2008.11.04 13:00 - Dialogue Part I Pema & Stim

    Table of contents
    No headers

    The Guardian this Session was genesis Zhangsun, the comments below are hers. 

    Pema sent out this email earlier this day announcing a different format for the Guardian sessions.  I thought it useful to provide context for the dialogue for those who had not read the email.

    Dear All,

    For quite a while, we have talked about using a dialogue format, for some of our PaB sessions.  The idea was to let two or three people form a small panel to talk about a specific idea, for the first half hour of a session, and then to through it open for questions and comments by anyone who likes, in the usual way we hold sessions, during the second half hour.

    Now that we are in a week of innovation, with the four new guardian meetings each week (I'll send a report later today), and the move to the new pavilion, we thought we may as well try out this new dialogue idea, so . . . here goes!

    Today, at 1 pm SLT, a few hours from now, we'll make our first attempt, as an experiment, to see how it will go.  We'll be using text, as usual, so if you can't make it, you can read the text later on our wiki.  We will start with Stim and me talking about three notions of Being.  Here is a summary of our theme:

      Three Notions of Being: a dialogue; Nov. 4, 2008, 1 pm SLT

                    by Pema Pera and Stim Morane

      So far, in Play as Being, we have used the notion of "Being" in a few different ways:

    1) when we start with our usual understanding of who we are and what the world is we find ourselves in, we can look at something wider, more open, more basic, and call that Being.  One way to get more in touch with that form of Being is to drop what you have to see what you are, in order to discover more of Being.  There are many expressions that are used traditionally, such as "higher self" or "unconscious."  As an example of a possible use of this notion of Being, you can try to step out of the way, in a not-doing (wu-wei) fashion, letting Being speak/act, rather than you.

    2) when we continue to explore, we may get a sense of a much more ultimate/radical form of Being, beyond all distinctions, beyond all dualities and dichotomies.  Stepping back from the you who you think you are, to the Being above as a kind of higher self to an even more refined notion of a person to notions that go beyond the personal-impersonal, etc, opposites, we ultimately arrive at something beyond words, for which we can use the word Being, but in a far more radical way that in 1).

    3) finally, after we get more familiar with both 1) and 2), we may begin to see how Being is neither the next big breakthrough, around the corner, nor the ultimate goal of a very long journey, but rather what IS, already, in and as everything that presents itself, here and now.  Being IS, and all and everything is presented as/by/in Being.  And like in 1) and 2), this Being is a precious resource -- but this time it does not function as inspiration and aspiration, but much more directly as we already ARE, more intimately and more close than anything we normally consider intimate and close.

    To put it in a picture, as a line: if we find ourself at a point X, then 1) and 2) can be put down as follows on this line:

    X -> 1) -> . . . -> 2)

    So 1) is the next big step; 2) is the endpoint of infinitely many steps, and 3) is the white space on which this picture of the line is written.

    Adelene, Threedee, Solobill, Maxine, Corvi, and Stevenaia aside from Pema and Stim were present.  Below is the chatlog of the dialogue.

    Threedee Shepherd: Hi folks
    Pema Pera: Hi everybody!
    Maxine Walden: hi, Pema and all
    Stim Morane: Hey!
    Pema Pera: Hi Corvi!
    Maxine Walden: Hi, Stim
    Stim Morane: Hi all!
    genesis Zhangsun: Hi everyone!
    Pema Pera: Shall we wait a couple minutes, before we start our dialogue?
    Stim Morane: OK
    Pema Pera: I don't know whether you all saw the email I sent out a few hours ago
    Maxine Walden: yes, it was very informing
    Solobill Laville: yup :)
    Threedee Shepherd: yes
    Solobill Laville: An appetite whetter...

    Pema explains the new format...

