2011.01.12 01:00 - What is the Driving Vision Behind PaB?

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Pema Pera. The comments are by Pema Pera.

    Pema Pera: Hi Susan!
    Susan Aloix: Hi Pema :) Nice to see you.
    Pema Pera: same here!
    Pema Pera: How have you been?
    Susan Aloix: great - busy time for work for me.....but good...had a nice time at christmas with family...and you?
    Pema Pera: also very busy, and yes, that also very good :-)
    Pema Pera: very quiet time: my wife and I stayed in Kyoto at New Year's Eve
    Pema Pera: so quietly busy, in other words :-)
    Susan Aloix: :) sounds lovely....
    Pema Pera: I'm trying to write three books at the same time . . . which sure keeps me busy
    Susan Aloix: Three books lol oh Pema
    Pema Pera: but then again, I'm always busy with one project or another
    Pema Pera: it's just a matter of triage :)
    Susan Aloix: lol
    Pema Pera: when I was young I had far more time than money, and now it is the other way around
    Susan Aloix: laughing
    Susan Aloix: no wonder you're writing a book on time lol
    Pema Pera: hehehe, yes
    Pema Pera: hi Calvino!
    Susan Aloix: Hi Cal :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Good evening Susan and Pema
    Pema Pera: we were just talking about time, and about being busy, Cal
    Pema Pera: Susan, is there any particular topic that you would like to talk about?
    Pema Pera: an idea, or a question, or whatever
    Susan Aloix: hmm.... thinking.....thanks for asking.......
    Pema Pera: Hi Observem!
    Susan Aloix: i have a qeustion about PaB...but its probably something i can gain from looking at the wiki site
    Pema Pera: oh, please do ask!
    observerm Resident: hello Pema
    Pema Pera: more fun to talk about it in real time
    Susan Aloix: Hello Observem....

    Susan then provided the title for this session:

    Susan Aloix: smiles..ok......what is the driving vision behind PaB? How did the idea of PaB birth in you?
    Pema Pera: an excellent question . . . . not so easy to answer in a few words.
    Susan Aloix: Is that too much like a two-person dialogue? i don't necessarily want it to just be that....
    Pema Pera: Why does a plant grow? There is a seed, there is the soil, there is water and sunlight and much more . . .
    Pema Pera: but I can try to give a short answer -- always a nice challenge, for sure!
    Susan Aloix: smiles..and nods....indeed
    Susan Aloix: if you have the time - i'd very much appreciate it.....

    I started with the technique, the frequent 9-sec breaks.

    Pema Pera: Basically, after almost 40 years of trying to explore the nature of reality,
    Pema Pera: in an experimental way, using my life as a lab, so to speak
    Pema Pera: and using forms of meditation and contemplation as tools
    Pema Pera: I figured out that the limiting factor in my progress was a lack of continued engagement
    Susan Aloix: nods.....wow...continues listening...
    Pema Pera: we all know what it is to go to church on Sunday and to forget the basic ideas on other days of the week
    Susan Aloix: :) yes
    Pema Pera: or to sit on your cushion for half an hour a day, and forget about it during the rest of the time
    Susan Aloix: yes....
    Pema Pera: (or whatever: talks with good friends or a therapist, which can be inspiring, but then you forget to implement it all deeply, what you learned)
    Pema Pera: so I decided to try something really simple every 15 minutes
    Pema Pera: and that's how I got the form of the 9-seconds breaks
    Pema Pera: that's half the answer

    I then moved to the aim of the technique.

    Pema Pera: the other half is "why the words Play as Being":
    Susan Aloix: :) ohhh
    Pema Pera: that has to do with the simple content of those 9-sec mini-meditations: I simply asked myself:
    Pema Pera: "let me try to drop what I have in order to see what I am"
    Pema Pera: so rather than playing as having something -- a job, a nationality, a relationship, etc, with which we tend to identify
    Pema Pera: my question was: underneath all those masks and roles, what is it that I really am
    Pema Pera: that seemed like a fun exploration of the nature of reality in very simple direct terms
    Pema Pera: and the amazing thing (to me) was that many others also seemed to enjoy picking up the idea :-)
    Susan Aloix: :)....
    Susan Aloix: ok...pausing there?
    Pema Pera: yes, sorry, that was the nut shell summary :)
    Pema Pera: does that make some sense?

    Susan then also brought in the group's aspect of Play as Being.

