2010.04.08 19:00 - Learning How to Read TSK

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Paradise Tennant. The comments are by Calvino, Pema, Stevenaia

    Paradise Tennant: hiya cal ..how are you tonight :)
    Calvino Rabeni: FIne as it goes
    Paradise Tennant: smiles
    Calvino Rabeni: Do you know the initials, dread of all US citizens - IRS?
    Paradise Tennant: lol
    Paradise Tennant: yes
    Calvino Rabeni: I wonder how it works in Canada, comparatively
    Paradise Tennant: far more punitive
    Paradise Tennant: we work until sometime in July before we actually start earning money that does not go to the gov't in some form of tax
    Calvino Rabeni: And what does that money buy?
    Calvino Rabeni: Not military misadventures?
    Paradise Tennant: the lovely freedom of being able to walk my dog ant any time of night
    Paradise Tennant: mostly health care .. lots of income redistribution .. extensive social safety net
    Paradise Tennant: so not the extremes in have and have nots
    Paradise Tennant: the haves get really taxed here
    Paradise Tennant: hiya hiram welcome
    Hiram Hafner: Hi
    Paradise Tennant: have you been to playasbeing before
    Hiram Hafner: no
    Paradise Tennant: here is a notecard that explains it a bit ... we basically meet 4 times a day to explore reality .. from all angles :)
    Paradise Tennant: these talks are recorded and posted on a wiki page .. do you have any issue with that?
    Paradise Tennant: smiles
    Paradise Tennant: did you have a topic cal ..you wanted to explore that was not taxes .. maybe death if we want to stick with the certain stuff :)
    Calvino Rabeni: What seems missing in the tax story, is that the gov. would take pains to justify the confiscation of such a large share of earnings
    Calvino Rabeni: For instance, by a really convincing "Your Tax Dollars At Work" presentation each year
    Paradise Tennant: smiles
    Calvino Rabeni: And maybe a blowout party
    Paradise Tennant: lol vote for the blowout party
    Calvino Rabeni: So, dollars saved by careful health care spending could go into the Party Fund
    Paradise Tennant: yes!
    Calvino Rabeni: Which everyone would look forward to each year
    Paradise Tennant: fun is the best medicine anyways
    Calvino Rabeni: In the next "pause" I will "drop" a 26 inch monitor containing tax information. :)
    Paradise Tennant: lol
    Paradise Tennant: no
    Paradise Tennant: smiles
    Paradise Tennant: there is a certain .. joy to filling out forms and doing arithmetic .. I always hate starting my taxes but by the end of it I always wonder why I resist
    Calvino Rabeni: I have indeed, that same experience
    Paradise Tennant: eerrrrr that might be because I always get $ back
    Calvino Rabeni: Or, I get the illusion of the world being set in order
    Paradise Tennant: yes
    Paradise Tennant: something so unsettling about them not being doen
    Paradise Tennant: done
    Paradise Tennant: smiles
    Paradise Tennant: waits for the monitor to drop
    Paradise Tennant: hoping your going to turn your sound on :)
    Paradise Tennant: have you read tsk cal
    Paradise Tennant: I just ordered it on amazon
    Paradise Tennant: have not read it
    Calvino Rabeni: The Kira TSK workshop just ended - we / they worked thru at a rapid pace, once chapter per week
    Calvino Rabeni: Pema seems to almost know it "by heart"
    Paradise Tennant: was so sorry .. i missed that series
    Paradise Tennant: hiya steve
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello
    Calvino Rabeni: Hi Stevenaia
    stevenaia Michinaga: I read the recent theme session with Maxine and Pema
    stevenaia Michinaga: perked my interest
    Paradise Tennant: yes mine too
    Paradise Tennant: smiles
    Paradise Tennant: sounds like the kind of book you have to read many many many times
    Paradise Tennant: lots of layers
    Calvino Rabeni: It was a voice workshop, therefore no chat logs - but if there were, I'd recommend reviewing anything about "how to read this book"
    stevenaia Michinaga: nice to be able to revisit the sessions on the Wiki
    Paradise Tennant: how do you read that book?