    Pema Pera: Stim and I would like to try a new experiment: a half hour dialogue by Stim and me, followed by general questions/comments/suggestions
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Maxine Walden: sounds very interesting
    Pema Pera: And next time others can dialogue -- any pair or triple should feel free to pick a slot
    Stim Morane: So you are suggesting that they follow the same time format as well?
    Threedee Shepherd: interesting idea
    Solobill Laville: wb Gen
    Pema Pera: sure, Stim
    genesis Zhangsun: ty
    genesis Zhangsun: crashed
    Pema Pera: half an hour for two or three to speak -- than half an hour for everybody
    genesis Zhangsun: text?
    Pema Pera: today it's two: you and me, for the first half hour
    Pema Pera: yes, text
    Stim Morane: Sounds interesting.
    Pema Pera: So to summarize: Stim and I have been talking about three notions of Being:
    Pema Pera: 1) the next big shift; 2) the ultimate "goal"; 3) what IS already
    Pema Pera: Well, shall we get started?
    Stim Morane: OK with me
    Solobill Laville: yes

    The Stim & Pema dialogue begins...

    Pema Pera: Stim, I wrote this lengthy email, to get things off the ground. Is there anything you'd like to comment on?
    Stim Morane: Well, I guess there are many possibilities
    Stim Morane: Why don't you start?
    Pema Pera: First of all, do you agree with the way I've set the stage -- and do you see parallels between the three notions of Being as I formulated them, and what people talk about in the traditions that you have mastered and are now teaching?

    Stim explains his interpretation of three ways the concept of three different notions of "Being" may be useful.

    Stim Morane: That's a tricky question. Basically, I think it's important to remember that this little scheme of three types of Being was motivated by the perception that in a group, where people are talking about Being, they may be referring to different things and does create some confusion in the chat
    Stim Morane: *thus create
    Stim Morane: so the scheme helps sort out what might otherwise be confusing
    Stim Morane: Another way the scheme could be used, is as a summary of the way a contemplative exploration plays out over fairly long periods of time.
    Stim Morane: A third way, is that it actually gives people a blueprint for proceeding.
    Stim Morane: If we interpret it in this third way, then it probably needs much more discussion in order to be optimized for Play as Being.
    Stim Morane: Which would you like to discuss?
    Pema Pera: Yes, that was my motivation. And I'm curious to see to what extent there are parallels with traditional approaches -- can you say more about the second point? The third point will effectively cover the rest of PaB, for the foreseeable future :)
    Stim Morane: A second interpretation is simply that it's a summary of practice or exploration.
    Stim Morane: I suppose it serves about as well as other such summary does.
    Stim Morane: But for me, the main issue is always whether it actually helps people go foward in some way.
    Stim Morane: So I'm basically still emphasizing the 3rd angle.
    Pema Pera: Yes, that is important, but there is also the trust issue, for any of us: do I want to spend a lot of time on an approach that seems to come "out of nowhere", even though it seems to offer some quick and tangible benefits (re: 3rd). The trust, the motivation that this is at least worth exploring, can be strengthened by the 2nd point, by seeing that this really is a way to put old wine in new barrels (is that the English term?)
    Stim Morane: Oh.
    Threedee Shepherd: bottles
    Stim Morane: Well, as I said, it serves as a very quick summary.
    Pema Pera: Ah.
    Stim Morane: I don't actually ever teach quite that way myself, since for me, every stage is best seen via the emphasis on "IS" or "ARE", which is why those ordinary words get used so much in my unpacking of various levels and traditions. I think it's all about Is.
    Stim Morane: But I agree that many traditional presentations play out as you describe, WHATEVER approach people are taking ... i.e., the arc of development is as you describe.
    Pema Pera imagines a T shirt: "It is all about is"
    Stim Morane: Yes. I could use one of those.
    Solobill Laville smiles
    Pema Pera: But can you point to some specific parallels in Taoism or Buddhism or other traditions, for these three notions of Being? I made some attempts: 1) as higher self or unconscious; 2) as a kind of ultimate enlightenment, as often pictured at least; 3) as totally other
    Stim Morane: This is more difficult. When I read your three-part description, I mostly see either a disambiguation of cases, or a summary of development. I don't really see a very clear description of three types of "being".
    Pema Pera: indeed, that was my intention, three stages you could say, of learning to relate to Being
    Stim Morane: For instance, the first one would not traditionally be thought of as a description of Being or a way to Being, but a process for trimming down to something that is valued. For instance, focus, equanimity, or compassion.
    Pema Pera: Yes, but you might receive help there from Being/God/Tao . . . .
    Stim Morane: Well, I suppose that's possible. But it wouldn't figure much in the traditions I teach. You could say you're getting help from your Buddha nature or immortal nature etc. But the first stage you describe is not concerned with those very directly.
    Stim Morane: This is why I mentioned things that would be more emphasized.
    Stim Morane: This needn't invalidate the basic point you're making.
    Pema Pera: If I may use a Christian image: Jesus said that everything He did/said was His Father doing/speaking through Him. Similarly, if we take the idea of "imitatio Christi" seriously, we can, each of us, try to live that way too. Here we can then call it "letting Being act/speak through us."
    Stim Morane: Yes, OK.
    Pema Pera: and as long as we don't consider us fully enlightened by any stretch, this would be a form of 1), I think.
    Stim Morane: OK
    Pema Pera: but it could simultaneously be seen in the light of 3)
    Pema Pera: making everything much lighter, much easier to bear and be
    Stim Morane: Yes, I think what you're alluding to now is not contained to one of the three.
    Pema Pera: 1) may be an entry way
    Pema Pera: simplest to explain and connect with traditions and also with psychology/therapy
    Stim Morane: I read "1" in a more specific way, but I see what you mean.
    Pema Pera: 2) and 3) are more like ES and BS, as I used it before
    Pema Pera: Enlightened you seeing versus Being seeing
    Pema Pera: and 1) is what YS, you seeing, strives for as the next shift
    Stim Morane: Well, I don't see a problem ...
    Pema Pera: From the beginning, my aim has been 3), but we have to be practical, and respect our tendency to go via 1) and 2)
    Pema Pera: as what is more initially intuitive and also more reflected in our culture and traditions
    Pema Pera: If I may ask a last question, before throwing the floor open:
    Pema Pera: how do you see time functioning in these three notions?
    Stim Morane: I'll look forward to others' views re that.
    Stim Morane: But I wonder, do people have a very good sense of what you really mean in this first point? For instance, do they understand what your comments about "have" mean? Is easy to see how to apply that suggestion? Also, do they see how to let go of the stuff that's demarcated by that term "have"? Or does that seem difficult?
    Stim Morane: It's always nice to get the basic approach as clear as possible.
    Pema Pera: you mean dropping what you have to see what you are?
    Stim Morane: Yes.
    Stim Morane: This is a question for everyone.
    Pema Pera: Well, let's open the floor then!
    Pema Pera: Anyone?

