C. Month of August

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    Play as Being was now four months old and growing. August opened with Gaya and Pema sitting quietly talking about fragility:

    Pema Pera: and I believe that elsewhere I said that I feel fragile at every session
    Pema Pera: and I could add that I also feel invulnerable at every session
    Pema Pera: both
    Gaya Ethaniel thinks Pema's a sensitive person
    Pema Pera: on a relative level, as a being, a human being, I am fragile
    Pema Pera: any moment anything can happen
    Gaya Ethaniel nods
    Pema Pera: while on an absolute/ultimate level what I am is invulnerable

     Later that same day at the 13:00 session, Pema talks about  Being:

    Pema Pera: Being is such a tricky concept
    Pema Pera: it will take three years for us to reach a real common understanding I think
    Pema Pera: but that will be a fascinating three years!
    Pema Pera: to come closer, experientially
    Pema Pera: while using words like tourist tokens
    Pema Pera: little memorabilia of where we have traveled and are traveling
    Pema Pera: so we'll start out with very different understandings of Being
    Pema Pera: and in our experience we will all let Being speak
    Pema Pera: and we will help each other to listen
    Pema Pera: and slowly we'll converge
    Pema Pera: since there is only one Being

    In the same session, Religion and PaB:

    Pema Pera: The reason normal religions work is that they use a "God" figure to do this exercise
    Pema Pera: anthropomorphic
    Pema Pera: and they work well if you do it seriously
    Pema Pera: what we explore here is a high-grade distillation of religions
    Pema Pera: not on the rocks
    Pema Pera: but straight up
    Pema Pera: just let Reality/Being/It see
    Pema Pera: see the world
    Pema Pera: see you
    Pema Pera: see everything
    Pema Pera: the whole story
    Pema Pera: don't try to analyze what I am saying now
    Pema Pera: just do it
    Pema Pera: you'll be surprised
    Pema Pera: and then we can talk about what you experience

    Real Life Meetings

    In early August the first meeting of real life Play as Being avatars was held in in Berkely, CA. After enthusiastic reports from the west coasters, the East coast guardians got their first chance with two meetings in New York City and Princeton respectively in  mid August. It was reassuring to to those meeting in real life for the first time that what we had learned about each other through our avatars was in fact "real".

    The Longest Session Ever

    Toward the end of July and in the beginning of August there began to be some firendly competition over who could attend the most sessions in a row and some of us started to sit for longer and longer sessions. Finally, the ultimate single session possibility was achieved on August 5 07:00 when a session lasted six hours going right into the following session. It is fun to se the new group of avatars arriving for the 13:00 session at the end of it.

    Appreciate the Presence of Appearance as a Presentation by Being (APAPB)

    Pema waited until the middle of the fifth month of Play as Being to introduce us to APAPB. The Ways of Knowing group had played with this topic previously. As often happened in paB, the topic was introduced to us through one of the group. Pema often did that. One of us would be struggling with something, or near some insight, and Pema would see a tool, exercise or even a thought as being useful. then he would use that group member to help introduce it to the rest of the group. In this case it was Doug who was the catalyst and first user of the APAPB exercise. Some of us struggled to understand this which is not surprising since the group does not have a definition for "Being". I am writing this seven months later, and only this week did I understand from Stim that presence needs to be viewed in the "context of timelessness" and I see it below in the sense of "all viewers, all screens, etc.". Pema and Doug first  discussed this with us at the 07:00 session on August 23:

    Pema Pera: for example what I suggested, Doug, a few weeks ago, when we meet in RL in Berkeley
    Pema Pera: this sentence about appreciation
    Pema Pera: which is pretty independent of states of awareness, in principlePema Pera: I suggested to focus lightly on the sentence:
    Pema Pera: appreciate the presence of appearance as a presentation by Being

    Pema Pera: approaching everything from the Being side rather than the body/brain/mind side
    doug Sosa: It took me a week to understand it, a week to practice, and .. now working with it as a friend. 

    Pema Pera: the funny thing about that sentence is that you can best read it backwards
    Pema Pera: there is Being
    Pema Pera: which presents
    Pema Pera: what does it present?
    Pema Pera: appearance, all that appears
    Pema Pera: what do we know about appearance, directly, empirically
    Pema Pera: only that it is present
    Pema Pera: so what can we appreciate?
    Pema Pera: ultimately only the presence of appearance
    Pema Pera: the rest is added theory
    Pema Pera: encrusted thoughts
    Pema Pera: the pure core of what is is the presence of appearance
    Pema Pera: presented by Being

    The following exerpt is from the August 25 07:00 session:

