2010.02.14 - Lojong 5 (Acceptance/Blame)

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    Timbo Quan: Hello Gaya, Mitsu & Eliza
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Everyone! Happy Various Holidays!
    Mitsu Ishii: hi everyone
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Tim, Eliza, Calvino, Mitsu, Zen, Tommy, Dao and Katherine :)
    Dao Yheng: hi all!
    Gaya Ethaniel: Happy New Year [at least for me and Tim] :)
    Zen Arado: Hi All
    Calvino Rabeni: hello all
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Katharine Kozlowski: hey
    Dao Yheng: happy new year, valentine's day, presidents' day (in US)
    Gaya Ethaniel: I just want to thank those who added reports on wiki, especially thanks for joining the homework brigade Zen :)
    Calvino Rabeni: chinese new year ...
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Yakuzza :)
    Yakuzza Lethecus: hey everyone
    Eliza Madrigal waves
    Mitsu Ishii: hey Sue how come you didn't add my report to the wiki?
    Katharine Kozlowski: she
    Eliza Madrigal: You have a report Mitsu?
    Katharine Kozlowski: shes posting it now
    Eliza Madrigal added things...
    Mitsu Ishii: I still don't have wiki access
    Eliza Madrigal: Ohhh
    Eliza Madrigal: I tried to check the recent page and add as needed, thought I missed the ball :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Let me fix that ...
    Dao Yheng: http://ways-of-knowing.wik.is/3Reports/Mitsu_Ishii/Report_43
    Dao Yheng: That's Mits' report :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Is it ok if we all have a quick look at Mitsu's report first?
    Eliza Madrigal reading and nodding
    Dao Yheng: I really enjoyed everyone's reports this week -- Zen chose a nice set of aphorisms for us this week :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: You write so well, Mitsu... and the last few sentences are particularly striking
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh, yes me too, agreed
    Calvino Rabeni: nicely articulated
    Zen Arado: yes very good report
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Zen Arado: I was a bit perplexed about taking all the blame one'self too
    Dao Yheng: Yes, there is something unexpected that "happens" when staying with blame
    Dao Yheng: say more zen?
    Zen Arado: could be a recipe for masochism
    Dao Yheng: yes, I've had the concern as well
    Gaya Ethaniel: hm ... didn't see that angle, interesting.
    Zen Arado: I see it as getting away from the idea of always looking to blame someone in the first place
    Mitsu Ishii: yes, I wanted to comment on that one, because it comes right after the "accept yourself" one
    Zen Arado: as Mitsu says
    Calvino Rabeni: It seems to me, people take "blame" as a fixed, given thing, rather then a convention
    Katharine Kozlowski: sometimes masochism needs to be accepted too
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Blame isn't necessarily anything negative
    Zen Arado: ther are times you have to I guess
    Zen Arado: praise/blame are opposites?
    Eliza Madrigal: From Mitsu's report: That is to say, rather than thinking in terms of blame, at all, we see in an accepting way what is happening and stop trying to force things quite so much, open up to things, and perhaps find a seemingly hidden dimensionality to our lives that was always already present.
    Katharine Kozlowski: i dont think theyre really opposites
    Calvino Rabeni: blame could be just another way to refer to the idea of taking charge and responsibility
    Calvino Rabeni: of being accountable for actions
    Calvino Rabeni: which is pretty value positive
    Zen Arado: blaming can close things prematurely
    Calvino Rabeni: if you choose to look at it that way
    Eliza Madrigal: I'm thinking that this kind of thinking can be applied, practically, the same way as using dreams to wak up... like right in the middle of a situation with someone/ourselves.. we see if we can open up ...
    Zen Arado: I see Cal
    Calvino Rabeni: If you "take a blame" it suggests - looking at what happened, deciding whether it went well or not, and going on from there
    Calvino Rabeni: that is what "normal" blame is for - to cause someone to do just that, rather than to make them feel badly about themselves
    Calvino Rabeni: on that lower level, blame is a manipulation, to try to coerce others to do the right thing
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes Eliza, I think a lot of them can be used as tools to remain open/aware so that one doesn't get lost in me/you frame of mind during interaction.
