2010.01.28 13:00 - Cliffs Nearby Watching the Sea

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Eliza Madrigal. The comments are by Eliza Madrigal.

    I arrived early at the pavillion, thinking that perhaps with so many away it would be a quiet session. I was to pleasantly find otherwise! Enter Arabella ...  

    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Ara!
    arabella Ella: Hiya Eliza
    arabella Ella: how r u?
    Eliza Madrigal: Are you eating pizza again?
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    arabella Ella: yes we are :0
    Eliza Madrigal smiles
    arabella Ella: how did u guess?
    Eliza Madrigal: hehe
    Eliza Madrigal: So nice to see you!
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Wester!
    Eliza Madrigal waves
    arabella Ella: we love the pizza place next door to the guest house as they have wi fi
    arabella Ella: pema has gone to bed
    arabella Ella: only betram and i here and mick with no laptop
    arabella Ella: and wol will be here soon
    Eliza Madrigal: I'm sure you all are quite full ....

    I have to smile. I wasn't even thinking of the pizza! :)

    arabella Ella: Hiya Wester from the Malta retreat
    Eliza Madrigal: I'd love to hear everything!
    arabella Ella: yes the pizza was delicious
    arabella Ella: well it has been an interesting couple of days
    arabella Ella: insightful too
    arabella Ella: with many adventures
    Eliza Madrigal: oooo
    arabella Ella: and weather ... four seasons each day
    arabella Ella: (although I am the only one who says it is cold)
    Eliza Madrigal: haha, That's great
    Eliza Madrigal: Everyone is getting a real taste then!
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Bleu
    Eliza Madrigal: It is like SL... four days in every day
    arabella Ella: he he
    arabella Ella: yes it is

    We all seem to be fascinated with the idea of a silent day. To me it seems a recognition of perfection... that even when friends have few days to share, words can be just the tip of the iceberg. :) I remembered others saying that Ara had begged to at least speak during breakfast... 

    arabella Ella: yesterday we had a silent day
    arabella Ella: it was not easy
    arabella Ella: not easy for me at least
    Eliza Madrigal: No? Did you partake after breakfast?
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Foxtree
    Foxtree Gorbunov: hi all
    arabella Ella: yes we were silent from before breakfast until dinner yesterday
    arabella Ella: Hiya Foxtree
    Bleu Oleander: hi!
    Foxtree Gorbunov: hi
    Eliza Madrigal: wow...
    Eliza Madrigal: What were your observations about that Ara?
    Eliza Madrigal: (Ara is here while on retreat in Malta with 9(?) other PaBers)
    arabella Ella: well it is amazing how other stuff gets accentuated while one is silent
    arabella Ella: and how it seems to me to be a sort of cleansing somehow
    Eliza Madrigal: That's a fascinating observation... Cleansing?
    arabella Ella: yes purging ... cleansing ... like noticing the chaos and noise which is so superflous in life
    Bleu Oleander: sounds like you're having a great experience
    arabella Ella: yes it is certainly a great experience but tomorrow is our last day
    Eliza Madrigal: Sigh
    arabella Ella: and life will feel different when everyone leaves ... and also as a result of the retreat
    Wester Kiranov: hi storm
    Bleu Oleander: does everyone leave tomorrow?
    arabella Ella: hey Storm greetings from the retreat
    Storm Nordwind: Hello all
    Storm Nordwind: Thank you!
    Bleu Oleander: hi Storm
    arabella Ella: Paradise leaves tomorrow the others leave on saturday
    Storm Nordwind waves cheerily to all at the retreat

    Just getting an impression....

