2009.07.09 - Workshop 21

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    The following is the transcript for the meeting of July 9th 2009. 

    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Tarmel Udimo: BYB
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Scath :)
    Tarmel Udimo: Hey Scath!
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Gaya, Tarmel:)
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    Gaya Ethaniel: How are you?
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    Tarmel Udimo: back soon
    Gaya Ethaniel: ok
    Scathach Rhiadra: tired, trying to do the report:)
    Gaya Ethaniel: I read :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: a load of confusion!
    Gaya Ethaniel nods nods. It's a mystery.
    Scathach Rhiadra: I liked yours
    Scathach Rhiadra: I don't think I will ever be a writer!
    Gaya Ethaniel: Really? :) Yours make sense to me too.
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Stim:)
    Gaya Ethaniel: I'm definitely not a writer either.
    Stim Morane: Hi Scathach and Gaya!
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Stim :)
    Stim Morane: And Tarmel
    Gaya Ethaniel: Tarmel is afk atm.
    Stim Morane: Ok
    Gaya Ethaniel: How are you Stim?
    Stim Morane: OK, busy ...
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah :)
    Stim Morane: And you?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Good thank you :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hello Stim, Scath, Tarmel, Gaya :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Eliza
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello again Eliza :)
    Stim Morane: Hi Eliza
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Stim Morane: Fefonz
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello again Fefonz :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Fefonz
    Fefonz Quan: Hey Stim, Hey all!
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Pila, Fef
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Pila :)
    Stim Morane: Hi Pila
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Pila
    Pila Mulligan: greetaings :)
    Stim Morane: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Mick, Ara :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Mick and ara :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Mick, Ara
    arabella Ella: Hiya everyone, Stim!
    Stim Morane: Hi arabella, Mick
    Mickorod Renard: Hiya Stim, Pila
    Mickorod Renard: Scath
    Stim Morane: One more minute ...
    Mickorod Renard: Tarmel
    Tarmel Udimo: Hi folks I'm back :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: :)
    Eliza Madrigal waves to Tarmel
    Gaya Ethaniel: wb :)
    Stim Morane: :)
    Tarmel Udimo: ty
    Stim Morane: OK ... Rolling ...
    Stim Morane: I note that Gaya has a report on our wiki regarding thoughts and mind
    Stim Morane: Has everyone seen this?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Eliza and Scath also put reports :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: yes
    Pila Mulligan: yes
    Mickorod Renard: not me,,sorry
    Eliza Madrigal: yes
    Mickorod Renard: ben snowed under doin the pab scribe
    Stim Morane: Check it now, if you like. I'll just refer to it.
    Stim Morane: Gaya, your report for today on the status of mind is very insightful. And indeed, lucid dreams can illustrate very well the new codependent arising angle I wanted to introduce today ... in such dreams, one can see how mind and the contents of mind are codependently arisen.
    Mickorod Renard: do u have link Gaya?
    Scathach Rhiadra: http://ways-of-knowing.wik.is/3Reports/Gaya_Ethaniel/Report_20
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah ... ok thanks Stim :)
    Mickorod Renard: ty
    Stim Morane: Pausing so people can read the report
    Stim Morane: Any comments, anyone?
    Fefonz Quan: interesting, yes.
    Eliza Madrigal: yes is great, Gaya..can see what you are saying
    Stim Morane: It's very relevant, because most of what we're saying here is about how a contemplative sees things, which assumes practice
    Stim Morane: Dream practice is a good example
    Fefonz Quan: one comment - Gaya wrote -'the mind appears due to teh thought', in my experience there is something there even when there is 'no thought' - is it different fromt eh mind?
    Stim Morane: What do you think, Fefonz?
    Fefonz Quan: not sure, it start to get to arbitrary definition, what we call mind and what we don't
    Fefonz Quan: starts*
    Mickorod Renard: nice Gaya,,thanks
    Stim Morane: There are traditions in Buddhism that actually claim you can't see mind, but only the products of mind. Other traditions don't agree.
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Tarmel Udimo: yes Gaya, nice
    Stim Morane: The main thing is to follow your own experience as best you can.
    Stim Morane: The point of traditional teachings is to get you started, not to tell you what to think.
    Stim Morane: Other comments, homework-related observations?
    Fefonz Quan: what i saw was that thought for me is mostly words, hence when there is no verbal thoughts, i tend to call it 'no thought', though there are nameless sensations
    Gaya Ethaniel: Do you have any particular practice suggestion I can try out for those dreams Stim?
