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This section is for all local & regionally-based pragmatic dharma meetups. Individual sub sections are for private discussion within each region. The main section is public, serving as a group directory & common meeting ground.

TOPIC: PDS - Monthly Video Chats - November 2017

PDS - Monthly Video Chats - November 2017 08 Nov 2017 09:18 #108019

What: The first, monthly Pragmatic Dharma society (PDS) video chat. If you are interested, please sign up at this mailing list: eepurl.com/c9sgUT. I will send out a reminder & instructions on accessing the chat a day or two before.

When:
  • U.S. PST: Saturday, 11/18/2017 at 2:00pm
  • U.K: Saturday, 11/18/2017 at 10:00pm
  • AEST: Sunday, 11/19/2017 at 8:00am

We will meet for 90 minutes.

I want to make it clear that everyone is invited, I just happen to have friends who would want to join from these time zones. I have picked this time because I believe it will when the most people will be able to join across the board.

Where: I will send out an email before the chat with link to videolink2.me.

All that’s needed is mic, speakers & browser to use. If this platform doesn’t work well, I’m willing to try another one next time but I wanted to start with one people did not have to download.

Why: For fun. To deepen your practice. To share ideas & experiences. To make friends. For support. To geek out on unusual, common interests.

For details on moderation, safety & inclusion, please see the bottom section - Other Notes.

PDS is not a new forum, community or podcast, but rather an attempt to connect preexisting pragmatic dharma community members through video & in person meeting. I am defining "pragmatic" here as anyone who is involved in mystical or contemplative practice, believes deep, identifiable transformation is possible & finds talking about it to be useful & fun. It is not specifically Buddhist nor connected with a specific forum, teacher, book, technique or map. At this time, I am not interested in renaming the group, although I would consider that in the future.

PDS was started late last year in Seattle when a group of people from the pragmatic meditation forums began to meet in person. We’ve seen how beneficial it is to practice to have face-to-face, rather than text or audio contact only. Also, it has been amazing to see the cooperation & synergy of a group in-person rather than clusters of 1-1 relationships in-person.

What Will The Chat Be Like: I am planning on tightly moderating the video chats at first & then ‘loosening the reins’ as appropriate. Here are some key points -
Everyone will be required to display video, identify themselves by first name, as well as their handle on the forums, if they use one. The purpose of this is to keep things honest.
We will start with short introductions & ‘how is your practice debriefs.’ These will need to stay around 90 seconds if there is a group of 10 or more on the call. Example: “Hi, I’m Noah, I go by Noah on the DhO, AN & Reddit. I’ve trained in Mahasi noting & Thai Forest Tradition. My primary teachers have been Ron Crouch & Dhammarato. I’m also a part of Seattle PDS. My current practice is tantra, samatha on the body/ground & the eightfold path as a whole.”
  • If you have a question after a share, hold it until the end of the shares.
  • At the end of the shares, we will open it up to questions/comments about other people’s shares.
In making comments, speak to your direct experience.
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If there is still time left at the end, there are a variety of topics we can explore. Here are some of them:
  • What are some books, talks or other resources you’ve found to be helpful lately?
  • What was the last, deep practice “shift” or transformation you’ve experienced & how has it benefited, or not benefited your life?
  • What are your short-term & long-term practice goals & why?
  • Compare & contrast the effects that 2 or more practice techniques have had on your mind.
Other Notes:
  • Because I am opening this call up to the public, I can not ensure complete privacy. Please do not share anything you would not write on a public forum during the call.
  • Making everyone feel comfortable is a top concern of mine. Everyone will be required to identify themselves at the beginning of the call. If anyone displays a hostile or negative form of communication, they will not be invited to the next call. I will do my best to moderate for inclusive speech, the elimination of micro-aggressions, sensitivity to identity & other basic aspects of right speech. If there are any adjustments needed, please let me know for next time.
Last Edit: 19 Nov 2017 00:09 by Noah.
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The following user(s) said Thank You: shargrol, Andy, Elizabeth, Michelle, neko, Geoff

PDS - Monthly Video Chats 12 Nov 2017 11:37 #108038

Cool initiative!
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PDS - Monthly Video Chats 12 Nov 2017 11:49 #108040

Btw, could you clarify what is wrong with these two comments:

Here are some examples of how not to comment (1st person plural, 2nd person):
- “Sometimes in our practice, we bring too much effort to the table & lose sight of the original goal. We need to relax & focus on our bodies as a whole, rather than on any one point of the breath.”
- “It sounds like you are experiencing the hindrance of restlessness due to focusing too tightly on your nose. You should try moving to the body instead.”

Are these "forbidden" during introductions only, or in general?
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The following user(s) said Thank You: shargrol

PDS - Monthly Video Chats 13 Nov 2017 07:19 #108048

neko wrote:
Btw, could you clarify what is wrong with these two comments:

Here are some examples of how not to comment (1st person plural, 2nd person):
- “Sometimes in our practice, we bring too much effort to the table & lose sight of the original goal. We need to relax & focus on our bodies as a whole, rather than on any one point of the breath.”
- “It sounds like you are experiencing the hindrance of restlessness due to focusing too tightly on your nose. You should try moving to the body instead.”

Are these "forbidden" during introductions only, or in general?