    Eliza Madrigal: After the silence of yesterday, was it the case as it was in Cali, that everyone was in no hurry to speak... or did you all burst out?
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Storm, Cal :)
    Foxtree Gorbunov: Hi storm and Calvino
    Bleu Oleander: hi Cal
    Wester Kiranov: hi cal
    arabella Ella: i dont think we burst out after the silence ... but we had a bit of a joke with pema and eos
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh?
    arabella Ella: cos we waited for them for dinner and when they came and spoke to us we all said ... shhhhhhh
    Calvino Rabeni: Hello all !
    Eliza Madrigal: hahahaha
    arabella Ella: (we had agreed beforehand to do so)
    Storm Nordwind: Nice one ara!
    arabella Ella: Hiya Calvino
    Eliza Madrigal: Good for you
    Eliza Madrigal: !
    Wester Kiranov: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: And today? Topics?
    arabella Ella: they seemed to be quite surprised ... but then noticed it was a good natured joke
    arabella Ella: today ... well ... yes many many topics
    arabella Ella: and a bit of seeing places in the vicinity this morning too

    I would have loved to use this entire line for the log title. I have my own images to go with such a description of course, as I'm sure do others...  

    arabella Ella: meditation on some cliffs nearby watching the sea and the clouds making shade on the sea
    Eliza Madrigal: ooooh my
    Foxtree Gorbunov: I think the mind is free and running
    Bleu Oleander: oh how nice!
    Eliza Madrigal imagines the scene
    Eliza Madrigal: Eos put up a picture of the quote from Tarthang Tulku today I noticed...
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Wol! :)
    Foxtree Gorbunov: hi Wol
    Wol Euler: good afternoon, everyone
    Bleu Oleander: hi Wol!
    arabella Ella: now that ... is amazing ... finding the quote in the meditation farmhouse here

    In the day-before-yesterday's session, retreaters described their amazement at finding a Tarthang Tulku quote present at the farmhouse where they met! Eos has posted a picture : 


    Eliza Madrigal: (now you can pair up... two laptops and four people?)
    Storm Nordwind: Hi WOl
    arabella Ella: Hey Wol where are you :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Indeed, Ara!!
    Bleu Oleander: Hi Berttram
    arabella Ella: three laptops and four people here now
    Foxtree Gorbunov: weather report...See ay
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Bert!
    Eliza Madrigal: wow... longest 90 sec ever!
    Storm Nordwind: Hi Bert
    Wol Euler: we are in a pizzeria with wifi
    Eliza Madrigal: Thank you guys so much for signing on to see us!
    Bertram Jacobus: hello everybody ! ... :-)
    Bertram Jacobus: nice to meet you all :-)
    Wol Euler: and a view of hte city = the whole island
    Wol Euler: it's *tiny*
    Eliza Madrigal: That must be strange and wonderful
    Wol Euler: we drove from the east coast to the west coast, and could still see the church towers of Mdina
    arabella Ella: noooooo the island is not so tiny
    Bleu Oleander: what's your best moment on the trip so far?
    Eliza Madrigal: Ara was telling us that you all meditated cliff top today?
    Wol Euler: indeed we did
    Wol Euler: with ice cream cones
    Eliza Madrigal smiles
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Zon :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh, great question Bleu
    Wol Euler: hello zon
    Storm Nordwind can drive from LA to New York and still the sky
    Zon Quar: hey all
    Storm Nordwind: *still see

    Other voices chime in through those present...

    arabella Ella: well today Mick said the meditation farmhouse felt like a sky box in SL
    Wol Euler: heheheh
    Eliza Madrigal: heheh
    Storm Nordwind: ! :)
    Bleu Oleander: :)
    arabella Ella: and it does
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    arabella Ella: as it is surrounded by countryside and broad open skies ... sometimes clear sometimes cloudy ... with the sea in the distance
    Wol Euler: and Eliza, dog-freeing was meant quite literally
    Eliza Madrigal: wow, I hope pictures are being taken? I know thats difficult to stop to do when enjoying company
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Widget :)
    Widget Whiteberry: ☆smiles☆
    Wol Euler: there was a dog caged up in a shed beside the farmhouse, Paradise got quite upset
    Wol Euler: hello widget
    Eliza Madrigal: Ooh I see
    arabella Ella: Hiya Widget
    Widget Whiteberry: almost a full circle here!
    Eliza Madrigal smiles