    Calvino Rabeni: and if driven into oneself, then, one does the right action naturally
    Calvino Rabeni: rather than through coercion
    Eliza Madrigal nods... can be really specific right were we are
    Eliza Madrigal: but I think it is important not to get out into 'rule' territory
    Eliza Madrigal: or maybe that's just my thing this week :) haha
    Zen Arado: sometimes taking blame stops further messiness
    Zen Arado: as Trungpa says
    Gaya Ethaniel: I think this is an important point in my practice generally. I often assign even when certain feelings/thoughts are unclear and then move on. [9:17] Zen Arado: blaming can close things prematurely
    Calvino Rabeni: becoming accountable for right action, however it comes to oneself
    Gaya Ethaniel: Rather than be open and take time to see ...
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Mitsu Ishii: I think the two need to be seen together, as I wrote
    Katharine Kozlowski: i agree
    Zen Arado: the 'middle way' of blame :)
    Gaya Ethaniel nods. I looked at them together while writing too ...
    Calvino Rabeni: When you "blame" another, consider what you really "mean" by it
    Dao Yheng: for me at least, blaming others and judgement often go hand in hand
    Mitsu Ishii: that is to say, acceptance of yourself and taking the blame. The key thing I believe is not constantly blaming others and the outside for things going wrong
    Zen Arado: yes needs judging first
    Eliza Madrigal: that breaks down a sense of rule-ness too, perhaps... holding seeming contradictions.. kind of a built-in humility to that
    Gaya Ethaniel: I try not to 'blame' others because it can easily become pointing out others' shortcoming as in another aphorism.
    Dao Yheng: so the slogan helps cut that little knot
    Mitsu Ishii: it's not so much about beating yourself up (as that would contradict the acceptance)
    Katharine Kozlowski: i don't think it means take the blame in the ordinary way at all, taking the blame we would place on someone else and instead placing it on ourselves
    Calvino Rabeni: But when you blame - in a small minded way - it is an opportunity to do the same thing in a larger minded way
    Gaya Ethaniel: One needs to drop 'ideal image' in order to accept.
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, Kath
    Gaya Ethaniel: Otherwise, the beating up as Mitsu puts it happens.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Looking for that internal standard has been helpful for me.
    Zen Arado: yes Gaya
    Eliza Madrigal nods @Gaya... those terms definitely speak to me too
    Katharine Kozlowski: i think it's more like in tonglen when we take in negative energy
    Calvino Rabeni: yes
    Gaya Ethaniel: I agree Dao, to judge someone one assume a superior position ... not at all helpful.
    Zen Arado: maybe, ideally, we can always take the blame?
    Calvino Rabeni: judging is part of life - best do it well
    Gaya Ethaniel: Or just accept, no need to dish out blames on anyone?
    Zen Arado: if we were fully enlightened Bodhisattvas?
    Calvino Rabeni: blame on a more enlighted level is simply awareness of the potentials of action
    Calvino Rabeni: discrimination about action
    Calvino Rabeni: sorting it out
    Zen Arado: what stops us from accepting blame?
    Eliza Madrigal: From an expansive place I think we can have a sense of evenness about things which encompasses 'others' as self....
    Calvino Rabeni: which is necessary for life
    Calvino Rabeni: yes
    Eliza Madrigal: and in that sense I agree with katharine that tonglen is about just that? a capacity to be in generous mode...
    Eliza Madrigal: more and more?
    Zen Arado: if others are self blame doesn't matter?
    Dao Yheng: If we were fully enlightened bodhisattvas, we would certainly be able to encompasses 'others' as self as Eliza says :)
    Calvino Rabeni: A fear of having inability to make things right, is one thing that stops a person from accepting blame
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Zen Arado: true Cal
    Zen Arado: but our egos don't like it either :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Self wants things to do perfect and everlasting ^^;;;
    Calvino Rabeni: but if egos had the capacity to make things right, the egos would *love* getting the blame and then the credit for fixing things :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: lol
    Zen Arado: :)
    Mitsu Ishii: yes, I think that's a good point Calvino... a lot of these aphorisms seem to point to letting go of the need to "fix" everything. If we could let go of the need to make things "right" and accept ourselves and the world, then we could let the world be what it is more fully
    Katharine Kozlowski: it's the entire tendency to blame that needs to be accepted
    Eliza Madrigal: I guess I feel like our ideas of blame are skewed... can be taken apart a little... like "That person is wrong about ___" vs. "That person is wrong entirely and always as a general rule"
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes Kath agree
    Calvino Rabeni: and finding what is positive about the blaming business
    Mitsu Ishii: yes. it can be deconstructed even further, as in "there are many factors at play here, including both right and wrong, and lots of other issues which go far beyond the other person, myself, etc., as individuals"
    Calvino Rabeni: taking it apart - cultivating the white seeds
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Gaya Ethaniel: On self level, world would never be perfect and unchanging.
