2008.04.20 19:00 - The Cart Before the Horse

    Table of contents
    No headers

    In close succession, NeitherNorist and Stim dropped by. NeitherNorist gave us another occasion to make sure that Dakini had made the attic trap proof. Instead he more or less dropped in my lap.

    IM: NeitherNorist Ohl: I am lost. I can’t find the place
    Pema Pera: I’ll give you a tp
    Pema Pera: Greetings!
    Pema Pera: How’s life?
    NeitherNorist Ohl: Good evening
    Pema Pera: Hi Stim
    Stim Morane: Hi
    NeitherNorist Ohl: Sorry, I didn’t get in with the best manner
    Pema Pera: that’s fine!
    Pema Pera: At least you didn’t get stuck in the ceiling
    Pema Pera: that used to be the case ;>)
    NeitherNorist Ohl: lol
    NeitherNorist Ohl: hi Stim
    NeitherNorist Ohl: I’m NN
    Stim Morane: Hello, nice to meet you
    NeitherNorist Ohl: same here
    Pema Pera: ww drew in NN
    Pema Pera: wuwei ;>)
    NeitherNorist Ohl: I’m new to SL, new to PaB
    NeitherNorist Ohl: hence NN
    Pema Pera: many abbreviations here in SL :)
    NeitherNorist Ohl: indeed
    Pema Pera: Stim, NN was at my talk at Columbia University
    Pema Pera: a couple weeks ago
    Pema Pera: and was intrigued by me mentioning wuwei
    Pema Pera: and then we met in RL
    Pema Pera: and after that in SL
    Pema Pera: NN, Stim is my long-time collaborator
    Pema Pera: on all things reality-like (^_^)
    NeitherNorist Ohl: I see, like what stuff?
    NeitherNorist Ohl: like in the lab?
    Pema Pera: well, Stim?
    Pema Pera: Life as a Lab, yes
    Pema Pera: Ways of Knowing, and Kira
    NeitherNorist Ohl: I see
    NeitherNorist Ohl: is this another SL thing you are running?
    Pema Pera: no
    Pema Pera: this is our first SL appearance
    Pema Pera: I started regularly coming in around Christmas
    Pema Pera: and Stim just a week or so ago
    Stim Morane: Sorry, I was working on something else for a minute. I’m just catching up with you.
    Pema Pera: very SL like ;>)
    Stim Morane: It’s more just a sign of being tired and distracted
    Pema Pera: I know, you’ve had a full weekend!
    NeitherNorist Ohl: I’m still learning about SL
    NeitherNorist Ohl: but for me pretty soon that excuse won’t do any more
    NeitherNorist Ohl: Ha!
    Pema Pera: NN, being new in SL may last months . . . unless you go in there fulltime
    Pema Pera: there is so much to learn!
    NeitherNorist Ohl: I’m relieved! so my excuse is valid for several more months

    The conversation moved to the Play as Being exploration.

