2009.08.29 19:00 - On Pillows, Dreams, Beer, and Breath

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

    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Paradise
    Paradise Tennant: hiya steve ..pila :))
    stevenaia Michinaga: h Pia
    stevenaia Michinaga: Pila
    Pila Mulligan: hi Paradise and Steve
    Paradise Tennant: :)
    Pila Mulligan: waiting with anticipation for the retreat reports
    Paradise Tennant: me too :)
    Pila Mulligan: hello Pemasan
    Paradise Tennant: hiya pema :) welcome back
    Pila Mulligan: we are all ears :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Pema are you back East?
    Pila Mulligan: ... must be busy
    It took me a while to work my way through all the messages on my screen . . . .
    Pema Pera: Hi Steve, Pila, Paradise!
    Pila Mulligan: hi Pema
    Pema Pera: And hi Eliza!
    Pila Mulligan: hi Eliza
    Paradise Tennant: hiya eliza :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: evening
    Pema Pera: Sorry, I had to work my way through a blizzard of note cards and notices . . . not having logged into SL for almost a week (gasp!)
    Pila Mulligan: I bet
    Pema Pera: Steve, I'm still in Berkeley
    Pema Pera: will fly back East on Monday morning
    Paradise Tennant: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Refreshed I'm sure :)
    Pila Mulligan: did people at the retreat mostly use each ohters SL names or RL names?
    Pema Pera: Oh, the whole experience was very refreshing, Eliza, we had a wonderful place, and a very pleasant atmosphere throughout
    Pema Pera: Pila: a mix
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Pila Mulligan: Doug and Eos already have mentioned how good the food was
    Pema Pera: about fifty/fifty, I think
    Eliza Madrigal: Really? I'd think the SL names would drop in that context.. Hmm
    Pema Pera: yes, the food was great and plentiful
    Paradise Tennant: hmm find it is how you know the person .. and often comes to mind first .. when you are talking :))
    Paradise Tennant: sounds great
    Pema Pera: Given that we know each other so well and long by our SL names, it almost feels unnatural sometimes to use RL names, Eliza
    Pila asked a short question requiring a long answer . . .
    Pila Mulligan: while it's warm, can you answer this question that has been gnawing at me for months: what is the main benefit of being in person vis a vis SL sessions?
    Pema Pera: yes, Paradise :)
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Pema Pera: oh, many Pila!
    Pema Pera: Where to start . . . .
    Pila Mulligan: #1 :)
    Pema Pera: body language, energy, physical presence, for one
    Pila Mulligan: yep
    Pema Pera: then there is the speed of communication, using voice and intonation and gestures
    Pema Pera: it is not surprising that it is much more direct
    Pema Pera: the one thing that is surprising to me is how well SL communication works even though so much is stripped off
    Pema Pera: also, there is the eating and drinking of *real* food, breaking bread together, so to speak
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pema Pera: and then there are the walks, different from SL walks :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :) yes
    Pema Pera: the sunlight filtereing through the leaves, the jays and dogs barking in the background
    Paradise Tennant: ;)
    Pema Pera: the snakes (!)
    Paradise Tennant: yikes
    Pema Pera: the many ants that come in when you leave something overnight
    Pila Mulligan: eek
    Pila Mulligan: real world stuff then
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Pema Pera: we learned quickly about that one (Genesis heroically cleaned up the kitchen, as she was the first one discovering the ants covering everything (while it was still dark)
    Pila Mulligan: yuk
    Pema Pera: where am I now, #8?
    Pila Mulligan: maybe :)
    Pila Mulligan: what were the favorite practices?
