2010.07.02 06:00 - Time Sessions: an Introduction

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    This was the first in a new series of Play as Being sessions on the topic of Time.  The comments are by Pema Pera.

    Pema Pera: Good morning Maxine, Bleu, Steve, Sharon!
    Bleu Oleander: hi all :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: good morning
    SophiaSharon Larnia: good morning :)
    Maxine Walden: good morning, Pema, Steve, Blue, Sharon
    Pema Pera: especially early for Maxine and Bleu!
    Pema Pera: Morning, Sartre!
    Bleu Oleander: (I am feeling that!)
    Yakuzza Lethecus: hey everyone
    Maxine Walden: :)) early is sometimes good!
    Bleu Oleander: yes, our walk was beautiful this am! sunrise in the desert!
    Maxine Walden: ah...to see the sun...
    Darren Islar: hi everyone
    Maxine Walden: hi, Darren
    Pema Pera: Hi Ewan and Darren!
    SophiaSharon Larnia: hi Darren, Yakuzza and Ewan
    Pema Pera: Hi Yaku!
    Bleu Oleander: hi Ewan, Darren, Yaku
    Ewan Bonham: hi folks
    Pema Pera: Hi Adams!
    Maxine Walden: hi, Adams
    Bleu Oleander: hi Adams
    Maxine Walden: hi, ewan
    Darren Islar: hi ewan, edams
    Darren Islar: adams
    Adams Rubble: Hello Everyone :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: waves to adams
    Pema Pera: Hi Fef!
    SophiaSharon Larnia: oof Fenfonz :D
    Maxine Walden: hi, Fefonz!
    Fefonz Quan: Hi all :)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: hi everyone who arrived
    Pema Pera: Wow, 11 of us, and so early in the morning -- at least for SL :-)

    I was happily amazed to see such a large turnout; there would be 13 of us in total, filling up more than the inner circle worth of seats.

    Pema Pera: Hi Zen
    Bleu Oleander: hi Zen
    Maxine Walden: yes, wonderful
    Zen Arado: Hi all
    Darren Islar: hi Zen
    Pema Pera: hi Gaya!
    Bleu Oleander: seems we all had "time" :)
    Pema Pera: Hi Eliza!
    Adams Rubble: Hello Fef, Zen and Gaya
    Darren Islar: :)
    Darren Islar: hi eliza
    SophiaSharon Larnia: and more coming :) hi
    Maxine Walden: :), bleu
    Bleu Oleander: hi Eliza
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi! wow... nice :)
    Yakuzza Lethecus: :)
    Zen Arado: Hi Eliza
    Darren Islar: hi Gaya
    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello everyone :)
    Fefonz Quan: Hi Eliza, Gaya
    Pema Pera: More than a full circle!
    Zen Arado: Hi Gaya
    Pema Pera: Well, shall we start?
    Maxine Walden: good idea
    Pema Pera: It's wonderful to see so many of you here!
    stevenaia Michinaga: :)

    Time to get started.

    Pema Pera: Perhaps I should give a little introduction of what made me propose this new series of sessions
    Pema Pera: To summarize briefly: looking back on the history of PaB, I see three elements.
    Pema Pera: 1) the basis of PaB is what the name implies: a playful exploration of Being, and in particular through the use of many short breaks
    Pema Pera: where it is really up to the individual what to do in those breaks, or how to consider the notion of Being
    Pema Pera: the single suggestion I made early on was to try to "drop what you have in order to see what you are"
    Pema Pera: but anything else would be fine too
    Pema Pera: 2) on top of that basic idea, coupled with a basic practice, formed the PaB community
    Pema Pera: for me this was a huge surprise, in many ways
    Pema Pera: I simply started PaB to have some friends with whom to explore the nature of reality with
    Pema Pera: and I never expected that we would grow into such a large and steady community, so quickly
    Pema Pera: and what was most surprising to me, and probably to everybody here, was the wonderful atmosphere that developed right from the beginning
    Pema Pera: an atmosphere of openness, avoiding any kind of judgmental fundamentalism, yet also not remaining superficial or relativist or too skeptical
    Pema Pera: Somehow, in some way, the combination of theory and practice of PaB attracted just the kind of people to form such an open and light community
    Pema Pera: the theory of "Being" and the idea of "playing as Being" and the practice of the 9-sec breaks
    Pema Pera: 3) now on top of those two -- the basic theory and practice, followed by the community -- perhaps it is time now for a third layer
    Pema Pera: or a third segment or aspect
    Pema Pera: I would called it "joint exploration" or "collaborative research"
    Pema Pera: What I have in mind is that we can form groups of PaB community members who can collectively take one aspect of PaB and go deeply into it
    Pema Pera: and I see room for many such approaches.
    Pema Pera: This new series of gatherings at 6 am, outside the regulars times, may be the first one, in which we spend one hour a week, for at least a few months, to reflect on the nature of reality into a really probing, questioning way
    Pema Pera: and to make it specific, I proposed the theme "Time" as something both to talk and wonder about, and also to investigate through specific experiments
    Pema Pera: so that we can report our experiences, and connect those with our ideas, combining theory and experiment
    Pema Pera: In the future, I expect others to organize similar series of meetings on other topics -- there is room for very many different approaches

