02.24.2011 - Contemplative traditions in the modern world

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    Pila Mulligan: hi everyone
    Dao Yheng: hi all!
    Bruce: Heya, Dao.
    Dao Yheng: Pila, nice of you to join us :)
    Avy RunnerAvy Runner only now sees a gun in Bruces hand........, raises an eyebrow, which is hard, since he doesn't have one
    Bruce: Heya, Gaya.
    Dao Yheng: Hi gaya!
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello everyone :)
    Avy Runner: hi Gaya :)
    Agatha Macbeth: Are there 2 Bruces?
    Mickorod Renard: Bruces peacemaker
    Agatha Macbeth: Hello Gaya :)
    Bruce: Just thought I'd bring along a "peacemaker" in case we come to blows over the reincarnation debate.
    Avy Runner: peacemaker !!!
    Avy Runner: it shoots hearts :)
    Avy Runner: ?
    Agatha Macbeth: Is that the same as the Single Action Army?
    Agatha Macbeth: aka Colt 45
    Bruce: These seats won't let it shoot anything!
    Agatha Macbeth: TE Lawrence always used one I believe
    BruceBruce thinks he will try to behave himself now.
    Agatha Macbeth: Rootin tootin shootin Brucie
    Avy Runner: :))
    BruceBruce wonders -- Where is that d--- fish?
    Mickorod Renard: thinks we need a lawence of arabia now
    Agatha Macbeth: Maybe he drowned
    BruceBruce dies from laughing....
    Agatha Macbeth: OOps
    Sun: hi all ;)
    Agatha Macbeth: Hi Sunsh
    Avy Runner: hi Sun :)
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Sunshine
    Bruce: Heya, Sun!
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Sunshine :)
    Dao Yheng: Hi Sunshine!
    Sun: ;) nice to be here - bit late for me usually
    Sun: hi Bruce ;)
    Bruce: Here comes Brian.
    Bruce: Heya, Brian.
    Sun: hi Brian ;)
    Agatha Macbeth: Hi Brian
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Brian
    Brian Roop: hi, am i interrupting something?
    Agatha Macbeth: Not yet
    Bruce: not yet -- Do join us.
    Brian Roop: heh
    Bruce: This is the Ways of Knowing discussion group.
    Dao Yheng: http://waysofknowing.kira.org/
    Brian Roop: oh
    Agatha Macbeth: aka WOK
    Agatha Macbeth: (Nothing to do with stir fry)
    Mickorod Renard: sometimes known as wonk
    Sun: ;p
    Agatha Macbeth: Wonk?
    Mickorod Renard: ways of not knowing
    Gaya Ethaniel: Welcome Brian, this is our wiki - http://waysofknowing.kira.org/
    Dao Yheng: ways of not knowing :)
    Sun: ;)
    Agatha Macbeth: Indeed Dao
    Avy Runner: hi Brian, he says a bit late.....
    Brian Roop: not offended
    Agatha Macbeth: Tom Waits for no man
    Brian Roop: sounds like my old gf
    Mickorod Renard: :)
    Agatha Macbeth: (I'll shut up)
    Dao Yheng: gaya, I was looking at your report again, interesting to get a peek into the Korean community around Buddhism
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Agatha Macbeth: hello Chi :)
    Sun: hi Chi ;)
    Brian Roop: hi chi
    Mickorod Renard: hi Chi
    Brian Roop: again
    Dao Yheng: Hi Chi!
    Chi Aho: Hi, Mick; Brian, Sun
    Chi Aho: and everyone!
    Chi Aho: (poetry)
    Avy Runner: hi Chi :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: I grew up feeling unsure of Buddhism in fact ... only when I was in early teen, I re-discovered it through reading a book by a Zen master.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Chi :)
    Brian Roop: had a student staying with me once, he picked up a book on zen off my shelf
    Calvino Rabeni: Dao, when I was in Thailand I much envied the vital role of the temples in everyday life and the amount of current energy and creativity they had
    Brian Roop: asked me, Explain this to me, I said, "if I did I'd be lying to you."