    Pema Pera: but the overall feeling was one of amazing harmony, more even than I had expected
    Eliza Madrigal: Lovely, Pema
    Pila Mulligan: already frineds, maybe
    Pema Pera: somehow in some strange way, PaB discourages the usual extremes of those who want to push themselves too much to the fore, and those who want to be led -- instead, everybody was quite balanced
    Pema Pera: I've rarely if ever seen that in any group I've been part of
    Pema Pera: (I too sometimes didn't talk at all for almost an hour, believe it or not)
    Pema Pera: ((while others did talk, I need to add :-))
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Pila Mulligan: (note: it was also one of the definingly unique charcateristics of the anti-nuclear groups in the 70s' -- but I rearely see it also)
    Pema Pera: as for the practices, Pila, mostly APA(AP), but only half that -- the other half were new practices
    Another simple question, which I trained to answer as briefly as I could.
    Pila Mulligan: what kind?
    Pila Mulligan: the new ones?
    Pema Pera: hmmm, would take quite long to type that all out here, while making it understandable . . .
    Pema Pera: roughly speaking: we tried to switch for an every-day perspective to more of a Being perspective (which is not really a perspective), in five steps:
    Pema Pera: at each step we appreciated something, and then dropped or de-emphasized that in the next step
    Pema Pera: we started with personal history
    Pema Pera: then personality
    Pema Pera: then just being alive as a human being
    Pema Pera: then a focus on time, while dropping the emphasis on being a being
    Pema Pera: and finally a focus on Being
    Pila Mulligan: well, there's an understandable description, thanks
    stevenaia Michinaga: nice sumary
    Pema Pera: So the heart sutra, say, talks about form and emptiness
    Pema Pera: or relative and absolute
    Pema Pera: in that way there are two steps: normal world and Being
    Pema Pera: my use of the notion of phenomena, or appearances gives a stepping stone,
    Pema Pera: making it three steps: normal notions, phenomena, Being
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Corvi
    Pila Mulligan: hey Corvi :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Corvi! :))
    Pema Pera: and the one above made it five or six steps
    Pema Pera: Hi Corvi!
    Paradise Tennant: hiya corvi :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: Hi, Eliza, Paradise, Pema, Pila, and Steve!
    Pila Mulligan: welcome back
    Pema Pera: I've been trying to answer a shower of questions about our retreat (^_^)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: grins
    Pila Mulligan: tell us everything
    Eliza Madrigal: hehe
    Pila Mulligan: quickly :)
    Pema Pera: are you back home by now?
    Pema Pera: hehehe, Pila
    Pema Pera: okay, since you asked for it:
    Pema Pera: Being IS
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire tosses a pillow at Pema.
    Pema Pera: ah!
    Pema Pera: a pillow fight is one of the things we missed; should reserve that for the next retreat
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods.
    Eliza helped me out by switching the questions to Corvi :-)
    Eliza Madrigal patiently waits for Corvi's typed report..hehe
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: hahah
    Corvuscorva Nightfire thinks.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: it's cold there.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: and..
    Pila Mulligan: really?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: the bark is pretty
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods.
    Pema Pera: "when the van rolled onto the retreat grounds, my thoughts went out to . . . "
    Pila Mulligan: cold at night, or also daytime?
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Rowan
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Rowan :)
    Pema Pera: Good seeing you again, Rowan!
    Pila Mulligan: hi Rowan
    Paradise Tennant: hiya rowan gtsy :)
    Rowan Masala smiles
    Rowan Masala: Hi everyone
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: cold alot of the time..Hi Rowan...
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: and Pema was that meant to be a prompt?
    Pema Pera: and hot a lot of the time too, the last two days
    Pila Mulligan: hi Fox
    Pema Pera: almost too hot to go out of the buildings we were in
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Fox :))
    Pema Pera: Hi there Fox!
    Fox Monacular: hi everyone
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods.that was true too.
    Eliza Madrigal: Surprising for this time of year
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: Hi fox
    Pila Mulligan: Doug or Eos or Storm had mentioned the heat part
    Pila Mulligan: in some message
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods..I was shocked by the cold when I got there.
