10-12 The Three C's

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    Scribe's Review for July 10-12, 2010, compiled by Calvino Rabeni

    In this Scribe Review I emphasize contemplation, communication, and community, and the many practical ways that awareness (and awareness of awareness) enhances different areas of life.


    2010.07.10 07:00 - A very hot day at the pool ! :-)

    Just what kinds of "not knowing" are we talking about?

    Bruce Mowbray: Perhaps when we sleep, our senses leave but the spirit remains -- freed to do its thing apart from "sense."
    Bruce Mowbray: (including the "sense" of rationality and abstract discursive thinking.)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: freed from the constraints of such :)))
    Bruce Mowbray: yes.
    Bertram Jacobus: i prefer not knowing to believing - hm ... at least sometimes , mostly ? don´t know ...
    SophiaSharon Larnia: where those things are just the contructs they are
    Bertram Jacobus: not knowing instead of believing i meant
    SophiaSharon Larnia: i don't know anything
    Bruce Mowbray: PaB experience trumps "knowing" and "believing" for me.
    Bertram Jacobus: i´m not sure about that sharon (!) ;-)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: smiles
    SophiaSharon Larnia: experience?
    Yakuzza Lethecus: is it a positive "don´t know anything" or an negative ?
    Bertram Jacobus: very positive yaku !
    SophiaSharon Larnia: open to the idea that what you think you know may be something else altogether


    2010.07.10 13:00 - Can males be good Fematars?

    At first I didn't think I'd like this session, but I made a little more "space" in my attention, and it grew within that space.

    Gender role play seems to be one of the perennially favorite activities in Second Life.  People can learn from unreflective "play" but there's also the possibility to do more designed "experiments".  This session showed a PlayAsBeing session used to reflect upon and discuss one such experiment.  To this reader, the process seems far from easy - but worthwhile and carried out in a principled way.

    Bruce Mowbray: attended a lively discussion this morning at Pamala Clift's "Think Tank" -- on gender identification in SL.
    Wol Euler: damn and blast, yes, I'm so sorry I missed that :(
    Xeno Octavia: kool ---and > > >
    Bruce Mowbray: She assigned us 2 wks ago to get an opposite sex avi - and "walk in its shoes" for a while.
    Bruce Mowbray: It was the most disconcerting thing I'd ever done in SL.

    The following is not such a common act in most dialogues - asking for clarification, or rather, making a request about the quality of a communication.  Try it some time :)

    Wol Euler: Xeno, thanks for the book title but could you explain a little how it is relevant to what you said?
    Xeno Octavia: it relavant to Bruces stereo typing of woman --rather than just being
    Wol Euler: okay, and could you say a word or two of content or explanation, please?

    The main experimenter presents one of the key observations:

    Sue Harcourt: and I noticed that when I was Sue (not Bruce) other women spoke up more often and aired their feelings more.
    Wol Euler nods
    Sue Harcourt: This caused me to think that Bruce was intimidating to them.
    Fefonz Quan: well, he is a MAN
    Wol Euler: were you aware of acting differently?
    Sue Harcourt: yes -- THAT is exactly my point.

    Of course, the analysis of the experiment - is itself an experiment and may have uncontrolled variables.  Sometimes the emotional energy leaks from the topic into the discussion itself.  Xeno had a point about authenticity, but due to communication issues and the emotions associated with the topic, things start to work at cross purposes.

    Xeno Octavia: yes Sue its why gays have accent --faking fem rather than just being
    Wol Euler finds that rather objectionable.
    Sue Harcourt: Mmm. Interesting, could you say more about "gays" please. Xeno.
    Agatha Macbeth: Gays have an accent?
    Sue Harcourt: You see. . . I'm really having a lot of trouble with this.
    Sue Harcourt: The stereotypes that are floating about in the coversation are driving me nuts.
    Wol Euler: indeed
    Sue Harcourt: "gays" accents?
    Wol Euler: there is a lot of bias and prejudice being presented as fact
    Xeno Octavia: in US where ever from many gays have sound set-up [or usta] there is term for but as i had noticed in FL were from imitating woman rather than just being one
    Xeno Octavia: r any of u gay or kno gays ??
    Wol Euler: I know dozens of gays, in many countries, xeno. Do you?

