2009.03.12 - Workshop 05

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    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Stim

    Stim Morane: Hi Scathach!

    Wester Kiranov is Online

    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Wester, Hyperbolic

    Hyperbolic Monday: hi

    Pila Mulligan is Online

    Wester Kiranov: hi all

    Stim Morane: Hi Wester

    Pila Mulligan: greetings

    Stim Morane: Hi Pila

    Eliza Madrigal: Hello Pila, everyone :)

    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Pila, Eliza

    Stim Morane: And Eliza!

    Eliza Madrigal: Not quite dressed for this occassion...sorry was rushing Hah

    arabella Ella: hiya

    Mickorod Renard: hi Stim

    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Ara, Fefonz, Mick

    Fefonz Quan: Hello everyone :)

    Mickorod Renard: Hiya scath

    Stim Morane: Hi to those of you who just dropped in ... I was away for a moment.

    Mickorod Renard: hiya everyone else

    arabella Ella: Hiya Stim, Scath, Storm, Everyone

    Scathach Rhiadra: Hey Tarmel

    Tarmel Udimo: hi everyone, I finally get to one of stim's workshops:-)

    Pila Mulligan: :)

    Scathach Rhiadra: :)

    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Pila and all

    Tarmel Udimo: however back on schedule next week

    Stim Morane: Hi Tarmel

    Tarmel Udimo: Hi Stim:-)

    Stim Morane: for those of you who are here for the 1st time, this may take a little while to become clear. No problem.

    Stim Morane: Shall we start?

    Tarmel Udimo: nods

    Pila Mulligan: hi Steve

    Mickorod Renard: pls

    Eliza Madrigal: :)

    Stim Morane: As some of you may recall, my computer died a while back while we were in this forum. I installed a new (used) video card, which sort of works, but seems to have intermittent problems with SL. Such is life …

    Stim Morane: So if I experience too much lag today, I’ll have to drop out and use another computer to continue our meeting. It will take a minute or so …

    Alfred Kelberry: hi :)

    Scathach Rhiadra: Hi Al

    Stim Morane: Hi Alfred

    Stim Morane: OK ... here we go.

    Stim Morane: In our previous meetings, I offered three practice-related “Views”, each tied to more or less the same basic breath-following technique.

    Alfred Kelberry: do we have a timer this time? :)

    Stim Morane: I'm stil the timer ... unless you have a better idea.

    Stim Morane: Someday maybe we'll put a virtual hourglass in here

    Storm Nordwind makes a mental note

    Fefonz Quan: you just need a Gong :)

    Alfred Kelberry: with a little gong. yes, fef :)

    Stim Morane: Yes, I was going to ask you about that, Storm

    Stim Morane: I'm already getting a lot of lag

    Stim Morane: So it doesn't look good.

    Stim Morane: Anyway ...

    Pila Mulligan: want to make the leap Stim?

    Stim Morane: I'll wait a bit. The 1st view we’ll certainly agree is too narrow to count as “spiritual”. There isn’t, for instance, anything spiritual about being able to maintain a “breath count” without getting lost … you could learn to do that very well without being a better person at all.

    Storm Nordwind: Close your minimap Stim if it's open. That gives extra lag

    Stim Morane: thanks, Storm. It's not open at the moment.

    Stim Morane: But I'll remember

    Stim Morane: But the other two Views lead us into more complicated possibilities …

    Stim Morane: You need focus and continuity of presence, inclusiveness, ability to appreciate the presence of (and subtle variations and aspects of) different facets of your existence, like the aliveness facet, for instance. So I’ve just mentioned three different but related things that definitely matter for spiritual practice.

    Stim Morane: The 2nd View is inclusive but you still may not see clearly _what_ is being included. You need a focusing agent for that, and I used “aliveness” as an example. In Buddhism, for instance, this would be represented by the Buddha Amitayus, the Buddha of Infinite Life. This is meant to be a facet of reality, the reality of all things in fact, not just an entity that lives a really long time! :)

    Stim Morane: In contemplative traditions, there are a great many different facets of reality that are explicitly distinguished and emphasized as being important … we need to learn to see and appreciate and use or exercise these, which in turn helps us to include and also to see yet more facets … and to be open to even more profound ways to be in turn seen or included, enfolded, sourced, by reality.

