2009.11.12 07:00 - Confidence

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

    It took me a while to get into SL, from within the train I was riding in RL, and when I finally got in, there was a lot of lag.  At some point I was disconnected, and after that the connection was much better.  It's always a toss-up: after getting in with a lot of lag, you'd like to logout and try again to see whether you get a faster connection, but you also want to avoid having to go through the hassle of getting in again, if it turns out to be as slow as it was before . . . it's all a gamble.

    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Pema!
    Pema Pera: Hi Eliza!
    Eliza Madrigal: Quiet so far.. are you settled?
    Pema Pera: laaaarge laaaaag . . . .
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, no fun
    Pema Pera: there I am !
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Pema Pera: (sometimes with such large lag, I don't get all the messages, so if I don't answer a question, please repeat :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Okay. No questions just yet :)
    Pema Pera: is there a topic that you would like to talk about, Eliza?
    Eliza Madrigal thinks
    Eliza brought up the Princeton retreat which we held last weekend.
    Eliza Madrigal: Wll this might be a nice time to thank you again for organizing such a nice little retreat :)
    Eliza Madrigal: It was quite an experience for me, and one that will resonate for a long time, I think.
    Pema Pera: Thank you! I too enjoyed it a lot
    Eliza Madrigal: And I loved being around everyone... an astounding thing really, to feel so close to people you've known 'in av form' only :)
    Pema Pera: it is so complementary to our SL meetings, SL and RL support each other in a constructive way, it seems
    Eliza Madrigal nods... not that it doesn't make sense
    Pema Pera: we had the same rather surprising, happily surprising feeling in August in California
    Eliza Madrigal: Of course it makes sense, but still surprising :) This was also my first retreat in general.
    Pema Pera: and I'm already looking forward to the next meeting in Malta :)
    Eliza Madrigal: And yes, I certainly felt that when you all returned
    Pema Pera: well, a rather unusual retreat, I think -- very different from any other type of retreats I've taken part in (Buddhist, Christian, etc)
    Eliza Madrigal: There was a palpable energy that you all came back with... and a kind of confidence
    And so the title of this session was born.
    Pema Pera: oh, that's really nice to put your finger on that, confidence!
    Eliza Madrigal: yes it seemed that way
    Pema Pera: isn't that odd, that we can get confidence from a group that has no view and barely a method
    Eliza Madrigal: hah..I suppose. But is there no view?
    Pema Pera: can you describe more of how that felt, then and now, that sense of confidence?
    Pema Pera: as for view, we don't have anything like the more elaborate views of existing traditions, whether Buddhism, Taoism, Sufi, Christian, you name it
    Pema Pera: (sorry, but lag makes me answer each line a few lines late :-)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: No elaborate view perhaps Pema, but hm... view of no view?
    Pema Pera: there is perhaps a kinda view, the notion of Being being important, that it's important to somehow switch from what you have to what you are, but that sure is a mini-view, a nano-view really :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Let me see if I can answer your question too...
    Eliza Madrigal: In the first meetings when you all returned, at least to my hearing there was a feeling of not a trying to figure things out...
    Eliza Madrigal: that each person felt complete in the experience and company
    Pema Pera: ah, yes, a kind of no-view view in that sense (not trying to figure out)
    Eliza Madrigal: and certainly there was talk of it being 'enough'... I suppose which seeped from practices and conversations there
    Eliza Madrigal: So maybe that's a kind of confidence
    Eliza Madrigal: Not scrambling or worrying
    Eliza Madrigal: Or even trying to 'fit in' in some way
    Pema Pera: yes, it felt that way, a confidence related to a willingness to let go, to be groundless in a positive sense
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Eliza Madrigal: I do wonder if SL is not quite as tangible in that way
    An interesting question!  Because of my lag I didn't get a chance to ask more; some other time?
    Eliza Madrigal: I guess we are all finding out :)
    Pema Pera: and how did your impression of the August meeting, indirectly from hearing/meeting others later, compare to your impression of being there in the Princeton meeting last weekend?
    Eliza Madrigal: Well it is funny... I felt as though I went to the first one in a way
    Eliza Madrigal: hah.
    Eliza Madrigal: BUT, certainly I experienced what you all described at Princeton.. a sense of comfort and ease
    Pema Pera: how nice!
    Eliza Madrigal: a kind of validation of all we've been doing and sharing here
    Pema Pera: nice to feel so connected
    Eliza Madrigal: Indeed :)
    Pema Pera: (in response to "as though I went to the first one")
    Eliza Madrigal: How do you feel about the two retreats, Pema?
    Pema Pera: most striking where the similarities, even though there were so many differences
    Pema Pera: like different people (apart from Eos and me and Maxine, who were at both)
    Pema Pera: like people coming and going
    Pema Pera: like being in a work situation and going to town for dinner compared to being really on retreat
    Eliza Madrigal: Sure, that creates a different rhythm certainly
    Pema Pera: like the period being only half as long
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Pema Pera: like discussing in the middle some PaB problematic situations
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, certainly that
    Pema Pera: all of those were different, yet the base feeling was very similar
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Storm!
    Storm Nordwind: Hi!
    Pema Pera: how to describe, a sense of quiet shared peacefulness, and silly grins on faces :-)
    Pema Pera: hi Storm!