    Finally, I gave a brief summary.

    Pema Pera: So let me sum up:
    Pema Pera: whereas the regular sessions, at 1 am, 7 am, 1pm, 7 pm, are a mixture of socializing and having a good time chatting and talking about explorations and real life situations in general, these new series can be much more focused
    Pema Pera: more like the theme meetings we have had, but then carrying over the same focused energy from week to week, together with some specific experiments/explorations that we can all engage in and report about
    Pema Pera: So that's the basic outline, as I see it. Please let me know whether you have any questions, comments, suggestions at this point?
    Ewan Bonham: What do you mean by 'research?'
    Ewan Bonham: research
    Fefonz Quan suggest a special page/section in the wiki to record all we do here
    Maxine Walden: sort of more focussed study groups,
    Gaya Ethaniel thinks 'On Air' sign should be on :)
    Pema Pera: investigations that combine theory and experiment, as in scientific research, but without any dogma or preconceived ideas or methodology, Ewan
    Fefonz Quan: :-)
    stevenaia Michinaga: homework?
    Pema Pera: yes, Fefonz
    Ewan Bonham: Are you saying a systematic form of study?
    Pema Pera: yes, Steve :)
    Pema Pera: yes, Ewan
    stevenaia Michinaga: smiles
    Pema Pera: in a way that will grow naturally as we go along
    Maxine Walden: thinking and practicing together can inspire one another, perhaps
    Pema Pera: yes, on air would be good :-)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Sorry just a passing thought ...
    Pema Pera: I figured out how to hand-start the recorder; didn't know that could be done :-)
    Pema Pera: but I dont' know about the lights

    I then brought up the idea of writing a book.

    Pema Pera: Now I have one more specific suggestion, and I'd like to hear your comments, whether that would be a good idea.
    Pema Pera: I have been thinking about writing a book about Play as Being -- not "the" book in any way, really only "a" book
    Pema Pera: a summary of my view of what PaB could possibly mean, while hoping that in due time others would write essays or perhaps also books about their views
    Bleu Oleander: great idea Pema
    Pema Pera: So my specific suggestion is: I could make a commitment to write one section a week of my book, and distribute that to those who are interested in coming here regularly
    Pema Pera: and we could then talk about the text of each weekly section during our next 6 am Friday meeting
    Fefonz Quan: It's a great idea pema. the risk is it'lk be a best seller and we'll be fludded with celebs here :)
    Pema Pera: each section will have suggestions for experiments/explorations as well
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Adams Rubble: :)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: smiles
    Ewan Bonham: I like it
    Ewan Bonham: Where will the chapter be posted?
    Fefonz Quan: just a question: a book seems like one thing, and time explortation as a different thing, how would they merge together?
    Maxine Walden: had Fefonz' question in mind as well
    Fefonz Quan: (great minds etc. ;-)
    Maxine Walden: :)
    Pema Pera: So my proposal is that for these Friday 6 am sessions, I will take the lead by writing a book from my angle of understanding, while receiving feedback from you all.
    Pema Pera: I cannot emphasize enough that I would never want to consider my ideas as "the" ideas behind PaB, and I really hope that others in due time will do something similar in other, parallel series of meetings, outside the regular meetings
    Pema Pera: as for merging, I'm not sure yet
    Pema Pera: we can just experiment and see what will happen, adjusting as we go along
    Ewan Bonham: Where would we read the weekly chapters?
    Pema Pera: it is probably a good idea to open a new chapter in the PaB wiki