    Stim Morane: This is the subject of the Vajrayana tradition, for example, and of some sets of Zen koans. The Mahamudra tradition has its own language for these, etc.

    Stim Morane: So … there’s one aspect of view #1 that we will need to retain: the emphasis on a mind that isn’t scattered … a bit of strictness about being present. The 2nd and 3rd views show the possibility of retaining and even extending that feature, accomplishing stable presence in new ways that are more relaxed but also more relevant to our concerns here.

    Stim Morane: Today I want to ask you to combine the 2nd and 3rd View-guided practices into one. Keep the discipline of not losing the count (from View #1), plus the welcoming, inclusive orientation of View #2, plus the specific appreciation of aliveness emphasized in View #3. So you count each exhalation, don’t lose the count (if you do, start from the beginning again), welcome and include everything that would normally seem like a distraction or obstacle, and appreciate aliveness in every feature of your existence on body, mind, and energy levels. Integrate all this into one approach.

    Stim Morane: I know that sounds like a lot

    Stim Morane: But it's really just one aware presence

    Stim Morane: Maybe you can work with it

    Stim Morane: We’ll practice for three minutes, and I’ll let you know when we’re done.

    Stim Morane: Please go ahead and start. I'll keep track of the time.

    Stim Morane: OK ... 3 minutes!

    Stim Morane: Any observations, or questions?

    Stim Morane: This is directed at you old-timers in particular for the moment

    Stim Morane: Could you integrate the three emphases I mentioned?

    Pila Mulligan: the aliveness of the body sees ot help baance the distractins of the mind

    Stim Morane: Yes, Pila

    Stim Morane: They are really one nature, which we've arbitrarily divided

    Storm Nordwind: I felt it harder to integrate at first but grew into it OK. I'm left with a feeling of sublime "poise" afterwards.

    Stim Morane: I could use some of that.

    Scathach Rhiadra: I started out with 1 and seemed to move to 2 and 3 , naturally

    Stim Morane: OK

    Stim Morane: Storm, would you like to comment more?

    Solobill Laville: That was me - I can hold my comment :)

    Storm Nordwind: Only that #2 is an easy starting point for me. It felt like multitasking at first, then it became one inegrated thing

    Stim Morane: Yes, exactly.

    Pema Pera is Offline

    Stim Morane: It's not really a matter of combining 3 things, but of finding the underlying natural version

    Stim Morane: This does indeed = poise too

    Fefonz Quan: i felt 3 included 2 to start with. and on some point the counting seemed like keeping it's own paste autonomusly

    Stim Morane: We're actually talking about what is real ... a reality that's proper to us, but overlooked

    Mickorod Renard: yes,,feeling of multitasking was for me too..until i dropped my cigar on my lap

    Stim Morane: Yes Fefonz

    Storm Nordwind laughs with Mick!

    Stim Morane: I'm shocked, Mick

    Fefonz Quan: yey Mick :)

    Mickorod Renard: so was I

    Stim Morane: But I guess it helped you anyway

    Storm Nordwind points out the fire extinguishers around the Cafe

    Mickorod Renard: grin

    Solobill Laville: :)

    Fefonz Quan: Mick, just a little aliveness and you are on flames? :)

    Stim Morane: Yes, good. Scathach, would you like to add something to your comment?

    Stim Morane: OK, well just to explain a much bigger picture re all this ...

    Stim Morane: Here’s why I think Views #2 and #3 are important: If you extend the 2nd and 3rd practices (+ their views), something may come forward from outside our ordinary understanding to BOTH include and enliven us further, to vastly extend our understanding or seeing of what inclusiveness and aliveness could be. This is where they really count as “spiritual” in a big and advanced way … they introduce us to something vast and important.