    And Solobill is already on his keyboard :)

    Solobill Laville: I take that to mean dropping ideas, concepts of self, impressions of what things "seem" to be, attachments, etc.
    Maxine Walden: I could easily listen to both of you continue to dialog as it feels it has just begun, but I do appreciate the format you are trying to experiement with.
    Solobill Laville: I agree with Max too
    genesis Zhangsun: I agree with Solobill but I think it can be quite subtle a process that goes on forever an onion with continuing layers
    genesis Zhangsun: so yes I find it difficult
    genesis Zhangsun: and what I know to "have" now will change from what I realize I "have" later on
    Pema Pera: (Stim, since you asked the "have" question, I'll wait for you first to respond to the responses)
    Stim Morane: they're good, obviously.
    Maxine Walden: and I understand the letting go of 'have' re attachments and what I would call narcissistic (self-defining) qualities, characteristics
    Stim Morane: But I thought I should ask.
    Threedee Shepherd: For the moment, I stay away from the absolute and wonder this. Mark, who is this particulat instantiation of mind/body/being has intrinsic filters (brain/body circuits) that are inate. Can Mark really trranscend those filters to *see* a clearer form of being?
    Pema Pera: Mark can't, but perhaps that what plays Mark can :-)
    Pema Pera: or better, already has
    genesis Zhangsun: or is
    Threedee Shepherd: is there dualism hidden in that answer?
    Stim Morane: Yes, both of those are true. Yes re "Is" as well.
    Stim Morane: Would you like to explain, 3D?
    Threedee Shepherd: Is there Mark, and something else that plays Mark?
    Stim Morane: What do you find?
    Maxine Walden: Or does Mark have many states of mind which offer many ways of seeing?
    Maxine Walden: or being
    Threedee Shepherd: IF what I find comes through filtered, I find an approximation of phenomenal reality
    Stim Morane: Of course I would say "no", there are not those two things. But it's good to see what each person actually sees.
    Pema Pera: I would say: no dualities, since for Mark there seems to be nothing else, and for Being there also is nothing else (all is Being) -- so from both sides no dualities . . . .
    Stim Morane: :)
    genesis Zhangsun: I am interested though as Max and Solo are in the discussion about time plays out in all three
    genesis Zhangsun: :)
    genesis Zhangsun: sorry but it was a bit of a cliff hanger

