Renard: what turned you to budhism?
    Pila Mulligan: I am not Buddhist, actually
    Mickorod Renard: ok
    Pila Mulligan: I got turned to Chinese meditation :)
    Pila Mulligan: by reading a book
    Mickorod Renard: I see
    Mickorod Renard: sort of
    Pila Mulligan: soounded interesting so I tried it
    Pila Mulligan: and liked it
    Mickorod Renard: no better reason
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pila Mulligan: my favorite UK thing this week was the Scot lady singing on the TV show
    Pila Mulligan: you are int he UK as I recall
    Mickorod Renard: so is there still a God character in your resolve?
    Pila Mulligan: sort of
    Mickorod Renard: yes,,in the centre on UK
    Pila Mulligan: I got tears in me eyes watching the videono on You tube
    Mickorod Renard: yes?
    Pila Mulligan: that is kind of a god image
    Mickorod Renard: which one?
    Pila Mulligan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY
    Mickorod Renard: not sure I understand you re u tube?
    Mickorod Renard: ohh ok thanks
    Pila Mulligan: she comes on stage looking so unlikely as a singer, then her beuatiful voice makes a mockery of the mockery
    Mickorod Renard: yes?
    Mickorod Renard: I look forward to a good laugh
    Mickorod Renard: there are so many egg /chicken and unanswerable questions that its impos to sort it all out
    Pila Mulligan: yep
    Pila Mulligan: I have a peronsal rule: never argue with a Buddhist or a Jesuit (in that order:)
    Mickorod Renard: most people here dont even toy with those thoughts though
    Pila Mulligan: some people can nget a handle on themental stuff, but not me
    Mickorod Renard: yea
    Mickorod Renard: I sometimes wonder whether i should just become like so many others and just get on with life and work and play full stop
    Pila Mulligan: well, these ideas will float around forever it seems, and like a beautiful sunset they attract your attention
    Mickorod Renard: are we the minority though,,who are attracted to them
    Pila Mulligan: maybe, interesting question
    Pila Mulligan: I don't know
    Mickorod Renard: grin
    Pila Mulligan: philosophy seems to satisfy many
    Pila Mulligan: but theology seems to repel many also
    Mickorod Renard: that can be split between two groups too
    Mickorod Renard: philo
    Pila Mulligan: yep, science is a wedge issue for some
    Mickorod Renard: I have attended many philo groups,,and its true that they dont like accomodating religious thoughts
    Pila Mulligan: that to me seems like a great loss
    Mickorod Renard: even though many old philosophers were religious
    Pila Mulligan: throwing out the babay with the wash water it seems, in some cases
    Mickorod Renard: yes,,it seems egotistical to me
    Pila Mulligan: so much thought and contemplation has gone in to old traditions that just to swipe them asied is egoitisitcal
    Pila Mulligan: maybe not done with microscopes, but still valuable
    Mickorod Renard: exactly,,and God doesnt have to get in the way either
    Pila Mulligan: yep
    Pila Mulligan: I settled on the idea that God is love many years ago, it seems sufficient
    Mickorod Renard: what time is it in hawaii?
    Pila Mulligan: almost 2:30 pm
    Mickorod Renard: nice time,,so ur not goin surfing today?
    Pila Mulligan: :) nope
    Pila Mulligan: too old for that i'm afraid
    Mickorod Renard: God as Love is the best way to see Him/her
    Pila Mulligan: I agree
    Pila Mulligan: it is not abstarct, but it is also ont too detailed
    Mickorod Renard: yes,,its more like essence?
    Pila Mulligan: the quintessence :)
    Mickorod Renard: I wouldnt really call myself a Christian,,its just what I am educated in
    Pila Mulligan: same here
    Mickorod Renard: yes,,that sounds good
    Mickorod Renard: when I got turned upside down and took to searching what was goin on,,I read bits of the Bible,,and they turned out to be revealing in a way that I had never seen before
    Pila Mulligan: wisdom, like the beuaty of a sunset, just gets thorugh to us, it seems
    Mickorod Renard: but i think many things that are relative are universal in most religions
    Pila Mulligan: well, an insight I had in this regard related to yoga
    Mickorod Renard: yes?
    Pila Mulligan: there are various schools lioke yoga all over the wrold
    Pila Mulligan: and what you see is that their practices are very similar
    Mickorod Renard: ok
    Pila Mulligan: but then what else would you expect
    Pila Mulligan: they are all dealing with the human form
    Pila Mulligan: making exercise fot it that are healthy
    Mickorod Renard: well,,i decided that whoever was into writting the Bible,,was very clever at knowing what people need answering just at the right time
    Pila Mulligan: one aspect opf all wisdom weems to be that you get it when you're ready
    Mickorod Renard: in a way that only those looking for answers will understand
    Mickorod Renard: yes,,that is proberbly the case
    Pila Mulligan: in old days, many people never saw a town, and yet they would recognize one if they came to it
    Pila Mulligan: theology should be like that
    Mickorod Renard: true
    Pila Mulligan: it should describe stuff you recognize when you see it
    Pila Mulligan: even if you have not seen it
    Mickorod Renard: yes
    Mickorod Renard: what is wierd is that at church there are many people that do not understand much about what is written,,and hidden in the words,,yet they are so devoted
    Pila Mulligan: like a beautiful sunset :)
    Pila Mulligan: it is uplifting for them
    Mickorod Renard: I seem to be the other way around
    Pila Mulligan: well, your curiosity has been piqued
    Mickorod Renard: yes,,and they ahave a sense of community
    Pila Mulligan: yep, what Buddhists call sangha
    Mickorod Renard: how do you mean,,piqued?
    Pila Mulligan: something got you curious
    Mickorod Renard: yes
    Mickorod Renard: actually it was a sort of vision
    Mickorod Renard: it left me dumbfounded
    Pila Mulligan: care to say more
    Mickorod Renard: mmmmm
    Pila Mulligan: should we turn off the recorder?
    Mickorod Renard: could do
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