2009.06.27 19:00 - What we Learn

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Pema Pera. The comments are by Pema Pera.

    When I arrived, SophiaSharon was already there, and Ninja, whom I hadn't met yet.

    Pema Pera: Hi Ninja and Sophia!
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Hi Pema!
    SophiaSharon Larnia: HI Ninja
    Ninja Easterman: hello
    Pema Pera: Ninja, I guess this is your first time here?
    Ninja Easterman: ah second why
    Pema Pera: oh, if it was the first time I should ask you whether you had any reservation about being recorded
    Pema Pera: We get together a few times a day to chat about the nature of reality, and everything else, and we have a wiki http://playasbeing.wik.is/ --
    Ninja Easterman: its alright....
    Pema Pera: but given that you've been here, you know :-)
    Ninja Easterman: and you are who....?
    Pema Pera: I am an astrophysicist
    Ninja Easterman: ah very nice
    Pema Pera: from Holland originally, living in New York now, working in Princeton, but right now visiting Tokyo
    Pema Pera: how about you?
    Ninja Easterman: out a work sawmill worker....lol
    Pema Pera: it must be hard, with the current economy . . . .
    SophiaSharon Larnia: i love this group because its so diverse, it is something unique
    Ninja Easterman: yeah .....
    Pema Pera: yes, from all countries, backgrounds, etc etc
    Ninja Easterman: i am canadain....
    SophiaSharon Larnia: :)
    Pema Pera: west coast?
    Ninja Easterman: yeah bc
    Pema Pera: yes, lots of logging there, I noticed when I visited a few years ago -- beautiful country!
    Ninja Easterman: yeah it is nice ....
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Hi Steve!
    Pema Pera: Hi Steve!
    Stevenaia joined us, and I asked Ninja whether he had any questions; he immediately asked a central question, which SophiaSharon would start answering soon afterwards.
    Pema Pera: do you have any questions about our group or our approach, Ninja? Or comments, suggestions?
    Ninja Easterman: what do you learn from this...?
    Pema Pera: that's the question -- and the way to find out is to join in the kind of explorations we do
    Pema Pera: stopping for a few seconds many times a day, trying to drop what we have in order to see what we are
    Pema Pera: different people learn different things
    Pema Pera: and we share what we learn
    stevenaia Michinaga: was lagging a bit there, hello
    Ninja Easterman: ah
    SophiaSharon Larnia: :)
    Pema Pera: (great picture of your dog in front of BC land/water-scape, btw, in your profile!)
    Ninja Easterman: thanxs....
    SophiaSharon Larnia: yes Pema I enjoyed the theme session this morning
    Pema Pera: me too!
    SophiaSharon Larnia: (oops morning for me)
    Pema Pera: yesterday evening for me, indeed :)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Hana question stopped me,,,what it would be like to approach others points of view from idea of oneness
    Pema Pera: yes, that was a great question.
    Ninja Easterman: oh man i might be lost here....lol
    stevenaia Michinaga: asks, is there one Oneness?
    Pema Pera: Sophia, would you like to tell Ninja what you've learned so far, roughly, from being with this group?
    Pema Pera: so as to give Ninja an idea?
    SophiaSharon Larnia: difficult but I can try
    Pema Pera: it must be hard to fall into the middle of a oneness discussion :-)
    Ninja Easterman: thats it....
    Pema Pera: :)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Ive learned to step out of my ideas of how I think the world and people are, and exaime where these ideas and views came from. for starters
    Ninja Easterman: ah i see....
    Ninja Easterman: we are all one......hmmm
    SophiaSharon Larnia: but more than that, to learn to (or begin to anyway) to take it lightly and try on different views
    SophiaSharon Larnia: plus i started to meditate again, which is always a good thing.... I can say much more here i think
    SophiaSharon Larnia: its hard to express
    Pema Pera: you're doing a great job, Sophia!
