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TOPIC: PDS - Monthly Video Chats - March 2018

PDS - Monthly Video Chats - March 2018 05 Mar 2018 00:21 #108558

Hi Everyone,

We will be hosting our next chat on the Zoom platform in March. Details of when the chat is & how to join are below (if you join via computer you will be prompted to download the Zoom app). As a heads up, we're intending to record this chat using the built-in Zoom tool. This is so that folks who can't make it still get to join the fun after the fact.

Time: Mar 24, 2018 12:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
zoom.us/j/861304268

If you join the call, please feel free to “lead” the call or facilitate discussion on it. You can do this by spontaneously jumping in or by sending me a note in advance that you would like to it.

Link to previous archived recordings: drive.google.com/open?id=1v1J9FmpcvaDHQ5c7O7itnehFJf_G2vz4
Link to previous chat notes: awakenetwork.org/forum/pdschats

A little bit of background:
-Who's Welcome? Everyone who is interested in deep practice of any form & open to talking about their experiences in meditation.
-Why Join? For fun. To deepen your practice. To share ideas & experiences. To make friends. For support. To geek out on unusual, common interests.
-Meeting Agenda:1) Short intros & share how your practice has been 2) Recent hot topics or points of interest in your practice 3) Other topics: Dharma talks/books of interest, experiences with different techniques or maps, how does formal practice intersect with daily life, etc.
-Other Points: Speak from your own direct experience. Don't hog the floor & stay off the soap box. Play nice. Have fun : )

Hope to see you all there,

Noah
===================


Pragmatic Dharma Society is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Pragmatic Dharma Society Video Chat - March 2018
Time: Mar 24, 2018 12:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: zoom.us/j/861304268

Or iPhone one-tap :
US: +16468769923,,861304268# or +16699006833,,861304268#
Or Telephone:
Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 646 876 9923 or +1 669 900 6833 or +1 408 638 0968
Meeting ID: 861 304 268
International numbers available: zoom.us/zoomconference?m=AO5kuI2_YKjsHUAgeuSZtLB6bcFy38PW
Last Edit: 05 Mar 2018 00:22 by Noah.
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PDS - Monthly Video Chats - March 2018 11 Mar 2018 09:37 #108584

I have just been listening to the recording of the last of these video chats, to see whether it is something I would be able to join - and have come away with the feeling that I couldn't. I know part of this is my own dislike of being recorded, and even in a “live” group setting I don't join in much. But apart from that, I found it confusing and wondered about the value. I didn't feel sure how many people there were (would it be a good idea for every person to introduce themselves BRIEFLY at the beginning, or for the moderator to say “ there are .... of us here today ...” or something of that nature.)?
I didn't carry on to the end - I may go back to it later - but I felt as though the practice was very much related to unusual experiences in the body and mind. A bit like fifty years ago when we'd all sit about discussing what happened when we were tripping! Then I wondered what exactly I was expecting, and what I wanted it all to be about .... and I wasn't sure.

Over the years I have found it hard ... impossible. ... to find a teacher, or even people to discuss experiences with. I wondered if video/Skype etc would provide the answer. But now I don't feel it would. I have reached the point where I keep reading “find a good teacher ...” - but don't know how. Hoped this sort of “meeting” might help.

Advice?
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PDS - Monthly Video Chats - March 2018 11 Mar 2018 11:55 #108586

A lot of us here have made a lot of progress working with teachers/senior students via skype. I actually think this is an ideal scenario. Direct, private conversations, not recorded, and heck, easy to quit if you feel like it isn't helpful (a lot easier than trying to avoid the teacher at the local mediation hall :) ). It was funny, when I finally met one my teachers in person a while later, I was like "hmm, I wonder what the back of his head looks like :D

Practice logs/advice are also helpful for brave people. I never was as good as Chris about open-ness/recording, he is much braver than I am.

But anyway, I kinda stopped going to the PDS things because of the recording and lack of detailed conversations, too. I think it's a good way for people to meet other practioners, though. More detailed conversations can happen outside of the group call.
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PDS - Monthly Video Chats - March 2018 11 Mar 2018 12:19 #108587

I never was as good as Chris about open-ness/recording, he is much braver than I am.

