2009.06.04 - Workshop 16

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    The following is the transcript of the workshop for Jun 4th 2009

    Monty Tigerfish: Hello
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello
    Monty Tigerfish: Are we early?
    Scathach Rhiadra: yes, a few minutes early:)
    Monty Tigerfish: Oh, here are some others
    Monty Tigerfish: Hi Stim
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Stim, Pila:)
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Gaya:)
    Monty Tigerfish: Hello Pila and Wester
    Pila Mulligan: hi everyone
    Wester Kiranov: hi everybody
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello everyone :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Wester:0
    Winston Haystack: HI
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Winston
    Wester Kiranov: hi fef - finally rezzed i see
    Fefonz Quan: I didn't yet :)
    Fefonz Quan: Hey all
    Pila Mulligan: slow today, it seems
    sophia Placebo: hi all
    arabella Ella: hiya
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Winston, Fefonz, sophia, Pila and arabella :)
    Mickorod Renard: Hiya,,wow,,its busy
    Winston Haystack: HI
    Pila Mulligan: hi everyone
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Fefonz, Ara, Mick, Sophia, Storm
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Everyone :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Storm :)
    Storm Nordwind slips out quietly. Goodnight all
    Monty Tigerfish: Hello to all who said hello and all that didn't.
    Stim Morane: Hi Eliza, Storm, Sophia, Mick, Arabella
    sophia Placebo: night storm
    arabella Ella: hiya stim
    arabella Ella: nite storm
    Stim Morane: Welcome everyone ... shall we begin?
    Eliza Madrigal: Thank you, Sure
    Stim Morane: Last time we agreed to try a hybrid approach, combining discussion of "ethics" precepts with an introduction to codependent arising.
    Stim Morane: I asked for volunteers re the first part, and Gaya and Mick obliged.
    Stim Morane: I appreciate their willingness to help ground our discussion.
    Stim Morane: Gaya, would you like to comment on your week's experiment?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Thanks for the opportunity :)
    Stim Morane: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: I wrote a short report on wiki. Would you all mind reading it first rather than me repeating the same?
    Gaya Ethaniel: http://ways-of-knowing.wik.is/3Reports/Gaya_Ethaniel/Report_14
    Wester Kiranov: i liked your report - taking a better look at one of the intoxicants
    Gaya Ethaniel: Thank you Wester, I'm glad it made some sense. :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: I didn't want to mix up or take it too far ... ie didn't look into dependence/addiction much.
    Stim Morane: Very interesting and relevant.
    Stim Morane: Thanks, Gaya!
    Gaya Ethaniel: Thank you :)
    Stim Morane: Comments, anyone?
    Pila Mulligan: "urge to have same experience"
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Pila Mulligan: I like that Gaya, thanks
    Stim Morane: As most of you know, we're not emphasizing "giving up" something, but rather learning in the sphere emphasized by contemplative traditions.
    Gaya Ethaniel: The physical sensations that went with the urge took me by surprise ...
    Stim Morane: say more?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Even when I was a smoker, I've never really seen that, the speed and strength of it.
    Stim Morane: ah, yes
    Stim Morane: the issues we're concerned with play out on many diff time frames.
    Stim Morane: ... from extremely fast to very protracted
    Stim Morane: the main point here is the development of insight.
    Stim Morane: this is a new domain for almost all human beings, one that's either unknown or at least underappreciated
    Stim Morane: The sorts of ordinary things figuring in our volunteers' homework are perfect as a way to begin this exercising of a new capacity.
    Stim Morane: Would you like to add any further comments, Gaya?
    Gaya Ethaniel thinks ...
    Gaya Ethaniel: I am still not sure if avoiding it is a good idea ... as in avoid in stressful situation.
    Stim Morane: Yes.
    Stim Morane: Well again, I am not asking for avoidance, just seeing.
    Gaya Ethaniel: ok :)
    Fefonz Quan: need to relog, brb.
    Stim Morane: We'll get back to that point later today.
    Stim Morane: Sure fef
    Stim Morane: Mick, would you like to report on your experiment?
    Gaya Ethaniel: But Stim, would you agree that in certain circumstances, it's natural that I am less able to see?
    Stim Morane: Yes, of course
    Mickorod Renard: I could hand out my note card to everyone
    Stim Morane: The emphasis here is not on insisting on clarity at all costs ...
    Stim Morane: Yes, Mick, go ahead
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah ... ok Stim :)
    Stim Morane: Gaya, the real point we'll keep visiting is that ordinarily, we human beings unconsciously choose a lack of clarity, with grave consequences.
    Mickorod Renard gave you from mickorod,,on his cigars.
