2008.04.17 13:00 - A Second Life for Avatars

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    1. 1. 2 responses so far ↓

    After a quiet start in the tea house, Storm walked in.

    Pema Pera: Hi Storm!
    Pema Pera: Good seeing you again
    Storm Nordwind: Hi
    Storm Nordwind: Always good to be here
    Storm Nordwind: I waited to see if anyone else would show up first
    Pema Pera: oh, no reason at all to wait!!
    Pema Pera: always nice to have you drop in here
    Pema Pera: actually I’m the one dropping in here — you were here far earlier (^_^)
    Storm Nordwind: I was indeed
    Storm Nordwind: And we are all dropping in in any life!
    Storm Nordwind: or out, as awareness goes
    Pema Pera: yes ;>)
    Storm Nordwind: Tell me something. How would you rate the success of Play as Being so far? Or is it too early to tell? What does success look like anyway?
    Pema Pera: Oh, it’s far too early to say anything definite, for sure.
    Pema Pera: That said, I’m already very pleased
    Pema Pera: So many gems of insights, ideas, experiences, responses, interactions
    Pema Pera: especially seeing how people are really sharing their experiences here, that in itself has been very heartening
    Storm Nordwind: yes. What is the main way that people tell you these insights? I ask because, AFAIK I am the only blogger you have linked to, and even then I am sporadic
    Pema Pera: oh, mostly just talking here
    Pema Pera: Stim is starting a blog now too
    Pema Pera: I have already linked to him, as you can see on the blog
    Storm Nordwind: Ah good - I have been tied up all day and not looked so far
    Pema Pera: he is the one person I have most interacted with in my life, concerning the questions of how to find natural ways to connect ancient contemplative insights with modern scientific ways of thinking, Steven Tainer in RL; he and I have set up the Ways of Knowing web site
    Storm Nordwind: I have seen the picture of the two of you there
    Pema Pera: actually, I’m glad you brought up the point of blogs; I’ll ask a few other regulars whether they would be interested to start a PaB blog too
    Pema Pera: It would be interested to grow a little cluster of blogs

    At this point, Kessidri arrived, after I had given her a tp offer. And as happened before, she got stuck in the ceiling of the teahouse . . .

    Pema Pera: Hi Kessidri!
    Kessidri Swamphen: hi…erm just dropping in :-p
    Pema Pera: Ah, you may be caught in the ceiling?
    Kessidri Swamphen: LOL!
    Pema Pera: I think Storm is rescueing you
    Kessidri Swamphen: thankyou storm and hello
    Storm Nordwind: This way!
    Kessidri Swamphen: ok
    Pema Pera: Thanks, Storm!
    Storm Nordwind: Remind me to ask Dakini to phantom the roof!
    Pema Pera: Hi Kess!
    Pema Pera: sorry about the attic trap!!
    Kessidri Swamphen: hi sorry about that
    Pema Pera: nono our fault
    Storm Nordwind: Entirely not your fault Kess
    Storm Nordwind: Pleased to meet you anyhow
    Kessidri Swamphen: and you too

    I told Storm the story of how Kessidri and I met, doubly virtually so.

    Pema Pera: Storm, Kessidri and I met in a virtual way here in SL
    Pema Pera: twice removed from RL
    Kessidri Swamphen: haha yes
    Pema Pera: and this is in fact the first time we meet here in SL
    Kessidri Swamphen: even poor avatars need a second life!
    Pema Pera: yeah
    Pema Pera: can you guess by now what happened?
    Storm Nordwind: Er… surprise me!
    Pema Pera: well . . . you have met No Self here, just like I met one of your alts
    Storm Nordwind: Oh I see
    Pema Pera: The day that I created No Self, to try it out I went to Ryoanji
    Pema Pera: a most beautiful zen tempel in Kyoto
    Pema Pera: with a very nice copy here in SL
    Pema Pera: and there I met someone
    Pema Pera: to my surprise
    Pema Pera: because there is almost never anyone there
    Pema Pera: and rather quickly we both figured out that we were both alts, haha
    Pema Pera: doesn’t take too long to figure out
    Pema Pera: as you have also stressed — SL is really quite transparent
    Kessidri Swamphen: my (that is kessidri’s) house is next door to the temple
    Kessidri Swamphen: but my alt likes to hang out there too lol
    Storm Nordwind’s brain explodes
    Pema Pera: just like No Self
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Pema Pera: so Kess, did we meet in our Third Life?
    Kessidri Swamphen: yeah so i met no self half hour after he was created
    Kessidri Swamphen: um yes third life definately…my alt is escape from this busy avatar lol
    Pema Pera: hehe, same here
    Pema Pera: and now I’ve given away my No Self identity, haha
    Pema Pera: I created that mainly to get around the 25 limitation in number of groups
    Storm Nordwind: Kessidri - you have a very familiar RL face on your profile. I am trying to place where I have seen it before
    Kessidri Swamphen: oh i am so sorry …I should check your profile too storm
    Kessidri Swamphen: you dont look familiar to me storm
    Kessidri Swamphen: erm i dont know why i do to you…but i find as i get older i feel i have seen all the face structures that exist here on earth
    Kessidri Swamphen: do you ever feel that?
    Storm Nordwind: Hmmm… no, I am always surprised. It is my sense of childlike wonder!
    Kessidri Swamphen: i see so many people in so many other people lol
    Kessidri Swamphen: but i have known a lot of people lol
    Storm Nordwind: I think it is just my bad memory! :)
    Kessidri Swamphen: well storm i hope that if we met it was a good memory :-p
    Storm Nordwind laughs

    The conversation moved to PaB, Playing as Being.