Well, I needed the extre help more than you. I needed all the help I could get. And I have to say, the folks who chimed in on my practice diary online were often catalysts for learning and a more rewarding practice. I agree with the value and utility of one-on-one online engagement with a teacher. I did a lot of that via phone and Skype for a long time.
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PDS - Monthly Video Chats - March 2018 12 Mar 2018 13:13 #108589

Huge fan of Skype/Phone/Facetime meetings here too, as that is how my teachers and I communicated. However, I am not a fan of big conceptual talk without details, and this, I feel is what is missing quite a bit these days from the Pragmatic Dharma scene and one of the reasons for less participation from myself and I think from some others.
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The following user(s) said Thank You: Chris Marti, shargrol, Andy

PDS - Monthly Video Chats - March 2018 12 Mar 2018 19:21 #108591

Russell, can you elaborate on your comment?
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PDS - Monthly Video Chats - March 2018 13 Mar 2018 11:22 #108594

Yes, I am with my kids on spring break so I can do more later if needed. Anyways, I feel like there is a big lack in phenomenological descriptions these days. Not saying everyone. There are some great journals here. It’s just hard to find.

I see much more conceptual talk. Things like, I have luminosity now so I am third path. But no descriptions of what that is like or what they mean. Even after taking in private, the descriptions are hard to come by. So it’s hard to help or give advice.
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PDS - Monthly Video Chats - March 2018 13 Mar 2018 11:26 #108595

Also to note. I’ve been guilty of it before too and I think you called me out on it. ;)
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PDS - Monthly Video Chats - March 2018 13 Mar 2018 11:46 #108596

For Anne & Shargrol, as well as anyone else who has feedback on a positive direction for the video chats...

-first, thanks for the feedback . As I've already mentioned in several posts/emails , this is what I'm looking for.

-second , let's try to drive towards specific improvements, if you'd all be willing to help. What I'm hearing is ...

---- don't record
---- structure/moderate the conversation more
----ask people to provide more phenomenology

Regarding people having a "voice" on the call & people introducing themselves, i don't know what more to do other than what we've been doing which is ...

---ask everyone to introduce themselves at beginning
---ask everyone to share how their practice is going

Please let me know if this is an adequate summary of the discussion & if there are any points to be added.

Edit: Please note that although I may not make the suggested edits in the exact way they are phrased (i.e. don't record on the monthly chats), I am confident we can provide supplementary solutions to what people are looking for (i.e. provide a tool for people to schedule themselves for non-recorded video chats on an ad hoc basis)
Last Edit: 13 Mar 2018 11:55 by Noah.
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PDS - Monthly Video Chats - March 2018 13 Mar 2018 12:02 #108597

Anne Delnevo wrote:
I

Over the years I have found it hard ... impossible. ... to find a teacher, or even people to discuss experiences with. I wondered if video/Skype etc would provide the answer. But now I don't feel it would. I have reached the point where I keep reading “find a good teacher ...” - but don't know how. Hoped this sort of “meeting” might help.

Advice?

Hi Anne -

In addition to what Shargrol shared, I would like to offer this list of teachers as good, pragmatically oriented options (hyperlinks through the link below). All of them have contact information through their website where you can inquire about 1-1 coaching.
noahsmonthlyupdate.blogspot.com/2017/12/links.html
Ron Crouch
Dhammarato
Shannon Stein (Email included in Bio)
Pointing Out The Great Way (Teaching group)
Shinzen Young
Alan Chapman / The Fountainhead
Kenneth Folk
Emily & Vince Horn
Hokai Sobol
Tucker Peck
Dharma Treasure Teacher's In Training
Last Edit: 13 Mar 2018 12:03 by Noah.
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The following user(s) said Thank You: Anne Delnevo, Ranger

PDS - Monthly Video Chats - March 2018 13 Mar 2018 13:10 #108600

Thank you very much for all comments and advice given. I realised after a bit of exploration of the subject “monthly video chats” that there is a lot more feedback/comment to read on this .... I haven't really got to grips with navigating the site. I am also going to give the recording that I was listening to another chance - maybe I gave up too early.
I'm not sure how to get over my fear of taking part in Skype or similar ... I suppose the thing to do would be to try one of the chats, with the understanding that I might not join in to begin with. As I said before, I get very tense about joining in when I am involved in actual meetings/groups (which is very infrequent, as there is very little of this type of thing locally. I live in a small village in the UK). I particularly dislike introducing myself and describing my practice!
As there are no teachers around here, on-line/Skype communication seems the only option - but as I have tried to express, I just can't persuade myself to do it!
The other thing I might try to do is start a practice diary here - maybe that way I will get some feedback.
When I read about other people's experiences, I often feel that I am just not doing the same practice; you talk about things happening to you that sound quite dramatic, whereas my sits are usually uneventful. I think trying to relate to this “community” brings out feelings of inadequacy!
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PDS - Monthly Video Chats - March 2018 13 Mar 2018 13:26 #108602