    Paradise Tennant: hiya fox :)
    Fox Monacular: Hi
    Fox Monacular: so I guess you're talking about the retreat?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: it's hard to know how to talk about the meaty bits.
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: even the vegetarian bits (we had a choice of two meals)
    Eliza Madrigal: hehe
    Corvuscorva Nightfire tosses another pillow at the silly Pema.
    Pema Pera: hehehe
    Pema Pera: a lot safer I feel here in SL now, compared to RL!
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: laughs
    Paradise Tennant: ;))
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: those are heavy pillows at the retreat place..we need lighter ones.
    Pema Pera: we had los of
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: for more tossing.
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: *lots
    Pila Mulligan: so seating was on the floor?
    Pila Mulligan: on cushions
    Pema Pera: both
    Pema Pera: a mix typically, depending on people's preferences
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: we sat in circles on cushions and couches and chairs.
    Pila Mulligan: Doug also referrred to the weightier aspect of rl sitting :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I was surprised by just how much I like sitting very still and quiet and thinking about almost nothing.
    Fox Monacular: :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: or everything
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: or whatevver.
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I know many of PaB members have a long history of sitting, but I don't.
    I was glad to hear that; during the retreat I had not noticed any discomfort from Corvi during the sitting periods, so I had assumed that she, too, was quite used to it.  Another positive influence of the group's energy!
    Pema Pera: (we did not have 90 seconds breaks in RL)
    Pema Pera: :)
    Rowan Masala: really? why not?
    Pema Pera: it was surprisingly natural to weave practice periods and discussion periods
    Pema Pera: sometimes 12 minutes practice, half an hour discussion, 6 minutes practice, etc
    Pema Pera: Rowan, it would have been rather artificial to have a clock in RL
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: We did have I phone chimes.
    Paradise Tennant: ;)
    Rowan Masala smiles
    Pema Pera: we used them for the several-minutes practice periods
    Pema Pera: it was great to share our experiences after each sitting period
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I think the problem with timing a sitting is that it ends.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire laughs.
    Eliza Madrigal: That's probably the most interesting... the weaving... because not a particular tradition, but PaB...such a mix
    Pema Pera: yes, Eliza, most meditation traditions would shudder at the thought of a group's discussion of what everyone experienced!
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Pema Pera: but our exploration is really more, how to express it? democratic, peer-to-peer, non-hierarchical, shared, open
    Pema Pera: it may be a really new approach to meditative explorations
    Fox Monacular: although you might say that buddhist philosophy is in a big part a convoluted way to express whatever was experienced on the cushion
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: It sorta seems to me that it would be a great theme session to do more thought experiments like that during a session and discuss the immedieate experience.
    Pema Pera: oh sure, Fox, it is all experience based
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: like we did in the retreat.
    Pema Pera: yes, Corvi!
    Pila Mulligan: Doug mentioned a dream he had there, was there discussion of dreams during the week (thinking Maxine was there)
    Pema Pera: yes, among many other things
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pema Pera: as well as day dreams
    Paradise Tennant: :)
    Pema Pera: or dreamlike experiences while awake, during our sessions
    Eliza Madrigal: :) Sounds heavenly
    Pila Mulligan: ah, lucidity :)
    Pema Pera: yes, but without sleeping
    Fox Monacular: intereting
    Pema Pera: Maxine and Lia mentioned those, and me too
    Paradise Tennant: :) there will be another one next year ?
    Eliza Madrigal: Being doesn't sleep? hehe
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: There will be lots more Paradise.
    Paradise Tennant: ;)
    Fox Monacular: I had lost of lucid dreams in meditation retreat
    Pila Mulligan: the Europeans have been discussing the next one all last week :)
    Corvi talked about some of her experiences during the retreat.
    Pema Pera: Corvi also jumped right in
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: One of the things that happened for me was that I dreamed while awake.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: or sorta dreamed
    Paradise Tennant: :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: Maxine talked about dreaming while awake and it gave me "permission" to do so.
