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 Renamed thread: Using masques

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Lise
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PostSubject: Renamed thread: Using masques    Wed May 02, 2012 9:58 pm

First topic message reminder :

[Admin note: This thread is being renamed temporarily as a workaround to a user's access problem.]

Howard wrote:
The mind spins trying to relate to having to hide
behind a mask to speak of a practise that is supposedly all about
removing our masks.

This came from a forum discussion about people using aliases on discussion forums, but I latched onto it in the context of how we move through the world (whether practising as a buddhist or not).

After mulling this over I wonder if I could actually remove my own mask if I tried, which I've not done lately as far as I can recall. I have as many masks as I do purses and shoes probably I pick them up and drop them just as quickly, depending on where I'm going and what's required. Been doing that for quite some time. I don't think it causes me to have split personalities or anything that severe, it's more a case of varying degrees of guardedness, depending on who I'm dealing with.

Some of this could be attributed to OBC residue, the I-don't-trust-teachers thing, but it's not only that. Part of it is not wanting to expose something that feels valuable or important to me, for others' inspection and potential "thumb's down".

I have this idea that masks can sometimes help in training, like a bicycle helmet maybe, or the great big gloves you wear when pulling a roasting pan out of the oven . . .


Last edited by Lise on Mon May 21, 2012 2:23 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Renamed thread: Using masques    Thu May 17, 2012 10:59 pm

What jumps out at me from this thread is the idea of what is controllable or volitional for any of us, re: masks, and what is not within our ability to affect. I don't have the quickness or self-awareness to feel a mask arising when it happens - the moment doesn't allow for it. I muddle through. I tip my hat to those who can monitor their behaviour or mindset and issue a course correction mid-flight. I don't think I'm able to, nor do I want to try; what is happening is not about me or how I practice or defending a doctrine.

Jack, your description of sitting with the older Thai gentleman, and saying a prayer, makes me hope I will find someone to do this for me in time. My family isn't buddhist, my closest friends aren't, I'm a bit isolated that way and I'm not sure anyone will know what if anything to do for me when I'm on the way out. If I still feel then, as I do now, that I would like to receive some modicum of comfort from another person familiar with Buddhism, I hope it can happen. My lawyer friends say to write this stuff down and I'm sure they're right -
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PostSubject: Re: Renamed thread: Using masques    Fri May 18, 2012 12:51 pm

Jack,

In any situation, our brains come up with a variety of options, some selfless, some selfish, some kind and loving, some very cruel. With each of these options our brains come up with, we may experience associated feelings. In the end, we a drawn to a path forward that manifests as actions. In the case you described above, that was to show kindness to the person in the form that was most understandable and beneficial to him under the circumstances. This is right action.

Despite going down this path, the mind and feelings may (as often happens with myself) or may not continue to present options (some negative,some positive, some neutral) and their associated feelings. This is where meditation comes in. Without meditation, one can perceive these options as "one's self" and the right action being acted upon as a role or mask; or sometimes one might feel guilty for having negative thoughts and feelings. With meditation, the other options and associated feelings that may arise can be perceived not as one's self, but just as thoughts and feelings that arise and pass. In this way, what we do in the moment, how we present in the moment, is not a mask or role, it is just how we manifest at that moment.

I hope this helps people understand why I have been writing posts that suggests that the ubiquitousness of masks and roles may be less ubiquitous than it appears when regarded from a different perspective.
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PostSubject: Re: Renamed thread: Using masques    Fri May 18, 2012 1:48 pm

Hey lise

Masks as stories.

Form, sensation, thought, activity and consciousness is one common list of Buddhist mask making materials. It's useful for mask searching because each category opens up a different possible unseen view of the mask but I like "a story" for what the more accurate composite nature of a mask is and what it's saying.

Sometimes I think meditation is just the observing of the stories I make about my life? Dropping out of the participation of the maintenance of a story, is a mid flight course correction.
Everyone eventually does that whether they "meditate" or not.

Sometimes I think that meditation is just our opening up to a wider existence than the stories & the story teller allows for.
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PostSubject: Re: Renamed thread: Using masques    Fri May 18, 2012 4:42 pm

[off-topic reply alert]

Howard - I would like to respond but possibly I'm out of brain cells by a Friday afternoon -- actually I have the hardest time understanding many of your posts. Others get them so I am sure it's me.