    Mickorod Renard: only that I found it easy to get in a muddle over what mind and thought is,,as Fef stated,,there is room for opinions
    Stim Morane: Fefonz, as you proceed, you will find more and more subtle presences, that will elude classification. But it's still important to see if codependent arising applies somehow.
    Stim Morane: Gaya, what would you like to try?
    Stim Morane: Mick, the main thing is to see what is most clear to you and follow that
    Eliza Madrigal: I found myself thinking heart/mind...with mind/thoughts very much of a different character at diff times
    arabella Ella: but Stim ... when we 'empty' out mind of thoughts ... then only the mind remains and there are no thoughts to be co dependent with the mind?
    Gaya Ethaniel: I'm not sure Stim, sometimes I change the plot of the dream because I don't want to see further etc. ... I haven't consciously tried out something while having those dreams.
    Stim Morane: Ok, I'll try to catch up with these threads ... :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: We can let my question for another session actually :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Would be more interesting to see others' thoughts.
    Stim Morane: Eliza: just let them come ... But gradually one will be available for deeper consideration and insight
    Stim Morane: Arabella, the absence of thoughts is still seen ... by someone, at some point in time, in some situation in life, etc etc.
    Eliza Madrigal nods, thanks :)
    arabella Ella reflects ...
    arabella Ella: is it really Stim?
    Mickorod Renard: I wasnt sure what I thought,,I contradict myself often,,the other day I was thinking thoughts as in a conduit,,on route to mind then being processed by mind
    arabella Ella: even in solititude?
    Fefonz Quan: Yes Stim, that was my experience too
    Stim Morane: Gaya, just find yourselves in a particular situation, and exper it without moving or doing anything.
    Stim Morane: Brb
    Fefonz Quan: (--> [14:18] Stim Morane: Arabella, the abs..)
    Gaya Ethaniel: ahhhh ok will try that out thanks :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi SyntheticCynthia :)
    Mickorod Renard: Stim sneaks off to fetch a doctor for me
    Eliza Madrigal: haha
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Fefonz Quan: Are you sick Mick?
    Stim Morane: Back
    Eliza Madrigal wonders about empty thoughts in an empty mind..heh
    Mickorod Renard: maybe in the head
    Stim Morane: Let me make a general response to some of what you are raising ...
    arabella Ella: actually ... in solitude ... a mind emptied of thoughts ...
    Stim Morane: The 2nd tradition I mentioned, the Madhyamaka, is explicitly linking codependent arising with "sunyata", emptiness.
    arabella Ella: like ... some of you may be familiar with 'worry dolls'
    Stim Morane: and their idea is that everything is codependent arisen and thus "empty"
    arabella Ella: interesting :)
    Stim Morane: So if you find something that seems nonempty to you, you should be suspicious
    Stim Morane: And look further
    Stim Morane: OK?
    Eliza Madrigal: yes
    arabella Ella: yes thanks
    Stim Morane: This will lead to a big list, because normally EVERYTHING in our lives seems non-empty!
    arabella Ella: key word being 'seems'
    Stim Morane: But in fact, everything can be seen more clearly and directly, as "sunya"--open.
    Stim Morane: Yes, it just "seems" that way, right.
    Stim Morane: Arabella
    Mickorod Renard: I am not sure I know what empty feels like..except in the case of my wallet
    Stim Morane: So whenevery you find something that seems like an exception, stay with it.
    Stim Morane: Yes, Mick, that's a big point you're raising.
    Stim Morane: But I'm not sure I can remedy the situation, because we just have to hang in there and let something emerge.
    Stim Morane: At least, we should not exacerbate the situation by further cementing "non-emptiness" via our habits, taking things for granted, etc.
    Alfred Kelberry: hey guys :)
    Alfred Kelberry waves to fef
    Stim Morane: It is a weird fact that we can learn to see all things as open, even unborn.
    Fefonz Quan: hey alf
    Gaya Ethaniel: So we appreciate in order to loosen our grip Stim?
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Alfred
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Alf,,and Arisia
    Alfred Kelberry: anyone seen saki?
    Eliza Madrigal: groundless
    Tarmel Udimo: (she's not online Alfred:)
    Stim Morane: yes, groundless too ... Because any ground would be a counterexample to the emptiness point
    Stim Morane: Note, I'm not telling you what you should see ...
    Alfred Kelberry: em, sorry to interrupt
    Stim Morane: No problem, Alfred
    Stim Morane: The most we can quickly do in this little workshop is to mention some things to look into ... It takes a while.
