2010.02.03 19:00 - Snow and Regret

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    The Guardian for this meeting was stevenaia Michinaga. The comments are by stevenaia Michinaga.

    Solobill Laville joined me after a long period of silence. Our conversation moved from snow and seeing to our views of "regret"

    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Solo
    stevenaia Michinaga: been quite a while
    Solobill Laville: Indeed! Good to see you Steve!
    stevenaia Michinaga: it's been a quiet evening
    Solobill Laville nods and smiles
    Solobill Laville: Has it been quiet much lately?
    stevenaia Michinaga: for me here, yes
    stevenaia Michinaga: winter seems to be the season for quiet
    Solobill Laville: Ah...isn't that interesting, I'd think the opposite
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, you would, I have a friend in New Zealand and it;s always interesting to see the contract of his summer and my winter
    stevenaia Michinaga: contrast
    Solobill Laville: Southern Hemisphere!
    stevenaia Michinaga: nods
    Solobill Laville: yep
    stevenaia Michinaga: opposing perceptions
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Skie
    Solobill Laville smiles to Skie
    stevenaia Michinaga: feel free to join us
    Solobill Laville: Of course
    Solobill Laville: To Steve -> how has your winter been so far, snow-wise?
    stevenaia Michinaga: intermittent but I enjoy snow here in the middle Atlantic states, we had an inch this morning and exceptions anywhere from 2-10 inches on friday depending on which way the wind blows, literally
    Solobill Laville: Ha! Too funny 2-10, like they're so similar...
    stevenaia Michinaga: snow always brings a nice change to what you see and how you move
    Solobill Laville: oh, yes, and the silence :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, that special outside sound deadening is very nice
    stevenaia Michinaga: where you you from Solo
    stevenaia Michinaga: *are
    Solobill Laville: 30 degrees, nighttime, snow, and and full moon, I'll take any day
    Solobill Laville: Detroit
    stevenaia Michinaga: I used to live in the UP where 30 feet of snow in the winter is typical
    Solobill Laville: Hah! I didn't know that, I recall Penn...
    Solobill Laville: My mom grew up in northern Mi. where lake-effect snow was common, so yes, many, many feet
    stevenaia Michinaga: snow doesn;t last here for very long
    Solobill Laville: Winter is a wonderful time for reflection
    stevenaia Michinaga: it offers a fresh perspective on seeing since so much changes
    Solobill Laville: yes, good point, I was thinking in a different way
    stevenaia Michinaga: and cold is something you can dress for, taking clothes off in the heat only goes so far
    Solobill Laville: hah! literally!
    Solobill Laville: It's funny, I know what you are saying about change
    Solobill Laville: but winter is seeming more and more about continuance to me
    stevenaia Michinaga: it is interesting how similar the desert sand and snow can be
    Solobill Laville: Yes! and grass and water!
    stevenaia Michinaga: why more and more?
    Solobill Laville: Well, gettin' older and all ;)
    Solobill Laville: I mean wiser, or something
    stevenaia Michinaga: :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: ofcourse
    Solobill Laville: hehe
    Solobill Laville: Seriously, though, more about "hloing up", and about appreciation
    Solobill Laville: *appreciation
    stevenaia Michinaga: age is just the ever lovely accumulation of experience
    stevenaia Michinaga: "hloing up"?
    Solobill Laville: Yes, I think we're all a terribly unique blend of old and young all at the same time
    Solobill Laville: *holing up
    Solobill Laville: as in psudo-hibernation, hot tea / warm blankets
    stevenaia Michinaga: awww
    Solobill Laville: going into our own hobbit holes, so to speak
    stevenaia Michinaga: nods, right
    Solobill Laville: Provides an opportunity to appreciate the basic niceties of warmth, smiles, etc.
    stevenaia Michinaga: for some reason the thought of age and regret past through my mind... regret of not taking advantage of opportunities to appreciate so much of what can be appreciated
    Solobill Laville: Yowza, that is the most serious regret of all...
    stevenaia Michinaga: something you only see in hindsight
    stevenaia Michinaga: nods, when you said "holing up" I thought of all that can missed when in that hole
    stevenaia Michinaga: you thought the opposite I presume
    Solobill Laville: I did
    Solobill Laville: :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: :)
    Solobill Laville: It is not hiding
    Solobill Laville: But, literally, holing up, like a squirrel waiting for spring