    Eliza Madrigal smiles... yes I've hardly stopped grinning still
    It must have been interesting for Storm to try to guess what we were talking about :)
    Storm Nordwind: communal rapture?
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Eliza Madrigal: That's a bit what I thought of when the leaves were pouring from an enchanted bright green tree, actually....
    Eliza Madrigal: mass shedding... letting go
    Eliza Madrigal: The winds were so powerful ... from nowhere really... a burst
    Storm Nordwind wonders whether you are talking about the retreat
    Eliza Madrigal: Quite moving to share with others what one thinks is their own...
    Eliza Madrigal: Yes Storm :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Pema was going over similarities and differences to the California retreat before...
    Storm Nordwind: That will make interesting reading! :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, think I sidetracked and dipped into a bit of dream
    Eliza Madrigal: heh
    Eliza Madrigal: Go on, Pema?
    Eliza Madrigal: He's a little laggy this morning :) How are you, Storm?
    Storm Nordwind: Not so laggy since I've had my coffee, thank you :)
    Eliza Madrigal smiles
    Eliza Madrigal: yes I'm still having my first cup... beginning to awaken
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: WB Pema :) Maybe the connection will be better now, and you might continue talking about the similarities between the two retreats?
    Pema Pera: yes, the connection is better
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Pema Pera: perhaps I should have logged out myself, rather than waiting to be dropped
    Pema Pera: funny, that internet "weather"
    Eliza Madrigal: unpredictable :)
    Pema Pera: yes, there were many many differences, as I listed (could you IM Storm what I wrote)
    Eliza Madrigal: yes of course
    Pema Pera: and yet the overall feeling was so similar
    Pema Pera: and frankly quite hard to describe
    Pema Pera: easiest to describe by pointing what it was not
    Pema Pera: like non-judgmental for example
    Pema Pera: giving each other room, enjoying the differences in personalities without reacting to those in a slightly frustrated way, as so often happens in most group's meetings
    Pema Pera: that kind of harmonious comparing of differences is perhaps the most unusual about PaB
    Storm Nordwind wonders how much of that is due to the quality of the people currently attracted to PaB (and to the retreat), rather than the practice itself.
    Eliza Madrigal: Interesting question, Storm
    Yes, indeed, and there are no doubt many other ways to investigate that question.
    Pema Pera: I think the 9-sec idea and the lack of dogma is like a filter, letting through people who are non-judgmental
    Eliza Madrigal: It must be both, certainly?
    Pema Pera: people who are happily surprised about the other seeing a different angle, and curious to learn about the other angle, letting that enrich your own landscape.
    Storm Nordwind: Does this mean that PaB is self-limiting in its potential take-up audience?
    Eliza Madrigal: Yes I think you said something similar Pema, at the retreat... that many would feel uncomfortable in such openness
    Pema Pera: hahaha, perhaps PaB can change the world, letting it be more non-judgmental? It can go both ways :)
    Pema Pera: (in response to Storm)
    Storm Nordwind smiles
    Eliza Madrigal: The 9 seconds alone seems a rather universal idea..simply helpful
    Pema Pera: but seriously, in addition to attracting non-judgmental people to start with, the more there is an open and harmonious atmosphere, the larger the capacity to attract people who may not be that non-judgmental, but who (perhaps unwittingly) pick up non-judgmental habits
    Storm Nordwind: Being non-judgmental, just in itself, is a recipe for peace and happiness, or at least a symptom of something that leads to it
    Eliza brought up an old PaB exploration: You Seeing Being Seeing; spend a minute getting a sense of how you normally see everything, yourself, the world around you, whatever; then spend another minute letting Being see instead, noticing the difference (without wondering too much about what it is you are supposed to do; just jump in and see what happens).
    Eliza Madrigal: Beyond the 9sec, I was surprised to talk about YSBS with a friend quite uninterested in contemplative things generally, a few days ago. She was able to enjoy the idea without relating to it just yet... so who can predict really :)
    Pema Pera: glad to hear that, Eliza!
    Pema Pera: yes, simplicity of ideas has great power
    Eliza Madrigal: Yes, even as I was bringing it up, I wondered why I was doing so...
    Eliza Madrigal: but she was really intersted :)
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Storm Nordwind: I was surprised (and pleased) to hear you tried that again Pema. Although I suspect 1 minute (as I heard) periods is rather too short for people who are not used to it
    Pema Pera: interestingly, everybody seemed to have a deep experience during that 1 minute!
    Pema Pera: and then we repeated for 15 minutes, outdoors
    Pema Pera: the advantage of knowing you have only one minute is that you postpone the habitual "let's get settled into it" which can easily dull things right at the start
    Storm Nordwind: True. Though I remember it took me several goes before I could just switch into BS at a few seconds notice.
    Eliza Madrigal: :) Perhaps the company helped put us over
    Storm Nordwind: I'm sure that's right Eliza!
    Pema Pera: :)
    Pema Pera: we were a bush of push-overs, with silly grins on our faces, but the afternoon of the second day . . . :-)
    Storm Nordwind: A kind of giving communal permission too, is very poewrful
    Pema Pera: yes
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, yes that is definitely something, Storm!
    Eliza Madrigal: Thanks for this morning. I really have to run. Nice to see you both!
    Pema Pera: my last train stop is coming up
    Storm Nordwind: Bye all!
    Pema Pera: have to get out too
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye! :)))
    Pema Pera: great talking with you both!
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