03.24.2011 - Acceptance

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    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Agatha and Eliza :)
    Eliza Madrigal: yes, and you look fantastic
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Gaya :)
    Aggers: Someone looks different
    Eliza Madrigal: (both)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Bruce :)
    Bruce: Hey, Gaya - and Eliza, and aggers.
    Aggers: Brucie!
    Eliza Madrigal: brb...just one more second... Hi Bruce :))
    BruceBruce hastens to get Blub back to his aquarium.
    Gaya Ethaniel: sorry brb
    Bruce: Blub has learned to ACCEPT my direction, you see.
    Bruce ponders many aspects of "acceptance."
    Gaya Ethaniel: back
    Bruce: wb!
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: thanks :)
    Aggers: Hi Gaya :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Calvino :)
    Bruce: Hi, Cal.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Agatha :)
    Aggers: Hi Cal
    Calvino Rabeni: Hi everyone :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Cal
    Eliza Madrigal: ...think I'm finally settled.. busy day
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Bruce: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Let's give a minute or two more ...
    Calvino Rabeni: I'm "trying" to get settled :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: never noticed the nice pattern on that pot that holds the plant in the corner before...
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Dao :)
    Bruce wonders if the theme of "acceptance" was not acceptable to some of our regular attendees.
    Eliza Madrigal: hehe
    Bruce: Hi, Dao.
    Calvino Rabeni: That's funny
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Dao
    Eliza Madrigal: not a sexy enough topic...
    Bruce: ;-)
    Aggers: Depends what we're accepting I guess
    Dao Yheng: Hi all :)
    Aggers: Hello Dao
    Eliza Madrigal: warning: my lines are showing up out of order so if I offend someone I didn't mean to...
    Bruce: I feel that it is a VERY sexy topic.
    Calvino Rabeni: I had that thought .. hmm, not a sexy topic .. :)
    Calvino Rabeni: but, gave myself time to have it "come back" again
    Eliza Madrigal: I suppose I could type slower... accept my limitations
    Gaya Ethaniel: http://waysofknowing.kira.org/
    Calvino Rabeni: Well I'm all ears about its sexiness, Bruce :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes please go on :)
    Bruce: It - potentially - includes all experience and all possibility -- so that's pretty sexy in my book.
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: I think it is a great topic actually... but not too flashy...
    Eliza Madrigal: I'm too sexy for this topic.. too sexy...
    Eliza Madrigal: hah, sorry
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Aggers: Thanks  /fred
    Eliza Madrigal: :)) Ag
    Bruce: This afternoon I went walking on a nude beach -- for the assignment in the Time Magic sessions homework. . .
    Bruce: and it was a great experience.
    Dao Yheng: hopefully somewhere warm?
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Bruce: Lots of "unacceptable" stuff came up. . .
    Gaya Ethaniel: heheh
    Aggers: Erk
    Bruce: seemed to be the mean temperature of SL.
    Bruce: np.
    Eliza Madrigal: weeds, cans...?
    Bruce: no litter.
    Aggers: Frogmen?
    Bruce: just lots of interesting shells. . . and a few people.
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Was this in RL or SL?
    Bruce: all acceptable - in SL, of course.
    Bruce: It is o degrees C here in Ohio right now.
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah ok
    Aggers: Interesting
    Calvino Rabeni: I was reading an article about stress disorders and a fixated hyper-vigilant mind set... and it talked about how it's important for people to find social environments where they can feel both passive and safe ... and including in relationship to sexual relations
    Bruce: (freezing, in other words. -- but acceptable, none the less).
    Aggers: Wow, it's 10C with me
    Aggers: been really warm
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes almost summer for us in UK.
    Bruce listens intently for more from Cal.
    Aggers: Yes, carry on Cal
    Calvino Rabeni: It's traditional in groups to warm up by talking about the weather, to cultivate an "accepting" feeling about being in the group
    Aggers: Or Bruce...
    Calvino Rabeni: One point of the article, is that most of "acceptance" in groups happens completely unconsciously, by doing things like LOOKING at people's FACES
    Bruce: Mmmm. . . .
    Bruce looks around at faces.
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Dao Yheng: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: friendly faces, the body relaxes automatically, it doesn't even much use the brain
    Bruce: familiar terrain, then?