    Pila Mulligan: sometimes it seems gatherings enhance dreaming, doesn't it
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: normally I don't remember dreams.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods.
    Eliza Madrigal: How wonderful Corvi :)
    Pema Pera: giving each other "permission" for new angles on exploration was a recurrent theme, spontaneously, during the retreat
    Eliza Madrigal: interesting
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: hello Esron
    Esron Huckleberry: hello
    Esron Huckleberry: ^^
    Esron Huckleberry: hello for all
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Esron
    Pema Pera: Hi Esron
    Pila Mulligan: hi Esron
    Fox Monacular: perhaps it has something to do with more intense introspective awareness
    Paradise Tennant: hiya esron :))
    Fox Monacular: hi Esron
    Eliza Madrigal: And obviously a feeling of comfort/relaxation...at easeness?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: It certainly felt like a way of speaking to myself..telling myself about the process I was engaged in..finding a path.
    Pema Pera: feel free to join us, Esron
    Eliza Madrigal: hm
    Esron Huckleberry: I?
    Pila Mulligan: people seem to appreciate lucid awareness, and several people together in a setting like a retreat have that as a common interest
    Pema Pera: Esron, 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/ -- We record our conversations there. Do you mind being included in our blogs?
    Esron Huckleberry: não sem prolemas
    Esron Huckleberry: sem problema
    Esron Huckleberry: posso me sentar?
    Pema Pera: grazie multi!
    Pema Pera: yes, please!
    Esron Huckleberry: aqui é um grupo para que?
    Pila Mulligan: we've been talkinig about a retreat held last week in California
    Rowan Masala poofs, leaving a note on her cushion saying goodnight, for all to see when the 90 seconds are over
    Pila Mulligan: bye Rowan
    Paradise Tennant: nite nite rowan :)
    Pila Mulligan: Pema, what are the plans for the next retreat. f any?
    Pema Pera: We'll have to ask the Europeans
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Fox Monacular: yes, I'm very interested in that too
    Pema Pera: At the retreat we were thinking about having three retreats a year
    Pila Mulligan: Wol et al are eager
    Eliza Madrigal: Well, there was discussion of beer day...
    Eliza Madrigal: hehe
    Pema Pera: beer day?????
    That surely drew my attention, though I never found out what "beer day" meant . . .
    Pema Pera: beer on tap, I hope?
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: haha, yes, Beer Day and the unretreat
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Pila Mulligan: root beer
    Paradise Tennant: ;)
    Pema Pera: noooooooo
    Fox Monacular: awareness of the alcohol intoxication
    Eliza Madrigal laughs
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: real beer!!!!
    Fox Monacular: :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods.
    Eliza Madrigal: Silent beer day
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: good fox
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: good eliza
    Fox Monacular: haha
    Pema Pera taking a sip of his Sapporo on tap in RL
    Esron Huckleberry: sorry but bye for alll
    Pila Mulligan: bye Esron
    Pema Pera: bye Esron
    Paradise Tennant: nite nite esron
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: bye Esron.
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye Esron
    Corvuscorva Nightfire drinks her blue moon in real life....bottled and at home.
    Fox Monacular: how about Montreal? we have great beer here...
    Corvuscorva Nightfire grins
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: sure do.
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, Montreal sounds nice :)
    Pema Pera: (I'm actually in San Francisco right now; it was too hot for me in Berkeley, and very few places there have airconditioning)
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, I go there often
    Fox Monacular: yes, yes. next retreat in Montreal
    Pema Pera: I'd love to visit Montreal!
    Fox Monacular: :)
    Pema Pera: another chance to practice my French
    stevenaia Michinaga: Just not in the winter
    Paradise Tennant: waves at fox from toronto :)) we also have great beer :)
    Pila Mulligan: I think Wol, Scath, Bert and others were hoping for Southern Europe in winter
    Pema Pera: how hot is Montreal in August?
