An epitome of early PaB session

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    From: Stopping versus Shaking, 2008, April 16, Wednesday

    Foreword: It was 2 weeks after PaB started in SL on April 1st. In this session, you can see how Pema, as the only host then, gracefully greeted various visitors, and introduced  9-sec stopping, PaB, and key notions of reality to be explored here. Also include early participants, Storm and Dakini's feedback from trying 9 sec practice.

    Ayden Janus: what’s the nature of life? I’m curious because I’m still searching
    Pema Pera: my guess would be
    Pema Pera: that our whole idea of life
    Pema Pera: as unfolding in time
    Pema Pera: is misleading
    Pema Pera: and in fact wrong
    Pema Pera: like a dream or movie — convincing and immersive but not real
    Pema Pera: in a movie
    Pema Pera: in a theatre
    Pema Pera: there are FACTS in front of you — you can’t change them (need to buy a film crew) but they are still not real
    Pema Pera: eternity is now
    Pema Pera: right here
    Pema Pera: one deep breath can connect you
    Pema Pera: is already connecting us
    Dakini Rhode: and identify them with a self
    Pema Pera: but we disconnect moment by moment
    Dakini Rhode: the 9 sec practice is a great tool, PP
    Pema Pera: we have been trained our whole life to disconnect from eternity
    Pema Pera: that’s why I suggested the 1% time tax, to learn to connect
    Pema Pera: without threatening the time devil called ego
    Pema Pera: ;>)
    Dakini Rhode: o that old devil still shows up haha

    Pema Pera: did you read what Storm wrote today, in his blog, Dakini?
    Pema Pera: --- I notice that self-grasping brings physical tension and stress. A 9 second break and a re-tune to Being, and the subsequent depth of relaxation is greater than a hot bath or a massage could ever give!
    Dakini Rhode: i notice very much how I’m FEELING when i do the 9 sec
    Dakini Rhode: i mentioned that often when i do the practice, I get in touch with what I’m feeling
    Dakini Rhode: physically, etc.
    Dakini Rhode: I guess it’s noticeable because otherwise I’m paying more attention to what I’m THINKING
    Pema Pera: that’s wonderful, Dakini!
    Dakini Rhode: at least when I’m working

    NeitherNorist Ohl: that’s interesting, because I have exactly the opposite effect
    Dakini Rhode: Isn’t that interesting?
    NeitherNorist Ohl: indeed, quite unexpected
    NeitherNorist Ohl: it is as though when I am in the midst of something, i am most aware of myself
    NeitherNorist Ohl: when i actually take the time to sit back and try to be aware, somehow that awareness eludes me
    NeitherNorist Ohl: what do you think, Pema?
    Pema Pera: there are so many ways of “stopping”
    Pema Pera: and being fully into an action can be a form of stopping
    Pema Pera: that is wu-wei
    Pema Pera: but often we are not fully into it
    Pema Pera: and then taking a break helps
    Pema Pera: the picture that came to mind to me recently was throwing a stone in a pond covered by crud, and suddenly seeing the water underneath.
    Pema Pera: like what Dakini described
    Pema Pera: when our thoughts carry us away

    NeitherNorist Ohl: but why does it have to be stopping then?
    Pema Pera: we need to stop in order to see more of what is
    Pema Pera: stopping, waking up, seeing . . . different terms
    Pema Pera: the point is:
    Pema Pera: we always want to add (knowledge, skills, possessions) but here we really have to subtract
    Pema Pera: that is key
    Pema Pera: letting go
    Pema Pera: renouncing
    Pema Pera: stopping
    Pema Pera: devotion is just that
    Pema Pera: if done in a pure way
    NeitherNorist Ohl: oh, i see what you mean
    Pema Pera: stepping out of the way
    Pema Pera: opening the blinds in front of your windows
    Pema Pera: washing the windows

    Dakini Rhode: I studied with a group that called it “pausing”

    Dakini Rhode: Pema is calling it “stopping”
    NeitherNorist Ohl: but it is interesting how different people might experience stopping differently
    Dakini Rhode: yes!
    Dakini Rhode: We are all playing with trying to understand what Pema is talking about
    Dakini Rhode: and of course Pema doesn’t tell us “how” to stop
    Dakini Rhode: It is for us to experience for ourselves
    NeitherNorist Ohl: i see
    NeitherNorist Ohl: for me, as though doing is stopping, and stopping is not really stopping
    Dakini Rhode: that’s a great observation!