    Calvino Rabeni: yep
    Eliza Madrigal: so a sign of acceptance 'off the bat'
    Bruce: but the challenge of "acceptance" is all those unfamiliar and unpleasant circumstances and faces and places and ideas. . .
    Bruce: What shall we do with them?
    Aggers: Why should we do anything with them?
    Dao Yheng: sometimes the challenge is accepting yourself first :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: I think Bruce people extend from a base of acceptance, into those more challenging situations
    Bruce feels that what Dao has said is right on -- in fact, it is ALWAYS the first challenge to accept yourself first.
    Dao Yheng: I really liked Ethan's blog rant on the difficulties of facing your own mind and thoughts
    Calvino Rabeni: the base could be provided by familiar settings, good relations, beauty, something like a sangha
    Bruce: Can the "base of acceptance" be one's self, then?
    Aggers: Ethan?
    Gaya Ethaniel: I think there are different cases though ... sometimes it's about us and sometimes there's something one needs to change to help etc.
    Dao Yheng: Calvino, yes -- the base
    Dao Yheng: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ethan-..._b_671972.html
    Eliza Madrigal: ah, quicker than me dao...
    Aggers: Ah, thx
    Calvino Rabeni: I think Bruce, there is a difficulty in defining the base as Self, unless that includes others within it, since humans are social creatures .. and get scared when alone
    Gaya Ethaniel: I enjoyed reading that, thanks for sharing it Dao :)
    Calvino Rabeni: I'm remembering the song "People are Strange" which is a good feeling description of the experience of alienation
    Eliza Madrigal: really enjoyed that too... seems so important
    Bruce will bookmark for later reading.
    Aggers: Yes, definitely
    Gaya Ethaniel: hm ... I don't know the song.
    Aggers: The Doors, Gaya
    Bruce: Peaole are strange when you're a stranger.
    Dao Yheng: It's a good one!
    Bruce: yes.
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah
    Eliza Madrigal: not sure about being scared when alone... there are many ways of being alone....
    Dao Yheng: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awi14wDTxNw
    Calvino Rabeni: http://www.oldielyrics.com/lyrics/th...e_strange.html
    Bruce: So, the key to 'acceptance' is not to be a stranger to yourself?
    Eliza Madrigal: but the general point is interesting
    Calvino Rabeni: it does show the importance of faces
    Calvino Rabeni: "faces look ugly, when you're alone"
    Calvino Rabeni: and the opposite of this song is a statement about acceptance
    Calvino Rabeni: if one can "reverse" the meaning
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes our views can be distorted ...
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Eliza Madrigal: projecting outward
    Bruce: Ram Dass used to teach (Grist for the Mill) that absolutely every experience can be used for awakening.
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes if a person has sufficient resources
    Bruce: even the rotten apples. . .
    Eliza Madrigal: brb
    Gaya Ethaniel: I'd argue when faces become pretty, is that because one is not stranger or still a distortion?
    Gaya Ethaniel: I mean ... it's kind of difficult to tell.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Thanks Agatha :)
    Aggers: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: How does one discern that, Gaya?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Each of us would know ... I suppose.
    Calvino Rabeni: A pretty face may still look like a mask .. not feel real
    Gaya Ethaniel: Pretty as opposite to ugly as per the song ...
    Calvino Rabeni: I don't think we work by songs ..
    Bruce ponders wabi-sabi face -- lopsides, wrinkles, scarred . . . An inspiration for acceptance of impermanence, imperfection, incompleteness...
    Gaya Ethaniel: I do agree generally though sometimes one gets a kind of real recognition about people rather than endless bodies milling around.
    Calvino Rabeni: yes a face with all those marks of character can seem really beautiful
    Bruce: indeed, Cal!
    Eliza Madrigal nods... and perhaps an open heart can see that...
    Calvino Rabeni: a recognition and a feeling of acceptance
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Mitsu :)
    Eliza Madrigal: back btw, and trying to catch the rhythm...
    Mitsu Ishii: hi, sorry had an errand
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Mitsu
    Calvino Rabeni: I just looked at the WOK page .. there was some framing text for Acceptance that is not there any more .. can anyone remember it?
    Aggers: Hello Mitsu
    Mitsu Ishii: and then had to wait for the whole SL client to download
    Aggers: OMG
    Gaya Ethaniel: How do we let go of our disappointment, suffering and heartbreak when
    there's no one to blame? - Atari
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes!
