2010.10.07 - Presence

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    .Calvino Rabeni: I enjoyed reading the reports - especially Daos :)
    Calvino Rabeni: A masterpiece
    Eliza Madrigal: wil you post a link? I haven't read it yet...
    Gaya Ethaniel: http://ways-of-knowing.wik.is/
    Eliza Madrigal: thanks much
    Zen Arado: I never get to read reports because you all post them so late and I am busy on Thursdays
    Gaya Ethaniel: [please don't edit from tomorrow again - sorry for the ad]
    Gaya Ethaniel: Pleae feel free to read Zen, mine is always short.
    Calvino Rabeni: I'll take the liberty to quote Dao's, which can't possibly be improved :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Well Dao's is shorter than mine this time heheheh
    Calvino Rabeni: Presence is what you need to avoid missing out on your whole entire life. Unfortunately, I am running out of time today so that's it for now :).
    Eliza Madrigal: wow, awesome :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Indeed
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Dao Yheng: (it's also about all that you can say when your internet connection is acting up :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: lol
    Zen Arado: Like the Rumis poem Eliza
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Zen Arado: 'It is thee'
    Zen Arado: not me
    Eliza Madrigal: TY Zen.. really love that too... hit in a timely way
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Not feeling very chatty tonight we are :P
    Zen Arado: looks like it :)
    Heloise Toussaint: Nope :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: hehe
    Zen Arado: we talked so much yesterday in voice Dao
    Gaya Ethaniel: That's true.
    Zen Arado: you can talk quicker in voice
    Zen Arado: so we covered about 3 sessions :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: lol
    Mitsu Ishii: the thought that comes to mind with presence for me is primarily the scope of presence, how "wide" or open it is.
    Zen Arado: is not a single point _ 'now' ?
    Mitsu Ishii: when I use the word "presence" I tend to use it only in reference to the most open version of awareness
    Mitsu Ishii: I don't even like to use the word "now" or "present" with it, though many people do.
    Mitsu Ishii: that's something Dao and I talk about sometimes
    Gaya Ethaniel: Being present and presence means something different for me ... anyway.
    Heloise Toussaint: Please could you explain the difference?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Don't think this matters too much.
    Calvino Rabeni: I relate to the wide scope idea, Mitsu
    Gaya Ethaniel: Well presence could mean a quality someone possesses ...
    Zen Arado: it's more of a process though - being present?
    Mitsu Ishii: the larger the scope, the less it seems to be related to or owned by "me". Another way of saying the same thing is that the "me" is broader and broader and becomes everything
    Zen Arado: ah yes Mitsu
    Calvino Rabeni: Process and quality are dual ways of labeling the same thing
    Gaya Ethaniel: Rather than being, if that makes sense.
    Calvino Rabeni: I have the same sense, Mitzu
    Mitsu Ishii: "Me" becomes you, the walls, the rocks, the world, the stars, past, present future and so forth.
    Zen Arado: being everything
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, "me" gets spread around and through
    Gaya Ethaniel: wb Dao
    Zen Arado: but that's more like 'oneness'?
    Zen Arado: presence seems more about time
    Zen Arado: this moment
    Zen Arado: ?
    Zen Arado: and staying in this moment
    Heloise Toussaint: is this moment the best point to experience oneness?
    Calvino Rabeni: Some have said, that "this moment" is outside sequential time, with a feeling of eternity
    Gaya Ethaniel: This moment is always the past though ...
    Heloise Toussaint: because the moment has always just gone?
    Zen Arado: as soon a we think about it it is
    Heloise Toussaint: once you're aware of 'this moment' it's happened?
    Calvino Rabeni: I don't think experience is really like looking at the world through a keyhole
    Zen Arado: what about 'mindfulness'?
    Gaya Ethaniel: I guess that's missing out as Dao put it ...
    Zen Arado: that's the practice of presence
    Zen Arado: isn't it?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes I think so, being aware of things getting in the way.
    Calvino Rabeni: How about the concept of the "greater present moment" ...
    Gaya Ethaniel: hm ... say more pls?
    Calvino Rabeni: presence seems to open an awareness that much more is going on
    Calvino Rabeni: maybe it includes future and past as well?
    Zen Arado: but we try to remain present
    Zen Arado: that's what we do in meditation surely
    Calvino Rabeni: How can so much, enter into the present moment, when according to the linear model of time, it should have almost no "contents"
    Zen Arado: keep coming back to presence
    Gaya Ethaniel: Would there be a fairly equivalent Buddhist term for that Calvino?
