2009.12.25 01:00 - What Are You Interested In?

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Pema Pera, standing in for Wol Euler. The comments are by Pema Pera.

    Bertram Jacobus: whaow - pema ! at THIS time ? :-))
    Pema Pera: Hi Bertram!
    Pema Pera: Oh, in Japan it is now 6 pm
    Bertram Jacobus: so early in the mornig / late night ? :-)
    Pema Pera: just before dinner :)
    Pema Pera: I am taking over Wol's slot for today
    Bertram Jacobus: ah - you´re in japan again ! why is that so often ? :-)
    Pema Pera: I spend a few months in Japan every year
    Pema Pera: I have various research projects that I am involved in, working with Japanese astronomers
    Bertram Jacobus: ahh - since when is that already ?
    Pema Pera: well, let's see, I got a little telescope when I was 12 years old . . . .
    Pema Pera: then studies astronomy at the university
    Pema Pera: in Holland
    Pema Pera: then got a job in the U.S.
    Pema Pera: oh, by the way
    Pema Pera: I am in a coffeeshop here in Kyoto, Japan
    Bertram Jacobus: hehe - nooo - i meant the japan research projects - or the yearly travels and stays there (?) ... :-)
    Pema Pera: but I have not found an electric outlet
    Bertram Jacobus: kyoto ! the town of the many monastaries ...
    Pema Pera: so I have to change batteries
    Pema Pera: I have to get out of SL
    Pema Pera: and I will be back in a few minutes
    Bertram Jacobus: okay -
    Pema Pera: I can wait a couple minutes, but if I suddenly disappear, you know why, and you can expect me back soon again -- best to use up the first battery completely
    Pema Pera: (sorry to bother you with those details :-)
    Bertram Jacobus: i see. yes. and are you meanwhile a bit familiar with the japanese culture, language, religions ? ...
    Bertram Jacobus: no : it´s nice to know the basics ("details") - ty :-)
    Pema Pera: yes, I'm reasonably fluent in Japanese by now
    Bertram Jacobus: whaow - how impressive ! so again my question : since when you travel to japan ?
    Pema Pera: oh, since 25 years
    Bertram Jacobus: whaow again ! that´s quite a long time !
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Bertram Jacobus: that reminds me to an old godmother i had. she was professor too and traveld in very early years to japan and brought back a very early love and interest for the i ging and other spirituals from there ...
    Bertram Jacobus: that was very unusual in that times, especially for a woman (!) ...
    Pema Pera: travel is becoming easier and easier these days -- nonstops flights from New York to Tokyo. It takes 14 hours, but at least you don't have to change planes anymore.
    Bertram Jacobus: and with her legacy, she gave me, as a 15 year old boy, who i was at that time - her most important books (!) ...
    Pema Pera: how nice!
    Pema Pera: what kind of books?
    Bertram Jacobus: yes. first : the i ging. then a book called - i only know in german : das vermächtnis der goldenen bllüte (you know it?) and third - a tao te king i guess ...
    Bertram Jacobus: with notices in them she made ...
    Pema Pera: I'm afraid I don't know the second book
    Pema Pera: that's great, to get such a personalized gift!
    Bertram Jacobus: should be possible to find in google. a very esoteric one , in agood sense (nowadays one has to add this) ... ;-)
    Pema Pera: (no I have to change the batteries -- back in a couple minutes!)
    Bertram Jacobus: ok
    It took me several minutes to restore my computer to its old state, while Bert patiently waited in the pavilion.
    Pema Pera: back again!
    Bertram Jacobus: then - welcome back (!) :-)
    Bertram Jacobus: i just searched a bit the net about the book ... it´s about energies and how to handle them and may be even some more - how to find to the essential and such ...
    Pema Pera: Taoist, perhaps?
    Bertram Jacobus: in the text i just read, was written taoist and buddhist, but i´m not sure, whether that is correct
    Bertram Jacobus: do you have opersonal links to some of the japanese monasteries ?
    Bertram Jacobus: personal*
    Pema Pera: not really
    Pema Pera: I have visited a few
    Bertram Jacobus: why not ? :-)
    Pema Pera: I have been interested in zen mostly during the seventies and early eighties
    Pema Pera: but after I started visiting Japan my main interest shifted more toward Tibetan Buddhism
    Pema Pera: and I did go to a few Tibetan Buddhist retreats in Japan :)
    Bertram Jacobus: oh. culture mix ! ... :-))
    Pema Pera: yup
    Bertram Jacobus: one world ... coming together ...