    Calvino Rabeni: Not like a "normal" book :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: nods, Was speaking about the recent theme session, not the wrkshop
    Calvino Rabeni: Whatever you do there - don't do that :)
    Calvino Rabeni: OK, I tease a little - but there was a lot of discussion
    stevenaia Michinaga: can you tell us your impressions Cal?
    Calvino Rabeni: not to treat the book as information to be understood, or as if it were and essay or a series of "thesis topics"
    Calvino Rabeni: People stated - read in a really relaxed way, not trying to push or pace, taking time, not trying to "get it" sequentially
    Paradise Tennant: so gradually absorb
    Calvino Rabeni: Basically, the idea is to let it evoke some understanding that is less focused and localized than the rational mind with its conceptual spotlight
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, more like reading poetry, let it soak in, let it activate whatever it does
    Calvino Rabeni: And let that activation occur - follow it up, muse on it
    stevenaia Michinaga: so it reads like poetry?
    Calvino Rabeni: No, that's a hangup, perhaps, in my opinion
    Calvino Rabeni: It might have the style of a rational exposition
    Calvino Rabeni: but the idea is to read it with a poetic sensibility in spite of that
    Calvino Rabeni: Know what I mean? You can read prose "as" poetry
    Calvino Rabeni: but it takes relaxing the training of how to read different kinds of text
    Calvino Rabeni: The book has different levels
    Calvino Rabeni: To read it as poetry, is to read while observing the amorphous and feeling level things it evokes within oneself
    stevenaia Michinaga: It must have been a feat for Stim to give a voice that complex a teacher
    stevenaia Michinaga: for, rather
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes the SK series had different writers
    stevenaia Michinaga: hi Pema
    Pema Pera: Hi Paradise, Calvino, Steve!
    Calvino Rabeni: Hi Pema, we were just talking about the TSK book and the ideas that came about how to read it effectively
    Paradise Tennant: was thinking of a book called "on a blue day" about how someone can percieve large numbers and how they react as landscapes
    Pema Pera: I guess you summoned me from the deep!
    Paradise Tennant: which shows how subjective our senses are
    Calvino Rabeni: It appears so Pema, I was just having that fantasy
    Paradise Tennant: smiles hi pema
    Paradise Tennant: cal has been instructing us on how to read tsk
    Pema Pera: reading the TSK book is an interesting challenge, what did you recommend, Calvino?
    Calvino Rabeni: Personal impressions actually, and I think, what I remember of what class participants said
    Pema Pera: it looks like prose, it tastes like poetry, it feels like a jack hammer sometimes :-)
    Paradise Tennant: smiles wow
    Pema Pera: and sometimes like a feathered bed
    stevenaia Michinaga: was it Stim who gave it a voice that complex?
    Pema Pera: he wrote that first book yes, based on many taped conversations with Tarthang Tulku, and then of course going over the text many times with Tarthang Tulku
    Paradise Tennant: smiles
    Pema Pera: so it was a collaborative process in that sense, though the inspiration for the composition came largely from Tarthang Tulku as I understand it
    Pema Pera: But Steven with his philosophy of science could give a voice to it that a recently immigrated Tibetan could never have done
    Paradise Tennant: yes
    Pema Pera: and Steven had progressed sufficiently in the few years that he had studied with Tarthang Tulku to have had enough experience himself to know what he was writing about
    Paradise Tennant: knowing it as you do .. what comes to your mind most ...when you think about it
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Pema Pera: so much . . . it really has become part of my life, because it fitted so well with what I had been looking for during the ten years before I found it
    Calvino Rabeni: I think theres a style of "Stim" in the text
    Pema Pera: from age 17 to 27 I had been looking for ways to integrate, or better find an already existing unity of, science and religion
    Pema Pera: and that book was the very first that gave me a glimmer of real hope that it could be done
    Pema Pera: nothing else went deep enough
    Pema Pera: nothing else was radical enough
    Pema Pera: true to the rigorous quality control of physics AND contemplative traditions
    Calvino Rabeni: That must have been heartening
    Pema Pera: yes, very much so. That was in 1980 that the book found me :-)
    Pema Pera: I found Steven 16 year later in Berkeley . . .
