2010.01.10 13:00 - Beyond concepts

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Maxine Walden. The comments are by Maxine Walden.

     This meeting was a bit slow to get going but then began to discuss the hesitations toward practice, including self doubt or judgment, but also perhaps the fear of going beyond the concepts and images which seem to offer stability of a sort.

    As often occurs, the discussion seemed to become a bit more free-wheeling after the goc (me) left after an hour. 


    Maxine Walden: hi, Arch
    Maxine Walden: brown snake...oh, not the Arch I know?
    Archmage Atlantis: Hello Maxine
    Maxine Walden: hi
    Archmage Atlantis: Yes, I need to put him back in the everglade
    Yakuzza Lethecus: good day you both
    Maxine Walden: Yaku, hi.
    Archmage Atlantis: Hello Yaku
    Aubergine Mint: hi everyone
    Maxine Walden: hi, Aubergine (
    Fael Illyar: Hi Maxine, Aubergine, Yak :)
    Archmage Atlantis: Hi Eggplant *g*
    Maxine Walden: Fael, hi, good to see you, been a long time!
    Yakuzza Lethecus: hey fael, aubergine
    Aubergine Mint: when is the next themed session?
    Archmage Atlantis: It is now
    Archmage Atlantis: We decide the theme
    Aubergine Mint: what is the theme?
    Aubergine Mint: oh, i get it
    Archmage Atlantis: We create this world
    Aubergine Mint: i knew that
    Maxine Walden: what would you all like to be our theme related to PaB sorts of things?
    Archmage Atlantis: To know is only half way to the place to live
    Maxine Walden: (searching for a theme in Arch's comment)
    Maxine Walden: hi, Trevor, nice to see you.
    Trevor Berensohn: Hello, good to see you all too =)
    Fael Illyar: Hi Trevor :)
    Maxine Walden: perhaps in silence a theme arises...
    Archmage Atlantis: All life surrounds us
    Maxine Walden: Perhaps we can focus on the experience upcomig in the 90 sec pause in 4 minutes.
    Archmage Atlantis: The musicians and the artists see it first, we of reason see it only if disaster is close.
    Trevor Berensohn: Sorry I had a RL distraction

    It felt that there was a kind of non-engagement in the air, in the group.  Not being quite sure, but with the feeling, I make the following comment:

    Maxine Walden: I have a sense that something is trying to shine through in the silence, but I am not sure what it is
    Maxine Walden: perhaps during the pause something(s) may become clearer
    Archmage Atlantis: So do I pray, Maxine, so do I pray
    Yakuzza Lethecus: hmm, i just thought about the issue that many ppl like me myself often aren´t truely doing the 9 seconds, and how much this is ok or even threatens the whole concept
    Fael Illyar: Hi Mick :)
    Maxine Walden: an important question, Yaku; do others have similar wonderings?
    Yakuzza Lethecus: hey mick
    Maxine Walden: hi, Mick
    Archmage Atlantis: I held my cat for the 9 seconds, he needed reassurance

    Rather than take up Yakuzza's concern directly we do go in the direction of his question to Trevor:

    Trevor Berensohn: Hmmm I don't specificaly practice this, but Dzogchen is quite similar.. many short practice sessions throughout each day, so I feel it's close enough
    Yakuzza Lethecus: can you explain dzogchen ?
    Trevor Berensohn: It's basically letting each moment liberate itself
    Yakuzza Lethecus: kind of wu wei ?
    Trevor Berensohn: By not adding anything to the moment, & not taking away from it.. not judging
    Yakuzza Lethecus: i often wonder how many different traditions of mindfullness are developed over the centuries :)
    Trevor Berensohn: It's almost like just focusing on the awareness that gives rise to each moment of esperience.. similar to Zen, I think, just a slightly different way we look at it
    Maxine Walden: That does sound very similar, Trevor, allowing the moment, and our experience just 'be'
    Trevor Berensohn: Yes indeed, Yakuzzi
    Aubergine Mint: sry gtg bye
    Maxine Walden: to the best of our ability (in the moment)
    Maxine Walden: bye Aubergine
    Mickorod Renard: bye Aubergine
    Yakuzza Lethecus: bye aubergine
    Trevor Berensohn: That's why I feel it's very compatible with this

    Still wondering about the hesitations to practice, which Yakuzza had brought up earlier, I ask Trevor:

