C. Eliza Madrigal

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    This interview took place just about a week after Eliza interviewed me for the Chronicles.

    Adams Rubble: Thank you for the thoughtful questions in your interview of me, Eliza. Now it is now my turn, and a real pleasure to now sit down with you.

    Eliza Madrigal: Thank you Adams :) Always nice to sit with you!

    eliza_interview_004.jpg

     Eliza's practice before Second Life, her motivations to enter Second Life and how she got to Play as Being
    Adams Rubble: How long have you been studying Buddhism?
    Eliza Madrigal: That's not a question that has a clear answer actually,
    Eliza Madrigal: because I began integrating Buddhist ideas and meditation into my life bit by bit over a longer period of time, but have really only been more formal in my practice/consistent, for about hmm... a year at most :)
    Adams Rubble: Did you come into Second Life to study Buddhism?
    Eliza Madrigal: Not at all! I came into Second Life as a diversion, a curiosity :) I heard about it on Twitter during the US Presidential election
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: "Buddhism" was one of my first searches, though
    Adams Rubble: Is that how you got to Play as Being?
    Eliza Madrigal: Yes, eventually, I began attending sittings at Buddhist sites, including Zen Retreat, where you and I met, and a friend (Buddha Nirvana at the time) asked if I'd been to Play as Being...
    Eliza Madrigal: so we hopped in the balloon one night and voila!
    Adams Rubble: :) Storm's balloon!?!!
    Eliza Madrigal: YES ... lovely way to arrive, I think
    Adams Rubble: yes it was. Storm helping people find PaB
    Eliza Madrigal nods... yes just makes open the opportunity :)
    Adams Rubble: Well, a dramatic entrance :)
    Eliza Madrigal smiles
     Coming to Play as Being
    Adams Rubble: Do you remember your first session?
    Eliza Madrigal: Just a little. I remember that Pema asked me what my experience of SL was like so far, and I said a bit overwhelming, or something to that effect. I was processing...
    Eliza Madrigal: I hadn't expected it to be such a visually entrancing place
    Eliza Madrigal: nor had I expected to so clearly experience personalities here...
    Eliza Madrigal: was a lot to take in :)
    Adams Rubble nods
    Eliza Madrigal: Sometimes it still is!
    Adams Rubble: Yes it still is :)
    Adams Rubble: That was Valentine's Day I think, wasn't it?
    Eliza Madrigal: Yes, looking back, it was :) How appropriate since I fell into a kind of love :)
    Eliza Madrigal grins
    Adams Rubble: And what a great Valentine's Day present for the rest of us :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Thank you, I appreciate that :)
    Adams Rubble: Have you seen changes in Play as Being during the six months you have been here?
    Eliza Madrigal: I remember feeling relieved to see you at Play as Being, btw. You'd become one of my first friends through Zen Retreat, so I felt comfortable :)
    Adams Rubble: Yes, I remember we had a nice chat about book stores after zazen one evening
    Eliza Madrigal: Yes. It is funny that although we set up our profiles we can forget about them, so when you first suggested a book store for me it was surprising "HOW did you KNOW?"
    Eliza Madrigal: hahah
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Adams Rubble: Some of us are just plain nosy :) 
    We explore the topic of possible changes in PaB and Eliza
    Eliza Madrigal: As for changes in Play as Being, that might be difficult to measure. There seem to be waves of discussion or patterns of attendance...
    Eliza Madrigal: but the same is true for me :)
    Adams Rubble: yes, that might be a good direction for us to explore :)
    Adams Rubble: How have you been changed by the experience?

    Eliza Madrigal: THAT is a huge question.
    Adams Rubble nods sheepishly
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Maybe the simplest way to answer is to say that I've been softened by it...
    Eliza Madrigal: by the consistency of the pauses and practice, by sharing so openly every day.... learning to be a better listener I think
    Eliza Madrigal: It is difficult to say "I've been changed thus", because PaB is part of many overlapping components which opened at the same time 

    Adams Rubble nods
    Adams Rubble: and one of those components is Buddhism?

