2009.07.16 - Workshop 22

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    The following is the transcript of the workshop meeting of July 16th 2009.

    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Stim!
    Stim Morane: Scathach, Hi!
    Stim Morane: And Pila!
    Pila Mulligan: hi Scathach and Stim
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Pila
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Stim, Scath, Pila :))
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Eliza and all :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Eliza
    Eliza Madrigal: And Gaya once again... that was fast. hah
    Gaya Ethaniel: ^.-
    Scathach Rhiadra: Gaya:)
    Stim Morane: Hi Gaya, Eliza, Mick
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Mick :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Mick
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Mick
    Pila Mulligan: hi Gaya, Eliza and Mick
    Mickorod Renard: Hiya Stim Gaya Scath Eliza
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Pila
    Gaya Ethaniel: Feels like ages since last workshop somehow :)
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Fef
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Fefonz :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Fef
    Pila Mulligan: hi Fefonz
    Stim Morane: Hi Fefonz
    Scathach Rhiadra: even longer to the next one!
    Fefonz Quan: hey all! :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Fefonz
    Gaya Ethaniel nods. True ...
    Mickorod Renard: isnt pila going to fill in between
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Stim Morane: Gaya, have you been heavily involved in lots of projects or activities since last week?
    Mickorod Renard: ;)
    Gaya Ethaniel: No a lot happened 'internally' I think.
    Stim Morane: I see
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes we have Pila :)
    Stim Morane: OK, good.
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Stim Morane: Gaya submitted a "report" following up on our last meeting. Has everyone read it?
    Mickorod Renard: sorry i havnt
    Stim Morane: (Sorry, I'm jumping right in today, just to save time.)
    Mickorod Renard: have u a link at all ps?
    Stim Morane: http://ways-of-knowing.wik.is/3Reports/Gaya_Ethaniel/Report_21
    Mickorod Renard: ta
    Eliza Madrigal: yes, have read both reports
    Shyama Sheryffe: hi
    Pila Mulligan: hi Shyama
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Shy :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello shyama
    Stim Morane: hi shyama
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Shyama :)
    Stim Morane: we're looking at a brief report by Gaya:
    Stim Morane: http://ways-of-knowing.wik.is/3Reports/Gaya_Ethaniel/Report_21
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Shy
    Mickorod Renard: nice reportGaya
    Gaya Ethaniel: Thanks :)
    Fefonz Quan: yes, dramatic dream!
    Mickorod Renard: I hope to be more active now that School is finnished for summer
    Pila Mulligan: "I see how 'I go' with fear"
    Stim Morane: Yes, thanks Gaya!
    Mickorod Renard: forgive me for being a lil distracted recently
    Gaya Ethaniel: Sorry I couldn't make last week informal meeting. We meet again however can this Sunday I hope :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: whoever*
    Stim Morane: The funeral of the self is a classic image.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Is it? heh :)
    Stim Morane: So Gaya, do you have any further comments regarding acceptance?
    Pila Mulligan: think Ebenezer Scrooge, Gaya :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Well how I go usually seem to involve ideas about myself regarding fear. As in, "should enjoy challenges" "I don't like being such a whimp etc." But I seem to turn away almost automatically out of 'habit'.
    Mickorod Renard: if i may,,is the aceptance we are discussing only relevent to dreams,,or life in general?
    Stim Morane: Mick, I guess it's pretty broad
    Mickorod Renard: ty
    Stim Morane: Certainly not just regarding dreams
    Gaya Ethaniel: I can see now that I turn away, I just try to face it again. That's the best I can do for now.
    Gaya Ethaniel: ahhh Scrooge :)
    Stim Morane: Yes, Gaya ... just seeing more of what tends to happen is fine for now.
    Stim Morane: This is tricky because what we usually call "seeing what happens" actually involves a lot of interpretation
    Gaya Ethaniel: Mick, I talked about the dream at a PaB session and I came to see the relevance to the workshop in regards to 'going' afterwards when I read the log again later.
    Gaya Ethaniel: ok Stim :)
    Stim Morane: brb
    Mickorod Renard: I have observed that a large part of my change in life has been due to being more accepting
    Mickorod Renard: ok thanks Stim
    Fefonz Quan nods to Mick, mine too
    Stim Morane: sorry, back
    Stim Morane: Yes, Mick. The issue of acceptance applies to much of what you were describing to us a few weeks ago too.
    Stim Morane: Acceptance and "seeing" are inseparable
    Gaya Ethaniel: To be honest, I don't know how it works re: fear in my mind. I'm just happy to see that how the whole process starts.
    Stim Morane: Yes, this is a big topic in its own right.
