2010.05.13 - Koan Practice [View]

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    Zen Arado: Hi Gaya:)
    Calvino Rabeni: Hello everyone :)
    Aurora Kitaj: hello
    Aurora Kitaj: everyone
    Agatha Macbeth: Hello Gaya :)
    Aurora Kitaj: Hi Gaya
    Eliza Madrigal: :) Thanks toBe
    Eliza Madrigal: And thanks Gaya, for sending out notices and such
    Eliza Madrigal: I wasn't sure if we were starting this week
    Eliza Madrigal: at this time :)
    Zen Arado: Hi Cal:)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Agatha Macbeth: Yes, i wasn't sure either :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Hello Zen
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Pema :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Dao and Pema :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Dao :)
    Pema Pera: hi everybody!
    Agatha Macbeth: Hello Pem :)
    Dao Yheng: Hi all!
    Agatha Macbeth: And Dao
    Zen Arado: Hi Dao and Pema:)
    Eliza Madrigal: Let me put up a link to reports : http://ways-of-knowing.wik.is/
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, in fact a few that have just been updated
    Eliza Madrigal relating to feeling dreamy, Dao :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Tim :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Tim :)
    Agatha Macbeth: Hello Tim
    Dao Yheng: Hi Tim!
    Pema Pera: hi Tim!
    Dao Yheng: I didn't see Calvino's before -- taking a quick read...
    Agatha Macbeth: For calvino read Calvina :)
    Eliza Madrigal: yes, reading Calvinita's also....
    Timbo Quan: Hello Everyone
    Zen Arado: Hi Tim:)
    Calvino Rabeni: As Mark Twain said - sorry, I didn't have time to make it shorter
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: I expected to meet next week :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, I see...
    Eliza Madrigal: I might have your page read by then :) Skimming... there are a few things that jump out already, like: "I have a few assumptions in doing this - that these questions don't make sense in the abstract but only in relation to particulars"
    Dao Yheng: I like the last question -- What is "Writing In A Wiki" :)
    Agatha Macbeth: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: hehe
    Calvino Rabeni: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Mitsu :)
    Agatha Macbeth: Hi Mitsu
    Pema Pera: hi there, Mitsu!
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Mitsu :)
    Dao Yheng: And yes, I agree -- before working with a koan I sort of have to psyche myself up, not get too stuck on the idea of proving myself or finding a "right answer"
    Zen Arado: Hi Mitsu:)
    Mitsu Ishii: hello everyone
    Dao Yheng: hi mits!
    Zen Arado: I forgot about the koans bit
    Dao Yheng: :) --
    Eliza Madrigal: What do you mean, Zen?
    Zen Arado: we were to write about what kaons meant to us
    Zen Arado: weren't we?
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah :) Yes... I seem to have taken the most personal angle... and that is really because it is what seemed obvious to me right now... but I like that everyone described how they are seeing the practice
    Eliza Madrigal: what it brought to mind, etc
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Yakuzza :)
    Pema Pera: hi Yaku!
    Yakuzza Lethecus whispers hey everyone :)
    Zen Arado: Hi Yaku:)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Ya :))
    Agatha Macbeth: Hello Yaku :)
    Dao Yheng: Hi Yaku!
    Eliza Madrigal: I guess what I was wondering with the topic, is whether/how working with koans has caused others to see differently in some way
    Zen Arado: its a slow subtle change
    Gaya Ethaniel: I don' think we were writing about what koans mean to us specifically. Rather writing about a koan on life would obliquely show our understanding.
    Zen Arado: for me anyway
    Dao Yheng: in my case, also how any practice relates to life
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Gaya Ethaniel: Each of us's understanding*
    Zen Arado: everyday life as a koan
    Zen Arado: which it is
    Calvino Rabeni: "walk your talk" etc.
    Eliza Madrigal: :))
    Zen Arado: the hardest koan of all
    Dao Yheng: Eliza, I found myself coming back to your report a couple times
    Dao Yheng: especially "Life as koan, koan as dream, dream as koan, life as dream"
    Eliza Madrigal: yes, we've talked a little about this over the weeks... I suppose there seems increasing overlap to me...
