2009.09.17 - Workshop 28

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    The following is the transcript for the workshop of 17th September 2009

    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Pila :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Pila
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Eliza :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Gaya, Scath, Pila :)
    Pila Mulligan: hmm, laggy -- hi (again)
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Eliza!
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Stim :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Stim and arabella :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Ara :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Stim, Ara!
    arabella Ella: Hiya Stim, everyone!
    Pila Mulligan: greetings
    Stim Morane: Hi Eliza, Gaya, arabella, Scathach ...
    Stim Morane: Oh, and Pila!
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Is everyone well today?
    Stim Morane: could be worse ...
    Stim Morane: and you?
    Eliza Madrigal: Yes thanks Gaya
    Gaya Ethaniel nods :)
    Pila Mulligan: well thanks
    arabella Ella: yes thanks!
    Scathach Rhiadra: yes thanks Gaya:0
    Gaya Ethaniel: ty :)
    Eliza Madrigal: I will need to leave about 5 before the hour... apologies in advance :)
    Stim Morane: sure
    Stim Morane: So ... shall we begin?
    arabella Ella: should we allow 2 mins perhaps?
    Eliza Madrigal: Sure :)
    Stim Morane: Gaya, would could start with the questions about codependent arising you posted on the wiki
    Stim Morane: *we could start
    Gaya Ethaniel: ok :)
    Stim Morane: so what are your answers?
    Stim Morane: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: It's a bit difficult to explain but ... sometimes seeing 'going' is enough, sometimes something else is needed ... like things coming together.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Dao :)
    Pila Mulligan: hi Dao
    Stim Morane: Hi Dao
    Dao Yheng: Hi everyone!
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Dao :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Dao
    arabella Ella: Hiya Dao
    Gaya Ethaniel: Shall I go through one by one Stim?
    Pila Mulligan: hi Fefonz
    Stim Morane: hi Fefonz
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Fefonz :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Fef :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Fefonz:)
    Stim Morane: Gaya, we could stay with your first comments if you like
    Fefonz Quan: Hi Stim, Gaya, Pila, Eliza Ara Scath :0)
    arabella Ella: Hiya Fefonz
    Gaya Ethaniel breathes a sigh of relief ... :P
    Scathach Rhiadra: :)
    Stim Morane: I have tried to introduce certain aspects of traditional teachings about codependent arising, but in the process, I've emphasized some things too much.
    Daress Braveheart: hi all
    Stim Morane: I freely admit that the emphasis on "going" etc is not central to understanding codependent arising.
    Stim Morane: Hi Daress
    arabella Ella: Hiya Daress
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Daress :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Daress
    Gaya Ethaniel: It has been good Stim ... really practical.
    Stim Morane: I ofter mentioned "going" and "goer" etc because that was illustrative of a certain school's view and of a broad range of focusing methods they might have used.
    Stim Morane: but of course it shouldn't be pushed too much
    Stim Morane: the main thing is, what do you see?
    Stim Morane: the little examples I used were just that--examples
    Stim Morane: so my "effective reminder" would be: what do you see? Or, what is involved in what I'm holding?
    Stim Morane: Things like that.
    Gaya Ethaniel nods and scribbles ...
    Stim Morane: AS for your 2nd question, what would you say, Gaya?
    Fefonz Quan: guess you don't mean holding as holding a lass
    Stim Morane: A good question, by the way
    Fefonz Quan: glass*
    Stim Morane: holding in what I have often called the "lived" sense
    Gaya Ethaniel: I think gradually like a bell swining ... trying and practising, I will find the natural balance?
    Gaya Ethaniel: swinging*
    Stim Morane: a lot of my jargon has become part of PaB etc here, but it's actually a little hard to explain what I mean by "lived" ... so this in itself is an issue for later.
    Gaya Ethaniel: I think I need to be open to try things out and so on.
