2010.11.18 - Equanimity

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    Eliza Madrigal: Hey Mick :)
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Eliza
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Ewan :)
    Ewan Bonham: Hi Eliza and everyone else..:)
    Ewan Bonham: You are dressing different these days..:)
    Eliza Madrigal: think so?
    Alfred Kelberry: ok, i was faster than you woly
    Eliza Madrigal: well.... I guess a little :)
    Wol Euler: hello eliza!
    Wol Euler: yeah, alf, but I sat first
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Bruce and Hi Wol! :D
    Alfred Kelberry: oh! my cushion is gone :/
    Alfred Kelberry: eliza :)
    Eliza Madrigal: HI Alf :))
    Wol Euler: ooh, a bold new Eliza!
    Eliza Madrigal: really? heheh
    Alfred Kelberry: you and woly look like 2 sisters :)
    Wol Euler: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :))
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Arch :)
    Eliza Madrigal: was there a tiny cushion here before?
    Wol Euler: hello gaya
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Gaya :)
    Ewan Bonham: I have not been here before...looks very nice and comfy..:)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello everyone :)
    Bruce Mowbray: Hello, Arch, Eliza, Wol, Ewan, Mick, Gaya.
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh, yes this spot is wonderful Ewan
    Eliza Madrigal: workshop spot
    Bruce Mowbray: Hello, Mitsu.
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Mitsu, welcome back :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Mitsu Ishii: hi everyone. back from a retreat
    Alfred Kelberry: gaya the bunny! :)
    Alfred Kelberry: hi :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Archmage Atlantis: If the doors are ajar the riffraff often enter :)
    Eliza Madrigal giggles
    Bruce Mowbray: Does Equanimity know of "riffraff"?
    Archmage Atlantis: Good question
    Archmage Atlantis: Does it?
    Bruce Mowbray listens. . .
    Alfred Kelberry: it does
    Alfred Kelberry: it's a state of "supreme watchfulness" after all :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :) 
    Eliza Madrigal: I like this emphasis some have written about settling into their spot... composure, posture, etc
    Alfred Kelberry: oh... here, i didn't notice that :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Dao :)
    Alfred Kelberry: need to work on my watchfulness :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Dao :) Welcome back to you as well
    Eliza Madrigal: I hope you both (Dao and Mitsu) had a wonderful retreat?
    Dao Yheng: Hi all, wonderful to see you all again :)
    Bruce Mowbray: http://ways-of-knowing.wik.is/
    Bruce Mowbray: Hi, Dao.
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Dao
    Alfred Kelberry: who is the host? stim?
    Archmage Atlantis: Nice to meet you Dao, I apologize for freefalling ing
    Archmage Atlantis: Never was good at getting my homework done.......
    Bruce Mowbray: As I wrote in my report, I sort of felt that Equanimity "should" be our first exploration. . .
    Dao Yheng: We were in the redwoods, in a bit of a river valley
    Bruce Mowbray: first of the 4 Immeasureables, I mean. . .
    Dao Yheng: how so bruce?
    Bruce Mowbray: Well, I encountered my own preferences and prejudices. . .
    Bruce Mowbray: and wondered how I could have had compassion or loving-kindness with all of that baggage.
    Bruce Mowbray: So, perhaps exploring Equanimity first would have been better for me.
    Dao Yheng: Hmm, I know that feeling
    Ewan Bonham: Yes, away of taking the foot off te gas..:)
    Eliza Madrigal: That's a wonderful point Bruce, just caught up on your report.... nodding.....
    Bruce Mowbray: as Jesus said, "First take the log out of your own eye. . . "
    Gaya Ethaniel: The baggage feeling? :)
    Mickorod Renard: I think, for us,its all about trying to get to see a glipse
    Mickorod Renard: then work from there
    Ewan Bonham: fog
    Mickorod Renard: fog sounds less painful
    Dao Yheng: Perhaps loving kindness and compassion come first, to help encourage us to recognize that there may be some positives before rolling up our sleeves and digging into the more tricky areas
    Bruce Mowbray thinks, "Fog" is also plentiful. . .