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes
    SophiaSharon Larnia: like today, i was starting to feel that thinking about islam was going against what i really think, until Hana asked here question, then felt almost ashamed (but not ashamed in the way it sounds). It was a reminder
    Ninja Easterman: i am of few words......
    SophiaSharon Larnia: i usually am too
    SophiaSharon Larnia: (well, 'out loud' anyway)
    We then talked about the challenge of being open to what different traditions have to offer.
    Pema Pera: yes, all religions have aspects we can appreciate, as well as aspects that we really don't agree with
    Pema Pera: it is good to realize both aspects, not to believe blindly in anything but to appreciate what we can resonate with
    Ninja Easterman: most are blind....i think
    SophiaSharon Larnia: or centered on one world view
    SophiaSharon Larnia: appreciating has been hardest for me
    stevenaia Michinaga: appreciation begin with an open and quiet mind
    stevenaia Michinaga: begins
    stevenaia Michinaga: much of what we go here opens the us to appreciation
    stevenaia Michinaga: like listening
    stevenaia Michinaga: us, not "the us"
    Ninja Easterman: that the hard part to clear ones mind , with todays crazy world ....goin on
    stevenaia Michinaga: Ithere's where a 9 second break comes in handy
    Ninja Easterman: true...
    stevenaia Michinaga: a lovely tool
    Ninja Easterman: i can walk in nature any time ,people in city must be hard to get peace...
    SophiaSharon Larnia: I've likened it the the buddhist idea of shamatha and vipashyana, is this what you had in mind when this started Pema?
    Pema Pera: I had no particular tradition in mind, Sophia
    Pema Pera: rather, after experimenting with many traditions, over many years
    Pema Pera: I found for myself that the hardest part was no meditation or contemplation
    Pema Pera: but rather integration
    Pema Pera: integration in daily life
    Pema Pera: so I got the crazy idea to reverse the order:
    Pema Pera: starting with integration, and then letting that grow into contemplation
    SophiaSharon Larnia: :)
    Pema Pera: so starting with 9 seconds every 15 minutes, without really knowing what you're doing, but at least starting to integrate that
    Pema Pera: (if that makes any sense :-)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: yes it does
    Sophia then returned to Stevenaia's earlier question, and meanwhile Adams would join us.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: but to get back to your question Steve, what do you mean by more that one oneness, can you say more?
    SophiaSharon Larnia: i know it was a ?
    stevenaia Michinaga: not know where to even begin with "oneness" except withing one;s self, then everyone can experience oneness in a unique way, in contract to the way we think of "Being" as something more universal
    stevenaia Michinaga: in contrast... rather
    Pema Pera: Hi Eliza!
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Hi Eliza!
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Pema, Sophia, Steven, and Nice to meet you Ninja :)
    Ninja Easterman: helloo
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello
    SophiaSharon Larnia: yes Steve I understand
    stevenaia Michinaga: so I jsut glanced at oneness and that was my thioght
    stevenaia Michinaga: would be happy to listen to more
    stevenaia Michinaga: Hello Adams
    Pema Pera: Hi Adams!
    SophiaSharon Larnia: HI Adams!
    Pema Pera: Adams, we're talking about this morning's theme session, including the notion of oneness
    Eliza Madrigal waves to Adams
    Adams Dubrovna: Hello Everyone :)
    Pema Pera: you look very distinguished, Adams!
    Adams Dubrovna: thank you Pema :)
    Ninja Easterman: oneness with what though .....?
    Pema Pera: there are many ways to interpret "oneness" . . . .
    Pema Pera: 12 hours ago we had a discussion about that
    Pema Pera: about ways in which that notion could be misleading, and ways in which it could be helpful
    Ninja Easterman: yeah...