    Eliza Madrigal: as I guess one reads there :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Zen Arado: my hardest koan is 'why can;t I accept what happens in my life with equanimity'
    Zen Arado: or with more equanimity
    Mitsu Ishii: What I've been thinking about this week is I think related to all this, though quite different in feel in a way
    Mitsu Ishii: This week I read this interview with Woody Allen
    Mitsu Ishii: http://www.commonwealmagazine.org/woody
    Mitsu Ishii: in it Woody is being extremely morose about life in a way
    Eliza Madrigal: (saving to read later)
    Mitsu Ishii: he's basically saying what comes through pretty clearly in his films
    Mitsu Ishii: which is that he views life as fundamentally horrible and meaningless, but punctuated by these moments of happiness or humor
    Zen Arado: "Human existence is a brutal experience to me…it’s a brutal, meaningless experience—an agonizing, meaningless experience with some oases, delight, some charm and peace, but these are just small oases."
    Mitsu Ishii: and that what most people do with religion is to find some sort of story that attempts to make everything make sense in the end
    Mitsu Ishii: but I felt like, reading that interview, I wanted to talk to Woody and suggest another alternative
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Go Mitsu!
    Eliza Madrigal: hehe
    Mitsu Ishii: so he says "If you can delude yourself by believing that there is some kind of Santa Claus out there who is going to bail you out in the end, then it will help you get through. Even if you are proven wrong in the end, you would have had a better life."
    Calvino Rabeni: That's the "utility of ignorance" argument
    Zen Arado: kind of cynical
    Mitsu Ishii: but it's as though for him, life is either horrible and meaningless with little oases, or it has to all make sense in some grand sceheme with God or something like that.
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Eliza Madrigal: and yet he's made great beauty with his cynical outlook... I think that's what he believes in and hm, maybe it works for him in a way
    Agatha Macbeth: Well he certainly makes me laugh
    Eliza Madrigal: :))
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Zen Arado: yes great humour
    Mitsu Ishii: however, if you really accept the possibility that life arises from emptiness, then there's another alternative, which is that life doesn't have to fit into some God system of justice or ultimate purpose, but it can still be hugely meaningful just directly in its own terms, relative to life itself.
    Mitsu Ishii: you don't have to posit some santa claus
    Mitsu Ishii: it's as though he's decided that God doesn't exist but is constantly mourning the loss of God as though God existed at one point, and then died
    Mitsu Ishii: but if God doesn't exist as some sort of Santa Claus figure, then what is there to mourn?
    Calvino Rabeni: !
    Eliza Madrigal: Mitsu's Santa koan :)
    Pema Pera: unfortunately, Woody doesn't realize that the "story of meaninglessness" is as much a story as the "story of a God" -- both are add-ons to what is present, which indeed in his films he has dipped into -- if only he had a better view! It shows the utter importance of a view
    Dao Yheng: Hmm, similar theme to the interview between Bill Moyers and Barry Lopez (author of arctic dreams) -- they start the interview talking about how beautiful the sky was on the day of 9 /11
    Mitsu Ishii: yes, the story of meaninglessness is actually a story based on the loss of something that he himself doesn't think ever existed.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Sky is always beautiful ...
    Eliza Madrigal nods @ Dao.... looked at the sky and thought of that interview today... thank you for posting it
    Gaya Ethaniel: One misses out a lot ... looking away from actually living, either in the stories or looking for answers.
    Mitsu Ishii: I think that's the beauty of koans in a way, to come back to the koan theme. They point you at some sort of deep assumption you're making that really can be let go.
    Pema Pera: we grow up with stories, like an egg shell protecting us . . . then we have to learn to pick ourselves free, from the inside out
    Mitsu Ishii: why does the world have to be seen as horrible just because there's no Santa Claus meting out ultimate punishment and reward in the afterlife?