    Mitsu Ishii: for me "presence" becomes oneness in a way, though it is a oneness that doesn't deny more than one. as the Zen guys say, "not one, yet not two"
    Zen Arado: it's only from our memory though
    Calvino Rabeni: I don't know sorry, not being a student of buddhist psychology
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah ok
    Zen Arado: think the non duality guys say 'not one not two'
    Calvino Rabeni: I think presence is practiced both "in particular" and in general
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, that's nonduality
    Heloise Toussaint: in a way, though, there isn't anything but this moment, as the past and future really exist just in our heads, if you get what I mean?
    Mitsu Ishii: the crazy thing about all this is that it can include everything. it can include a direct perception of the emptiness of everything (how everything that exists has never been) AND how everything has been and does exist in separation, but also not really separate, and so on.
    Calvino Rabeni: So for instandce "being aware of selves/agendas getting in the way of being with someone or doing something" is a kind of "in particular" practice of presence
    Zen Arado: agree with Heloise that it's in our heads
    Calvino Rabeni: but the "in general" part is more like, there's some abiding awaremess that's always present
    Mitsu Ishii: and yes, Heloise, that makes sense. past and future are constructed by us now. but then again --- it's not as though there is necessarily not also a direct connection between past and future and present
    Calvino Rabeni: Right mitsu, if they are "one", they are connected
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah ... I see what you mean a bit Calvino.
    Mitsu Ishii: Dao is having trouble with her connection
    Heloise Toussaint: i agree, you have to move from one place to get to the other, but the place in which we are moving is always now, i guess
    Gaya Ethaniel: :(
    Zen Arado: you have to believe in linear tiem for that Mitsu ?
    Zen Arado: Time*
    Calvino Rabeni: We don't have to be so susipcious of that connection between past and future (in my opinion)
    Mitsu Ishii: that's my point, linear time is also a construct. so the separation between past and present is not entirely real
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes
    Zen Arado: entirely unreal I would say
    Mitsu Ishii: so to say the past is constructed "now" is not quite right, because it implies there is a "now" which is clearly different from the past and future
    Heloise Toussaint: the way we perceive time is linear maybe, but all there really is is the now?
    Calvino Rabeni: The connection isn't a construct necessarily, but our ideas about it are constructs
    Zen Arado: 'now' is a construct too
    Mitsu Ishii: everything is partly real and partly not real, from my point of view.
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Mitsu Ishii: yes, now is also a construct
    Mitsu Ishii: I agree Zen
    Gaya Ethaniel: The way one remembers the past is not quite real.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Bruce :)
    Zen Arado: so it is how useful the constructs are
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Bruce :)
    Zen Arado: Hi Bruce :)
    Mitsu Ishii: yes, I think that's right Zen
    Gaya Ethaniel: Bruce on the centre stage.
    Mitsu Ishii: I agree
    Heloise Toussaint: the way one experiences now may not be quite real as well
    Gaya Ethaniel: mhm :)
    Calvino Rabeni: As such, as a construct, it would seem to matter what we "build into" that construct of "now", wouldn't it?
    Mitsu Ishii: on a practical level, one can feel the non-linearity of time in a concrete way
    Zen Arado: so why are we talking about it :)
    Mitsu Ishii: it's actually something that can be palpably present in "presence" as it opens more and more
    Gaya Ethaniel: Time does feel slow when that happens.
    Calvino Rabeni: Hi Bruce, good to see you
    Zen Arado: or subtract Cal
    Zen Arado: remember Occams Razor?
    Bruce Mowbray: Thank you -- WAIT until you read today's 1 p.m. fountain session -- This is an amazing synchronicity, indeed.
    Zen Arado: sometimes we seem to multiply entities needlessly?
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, but it makes a better aesthetic than metaphysical principle
    Calvino Rabeni: Sometimes things really are complex
    Zen Arado: because we make them so though
    Zen Arado: ?
    Calvino Rabeni: I'd say there's as much problem with assuming things are simpler than they are, then the opposite
    Zen Arado: assumptions themselves are dangerous
    Calvino Rabeni: it comes down to an aesthetic or heuristic
    Calvino Rabeni: A heuristic is a useful reminder, a guide to possibilities
    Calvino Rabeni: it doesn't prove whether reality is simple or complex
    Calvino Rabeni: just reminds us to consider one of those two possibilities
    Zen Arado: maybe sometimes we expand possibiities but sometimes we need to simplify
    Mitsu Ishii: it's both simple and complex.