    Stim Morane: anyway, Gaya asked what is the diff between being relaxed and being limp
    Stim Morane: yes, I would agree that naturalness in the key.
    Stim Morane: But then, what is "Natural"?
    Fefonz Quan: (limp?)
    Stim Morane: lazy, lax, overly loose
    Fefonz Quan nods, thanks.
    arabella Ella: like when a puppet is not being used
    Stim Morane: how can we find naturalness?
    arabella Ella: through harmony?
    Pila Mulligan: an excess on either side of natural tone (rigid or limp) would seem to be an excess
    arabella Ella: with ourselves, others, our environment
    Stim Morane: Yes, arabella ... we are all rather like puppets sometimes, help up only by habit rather than by natural vigor, aliveness.
    Stim Morane: so Gaya's q is a good one.
    Fefonz Quan: i think you can be very active ans still relaxed. even play basketball for example
    Stim Morane: Answers, anyone?
    arabella Ella nods
    Stim Morane: yes, being active is quite compatible with being relaxed.
    Stim Morane: more than compatible, in fact
    Stim Morane: but still, there remains the issue of how to find that groove
    Stim Morane: and what it involves
    Pila Mulligan: aging has some answers :)
    Stim Morane: this is a practice question, perhaps.
    Stim Morane: Yes, Pila ... it helps to have lived ... :)
    Fefonz Quan: we tend to identify relaxed with still, silent etc....
    Gaya Ethaniel: In my experiences, thoughts tend to work against being in the flow even physically. One often sees a tennis player double faulting as s/he gets anxious or worried about what happend in the last game.
    Stim Morane: yes, we don't really have much of a sense of what being naturally relaxed, and also fully engaged, really involves.
    Eliza Madrigal: If we don't carry too much around, maybe we are relaxed
    Stim Morane: :) true, Eliza, and Gaya ...
    Stim Morane: other comments?
    Scathach Rhiadra: alertness?
    Pila Mulligan: I'd suggest that you can feel the natural condition
    Stim Morane: sure
    arabella Ella: being relaxed involves a dissolution of the pull and push factors which often stress us in life
    Stim Morane: yes ... remind me, how do I do that again?
    Stim Morane: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Fefonz Quan: i feel that in any action, if we look deeply, we can say whether we are relaxed, or whether we have some str=eam of fear/stress underneath
    Pila Mulligan: but even if the bus driver does not announce 'we are now passing thru natural condition' you can tend to recognize it
    Stim Morane: :)
    Stim Morane: so as happened last week, we are unpacking codependent arising by appealing to naturalness ...
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Stim Morane: this is a tactic that wouldn't have occurred to the Buddhists I talked about earlier
    Stim Morane: But I agree with it.
    Stim Morane: This is why I like to teach several different traditions.
    Fefonz Quan: though one might say getting angree and stressed is quite natural too
    Stim Morane: they help each other sometimes, and help us understand them
    Stim Morane: you could say that everything is natural, Fefonz
    Fefonz Quan: anggry*
    Fefonz Quan: g*
    Fefonz Quan: so maybe relaxed is too narrow...
    Stim Morane: so clearly we need more fine-degree analysis on what we're really recommending when we appeal to naturalness.
    Pila Mulligan: an excellent example of natural breathing and body tone can be seen in infants
    Stim Morane: this is probably beyond the scope of a chat group ...
    Stim Morane: yes, that was the Taoists' claim, Pila
    Eliza Madrigal: but we're a being group... smiles
    Stim Morane: yes
    Stim Morane: :)
    Stim Morane: we do what we can
    arabella Ella: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Fefonz Quan: :)
    Fefonz Quan: naturally
    Stim Morane: everything we do is natural in one sense, and it's also true that we have a lot to learn about "naturalness"
    Stim Morane: :)
    Stim Morane: anyway, re your 3rd Question, Gaya, have you found anything that helps cultivate good will?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Stim I asked the questions :P
    Scathach Rhiadra: :)
    Stim Morane: I know, I'm being unfair
    Stim Morane: just wondering ...