    Pema Pera: well, the world does look pretty horrible, even without a God -- that was Shakyamuni's starting point
    Mitsu Ishii: yes, it does, yet it's also possible to see it as ultimately okay, without having to add anything to it
    Dao Yheng: In between though, aren't we living this story or that story all the time? Sometimes, I think the best we can do is start to recognize it as a story
    Eliza Madrigal: view
    Dao Yheng: that sense of lucid dreaming -- actually the dream doesn't stop
    Pema Pera: nice example!
    Zen Arado: a bad dream
    Calvino Rabeni: It's a cliche surely, but the glass is half full / empty. The question is, not how full it is, but why we evaluate it as we do
    Mitsu Ishii: dao after many minutes you still look like a glowing ball of white gas to me
    Dao Yheng: I look like me to me! maybe you have your story wrong :)
    Mitsu Ishii: gonna try relogging in
    Pema Pera: a view is a story that points beyond itself
    Pema Pera: a self-liberating story
    Gaya Ethaniel: wb :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Well I guess living the story is different from lucid living :)
    Agatha Macbeth: @.@
    Pema Pera: doesn't have to :)
    Eliza Madrigal: to get beyond something it seems to require an exposure of the something...
    Pema Pera: lucidly living a story?
    Pema Pera: (playing as Being while living your story)
    Gaya Ethaniel: To be honest I'm not really bothered about sustaining awareness etc.
    Calvino Rabeni: say more, gaya?
    Gaya Ethaniel: I just don't think that's the point for me at least ...
    Mitsu Ishii: what do you mean by "sustaining awareness"
    Gaya Ethaniel: One may want to have awareness all the time etc.
    Mitsu Ishii: by having awareness do you mean something like samadhi?
    Gaya Ethaniel: I guess ...
    Dao Yheng: I will admit that I reallllly want to sustain, maybe not awareness, but certainly "good" feelings
    Zen Arado: isn't the awareness there all the time - we ust cover it up?
    Zen Arado: and we try to allow the veils to drop away?
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: easy to strive as a self doing appreciation of awareness...
    Dao Yheng: yes!
    Gaya Ethaniel: What makes life wonerful at times is that intimate understanding and emphasising between people. Through similar experiences of grief, for example, people can connect and comfort each other. Moments like that I think give meanings to life I'd say.
    Pema Pera nods
    Zen Arado: they break through the barriers maybe
    Dao Yheng: I find that without a feeling for a certain level of connectedness, I get quite wound up -- that is the part where it gets tricky for me
    Zen Arado: we reach our commonality
    Pema Pera: can you say more, Dao?
    Timbo Quan: What do you mean by 'connectedness' Dao?
    Mitsu Ishii: to me, there's a certain virtue in keeping a tiny tiny bit of space at all times, if possible. this isn't to say maintaining samadhi or anything like that, but just keeping a little crack of space open.
    Gaya Ethaniel nods :)
    Dao Yheng: there's a certain intimacy between me and the world that feels more firmly established after sitting for a while
    Eliza Madrigal: :))
    Zen Arado: yes
    Dao Yheng: When I first start sitting, maybe I've been too busy to notice it's not there
    Calvino Rabeni: @dao, I feel that also
    Dao Yheng: as soon as I notice it seems absent, I go through a "mad scramble" phase -- remember this teaching and that teaching, try this or that
    Zen Arado: sounds like me :)
    Zen Arado: too many teachings :)
    Dao Yheng: by the end of the sitting session, a sense of connection has usually magically reasserted itself --- through no good efforts on my part :)
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Mitsu Ishii: I actually just retroactively connect things
    Pema Pera: continuity is so important
    Pema Pera: the ideal of no sessions no breaks
    Pema Pera: but that's tough . . . .
    Mitsu Ishii: I don't go, okay, I was connected and then I wasn't and now I am again, I go --- let me notice the way I was always connected even when it seemed I wasn't (and everyone is always connected even when it seems not)
    Dao Yheng: yes, it seems at that point that everything has always been connected, is OK, but I'm often wondering to myself, well, what was that middle part about?
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Mitsu Ishii: so my practice is kind of based on the idea of "retroactive okayness" as well as rectifying the moment.