    Mitsu Ishii: There's a lovely Zen story about that
    Zen Arado: nods
    Mitsu Ishii: that this reminds me of... at a monastery the monks were fighting about the right way to do things
    Zen Arado: is that so Matsu?
    Mitsu Ishii: this went on for a while
    Gaya Ethaniel: Trying to accept this on that level just doesn't work ... I struggled a lot because I was trying to accept this.
    Mitsu Ishii: finally the abbott posted the following on his door:
    Gaya Ethaniel: I think as Stim says, seeing frees and perhaps acceptance isn't really something that one needs to do.
    Mitsu Ishii: "Those who argue about right and wrong are the very ones who are right and wrong." That ended the fighting.
    Zen Arado: very good Matsu :)
    Zen Arado: blame need right/wrong judgements
    Zen Arado: I was thinking of the monk who took the blame for making a young girl pregnant
    Dao Yheng: Gaya -" seeing frees and perhaps acceptance isn't really something that one needs to do." -- YES! But it's interesting to not the ways we tend to get in the way of that natural dynamic
    Mitsu Ishii: It's not only that a given person can be right or wrong, but that any given situation is usually far more interesting than any kind of right/wrong idea can capture
    Zen Arado: he just said 'Is that so?
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Mitsu Ishii: Yes, that's a great story too, Zen, about Hakuin
    Katharine Kozlowski: i agree acceptance isn't a project to do
    Eliza Madrigal: He was tapping into some larger confidence it seems, Zen
    Eliza Madrigal: ?
    Zen Arado: yes
    Gaya Ethaniel: Indeed Dao, I found this bit very useful in your report - "blame can quickly turn into its own story world"
    Eliza Madrigal nods vigorously
    Calvino Rabeni: Right /wrong have meaning on different levels - the concept of right action requires a discriminating perception, likewise wrong action
    Gaya Ethaniel: One just goes off on a long tangent ...
    Katharine Kozlowski: it's very distracting
    Calvino Rabeni: yep
    Calvino Rabeni: very ... distracting
    Zen Arado: not blaming is also acceptance?
    Gaya Ethaniel: For me, not blaming is to take time to be open and see because as Dao said, blaming can move one away from the actual experience.
    Calvino Rabeni: away from being congruent with reality
    Mitsu Ishii: at the highest level, however, right action can't be turned into a conceptual notion. it comes from an open participation in reality in a way that goes far beyond what an ordinary self can do as a project
    Calvino Rabeni: including its past and future potentials
    Mitsu Ishii: that is to say, it's not something that can, ultimately, be "done" by a constrained self
    Calvino Rabeni: yes, an open participation
    Calvino Rabeni: true
    Gaya Ethaniel: Even take another good look at the other person ... maybe I then see s/he is actually tired rather than grumpy for example.
    Zen Arado: if we fully accept a situation we won't look for someone or something TO blame?
