2009.10.18 08:00 - No Themes in All-Themes Meetings

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    This morning we had our second weekly guardians meeting in the Village Hall.  In total, there would be 12 guardians present: Adams, Doug, Eliza, Eos, Gaya, Genesis, Maxine, Pema, Pila, Ridlle, Stevenaia, Storm.

    After the usual initial greetings, Maxine sketched a vivid image of her surroundings.

    Maxine Walden: (just want to mention that I am attending here while at this moment in RL, am in the North Cascades Natioal park,looking at sunrise on some spectacular mountains. Different coinciding realities...
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Eos Amaterasu: :-)
    Pema Pera: how nice, Maxine!
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh, thank you for that image Maxine :)))
    Pila Mulligan: goodmorning sunrise
    Riddle Sideways: please take photos, maxi
    Maxine Walden: yes, Pila!! and the autumn colors send their best to us all
    Pila Mulligan: thanks
    Maxine Walden: photos...yes will try to do so
    Pila Mulligan: http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/...ant-ealae.html
    Pila Mulligan: that link is to a Hawaiian chant used to greet the sun, Maxine
    Maxine Walden: ah....wonderful...
    Maxine Walden: hi, Adams
    Eos Amaterasu: I ka hikina, aia ka lâ, e ala e!
    Adams Rubble: Hello all :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello everyone :)
    Eos Amaterasu: "In the east, there is the sun, awaken!"
    Maxine Walden: ah...
    Pema Pera: eos = dawn in Greek :)
    Eos Amaterasu: :-)
    Maxine Walden: ah...awe...
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Maxine Walden: dawn...new beginnings
    Pila Mulligan: :) mahalo Eos
    Pila Mulligan: hi Adams and Gaya
    Riddle Sideways: hi adams and Gaya
    genesis Zhangsun: Eos what is the significance of the eastern sun
    genesis Zhangsun: I know that Trungpa called one of his books "The Great Eastern Sun"
    Pila Mulligan: hi doug
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Doug
    Adams Rubble: Hello Doug
    doug Sosa: :) shh.
    Eos Amaterasu: the dawn of awareness, you could say; the forward direction; the source
    Riddle Sideways: hi doug,
    Riddle Sideways: besides the north-western sun does not sound as nice
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Maxine Walden: not as much 'promise' as Eastern sun, Riddle?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello doug :)

    Riddle brought up a valid concern, which fortunately turned out to be only a temporary problem.

    Riddle Sideways: one small piece of business...
    Riddle Sideways: the guardian of the tueday 7am PaB was not as happy that the working group meeting was shcheduled
    Riddle Sideways: at that slot :)
    Pema Pera: yes, that is only temporary, Riddle
    Pema Pera: for three weeks in a row
    Pema Pera: and then we switch to 2 am
    Riddle Sideways: yes I saw that too, thank you
    genesis Zhangsun: 2pm
    Pema Pera: we did everything we could to avoid PaB sessions
    Adams Rubble giggles at 2 am
    Pema Pera: but for the first few meetings, we had no choice -- hard to find time for six people to get together at the same time!
    Adams Rubble: hardy group
    Riddle Sideways: I don't wan to be missing any of you
    Pema Pera: 2 pm sorry
    Pema Pera: :)
    Maxine Walden: maybe sometimes it seems like 2am...
    Eliza Madrigal: :)

    We then looked for one or more main topics to discuss.

    Pema Pera: Does anybody have a topic they would like to bring up, about PaB, what we do, what you would like us to do more?
    Eos Amaterasu: Or follow-up from previous mtg
    Maxine Walden: these guardian meetings maybe at the dawn of a new beginning, or rather evolution of PaB...
    Maxine Walden: and we may be trying to find our way along this evolving path in these meetiings
    Maxine Walden: not quite sure what we will find, but trying to stay oriented by our investigations of Being
    Adams Rubble: It is a chance for us to renew
    Maxine Walden: agree, adams
    stevenaia Michinaga: and review
    Riddle Sideways: yes, and see/hear those not seen for a while as they evolve
    Adams Rubble: yes :)
    doug Sosa: how does compassion play with PaB?
    Maxine Walden: yes, Riddle
    stevenaia Michinaga: so many relivant and related topics, was thinking a notecard of subjects to review when the mind empties, yet is looking for that spark of a subject which brings out an hours worth of continuous conversation
    stevenaia Michinaga: I've noticed more of the quiet moment recently