    Maxine Walden: Trevor, do you find it difficult to do these practices you are describing?
    Mickorod Renard: yes, normally we are being pulled by past and future thoughts
    Archmage Atlantis: Eggplant wore the scarf
    Maxine Walden: Reluctant to do the practices?
    Trevor Berensohn: Hmmm, no not difficult. I listen to my teachers & try what they suggest, and then it's quite simple
    Trevor Berensohn: Sometimes I feel guilty that is is so easy, but I think that that is just my mind being silly
    Mickorod Renard: I dont think its dificult to do if one takes time to do it,,but usually we are influenced to work outside the moment due to life chores
    Trevor Berensohn: So we have a good laugh together, and then it's easy to practice again
    Maxine Walden: (trying to see if we can focus on the reluctance that many feel toward the 9 second pause)...yes, the outside pull of the world can make it difficult to take the time and focus
    Trevor Berensohn: Mick, I couldn't see you.. there you are
    Mickorod Renard: coooiiiii
    Trevor Berensohn: It seems when I get in the habit of judging myself or my practice, then it feels more like work
    Archmage Atlantis: No one is a judge

    Perhaps beating the same drum, I do underscore the self-judgment as an important element in avoidance of practice but it is fruitful

    Maxine Walden: Agree, absolutely, Trevor: self judgment can sway us away from the spontaneity of the moment
    Maxine Walden: and we can so easily look down upon ourselves
    Trevor Berensohn: Yes indeed Maxine. But this practice seems to have helped me see that tendency,
    Trevor Berensohn: more clearly
    Archmage Atlantis: We make assumptions based on collected data
    Maxine Walden: Arch, we are thinking more of our internal judging voices, tendencies
    Mickorod Renard: I think we often think people are judging us, and this in turn makes us act in ways that are not true to our inner character
    Trevor Berensohn: It's funny, the complex interplay of self- & other- judging that we bounce back & forth
    Maxine Walden: Yes, Mick, and do you find that the sense of 'others judging us' may be a red flag to our internal self judging being at work?
    Mickorod Renard: and causes us to prejudge ourselves to make sure we are acceptable to those who are in contact with ourselves
    Mickorod Renard: yes
    Trevor Berensohn: Well put =)
    Mickorod Renard: :)
    Archmage Atlantis: Gee, didn't the Buddha say that
    Archmage Atlantis: And Jesus
    Trevor Berensohn: Yes these limitations of my self.. many times I'm unaware that I'll only go where I think I'm "allowed"
    Archmage Atlantis: And many thinkers
    Mickorod Renard: obviously we do have to restrain our wants to operate in the reals of what is acceptable too
    Maxine Walden: we have another opportunity in a minute or so maybe to see if we can let go of the self-judgement in the 90 sec pause
    Mickorod Renard: restrain*
    Yakuzza Lethecus: got to go, night everyone
    Mickorod Renard: nite yaku
    Maxine Walden: night, Yaku
    Trevor Berensohn: bye Yakkuza
    Trevor Berensohn: Ahhh
    Maxine Walden: ? Trevor
    Archmage Atlantis: Yes, Trevor, share
    Trevor Berensohn: It just always feels like a release after these sessions
    Trevor Berensohn: So I said Ahhh

    And now it seems we are being more self-reflective about what we hold onto and why

    Mickorod Renard: I am a self concious sort of person,,but I have always worked in the public realm,,now in a school,,,I have had to learn to let things wash away,,but in the past i felt I needed to look cool in the eyes of others
    Maxine Walden: and 'looking cool' involved some 'holding on' rather than 'letting go' Mick?
    Mickorod Renard: I am now not sure who I really am
    Mickorod Renard: yes, maybe by creating a character that everyone wanted
    Trevor Berensohn: I personally like that space of shedding my old "self", and contemplating what I've found
    Mickorod Renard: yes, i enjoyed that a short while ago
    Trevor Berensohn: Or my old thoughts of myself, to be more precise
    Mickorod Renard: Hiya Ara
    Trevor Berensohn: Hi Ella
    Maxine Walden: curious about the new, Trev, after letting go of the old
    arabella Ella: Hiya everyone!
    Archmage Atlantis: We each are our own selves, we are complex in that we exist in a society that is set to conform
    Maxine Walden: hi, Ara
    Archmage Atlantis: Not Bees
    Mickorod Renard: but because I have had that transformation, i now see more clearly how others are so wrapped up in self image

    Trevor suggests a letting go without replacement

    Trevor Berensohn: I really don't try to replace the old with anything.. just stay with the awareness of the space as I let the old dissolve
    Trevor Berensohn: What a dicotomy.. being freee of the conceptions, and yet seeing others who apparently aren't
    Fael Illyar smiles.
    Mickorod Renard: well, I know I still have a long way to go..
    Fael Illyar: it only becomes a dichotomy when put into words.

