2010.02.05 01:00 - Poor little Mindfulness

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    Wol Euler was guardian and commenter for this session.


    The session began slowly and quietly.

    Wol Euler: hello liza, calvino
    Liza Deischer: hi
    Calvino Rabeni: Hello
    Wol Euler: I was just getting used to the idea of being alone this morning :)
    Wol Euler: not that you are unwelcome!
    Liza Deischer: sorry :-)
    Wol Euler chuckles
    Liza Deischer: sometimes it can be nice to be alone here
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Wol Euler: I sometimes come here between sessions to sit and listen to the birds
    Liza Deischer: hmmm
    Liza Deischer: I have another place to do that, but I know what you mean
    Liza Deischer: so to me the water is more attractive
    Wol Euler nods.
    Liza Deischer: easy listening :-)
    Wol Euler: :)
    Wol Euler: well, feel free to offer a topic ...
    Liza Deischer: have non I'm afraid
    Wol Euler: ah well. Calvino? you are very quiet today
    Calvino Rabeni: I'm in an IMy mood
    Wol Euler: ah
    Calvino Rabeni: Or, you could say "SL telepathy" :)
    Wol Euler: heheheh
    Wol Euler: there is that, yes.
    Wol Euler: I missed IM at the retreat, I have to admit
    Liza Deischer: :-)
    Wol Euler: and the bell.


    Liza Deischer: Pema didn't bring one with him?
    Calvino Rabeni: You had no bell at the retreat ???!!
    Wol Euler: phone
    Liza Deischer: Im and phone: way to go :-)
    Liza Deischer: and I just found a topic
    Wol Euler: back, fire away

    Liza starts us off with a question about the Nines.

    Liza Deischer: the nine sec.
    Liza Deischer: talking about the bell
    Liza Deischer: I've been reading about it on the site
    Wol Euler: mmm?
    Liza Deischer: seeing that you're supposed to write something down
    Wol Euler: that is the recommendation, yes.
    Liza Deischer: yes, sorry, to strong word
    Wol Euler: like writing a diary, the purpose is to be able to look back and remember how you felt, how the exercises worked
    Wol Euler: in a way that our "in-head" memory often falsifies or condenses
    Wol Euler: taking most recent experiences to be most significant, or aggregating them into middle-values that leave out the highs and lows
    Wol Euler slaps herself and stops lecturing.
    Liza Deischer: if you not write them down,you mean
    Wol Euler: yes
    Liza Deischer: do you do that?
    Wol Euler: no :)
    Liza Deischer: because I'm very curious....
    Liza Deischer: oh ok
    Wol Euler: I have done, but on the whole I don't.
    Wol Euler: Adams did, perhaps still does. She started a blog, now defunct, to record them.
    Wol Euler: what are you curious about?
    Liza Deischer: what happens if you read them back
    Wol Euler smiles
    Liza Deischer: curious about the information you get
    Liza Deischer: and the difference with not doing so
    Liza Deischer: I never thought of writing something down
    Wol Euler: did you ever keep a diary?
    Liza Deischer: no
    Wol Euler: well, that is unusual, you're one of the very few people I've met who never ever did.
    Liza Deischer: well, I treid sometimes, but it's not my thing
    Liza Deischer: still I think it can work
    Calvino Rabeni: The writing is one of many possible practices to increase self-awareness
    Wol Euler: when you were trying, did you read back what you had written?
    Calvino Rabeni: You could try other things
    Wol Euler: (nods to calvino)
    Liza Deischer: not really
    Liza Deischer: I do write a lot though
    Liza Deischer: but not a diary

    I try to answer from my own experience. 

    Wol Euler: the information you get is indeed self-awareness, and a measure of encouragement
    Liza Deischer: that's different
    Liza Deischer: at least I think
    Wol Euler: probably:)
    Wol Euler: at my level of practice, I am constantly struggling against myself and the world
    Wol Euler: can't concentrate, can't focus on my breathing, thoughts always running away etc
    Wol Euler: this can get depressing, can make you think that you're "doing it wrong"
    Liza Deischer: with yourself or against yourself :-)
    Wol Euler: both :)
    Liza Deischer: ah, yes, I understand
    Wol Euler: my laziness, my boss on the phone …
    Wol Euler: if that happens say four times in a row, you think "well, maybe this is not for me" and might quit
    Wol Euler: but if you have notes to look back on, you can see that this happened before, and you came through it.
    Wol Euler: that after a week of struggle, you had nearly a month of comfort and ease, when it all came to you
    Wol Euler: and so you keep on.
    Calvino Rabeni: Some people journal for self-expression, whereas what you're referring to Wol, is journaling for objectivity
    Wol Euler: my introduction to meditation was on a website run by a friend in the US, we meditated each day and posted as comments what we felt/thought/did/struggled with
    Wol Euler: yes, exactly
    Wol Euler: it was a great encouragement to me to see that others whom I thought of as greatly experienced, also sometimes struggled as I did!
    Liza Deischer: that's an important difference what you say cal
    Calvino Rabeni: Reality check.
    Liza Deischer: I think the struggling parts are the most important


