2010.03.31 07:00 - Maxine and Pema Share: Time, Space, & Knowledge

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    The Guardian for this deeply satisfying theme meeting was Eliza Madrigal. The few comments are by Eliza, who was joined by Bleu, Agatha, Eden, Maxine, Pema, Storm, Zen, Susi, Yakuzza, and a new visitor 'lin'.  

    Pre-session, Bleu asks about the night before's theme session with Eos on "Be decisive, Know what is, See Clearly" ...

    Bleu Oleander: Hi Eliza
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Bleu :))
    Bleu Oleander: how did last night go?
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh, very well I thought. Thanks for asking
    Bleu Oleander: did you post a log?
    Eliza Madrigal: Eos has already posted the session, which i was surprised to see
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Eden :)
    Bleu Oleander: oh great i'll have to read it
    Bleu Oleander: hi Eden :)
    Eliza Madrigal: We'll continue the theme, as it turns out... hehe
    Eliza Madrigal: even if Eden and I have to show up at Eos's sessions, randomly with questions....
    Eden Haiku: Good morning Eliza and Bleu ;)
    Eliza Madrigal: ;-)
    Bleu Oleander: Hi Pema and Maxine
    Pema Pera: Hi everybody!
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Maxine, Hi Pema :)
    Maxine Walden: hi, Bleu, Pema, Eliza, Eden Snapshot_009.jpg
    Yakuzza Lethecus: hey everyone
    Eden Haiku: Good morning Maxine and Pema :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Ya :))
    Eden Haiku: Hello Yakuzza ;)
    Eden Haiku: Susi, nice to se you :)
    Maxine Walden: hi, Yaku, susi
    Susi Alcott: _/!\_ all
    Bleu Oleander: hi Yaku, Susi
    Eliza Madrigal: Hello Susi... wow looks like we have a nice group forming for the theme :))
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Agatha :)
    Eden Haiku: Bonjour Agatha!
    Maxine Walden: :)
    Agatha Macbeth: Hi Liz :) everybody
    Bleu Oleander: hey Agatha
    Agatha Macbeth: Hello Bleu :)
    Susi Alcott: hi Storm

    Pema begins to frame the discussion...

    Pema Pera: Welcome, everybody! This morning Maxine and I will lead a theme session, on the book "Time, Space and Knowledge" by Tarthang Tulku.
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Storm :))
    Maxine Walden: hi, Storm
    Bleu Oleander: hey Storm
    Agatha Macbeth: Hello Storm
    Yakuzza Lethecus: hi storm
    Eden Haiku: HI Storm:)
    Storm Nordwind waves to everyone :)
    Pema Pera: As usual, the first twenty minutes or so, Maxine and I will hold a dialogue between the two of us, and then we'll open the floor to everybody to join in
    Pema Pera: Maxine, do you want to start off?
    Maxine Walden: OK, I can give some of my impressions, or experiences perhaps in reading the book which I will refer to as TSK, for Time Space and Knowledge

    Maxine begins...

    Maxine Walden: This was my first reading of the book and I did have a few first impressions:
    Maxine Walden: --that in reading it I was in the presence of a very wise man, in the language, candence, pacing of the author'
    Maxine Walden: and that sense of wisdom in itself brought a sense of calm.
    Maxine Walden: --also that the writing was so packed with things to think about, or that I could not get my mind around, that I was rather constantly feeling 'oh, I am not getting it all...I am missing things...'
    Maxine Walden: And I soon had to realize that I was grasping and anxious in that approach to the reading
    Maxine Walden: So I soon realized I had to relax and take in what I could, that there would likely be more readings of the book
    Maxine Walden: and more to take in

    Maxine Walden: --Then the opening to space: the sense of realizing that 'things' are surfaces to open to as are thoughts, and even experiences; these were some of the realizations from the first part of the book
    Maxine Walden: Pema, not sure how much into my subsequent experience I should go; there is of course a lot which could be said...so let me know shall I pause at this point? After a few initial expressions of experience?
    Pema Pera: I would love to hear more, Maxine!