    Stim Morane: Something fundamental, not contrived

    Stim Morane: But even more modest stages of practice also count importantly, if we are using either of these practices to deal with our small-minded, selfish etc tendencies. It is exactly these tendencies that the 2nd and 3rd views are meant to counteract and correct.

    Stim Morane: So in my last comment I’m referring to dealing with what Indian contemplative traditions would call samsara, samsaric tendencies. I would definitely say that if you’re not coming to terms with these, you are not engaged in a spiritual practice.

    Stim Morane: So there's a short-term scope available to anyone working with these little practice approaches, and also some much larger issues too that may eventually be seen as part of what's involved.

    Stim Morane: Even very simple actions have historically been primary “spiritual practices” for many masters of the past. Just walking through the mountains, or bowing, or making offerings have figured prominently. Serving others, copying sacred texts, etc. These could definitely be spiritual practices, but they may not be … it all depends on the view that’s actually brought to bear on them and expressed through them. And by far the most discussed practice in both Buddhism and Taoism is simply breathing mindfully in one way or another. There are more practices of this latter sort than I’ve been able to count.

    Stim Morane: Anyway, I think you see what I'm saying.

    Stim Morane: Comments? Questions?

    Pila Mulligan: for me, contemplative practice is a very physical thing, even though contemplation is usually considered a mental thing

    Stim Morane: Yes, I agree

    Stim Morane: It shouldn't be seen as mental in the narrow modern sense

    Stim Morane: But by the same reasoning it's not "physical" either

    Pila Mulligan: :)

    Stim Morane: all those categories are travesties

    Stim Morane: what we are is beyond them all

    Stim Morane: It's precisely because we live and see our lives in a broken way that we need to use a "combination" practice

    Stim Morane: ... just to put the pieces back together

    Stim Morane: That is in fact the main point of Taoism

    Tarmel Udimo: and the breath is the connecting point that allows us to go beyond body and mind

    Stim Morane: Yes, right Tarmel

    Stim Morane: It's the "energy" aspect

    Stim Morane: these facets of our being need to be re-integrated

    Stim Morane: or found to have never been dis-integrated

    Stim Morane: But that usually takes some practice

    Stim Morane: Anyway, yes, Pila. I agree with you.

    Stim Morane: Others?

    Tarmel Udimo: this kind of connects to Pila as well..

    Tarmel Udimo: its really the body that holds the key I think

    Fefonz Quan: (snicks out)...

    Stim Morane: For us, probably.

    Tarmel Udimo: it is in the body that we feel experience this expansion

    Stim Morane: For people in other cultures, another corrective may be apt

    Tarmel Udimo: ahhhh yes understand

    Stim Morane: uh huh

    Stim Morane: When I began training with my Tibetan teachers, my practice was "mental" in the narrow sense for 10 years

    Stim Morane: my mistake, not theirs

    Mickorod Renard: have you an example stim,,,of from other cultures and their correctives?

    Stim Morane: I saw the problem, sought some help, and eventually spent another 12 years or so working with more physical yogic-contemplative methods

    Mickorod Renard: just to help me put it in context

    Stim Morane: It's risky to say too much about that

    Mickorod Renard: ok,,np

    Stim Morane: People might be irked

    Stim Morane: but it's fair to say we humans like to be imbalanced

    Stim Morane: and you just have to see what sort of imbalance you're holding on to

    Solobill Laville: Stim, "mental" in terms of controlling the mind-type of practices (in those 10 years)?

    Stim Morane: real practice should be fully integrative

    Stim Morane: Yes, but also in the sense of being disconnected, Solo

    Stim Morane: disconnected from body and energy, from true human feelings,

    Stim Morane: and from Nature.

    Stim Morane: We are so cut off from an incredibly rich context

    Stim Morane: one that's trying to help us

    Stim Morane: I think we here are all aware of this point.

    Stim Morane: But the mind too can and shoud be much more opened up, and even sharpened.

    Eliza Madrigal: Will you say more about the yogic-contemplative practices, Stim?

