2010.01.31 13:00 - Malta retreat, Pema's remembrances

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


    In this session, as a theme session about the recent Malta retreat, Pema begins by giving some of his impressions.  I will say little here but try to edit the intros and other possible distractions for clarity.  One observation, however, that the PaB session time seemed to go very quickly, and am wondering if that mirrored the retreaters' experience as well.  Many opportunities to further inquire.


    Pema Pera: shall we get started?
    Pema Pera: this is the second Malta retreat theme session; this morning Wol reported, and now it is my turn
    Pema Pera: there will be eight more sessions within the coming week!
    Pema Pera: Given that Wol already gave a beautifully detailed impression of the setting and the atmosphere, I'll just add a few pieces here and there
    Pema Pera: and then we can have a free discussion, and I'm happy to answer whatever questions there may be about the retreat
    Pema Pera: first of all, the arrival was perfect -- with Arabella waiting for me (and for everybody in fact) at the airport
    Pema Pera: what a royal way to start the retreat -- thank you so much, Ara!
    arabella Ella: :)
    Pema Pera: Malta itself was a big surprise: for such a small island nation, the variety was stunning
    arabella Ella: sorry seem to have some lag
    Pema Pera: within an area of roughly ten by twenty miles there was such a variety in cultural and natural history both
    Pema Pera: you could walk a few hundred feet and find yourself in a different micro climate
    Pema Pera: through the combination of hills and different soil and different wind patterns
    Pema Pera: the visit to the hypogeum the first afternoon (while Wol was stuck in the snow) was also an early highlight
    Pema Pera: this is an underground place, constructed well over five thousand years ago, before pyramids and Stonehenge
    Pema Pera: the oldest underground temple
    Pema Pera: built as if it was a normal building: with pillars and windows and a roof, all made to like like that
    Pema Pera: but carved into the walls of a natural labyrint
    Pema Pera: Let's see
    Pema Pera: Wol already discussed some of the sessions
    Pema Pera: on the silent day Eos and I decided to hike across and around the valley to the more distant hills
    Pema Pera: and that's why we missed both the lunch and the afternoon naps which we heard about later :-)
    Pema Pera: but it was a great hike, with spectacular views
    Pema Pera: As for the content of the sessions, as usual it was a mix of explorations/exercises and talking and sharing in between
    Pema Pera: typically 5 to 10 minutes of some kind of practice, followed by an hour or so of talking.
    Bertram Jacobus: sry. hit the silence ...
    Lia Rikugun: helo bertram
    Pema Pera: we all shared in proposing what to focus on, during a practice/exploration period
    Pema Pera: suggestions were made by Paradise, Fefonz, Lia, me, and various others
    Pema Pera: including Bertram -- hi Bertram!
    Pema Pera: As for my own personal experience
    Bertram Jacobus: hehe. really ? i made suggestions ? don't remember yet (always) ... ;-)
    Bertram Jacobus: ah. yes. one i remember now :-)
    Pema Pera: perhaps the most striking aspect of all that I learned was the sense of multiple aspects of reality
    Pema Pera: how to put it into words . . . .
    Pema Pera: the sense of being fully present within the story of daily life -- and totally accepting that aspect of what is real
    Pema Pera: and at the same time the sense of Being which transcends all stories, all realms, all that appears
    Pema Pera: and to find ways to acknowledge and appreciate both sides, simultaneously, without any kind of worry or hope or fear or expectation
    Pema Pera: very luxuriously, really :-)
    Pema Pera: but perhaps I should stop here, and let all of you ask, comment, report, share
    Pema Pera: wow, we have many here from the retreat: Yaku, Eos, Ara, Wol, Bert, Lia, and me!
    Bleu Oleander: how is the sense of Being different from the story of daily life?
    Pema Pera: within daily life we feel we have many needs, many plans and prospects and worries, and all that becomes transparent, so the speak, in the Light of Being
    Pema Pera: the appearances are still there, but one doesn't feel bound by them to the usual degree
    Bleu Oleander: different layers of being?
    Pema Pera: different angles, yes, of what is the same thing ultimately
    Maxine Walden: does being present in every moment of daily life, being really present there, does that seem to link with Being?
    Pema Pera: in the world but not of the world -- in Christianity
    Pema Pera: the two truths -- in Buddhism
    Pema Pera: yes, that is a natural aspect of it, Maxine
    Pema Pera: both a reflection of it, and a kind of portal into it
    Maxine Walden: yes, that is becoming my experience as well, Pema
    Lia Rikugun: i am wondering how you got this feeling? was this mostly relaxation ?
    Pema Pera: :) I have seen that in your emails, Maxine, like in the time workshop
    Maxine Walden: :) , yes
    Pema Pera: that's a long story, LIa, so many aspects coming together . . . . .
    Lia Rikugun: we have 35 minutes left :)
    Pema Pera: and undoubtedly aspects I don't know about
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Pema Pera: well, one thread was your sally, followed by my suggestion to make it a different kind of sally
    Pema Pera: while being right in the room -- but that is something that you should tell, not me
    Eos Amaterasu: It seems to be both giving in to it (not looking for elsewhere), and not attaching to it
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: opening up for it, a kind of balanced devotion
    Maxine Walden: yes, Eos
    Lia Rikugun: yes this seems right
    Eos Amaterasu: so relaxing in both senses, Lia
    Pema Pera: listening to what the Universe suggests, each next moment, in wu-wei
    Pema Pera: Hi Aurora, good to see you again!