    Paradise Tennant: hmm? sound nice
    Fox Monacular: ok, toronto would work for me too
    Eliza Madrigal: Germany sounds nice too, yes...though Wol mentioned May or June I think
    Fox Monacular: it's ok in August, no more than 30 C
    It seemed that we had quite a schedule coming up:
    Pema Pera: So how about Malta in the winter, California in the spring, and Montreal in the summer?
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Fox Monacular: :)
    Pila Mulligan: sounds like fun
    Paradise Tennant: never been to malta :)
    Pema Pera: Arabella lives on Malta
    Fox Monacular: they must have malt beer in malta
    Pema Pera: and Hawaii would be fun too, of course; perhaps next winter?
    Pema Pera: hehehe, Fox
    Paradise Tennant: :)) smiles at pila
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire tosses the "bad pun" pillow at Fox.
    Pema Pera: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simonds_Farsons_Cisk
    Pila Mulligan: e komo mai
    Fox Monacular: ouch
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: giggles.
    Pema Pera: Now watch this: http://www.manicmalta.com/beer_festival_malta.htm
    Paradise Tennant: :)
    Fox Monacular: i'm sure we can talk about moment-to-moment experience there
    Pema Pera: :)
    Paradise Tennant: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: yes when the bell rings
    Fox Monacular: hehe
    Eliza Madrigal: hehe
    Pema Pera: but seriously, Malta does strike me as the best part of Europe for a winter meeting . . .
    Pema Pera: we should check with Arabella
    Paradise Tennant: jan feb ?
    Pema Pera: January perhaps?
    Fox Monacular: i now have more reason to apply for scholaships:))
    Pema Pera: December seems to busy with family events, we agreed during the retreat
    Pema Pera: a scholarship to Malta University, Fox?
    Paradise Tennant: :)
    Fox Monacular: I can perhaps list it as a conference expense:)
    Paradise Tennant: same format and duration ?
    Eliza Madrigal: So nice to see everyone, and thanks for sharing about the retreat Pema and Corvi :) Bye for now (so sleepy)
    Pema Pera: for sure, Fox, what with the dreaming experiences!
    Pila Mulligan: bye Eliza
    Pema Pera: bye Eliza!
    Paradise Tennant: good nite . eliza
    Fox Monacular: bye Eliza!
    Pema Pera: I too should go . . .
    Fox Monacular: and me too...
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: bye Eliza and Pema.
    Pila Mulligan: thanks Pema, bye for now
    Pema Pera: a lot of work to catch up with still, many hundreds of emails . . . .
    Paradise Tennant: good nite pema .. . thanks for sharing :)
    Pila Mulligan: bye Fox
    Pema Pera: bye Fox
    Pema Pera: and bye everybody!
    To my happy surprise the session went on for an extra one and a half hours, after the hour we had already spent together.  I will not attempt to comment on the part where I wasn't present, but I was glad to see the brief practice session below.  And I found it inspiring to read how Pila and Corvi talk about meditation, and about trusting your own experience, all in very simple terms, but very much to the point.
    Fox Monacular: bye everyone
    stevenaia Michinaga: bye all
    Paradise Tennant: would you like to do a quick meditation before we .. close ? pila
    Pila Mulligan: bye Steve
    Paradise Tennant: nite nite steve
    Paradise Tennant: corvu?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I would.
    Pila Mulligan: sure
    Paradise Tennant: kk say 5 mins .. pila you start
    Pila Mulligan: ok, until 8:05 SL, from now *gong*
    Pila Mulligan: * un-gong * :)
    Paradise Tennant: ;) thank you pila :)
    Pila Mulligan: thank you Paradise and Corvi
    Paradise Tennant: well I must admit .. I am really sleepy too :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: thank you both
    Paradise Tennant: time to walk the hound and dream .....
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: gnight, Paradise
    Pila Mulligan: have a nice sleep
    Pila Mulligan: bye :)
    Paradise Tennant: I will sleep like a baby pila ..I always do after we mediate .. nite nite
    Pila Mulligan: well, Corvi, are you now a meditator?