    Gaya Ethaniel: Well I chant "this is what should be done -- " you know the Pali thing?
    Stim Morane: maybe
    Stim Morane: this is from the metta sutta?
    Gaya Ethaniel: It was suggested to me a while ago "may all beings be at ease ... etc."
    Stim Morane: yes
    Gaya Ethaniel: I think so.
    Stim Morane: yes
    Stim Morane: that is a good approach
    Stim Morane: but one also has to be realistic
    Stim Morane: that sutta really says this is what a wise person would do, one who has attained a certain level of refinement
    Gaya Ethaniel: Nothing happened for a long time ... but recently I see something when I do chant though rarely.
    Stim Morane: this also bears on a question Dao asked in her submission to the wiki
    Stim Morane: i think we have to start with simple things bearing on our own tendencies, not worry too much about impact on others. If that is acceptable, then it lightens the load ...
    Stim Morane: so we can start by seeing that we don't have good will ...
    Stim Morane: !
    Gaya Ethaniel nods ... I accept that I don't accept !
    Stim Morane: or that we have very little of it, or a very limited form of it
    Stim Morane: yes, exactly, Gaya
    Fefonz Quan: that's an easy exercise, at last :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Stim Morane: we have to start with this sort of thing rather than modeling someone we are not
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Stim Morane: if you're a sage, then practice accordingly, otherwise practice with what you have.
    Pila Mulligan: Stim, would you please explain the scope of ' we don't have good will'
    Stim Morane: if you can see that you don't have good will towards someone, or towards life or whatever, then that's a good thing to see, and to accept ... and also, you can see ways in which that position of not accepting is a codependent thing.
    Fefonz Quan: codependent on my mental state? on others?
    Stim Morane: by accept, I don't mean anything more than just "this is how my mind is viewing things now"
    Stim Morane: yes, Fefonz, on many levels ...
    Stim Morane: attitudinal, emotional, judgmental ... assumptions, etc etc
    Stim Morane: we can't really be said to have good will towards someone if we are not willing to really see the "someone" ... to go past the codependent framing factors.
    Stim Morane: good will is not an indulgence in fantasies ...
    Gaya Ethaniel: Is it something to do with seeing the whole of the person not just their faults?
    Fefonz Quan: can we?
    Stim Morane: the traditions tried to address this issue by saying you should see all beings as having at one time been your mother ... but that turns out not to work very well in the modern world. :)
    arabella Ella: :)
    Stim Morane: yes, Gaya, to see the person more directly.
    Gaya Ethaniel: I don't see it ... but it's more like not focusing on negativities that are so easy to latch onto ... being a human.
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah ok
    Fefonz Quan: yet, even to consider someone as a 'person' we need some assumptions
    Stim Morane: well ... we need what we need ... see what that really is.
    Stim Morane: it's certainly true that there are no people in view when you look thru a microscope
    Fefonz Quan: just saying it is so hard to see clearlywith no filters
    Stim Morane: ... or at a chart of medical or financial conditions
    Stim Morane: yes, it's hard but don't make it impossible ...
    Stim Morane: there are some things that we can see are doable and appropriate
    Stim Morane: and later, you may see some more
    Stim Morane: etc
    Gaya Ethaniel: So ... just continue with chanting Stim?
    Stim Morane: :)
    Stim Morane: you're chanting my name? :)
    arabella Ella: :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: :)
    arabella Ella: not a bad idea i guess
    Fefonz Quan: hehe
    Eliza Madrigal: hehe
    Stim Morane: I'll have to change my name
    Gaya Ethaniel: Well my answer to Q1 - reminder of the View ... was making a painting of Stim and stick it on my computer heheheh
    Eliza Madrigal: hahhha
    Stim Morane: how do you do that Alt thing?
    Stim Morane: a painting?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Add some white beards and asian clothings ... :P
    Stim Morane: can I get a file of it?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Of course :) I will let you know when I finish it.