    Stim Morane: In Buddhism, even technical "philosophy" is actually, at least potentially, a yogic practice.

    Stim Morane: It all depends on how it's used.

    Stim Morane: It's that View issue again.

    Eliza Madrigal: Hm

    Stim Morane: Eliza, I spent years in the mountains doing practices that emphasize reconnecting to the body and to ITS connection to Nature

    Stim Morane: "Nature" means many things. Some visible, some not.

    Stim Morane: I suspect Storm has done related things.

    Stim Morane: Is that true, Storm?

    Eliza Madrigal: I ask because before I became more zen focused, I practiced a bit of yoga...but piecemeal. I want to be clearer, but miss it. :)

    Stim Morane: Yes, Eliza, it's hard to find balance

    Eliza Madrigal: :)

    Stim Morane: But just knowing about the issue is the main thing

    Stim Morane: That will drive us to address it

    Bleu Oleander: Stim, what did you mean when you said that humans like to be imbalanced?

    Storm Nordwind was busy with an email and apologises!

    Stim Morane: We focus on secondary issues, Bleu

    Stim Morane: Sorry to toss that at you, Storm

    Storm Nordwind: :)

    Bleu Oleander: because we like to?

    Stim Morane: Secondary things that leave our aliveness etc out of the picture

    Stim Morane: We use our aliveness, rather than appreciating it

    Stim Morane: So we use it up

    Stim Morane: and we disconnect from it

    Stim Morane: what it really is cannot be exhausted

    Bleu Oleander: how can we use up our aliveness?

    Stim Morane: but we become oblivious to it

    Stim Morane: Good question, Bleu.

    Stim Morane: Answers, anyone?

    Mickorod Renard: by continually killing it?

    Stim Morane: :)

    Stim Morane: Are you doing that?

    Mickorod Renard: sometimes i think so

    Tarmel Udimo: when we disconnect from Aliveness we are functioning because of our will which can only generate so much power

    Mickorod Renard: suffocating it

    Stim Morane: Yes. I think just about everything we do sometimes counts as an example!

    Storm Nordwind: By putting your thumb over the hosepipe! :)

    Stim Morane: Yes, that too. We constrict our access

    Stim Morane: OK. Let me ask you another question ...

    Stim Morane: Let me ask you this: What’s your life been like over the past week?” What has it involved?

    Mickorod Renard: letting outside influence suffocate it

    Bleu Oleander: I think we're back to that "view" thing

    Stim Morane: Yes, I think so

    Stim Morane: View: it’s the most important thing. There really are no spiritual practices in the narrow sense of techniques or actions. The main thing is the view used to perform these latter. This point goes back in some respects to the Buddha’s innovation re karma: that a main component was intention. My point about view is related to that, but goes farther … it amounts to saying that view is about intention but also about seeing, and tuning and eventually refining or expanding what you see.

    Eliza Madrigal: When we attend to things without bringing Attention to them, substance "leaks" ?

    Stim Morane: Yes. I think so. If we're not appreciating and living our integration, we're probably living in the opposite way.

    Stim Morane: We're "dis-integrating", dying.

    Stim Morane: Heraclitus said essentially that we die the gods' life, and they live our death.

    Stim Morane: we take what is sacred, and alive, and turn it into death.

    Eliza Madrigal: samsara

    Stim Morane: The "gods" can include even that deadening, as part of their aliveness.

    Stim Morane: Yes, samsara.

    Stim Morane: This is what needs to be seen.

    Stim Morane: And samsara too has its "views"

    Mickorod Renard: yes,,i have felt this before

    Stim Morane: deadening views

    Stim Morane: we don't even know we have them.

    Stim Morane: But we have given our lives over to them!

    Mickorod Renard: the seeing in a diferent view

    Stim Morane: This has to be seen

    Stim Morane: yes

    Stim Morane: So come back to my question: what was your life like last week?

    Stim Morane: What did it involve?

    Stim Morane: Be honest.