    Pema Pera: how do you see wuwei in that context, NN?
    Dakini Rhode: I would love if one of you would translate wuwei for me
    Pema Pera: not-doing
    Pema Pera: literally
    Dakini Rhode: ty
    Pema Pera: but large cultural context
    Pema Pera: no friction
    Pema Pera: not going against the grain but with the grain
    NeitherNorist Ohl: wuwei in that situation means effortless action
    NeitherNorist Ohl: spontaneous and natural
    Dakini Rhode: I get it - I had drawn a blank on the word :)

    NeitherNorist Ohl: it is as though intense engagement with something is best for me to be aware of myself, in doing something
    NeitherNorist Ohl: when i sit back, i become numb and dumb, for some reason
    Pema Pera: there are many ways of “sitting back” . . .
    NeitherNorist Ohl: i meant stopping that engagement
    Dakini Rhode: rather than sitting back, maybe we want to move to the center
    NeitherNorist Ohl: can you explain that, Dakini?
    Dakini Rhode: maybe come to a balance
    NeitherNorist Ohl: I see
    Dakini Rhode: just a thought - but between intense engagement and numbness - what is it like there?
    Dakini Rhode: maybe take a rest somewhere in the center
    NeitherNorist Ohl: but I don’t think balance is between intense engagement and numbness
    NeitherNorist Ohl: balance is, for me at least, the effectiveness in engagement
    NeitherNorist Ohl: what do you think, Pema?

    Pema Pera: well, there are so many ways of doing and not-doing . . . . .
    Pema Pera: we have to say more to zoom in and be precise
    Pema Pera: NeitherNorist, have you tried to do the practice for a few hours?
    NeitherNorist Ohl: I did it for an hour
    Pema Pera: and how did that go?
    NeitherNorist Ohl: each time my mind was blank
    Pema Pera: how about doing it for a number of days?
    Pema Pera: say one hour a day
    Pema Pera: just to see
    Pema Pera: as an exploration
    NeitherNorist Ohl: I think I will
    Pema Pera: without particular expectations
    Pema Pera: great!
    Pema Pera: I am looking forward to hearing what will happen
    Pema Pera: no way to know beforehand

    The conversation then moved from stopping to shaking up.

    NeitherNorist Ohl: I did have some experience in regular meditation
    Pema Pera: what kind(s)
    NeitherNorist Ohl: just simple Zazen
    Pema Pera: ha, zazen’s simplicity can be very misleading (^_^)
    NeitherNorist Ohl: of course!
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: zazen can be really beautiful
    Pema Pera: and easy to get into
    Pema Pera: but in zazen too, we can just as easily get stuck
    Pema Pera: like in anything
    NeitherNorist Ohl: absolutely
    Pema Pera: one way to look at the 9-sec practice
    Pema Pera: is that it shakes you up
    NeitherNorist Ohl: my mind easily wandered during zazen
    Pema Pera: not important whether you like it or not, whether it feels good or not
    NeitherNorist Ohl: right
    Pema Pera: to be shaken up many times a day is a good thing
    Pema Pera: and we can take it from there
    Pema Pera: you asked: do we do the practice here?
    Pema Pera: Not specifically no, though of course you can continue
    Pema Pera: and every 15 minutes take your 9-sec break here too
    NeitherNorist Ohl: that’s what I thought
    Pema Pera: but the main reason to come here is to reflect upon what happened the last several hours that you did the practice
    Pema Pera: reflect and share
    NeitherNorist Ohl: I like “shaking up” better than stopping
    Pema Pera: good!
    Pema Pera: For you is will be shaking ;>) accord
    NeitherNorist Ohl: because I experience several shaking ups everyday, at least I try to

    Pema Pera: continuity is the one point I am aiming at here
    Pema Pera: continuity of being shaken up
    NeitherNorist Ohl: right
    Pema Pera: waking up is a big word
    Pema Pera: but shaken up is a good step ;-)
    Pema Pera: so two ways in which I focus on continuity
    NeitherNorist Ohl: i see, so you are making a connection between shaking up and waking up
    Pema Pera: every quarter of an hour you shake yourself ; every quarter of a day you can come here to be shaken up by your peers

    Similarly, we moved from continuity to perseverence.