    The review of every experiment should have a Summary and Conclusions section, to temporarily "freeze" the learning process in some recognizable form and send the uncontrolled variables back into the great Implicit.  Just like every bed time story should be followed by "good night, sleep tight". 

    Wol Euler: So you've had a pretty intense learning experience :)
    Bruce Mowbray: Some folks in Pam's class did it for two weeks. I can't imagine that.
    Wol Euler: I'm sorry that you were distressed, but you can also see it as a great chance to explore something new in yourself :)
    Bruce Mowbray: Yes, it was an excellent learning opportuinity -- Just almost unbearable -- because it was like a mirror -- and not a friendly mirror.

    Wol Euler gives your hand a squeeze.


    2010.07.10 19:00 - On Weaving Dreams, Energy, and Immersion

    A practical discussion of a money scam going around the internet.

    And the "feel" or energy shift of the group itself:

    Dream Wrexan: It's also interesting how energy shifts when someone leaves/enters
    Archmage Atlantis: Was there a topic?
    Pema Pera: yes, isn't that fascinating?
    Dream Wrexan: I'm sure there's one somewhere, Arch :-)
    Paradise Tennant: smiles energy shifts ?
    Dream Wrexan: yes, the shift is almost palpable
    Dream Wrexan: even in SL
    Paradise Tennant: find that at work a lot .. how nice it is to work on a sunday afternoon when the building is empty and how .. thick the atmosphere can seem when everyone is there during the week .. the sheer weight of all the doing :)
    Pema Pera: yes, in RL it is perhaps not that surprising, but when I started coming to SL I was surprised to see how clearly it is here as well

    And a categorization of three different "styles" of participation in Second Life.

    Pema Pera: plunging in -- adding -- separating
    Dream Wrexan: Using SL to augment something going on in RL
    Paradise Tennant: ahh kk
    Pema Pera: immersive -- augmenting -- dissociating


    2010.07.11 01:00 - Growing new plants of love

    This is a very "dense" session, worthwhile to "unpack", about deep human experiences, and the relationship between them. 

    Stargate Tone: in this energy which is blessing to me; there's also compassion, mercy; forgiveness and movement to heal - so there's much will...
    Archmage Atlantis: I hope the feelings I feel now - that i can expess them to all of you
    Stargate Tone: ah yes; there's also 'thank you' to the existence which it heals; also honouring and respect...
    Stargate Tone: so; that is more than love
    Stargate Tone: but sure that all is such that only love can make human to feel such will and those emotions
    Archmage Atlantis: There is somthing beyound honor
    Archmage Atlantis: There something beyond respect
    Bertram Jacobus: what is love for you star plz ? if i may ask ...
    Bertram Jacobus: (i read you arch!) ...
    Calvino Rabeni: What is beyond honor and respect, Arch?
    Archmage Atlantis: Well, love is
    Stargate Tone: but those feelings maked 'man' to bring that 'something' to others :)***
    Stargate Tone: love is the essential energy for life to exist; it's everywhere...it gives the strength and peace
    Stargate Tone: but there's no will in love itself; so...it truly 'just is'
    Archmage Atlantis: But there is something beyond love
    Bertram Jacobus: yes. and when you say, there is something, which is more - is that then one of the cases where more can be less ? :-)
    Archmage Atlantis: Somthing that just is
    Stargate Tone: *yes*...to me also; and that's this blessing...cuz neither blessing push or drag anybody or anything; it only gives, but 'holds' much will...but only good will to it's 'outsider'...
    Stargate Tone: so many people imagine/think love to be for example compassion, will to take care...even they are needs of being
    Stargate Tone: love is not being...
    Yakuzza Lethecus: being love :)
    Stargate Tone: being loves and misses to be loved; will to take care and to be taken care of...will to be loved in return..this all is based on will and need; love has no will or needs....
    Stargate Tone: ah yes; that is will TO love; but that is not love; love dont either sacrefice, but will to sacrefice rises from love...
    Calvino Rabeni: good distinction
    Calvino Rabeni: About that will TO love - I like the Rumi quote:
    Calvino Rabeni: "I would love to kiss you. The price of kissing is your life. Now my loving is running toward my life shouting, What a bargain, let's buy it!"


