2009.08.09 13:00 - Various 'arisings'

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Maxine Walden. The comments are by Maxine Walden.

    Just before coming to the session I noted the previous PaB session posted by Adams, in which the group, led by Pema attempted to watch thoughts and other experiences arise during the 90 second breaks and then report them to the group.  I wondered whether we might consider following this format for this session as well.  As Pema, Wol, Doug, Eliza and perhaps others present at this meeting were also present at the earlier session, there seemed like some continuity.  At least one newbie was hesitant, but then many of us 'oldies' were as well to share what 'arose' for us, that ancient inner voice of doubt and criticism being nearly ever-present.

    As I got the the Pavilion I notied Wol and Qt were there and very soon others followed.

    Wol Euler: hello maxine
    Qt Core: hi maxine, eliza,nicolae
    Maxine Walden: hi, Wol, QT, Nic
    Nicolae Debevec: hello
    Maxine Walden: and Eliza
    Wol Euler: hello nicolae, eliza
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Maxine, Wol, Qt, Nicolae
    Eliza Madrigal: (Nice to meet you Nicolae)
    Wol Euler: hello sophia
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Hi all :))
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi SophiaSharon :)
    Wol Euler: Nicolae, have you been here before?
    Qt Core: hi Pema
    Maxine Walden: hi, Pema
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Pema, Doug :)
    Wol Euler: hello pema, doug
    Maxine Walden: OK, doug
    Pema Pera: hi everybody!
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Hi :)
    Pema Pera: Hi Davina!
    Davina Bazylinska: Hi
    Maxine Walden: hi, Davina
    Wol Euler: hello davina, welcome to the club :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Davina (Nice to meet you)
    Nicolae Debevec: wol, no i haven't been here before
    Davina Bazylinska: Hi!

    (I will have to ask my colleagues how to change the indentation, since with the autolog I have not mastered that; til then my comments will reside on the chatlog side of the vertical line)
    I was appreciative of Wol's offering the IM to the new person, as I was formulating the thought about continuing the 'thoughts arising' exploration .

    Wol Euler: ok, then I'll give you an introduciton to the group in IM so that we don't disturb the others
    Maxine Walden: Thanks, Wol
    Maxine Walden: Pema, I noticed in a session I think yesterday that everyone mentioned what their experience was after the 90 seconds of silence...observing their thoughts and experience. Wondered if that would interesting to try at this session as well
    Pema Pera: sure!
    Pema Pera: it was this morning
    Pema Pera: Adams was very quick in putting it up
    Pema Pera: http://playasbeing.wik.is/Chat_Logs/2009/08/2009.08.09_07:00_-_Watching,_Hearing_and_Smelling
    I was grateful as well that Pema took the lead as he had during the previous meeting.  it seemed to me as if this session might be moreless a continuation of the previous one.

