2009.11.19 07:00 - Tiny Flames and Morning Glories

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

    Soon after I arrived, Eliza dropped by as well.

    Pema Pera: Hi Eliza, good morning!
    Eliza Madrigal: Morning pema :)
    Pema Pera: Quiet morning, it seems, here in the country side of SL
    Eliza Madrigal closes email
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Pema Pera: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: The morning times are funny
    Eliza Madrigal: Every once in a while quite a few people, but not too often :)
    Pema Pera: it is nice to have the variety
    Pema Pera: having ten or fifteen people can be interesting
    Pema Pera: but having two or three people allows for a different dynamic
    Pema Pera: both can be fun
    Eliza Madrigal: Yes, true :)
    Pema Pera: is there a topic you'd like to talk about?
    Eliza Madrigal: I've come in a bit of a blank slate this morning actually, though I did wake up thinking about grace/letting go...
    Eliza Madrigal: and somehow had the idea that when we're letting go of roles, that it is more than that... it is like entire lives
    Eliza Madrigal: I know, strange thought but there it is :)
    Pema Pera: hi Arch!
    Eliza Madrigal: Hello Arch :)
    Archmage Atlantis: Hi Pema,, Hello Eliza
    Arch joined us, and we took up Eliza's topic.
    Pema Pera: yes, Eliza, letting go of roles can feel like dying . . . in some sense, sometimes in a very real sense
    Archmage Atlantis: Quiet here today
    Pema Pera: we are used to identify so much with our roles that it can literally feel as if our life depended on them . . . .
    Pema Pera: nice to have some quite time, Arch, don't you think?
    Eliza Madrigal: Perhaps due to my Christian upbringing, grace and heaven seem to go together...so yes it seems like a substance almost, that allows the roles to fall away
    Archmage Atlantis: All I have now is quite time, actually
    Pema Pera: can you say more about that, Eliza?
    Archmage Atlantis: Very interesting comment, Eliza.
    Eliza Madrigal: :) Thanks Arch, and yes Pema, a little...
    Eliza Madrigal: That the idea of Grace being that there is no more to 'do'... in a sense...
    Eliza Madrigal: that Love has accomplished everything
    Eliza Madrigal: So then what? What is one 'left with'?
    Pema Pera: yes, that is a beautiful side of Christianity, Love and Grace
    Pema Pera: and similar to the Buddhist notion that all of us already partake in Buddha Nature
    Eliza Madrigal: Yes, fundamental Completeness... exactly
    Archmage Atlantis: You use the past tense, that is unique
    Eliza Madrigal: very striking
    Pema Pera: that indeed there is nothing that we need to do in order to gain that, we always already have been part of it
    Pema Pera: (past tense?)
    I missed what Arch was pointing at, but Eliza caught it.
    Eliza Madrigal: 'has accomplished', you mean, Arch?
    Archmage Atlantis: has accomplished
    Archmage Atlantis: Yes
    Eliza Madrigal: yes maybe that has to do with this idea of crossing over, too... overlap there for many traditions....
    Eliza Madrigal: In contempative terms, we're always talking about waking up... but Hm.. to wake up is to...? Knowing? And that being a kind of heaven...
    Eliza Madrigal: Well, anyway... there's my blank slate this morning :)
    Archmage Atlantis: I think my upbringing left me with a sense that grace is in doing good works
    Pema Pera: it's the central point, Eliza, thank you for bringing that up!
    Pema Pera: we associate living with needs, a living creature is a needy creature, needing all kinds of things; when we hear that we don't need anything at all, the first reaction is that it feels like death!
    Eliza Madrigal: !!
    Eliza Madrigal: Yes
    Pema Pera: and yes, Arch, we tend to feel that we have to do things
    Pema Pera: in order to gain something, because we have those needs
    Eliza Madrigal: Well when we know that we are fundamentally Complete, we are able to be truly generous perhaps.... so from receiving grace, to becoming grace, to giving grace?
    Eliza Madrigal: as a kind of movement though... not stuck...
    Pema Pera: yes, more and more, the more we find ways to drop hope and fear, including fear of death
    Eliza Madrigal considers
    Pema Pera: to the extent that we can drop identifying with our needs, we can be free . . . but it's not so easy to find that spot
    Archmage Atlantis: Fear is certainly something that is a harmful condition
    Pema Pera: traditionally that insight is reached through a long path of prayer or meditation
    Pema Pera: we're trying to see whether we can get at least a flavor of it through frequent breaks in our armor of "needs", once every fifteen minutes
    Archmage Atlantis: I probably need to hear this conversation, the world is too much with me today
    Pema Pera: in what way, Arch?
    Archmage Atlantis: And about things over which I have no ability to change