    Bertram Jacobus: for me, the tantra practises, at the moment, appear a bit like white magic ... and i´m a bit sceptical about that ...
    Pema Pera: in order to do anything with tantra, you'd better find a good teacher first
    Pema Pera: I have never done specific tantra practices
    Pema Pera: that is just one aspect of Tibetan Buddhism
    Bertram Jacobus: but may be more, that i can´t do them so very well. prefer shine meditation and a way of practise which i like to understand in the words karma yoga. accumulating merit in tibetan understanding may be -
    Bertram Jacobus: i was some years in tibetan communities, with teachers and such -
    Pema Pera: Kagyu?
    Bertram Jacobus: yes. traditional
    Bertram Jacobus: not ole io mean ;-)
    Bertram Jacobus: i*
    Pema Pera: I am not very familiar with the various Western teachers
    Pema Pera: and I'm certainly not interested in controversies . . . .
    Bertram Jacobus: the 16th karmapa sent gendün rinpoche to france where he built as said a monastery, a retreat center and a shedra still to come. there mostly about 100 people are in three years and longer retreats (twelve years and lifetime) ....
    Pema Pera: quite impressive!
    Bertram Jacobus: it´s a very intense athmosphere there
    Pema Pera: I had the good luck to meet the 16th Karmapa, a year before he died
    Bertram Jacobus: how nice
    Bert then created the title for this session:
    Bertram Jacobus: when you say you are not interested in controversies - what are you interested in ? ;-)
    Pema Pera: exploring the nature of reality . . . .
    Bertram Jacobus: oh yes, nice answer ... and what did you find refering to this already ?
    Pema Pera: perhaps the simplest answer is to say that things are not they way they appear at first sight
    Pema Pera: and it is exactly by looked at *how* everything appears that we can see that for ourselves
    Pema Pera: we can then see how we are usually caught up in all kind of games of identifications
    Pema Pera: but really each moment we have the freedom to step back from all those tangles and just watch
    Pema Pera: just watch what appears -- as it appears
    Pema Pera: there is no greater freedom to be gained than to be free from the automatic identifications that we are normally wrapped up in
    Bertram Jacobus: and do you think, you will find more insights, "above that" ? ... ;-)
    Pema Pera: well, insights come by themselves -- and they don't need an "I" to find them . . . .
    Bertram Jacobus: okay - they may meet you ...
    Pema Pera: drop the sense of self and the Universe unfolds itself in the most wonderful ways
    Pema Pera: without a program, without a goal or aim
    Pema Pera: each moment can then be seen as a present from the Universe
    Bertram Jacobus: but what i meant was : do you think, there are unexplored principals which are helpful and which you did not meet yet ?
    Pema Pera: oh, of course, I have met only a very very tiny fraction of what there is to see/meet/find, obviously
    Pema Pera: but that's okay, I'm not trying to find more
    Pema Pera: but I'm happy if they find me :)
    Bertram Jacobus: oh. why "obviously" ? (!) :-)
    Pema Pera: oh, the Universe is so vast, potential knowledge is so vast . . . .
    Bertram Jacobus: ok ...
    Pema Pera: it's pretty obvious that I've seen only the tiniest sliver
    Pema Pera: besides, when I read about the insight of the greatest teachers of the past, I can get enough of a glimpse of what they found to see how little I am yet able to understand what they were up to . . . .
    Bertram Jacobus: but ... stop me if you don´t like that please : what about the dark side of being : war, torture, controversies ? people in such relations often can´t see life as a present - how to deal with that ?
    Pema Pera: that's a central question
    Pema Pera: the question that the Buddha started with: suffering in life
    Pema Pera: and the only answer can be found, ultimately, in seeing the emptiness and co-dependent arising of all phenomena
    Bertram Jacobus: is it better to push that aside or to deal with it ? what do you think ?
    Pema Pera: but that in itself is just a sentence, just words, what I just said -- it has to be seen/lived/realized
    Pema Pera: deal with it is always best
    Pema Pera: not suppress or deny, but openly watch it, and live with it
    Pema Pera: yet also look through and beyond it
    Back to interest:
    Bertram Jacobus: how then i may understand your sentence from before that you were not interested in controversies ?