    Avy Runner: hi Freud
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes ... I do miss it :)
    Sun: hi again Freud ;)
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Freud
    Agatha Macbeth: Hello Freud :)
    Brian Roop: hi freud
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Freud :)
    Brian Roop: another transfer from pab
    Bruce: Yo, Freud --
    Dao Yheng: it does seem like buddhism and other "eastern" religions are filling a gap for us in the west
    Bruce: If you explain you lie; if you do not explain you lie.
    Chi Aho: Is this just an informal gathering here? Any special time?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yet I also feel more comfortable with 'democratic' approach in some ways.
    Gaya Ethaniel: 2 pm SLT every Thursday here Chi.
    Brian Roop: christianity has a genuine mystical element that was largely lost in the Reformation
    Gaya Ethaniel: http://waysofknowing.kira.org/ - this is our wiki
    Chi Aho: hmmmm
    Mickorod Renard: this si a wok class Chi
    Bruce: Ways of Knowing group, Chi -- and you're welcome to join us.
    Dao Yheng: yes Brian
    Chi Aho: working on something? Personal work?
    Chi Aho: ty, Bruce
    Avy Runner: I think Buddhism is still very much alive, less dogmatic
    Brian Roop: yes
    Brian Roop: more about practice than theology
    Gaya Ethaniel: You can find a description of today's topic on the home page of the wiki Chi.
    Avy Runner: it has proven to be able to adapt to other cultures, without loosing the essence
    Avy Runner: yes
    Brian Roop: who was it said, to live is not enough for them, they have to talk about it
    Brian Roop: Samuel Becket i think
    Bruce: They talk about it while they wait for Godot.
    Dao Yheng: yes, a well known talker and writer, I believe :)
    Brian Roop: yeah
    Sun: ;)
    Mickorod Renard: talking is one thing,,but listening is important too
    Brian Roop: oh yes, it's everything
    Avy Runner: hmmm, maybe I should practice that more :))
    Brian Roop: i think Becket was being critical of Western culture
    Brian Roop: too much talk
    Pila Mulligan: maybe too much thinking is relevant
    Brian Roop: got hamlet in lots of hot water
    Bruce: I shall throw out this "thought," then:
    Brian Roop: heh
    Agatha Macbeth: Not Ophelia?
    Bruce: The whole of Buddhism is about one thing and one thing only:
    Bruce: Overcoming the illusion of separation.
    Calvino Rabeni: How would you know if it is "too much" thinking?
    Brian Roop: when it's too late
    Dao Yheng: yes, the buddhist literature is also quite vast
    Avy Runner: maybe there is not such a thing of too much thinking, only beneficial and not beneficial thinking
    Mickorod Renard: Bruce, can that not be said for other practices too?
    Bruce: Perhaps -- it rises in every mystical tradition, I think.
    Bruce: (OOOPS -- there goes another THOUGHT!)
    Calvino Rabeni: That sounds a little like a recipe for salvation, Bruce
    Brian Roop: those who know, can't say; those who say, don't know
    Calvino Rabeni: Who can disagree ..
    Bruce: perhaps, Cal -- or else the awakening that salvation is not needed.
    Calvino Rabeni: but when programs become one-pointed it can be limiting
    Calvino Rabeni: I'd say it implicitly redefines salvation
    Avy Runner: in Chrisianity dualism is part of the essence, I think, since there is a God we can't measure, but maybe that was different in ancient times
    Bruce: How about ALL-Pointed programs?
    Calvino Rabeni: Basho - nothing you can see that isn't a flower, nothing you can think that isn't the moon
    Mickorod Renard: surely dualism also features in budhism?
    Avy Runner: not in essence no, but buddhism works with what is in teh moment, which can be seperation
    Avy Runner: in that context they work with two kind of truths, the absolute and the relative truth
    Avy Runner: I think Batchelor presented a great view on that, making practice the backbone
    Chi Aho: Isn't Buddhism all about getting on the path to deliverance from suffering (due to desire)?