    Mitsu Ishii: yes, I think that is right
    Calvino Rabeni: Not "in advance" zen :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: heheheh
    Mitsu Ishii: it's funny how this reminds me of some aphorisms of W Edwards Deming
    Zen Arado: ah no but in the situation
    Katharine Kozlowski: blame is something added on
    Eliza Madrigal thinks of how many times she's blamed people for not taking responsibility... hehe
    Mitsu Ishii: one of them is "drive out fear", which basically means when you are looking at a situation (in his case he's talking about in a work setting) don't focus on blaming a specific person, but instead look at the whole system, how it is all working as a whole
    Calvino Rabeni: I agree, Kath, that "blame" often refers to an added emotional charge placed on communications
    Calvino Rabeni: as if they needed it :)
    Zen Arado: nods
    Calvino Rabeni: If those one speaks to were enlightened, the "extra" would not be needed to get the right thing to happen
    Calvino Rabeni: It bespeaks fear to have to add the extra charge
    Calvino Rabeni: rather than confidence and trust
    Katharine Kozlowski: but those one speaks to are enlightened
    Calvino Rabeni: One doesn't "blame" those who one deeply trusts
    Gaya Ethaniel: Eliza, would you mind saying a bit more about that? Blaming others for not taking responsibilities.
    Mitsu Ishii: well, the trick is ultimately, can you avoid the impulse to think in terms of blame even when the person or people you're interacting with aren't enlightened and are in fact behaving badly? :)
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    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, like tonglen - there is a power of "assuming" the higher nature in others
    Calvino Rabeni: And then accepting the shortfall too
    Zen Arado: nods
    Gaya Ethaniel: It is possible, if one can really understand why someone acts 'badly'.
    Eliza Madrigal nods... there's the wide-perspective again... the perspective the small i can't see from. One can have compassion for that...
    Gaya Ethaniel: Compassion ...
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Seeing the whole boat
    Zen Arado: yes the empty boat story
    Gaya Ethaniel: meta-snap :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Zen Arado: gosh all these zen stories are about blame :)
    Mitsu Ishii: you could see the praise and blame idea as being related to a misapprehension about reality in which we think of it as divided up into separated pieces
    Mitsu Ishii: "self and others" and so on. and then we look around for the piece to blame
    Katharine Kozlowski: isn't the whole praise/blame problem an example of a disaster we could use to wake up?
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Zen Arado: yes Mitsu
    Mitsu Ishii: instead of widening our awareness and accepting both the larger context and the fact that we can't actually see/consciously understand it all conceptually, but we can participate in it fully
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh, Gaya... responsibility, yes I was thinking of a personal situation I find myself in often where I look at a person and think if they could stop pointing everywhere else we could make some progress .. but then I'm there waiting... thinking 'they should ___" So silly.... If they could see it, they would.
    Calvino Rabeni: On the "disaster" proverb - I really think it applies, even to very small matters that wouldn't qualify as "disasters"
    Mitsu Ishii: right, the disaster to wake up one is also very relevant. I like the fact that we chose these three together to look into
    Calvino Rabeni: @eliza, Understanding why someone acts badly seems to help acceptance, but doesn't need to be a requirement for acceptance.
    Eliza Madrigal: So then that triggers compassion... for the fact that we all are so limited "the poor thing needs help"
    Calvino Rabeni: compassion would see one's own small failings as well as others'
    Eliza Madrigal: yes... in the same boat
    Gaya Ethaniel: yeah ... can drag the donkey to the waterhole but can't make it drink :) But Calvino is right we can start with accepting them as they are now to help them indirectly.
    Calvino Rabeni: "judge not, the mote in the other's eye..." as the christian version goes
    Gaya Ethaniel: It kind of reduce their reactive responses in my relationships with super critical people.
    Dao Yheng: It's a bit weird how much we're all in agreement today
    Eliza Madrigal: :)))
    Gaya Ethaniel: After all, it must be pretty hard to live with their internal critics 24/7.
    Mitsu Ishii: Right, if we can take the blame ourselves and accept ourselves at the same time, we can look at our own mistakes with much less fear
    Calvino Rabeni: To drive the blame to oneself, with the situation of the critical people, would be to have a clear idea of one's own value independent of them
    Mitsu Ishii: a lot of the energy in blaming others comes from the unwillingness to look at our own mistakes it seems to me
    Zen Arado: nods
    Gaya Ethaniel: Eliza, maybe on surface those people blame others only but I'm fairly certain they have those stories running inside too.
    Mitsu Ishii: but if we accept ourselves, then mistakes are just matter of course
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, somehow, part of blame, is the odd idea that the other person is somehow more capable handling things, than oneself
    Mitsu Ishii: there is yet another Zen saying, "The life of a Zen master is a continuous series of mistake"
    Gaya Ethaniel: When one blames another it hurts however much that person is aware of it.