    Wol Euler: so do I, now :)
    Liza Deischer: True Wol
    Liza Deischer: If you start it can be pretty depressing

    Calvino introduces Lojong, a term that I hadn't heard before, though Wikipedia suggests parallels with many of Stim's and Pema's suggestions in the group: "Lojong … is a practice in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition based on a set of proverbs formulated in Tibet in the 12th century by Geshe Chekhawa. The practice involves refining and purifying one's intent and way of thinking.

    "The fifty-nine or so proverbs that form the root text of the Lojong practice are designed as a set of antidotes to undesired mental habits, paranoia, and fixed ideas that cause suffering. They contain both Absolute Bodhicitta suggestions to expand one's viewpoint, such as Find the consciousness you had before you were born and Treat everything you perceive as a dream, and Relative Bodhicitta suggestions for relating to the world in a more constructive way, such as Be grateful to everyone or When everything goes wrong, treat disaster as a way to wake up."

    Calvino Rabeni: I've been enjoying the lojong proverbs from the WOK workshop - they speak about this practice, sometimes a struggle, to achieve self-awareness
    Wol Euler grins
    Liza Deischer: yes
    Wol Euler: that is the purpose of making notes after the Nines, as I understand it
    Wol Euler: it is a struggle, yes :)
    Wol Euler: poor little Mindfulness, surrounded on all sides by obstacles and distractions
    Liza Deischer: :-)
    Liza Deischer: well, i think an important part is not to judge yoursef
    Liza Deischer: but maybe that's the hardest part :-)
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes - from the lojong there is the following:
    Calvino Rabeni: Free yourself by first watching, then analyzing. / Understand your attachments, your aversions, and your indifference, and love them all. / Renew your commitment when you get up and before you go to sleep.
    Wol Euler nods.
    Wol Euler: that's very good, calvino.
    Calvino Rabeni: It doesn't say "watch and judge" :)
    Liza Deischer: yes
    Wol Euler: yes
    Liza Deischer: no :-)
    Liza Deischer: but judging is something that is so deeply anchored in our culture
    Wol Euler: we get twelve plus years of it in school and college ...
    Wol Euler: and our parents, bless them, hammer it in to us as well
    Liza Deischer: The Tibetans don't even have a word for guilt
    Wol Euler: O.O

    The Inner Critic. 

    Calvino Rabeni: Well, the tight loop of the "inner critic" is really, something separate from analytical thinking
    Liza Deischer: there the problem seems to be the other way around
    Liza Deischer: yes, it is
    Calvino Rabeni: That is "critical thinking" doesn't mean "I think it suck!"
    Wol Euler: right
    Calvino Rabeni: Critical thinking is about logic of objects, while vague negative moralizing is part of a different logic of self- debasement
    Wol Euler: indeed.
    Wol Euler: "hate the crime but love the criminal" to put it in Christian terms
    Calvino Rabeni: In fact, some therapies are about thinking more clearly and less emotionally about self, to unhook from that kind of panicked moralizer viewpoint
    Calvino Rabeni: There's an element of desperation in it
    Wol Euler: oh yes
    Calvino Rabeni: where someone has to be blamed
    Liza Deischer: I think that 'hate the crime but love the criminal' is not always understood in the right way
    Wol Euler: mmmm?
    Calvino Rabeni: Or sin / sinner, as it used to be called
    Liza Deischer: you can't look at the criminal and leaving out the crime
    Liza Deischer: that makes it hard
    Liza Deischer: but sin gives an opportunity to look a bit different to it
    Liza Deischer: if you translate it as 'something you still need to develop'
    Calvino Rabeni: You could call that viewpoint compassion also
    Wol Euler: yes
    Calvino Rabeni: A somewhat moral perspective takes these ideas, and the lojong, as about the development of compassion
    Calvino Rabeni: but you could also call it the development of an accurate view of reality
    Wol Euler smiles.
    Calvino Rabeni: a truer objectivism
    Liza Deischer: yes
    Calvino Rabeni: Or did I mean, objectivity ...
    Liza Deischer: but emotionally it is still hard to see the crime in the criminal