    Pema Pera: oh, if they cross my path, I deal with them, sure, but I am not attracted by them; I don't seek them
    Bertram Jacobus: i´m considering the word interest ... is it active ? ...
    Pema Pera: ?
    Bertram Jacobus: being interested - is it an activity or a kind of state, so to say automatically (and in that way "passive")
    Bertram Jacobus: hey qt ! ... :-)
    Pema Pera: hi Qt!
    Qt Core: hi all
    Pema Pera: I just meant that I have no special interest in controversies -- the way I would have an interest in a cup of tea and try to drink one :-)
    Pema Pera: nothing deep!
    Bertram Jacobus: yes. i understood that. but now i meant generally.
    Bertram Jacobus: and the may be even more interesting question is linked to that for me : do we really have the power to act or don´t we (!?)
    Bertram Jacobus: in other words : can or do we play or are we played ?
    Pema Pera: that's not a question that worries me much, Bert, I like to appreciate what happens and deal with it as best I can
    Pema Pera: such questions I'm happy to leave to philosophers
    Pema Pera: ultimately there is no "me" or "self" so whether in our relative way of understanding this so-called self has power or not is to some extent not a very important question
    Pema Pera: we act "as if" we have power, while we also can hold a vision (a hypothesis if you like) that there is no self and no power
    Pema Pera: the point is to act naturally
    Bertram Jacobus: i have the impression, it makes a big difference whether we have good or bad conditions in life ... hm -
    Pema Pera: yes and no -- relatively speaking, yes, of course -- but more radically speaking, any moment can be a way to celebrate, to practice, to learn to deal with what is
    Bertram Jacobus: may be there are good life religions and a bad life religions ? ... but i don´t want to bore too ... so , sry please ...
    Pema Pera: the real challenge is to learn to drop judgments of good and bad, in the sense of no longer being caught into the duality of such judgments
    Pema Pera: you can choose for yourself which kind of religion or practice appeals to you
    Pema Pera: I would not want to put a lable "good" or "bad" on a whole tradition . . . .
    Pema Pera: to point is to explore, using your own sense and your own experience
    Pema Pera: and more and more you will learn to live more naturally, to see more and more accurately
    Bertram Jacobus: but ! you by yourself seem to divide very sharp what to do and to choose and what not ! (?) - and the body already says us, what is good and what not. ok : condemning is not godd - that is what i see and think - but dividing, so to say in the relative field - ok ... isn´t it ?
    Pema Pera: and all those questions will either dissolve or be answered
    Pema Pera: sure, that's what I meant with living in accord with what is natural
    Pema Pera: you will develop more and more of an intuition of what is appropriate in any situation
    Pema Pera: but that is a judgment-on-the-spot, of what to do in each particular situation
    Pema Pera: it is not a global judgment of a whole religion, say, in a more abstract way
    Pema Pera: and there are two judgments on the spot:
    Pema Pera: one is to make a judgment of what to do
    Pema Pera: and another judgment would be whether to label something good or bad -- that second one is not necessary
    Pema Pera: the label is too much
    Pema Pera: the label tends to persist beyond the moment
    Bertram Jacobus: ok. tyvm. i hope, i did not cause bad feelings - i often fear to be misunderstood in such directions ...
    Qt Core: or at least not permanent (the second judging)
    Pema Pera: nono, it's good to ask and give your opinions!
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Bertram Jacobus: and i enjoyed this hour very much. nice having had this time with you ! and interesting ...
    Pema Pera: if somebody says something unpleasant, you don't have to judge that person to be "an unpleasant person"
    Pema Pera: rather the only thing you have to say is "in this particular moment and situation the person said something unpleasant"
    Bertram Jacobus: i know
    Pema Pera: and it is good to be open for the possibility that the next moment can be very different
    Pema Pera: Yes, I enjoyed the conversation too!
    Bertram Jacobus: but i haven´t realized it permanently yet sadly
    Qt Core: and i will pronbably end up being unpleasant to him ;-)
    After an hour, it was time for me to go.
    Pema Pera: and I'll have to go to dinner now
    Pema Pera: welcome to the club, Bert :-)
    Pema Pera: only fully realized Buddhas have realized it permanently :-)
    Bertram Jacobus: then have a very nice dinner please ! :-)
    Pema Pera: nice seeing you both here!