    Wol Euler: anyway, didn't mean to take over the session
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Magic!
    Magic Leimes: Hi Eliza
    Bertram Jacobus: hi dear ... :-)
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh, please do Wol. We all are so happy to hear from you guys...
    Widget Whiteberry: Magic, there are 2 empty seats in the inner ring
    Magic Leimes: Hi all
    Widget Whiteberry: one to my left
    Bleu Oleander: hi Magic
    Widget Whiteberry: one to Bert's left
    Magic Leimes: thanks
    Widget Whiteberry: er
    Widget Whiteberry: Bert's right
    Eliza Madrigal: I'm sure we would all love to hear as much as you'd like to share!
    Magic Leimes: I dont see yet ...
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh, Wol poofed...
    Eliza Madrigal: ah...another firefly dance
    Storm Nordwind: and ara
    Eliza Madrigal: And Bert may be stuck typing....
    Bertram Jacobus: oops - aras flying ... crashing ... ;-)
    Eliza Madrigal: Still with us Bert?
    Bertram Jacobus: not yet anymore (stuck) :-)
    Eliza Madrigal: What are your retreat impressions, Bert?

    Widget has thoughts on the naming of the PaB cat. The group emails have centered on this topic, and names such as Mehitabel, Bella, Bodhiguard, and Being have been bantered about. Wester suggests a science based name, with a twist ...

    Widget Whiteberry: I have been enjoying the emails about the PAB cat
    Eliza Madrigal: (if still with us)
    Storm Nordwind: wb ara!
    Eliza Madrigal: haha, yes definitely me too Widget :)
    Bertram Jacobus: wol says sorry - lost the connection ...
    arabella Ella: Hiya
    Eliza Madrigal: Hiya again :)
    Wester Kiranov: maybe we should call it Schrödinger
    Eliza Madrigal giggles
    Widget Whiteberry: !
    Widget Whiteberry: Ding!
    Bertram Jacobus: it´s great for sure eliza. very impressive, very nice. to meet so many of us ...
    Storm Nordwind: another good suggestion - please make sure you write it to the email thread :)
    arabella Ella: i've just been to the pub and could not find the kitty
    arabella Ella: i would just call it kitty
    Bertram Jacobus: wb ara ! ;-)
    arabella Ella: Hey Bert where are u havent seen u in ages :)
    Bertram Jacobus: strange ... here it´s totally different ara !? :o)
    arabella Ella: yes it is
    Eliza Madrigal: The quintessential retreat question is how everyone feels together... comfortable, natural?
    Widget Whiteberry: and?
    arabella Ella: very comfortable and very natural yes
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    arabella Ella: we have all ... whats the word ... synched? ... very nicely
    Wester Kiranov: I can imagine...
    Bertram Jacobus: yes eliza, both : totally comfortable and natural

    A guitar playing physicist who knows how to use ginger? Oh, that's really not fair...

    arabella Ella: Fef cooked soup for all of us today too and Paradise and I were sous chefs
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, nice!
    Wester Kiranov: what kind of soup?
    arabella Ella: he is a very good cook ... another hiddeen talent
    Bertram Jacobus: and i can´t avoid to say also pema is a big connector ? help ? inspiration ?
    arabella Ella: veg soup with sweet potatoes, carrots, ginger, and some other stuff
    Wester Kiranov: sounds lovely
    arabella Ella: delicious
    Eliza Madrigal: Ooooh, yum. Ginger.. mm
    Eliza Madrigal: He must be inspiring a lot to have gone to bed already... hehe
    arabella Ella: well everyone except bertram mick and i have gone to bed already
    arabella Ella: and it is still 1030pm
    arabella Ella: so early yet
    Eliza Madrigal: Night owls :)
    Bertram Jacobus: hehe
    arabella Ella: but we had loads of lovely clean fresh country air today
    Wester Kiranov: and i'm sure you have plenty to dream about
    arabella Ella: yes i am dreaming of SL i need help Maxine
    Eliza Madrigal: :)

    I think of those we haven't heard from, and Storm and Arabella are on a similar page ...