You mention meditation often and I think this must be a primary point of reference from which you relate to questions and comments posed. However, it's not an anchor concept or practise for me so I never know what to say back, when people talk about it

Maybe tomorrow I'll have something more intelligent to tap into the keyboard .. .
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PostSubject: Re: Renamed thread: Using masques    Sat May 19, 2012 7:36 pm

Lise, Thanks for the heads up.

I never would have addressed a posting like this to you had I known that your Shasta & Tibetan leanings did not include an active meditation/contemplative practise. Of course it wouldn't make much sense. I'm not even sure that the beginning and ending my posting could be re written it in a way that was understandable outside of a meditation practise.

I guess with all your OBCC set up, your path is one of service to others.

Anyway, pardon my blundering bad.... again.

H
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PostSubject: Re: Renamed thread: Using masques    Sat May 19, 2012 8:07 pm

There, my secret's out, and I expect it wasn't that much of a secret anyway -- active meditation isn't even on the radar for me. I sometimes sit with a Tibetan group, if I'm hanging around them and if it happens to be meditation time. They do a form of guided meditation that is pretty cool, but not enticing enough for me to make it part of regular life. As for "just sitting" - I don't do it. Not saying it doesn't have value, I think different things resonate with different people, and I just don't groove on sitting meditation. I'm pretty sure I meditate without naming it thus, like when I'm mucking out stalls. That work is restful and I actually don't have too much trouble letting the mind remain clear whilst the shovel works. Same with cooking, sometimes.

I think you must be kidding about blundering, because you didn't do that, it's just that I'm too ignorant to catch the nuances when conversation turns to the experience of meditation, the meaning of it, etc. I didn't want to seem to be ignoring your comments -- I'm just too thick to understand.

I wish I knew what my path is or should be. And I wish I could say I felt "drawn" to serve, or something noble like that, but I don't. Often I want to box peoples' ears and say "stop that right now! Go home and behave yourself." Possibly that's a form of public service; I don't know.
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PostSubject: Re: Renamed thread: Using masques    Sun May 20, 2012 5:34 am

Lise wrote:
I'm just too thick to understand.
Please be as kind to yourself as you are to us? x

Lise wrote:
I wish I knew what my path is or should be. And I wish I could say I felt "drawn" to serve
You are serving, you've served so much. That's more noble than knowing or feeling drawn to something without acting on it.

Bows to you Lise x
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PostSubject: Re: Renamed thread: Using masques    Sun May 20, 2012 12:20 pm

Mia, thanks for that, I appreciate it.

btw, your posts make me want to be a better person Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Renamed thread: Using masques    Sun May 20, 2012 1:29 pm

Lise wrote:
Often I want to box peoples' ears and say "stop that right now! Go home and behave yourself." Possibly that's a form of public service; I don't know.
I'm sorry, but that has to be the all time best quote on OBCC.
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PostSubject: Re: Renamed thread: Using masques    Mon May 21, 2012 12:43 pm

In my next life I hope the interior matches the exterior a little better. I can manage external politeness most of the time . ..
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PostSubject: Re: Renamed thread: Using masques    Wed May 23, 2012 2:25 am

:-) May be totally irrelevant, Lise, but consider this story about Cudapanthaka an unpatronising pat on back (and never mind the miraculous emanations!) (-:
http://www.khandro.net/practice_story_sweeper.htm
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PostSubject: Re: Renamed thread: Using masques    Wed May 23, 2012 2:57 pm

Anne, this is a lovely story, thank you. Each reading of it gives a new angle to consider.

I like the picture of Small Road doing his sweeping every day. My first thought was, wouldn't I like the Buddha to come tell me what I should be doing, and then I don't have to be bothered trying to puzzle it out anymore. And then I thought, maybe he has popped in, or will, and I wouldn't see it because I'm too busy setting the hounds on anyone asserting the role of a teacher.

I would get the biggest kick out of a miraculous emanation, truly. I'd like it best if the Buddha would appear on a lotus seat, amid jewels and flowers raining down, in a golden aura, to tip me off that I probably shouldn't set the hounds on this particular teaching/learning opportunity. Probably won't happen though -


Last edited by Lise on Wed May 23, 2012 6:01 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : clarification)
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