2008.04.15 13:00 - Open Secrets

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    Stim and I had a nice chat about the background of Playing as Being, and connections with other traditions that he and I have been talking about for the twelve years that we have been discussing these topics, in the Kira Institute and in our Ways of Knowing Initiative. After a while, Moondust Sella appeared in the neighborhood, and I asked her in for a cup of tea. This led to the following conversation, in which I explained what we are trying to do here.

    Pema Pera: Hi Moondust!
    Pema Pera: you can just click on the door
    Pema Pera: left click
    Pema Pera: come on in!
    Pema Pera: we are just chatting
    Pema Pera: hi moondust
    Stim Morane: Hello
    Pema Pera: please sit down
    Pema Pera: Stim and I were talking about reality
    Pema Pera: how to really see what is real ;-)
    Pema Pera: in a simple way
    Pema Pera: and how to share that with others
    Pema Pera: and then you walked by (^_^)
    Pema Pera: have you been in SL for a long time?
    Moondust Sella: Umm… a few months
    Moondust Sella: I am a slow learner
    Pema Pera: oh, we all are
    Pema Pera: SL is hard . . . . .
    Pema Pera: took me a looooong time
    Pema Pera: this is a nice area, isn’t it
    Pema Pera: You are interested in Buddhism?
    Moondust Sella: yes I am
    Pema Pera: we are too
    Pema Pera: and at the same time
    Pema Pera: we are also interested in trying to find ways
    Pema Pera: to share the core of Buddhist insights with those who don’t like religion
    Pema Pera: and don’t like to call themselves anything-ists
    Moondust Sella: well, I guess I am with you there anyway
    Pema Pera: glad to hear that, Moondust — wonderful name by the way, especially for me; in RL I am an astronomer ;>)
    Moondust Sella: Oh.. actually I was a bit scared to talk to you after looking at your profile :-)
    Pema Pera: hahaha, I’m glad I could get you over your shyness :>)
    Pema Pera: it helped seeing that you had written that in your profile
    Pema Pera: saying you’re shy is the best antidote for being shy!
    Moondust Sella: Well, I came inside anyway :-)
    Pema Pera: yes, thank you!
    Pema Pera: so
    Pema Pera: What we were discussing was this: in most traditional spiritual paths, you start thinking you are not much good, and then you follow a long path in order to reach enlightenment
    Pema Pera: but actually
    Pema Pera: when you read
    Pema Pera: what the most realized people said when they seemed to have reached their goal
    Pema Pera: it was always something like:
    Pema Pera: hey, this has always been here, I went looking for what was here, how silly, how strange, how truly amazing!!!!
    Pema Pera: so
    Pema Pera: taking that as a hint
    Pema Pera: there are some traditions
    Pema Pera: that start at the end
    Pema Pera: taking the goal not as something to reach for
    Pema Pera: be to start out with
    Pema Pera: “goal as path” is one shorthand for that idea
    Pema Pera: so
    Pema Pera: can we start with the hypthesis that we do not need anything?
    Pema Pera: That anything we could possibly want is already here?
    Pema Pera: then the only thing left is to celebrate
    Pema Pera: learn to celebrate, share, express
    Pema Pera: and in doing so learning to see, learning to Be
    Pema Pera: at that point you strolled by
    Pema Pera: so here we are ;>)
    Pema Pera: does that make some kind of sense?
    Moondust Sella: yes:-)

    We then talked about Being and being nobody.