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, everything can offer you a moment to appreciate
    stevenaia Michinaga: there never really is any regret
    Solobill Laville: One of my big "topics for practice" is the total disconnection with regret
    Solobill Laville: It is a very detrimental emotion
    stevenaia Michinaga: it was only a fleeting thought
    Solobill Laville: :) but a valuable one
    Solobill Laville: There is a wonderful Buddhist practice
    Solobill Laville: of writing down all of your regrets
    stevenaia Michinaga: ..listens
    Solobill Laville: and ceremonially buring them in an urn - setting them free
    stevenaia Michinaga: :)
    Solobill Laville: *burning
    stevenaia Michinaga: I suspect my list would be short
    Solobill Laville: I'm very glad to hear that - I'd think you may be in the minority!
    Solobill Laville: but that is a key practice, in my experience
    stevenaia Michinaga: I suspect it relates to how much you dwell in the past or present
    stevenaia Michinaga: now is always most entertaining for me
    Solobill Laville: Ah, yes, I think you're right - tough to be "here" all the time
    Solobill Laville: What to you is the difference between regret and guilt?
    stevenaia Michinaga: regret is a missed opportunity, guilt is a miss-spent opportunity
    Solobill Laville: That is very positive, it is all about the opportunity :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: and for you?
    Solobill Laville: Ah, that's partially why I asked
    Solobill Laville: I have dealt with regret
    stevenaia Michinaga: how?
    Solobill Laville: but guilt I have always sensed from far-off and avoided
    Solobill Laville: I am a very non-guilty person :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: nods
    Solobill Laville: for me, perhaps I have had more missed opportunities than time mis-spent...
    stevenaia Michinaga: missing Malta is a regret, for instance, but I don;t carry it too heavily
    stevenaia Michinaga: it was not feasible
    Solobill Laville: Right, the carrying may be the key "non-action"
    Solobill Laville: Oh, to answer your question...
    Solobill Laville: How I deal with regret
    Solobill Laville: 1) recognize it for what it is
    Solobill Laville: Not too easy
    Solobill Laville: 2) Try to understand the context and specifics
    Solobill Laville: 3) Forgive myself - damn hard, but unbelievably liberating
    Solobill Laville: In fact, a requisite for spiritual growth
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, forgiving yourself paves the way for that
    Solobill Laville nods
    Solobill Laville: That can be a big boulder for people
    stevenaia Michinaga: sometime acceptance of the regret is enough
    stevenaia Michinaga: that may be forgiveness
    Solobill Laville: Do you think? To me, that is recognition (step 1 above), but not quite the same as self-forgiveness, which seems to be a very affective process (to me at least)
    Solobill Laville: Necessary, but not sufficient, quite
    stevenaia Michinaga: there are some regrets that may not be anyone's "fault" such that there may be nothing to forgive
    Solobill Laville: Ah...but then what is regret, if you con't place some sort of "fault" on yourself, for example, for a missed opportunity?
    stevenaia Michinaga: a missed opportunity to influence something that may simply have been meant to be the way it turned out, no matter what you could have done
    Solobill Laville: OK, I see. Good point. To me then, part of the reflective process would be to let go of that as a regret, which is the same as what you are saying I think, Steve
    Solobill Laville: I guess, a regret to me is a missed opportunity to have behaved differently, not doing the "right thing"...
    stevenaia Michinaga: or two aspects of it
    Solobill Laville: Indeed :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: I suspect a third person may have others
    Solobill Laville: exponentially :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: then , there always is:
    stevenaia Michinaga: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regret_(emotion)
    stevenaia Michinaga: a very short page
    Solobill Laville: Hmmm...so guilt here defined is a component of regret. I'd define it a bit differently.
    Solobill Laville: I think your "missed opportunity" is perfect
    stevenaia Michinaga: smiles
    Solobill Laville: Anyway, good night, I hope I kept you company for a while... :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: thank you, a most interesting evening
    Solobill Laville: :) Yes, all the best, Steve, until next time!
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