    Aurora Kitaj: sorry to be late
    Lia Rikugun: hello aurora
    Aurora Kitaj: nice to see everyone, a long time :)
    Pema Pera: feel free to join the circle, Aurora, there is one seat left between Bertram and Bleu!
    Bertram Jacobus: :-)
    Pema Pera: another great experience was our walk through the Silent City at the end of the Silent Day
    Pema Pera: another treat by Arabella
    arabella Ella: Pema during the retreat you asked us what the highlight was for us, what was the highlight for you?
    Pema Pera: What I mentioned Arabella: [13:18] Pema Pera: perhaps the most striking aspect of all that I learned was the sense of multiple aspects of reality
    Pema Pera: [13:19] Pema Pera: the sense of being fully present within the story of daily life -- and totally accepting that aspect of what is real [13:19] Pema Pera: and at the same time the sense of Being which transcends all stories, all realms, all that appears [13:19] Pema Pera: and to find ways to acknowledge and appreciate both sides,
    arabella Ella: :)
    Pema Pera: but hard to put into words, really!
    Lia Rikugun: multiple aspects of reality
    Lia Rikugun: had to say it again for the echo
    Pema Pera: simultaneously a sense of all being okay, and receiving enormous inspiration to improve things :-)
    Pema Pera: but no paradox there
    Pema Pera: on the level of Being everything is okay
    Lia Rikugun: i understand
    Pema Pera: and that makes it possible to really improve things on the level of daily life
    Pema Pera: without worries and regrets, etc
    Maxine Walden: Being protects the daily self from the erosion of overwhelming doubt etc...(one way to glimpse these multiple levels of reality)
    Pema Pera: as a celebration and confirmation, not an attempt to overcome anything
    Maxine Walden: But feels so important not to impose such a connection...to rather let it all Be
    arabella Ella: wearing Being lightly perhaps
    arabella Ella: but nevertheless Being
    Maxine Walden: yes
    Pema Pera: the main point is to see what we are already doing: closing ourselves off every moment -- just relaxing that tendency is enough
    Pema Pera: yes
    Eos Amaterasu: giving in to the confidence of Being, holding your confidence in its hand
    Pema Pera: !
    Maxine Walden: the quiet non-arrogant confidence of Being
    Pema Pera: ah, yes, I introduced three ways of action: control, cultivation, and seeing -- confidence is connected with seeing
    Maxine Walden: lovely phrasing, Eos
    Lia Rikugun: may i say what i understand and you tell me if thats what you see as well?
    Pema Pera: please!
    Lia Rikugun: in a way that every experience has its meaning if it seems to be bad or not, but there will be a learning at some point
    Lia Rikugun: today or in 5 years
    Pema Pera: yes, that is part of it -- but it is also more direct, in that right now we can accept and appreciate everything already
    Lia Rikugun: or is this more the self perspective?
    Lia Rikugun: ok
    Pema Pera: both is true, what you said and the immediate version
    Pema Pera: like relative and absolute truth
    Pema Pera: accept what is -- and then improve it within the daily life story, on a relative level
    Bleu Oleander: what is absolute truth, can we know it?
    Pema Pera: well, the words "absolute" and "relative" are not ideal . . .
    Pema Pera: and "we" as we normally consider what we are, can never now the ultimate truth
    Pema Pera: but we can learn to open up for it
    Pema Pera: and then as a side effect see that we are much more than we thought we were
    Pema Pera: seeing directly how everything is one -- more than "connected"
    Pema Pera: without separation in space or time or cognition
    Pema Pera: and then we see that the "relative" is in no way different from the "absolute"
    arabella Ella: or the so called 'self' from everything else around it
    Pema Pera: yes, all appearances can be appreciated as not separate from Being
    Pema Pera: subject and objects
    Pema Pera: the only way to invite that kind of direct insight is to open up for it, deemphasizing our usual own preoccupations and chatter -- we can't reach or grasp it
    Lia Rikugun: the questioning is important for this
    Lia Rikugun: questioning as a kind of path as eos said
    Pema Pera: questioning how we keep obstructing our own insight, yes
    Pema Pera: btw, one aspect of the retreat was similar to what happened in the previous two RL PaB retreats: that after a while everybody tended to have a kind of silly smile on their face, happiness without a reason; Mick was especially good at this, radiant really :-)
    Wol Euler nods.
    Maxine Walden: Pema, are there easy ways to describe the differences between Malta and the previous RL retreats?