    I am most fascinated by this topic and the most confused by it...

    Stim Morane: we have become accustomed to think in terms of facts that are just "true" in some way. But here the emphasis should be on "what mind is seeing?" the alleged thing or circumstance.
    Pema Pera: (or, within what framework or coordinate system are we operating)
    Pema Pera: (what is the context, the story)
    Stim Morane: Yes, although that suggests they are simply alternatives, and I would not say that the final Being is "an alternative'.

    This reminded me of the concept of a sort of wu wei where there is no stepping aside there is only being completely in the stream.  There is no dancing around, one moves from this final Being that Stim refers to at all times. (Just my association could be completely off base).

    Stim Morane: It's a tricky issue, not nec to discuss now, perhaps.
    Pema Pera: ah, yes, good point

    Mind & Time

    Maxine Walden: in terms of what mind is seeing and also the framework of time, Pema?
    Pema Pera: but then the ultimate mind is not a "mind" either . . . .
    Stim Morane: I meant only to urge people to see, rather than take ideas in a passive way
    Pema Pera: yes
    Stim Morane: It's not a mind, that's just a linguistic carry-over.
    Stim Morane: Traditional but not entirely helpful.
    Threedee Shepherd: I try again, somewhat rhetorically, "Can Mind *see* totally unfiltered?
    Pema Pera: As for time, Maxine, time and mind come in a package deal, are connected
    Stim Morane: It's called Mind because it's supremely insightful, knowing. But it doesn't know as an act of cognition in any ordinary sense.
    Pema Pera: not a subject knowing an object
    Stim Morane: Yes, this is what I meant. Time is not used by Mind. It doesn't not take objects, or "act".

    This made me wonder if Mind is used by Time, that mind is an expression of the energetic quality of time.