    Maxine Walden: oh,my, yes, got my time wrong. I just read it before coming...
    Pema Pera: So the simple idea was:
    Pema Pera: just watch your own thoughts arising
    Pema Pera: hard to devise anything simpler!
    Maxine Walden: it would seem so....
    Pema Pera: Eos emailed a lovely comment :-)
    Maxine Walden: ah...
    Pema Pera: Also Doug mentioned how thoughts have their own flow, a remark that we later took up, but after the first half hour that Doug was there, so he couldn't respond
    Eliza Madrigal: yes a nice idea about collaboration, Doug
    Pema Pera: So really the idea is to watch, to watch what appears in our own mind: thoughts, feeling, images, but without judging or evaluating them. Like watch a written word and appreciating the shape of the letters, not focusing (only) on the message
    doug Sosa: They have a flow but influenced by how active we are in setting our context. . If I've been thinking about some particular project, ideas that 'emerge' are more likely to have connections to that project. The emerging idea then feels like a kind of partnership between me and the project rather than my just beng a pssive receiver of ideas emerging .
    Maxine Walden: I find that as well, Doug, as if ideas which emerge are linked with other items on our mind, other things we are thinking about. We have things on/in mind on many levels
    doug Sosa: I for example draw faces on a piece of paper, and then look to figure out where features came from, whose faces inthe last few days. I've gotten so i can almost alwasyrecove these, even if deeply forgotten.
    Wol Euler: hello eos
    Maxine Walden: so many ways to 'watch'/perceive our thoughts/thinking
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Eos :)
    Eos Amaterasu: Hello, all
    Maxine Walden: hi, Eos
    Pema Pera: Thanks for your fun comment, by email, Eos!
    Wol Euler: Pause coming up in one minute. Is everyone clear about what to do? :)
    Wol Euler: (sorry pema, that was your line!)
    Maxine Walden: Eos, we are going to try the same exercise as in the last session where you were
    Nicolae Debevec: yes
    Eos Amaterasu: :-)
    Pema Pera: glad to be quiet, Wol :)
    Eliza Madrigal: giggles @Wol
    Maxine Walden: watch our thoughts/experience arising
    --BELL--90 sec pause
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Pila :)
    Wol Euler: hello pila
    Maxine Walden: Pila, we are watching our thoughts/expeirence arising, as the 7am PaB session did this morning.
    Pila Mulligan: hi SophiaSharon, Eliza, Nicolae, Maxine, Wol, Pema, Davina, Doug, Eos and QT
    SophiaSharon Larnia: :)
    Pema Pera: Wol, will you ask everyone to share their experiences :-) ?
    Pema Pera: (would be happy to sit back and listen :)
    Wol Euler: heheheheh
    Pema Pera: lazy afternoon for me here, finally
    Wol Euler clears her throat. Would someone care to begin, please?
    Pema Pera: (if not, Wol will speak herself!)
    Wol Euler: :-PPPP
    Maxine Walden: Maybe we could each go in turn
    Wol Euler: will you start, Maxine?
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Maxine Walden: sure...
    Maxine Walden: I found myself focussing on the mist in the center of the pool...
    Maxine Walden: I think to let my words or other shards of thought dissolve a bit as I try to get into the experience ...also aware
    Maxine Walden: of my pulse...maybe a bit anxious as I enter/re-enter the experience here
    Maxine Walden: (end of first thoughts, may have more later)
    Pema Pera: who's next? Do we turn left?
    Pila Mulligan: hi Steve
    Wol Euler: doug?
    doug Sosa: For me the overwhelming experience is of the people here, body language, apperance, my visceral reaction to each body type, my emotional and sexual reaction. Then, only then do things like the bird sounds, the fountain, come into play.
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Steve :)
    Wol Euler: hello steve
    Maxine Walden: hi, steve
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello all
    Pema Pera: how about the texture, rather than the content or meaning or categories of thought, Doug?
    Wol Euler: were you aware of these reactions, images, thoughts, coming and going, doug?
    doug Sosa: i think of all that as texture, not as categories. I am very aware.
    Wol Euler: Nicolae, would you say something? (it's ok if you are uncomfoortable today, your first time here)
    Wol Euler: ((it would be ok any time :)
    Nicolae Debevec: I'd like to sit this one out
    Wol Euler: sure :)
    Pema Pera: [13:22] Wol Euler: were you aware of these reactions, images, thoughts, coming and going, doug?
    Nicolae Debevec: still learning
    doug Sosa: sure, like the gods in bali, lots of em.
    Wol Euler: and did your thoughts dance too?
    Eos Amaterasu: RL bird sound; piggy-back thought, fondly: it's our house robin; triple-piggy back: labelling as piggy-back; humor, let go...
    Pema Pera: :)
    Eos Amaterasu: welling up like the fountain mist
    doug Sosa: no dance, more ike ... hmm?
    SophiaSharon Larnia: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Wol Euler: please jump in, I think we should dispense with going around the circle in order.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: I was seeing my thought arise like water, almost literally, ephemeral, and found myself pushing away thoughts that were 'mundane' i.e. everyday things
    SophiaSharon Larnia: it is in the everyday things
    Pema Pera: would it be hard not to push away any thoughts, Sophia?
    SophiaSharon Larnia: sometimes more than others
    doug Sosa: i beleive we all establish the social sitatuon first, before we can explore "thoughts". Am I wrong? S, before the mist can be seen, we have coped with , estabished, the presence of others. And everything is conditioned by that.?
    doug Sosa: *S = So