    Calvino Rabeni: How can buddhism claim an absolute truth .. when all is impermanent and contingent (etc.) ? Somehow transcendentalism likes to sneak back in even when apparently not part of the doctrine
    Brian Roop: is buddhism aboutdoctrine, or about pracice?
    Bruce: for Batchelor, it is clearly about practice - not doctrine.
    Avy Runner: Cal, that is the absolute truth, even better the relative truth is defined within the absolute truth
    Agatha Macbeth: Does it have a doctrine?
    Calvino Rabeni: some say its antidoctrine, but people love doctrine
     Brian Roop: doctrine makes usfeel safe
    Freud Jungsten: I alwasy found buddhism to be very orthodoxic not praxic.... but my exposure is very limited.
    Avy Runner: absolute here doesn't mean an objectivity
    Brian Roop: but no room for love where there is no risk
    Chi Aho: maybe doctrine (teaching), but no dogma (what you must believe)
    Calvino Rabeni: perhaps Chi yes
    Brian Roop: no room to let the heart expand in compassion for all beings
    Calvino Rabeni: but received teaching is an invitation to dogma if it is secondhand
    Avy Runner: I have the opposite experience Freud, since in the end Buddhism challenges everything, and that's also part of the absolute truth
    Brian Roop: teaching can open the way to practice but only practice reveals the truth of things
    BruceBruce feels that the very essence of Buddhism is compassion for all things.
    Avy Runner: the absolute truth can't do without the relative one, (final words ok :)), tries to shut up
    BruceBruce vows to sit on hands.
    Brian Roop: don't shut up, genuine dialogue brings out truth
    Avy Runner: (true, but I might be focussing too much on one point)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Teachings are invitations for own exploration ... not to dogma. That is up to what each of us do, cannot blame teaching for what we do.
    Brian Roop: maybe we need that 90 second bell every 15 minutes
    Calvino Rabeni: Theres a thought Brian .. interesting it isn't used here
    Avy Runner: :) Brian
    Agatha Macbeth: Hello Atari
    BruceBruce employs his 15-minute bell every 90-seconds.
    Mickorod Renard: I am reluctant to say anything cos I am not sure what we are addressing
    Violet: Hi everyone :)
    Avy Runner: hi Atara
    Sun: hi Atara ;)
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Atar
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Atari :)
    Chi Aho: hey, atari
    Brian Roop: hi atara
    Violet: The human condition, Mick :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Here is a reminder then Mick :P - we'll share perspectives "about how buddhism has been dominated by the monastic ethos of the east, and needs to be re-conceptualized from the ground up for our own cultures." We can open up the discussion to include all religious views, and consider ways we have (or have not) been able to accommodate these.
    Avy Runner: good remark Mick :)
    Calvino Rabeni: We are addressing the role of buddhism in modern life, and more generally the relevance of "traditions" of spiritual thinking for the everyday life world
    Mickorod Renard: thanks Gaya
    Brian Roop: darn i'm in the wrong place i was looking for income tax help
    Agatha Macbeth: Hi Mitsu
    Dao Yheng: :))
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Mitsu
    Brian Roop: mitsu, hi
    Avy Runner: hi Mitsu
    Mitsu Ishii: hi, sorry to be late :)
    Freud Jungsten: Zen taxation is a new field.
    Calvino Rabeni: For example, I think, were I to imagine a "reformed" or modernized Christianity, would I include Sin, Redemption, etc.?
    Avy Runner: (ah I closed that subject today Brian, pfiew)
    Chi Aho: On Buddhism adapting itself to modern life, there are Buddhist groups, as well as Taoist groups in some of the larger liberal churches.
    Chi Aho: Unitarian-Universalist
    Bruce: Demythologizing any ancient tradition is a good idea -- to re-interpret the "Dharma" of that tradition for modern contexts.
    Chi Aho: no sin, redemption, salvation in UU, Cal
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Mitsu and Zen :)
    Bruce: I think that was one of Batchelor's points.
