2010.03.07 - Lojong 7 [Distractions and Commitments]

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    .Greem Mayo: 服ェロィ
    Dao Yheng: Hi Calvino, Hi Mitsu
    shiyaa Ultsch: no speak english
    Mitsu Ishii: hi
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello everyone :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Everyone! :)
    Eliza Madrigal: brb.... really cold and need a blanket...
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Dao Yheng: We have some Japanese visitors today :)
    Dao Yheng: It's finally sunny and getting warmer in New York!
    Gaya Ethaniel: Winter is back again here :)
    Dao Yheng: snowing?
    Eliza Madrigal: Brr.. weather outside is perfect here but hm... someone in the house is air conditioner happy :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Just really cold, winds have eased though :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: lol
    Timbo Quan: Hello All
    Eliza Madrigal: Let me pull up reports...
    Dao Yheng: Hi Timbo!
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Tim
    Mitsu Ishii: I put on two art events this week so alas neglected my report duties
    Eliza Madrigal: http://ways-of-knowing.wik.is/
    Eliza Madrigal: I hope all went very well, Mitsu
    Gaya Ethaniel: np, hope you enjoyed them :)
    Dao Yheng: Mits was working hard, but I certainly enjoyed it!
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :))
    Eliza Madrigal: We're missing Zen today, but maybe we can start off with some of the thoughts he shared in his report?
    Gaya Ethaniel: ok :)
    Dao Yheng: yes
    Eliza Madrigal: For me, the line that jumped out was "Seems to be about how well, how quickly, we can recover our equilibrium when we have had a nasty surprise of some sort that really throws us. Life is full of such experiences. This is when our practice pays off. "
    Gaya Ethaniel is grateful for those opportunities :)
    Dao Yheng: It's a good one for me too -- just remembering the notion of practice is helpful then
    Eliza Madrigal: we sure get lots of them
    Dao Yheng: a reminder that there's another way
    Eliza Madrigal: I thought about experiences where I had to stop and try to 'get' that equilibrium, vs. when it was just 'there', or arose on its own surprisingly.... being acted on, in a sense, due to regular practice?
    Gaya Ethaniel: I can never make sense out of how that works I'm afraid ... perhaps it's not possible to explain it.
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Dao Yheng: yes, the equilibrium doesn't have to be manufactured, or meet a certain standard
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh interesting, meet a certain standard?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Like what I related, 'I' wasn't instructing myself to chill out and take some deep breathing. It just happened ... the ordinary thinking mind didn't even make an appearance.
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah yes perfect, Gaya
    Eliza Madrigal: quite a scenario
    Dao Yheng: yes
    Gaya Ethaniel: Even now, I can't really come up with words to explain what happened and why ...
    Dao Yheng: maybe it doesn't really "appear" -- it's just what's there when the self is relaxed a bit
    Gaya Ethaniel nods.
    Eliza Madrigal: hmmm, yes
    Eliza Madrigal: so the surprise moment can strip away contrivances and conceptuatlizations...
    Gaya Ethaniel: idk ... 'it' just broke through ...
    Eliza Madrigal: yes it really reminded me of the dealings with that school counselor... it was almost like 'something' wasn't going on...
    Eliza Madrigal: strange
    Gaya Ethaniel: To be honest, these are accounts thought through well afterwards, trying to make sense & giving up :)
    Eliza Madrigal: hehehe
    Dao Yheng: I find the bit that Eliza raised about waking up is quite related
    Eliza Madrigal: in discussing renewing our commitment in the morning/evening?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Dao, could you please paste the bit re: waking up?
    Dao Yheng: this is a surprisingly powerful thing to pay attention to so far, though I think it will take a while longer before it is part of my rhythm to pause more deeply when waking up. Some days this seems very natural, but not 'consistent'. I suppose for me this has been about noticing the presence of awareness/a sense of lucidity.. and letting that come up before I step into the day.
    Dao Yheng: (that's from eliza)
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, thanks Dao. I'm attentive to not relying on 'feelings', I want to say... but notice that if I linger longer things flow better...
    Dao Yheng: for me, that sense is what's there before the self begins to assemble
    Eliza Madrigal: Hm, what's there directly?
    Dao Yheng: or what isn't there :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Ahhh... nods nods nods
    Eliza Madrigal: so from 'there' one can step into things in a natural way perhaps....