    Eliza Madrigal wonders if Mick and Fef and Wol are as funny in person, and how much Yakuzza is talking....
    Calvino Rabeni: :)
    Bleu Oleander: :)
    arabella Ella: well Yaku constantly has a cup of hot tea in his hands
    Wester Kiranov: :D
    Eliza Madrigal giggles wildly
    arabella Ella: Mick can play with his brit humour
    Storm Nordwind: And does Yaku drink tea ALL he time? ;)
    arabella Ella: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: hahahaa

    This, I was especially joyous to hear ... 

    Bertram Jacobus: hehe. especially mick and wol very often have a smile in their face - nearly constantly lol and yaku speaks "sometimes" (!) ... ;-)
    arabella Ella: and Wol is as generous and helpful in RL
    Bleu Oleander: how did Yaku like his first flight?
    arabella Ella: no comment
    arabella Ella: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Bertram Jacobus: and yaku - no - you may not believe it : drinks coffee (!) :o)
    Eliza Madrigal: !! hah
    Storm Nordwind: Do people say "lol" instead of laughing and giggling? :)
    arabella Ella: we sometimes say 'smile'
    arabella Ella: or 'giggle'
    Storm Nordwind: or "ding"?
    arabella Ella: :)
    Bertram Jacobus: or grin ? (my always unsafe english) ...
    arabella Ella: yes
    Eliza Madrigal laughs
    arabella Ella: oh and 'whooooshh'
    Storm Nordwind: hehe!
    arabella Ella: or 'shuuuushhhh' on the silent day yesterday

    At the mention again of silent day, I instinctively draw a bit inward, considering silence and the sea side cliff meditation, warm soup  ...

    Eliza Madrigal: I'm still pondering cleansing silence, Ara...
    Eliza Madrigal: that was a lovely way of describing the effect
    arabella Ella: have you tried it yourself Eliza?
    Eliza Madrigal: Not for an entire day...
    arabella Ella: ah
    Eliza Madrigal: would like to do that sometime, very much so
    arabella Ella: well i admit it was very difficult with a few 'temptations' along the day
    Bertram Jacobus: lol

    A wonderful story!! Fresh peas have to be among natures greatest treasures, and wow I love Arabella's

    cheeky-ness ...  

    arabella Ella: like random strangers ... farmers ... during the walking meditation i did
    Eliza Madrigal: I would suppose facial expressions are stronger
    arabella Ella: they offered me peas
    Eliza Madrigal: Ohh what did you do?
    arabella Ella: and i gladly accepted
    arabella Ella: but
    arabella Ella: you should have seen the look on the face of the hotel manager (female)
    arabella Ella: as each one of us went down for breakfast in silence
    arabella Ella: and she asked me ... what's wrong with 'them' today?
    Eliza Madrigal laughs
    arabella Ella: i told her 'they had a bad fight'
    Eliza Madrigal: hahahahha
    Bertram Jacobus: after a day before we were nearly loud as partying people the day before ;-)
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh that's great!
    Bertram Jacobus: she asked whether that would be a punishment :o)
    Eliza Madrigal: moody meditators
    arabella Ella: but i think Pema had already told the manager but she found it impossible to understand
    arabella Ella: as we had our full english breakfast in silence
    Eliza Madrigal: Funny to think of the people all around you all... how they might view the group....
    Eliza Madrigal: Glad you accepted the peas!
    Eliza Madrigal: :)


    arabella Ella: lovely seeing you all
    arabella Ella: i must go now too
    arabella Ella: got an early morning start for our final day at the retreat
    Eliza Madrigal: Yes, enjoy your day... and Sleep well!
    Bleu Oleander: bye Ara
    Zon Quar: nite ara
    Eliza Madrigal: Thanks for stopping by :)
    Wester Kiranov: bye then ara - sleep well
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Bolo :)
    Magic Leimes: Bye ara.
    Wester Kiranov: I think I will leave too -bye all
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, good to see you Wester! Welcome back :)
    Bolonath Crystal: namaste @ all :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Seems Bert is off to bed, too
    Wester Kiranov: hi & bye bolo

    There was a natural pause...