    This I did, a few days later: see http://wiki.playasbeing.org/PaB_Books/Magic_of_Time/Time_Sessions

    Pema Pera: and we can post there the chat logs, the book chapters, the exercise descriptions, and also the contributions from all of you
    Fefonz Quan: feels a little like the topic of time is onyly one aspect of PaB, so a book about PaB shouldn't be limited to that aspect
    Pema Pera: no, but it could be a thread running through it
    Darren Islar: why not being?
    Pema Pera: so one way to emphasize that my book is just "a" book
    Pema Pera: is to take one particular angle that speaks to me personally
    Pema Pera: namely time
    Fefonz Quan nods
    Darren Islar: ok
    Pema Pera: and to see how an exploration of time can be a very concrete way into Being
    Pema Pera: Being as such includes everything -- which means that you can say nothing about Being :-)
    Pema Pera: but by limiting ourselves a bit, at least at the start, we can say something and then go deeper
    Darren Islar: (I don't know if time is that i
    Pema Pera: until we perhaps reach a real way of saying nothing :-)
    Darren Islar: different )
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Pema Pera: until we perhaps reach a real way of saying nothing :-) => 9 sec :P
    Pema Pera: and in my book chapters I will try my best to show and share with you all why and how I see time as one possible entry into Being
    Ewan Bonham: Would you write about the process of getting together as a community?
    Pema Pera: hahaha, Gaya!
    Eliza Madrigal: :) Gaya
    Maxine Walden: so our explorations of time may be embedded into the more coprehensive 'book'?
    Pema Pera: I may write about that too, Ewan, to some extent, but that won't be the main point
    Pema Pera: yes, Maxine
    Ewan Bonham: ok
    Bleu Oleander: is there room for a few "illustrations" in your book, i.e. creations by the PaB members?
    Fefonz Quan: So it's like a reality series, where we are the participants, and instead of filming us we get documented by a book :-)
    Pema Pera: sure, Bleu, I count on you! :)
    Pema Pera: to answer Maxine in a bit more detail:
    Eliza Madrigal: maybe an art of being book by bleu ;-)

    To put this book writing project in context, I gave a bit of background about what led up to it.

    Pema Pera: my personal angle on Play as Being stems historically from my interest in the book Time, Space and Knowledge
    Pema Pera: which we read in a small group during the fall and winter this last year in a Kira Workshop
    Maxine Walden: yes
    Pema Pera: that also happened to be called a "Time Workshop"
    Pema Pera: I see this series of Time sessions as a kind of continuation of those weekly meetings
    Fefonz Quan nods
    Pema Pera: although we won't fall back on anything specific that we discussed there
    Pema Pera: so anybody is welcome to join us from the beginning, without any knowledge whatsoever of that other book
    Pema Pera: but perhaps I can say in a few lines how that Time Space Knowledge (TSK) book connects with PaB in my view
    Pema Pera: Space is related to emptiness; Knowledge to form -- as in the heart sutra
    Pema Pera: and similar parallels can be made with other religions and philosophies than Buddhism
    Pema Pera: for example, in Christianity, God is more like Space, that which cannot even be named
    Pema Pera: while the Son is more like knowledge, turned flesh
    Pema Pera: and time is a kind of intermediary between the two
    Pema Pera: in christianity the Holy Spirit
    Pema Pera: in Buddhism Sambhogakaya
    Pema Pera: and in TSK Time
    Fefonz Quan: (I thought space was more form, while knowledge/time more emptiness, so cofused...)
    Pema Pera: but these are only loose parallels, not to be taken too literally
    Pema Pera: good, Fef, that can be one topic to discuss!
    Darren Islar: (I think it is either way fonz)

    Time to sum up again:

    Pema Pera: all I wanted to say here, in a nut shell, is that Time may be a bridge between daily life and whatever is beyond the duality that governs daily life
    Pema Pera: We all use time, and we also all feel that in some sense time uses us
    Pema Pera: yet we know next to nothing about what it is
    Maxine Walden: At this point I have a little concern that our explorations of Time, which may be wide-ranging and open-ended, that these explorations may feel encumbered by a wider seeming agenda (book). I am very interested in exploring Time in the way proposed, but wonder about any encumbrance
    Pema Pera: so it may be a great place to start an exploration, very close at hand, yet very mysterious
    Fefonz Quan: (agree with Maxine, even without knowing what encumber is
    Bleu Oleander: could you say more about "the duality that governs daily life"
    Fefonz Quan: )
    Pema Pera: I very much appreciate your concern, Maxine, and I've given a lot of thought to whether that would be a good idea or not. At this point it is just a suggestion. If this group doesn't feel comfortable with that idea, we can try something else.
    Pema Pera: my reasoning was this:
    Pema Pera: the best way to get much deeper in these sessions that we do in our regular PaB sessions, is to use a kind of text -- not to agree with, but to study and then discuss
    Pema Pera: We have used the TSK book in one Kira workshop
    Pema Pera: in earlier Kira workshops we used other texts (Dogen's Being Time for example)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Ordinay time feels like a form just as Fefonz mentioned about Space [different forms].
    Zen Arado: a kind of springboard for our thoughts?
    Pema Pera: so I propose that we use a kind of text as ways to focus our discussion.
    Bleu Oleander: so the chapters as a kind of jumping off point for discussion?
    Pema Pera: My specific suggestion is that I write a text -- but if you feel that it's better to use an existing text, that's fine too; in that case I'd love to hear suggestions
    Gaya Ethaniel: So your writings will focus on 'time' Pema, is that right?
    Pema Pera: yes, Bleu
    Pema Pera: and yes, Zen
    Pema Pera: they will start with time, as a bridge to focus on Being in a specific and practice way, Gaya

    In other words, the book will form an introduction to Play as Being, from one angle, one among many possible angles.

    Fefonz Quan: ah, that sounds very good.
    Maxine Walden: focussing on a text of yours is just fine with me;
    Darren Islar: Is the discussion (and therefor your book), most based on daily experiences, or is it more about concepts?
    Pema Pera: I thought it might be more fun and more lively to use a book that is being written, fresh from the oven, so to speak :-)
    Darren Islar: or should I just wait and see :)
    Pema Pera: both Darren
    Gaya Ethaniel: So it's similar to TSK in format, text + practice/homework?
    Pema Pera: it could be, Gaya, probably
    Pema Pera: but again, it depends on what we like
    Fefonz Quan: (and the book might change interactively according to the sesions and explorations?\
    Fefonz Quan: )
    Pema Pera: I am open for any suggestions
    Pema Pera: sure, Fef!
    Pema Pera: and it would be great if my book would trigger others to write different books or essays in different voices
    Fefonz Quan: it sounds like a good idea to me, in a way it is like a guided workshop, guided by Pema, in the sort of chapter of a book for each meeting.
    Pema Pera: yes, but guided as in making suggestions for joint explorations
    SophiaSharon Larnia: it's exciting :)
    Pema Pera: a guide who doesn't know where he is going :)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Pema Pera: writing a book that writes itself
    Fefonz Quan: sounds much more adventurous
    Ewan Bonham: Would you use other writings and cultural theories of time as a backdrop?
    Pema Pera: so you're all guiding the guide
    Pema Pera: when relevant, sure, Ewan, but not as a specific basis
    Ewan Bonham: ok
    Pema Pera: the basis will be us, and time
    Pema Pera: what does time has to say to us, how can we learn to let time speak
    Pema Pera: how can we learn to listen to time
    Darren Islar: I hope it will take us to more subtle awarenesses
    Pema Pera: we're normally just using time, running past it -- can we treat time in a kind of more ecological way?
    Pema Pera: to use a metaphor
    Pema Pera: being kind to time, allowing time to be kind to us?
    Bleu Oleander: letting "time" write the book
    Pema Pera: yes!!
    Zen Arado: timelines
    Bleu Oleander: a book about time, for time, in time, by time
    Pema Pera: very much so, yes!