    Gen brings up a new suggestion.

    genesis Zhangsun: We had an idea in the working group to add more structure and to orient newbies
    stevenaia Michinaga: <--- eternal newbie
    Eliza Madrigal: :)))
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    genesis Zhangsun: which might help with those quiet moments and rejuvenate PaB a little bit :)
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Maxine Walden: :))
    genesis Zhangsun: the idea is to introduce a 10 minute theme and/practice
    genesis Zhangsun: at some time in the session
    genesis Zhangsun: perhaps at the 20 minutes past mark
    Riddle Sideways: Doug, not a simple answe, one that could take many one hour sessionsr
    genesis Zhangsun: when most people have arrived
    genesis Zhangsun: oops theme and/or practice
    genesis Zhangsun: what do we think about that?
    doug Sosa: I think utter simplcity is the best orientation. the main reason why sessions are often confusing for newbies is the amount of chat about stuff.
    Adams Rubble: I wonder if we did that it should be at then end. Newbies can arrive at any time
    genesis Zhangsun: well I guess the idea is to leave some room for discussion
    genesis Zhangsun: which may enrich the sessions
    Riddle Sideways: in the middle might be best, so there is discussion after
    Riddle Sideways has a large lag today and not all computer
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    Maxine Walden: :)
    Eliza Madrigal nods... middle also leaves freedom if the session is lively from the beginning... not something to be rigid abut, in other words?
    Adams Rubble: what would the orientation consist of?
    genesis Zhangsun: so that is up to us
    genesis Zhangsun: what do we think it should consist of?
    genesis Zhangsun: what explorations/themes were important to us
    genesis Zhangsun: are important to us
    genesis Zhangsun: that we see as central to PaB?
    Gaya Ethaniel: One of the main reasons that there are lots of chats about 'stuff' is as one practices more, it affects how one lives ... sharing meditative experiences can go so far in concrete sense other than feeling relaxed and being more aware. So I'm not entirely sure about factoring in another structured practice in the session followed by discussion on that.

    Eos introduces a great metaphor.

    Eos Amaterasu: What I've found interesting and helpful is to have slightly structured "diving boards" from which to jump into openness
    Gaya Ethaniel: I'd like to discuss more how everyone is going about living in terms of changes brought about by meditation rather than talking more about introspection and perhaps caught up in 'special' experiences.
    Eos Amaterasu: that frames, and maybe limits it, seemingly, but also opens it up, lets it meet energy
    Gaya Ethaniel nods ... perfer not too rigid structures.
    Eliza Madrigal: Well so for some, maybe this idea can be more something to have in the 'guardian grab bag'
    Eos Amaterasu: which might meet what Gaya is talking about as well, I think (?)
    genesis Zhangsun: I hear you Gaya, we wouldn't want to lose the informality and spontaneity of the session, but it is a balance
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Gaya Ethaniel: I agree it is a balance yes.
    genesis Zhangsun: the theme/practice idea wouldn't be a required part of every session
    Gaya Ethaniel: We have 3-4 breaks 90 breaks built in so as Eliza says having it as an option would work better for me.
    genesis Zhangsun: it would be a rotating slot
    Pema Pera: what we found in the RL retreat, was that five minutes of practice often gave rise to an hour of conversation, for a large part about the real life situations that you mentioned, Gaya -- as Eos described it, it was mostly a diving board
    Gaya Ethaniel: I missed that, yes I agree Eos.
    Pema Pera: often, without such a diving board, an hour can go by with mostly rather unrelated chatter
    Gaya Ethaniel: That sounds likek something I'd like to see more Pema.
    Pema Pera: last week we talked about how many of us have remarked that we would like to see a bit more depth in our discussions
    Gaya Ethaniel: ie discussions on real life situations re: meditation so it's relevant.
    Pema Pera: so this may be just a trick, a worm to catch the fish, to take an other watery metaphor
    doug Sosa: I would say, don't change it. It is changes that are disruptive. If we stick with the intent of talking about 9 sec experience, and those of us more into that just brought it to the conversations, they could have some "stuff" talk, yet be relatively purposeful, then newbies will adapt to what they find
    genesis Zhangsun: the theme/practice may be a good way not only for newbies to orient but old timers to innovate
    Eliza Madrigal: Well I wonder how many of us can remember how we first felt walking into PaB and getting an idea of what was going on... it was clear to me at least, that there was an openness and yet a purposefulness at the same time
    Gaya Ethaniel: What was 'rotating slot' about gen? Could you explain the idea a bit more please?
    genesis Zhangsun: I agree the simplicity of 9 seconds is wonderful but PaB is evolving
    genesis Zhangsun: we are evolving
    genesis Zhangsun: sure Gaya
    genesis Zhangsun: so the idea is that the theme/practice session would rotate on a weekly basis
    genesis Zhangsun: so different guardians would act as hosts
    genesis Zhangsun: each week
    genesis Zhangsun: does that make sense
    genesis Zhangsun: we haven't discussed how many there should be/could be per week
    genesis Zhangsun: we could discuss that here
    Pema Pera: (to Doug: it's not so much about changing as about fine tuning)
    Gaya Ethaniel: ok yes that makes sense.
    genesis Zhangsun: yes Pema evolution not revolution :)