    Stim Morane: Actually, I'm quite happy to stay out of all this ...
    Gaya Ethaniel laughs!
    Stim Morane: the main thing is we have a life, and we can learn more about what we're doing with it, and change.
    Pila Mulligan: 'we can start by seeing that we don't have good will' seems to have been offered as an observation to assist specific personal situations, but I was curious whether you think it is also applicable as a general observation about human nature -- in other words, do we have to rise above ordinary life conditions to have good will?
    Stim Morane: oh, no, I wasn't maing a blanket claim, Pila
    Stim Morane: just saying we should see what we actually have.
    Stim Morane: whatever that might be
    Stim Morane: we don't have to be non-ordinary, just willing to see and to learn and change ...
    Stim Morane: this gets back to that "naturalness" issue again
    Stim Morane: we'll have to talk about that sometime in detail
    Pila Mulligan: yes, is good will inherent in human nature?
    Stim Morane: an ancient question, as I think you know, Pila
    Stim Morane: what do you think?
    Pila Mulligan: I'd say yes and no
    Stim Morane: :)
    Pila Mulligan: it is there but it can be sapped
    Stim Morane: we can talk in detail about this too, sometime. IT would involve framing the question in practice terms rather than very general, philosophically speculative terms.
    Stim Morane: it's probably the original Chinese question ...
    Stim Morane: much of what those ancients thought about it has been lost due to a great book burning
    Stim Morane: but my interest is in what we can determine for ourselves
    Pila Mulligan: my personal framing of the question is this: do good works count?
    Stim Morane: Eliza, do you have any further thoughts about your experience with the counselor (mentioned in your wiki article)?
    Fefonz Quan: maybe the book burning itself hints toward something
    Stim Morane: Pila, what is your answer?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Eliza seems to have left or crashed.
    Pila Mulligan: yes
    Stim Morane: oh, i didn't realize
    Stim Morane: we'll come back to her piece another time then
    Pila Mulligan: she's back :)
    arabella Ella: wb Eliza
    Eliza Madrigal: power surge... sorry :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Thanks
    Stim Morane: welcome back, Eliza
    Gaya Ethaniel: wb :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Thanks :)
    Stim Morane: I was just trying to put you on the spot, Eliza ... and you weren't there.
    Stim Morane: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh,,,sorry I missed that
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Stim Morane: here it is:
    Stim Morane: Eliza, do you have any further thoughts about your experience with the counselor (mentioned in your wiki article)?
    Eliza Madrigal: ahha
    Gaya Ethaniel makes a mental note ... beware of a homework that asks for questions to Stim ...
    Eliza Madrigal: I have quite a few thoughts about that experience actually... I gave the very edited version :)
    Stim Morane: yes, i suspected so
    Eliza Madrigal: I've also had a few other instances very similar to that one, since then
    Stim Morane: there are several interesting features
    Daress Braveheart: bedtime for me, bye to all
    Gaya Ethaniel: Bye Daress :)
    Stim Morane: one is straightforwardness, without wobbling
    Stim Morane: Bye Daress
    Eliza Madrigal: yes... very steady
    Eliza Madrigal: And I often tend to feel very nervous in that type of situation
    Stim Morane: how do you account for that steadiness?
    Eliza Madrigal: for such a quick event, a lot happened...
    Eliza Madrigal: when she was frantic, I could see her behavior outwardly... but I felt more attuned to what she's been dealing with
    Stim Morane: Gaya, I promise not to put you on the spot for a long time ...
    Gaya Ethaniel: ok ... Stim you promised now.
    Eliza Madrigal: than what she was acting like
    Stim Morane: yes, Gaya
    Gaya Ethaniel: :D
    Eliza Madrigal: So I feel what I saw 'frist' was the person...
    Stim Morane: so Eliza, are you saying your own steadiness came from empathy?