    And soon, here, we get into the notion of concepts, ideas perhaps, as ways of seeking permanence or constancy

    Fael Illyar: into concepts
    Archmage Atlantis: For me, a smile from Joel, is the newness
    Trevor Berensohn: Seems that you have come quite a way as well, Mick. I'm quite happy to hear of it
    Mickorod Renard: thankyou..i notice the shackles that people wear by that image issue
    Maxine Walden: Shackled by images, a vivid description/metaphor
    Mickorod Renard: shacked by their idea of self image
    Maxine Walden: yes, better said, Mick
    Trevor Berensohn: I find it useful to keep letting go of my conceptions of them, as I do of my conceptions of myself, and see them anew
    Fael Illyar: concepts are ... an attempt for permanence.
    Fael Illyar: drop the permanence and it makes snse
    Fael Illyar: sense
    Mickorod Renard: thats a lovely way of doing things trev
    Trevor Berensohn: Many times I find that I'm projecting my old self-concepts onto them, and when I let that go.. I'm not so certain they are bound
    Trevor Berensohn: Oh perfect, Fael
    Maxine Walden: yes, wonderful strands of thought here it seems to me.
    Maxine Walden: Fael, are you thinking that our attempts to make concepts are ways of trying to 'freeze' things?
    Mickorod Renard: In my past work I almost had to be an actor
    Fael Illyar: bound... another expression of permanence :)
    Archmage Atlantis: We are closer to facing what lies ahead in this universe.
    Fael Illyar: yet one that recognises the essential impermanence.
    arabella Ella: i doubt whether we can escape thinking within concepts
    Fael Illyar: concepts are here to stay :)
    Maxine Walden: it does seem part of our programming, concepts
    Fael Illyar: they have their place :)
    Trevor Berensohn: I've had jobs where I really had to alter how I behaved.. almost manage ppls perceptions of me
    Trevor Berensohn: It was only fun when I saw it as a game though
    Mickorod Renard: breaking from the concept that one has the idea that people expect you to be a certain person,,other than your real self is hard
    Mickorod Renard: yes, sounds similar to my experiences Trev
    Trevor Berensohn: Eventually I felt bogged down by the culture there, and moved on
    Archmage Atlantis: We are more, more than any concept, yet concepts are useful tools
    Trevor Berensohn: But that's not always possible
    Maxine Walden: we have another 90 seconds coming soon...
    Fael Illyar: yes... do something for too long and it becomes very difficult to stop
    Mickorod Renard: concepts are useful tools,,that was the problem for me,,I ended up living in a concept rather than being me,,just to meet a need
    Trevor Berensohn: To make a living?
    Archmage Atlantis: freedom arives
    Mickorod Renard: yes, well, it became a means to extract information

    The notion of 'making a living' via concepts or self-image, and whether that is really living in terms of our unemcumbered selves

    Maxine Walden: we let ourselves become defined by 'concepts', images, etc...and in 'making a living' in that way we seem to be suggesting that we may cease really living in terms of our true unencumbered selves
    Trevor Berensohn: Hmmm
    arabella Ella: we must admit tho we are all very subjective when it comes to our personal selves and we often tend to rationalise our way out of awkward situations
    Trevor Berensohn: I've noticed this happen to myself at times
    Maxine Walden: ara, care to say more?
    Mickorod Renard: yes,,I think I know what ur saying maxine
    Trevor Berensohn: It helps then to examine my motives.. it seems the more selfless they are, the less encumbered I tend to get
    arabella Ella: others tend to see us in more objective ways, just as we tend to see the errors which others may tend to make when they dont ... they rationalise and justify their actions or stance
    Maxine Walden: agree, Trevor
    arabella Ella: attachment i guess ... to what we do
    Fael Illyar: Trevor, encumbered... can you give an example?
    arabella Ella: and here i have learnt that we need to drop attachment
    Maxine Walden: or realize how encumbering attachment can be
    Trevor Berensohn: Maxine is giving a better example than I would have
    Mickorod Renard: I get the idea that everyone justifies the way they are , even if they are not judgemental,,but it doesnt matter much because without a standard measure we may justify anything
    Fael Illyar: ara, I'd like to correct that it is "need to be able to drop attachment". Not "need to drop attachment".
    arabella Ella: :)
    arabella Ella: apologies for the error :)
    Fael Illyar: Errors are fine :)
    Maxine Walden: Fael, would you care to say more about the distinction?
    Mickorod Renard: I can understand Ara's phrase..cos although u are right Fael,,for us who may struggle doing it its the be able to thats the hardest bit
    Mickorod Renard: he he
    Mickorod Renard: almost like trying to stop smoking
    Mickorod Renard: easy for some