    Pila Mulligan: ... or were you already?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I think I'm just thirsty for it, now...haing tried whatever it was we were trying.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: thought experiments or meditations or whatever.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: it was pretty delicious.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I wasn't
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: except in the sense of thinking about stuff during hour long masses.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: as a kid
    Pila Mulligan: so there now an appetite for more contemplation
    Pila Mulligan: is*
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods...yeah..there is.
    Pila Mulligan: me too :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire smiles.
    Pila Mulligan: it is really helpful for everything
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: yes
    Corvuscorva Nightfire thinks.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I think it's alot like reading a new book.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: there's so much to taste and savor and learn.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: if you buy the hype..it's a pretty damn good book.
    Pila Mulligan: have you ever had any rl meditation classes
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nope
    Pila Mulligan: want one? (via SL)
    Pila Mulligan: 5 minute
    Pila Mulligan: I used to teach mediation classes in SL, but gave it up as too difficult to go beyond basics
    Pila Mulligan: but basics takes about 5 miutes
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: ok
    Pila Mulligan: generic meditation 101 :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I'd really love it.
    Pila Mulligan: now?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: smiles..yeah..if you have the time?
    Pila Mulligan: sure
    Pila Mulligan: there are thousands of meditation schools
    Pila Mulligan: behinds them are hundreds of mdeitation lineages
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods.
    Pila Mulligan: lineages being successive gurus and teahcers over the centuries
    Pila Mulligan: we'll keep going despoite the 90 secs :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods..I have heard of this.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: ok..good.
    Pila Mulligan: they all have unique ideas
    Pila Mulligan: but you can reduce the essentials to three elements, in my opinion
    Pila Mulligan: 1. posture
    Pila Mulligan: 2. breathing
    Pila Mulligan: 3. contemplation
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods
    Pila Mulligan: all three are directly related, too
    Pila Mulligan: posture is anything that is supportive of breathing
    Pila Mulligan: sitting, walking, even laying down
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods
    Pila Mulligan: but not all scrunched up
    Pila Mulligan: as that inhibits breathing
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods nods
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: yes
    Pila Mulligan: breathing is belly breathing
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I'vw had that experience...inhibited breathing
    Pila Mulligan: using your diaphgram and not your ribs to inhale and exhale
    Pila Mulligan: most people do
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: it changes how you feel and therefore how you think
    Pila Mulligan: it is a common affliction
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods
    Pila Mulligan: breathing is probably the most important part really
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I know if I do it wrong, breath...cause I start yawning.
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pila Mulligan: finally, contemplation
    Pila Mulligan: contemplation is the point of greatest divergence among the schools
    Pila Mulligan: as posture and breathing are pretty much body-bound
    Corvuscorva Nightfire listens
    Pila Mulligan: contemplationis what you do with your mind
    Pila Mulligan: some people like ot chant -- such as GregorianChants
    Pila Mulligan: or om
    Pila Mulligan: or anything in between
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods
    Pila Mulligan: some people like silence
    Pila Mulligan: that is my approach
    Pila Mulligan: quietness inside
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: mantras or ideas?
    Pila Mulligan: yes, such as koan in Zen
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: like Appreciate the presence of appearance as a presentation by being?
    Pila Mulligan: yep
    Corvuscorva Nightfire hopes she remembers that right
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods
    Pila Mulligan: the idea is to let the contemplation multiply the effect with the breathing and posture
    Pila Mulligan: so the result is a lighter sense of Being
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods..let me ask about this one thing I've been doing?
    Pila Mulligan: enlightened as it were
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods
    Pila Mulligan: ok
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: at the retreat I had an image of myself looking out a window onto darkness with points of light
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: and hanging onto the curtains so as not to fall into that.
