2010.03.14 - Lojong 8 [Going for the throat/Striking at the heart]

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    .Eliza Madrigal: Hi Zen :)
    Zen Arado: Hi Eliza :)
    Zen Arado: Hi Timbo
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Tim :) (my son just remarked "You're friends with a jelly fish?"
    Timbo Quan: Hello ELiza & Zen
    Timbo Quan: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Dal :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Dao :)
    Zen Arado: Hi Dao
    Timbo Quan: Hello Dao
    Dao Yheng: Hi all -- Katharine sends her hellos as well
    Dao Yheng: (on a bus right now)
    Eliza Madrigal waves to Katharine
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello everyone :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Gaya :)
    Zen Arado: Hi Gaya :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Yakuzza :)
    Zen Arado: Hi Yaku :)
    Yakuzza Lethecus: hey everyone
    Dao Yheng: HI Yaku!
    Eliza Madrigal: My son is especially interested in everything going on this morning...
    Eliza Madrigal: asking a million questions
    Gaya Ethaniel: oh?
    Eliza Madrigal: yes, all of a sudden he is interested in every detail...
    Gaya Ethaniel: This meeting?
    Eliza Madrigal: "Why can't your jelly friend sit?"
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah :)
    Zen Arado: he'll be in here soon :)
    Eliza Madrigal: things like that :)
    Dao Yheng: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: distractions....
    Eliza Madrigal: hehehe
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes, A should join us :)
    Timbo Quan: :) - Think jelly fish just hang round
    Zen Arado: Hi Cal :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Cal :)
    Zen Arado: whats his name Eliza?
    Calvino Rabeni: Hello Zen, everyone
    Eliza Madrigal: Aidan :)
    Dao Yheng: Hi Cal!
    Zen Arado: Hi Aidan :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Okay... not to distract everyone else ....
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :) Did everyone get a chance to read the homework reports?
    Zen Arado: oops!
    Calvino Rabeni: Sorry
    Eliza Madrigal smiles....
    Eliza Madrigal: http://ways-of-knowing.wik.is/
    Zen Arado: read a couple early on
    Eliza Madrigal: It seems we were all inspired by working with 'don't go for the throat'/'don't strike at the heart'
    Gaya Ethaniel: I actually want to ask a 'technical' question to Dao.
    Dao Yheng: Sure
    Gaya Ethaniel: Would you say by the time you noticed as in 'outwards' & 'inwards', you've already gone along with anger?
    Dao Yheng: yes, I think so
    Dao Yheng: although maybe it all started because of embarassment
    Dao Yheng: feeling embarrassed because this person felt the need to write the email
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah ... so that was a connection ... how did this changed to disconnection?
    Dao Yheng: so that turned into a feeling of being attacked, and then that turned into a desire to attack back! :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah ... sorry I see, misunderstood before.
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Eliza Madrigal: From Dao's report: "Part of the trickiness of anger is that it can feel like if I don't turn it outwards onto someone else, it will turn inwards back onto myself. That choice can't possibly be right -- it must be possible to respect oneself as well as the enemy -- but when angry, they can seem like the only (mutually exclusive) options.
    Zen Arado: self protective quality?
    Dao Yheng: yes, I think so -- though totally blown out of proportion
    Zen Arado: a big percentage of anger is self protection surely?
    Gaya Ethaniel: ^^;;;
    Eliza Madrigal: the proportion aspect seems really crucial...
    Gaya Ethaniel: I think anger itself can be informing at times ... something's been violated.
    Zen Arado: Hi Mitsu
    Gaya Ethaniel: As in it's a natural reaction.
    Dao Yheng: Hi Mits!
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Mitsu :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Mitsu, glad you made it
    Zen Arado: natural for the ego maybe
    Mitsu Ishii: hi guys
    Mitsu Ishii: I'm at an SXSW talk
    Mitsu Ishii: but I thought I'd come here too
    Mitsu Ishii: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Not always about 'ego' in my experiences ...
    Dao Yheng: yes, I did think a little about how tigers eat -- ripping their prey apart
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Zen Arado: but not angrily Dao?
    Dao Yheng: I guess not -- more with relish!