    Calvino Rabeni: That's an important angle
    Dao Yheng: was there? I thought it text from the old conscience / forgiveness topics
    Aggers: You can always blame yourself
    Calvino Rabeni: because it's hard to be conscious of certain things
    Gaya Ethaniel: Something she said last week.
    Calvino Rabeni: when there's no focus for them
    Dao Yheng: oh right, from the email
    Calvino Rabeni: A blame is at least a focus .. Lojong has a hint to "own" the focus
    Gaya Ethaniel: I don't think blame is useful ... everytime I hear blame, I get this 'praise & blame' from 8 winds ... :P
    Calvino Rabeni: but when there's no focus, then what?
    Calvino Rabeni: Blame is better than no focus
    Gaya Ethaniel: hm ... focus for what?
    Bruce: Making Peace with imperfection: Wabi-Sabi-Making-Peace-with-Imperfection.html
    Dao Yheng: Interesting angle, Calvino :)
    Calvino Rabeni: For one's thoughts, impressions, feelings
    Dao Yheng: it's kind of the problem with the blank wall or the blank sheet of paper --
    Gaya Ethaniel: So examine one's thoughts etc using blame as a focus?
    Calvino Rabeni: Here's a case of it .. people who suffered abuse have something to focus on .. people who suffered from neglect or abandonment don't have a focus for their suffering, so it's harder to get a handle on
    Bruce: sry --
    Calvino Rabeni: How does one find acceptance or forgiveness when there's no "event" to focus on?
    Dao Yheng: Interesting that when I stop to relax into that blankness, my view widens and then there is a kind of focus after all
    Bruce: wow -- interesting point there, Cal./
    Calvino Rabeni: It could be looked at as a personal question
    Bruce: or, perhaps, focus as field.
    Eliza Madrigal: Dao... a focus and a livelihood...
    Gaya Ethaniel: hm ... on those examples ... why live in the past that way?
    Calvino Rabeni: or as a social question - how do we deal with the degradation of our environment, when it is hard to see where it comes from and there's no social standard generally labeling it as wrong
    Gaya Ethaniel: Seeing how things work is different from focusing on someone/something to blame.
    Dao Yheng: yes, we tend to ignore things we can't "recognize"
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes Gaya but the path of awareness is unpredictable
    Calvino Rabeni: and to see how things work can't reliably be "done" without passing through other perspectives
    Calvino Rabeni: that's healing
    Gaya Ethaniel: I guess what I'm trying to get at is that focusing like that can be quite limiting in understanding oneself or the world.
    Calvino Rabeni: Sure, but to me that sounds very idealistic, .. like everyone should be able to control that
    Gaya Ethaniel: Acceptance I think includes parts we play as well ...
    Dao Yheng: gaya and cal seem to be talking about flip sides of a coin
    Gaya Ethaniel: Like how one continues to hold onto past events and limit oneself.
    Calvino Rabeni: where the need for acceptance is, occurs in the middle of intense situations that don't have an ideal consciousness around them
    Calvino Rabeni: There are many people, on the different sides of the coin
    Dao Yheng: holding too loose or too tight --
    Gaya Ethaniel: Blaming for me is too narrow a focus.
    Calvino Rabeni: with different needs and capacities for vision and consciousness
    Bruce: How about 'beginning' with the 'base' of acceptance -- something really simple. . . and perhaps comfortable. . . ?
    Calvino Rabeni: And different paths to acceptance
    Dao Yheng: blame can be narrowing, but can we also accept that narrowness?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes Cal, we are talking individual views :)
    Calvino Rabeni: I think that's a good principle for either "side" of the coin, Bruce
    Bruce: yes, "This one, too, is . . . . perfect" ----?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Indeed accepting that blaming part is included :)
    Bruce: This one and this one and this one. . .
    Bruce: the perfect grist for my mill of awakening.
    Eliza Madrigal: ... still considering the blank wall because it speaks to the sensibility I felt when considering the topic.... the sense of there being two (or more) sides of various coins...but beyond that and with that, many other options hidden... as n Dao's report....
    Eliza Madrigal: and acceptance being inclusive....
    Eliza Madrigal: and yet open
    Calvino Rabeni: Many of these ideas about vision, often end up being "tricks" of manipulation of consciousness, sometimes leading to the temptation of a "spiritual bypass" that mostly is based on hoping to avoid pain
    Eliza Madrigal: like, what is the flip side of looking at outsides of coins...