    Mickorod Renard: but I can see that there are issues where there may be conflict in views
    Brian Roop: In the Catholic tradition Thomas Merton was opening the way to sharing experience with Buddhism
    Sun: Hi Mitsu , Zen ;)
    Calvino Rabeni: Go to a Thai temple, you find something for everyone, a buddha, a kwan yin, a ganesha, maybe a jesus, some animals, etc. it's very pluralistic and serving diversity
    Bruce: Hi, Zen.
    Violet: Hi Zen :)
    Avy Runner: hi Zen :)
    Brian Roop: drawing the ircle to include not exclude
    Agatha Macbeth: Hello Zen :)
    Mickorod Renard: as you know, I prefer to see myself as Christian, yet i find the budhist teachings useful too
    Brian Roop: circle
    Zen: Hi all sorry late
    Calvino Rabeni: Hi Zen
    Bruce: Agrees with the synth-churches -- In our Quaker Meeting, some of us are clearly Buddhist in practice.
    Brian Roop: zen, hi
    Chi Aho: I live near a Buddhist Temple; inside is a statue of a sitting Buddha about 15 feet high (3 meters); Vietnamese worshipers for the most part
    Mickorod Renard: but I wouldnt want to drop aspects of my beliefs to accomodate another practice,,jsut for the sake of it
    Brian Roop: i think all religions meet in their mystical traditions
    Avy Runner: wow
    Gaya Ethaniel: I personally understand these terms differently ... reincarnation, even original sin etc. I think they are not bound so specifically to the usual context.
    Avy Runner: or maybe we should go back to the origin
    Agatha Macbeth: Now you're talking my laguage Gaya :p
    Brian Roop: original sin is more a theological construct than anything
    Gaya Ethaniel: Well it's up to each of us to see what we see ...
    Brian Roop: one way of describing the unreflected human condition
    Calvino Rabeni: One view presented is something like . we won't think about whether reincarnation is real (in some sense) but to remove it from buddhism would mess up the structure of it too much
    Brian Roop: why?
    Brian Roop: i tink reincarnation in buddhism is just a leftover of its hundu origins
    Calvino Rabeni: I'm not a proponent .. but there's a certain feeling "don't mess with tradition"
    Calvino Rabeni: like the fear of "degrading" it
    Brian Roop: once around is enough for me
    Coffee Mug whispers: Ahh! Fresh Hot Coffee
    Avy Runner: I should say, it's better to work with what is in front of you, then having thoughts about reincarnation which aren't helping you with daily life, though they might help you, in that case reincarnation is real
    Mickorod Renard: clearly some aspects of Christianity as it has developed is a contrived construct...isnt everything,,,but some things are there for valid reasons,,they look silly but on closer examination they have there place
    Zen: some of Tibetan Buddhism or a great deal even is built on the premise that reincarnation is a factn
    Avy Runner: whether you don't belief in it or not
    Calvino Rabeni: acc. to Batchelor (I think) the concern with "degrading" tradition - as if it were one time perfect and can only go downhill - comes from only seeing the negative side if "impermanence" - not seeing that things are ever arising and being recreated
    Calvino Rabeni: Agree, Mick, even the "contrivances" are there for meaningful reasons and may express something important
    Zen: it gets back to the importance of traditions and forms
    Avy Runner: true Zen, but even my teacher had many questions about it....... which is normal in Tibetan Buddhism too, even claiming that he doesn't know either
    Brian Roop: well i can only say that my experience affirms my convictions about the uniqueness of my life, i ways that ipso facto i can't explain
    Dao Yheng: at the same time, some things *will* degrade, even as other things *improve*
    Brian Roop: in ways
    BruceBruce agrees with Cal and adds: Batchelor warns against "having" a religion and emplores us to BE our "religion."
    Brian Roop: who's to judge degradation and improvement
    Mitsu Ishii: Stim once said that one of his teachers told him that reincarnation wasn't something he should concern himself with.
    Brian Roop: what's the standard
    Brian Roop: ?
    Mitsu Ishii: On the other hand, I've had many experiences which lead me to believe that the world is structured in a strange way
    Avy Runner: reincarnation itself is not the point, the way we handle those issues is, like sin, karma or any other subject, dogma is in handling it, not in the 'concept'
    Agatha Macbeth: You too?