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Zen Arado: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi hariom, Welcome. We're having a workshop now, discussing homework reports from http://ways-of-knowing.wik.is/
    Zen Arado: would your 'true self' ever get angry?
    hariom Snowpaw: can i join in
    Eliza Madrigal: Of course :)
    Zen Arado: Hi hariom
    hariom Snowpaw: hi everyone
    Eliza Madrigal: the thing about anger seems to be the proportion... the direction...
    Gaya Ethaniel: Well, I'd say it does but without the usual clutters or side effects.
    Zen Arado: ah yes there is a just cause for anger sometimes too
    Dao Yheng: Zen, how do you think about "would your 'true self' ever get angry?"
    Eliza Madrigal: the intentionality perhaps... there are times to be angry and then let it go... yes... no residue
    Zen Arado: just see anger as being ego protective mostly Dao
    Mitsu Ishii: we've been chatting about this in an online chat board I'm involved with
    hariom Snowpaw: what has your true self got to get angry about ??
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Zen Arado: you could use its eenrgy for good too
    Zen Arado: yes Hariom:)
    hariom Snowpaw: anger, emotions etc are for the body mind etc
    Gaya Ethaniel: Probably it's close to wrath ... though I'm hesitant to use this word.
    Dao Yheng: I kind of agree, actually, but then the body-mind is also included in the true self
    hariom Snowpaw: ???
    Gaya Ethaniel: My report last week certainly relates to anger, not agression.
    Zen Arado: so what is anger then?
    Mitsu Ishii: Yes, precisely.
    Eliza Madrigal: Well the true self level/ultimate reality wouldn't react to things... nothing to react to....
    Mitsu Ishii: The true self/ultimate reality includes everything, including samsara.
    Calvino Rabeni: Besides the unfortunate statuis of anger as an emotional phenomenon, I think there is another esoteric level to this proverb - it speaks to "the heart of the matter" - to peoples deepest true motivations
    Mitsu Ishii: It's not as though there is a true reality which is abstracted away from ordinary emotions and so on.
    Zen Arado: an emotion that arises fro a strong aversion to how things are?
    Calvino Rabeni: that is the important side of this saying, to me
    hariom Snowpaw: anger is when you are upset with someone but take it out on yourself
    Zen Arado: you could take it out on others too
    Zen Arado: people do it to me often enough :)
    Mitsu Ishii: There is a kind of problem related to emotions, but it's not the basic nature of the emotions. It's that we needlessly add to them all sorts of excess.
    hariom Snowpaw: you are the one feeling the anger
    Eliza Madrigal: motivation was surely central to the way I worked with this...
    Mitsu Ishii: the anger leaves a trace
    Zen Arado: what do you think about 'venting' anger?
    Eliza Madrigal: and maybe 'anger' as a feeling isn't the same as the way in which Gaya describes....
    Mitsu Ishii: in ourselves and others. but anger per se is just part of the nature of reality.
    Gaya Ethaniel: I heard a story about this. A couple was walking at night and saw someone being beaten by two youngsters. The lady described how angry his husband got at seeing this and went over to the other side to confront the scene. That's also anger ...
    Gaya Ethaniel: He was in 'such a state', the youngsters got scared and ran off.
    Zen Arado: righteous anger...
    Dao Yheng: I think in my case, the anger was pointing at something I needed to pay attention to
    Gaya Ethaniel nods.
    Gaya Ethaniel: I think anger always carries such a message.
    Dao Yheng: so in that sense even anger can be a helpful thing
    Zen Arado: revelatory?
    Calvino Rabeni: TO contemplate this proverb, it helps to "drop" all secondary feelings *about* anger
    Zen Arado: of something that we need to work on?
    Eliza Madrigal: I think some of the issue is that we overuse anger....
    Mitsu Ishii: if we simply get rid of anger or other emotions, it's like saying that the problem with attachment comes from being able to see.
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Mitsu Ishii: the problem isn't seeing, it's an added thing, when we get caught by things, pushed around by them, etc.
    Zen Arado: they say simply 'be' the anger
    Zen Arado: not the thoughts around it
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes
    Dao Yheng: yes
    Zen Arado: so how about venting?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Zen -- Trungpa seems to think we are projecting our own dissatisfactions with ourselves onto others when we do this. So always look for the same faults in ourselves that we see in others.
    Gaya Ethaniel: I think this is true a lot of times but not always.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Venting is the adding bit?