    2010.07.11 07:00 - The Steaks are High

    A play session, with some "RL" elements.  A delicious, high-calorie, but somewhat unsuccessful RL meal is discussed and then mass quantities of 0-calorie SecondLife food are consumed.  I presume the SL steaks are "ahimsak" (cruelty-free) in that no SL cattle or prim-creatures were killed to produce them.  Vegetarians and vegans may care to debate this.


    2010.07.11 08:00 - 96 Tears (Guardian Session)

    Dialogue comes in many styles.  I think by now most PlayAsBeing attendees are familiar with the main ones.  Debate is not the typical pattern in PlayAsBeing discussions, but does have the advantage that people expect differences of opinion and opposing views.  Contemplative dialogue is another style, and need not be restricted to "nice", "positive", and "agreeable".  If it is to escape from that safe zone, there's always the question of who has responsibility for the effects.  My own view is - all parties - first, second, and third person.  And at the same time,  following the traditional principle of non-attachment, we might kiss the fruits of our actions goodbye.

    SophiaSharon Larnia: and sometimes I get the feeling, that when I say something I'm thinking in a session, someone new to pab takes it as a confrontation of something
    SophiaSharon Larnia: like you are contradicting what they say
    SophiaSharon Larnia: which isn't the case
    Agatha Macbeth: If people have a problem with others' opinions they shouldn't ask
    SophiaSharon Larnia: well, yea, but they didn't ask. sometimes when i 'open my mouth' stuff falls out
    Agatha Macbeth: Not your fault Shaz
    Agatha Macbeth: We all do that
    Agatha Macbeth: Some of us more than others [grin]
    SophiaSharon Larnia: its not meant to be confrontational, just speaking from a different viewing point
    Agatha Macbeth: Exactly. That's the whole point
    SophiaSharon Larnia: yep
    Agatha Macbeth: If everyone is supposed to agree with everybody else what's the point of debate?


    2010.07.11 13:00 - In and out of the swim

    People often introduce guests from First Life into SL and the group.  This one says - what ... yikes!

    Io Larkspur: Anything special I should know about this????
    Bruce Mowbray: Mmmmm. Just be yourself.
    Bruce Mowbray: Io's first time here. We met in New York!

    PlayAsBeing "Basics":  The following is an articulate discussion of the basic awareness practice of PlayAsBeing and one of its most popular functions, as a tool for freeing the self from its embeddedness in activity - or rather, in its ideas about activity.

    Bruce Mowbray: Am experimenting with "back off" during the 90 sec breaks.
    Bruce Mowbray: backing waaayyyyyy offff.
    Maxine Walden: Bruce, did you want to say more?
    Bruce Mowbray: Well. . . I back way off -- and become a distant spectator to myself...
    Bruce Mowbray: and I'm not clear about where the stuff rises from in my mind...
    Bruce Mowbray: In my mind -- or from somewhere else...
    Bruce Mowbray: I have referred to this in other sessions -- when I "talk to -- or rather LISTEN to- other species...
    Bruce Mowbray: It requires my backing way off from myself.
    Bruce Mowbray: It this just crazy-making??
    Archmage Atlantis: no, it is not Bruce
    Bruce Mowbray: TY, Arch.
    Bruce Mowbray: Backing way off to get a clearer view of the whole.
    Bruce Mowbray: no lines of separation between things (mental constructs).
    Bruce Mowbray: That's how I've been doing the 9-sec breaks.
    Archmage Atlantis: What I heard, Steve, is backing off from the judgements in one's own head
    stevenaia Michinaga: backing off as in dropping of sorts?
    Bruce Mowbray: Yes -- dropping out of any scene that I have a personal connection to.
    stevenaia Michinaga: makes for a nice place to observe from
    Bruce Mowbray: Well -- not always that nice... I find that it's sometimes helpful if I do the 4 Immeasurables when I am "there."
    Bruce Mowbray: That becomes my "abode," as it were.