    Susan Aloix: I really love hearing this live version of the passion and dreaming behind PaB........and how its a merging of a practical solution for you in your personal exploration and now has become something so helpful to others...one thing you said at the beginning caught my attention about continuity....
    Pema Pera: (did I lose connection, or are you writing a long sentence :-) ?
    Susan Aloix: I must say I want to meditate more..and like the idea of group contemplation..........a way to support an incredibly essential part of the human experience which our culture has not supplied. The thing that I do notice though, with my sporatic pattern with meditation is it teaches me about recommittment......something perfectionist in me is extinguished when i realise i don't have to just have continuity...its been a big learning process to learn about re-committment....i have a dread perfectionist in me which extinguishes attachment to processes and things i like..because i dropped out for whatever reason.
    Susan Aloix: opps sorry long post
    Pema Pera: yes, a re-commitment, every 15 minutes, is indeed very much the core of PaB
    Pema Pera: ideally of course a re-commitment every moment, but starting with 15 minutes is not bad ! (^_^)
    Susan Aloix: smiles and nods...and thats exactly it.....i can feel the recommittment each time that message pops up...

    I really like that characterization of PaB; as an ongoing recommitment!  That could have been another title for this session.

    Pema Pera: :-)
    Susan Aloix: its lovely
    Pema Pera: so we do it for 90 seconds here in SL, but for 9 seconds in RL, for a longer period
    Pema Pera: either a few hours each day, or ideally throughout the whole waking day
    Pema Pera: the 90-sec is a turbo version, would be hard to sustain for longer times
    Susan Aloix: yes.......do you set a timer?
    Pema Pera: 9 sec is just 1% of 15 minutes (900 seconds) -- a kind of light time tax
    Pema Pera: Republicans would be happy with it
    Susan Aloix: LOL
    Pema Pera: some people set a timer, others just try to remember a few times each hour
    Pema Pera: either way is fine, *if* you can remember to remember to do it
    Susan Aloix: nods...and for 9 secs....to focus on breath ..or?
    Pema Pera: anything goes
    Susan Aloix: nods....
    Pema Pera: I like to focus on the challenge to drop what you have to see what you are
    Susan Aloix: so my next question is......
    Pema Pera: but you can also focus on the breath or just relax, or combine all of the above
    Pema Pera: yes?
    Susan Aloix: You said *drop what i have to see what I am*......
    Susan Aloix: Do you think the framing in the question can at times can draw out the answers it wants? like saying that there is an *i am* to be found allows the person to go say yes *thats it my *am-ness*?
    Pema Pera: of course, for sure!
    Pema Pera: so the challenge is to walk around the question, from many angles
    Pema Pera: and to share with others what you find
    Calvino Rabeni: Nicely put - walk around, many angles... it shows the necessity to actively change one's position to get a shift in perspective

    Alas, time for me to take off.