    Mitsu Ishii: mistakes
    Zen Arado: yes :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Life is a practice ...
    Dao Yheng: So, what do you all think for next week?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Full of mistakes :)
    Mitsu Ishii: I used to read that mostly as a reference to the Zen master knowing that any action or word they say has to depart somewhat from the full truth, since you cannot say anything without making a mistake
    Zen Arado: nods
    Mitsu Ishii: but now I also see it as the fact that a Zen master accepts the fact that they are constantly making mistakes
    Eliza Madrigal: "Life is messy" "Let it be that way"? heheh
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Zen Arado: as soon as you put into words it is wrong :)
    Mitsu Ishii: well, it's not only a passive notion, there is still an incisive quality
    Calvino Rabeni: How about for next week, "Don't depend on how the rest of the world is"
    Calvino Rabeni: It would be a followup to this I think
    Mitsu Ishii: that is, it's not just accepting the mistakes, but also seeing them and being aware of them without feeling "bad" about it but not being passive either.
    Eliza Madrigal nods.. and humor helps :)
    Zen Arado: 'abandon any hope of fruition' is a good one
    Eliza Madrigal: Yes!
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Mitsu Ishii: that's an interesting point Stim made recently, that acceptance isn't just a sort of "oh well" attitude -- it is still very present and about investigation and finding a timeless dimension in everything that we ordinarily ignore but is always present
    Dao Yheng: oo, zen likes the spicy ones :)
    Calvino Rabeni: To balance the "abandon", might we choose an "opposite" proverb to go with it?
    Calvino Rabeni: Lojong is full of these complementary balances
    Eliza Madrigal nods @ Mitsu, yes compassion certainly seems 'active', 'alive'
    Calvino Rabeni: How about one about full-hearted training and commitment
    Eliza Madrigal has been constantly thinking 'there is nothing real about your confusion' too , but I think it is the same as the dream topic
    Calvino Rabeni: Otherwise the temptation is resignation as a false state of acceptance
    Eliza Madrigal: hmm
    Mitsu Ishii: "train wholeheartedly" and "abandon all hope of results" and "there is nothing real about your confusion" could be an interesting 3
    Dao Yheng: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Okay :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Can we pick just two at a time?
    Mitsu Ishii: yes, resignation is certainly not the point.
    Zen Arado: yes good
    Gaya Ethaniel: I'd prefer one but ...
    Mitsu Ishii: okay how about "train wholeheartedly" and "abandon all hope of results"
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Calvino Rabeni: :)
    Dao Yheng: that would be an interesting sub-experiment if gaya wanted to try just one?
    Gaya Ethaniel: We can do 'confusion' the week after.
    Mitsu Ishii: they are sort of complementary
    Zen Arado: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yeah, I may just do one if that's ok with you guys.
    Gaya Ethaniel: I'm very slow ...
    Eliza Madrigal: Sure, Gaya :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: ty :)
    Eliza Madrigal needs to learn 'slow'
    Mitsu Ishii: Well I'd like to do those two together as they complement each other --- a lot of these aphorisms have to be seen as part of a whole system
    Calvino Rabeni: they help one another by complementing
    Mitsu Ishii: because "train wholeheartedly" can go very wrong if you don't remember "abandon all hope of results" :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Sure Mitsu I keep all in mind overall.
    Calvino Rabeni: There's nothing dogmatic or one-sided about this collection, that is a thing I like about them
    Mitsu Ishii: I also don't want to forget that eventually Gaya wanted to talk about Confucius at some point
    Eliza Madrigal: Thanks everyone... have to go have been online a long while today. Please send me the rest of the chat log if you go on. Thanks :)
    Gaya Ethaniel nods. One can synthesise as it fits :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Thanks, see you next week!
    Zen Arado: I need to go too
    Mitsu Ishii: we're wrapping up anyway
    Mitsu Ishii: by Eliza!
    Mitsu Ishii: bye
    Dao Yheng: Thanks everyone!
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye Everyone! Thanks so much!
    Zen Arado: thanks for interesting discussion
    Yakuzza Lethecus: bye eliza, bye everyone
    Zen Arado: bye

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