    Dao Yheng: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: ah :)
    Archmage Atlantis: Methinks fog is good.....if respected for what it is
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Zen :)
    Archmage Atlantis: That is often my problem
    Dao Yheng: equanimity is certainly a good match for the retreat Mits and I just came back from -- equinimity or patience
    Bruce Mowbray: Hi, Zen.
    Ewan Bonham: Yes, maybe loving kindness and compassion towrds myelf wil allo me tofeel i towars othes..:)
    Zen Arado: Hi all
    Archmage Atlantis: Trying to clear the fog before the conditions are there
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Zen :)
    Dao Yheng: Hi zen!
    Mickorod Renard: when its foggy its a good time for inner reflexion
    Ewan Bonham: ㋡ 
    Zen Arado: was it a good retreat Dao?
    Alfred Kelberry: mick, maybe it's a slight uncertainty that attracts us in it?
    Eliza Madrigal: mmmm, nods.... softens things.... humility perhaps, receptiveness
    Eliza Madrigal: brb, overfilled the kettle... eeek
    Wol Euler: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Bruce Mowbray: 'me ponders. . . soft front for openness, tough back for groundedness and perseverence?
    Dao Yheng: (it was, thanks, Zen!)
    Zen Arado: does quanimity suggest solidity to anyone?
    Gaya Ethaniel: hm ... not really ...
    Zen Arado: a kind of rock in the midst of trouble?
    Ewan Bonham: Knowing thyself..
    Bruce Mowbray: Not 'solidity,' but definitely a sense of one's "dot" - as Eliza quoted from Pema Chodron.
    Zen Arado: more of a flexibility then?
    Dao Yheng: Equanimity could be both things -- solidness as well as flexibility
    Eliza Madrigal: (back).. and yes agree re both....
    Gaya Ethaniel: I've seen a few people who are firm yet elegantly gentle.
    Eliza Madrigal: sometimes Trungpa talks about the saddle'....
    Mitsu Ishii: equanimity comes, ironically, from recognition of impermanence
    Zen Arado: not being thrown about?
    Eliza Madrigal: that if you are firm in your saddle even if the horse makes an unexpected move you are okay...
    Zen Arado: by every wind of change
    Eliza Madrigal: not thrown
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Zen Arado: like a canoe going down a river?
    Mitsu Ishii: if you are grounded in emptiness, nothing can fully throw you
    Gaya Ethaniel: Wol often says, 'this will pass also' :)
    Wol Euler: :)
    Zen Arado: knowing just the right deft touch?
    Zen Arado: I say that to myself too :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Storm had an interesting phrase at pab this morning, which was along the lines of reality not reacting to unreality....
    Bruce Mowbray: The first thing one learns in Tai Chi is awareness of one's center of balance.
    Zen Arado: ah..balance
    Zen Arado: equilibrium
    Archmage Atlantis: The knowingness of that one does not know
    Eliza Madrigal: yesterday we talked a little about the difference (heh) between indifference and balance...
    Zen Arado: but equilibrium is more of an end point for us?
    Zen Arado: an aim
    Zen Arado: ?
    Zen Arado: yes - dealing with things not avoiding
    Mickorod Renard: as a rider of horses for some years, a sense of balance and at one ness with the horse movement is in keeping with the notion..but its diferent to firmness in the saddle
    Eliza Madrigal: say more Mick? that's interesting...
    Zen Arado: a sense of ease with it
    Zen Arado: yes Mick
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes, enjoyed yesterday's meeting :)
    Zen Arado: me too :)
    Mickorod Renard: its some sort of naturalness, where nothing makes you uncomfortable
    Eliza Madrigal: mmmm
    Eliza Madrigal: accord with nature...
    Ewan Bonham: Receiving and giving in a unified flow.. 
    Zen Arado: riding the horse of life
    Mitsu Ishii: yeah, it's not indifference at all
    Zen Arado: hmm..stretching things :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Mitsu Ishii: that's the interesting thing that really struck me at the retreat
    Mitsu Ishii: something can be truly tragic, awful, terrible, for example
    Zen Arado: yes Mitsu?