    Calvino Rabeni: the developing sciences of complexity may be struggling against misapplication of occams razor in the way western science looks at reality
    Mitsu Ishii: the odd thing is, the way things are simple is also the way in which they become complex
    Calvino Rabeni: sorry, that's probably a sidetrack for our discussion ?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes, a bit like 'chaos' ... complex and simple.
    Mitsu Ishii: for example if you read Nagajuna it seems really complex and hard to understand
    Zen Arado: so now is a complex thing?
    Mitsu Ishii: but what he is trying to explain is in some sense blindingly simple. it's just hard to explain in words
    Zen Arado: 'now'
    Calvino Rabeni: Infinitely, in one sense
    Mitsu Ishii: once you try to explain it, it ends up seeming really obscure and difficult
    Calvino Rabeni: It's simple until you try to structure a description of ot
    Calvino Rabeni: of it, so is that simple or not ?
    Zen Arado: maybe we shouls just practice presence instead of trying to undestand it
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: sometimes zen that's the best policy :)
    Bruce Mowbray: Is it inappropriate, then, to ascribe intentionality to "Now"?
    Mitsu Ishii: I think it's useful to try to understand as well as to practice
    Gaya Ethaniel: I think it's because we are discussing it.
    Gaya Ethaniel: We sing in different keys perhaps.
    Bruce Mowbray: Can "Now" be trusted?
    Calvino Rabeni: If Now is a construct, it might as well have an instantaneous version of intentionality built into it
    Zen Arado: maybe some things are beyond analysis
    Zen Arado: but we have to try I guess
    Calvino Rabeni: Maybe everything, Zen
    Mitsu Ishii: so when you say intentionality, what do you mean, Bruce?
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, it has various meanings, ...
    Mitsu Ishii: an intentionality which belongs to someone or some thing? or just pure intentionality
    Bruce Mowbray: I mean - basically - Is Now "friendly"?
    Calvino Rabeni: I'd venture "yes"
    Bruce Mowbray: Or is Now only intent on getting to the next Now?
    Mitsu Ishii: are you saying --- if you open yourself to presence, will it stab you with a fork in the eye? :)
    Zen Arado: 'INtentionality' has a special meaning in philosophy
    Gaya Ethaniel: lol
    Calvino Rabeni: hhehehe
    Bruce Mowbray: Yes, that is precisely what I am asking, Zen.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Like Eliza getting hit by Rumi :P
    Calvino Rabeni: right, or will "NOW" just fall apart into chaos without some subtle effort to keep it all together?
    Bruce Mowbray: Sorry -- I means=t, Mitsu.
    Calvino Rabeni: That's a common "feeling"?
    Calvino Rabeni: Can you take refuge in it
    Bruce Mowbray: Yes, it is a question of too much chaos vs. too much rigidity.
    Mitsu Ishii: well I think we have to be open to the possibility that going with the Tao might rip us apart (in the sense of the small self)
    Bruce Mowbray: Yes, I totally agree with Mitsu on that.
    Calvino Rabeni: That might be a nice thing to happen
    Calvino Rabeni: given that it would probably re-form shortly thereafter
    Zen Arado: openng us to 'don't know'
    Calvino Rabeni: kind of like a roller coaster ride
    Calvino Rabeni: for fun
    Mitsu Ishii: but in general I'd say that the tendency is that it is more when we go against the Tao, the flow, that we tend to get ripped to shreds. or we rip others to shreds, etc.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Have a good teacher/friend handy when that happens to you :)
    Bruce Mowbray: Oh ye of great faith, Calvino.
    Calvino Rabeni: I agree, Mitsu
    Calvino Rabeni: suffering seems when going against Tao
    Mitsu Ishii: have people read Ursula K Le Guin's The Lathe of Heaven?
    Zen Arado: nope
    Heloise Toussaint: No but I've read the earthsea series
    Heloise Toussaint: loved it
    Gaya Ethaniel: So ... presence is ... Tao ... someone clarify this point pls?
    Calvino Rabeni: Hmmm, I agree, but hard to clarify
    Heloise Toussaint: and Consider Her Ways and Others
    Mitsu Ishii: it's a great story about someone who tries to change things too forcefully using the power of dreams and ends up screwing everything up and is eventually destroyed
    Zen Arado: staying in the 'now' is being in the flow?
    Gaya Ethaniel: ouch
    Mitsu Ishii: LeGuin quotes Chuang Tzu's aphorism which ends up being the theme of the book: "To let understanding stop at what cannot be understood is a high attainment. Those who cannot do it will be destroyed on the lathe of heaven."