    Mickorod Renard: mine was ok,,he he

    Stim Morane: Answer for yourself, if you don't want to fess up in public

    Stim Morane: :)

    Storm Nordwind: Do you mean a list of activities Stim? Or a list of feelings? Of motives? Intentions? Aspirations?

    Mickorod Renard: I generaly see it positive,,,,,at the moment

    Stim Morane: A good question, Storm.

    Stim Morane: I mean this: if you are walking down the street, and you suddenly think about what your life has been like, what terms do you yourself use to do that?

    Solobill Laville: This past week I have especially tried to practice mindfulness

    Stim Morane: Can't fault that! Other answers?

    Storm Nordwind: I feel that I have been going where I needed to go, doing what I needed to do.

    Eliza Madrigal: have been allowing long-held patterns to dissolve..crying a lot..breathing...letting go of fear

    Tarmel Udimo: looking at attachment

    sophia Placebo: challange

    Stim Morane: You are all amazingly spiritual! :)

    Mickorod Renard: I have been trying to help collegues see positiveness

    arabella Ella: searching for pockets of peace and tranquility in a hurricane madness

    Eliza Madrigal: :)

    Pila Mulligan: I noticed how some clients are getting slow on paying their bills

    Stim Morane: I think most people would think in terms of events, agendas, successes, failures, errands, etc

    Mickorod Renard: when those around you see the same things badly as you see them happily...is a good contrast

    Stim Morane: My point is that we "view" life through the filter of representations

    Stim Morane: Yes, Mick

    Stim Morane: Anyway, I don't want to keep you too long here ... But I suggest that for homework you try to apply the new combo-practice no your life in general. Not the count part, but the basic emphases that figure in it.

    Mickorod Renard: like my mum used to say,,,its better to trust everyone and get ripped of once or twice, than see everyone as a thief

    Stim Morane: *practice to your

    Stim Morane: :)

    Courteous Avedon: Events and the actions of people don't having any meaning except as we give it meaning

    Stim Morane: I wonder if we can find meaning that doesn't have to be constructed

    Hot Cocoa Jug: This'll warm you up!

    Stim Morane: But we mostly live inside ideas and representations: it’s actually very hard to get out of these and find what life is directly and in its simplest and also most fundamental dimensions.

    Stim Morane: So this would be a homework assignment.

    Courteous Avedon: Aldous Huxley thought that seeing was in three parts

    Stim Morane: Yes?

    Mickorod Renard: love huxley

    Stim Morane: I don't recall this

    Courteous Avedon: Sensing + Selecting + Perceiving = Seeing

    Stim Morane: Ah

    Stim Morane: Does that seem right to you?

    Courteous Avedon: From his book, "The Art of Seeing"

    arabella Ella: does not sound right to me

    Courteous Avedon: It is interesting that what we think we are observing in our minds as optical is really patterns in neurons

    Solobill Laville: (quietly excuses himself...thanks Stim, all!)

    Courteous Avedon: It's that the Neuronal pattern of the field of vision corresponds congruently with the optically observed

    Stim Morane: Well, this is the sort of issue I would hope to get to, Courteous

    Mickorod Renard: bye sol

    Stim Morane: Bye Solo

    Tarmel Udimo: (yes I have to go too - thanks stim will try the exercises)

    Stim Morane: Actually, I think we're all probably ready to go ... shall we wrap up for today?

    Stim Morane: Bye Tarmel

    Pila Mulligan: ok

    Pila Mulligan: thanks Stim

    Eliza Madrigal: Stim, Thank you

    Scathach Rhiadra: thank you Stim, everyone

    Mickorod Renard: thanks stim

    Stim Morane: Consider my homework, if you like. It's just your life, and what else it's within.

    Ducky Ducatillon: Thanx Stim

    Bleu Oleander: Thanks Stim and all

    arabella Ella: thanks Stim

    Wester Kiranov: thank you stim - i appreciate these sessions

    Stim Morane: Thanks. Bye everyone!

    Adams Rubble: bye Stoim

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