2009.11.29 07:00 - Sense of the WHY

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Adams Rubble. The comments are by Adams Rubble.

    Adams Rubble: Good morning Pema :)
    Pema Pera: Hi Adams!
    Adams Rubble: Good morning Eliza :)
    Pema Pera: hi Eliza!
    Eliza Madrigal: Good Morning, Good Morning...
    Adams Rubble: Nice to see you both this morning :)
    Eliza Madrigal: You too, thanks :)
    Pema Pera: same here!
    Pema Pera: Adams, has attendance dropped off, after we started with our weekly guardian sessions right after this session, or perhaps increased? I guess it could go either way . . .
    Adams Rubble: I think attendance has always fluctuated here
    Adams Rubble: we generally have had small groups at this time
    Adams Rubble: for a brief time there were lots of new people droping by
    Adams Rubble: dropping
    Wol Euler: hello veryone
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Wol :))
    Pema Pera: Good afternoon, Wol !
    Adams Rubble: but lately, even before the gardian meetings, it has been small intimate groups
    Adams Rubble: Hello Wol :)
    Adams Rubble: I have been reading a Kuan Yin book recommended by Storm
    Adams Rubble: It has been fun to see many of the PaB practices reflected in Buddhism :)))
    Adams Rubble: one of the exerccises in the TSK book, which I found very hard to do...
    Adams Rubble: I found was an exercise about Kuan Yin to my surprise
    Adams Rubble: and that is the large person exercise
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, really?
    Wol Euler: what is that, Adams?
    Pema Pera: I didn't know that either, Adams
    Adams Rubble: Some people imagine a larghe Kuan Yin or other Bodhisattva or Buddha
    Pema Pera: (the Giant Body exercise)
    Adams Rubble: I tried it again yesterday in a large open space
    Adams Rubble: and first I was able to get the size
    Adams Rubble: then one of the large Chinese Buddhas from Southern China came into my mind
    Adams Rubble: It is kind of a clunky figure and I had never been able to figure it out
    Adams Rubble: Now I am wondering whether the purpose of these large Buddhas was this exercise
    Adams Rubble: the Bamiyan Buddhas came to mind too
    Wol Euler smiles and nods
    Adams Rubble: what a tragic misunderstanding, especially if that is so
    Adams Rubble: ignorance creates such fear
    Pema Pera: that is very interesting, I didn't know about those particular Quan Yin practices, Adams -- there are so many different practices!
    Adams Rubble: (note the Bamiyan Buddhas were blown up by the Taliban a few years ago)
    Adams Rubble: yes, the book has slowly helped me put some things together
    Pema Pera: you said you found it difficult at first to do that kind of exercise, can you say a bit more about what the initial difficulty was?
    Adams Rubble: I could not imagine the size
    Adams Rubble: but....
    Adams Rubble: I think I was fighting it
    Adams Rubble: Something has changed in me
    Pema Pera: (the TSK exercise was to imagine a giant body, externally and internally, down from organs to cells to molecular structure)
    Adams Rubble: I think I am finally getting a sense of the WHY of the exercies
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Adams Rubble: yes, still have not gotten to the second part you mention Pema
    Pema Pera: some of the WHYs.... :-)
    Adams Rubble: but it is a step for me to get to the first part
    Pema Pera: there may be many more (^_^)
    Adams Rubble: OK :)
    Adams Rubble: one WHY at a time :)
    Eliza Madrigal: I wonder what it is about the book that made you more comfortable... guess wondering which 'why's... :)
    Adams Rubble: The book started by telling lots of stories
    Adams Rubble: It is a nice way into things
    I forgot to mention the author remarked on how the various Buddhist holy people respected the various Buddhist traditions as being equally valid or beneficial
    Pema Pera: when I first did that exercise, I found the most difficult part the idea that I had to visualize something -- that seemed so esoteric, to "see" a picture in my mind. But then, one day, I realized that I could simple "imagine that there would be a picture", "imagine its presence", even without there as yet being a picture let alone a clear visualization. As you said, Adams, I was also fighting it, I guess, and when I let go, it worked, more and more, and gradually the sense of presence built up, naturally.
    Eliza Madrigal: So an added little step
    Pema Pera: we tend to put thresholds as a kind of obstacles in our way
    Adams Rubble: expectations
    Pema Pera: me, meditation? too hard, too strange, perhaps later . . . . the 9 sec is a trick to get over that threshold
    Pema Pera: visualization was a threshold for me . . . imagination helped me lower the threshold
    Wol Euler nods
    Pema Pera: imagination as "play as visualization" :)
    Adams Rubble: I wonder how this relates to visions
    Adams Rubble: have been wondering
    Eliza Madrigal: Hmm
    Pema Pera: pretending you can do it in a playful way as flattening the threshold
    Adams Rubble: are visions a way outside of ourselves
    Pema Pera: comples questions, Adams . . . what do you think?
    Adams Rubble: I am feeling they are related right now
    Pema Pera: *complex
    Adams Rubble: if one cn imagine Kuan Yin, why not Christ?