    2010.07.11 19:00 - Goldilocks and the Three Levels of Listening

    The main themes of this session are discernment, choice, contemplation, listening, communication, and community.

    Discernment and choice - I propose Goldilocks as a parable of awareness and the "middle way":

    Calvino Rabeni: I'm wondering whether the Goldilocks story as a parable, shows exemplary behavior or not
    Calvino Rabeni: Clearly Goldilocks was a chooser, of her various available experiences
    Calvino Rabeni: she didn't give up at the first bowl of porridge
    Paradise Tennant: smiles ...
    Calvino Rabeni: nor the second
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: I would say it does show exemplary behavior.
    Archmage Atlantis: She was a cheap tart
    Calvino Rabeni: Arch, people only say that if she ends up in someone else's bed :)
    Archmage Atlantis: She only would accept the best
    Archmage Atlantis: Uh, didn't she?
    Paradise Tennant: smiles .. she went with what suited her best .. it speaks to self knowledge :)
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Ah ... therefore she wasn't a cheap tart, but more discrinimating
    Paradise Tennant: to each .. there is a different song to sing so to speak :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, and from one point of view, everyone who has a life partner, has ended up with Goldilocks in their bed
    Paradise Tennant: smiles well said Cal :)

    There's the possibility to be discerning about our use of Mind:

    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Making generalizations is a tricky business ... on the one hand, there may be some usefulness in the generic shorthand ... but, on the other hand, it's such an invitation to perceptual laziness.
    stevenaia Michinaga: or general judgmental bias
    Paradise Tennant: well said mitzi :) very much so
    Calvino Rabeni: I think what matters, is what it invites you to investigate as a followup

    Or better yet, find a perspective that avoids the dullness of the mindless body or the labyrynth of the disembodied mind:

    Calvino Rabeni: A soma isn't a body and it isn't a mind; it's the living process of both together, experienced from the first person perspective.
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: like a "whole" as in system theory?

    Calvino Rabeni: It makes me think, perhaps learning abilities for many kinds of people can be enhanced, if they become more aware of their soma and its participation in knowledge and learning
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: I certainly thing that would be a great improvement to the educational system

    I try a different perspective, but it doesn't catch on:

    Calvino Rabeni: I wanted to change the subject to that topic of Help
    Calvino Rabeni: which doesn't actually seem unrelated to what we were talking about
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: oh, how boring (now)
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: ... all right then ... how are they related?
    Calvino Rabeni: OK, what can we do to sex it up ?
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Well, maybe go back to the monk outfit! Nothing like the unavailability to make one wonder ...

    But it works to bring things back to a personal perspective - a contemplative or discerning awareness in relationship might look a lot like ... listening.

    Calvino Rabeni: Where were we?
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Oh, gosh, pick your topic of the evening. It's been wide ranging.
    Calvino Rabeni: Anyway, the topic in my recent RL group meeting was "How sensitive is my hearing" by which, actually was meant Listening
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Wow, interesting topic.
    Calvino Rabeni: So in that topic there's gender sterotypes, relationships, and Help
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: It's a sorely lacking skills for almost all of us!