    Stim Morane: This choice is worth learning about.
    Mickorod Renard: anyone else?
    Stim Morane: But that doesn't amount to grasping for clarity.
    Mickorod Renard: I dont drink very often,,and never very much
    Stim Morane: we'll pause so you can consider Mick's report
    Mickorod Renard: Cigars dont seem much of an intoxication,,but in some ways it may have the same issues
    Stim Morane: Yes, it illustrates the main issues as well as anything else could.
    Pila Mulligan: <ick, you are describing an addiction
    Mickorod Renard: yes
    Wester Kiranov: Thank you for being so honest
    Mickorod Renard: and a dependancy
    Monty Tigerfish: Dont ignore the nicotine additiction dimension. Purely physical.
    Stim Morane: Yes, physical but in a way that pervades the "mind"
    Gaya Ethaniel: Thank you Mick :)
    Mickorod Renard: perhaps that is a major issue
    Stim Morane: So ... comments?
    Gaya Ethaniel: What is b-line btw?
    Mickorod Renard: the phsical dependancy
    Mickorod Renard: just like going straight to something
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah ok
    Stim Morane: bee-line
    Mickorod Renard: yes
    Stim Morane: as in how they fly
    Gaya Ethaniel: ahhhh :)
    Pila Mulligan: Mick, a reference yuo may have already: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotine#Dependence
    sophia Placebo: and i was thinking of a line
    Mickorod Renard: but i find that such a small issue is such a huge barrier for me
    Mickorod Renard: thanks Pila
    Pila Mulligan: it may not be such a small issue :)
    Wester Kiranov: agree with pila
    Mickorod Renard: and again,,it is controlling,,thereby,,removes my own ability to do what i want
    Pila Mulligan: yep
    arabella Ella: it does not only involve the nicotine though there are so many other aspects involved ... breathing, fiddling, media images, perceptions of others, etc.
    sophia Placebo: the effort and time it consumes to manage it is not a small issue
    Stim Morane: yes, good point, ara
    Pila Mulligan: as Gaya said, you are affectd by the "urge to have same experience"
    Monty Tigerfish: fiddling?
    Gaya Ethaniel: It can become a focus ...
    Stim Morane: true, sophia
    Wester Kiranov: wb fef
    Mickorod Renard: yet strangely it has positive side effects too
    Fefonz Quan: (hi again)
    Eliza Madrigal: sometimes we compartmentalize all kinds of feelings... concentrate it into what seems like one thing?
    arabella Ella: fiddling - playing with something senselessly like with a pencil or pen
    Monty Tigerfish: Oh, ok.
    Stim Morane: So today, the question is whether we can begin in a very modest way to make connections between these observations by Gaya and Mick, and the traditional teaching of codependent arising.
    Stim Morane: But before we go on to try that, we need two new volunteers to explore one or more of the ethical precepts (re killing, lying, stealing, intoxication) between now and next week. No volunteers reporting on their experience next meeting = no discussion of that subject. So, volunteers?
    Mickorod Renard: and it is not a huge life threatening issue that it throws up enough incentive to stop
    Stim Morane: Good point, Mick. Insidious.
    Stim Morane: Volunteers for next week? Note that your work with the ethics precepts don't have to center on the sorts of things mentioned today.
    Eliza Madrigal will be off SL next week and possibly following or would volunteer
    Monty Tigerfish: Stim, could you review the concept of codependent arising?
    Wester Kiranov: I suppose I could do it again
    Stim Morane: I will, Monty
    Stim Morane: Thanks, Wester
    Stim Morane: ANother?
    Scathach Rhiadra: I will do it
    Stim Morane: OK, great.
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Stim Morane: It's ok, of course, to skip the "ethics" stuff, but consider that this might make our discussion of the new topic rather abstract, groundless.
    Stim Morane: So ... starting today, we'll begin a short series on codependent arising, as understood by various sources.
    Stim Morane: The topic is broad and difficult, and I would have kept ducking it except that Fefonz pressed ...
    Stim Morane: we'll see how well we can introduce it in this kind of medium.
    Stim Morane: Today I'll just consider the early Buddhist angle, which centers on patterns of compromised being.
    Stim Morane: Here the meaning emphasizes "what happens"
    Stim Morane: So it's dynamics, and insight-oriented, not "ontology" and theory-oriented
    Stim Morane: codependent arising (pratitysamutpada), “dependence (pratitya) upon conditions that are variously originated (samutpada).