    Stim Morane: Anyway, you're working on an important issue and I look forward to hearing more about how it's going over time.
    Gaya Ethaniel: ok will do :)
    Stim Morane: Pila also wrote a report for us. It's at:
    Stim Morane: http://ways-of-knowing.wik.is/3Reports/Pila_Mulligan/Workshop_21
    Fefonz Quan: interesting report Pila.
    Eliza Madrigal nods... very
    Stim Morane: Yes
    Gaya Ethaniel nods :)
    Pila Mulligan: thnaks
    Stim Morane: There's quite a lot in your report, Pila. I suggest we step through it slowly.
    Fefonz Quan: Iliked the breathing part, though i find it works both ways
    Stim Morane: But first, did you want to add any further perspectives to what you wrote?
    Pila Mulligan: oh yes
    Pila Mulligan: my mind never really frees me
    Stim Morane: :)
    Pila Mulligan: There is the idea of interconnected awareness, and to me emptiness describes a perception that is uplifting of awareness, with ethics being the art of sensitivity to the uplifting of interconnected awareness. We may reach the emptiness perception by some form of practice, then the experience of the perception can serve as an ethical guide. Yet humans seem to ordinarily have a spontaneous reverence for natural beauty, and that reverence relates to the same idea of ethics. So we can approach the uplifting experience and the related idea of ethics from various angles.
    Pila Mulligan: [finis]
    Stim Morane: Great
    Stim Morane: I mentioned that we could spend part of our session today on how codependent arising relates to your practice-related experience and also to Fefonz's interests.
    Mickorod Renard: phew,,heavy stuff Pila
    Stim Morane: Pila, shall we start with points drawn from your report?
    Pila Mulligan: yes
    Pila Mulligan: I will need to let you start Stim
    Stim Morane: I appreciated that you put the "Confucius" quote in the context of actually being part of a story by Chuang-tzu.
    Stim Morane: Chuang-tzu was a rascal and loved to make stories with famous characters in them
    Stim Morane: The view you mention wouldn't actually have made much sense to Confucius, I think, but it works fine as a story in CHuang-tzu
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: ahhh Jang-ja :)
    Stim Morane: So just to make a quick point regarding that ...
    Pila Mulligan: I also understand Chang Tze to feel there are too many valid possible varieties of personal experience for one to prescribe some of them and proscribe the others as descriptions of reality.
    Stim Morane: He was doing some innovative, boundary-crossing things, unusual for his time perhaps.
    Pila Mulligan: maybe akin to Nagarjuna?
    Stim Morane: He was a student of logic and the limitations of language and categories of ordinary thought
    Stim Morane: Yes, perhaps he was somewhat like Nagarjuna
    Stim Morane: His primary interest was in spoofing the idea that our knowledge really covers very much of the range of reality
    Stim Morane: He loved to turn our ordinary views upsidedown
    Stim Morane: And along the way, he was illustrating some classic Taoist ideas.
    Stim Morane: One of them relates to your first sentence regarding " how perception proceeds to emptiness (from the senses through the mind to primal spirit.) "
    Stim Morane: This refers to the Daoist idea of "return", return to Tao.
    Stim Morane: I take it that you have been working on various practices that implement this return, is that right?
    Pila Mulligan: yes, I hope so, it seems so
    Stim Morane: :)
    Stim Morane: Good
    Stim Morane: In true chuang-tzu spirit, we shouldn't be too certain!
    Pila Mulligan: reminds me of that nice part of Corinthians, 'whe I was a child ..'
    Gaya Ethaniel: Tao means path?
    Stim Morane: Tao literally means path or road or Way ... Or even "say"
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah ok
    Stim Morane: But here it refers to reality, the overarching reality that is everywhere present but usually not appreciated or followed very well by pesky human beings
    Stim Morane: Hence the need for "return"
    Stim Morane: Anyway, the weird codependent arising point we've been discussing in this forum would critique this "return" notion and its destination, "Tao"
    Pila Mulligan: how so stim?
    Stim Morane: This doesn't mean I am taking the side of codependent arising over that of Daoism, but just to illustrate the point behind Nagarjuna's teaching ...
    Pila Mulligan: ah
    Stim Morane: The 2nd version of codependent arising would say something like this:
    Pila Mulligan: reification
    Stim Morane: sort of, yes
    Stim Morane: The "primal spirit" is codependent with other features of what is immediately present in your view at that moment and doesn't have any reality apart from that.
    Stim Morane: This would be Nagarjuna's teaching
    Stim Morane: I'm claiming that both his point and that of traditional practitioners following Taoism are valid and important
    Fefonz Quan: (un-atman?)