    Pema Pera: Time for Being notion 3) is what I called "fourth time" borrowing a traditional term
    Stim Morane: Anyway, this again is rather a lofty issue. The question is, can we find a more direct, less clumsy way to appreciate our own being?
    Threedee Shepherd: I know I am pushing areas I already have ideas about, and I do so for clarification. So, if Mark *dies* what happens to Mark's Mind?
    Pema Pera: Time for 1) and 2) are more like past-present-future, with enligthenment 2) in the future
    Stim Morane: This notion of "fourth time" comes from a comment made by my first teacher to me in a casual conversation. It doesn't have any traditional status.
    Pema Pera: Ah!
    Pema Pera: for me it has become a tradition by now :-)
    Pema Pera: (over time :)
    Stim Morane: In the traditions they would just distinguish between the standard three times and "something else"
    Pema Pera: (I like zeroth time)
    Stim Morane: No, it needn't be instututionalized.
    Stim Morane: Most teachers would not think the notion is important. But timeless time can certainly be a core point.
    Pema Pera: That for me would also be the ultimate answer to Mark:
    Pema Pera: Mark never dies; nothing ever happens . . . .
    Threedee Shepherd: Gee, Pema, the mortician down the street must be doing a Virtual business then
    Pema Pera: no, it's all the others buying into the notion of them and supporting him :-)
    Pema Pera: *of tie
    Pema Pera: *of time
    Stim Morane: contemplative explorations can go on without ever uncovering anythingn important. But if well directed, they provide an opportunity for a higher or more direct way of knowing to emerge. This can indeed do what we're discussing.
    genesis Zhangsun: So does timeless time=Being?
    Stim Morane: Yes
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: Hi Steve!
    Stim Morane: If "timeless" means something existentially significant rather than just an absense.
    Pema Pera: Hi there Steve
    genesis Zhangsun: I think of timeless time, my small experiences of it a sort of path to Being
    Pema Pera: eternity
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello, late
    genesis Zhangsun: but perhaps path and being are the same
    genesis Zhangsun: yo Steve
    Stim Morane: It's a pointer to something crucial, not just logically different.
    Stim Morane: There is no path, really.
    Pema Pera: and there is no present
    Stim Morane: Yes. But there is Presence.
    Pema Pera: in Fourth time
    Stim Morane: Yes, a certain version of Fourth Time.
    Pema Pera: which is our time, already, right here
    Stim Morane: But that term probably isn't important for us.
    Stim Morane: Yes.
    Pema Pera: Being is playing with time, and part of that play offers the illusion of the three times . . .
    Pema Pera: and we can play Being to return the complement :)
    Pema Pera: to complement the story :-)
    Pema Pera: *compliment
    Pema Pera: to wake up to the fourth time that has always already been here
    genesis Zhangsun: Why woud Being "play" with time
    Pema Pera: Stim? You answer that one :)
    Stim Morane: No, you're stuck with it Pema. I wouldn't have said it.
    Stim Morane: :)
    Pema Pera: hehehe
    Pema Pera: "why" is part of our three-times language
    stevenaia Michinaga: <grin>
    genesis Zhangsun: well I could guess so that it can manifest
    Pema Pera: it doesn't fit in the beyond-causality view of the fourth time
    Stim Morane: so is "play" as an "action"
    Stim Morane: that's why I wouldn't say it.
    genesis Zhangsun: yes thats why I asked it
    Stim Morane: Being has another Wy.
    Stim Morane: *Way
    genesis Zhangsun: it seems to make Being have a motive
    Pema Pera: I meant play as presenting or more accurately "allowing to be present"
    Pema Pera: allowing the presence of appearance
    genesis Zhangsun: yes ok
    Stim Morane: There is really no way to explain this Way, it's dynamically too different from ordinary action.
    Pema Pera: motive implies time to reach a goal
    Pema Pera: but there is a timeless kind of motive, more a kind of engagement, that would be correct here
    Pema Pera: Being is not cold and aloof
    Pema Pera: on the contrary
    genesis Zhangsun: yes ok I like that play as engagement
    Pema Pera: yes
    Stim Morane: it's a kind of radical fullness that never fills up
    Pema Pera: the ultimate emptiness
    Stim Morane: yes, that is the complementary side
    Pema Pera: or openness
    Stim Morane: they are inseparable.
    Stim Morane: One, really
    Pema Pera: offering anything whatsoever
    Maxine Walden: (will have to leave in a minute or two and would just cast a vote that Pema and Stim continue to dialogue the next time this format is used in the guardian mtg; it feels like we have just begun...but that is only my view
    genesis Zhangsun: me too!!!
    genesis Zhangsun: this was a wonderful idea
    genesis Zhangsun: you can hijack my hour any time :)
    Pema Pera: hehehe
    Pema Pera: glad you liked it, Max & Gen: we aim to please
    Maxine Walden: very pleased indeed!
    stevenaia Michinaga: I've always appreciated the example of dialogue