    Pema Pera: how would you have said it, in your words?
    Pema Pera: roughly speaking?
    Moondust Sella: Everything is just as it should be and all we need to do is see things as they are???
    Pema Pera: that is one way to say it, yes, and then the question is of course what each word and idea means — it is very easy to take such a sentence and then give the wrong meaning . . . .
    Moondust Sella: well, what is the ‘wrong’ meaning?
    Pema Pera: well, we can say “everything is already perfect, and there is nothing to do” and we can conclude that we can just be lazy and self-centered and not caring . . . that would be an example of a wrong meaning
    Moondust Sella: the work is in seeing the truth of things as they are and not how we would like them to be??
    Pema Pera: yes, very much so
    Pema Pera: and in seeing who we are
    Moondust Sella: apparently we are nobody ;-)
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Pema Pera: in some sense that is true
    Pema Pera: but again, it so much depends on what we mean with that
    Pema Pera: shedding your somebody sense can make you truly open and receptive and creative
    Pema Pera: but others may feel like nobody and interpret that as being worthless . . . .
    Pema Pera: which is the opposite
    Moondust Sella: well, I guess
    Moondust Sella: I didn’t think of it as ‘worthless’ though….
    Pema Pera: no, I didn’t think you thought that
    Pema Pera: but since we talked about meanings
    Pema Pera: I know many people who do
    Pema Pera: more or less
    Pema Pera: when they honestly look in the mirror
    Pema Pera: they do not see much worth
    Pema Pera: while identifying themselves with the very limited body and mind they experience
    Pema Pera: but our true worth is other
    Pema Pera: and yet here
    Pema Pera: not different
    Pema Pera: and our invitation is to express that, every moment

    This led us to talk about time . . .

    Pema Pera: you and I and Sim, we all have a long history, long in RL and also somewhat long in SL
    Pema Pera: and yet, we are here
    Pema Pera: we met for the first time
    Pema Pera: we can see time as starting here and now
    Pema Pera: so here we are
    Pema Pera: in a sense nobodies, or new bodies for each other
    Pema Pera: and perhaps for ourselves too
    Pema Pera: if we dare to shed the past
    Pema Pera: like dropping a bath robe
    Pema Pera: and be naked to what is
    Pema Pera: now
    Moondust Sella: all we have is the here and now??
    Pema Pera: not even that
    Pema Pera: no past
    Pema Pera: no future
    Pema Pera: no hope
    Pema Pera: no fear
    Pema Pera: no present
    Pema Pera: only what Is
    Pema Pera: and what Is
    Pema Pera: is the door
    Pema Pera: to everything and all
    Pema Pera: eternity in a grain of sand
    Moondust Sella: a door already!
    Pema Pera: ahaha
    Pema Pera: yes, as a matter of speaking
    Pema Pera: an open door
    Pema Pera: that you can’t go through
    Pema Pera: because you’re already at the other side
    Pema Pera: you see, you dropped into a rather curious conversation here!
    Moondust Sella: That’s OK
    Pema Pera: thanks!

    . . . and to us talking about open secrets.

    Pema Pera: if we can really dare to look at the notion that “the present, too, is an illusion”
    Pema Pera: then any spiritual path becomes sooooooo much simpler
    Pema Pera: a well kept secret
    Pema Pera: but not really secret
    Pema Pera: just hard at first to make any sense of
    Pema Pera: so people ignore it
    Pema Pera: and it becomes like a secret
    Moondust Sella: a well-kept secret…. hmmmmmm
    Moondust Sella: ignorance???
    Stim Morane: Sorry, we are at the turn of the hour and I need to go get something. I’ll check back in later. It was nice to meet you, Moondust.
    Pema Pera: bye, Stim!
    Moondust Sella: Likewise Stim :-)
    Pema Pera: well, ignorance, yes, but everything we say and think is in some sense part of ignorance
    Pema Pera: that is true
    Pema Pera: but the no-present idea has been said in the past, but most often not understood and ignored
    Moondust Sella: you have a lot of information in your mind….
    Pema Pera: May I quote a short poem, by an Indian master, Tilopa, a hundred years ago?
    Pema Pera: only six lines
    Pema Pera: not much information in that ;>)
    Moondust Sella: of course….
    Pema Pera: Let go of what has passed
    Pema Pera: Let go of what may come
    Pema Pera: Let go of what is happening now
    Pema Pera: Don’t try to figure anything out
    Pema Pera: Don’t try to make anything happen
    Pema Pera: Relax, right now, and rest
    Pema Pera: These six lines contain anything I could possible say, but more briefly (*^_^*)
    Moondust Sella: then there is nothing more left to say…. :-)
    Pema Pera: oh, there is
    Pema Pera: and there isn’t
    Pema Pera: both are true
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Moondust Sella: very enigmatic
    Pema Pera: yes, I know it sounds that way
    Pema Pera: but really there is no other way to say it
    Pema Pera: if you consider words to form a plane
    Pema Pera: a two dimensional surface
    Pema Pera: and what we are talking about a stick standing straight up
    Pema Pera: in a third dimension
    Pema Pera: that what we are doing is trying to use words from two dimensions to describe the stick
    Pema Pera: so we use a lamp
    Pema Pera: and shine on the stick
    Pema Pera: and the shadow fall on the plane of words
    Pema Pera: now the problem is . . . . .
    Pema Pera: . . . . each lamp throws a different shadow
    Pema Pera: and they all sound very different in words
    Pema Pera: very very very enigmatic!
    Pema Pera: but when you look up beyond the words
    Pema Pera: and see the stick
    Pema Pera: or at least begin to see some outline of the stick
    Pema Pera: it all makes a lot of sense . . . .
    Pema Pera: I don’t know whether that metaphor is helpful
    Pema Pera: ?
    Moondust Sella: so we have no need of words???
    Pema Pera: that depends . . .
    Moondust Sella: a stick is still a stick
    Pema Pera: ultimately not, no
    Pema Pera: but they can help us, yes
    Moondust Sella: unless we need a tool to describe it