    Stim Morane: yes, fefonz
    Stim Morane: Something like that
    Pila Mulligan: the primal spriit abstarction, however, is a nice reprsesntation of interconnectedness
    Pila Mulligan: nature can serve the same purpose wihtout needing abstraction
    Stim Morane: the point for our purposes is not to reject traditional practice orientations, but to use codependent arising to make them even more radically effective
    Gaya Ethaniel: un-atman? Atman in Hindusim?
    Stim Morane: Yes, Pila
    Stim Morane: Right, Gaya
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah ok
    Stim Morane: This is a big subject, and one we can't really discuss much here, but the basic idea is that we can benefit from cultivating a return to "primal spirit" and we can benefit from seeing that this "primal spirit" as a guiding feature of our practice is codependent arisen and thus empty
    Stim Morane: This is not a rejection but an amplification of direct seeing regarding what we've got at a given moment and what is limiting our presence
    Stim Morane: I hope my comments will not be seen as a criticism of anyone's practice or of any tradition
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Stim Morane: I'm just illustrating the Madhyamaka angle
    Fefonz Quan: how can you criticize something that is already empty? :)
    Stim Morane: true, I cannot criticize what is already seen to be empty by its own nature.
    Stim Morane: Fefonz, my point was simply that I'm not criticizing anything, just illustrating ...
    Fefonz Quan nods
    Gaya Ethaniel: If I don't mean to criticise, it's not a criticism is it ...?
    Mickorod Renard: I am still a bit fuzzy in the head with it
    Mickorod Renard: ;)
    Shyama Sheryffe: is fascinated but tired as its late so she waives goodbye to all
    Stim Morane: well, it could be a criticism in form and substance, Gaya.
    Green Tea whispers: Enjoy your tea
    Stim Morane: By SHyama
    Mickorod Renard: bye Shy
    Gaya Ethaniel: Bye Shamay :)
    Fefonz Quan: bye shy
    Stim Morane: Anyway, yes, I see what you mean, Gaya
    Pila Mulligan: bye Shy
    Gaya Ethaniel: I don't get that ... but I will think on it Stim.
    Fefonz Quan: thanks green! (fefoz raises his glass :)
    Stim Morane: All I'm saying is that I'm using points raised by any of us, starting with Pila today, to illustrate how a certain tradition of codependent arising would unpack
    Stim Morane: For instance, the same tradition would say that the perceiving (yin) mind is no different from the ration (yang) mind that Pila mentions ...
    Stim Morane: *rational
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Stim Morane: This because both are codependent arising and "empty"
    Stim Morane: Yes, I know ... :)
    Pila Mulligan: would that themind agreed
    Stim Morane: But your mind is itself codependent arisen, not fixed
    Stim Morane: This is the idea, anyway
    Eliza Madrigal: this speaks to not being able to reform ordinary mind, which, in tune with nature is/can be a beautiful, even harmonious thing? So ordinary not in the sense of 'mere' but in the sense of direct seeing?
    Stim Morane: We can thaw out the ordinary mind ... By seeing more of its open, "empty" nature, it can be more flexible, more creative, etc
    Mickorod Renard: would either you Stim or Pila have an example of how this would unviel in everyday practice?
    Stim Morane: Sure, take anger
    Stim Morane: Anger is hard, frozen, unyieldingly negative
    Stim Morane: But it is also codependent arisen, thus empty, thus open
    Mickorod Renard: I see
    Stim Morane: Flexible ... We could see this and stop on a dime, as Americans say.
    Stim Morane: :)
    Mickorod Renard: nice idea
    Stim Morane: The angry mind could be the compassionate mind more or less instantly
    Stim Morane: Emptiness is useful!
    Fefonz Quan: that sounds like a very skillful practice
    Mickorod Renard: I think I may subconciously practice it in a way
    Stim Morane: Say more, Mick?
    Mickorod Renard: sometimes,,but more often now
    Mickorod Renard: well,,its perhaps in relation to my past trend to want to act and control events that i feel are not ideal,,now I see it as empty and give it less importance
    Pila Mulligan: as an ananlogy, your hand or foot may go to sleep (an english idiom) and you can rub or shake it and it will wake up or return to its ordinary sensitivty
    Eliza Madrigal: hmm
    Pila Mulligan: or oyu can let it tingle and bother you
    Stim Morane: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Stim Morane: I'm happy with all sorts of perceived connections along those lines ...
    Stim Morane: The main point is that things are not frozen, intractible
    Mickorod Renard: there are many things that i would get annoyed about,,even though the milk has been spilt as it were,,but now I have the pacivity to say ,,hey,,dont worry
    Stim Morane: We don't even have to transform them via some process, they are self-open
    Stim Morane: Yes, Mick, I think that counts.