    Zen Arado: expressing itrether than repressing
    Calvino Rabeni: Venting is incorrect expression
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes, many ways to express ... :) 
    Eliza Madrigal: venting seems self-indulgent to me... but there are times to share 'just the facts'
    Eliza Madrigal: as we talked about in another place this week... a sense of essentials
    Zen Arado: yes - could be rehearsing it in a way that strengthens it
    Mitsu Ishii: The adding is really more of an internal thing. I mean, a wrathful teacher might appear to be "venting" when she yells, but in fact she can also simply be expressing in a wrathful direct way, for example.
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes venting is taking the issue to a non-essential place
    Gaya Ethaniel: Like Dao said, it's very hard to catch at the moment, most of time one is already down the line ... so going for the throat happens a lot.
    Mitsu Ishii: venting for most of us, though, probably is adding a needless quality :)
    Zen Arado: but it is often recommended a a way of 'letting it out'
    Gaya Ethaniel: hm ...
    Calvino Rabeni: The inner or subtle meaning of the proverb is not about anger
    Dao Yheng: I like venting myself, if it lightens the load
    Dao Yheng: it probably isn't Cal, but I was frankly grateful for the outer meanings this week :)
    Dao Yheng: I would love to hear about your thoughts on the inner meanings too
    Dao Yheng: You started to say something about the heart earlier on?
    Calvino Rabeni: Every matter has a most sacred, inner motivation - the heart of the matter
    Calvino Rabeni: it is what people truly care about in their current circumstances
    Calvino Rabeni: the heart is the true motivator of peoples actions (stands for it, that is)
    Calvino Rabeni: It circulates their life energy
    Calvino Rabeni: The proverb seems to mean, don't undermine this in people
    Calvino Rabeni: as in, let it remain sacred, or respect it, or help it, but don't do something to take away or undermine it
    Zen Arado: so use the energy of anger but direct it to the right place?
    Calvino Rabeni: THis meaning is not about anger at all, except that anger or some similar idea might lead one to "strike"
    Dao Yheng: so, you are thinking that it has a broader application than just anger per se
    Calvino Rabeni: but so might ignorance, or habit, or a lack of insight lead one to "strike" ath the heart
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes Yes
    Mitsu Ishii: sorry had a net glitch
    Calvino Rabeni: Even with respect to oneself
    Dao Yheng: yes
    Calvino Rabeni: It requires empathic insight into what really matters
    Gaya Ethaniel: wb 
    Zen Arado: if you are content with what is you don;t get angry
    Mitsu Ishii: Striking at the heart can happen in a very cold way as well
    Calvino Rabeni: to follow the advice of this saying
    Calvino Rabeni: It can happen through pure habit, lack of knowing what matters to others, misguided values, etc.
    Calvino Rabeni: Whatever undermines the "heart"
    Eliza Madrigal: empathetic insight does truly seem at heart, I would agree
    Calvino Rabeni: So the proverb also means - it is important to be aware of the "heart of the matter"
    Dao Yheng: I did like the story about the Buddha's enemy in this regard
    Zen Arado: it could mean putting others down competitively at work for instance?
    Calvino Rabeni: When people lose the connection with that inner sense - how can they avoid occasionally doing things that damage the heart?
    Eliza Madrigal: hm... when we talk about no traces... for me I can't help zero in on 'immediacy' again....
    Calvino Rabeni: Even self-doubt - or maybe especially - is a case of this
    Calvino Rabeni: self recriminations, self-criticism, of the kind that digs or undermines - strike at the heart
    Eliza Madrigal: and so relevance to the moment/context ... appropriateness, proportion....
    Dao Yheng: yes -- you nailed it for me this week Calvino :) !
    Mitsu Ishii: When we're interacting with people don't you think there's a sort of awareness one can have, internally, that you may be striking at the heart of someone else?
    Zen Arado: separation from others diminishes compassion that would prevent 'striking'
    Mitsu Ishii: (or yourself).
    Calvino Rabeni: @mitsu yes
    Mitsu Ishii: for whatever reason, I think it's something you can really feel.
    Eliza Madrigal nods to Zen.... re distance
    Gaya Ethaniel: Striking refers more to strong, explosive emotions like anger rather than self-doubt that erodes over the time.