    Mitsu Ishii: equanimity is not "not caring"
    Mitsu Ishii: it is accepting that it is tragic, awful, terrible, yet still staying in the saddle so to speak
    Mitsu Ishii: that's much greater equanimity than simply being indifferent, which is just numbness
    Bruce Mowbray: "seeing things as they are"
    Zen Arado: yes
    Eliza Madrigal: yes!
    Archmage Atlantis: So, Mitsu, if it is not not caring, is it also caring in a way that is not?
    Zen Arado: people who are successful in life often develop this
    Zen Arado: bouncing back from failures
    Eliza Madrigal: Zen used the term 'staying with'... like a capacity for completion ... something....
    Bruce Mowbray: I think it is caring without the baggage of reactiveness.
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Zen Arado: yes
    Eliza Madrigal: without the judgement
    Zen Arado: good phrase Bruce
    Eliza Madrigal: but discernment
    Mitsu Ishii: right. you can care, and be moved, and recognize it for what it is, without letting that throw you off the horse so to speak
    Gaya Ethaniel: Funny how we often link emotional responses with caring ...
    Bruce Mowbray: well, I meant to say "habituated reactions"
    Ewan Bonham: I call that Compassion
    Archmage Atlantis: I like that response Mitsu
    Mitsu Ishii: without letting it make you become stuck or feel doomed or whatever
    Zen Arado: but 'baggage ' is good - shows the way it slows us down
    Ewan Bonham: But I am sur, ther are mny descriptors
    Dao Yheng: or if you do feel stuck or doomed, caring about that as well :)
    Eliza Madrigal: compassion as skillfull... yes Ewan makes sense
    Eliza Madrigal: :) Dao
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Bruce Mowbray: Yes, Ewan -- that is also my concept of Compassion: being present and aware of what arises, without being 'stuck' in our own preferences.
    Bruce Mowbray: This is NOT something that comes without considerable practice, though. 
    Zen Arado: yes agree Bruce
    Mitsu Ishii: yes, right: and if you do feel stuck, accepting that too :)
    Bruce Mowbray: It is not a "decision: to be compassionate. . . not a headtrip.
    Zen Arado: so what is best way to practice this?
    Mitsu Ishii: yeah, it can't really be turned into an idea, I agree Bruce
    Mitsu Ishii: if it's just the idea of equanimity it doesn't work really
    Eliza Madrigal: an idea can turn into an aspiration tho
    Mitsu Ishii: it's like having an idea of riding a bike without actually riding
    Zen Arado: yes
    Mickorod Renard: yes eliza
    Bruce Mowbray: wonderful analogy, Mitsu.
    Ewan Bonham: Yes..:)
    Mitsu Ishii: but of course it gets into a problematic domain if equanimity becomes something you strive for and lament if you don't think you have it and so on
    Eliza Madrigal: wanting to ride the bicycle is the ground for riding the bicycle
    Mitsu Ishii: then as an idea it's better to drop it haha
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Zen Arado: it comes by itself?
    Eliza Madrigal: "the equaniminous self"
    Eliza Madrigal: hehehe
    Bruce Mowbray: That "problematic domain" is precisely where I need the most practice, I feel.
    Alfred Kelberry: einstein liked such mental experiments. good thing he didn't drop them :)
    Zen Arado: just overcoming our tendency to avoid is a start I think
    Bruce Mowbray: a sense of "not quite enough-ness"
    Mickorod Renard: there is always some dificulty I find, in that the more aware I become,,to practice,,the more at risk I am of becoming judgemental
    Zen Arado: or tendency to distract ourselves from problems
    Zen Arado: how come Mick?
    Mickorod Renard: maybe its not strictly judgemental if its just watching?
    Bruce Mowbray: Can you say more, Mick? -- about awareness and judgment?
    Mickorod Renard: or aware
    Mickorod Renard: well, before i was concerned about my behavior in life I was not so observant of the ills in life
    Zen Arado: could be other way around - more awareness means you see the bigger picture and become less judgemental?
    Mickorod Renard: maybe I am not articulating it well
    Eliza Madrigal: hmmm... sounds a bit like the 'near enemy'...
    Zen Arado: see what you mean Mkick
    Zen Arado: but you have to become aware before you can drop something?
    Ewan Bonham: If I don' see tan I don't choose to act..