    Eliza Madrigal smiles and relates @ Dao
    Pema Pera: do you have a tentative answer, Dao?
    Calvino Rabeni: I understand that Mitsu yes
    Mitsu Ishii: the middle part you mean the "mad scramble"?
    Dao Yheng: um, that's why I mention it -- hoping someone can fill me in :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :) 
    Dao Yheng: OK, one tentative answer is that, this is the "life" part, and caring for life
    Pema Pera: perhaps we have two kind of "sessions", the contemplative and the mad scramble ones, each pulling us in a different direction . . .
    Gaya Ethaniel: hm ... I don't think about teachings while sitting ... here and there sometime I just say to myself 'relax', 'no need' ...
    Eliza Madrigal: mitsu what you remark on there though, does seem also to apply... that once you see it the scramble is sort of filled in...
    Pema Pera: yes, Dao, there is life and energy in the mad scramble too, would be bad to suppress that
    Pema Pera: and care!
    Agatha Macbeth: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Maybe it's a phase but I'm not really bothered about making connections either.
    Dao Yheng: (I must be particularly naughty, Gaya, but I seem to be able to turn "relax" and "no need" into teachings too!)
    Pema Pera: we can invite both to meet and join
    Gaya Ethaniel: uh oh
    Pema Pera: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: I just say those to 'practising self' ... :)
    Eliza Madrigal nods... when telling myself "Relax" not usually my voice telling me....
    Pema Pera: Dao, have you tried going into the mad scramble more, by accident perhaps, only to find a quiet in the eye of the storm there?
    Mitsu Ishii: I suppose I use "intellectual understanding" when I can't feel it very well.
    Pema Pera: rather than trying to extricate yourself from it?
    Mitsu Ishii: my intellectual understanding is that, of course, no matter how I feel, there is a certain fundamental ground / emptiness which is always the basis of everything
    Mitsu Ishii: with that confidence I then check, and see, yes, that is true, I can feel it, even if only very very faintly.
    Zen Arado: but isn't that like the koan last week - the more you try to find it by study the more you move away from it?
    Pema Pera: yes, I do that often too, Mitsu
    Gaya Ethaniel: These days I just treat practice as a simple minimal gesture of respect, nothing more nothing less. Seems to work.
    Pema Pera: very nice, Gaya!
    Dao Yheng: Pema, I think you're right -- to enter further is the only way to extricate oneself, it seems
    Mitsu Ishii: well, it's not as though I use my intellectual understanding to try to find something.
    Gaya Ethaniel: I have to say though this only came after I somehow managed to practice each day ...
    Mitsu Ishii: it's just that I can see that this must be the case, so then that gives me the confidence not to panic when it seems absent.
    Pema Pera: that's the view part
    Mitsu Ishii: yes, the view
    Zen Arado: we need somew intellectual understanding too though?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Thanks largely to Steven _/!\_
    Eliza Madrigal: :) Noticing that we have just a few minutes to decide on homework for next week....
    Pema Pera: _/!\_
    Eliza Madrigal: (wonderful pointers guys, thank you)
    Gaya Ethaniel: May after finding the eye of the storm Zen :)
    Zen Arado: what do you mean 'the view'?
    Mitsu Ishii: Yes, I think intellectual understanding isn't enough, but it is important, so that your rational mind and your practice are sort of aligned to the extent possible.
    Dao Yheng: oh yes -- half hour time difference :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Maybe*
    Eliza Madrigal: Maybe Zen's question is an idea for homework :)
    Pema Pera: yes, Mitsu
    Mitsu Ishii: you can't "get it" with intellectual understanding but that doesn't mean that it is useless.
    Zen Arado: yes
    Agatha Macbeth nods
    Eliza Madrigal: Other Ideas?
    Pema Pera: you can cherish it, also with your intellect
    Zen Arado: don't intellectuals have more difficulty getting 'it'?
    Gaya Ethaniel: What's it?
    Zen Arado: like the zen story of the full teacup
    Pema Pera: can you formulate the proposal, Eliza?
    Zen Arado: exactly Gaya:)
    Pema Pera: about the view, was it?
