2009.11.24 01:00 - Learning to make the perfect cup of tea

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Wester Kiranov. The comments are by Wester Kiranov.

     Calvino Rabeni joined me and we talked a bit about TSK and avatars.

    Wester Kiranov: hi calvino
    Wester Kiranov: were you at the time workshop yesterday? I can't remember if you were.
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes I was there
    Wester Kiranov: how did you like it?
    Calvino Rabeni: It was um, stimulating
    Calvino Rabeni: I think I have the book. I will catch up on what has already happened
    Wester Kiranov: I do think it made me understand the book more.
    Calvino Rabeni: Your avatar looks androgenous - not sure if male or female look. A little like Maxine Walden.
    Wester Kiranov: It is just as simple as possible - i did not want to bother with my looks too much
    Calvino Rabeni: Some people take quite a bit of care about it. Wol Euler taught me some things about this.
    Wester Kiranov: I did shorten my hair because the original looked a bit messy, I admit.
    Wester Kiranov: I do enjoy seeing what other people do with their looks, but I'm not interested enough to spend time on it myself.
    Calvino Rabeni: I am learning to identify more with the avatar.
    Wester Kiranov: Tell me.
    Calvino Rabeni: It came to my awareness that some people think it as part of self. And they get the look carefully done, and get gestures and expressions to personalize it. Then it feeels like more a personal expression of self.
    Calvino Rabeni: But for me, n more than visual. IDon't think it will feel like me, as long as the avatar staggers around in SL and does not easily go where I want. It is too much of a breakdown. I feel disabled in body.
    Calvino Rabeni: Something missing from that sentence.
    Calvino Rabeni: Maybe kboard problem. I meant "I am more kinesthetic than visual"
    Calvino Rabeni: I think I need new computer to get better response.
    Gaya Ethaniel joined us. We all chatted a bit.
    Wester Kiranov: Hi gaya
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Wester and Calvino :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Hello Bunny
    Wester Kiranov: Wow - TWO people at this slot. usually I'm on my own here
    Calvino Rabeni: Really? Not so much fun.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Long time, how have you been Wester? I have to put some SL time into the museum re-opening ... :) Thought I drop by.
    Wester Kiranov: well at least i got to have a leisurely breakfast ;) (@calvino)
    Wester Kiranov: it's nice to see you again gaya
    Gaya Ethaniel: Same :D
    Calvino Rabeni: Weste, may I ask about your outside interests?
    Wester Kiranov: You may - for a moment ;) I like taking photos but i'm not so active. And I like reading, and cooking.
    Wester Kiranov: oh - and philosophy and buddhism ;-)
    Calvino Rabeni: Do you do something in RL that overlaps with PAB in some way?
    Calvino Rabeni: Right
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Wester Kiranov: those are things to read, I guess. meditation books and cookbooks.
    Calvino Rabeni: I am interested in what is a "sceptical" buddhist and what their sangha is like.
    Gaya Ethaniel: heh :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Did you catch me Gaya?
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Wester Kiranov: If you are, you should take a look yourself.
    Gaya Ethaniel was wondering if Calvino ever sleeps ... :P
    Calvino Rabeni: WHy yes, I have never been to the 7am PAB group :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: That is true so ... you do sleep then :P
    Calvino Rabeni: And I do get away from the computer.
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: I have various RL groups, but currently, no work.
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah ok
    Wester Kiranov: I'm out of work too. have been for ages.
    Calvino Rabeni: I do not consider myself "sceptical"
    Calvino Rabeni: Same here, long time.
    Wester Kiranov: I do hhope to start something new soon, though
    And then we dug a bit deeper and talked about goals, opportunities, specialization, wholeness and mastery.
    Gaya Ethaniel: I think if one is open, right opportunities appear at right time :)
    Calvino Rabeni: This happens, if I wait long enough :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :) I don't think being open means just waiting.
    Wester Kiranov: I'm still not too sure about that.
    Calvino Rabeni: No I suppose not. Opportunity favors the prepared
    Gaya Ethaniel: What is 'that' Wester?
    Wester Kiranov: about the right opportunities appearing
    Wester Kiranov: you never know what it is you should be prepared for
    Gaya Ethaniel: I think we know when we see it ... not sure if we can accurately expect what sort.
    Calvino Rabeni: I guess Lao Tzu thought about this matter.