    An epiphany experience...

    Maxine Walden: Maybe I could say, and then I might pause, that about 3 months into the reading I did have a kind of epiphany experience:
    Eliza Madrigal: (Hi Zen, will give you a note-one second) :)
    Agatha Macbeth: Heloo Zen
    Zen Arado: Hi All/ ty Eliza

    Maxine Walden: I had been reading and trying the exercises included in the book
    Maxine Walden: and one night I awoke in the middle of the night and felt a quiet calm sense
    Maxine Walden: a sense that I could feel that all Time was right 'here' within my glimpse, that past, present and future were all right 'here'.
    Maxine Walden: For me there was in that glimpse a great calm, a spacious calm in which everything just was quietly present, without hurry, without movement really.
    Maxine Walden: And it felt possible to look at more and more , almost it felt an infinite degree, of detail at any one moment. It was one of those moments I will probably remember for the rest of my life.

    Maxine Walden: I suppose it lasted maybe half an hour...and I felt I wanted to come back and visit all there was to see and note and appreciate, hoping to have a recallable moment for the rest of my life
    Maxine Walden: So I have held the memory of that experience and feel it as a guide in the rest of the reading

    Maxine Walden: I suppose one more thing:

    The Great Knowledge for me seems to be a kind of knowingness (which the author mentions), not an active striving sense at all, but a calm presence, always been here, always accessible as I can open myself to it, come quietly perhaps, without rush or reaching; also I am aware that much of the time I do not have access to these higher forms of Time, Space and Knowledge, that I am in the pressure of the everyday world with my petty concerns
    Maxine Walden: But it does feel that there is a background awareness abiding, and that as I can settle my daily concerns, I have more option to then open and appreciate these higher levels of Time Space and Knowledge.

    Maxine Walden: Maybe that is a summary at least a start....shall I stop there for now?
    Pema Pera: that is a very nice summary indeed, Maxine, thank you so much!
    Pema Pera: the only thing I'd like to say in response is that I'm so pleased to see the book come alive for you -- which I think is the main purpose of the book.
    Maxine Walden: yes, it has indeed come alive

    Maxine asks Pema to share his experience of reading TSK many times... 

    Maxine Walden: Pema, you had mentioned that this was your 7th or so reading? Would it be interesting to share a bit of your experience this time?
    Pema Pera: as I have often said, while we went through the half year of weekly readings, the book is evocative, not trying to explain but rather to evoke something beyond words
    Pema Pera: clearly that happened in your case, and you're very eloquent in hinting at a direction of the experiences
    Maxine Walden: evocative indeed

    Pema Pera: As for me sharing my experiences . . . hard to know where to begin, there have been so many :-)
    Pema Pera: more interesting may be to sketch what happened over time, and how I feel about TSK now
    Maxine Walden: yes that would be very interesting
    Pema Pera: the bottom line is a kind of unconditional trust, confidence
    Pema Pera: trust in Being and its aspect of Great Knowledge, as much as I trust in there being space to step in when I open a door -- even without knowing what is outside a new door, I trust there to be space to step in, and time in which to take a step -- similarly with knowledge
    Pema Pera: viewing Knowledge on a par with Space and Time is a very powerful kind of reorientation of your whole life
    Pema Pera: viewing Knowledge, or knowingness, not as some scarce resource, not as something locked up in special places like heads or books . . .
    Pema Pera: breathing knowledge like air is even too weak a metaphor; space is better, since air can still be in short supply :)

    Pema Pera: What I have learned through relying on Knowledge is, I guess, similar to what many practitioners have learned in their various traditions, when calling that source of Knowledge God, or Emptiness, or Tao, or Muses, etc