    Maxine Walden: And the dialectic that can begin in good dialogue
    genesis Zhangsun: Yes I agree dialogues are a great way to get deeper into these topics
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nods.
    Maxine Walden: (have to go, bye all)
    Pema Pera: bye Maxine!
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: bye, Maxine!
    Stim Morane: Bye Maxine
    genesis Zhangsun: bye Maxine :)
    Solobill Laville: See you Max
    PaB Listener Master: Removing "Maxine Walden" from list.
    Maxine Walden is Offline
    Stim Morane: thanks for joining us
    stevenaia Michinaga: you just need to start showing up more often again
    genesis Zhangsun: I really enjoy the two of you here at the same time (Stim & pema)
    Storm Nordwind is Online
    Threedee Shepherd: I'm still back a few chat lines "filtering"
    Stim Morane: it would be even better if I weren't here.
    Stim Morane: :)
    Solobill Laville: This was more of a "table of contents" meeting, in actuality...we could easily go back to Chapter 1 and spend a day there
    Solobill Laville: :)
    Pema Pera: we are like anti-twins, twin-like and anti-like . . . .
    genesis Zhangsun: :)
    genesis Zhangsun: really complementary :0
    Pema Pera: yes, 3D?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: we often have discussions like that.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: table of contents discussions.
    stevenaia Michinaga: I've noticed that, fasinating
    Pema Pera: We talked with Storm:
    Pema Pera: we can table somethign in the US, leaving it for later
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: it might be helpful for us to go back sometime and pull out various ideas we'd like to bring back for further discussion.
    Solobill Laville: I too must go :)
    Pema Pera: in the UK it means putting it on the table to work on right now!
    Pema Pera: sure, Corvi, by all means!
    Pema Pera: By Solo!
    genesis Zhangsun: Bye solobill!
    Threedee Shepherd: I need to start at a less lofty perch. As in Mark's phenomenology. I assert that is filtered. Yes/No/irrelevant?
    Solobill Laville: Thanks Stim and Pema!
    Solobill Laville: Bye all
    Stim Morane: Bye Solo
    Pema Pera: Can you say more, Three?
    Threedee Shepherd: Mark experiences. even before words and concepts are imposed, the phenomena Mark experiences are filtered through--a funtion of--Mark's mind/bvrain/body
    Pema Pera: Using the ordinary mind, perceiving the world within the ordinary, usual interpretations, yes, sure, all of that holds
    Pema Pera: The main point of talking about Being is that there is a totally different way of cognition, a totally different kind of mind, for which the ordinary terms cognition and mind don't even apply
    Pema Pera: AND the surprise is that from that point of view you can see that the ordinary mind/cognition are imposters, local petty officials, using the power of the "higher" mind/cognition
    Pema Pera: so the ordinary story is self contained, but ultimately not real -- like a movie story or dream story
    Threedee Shepherd: does the different way of cognition depend on Mark in any way?
    Pema Pera: interesting in itself, and pretty consistent most of the time, but not ultimately real
    Pema Pera: no, Mark depends on it
    Stim Morane: There is no need to "wait" for this kind of higher or more direct way of knowing. It's quite fine to start with what you can actually see in more ordinary or modest ways. This brings us back to point "1" on Pema's list.
    Threedee Shepherd: is it *linked* to Markj
    Threedee Shepherd: Mark
    Stim Morane: It is precisely by coming to terms with the filtering you mention, at least some of it, anyway, that an more direct way of knowing is exposed.
    Pema Pera: but the you who now thinks he is Mark is not dependent on anything -- but as long as he thinks he is, he feels needs and worries and sorrows and hope and fear
    Pema Pera: "as long as" could be seen as the result of the filtering
    Pema Pera: could be -- but that too is a limited view . . . this gets quite tricky (as Stim would say :)
    Stim Morane: I should go. Thanks for the chat!
    Pema Pera: shall we continue this some other day?
    genesis Zhangsun: YES!!!
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: bye, Stim!
    Stim Morane: Bye Corvi!
    Stim Morane: And bye all!
    Pema Pera: bye Stim, thanks a lot!
    genesis Zhangsun: Bye Stim
    Threedee Shepherd: Yes, if I can figure out who is the *WE* that will continue ;)
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Threedee Shepherd: bye folks
    genesis Zhangsun: bye Threedee
    Pema Pera: bye 3D!
    stevenaia Michinaga: bye three, I am working up some comments to Storm about this lovely place
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: See ya'll....
    Pema Pera: Well, I have to leave too
    Pema Pera: bye everybody!
    stevenaia Michinaga: nice to see you again genisis
    genesis Zhangsun: See you:)

    Tag page (Edit tags)
    • No tags
    You must login to post a comment.
    Powered by MindTouch Core