    We're all Goldilocks making the best of wandering around in some strange house, trying to make ourselves at home, making discriminating choices about what to eat, where to sleep... and how to explain it all :)

    Calvino Rabeni: And as Goldilocks, we can take our pick
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Go on then ... can you say a little more?
    Calvino Rabeni: Well I heard a group contemplate that topic for 2 hours
    Calvino Rabeni: through personal stories, not through philosophy
    Calvino Rabeni: There's many levels of that listening
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: personal stories can be the best way of all to get to the meaty stuff
    Calvino Rabeni: when people speak in such a circle, they speak into the listening that is provided by the others
    Calvino Rabeni: and in a sense, that listening, creates or draws the speaking
    Calvino Rabeni: true isn't it
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Ah! yes. I believe it pulls things out of you which you may not have even known were there.
    Calvino Rabeni: yes - in a way it "blesses" those things
    Calvino Rabeni: allowing them to come out from the darkness

    Contemplation done in a group, or contemplative dialogue - and how it differs from solo contemplation:

    Mitzi Mimistrobell: I had expressed that to you before ... that when I speak in response (which is a little different than just speaking in a group, although maybe a lot of overlap) I hear myself say things and am as surprised as anybody when I hear them.
    Calvino Rabeni: If they were intense, it might be a kind of exorcism, but, this is the everyday easy version of that pehnomenon
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: I don't know about exorcism - that implies a removal of something, rather than a flowing forth. 
    Calvino Rabeni: Many of those anime episodes were about exorcism, so it's interesting
    Calvino Rabeni: but I'm usually thinking about the"everyday" settings
    Calvino Rabeni: There's the power of the agreement of the group
    Calvino Rabeni: for example, in that group, they have accepted an agreement that there is a theme for the meeting, and take it on, in this case Listening
    Calvino Rabeni: and that better listening is a good thing
    Calvino Rabeni: So it is a kind of contemplation
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: I didn't know that was the theme?
    Calvino Rabeni: That was the them for the RL group I attended yesterday
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Oh, OK, got it. RL
    Calvino Rabeni: There's a topic, and a story told by a storyteller, then a circle of contemplation
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: There's just a rich, big bunch of energy in a group setting.

    Contemplation involves the ability to make a space in which to see the true measure of something:

    Calvino Rabeni: The derivation of the word Contemplation has lots of clues in it, about the process
    Calvino Rabeni: Energy moves within a container - a kind of form, or "machine" maybe (in modern terms), or a place.
    Calvino Rabeni: The word Contemplation - I read this first from a book "Tea Here Now" which I think you know, but then did some more looking
    Calvino Rabeni: Con = together
    Calvino Rabeni: and Temple or Template
    Calvino Rabeni: meaning a place in which things can be measured
    Calvino Rabeni: with the archaic meaing of Augury
    Calvino Rabeni: which was looking for the meaning of something, with a view towards the growth of nourishment
    Calvino Rabeni: Augment, etc.
    Calvino Rabeni: Originally used to find out how to have a good crop season
    Calvino Rabeni: But later, abstracted, it means, creating a space in which things can be seen and measured against spiritual criteria
    Calvino Rabeni: that is, understanding aimed at spiritual growth
    Calvino Rabeni: So, all very interesting, what's in a word
    Calvino Rabeni: And important as a part of a contemplative lifestyle
    Calvino Rabeni: or a contemplation practice
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Augury! What a lovely new word
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: I just googled it - it said a priest or official whose role was to interpret the will of the gods by studying the flight of birds ...
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: ... the direction, speed of flight, etc. all the aspects ... I really like that idea!