    Calvino Rabeni: so things work a particular way ... called Tao, and you can go with the flow of it (Tao is called the Watercourse Way) or try to be other than what is, which creates stress and fragmentation and cognigive dissonance
    Heloise Toussaint: will look that out to read
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Bruce Mowbray: Staying in the Now is trusting that there is a substrate more trustworthy than the appearances.
    Zen Arado: sounds interesting Mitsu
    Calvino Rabeni: Nice Bruce
    Calvino Rabeni: trust plays a big part of it
    Zen Arado: yes Bruce
    Mitsu Ishii: yes, I think you are right, Bruce. there is a certain element of leaping off of a cliff into the darkness
    Calvino Rabeni: and it looks like "not knowing"
    Calvino Rabeni: The thing I found about contemplation is it takes some courage to throw myself into the "not knowing" and see where I might end up. Like diving into murky waters.
    Zen Arado: but ultimately groundlessness
    Calvino Rabeni: I don't agree with the concept of groundlessness per se
    Mitsu Ishii: it's frightening, and takes a certain degree of faith
    Zen Arado: like the exercise my teacher made us do
    Calvino Rabeni: Insofar as it contradicts trust
    Eliza Madrigal: groundlessness as a concept is empty too...
    Bruce Mowbray: I think Kierkegaard called it "leap of faith."
    Calvino Rabeni: and I think grounding is very important as a principle, along with refuge
    Mitsu Ishii: I think the groundlessness Zen is referring to means not being grounded in the separated appearances of things?
    alvino Rabeni: yes
    Zen Arado: but there is no ground because of impermanence
    Bruce Mowbray: Yes.
    Mitsu Ishii: not in the sense of not having any ground at all
    Calvino Rabeni: impermanence means, things can be relied upon to arise :)
    Eliza Madrigal: I like the term you use 'grounded in emptiness' Mitsu... that was new to me...
    Zen Arado: we try to make solid ground out of things
    Mitsu Ishii: there can be a ground, just not being grounded in any given thing.
    Calvino Rabeni: right mitsu
    Bruce Mowbray has never experienced "emptiness."
    Zen Arado: as soon as you do it changes
    Mitsu Ishii: yes, grounded in emptiness, or in the empty/full dharmakaya
    Calvino Rabeni: That's good, Bruce :)
    Eliza Madrigal: groundlessness is to my thinking just 'nowhere to land'
    Bruce Mowbray: ;-)
    Calvino Rabeni: Emptiness is a dualistic concept
    Eliza Madrigal: if I have to put words
    Mitsu Ishii: well to get back to the heart sutra we were talking about before
    Dao Yheng: grounded in groundlessness (uhoh -- i'm getting one of those feelings of losing meaning through repetition :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: lol
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Zen Arado: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: I refrained from saying, yes and no too.
    Zen Arado: 'now' is groundless?
    Eliza Madrigal: for me, groundlessness was nothing short of transformative... after looking for artificial props everywhere...
    Eliza Madrigal: even as a concept =P~
    Zen Arado: use it as a pointer
    Zen Arado: only
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, it's transformative at a certain point ... but later turns out to be dualistic
    Bruce Mowbray ponders Eliza's pwerful realization.
    Eliza Madrigal: is that a given for all people calvino?
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Mitsu Ishii: yes, there's a subtle difference between not trying to ground yourself in any given thing or idea or structure or pattern, and there not being any ground at all
    Zen Arado: these concepts are dangerous if we cling to them
    Calvino Rabeni: I don't know :) Makes sense in my experience and in talking to some other practitioners, fits a certain theoretical framework, but honestly who knows?
    Mitsu Ishii: in the heart sutra it says "form is emptiness, emptiness is form" which is to say emptiness is not different from form, it's not separate
    Bruce Mowbray: ANY concept is dangerous if we cling to it.
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes
    Bruce Mowbray: But the danger is in US - not in the concept itself.
    Eliza Madrigal: I like what we were talking about yesterday re direct experience...
    Calvino Rabeni: the heart sutra is a statement of nondualism in that sense
    Zen Arado: yes
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Mitsu Ishii: the reason there is a difference is that there is a certain positive quality to just THIS, suchness
    Mitsu Ishii: which isn't captured in any separated out piece
    Calvino Rabeni: Eliza, I think sticking with direct experience is a good effort most of the time
    Mitsu Ishii: you could say that we have a nature, an original nature, which we can fall back on. its not just total randomness, like white noise
    Zen Arado: which can't be spoken about as it says in the tao
    Eliza Madrigal: direct=present... no props...