    Eliza Madrigal nods... the term groundless helped me to get a clearer sense of sunyaya I think, than emptiness... the idea of there being no place to land
    Mickorod Renard: open and unborn,,is that at the moment you see them,,just at that point of time?
    Stim Morane: Yes, Eliza. But note that this does not mean that "things are such that there is no ground" because that too would be something to see more directly, and thus as empty.
    Stim Morane: So groundlessness is also empty
    Stim Morane: OK?
    Eliza Madrigal: hmm, yes
    arabella Ella nds
    arabella Ella: nods
    Mickorod Renard: ok,,I think i see that one
    Stim Morane: Yes, Mick, right there and then.
    Stim Morane: Even emptiness is empty
    Fefonz Quan nods, but thinkks 'hmmmmm???'
    Eliza Madrigal: :)))
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Mickorod Renard: ok,,thaks,,and from that point it emerges?
    arabella Ella: :)
    Stim Morane: We're not setting up any theory or picture or how things are
    Stim Morane: You want to elaborate, Fefonz?
    Stim Morane: Back to you in a sec, Mick
    Gaya Ethaniel: Sounds a bit weird but I'm guessing I can only notice the nature of emptiness when samsaric mind is present ...
    Stim Morane: OK, so be it, Gaya ... So play it out as it comes.
    Gaya Ethaniel: ok :)
    Fefonz Quan: saying'groundlessnes is also empty', (not to mention emptiness itself), is a sentence where i can read teh words and understand every single word, but have no clue about the meaning of the whole
    Stim Morane: There are many levels of this "emptiness" insight.
    Stim Morane: That was to Gaya ...
    Gaya Ethaniel: I see ... :)
    Stim Morane: Fefonz, this is the problem with this workshop.
    Stim Morane: :)
    Stim Morane: You should not have asked me to do this.
    Stim Morane: :)
    Fefonz Quan: haha, payback time :)
    Eliza Madrigal thanks Fef again
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: :)
    Tarmel Udimo: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: and of course thank YOU Stim
    Stim Morane: When I used to teaching this subject, I used a three lecture per week format, several hourse per class.
    Stim Morane: I taught people for a couple semesters, typically.
    Fefonz Quan: Stim, one notion i find connected to, is emptiness as non-independance, but sounds like you go much further
    Mickorod Renard: wud it be true to say that something that is groundless has nothing to attach to,,therefore cannot develope,,thus empty?
    Pila Mulligan: from a slightly different angle, as an example, the vedas refer to 'the pure devotee whose heart is entirely empty (sunya) of the propensity to criticize others'
    Stim Morane: After about 3 years had passed since the conclusion of my course, a few would come back and say "would you tell all that to me again?"
    Gaya Ethaniel: Sounds like a fun Stim :)
    Stim Morane: Yes, Mick
    Fefonz Quan: are you inviting us to return to you in 3 years Stim ;-)
    Mickorod Renard: great
    Eliza Madrigal: hehe..they just missed you Stim :)
    Stim Morane: Yes, Pila ... An interesting point ... Empty there has a different meaning, which we can also consider.
    Stim Morane: No Fefonz, I'm just reluctantly predicting the future.
    Stim Morane: Before I forget, next week will be our last meeting for a couple of weeks ... I will be teaching retreats from July 18 through until Aug 1, so our next meeting after July 16 will be Thursday Aug 6.
    Tarmel Udimo: makes sense, the material was starting to resonate and your students were beginning to see a bit more clearly
    Stim Morane: Thanks for the optimistic note, Tarmel.
    Stim Morane: Scathach, is this scheduling point something you think is worth mentioning on our wiki?
    arabella Ella: it will give us time to reflect on what has been said altho we will miss you Stim
    Scathach Rhiadra: yes, I will put a note
    Tarmel Udimo: nods
    Gaya Ethaniel: We can always have an intense homework assignment heheheh
    Scathach Rhiadra: it will give us plenty of time to practice:)
    Stim Morane: :) it's strange to be missed by people I have never met, but I appreciate the thought!
    Stim Morane: Thanks, Scathach
    arabella Ella: but of course we have met ... here in vittual reality :)
    Tarmel Udimo: nods Stim wears a green sweater
    Stim Morane: I'm slow to buy into that notion, arabella.
    arabella Ella: SL can be just as real as RL
    Gaya Ethaniel: SL and RL both are dreams after all :)
    Mickorod Renard: I like my vittuals
    Pila Mulligan: or at least just as second as real life
    Stim Morane: Ara, I agree it is something ... I'm reserving judgment on what the something is.