    Eliza Madrigal: Hmmm...
    Eliza Madrigal: maybe we taking our own cleansing silence now :)
    Bleu Oleander: bye for now
    Storm Nordwind: Bye Bleu
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye Bleu :)
    Bolonath Crystal: bye blue
    Magic Leimes: Bye Bleu
    Zon Quar: bye

    :) Having had enough silence, inquiries...

    Eliza Madrigal: Bolo have you ever experienced a silent day?
    Bolonath Crystal: many :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, just on your own? Or as part of a retreat?
    Bolonath Crystal: both
    Bolonath Crystal: during the yoga trainer teachings we have had silent days every week
    Bolonath Crystal: and i love it :) so i sometimes have a silent day at home now and then
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, very nice.
    Bolonath Crystal: silence is so peaceful :)
    Eliza Madrigal: I think I'm quieter when I am not intending to be silent... Yesterday, for instance I tried to take a few hrs...
    Eliza Madrigal: everything in the world came up!
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Bolonath Crystal: i think that is quite normal in the beginning
    Bolonath Crystal: happens to mee, too
    Eliza Madrigal: yes, i'd prob have to convince my children to take a silent day...
    Eliza Madrigal: haha
    Bolonath Crystal: then i sit and watch the thoghts arise, without letting them capture me
    Zon Quar: does that means nor speaking..or also not listening or reading..
    Eliza Madrigal: Ahhh
    Storm Nordwind: The "Mute" button my the remote did not work on my children, sadly

    The technicalities of silent days in various settings... 

    Bolonath Crystal: listening and hearing should also be avoided, if you take it very strictly, zon
    Bolonath Crystal: lol storm :))
    Eliza Madrigal grins
    Zon Quar: and reading ?
    Eliza Madrigal: Hm, so different kinds of silence
    Bolonath Crystal: but i found it very joyful to read spiritual literature on silent days
    Eliza Madrigal: WB Bert :) Can't sleep?
    Bolonath Crystal: namaste bert :)
    Zon Quar: so just avoid sounds..
    Magic Leimes: wb bert
    Bolonath Crystal: if taken very strictly, reading is an inner kind of speaking
    Bertram Jacobus: hehe. sry. no. don´t want yet. greetings from ara and mick - common crash here before - they went to bed ...
    Bolonath Crystal: but i think it depends on what you are reading
    Bertram Jacobus: and re and hi again ... :-))
    Eliza Madrigal: :))
    Calvino Rabeni: Basically, you just renounce whatever engages you on the level of automatic mental activity
    Bolonath Crystal: that's about it, cal
    Zon Quar: good definition
    Bolonath Crystal: keeping the inner calmness

     Another of life's treasures...

    Storm Nordwind excuses himself to roll up his sleeves and go make real life bread
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh!
    Bolonath Crystal: good days for fasting as well
    Zon Quar: avoid automatic mental activity,,,,
    Zon Quar: but why soeaking deliberatly then
    Eliza Madrigal has a pavlovian instinct at the thought of fresh bread...
    Zon Quar: why speaking avoided
    Bolonath Crystal hands Eliza some tissues ;)
    Eliza Madrigal: can't think of fasting then...hehe, thanks Bolo
    Widget Whiteberry: excuse me, please

    More exploration of silence adventures, and we begin to discuss what makes up a rule ...