    Pema Pera: Being is every point
    Pema Pera: completely
    Pema Pera: and also All
    Pema Pera: in the widest sense
    Pema Pera: perhaps we can go back to that sentence?
    Pema Pera: APAPB for short :)
    Pema Pera: *any* appearance is presented by Being
    doug Sosa: so by all we mean, not just "this Screen" bu all screens, all projectors, all viewwers, all movie makers?
    Pema Pera: everything -- without looking at it as things
    Pema Pera: All is a whole -- and All is completely there in every (seeming) part
    doug Sosa: so why does it still seem "local"?
    Pema Pera: that is part of a presentation, an appearance
    Pema Pera: anything can appear, also the sense of local
    Pema Pera: without being less fully Being
    Pema Pera: Being is not limited by its appearing local
    doug Sosa: got it. glad i asked.
    Pema Pera: but this is something to be explored
    Pema Pera: accepted only temporarily as a hypothesis to be tested
    Pema Pera: for example through the APAPB sentence


    The autologging project was begun and the meetings began in early August. Storm pointed out the listening range of the present pavilion included other people's lands. In other words, their private conversations might be picked up on the log. The solution was to build a new structure in Bieup in the middle of what had been the forest. Storm, Adelene, Fael, Pema and Wol took part in the original planning. Wol eventually was tapped to lead the effort and it was fael and Wol who eventually completed the project but that was a bit later.


    It was becoming evident that with 120 chat logs a month, it was impossible for new particpants to find many of the more important exchanges. Pia Iger, with a group of volunteer readers, began in mid August, to extract exerpts from all the previous logs. Eventually it was split into two categories :short exerpts" and "lonh exerpts". The latter might be a complete session.


    On August 28, Pema asked me, Adams, to conisder writing the Chronicles of the first year of PaB.

    Voices of August:

    On the nine seconds from August 1 07:00: 

    Prosper Telling: It's like 14 minutes and 24 seconds a day... If I know that I've been too busy to keep to the fifteen minute thing, I can play catch up at the end of the day.
    genesis Zhangsun: :)
    Prosper Telling: Kind of an easy payment approach
    genesis Zhangsun: doesn't sound like a bad idea
    genesis Zhangsun: better than not at all!
    Gaya Ethaniel: i c that would work too - i 'try' not to feel obliged to do 9 sec. I just do it when needed if not alone
    Adams Rubble: Yes, the thing about the exercise is that there is lots of room for free form
    Gaya Ethaniel: i have to say though the gaps between 9 secs have decreased dramatically over last 2 weeks

    Expectations from August 8 13:00:

    Solobill Laville: Hmmmm
    Solobill Laville: I think with as much time and energy that we all put into this effort
    Solobill Laville: in whatever way we all do in our own way
    Solobill Laville: There might be a feeling of expecting too much
    Solobill Laville: being a bit too goal oriented
    Solobill Laville: I hesitate to say this (as I am with most everthing I say here)
    Solobill Laville: Because everyone is on their own path
    Solobill Laville: and at their own spot, on their own path
    Solobill Laville: But sometimes great expectations can be a big hindrance, depending on your own personal "whys" for practicing

     On August 14 13:00 Storm and Tahuti had a long session about the PaB practice in which Storm explained what we were doing in PaB. At the end, Storm reflected in a comment:

    But I was still left wondering... if an intelligent person had attended parts of our discussion meetings 20 times over the last 2 weeks, and after that time they still hadn't gained a clear understanding of what Play as Being was, what were we talking about during all that time???!!!

    Being Busy. August 15 07:00

    doug Sosa: For example, instead of saying I am too busy, say I have time. Really, don't change anything but what you say and you will have more time. amazing.
    Adams Rubble: Yes Doug
    Sky Szimmer: words are magic
    Sky Szimmer: I keep forgetting that as it can be white magic or black
    Adams Rubble: I have been doing that with gratitude/complaining
    Adams Rubble: I like the idea of doing it with time
    doug Sosa: People are actually afraid to say "I am not busy."

     Physical effects of 9 seconds (August 25 13:00)

    Stim Morane: This started with my dull question about practice-related experiences, or others bearing on PaB.
    Stim Morane: Any takers?
    Storm Nordwind: Well if we’re talking about physical effects, I noticed within a week that by my sudden dumping of any physical stress was a marker of how engaged I was in any one 9 second episode
    Stim Morane: Sure
    Stim Morane: It’s a funny fact that this is possible, and even necessary.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Physical stress? Tense muscles Storm?

    Storm Nordwind: Yes Gaya. Complete removal of all physical stress
    Storm Nordwind: Within the 9 second timeframe
    Gaya Ethaniel nods
    Storm Nordwind: Not instant
    Storm Nordwind: But like someone pulling a very large plug out of a sand pit
    Storm Nordwind: All emptied in 9 seconds. Could feel it falling off me. Still can.

    New Guardians:

    Rowan Masala and Threedee Shepherd became guardians in August.

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