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December 5-17: DhO home retreat in Google Hangout

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Hello,

From this evening until through evening December 17, 2013 Vijay, Georges and I are "hosting" in google hangout sitting practice. "Hosting" means at least one of us will be online at those times.

To join click through to Bruno's mediation room link: http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/4779351#_19_message_4779351

The hours are
4:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. (EST)
and
8 - 9 p.m. (EST)


Georges is hosting the evening (with Vijay hosting the evening on the last few nights).
I am hosting the 4:30 - 5:30 time and Vijay is hosting 5:30-8:30 a.m.

A bell goes off every thirty minutes on the hour and half hour and those are good times to come and go from the forum since a little sound is made by google hangout when someone enters or leaves the forum and that little sound can be timed around the bell. But no worries if someone jumps on at "off-times".


Happy Holidays,
: )k

RE: December 5-17: DhO home retreat in Google Hangout
Answer
12/5/13 10:56 AM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
And the question has been raised if there are times to discuss meditative stuff: Saturdays and Sundays have been days to discuss things as peers, however a person can just propose some topic and some day/time and see who's available.

Best wishes in your introspective and "outrospective" lab,
Katy

RE: December 5-17: DhO home retreat in Google Hangout
Answer
12/5/13 10:58 AM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
Thank you Katy for posting this.

I finally decided to post on DhO after lurking for around 1.5 years. Thank you Katy and Georges for encouraging me to do so.

This small group in the DhO meditation room has really supported and nourished my practice over the past 2 months and I am glad to be a part of this experiment. Thank you Katy for taking the initiative, Georges for sustaining it, Bruno for the technical expertise in setting up the room and Chris for the Dhamma inputs. My deepest gratitude to you all.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Daniel for his book and the DhO forum where I have spent hours lurking. I hope someday, I can give back in some form. Thank you Nick for the continuous support, advice and patience over the past one year. Thank you Ian And for those wonderful posts on Jhana and establishing mindfulness. Thank you to all those people who make this place an active corner to search for truth and happiness.

With deepest gratitude, thankfulness and gratefulness.

Metta,
- V

RE: December 5-17: DhO home retreat in Google Hangout
Answer
12/5/13 2:21 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
The winter solstice is a "turning point" and a "resting time".

Hexagram 24. Return: The Turning Point of the I Ching says:

"The winter solstice has always been celebrated in China as the resting time of the year--a custom that survives in the time of rest observed at the new year. In winter the life energy, symbolized by thunder, the Arousing, is still underground. Movement is just at its beginning; therefore it must be strengthened by rest so that it will not be dissipated by being used
prematurely. This principle, i.e., of allowing energy that is renewing itself to be reinforced by rest, applies to all similar situations. The return of health after illness, the return of understanding after an estrangement: everything must be treated tenderly and with care at the beginning, so that the return may lead to a flowering."

The Image of this hexagram simply states:

Thunder within the earth:
The image of THE TURNING POINT.
Thus the kings of antiquity closed the passes
At the time of solstice.
Merchants and strangers did not go about,
And the ruler
Did not travel through the provinces.

It is easy to get wound up so to speak as we lead up to the Holidays.

So, as we lead up to this important time of the year, close your passes, i.e. calm the mind and rest the body, lessen your travels and thus let the full benefits of this period of dormancy and equanimity that nature has graciously obliged us as an occasion to turn within.

Treat everything tenderly and with care at the outset, being mindful and alert so that one truly investigates the principles the Dhamma has provided us "so that the return may lead to a flowering".

with metta for a calm abiding to all.

RE: December 5-17: DhO home retreat in Google Hangout
Answer
12/5/13 7:09 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
Sounds great. I will plan on joining you atleast once before the 17th.

RE: December 5-17: DhO home retreat in Google Hangout
Answer
12/6/13 10:17 AM as a reply to Vijay V.
Vijay,

With pleasure: welcome to the DhO. I am hoping you'll start a poetry thread as you share wonderful stuff. I'd also like to thank you for pointing me to the site Upworthy, which is amazing.


Georges,

The I-ching is a "bald spot" for me, so thanks for that; I read your post of it like poetry.

Also, thank you for raising the Bharmavihara retreat at Chuang Yen in another thread; that was an extraordinary time.


D Z,

Jump in, if you like! I took off about 2+ weeks and find that it's the daily rhythm which is hardest for me to re-establish, but I love how it disciplines the day. Since the Brahmavihara retreat last week I am listening to (muted in the hangout, so only I hear it) a repetition of the nun Ariya's english singing of the metta sutra found at dharmaseed: http://dharmaseed.org/teacher/188/talk/4750/ and find that anapanasati is much easier/different afterwards.



[edit: careless grammar as usual...]

RE: December 5-17: DhO home retreat in Google Hangout
Answer
12/7/13 8:08 AM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
Okay, so how I eat impacts meditation and a lack of meditation practice ("the lab") affects my life. I know this, but I'd like to add a little report (to shore up my own mind, again) and in case it assists anyone else's practice.

When I eat too late in the day (like after 3) or anything other than a light salad or miso broth or hot water, the evening meditation is hard and usually painful. And forget the next morning.

Whereas if I meditate with an empty stomach in the evening and the morning, a) I wake up well, and b) both sits are useful, patient, calm. Eating once a day and/or before noon is mentioned in the suttas as benefits. True.