    Paradise Tennant: steven wrote the book in 1980?
    stevenaia Michinaga: he must have been quite young
    Pema Pera: no, a few years earlier; I met the book in September 1980
    Pema Pera: yes, late twenties
    Pema Pera: (just read the notecard that Calvino gave me, of what was discussed just before I came -- yes, reading prose like poetry, as Calvino expressed it, is one important aspect)
    Calvino Rabeni: I wanted to make a comment about the "dropping" practice I haven't heard here before - about its inner structure - sometimes the effects of what my mind does during that 90 seconds initiate a process that continues to unfold slowly throughout the rest of the session.
    Pema Pera: that's very nice, Calvino!
    Pema Pera: yes, a little tear in our veils can keep unraveling more and more of its surroundings
    Pema Pera: we all have so many of them . . . . .
    Calvino Rabeni: The reason I think it deserves saying, is I think there's a tacit assumption that what you do with the mind only affects what is happening during the time attention is being controlled
    Calvino Rabeni: but it seems to go much beyond that
    Pema Pera: one moment of jealousy can spoil your whole day (and that of others) . . . :-)
    Pema Pera: (or envy, still haven't learned the distiction)
    Pema Pera: (same word in Dutch)
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes OTOH I was reading an old blog by Stim about whether the short focus "9-sec" could have any effect
    Calvino Rabeni: because it is so brief. This is a rationale for "Yes!"
    Paradise Tennant: smiles at pema .. how language shapes concepts .. rather than the reverse sometimes
    Calvino Rabeni: Good distinction, envy vs jealousy, Pema
    stevenaia Michinaga: I was thinking outloud on those lines last night (since I was aalone at my session after bleu left..... whatever you reflect on, or learned, you always can take with you
    Pema Pera: I'm not good at it, Calvino!
    Pema Pera: and sometimes it takes you with it :-)
    stevenaia Michinaga: (thinking positive thoughts, of course)
    Pema Pera: (Calvino was refering to Stim's short-live blog two years ago, at the start of PaB: http://flipp6er.wordpress.com/)
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, that one
    Pema Pera: you see how turbulent and amazing the beginning period of PaB was, that we even got Stim to start writing a blog, hehehe
    Pema Pera: (for a while)
    Calvino Rabeni: English doesn't have a word for "shadenfreude" for instance - many languages contribute to the rich vocabulary of emotions
    Calvino Rabeni: RIght, there was creativity in the air, it appeared to be electric
    Pema Pera: yes, or "nikutarashii" in Japanese -- which means that you're really annoyed at someone, but can't express it since on the face of it you can't find a handle to express your displeasure
    Calvino Rabeni: Oops - great discussion but I must depart for dinner - I'll catch the log later
    Calvino Rabeni: Bye all :)
    Pema Pera: bye Calvino!
    Paradise Tennant: nite cal thank you
    stevenaia Michinaga: night Cal
    Paradise Tennant: smiles .. have you ever studied under Steven's teacher .. tarthang
    Pema Pera: I've met him several times
    Pema Pera: a very impressive character!
    Paradise Tennant: he has coauthored many other texts ?
    Pema Pera: yes indeed
    Pema Pera: mostly about Tibetan Buddhism, as well as Buddhism in general
    stevenaia Michinaga: there seems to be a few
    stevenaia Michinaga: http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&rh=i...20Tulku&page=1
    Paradise Tennant: the understanding the underlies .. tsk .. arose from ..