    Pema Pera: Last point:
    Pema Pera: when reading TSK, it may seem abstract at first, hard to grasp and even harder to imagine what you can possibly do with it.
    Pema Pera: But by now, I see TSK as the most concrete, and Being as what TSK are aspects of in some way as most concrete
    Pema Pera: in comparison everything else has become abstract!
    Pema Pera: concepts, a house of cards, all designations leaning on each other . . . .
    Pema Pera: I'll stop here


    Maxine Walden: the everpresence of Knowing as a resource, as you mention, and the confidence in the space and time...those inexhaustible resources does feel like the gift of the TSK book for me at this point.
    Maxine Walden: Interesting that for you know the so-called abstract elements are now foreground and foremost...that is inspiring for further considerations of what TSK can offer, at least for me
    Maxine Walden: Should be open up the discussion?
    Pema Pera: sure!

    Stirred, others begin to share...

    Storm Nordwind: Wow Maxine and Pema - if there was ever an advertisment for reading the book, you've given it! Two very different but equally inspiring expressions - thank you. :)
    Pema Pera: yw, Storm :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Thank you both very much, yes how deeply inspiring
    Maxine Walden: :), Storm

    Storm Nordwind: Maxine: you said at the start you felt that you were "in the presence of a very wise man". I wonder if that came from the author seeming to know so widely and deeply about his subject - most importantly from his own real experience. Do you think, perhaps, that's a very rare thing?
    Maxine Walden: Not sure I fully understand your question, Storm, whether wisdom in terms of depth of understanding from one's experience is rare?
    Storm Nordwind: Yes. But mostly the ability to express it in such detail, at length, and to guide others through that

    Storm Nordwind: I have found many other authors to be superficial, and I wonder if it's because they teach by rote rather than personal experience

    Maxine Walden: oh, yes, that has been rare in my experience, but then maybe that has been because of what/where I have read (!)
    Agatha Macbeth nods
    Maxine Walden: yes, agree, Storm, that from one's experience, which really reaches into the depth of the self...that conveys a dimension that is probably not available to the rote teachers

    Maxine gives a pointer quite helpful to me in reading this book. She expresses a sense of trust in the author, to stop reading at times and return to the words with fresh capacity... 

    Maxine Walden: It is interesting, there were times when I felt I was reading TSK in a rather rote way, when the words would flatten or become empty sounds
    Maxine Walden: And at those times I had to stop and breathe and reach into my own experience to try to revivify for me what the author was saying, or rather expand my capacity to access the richness of the writings.

    Eden Haiku: The way you shared you epiphany was so precise Maxine, it was palpable.
    Maxine Walden: I really had to be an almost meditative zone to fully take in the readings...but even then, sure much I did not get
    Bleu Oleander: A favorite line from the book is "we all have the same parents - Space and Time." About the interelatedness of being, could you elaborate on that with your thoughts on the time that we all share together?
    Maxine Walden: ah, pleased so, Eden
    Storm Nordwind agrees :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)

    The Tapestry itself...

    Maxine Walden: For me, Bleu, what comes to mind is the image of 'us all being tufts within a tapestry' and that much of the time we focus on the tufts and not the tapestry.
    Maxine Walden: So currently the tapestry has more of my focus
    Maxine Walden: and maybe here as well, that we all bring our own experience, our own tufts, as it were, but the tapestry we all share...that is the basic 'fabric' which connects us

    Pema Pera: (re what Eden said: over the last 30 years I've suggested the TSK book to many people; very rare were the cases where a friend of mine really fell into the book, as Maxine did; and even much more rare where that friend could put into words what happened; I can't remember anybody doing that as well as Maxine has done over the last few months)
    Storm Nordwind: (hear hear Pema!)
    Eliza Madrigal: yes just listening to you Maxine, I feel I can relax so deeply into the TSK vision... beautiful
    Maxine Walden: hmm, feeling pleased to be guided in the book by Pema, and grateful to share it with you all, and doubly pleased if it is helpful to hear about
    Eden Haiku: has read only a few pages of the book so far but this session gives such a taste of the book, I will make TSK it my summer reading, thanks so much to you both Pema and Maxine.