    Eliza Madrigal: and then all the 'stuff' after
    Eliza Madrigal: Hm... maybe empathy... definitely seeing through the surface
    Stim Morane: yes
    Stim Morane: and on other occasions too recently?
    Eliza Madrigal: yes.. a few. I even got into a conversation with a frantic man at a store the other day..
    Stim Morane: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: by the time we left we were giggling and he thanked me for 'bringing him to reality'
    Eliza Madrigal: hah
    Stim Morane: wonderful
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: strange...yes and wonderful :)
    Stim Morane: by the way, I have an SL question ...
    Stim Morane: in other sl spaces, I can move my avatar's head around to look at other avatars.
    Stim Morane: But here I can't do it.
    Stim Morane: What's the secret?
    arabella Ella: move your mouse
    Stim Morane: no effect
    Eliza Madrigal: yes here is odd. The only way to control it sometimes is the alt and mouse
    Pila Mulligan: same here
    Eliza Madrigal: alt-zoom
    Scathach Rhiadra: you mean just when sitting in the chair here?
    Stim Morane: i don't get it
    Gaya Ethaniel: Press down Ctrl + Alt then click mouse to the person to go direct or use cam button.
    Stim Morane: using a mac or pc?
    Eliza Madrigal: You don't need ctrl... ah, I have a pc
    Stim Morane: I use both, which complicates things
    Stim Morane: anyway, just curious
    Stim Morane: I'll work it out
    Eliza Madrigal: :)..yes that could be easier
    Stim Morane: I only mentioned it because I'm not being very empathetic here since I can't control the avatar properly
    Scathach Rhiadra: the animations in these chairs controls how your av moves
    Stim Morane: ah
    arabella Ella: i find that if i move my cursor towards someone then my avi looks at that person
    Gaya Ethaniel: Mac - Cmd Option then right click or cmd click
    Stim Morane: yes, that's true generally, arabella, but not here .. .for me
    Pila Mulligan: we can start by seeing that we don't have control of our avi
    Eliza Madrigal: hahaha
    Stim Morane: thanks, Gaya
    Stim Morane: yes, Pila
    Gaya Ethaniel: yw :)
    Stim Morane: anyway, Eliza, I look forwad to hearing more about the kind of experience you're mentioning
    Eliza Madrigal: Thanks Stim..me too :)
    arabella Ella: so do our avis have a life of their own ... or their own will
    Gaya Ethaniel: Also under View / Camera Control - tick this and click this pad to move the camera around.
    Eliza Madrigal: it isn't that I feel distanced from it, but it is like watching something new
    Stim Morane: that would be great, I could just let the avatar do all the workshops
    arabella Ella: :)
    Stim Morane: yes, Eliza
    Scathach Rhiadra: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel giggles.
    Fefonz Quan: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: thanks
    Stim Morane: in fact, we could all do that ...
    Stim Morane: enlightened avatars
    Stim Morane: Dao, your wiki piece also raised many interesting points ...
    Stim Morane: I'm not sure if we have time remaining to do justice to them, though.
    Dao Yheng: np
    Stim Morane: They involve slightly technical issues
    Stim Morane: do you have an answer yourself re the 1st one, about whether high-level featues of contemplation are themselves subject to the codependent arising principle?
    Stim Morane: here's one comment:
    Stim Morane: Dao Yheng asked if things like emptiness and great compassion do themselves involve codependent arising. This is a question I am also concerned about, but there's no one simple answer to it. I've referred to Nagarjuna and the Madhyamaka school a lot in this workshop ... for those contemplatives, emptiness would be identical to codependent arising, and also, codependent arising was itself seen to be codependently given (hence relative). So right away we get a "yes" answer to Dao's question.