    Pema Pera: Have you had a chance to play a little with the 9-sec idea?
    NeitherNorist Ohl: not this week. for some reason this was a really busy weekend and everything else kind of fell on the wayside
    NeitherNorist Ohl: it’s not a habit yet
    Pema Pera: I guess that’s the main point
    Pema Pera: the total time is minimal, like for brushing your teeth
    Pema Pera: (^^)
    NeitherNorist Ohl: I know, it’s not about the length of time, it’s about a habit
    Pema Pera: in a way, the best time to try this out is when you are really really busy!
    NeitherNorist Ohl: I know, except I forgot everything else when I’m busy!
    Pema Pera: and you may think that the quality of what you do is terrible, awful
    Pema Pera: and yes
    Pema Pera: that is true but . . . .
    Pema Pera: . . . it may be more significant than very elated experiences in a longer sitting
    Pema Pera: when you are quiet and peaceful
    Pema Pera: the BIG challenge with any form of meditation is integration
    Pema Pera: of whatever you learn in daily life.
    Pema Pera: we here put the cart before the horse
    Pema Pera: in a way
    Pema Pera: by starting with integration
    Pema Pera: before really getting into anything like meditation or contemplation
    Pema Pera: but once the integration habit is formed
    Pema Pera: the rest may be a lot easier . . . .
    NeitherNorist Ohl: I see
    NeitherNorist Ohl: Have you been practicing meditation for a long time?
    Pema Pera: yes, in many forms
    Pema Pera: but what I am suggesting here
    Pema Pera: does not need any background
    Pema Pera: I would almost say: it may be even easier if you don’t have any mediation background
    Pema Pera: that way you may look at the whole thing with more fresh eyes
    NeitherNorist Ohl: right, inexperience certainly has its own advantages
    Pema Pera: meditation is not a goal in itself ; the point of meditation in some sense to go beyond meditation — like wu-wei, not doing — but such a statement can be easily misunderstood, and I don’t mean laziness or disrespect for serious efforts
    Pema Pera: so traditionally you spend many years really practicing deeply
    Pema Pera: and then you have to drop it all
    Pema Pera: and go beyond
    Pema Pera: my cart-before-hors upside-down method goes the other way ;>)
    Pema Pera: first drop any attempt to meditate
    Pema Pera: forget about it
    Pema Pera: just stop 9 seconds out of a quarter of an hour
    Pema Pera: and see what happens
    Pema Pera: once you see what happens, we can talk about it here
    Pema Pera: and take it from there
    Stim Morane: Sorry I can’t stay, I have to attend another VR meeting in a few minutes… anyway, it was nice to see you both. Goodbye!
    Pema Pera: Bye Stim!
    NeitherNorist Ohl: bye

    After Stim left, the two of us continued talking about learning and unlearning.

    NeitherNorist Ohl: don’t you think it is kind of strange that you learn something, and then have to unlearn it in order to really get it
    Pema Pera: no, that is not strange
    Pema Pera: take a jazz musician
    Pema Pera: learning to play a musical instrument
    Pema Pera: all the technicalities
    Pema Pera: and finally she/he can play in a jam session in complete abandonment
    Pema Pera: in fact, learning a language is the same
    Pema Pera: a second language especially
    Pema Pera: you learn grammar and words
    Pema Pera: and then you just use it
    Pema Pera: effortlessly
    Pema Pera: wuwei
    NeitherNorist Ohl: but I don’t think learn those skills (music instrument or second language) is just learning about technicalities
    Pema Pera: initially I guess that is how you approach it
    NeitherNorist Ohl: But I think, for example, learning a second language, we don’t just learn to express ourselves in another language. rather we learn something we might not even be able to express in our native langugage
    NeitherNorist Ohl: learning reshapes us, in a way that involves more than technicalities. maybe when we try to unlearn it, what is unlearned is technicalities, but something else retains
    Pema Pera: I agree, the metaphor between seeing into reality and learning a language is far from perfect
    Pema Pera: but the not-doing, the wuwei aspect is there in both cases
    Pema Pera: first you feel you do something, it takes effort
    Pema Pera: and then it becomes more and more easy and natural, frictionless
    NeitherNorist Ohl: that can be understood as a case of embodiment
    NeitherNorist Ohl: I remember you said that to know reality or to see it involves giving up, abandoning, etc.
    Pema Pera: yes, indeed!
    Pema Pera: And wuwei is a form of abandonment
    Pema Pera: But metaphors are tricky!
    Pema Pera: Sometimes I contrast learning a language with looking into reality
    Pema Pera: saying that learning a language is adding, and really seeing is subtracting . . . .
    Pema Pera: . . . sorry to be confusing (^_^)
    Pema Pera: but no metaphor is perfect
    NeitherNorist Ohl: no, it makes good sense
    Pema Pera: and they can do double duty.
    NeitherNorist Ohl: but is seeing reality just a matter of “seeing”? Isn’t seeing also metaphorical?
    Pema Pera: oh sure
    Pema Pera: all words we use are approximations
    Pema Pera: or not even that
    Pema Pera: concepts cannot really get to the main thing

    At that moment I noticed that somebody had approached the tea house, and was standing outside, so I invited him in. I then realized that I had met him before, at one of the zen sessions that Dakini leads, every day at 6 pm, nearby.