    Eliza Madrigal: Well Zen asked what was meant by view...
    Mitsu Ishii: that reminds me of when Space Ghost interviewed David Byrne
    Gaya Ethaniel: Are you moving onto view from koan now?
    Mitsu Ishii: Space Ghost: All these retro punks with their pale white skin and their black clothing... and their friggin' moist music, it... oh, I'm only kidding! I didn't say you were one... Oh, there you go, now you took offense... So, is this the first talk show you've ever been on?
    Zen Arado: I can't write anything about that - not sure what you mean by 'view'
    Mitsu Ishii: David Byrne: (laughs)
    Eliza Madrigal: Am happy for all ideas :)
    Mitsu Ishii: Space Ghost: In outer space, of course.
    Mitsu Ishii: David Byrne: Yes it is, I hope it is not the last.
    Mitsu Ishii: Space Ghost: What do you mean by "it"?
    Agatha Macbeth grins @ Mitsu
    Gaya Ethaniel: ^^;;;
    Usha Aeon: Hi
    Agatha Macbeth: Hello usha
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Usha, we're just wrapping up a workshop :)
    Mitsu Ishii: what's the homework for next week?
    Agatha Macbeth: Bad timing :(
    Eliza Madrigal: We'll be here next week again, at 2:30SLT
    Usha Aeon: oh ok
    Usha Aeon: this is kira cafe yes?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Usha, we are almost at the end of our meeting, please see http://ways-of-knowing.wik.is/ for more information.
    Eliza Madrigal: yes :)
    Usha Aeon: is Storm here?
    Mitsu Ishii: talking about the idea of "view"?
    Mitsu Ishii: shall we have a practice as well for the week?
    Usha Aeon: what is the idea of view?
    Yakuzza Lethecus: good night/day everyone
    Zen Arado: nite Yaku
    Dao Yheng: good night yaku!
    Eliza Madrigal: It was just one idea Mitsu, but seems a bit abstract and yes a practice would be wonderful
    Usha Aeon: sorry mitsu didnt mean to block your view pardon the pun
    Usha Aeon: hadnt rezzed
    Eliza Madrigal: Not at all Usha :) no worries
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Mitsu Ishii: could it be something obvious such as: investigate the way your "view' or the view affects your moment to moment practice/life?
    Eliza Madrigal: Excellent Mits
    Eliza Madrigal: Mitsu
    Calvino Rabeni: OK :)
    Usha Aeon: how we perceive things based on where we are presently
    Gaya Ethaniel: OK so find what kind of views one has and how they affect.
    Pema Pera: as in "what makes you different from Woody" :-)
    Mitsu Ishii: haha
    Agatha Macbeth: :)
    Usha Aeon: such as a view being conceived by our thoughts or emotions?
    Calvino Rabeni: Is it possible to add - are you responsible for your view ?
    Eliza Madrigal: Sure, asking that question Usha...
    Usha Aeon: oh ok
    Eliza Madrigal: or questions of that sort... looking at it
    Pema Pera: bye for now, and thank you all for keeping this group going, this is really inspiring! -- meanwhile I'm off to breakfast
    Gaya Ethaniel: Enjoy Pema :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye Pema, Good Day
    Pema Pera: thanks, Gaya!
    Agatha Macbeth: I love your hair Usha
    Mitsu Ishii: your "view" is basically your deepest held paradigm, the way you take reality, your existence, the world, how you see it at a high level or meta level
    Usha Aeon: ty
    Usha Aeon: :) 
    Agatha Macbeth: Bye Pem :)
    Usha Aeon: ok
    Mitsu Ishii: bye everyone
    Mitsu Ishii: cat needs feeding
    Gaya Ethaniel: Bye thanks everyone :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye Everyone, Thanks
    Zen Arado: Bye Pema
    Mitsu Ishii: Usha you can check the website for more info and transcripts
    Timbo Quan: Bye everyone - have fun
    Mitsu Ishii: of the grouo
    Zen Arado: bye all and thanks
    Eliza Madrigal: :::waves:::

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