    Mickorod Renard: whats done is done,,or whatever
    Stim Morane: And it would also be nice to look more directly at the spilt milk and see that it has never been spilled.
    Stim Morane: This is the codependent arising point
    Mickorod Renard: it has little relevance now
    Stim Morane: The very way that things are present is the way that they are "not"
    Mickorod Renard: the spilt milk
    Fefonz Quan: can you say more about that one stim?
    Stim Morane: Yes, Mick, I see what you mean.
    Stim Morane: Well, Fefonz, this is the main point of the Madhyamaka tradition
    Stim Morane: And we've been mentioning little bits regarding that
    Stim Morane: But I know it's going to take more time than we will ever have together to really unpack it
    Stim Morane: Basically I'm just encouraging a renewal of direct "seeing"
    Fefonz Quan: but some more sentences might help :)
    Stim Morane: Not taking things for granted, taking them as given
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Fefonz Quan: i thought spilled is just spilled is teh given approach
    Mickorod Renard: its funny,,I was thinking of asking if anyone wanted to do a pab slot on forgivness (an issue close to many hearts),but in a way this covers some
    Gaya Ethaniel: Given?
    Fefonz Quan: [14:48] Stim Morane: Not taking things for granted, taking them as given
    Stim Morane: Well, we have 12 minutes left and still haven't even gotten past the first few sentences of Pila's report!
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Mickorod Renard: grin
    Pila Mulligan: let's shift over to Fefonz's part maybe :)
    Fefonz Quan: one minute for every cod-ar link :)
    Stim Morane: Pila, if we do that, we'll certainly want to come back to your report later.
    Pila Mulligan: ok
    Stim Morane: There are many important things in it
    Pila Mulligan: thnaks
    Fefonz Quan: i can wait to next time
    Stim Morane: No it's ok, fefonz
    Stim Morane: We can move on to your side for now
    Stim Morane: What would you like to discuss?
    Fefonz Quan: it's better to stay on points we all wonder about
    Stim Morane: Nice if possible
    Stim Morane: How are we doing so far?
    Stim Morane: :)
    Fefonz Quan: well infact this is close to my point,
    Stim Morane: Yes?
    Fefonz Quan: i can see cod-ar as things effecting each other in infact infinite ways, but that happens in time.
    Stim Morane: Yes.
    Stim Morane: That version of codependent arising is DIFFERENT
    Fefonz Quan: the spilled milk is connected to many event in the ast and maybe future
    Stim Morane: YES
    Fefonz Quan: yet, right now, it is slipped.
    Fefonz Quan: spilled.
    Stim Morane: my purpose in this forum is simply to trot out a few of the main (quite different) versions of cod
    Stim Morane: codependent arising
    Fefonz Quan: and the interconnectness, or emptiness of that fact, out of time, is very elusive
    Stim Morane: The one you've mentioned is linked to Pila's "interrelatedness"
    Stim Morane: There are probably about 7 main types of codependent arising (for this forum)
    Fefonz Quan: yes, but i wonder more about nagarjuna's point
    Stim Morane: Nagarjuna's angle was quite different from anything that is easy relate to modern views
    Stim Morane: He wasn't denying causal interconnectedness of sorts that figure in modern science
    Fefonz Quan: exactly. yet, you wouldn't say it is useless and dated ecause of it
    Stim Morane: He was just saying that for "spiritual practice" it's important not to take anything for granted
    Stim Morane: This is because his understanding of the real fruit of contemplation is beyond all categories, even beyond "something that is beyond ..."
    Stim Morane: It is also beyond processes leading to a result
    Fefonz Quan: but he didn't meant this is just a tool, and reality has nothing to do with it
    Stim Morane: Right, Fefonz
    Stim Morane: But "reality" is a loaded term
    Stim Morane: the "reality" he was concerned with is different from the one a physicist studies
    Stim Morane: Exactly how these two are going to be put in a meaninful relation to one another is a great question
    Fefonz Quan: it is loaded, and i understand that, but yet when a car is giong your way or someone is going to die, this is not only physical reality, it is personal in any other effect
    Stim Morane: But frankly there is no way that synthesis could ever be accomplished without having the direct awakeness that Nagarjuna was emphasizing
    Stim Morane: Yes fefonz, of course
    Stim Morane: But the whole range of things involved in your car example don't cover all the bases Nagarjuna was concerned about
    Stim Morane: This is why we have our work cut out for us in this forum
    Stim Morane: And why I was so eager to not do the forum!