    Pema Pera: Here in our group, Play as Being, we sometimes talk about Being
    Pema Pera: but Being is not simply "One" or "Oneness"
    Pema Pera: rather the word points to what you find when you drop what you have
    Pema Pera: so it is very direct, concrete, not abstract at all
    Pema Pera: but *if* you like to talk about Being in an abstract way, you can say:
    Pema Pera: it is what is beyond all dualities, all polarities, all dichotomies
    Pema Pera: Being is beyond long and short, good and bad, one and many . . . . and so on
    Ninja Easterman: in english man ....lolsorry
    Pema Pera: since all those notions are late-comers
    Pema Pera: okay :-)
    Pema Pera: we talk about "large" in contrast to "small"
    Pema Pera: and really every word we use points to other words
    Pema Pera: so everything gets meaning by leaning on other words
    Pema Pera: (we tend to stop typing for 90 seconds when the fountain goes misty)
    Pema Pera: (another break, a bit longer than the 9-sec one)
    Pema Pera: but if you walk in nature, you can sometimes go beyond words
    Pema Pera: no need to lean on any words anymore
    Pema Pera: and no need to judge, to value
    Ninja Easterman: meaning bye leaning i like that....lol
    Pema Pera: every use of words automatically implies some judgement, gives some value
    Pema Pera: this is a mountain, that is an island, etc
    Pema Pera: does that make sense?
    Pema Pera: this is a nice island, that one isn't
    Ninja Easterman: island is a mountain...?
    Pema Pera: this person I like, that one I don't
    Pema Pera: well, an underwater mountain -- hehe -- but that's not what I meant
    Pema Pera: by naming we judge
    Ninja Easterman: i get it ...
    Adams Dubrovna: :)
    Pema Pera: but we can be with a good friend, without judging, just sharing presence, no words needed
    Ninja Easterman: everything on bottom must come to the top...
    Pema Pera: :-)
    I tried to sum up how we get to "what is", to "Being":
    Pema Pera: words point to what we have, but going beyond words makes it possible to taste what we are, what is . . . presence . . .
    Pema Pera: so Being is the ultimate presence
    Pema Pera: but hard to talk about :-)
    Pema Pera: Being expresses itself in everything . . . . .
    Ninja Easterman: ah....
    Pema Pera: everything that is
    Pema Pera: things, thoughts, feelings, dreams, fantasies, you name it
    Pema Pera: all phenomenon
    Pema Pera: everything that appears
    Pema Pera: *phenomena
    Ninja Easterman: yeah i hear yeah...
    Eliza Madrigal: That reminds me very much of the first session with Sophia...everything as symbols/pointers
    Pema Pera: and all that appears seems like many, like the waves of the ocean, and also like one, in that all waves share the same water
    Pema Pera: yes, Eliza, indeed!
    Pema Pera: Among the monotheistic traditions, Islam may be the closest to that notion, at least the Sufis
    Pema Pera: Sophia Placebo talking about Allah and Pila talking about the Tao, often it sounds rather similar
    This led to the notion of prayer.
    Pema Pera: A difference is that it may seem that you pray to Allah, but not to the Tao
    Eliza Madrigal: The difference may be in the tone of devotion...
    Eliza Madrigal: yes
    Pema Pera: yes, exactly
    Pema Pera: but when you pray by opening your heart, nothing more, then the difference is perhaps not really there . . . .
    Pema Pera: when you pray for personal gain, that's something different :-)
    Pema Pera: I love the way Sophia answered Hana:
    Pema Pera: Hana Furlough: oh i'm wondering how we access allah
    Pema Pera: sophia Placebo: hana just ask him any where any time
    Pema Pera: sophia Placebo: he knows what is in your heart and your thoughts and intentions
    Eliza Madrigal nods..seems 'stopping'
    Pema Pera: anywhere anytime: just 9 seconds of stopping, yes, nothing more is needed!