    Doug starts a "no theme" thread.

    doug Sosa: a theme (i am going to the edge here) is by definition anti PaB, because PaB is to see without theme.
    Gaya Ethaniel: I guess the concern is about balancing 'doing' something about PaB evolving and just letting it be.
    stevenaia Michinaga: nice Doug
    genesis Zhangsun: well thats a great Doug
    genesis Zhangsun: the no theme, theme of PaB
    genesis Zhangsun: :)
    Riddle Sideways: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: There is great energy and excitement around the theme sessions we already have sometimes....
    Eliza Madrigal: so part of it seems to bring that into more 'regular' sessions
    Gaya Ethaniel: You touched on something I mentioned last week and also Pema's re: depth doug.
    genesis Zhangsun: I think you have picked up on something very central Doug, it is exactly this sort of describing/identifying that we could do here
    Gaya Ethaniel: No theme is our theme hence the diveristy but that can also means it's hard to have delth or continuity if a particular theme.
    genesis Zhangsun: and then filter down into the session informally or through theme/practice sessions
    Eos Amaterasu: How PaB meets our personal life
    Riddle Sideways: personally I like the no theme sessions, but notice attendance increases for the themed sessions, so many seem tolike that
    doug Sosa: Persoanlly i would go along with having a weekly session to talk about "what happened in the sessins this last week?" What new, what issues, what stuckness.. a reflection on the open sessions.
    Gaya Ethaniel: So I feel positive about these suggestions from WG. I think it just has to be as 'light' as possible ...
    genesis Zhangsun: wonderful Doug like a sort of scribe session
    Eos Amaterasu: Some of us just came from the 7 am session where Adams somewhat continued from last week's guardian session
    Eliza Madrigal nods @ Gaya, thank you
    doug Sosa: And the only leadership nudge in the open sessions is "anyone have something to repot about the 9 sec? Let the connections to RL play into that .

    This triggered me to propose an even more frequent kind of "no theme" session.

    Pema Pera: ah, we could have such a session once every three days, to reflect on the scribe of that time! That will give the scribes feedback, more than they get now
    genesis Zhangsun: yes agreed Gaya light touch
    genesis Zhangsun: yes and perhaps the transcript from that session could be the monthly scribe entry!
    Pema Pera: so one of out 12 sessions could be a scribe response session
    Maxine Walden: wonderful idea, Pema
    genesis Zhangsun: that would lighten the load for the scribes too
    Pema Pera: but of course the problem of which time slot
    Pema Pera: I wouldn't want to replace that, Gen
    Riddle Sideways: with perhaps a rotating time slot so that it is not at the 1pm that I can never make
    Pema Pera: I could see the scribe work as the starting point
    Pema Pera: for the discussion
    Pema Pera: yes, exactly, Riddle
    genesis Zhangsun: sure :)
    Pema Pera: we can let the scribe choose a session that is convenient for her/him
    Pema Pera: since at least we'd want to scribe to be there :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: I like that idea Pema ... it provides an opportunity to look back, touch base and to be also inspired.
    Pema Pera: different scribes will choose different slots
    Pema Pera: yes, Gaya
    Riddle Sideways: good idea

    Several helpful suggestions are offered to flesh out the idea.