    Eliza Madrigal: not as an ideal...
    Mitsu Ishii: but this nature can't be characterized or enumerated or turned into a thing or set of things or ideas.
    Eliza Madrigal: but the closest thing in some sense...
    Mitsu Ishii: so it can be grounded in direct presence, for example
    Mitsu Ishii: as the Zen guys just, "just THIS"
    Calvino Rabeni: Although I believe in concepts as guides or heuristics for interpreting direct experience .. just not "believing" in them
    Bruce Mowbray: Are you suggesting, Mitsu, that there is "Basic Goodness" --- some trustworthy substrate?
    Zen Arado: no - experiencing them
    Eliza Madrigal: :))
    Gaya Ethaniel: [ad break ... pls don't edit wiki from tomorrow until a group email from me ...]
    Mitsu Ishii: I wouldn't call it "good" because that's already characterizing it too much in a dualistic way
    Calvino Rabeni: Taking refuge in reality
    Gaya Ethaniel: What should we talk about next week?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Continue?
    Calvino Rabeni: But Bruce is getting at something important
    Eliza Madrigal: Goodness :)
    Mitsu Ishii: but I would say it is slightly biased towards something good, in some sense, I think
    Mitsu Ishii: sort of
    Mitsu Ishii: :)
    Calvino Rabeni eyes Eliza for formualting homework on goodness :)
    Bruce Mowbray: ;-)
    Eliza Madrigal: not sure we can.... talk about it... but maybe share
    Mitsu Ishii: I hate to use that word though :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Eliza, we look forward to hearing about the topic, Goodness :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Let's agree to hold words lightly
    Eliza Madrigal: hm... yes if we can do that... share from a place of not believing 'in'
    Mitsu Ishii: my dad once said, thinking in terms of good and bad is a big mistake. but then he said ... on the other hand, getting beyond good and bad ... is basically good :)
    Bruce Mowbray: It is a word from the Shambala tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.... "Goodness."
    Calvino Rabeni: We don't have to sign them like a contract
    Eliza Madrigal: or pinning down
    Calvino Rabeni: and promise ever after to believe something :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: So please email the group Eliza?
    Bruce Mowbray agrees with Cal about holding all words "lightly."
    Eliza Madrigal: yes I'd like to talk about it... not sure I can formulate a full topic in calvino style :)
    Calvino Rabeni: heavens
    Mitsu Ishii: basic sanity
    Gaya Ethaniel: Just some pointers are ok?
    Eliza Madrigal: yes
    Eliza Madrigal: true context
    Bruce Mowbray: ;-)
    Mitsu Ishii: a la Trungpa?
    Calvino Rabeni: It's the spaghetti style - I just throw a bunch of stuff and see what stickes :)
    Eliza Madrigal: sure no need to leave trungpa out
    Eliza Madrigal: trungpa
    Eliza Madrigal: :))
    Zen Arado: :)
    Mitsu Ishii: okay, let's talk a bit more about this general question, I like it
    Mitsu Ishii: the question Bruce and Eliza raised
    Gaya Ethaniel: Bruce, if you'd like I can add you to the email group, please IM me your email address please.
    Calvino Rabeni: I like it too
    Gaya Ethaniel: Thanks again Calvino and everyone :)
    Calvino Rabeni: YW, thanks everyone :)
    Bruce Mowbray: Thanks everyone!
    Zen Arado: thanks everyone for discussion
    Heloise Toussaint: thanks everyone, it's been very interesting
    Gaya Ethaniel: sure np Bruce!
    Eliza Madrigal: will take a few days to post this time I think...
    Mitsu Ishii: bye everyone
    Bruce Mowbray: ooopsss!!! Did I violate Basic Goodness, there?
    Eliza Madrigal: will try to do it tonight
    Mitsu Ishii: looking forward to seeing you eliza!
    Bruce Mowbray: ;-)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Have fun you three :)
    Dao Yheng: bye all!
    Eliza Madrigal: thanks so much GaYA
    Eliza Madrigal: ((( )))
    Dao Yheng is Offline
    Heloise Toussaint: bye
    Eliza Madrigal: yay me too!
    Eliza Madrigal: looking forward to it, thanks
    Eliza Madrigal: exhilarating around ehre )
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes
    Bruce Mowbray sighs deeply in appreciation.
    Eliza Madrigal smiles

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