Eos: Playing as Being

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    And, for the band of five who made it to the SF 2010 retreat, playing in the band.

    How to do that, how does that happen, in Second Life, Real Life, RL retreat, RL urban retreat?

    That was somewhat the question Eiza and I posed before the San Francisco retreat started:


    "I have some questions of what the 'boundaries' might be (in a sense what gives this time a retreat quality?), but we can rest in those together.
    Yes, me too. This will be interesting. :)"


    An 18th century writer seems to be in that same question when he says:


    "If the meditator is able to use whatever occurs in his life as the Path, his body becomes a retreat hut".


    In this case you don't go into retreat, but you never leave that retreat hut, and life flows on all around it. I think I've been lucky to meet a few such people in my life, so being in such a way seems not just a theoretical possibility, and even has a profound "no big deal" quality. The taste of that is also a taste of what "starting at the end" means... and all it takes is a taste, just staying with that. Luckily that taste comes up in fresh situations and with people right now: that's the amazing and inspiring part, and part of what the PaB community brings.

    This is also the question of how you stay in that everyday practice, of staying completely open in all situations and to all people. I'm finding more and more that the answer to that is very personal, very nitty gritty, and mostly visible through noticing my shrinking from or avoiding such openness. The grittiness of not wanting to face that makes it very tangible and non-theoretical, and the path unfolds :-)

    At the café on Haight Street we discussed "how to play as being in an urban setting", with suggestions to "appreciate the presence of appearance" and "notice the vividness". The vividness itself is the PaB timer.

    We also discussed, at the Hotel Kabuki, that Playing as Being is "starting from the end", and posed the question of "how do you start at the end with people, when meeting someone?"

    This is the question of PaB in everyday life. In terms of ways of remembering, I have used my iPhone to ding in 15 minutes, and then do an explicit 9 seconds suspension bridging to....  but more usually I just attend to flashes coming from or the presence of the phenomenal world I'm engaged with. Transitions are a good time: one thing stops happening, the next hasn't yet: things are already dropped.

    A related question is "in what world does PaB practice take place?" Does it take place in SL when I'm in SL, for instance at a session? Ever since the first California retreat I've been paying attention to being there in the 90 secs, in PaB, which both joins and transcends the SL and RL worlds. If it's dropping, it's dropping in SL and in RL. I let my RL body not move when I'm doing the 90 secs in SL. That seems part of the play, because I'm learning from the SL body I've playfully created. It goes further: it's dropping in a space of time I frame for it (9 or 90 seconds, 15 minutes, 5 days), but it's also dropping in unframed time, at any time.

    In general, I think that doing an RL PaB retreat helps makes these interplays of SL/RL more explicit, and opens further the question of PaB (an SL activity also brought into RL? an RL activity also possible in SL? a play in worlds/expresssions that also drops worlds?).


    - Eos 

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