    Stim Morane: Pila, you have contributed a number of observations from your own practice and study of Chinese traditions, for which I'd like to thank you. Would you be likely to attend next week's session? If so, perhaps you and I could make a little dialogue specifically on how codependent arising relates to your comments.
    Pila Mulligan: ok, thank you
    arabella Ella: wow cool
    Pila Mulligan: may I add one then?
    Stim Morane: Please
    Pila Mulligan: wiki: "Jung distinguished the collective unconscious from the personal subconscious particular to each human being"
    Stim Morane: Uh oh ... I may pass on that one!
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Stim Morane: Also, Fefonz, if you will be present next time, you and I could follow the same approach regarding "theories about reality" in general vs codependent arising. OK?
    Fefonz Quan: sure, sounds like fun!
    Stim Morane: We can try now, just to get things started. Give me a point of view or finding ...
    Mickorod Renard: I read jung when I was in my teens
    Mickorod Renard: just remembered
    Stim Morane: That's a lot of reading, Mick
    Stim Morane: He wasn't the most succinct writer
    Mickorod Renard: no wonder i am wierd
    Stim Morane: :)
    Pila Mulligan: Jung commented on several of Wilhelm's chinese translations
    Stim Morane: Yes ... But we have to be careful with Jung.
    Pila Mulligan: I agree
    Pila Mulligan: as with Freud
    Fefonz Quan: Just wanted to note, at least for me, the fact that we (i) had troubles with the emptiness notion was not discouraging, au contrair!
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Stim Morane: He was enthusiastic, and boostered a lot of stuff ... But some of it is pretty hard to support or unpack, and some of it derives from incorrect interpretations of things like Tibetan Buddhism
    Stim Morane: Thanks, Fefonz.
    Stim Morane: I'm glad I haven't discouraged you yet.
    Pila Mulligan: yes, he took a lot of parts to mak ehis ownmythology
    Stim Morane: (It's too soon for that.)
    Stim Morane: Yes, Pila.
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Stim Morane: Anyway, I'm tip-toeing along, introducing tiny bits of this tradition
    Fefonz Quan: (As a wise man told me once: i wouldn't insult you by giving easy tasks)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Stim Morane: And the point is not that we, here, care about ancient traditions, but that your own life provides countless examples of what is at issue regarding codependent arising and emptiness
    Stim Morane: Thanks, Fef
    Stim Morane: let me summarize a bit:
    Mickorod Renard: plese
    Stim Morane: "mind is not independent of thoughts" (this is the Madhyamaka position re codependent arising). The idea here is that in immediacy, Mind is not something over and above or under or behind what is present there. Madhyamaka is not a theory about mind or anything else, it's just an observation about what is present.
    Stim Morane: Mind is independent of thoughts (this is the Yogacara position). The idea here is that meditation is about taking responsibility for the kind of mind you're using. So codependent arising here means "how is what you see connected to the type of mind involved?".
    Stim Morane: Yogacara is the next group I wanted to discuss with you
    Stim Morane: So here we have 2 groups, with different angles on codependent arising
    Stim Morane: One tradition is emphasizing immediacy, and ultimately suchness (even though this is actually a Yogacara term!), the other is emphasizing meditation and working with the mind.
    Stim Morane: Both use codependent arising, but in different (and, I think, complementary) ways.
    Stim Morane: So: can you see that everything present in a moment is all mutually-reinforcing, defining?
    Stim Morane: If so, that's the Madhyamaka angle
    Stim Morane: And can you see, like Gaya mentioned, that the view you have at a given time is codependent arisen with the mind in effect then?
    Stim Morane: THat's the Yogacara angle
    Fefonz Quan: it's like reversing the (main) direction of the arrow
    Stim Morane: perhaps, yes
    Stim Morane: People see things in different ways.
    Stim Morane: You will have to determine which view is more congenial to you
    Mickorod Renard: lol
    Stim Morane: The point in either case is to open up what is usually closed, fixed, coercive.
    Stim Morane: This is the way to have a more open exper of life
    Stim Morane: One that doesn't box you in, nail you down.
    Stim Morane: Yes?
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Fefonz Quan nods
    Gaya Ethaniel nods.
    arabella Ella: :)
    Stim Morane: "emptiness" is a nice thing (like Bamby)
    Stim Morane: :)
    Mickorod Renard: I think so,well i think i think so
    Stim Morane: :)
    Stim Morane: Sorry, Mick
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Pila Mulligan: oh deer
    Eliza Madrigal: ouch
    Stim Morane: How did we ever get from cigars to this?