    Someone walked by, we said hello, and he passed on.

    Moondust Sella: I saw a shadow on the glass
    Pema Pera: isn’t that nice
    Pema Pera: this building?
    Pema Pera: the windows and everything
    Pema Pera: A woman called Dakini Rhode built this tea house
    Pema Pera: and let me use it
    Pema Pera: we started two weeks ago
    Moondust Sella: and you allowed me to come in :-)
    Pema Pera: yes ;>)
    Pema Pera: that’s how things go . . . and flow . . .
    Moondust Sella: thank you
    Pema Pera: you’re very welcome
    Pema Pera: we meet here a few times every day, believe it or not
    Pema Pera: I created a web site, http://playasbeing.wordpress.com/
    Pema Pera: if you happen to be interested, you can have a look
    Pema Pera: but there is a lot of material there, so no need to read everything, by any means
    Pema Pera: you can just browse
    Pema Pera: I write it like a blog
    Pema Pera: a stream of what happens here
    Moondust Sella: tell me………
    Pema Pera: Would you mind if I mention you in the blog as well, by your SL name?
    Pema Pera: I’m happy to tell
    Moondust Sella: how did you come by such wisdom?
    Pema Pera: since I’m enjoying this adventure very much
    Pema Pera: with a little help of my friends, is the answer, Moondust
    Moondust Sella: feel free to mention me anywhere :-)
    Pema Pera: over the last 38 years or so . . . .
    Pema Pera: thank you!
    Pema Pera: If ever I write or quote something in my blog that you don’t like, just IM me and I will take it off immediately
    Pema Pera: very easy
    Pema Pera: I want people to be completely comfortable talking here
    Pema Pera: so shall I tell? ;>)
    Moondust Sella: Please tell :-)

    I then summarized the main Play as Being idea.

    Pema Pera: The basic idea of what we are doing here is simple
    Pema Pera: I suggest that we all spend an hour a day, or perhaps a few hours a day, paying a 1% time tax
    Pema Pera: 1% of that hour, or hours, we spend “playing as Being” instead of playing who we normally are.
    Pema Pera: Every 15 minutes, we spend 9 seconds
    Pema Pera: during that time we stop what we were doing, take a breath,
    Pema Pera: and try to drop what we have, while trying to see what we are.
    Pema Pera: Then we write down a few words, whatever pops up spontaneously, in a journal
    Pema Pera: That’s all!
    Moondust Sella: developing a living awareness??
    Pema Pera: yes, you could say that, that is part of it, for sure
    Pema Pera: like meditation
    Pema Pera: but many people find it hard to spend an hour a day
    Pema Pera: and even if they do, they tend to forget it all during the remaining 23 hours a day
    Pema Pera: I know that from experience myself ;>)
    Pema Pera: so here we are making a deal
    Pema Pera: we are trading in the hard part
    Pema Pera: we are trading in duration for frequency
    Pema Pera: Doing 4×9 seconds per hour, for a few hours, is less than two minutes
    Pema Pera: like brushing your teeth
    Pema Pera: so doesn’t really take much of your time
    Pema Pera: but doing it every 15 minutes gives a sense of continuity
    Pema Pera: continuous reminders to look beyond
    Pema Pera: beyond what you normally think you are
    Pema Pera: if you like
    Pema Pera: you could just try it
    Pema Pera: for a few days, say
    Pema Pera: see what happens

    Just before this point in time, Tara had dropped by, but I hadn’t noticed her yet.