    NeitherNorist Ohl: i have my misgivings about continuity in general
    NeitherNorist Ohl: although not continuity in shaking up
    NeitherNorist Ohl: or rather perseverence in trying to shaking myself up
    Pema Pera: I’m sure we can find a word that will be more fitting for you
    Pema Pera: perseverence is fine!
    NeitherNorist Ohl: :)
    Pema Pera: Quakers and Shakers!
    Pema Pera: inspiring groups, by the way
    Dakini Rhode: lol shakers and movers!
    Pema Pera: twist and shake?
    NeitherNorist Ohl: :) I was thinking of that as well
    Dakini Rhode: sillies :-)
    Dakini Rhode: I had a teacher… very wise spiritual teacher
    NeitherNorist Ohl: but isn’t it interesting that words can have such drastically different emotive associations?
    Pema Pera: yes indeed!
    NeitherNorist Ohl: we relate to the same words differently
    Dakini Rhode: he would say, “are you comfortable?’
    Dakini Rhode: And if the answer was no, guess what?
    Dakini Rhode: He would say, “Good!”
    Pema Pera: I like your teacher!!
    NeitherNorist Ohl: that’s to shake you up!
    Dakini Rhode: So maybe NN should try Stopping!
    Dakini Rhode: Haha yes
    Pema Pera: to shake him up
    Dakini Rhode: yes!
    Pema Pera: stop shaking to let stop shake him
    Dakini Rhode: maybe stopping will shake you up more than shaking!
    NeitherNorist Ohl: it is not that I’m uncomfortable with stopping or continuity, but rather that I relate to those words differently
    Pema Pera: I see
    Dakini Rhode: yes indeed
    NeitherNorist Ohl: continuity carries the sense of being stuck
    NeitherNorist Ohl: for me

    Pema Pera: that’s why it is so important that we share here what actually happens when we do the practice — that will help us rise above words
    Dakini Rhode: as for myself, since i like to be comfortable, i should try shaking for 9 mins
    NeitherNorist Ohl: exactly
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Pema Pera: disco?
    NeitherNorist Ohl: that’s funny!
    Dakini Rhode: stand in the fridge?

    Our chat circled back to the pretty tea house we were seated in.

    NeitherNorist Ohl: how long did it take you to build this beautiful house, Dakini?
    Dakini Rhode: a LONG TIME haha
    NeitherNorist Ohl: thanks for letting us use it
    Dakini Rhode: np - it’s the reason i built it
    Dakini Rhode: i just didn’t know it at the time :-)
    NeitherNorist Ohl: lol
    Pema Pera: I was very moved when Dakini told me that, a month ago
    Pema Pera: I felt immediately what she meant
    Dakini Rhode: it was a case of “build it and they will come”
    Pema Pera: you read that kind of stuff in books
    Pema Pera: and then it happens in real life
    Pema Pera: well
    Pema Pera: in second life
    Pema Pera: ;>)
    Pema Pera: real second life
    NeitherNorist Ohl: it is not less real though
    Pema Pera: exactly!!
    Pema Pera: we keep coming back to that conclusion
    Pema Pera: about once a day here
    Dakini Rhode: lol yes definitely not less real
    NeitherNorist Ohl: when i first came in this morning, i felt the same as I would when I get into a new place in real life
    Dakini Rhode: more sort of astral plane
    Dakini Rhode: “think and it shall be”
    Pema Pera: i wish I could learn all of second life by “thinking I am skillful” ;>)
    Dakini Rhode: haha me too
    Pema Pera: the design is still as difficult . . .
    Pema Pera: and this place is a mirror of Dakini’s sense of style and space
    NeitherNorist Ohl: which is why SL is no less real
    Dakini Rhode: based on my small ability to execute :-)
    NeitherNorist Ohl: hopefully i’ll learn to do something like sometime in the future

    At that point a passer-by stopped, opened the door, and stepped in.

    Tahuti Thor: is there any special meditations ?
    Tahuti Thor: i reached a state of feeling that everything was apart of me
    Tahuti Thor: but i had to meditate soooo much to get there
    Tahuti Thor: is there any method that reaches that state quicker
    Pema Pera: is a web site that I recently put upt
    Pema Pera: it may be just what you were looking for ;>)
    Pema Pera: I come here every day at 7 am , 1 pm , 7 pm
    Pema Pera: feel free to drop by, at any of those times
    Tahuti Thor: k
    Tahuti Thor: hmm
    Tahuti Thor: i dont see any special meditation techniques
    Tahuti Thor: maybe there are none ?

