2010.04.04 13:00 - Theme session #2: TSK

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

    This session was the second discussion between Pema and Maxine  on the theme of the experience of and meditations upon reading the book Time, Space and Knowledge.  There was uncertainty whether Pema  would be able to make the meeting due to his travel plans but he arrived just at the time, as the early discussion reveals.  Many things can occur during discussions, including the possibility that different 'voices' are expressed.  One wondering I had afterward was whether in the to and fro at some point, Maxine took the voice of the 'self encumbered by self' ' and Pema, the voice of the unencombered non-self, so to speak.  See what you think, dear reader...


    Maxine Walden: Ah, Pema, you made it!
    Riddle Sideways: whew out of breathe, ran all the way
    Pema Pera: yes, by the skin of my teeth :-)
    Maxine Walden: hi, Riddle!
    Riddle Sideways: how was your flight
    Maxine Walden: wow, just land, Pema? in SF?
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: no problems with the flight, but it took me half an hour of walking all around the airport to find an electric outlet
    Maxine Walden: oh, yes, I have had that problem as well, outlets in airports
    Maxine Walden: Glad you could find one
    Pema Pera: after picking up checked luggage, you are not allowed to get into the "green zone" secure area where all the outlet are . . . sigh
    Pema Pera: but finally found one!
    Maxine Walden: oh, my, had not been aware of that problem.
    Riddle Sideways: outlets are behind pillars with no seats and 3 people using already
    Pema Pera: ah, but *most* of those look like outlets but don't carry current, as I found out
    Pema Pera: only the fifth one did
    Riddle Sideways: tip: carry a small power spliter 3 outputs and make a friend
    Pema Pera: I do
    Pema Pera: tiny ones made in Japan :)
    Pema Pera: haven't seen those here
    Wester Kiranov: hi all
    Pema Pera: and yes, have made many friends that way :)
    Pema Pera: Shall we get started, Maxine?
    Maxine Walden: I was just thinking that, Pema
    Pema Pera: This is the second "Time, Space, Knowledge" theme meeting, using the title of a book by that name, that we have been studying weekly for the last half year.
    Maxine Walden: Shall we just remind that this is a theme session about the experience of having read the Time Space and Knowledge (TSK) book?
    Pema Pera: http://playasbeing.wik.is/index.php?title=Chat_Logs/2010/03/2010.03.31_07:00_-_Maxine_and_Pema_Share:_Time,_Space,_%26_Knowledge
    Pema Pera:
    was the first session in this series
    Pema Pera: See http://playasbeing.wik.is/PaB_Theme_Sessions for other theme sessions, in general
    Pema Pera: Do you have an angle to start from, Maxine?
    Liza Deischer didn't read it and forgot about the theme-session, is slipping away
    Maxine Walden: bye, Liza
    Liza Deischer: bye

    Some expressions of regret, not having read the book.