    Stim Morane: pratitya has three different meanings--meeting, relying, and depending--but all three, in terms of their basic import, = dependence. Samutpada means arising. So pratityasamutpada = arising in dependence upon conditions, in reliance upon conditions, through the force of conditions.
    in the Rice Seedling Sutra. In this Sutra, Buddha speaks of dependent-arising in three ways.
    Stim Morane: The first two are simple(-seeming):

    Due to the existence of this, that arises.
    Due to the production of this, that is produced.
    Stim Morane: The third brings in detail, using twelve links of dependent arising: Due to the condition of ignorance, mental formations arise; due to the condition of mental formations, consciousness arises; due to the condition of consciousness, name and form arise; due to the condition of name and form, the six sense spheres arise; due to the condition of the six sense spheres, contact arises; due to the condition of contact, feeling arises; due to the condition of feeling, attachment arises; due to the condition of attachment, grasping arises; due to the condition of grasping, the potentialized level of karma called "existence" arises; due to the condition of "existence", birth arises; due to the condition of birth, aging and death arise.
    Stim Morane: This longish paragraph refers to patterns playing out on many levels, in many timeframes.
    Stim Morane: The entire chain of conditions covers three or four existences (or situations), depending on how you’d like to count them: 1 and 2 relate to the previous existence, 3 through 7 to conditioning of the present existence, 8 through 10 to the fruits of the present existence, and 11 plus 12 to the future “life” (or situation).
    Stim Morane: It sounds obscure, but it amounts to this:
    Stim Morane: 1 and 2: unawakeness + various subtle tendencies and impulses of mind
    {carry-over from the past existence}
    Stim Morane: 3: consciousness
    4: name and form, the mental and physical, complete kit of factors that form an individual being
    5: the sense-object domains
    6: contact of sense organ, object, and related events of consciousness
    7: sensation
    {the present situation is articulated}
    Stim Morane: I.e., 3 through 7 do that
    Stim Morane: 8: craving
    9: clinging
    10: becoming, a new existence
    {the present situation bears new fruit, becomes the next thing}
    Stim Morane: 11: birth
    12: decay and death
    {yet another birth, and inevitable decay or death of the situation}
    Stim Morane: So, starting where we are, in the "present situation", we can learn to see that there are antecedent factors of ignorance or tainted presence, then the setting up of the present in its particular form (including a charged form of contact with our context), then craving and attachment yielding a new becoming, then the full birth of that latter and the ensuring decay and dissolution {but note that this dissolution is not neutral—it sets up the next “ignorance” etc}
    Stim Morane: *ensuing
    Stim Morane: The traditional account involves terms that we can't fully unpack here very easily, but the basic point is, perhaps, still understandable
    Stim Morane: tainted past, compromised present, grasping, new "birth", decay ... new tainted presence.
    Stim Morane: Do you get the basic idea?
    Mickorod Renard: sort of
    arabella Ella: think so ... basically :)
    Eliza Madrigal: yes
    Monty Tigerfish: generally
    Stim Morane: It applies to many aspects of life
    Stim Morane: But the main point is: it applies to "samsara"!
    Fefonz Quan: yes, and in that description it is all sounds like 'mind' processes
    Fefonz Quan: (delayed response...)
    Monty Tigerfish: Something of a universal chronicle of existance.
    Stim Morane: It is not an account of what happens in life taken in an antiseptic way, but of compromised existence
    Stim Morane: yes, monty, samsaric existence
    Stim Morane: we modern people are used to a quite different type of account of reality, one concerned with physical causes and events, etc., that ignores the human dimension
    Stim Morane: But here the emphasis is on lived life.
    Monty Tigerfish: Is samsaric existance universal or just common to the human condition?
    Stim Morane: The teaching is about patterns that can be observed, looked into more deeply and directly
    Stim Morane: Monty, it applies to "beings" of any sort.
    Monty Tigerfish: I see.
    Stim Morane: But that gets us into a bigger discussion that we can probably handle easily today
    Mickorod Renard: excuse my ignorance,,but is this still co,dependant arising?
    Stim Morane: the main point is this is not a dogma or theory, it's an invitation to see what you can see in your own existence
    Stim Morane: this is the original form of the teaching of codependent arising, Mick
    Stim Morane: namely, a teaching about "what happens" in samsara
    Mickorod Renard: not (pratitysamutpada),?
    Stim Morane: one thing being present, another happens, etc
    Mickorod Renard: or is that the same?
    Stim Morane: Yes, that is pratityasamutpada
    Wester Kiranov: maybe the term samsara is not clear to all?
    Stim Morane: Samsara = endless cycling around in a compromised way of being
    Mickorod Renard: just tryin to get my head sorted
    Monty Tigerfish: find my 'present condition in the sequence?