    Pila Mulligan: nice image
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I found at the next sitting a window seat
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: very comvortable
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: where I am now swinging my toes into that darkness.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: but choosing not to go in.
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: knowing that on one side there is my "house"
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: and the other is this .....
    Pila Mulligan: each part of meditation -- posture, breathing and contemplation -- can open windows to new perceptions, and some of them indeed may be better if not rushed into
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods.
    Pila Mulligan: some intense breathing practices canin fact be overwhelming
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: so is this kind of picture/story an ok way to sit?
    Pila Mulligan: just getting a kink out of your posture can lead to new sensations
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods
    Pila Mulligan: sure
    Pila Mulligan: let your senses lead you
    Pila Mulligan: not to fast, but steady
    Pila Mulligan: step where you wish
    Pila Mulligan: metaphorically
    Pila Mulligan: but doing it daily is really helpful, even just 5 min a day
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods
    Pila Mulligan: whatever feels best likely is best
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: thinks
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: what I think is that it will be like writing
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: that I will want much more than I get to do.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: and that I'll find a thousand things that I have to do instead.
    Pila Mulligan: take your time :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: smiles.
    Pila Mulligan: but try to make 5 inutes a day if you can
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods.
    Pila Mulligan: are you faimliar with belly breathing, have we talked about it before?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: yes
    Pila Mulligan: ok
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I am familiar anyway
    Pila Mulligan: it is important
    Pila Mulligan: have you heard of mudras?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nope
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: wait
    Pila Mulligan: a mudra as a Hindu term for somehting that closes a circuit?
    Pila Mulligan: sort of
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: ah
    Pila Mulligan: like putting the forefinger and thumb tips together
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: ok
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: that makes sense
    Pila Mulligan: that is a common posture device
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: or touching your toes?
    Pila Mulligan: that is an assana
    Pila Mulligan: stretching
    Pila Mulligan: mudras are for just sitting or whatever
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: ok
    Pila Mulligan: there is also a tongue mudra :)
    Pila Mulligan: t is cool
    Pila Mulligan: curl the tip of your tongue over back onto the roof of your mouth
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods..I think I've seen that on statues?
    Pila Mulligan: if you move it around a little you will find theplace where it closes an energy circuit
    Pila Mulligan: so the tongu bottom tip is on the upper palate
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: found it
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: i think
    Pila Mulligan: it helps to
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pila Mulligan: those are posture tricks, like belly breathiing
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods
    Pila Mulligan: ther eit is
    Pila Mulligan: meditaiton 101
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: not magic..but ways your body works.
    Pila Mulligan: yes
    Pila Mulligan: exactly
    Pila Mulligan: human nature
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I want to reserve the magic bits for something really really important.
    Pila Mulligan: well, thge magic is long term
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: thinks
    Pila Mulligan: there are epiphanies along the way
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: smiles.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods
    Pila Mulligan: really nice moments of 'aha'
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: yes
    Pila Mulligan: but it is mostly a long term uplift
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I think that's something I thought about a little at the retreat.
    Pila Mulligan: what were you thinking?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: that I could start from the end and jump right into some kind of "getting it" about the idea of being.
    Pila Mulligan: close
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: but that there is alot of fun stuff to gain each time you try it, whether you get it or not.
    Pila Mulligan: the beauty to me is that it all adds up to what you would expect
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods
    Pila Mulligan: reality
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: just plain old real reality.
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: smiles
    Pila Mulligan: a little lighter maybe, but yes, exactly
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: except that you see it better.
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pila Mulligan: yep
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: well I look forward to a really good pair of glasses.
    Pila Mulligan: people tend to fill reality withtheir own imaginings
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods
    Pila Mulligan: meditation is one way to put the imaginings in perspective
    Pila Mulligan: let them go if not needed or appoirpiate
    Pila Mulligan: or keep them
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods, thoughtfully
    Pila Mulligan: if they are real
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: keep some bits?