    Pema Pera: btw, there is no need to have read to book :-)
    Pema Pera: but of course it does help to have read it
    Pema Pera: to have more background
    Maxine Walden: well, Pema, have a couple of things I could say, but perhaps you have something you would like to mention? Either way is fine with me
    Pema Pera: but on the other hand, there is also the freshness of a first encounter
    Pema Pera: no, please go ahead Maxine!
    Maxine Walden: OK, just to remention that one of the profound things for me
    Maxine Walden: in the reading was the constant experience of being in the presence
    Maxine Walden: of a very wise person, the voice of the author and the language he used
    Maxine Walden: That 'presence' was very calming, very containing, as I recollect
    Maxine Walden: And contributes, I think to the experience of opening, trusting, unfolding, transforming...
    Maxine Walden: so wanted to mention that. And as well, it occurred to me
    Maxine Walden: as I was thinking of this second theme session,
    Maxine Walden: that for me in an ongoing way the sense of opening to TSK and the learning being offered
    Maxine Walden: suggested that one's experience of reality, and of the opening to the wider views and appreciations (getting lost in my sentence!! Just a moment)
    Maxine Walden: ...that one's evolving sense of appreciation of TSK pivots on the state of mind, the opening of one's mind, vs the narrow, defensive, pressured, focus on the minute...
    Maxine Walden: that the quality of attentiveness, guess that is really what I am trying to get at...
    Maxine Walden: the quality of attentiveness seems key to me re how open, how allowing, how receiving and appreciative one can be
    Maxine Walden: And this quality of attentiveness is not a contrived one from inside, but is one which naturally 'comes' in a relaxed, trusting, opening of oneself.
    Maxine Walden: But when I have been fatigued, etc, I seem less able to connect with that relaxed open attentiveness...
    Yakuzza Lethecus: ara! :)
    Pema Pera: Hi Arabella!
    Maxine Walden: hmm. let me pause for a moment...
    arabella Ella: Hiya Pema, everyone!
    Wester Kiranov: hi ara
    Pema Pera: yes, and the attentiveness seems to have an aspect of appreciation . . . .
    Pema Pera: not so much a grasping kind of attentiveness towards something in particular, but rather an appreciation of the whole scene, so to speak
    Maxine Walden: absolutely, Pema...think that is key...the appreciation which is a soft resonating openness
    Maxine Walden: getting past the 'self' with its agenda, and drive to possess, 'know' etc...and at times it seemed to take work to maintain the relaxed open aspect, as if the default position paradoxically was the 'self''s agenda
    Maxine Walden: Pema, with all the readings you have done, the default position is probably something other than the self's agenda?
    Maxine Walden: readings of TSK you have done...
    Pema Pera: what do you mean exactly with the "default position", Maxine?
    Maxine Walden: guess I mean the place one comes back to or sometimes begins from as one 'wakes' up in the morning...the place of least energy output...
    Pema Pera: yes, when we wake up, we first dress up our minds, with all its attachments and identifications, and then the body . . . :)
    Bleu Oleander: default as a metaphor for being maybe?
    Maxine Walden: being rather than Being...
    Pema Pera: dressing the mind typically takes less than a second or so, but we can learn to dwell longer in the open space between sleeping and waking
    Pema Pera: and yes, Being would be the ultimate and most radical form of openness, beyond all dualities
    Maxine Walden: dwelling in that twilight place perhaps?
    Pema Pera: Maxine, how does that compare with your work, your practice?

    Thinking that Maxine is a bit stuck on states of mind, but maybe states of self here