    Pema Pera: We say "nothing more is needed, because Being already IS"
    Pema Pera: Sophia says "nothing more is needed because Allah already knows what is in your heart and mind"
    Pema Pera: the effect can be the same
    Pema Pera: though the words and theory sounds different
    Pema Pera: in both cases: DROP
    Pema Pera: don't try to reach, find out, gain -- just dropping is enough
    stevenaia Michinaga: leaves quietly
    SophiaSharon Larnia: I have to go too bye all :))
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye Sophia :)
    Adams Dubrovna: bye Sophia :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Dropping what you trust in can seem difficult when waters seem unknown... layers of questions... doubts
    Adams Dubrovna nods to Eliza
    Eliza Madrigal: And then arises that word faith I suppose :)
    Adams Dubrovna: we all have experiences where it became painfully obvious later that all we had to do was dropt the idea
    Eliza Madrigal: yes :)
    Pema Pera: If you believe in a God, then the best way to open yourself for God is to drop your picture of what God is -- your picture sure is far too limited, and will not leave much room for Him to enter your heart
    Pema Pera: stopping, dropping, all needed for opening
    Adams Dubrovna is still very confused by God and/or Being
    Pema Pera: what happens is you look for either one?
    Pema Pera: does either one help you?
    Adams Dubrovna: when I was young I could use God as a resource
    Pema Pera: and now?
    Adams Dubrovna: I hear you say that about Being
    Adams Dubrovna: I haven't found that yet
    Adams Dubrovna: I can use Love as a resource
    Pema Pera: that's perfectly fine too!
    Pema Pera: words are just labels
    Pema Pera: and our picture of what any word points too is far too limited anyway
    Pema Pera: once we open up to any of those, the rest will come -- like pulling at a corner of a tablecloth, any corner, and when you keep pulling all with come with it -- it will all come crashing down :-)
    Adams Dubrovna: :)
    Pema Pera: your whole deck of cards of reservations and protective defensive layers
    Pema Pera: Great talking with you again today!
    Pema Pera: Off to lunch now :)
    Adams Dubrovna: bye Pema :)
    I took off, and Eliza and Adams talked about the important of the right place and the right frame of mind.
    Eliza Madrigal: Adams, Sometimes If I think about god, i am not there and if I think about me god is not there...
    Eliza Madrigal: Enjoy lunch Pema :) Bye
    Adams Dubrovna: :) Eliza
    Adams Dubrovna: there is wisdom in what you say :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Not sure... but I think that's why transcendence resonates so strongly... seems in that place then borders dissolve...but staying there... ah! :)
    Eliza Madrigal: and yet it isn't a place...so can't use words... hehehe
    Adams Dubrovna: yes, but I think I understand what you are saying
    Adams Dubrovna: if so, not only staying there but returning
    Adams Dubrovna: it is not something we can do
    Adams Dubrovna: we have to let it happen
    Eliza Madrigal nods enthusiastically...yes, this is really IT
    Eliza Madrigal: Thanks :)
    Adams Dubrovna: In a way it is a bit like when we used to worship
    Adams Dubrovna: we went to a church
    Adams Dubrovna: and then we had to get ourselves in the right frame of mind
    Adams Dubrovna: and then we were ready for the service and the service would take us there
    Eliza Madrigal nods...which is also what icons at home do, yes
    Eliza Madrigal: what was required was to be in a place where that might happen
    Adams Dubrovna: yes, eitther a physical or other place
    Adams Dubrovna: on holy ground :)
    Adams Dubrovna: any ground can be holy
    Eliza Madrigal: a space of allowing which shows heart's desire
    Adams Dubrovna nods
    Adams Dubrovna: I must go get some sleep :)
    Adams Dubrovna: Have a good night Eliza
    Eliza Madrigal: That is a powerful thought, Adams...just beautiful. And hearkens back to the quote from Sophia that Pema gave of asking
    Adams Dubrovna: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, yes I'm quite sleepy too :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Night Adams :)
    Adams Dubrovna: It has been a long day :)
    Adams Dubrovna: good night
    Eliza Madrigal: has it? hhehe
    Adams Dubrovna: and bye to you Ninja when you come back :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Yes, bye Ninja :)
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