    Wester Kiranov: I guess so :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Often from unexpected quarters ... I guess what I mean is there is a balance between being active yet not obscuring ... waiting yet not stationary.
    Calvino Rabeni: Tricky old man, that sage.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Please say more Calvino?
    Calvino Rabeni: Inexact quote - people try to do a lot, get little done. The wise one does nothing, accomplishes everything. It is poetry, but much an exaggeration.
    Calvino Rabeni: THe hole in the center of the wheel is what makes it useful, not the spokes
    Wester Kiranov: I would think you need both
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes
    Gaya Ethaniel thinks ...
    Calvino Rabeni: the spokes go in all directions, they symbolize all the separate-seeming activities and facets of what people do.
    Calvino Rabeni: But they are unified in the center, which is empty
    Gaya Ethaniel: It's a fitting image ... hard to practice in RL :)
    Calvino Rabeni: It is a nice metaphor. Not necessarily hard to practice.
    Calvino Rabeni: Can it be made useful in real life of people like us?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Be modest with # of spokes I guess :)
    Calvino Rabeni: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: ALso not be unbalanced?
    Gaya Ethaniel: mhm and empty unified centre as much as possible ... enjoying would help towards that I'm guessing.
    Calvino Rabeni: I well agree
    Gaya Ethaniel: I think it's very easy to turn anything into a goal-drivin activity ... :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: And miss out sceneries along the way ...
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, modern idea of life is very compartmentalized, specific, and driven by an idea of instrument.
    Calvino Rabeni: That is vague. I mean, as if every separate thing had its own separate way and purpose and tool.
    Calvino Rabeni: Specialization of means.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Don't you sometimes feel this compartmentalisation is needed in how humans function, not specific to modern times?
    Calvino Rabeni: A certain amount is natural. But I do think it goes too far.
    Gaya Ethaniel nods.
    Calvino Rabeni: Think of it partly like "market segmentation". in business.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Also specialisation is much valued ... and encouraged.
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, it is a value system, I would agree.
    Calvino Rabeni: But the real human being is more like the hole in the center.
    Calvino Rabeni: Maybe only a small number of spokes are needed, not thousands.
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: So a culture of professionalization exists, which sort of steals recognition from the full general human
    Calvino Rabeni: I keep running into it
    Gaya Ethaniel: You do?
    Calvino Rabeni: But I like meeting people who go the other way.
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes
    Calvino Rabeni: There is a slight paradox in that learning seems to be situational in nature.
    Calvino Rabeni: But awareness and meditation works to unify different areas of knowledge
    Gaya Ethaniel: I like trying to master a skill though ... perhaps it's an attitude in how one learn not about # of skills, specialisations.
    Calvino Rabeni: and then the knowledge and skills start to transfer into different compartments.
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, it is important to master a skill.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes cross germinating :)
    Calvino Rabeni: But when you master one, truly, you master many.
    Calvino Rabeni: Right.
    Calvino Rabeni: there is a saying - Show me a man who can make a perfect cup of tea, and I will show you a man who can do anything.
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Wester Kiranov: Keeps on thinking about that man who was a chess prodigy and then apllied that to taichi.
    Calvino Rabeni: Not Lao Tzu, but same idea.
    Wester Kiranov: became a world champion in tai chi too
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah ...
    Calvino Rabeni: Those who do Tai Chi feel it inform their other activities.
    Calvino Rabeni: SO pema is good at tthe game of Go.
    Wester Kiranov: I suppose those who play chess too...
    Calvino Rabeni: Is that from just being very intelligent? Probably not I think.
    Wester Kiranov: I think that's a good idea - master one thing and let the rest flow from that.
    And then we moved on to education, teachers and paths vs goals. The importance of attention and appreciation.
    Calvino Rabeni: The greeks had a holistic idea of education, including athletics.
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, that is a useful way.
    Calvino Rabeni: And so did the Samurai.
    Wester Kiranov: Now how to choose which thing to master, if you're a person with too many interests?
    Gaya Ethaniel: :) Just pick one?
    Wester Kiranov: I tried that. did not work.
    Gaya Ethaniel: I had a similar problem. Again I think it's how one approaches doing 'one'.
    Wester Kiranov: Somethingh that you're willing to spend 10 000 hours with
    Calvino Rabeni: There are 2 ideas there, one is, how to pick a good one, and the other idea is, that there is never enough time (we feel)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: It has to be enjoyable, and healthy, not compulsive.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes it could be that you need to pick something else to put most of your energy in Wester. I can't be sure.