    Eliza Madrigal: I suppose it gives one a taste than can then be carried into regular activities?
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye Widget :) Nice to see you
    Bolonath Crystal: it wouldn'e be a silent day otherwise, zon
    Zon Quar: hm..saving energy i guess..
    Eliza Madrigal: I think it must be funny to as Eos often quotes "notice what you notice" in the shared silence
    Eliza Madrigal: like "How much of our life to we fill?"
    Eliza Madrigal: Ack...DO=to
    Bolonath Crystal: when we wake up in the morning our mind is usually pretty concentrated. as long as we stay silent the mind tends to stay concentrated. as soon as we start speaking we can feel the mental energy fluttering away

    Eliza Madrigal: That's a really interesting boundary to notice, Bolo... extending silence
    Calvino Rabeni: It's important to learn to see through these things - not to let awareness be stopped by rules
    Calvino Rabeni: Follow the spirit of the rule, not the letter of it
    Eliza Madrigal nods... agreed...
    Bolonath Crystal: sure
    Calvino Rabeni: The idea isn't "speaking dissipates energy, so don't do it"
    Eliza Madrigal: rules aren't effective if we always whittle away at them though... sometimes good to be concentrated... even see how strict one can be...
    Calvino Rabeni: but the invitation is, to notice it, then when speaking, to be able to do it with full energy
    Calvino Rabeni: Any rule is detrimental when followed mechanically
    Calvino Rabeni: just as un-principled mechanical behaviour is
    Bolonath Crystal: is enough to know that this practice has that effect. then everybody can decide by himself if it is the right time to do it
    Eliza Madrigal: seems rules can be played with many ways... like taking one bite of a chocolate bar... one sip of wine....

    Calvino has a disclaimer. I imagine that in RL it is the equivalent to noticing that you've raised your voice...

    Calvino Rabeni: Sorry the "lecture" - but I know as much trouble is caused by following rules mechanically rather than by their spirit
    Eliza Madrigal: yes :) We all have our buttons :)
    Calvino Rabeni: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: point well taken!
    Calvino Rabeni: And there is a tremendous "addiction" people have to rule-following as a way to avoid being aware
    Bolonath Crystal: there are different kind of rules. there are rules that say 'this cause has that effect'. and there are others saying 'you should do this or that'. i don't like the latter
    Calvino Rabeni: As in - just tell me what to do, so I don't have to think and be aware :)
    Eliza Madrigal nods

    Play ...

    Eliza Madrigal: What about "I am so free that I want to play with this rule"
    Bolonath Crystal: that's the step to mastership, eliza :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Because the temptation is - it programs the behavior and puts it on automatic, which seems safer
    Eliza Madrigal: I can do everything, so let me do this...
    Eliza Madrigal: yes, I'm sure anything can go to extremes... then enter guilt, etc
    Eliza Madrigal: Bert, anything you think to share further about your experience?
    Calvino Rabeni: Both of Elizas points make a lot of sense - as always Eliza
    Bertram Jacobus: okay - i´ll leave - have a nice time everybody please ! and ty for the talk ... :-) *waves* ...
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, okay Bert!
    Bolonath Crystal: nite bert
    Eliza Madrigal: Thanks for joining us and Sweet Dreams!
    Eliza Madrigal: enjoy the last day of retreat tomorrow and safe travels, too
    Calvino Rabeni: Good night!
    Zon Quar: goes to sleep, bye all
    Eliza Madrigal: Night Zon :)
    Bolonath Crystal: bye zon

    Eliza Madrigal: Cal I think that's something so unique about this group....
    Eliza Madrigal: that we come from so many angles and it builds a kind of flexibility...
    Eliza Madrigal: I'm thinking that's what a regular silence practice must do too....
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes
    Eliza Madrigal: I wonder if in some ways it creates a tension?
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, Bye Magic :)
    Magic Leimes: Bye everyone...x
    Eliza Madrigal: (neat jacket)
    Magic Leimes: bye eliza take care
    Calvino Rabeni: Bye
    Bolonath Crystal: bye magic
    Magic Leimes: bye bolo
    Magic Leimes: bye cal
    Bolonath Crystal: i think it is time for me, too
    Eliza Madrigal: :) Nice to see you Bolo
    Calvino Rabeni: See you, Bolo
    Bolonath Crystal: have a good night :) om shanti
    Calvino Rabeni: _/!\_
    Eliza Madrigal: Om Shanti :)

    Calvino and I are the last sitting  ...