    Pema Pera: Kessidri, we gather here a few times a day, believe it or not
    Kessidri Swamphen: wow
    Pema Pera: I wonder, did I mention that to you?
    Kessidri Swamphen: you did but i didnt realise how often
    Kessidri Swamphen: is there a ceremony?
    Pema Pera: http://www.waysofknowing.net/ is the web site
    Kessidri Swamphen: other than the tea ceremony
    Pema Pera: oh no no ceremony at all!
    Pema Pera: have some tea!
    Pema Pera: yes, I was about to say
    Storm Nordwind: And the initiation ceremony
    Pema Pera: haha attic trap!
    Kessidri Swamphen: :loading:
    Kessidri Swamphen: oh that darn thing lol
    Kessidri Swamphen: i thought i was going to have to politely tp somewhere else and ask for a new tp lol
    Storm Nordwind: We need to phantom the roof but neither of us have permissions
    Pema Pera: but it may be a way to break the ice
    Pema Pera: if not the roof
    Kessidri Swamphen: haha yes
    Pema Pera: but don’t feel you have to read it all, Kess
    Pema Pera: you can later look at it, no rush
    Pema Pera: and there is far too much to read anyway
    Kessidri Swamphen: i have looked at the home page of the site pema but i will look at the rest more closely later i dont want to be distracted and seem rude
    Pema Pera: we come here in a rather informal atmosphere, no worry!
    Kessidri Swamphen: oh yes indeed
    Pema Pera: play is the key here!

    Stim walked in and joined us.

    Pema Pera: Hi Stim!
    Kessidri Swamphen: hi stim
    Pema Pera: Stim, meet Kessidri
    Stim Morane: Hi Pema. Sorry I’m late.
    Pema Pera: no problem at all!
    Stim Morane: Hi Kessidri!
    Pema Pera: People drop in and out here at random
    Kessidri Swamphen: love the music
    Pema Pera: This is Kessidri’s first time here
    Pema Pera: Thanks!
    Pema Pera: Kess, Stim recently was born in SL, but as a real virtual Stim, not an alt
    Pema Pera: how do you call a non-alt?
    Pema Pera: a proper?
    Kessidri Swamphen: erm main?
    Storm Nordwind: main is normal yes
    Pema Pera: ah, really?
    Pema Pera: hadn’t encountered that one yet
    Storm Nordwind: You could try ‘base’ instead ;)
    Kessidri Swamphen: if i start floating above this cushion its the music :-p
    Storm Nordwind: Actually it’s usually the tea here. There is something in it
    Pema Pera: haha
    Kessidri Swamphen: yeah i have experienced that too lol
    Pema Pera: but I don’t like to be a `base’ avatar
    Pema Pera: too debasing
    Pema Pera: and I don’t want to carry No Self on my shoulders

    After these alt musings, we got a bit more serious.