    Mickorod Renard: ok,,cool
    Stim Morane: the teaching of samsara is general. The teaching of codependent arising is detailed and particular.
    Stim Morane: It's the detail pertaining to the general term "samsara!
    Gaya Ethaniel: Does this also apply to repeated patterns of behaviours?
    Stim Morane: To understand samsara, we would have to become more aware of true character of our pattern, unsatisfactoriness, etc.
    Stim Morane: Gaya, the answer is "yes" IF THE BEHAVIORS ARE SPECIFICALLY "SAMSARA-TYPE"
    Stim Morane: It doesn't apply to other behavior
    Stim Morane: So the point here is that one thing being present, another of a particular type will follow
    Gaya Ethaniel: I was wondering about my loop of drinking pattern ... alcohol is same yet different results ...
    Stim Morane: people trained themselves to see the chain of links
    Gaya Ethaniel: same input*
    Stim Morane: Yes, Gaya, I'm getting to that, precisely.
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah ok
    Stim Morane: So people would use a teaching like this to guide insight regarding the chain-links composing their own patterns
    Stim Morane: their addictions, etc
    Stim Morane: the idea then is that if you see the links clearly, you have a chance of breaking the chain
    sophia Placebo: can one rearange the links stim ?
    Stim Morane: Yes, probably, sophia.
    Stim Morane: There were many variants of this list
    sophia Placebo: nods
    Stim Morane: some were shorter
    Stim Morane: also, note that while a sequence is implied, these 12 or 10 or 7 etc terms also could be seen as existinc simultaneously
    Stim Morane: *existing
    Stim Morane: so there are many ways to use this, and many variants
    Stim Morane: the point is to learn to see more clearly
    Stim Morane: so coming back to our volunteers' reports, the homework, going forward, would be "can you see prior or background orientation of unawakeness, consolidation or set-up of present situation and emphasis, resulting strong grasping or attachment, resulting new situation, and its decay or dissolution … which latter in turn sets up conditions of unawakeness and subtle mental dispositions which seed the next round?"
    Stim Morane: Issue is not to worry yet about giving up the behavior, but first to see what is really involved in it as directly as possible, not as described by ordinary categories of perception, naming and judgment, but in more precise way that gives real contact with the factors and stages.
    Stim Morane: This will eventually give ability to break the chain (dropping the attachment), or to redirect it in positive way (alternative positive action).
    Pila Mulligan: kind of on that point, Stim, Gaya mentioned, and Mick echoed, an "urge to have the same experience" - but each experience is actually unique, and cannot really be the same
    Stim Morane: In order to do this, we would have to use a more free-form analysis than the traditional one ... for the latter is too complicated to easily explain here. I'm jusk making a general point about how it works.
    Stim Morane: Yes, but the urge can still be "to repeat"
    Fefonz Quan: i find it is easily seen with anger
    Stim Morane: the level of urges is not very insightful. :)
    Stim Morane: Explain more?
    Stim Morane: I mean, re anger?
    Mickorod Renard: Fef?
    Fefonz Quan: anger that arise from wrong view, changes our perceptions totally, that follows more grasping to wrong perception, then (shortened) to more anger etc.
    Stim Morane: yes, for example
    Stim Morane: As I said, we'll have to "roll our own" version of this teaching.
    arabella Ella: yes same for jealousy for example
    Stim Morane: yes
    Mickorod Renard: and smoke it and see?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Cool :) Roll our own version.
    Monty Tigerfish: and depression
    sophia Placebo: feels if someone feels urge , must be insightfull about its presence
    Stim Morane: what I said earlier is crucial: we need insight re our patterns, not as described by ordinary categories of perception, naming and judgment, but in more precise way that gives real contact with the factors and stages.
    Fefonz Quan: and it plants the seeds for the next cycle of anger/jealousy/
    Stim Morane: yes, sophia, Monty, Fef
    Stim Morane: you've got the idea
    Stim Morane: we think we already know what tends to happen to us, but in fact that "knowledge" is often useless.
    Stim Morane: It just leads to more of the same problem, + depression or loss of self-respect
    Stim Morane: we need "insight", which may be very different from our "knowledge"
    Mickorod Renard: I am trying hard to see what I can do about the cigar issue,,re this insite?
    Stim Morane: that is for you to determine, Mick
    Monty Tigerfish: Yes, I see that.