    Eliza Madrigal: This kind of setting always makes me think of playing stare eyes...
    Calvino Rabeni: Do you put camera close to the avatar's faces?
    Eliza Madrigal: ah, childhood games. Some of us never outgrow them :)
    Calvino Rabeni: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: We are all funny creatures, I believe
    Eliza Madrigal giggles
    Calvino Rabeni: And of "impure" mind and motives :)
    Calvino Rabeni: One thing I hope to have learned is to accept it all and be conscious about which aspect I engage with
    Eliza Madrigal: Is that what silence conjurs for you Cal? :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Like when a person gives mixed messages, because of course, we are all mixed inside
    Calvino Rabeni: The choice is which to engage with
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah... I once did an exercize which was to write down failures on one side of the page, and successes on the other...
    Eliza Madrigal: then to examine each and find successes which came as a result of the failures, and visa versa
    Calvino Rabeni: And I'd say that is true with the "silence" question also
    Eliza Madrigal: How so?
    Eliza Madrigal: (the point of the excercize is just that everything is more fluid than we think- I think)
    Calvino Rabeni: Silence as a practice conjurs mixed things for me, to hear about, to practice, presumably for others to practice
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes exactly
    Calvino Rabeni: but the fluidity presents a freedom, and with that, choices
    Eliza Madrigal: I can imagine terrible silences... and blissful ones

    The peas story provides a good example...

    Calvino Rabeni: and the choices invoke new realms of being and their challenges of awareness
    Eliza Madrigal: yes, Ara accepted the peas :)
    Calvino Rabeni: just simple openings of doors
    Eliza Madrigal: I don't think she broke silence in doing so, even if/though she spoke!
    Eliza Madrigal: realms of being.... interesting
    Calvino Rabeni: and it didn't matter either, given the quality of her awareness continued in the way that was intended
    Eliza Madrigal: indeed
    Eliza Madrigal: Shared silence brings to mind, for me anyway, sacred moments... communion... Even though those moments were often 'imposed' in childhood...
    Eliza Madrigal: I am grateful for them mostly :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, it is something to be grateful for
    Calvino Rabeni: Especially since your retrospective awareness has / can "purify" those experiences
    Eliza Madrigal: So it makes sense in a retreat setting I think
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, yes!
    Eliza Madrigal: Retrospective awareness... another interesting term!
    Eliza Madrigal collects those phrases in her pockets...hah
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, the "past" is not fixed, as appreciated from the present
    Eliza Madrigal nods... yes I do think 'that way' too
    Eliza Madrigal: timlessness in action :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Timeless too... hah

    When Calvino does this kind of thing part of me thinks "Run, run very fast now", but my curiosity nearly always wins out! Difficult to resist great questions ... 

    Calvino Rabeni: Let me ask you a vague question
    Eliza Madrigal smiles
    Eliza Madrigal: okay
    Calvino Rabeni: How do you experience PaB in relationship with the rest of your life, in the broad sense?
    Eliza Madrigal: Such an interesting question... the short answer would be "a gift" but perhaps that is also vague
    Eliza Madrigal: hm...
    Eliza Madrigal: It is a bit like walking into a house which someone has designed personally for you... having spied for years and years
    Eliza Madrigal: they've put up just the right books on the shelves...
    Eliza Madrigal: decorated with your favorite artists' sculptures and paintings...
    Eliza Madrigal: and it constantly changes
    Eliza Madrigal: magical, ghostly even at times .. appearing various places each morning, etc :)
    Eliza Madrigal: thats a little picture I think...
    Eliza Madrigal: very incomplete
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: What would you say? Or is there a more specific question?
    Calvino Rabeni: that's poetic, I like that
    Eliza Madrigal: :) Thanks
    Calvino Rabeni: It reminds me of a book, a popular poet in the 30's wrote, in which he imagined his "perfect house" for himself, in great detail
    Calvino Rabeni: http://www.amazon.com/Vagabonds-Hous.../dp/1557092303
    Calvino Rabeni: It's kind of romantic, and a "man's" house
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah... seems a good read
    Calvino Rabeni: the thing I liked about it is the act of imagination in which he gave his soul everything it desired
    Calvino Rabeni: It's of the old fashioned "fun" type of popular poetry
    Eliza Madrigal: :) I do believe writing is a kind of fulfillment in itself
    Calvino Rabeni: The house of the soul
    Calvino Rabeni: Anyway, PaB may have a flavor of that, for some
    Eliza Madrigal: :) yes