i would start a diary as a halfway point then & also consider joining the much smaller (not recorded), UK PD vid chats that happen every 2nd & 4th Monday, from noon to 1:30pm (ish), UK time. If you wanted to join, you just click this link at that time - appear.in/ukpd-chat. They communicate on the chat app Discord, which you can join at this link : discord.gg/69dafx. Its usually just 3 or 4 people.
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PDS - Monthly Video Chats - March 2018 15 Mar 2018 09:57 #108606

Anne Delnevo wrote:
Thank you very much for all comments and advice given. I realised after a bit of exploration of the subject “monthly video chats” that there is a lot more feedback/comment to read on this .... I haven't really got to grips with navigating the site. I am also going to give the recording that I was listening to another chance - maybe I gave up too early.
I'm not sure how to get over my fear of taking part in Skype or similar ... I suppose the thing to do would be to try one of the chats, with the understanding that I might not join in to begin with. As I said before, I get very tense about joining in when I am involved in actual meetings/groups (which is very infrequent, as there is very little of this type of thing locally. I live in a small village in the UK). I particularly dislike introducing myself and describing my practice!
As there are no teachers around here, on-line/Skype communication seems the only option - but as I have tried to express, I just can't persuade myself to do it!
The other thing I might try to do is start a practice diary here - maybe that way I will get some feedback.
When I read about other people's experiences, I often feel that I am just not doing the same practice; you talk about things happening to you that sound quite dramatic, whereas my sits are usually uneventful. I think trying to relate to this “community” brings out feelings of inadequacy!

And if it is a guy/girl thing (as most of those teachers are men), and you would feel more comfortable with a female teacher, there is Emily Horn on Noah's list, or Abre Chen. I can provide contact info to Abre if you wish.
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The following user(s) said Thank You: Anne Delnevo

PDS - Monthly Video Chats - March 2018 22 Mar 2018 22:58 #108642

Reminder - the chat is this weekend.
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PDS - Monthly Video Chats - March 2018 25 Mar 2018 05:56 #108666

Chat went swell. Really nice, natural conversation. It wasn't as structured & that didn't seem necessary, as the topics folks were interested in discussing were structure in themselves.

To my dukkha, the vid recording is in "speaker" view again, rather than "gallery". This is in spite of my having done research on this & thinking that I mitigated this risk. I clearly just need to not touch anything once the recording starts. I'm going to talk to Zoom customer service to understand why as well.

Link to the Recording: drive.google.com/file/d/1rPFAQrHm53GPtiV...ngN/view?usp=sharing
Link to Previous Recordings: drive.google.com/drive/folders/1v1J9Fmpc...Jf_G2vz4?usp=sharing

Attendees: Nick, Matthew, Noah, Gilbert, David, Jeff, Alex, Ken, DW
(sorry if I missed anyone)

Topics Discussed:
-Meditation & pain (physical vs emotional), different strategies for working with it, link between thought & emotion
-Dependent origination: how it augments understanding of the 3 characteristics
-Recent retreat experience: passing through energetic phase, shift into new type of practice (more vague focus)
-Speaking with teachers in a "traditional" context, particularly Mahasi
-Pros/Cons of map disclosure in retreats & teacher-student communication
-Feeling emotions in the head, body & outside of the body
-Self expression, narcissism, awakening & improve comedy
-Whole body breathing practice
-1st arrow, 2nd arrow as a broader framework for practice
-Tathagata Meditation Center as a reccommended retreat center
-Strategies for 1st 3 jhanas, working with length of the breath
-Talking to "muggles" about meditation (or not)

Resources Discussed:
-Kamala Masters interview on POI & Mahasi tradition,
-Daniel's Nana/Jhana map from integrateddaniel.info, static1.squarespace.com/static/5037f52d8...4092518/Pathways.jpg
Last Edit: 25 Mar 2018 21:55 by Noah.
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