    Gaya Ethaniel: erodes at heart*
    Calvino Rabeni: Except Gaya, remember the tiny daggers that also strike
    Calvino Rabeni: without exploding
    Mitsu Ishii: It doesn't have to be just a strong emotion, however. It could be, for example, you say or do something that you intend to undermine someone else. out of fear, for example, or self-protectiveness.
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes
    Mitsu Ishii: it may be quite manipulative
    Zen Arado: anger usually has a 'build up' quality though?
    Calvino Rabeni: It can be subtle, not a big display
    Zen Arado: even a slow burning anger
    Eliza Madrigal: brb
    Gaya Ethaniel: ok
    Gaya Ethaniel: Intersting Trungpa and Chodron read this aphorism as -- Don't Bring Things to a Painful Point
    Calvino Rabeni: Anger is an emotion that provides a big display - or wants to - it is a social communication that is part of our genetic heritage
    Zen Arado: it was useful for extra energy
    Zen Arado: adrenaline injection
    Mitsu Ishii: Well for example Pema Chodron said this could be rephrased as "don't humiliate people"
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, trungpa - pointing out - don't take things to that kind of extreme point -
    Calvino Rabeni: Humuliation means the heart was undermined
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes, conceited or arrogant honesty that upsets people ...
    Eliza Madrigal: yes, to wound you'd have to do it when there was a revealed soft spot
    Calvino Rabeni: Another meaning is - I think we sometimes fantasize that a problem could be solved through some extreme act that would settle things
    Eliza Madrigal: a softeness and vulnerablity you were aware of
    Mitsu Ishii: or like the court of Louis XIV... or "Mean Girls"
    Zen Arado: anger has a blindness with it
    Calvino Rabeni: but it doesn't usually work that way
    Zen Arado: what about the emotions that precede anger - hatred , jealousy etc.?
    Gaya Ethaniel: I want to talk about this point in Zen's report together with 'venting' Zen mentioned earlier on -- we are more likely to attack someone if we have been mulling over and harbouring resentment about something they have done or said to us ... reopens the wound of some old stored emotional trauma.
    Calvino Rabeni: fear
    Zen Arado: anger doesn't just arise on its own
    Calvino Rabeni: anger regarded as secondary to fear
    Gaya Ethaniel: It doesn't have to be but I guess a lot of time one does let things fester.
    Calvino Rabeni: as a responsive if imimitive way to handle a situation
    Calvino Rabeni: *primitive
    Gaya Ethaniel: I'm not sure if anger is primitive ...
    Calvino Rabeni: The situation will have been already conceived as threatening to oneself
    Gaya Ethaniel: It's pretty intelligent in my experiences.
    Dao Yheng: Hm, I wonder if there's a connection between Gaya's festering and Eliza's immediacy?
    Zen Arado: sexual jealousy produces huge anger
    Zen Arado: if a man comes homw and finds his wife in bed with another man.....
    Zen Arado: pretty primitive
    Calvino Rabeni: Interesting - yes, sometimes anger knows strategically how to move or strike, but with a "big perspective" mind it is seen as lacking awareness, of being over-focused
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes seen immediately, probably anger isn't such a problem.
    Eliza Madrigal: my thinking is that anger from a place of 'shadow' where there may be things we haven't exposed, dealt with.... is the concerning anger
    Eliza Madrigal: doesn't seem much wisdom there
    Zen Arado: yes Eliza....old scars reopened
    Calvino Rabeni: I think the "anger mind" often has a very valid piece of knowledge to provide
    Eliza Madrigal: but in the moment responding... immediate... aware.... no traces...
    Calvino Rabeni: agreeing with elizea
    Eliza Madrigal: that seems close to the sense of wrath which could be wise
    Gaya Ethaniel: 'stop, look here!' kind of messages are hepful though ...
    Zen Arado: so....how to deal with it?
    Eliza Madrigal: we talked about moments of immediate empathy... that insight.... doesn't seem mere 'feeling'...
    Calvino Rabeni: @zen - not limiited to old scars - but including ongoing situations that the "in charge self" has yet found no appropriate action
    Zen Arado: sure Cal
    Zen Arado: how do you all deal with anger?