    Mickorod Renard: mmmmmmm
    Stim Morane: I think everyone here knows that way you really change is sudden, an unpredictable but clear result of accumulating insights that eventually gel into clear understanding and spontaneous decision. You don’t necessarily break the chain via struggle, but through gradually accumulation of wanting and learning, culminating in blindingly clear insight that is definitive shift.
    arabella Ella nods
    Stim Morane: Struggle does not break our chains, struggle involves a merely partial seeing—really just our ordinary perceptions and descriptions and reactions—that are actually part of the chains! Real seeing is something quite different from being intensely “familiar” with our problematical patterns. Our familiarity involves patterns of mind etc that are part of the patterns. True seeing breaks the chains, without struggle.
    Eliza Madrigal nods ..and then that 'sudden' can be disorienting
    Stim Morane: say more, sophia?
    sophia Placebo: i would say a diffrent dimension to that knowladge sim
    Stim Morane: yes, Eliza
    sophia Placebo: if i was a bad food eater , with ahigh risk to get DM or high blood pressure
    sophia Placebo: these all are infos one can read or hear
    Stim Morane: yes
    Stim Morane: good point
    Stim Morane: we rely on too much of that, nowadays
    Stim Morane: the old emphasis on direct insight, nurtured via contemplative practice, is still important
    Stim Morane: and this gives us connection with "will power" too
    sophia Placebo: if one was in close contact with some patient he might get a knowladge of what really a disease means
    Stim Morane: yes, perhaps
    Stim Morane: life itself is our opportunity, one way or another
    Mickorod Renard: is there a risk we will become control freaks?
    Gaya Ethaniel: [14:54] Stim Morane: we think we already know what tends to happen to us, but in fact that "knowledge" is often useless.
    [14:54] Stim Morane: It just leads to more of the same problem, + depression or loss of self-respect - not sure of the connection between these two sentences. Do you mean accumulation of behavioural patterns (limiting mind??) leads to these bigger psychologcial problems?
    sophia Placebo: but the knowladge needed to be a good food eater - healthy person - is more of self knowladge rather the out self world knowladge
    Stim Morane: anyway, Mick, I'm responding to your question in a general way, but one that urges specific insight ...
    Stim Morane: But no, I don't think the "control freak" angle is where we're headed. :)
    Stim Morane: This doesn’t mean that seeing is separate from “will” … we do have “will power”, contrary to many silly modern notions that this is an illusion. But true will power is itself an aspect of true seeing, and vice versa. True will comes from our real nature, which needs to be brought out more clearly through more seeing.
    Stim Morane: This is not "control" in the narrow, grasping sense.
    Stim Morane: So it's time to wind down ...
    Stim Morane: next week I will try to introduce a completely different angle on "codependent arising"
    Stim Morane: today's angle was on patterns, what leads to what.
    Stim Morane: Next time we'll consider "what is present" in a way that is an independent dimension
    Mickorod Renard: Thankyou Stim,,a very interesting session
    Gaya Ethaniel: Thank you Stim and everyone :)
    Stim Morane: Sorry we have to stop ... this will take a while.
    Eliza Madrigal: Thank you very much Stim
    arabella Ella: ty Stim
    Monty Tigerfish: Very insightful. I cant wait for next week.
    Scathach Rhiadra: thank you Stim
    Fefonz Quan: Thanks Stim, and all :)
    Wester Kiranov: Thank you Stim and all of you
    Stim Morane: Thanks, everyone.
    Eliza Madrigal will be following transcripts
    sophia Placebo: thanks stim
    Gaya Ethaniel: Scath and Wester which precepts you will rerport on btw?
    Pila Mulligan: thanks Stim
    Gaya Ethaniel: I want to try myself too :)
    Stim Morane: :)
    Wester Kiranov: I think I will look at how I hide from myself - through intoxication and lying
    Fefonz Quan: Night all, time to sleep here (1am)
    Mickorod Renard: ok,,gotta go folks,,thanks and bye
    arabella Ella: nite fef
    Gaya Ethaniel: Good night Fefonz :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: oh, I think I will look at killing:)
    sophia Placebo: night fef
    arabella Ella: nite mick
    arabella Ella: i gotta go too nite all
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah ok :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye Fef and Mick
    Fefonz Quan: _/!\_
    sophia Placebo: bye ara
    Eliza Madrigal: ooh, interesting Wester
    Monty Tigerfish: Bye, all
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye Ara
    Wester Kiranov: scath: not killing has interesting side effects too
    Scathach Rhiadra: yes:)
    Wester Kiranov: see you all later - bye!
    Eliza Madrigal: hmm, yes
    Gaya Ethaniel: I very much look forward to it then bye :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye Wester
    Scathach Rhiadra: good night all, Namasté
    Gaya Ethaniel waves.
    sophia Placebo: bye scath
    Eliza Madrigal: Namaste, Scath

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