    Dao Yheng: Not really -- intellectually, I think great compassiong and so forth can't be made of something different
    Stim Morane: ok, good
    Stim Morane: that's one very reasonable view, I think
    Stim Morane: But speaking more broadly, it's a difficult question ... within different schools of Buddhism, for instance, the question would first receive a kind of remake in order to relate it more directly to the kinds of ideas and language used in a particular school to consider advanced issues of theory and practice. Once that conversion had been done, the revised question would be answered in different ways. Basically, some would say "no", and others "yes".
    Dao Yheng: but the logic of the higher stuff can be so weird and different, I don't know that logic will win!
    Stim Morane: yes, I agree
    Stim Morane: My own view has features of both these "no" and "yes" positions. I can't really say more about it, but will answer your question finally by simply saying it's a good question, it has practice-related features, and you should see for yourself whether something that seems advanced or ultimate to you actually still has features of codependence in some way. If it does, see if they can be released. That's important.
    Eliza Madrigal: I have to actually go... Thank you Stim, and everyone. look forward to reading what I've missed..so interesting
    Stim Morane: Bye Eliza
    Gaya Ethaniel: Bye Eliza :)
    Stim Morane: After all, the main point about codependent arising is that it's something to see and deal with ... we can and should look into this. So you can decide for yourself.
    Scathach Rhiadra: bye Eliza
    Fefonz Quan: bye eliza
    Pila Mulligan: bye Eliza
    Stim Morane: Dao, I will send you a note with more about your question
    Stim Morane: THanks, everyone. I guess there's no homework today.
    Dao Yheng: by eliza!
    Pila Mulligan: thanks Stim, as always
    Gaya Ethaniel: Thank you Stim :)
    Fefonz Quan: Thanks Stim!
    Scathach Rhiadra: good night Stim, thank you:0
    arabella Ella: Stim would it be possible to ask whether you could post your note to Dao on the wiki too as i am sure many of us are interested in that too
    Fefonz Quan: ?me nods
    Stim Morane: OK, if I get some help to do that
    arabella Ella: gaya perhaps?
    Stim Morane: I haven't tried posting anything there yet
    Gaya Ethaniel: Sure :)
    arabella Ella: thanks!
    Stim Morane: thanks, Gaya. It's particularly nice of you, give how mean I've been to you.
    Stim Morane: *given
    Scathach Rhiadra: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: I like you being mean ... it's all good :)
    Stim Morane: ok, thanks
    arabella Ella: thanks Stim
    Stim Morane: bye, everyone!
    Gaya Ethaniel: Have a good day/night everyone :)
    Pila Mulligan: bye
    arabella Ella: i must go too bye everyone ... nite!
    Gaya Ethaniel: Scath - would you have 5 min to go talk to Adele about the board?
    Dao Yheng: good night,it was lovely sitting with everyone
    Fefonz Quan: good night all!
    Scathach Rhiadra: yes,
    Pila Mulligan: me too, bye
    Gaya Ethaniel: Will send tp
    Scathach Rhiadra: good night all:0
    Fefonz Quan: nite Gaya, i's good to see you again
    Gaya Ethaniel: Nice to have you back :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah Fefonz
    Fefonz Quan: yep, just establishe internet connection two days ago
    Gaya Ethaniel: Would you be able to make Sunday?
    Gaya Ethaniel: That's good :)
    Fefonz Quan: when on sunday?
    Gaya Ethaniel: 2 pm
    Gaya Ethaniel: It's too late for you?
    Fefonz Quan: it's 9pm, so i'll try. its in Kira, isn't it?
    Gaya Ethaniel: 9 pm?
    Gaya Ethaniel: 2 pm SLT is 10 pm in UK ... it must be really late for you no?
    Fefonz Quan: no,... infact it's 12am...
    Fefonz Quan: like now
    Gaya Ethaniel: I will give you lm in case and also send group notice
    Fefonz Quan: coo, thanks
    Gaya Ethaniel: Gotta run see you later!
    Gaya Ethaniel: Scath will send tp
    Scathach Rhiadra: ok!
    Scathach Rhiadra: good night Fefonz:)
    Fefonz Quan: night, namaste!

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