    Eliza Madrigal: In the pauses we can sit with that... really feel it but let the hurt of it fall away perhaps...? Acceptance?
    Archmage Atlantis: Oh, things that have happened to friends, things that do not belong in a discussion.......I just have to let go of wishing I could do something
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Pema Pera: a radical way to practice going beyond needs is to consider how each moment everything disappears, everything dies, and to be okay with that; and then to accept the next moment, if it arises, as a whole new world, a new gift from the universe, fresh, something you did not have any right to. Rather than focusing on future needs, all we have to do then is to accept that next moment in gratitude, as a newly created world, for that moment.
    Eliza Madrigal: That's really beautiful, Pema... your phrasing there...
    Archmage Atlantis: Yes, well said, Pema
    Pema Pera: ty :)
    Pema Pera: it's very hard to do, at first, but the 9 sec (or 90 sec) can help us, like a lab or playpen, to try it out
    Eliza Madrigal: I'm reminded of the Blake quote that Eos likes to give, too... "Gratitude is Heaven itself"... eternity in an hour... moments
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: Stim talks about our tendency to "bleed on" from moment to moment
    Pema Pera: how we skip right past the kind of heaven or paradise that is offered to us each moment . . . .
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh.. like a default of not paying attention... a groove?
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: grace is like a stop signal :-)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: You know I listened to one of the workshops this morning, and he was talking about a kind of natural aliveness which is like a tiny flame to tend to...
    Following Eliza's tender image, Arch provided an equally tender one.
    Archmage Atlantis: I feel most aware when I am in a garden
    Eliza Madrigal smiles
    Archmage Atlantis: The morning glories by my door reseeded themselves this year
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh, lovely Arch. On their own?
    Archmage Atlantis: And they are beginning to bloom
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Archmage Atlantis: yes
    Pema Pera: how nice, Arch!
    Eliza Madrigal: A nice gift :)
    Eliza Madrigal: And you noticed!
    Archmage Atlantis: yes, it was a gift
    Pema Pera: from tiny flames to tiny flowers . . . .
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Archmage Atlantis: it is a gift to be simple, and to accept simple gifts
    Pema Pera: yes, accepting is often harder than giving . . . .
    Archmage Atlantis: Thank you both for your sharing. I need to leave now. Blessings to you.
    Pema Pera: bye Arch!
    Eliza Madrigal: Arch mentioned things that one can't change... that's such a shift I think... when one is able to settle into something that 'can't' be changed and see how it might open perhaps... in an unexpected way. Maybe we have ideas of what 'change' looks like...
    Pema Pera: or even more radically, go beyond the notion of change . . . .
    Eliza Madrigal: hmm... keep going?
    Pema Pera: if we really dare to explore what it may mean that each moment is on itself
    Pema Pera: that each moment is eternity
    Pema Pera: than we can drop the bonds of "change" or "continuity"
    Pema Pera: no change then does not mean continuing the same
    Pema Pera: there is no same
    Pema Pera: each moment is a new gift from the Universe
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, yes that does seem radical and daring!
    Pema Pera: that's the idea of Appreciating the Presence of Appearance
    Pema Pera: just the Presence
    Pema Pera: not the ongoing changing or not changing . . . .
    Pema Pera: grace without conditions . . . conditions talk about change or no change
    Pema Pera: in Princeton we talked about "no ground" and unconditional confidence
    Eliza Madrigal thinks of your term raw givenness...hmm... of presence being enough
    Eliza Madrigal: yes
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: hopelessness . . . . fearlessness . . . .
    Eliza Madrigal: abandon
    Pema Pera: letting go
    Pema Pera: liberating each new moment
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah... the presence is the liberation... nothing to do
    Pema Pera: yes
    Eliza Madrigal: already there
    Pema Pera: setting free: from little fire to little flower to little moment :-)
    Eliza Madrigal smiles widely... very nice
    Pema Pera: (^_^)
    Pema Pera: wonderful meeting you and Arch and sharing such delicate angles, Eliza!
    Eliza Madrigal: Thank you Pema, you too. :) Nice way to re-start the day 'anew'!
    Pema Pera: yes, isn't it!
    Pema Pera: see you soon again!
    Eliza Madrigal: :) Bye for now
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