    Pema Pera: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Bert :)
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Adams Rubble: a reality in our mind at the time
    Wol Euler: hello bert
    Pema Pera: Maria?
    Adams Rubble: Hello Bert :)
    Pema Pera: Mary, sorry
    Bertram Jacobus: hi all ! :-)
    Adams Rubble: yes Pema, why not
    Pema Pera: (Mary as Quan Yin)
    Adams Rubble: no, not as Guanyin but something else
    Pema Pera: hi Bert!
    Adams Rubble: the same source
    Eliza Madrigal: Some Chrstian do use visualizations... meditating on scenes, etc
    Bertram Jacobus: (long time no see pema) ... :-)
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: (yes to: same source)
    Adams Rubble: can you say more Eliza?
    Eliza Madrigal: Hm, yes...
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Just that when processing scriptures there are some who allow more playful room to fill in details... or allow a kind of movement in processing...
    Eliza Madrigal: So someone visualizing themselves as the woman after Christ's garment, or at the table, etc.
    Eliza Madrigal: part of prayer really, though I know that not all are comfortable with those ideas
    Adams Rubble: Hmm, I do not know about this
    Adams Rubble: very interesting :)
    Adams Rubble: lots of practices, as Pema aid
    Adams Rubble: said
    Bertram Jacobus: my approach to spirituality is more abstract ...
    Pema Pera: that seems like a very direct and powerful practice, Eliza!
    Eliza Madrigal: And of course if one allows, the images can turn surprisingly, which I think happens in other traditional meditations too.. something surprising even...
    Adams Rubble: like role playing
    Pema Pera: yes, like a waking dream perhaps
    Adams Rubble: spiritual role playing
    Eliza Madrigal: yes :) Sure
    Bertram Jacobus: and i´m quite alone with that ...
    Eliza Madrigal: (sorry for redundancy...had a small distraction)
    Eliza Madrigal: Bert? How so?
    Bertram Jacobus: most people seem to "need" pictures and such
    Bertram Jacobus: that differs me from them
    Bertram Jacobus: additional, most people seem to love emotions very much.
    Bertram Jacobus: also that is a difference to my spiritual efforts ...
    Eliza Madrigal: that strikes me as a funny idea... loving emotions.. but I do think I understand :)
    Bertram Jacobus: i try to go quite reasonalbe and practical ...
    Adams Rubble: I respect the "rational" approach but I am finding pictures and stories help me remember
    Bertram Jacobus: that´s waht i said ;-)
    Bertram Jacobus: what*
    Adams Rubble: and we experience more than just what we can rationalize. It is part of our experience of what we recognize as reality so it is good to explore those too. Our emotions help make us feel alive
    Eliza Madrigal nods to 'more than we can rationalize' ... like a work of art... still but contains movement... evokes emotion... investment/involvement
    Pema Pera: there are so many ways of exploration, we should start following those paths that speak to us most
    Pema Pera: while remaining open to let other paths speak to us as well, sooner or later
    Bertram Jacobus: may be it´s also the point, that i aim to that what one could call "pure essence" for example (one of uncountable expressions for the unexpressionable) - and with this attitude most of all these relative aspects seem more to be hindrances to me ...
    Pema Pera: ah, but the real "pure essence" expresses itself in all the mundane detail . . . .
    Pema Pera: a "pure essence" away from the dirt of the world is only an abstraction
    Bertram Jacobus: in the end, all aspects come together, sure, i guess (lol : "sure", "i guess") ! :o)
    Pema Pera: hahaha, yes
    Pema Pera: "pretty sure"
    Bertram Jacobus: :-)
    Bertram Jacobus: ty
    Pema Pera: Bert, we all long for an escape -- and "pure essence" is in some sense the ultimate escape . . . don't you think?
    Bertram Jacobus: but first one has to get free from "all the mundane details" ! you call it "drop" i think ...
    Pema Pera: I agree
    Wol Euler: :)
    Pema Pera: but the question is how
    Pema Pera: how to get free?
    Bertram Jacobus: for me it´s understanding and practise
    Bertram Jacobus: the way of study, kontemplation and realization
    Pema Pera: we can't just throw it away, rather, we have to learn to live with it in a free way
    Pema Pera: so "dropping" is a bit misleading, "wearing lightly" is more accurate
    Eliza Madrigal: abstractions have their role too... as long as they don't become goal either...
    Pema Pera: "in the world but not of the world"
    Wol Euler: to coin a phrase.
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: wearing the world?
    Pema Pera: Coming back to Eliza's notion of picturing yourself in a biblical scene, there is also this saying of Christ that "whatever you have done to anyone, you have done to me" (sorry, I know the exact quotes only in Dutch :-). A kind of RL role playing . . .
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, yes! And angels unawares...
    Bertram Jacobus: i think, getting rid of it as one step is ok. later on it comes back in a way ... purified if you like that form of expression
    Adams Rubble: Whatever you do for the least of these....
    Pema Pera: can someone provide the full English version of the sentence, please?