    Mitsu Ishii: in which nonlocal connectivity seems to be possible.
    Calvino Rabeni: Regardless of whether it's possible to find a fixed standard, Brian, I think we can notice biases and preferences
    Mickorod Renard: I do worry about mans tampering nature though, I like the idea of some firm foothold,,man is egotistical and I dare say from generation to generation believe they know evrything,,history shows many mistakes
    Brian Roop: i tink that the world that experience leads us to is not structured at all
    Gaya Ethaniel: I find that there seems to be a tendency that things have to be 'improved' in a progressive way in the modern world.
    Zen: is agnosticism a valid stance to take with it?
    Mitsu Ishii: if that is true, then "reincarnation" might simply be a story one could use to roughly describe something which is better understood as interconnectivity.
    Brian Roop: most of the world lives in such misery that they would not consider that improvement
    Zen: atheistic stance seems a bit dogmatic to me
    Avy RunnerAvy Runner smiles at the gong :)
    Agatha Macbeth: There's your bell :p
    Mitsu Ishii: it's not clear, in other words, that "reincarnation" is even well defined as a concept.
    Calvino Rabeni: Gaya to the extent that is true, then conservative traditions may serve as a useful counterweight
    Mitsu Ishii: the actual situation may be far more strange than such ideas interpreted narrowly
    Mickorod Renard: was it the actual buddha who brought up reincarnation?
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes Mitsu
    Gaya Ethaniel: It can be more inclusive ...
    Zen: it was in Hinduism before the Buddha
    Mitsu Ishii: for example suppose Jung's collective unconscious notion is right (and I tend to think there's something to it)
    Chi Aho: the doctrine from Hinduism was that of the transmigration of souls; there is a constant incarnation going on all the time and we participate in it, of course
    Gaya Ethaniel: Being modern seems to be a lot about disproving existing ideas or improve upon existing ideas etc.
    Brian Roop: because the Buddha took it for granted doesn't mean it's so
    Avy RunnerAvy Runner takes a hike.....
    Mitsu Ishii: that would mean we're all interconnected at that level, not just being connected to past lives but connected to each other.
    Bruce: for me, the 'problem' with reincarnation is not doctrinal -- It is that it supposes a 'separate self' that gets incarnated...
    Gaya Ethaniel: Get the next generation iPhone every 6 months or something.
    Mitsu Ishii: well, technically speaking, Buddhism expresses the idea that there is no self which gets reincarnated, but there is reincarnation.
    Agatha Macbeth: Enjoy Legoland Avy
    Mickorod Renard: it seems odd to subscribe to a practice given by someone like the Buddha and not take his words seriously
    Zen: agree with Bruce
    BruceBruce wonders: Who is this "actual" Buddha, anyway?
    Zen: but you can get around that by a theory of rebirth
    Brian Roop: Gautama, historical figure who acheived enlightenment
    Zen: just energy being transferred or something
    Mickorod Renard: maybe I should consider missing a few bits of Jesus's teachings out too
    Zen: but the Buddha is dufferent in that regard
    Bruce: Gautama's teaching was (I think) that we are all Buddhas. "Work out your own enlightenment."
    Zen: he told his disciples to question teachings
    Zen: even his own
    Brian Roop: not so different from Jesus, you are the light of the world, you are the salt of the earth
    Zen: to test in their own experience
    Bruce: indeed, Brian.
    Bruce: BE the Christ within yourself.
    Brian Roop: the gift of the Spirit of God
    Mickorod Renard: but i suspect the Buddha had thought it out well before he said that Zen
    Zen: yes but Jesus's teachings are held as universal truths for all time
    Bruce: The Buddha speaks from his own experience -- and invites us to speak from ours.
    Mitsu Ishii: the Buddha is also reputed to have said: don't believe things just because it's written in some text or because some revered monk said it.