    The Gecko
    Eliza Madrigal: Just before signing onto SL I'd had the gecko experience... which had given me a new kind of hearing
    Adams Rubble: Please tell about the gecko :)
    Eliza Madrigal: and yes, I do think that was a result of the new Buddhist practice
    Eliza Madrigal: Well I'd had this pestering gecko outside my bedroom window for months, continually making this horrible noise
    Eliza Madrigal: "Rwaaacckk" is the best I can do to describe what it sounded like :)
    Eliza Madrigal: I was working on being more 'welcoming' toward my environment, but really more toward people to this point... seeing every difficulty as a kind of lesson...
    Eliza Madrigal: so i wrote in a note to friends that I was sure the gecko was here to teach me something, if I'd let him. I don't think I believed that, mind you...
    Eliza Madrigal: It was a joke.
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Adams Rubble: Did it?
    Eliza Madrigal: Then one night I was lingering in this wake/sleep state....
    Eliza Madrigal: and he began... ugh.... "Please let me sleep" I thought...
    Eliza Madrigal: but there was like a little shift that took place without my really intending it, and I began to hear him in an entirely different way...
    Eliza Madrigal: Singing!
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: And not just singing, but singing the most beautiful song you've ever heard....
    Eliza Madrigal: I wished he would go on forever
    Adams Rubble: Choir of Angels
    Adams Rubble: One Angel
    Adams Rubble: (sorry)
    Eliza Madrigal: That sounds funny at first, but really, it isn't that far off!!
    Eliza Madrigal: hahah
    Eliza Madrigal: The thing is, he left a few days after that :)
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: He opened my hearing, gave me "ears to hear" :)
    Adams Rubble: It is inspiring the way you look for lessons in difficutlies
    Being Open

    Eliza Madrigal: Well, at some level what else can one do? Play as Being coming into my life on the heels of that gecko would set off an abundance of 'experiences' similar, which may be my central take-away...
    Eliza Madrigal: that when we are open, everything is open :)
    Eliza Madrigal: And I know I sound fantastical when I say things like that....
    Adams Rubble: no, not at all
    Eliza Madrigal: Thank you :)
    Adams Rubble: Some people talk about an open heart
    Eliza Madrigal: yes... how can one cultivate something they don't have access to?
    Eliza Madrigal: Of course, it is difficult to simplify. I can never say __ started >here<, or >there<
    Eliza Madrigal: Awakening doesn't really seem to 'begin' :)
    Adams Rubble: We come back to "words" again
    Eliza Madrigal: yes, sigh :)
    Adams Rubble: trying to describe what is almost undescribable
    Adams Rubble: But your experience speaks to us :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Yes, and who wants to pin it down? Sharing without pinning it down seems to be all of our challenge :)
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Adams Rubble: nicely put
    Adams Rubble: When you talk about being open I think of the Mary and Martha story
    Eliza Madrigal smiles, yes... our friends Mary and Martha
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: That story is a great parallel between the struggle we all can experience finding 'balance' between giving our hearts and attention to the vital things, while at the same time, serving practically
    Eliza Madrigal: our hearts IN the practical things, is perhaps the key?
    Adams Rubble: Yes, and a way of talking about the openess you were describing
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Adams Rubble: You and I have talked about the Mary and Martha story often. Are there other aspects of Christianity that still speak to you now?
    Adams Rubble: aspects
    Eliza Madrigal: Certainly, Many
    Adams Rubble: let me rephrase that to say that speak to you especially
    Eliza Madrigal: Sure :)
    Adams Rubble: would you care to say more?
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: My experience in this regard is that Christianity was a real source of inspiration for me at one time. I really fell in love with reading some books of the bible as a young adult...especially Proverbs. I would read parts of Proverbs 8 almost every morning, aloud, for instance :)
    Eliza Madrigal: It is about Wisdom :)
    Eliza Madrigal: I tried to find the same inspiration in organized environments for a while, which was a discouragement...
    Eliza Madrigal: and so I dropped much of that at some point, became very compartmentalized, maybe even angry...
    Eliza Madrigal: When I began studying buddhism, and meditating on a regular basis, many of these teachings and stories began to float back up...
    Eliza Madrigal: in the way that I'd *first* heard them...
    Eliza Madrigal: before someone 'interpreted' for me :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Jesus and Buddha began to be saying much the same things :)
    Eliza Madrigal: So in a sense, Buddha gave Jesus back
    Adams Rubble: That is beautiful
    Eliza Madrigal: but in a far more liberating way...no compartments, no arbitrary choosing
    Eliza Madrigal: Yes, it has been :) Thank you. 
    Eliza Madrigal: Play as Being is remarkable in that we can speak in terms of God/Being/Allah/Source/Etc... in a kind of open stance...
    Adams Rubble nods
    Adams Rubble: That we can speak of all the traditions with respect for each other
    Eliza Madrigal: and it isn't about 'believing' in something in that way
    Eliza Madrigal: yes, exactly
    Eliza Madrigal: And not just lip service... this is real benefit of the doubt and humility that in essence
    Eliza Madrigal: we agree
    Adams Rubble: :)