My time in the Seattle group indicates that conversation is better when people speak to their experience. I likely won't say anything unless someone was being really silly though.
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The following user(s) said Thank You: shargrol, Elizabeth

PDS - Monthly Video Chats 13 Nov 2017 17:55 #108056

neko wrote:
Btw, could you clarify what is wrong with these two comments:

Here are some examples of how not to comment (1st person plural, 2nd person):
- “Sometimes in our practice, we bring too much effort to the table & lose sight of the original goal. We need to relax & focus on our bodies as a whole, rather than on any one point of the breath.”
- “It sounds like you are experiencing the hindrance of restlessness due to focusing too tightly on your nose. You should try moving to the body instead.”

Are these "forbidden" during introductions only, or in general?

Having also participated in SPUDS (and seen similar things come up in 12 step meetings, where cross-talk or commentary is wholly forbidden), it's often most helpful to just let people talk and be heard. Oftentimes the whole group starts chiming in with advice, which we liken to playing dodgeball with the poor seeker on the other side of the court :)

If someone asks for advice, it's reasonable to give it to them. But oftentimes peoples' advice is solely based on what worked for THEM, which may not work for others, and may result in frustration and confusion for all involved.
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PDS - Monthly Video Chats 15 Nov 2017 21:19 #108061

Geoff wrote:
neko wrote:
Btw, could you clarify what is wrong with these two comments:

Here are some examples of how not to comment (1st person plural, 2nd person):
- “Sometimes in our practice, we bring too much effort to the table & lose sight of the original goal. We need to relax & focus on our bodies as a whole, rather than on any one point of the breath.”
- “It sounds like you are experiencing the hindrance of restlessness due to focusing too tightly on your nose. You should try moving to the body instead.”

Are these "forbidden" during introductions only, or in general?

Having also participated in SPUDS (and seen similar things come up in 12 step meetings, where cross-talk or commentary is wholly forbidden), it's often most helpful to just let people talk and be heard. Oftentimes the whole group starts chiming in with advice, which we liken to playing dodgeball with the poor seeker on the other side of the court :)

If someone asks for advice, it's reasonable to give it to them. But oftentimes peoples' advice is solely based on what worked for THEM, which may not work for others, and may result in frustration and confusion for all involved.

Thanks Geoff. You said it best.

I don't want to do too much structure, but it's wonderful when people open up & speak to their own experience & feelings about practice rather than push agendas. So however we can make that happen would be the move.
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PDS - Monthly Video Chats 18 Nov 2017 11:30 #108067

Reminder - the chat is at 2pm PST today, which is UTC 10pm. For other time zones, I'd reccomend using this time zone converter (savvytime.com/converter/utc-to-pst/nov-18-2017/10pm). It will be at this link, which is for videolink2.me (an in browser vid chat service): bit.ly/2jCWfE1. If there are any technical difficulties, we can switch to Google Hangouts. Should be a lot of fun!
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The following user(s) said Thank You: Elizabeth

PDS - Monthly Video Chats 19 Nov 2017 00:12 #108069

Thanks to everyone who participated today. It was a great discussion & we were psyched to have Culadasa join the call! There is a summary below, including the attendees, main topics discussed & practice resources people shared.

As a note, we had some connection issues with the videolink2.me platform. We then transitioned to Google Hangouts, but there was not space on there for everyone to join, which was very unfortunate. I will be looking to sign up for Zoom for next month, which is supposed to be a really good tool for large video chats. Also, I will attempt to record the next chat for anyone who can't make it. To do this we just need to get explicit permission from everyone on the call, before we start recording.

Attendees (apologies if I left anyone off):
Culadasa
Nathan
Barine
Anthony
Elizabeth
Matt
Denholm
Geoff
Jim
Noah
Jason
David

Links from call:
www.reddit.com/r/streamentry/comments/79...ja608t7w&sh=1b5f2bf0
www.eso-garden.com/specials/the_way_of_energy.pdf
www.youtube.com/user/StandStillBeFit


Topics we discussed:
practice shares
questions for culadasa
the development of piti
qigong, tai chi, energy work, etc
what is pragmatic dharma?
sangha building logistics
spreading the dharma
tanha & the attainment of second path
working with memories of stressful experiences

x-posted to dho, reddit, AN, chats & email
Last Edit: 20 Nov 2017 14:44 by Tom Otvos. Reason: typo in url
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The following user(s) said Thank You: shargrol, Elizabeth, Geoff

PDS - Monthly Video Chats 19 Nov 2017 02:28 #108070

Thanks for facilitating the meeting Noah. I spent 5 minutes clicking around the zoom website and could not figure out how to use zoom, it seems like it generally requires special hardware and/or $$. A quick summary of how to use it here would be nice.
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PDS - Monthly Video Chats 19 Nov 2017 03:55 #108072

So sorry I missed this, I was really not feeling well :(

Hope to make it next time! :)
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PDS - Monthly Video Chats 19 Nov 2017 07:57 #108073

I've used zoom for work ( and for one on one's as an alternate to skype). I get an email with a link. I click it and that takes me to the zoom session. Seems to work fairly well even with lots of participants from around the world.

Basic is free if you register. From the website that will allow you to host 40 min meetings if there are 3 or more participants (including the host) and unlimited if there are two. Looks like we might want pro for this.

I have Pro. I'd be happy to set up some meetings so we can try it out. Happy to host the PDS chats as well though might look at options for authorizing extra hosts in case I can't make it or have to drop off.
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