    Greem Mayo: wwwwwwwッ
    Greem Mayo: 混ざったwww
    shiyaa Ultsch: ただ これ つかいたかったw
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Greem and Shiyaa.... you're welcome to have a seat and join us. We're having a workshop meeting
    Gaya Ethaniel: Welcome shiyya, Gaku and Greem. Please see http://ways-of-knowing.wik.is/ more for information.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes sorry we started at 9 am.
    Dao Yheng: Hmm, what do you think English speakers? Do you want to try a different location?
    Greem Mayo: ( *´艸`)Huhuhum
    Greem Mayo: no
    Gaku Klaar: japon^^
    shiyaa Ultsch: はげ いかついw
    Gaku Klaar: see u^^
    Greem Mayo: /bye
    Gaya Ethaniel: ja ne :)
    Gaku Klaar: じゃあの
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye
    Greem Mayo: ja ne :-)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hm ... which brings us back to distractions...
    Eliza Madrigal: :)))
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Dao Yheng: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: "Dao : Sometimes it's possible to see the emptiness even of this distracted frame of mind, see it directly -- sometimes it's not, and then it can help me notice the specific character of the mind that I've taken on. "
    Gaku Klaar: :p
    Gaku Klaar: うぃー
    Gaku Klaar: かふん?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes Dao could you say more about this?
    Eliza Madrigal: I was really interested in your perspective here, Dao
    Dao Yheng: Hmm, well, maybe I was trying to say that the distraction or distracted state of mind isn't really separate from what might call the practice mind
    Dao Yheng: there's a feeling associated, which is that distracted mind can be there and is the emptiness mind
    Dao Yheng: it's a little tricky to describe because it's a bit new for me
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Anyone for retiring to a quieter location :)
    Eliza Madrigal: hm, yes I can see how it would be difficult to describe
    Eliza Madrigal isn't bothered by the little sounds but if it would be better for others, sure
    Gaya Ethaniel: ok I will talk to them :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Thanks, Gaya :)
    Eliza Madrigal: one of the first things Stim asked us at the beginnings of the workshop had to do with kinds of minds.. or what we might notice in thinking this way..
    Eliza Madrigal: a fascinating exploration
    Calvino Rabeni: Can you describe some "kinds of minds" Eliza?
    Eliza Madrigal: I don't think I ever came to a conclusion, hehe... but he asked us to look/ see what we thought
    Calvino Rabeni: Did any "kinds of minds" becom apparent in that study?
    Eliza Madrigal: for me there came up a kind of fishing analogy... of a kind of mind coming up with a context or situation...
    Eliza Madrigal: like a frame...
    Eliza Madrigal: So maybe that's part of why Dao's comment so struck me
    Dao Yheng: yes, for me, there are a lot of assumptions piggy-backing on any given mind -- ideas about what would be best, what kind of actions would need to be taken, etc
    Dao Yheng: but there are also kinds of mind that don't seem to have these kind of assumptions
    Gaya Ethaniel: Or even what is equilibrium :P
    Eliza Madrigal: seeing emptiness mind, or seeing via emptiness mind... seems a wow
    Dao Yheng: right!
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Gaya Ethaniel: You know ... I'm no longer sure about this word, seeing ...
    Gaya Ethaniel: It's been seen but what/who is seeing I'm not sure anymore.
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, the question actually was "Is mind more fundamental than thoughts.... "
    Gaya Ethaniel: That depends on what 'mind' here means maybe?
    Calvino Rabeni: Is there a way to avoid going back to square one of definitions :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: ?
    Eliza Madrigal: seeing without a see'er...
    Dao Yheng: we can become a dictionary club!
    Eliza Madrigal: hehehe
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: When you have an experienced group it isn't necessary any more to say "wait, what do you mean by 'thoughts'?"
    Calvino Rabeni: Remember the Cafh workshop here?
    Gaya Ethaniel: I'm not sure Calvino, what 'mind' refers to in the sentence Eliza mentioned is important imo.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Sorry didn't go to that one ...
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, but 'experienced' seems to fly out the window sometimes...
    Gaya Ethaniel: lol
    Calvino Rabeni: OK
    Eliza Madrigal: beginners mind as a kind of mind...
    Eliza Madrigal: ?
    Gaya Ethaniel: I guess I was referring back to 'frame of mind' mentioned before.
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah
    Eliza Madrigal listens
    Gaya Ethaniel: There is mind that doesn't have this frame or that frame if that makes sense.