    Mickorod Renard: like for eg,,if you become a taylor you then see the bad suits
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Zen Arado: yes and then you can fix them :)
    Eliza Madrigal: yes, and somehow have to not think 'that person is awful for wearing that suit'
    Mickorod Renard: its hard not to notice
    Gaya Ethaniel: You mean see thing more clearly and at times being decisive Mick?
    Archmage Atlantis: You expressed it very well, Mick........When awareness becomes concern and influences behaviour, it ceases to be aware
    Gaya Ethaniel: Judging rather than being judgemental?
    Eliza Madrigal: it is okay to see the stitching... to see that it could use some care...
    Bruce Mowbray: Can we simply be aware of "bad suits" without judgment, though?
    Bruce Mowbray: Like being aware of "bad" weather...?
    Mickorod Renard: thats the question I was thinking Bruce
    Zen Arado: discerment is better maybe
    Archmage Atlantis whispers: "bad
    Ewan Bonham: I enjoy keepng my head abve thesand.:)
    Archmage Atlantis: that is itself a judgemetn
    Mitsu Ishii: I don't think it's necessary to eliminate all evaluation, like "oh all food tastes the same, everyone looks the same in their clothes, etc."
    Eliza Madrigal noddin
    Eliza Madrigal: g
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Mickorod Renard: I am fearful we will play with words and yet I will fail to see the difference
    Archmage Atlantis: Observation of difference is different from judgement
    Zen Arado: yes - euanimity could becom e blandness?
    Archmage Atlantis: imo
    Bruce Mowbray: Our survival requires discernment, of course, but Equanimity is working with something else besides evaluations.

    Mitsu Ishii: in fact I'd say that's not at all needed, it's counterproductive. the problem isn't making any sort of evaluative judgement, it is flattening things into simplistic one dimensional judgements
    Bruce Mowbray: yes, Mitsu -- and that is what I'd call "prejudice."
    Mickorod Renard: :)
    Bruce Mowbray: so, Equanimity is a method rather than a result?
    Zen Arado: you need trouble for equanimity to arise don't you?
    Mitsu Ishii: I mean, with practice for example
    Mitsu Ishii: you sit there and daydream the whole time and feel uncomfortable
    Mitsu Ishii: so it's fine to go, well, I daydreamed the whole time. it felt uncomfortable.
    Bruce Mowbray agrees with Zen. "Trouble" is grist for the mill of awareness.
    Mitsu Ishii: but if you then go "that was bad, I need to change it, I'm a terrible practitioner" I think that blocks real insight
    Archmage Atlantis: There is a famous study in biology, about the moths in London.........Most moths were white, with some black....after coal pollution became common, most moths were dark.........in one environment the white ones survived, in the changed environment, the dark ones survived.........yet the only difference was the color of their bodies and wings
    Mitsu Ishii: real insight doesn't come from either ignoring what happens nor being overly judgemental
    Archmage Atlantis: Neither was "right"
    Bruce Mowbray: so, Arch, you are saying that we can monitor and modify. . . but with awareness (not perhaps like moths in London, though).
    Archmage Atlantis: Yes, I think that is correct Bruce
    Mickorod Renard: yes Arch,,also theres a bit of 'a rolling stone gathers no moss' in that too
    Zen Arado: the moths practiced equanimity - they went with the flow
    Archmage Atlantis: In the sense that it correctly expresses my thought
    Bruce Mowbray: ;-) (sry -- Arch, I meant that as a question - not as a pronouncement.)
    Eliza Madrigal nods.. if we pin down 'terrible practitioner' then we charge that identity ... then it becomes baggage....
    Bruce Mowbray ponders "rolling stone" as forward moverment in awareness. . .
    Bruce Mowbray: movement.
    Bruce Mowbray: continuous monitoring and modifying.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Calvino :)
    Bruce Mowbray: Hey, Cal!