    Gaya Ethaniel: ack I'm getting lost now .... what vision?
    Bruce: Perhaps acceptance with really hard things is like starting at the end.
    Calvino Rabeni: Vision meaning, to take a wider perspective
    Eliza Madrigal: it is really uncomfortable in some ways, that there *isn't* a way to blame... but feels freeing too
    Eliza Madrigal: I may be on my own trip and if so I apologise...
    Bruce: Blaming happens.
    Calvino Rabeni: Lojong can be interpreted as advocating "conscious" suffering as part of a spiritual practice
    Eliza Madrigal: but I felt dizzy... a bit slow today :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes Bruce :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, it seems important to be able to work with whatever happens
    Dao Yheng: I like your dizzy spells, Eliza :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: You're alright Eliza :)
    Eliza Madrigal: thanks :), settles again....
    Bruce thinks he's having dizzy spells but not aware of them.
    Calvino Rabeni: I've always found your "trips" well considered and instructive to listen to
    Gaya Ethaniel: Well taking a break from blaming is helpful whether it is called wider or narrow ...
    Bruce wonders how one would know is he/she were oxygen=deprived. . .
    Mitsu Ishii: I'm rereading all the chat here.
    Bruce: skip mine, Mitsu.
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :) haha... me too
    Gaya Ethaniel: Mine too :)
    Eliza Madrigal giggles
    Mitsu Ishii: I'm trying to relate it to the way I usually think about acceptance
    Calvino Rabeni: Shall acceptance be a cover for allowing things to happen that would be better not?
    Mitsu Ishii: I guess, for me, acceptance isn't so much about whether there is or isn't someone or something to blame
    Gaya Ethaniel: Well the article Dao posted in her report talks about that very clearly.
    Bruce: How do you usually think about acceptance, Mitsu?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Acceptance doesn't mean passive resignation ...
    Eliza Madrigal: it isn't turning away... just the opposite... not abdicating responsibility but radically taking it
    Mitsu Ishii: Acceptance for me is resisting the tendency to live in a fantasy world
    Mitsu Ishii: i.e., it's not "everything is fine the way it is"
    Mitsu Ishii: it's more "things ARE the way they are, so let's start from HERE."
    Eliza Madrigal: perfect but not fine?
    Mitsu Ishii: that is to say, rather than going "If only things were different, then I could really live"
    Calvino Rabeni: yes
    Calvino Rabeni: living in an imperfect world
    Dao Yheng: yes, acceptance sometimes means -- this bad thing really did happen to me
    Mitsu Ishii: you go "this is it, it couldn't be other than the way it is, so time to work with the way it is rather than wish it were somehow different." That doesn't mean you don't work to change things, make them better.
    Bruce: . . , if only I didn't have this more on my left cheek.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Indeed Dao ...
    Bruce: mole.
    Calvino Rabeni: and yet often it COULD be different
    Calvino Rabeni: we don't live in a one-possibility-only-this world
    Dao Yheng: yes, and there's a chipmunk on my right cheek!
    Eliza Madrigal: :))
    Bruce: ;-)
    Gaya Ethaniel: lol
    Mitsu Ishii: the problem is, the idea that "if only it were different" seems to be a reason for people to be paralyzed
    Aggers: There's a monkey on my back
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Dao Yheng: :))
    Gaya Ethaniel: It leads to despair sometimes Mitsu ...
    Mitsu Ishii: so I have friends who just constantly go "If only I weren't so stressed, if only I had more money, if only the world weren't so unfair" and so on.
    Bruce: the if-only paralysis.
    Calvino Rabeni: the logic of "if only it were be different" .. is different than the logic of "I see how it could be different"
    Mitsu Ishii: but the world is the way it is, and we can start with acceptance of this, the way it is, rather than lament the fact that it isn't some other ideal way.
    Mitsu Ishii: well, someone is suffering, they're cold for instance, so we can see that if we give them a blanket they will feel better.
    Bruce: agrees entirely with that, Mitsu.
    Aggers: I'm off folks, WOK well
    Gaya Ethaniel: Good night :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Bye Aga
    Dao Yheng: bye aga!
    Eliza Madrigal: Nite Agatha :)
    Mitsu Ishii: that doesn't violate acceptance, it's working with things as they are, it seems to me.