    Maxine Walden: perhaps part of the experience of falling into the TSK as Pema mentions is to feel in this place of gratutide and awe much of the time.

    Zen brings up the subject of times and stages, and Bleu's wheels begin turning out another brilliant idea, inspired by the session...      

    Zen Arado: thinks sometimes a book resonates with us because we are at the right stage for it
    Agatha Macbeth: :)
    Maxine Walden: agree, Zen
    Bleu Oleander: I would like to suggest that some of the TSK themes be interpreted as art to help others see. Perhaps the "art of TSK"
    Pema Pera: it is very art like, yes, even though it is presented in prose . . . .
    Bleu Oleander: Art helps me formulate a language to feel my thoughts.
    Eden Haiku: Can I challenge you to create 'Time is elastic' Bleu?
    Bleu Oleander: oh nice idea Eden
    Eden Haiku: :))
    Eden Haiku: That would be useful too:))

    Pema reaches back a few years, to the beginnings of PlayasBeing...

    Pema Pera: as a sidenote, but perhaps fitting: two years ago Maxine and I sometimes sparred a bit, with me wanting to point out how radical the notion of Being was, and Maxine countering that she wanted to go slowly, not getting ahead of her self, while I encouraged her to try and drop the self. As usual, we both had some part of the truth, as we recently figured out when reflecting back on it. I learned a lot from that lookback: primarily the need to separate my enthusiasm for pointing out what it is from possibly perceived zeal to convince others of its truth.
    Pema Pera: I don't want anybody to follow me; in fact, I don't even want to be understood!
    Pema Pera: All I want is to be understandable
    Eliza Madrigal: :)

    Zen Arado: I keep finding the same truths presented in different ways

    Pema Pera: that's enough, and the rest is really up to others
    Pema Pera: it has been a 30-year challenge for me to become understandable while talking about TSK
    Pema Pera: :)

    Maxine Walden: But Pema, I at least have felt very inspired by your efforts; the issue we were pursuing was the 'nature of reality' as I recall, and I think the point of difference was that we each were bringing slightly different starting points, ways of thinking/seeing to the task
    Zen Arado: TSK might be te most digestible form for some
    Pema Pera: yes, and the creative tension between us was the difference between the sudden and the gradual
    Pema Pera: sure, Zen, for many TSK is not very meaningful


    Maxine Walden: and for me it has felt that to pursue these explorations authentically, which I think is important, it so be authentic with oneself at least to start with, otherwise one tries to mimic or do it according to someone else

    Pema Pera: I've only suggested it to rather few of my friends, and even those often didn't get any handle on it
    Pema Pera: I fully agree, Maxine
    Pema Pera: and yet . . . sometimes friends needs to push and shove each other too :-)
    Pema Pera: all at the right time
    Zen Arado: I am fascinated by a book called 'The book of no Knowing' but yet many here would not like it either
    Zen Arado: it probably presents the same truths in a different way
    Agatha Macbeth: Who is that by Zen?
    Zen Arado: Peter Ralston
    Agatha Macbeth: Ah, TY
    Agatha Macbeth: I have heard it mentioned by several people
    Zen Arado: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Book-Not-Kno...0047266&sr=1-1
    Zen Arado: I have TSK too and will get into it some time
    Agatha Macbeth nods to Zen

    Eliza Madrigal: TSK seems to me unique in that it gives a challenge ... One can't really explore it without letting down some guards along the way... relaxing the grasping to understand in traditional ways, as Maxine describes...
    Zen Arado: he gives practical exercises too which I like
    Pema Pera: yes, Eliza, TSK is very radical in that sene
    Pema Pera: *sense
    Pema Pera: TSK is a trickster
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Maxine Walden: ??
    Pema Pera: the prose suggest that each sentence should be understandable
    Pema Pera: and yet each sentence is like a koan
    Maxine Walden: ah yes