    Eliza Madrigal: which would be more a surface self-indulgent thing... Hm... thinking of my experience with that counselor weeks ago... empathy in the moment but ALSO directly stating the wrongness of the situation
    Calvino Rabeni: Agree eliza, it is not about mere 'feeling'
    Calvino Rabeni: but about appropriate seeing and action
    Eliza Madrigal nods... subtle skills...
    Eliza Madrigal: like gaya's traffic situation too
    Gaya Ethaniel: btw thanks for sharing own Tonglen practice Eliza, it's lovely :) I do like breathing in ten thousand things though ... like a pretty salad.
    Eliza Madrigal: hehe.... seems the same thing? Say more about that
    Gaya Ethaniel: Traffic situation?
    Zen Arado: 'counting to ten' seems silly but can be effective
    Eliza Madrigal possibly invented something already going
    Zen Arado: allowing a space
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh... sorry... ticket
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah that ... I saw the man again and he looked so hm ... like a baloon without air ... so I decided not to name him in my complaint/refund letter.
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: so it didn't linger... ?
    Gaya Ethaniel: No ... well it didn't stick even on the day ... largely forgotten soon after.
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Dao Yheng: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: We have just a little while to decide what to work on this coming week....
    Calvino Rabeni: @zen - Dealing with anger? I guess my effort is to maintain awareness - not always easy, then to try to "drive all the blame/responsibility to onself"
    Gaya Ethaniel: If it wasn't for refund, I wouldn't have written really.
    Zen Arado: irritation develops into anger
    Dao Yheng: the inner witness reminder can also be quite helpful
    Eliza Madrigal: I will not be present for the next meeting, and I think also Dao and Mitsu?
    Gaya Ethaniel: We didn't get to talk about 'distraction' this week.
    Eliza Madrigal: true
    Dao Yheng: got distracted :)
    Eliza Madrigal: hehe
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Dao Yheng: yes, Mits and I will be gone next two weeks most likely
    Calvino Rabeni: A question about this group - how deep do we want to go into each particular theme?
    Eliza Madrigal: we made path material of the distractions though :)
    Mitsu Ishii: I would love to talk about distraction next time.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Perhaps we can have a break? I may be late ...
    Gaya Ethaniel: Play by ear Calvino?
    Riddle Sideways is Offline
    Mitsu Ishii: Well two weeks from now we'll be in LA, we could probably attend?
    Mitsu Ishii: because the retreat ends on Saturday
    Dao Yheng: oh that's right
    Calvino Rabeni: Dunno, compare play by ear with "go by habit"?
    Eliza Madrigal: So let's give two weeks then, to work with distractions....
    Dao Yheng: Just next week then :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: So shall we skip next Sunday and meet again on 28th?
    Zen Arado: ok sure :)
    Mitsu Ishii: okay, 28th
    Eliza Madrigal: Returning on .... Yes, great!
    Gaya Ethaniel: The clock would be back to 'normal' again for me & Tim :)
    Zen Arado: me too :)
    Calvino Rabeni: A way to make the "what next time" decision as a group, in a principled way?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes and Yaku :)
    Eliza Madrigal: AND we might as well think about all the slogans we have worked with so far... if there are other things we want to schedule... a basic outline
    Yakuzza Lethecus: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: ok I will go over them, sounds good :)
    Zen Arado: so report is about what?
    Yakuzza Lethecus: but i like it in this way
    Dao Yheng: sounds great
    Yakuzza Lethecus: less difference
    Eliza Madrigal: :) yes, wouldn't want to be too structured...
    Eliza Madrigal: but also nice to have things to work with :)
    Calvino Rabeni: AStructure can help avoid unconscious habit
    Gaya Ethaniel: Thanks again so much for the reports, look forward to reading more next time!
    Eliza Madrigal: Report is about distractions AND other notes you wish to share :)
    Eliza Madrigal: heheh
    Zen Arado: ok
    Gaya Ethaniel: Enjoy your trips Dao & Mitsu :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Have a wonderful retreat Dao and Mitsu
    Eliza Madrigal: See everyone in two weeks... thanks so much!
    Gaya Ethaniel: Have fun Eliza!
    Calvino Rabeni: THanks all :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)) Thanks Gaya
    Zen Arado: bye all thanks :)
    Dao Yheng: thanks all!
    Mitsu Ishii: bye everyone
    Timbo Quan: Bye all -a have a good two weeks
    Mitsu Ishii: thanks Eliza
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye all

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