    Liza Deischer: what I mean is that getting objective, doesn't mean getting into your head
    Calvino Rabeni: Right, it means seeing with fewer attachments and biases, more flexibly, less automatically
    Wol Euler nods.
    Liza Deischer: yes
    Liza Deischer: bu it is not always easy to see the difference :-)
    Calvino Rabeni: seeing without getting emotionally triggered into a limited perspective
    Calvino Rabeni: The difference is, can you experience your awareness contracting...
    Wol Euler: to be able to say "that went badly" without automatically following it with "I am such a fool"
    Liza Deischer: because sometimes you can be numb to certain feelings
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, the first case will admit a lot more knowledge than the second
    Liza Deischer: thinking they are not there and feeling it as objectivity
    Liza Deischer: being objective
    Liza Deischer: yes
    Calvino Rabeni: I mean knowledge as the combined awareness of body/mind/spirit in response to situations
    Calvino Rabeni: not just intellectual thinking
    Calvino Rabeni: the numbness is a limitation on that knowledge
    Liza Deischer: yes
    Liza Deischer: but I try to close in on it a bit
    Calvino Rabeni: that one should assume, has a protective function
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, that's worthwhile, done gently
    Liza Deischer: intellectually it is 'easy' to understand
    Liza Deischer: true
    Liza Deischer: but how to do it?
    Wol Euler: ah :)
    Liza Deischer: how do you get close to your inner judgemental side
    Calvino Rabeni: A graceful approach is suggested by the lojong proverb "do not strike at the heart"
    Liza Deischer: I have ideas about that
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes?
    Liza Deischer: but I think it is an important question
    Wol Euler: it is!
    Calvino Rabeni: Draw it out ?
    Liza Deischer: yes, but that is not for discussion
    Wol Euler: ah :)
    Liza Deischer: I'm afraid
    Liza Deischer: you need to get to the experience itself
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes
    Liza Deischer: maybe it would be nice some time to discuss an experience like that
    Liza Deischer: getting a bit closer

    We are joined by an enormous plague rat.

    Wol Euler: hello milos
    Milos Leidesdorff: Hello
    Liza Deischer: hi milos
    Wol Euler: wow, rezzed in 2006, an oldie.
    Liza Deischer: :-)
    Milos Leidesdorff: Who, me?
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Liza Deischer: there is no time left to do it now
    Wol Euler: another day, perhaps, Liza?
    Liza Deischer: yes, but how does it sounds
    Calvino Rabeni: It is worthwhile, go for it sometime
    Milos Leidesdorff: How do you see when someone rezzed?
    Wol Euler: right-click on them and check their profile
    Wol Euler: take a seat, join us
    Liza Deischer: i can get called away any time now
    Wol Euler: ah pity, but the hour is nearly up
    Liza Deischer: yes
    Wol Euler: Milos, that notecard gives you a brief overview of the group Play as Being
    Wol Euler: we also have a website, http://playasbeing.wik.is/
    Milos Leidesdorff: I'm just reading over it now
    Wol Euler: we publish the minutes of htese meetings on our website. May we have your permission to include your SL name and comments in the published record?
    Milos Leidesdorff: Of course, naturally.
    Wol Euler: ty


    Wol Euler reads back.
    Milos Leidesdorff: So, what;s up everyone?
    Wol Euler: well, we were talking about objectivity and being observant without judging
    Milos Leidesdorff: That's certainly a difficult path.
    Liza Deischer: you're familiar with meditation milos?
    Milos Leidesdorff: I am familiar with it, yes,
    Wol Euler: do you have a practice?
    Milos Leidesdorff: No, I am a skeptic and a science oriented infividual.
    Wol Euler: one can meditate without rejecting science.
    Wol Euler: we are not a *religious* group.
    Milos Leidesdorff: Certainly, hence why I said I am familirar with meditation.
    Milos Leidesdorff: I simply have no need for it, and have no practice.
    Liza Deischer: we were discussing getting more objectivity through meditation or other practices
    Milos Leidesdorff: Ah, I see.
    Milos Leidesdorff: I won't derail your discussion, then.
    Wol Euler: no worries
    Liza Deischer: well,we were getting more or less to the end of it
    Wol Euler: actually, I must be going. Work calls.
    Wol Euler: I've claimed the session, please continue.
    Liza Deischer: yes, well I, going too
    Liza Deischer: see you wol
    Wol Euler: bye for now. Take care, be happy and productive, and objective :)
    Liza Deischer: we will :-)
    Milos Leidesdorff: Well, nice speaking with you all, as short as it has been
    Calvino Rabeni: Likewise Milos
    Wol Euler: nice meeting you, Milos, come back any time. Though the times of 1am 7am 1pm 7pm would be best :)
    Milos Leidesdorff: What time zone? If you don't mind my asking
    Calvino Rabeni: That is SLT, but the group is international
    Liza Deischer: nice meeting you milos
    Calvino Rabeni: 4 x per day, different people
    Liza Deischer: see you
    Liza Deischer: bfn
    Calvino Rabeni: I've got to go also, see you later
    Milos Leidesdorff: Take care, both of you. Nice to meet you as well.
    Calvino Rabeni: bye

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