Also, exercise support: the NYTimes Well section has some nice articles on the great physical value of getting moderate exercise (life span) and during the holidays and which fun activity for non-monastics is moderate exercise ;)

RE: December 5-17: DhO home retreat in Google Hangout
Answer
12/11/13 6:44 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
I just want to encourage anyone, myself included, about the benefits of practicing in a friendly and incremental way. To repeat from another thread an example, I really likeDaniel Goleman's "Breathing buddy's exercise on Edutopia. I think this kind of casual expectation-less subtle-friendly, calm practice has often underlined insight arising: there's not expectation, but the mind can really sink nicely and perhaps something like subconscious arises and from there a curative dhamma (aka: mental thing, notion) arises addressing a problematic dhamma (aka: mental thing, notion). Jhana insight.

Jhana practice instructions are very clear: joy and comfort-ease-subtle-happiness should arise with one's object of meditation. These are part of the first three stabilized mental states (aka: jhanas 1-3). When concentration is done this way, the body naturally wants to return to the practice again and again. If the object is not giving rise to joy and ease-comfort-subtle-happiness, then try another object. My mom's laughter is not in the list of 40 jhana objects, but I've used that sound and image before to trip 2nd jhana; actually, that is mudita (sympathetic joy), so, hmm, it is one of the objects : )

If anyone needs to hear it, I often lay on my right side or one my back to keep continuity of meditation when I feel tired/achey/averse to practice. Such a practice helps when I decide to put forward a strong effort (like this past September/October) and sitting practice. The mind seems more wired to access joy and ease. Then I just try not to attach to those states, let them go and if fourth jhana shows up, meh, okay : )

Okay, I am going to do 15 minutes of breathing buddies-style and then join the hangout.

Best wishes emoticon


[edit: this is not some indulgent pleasure practice; why I meditate is that I've seen several times for myself that when I calm my mind and when it stabilizes in this calm alert practice a) I learn my "stories" and how I rock the boat of mind with them, b) how much better I engage the world and obvious problems from a mind of relative steadiness, c) how much "cleaner" is my care of others and/or messy troubles with a mind that is practicing meditation. And i enjoy it. I certainly appreciate the effects of practice, which are still ultimately unknown to me]

RE: December 5-17: DhO home retreat in Google Hangout
Answer
12/11/13 9:03 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
katy steger:

Okay, I am going to do 15 minutes of breathing buddies-style and then join the hangout.

Best wishes emoticon


I enjoyed the post, thank you. I have no idea how this google hangouts thing works. I joined and was accepted but how does one 'join' the online meditation group or chat thingy? I searched around a bit and keep clicking on this hangouts button that starts up my webcam and whatnot. Is this 'it'? It often gives me the message 'you are the first one here'!

Anyone mind explaining this seemingly overly-technical-for-my-blood apparatus?

RE: December 5-17: DhO home retreat in Google Hangout
Answer
12/12/13 3:13 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
I had the exact same problem, Travis, except that if I go through Bruno's meditation room link, it's fine.

Maybe Bruno or Chris or others can weigh in.

Is anyone else having the "you're the first one here" issue?

RE: December 5-17: DhO home retreat in Google Hangout
Answer
12/12/13 5:39 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Anyone mind explaining this seemingly overly-technical-for-my-blood apparatus?

Also, try restarting your computer/device.
This worked for me when this was happening often to me.
Then go through Bruno's link (which is the link I provided).
Good luck.

RE: December 5-17: DhO home retreat in Google Hangout
Answer
12/12/13 6:34 AM as a reply to Travis Gene McKinstry.
Travis Gene McKinstry:

I enjoyed the post, thank you. I have no idea how this google hangouts thing works. I joined and was accepted but how does one 'join' the online meditation group or chat thingy? I searched around a bit and keep clicking on this hangouts button that starts up my webcam and whatnot. Is this 'it'? It often gives me the message 'you are the first one here'!

Anyone mind explaining this seemingly overly-technical-for-my-blood apparatus?


That sounds like it, you may have just logged on when no one was online. It's a group video chat, so yes it will use your webcam. There's a "hangout" -- a video chat session -- that you can join (by clicking on the link), and when other people join the same hangout, their video feeds will show up on your screen, and you can talk, etc. Usually someone plays a bell using a meditation timer to signal the start of meditation and at 30 minute intervals, and sometimes there's discussion afterward if people are around.

Katy listed the schedule above when someone will be in the hangout. If you join the hangout during that time and no one is there, then maybe there is a problem.

RE: December 5-17: DhO home retreat in Google Hangout
Answer
12/12/13 7:33 AM as a reply to Chris G.
Katy listed the schedule above when someone will be in the hangout. If you join the hangout during that time and no one is there, then maybe there is a problem.

Um... I overslept and joined at 5:09 and 5:10 a.m. on Monday and Tuesday...emoticon

RE: December 5-17: DhO home retreat in Google Hangout
Answer
12/12/13 8:44 AM as a reply to Chris G.
Chris G:

Katy listed the schedule above when someone will be in the hangout. If you join the hangout during that time and no one is there, then maybe there is a problem.


Thats the thing. I looked at it last night at 8PM EST and it said you're the first one here