    Tahuti Thor: have u ever had that feeling that everything was a part of you ?
    Pema Pera: can you say a bit more?
    Tahuti Thor: there was no seperation between yourself and not-yourself
    Tahuti Thor: there was no you really
    Pema Pera: yes, that I am familiar with in some different ways
    Dakini Rhode: what does it feel like?
    Dakini Rhode: or that you were pure empty space and encompassed everything?
    Tahuti Thor: like your living in the present….your whole being is
    Tahuti Thor: yes maybe u can put it that way too
    Tahuti Thor: i only reached that state for 20 seconds
    Tahuti Thor: took me soo long….so many meditations
    Tahuti Thor: is there any meditation that can get there any faster ?
    Dakini Rhode: it sounds like this experience affected you
    Tahuti Thor: yes it was the strangest feeling in the world
    Dakini Rhode: I practice meditation, in fact, i’ve practiced a lot
    Dakini Rhode: different every time
    Dakini Rhode: the practice i do… we don’t aim for a particular state of mind
    Dakini Rhode: what i find is that the practice has the ability to transform one’s mind
    Tahuti Thor: yes, an aim might lessen the effect
    Dakini Rhode: the transformation - in terms of wisdom - I find most exciting
    Dakini Rhode: sometimes if I have an insight - or suddenly see things (or myself) differently
    Dakini Rhode: I can trace that to my practice
    Tahuti Thor: true
    Tahuti Thor: i like to combine meditation with a little learning
    Dakini Rhode: good idea!
    Dakini Rhode: what is your practice?
    Tahuti Thor: sometimes i focus in on a single point (end of nose sensation or naval mostly)
    Tahuti Thor: or i dont focus on anything and witness thoughts and feelings pass by

    After Dakini had left, I took up Tahuti’s wish for speed.

    Pema Pera: Tahuti,
    Pema Pera: you mentioned that you would like to have “fast” results
    Pema Pera: and I’m all for that
    Tahuti Thor: yes
    Tahuti Thor: if its possible
    Pema Pera: but there are two different aspects
    Pema Pera: one question is: “how quick can I get a really deep experience”
    Pema Pera: and another question is “how quick can I can integrate such an experience into my life”
    Pema Pera: The two often are in contradiction
    Pema Pera: some methods lead to quick sensations, experiences, etc
    Pema Pera: but then take a very long time to really transform your daily life and awareness
    Pema Pera: other methods don’t seem to “do” much for quite a while, but when they “do” they may already have soaked into your whole life, so to speak
    Pema Pera: What I have been trying to do here
    Pema Pera: and I explain a little on that web site I pointed to
    Tahuti Thor: so to go slowly and persistenly is the best way ?
    Pema Pera: is to go for the integration before the deep experience
    Pema Pera: no best way
    Pema Pera: depends on the individual
    Pema Pera: and his/her surroundings — teacher and/or peers, sangha, friends
    Pema Pera: my method is like fog
    Pema Pera: walk in the fog for a while and you get really really wet
    Pema Pera: not like taking a quick shower and then let yourself dry up ;>)
    Pema Pera: so I ask people to spend 9 seconds to do practice every 15 minutes
    Pema Pera: for at least an hour a day
    Pema Pera: ideally several hours
    Pema Pera: as long as is comfortable

    Pema Pera: so I am trading duration (half an hour daily sitting, say) for frequency
    Pema Pera: a few minutes a day in total, but very very frequent
    Pema Pera: to let it really soak into your life
    Pema Pera: change your life
    Pema Pera: If you’d like to try it for a few days — will only take a few minutes ;>)
    Tahuti Thor: k
    Pema Pera: I could say a lot about what we can do in those 9 seconds
    Pema Pera: but it may be better to spend a few days getting into the routine.
    Pema Pera: For now, just taking a good breath, and stopping what you were in the middle of — creating a brief breathing space, literally — is enough for a start
    Pema Pera: I also suggest people jot down a few words during those 9 seconds in a journal
    Pema Pera: seeing your own life like a laboratory
    Tahuti Thor: yes i saw that on the website
    Tahuti Thor: y jot down words?
    Pema Pera: you can keep a lab journal
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: whatever pops in your mind during those 9 seconds
    Pema Pera: simple or profound
    Pema Pera: silly or not

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