    Pema Pera: (sorry, it is 6:30 pm here in Tokyo, I have a dinner appointment I have to go to now -- I just came in to volunteer to pick up the log, since nobody else had done so so far, for this session -- great questions and discussion, Susan, thank you so much!)
    Pema Pera: definitely to be continued !!
    Pema Pera: bfn
    Susan Aloix: (thats okay Pema...thank you so much)
    Calvino Rabeni: Bye Pema
    Susan Aloix: wonderful discussion :) ty for your generous answers
    Susan Aloix: smiles...many perspectives cal....and at what point do we point and say *mask* or *that's actually not a mask thats my "I - am-ness".....
    Calvino Rabeni: A lot hinges on that funny little thing called Identification, because, remembering is necessary but not sufficient
    Calvino Rabeni: Because we see "reality" through different windows
    Susan Aloix: yes.......and perhaps the *identities* are the windows......but they are not our *I-am*
    Calvino Rabeni: That's the interesting thing yes
    Susan Aloix: i guess im getting more at that *i-am* place we feel when we ae meditating...the one watching on..........
    Calvino Rabeni: The reminders alone can't keep things fresh
    Calvino Rabeni: the I AM place needs to be online and somehow awake to tell the difference
    Susan Aloix: Nods....Cal can I asked you one thing as well about PaB?
    Susan Aloix: *ask
    Calvino Rabeni: the watcher isn't necessarily separate and apart from the "observed"
    Calvino Rabeni: yes
    Susan Aloix: The group members are all doing tis 9 sec mindfulness process every 15 mins every day....and they come here...and i guess use their weeks practice as material for the discussions at these meetings? or are the meetings like stream of consciousness? or guided discussions?
    Susan Aloix: (and nods at your last comment......but during the act of observing there is a sense of things separate..subject and object.....perhaps our minds like to do that for organising stuff lol..which is purely imaginary for the purpose of awareness)
    Calvino Rabeni: I think
    Calvino Rabeni: that's a cartesian model
    Calvino Rabeni: that's not what actually happens]
    Susan Aloix: no i mean we *think* of the subject /object split for pragmatic reasons...its imaginary....the cartesian model assumes the existence of the split
    Calvino Rabeni: I think of it as cultural conditioning
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes
    Calvino Rabeni: But in mindful states, there's no separate observer necessarily
    Calvino Rabeni: this might just be an issue of how to express it clearly
    Calvino Rabeni: because there's no concept for the act
    Susan Aloix: absolutely....i heard someone recently suggest the cultural split of subject and object was on a par with the enormity of the splitting of the atom........
    Calvino Rabeni: but if one describes meditation using the words that drag in all those splitty cartesian assumptions,
    Calvino Rabeni: it won't really capture the action in practice
    Calvino Rabeni: So expressing it is a challenge, given the trojan horse nature of the words
    Susan Aloix: so terms like *mask* are problematic to to?
    Susan Aloix: *you
    Calvino Rabeni: I'm thinking of some pretty good experiential examples at the moment
    Susan Aloix: oh that'd be helpful.
    Calvino Rabeni: The senses, especially of vision, get too much influence on the concept of what perception is
    Calvino Rabeni: that is, vision perceives distant objects so there appears to be a separation between the object perceived and the viewer
    Calvino Rabeni: it makes a distance and separation seem like a sensible model of perception
    Susan Aloix: yes
    Calvino Rabeni: I was in a cafe that was full of babies and mothers
    Susan Aloix: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: I don't know why - lots of them
    Calvino Rabeni: the mother would put the rattle on the table
    Calvino Rabeni: the baby would pick it up with the right hand
    Calvino Rabeni: and put it in the mouth
    Calvino Rabeni: to find out what it was
    Calvino Rabeni: then the baby dropped the rattle on the floor, of course
    Calvino Rabeni: and the mother retrieved it so the game could repeat
    Calvino Rabeni: with the baby reaching out to grasp it
    Calvino Rabeni: at first I did not think he could
    Calvino Rabeni: but he managed, and the second or third time the grip of the hand got more assureed
    Calvino Rabeni: as the baby was learning to remember the hand
    Calvino Rabeni: that is, identifying with being a holder of an object I think
    Calvino Rabeni: but it wasn't going to last because it was so tenuous
    Calvino Rabeni: the baby got it as long as he was paying attention
    Calvino Rabeni: then he got interested in the table
    Calvino Rabeni: and put that in his mouth (the facing edge of it)
    Susan Aloix: lol what a lovely observation piece cal...(listens) :)
    Calvino Rabeni: of course as expected, the hand was then forgotten
    Calvino Rabeni: and out fell the rattle :)
    Calvino Rabeni: because the baby didn't yet have the "I" to hold both processes at once
    Susan Aloix: lol
    Susan Aloix: sweet
    Susan Aloix: well it had mother ..:)
    Calvino Rabeni: so watching that I was thinking of the difference in the experience of sensing with eye, hand, and mouth
    Calvino Rabeni: basically I think it's better to try it
    Calvino Rabeni: but the cartesian splitty ideas define perception as a process of being separate and then receiving something abstract - information - that is an intermediary with the world but is not "of" it
    Calvino Rabeni: The mouth as an organ of perception is also the same one that is an organ of expression and eating
    Calvino Rabeni: its part of the face
    Calvino Rabeni: and the face is more than a mask
    Susan Aloix: nods....
    Susan Aloix: nervous to say we are in agreement :) i think i was making a point about cognitive processes
    Calvino Rabeni: listens more
    Susan Aloix: When I think the mind organises things as *objects* and *subjects* purely on a contextual basis....that baby aint organising a split between itself and mother....it's mother is continuation of self.......and say for me when im meditating....i can for purposes of awareness organise phenomena as *objects* and others as *subjects*.......but that does not mean those divisions exist. They are a part of the pragmatic magesty of the human mind....and also part of the potential dysfunction when we believe in those splits - rather than see them as purely pragmatic and linked to our intensions etc. (sorry rambling here)
    Susan Aloix: *well
    Susan Aloix: (lovely observations cal...btw ...i just want to say there is a quality in your observations that speak of how deep your curiosity is....thats really skilled and patient observation skills you have)
    Calvino Rabeni: hehe
    Susan Aloix: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: it's not the detached kind of observation
    Susan Aloix: I can imagine
    Calvino Rabeni: Well cafes are a good place to practice
    Susan Aloix: I practice at the beach
    Susan Aloix: familes are amazing to watch
    Calvino Rabeni: nods
    Susan Aloix: like how they move as if one body
    Calvino Rabeni: one's whole body is an organ of perception
    Calvino Rabeni: Sometimes its harder to get in the state for good observation
    Susan Aloix: indeed :)
    Calvino Rabeni: I don't find the "blank slate" metaphor that evocative of what good observation requires
    Susan Aloix: phenomena seems to finds me....
    Calvino Rabeni: The best observer is both natural and trained to be responsive and sensitive an a lot of ways I think
    Susan Aloix: I think my observational skills are pretty good - but on some level I think that arose out of life circumstances as well
    Calvino Rabeni: maybe also (for me) some intrinsic qualities - constitutional
    Susan Aloix: :) nods same

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