    Maxine asked about the writing process, which gave me a chance to clarify that important aspect.

    Maxine Walden: But at least for some of us (me at this point) using the text you might bring for discussion may be a good idea; editing the text brings another relationship to the text and might be confusing. Yes, I like the notion Bleu just mentions, letting time, or our experiences in the exploration write the book
    Pema Pera: I think a text like this should have one author -- but everyone can make comments
    Fefonz Quan nodes.
    Pema Pera: and others can start their own parallel independent text, to be discussed in other independent parallel sessions at other times
    Pema Pera: mixing voices in one text would be like watercolors flowing together -- very confusing indeed
    Pema Pera: so the book would be my contribution, of course inspired in many ways by all of you
    Gaya Ethaniel sneaks out. Have a good day :)
    Darren Islar: bye Gaya
    Pema Pera: and the exercise reports and discussions would be the group's work
    Zen Arado: bye Gaya
    Pema Pera: just like using a printed book as text to discuss
    Pema Pera: where you're not going to change the text either
    Pema Pera: with one big difference though:
    Pema Pera: each next chapter will no doubt bear the imprint of the inspiration of the group's discussion around all previous chapters
    Pema Pera: so shall we try this format?
    Zen Arado: sounds good to me
    Eliza Madrigal: aye
    Bleu Oleander: i'm in :)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: sounds great
    Ewan Bonham: I like it and will participate
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Bleu Oleander: so first chapter by next friday?
    Pema Pera: thank you all -- we'll give it a try!
    Maxine Walden: I will participate, having an unformed question which may arise as we go along...
    SophiaSharon Larnia: any suggestions as to what to bring next week?
    Fefonz Quan: yep!
    Pema Pera: I'll try to write something tomorrow

    It would take me a few more days, but here it is: http://wiki.playasbeing.org/PaB_Books/Magic_of_Time/0._Time

    SophiaSharon Larnia: :)
    Pema Pera: as a start, and then from there on I'll try to have a new chapter ready at the time of each new meeting
    Pema Pera: Sharon: I suggest you bring curiosity and appreciation :-)
    Pema Pera: should be very easy for you!
    SophiaSharon Larnia: that I have :D
    Pema Pera: coming naturally :)
    Pema Pera: so from now on we'll have a regular PaB session
    Pema Pera: though nothing forbids us to keep talking about time though
    Adams Rubble: I must go, bye everyone :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Sounds wonderful Pema, thanks,,, must excuse myself now but much looking forward to this :) Bye for now
    Pema Pera: but not in an exclusive way: this is now a general session from 7 to 8.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: thank you Pema, I'm much appreciative of this!
    Fefonz Quan: bye adams, Eliza
    Darren Islar: needto go too
    Yakuzza Lethecus: thx pema
    Pema Pera: Bye Eliza!
    stevenaia Michinaga: see you soon Pema
    Darren Islar: bye ll :)
    Pema Pera: and everyone leaving
    Zen Arado: bye everyone
    Yakuzza Lethecus: bye everyone who´s leaving
    Bleu Oleander: almost forget, I'm the GoC

    This session would continue seemlessly while morphing into the next session, a regular PaB session where Bleu would be the `guardian on call'.'

    SophiaSharon Larnia: exits also :)) have fun everyone!
    Yakuzza Lethecus: :)
    Ewan Bonham: bye for now
    SophiaSharon Larnia: smiles @ Bleu
    Fefonz Quan: Bye all, looking forward to this exciting series of meetings Pema!
    Bleu Oleander: bye those that are leaving
    Maxine Walden: I can stay for a few minutes, then will go
    Pema Pera: do you have any further suggestion or comments, Maxine?
    Maxine Walden: I do find myself just a bit cautious, as if we may be trying to meld different agendas...may be just my concern at this point
    Bleu Oleander: should you sign off recording Pema and I sign in for my session?
    Pema Pera: do you have any suggestion as to how to be careful?
    Pema Pera: I was wondering about that, Bleu
    Yakuzza Lethecus: you have to stop the recorder and then start it new ?
    Pema Pera: I am not sure whether turning off and on will give you a brand new session
    Pema Pera: we can try :-)
    Pema Pera: shall I stop it?
    Bleu Oleander: sure

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