25-27 - Appreciation, Understanding, Acceptance

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    Corvi's scribing for June 25-27.


    The core of what I am thinking about this week is being present with what is this moment.  Not trying to see the future, or  understand the past, let go of "safe" and learn to breath through stress and fear.  I am not finding it easy.  

    To me, today here is what those three terms above mean. 

    Appreciation is seeing each thing, as clearly as I can, holding what is tenderly, valuing it as it is in this time and place and not longing for more of it or condemning it for being.

    Understanding is seeing how it relates to  other times and places and things including myself.

    Acceptance is appreciating and understanding and knowing that once I love what is in this time/place fully it will already be gone, and a new pattern will have emerged.


    2009.06.27 19:00 - What we Learn

    This was a rich session, I highly recommend reading it through.  It was tough to pick any one thread or quote.  I chose this one but could have chosen many other gems.  For instance, there is a glimpse into Pema's thinking that is quite interesting.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: appreciating has been hardest for me
    stevenaia Michinaga: appreciation begins with an open and quiet mind
    stevenaia Michinaga: much of what we go here opens  us to appreciation, like listening.
    Eliza Madrigal: What is most interesting is that everyone has their own language to describe similar concepts... we need to appreciate others' languages and that's a skill.
    This was a wonderful session, worth reading thoroughly.  This was a session presented by Sophiasharon and Wol on the subject of Allah. 
    My sense of this quote was that it quite summed up what we are doing in PaB.  We are asking any where, any time....for grace.
    Hana Furlough: so how do we do this?
    sophia Placebo: do what hana ?
    Hana Furlough: oh i'm wondering how we access allah
    sophia Placebo: hana just ask him any where any time
    I got carried away with saving bits of this one...because I have been collecting meditation techniques from ya'll all year.  So this was a collector's dream....

    Yakuzza Lethecus: What kind of relaxation techniquest is everyone using maybe ?

    Yakuzza Lethecus: Like breathing, relaxing the tongue
    Yakuzza Lethecus: And there were techniques like breath the tension out of ur muscles..
    Scathach Rhiadra: I think it is a fairly common technique to deal with stress, to take a few deep breaths and then relax the tension while exhaling, breate the tension out as you said
    Scathach Rhiadra: another is to lie flat on your back, and starting from your feet, consciously relax the tension in each body part till you reach the top of your head
    Scathach Rhiadra: it can be astonishing how much tension we have in our faces, without being aware of it:)
    Nymf Hathaway: Pila suggested one to me its a Yoga practize, inhale fully and exhale in small fast pulses.... but I am still getting to learn it... not much of a teacher :(

    We then moved on to meditation techniques rather than just relaxation......

    SophiaSharon Larnia: because i use white noise instead of cd's/chants, and i think a fan at work triggered a meditative state the other day

    Scathach Rhiadra: may I ask, have you tried without it, just sitting with what ever is there with you?
    SophiaSharon Larnia: i have, like many, the mind wanders
    SophiaSharon Larnia: its a bad habit, am working on it :)

    This brought us to Shamatha; 'calm abiding' or 'tranquility' meditation, where the use of an object, following the breath, or a mantra can be used as a support to focus the mind......

    Scathach Rhiadra: no, using a support for meditation is a technique in shamatha meditation