    Adams Rubble: ...you have done to me
    Bertram Jacobus: i know that quote
    Bertram Jacobus: but not the english version
    Bertram Jacobus: all seem to know it (here)
    Pema Pera: that is the most direct way of finding "pure essence" Bertram :-)
    Wol Euler: matthew 25:31, says google, lemme get out my KJV
    Bertram Jacobus: i know, but i´m not able to go it pema
    Pema Pera: but of course, you can certainly start in the way you like best
    Adams Rubble: google Christ (giggles)
    Pema Pera: 13,900,000 references
    Wol Euler: oh, it's a great and long passage :) part of the sermon in Jerusalem
    Wol Euler: For I was an hungered,and you gave me meat; I ws thirsty and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger and ye took me in.
    Bertram Jacobus: hello steven ... :-)
    Pema Pera: hi steve!
    Wol Euler: ... Insasmuch as ye have done it to the least of these my brethren, ye have done it to me.
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Steve :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello
    Pema Pera: yes, a very powerful passage, Wol, a life long practice!
    Adams Rubble: Morning Steve :)
    Wol Euler: hello steve
    Eliza Madrigal: 'the least of these'... no respecter of persons, which is another agreement with buddhism... so many
    stevenaia Michinaga: morning
    Pema Pera: (apart from the meat :-)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Bertram Jacobus: not at the tibetans
    Pema Pera: Bert, can you say a bit more about how you are trying to drop what is in the way?
    Wol Euler: ((Matthew 25:34 to 45, to be exact))
    Eliza Madrigal: Thanks, Wol :)
    Bertram Jacobus: yes. first i try to do it by meditation. second i try to learn from the every day life - as a teacher , step by step
    Bertram Jacobus: actually, for example i try to get rid of my habit, only to try to be good, soft and lovely - REALLY heavy lecture for me (!) but life seems to challenge me in that way. (and, to avoid misunderstandings : all that in the end for enlightenment (!))
    Pema Pera: that's very interesting, Bert, can you tell us more?
    Bertram Jacobus: yes. i think, in the christians stories jesus in the temple with the bargainers is an example. or his attitude reganding to the scribes. in buddhism there is "mahakala" who cares for the doctrine oof the buddha and defend it. in my life now ...
    Bertram Jacobus: since some yers there again and again come attacks which seem litterally to call : fight man, fight ! and i find it sooooo heavy ! would like and prefere much more simply to llove all in a direct and simple way . but that seems not to help in all matters ... very exhausting to me (!)
    Bertram Jacobus: so i seem to have to drop those old habits ...
    Bertram Jacobus: ("ready")
    Pema Pera: :)
    Pema Pera: do you sometimes "fight"?
    Bertram Jacobus: i try to learn
    Bertram Jacobus: the actual situation in my life since some time i call "learning to act in an ethical way in war" (!) ...
    Bertram Jacobus: involved, to avoid again misunderstandings
    Bertram Jacobus: being attacked and such
    Bertram Jacobus: really heavy lessons
    Bertram Jacobus: may be i should read a bit musashi - (is it written correct?)
    Pema Pera: yes :)
    Bertram Jacobus: good :o)
    Bertram Jacobus: ty
    Bertram Jacobus: my impression is, many people have hughe problems with topics like this
    Bertram Jacobus: and so it´s not easy, especially not in spiritual environements, to talk about it ...
    Wol Euler: hello calvino
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Calvino :)
    Pema Pera: oh, it is part of life, good to talk about that too!
    Bertram Jacobus: hi calvino ! ... :-)
    Adams Rubble: Hello Calvino :)
    Pema Pera: how do you see the connection with what you call "pure essence", Bert?
    Calvino Rabeni: Good morning all.
    Bertram Jacobus: the connection is always there - as long as it is not covered by relative problems - not the best expression may be, but not uncorrect i hope . so to solve those problems and to become free in every situation, in peace AND war - links in the end and step by thep with that essence
    Pema Pera: yes, that makes a lot of sense!
    Eliza Madrigal: free in every situation... like that :)
    Bertram Jacobus: ty you for understanding me ( another unsolved aspect in my life : i prefere understanding, not misunderstanding) ... ;-)
    Pema Pera: :)
    Adams Rubble: The guardians are beginnin gto gather
    Pema Pera: yes, we'll scoot over
    Wol Euler: ah, yes, we should adjourn.
    Wol Euler: see you there.
    Adams Rubble waves
    Eliza Madrigal: Calvino, do you know how to get to Village Hall?
    Bertram Jacobus: oh. sry. i have to leave :-( . my old mother (rl) needs my help ...
    Calvino Rabeni: I think so. Do you have a LM?
    Wol Euler: bye bert, give her my good wishes.
    Eliza Madrigal: It is toward the back of the village... I need to save a landmark...haven't done so yet
    Bertram Jacobus: ty vm wol !
    Bertram Jacobus: and may be excuse me in the hall ?
    Wol Euler: follow me, we can walk, it's pretty well straight north
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye Bert :)
    Wol Euler: will do, bert
    Bertram Jacobus: ty ! :-))
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