    Eos Amaterasu: So a scribe would have the option of scheduling a relfection session on their time slot
    stevenaia Michinaga: Rl (and my mother) calls
    Eos Amaterasu: their monthly 3-day period
    stevenaia Michinaga: bye
    Pema Pera: yes, Eos
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye Steve :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Bye stevenaia :)
    Adams Rubble: bye Steve
    Pema Pera: bye Steve!
    genesis Zhangsun: I also like the idea of reviewing, touching back, and keeping our finger on the pulse of how we are evolving
    Maxine Walden: bye steve!
    Pema Pera: so there we have our no-theme!
    Pema Pera: or all-theme
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Maxine Walden: open to all theme
    doug Sosa: and not just hat's new. it can be a doubling back, are we missing something from the the starting point. For me that has to do (increasingly) with pema's reform of science. But this is just me the wayi find myself looking back.
    genesis Zhangsun: may I ask in addition to these scribe sessions how would people feel about an additional theme/practice session?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Guess WG can have a wish list that we can randomly submit ideas that we would like to see in theme sessions?
    genesis Zhangsun: sure Gaya thats a great idea
    Pema Pera: or a wiki page that anyone can edit
    Pema Pera: on the PaB wiki
    Gaya Ethaniel: I wanted to ask sophia about Jihad in Islam but never got around asking her about it so far.
    genesis Zhangsun: I personally am interested in more practice during the sessions

    Eos brought up yet another interesting initiative.

    Eos Amaterasu: Also those can happen outside the 4 daily slots; eg, Eliza and I are starting a 3-session book club on Ethics....
    Eliza Madrigal: yes, notice to follow :)
    Maxine Walden: wonderful!
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Pema Pera: which brings us to the role of the Village here, do you see a connection there, Eos?
    Eos Amaterasu: Yes, we need a beautiful conversational venue.... :-)
    Eos Amaterasu: Eliza and I were walking arouind checking out sites
    Eliza Madrigal: :) Peeking into windows
    Adams Rubble: this one is nice :)
    genesis Zhangsun: when does the book club start Eos?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Or feel free to use the pavilion on the ocean by Buyeo. I hid some pouffes there.
    Eos Amaterasu: We were thinking this Wednesday 2 pm SLT, meet at Eliza's (she has a portable magic carpet :-)
    Eliza Madrigal: I sent a notice out moments ago when it came up
    Eliza Madrigal: yes
    Pema Pera: (btw, shall we limit our weekly sessions to just one hour? that way nobody has to be torn between staying yet another five minutes or really having to leave)
    genesis Zhangsun: and should we have read the chapters before Wed?
    Maxine Walden: yes, Pema, agree about keeping this to an hour
    genesis Zhangsun: I second that
    Gaya Ethaniel nods.
    Pema Pera: it's nice to be free flowing and continuing indefinitely, but that half of us miss out
    Pema Pera: and may feel forced to stay longer than they have time
    Eliza Madrigal: It is a small book with a wide topic, so the idea of the first discussion would be to discuss parts. That way not all would *have* to have the book, Gen
    Maxine Walden: yes, and those strains can be erosive
    doug Sosa: what if we had a signup sheet to list things we want to havea conversation about. i could post :at 3pm on thursday i will start a conversaation about PaB and climate change."
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    genesis Zhangsun: wonderful idea Doug
    Pema Pera: sure, on the PaB wiki, Doug
    Eos Amaterasu: Maybe post both to the list and somewhere in the Village
    Pema Pera: but good to also announce it on the PaB google email group, of course, otherwise people won't see it
    Pema Pera: yes
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, a village sign seems a nice idea... events that come up
    Pema Pera: shall we wrap up?
    Pema Pera: any last comments?
    Eliza Madrigal: Just thanks to all :)
    Riddle Sideways: a thank you to all
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Thanks
    Pema Pera: that was a great hour, so many interesting ideas and angles, and a rejuvination of the scribe scene!
    Pema Pera: thank you all indeed!
    Maxine Walden: yes, thanks all
    Adams Rubble: bye everyone :)
    Eos Amaterasu: Thank you all! :-)
    genesis Zhangsun: thanks and bye!

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