    And then a look at the value of attachments, what they mean in our lives, some playfulness around 'madness' in terms of not living by old conventions

    Fael Illyar: Attachments don't exist without reason. They are sometimes useful.
    arabella Ella: and we tend to get entangled in so many attachments, like relationships, family, friends, work, etc
    Maxine Walden: ah, yes, understand. Thanks
    arabella Ella: obligations and responsibilities
    Trevor Berensohn: But how to interract with all these things, minus the attachment? Is it possible?
    Mickorod Renard: thats true Ara,,i have changed for the better in my opinion,,yet my fanmily think I have gone mad
    arabella Ella smiles
    Fael Illyar: Mick, of course, you're rejecting things they still believe in.
    Mickorod Renard: they are attached to my old self
    Trevor Berensohn: Madness can be more fun
    arabella Ella: definitely
    Mickorod Renard: yes, i like madness
    Mickorod Renard: feels more natural
    Trevor Berensohn: Though the cleanup can be a.. oh, I shouldn't say that here =)
    Maxine Walden: our evolving selves may appear 'mad' to that which holds on to old identities
    Mickorod Renard: it can be edited Trev
    arabella Ella: give us a hint Te
    Trevor Berensohn: Whew!
    arabella Ella: Trev
    Trevor Berensohn: rhymes with "itch"
    Mickorod Renard: lifes a ...itch
    Trevor Berensohn: (sorry)
    Mickorod Renard: scratches all over
    Maxine Walden: np, Trev, saying it like it 'is' is important
    Trevor Berensohn: I dunno.. I am free in each moment, and find happiness in each situation.. some call that madness
    Mickorod Renard: too right
    Mickorod Renard: can I have some of your pills Trev?
    Trevor Berensohn: Others are tense in each moment, and worry in each situation. I call that madness
    Archmage Atlantis: I will say something
    Trevor Berensohn: Lol if it could be bottled.. yes
    Mickorod Renard: grin