    Returning to practice - considering levels of listening:

    Calvino Rabeni: And then in the group (about 20 people) there were all kinds of versions / levels of listening
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: yes!
    Calvino Rabeni: Starting with, just point your face in the right direction, and shut up :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Don't argue, etc.
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: sure, ... as a minimum level.
    Calvino Rabeni: Like non-defensive listening
    Calvino Rabeni: Right, as a minimum
    Calvino Rabeni: and the next level something like - being able to get a somewhat accurate idea of what someone is trying to communicate
    Calvino Rabeni: The squeaky wheel gets the oil - unfortunately
    Calvino Rabeni: So our social learning focuses on the problem cases
    Calvino Rabeni: and we don't learn that well from the GOOD examples
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Being able to get a somewhat accurate idea of what someone is trying to communicate. Much more difficult than it seems ...
    Calvino Rabeni: That's true
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: ... I have learned from trying to get a little more depth in that area.
    Calvino Rabeni: But there are other levels, and I don't believe, it's necessary to get one "right" or full before being able to do anything with those other levels
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: MMM. well I like your attitude there. it's not hopeless.
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes
    Calvino Rabeni: For example, some of the men, had wives that would bully them a little about listening - they felt they could *never* get it right
    Calvino Rabeni: They might truly have been bad at it...
    Calvino Rabeni: but were not getting good objective feedback either, which is important for learning
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Yes, communication in marriage. Sigh.

    We reverse perspective within the listening theme.  From "Battle" of the Sexes to martial arts as Listening?

    Calvino Rabeni: We did some listening / communicating exercises relevant to that, in the martial arts school
    Calvino Rabeni: It seemed to surprise people that it was on the curriculum of that school
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: That had a somewhat different purpose though, as I recall.
    Calvino Rabeni: Anyway, that particular level is incomplete
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Not specifically designed to delve into communication ....
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: ... but to use communication to bring out where one is at, at that moment.
    Calvino Rabeni: I saw it as delving into mind and perception, and authenticity, construed in a certain way
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Yes.
    Calvino Rabeni: Well maybe some people have done those exercises in couples therapy also or something
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: which ones?
    Calvino Rabeni: and they have it somewhat figured out as having something to do with accuracy
    Calvino Rabeni: For instance, reflective listening exercises
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: But also , not to do with accuracy, but serving specific functions in terms of the interactions or relationships.
    Calvino Rabeni: Sometimes if there's a kind of buddhist flavor to the therapist, they associate it with the idea of ego
    Calvino Rabeni: and that was somewhat present in the martial arts school also

    I would have liked to pursue "specific functions" further...

    The quest for "objectivity":

    Calvino Rabeni: A case in point - listening for effect
    Calvino Rabeni: But it ultimately won't satisfy
    Calvino Rabeni: They start thinking "If only I could get my 'Self' out of the way, then I would be a better listener", and assume it would serve the (unstated) function of creating a meeting of minds
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Ah, satisfaction! Now there's a topic! As juicy and meaty as "help" if not more so.
    Calvino Rabeni: But that has an inherent contradiction, of course
    Calvino Rabeni: It's as I see it, similar / ovelapping / same topic as Help
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: I probably would lnever have that thought. I don't"think" ... ! Ha ha
    Calvino Rabeni: "Thinking" includes intelligent behavior of soma
    Calvino Rabeni: Let us liberate intelligence from the "thinking" box, OR redeem the word "Thinking"
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: I'm all for that Calvino!

    Beyond objective listening, to authentic responding and being in relationship:

    Calvino Rabeni: Well, there were some people talking about their communication relationships with their partners
    Calvino Rabeni: And they were doing the "accuracy" thing
    Calvino Rabeni: Sure it can :) But, we can't substantiate that either way
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Ah, we were almost having an exciting argument there!
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: .. but go on about the accuracy thing ...
    Calvino Rabeni: and it wasn't working, the partner was saying - "NO, I don't feel listened to!"
    Calvino Rabeni: "But you said, XYZ "
    Calvino Rabeni: "Isn't that right?"
    Calvino Rabeni: "Yes, but you're not listening!"
    Calvino Rabeni: Some version of that story
    Calvino Rabeni: See where I'm going with that?
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Yes, I experienced something similar in this communication practice I was involved with. Because the emotional / feeling component wasn't being listened to or heard in that case
    Calvino Rabeni: Even if it were on that level, it wouldn't necessarily be the thing....
    Calvino Rabeni: Although it's probably a good guess
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Right, not necessarily, of course.
    Calvino Rabeni: So one of the things being asked for, was beyond anything like accurate egoless listening
    Calvino Rabeni: What the partner wanted, is to see how (her) statement REALLY affected her partner.
    Calvino Rabeni: That is, listening in relationship that has 2 people in it
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: ... more like needing a sense of just presence, being accepted, "heard" in that sense.
    Calvino Rabeni: The partner didn't so much want to be seen, as to be in a connected relationship that has two authentic sides to it
    Calvino Rabeni: And "accuracy" took second place as a consideration
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: There you go. That would be the ideal in my mind as well.
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Nicely phrased I would add, Calvino.
    Calvino Rabeni: The partner could have said - "What I really want is YOU, in relationship to what I am offering of myself"
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: My investigations seem to show me that accuracy in communication is neither needed nor desirable in most personal communications. It is useful in business or engineering however.
    Calvino Rabeni: Actually I think I agree - I think that there's a slightly misguided idea, coming from an engineering culture, that says, communcation is about exchanging information accurately
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: In fact, it's highly disruptive of social relationships, and should be used sparingly if at all.
    Calvino Rabeni: hehe

    I was thinking about in what way I agreed or disagreed with that last statement, or rather, the domain in which it could be true, but we didn't get to talk about it at the time. 

    One distinctive thing about the PlayAsBeing process is that it we can use the logs and scribe sessions to "remember" and pick something up again in a later session.


    2010.07.12 01:00 - Finnish Traditions

    A short session.  The GoC and one tired, talked-out, uncreative avatar (your Scribe) discuss a cultural tradition, and encourage it to put its best foot forward.

    Calvino Rabeni: It is good to make the most of things like this.

    Cosmicflower Ushimawa: ... on that week-end there were dead many
    Cosmicflower Ushimawa: drown - went to swim drunk
    Cosmicflower Ushimawa: actually I do not quite understand why finnish people get drunk every midsummer too much
    Cosmicflower Ushimawa: like whole country is drunk on midsummer
    Calvino Rabeni: more than the other holidays?
    Cosmicflower Ushimawa: yes - absolutely
    Calvino Rabeni: It sounds OK to me, if they are careful swimming
    Calvino Rabeni: Maybe once a year it's good to go "crazy"
    Cosmicflower Ushimawa: heh - maby yes
    Cosmicflower Ushimawa: strange nation

    Every story - or especially, cultural phenomenon - has its light and dark sides.  I tried to invoke the spirit of Carnival in that story - and was later happy to see the dignified-sounding title Cosmicflower selected for the session.


    2010.07.12 07:00 - Get well card for Zen

    The PlayAsBeing session itself becomes a vessel communicating regard and presence.  Guardian Zen Arado has been away from the group meetings because of health issues.  Here the session becomes a "we miss you" missive.  The session includes some special activites and good photographs.


    2010.07.12 13:00 - Being Hugging

    Hmm, awareness - huh?  To Be or not to Be...  That was the celebrated question for Hamlet, but it's REALLY the question for PlayAsBeing.  And it's a bit refreshing when stated plainly:

    Benjamin Greycloak: I can tell you I like the concept -- just being rather than "doing" anything. Some might ask what's the point...

    Glad you asked that.  Indeed, what's the point?  Is there an essential point?  Many points?  Can we "be" and "do" at the same time?   What insights might arise from doing awareness practices?  Or contemplating experiences that are fostered by doing them? 

    City Guy (to Farmer):  Hey, just what is the point of burying a seed in the ground, and then pouring water on the dirt?

    Farmer:  Here, have a sandwich.  I have to get back to my cultivating.


    Farmer (to City Guy):  Hey, just what is the point of standing out on the grass and whacking that little white ball with the stick?

    City Guy:  Shhh, I'm concentrating.  If I'm aware enough, it makes a big difference in the result.