    Bertram Jacobus: or how ever we call such persons ... ;-)
    Pema Pera: bye for now
    Qt Core: bye then pema
    Bertram Jacobus: very fast, how often - people disappear ;-)
    Qt Core: awoke less than half an hour ago... it was hard to follow ;-)
    Bertram Jacobus: hehe. but your text lines "sounded" like very well involved ... ;-)
    Qt Core: as i tend to be quite judgmental is a topic i feel "near"
    Bertram Jacobus: oh. ah. i see :-)
    Bertram Jacobus: you have some days out off work now too ? :-)
    Qt Core: 4 sparse between yesterday and 6/1
    Qt Core: for my famili issues i spend all my days off during the year
    Bertram Jacobus: 4 what please ? days ?
    Qt Core: 4 days off yes
    Bertram Jacobus: ah okay - nice ... :-)
    Bertram Jacobus: now i found "sparse" in the dictionary ... ;-)
    Qt Core: ;-)
    Qt Core: i used to get more days, but as usually at home i tire more than in the office it's an hard call... speaking about judgement ;-)
    Bertram Jacobus: hmmm ... ;-) (thinking, considering, contemplating that) ...
    Qt Core: do you need the hourglass or spinning circle windows wait animations ? ;-)
    Bertram Jacobus: sorry ? did not get that ... my poor english - could you express that in another, additional way perhaps ? :-/
    Qt Core: i was offering (not that i have those, i was just kidding) to gave you one of the "please wait work in progress" animation that vista/xp use
    Bertram Jacobus: ahh - ty :o)
    Bertram Jacobus: and : ty, no :o)
    Bertram Jacobus: i thought about living alone (as me) versus living with a family and how different that is ...
    Qt Core: it may be hard, especially during holidays or "down" periods
    Qt Core: not that i know as i'm not living alone
    Bertram Jacobus: it has the both sides, advantages and disadvantages. luckily i have many friends. that helps when necessairy -
    Qt Core: that's nice, i almost haven't considered the friend factor as i'm not very social
    Bertram Jacobus: different again ! ;-)
    Bertram Jacobus: "but" / and - in germany there are so many singles ! is that in italy the same ?
    Qt Core: noo, we are the mum's baby country, you stay at home until you go live with your girlfriend/boyfriend or marry him ;-)
    Bertram Jacobus: interesting (!) both western europe developed and so called first world countries, but so different in that point (!) ... hmm ...
    Qt Core: and even then "we" try to get a home as much as near to the parent house one can find (that would help in babysitting too)
    Bertram Jacobus: whaow. and "ok" : in generally i guessed that form italy ... it´s known here too, "your" big families " , family life and such ... :-)
    Bertram Jacobus: from*
    Qt Core: in the building i live there is me and two family ... they are both uncles, and a thirt uncles lives less than 100 m away ;-)
    Bertram Jacobus: hehe :-))
    Qt Core: one of the cousins just come home yesterday from his honeymoon ... and he lives less than 300 meters from here now ;-)
    Bertram Jacobus: nice ... :-)
    Qt Core: but this being near, especially between relatives can get pretty ugly if relations go bad, as it is improbable you can leave and go living elsewere, as, for example i feel i can't sell my part of this building as it is in my family possession for many, many years
    Qt Core: (we are speaking about centuries i think)
    Bertram Jacobus: yes ! i understand that - normally and mostly i live in a big town, quite free so to say. but when i was in a small village for a few years, i felt similar, in that direction ... in that way ... all very close and no chance to hide ;-)
    Bertram Jacobus: so many human variations of living ! ...
    Bertram Jacobus: but ... now i´m getting chat tired a bit ... would like to retire ... sry - would that be okay ? ... ;-)
    Qt Core: yes, i have to cook now ;-)
    Bertram Jacobus: fine. as always : nice havin met you. have a good time, until next time (at least) ! :-)
    Qt Core: bye
    Bertram Jacobus: bye qt :-)
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    Originally written on 20:02, 26 Dec 2009
    The book named das verm??chtnis der goldenen bll??te may be the same book that Richard Wilhelm translated from Chinese into German under the title Geheimnis der goldenen Bl??te or, as translated into English by Baynes, The Secret of the Golden Flower --
    Posted 13:16, 9 Apr 2010
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