    Eliza Madrigal: And what for you?
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes...
    Calvino Rabeni: I've been getting a feeling about the way different compartments of life start to merge and flow together
    Calvino Rabeni: Sounds abstract I realize
    Calvino Rabeni: But PaB is one of those compartments
    Eliza Madrigal: Not at all... quite interesting.
    Calvino Rabeni: As are my other activities, which include things like PaB in one way or another
    Eliza Madrigal: each spills into the other, in a way?
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, the consciousness and actions taken in one, are a practice, but the practice is in a bigger place than the compartments
    Eliza Madrigal: AHhh wonderful imagery
    Calvino Rabeni: that is, the practice is in the context of big mind big soul or whatever you want to call it - I don't like specific labels
    Eliza Madrigal: compartments without obstacles perhaps
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes

    Calvino Rabeni: Anyway it induces some tensions as well as some freedoms
    Eliza Madrigal: PaB has given me a sense of that I think... not sure I had it at all before
    Calvino Rabeni: But it seems also "beyond" me
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: In that compartments for many of the people I know are broadening and overlapping
    Calvino Rabeni: Going from separate ponds, enlarging into a sea or lake
    Eliza Madrigal: hm... so you find it introduces questions and challenges for others ?
    Eliza Madrigal: or for the way you engage?
    Calvino Rabeni: Each compartment is a micro-climate of consciousness with its own freedoms and limitations

    Calvino Rabeni: To give a specific example though
    Eliza Madrigal listens
    Calvino Rabeni: Comparing PaB meetings in SL with a real life dialogue group
    Calvino Rabeni: it suggests that awareness can be gathered and then used to change directions
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh! How so?
    Calvino Rabeni: of course this is true in RL also, but might not be foremost in my way of proceeding
    Calvino Rabeni: The idea of looking at experience - not a common aspect of conversational behavior in real life groups, by and large
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, very true. Direct experience seems such a novel challenge
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: So to see it possible here, then it is a reminder that it is possible there also - and that possibility appears as both a kind of desire, and as a tension, since to put it into action contradicts the mechanical force of habit
    Calvino Rabeni: and the group norms
    Calvino Rabeni: Does this make sense?
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Eliza Madrigal: very much so

    Eliza Madrigal: Last night I attended my traditional group and talked about PaB a bit...
    Calvino Rabeni: Also many of the skills of listening and dialogue that are part of PaB are lovely when brought into RL activities
    Calvino Rabeni: Practices in one context, affect other situations
    Eliza Madrigal: yes
    Eliza Madrigal: I found myself explaining, when they seemed a bit suspicious of interdisciplinary/interreligious, etc meditation.... that I found myself there (in that place) in large part, due to pab...
    Calvino Rabeni: But oddly or not, I think this is happening for the people around me in their own lives, maybe it is a cultural change
    Eliza Madrigal: being very shy, I would prob never have walked in and felt so immediately comfortable with them otherwise
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, good example
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, that would be nice, Calvino
    Eliza Madrigal: I was surprised no one in the room knew what SL was though :)
    Eliza Madrigal: And I felt a little silly at first... then refered to the film Avatar a bit... hehe
    Calvino Rabeni: What type of group is that
    Eliza Madrigal: a tiny vajrayana group
    Eliza Madrigal: I've been attending just a little while, but they are lovely

    I notice the time. Once a week I get together with a favorite friend over a glass or two of wine...  was to be late if I didn't scurry ... 

    Calvino Rabeni: Sounds nice.
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, 6PM here! Lovely to talk with you today.
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye for now, Calvino
    Calvino Rabeni: Bye Eliza!
    Eliza Madrigal waves

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