    Pema Pera: Hi Tara!
    Tara Farmer: hi pema
    Tara Farmer: and moondust
    Pema Pera: ah there you are
    Pema Pera: hadn’t seen you behind the big kettle
    Pema Pera: sorry
    Moondust Sella: Hello Tara :-)
    Tara Farmer: so, pema, have you convinced her yet?
    Pema Pera: well, Moondust?
    Pema Pera: Tara has been here before
    Pema Pera: keeps coming back ;>)
    Tara Farmer: he he
    Pema Pera: fortunately
    Tara Farmer: i’m a vagabond
    Pema Pera: don’t look like it!
    Pema Pera: looking lovely today especially
    Tara Farmer: yes today i am a pretty pink fairy
    Pema Pera: haha
    Tara Farmer: thank you PEma
    Pema Pera: SL and its possibilities
    Tara Farmer: i love it, i can be like a little girl and have what my heart desires
    Tara Farmer: for 50 cents
    Pema Pera: So Moondust, if you like to try it, I would be very happy to hear how it feels
    Pema Pera: This is a totally new adventure for me
    Pema Pera: and I am very curious how we all take to it
    Pema Pera: in our own way
    Pema Pera: you can IM me or come back here, whatever you prefer
    Tara Farmer: what does adipose mean?
    Pema Pera: adipose?
    Tara Farmer: yes
    Tara Farmer: it popped into my head during my 9 seconds today
    Pema Pera: I have no idea ;>)
    Tara Farmer: i am going to look it up
    Moondust Sella: fat
    Tara Farmer: i will get back to you in a sec
    Moondust Sella: it means fat as in adipose tissue
    Pema Pera: that what we loose when we enter SL?
    Moondust Sella: I guess LOL!

    It became time for Moondust to say goodbye.

    Moondust Sella: I have to go now Tara
    Moondust Sella: Have a lovely evening
    Pema Pera: nice meeting you Moondust
    Pema Pera: Thank you!
    Pema Pera: Here in California it is 1:30 pm
    Pema Pera: lunch time ;>)
    Tara Farmer: it means fat
    Tara Farmer: oh jeez
    Tara Farmer: cheese, and then fat
    Pema Pera: Thanks for stopping by, Moondust
    Tara Farmer: i think reality is telling me to stop being a fatass
    Tara Farmer: bye moondust
    Pema Pera: haha
    Pema Pera: reality is hard on you, it seems!
    Tara Farmer: i know pema
    Tara Farmer: so, am i trying to hard
    Tara Farmer: or not enough?
    Moondust Sella: good evening
    Tara Farmer: Pema, I am trying to give it my attention
    Moondust Sella: Thank you Pema
    Pema Pera: hard to say whether we are trying to hard . . . .
    Pema Pera: yw Moondust

    Tara and I continued our conversation, and also talked about PaB practice a bit:

    Pema Pera: Have you played a bit with the 9-second game?
    Pema Pera: is that hard?
    Tara Farmer: i have been doing my nine seconds about twice a day
    Pema Pera: that’s fine
    Pema Pera: of course
    Pema Pera: and how did it feel?
    Tara Farmer: i have been feeling more centered for sure
    Tara Farmer: i guess i was expecting fireworks and got sparks
    Pema Pera: hahahaha
    Pema Pera: yeah, I know the feeling
    Tara Farmer: LOL
    Pema Pera: I’m glad to hear about centered
    Tara Farmer: i am very scattered and can easily lose perspective
    Tara Farmer: so an exercise like this can help someone like me feel more relaxed
    Pema Pera: that would be great!
    Pema Pera: creative and grounded are often hard to combine . . . . .
    Tara Farmer: he he
    Tara Farmer: i am somewhat grounded
    Tara Farmer: but at work i have to run around and it gets stressful
    Pema Pera: I can understand
    Pema Pera: work situations can be hard to deal with
    Tara Farmer: its okay, but the people and the travel can get to me

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