    Pema Pera: Storm, would you like to summarize for Kess your experience so far with PaB?
    Pema Pera: Play as Being?
    Pema Pera: I’m always summarizing here
    Pema Pera: love to hear your angle
    Kessidri Swamphen: yes i would love to hear
    Storm Nordwind: Hmmm…
    Storm Nordwind: you’re checking to see if I’m awake! ;)
    Kessidri Swamphen: lol
    Storm Nordwind: Well I have tried the time tax
    Storm Nordwind: stopping for 9 seconds every 15 minutes
    Storm Nordwind: It has it’s plusses and minuses for me
    Storm Nordwind: I tend to be more sporadic
    Storm Nordwind: But I created a blog especially for the exercise
    Storm Nordwind: the first and only blog I will probably ever have!
    Pema Pera: I feel honored!
    Storm Nordwind: and some interesting things come from it
    Storm Nordwind: Perhaps I should just let the words in the blog speak for themselves
    Kessidri Swamphen: oooh as we say in the UK linkage pls
    Storm Nordwind: They are linked from Pema’s PlayasBeing website
    Storm Nordwind: I too am in the UK. Which is why I thought I recognised you, but that’s btw
    Kessidri Swamphen: lol
    Kessidri Swamphen: yes
    Storm Nordwind: We’ve had quite a number of people dropping into these sessions
    Storm Nordwind: While I was in the US I managed 2 or 3 times a day
    Storm Nordwind: Now it’s only once
    Pema Pera: almost 40 people in two weeks
    Storm Nordwind: Good!
    Storm Nordwind: And we have some land here that we’ve built on
    Storm Nordwind: We have space for quite large meetings
    Storm Nordwind: as well as smaller ones like this
    Storm Nordwind: Quite often however, for me, if I remember to stop and write then I find I can just Be anyway
    Storm Nordwind: In fact the rest of the time, it feels like I am playing at Non-Being!
    Storm Nordwind: that is unless I start identifying with the ‘I’ - that’s been happening more than normal this week!
    Storm Nordwind: But I am approaching this from the opposite direction that many may be
    Storm Nordwind: Like some here, I guess … can’t think of a better way to say this …
    Storm Nordwind: … I have quite a bit of experience
    Storm Nordwind: in terms of Being
    Storm Nordwind: This sounds awful, but the experiment is sometimes a steeping down for me rather than a stepping up
    Pema Pera: That’s a wondeful expression, Storm, steeping down!
    Storm Nordwind: And i sometimes wonder whether I’m at all qualified to take part in Pema’s experiment as a result
    Pema Pera: no qualifications here, Storm
    Storm Nordwind: I know that
    Storm Nordwind: Still the feeling persists
    Pema Pera: any and all are welcome
    Pema Pera: and can share and contribute
    Pema Pera: I see this as a peer group
    Pema Pera: which doesn’t mean that we are all equal in terms of past experience
    Pema Pera: but it means that no one plays a teacher role
    Storm Nordwind: Quite so.
    Pema Pera: For example, I see my role more as that of a mentor
    Pema Pera: at best
    Pema Pera: and I am ready to be mentored myself
    Pema Pera: learning from anyone here
    Storm Nordwind: And I wouldn’t even really want to take role of teacher or mentor
    Storm Nordwind: I went to an introductory talk on Buddhism while I was in the US.
    Storm Nordwind: I wanted to see how they approached it there
    Storm Nordwind: I thought that the teacher was amazing
    Storm Nordwind: And I felt that, despite my being a teacher, that I’d have such a hard job doing what she did
    Storm Nordwind: But I suspect i will be driven by compassion for all beings - as is often the Buddhist way - and I’ll just get on with it!
    Storm Nordwind: But then I thought of how valuable Pema’s experiment is in relation to this
    Storm Nordwind: There are so many ways to achieve greater awareness

    We continued talking, and then we asked Storm to give us a tour.

    Storm Nordwind: Hey… I’ve rattled on far too long! Please someone else talk MY ears off instead!
    Storm Nordwind laughs
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Kessidri Swamphen: well its interesting lol
    Pema Pera: we are all ears, Storm
    Kessidri Swamphen: yep
    Pema Pera: haha
    Pema Pera: Storm, you mentioned compassion
    Pema Pera: such a central topic in Buddhism
    Pema Pera: at yet so many sides to it
    Storm Nordwind: yes it is
    Pema Pera: Stim once told me something about compassion
    Pema Pera: which made a deep impression on me
    Pema Pera: Stim, I hope I’m quoting you right — correct me if I’m wrong –
    Pema Pera: something like this
    Pema Pera: True compassion means two things
    Pema Pera: first, to really see that nobody is in need of anything
    Pema Pera: second, to help the others see that for themselves
    Storm Nordwind: Excellent. And now to reread the HeartSutra!
    Pema Pera: yes, indeed!
    Storm Nordwind: Written or spoken by the Lord of Compassion
    Storm Nordwind: That is a profound statement
    Storm Nordwind: However, there are many many steps for most people before they can understand those thoughts
    Storm Nordwind: Most people have difficulty understanding the day-to-day difference between sympathy and empathy
    Storm Nordwind: Or at least, so it appears to me in the adult classes I tach
    Storm Nordwind: *teach
    Pema Pera: Storm, you pointed to Quan Yin, would you like to show us some of Her statues here that you and others built?
    Storm Nordwind: Sure. You mean give people a tour. If they are willing, no problem
    Kessidri Swamphen: yes i am happy to
    Pema Pera: I’d be happy myself!
    Pema Pera: Haven’t seen it all yet
    Pema Pera: Stim, would you like to join us too?
    Stim Morane: Sure
    Pema Pera: okay, we got a tour, thanks, Storm!
    Storm Nordwind: Let us walk
    Pema Pera: sure
    Storm Nordwind: Please follow me on foot

    Storm then showed us some of the many interesting buildings and statues that he had built, as well as some elaborate landscaping, including beautiful a waterfall with the Chinese characters for `compassion’ appearing in the waves. I will not include the whole conversation, which would be hard to follow without the visuals, but instead I’ll end with Stim summing up.

    Stim Morane: how long did it take to produced this?
    Storm Nordwind: About two months Stim
    Storm Nordwind: But I’m always adding stuff
    Stim Morane: a remarkable extension of meritorious action
    Storm Nordwind: Thank you so much Stim. That means a lot
    Stim Morane: the ancients would have been thrilled
    Storm Nordwind: The moderns certainly are!

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