    Maxine Walden: Not sure, Pema, if you would agree, but I have been wondering whether the 'reality' we perceive, the T,S, and K that we can open to, really pivots on the nature of our appreciation, our attentiveness...that the lens of our perception 'creates' the reality of our moment
    Maxine Walden: of each moment...
    Pema Pera: well, the "us" in there is of course a very tricky aspect of such a way of viewing the world
    Pema Pera: "we" strictly speaking, cannot open to T, S, K; more accurately T, S, K can appreciate their own dance
    Pema Pera: their own show, which include a kind of appearance of "us" :)
    Pema Pera: and we tend to then want to "own" what happens, transform it down to a small level that the ego can handle
    Pema Pera: (and by the way, everybody should feel free to join in with the discussion!)
    Maxine Walden: yes, yes, appreciate that the language I am using seems ego-centric, and that is not really what I am trying to focus on, but it is interesting that that is how it is coming out. So maybe I can pause for a moment, and see if something more clearly comes to mind
    Bleu Oleander: could you elaborate on "t,s,k can appreciate their own dance"?
    Wester Kiranov: hi bert
    Bertram Jacobus: ... (only whisper : hello all) ...
    arabella Ella: Hiya Bertram, Micko
    Pema Pera: yes, I know, Maxine, we all have little choice but to use terms like I and me and self, since that is how our language is structured; as long as we remind ourselves constantly of that problem, we can try to look through the words in order to get a taste of what a non-self view, a non-self-centered awareness can be like.
    Wester Kiranov: hey mickey
    Pema Pera: Bleu, not sure how to elaborate :-)
    Wol Euler: hello all
    Wester Kiranov: hi wol
    arabella Ella: Hiya Wol
    Mickorod Renard: Hiya folks
    Maxine Walden: right, Pema
    Pema Pera: it's a different feeling, a different sense . . .
    Pema Pera: like while bicycling and letting the bicycling do the bicycling
    Maxine Walden: perhaps whiffs of that wisdom which allows that de-centering from the 'self'
    Pema Pera: or letting the walking or talking doing itself, rather than me doing it
    Pema Pera: and even though I may seem to use Buddhist terms, similar ideas abound elsewhere
    Pema Pera: often more couched in terms of devotion
    Pema Pera: letting go of concern of self, surrendering
    Riddle Sideways: not sure if you went afield or drifted, but I heard Maxine appreciating the open attentive wideness in and needed to read TSK
    Bleu Oleander: ty
    Pema Pera: yes, Riddle?
    Pema Pera: we tend to fall out of that openness often, centralizing on our own sense of self as the doer
    Pema Pera: the experiencer
    Pema Pera: but by noticing that, it can be easier to regain the openness
    Pema Pera: it's like an oscillation, breathing
    Maxine Walden: think that as I was trying to appreciate the capacity to appreciate, as it were, I could be seen as the 'owner' or the act of appreciation, when I was trying to appreciate/describe the quality of the experience...not sure if that is clarifying or a further tangle
    Maxine Walden: 'owner' of the act...
    Pema Pera: yes, and at least speaking for myself, I know that I always fall back from the openness to a more narrow position -- the challenge is then to not stay there, but to "bounce" back sooner or later
    Pema Pera: insofar as I feel that I'm learning, I can say that the periods to bounce back have become shorter and shorter, from months to minutes :) -- that's one thing
    Pema Pera: the other thing is that even while having falling out of it, so to speak, I also know that I can't really fall out of it
    Wester Kiranov: hi qt
    Qt Core: hi all
    Maxine Walden: the qualities of devotion, surrender, opening...as wonderous as they are seem to recede when fatigue or preoccupation or daily events intercede
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Qt
    Pema Pera: and it feels more like being engrossed in a movie while still knowing full well it ain't really real.
    Maxine Walden: yes, having that backdrop of the fuller opening to TSK, that remains in the background even when the falling out from the openness is more prominent
    Pema Pera: trying to reach openness is somewhat of a contradiction . . . allowing a sense of tiredness and seemingly non-openness in fact invites openness quite well :-)
    Pema Pera: but it all feeds upon itself: taking a single deep breath invites more openness, let's a smile break through, make you remember other times when you could were things more lightly, etc etc . . . it snowballs!
    Maxine Walden: can do, Pema, being open to one's fatigue, so to speak, unless one becomes impatient with that fatigue...closes down to one's whole self
    Pema Pera: yes, exactly
    Pema Pera: openness is an engine that can run on any fuel !
    Maxine Walden: yes, yes...
    Pema Pera: we can be open for our own anger
    Pema Pera: our doubts
    Pema Pera: our ennoyances
    Pema Pera: inviting them even :)
    Maxine Walden: it is the acceptance, of all our aspects...doubts, angers, warts, as it were...and maybe TSK is more open, patient, accepting that we are ourselves much of the time
    Maxine Walden: maybe that is a kind of default position....my limited acceptance of all my 'warts' much of the time
    Wester Kiranov: :)
    Pema Pera: accepting by dropping the very notion of "ourselves" . . .
    Maxine Walden: hmm, yes
    Pema Pera: so the warts are just interesting phenomena, curious warts, no longer "my warts"!
    Maxine Walden: that is one of the wonderful thing...the opening of the surfaces. so that 'my' warts doe lose that sense of 'me-ness' which is so relieving...worry falling away...
    Calvino Rabeni: A lot of the small "self" seems defined by opposition to experience
    Maxine Walden: agree, Cal
    Maxine Walden: (wondering if Pema and I are in this sort of dancing discussion illustrating the to and fro of the 'small' self and the more open self-free aspects
    Riddle Sideways: it looked it to us
    Pema Pera: :)
    Pema Pera: can you see more, Riddle?
    Pema Pera: *say