    Zen Arado: Hi Cal :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Cal :)
    Mickorod Renard: perhaps , as I seem to be the one struggling, I should be content I am heading in the right direction, leave the baggage of doubt etc and the inertia will lead me further
    Mitsu Ishii: everyone struggles, Mick, I think
    Eliza Madrigal: I think you expressed something everyone feels Mick...nods
    Zen Arado: I do anyway
    Mitsu Ishii: I've been practicing with Stim for 15+ years, and in various other ways for a total of 25 years or so
    Zen Arado: plenty of things to upset us around
    Mitsu Ishii: and I run into crazy difficulties all the time
    Mickorod Renard: when I question my thoughts it makes me feel a fraudster because I am obviously not a natural good person
    Mitsu Ishii: I have always found it helpful to remember
    Gaya Ethaniel: Mick, I just think that one of these days, something will dawn on me then maybe it passes then maybe I remember etc etc :P
    Eliza Madrigal: :) Gaya
    Archmage Atlantis: Good is a judgement
    Mitsu Ishii: that the great teachers always tell us not to have too much of a concept of "gaining" as Suzuki-roshi put it
    Zen Arado: and we need to have patience with ourselves
    Eliza Madrigal: and there are so many subtle traps! like 'gadzooks addiction'
    Archmage Atlantis: Based on certain parameters of thought and behavior
    Bruce Mowbray: ahhh. . . being aware of our predicament is humbling -- and also nourishing to our growth process.
    Mickorod Renard: whats that eliza?
    Zen Arado: gadzooks
    Eliza Madrigal: that's "By george I've got it!" only to feel very embarrassed the next second....
    Mitsu Ishii: whatever comes up, welcome it with acceptance though not with resignation
    Mickorod Renard: ahh yes
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Wol Euler excuses herself and slips out quietly. I'm falling asleep at my desk :) goodnight all
    Eliza Madrigal: Night Wol :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Good nite Wol :)
    Zen Arado: nite Wol :)
    Mitsu Ishii: and interestingly that helps it open up
    Mickorod Renard: bye Wolly,,have a good hol
    Zen Arado: have a good trip
    Mitsu Ishii: by Wol
    Mitsu Ishii: bye
    Archmage Atlantis: Was going to goose Wol, but she moved too fast
    Gaya Ethaniel: So next week, we will continue with Joy?
    Archmage Atlantis: oh well
    Bruce Mowbray: I love Pema's thought that Time presents us with the appearance of each moment. . . so, whatever comes up. . . to be appreciated as "presence."
    Mickorod Renard: joy is good, I feel it lots these days
    Mitsu Ishii: yes
    Eliza Madrigal smiles
    Bruce Mowbray: Yes, Joy for next week.
    Zen Arado: we need some joy
    Eliza Madrigal: joy for always :) sounds nice
    Gaya Ethaniel: There are two types of Joy Mick in Buddhist terms, which one is mudita not piti.
    Mickorod Renard: :)
    Archmage Atlantis: Joy goes with bullfrog......have to remember the song
    Gaya Ethaniel: Anyway so I'd like to suggest that we have a break after next week with the homework meeting continuing.
    Eliza Madrigal: that's a nice metta song, Arch
    Eliza Madrigal: "joy to the world all the boys and girls joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea..."
    Mickorod Renard: he he
    Eliza Madrigal: etc :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: And we resume perhaps with 'beauty' by Calvino in the new year?
    Bruce Mowbray: "Joy to Blub and me."
    Dao Yheng: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Thank you Gaya
    Mitsu Ishii: yes, we are thinking of a break for December
    Eliza Madrigal: haha Bruce
    Mickorod Renard: thanks Gaya
    Bruce Mowbray: Thanks everyone! Bye for now.
    Arisia Vita is Offline
    Zen Arado: thanks Gaya nad everyone :)
    Mickorod Renard: bye bruce
    Eliza Madrigal: A December break seems a good idea
    Mickorod Renard: bye Zen
    Gaya Ethaniel: ok then all heartily agreed :P
    Zen Arado: sure
    arabella Ella is Online
    Archmage Atlantis: Buenos noches, compadres :)
    Mickorod Renard: bye All
    Eliza Madrigal: :) Bye for now everyone
    Dao Yheng: good night all!
    Gaya Ethaniel: Bye :)
    Dao Yheng is Offline
    Eliza Madrigal: wish you smooth transition Dao and Mitsu
    Eliza Madrigal: :)

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