    Zen: I think there have been many additions to what the Buddha said
    Brian Roop: Jesus spent the night in prayer, then taught
    Zen: yes Mitsu
    Dao Yheng: it's a bit of a balancing act -- learning from others, learning from your own experience, without getting too stuck on any one pov
    Brian Roop: yes
    Zen: yeh
    Calvino Rabeni: true Dao!
    Zen: using guidance wisely
    Calvino Rabeni: Does that include being aware of the biases in traditions one is attracted to ?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes so I appreciate the freedom to interpret the teachings in the Buddhist tradition.
    Brian Roop: a teacher, even the buddha, can only point out the way
    Zen: yes Brian
    Brian Roop: we have to go down the way ourselves
    Mitsu Ishii: the fact is, you can check these things for yourself.
    Zen: we have to follow our own path
    Bruce: The Buddha is a finger pointing at the moon - - but the finger is also The Moon.
    Zen: (if there is a path)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes and it is positive that we are encouraged to do so rather than believe.
    Brian Roop: it's a metaphor for practice
    Dao Yheng: but our own pov can limit us -- that's why it's nice to have some crazy, reincarnation-believing teachers around :)
    Brian Roop: but practice is not the absolute
    Brian Roop: just a way to the ineffable
    Bruce: ;-)
    Calvino Rabeni: There are so many of these one-sided concepts that could use a little balance ...
    Gaya Ethaniel: So we have so many different teachers etc. yes Dao :P
    Mitsu Ishii: I think it's always a time to develop new teachings and understandings, while trying to deeply connect with teachings from the past. The value of the teachings for me is that they point at something quite radical, so radical that it's useful to hear them so you don't stop with a partial realization. But still, it all has to be reinterpreted into the current context.
    Mickorod Renard: yea, I can say,,as I am not a budhist,,that I am enjoying some melding of traditions between my beliefs and budhism,,and although i am strugling with this in respect of reincarnation (from a Christain point of view) I am still including it and enjoying the challenge
    Chi Aho: To me it would seem that if there is only One Life, One Spirit, and it is constantly incarnating itself (as evidenced by our very being), then we *ARE* that spirit and not who we ordinarily think we are at all, and of course we shall continue to participate in this incarnation process.
    Brian Roop: some dude on npr news is singing, "she left me for Jesus"
    Agatha Macbeth: Don't blame her
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes otherwise, it becomes a dead thing ...
    Gaya Ethaniel: Irrelevant ...
    Brian Roop: poor guy, maybe we need to invite him here
    Zen: yes Gaya!
    Zen: dead dogma
    Brian Roop: dogma is a crutch
    BruceBruce very much appreciates Mitsu's statement about "partial realization."
    Calvino Rabeni: Time Check ...the hour is approaching
    Brian Roop: but crutches are useful until we can walk on our own
    Zen: yep
    BruceBruce thinks that no real buddhist is a Buddhist.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Maybe we can find some links by 'crazy teachers' for next week :P
    Brian Roop: and we should not fail in compassion for those who have not found the way
    Mickorod Renard: thats the rub,,many just move on afterwards without a glance over the shoulder
    Calvino Rabeni: Remembrance
    Chi Aho: sorry i have to go now
    Violet: Yes, Brian
    Gaya Ethaniel: Bye Chi :)
    Agatha Macbeth: Wasn't that a film?
    Mitsu Ishii: bye
    Zen: bye Chi
    Dao Yheng: thanks chi, bye!
    Bruce: THANKS, everyone!
    Sun: byebyee Chi
    Agatha Macbeth: Bye
    Mickorod Renard: crazy teachers,,has anyone heard of Batchelor or what?
    Gaya Ethaniel: lol
    Mickorod Renard: byeee
    Dao Yheng: :))
    Sun: thanks all ;))
    Violet: I have to be going, too; thank you, everyone :)
    Brian Roop: wowthis is a great group, glad i stumbled on to you
    Calvino Rabeni: Bye Atara
    Gaya Ethaniel: Thanks for coming everyone :)
    Brian Roop: thanks all
    Dao Yheng: Bye Atari
    Mitsu Ishii: bye folks
    Zen: bye \violet and all leaving
    Agatha Macbeth: Sayonara

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