    Pila Mulligan: sure
    Pila Mulligan: keep what's real
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: thinks
    Pila Mulligan: to you
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: that's even harder
    Pila Mulligan: why?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: keeping some bits and throwing out others.
    Pila Mulligan: for me it becomes self evident
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: well it's easy if the baby can go with the bath, right?
    Pila Mulligan: it is not something you have to do by next Wednesday
    Pila Mulligan: it won't
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: but if you want to keep the baby...that's tough.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: laughs.
    Pila Mulligan: yes
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I kept telling myself in the dream like state that there wasn't a hurry
    Pila Mulligan: dropping erroneous imagininigs is pretty easy
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: that I could let go of the curtains whenever I wanted
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: but it didn't have to be now.
    Pila Mulligan: you let go of them when the time comes
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods.
    Pila Mulligan: they may not even be there then :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: smiles....grins wide.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I sorta suspect when I am ready to let go..that there will be nothing to hold onto.
    Pila Mulligan: yep
    Pila Mulligan: that's the beauty of the self-evident
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods
    Pila Mulligan: a zillion people are doing the same thing, all by their own paths
    Pila Mulligan: getting closer to the most real
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods...I like that it's nothing special, really...that part....
    Pila Mulligan: the worst part is not trying
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: isn't there a bit where you stop trying?
    Pila Mulligan: because reality can wait for you
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: after doing alot of trying?
    Pila Mulligan: yes, int he sense of effort
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: thinks about this.
    Pila Mulligan: but what I meant was not doing the 5 imuntes or so minimum
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: ah...the worst bit is if you stop doing the sitting.
    Pila Mulligan: trying only in the sense of practice
    Pila Mulligan: yes
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: and opening up space for.....
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: something
    Pila Mulligan: or whatver path you take -- yoga, tai chi, etc
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods
    Pila Mulligan: or all of them
    Pila Mulligan: if you have time
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pila Mulligan: I've been practicing for an hour a day for 35+ years
    Pila Mulligan: each time I sit down it is like tea with an old freind
    Pila Mulligan: I can't miss it :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I can see how it gets to be something you very much want.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: instead of a chore.
    Pila Mulligan: it is rewarding
    Pila Mulligan: yes
    Pila Mulligan: and always helpful
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods.
    Pila Mulligan: but sometimes, it is difficult
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: yes
    Pila Mulligan: easier to ignore in a bust morning
    Pila Mulligan: busy
    Pila Mulligan: but you can get past that urge
    Pila Mulligan: because the busy day is harder without it
    Pila Mulligan: I promise
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I am sure you're right...and afraid you are wrong.
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: hoping you're right.
    Pila Mulligan: see for yerself then :)
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: that it will get easier.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: ok.
    Pila Mulligan: it gets freindlier
    Pila Mulligan: more familiar
    Pila Mulligan: consider this idea Corvi
    Pila Mulligan: darkness with points of light is an image of extremes
    Pila Mulligan: dark and light are the two extremes of odrinary light -- colors and such
    Pila Mulligan: being, mundane life, is simply fuill of colors and such
    Pila Mulligan: so you are not really going to the extremes
    Pila Mulligan: you are goging to the middle
    Pila Mulligan: darkness with points of light are real, but they are the extremes
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: nods
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: it's a story of how things relate, really..I think...maybe...not quite being as oneness..not quite..being at the moment of stuff arising.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: and intertwining, moving together.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: I think
    Pila Mulligan: well, the image of darkness with points of light reminds me of the yin-yang symbol
    Pila Mulligan: the archtyps
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods..for me..those points are touching
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: moving
    Pila Mulligan: but the majority of daily life is ismpler
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: exchanging energy
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: simpler?
    Pila Mulligan: whole
    Pila Mulligan: not separated into parts
    Pila Mulligan: all one as Dr broner says
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: smiles.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: thinks
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    Originally written on 16:09, 30 Aug 2009

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