    Pema Pera: hmmm, not so easy
    Pema Pera: the natural setting was totally different
    Maxine Walden: OK, just wondering
    Pema Pera: the cultural one was too, with ancient history
    Pema Pera: the people were different as well, individually
    Pema Pera: one other thing:
    Pema Pera: we did not sleep at the retreat place, but we had to get in and out by two cars
    Eos Amaterasu: Also the transitions throughout the day, from hotel to cars thru towns to store to meditation farmhouse
    Pema Pera: which divided our time into two halves:
    Eos Amaterasu: & back (including getting lost :-)
    arabella Ella: :)
    Lia Rikugun: :)
    Pema Pera: at the retreat center and at the hotel
    Maxine Walden: ah...
    Pema Pera: I myself saw this as an advantage, actually
    Pema Pera: in that it was an extra challenge to keep the retreat atmosphere in the more conventional setting of hotel and restaurants
    Lia Rikugun: I feel the same way it is easier to bring it to daily life
    Pema Pera: so each day we already were invited to intregrate practice and daily life -- yes
    Lia Rikugun: (hopefully)
    Eos Amaterasu: keep that smile in the daily life activities
    Pema Pera: insofar as daily life is drinking wine with good friends in ancient South European settings
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Wol Euler grins.
    Lia Rikugun: hehe
    Maxine Walden: ...bringing a smile of its own, the wine (!)
    Pema Pera: and listening to Arabella's contagious laughter
    Maxine Walden: amidst such wonderful surroundings
    Lia Rikugun: yes!
    Pema Pera: while she was telling us all "you are so stupid!!!"
    arabella Ella giggles ...
    Eos Amaterasu: and Maltese melodic speech
    Pema Pera: yes!!
    arabella Ella: oh yes the different accents each of us had!
    Eos Amaterasu: interacting with the people providing us support of varous kinds
    Maxine Walden: ah, what wonderful lyrical images...
    arabella Ella: and i guess the dreams too although we did not discuss those much ... but something for you to keep in mind Maxine
    Maxine Walden: oh, Ara?
    Pema Pera: one practice we did came directly from a dream by Lia!
    Maxine Walden: can inquire about those as seems fitting
    arabella Ella: yes i had lots of dreams mixing SL and RL and the retreat settings but unfortunatelyt did not record them
    Lia Rikugun: :)
    Lia Rikugun: in a dream i had pema suggested a meditation ;)
    Lia Rikugun: which we did the next day
    Lia Rikugun: i felt it was very powerful, during the dream and afterwards in real life
    Maxine Walden: an anticiptory dream, Lia?
    Lia Rikugun: looking back it seems like
    Maxine Walden: very interesting
    Lia Rikugun: i had the feeling to suggest it
    Lia Rikugun: i liked it a lot
    Pema Pera: interestingly, three days earlier I dreamt going with Lia on a similar exploration, but I didn't tell Lia about that, until she mentioned her dream
    Maxine Walden: and that is so interesting, Pema...a kind of meeting in the dream
    Maxine Walden: in the dream space...
    Lia Rikugun: i like to think of it like this ;)
    Pema Pera: :)
    Pema Pera: and then Lia discovered an actual staircase, which she hadn't seen yet, behind a door in the retreat room, similar to her dream :)
    arabella Ella: perhaps dreams could play a more key role in future retreats Maxine
    Lia Rikugun: well yu discoveredc it and showed to me
    Lia Rikugun: i still dont understand why it was there!!
    Pema Pera: I keep mixing up what we see in what order :)
    Lia Rikugun: very strange
    Maxine Walden: hmm, curiouser and curiouser...as was said in Alice in Wonderland, if I recall correctly
    Lia Rikugun: and interesting
    Lia Rikugun: yes
    Pema Pera: three days earlier Lia led us on a joint daydream
    Lia Rikugun: so has the staircase always been there or not?
    Pema Pera: hahaha, who knows?
    arabella Ella: in the meditation farmhouse, i think probably yes ... since ancient times
    Pema Pera: she took the whole group, as a tour guide, to her happy place
    Maxine Walden: hmm
    Pema Pera: and we all rezzed the place in our own imagination
    arabella Ella: itt was so lovely sharing with Lia
    Maxine Walden: sounds wonderful
    Lia Rikugun: thank you all!
    Pema Pera: btw, I have to leave for dinner now
    Lia Rikugun: it was wonderful with everybody :)
    Pema Pera: please go on
    Maxine Walden: yes, I have another meeting as well in a minute
    Bleu Oleander: sounds like a wonderful trip!
    arabella Ella: bye Pema and thanks
    Pema Pera: don't let me interrupt
    Pema Pera: thank you all !
    Maxine Walden: bye all
    Wol Euler: bye pema, bye maxine
    Eos Amaterasu: Also leaving...
    Bleu Oleander: bye Pema
    Lia Rikugun: bye
    arabella Ella: bye Maxine
    TH Ordinary: bye
    Lia Rikugun: yes i will go to bed too
    arabella Ella: bye Eos Lia
    Bleu Oleander: bye all
    Calvino Rabeni: bye all
    Wol Euler: bye lia, schlaf gut
    Wol Euler: bey bleu
    TH Ordinary: bye
    Bertram Jacobus: bye all ... :-)
    Lia Rikugun: ok so have a good night all
    Lia Rikugun: or a great day
    arabella Ella: nite Lia
    Wol Euler: goodnight all
    Lia Rikugun: byebye
    arabella Ella: i must go too nite all

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