    Kira Workshops

    Adams Rubble: You also have attended many of the workshops in Kira. Are they part of your practice?
    Eliza Madrigal: Definitely.
    Eliza Madrigal: The first workshop I attended was Maxine's dream workshop, and this I think has been vital, because practice doesn't just take place when one is awake... heh
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: I've noticed a lot from logging dreams during these months. Incredible things can be seen that way...
    Eliza Madrigal: And Stim's Ways of Knowing workshop has become something I'm incredibly grateful to be a part of.
    Adams Rubble nods in agreement
    Eliza Madrigal: I attended the Phenomenology workshop just long enough to get ahold of Pema's idea of 'greeting everyone and everything anew" which eventually led to my
    Eliza Madrigal: facing some difficult things I'd needed to for a very long time. :) I wrote a bit about that in the Play as Being Guardian Contributions page
    Eliza Madrigal: I'd love to be a concise person, btw, am working on that! :)
    Adams Rubble: :)
    What Now?
    Adams Rubble: If you were interviewing Eliza madrigal, what other questions would you ask her?
    Eliza Madrigal: :) Maybe I'd want to know What Now, but would be hesitant to ask because she might go on and on... smiles.
    Adams Rubble: What now?
    Adams Rubble giggles
    Eliza Madrigal: haha
    The Crab

    Eliza Madrigal: Well, I'm about to go on, but hopefully not on and on... This brings me to the crab dream, because when you ask me about the workshops, buddhist practice, and PaB, I realize that they all come together in this picture
    Adams Rubble listens
    Eliza Madrigal: A few months ago, after a period of studying a lot, not sleeping, and having an overall strange time of things, I had a koan dream...
    Eliza Madrigal: I was a hermit crab, wearing a very thick shell, way too small...
    Eliza Madrigal: And it cracked! I *felt* it crack...
    Eliza Madrigal: It cracked into huge pieces, taller than I could see around.... chunky obstacles...
    Eliza Madrigal: And I was exposed... with no way to find another shell
    Eliza Madrigal: So in the dream I then was myself looking down into this picture,
    Eliza Madrigal: wondering what to do about the crab... surely, it couldn't stay exposed like that...
    Eliza Madrigal: somehow then it touched my toe, and I could *feel* again, sticky...
    Eliza Madrigal: When I woke up, I knew this was important, but my interpretations were all so limiting....
    Eliza Madrigal: I had to "make something happen"
    Eliza Madrigal: "save the crab!"
    Eliza Madrigal: haha
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: I walked around with it for a while though, and listening to certain teachings began to see that those obstacles
    Eliza Madrigal: ... those impossible limitations, were doorways....
    Eliza Madrigal: if I would let them be
    Eliza Madrigal: Eventually, I think the doorways themselves fade too, but we'll see. That's where I am *now*
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Adams Rubble: It is a continuous process for us :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Yes certainly, and a fun one too :)
    Adams Rubble: Oh yes :)
    Adams Rubble: And you are one of the fun people :)
    Eliza Madrigal: You certainly bring that aspect out of me... such a crucial thing, right? To play amidst this 'Learning"
    Adams Rubble: Yes, you and I were talking about that last night...how we both have learned to "play" in Play as Being
    Eliza Madrigal: We have quite a few parallels, you and I
    Eliza Madrigal: OOoo it occurrs to me that I left part of the crab dream out....
    Eliza Madrigal: well, the interpreting of it...
    Eliza Madrigal: The chunky obstacles, after attending the Art History Workshop which had been set up like Stonehenge....
    Eliza Madrigal: caused me to think about stories where people walk into other dimensions... It is often only a closed in/obstacle to the person looking from *outside*.
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Getting comfortable with that is something else we seem to be learning together :)

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    226.17 kB00:38, 10 Apr 2010Adams RubbleActions
    Viewing 2 of 2 comments: view all
    What a great interview Eliza! Thanks for to Adams the interviewer, such a great listener. Somehow, I had never read this interview before (was it hidden somewhere hehe, I kind of remember I was trying to read interviews chronologically so I guess I gave up quite early catching up). Thank you for pointing to the source of the " Gecko story" in Eos's session lately Eliza, it is such an archetype of transformative power. Wasn't familiar with the Crab dream, also very shamanic! And the doorways aaah, portals to other dimensions! Obviously, the interview was before you started exploring the "corridors" hehe...any link to the "corridors" somewhere in the wiki maybe? Will have to look that up! edited 12:25, 19 Oct 2011
    Posted 12:18, 19 Oct 2011
    :)) Corridor exploring came with auspicious meeting of Goddess Eden and our noticing of peculiar cats....

    I so love you, Friend. <3 edited 12:32, 19 Oct 2011
    Posted 12:32, 19 Oct 2011
    Viewing 2 of 2 comments: view all
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