    I have to go as hour is nearly over and I have another meeting to go to

    Maxine Walden: have to go, gang, another meeting. Very interesting discussion. It will be a pleasure to post. Bye
    Trevor Berensohn: Yes Archie?
    Archmage Atlantis: To worry is not to be mad
    arabella Ella: bye Maxine
    Mickorod Renard: whens dreams max?
    Trevor Berensohn: Thanks Maxine
    Mickorod Renard: has she gone?
    arabella Ella: yes
    Trevor Berensohn: yup... =(
    arabella Ella: just before the bell
    Mickorod Renard: hope its not to dreams
    Trevor Berensohn: dreams?
    Archmage Atlantis: It is a very high level of "to care"
    Mickorod Renard: workshop
    arabella Ella: but Arch dont you think there is natural concern then there is obsessive worry?
    arabella Ella: mind you i am sure most of us surely admit to being worried at times
    Mickorod Renard: I am an obsessive worrier at the moment
    Archmage Atlantis: Ara, that is what the demons use
    Trevor Berensohn: Shhhh! lol
    Mickorod Renard: oops
    arabella Ella: ooooops
    arabella Ella: what do the demons use Arch?
    Trevor Berensohn: ha HA
    Trevor Berensohn: You say demons like that's a bad thing...
    Archmage Atlantis: First have to define "demons"
    Mickorod Renard: they use the softness of your caring concern to get to you
    arabella Ella: i should hope they dont
    Trevor Berensohn: Ah, that sounds more like naivety, not fully aware compassion, Mick
    Archmage Atlantis: Yes, correct Mick
    Mickorod Renard: its hard to be sensitive and have a huge impermiable barrier at the same time
    Archmage Atlantis: They use compassion as a weak point
    Trevor Berensohn: Naivety, worry, being overwhelmed.. these all seems like indirect obstacles to compassion
    arabella Ella: that is new to me ... and I dont think I agree with that position
    Archmage Atlantis: Then state your position Ara
    arabella Ella: not sure how to state it
    Mickorod Renard: well, i agree Trev,,but its hard not to be naive on certain subjects,,as life today is complex
    arabella Ella: i suppose i think compassion is something one cultivates, builds a skill as being compassionate, and i see that as something higher order
    arabella Ella: rather than as a weak point
    Trevor Berensohn: Yes indeed, Mick
    Archmage Atlantis: My cat, my parakeets, my koi await your statement Ara
    arabella Ella: gave it above Arch
    Archmage Atlantis: The higher order, can you tell me what it is?
    Trevor Berensohn: I think you've got a very good point, Ella
    Mickorod Renard: I have seen great deeds done by people with hard shells,,people that are not compassionate,,but they are doing persons,,achievers,,wheras worriers often hold back,,even from doing good deeds
    arabella Ella: something desirable Arch which people should attempt to cultivate to make this world a better place for all
    Trevor Berensohn: I know the Tibetans talk of taking your compassion & turning it into Great Compassion
    Trevor Berensohn: perhaps it's weak when it's not Great
    arabella Ella: fighting demons is a different matter altogether for me
    arabella Ella: not related to compassion i mean
    Trevor Berensohn: But how do you know they weren't compassionate, Mick?
    Archmage Atlantis: Ara, I will chose the moment of my death in this life.......I accept extinction, ...do you?
    Mickorod Renard: well, its a broad subject,,even in the bible it provokes things like the meek will inherit the earth,,,along with all the interpretations of it
    arabella Ella: death is the only certainty in this life Arch, but why should we choose our moment of death?
    Trevor Berensohn: Hmmm, I am unfamiliar with this "meekness" ahem
    Trevor Berensohn: (sorry bad joke)
    Archmage Atlantis: Because we can
    Mickorod Renard: well, I am sure stuff we do here is pertinent to the meaning of it
    arabella Ella: we can ... but is that the right thing to do? for me it isnt
    Trevor Berensohn: Hmm, would that the bible eloborated on sooo many points it brings up
    Mickorod Renard: like be more sensitive to what u are and the what is around us,,and u get a better deal on life..:)
    Archmage Atlantis: You are weak, Ara.....to chose the part of life that cannot be decided
    arabella Ella: in my book it is very unfair and unethical to choose the moment of our death ... for me life is a gift which is so precious
    Mickorod Renard: thats an ofdd subject too arch
    Mickorod Renard: ideally you need to die at the right time
    arabella Ella: i dont think you can judge me Arch as being weak, for me the people who choose their death are weak, they give up when they dont have to
    Fael Illyar: so, have you chosen you moment of death yet, Love?
    Trevor Berensohn: Hmmm it seems to me that it's presumptuous to claim that you will choose the time of your death.. you don't really know that, Arch
    Mickorod Renard: fael,,are you speaking to me?:)
    Archmage Atlantis: The USA has many guns
    Archmage Atlantis: Many ways of war
    Fael Illyar: Mick, sorry, no, to Arch :)
    Mickorod Renard: :(
    Trevor Berensohn: But I'm sure she loves you too =)
    Mickorod Renard: grin
    Archmage Atlantis: I always chose life
    Mickorod Renard: life seems to be choosing me
    Mickorod Renard: I do my best to put it at risk
    Trevor Berensohn: ...and I have spent toooo much time away from Very Important Shopping
    Trevor Berensohn: Ta ta, my friends
    Mickorod Renard: Bye Trev
    Archmage Atlantis: Ich bin ein Berliner, Trev
    Mickorod Renard: ok guys, i have to get home now
    arabella Ella: bye Mick
    Mickorod Renard: thanks for the great chat
    Fael Illyar: have fun Mick :)
    arabella Ella: i must go too
    arabella Ella: bye Fael Arch
    Mickorod Renard: and you Fael n Arch
    Fael Illyar: Have fun Ara :)
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