    Calvino Rabeni: Well that is a kind of conceptual orientation to ideas, perhaps - beginners mind
    Calvino Rabeni: and then there appear to be structural minds, like "intuition"
    Calvino Rabeni: Or the parts of a bigger mind that one doesn't normally identify with
    Dao Yheng: Calvino, not sure what is meant by structural minds, like "intuition"
    Eliza Madrigal: well emptiness mind, or natural state of mind... is a beginners mind... a mind dwelling on nothing.... nowhere at all
    Eliza Madrigal: or I should say 'could be called' rather than is, sorry
    Calvino Rabeni: Ideas from intuition - seem to come from "not me" - or just pop into awareness from the currently unconscious mind
    Eliza Madrigal likes the phrase 'pop into awareness'
    Calvino Rabeni: All the different 'I's inside could be called different minds
    Gaya Ethaniel: Mind which is alive ... clear and right or clarity, rightness itself.
    Eliza Madrigal: MMm, nods Gaya
    Calvino Rabeni: And the case of prayer to a deity, who speaks back to oneself - a different kind of mind
    Gaya Ethaniel: Funny I never thought to link aliveness here ^^;;;
    Calvino Rabeni: And if these are all facets of "mind" in the big sense, then they are structurally separate
    Eliza Madrigal: interesting
    Calvino Rabeni: Bodymind, another kind of mind
    Eliza Madrigal: awareness as aliveness...
    Calvino Rabeni: It "knows" through hunches and through wordless feelings
    Mitsu Ishii: I think what Stim was referring to are what you might call different modes of mind
    Gaya Ethaniel: Not sure Calvino, these days, I'm just a witness.
    Calvino Rabeni: There's the "group mind", a feeling around a group of people
    Eliza Madrigal: Just for the record, the sessions I referenced before were 20/21 :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: modes is yes probably a better word than kinds
    Eliza Madrigal: like 'positions'
    Mitsu Ishii: so for example, an angry mind, or a mind which is set up in various ways by conditioning
    Calvino Rabeni: All these "minds", it seems, one could distance from and see them as outside, or inhabit them to some degree
    Calvino Rabeni: Is the "witness" a withdrawn mind, or an encompassing one?
    Calvino Rabeni: Conditioned minds, yes
    Mitsu Ishii: The point is that everything we think is real is real only co-dependently with a mind
    Gaya Ethaniel: Being a witness is close to seeing ... not a frame of mind.
    Calvino Rabeni: As when one is "on automatic" doing mind-like things
    Eliza Madrigal nods @ Mitsu
    Eliza Madrigal thinking of yogas and flexibility...
    Calvino Rabeni: Right, codependently arising
    Mitsu Ishii: although it's important to recognize that there isn't an "objective" perspective. i.e., even if we recognize the kind of mind we have at a given moment and try to relax that position somewhat, even then we are still using a kind of mind for that as well. The key is to recognize we are always conditioned in some way, so we can relax at all times without ever thinking "now I have the objective view?
    Mitsu Ishii: "
    Gaya Ethaniel: Eliza said "These days I think of it as relaxing moreso than stopping.2
    Gaya Ethaniel: "
    Eliza Madrigal: wider ranges, open fields... but only possible because of coming from emptiness/lucidity... like that would be the quality that enables the loosening up
    Calvino Rabeni: It seems likely, there is no "I" in the position to coordinate or observe all these fragments of "mind" and ways of knowing
    Calvino Rabeni: At least in any ultimate sense
    Calvino Rabeni: but I do think certain meditations have an integrative effect
    Calvino Rabeni: and allow for greater communication between the different 'minds'
    Eliza Madrigal: Seems to me if one practices getting to know 'awareness' "itself" then everything else just takes place.... so any meditation to that end would allow one to get a sense of seeing the various contortions of mind(s)?
    Calvino Rabeni: I believe, looking at the ideas of "relaxing", "stopping", "emptiness" etc., they are found to be metaphors that reveal specific qualities of mind, but not mind itself
    Dao Yheng: so, you're saying there really is such a thing as a mind?
    Mitsu Ishii: yes I certainly agree that we can do a lot better than we usually do when it comes to relaxing our unconscious committment to a given mind (or mode of mind). even recognizing that we are taking up a particular mind rather than just assuming "this is the way things are" is a huge step.