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    arabella Ella: he he
    Gaya Ethaniel: Just a random thought - would be nice to have a retreat for this group in RL sometime :)
    Mickorod Renard: dont ned cigars,smoke is commin out my ears
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Stim Morane: But there is an answer: our habits and attachments and reactions and judgments all would benefit from seeing more of what is actually present, and thus as "open", non-binding.
    Fefonz Quan: (Shit Happens: ----> Rastafarianism: Let's smoke this shit!)
    Tarmel Udimo: we are having a retreat Gaya - in August :)
    Stim Morane: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Can't make that one :(
    Mickorod Renard: yea,,lets join the rasta's
    Tarmel Udimo: :(
    Stim Morane: I will need to leave at about 54 min to the hour. Any comments or q's before I go?
    Eliza Madrigal: This morning I came upon a thought that "the seed of the departure is in the arrival" .. another interesting way of thinking about this
    Stim Morane: Yes, right
    Eliza Madrigal: knowing that transience
    Gaya Ethaniel: Homework Stim? Or we are given a break?
    Stim Morane: It's there in some form.
    Mickorod Renard: thats nice eliza,,yes
    Eliza Madrigal: makes one appreciative perhaps
    Stim Morane: And remarkably, if we see what you're mentioning, Eliza, we can also "not go" at all!
    Stim Morane: We can break free
    Stim Morane: In fact, we are free
    Tarmel Udimo: (Ty Stim and everyone, will have to leave, - great session, bye)
    Eliza Madrigal: YES!
    Stim Morane: Bye Tarmel!
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Have a good day Tarmel :)
    Stim Morane: You see, Eliza?
    Scathach Rhiadra: bye Tarmel
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye Tarmel, good to see you
    Fefonz Quan: byt Tarmel!
    Eliza Madrigal: YES
    Stim Morane: Great.
    Mickorod Renard: bye Tarmel
    Stim Morane: that is pretty much the point, especially for the Madhyamaka angle
    Stim Morane: Now you'll have to explain to everyone else ...
    Stim Morane: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: haha...uh
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Fefonz Quan listen carefully Eliza
    Eliza Madrigal: "hey where did eliza go?"
    Fefonz Quan: listens :)
    Stim Morane: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Mickorod Renard: fantastic eliza,,,but i have to go
    Stim Morane: Ok, Mick, see you again, I hope.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Good night Mick :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye Mick
    arabella Ella: nite mick
    Fefonz Quan: Bye Mick
    Scathach Rhiadra: bye Mick
    Mickorod Renard: yes,,i am getting there Stim,,thanks
    arabella Ella: i must go too ... thanks Stim... bye everyone
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Gaya Ethaniel: Bye arabella :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye Ara
    Fefonz Quan: nite Ara
    Pila Mulligan: bye Mick
    Scathach Rhiadra: bye Ara
    Mickorod Renard: if u cud put it on a note card eliza please
    Stim Morane: This is great, I don't have to leave early because everyone has already left.
    Eliza Madrigal: =P~ Mick
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: :)
    Mickorod Renard: bye all Bye Stim,,thankyou
    Stim Morane: Bye, Mick
    Pila Mulligan: bye bye
    Stim Morane: I'll stagger off myself at this point
    Eliza Madrigal: Thank you very much, Stim
    Gaya Ethaniel: I will try out what you suggested Stim if I get a luicd dream. Hope you have a good retreat. Thank you :)
    Fefonz Quan: Bye Stim, thanks for the great session!
    Scathach Rhiadra: bye Stim, thank you
    Gaya Ethaniel: And report*
    Eliza Madrigal: Gaya...one more week
    Stim Morane: Thanks, Eliza and Gaya. Note, there WILL be a meeting next week.
    Gaya Ethaniel: One more week ... ?
    Gaya Ethaniel: oh ok :)
    Stim Morane: Yes, my retreat starts after that.
    Gaya Ethaniel: kewl!
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Thanks everyone... must take my son to a friends' house now
    Gaya Ethaniel: oops cool for me
    Gaya Ethaniel: Have a good day Eliza :)
    Scathach Rhiadra: bye Eliza
    Fefonz Quan: i thought the 'kewl' was cool :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Bye everyone, nice to see you again :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: heheheheh
    Fefonz Quan: Bye Eliza, Gaya
    Scathach Rhiadra: good night Gaya
    Scathach Rhiadra: good night all
    Fefonz Quan: nite Scath

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