    Pema Pera: it is very much Stim : trying hard to look ordinary, while saying something very extraordinary :-)
    Eliza Madrigal smiles
    Storm Nordwind chuckles
    Maxine Walden: smiles as well
    Pema Pera: almost succeeding . . .
    Maxine Walden: indeed so
    Eliza Madrigal: hehehe
    Pema Pera: (Steven Tainer wrote the text on behalf of Tarthang Tulku, based on very many lenghty interviews)
    Pema Pera: in Zen, they talk about standing on a 100 feet pole
    Pema Pera: and then stepping forward
    Maxine Walden: !
    Pema Pera: I guess Stim lets us stand on what looks like a half foot pole
    Zen Arado: yep:)
    Pema Pera: inviting us to step forewards
    Pema Pera: only to find there is no ground there :)
    Zen Arado: good metaphor
    Bleu Oleander: (remembers Eliza stepping off Zen's art piece)
    Agatha Macbeth smiles @ Pema
    Pema Pera: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: wonders where the pole is standing.... and yes remembering zen's art also....

    Maxine must go, and we begin to say goodbyes, with Storm and I reflecting on the moment as something very special...

    Maxine Walden: (have to go in a moment; have really enjoyed our discussion)
    Eliza Madrigal: Thank you so very much, Maxine :)
    Bleu Oleander: thank you Maxine
    Agatha Macbeth: Bye Max
    Maxine Walden: bye all, see you soon, I hope
    Bleu Oleander: wonderful presentation
    Zen Arado: bye Maxine
    Susi Alcott: _/!\_ Maxine
    Pema Pera: yes, thanks a lot, Maxine!
    Zen Arado: thanks
    Eden Haiku: Thank you so much Maxine:)
    Zen Arado: gtg too
    Agatha Macbeth: TTFN Zen
    Susi Alcott: _/!\_ Zen
    Zen Arado: bye all thanks for presentation
    Yakuzza Lethecus: bye everyone
    Eliza Madrigal: Thanks everyone, for coming today :)
    Bleu Oleander: bye everyone :)
    Susi Alcott: _/!\_ Eden and Bleu
    Agatha Macbeth: Cya Bleu
    Eliza Madrigal: Have a wonderful day Bleu
    Agatha Macbeth: In fact, I have some shopping to do
    Agatha Macbeth: Bye all
    Pema Pera: thank you all for joining us
    Eliza Madrigal: :) Agatha
    Susi Alcott: _/!\_ Aga
    Pema Pera: well, I should get going too.
    Eliza Madrigal: Pema, appreciate this session very much! Thank you
    Susi Alcott: _/!\_ Pema
    Pema Pera: see you all soon again!
    Eliza Madrigal: lin, thanks for joining us today, too....
    Eliza Madrigal: If you have any questions about the group, etc. please feel free to ask/remark :)
    Eliza Madrigal: We meet four times every day actually... 1,7,1,7, SLT :)

    Extraordinary beings here...

    Storm Nordwind: All I can say is that was one of the most inspiring theme sessions I've been to. :)
    Eliza Madrigal: I agree with you Storm... I feel a bit stopped in my tracks...
    Susi Alcott: _/!\_
    Storm Nordwind: hehe - yes!
    Storm Nordwind: I felt I was living each moment and experience with Maxine!
    Eliza Madrigal: yes, and that her gentle yet fearless way of exploring is a hand outreached...
    Storm Nordwind nods
    Eliza Madrigal: the book itself feels remarkable in that way too, that one almost cannot go it 'alone'....
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Storm Nordwind: It's at times like this that I feel - to echo Maxine - in the presence of so many extraordinary beings here :)
    Eliza Madrigal: MMMM, yes, yes indeed
    Eliza Madrigal: Thank you Storm :)
    Storm Nordwind: Thank you Eliza for hosting
    Storm Nordwind: Namaste
    Eliza Madrigal: Namaste'
    Susi Alcott: _/!\_ Storm
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye Susi :) Thanks for coming :)
    Susi Alcott: _/!\_
    Eliza Madrigal: _/!\_

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