    SophiaSharon Larnia: yes i just found this word last week, but what i have been doing is shamatha without vipashyana
    SophiaSharon Larnia: dozing i guess
    Scathach Rhiadra: shamatha is calm abiding, or stillness, you can start with supports, like using an object for concentration
    Scathach Rhiadra: or following the breath, counting your breaths
    Bertrum Quan: What types of objects are used?
    Scathach Rhiadra: usually something small. could be a pebble, flower, small image or statue.
    Scathach Rhiadra: but not to elaborate, the simpler the better
    Scathach Rhiadra: or you can find yourself getting lost in the object
    Bertrum Quan: So this is a kind of visualization?
    Scathach Rhiadra: well, the object is real, should be on the floor in front of you
    Scathach Rhiadra: but the idea is to calm down the mind and find some presence with being with the object
    Bertrum Quan: Do you use such an object in your meditative practice?
    Scathach Rhiadra: occasionally, but that is only one phase, so to speak, of shamatha
    Scathach Rhiadra: you can move on to counting the breath, then just being with the breathing, if that makes sense
    Scathach Rhiadra: refinements of present awareness
    Bertrum Quan: Yes, I find the awareness of breathing to be helpful for me. But visualization techniques did not work for me.
    Scathach Rhiadra: I am not much good at visualation either, I sometimes think I have no imagination:)
    Bertrum Quan: I actually attended a RL sanga where their practice included the visualization of Tara. It seemed to work for them! But I found it frankly distracting.
    Bertrum Quan: On the other hand, the chanting did produce a level of relaxation.
    Scathach Rhiadra: mmm, chanting seems to make a good background support
    Bertrum Quan: Its the repetitions... it takes you of out of the every-day noise and helps create a way to focus on awareness...
    I've extracted the organic beginning of an interesting session:
    Scathach Rhiadra: and how are you?
    sophia Placebo: alive :) so far
    Wol Euler smiles. That's about all any of us can say with certainty.
    Sunfire Langer: really, I'm sure we could go further, Wol
    Wol Euler: we could describe the present in more detail, and the past with some certainty, but not the future
    Sunfire Langer: we could describe our present, from the position we see it, theres no doubt that we are experiencing
    Wol Euler: true; but is what we experience objectively "true"? is it what somebody standing beside us would also perceive?
    Sunfire Langer: difficult, it both would and not simultaneously, Wol
    Wol Euler: indeed.
    Wol Euler: that's a large part of the reasoning or intention behind meditation practices
    Wol Euler: to hope to reduce the distorting effect of what we expect or interpret or believe, on what is actually "out there"
    Michael Jackson is a rich source of learning for many people:
    Gaya Ethaniel: Jackson's appearances certainly indicated a lot of problems he was going through. I feel sorry that he was ridiculed about them.
    Nymf Hathaway: I fully agree... but thats humanity it seems... when someone is different he gets ridiculed
    Gaya Ethaniel: Perhaps others' misfortunes give opportunities to talk about stuff that people normally would feel reluctant.
    Nymf Hathaway: thinks you have a point here
    Gaya Ethaniel: Not that others' misfortunes are enjoyed ... I hope that is the case.
    Nymf Hathaway: well when you look into it closely you see that people do this when they do not understand... are uninformed about something....look at the witch hunting a couple of centuries ago
    Gaya Ethaniel nods.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Silly fears ... but quite real/serious to those who feel it.
    Nymf Hathaway: the unknown
    Gaya Ethaniel: ‘I don't understand it’ fears yes
    Gaya Ethaniel: In a way, acceptance by understanding is limited in this sense.
    Nymf Hathaway: tell me
    Gaya Ethaniel: Well ... habitual process of accepting things tend to be through understanding for me.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Given it is not possible to understand much, my scope of acceptance is pretty limited.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Acceptance is a big topic.

    I think I would have called this the Yin and Yang of place, as there is a detailed explanation of Yin and Yang and the Korean flag as well as this:

    Sylectra Darwin: Mold and tree pollens - NJ. Dust - Texas.
    Sylectra Darwin: Two things in my recent experience embody emptiness - the scrubby brush of the Texas hill country, and the Great Swamp in NJ.
    Sylectra Darwin: Everybody who understands yin and yang would chracterize the desert as yin (Texas) and the swamp as yang (NJ).
    Sylectra Darwin: But the swamp feels yin to me also.
    Pila Mulligan: Well, yin is receptive.
    Pila Mulligan: Swamps are quite fertile.
    Sylectra Darwin: It's like it's asleep, in a restful quiet state.
    Sylectra Darwin: it is very green, which is yang.
    Sylectra Darwin: but it is flat and still.

    Gaya recited a poem given by Pila to her.

    Gaya Ethaniel: A halo of light surrounds the world of the law. We forget one another, quiet and pure, altogether powerful and empty. The emptiness is irradiated by the light of the heart and of heaven. The water of the sea is smooth and mirrors the moon in its surface. The clouds disappear in blue space; the mountains shine clear. Consciousness reverts to contemplation; the moon-disk rests alone.

    Sylectra Darwin: Gaya, where did that wonderful quote come from?
    Pila Mulligan: The poem is named 'Empty Infinity' from Richard Wilhelm's translation of 'The Secret of the Golden Flower, a Chinese Book of Life'

    Shyama Sheryffe: are u all philosophers ?
    sophia Placebo: no im not
    Yakuzza Lethecus: me neither
    Yakuzza Lethecus: at least we are all no professionals :P
    Storm Nordwind: We're here Shyama to discuss our experiences with Play as Being. We attract some people who are philosophers - and many people who are not!
    Mickorod Renard: I am not,,but then,,what is the definition of philosopher?
    Shyama Sheryffe: lol, i like to hear thoughts of the whole process of life
    Mickorod Renard: I think if you enjoy asking questions then you could be classed as a philosopher
    Shyama Sheryffe: then ima a philosopher too..

    Eliza is quiet

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