    Country Guy (to City Guy):  Hey, just what is the point of punching all those buttons and looking at the little cartoon guys run around on that TV screen?  Where's the beef?

    City Guy:  Those aren't cartoon guys - that's me and my PlayAsBeing friends... we talk about awareness and what we can do with it.

    The session discussion went on to examine a variety of good answers to the above questions about the usefulness of cultivating awareness.

    • Emotionally fulfilling relationships with others and with the environment and nature.
    • Physical health, recovery, pain management.
    • Athletics and performance.
    • ... and more, if you read between the lines :)


    2010.07.12 19:00 - Thunderstorm Transformations

    This session continues the discussion of applications of mindful experiencing, in this case in the areas of healing and therapy.  Although the purpose of the group is not to do therapy, people often discover therapeutic or healing power in the awareness techniques.  Goldilocks also put in another appearance as a symbol of the Taoist Middle Path.

    SophiaSharon Larnia: we are talking about seeing appearance as presented by being as a way to deal with PTSD, I'm not sure if I summarized that well :)
    Bruce Mowbray: using the method as a way of dealing with dears of all sorts -- including childhood memories and PTSD from assaultive incidents, etc.
    Bruce Mowbray: How about another quick summary, Sharon?
    Bruce Mowbray: Basically -- we were talking about using our method (Play as Being) as a way of dealing with traumatic memories, PTSD, etc.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: seeing the vulnerability of such moments, to quote you *smile*

    Bruce Mowbray: It is helpful (VERY) for me to re-frame the trauma as an appearance presented by Being.
    Calvino Rabeni: It is a basic move in awareness based therapies
    Calvino Rabeni: pains and emotional significance get relaxed, it can become "energy" and be able to start to move or break up
    Calvino Rabeni: but it has to be done in a really "experiential" way
    Bruce Mowbray: yes.
    Calvino Rabeni: because the learning is not done by the intellect
    Bruce Mowbray: exactly.
    Calvino Rabeni: it is done by the lower centers of the mind
    Calvino Rabeni: the fight or flight reaction parts of the mind, not the idea-having parts
    Bruce Mowbray: yes.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: my knee jerk association was with exposure therapy, but what he meant is really very different
    Calvino Rabeni: it's a little like what happens with a physical injury
    Calvino Rabeni: like I sprained my ankle - then there is a protective reflex that gets learned
    Calvino Rabeni: "don't move that way" "don't step on it" etc.
    Calvino Rabeni: even after healing, that learned muscle pattern is still present, and can be hard to "unlearn"
    Bruce Mowbray: indeed. Ironically, one is able to bring out the fear (and the grief) when it's not the ego trying to FACE THEM DOWN (manly stuff, that!)
    Bruce Mowbray: So, Play as Being enables one to be more vulnerable --
    Calvino Rabeni: The facing has to be done by the soma - the bodymind itself
    Calvino Rabeni: and it works best without ego meddling or controlling.
    Calvino Rabeni: Experience in healing arts has discovered that a gentle, slow, subtle approach is effective and recommended
    Calvino Rabeni: there's a threshold of intensity that should not be exceeded
    Calvino Rabeni: (and it's lower than people might expect)
    Calvino Rabeni: if there is too much emotional activation, the mind will not be present and will "shut down" or dissociate
    Calvino Rabeni: and if there is too little, the energy doesn't move
    Calvino Rabeni: so it is a kind of "Goldilocks" approach - most effective is "just right" :)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: seeing it as an appearance, an environment painted...I'm trying to see a connection between that and what you are saying :)
    Calvino Rabeni: but it's been found, that "just right" is often LESS than what the ego either hopes or fears
    Bruce Mowbray: In your experience with PaB, either of you or both, does PaB open up dangers such as Calvino has described?
    Bruce Mowbray: open up.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: somehow I'm thinking of a relativistic and absolute view
    Calvino Rabeni: The connection with appearance is - that the experience of appearance is to have a gentle distance between observer and the phenomenon.

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