    Calvino Rabeni: It feeds you, not drains you.
    Gaya Ethaniel nods :)
    Calvino Rabeni: And maybe fits with your essential nature.
    Gaya Ethaniel: That is really a good measure - feeding/adding rather than draining energy.
    Wester Kiranov: but you need to try things to know all that
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes
    Gaya Ethaniel nods.
    Wester Kiranov: and the differences are so subtle - i tried one kind of tai chi and it worked for me, and then I had to switch to another and it didn't do anything
    Calvino Rabeni: It can be about the teacher as well as the style.
    Wester Kiranov: this was about the style.
    Wester Kiranov: but yes, the teacher is totally important
    Wester Kiranov: I've been looking for ages for someone who is as good a Stim but nearby
    Wester Kiranov: as good as
    Calvino Rabeni: Do you have a feel for what you want / need?
    Gaya Ethaniel: I think we have to do the best we can. Yes Stim is very good for me too :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Where does he live now, is it still California? (Berkeley?)
    Gaya Ethaniel: mhm
    Calvino Rabeni: Ah
    Calvino Rabeni: Have you had good teachers? i mean, that seemed exceptional.
    Calvino Rabeni: It's kind of personal
    Wester Kiranov: what seemed exceptional?
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, more than just competent in their skill, but that used it to open new dimensions.
    Calvino Rabeni: Like, they start with the spokes and you discover the center (using the earlier metaphor).
    Calvino Rabeni: It is surprising.
    Calvino Rabeni: Adult life-long learning.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Do you think sense of time and related expectation add pressure?
    Calvino Rabeni: I think there is a sense of rush and pressure that is distracting.
    Calvino Rabeni: Is that what you meant?
    Gaya Ethaniel: I saw a man on TV who has this heart disease that could make him drop dead at any moment.
    Gaya Ethaniel: I'm sure he doesn't worry about time :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Iwas thinking about the "path as goal" idea that was in one of Pema's (Piet's) essays.
    Gaya Ethaniel listens.
    Wester Kiranov: tell us about it
    Calvino Rabeni: There is an attitude of progress, of not being good enough, of impatience to get to the goal, that is the modern way, but the path-as-goal is to see it differently.
    Calvino Rabeni: That way of focusing on the future causes a lack of attention and appreciation for the present.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Saps energy ...
    Calvino Rabeni: That is the idea of time (we labor with)
    Wester Kiranov: AND when you think you have reached the goal you can get complacent
    Calvino Rabeni: Right.
    Gaya Ethaniel: And feel somehow unsatisfied because how one reached it.
    Calvino Rabeni: But we're kind of complacent along the way also.
    Wester Kiranov: how?
    Gaya Ethaniel: One gets there and think, oh is this it? :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Complacent that we know what is going on, and that we fully are with it.
    Calvino Rabeni: Kind of, too impatient. That is complacency about the degree of engagement.
    Calvino Rabeni: LIke it doesn't deserve full attention.
    Calvino Rabeni: Kind of carelessness.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Just looking at the path, missing the sceneries and enjoying them I guess.
    Calvino Rabeni: Just looking at the means to the goal. That is a narrow slice of experience.
    Calvino Rabeni: Like an idea of relevancy, and ignoring the rest.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hence leading to unsatisfactory feelings when even arriving at the desitnation ... I think.
    Calvino Rabeni: Tunnel vision
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes that would be a feeling of haven been cheated ?
    Gaya Ethaniel: I think so looking back at my experiences.
    Calvino Rabeni: When you go on vacation, is it a different way of being?
    Calvino Rabeni: I find I have to make a little effort to drop the other mode.
    Gaya Ethaniel: These days I'm more or less same whether on break or not :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Is that way pretty good?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Well not always pleasant but at least I try to see the bigger picture.
    Gaya Ethaniel: I'm not so blind :)
    Calvino Rabeni: :)
    And then it was time to say goodbye.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Well, on that note I should get going.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Nice catching up with you Wester. Good night Calvino :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Glad to see you .
    Calvino Rabeni: Good night.
    Wester Kiranov: I think it's time to go wake up my hubby. It was very good talking to you both.
    Calvino Rabeni: _/|\_
    Wester Kiranov: Bye. Do come round some more.
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