    Stim Morane: It's a very tricky subject
    Stim Morane: "you" are much more than what is injured in car accidents
    Gaya Ethaniel: Well reality Fefonz is saying happens but after that ... it is no more, it's not reality anymore. That's the best I can describe it.
    Gaya Ethaniel: [reality' as Fefonz used in both above]
    Mickorod Renard: is this something to do with deconstruction?
    Stim Morane: Nagarjuna was interested in the rest of what "you" are, over and above the body, mind, life, death, etc stuff
    Stim Morane: Mick, some people have seen Nagarjuna as primarily deconstructive, yes
    Mickorod Renard: ty
    Fefonz Quan: thanks, that's a great notion Stim.
    Stim Morane: But I think that leaves out how "deconstruction" itself would work, and what it would achieve, in his context
    Fefonz Quan: and that ;you' interest me very much too, tha's why i brought that up
    Stim Morane: See, his deconstruction is intended to open to enlightenment
    Stim Morane: Not just to critique something
    Stim Morane: In the ordinary context, if you deconstruct something, you're back in the ordinary context
    Mickorod Renard: mmmmmmm
    Stim Morane: For Nagarjuna, if you deconstruct the "posits" that constitute our ordinary reality, where are you? What are you?
    Mickorod Renard: mick needs to do some homework
    Stim Morane: He's not going to say, of course
    Stim Morane: Well, we've just gotten started, Mick. Don't worry ...
    Fefonz Quan: so in a way, it's more that the 'you' in intrerconnected with the world you see around, the 'you' vanishes, dissolves, IS the world you aperceive around,
    Fefonz Quan: ia* interconnected
    Stim Morane: Maybe, fefonz
    Fefonz Quan: is*
    Stim Morane: I'd have to talk with you more to make sure
    Stim Morane: Unfortunately, we're out of time today
    Fefonz Quan: not that i can percieve it in less then intelectual sense
    Mickorod Renard: very interesting Stim
    Pila Mulligan: thanks Stim, have a nice retreat
    Mickorod Renard: yes,,have a lovely time Stim
    Eliza Madrigal: Thank you Stim
    Gaya Ethaniel: Would be interesting to hear how you see co-dependent arising Fefonz :)
    Fefonz Quan: Yes, Thank you Stim!
    Gaya Ethaniel: Enjoy the retreat Stim :)
    Mickorod Renard: do u have a quick fix for jelousy Stim,,cos i am
    Fefonz Quan: i am just a novice student of that gaya
    Scathach Rhiadra: thank you Stim, enjoy the retreat
    Gaya Ethaniel: I'd be interested in listening if you're willing :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Maybe this Sun??
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Stim Morane: When we pick up again in a couple of weeks, I will list thenergy 7 or so versions of codependent arising I'm interested in summarizing, try to distinguish them briefly, and continue to explain how some of them relate to your life practice
    Fefonz Quan: good idea
    Stim Morane: *the 7 or so
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Fefonz Quan: :)
    Mickorod Renard: I thought there were only 6
    Gaya Ethaniel: ok look forward to meeting again Stim :)
    Stim Morane: Bye, everyone! Have a good "vacation" from this weird forum!
    Fefonz Quan: that's just a number Mick :0
    Eliza Madrigal: haha
    Mickorod Renard: he he
    Pila Mulligan: bye
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Mickorod Renard: bye pila,,thanks
    Gaya Ethaniel: So next 2 weeks Stim's away right?
    Eliza Madrigal: Sounds like a new tag "Weird forum attender"
    Fefonz Quan: seems llike that
    Scathach Rhiadra: yes
    Gaya Ethaniel: Can't we have Pila and Fefonz talking each week?
    Mickorod Renard: i would like that
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: I'm in if so
    Pila Mulligan: I'm nt really capable of filling Stim's place Gaya
    Gaya Ethaniel: Just want to know about your practice Pila :)
    Fefonz Quan: i wouldn't think it will be appropriate in Stim's workshop
    Gaya Ethaniel: We don't have to post the logs of course :) just informally gathering.
    Fefonz Quan: (for me anyway)
    Mickorod Renard: I am sure no one can replace Stim Pila,,but you are so very good like stim in your way
    Scathach Rhiadra: I must go, good night all, Namaste
    Gaya Ethaniel: Open discussions as in PaB you know.
    Pila Mulligan: thanks Mick, but Pila seconds Fefonz's comment
    Fefonz Quan: Night Scath!
    Gaya Ethaniel: Good night Scath :)
    Mickorod Renard: nite Scath
    Pila Mulligan: bye Scath
    Eliza Madrigal: Night Scathach

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