    Bruce: bye aggers. Look out for the monkey.
    Dao Yheng: Monkey and the monkettes
    Gaya Ethaniel: Including blames and if-onlys? :P
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes
    Calvino Rabeni: blames and if-onlys exist
    Calvino Rabeni: and can be worked with
    Calvino Rabeni: through imagination? Encouragement?
    Gaya Ethaniel: hm ... now I'm confused Cal ...
    Dao Yheng: thinking about how the blame doesn't have to be avoided -- it can also be used as a pivot
    Eliza Madrigal: some meditator friends look at therapy for instance, as living in the past... but honestly it was at least for me, a way of having a place to get some safe space to see things clearly... that they weren't all clustered together...
    Bruce: Mmmmm.... there is a "forward direction" to acceptance of what is -- with the intention of working-with.
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes as Bruce said, any situation can be a pivot
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah ... I see now.
    Mitsu Ishii: Trungpa loved to say "life is eminently workable!"
    Eliza Madrigal: however, it is also possible t get stuck there... and play with what one finds... so...
    Calvino Rabeni: but I think it takes imagination, or maybe also an intrinsic instinct?
    Bruce: yes, Trungpa -- everything is workable.
    Calvino Rabeni: Blame or any other thing like that include a kernel of gold
    Bruce: What else is true? -- so we begin to explore the possibilities.
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Bruce: and it will be a different thing for every individual.
    Eliza Madrigal: thing is, blame is sticky... maybe a person did one thing and then it is easy to stick lots of other things on there... hah like a "Christmas Tree bill" in govt...
    Dao Yheng: :))
    Gaya Ethaniel: heheh
    Bruce: ;-)
    Bruce: Does acceptance mean no veto?
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Dao Yheng: hee!
    Eliza Madrigal: :)) Trungpa also said 'never give up on anyone'
    Bruce: indeed.
    Calvino Rabeni: I'm going to a retreat this weekend that will have lots of juice around blame, acceptance ... a number of war veterans there living in response to their experiences ..
    Bruce: especially yourself.
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Bruce listens to Cal.
    Dao Yheng: interesting cal
    Calvino Rabeni: Applying a label from the outside, like PTSD, making it into a syndrome, has a limited power
    Eliza Madrigal: hmm
    Bruce wonders if PTSD might not be refusal to accept the horrors....
    Calvino Rabeni: it's more helpful to have some inside vision of the experiences
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes in part I believe that to be true, Bruce
    Bruce: I do not know that it is true -- only pondering.
    Eliza Madrigal: not recognizing where reactiveness comes from...
    Gaya Ethaniel: Like blame, it can be an entry point for some people.
    Bruce: yes, excellent, Eliza.
    Bruce: and Gaya.
    Bruce: an entry point.
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Bruce: not to be overly morbid here, but when I finally accepted my child abuse for what it was, my symptoms eased tremendously.
    Bruce: so -- an entry point.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Glad to hear it Bruce :)
    Calvino Rabeni: there's a tendency to narrowly construe things, medicalizing or psychologizing them as pathologies .. if we're really full beings, there are lots of "sides", including spiritual, soul matters, etc.
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Bruce: ty.
    Gaya Ethaniel: And I'm sorry it happened to you.
    Bruce: but -- my point is -- that's how it is,,,,, we accept and then we begin . . .
    Calvino Rabeni: :) yes
    Gaya Ethaniel: Indeed but we have to end now time is up :P
    Bruce: and that's why I said it was like "starting at the end"
    Eliza Madrigal: did you once say that your 'wounds are windows' bruce...?
    Bruce: i also need to go.
    Bruce: THANKS, everyone!
    Gaya Ethaniel: Thanks Bruce :)
    Dao Yheng: thanks bruce, thanks everyone!
    Eliza Madrigal: thank you Bruce :) bye
    Bruce: Yes,, wounds can be windows.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Bye everyone :)
    Dao Yheng: A pleasure! Bye all :)
    Eliza Madrigal: welcome back Dao
    Eliza Madrigal: Thanks everyone

    When asked afterwards whether to remove the comments relating to his childhood:

    Bruce (bruce.mowbray): It was what it was.
    Bruce (bruce.mowbray): and so be it.

    ... powerful stuff. Thanks Bruce :)

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