    It felt to me that several of us were clarifying our natural self-observing stances or perspectives, and for some it felt more comfortable than for others to hold and express one's uniquely individual stance/perspective.  Still the edge of 'getting it right' seemed to be in the group.

    Pema Pera: one challenge of this exploration is to not show preference to thoughts, Sophia, to let all thoughts come and go, without encouraging some and repressing others
    SophiaSharon Larnia: yes I know thats why i noticed it more acutely
    --BELL--90 seconds pause

    I believe a few comments spilled into the 90 sec pause which makes this part of the chatlog seem puzzling.  My experience was that this spillage might have had to do with the anxiety of getting it right, or the slight defensiveness which also whispered around the group.  And perhaps these emotions carried through in some of the subsequent conversation.

    Maxine Walden: and perhaps as doug is suggesting there are different things that seem to arise first, contexts, 'texts' of thoughts, impression, anxieties
    doug Sosa: And I must say, it seems to me that we represess these, yet we are dedicated to spontaeous honesty.
    doug Sosa: Like any group we have our taboos.
    Pema Pera: ah, I see, great, thanks Sophia! this exploration encourages exactly seeing all that more
    Pema Pera: like not typing during a break, Doug :-)
    Wol Euler: heh, beat me to it.
    Eos Amaterasu: <tag>
    Pema Pera: :)
    Maxine Walden: for me this time, I felt more relaxed, amidst (mist transformed) friends and surrounded by the birdsong...and the sense of ease much more palpable
    doug Sosa: (my 90 sec begins now. :) )
    Davina Bazylinska: What do you mean when you say the "texture" of thoughts?
    Pema Pera: I mean anything that is not associated with meaning, value
    Pema Pera: anything that doesn't point away from the thought
    Pema Pera: to something else
    Pema Pera: does that make sense?
    Pema Pera: like the texture of a piece of paper in a book
    Pema Pera: instead of the meaning of the words
    Davina Bazylinska: Sort of. So does it have to do with the emotional quality of the thought?
    Pema Pera: no, not necessarily
    Pema Pera: just the sheer presence
    Wol Euler: a way to think of this might be to consider your arising thoughts as letters, and to consider the envelope and hte postman :)
    Wol Euler: not the letter itself, but how does it get to you? is it wrapped? does it drop through the slot or slide under the door?
    Wol Euler: to try to see the arising of thoughts, not the thoughts themselves.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: brought by a courier Wol ;)
    Wol Euler: exactly :)
    Pema Pera: nice images, Wol !
    Davina Bazylinska: Hmm.. Frankly, in my personal experience, I've always found it virtually impossible to will that. It just happens when it happens -- particularly on retreats.
    Pema Pera: to will what, Davina?
    Wol Euler: a simple example: most people have said that their thoughts rise up, I fel that mine fall down to me, like snowflakes or fragments of writing
    Davina Bazylinska: The seeing the texture of thoughts thing.
    Eliza Madrigal: Hello Rhys
    Pema Pera: then forget about that word "texture", it was meant as just a hint
    Eos Amaterasu: no further message other than the arrival
    Pema Pera: instead just watching thoughts arise, Davina, is that hard?
    Pema Pera: yes, Eos, the sheer presence
    Eos Amaterasu: we do tend to have double and triple thoughts, but we can "humor" that
    doug Sosa: There is a wonderful line in Hmlet, Claudus , trying to pray, "the words rise up, the thoughts remain below. Words without thoughts cannot to heaven go."
    Pema Pera: :)
    Davina Bazylinska: But what I'm after is the texture, what some people call presence -- not just seeing thoughts.
    Pema Pera: how about not being after anything -- just watch?
    Pema Pera: presence is not something you can add . . . .
    Pema Pera: anything that's there *already* is present
    Pema Pera: so you can't possibly fail !
    Davina Bazylinska: Oh, but that's sophistry. If you're not aware of it, to all intents and purposes, it's not there for you.
    Eos Amaterasu: texture has a little bit of the your and it inseparable
    Maxine Walden: And what about the 'non-thought' experience after the bell. The arising of that/those elements. Watching those aspects as well?
    Pema Pera: just watching is enough -- judging whether you're not doing it right is extra, Davina
    Pema Pera: anything, Maxine!
    Maxine Walden: right
    Pema Pera: it's very very hard at first to drop judging . . . .
    Pema Pera: oru live is so steeped in it . . . . .
    Pema Pera: *life
    Maxine Walden: we carry around so much self-judging 'noise', trying to get it right...
    Pema Pera: does that make sense, Davina?
    Maxine Walden: hard to let those voices drop as shards...
    Pema Pera: (and Qt, Steve, Pila, others, feel free to report your experiences!)
    stevenaia Michinaga: :), thanks, just listening for the moment
    Davina Bazylinska: Not completely. Just watching thoughts without the "texture" is more or less point -- it's just a cognitive game, and as I said I can't seem to will the texture being there. By the way, are you regretting inviting me here yet? Did Stim Morane warn you? I always give people a very hard time!
    Wol Euler laughs.
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Pila Mulligan: Doug's thoughts are preliminarily conditioned by the presence of others; Pema hints that his thoughts appear to have textures; Wol's thoughts drift down like falling snow -- these ideas suggest that we exercise our minds within a context, somewhat the same as we dream
    Maxine Walden: Davina, maybe your trying to gain a comfortable orientation to the experience by asking others insistently
    Wol Euler: it is the same mind :)
    Pila Mulligan: Wol invokes Dr Bronner