    Calvino Rabeni: @Eliza, kind of true, @mitsu - I think - "better than we usually do" is available as a result of practice
    Calvino Rabeni: but it doesn't achieve "this is how things *really* are" either ?
    Eliza Madrigal: that was a strange thing of me to say... think I've lost the conversation a bit... hehe
    Calvino Rabeni: Back to "kinds of minds" ?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Anything to share on the two aphorisms we picked for today Calvino?
    Calvino Rabeni: Sorry, could you repeat them :)
    Calvino Rabeni: I was travellng last week, and missed it.
    Gaya Ethaniel: # Renew your commitment when you get up and before you go to sleep.
    Calvino Rabeni: Wonderful
    Gaya Ethaniel: # Practicing even when distracted is good training
    Calvino Rabeni: I like those - they've been a part of daily habit for a long time
    Calvino Rabeni: Not just at sleep, but as much as possible. Although the sleep transition is a good one
    Dao Yheng: how have they played out over a longer period?
    Calvino Rabeni: At night, it's good to review the day, and if possible, get a sense of closure
    Calvino Rabeni: I think it also connects with the slogan about watering the white seeds, not the black ones
    Calvino Rabeni: How does one make choices like that, moment to moment?
    Gaya Ethaniel: I don't think we have to 'do' that part ... just practice and making choices just happen.
    Eliza Madrigal: one other thing about your report Dao.. When reading about the narrow focus/story... I thought of the reference a pab-er has been making to "life in mouselook"... seems a good pointer to what we've been talking about, too...
    Calvino Rabeni: Well, there seems to be side of choosing, confirming, sorting , looking for the highest choices - in lojong
    Dao Yheng: "life in mouselook" -- that's a great phrase!
    Gaya Ethaniel: "life in mouselook" :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)))
    Eliza Madrigal: Thank Eos
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: that's a kind or mode of mind, I suppose...
    Calvino Rabeni: Clarity of mind needed for right action and to stay "awake" to choices?
    Dao Yheng: oh, three min drill -- what for next time?
    Calvino Rabeni: And a dose of determination or courage sometimes?
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Eliza Madrigal giggles
    Eliza Madrigal: Did we do the predictability one? I'm drawing a blank... OR do we want to move on?
    Calvino Rabeni: How about a discussion of the Five Forces?
    Eliza Madrigal: How do you feel about it Gaya? Something else you want to look at?
    Eliza Madrigal: Hmmm
    Gaya Ethaniel: How about this one? I've been working on 'right speech' -- Don't go for the throat.
    Dao Yheng: Is that the same as Don't strike at the heart ?
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh, yes that one seems illusive, might be fun to zero in...
    Mitsu Ishii: I actually think the "distracted" one could use some more discussion
    Calvino Rabeni: I think it's the same, Dao
    Mitsu Ishii: it's particularly interesting/important
    Gaya Ethaniel: mm ... let me cross check ...
    Mitsu Ishii: as well.
    Eliza Madrigal: Okay, then why don't we keep that AND add the 'don't go for the throat'?
    Eliza Madrigal: Too much?
    Eliza Madrigal: And I'll make a note of 'five forces'
    Dao Yheng: I like that
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes, same one under 'anger'.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Sounds great!
    Calvino Rabeni: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Wonderful! And only one minute beyond the hour
    Eliza Madrigal: heheh
    Dao Yheng: :))
    Calvino Rabeni: I have an idea
    Gaya Ethaniel: oh ok so it's not about speech ... it's about not harming ...
    Mitsu Ishii: I like it. see you next week
    Calvino Rabeni: We could use the group chat channel
    Calvino Rabeni: if there are distractions
    Mitsu Ishii: don't go for the throat could also refer to speech as well.
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh, if there are those kinds of distractions again? Great
    Mitsu Ishii: in fact I suspect it usually does
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah ... ok
    Dao Yheng: oh, good idea Calvino -- thanks so much everyone
    Gaya Ethaniel: Thank you :)
    Dao Yheng: see you next week!
    Dao Yheng is Offline
    Mitsu Ishii: actually I just "muted" the folks having the conversation nearby
    Eliza Madrigal: Thanks everyone! Bye for now
    Eliza Madrigal: Hm, yes that works too Mitsu...
    Calvino Rabeni: Bye then!
    Eliza Madrigal: and group chat can be laggy sometimes
    Timbo Quan: Bye all - have a good week
    Eliza Madrigal waves

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