    Paradise Tennant: *that
    Pema Pera: an interesting question, Paradise
    stevenaia Michinaga: :)
    Pema Pera: I don't know the answer
    Pema Pera: or even whether there is an answer
    Paradise Tennant: well if these ideas emerged from Tarthang .. ..where did he get them ? he is a tulku ?
    Pema Pera: the idea emerged, yes, but who knows where exactly, and in what kind of interaction between Tharthang Tulku and Steven and who knows what context in which they were working together
    Paradise Tennant: it was a blending of perspective
    Pema Pera: Here is a snipped from the preface to the book:
    Pema Pera: As I became more familiar with Western concepts, particularly with those found in the sciences, I saw the possibility of a visionary medium through which a common ground could be found in the pursuits of knowledge carried out by the various sciences and religions. Such a ground could serve to increase each group's appreciation for the other, and could thus even facilitate the quest for knowledge itself. This presentation is, then, not intended to be a presentation of traditional Buddhist thought; it does not belong under the heading of any specific philosophy or religion. It may, however, help to clarify some of the issues of traditional meditative techniques. Soon after I conceived of presenting this vision in the form of a book, Steven Tainer, who has been my student for seven years, began working closely with me as I expressed the details of this vision. His familiarity with philosophy, as well as with presenting concepts which are not within the usual range of either ordinary language or philosophy,
    Pema Pera: Over three thousand pages of an oral presentation of the vision were transcribed as a basis for the original manuscript. Through an exacting process which entailed a series of writings and rewritings, checking each line and phrase, we have finally managed to render these pages in their present form. During various stages of this process many friends and colleagues read the manuscript, and their valuable suggestions were incorporated into the final version. This is truly a work created from the patience and devotion of many good friends.
    stevenaia Michinaga: a wonderful appriciation of collabration
    Pema Pera: Poetry is the language of most visions, and perhaps more of the quality usually associated with visions would have come through by presenting this book in poetic form. However, the language of poetry is elusive, and is not suited for some of the points which I wished to present -- points which bear on modern scientific and philosophic disciplines. Thus, the general language and style of philosophy seemed most appropriate for this initial presentation; it allows the possibility of presenting a vision which begins on the level of reason and analysis, and then grows and opens within itself. Such a rational, systematic investigation can contribute to a meditative exploration, and is actually essential if we are to appreciate our full value as human beings.
    Pema Pera: and here is a last quote:
    Pema Pera: An integrated, natural intelligence, unfragmented into reason, emotions, sensations, and intuition, is our greatest treasure, and our key to progress. Exploring our realm of experience with such an intelligence can be an inspiring undertaking. If, for instance, such an open intelligence is brought into play in reading this book, even the reading and thinking process itself can become a visionary path. Through integrating a theoretical approach with one which is more experiential, we can actually begin to change our lives.
    Paradise Tennant: similar to the descriptions I have heard of " buddha mind"
    Pema Pera: :)
    Pema Pera: but the interesting thing is that the word Buddha or Buddhism is never mentioned
    Pema Pera: and really, it is not a Buddhist book, it fits with all traditions
    Pema Pera: and science and philosophy
    Paradise Tennant: well only a label not the reality
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: there are no rituals, no vows, no talk of sangha . . .
    Paradise Tennant: but those are only the props on the path .. even the path falls away at some point
    Pema Pera: in fact no talk of beings at all, human or otherwise
    Paradise Tennant: nods
    Pema Pera: dawn is dawning . . . .
    stevenaia Michinaga: I'm off to bed,
    Pema Pera: . . . here in SL, that is :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: night Paradise and Pema
    Paradise Tennant: nite steve ..thank you :)
    Pema Pera: yes, time for me to get some sleep too
    Pema Pera: nite, both of you!
    Paradise Tennant: nite pema .. going to sit a while :) and ponder .. those quotes :) thanks !
    Pema Pera: yw, and thank you for another great conversation!

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