    And Pema then highlights the differences which have been highlighted in the past minute or two's conversation.

    Pema Pera: the joy of PaB: everyone responds differently :-)
    Eliza Madrigal: The context sometimes comes after, Pila? Like writing a dream?
    Wol Euler frowns. Footnotes please?
    Pema Pera: another round coming up!

    I wondered whether Wol was expressing some of the anxiety of the group in her next comment.  But we continue to share our 90 second experiences

    Wol Euler: though the "sameness" is limited and relative. I'm finding it much harder to quiet the moneymind than I did this morning
    Eos Amaterasu: :-)
    Eos Amaterasu: *k
    Wol Euler: right
    Qt Core: the two thought that arose out of the background though-noise were about the roundess of the fountain on the side opposite mine and about the blackness of mine and Pila shirt
    Wol Euler: I have scraps of Mozart floating in my mind that just won't go away.
    Eos Amaterasu: (yum)
    Eliza Madrigal: cat crunching food, phone , phone, phone, phone, warmth on face, gate, birds
    Maxine Walden: I was aware of the group, and our being together but each with our own signature ways og being/trying/questioning/doubting, all surrounded by the birdsong and there being to 'right ways'
    SophiaSharon Larnia: saw a blank white page now (got the idea of texture in my mind now) :)
    Maxine Walden: a pleasant sort of dreamscape but with poignance as we each seem to struggle in our own way
    Wol Euler nods
    Maxine Walden: and often we feel we need to keep that struggle to ourselves...
    Eliza Madrigal: each time today has been very different
    Maxine Walden: so interesting, Eliza
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Eliza Madrigal: Watching the thoughts,often there is a layer of awareness (of essence) beneath that... like minds occupied so Being engages?
    Maxine Walden: hmmm, Eliza
    Wol Euler: I'm aware of at least four layers: Mozart echoing, thoughts arising out of sounds and memories, a breathless nature-documentary host composing commentary, and "me" telling him to shut up
    Eliza Madrigal smiles
    Maxine Walden: smiles at Wol
    Eos Amaterasu: the watcher is sometimes extra with its own texture
    Eliza Madrigal: Hmmmm

    We then also get into the notion of many layers of self/me being observed/experienced at the same time.