    Riddle Sideways: no, well ok. You both have a push/pull about you today
    Riddle Sideways: leading /following
    Riddle Sideways: dancing to a book I have not read
    Wol Euler: like a binary pair of stars orbiting around a middlepoint, neither leading and neither following :)
    Bertram Jacobus: nice "picture" ...
    Wester Kiranov: I think this book is just one possible pointer to that no-thing there are no words for
    Pema Pera: sure!
    Pema Pera: it happens to be a contemporary version, refreshingly different from the many traditional books that use language from a different time and place than our own
    Pema Pera: but the basic point of the book is the switch from having to being
    Pema Pera: which is a very simple point
    Maxine Walden: Wol's image of the binary stars orbiting around a mid-point is very interesting to me, as I think there is a center of gravity re TSK which for me seems at times very gravitational, and at other times elusive...so I can feel a persona push and pull...thanks, Wol, for that image
    Pema Pera: Perhaps what Maxine and I can do, together with Wester and Cal and Yaku and Bleu and others who were at some or more TSK readings, is to give you a "tourist's impression"
    Pema Pera: like the way we talked about the Malta retreat
    Pema Pera: which I hope was interesting also for those who weren't there
    arabella Ella: sounds like a good idea to me
    arabella Ella: :)
    Wol Euler nods.
    Pema Pera: so if you have any "tourist's questions", please fire away :)
    Bleu Oleander (still considers herself a tourist)
    Maxine Walden: me too, bleu
    Riddle Sideways: tourist ques: If I were to go there someday... what is the one place I 'must' visit
    arabella Ella: ok you said 'a switch from having to being' ... and 'having knowledge' may not therefore be such a good thing? Could you elaborate please about 'having knowledge'?
    Pema Pera: where you are, but seen in a different light perhaps
    Pema Pera: yes, dropping knowledge is a better way to start . . . .
    Pema Pera: (to Riddle, and to Ara, respectively)
    Pema Pera: we know too much already, or think we do . . .
    arabella Ella: do we?
    Wester Kiranov: knowledge is always there, and if you try to own it it will run away (@ara)
    Pema Pera: we think we know we have a self, for example, etc etc
    Calvino Rabeni: @riddle, a place to visit - You must visit the place where knowledge is seen from a place of knowing-ness or "already" rather than acquiring information.
    Maxine Walden: to be alert to the anxiety about grasping, or trying to seize the good stuff, the Knowledge...for that forcloses the openness, the appreication of quiet, present knowingness as Great Knowledge
    arabella Ella: but ... excuse the 'tourist question' ... are we not trying to 'know more' by being here? so is there not a paradox?
    Wester Kiranov: there are loads of seeming paradoxes
    Pema Pera: there are paradoxes, always, when we try to capture insight into words
    Pema Pera: yes
    Maxine Walden: awe in the presence of a quiet, uncontrived knowingness
    Pema Pera: not "our knowingness"
    Pema Pera: something else, more like inspiration, creativity, in that direction
    Pema Pera: spontaneity
    Maxine Walden: For the the paradox is also in the limitation of our language...we just don't have words to convey the presence of this knowingness, we tend to relate to 'our knowing' in our language, our questing even to open to TSK
    Calvino Rabeni: So paradoxes are an opportunity, not a frustration, yes/no? :)
    arabella Ella: one thing that comes to mind is this ... our 'knowing' allows us to ask pertinent and critical questions (tourist questions too?) rather than following blindly like sheep with no brains ... and of avoiding the control of our minds by others
    Pema Pera: very much so, I'd say, Cal
    Maxine Walden: yes, Cal...:)
    Pema Pera: oh yes, Ara!
    Wester Kiranov: I'd say tourist questions especially
    Maxine Walden: yes, Ara, very nice point
    Pema Pera: but if we are not willing to then drop that knowing, we an only add knowledge
    Pema Pera: and our touristy backpacks then become very very heavy . . . .
    Wester Kiranov: because if you think you know what a place is like you tend to stop looking
    Maxine Walden: agree, Wester
    Pema Pera: I have to get up and start looking for my place, in fact, in RL :)
    Pema Pera: am still at the airport of San Francisco
    Pema Pera: thanks for a fun conversation, Maxine and everybody!
    Maxine Walden: so hard to trust that just being open will allow more access to this quiet treasure of knowingness; so for me when I am not in that trusting place I tend to add the baggage of knowledge
    Pema Pera: yes
    Maxine Walden: thanks, Pema...yes, so glad we could have this talk, this theme session
    Mickorod Renard: bye Pema
    Bleu Oleander: bye Pema
    Wol Euler: bye pema, take care
    Wester Kiranov: ty pema
    Bertram Jacobus: bye pema ...
    Qt Core: bye pema
    Pema Pera: see you all soon again!
    arabella Ella: thanks Pema lovely to c u here again!
    Riddle Sideways: bye and thanks pema
    Maxine Walden: yes, and I should go too soon but I can stay a few minutes longer
    Wester Kiranov: RL is starting to ask for my full attention too :-)
    Riddle Sideways: It all seems to echo what Pema asked in the beginnging of PaB.
    Riddle Sideways: "who are you"
    arabella Ella: i would like to discuss this concept of dropping knowledge a bit more but it could wait for the next session
    Riddle Sideways: not "what do you have/know"
    Calvino Rabeni: It is a rich one arabella, good idea
    Maxine Walden: Maybe we could continue this discussion, if you like next Sunday 1pm? These questions Ara, Riddle and others are posing?
    Wol Euler: good idea
    Maxine Walden: I could see if Pema could come
    Wester Kiranov: I'd like that
    arabella Ella: yes please
    Bleu Oleander: great plan
    Riddle Sideways: ok
    Maxine Walden: good, I will check with him. Great discussion...

    The recording continued for awhile into more private conversations which we are deleting out of respect for that privacy.
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