    Wol Euler: interesting. As I sit here and consider this, the part that thinks is "me". But when I observe, the thoughts arise in a not-me part, "me" is the observer of them
    Eos Amaterasu: sometimes cat, sometimes mouse
    Maxine Walden: so many 'me's perhaps, Wol, so many simultaneous perspectives?
    Eliza Madrigal: transparancies layered over one another
    Eos Amaterasu: and then all that exhausts for a moment
    Wol Euler: how do you (all/any) see that? When you watch thoughts arising, are the thoughts and the watcher equally "me"?
    Pila Mulligan: thisis a big question
    Maxine Walden: For me, yes, the me is each/both...but I am used to considering that there are many simultaneous aspects of me operating at the same time; others likely see it differently

    As Pema prepares to leave, close to the end of the hour, several others of us do as well.  It seems that this portion of the exploration has come to a conclusion for this session.

    Pema Pera: I'll have to leave soon; thank you all !! And one more thought: now that we're all getting more familiar with this type of exploration, I recommend that you try this also sometimes at home, in bed, just before to let yourself fall asleep, and/or just after you wake up -- it may open unexpected new doors
    Qt Core: no, i have a distinct feeling of detachment as if the tought would be external and objective (even if they aren't)
    Eliza Madrigal: a great question.. look forward to reading responses very much. Thank you all :)
    Wol Euler: bye pema, take care.
    Pema Pera: bye for now, don't let me break up the party!
    Wol Euler: goodnight eliza
    SophiaSharon Larnia: bye :)
    Pila Mulligan: bye Pema_San
    doug Sosa: I too must depart.
    Pila Mulligan: bye Doug
    SophiaSharon Larnia: me too :) bye all
    Wol Euler: bye steve, bye sophia
    stevenaia Michinaga: see you this evening
    Pila Mulligan: bye SophiaSharon
    Pila Mulligan: & Steve
    Maxine Walden: I as well have another meeting. Interesting discussion...see you all later
    Pila Mulligan: bye Maxine
    Maxine Walden: bye for now
    Wol Euler: goodngiht maxine, take care
    Davina Bazylinska: Bye, all. Hope I didn't spoil the party with all my whining. It's actually a very nice environment.
    Wol Euler grins.
    Eos Amaterasu: :-)
    Wol Euler: we've dealt with tougher critics than you, davina :)
    Pila Mulligan: bye Davina - nothing spoilt
    Eos Amaterasu: love your texture :-)
    Wol Euler: hope that doesn't offend -you- :)
    Davina Bazylinska: :)

    The conversation continues with self-reflection and sharing among good friends

    Wol Euler: for the record, I think I overstated the case. The "not-me" bits I mentioned were not meant to be taken literally, as foreign bodies.
    Wol Euler: but they were not the conscious top-of-the-heap that calls itself "wol"
    Eos Amaterasu: wherever my thought it, there I am ?
    Pila Mulligan: I took your quesiton as one of many variations of the Atman question, Wol
    Eos Amaterasu: *is
    Wol Euler: mmmm?
    Wol Euler: (to pila, and "yes" to eos)
    Eos Amaterasu: tat tvam asi?
    Pila Mulligan: kind of Eos
    Pila Mulligan: I am that also
    Pila Mulligan: but is that me?
    Eos Amaterasu: heh1
    Pila Mulligan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%80t...%28Hinduism%29
    Pila Mulligan: atman is a concept of soul form Inida
    Pila Mulligan: the questionis are we all one, or are we unique somehow
    Pila Mulligan: indiivudal
    Eos Amaterasu: I think it is you - what else are you (but all these experienes of you)?
    Pila Mulligan: it is right up there with free will as a question
    Wol Euler: why is that either/or?
    Pila Mulligan: yes, same with free will wol :)
    Pila Mulligan: but that is what the quesiton resoolves to
    Pila Mulligan: either/or
    Pila Mulligan: part of the mind's game
    Wol Euler: my fingers and yours belong to the class "finger, human" but they are different
    Eos Amaterasu: I am (also) this avatar
    Pila Mulligan: can we idneitfy the unique or indiviudal part of our relation to atman?
    Pila Mulligan: assuming there is also a common part
    Wol Euler: (just realized I am reading a Buddhist Atman wikipedia page)
    Pila Mulligan: yes, it is even trickier in Buddhism :)
    Eos Amaterasu: Batman
    Pila Mulligan: easier to start with theHindu version
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Eos Amaterasu: In "watching" thoughts, they appear omni-directionally, including inside/outside
    Eos Amaterasu: I am "there" I am "here"
    Pila Mulligan: another variation of the atman question: what is the boundary between self and environment
    Pila Mulligan: is ther eone?
    Wol Euler: (sorry, I was reading)
    Eos Amaterasu: How would you put that in a practical way?
    Pila Mulligan: personally, my dwelling on this question has reduced it to this: is karma personal?
    Pila Mulligan: that may not seem practical, but it is, to me :)
    Pila Mulligan: I do not yet have an answer :)
    Eos Amaterasu: Is it, "is karma about me", or "does karma include me"?
    Pila Mulligan: yes, a fair facsimile Eos
    Wol Euler: well formulated.
    Qt Core: going before mi mind goes in infinite recursion ;-)
    Wol Euler: :)
    Eos Amaterasu: meltdown!
    Pila Mulligan: :) sorry QT, bye for onw
    Eos Amaterasu: core meltdown
    Wol Euler: goodnight qt, sleep well
    Pila Mulligan: hasta la pasta
    Eos Amaterasu: :-)
    Qt Core: just kidding, love this kind of question but is time to go
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Eos Amaterasu: Ciao!
    Qt Core: Ciao!
    Eos Amaterasu: (synchronicity)
    Eos Amaterasu: were we one or two at that moment?
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Wol Euler: clearly your atmen touched at that moment
    Eos Amaterasu: atmen :-)
    Wol Euler: sure, the plural of atman :)
    Pila Mulligan: the closest answer I've found so far is that our epxereince is unique or individual
    Pila Mulligan: the rest is all one
    Pila Mulligan: oops, sorry bell
    Pila Mulligan: in the context of the old phrase 'you can't take it with you' -- the only thing we can take with us is our experience
    Wol Euler nods
    Eos Amaterasu: also prospective experience? memory and desire?
    Pila Mulligan: ah, the time element :)
    Wol Euler: they are experiences, I would say
    Eos Amaterasu: kept experience as remembered or embodied
    Yakuzza Lethecus: good evening
    Eos Amaterasu: Hi Yak!
    Pila Mulligan: some rememebred, some not, but there nentheless
    Wol Euler: hello yakuzza
    Pila Mulligan: hi Yak
    Pila Mulligan: nonetheless*
    Wol Euler: I'mm still not convinced of a qualitative difference between memory of a physical event and memory of a thought
    Eos Amaterasu: Likewise, thought and perceptual experience?
    Eos Amaterasu: when thoughts come up or rain down or stream in, many are pereceptions
    Pila Mulligan: need to deal with a rl phone call -- bye & thanks
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Wol Euler: bye ila, take care
    Wol Euler: 'pila
    Eos Amaterasu: bye Pila
    Yakuzza Lethecus: bye
    Wol Euler: I should go to, it's nearly midnight.
    Wol Euler: this has been fascinating, thank you.
    Yakuzza Lethecus: good night everyone
    Wol Euler: goodngiht eos, yakuzza
    Eos Amaterasu: ah, moi aussi, thanx Wold (how's the Mozart)
    Wol Euler: still echoing :)
    Wol Euler: Magic Flute :)
    Eos Amaterasu: :-0
    Wol Euler grins and poofs.
    Eos Amaterasu: Bye Yakuzza....</tag>
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