    Pema Pera: Hi Bas!
    Pema Pera: Would you like to join us?
    Bas Curtiz: Namaste
    Pema Pera: Namaste!
    Bas Curtiz: /nods
    Pema Pera: Come on in!
    Pema Pera: Welcome
    Bas Curtiz: thank u
    NeitherNorist Ohl: Hi, Bas, I’m NN
    Pema Pera: Were you just strolling by?
    NeitherNorist Ohl: good to meet you
    Bas Curtiz: Nice meeting u 2 too
    Pema Pera: thanks!
    Pema Pera: Same here
    Bas Curtiz: So ehm
    Bas Curtiz: What’s cooking?
    Bas Curtiz: so to speak ;)
    Pema Pera: water
    Pema Pera: boiling
    Pema Pera: for tea
    Pema Pera: want a cup?
    Pema Pera: just click on the teapot on the tray

    We all had a cup of tea.

    Bas Curtiz: my AV kinda like it
    Bas Curtiz: :P
    Pema Pera: haha
    Pema Pera: yeah, pretty strong green tea
    NeitherNorist Ohl: so, we were just starting to talk about language and its distortion on reality. i always wonder why though
    Bas Curtiz: Especially English
    Bas Curtiz: Kinda simplified language
    Pema Pera: of misschien ook Nederlands?
    Bas Curtiz: Nederlands is al wat beter
    NeitherNorist Ohl: English is not special in that regard
    Pema Pera: haha
    Bas Curtiz: ;)
    Pema Pera: NN, Bas speaks Dutch as well
    NeitherNorist Ohl: I see
    Pema Pera: Have you learned to peek into people’s profiles?
    Pema Pera: NN is kinda new to SL
    NeitherNorist Ohl: I haven’t done that yet
    NeitherNorist Ohl: I’m in the SL to chat in this room :)
    Pema Pera: you can do many things in this room
    Pema Pera: And you see, Bas, the tea makes you float!
    Bas Curtiz: Btw, is it ok I’m flying in above the surface now, since I got that tea?
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: it seems a side effect of the tea script
    Bas Curtiz: lol
    Pema Pera: it happens to the best of us :>)
    Bas Curtiz winks
    Bas Curtiz: But plz go on, with the language-discussion
    Pema Pera: we were talking about a strange idea that we are pursuing her:
    Pema Pera: ah, you’re grounded again!
    Bas Curtiz: Down on earth :P
    Pema Pera: the idea is to use 9 seconds every 15 minutes to stop what you’re doing
    Pema Pera: as a kind of 1% time tax
    Pema Pera: 1% of 15 minutes
    Bas Curtiz listens
    Pema Pera: as a type of exploration
    Pema Pera: just to see how that changes the way you look at reality
    Pema Pera: normally we are totally caught up in what we’re doing
    Pema Pera: but what would happen if you poke some holes
    Pema Pera: in your own habits?
    Pema Pera: That’s the idea
    Pema Pera: and here we talk about what happened when we try that
    Pema Pera: http://playasbeing.wordpress.com/ is our web site
    Bas Curtiz: Hmmm, I would say, in this 9 seconds..
    Bas Curtiz: Ur mind takes over to say to u: Now go on, there’s plenty to do!

    At this point NN had to leave, and Bas and I continued.

    NeitherNorist Ohl: sorry, I need to go now. I’ll see you guys later
    NeitherNorist Ohl: Bye
    Pema Pera: bye NN
    Pema Pera: good seeing you here
    Pema Pera: I guess NN’s mind took your hint literally
    Pema Pera: “Now go on, there’s plenty to do!”
    Pema Pera: haha
    Bas Curtiz: lol
    Bas Curtiz: Indeeed…:O
    Pema Pera: tea made your words powerful!
    Bas Curtiz: But that’s the real fight if u ask me..
    Bas Curtiz: To fight against ur patterns wired in ur brain
    Bas Curtiz: The program you’re caught up by
    Bas Curtiz: Esp. when u’re busy
    Pema Pera: yes but the question is, with what method and then how to apply the method
    Pema Pera: in most approaches that I know the focus is on the method
    Pema Pera: in what I am suggesting here the focus is on the application
    Pema Pera: if you do something simple very often
    Pema Pera: it may be more effective than doing something complex occasionally
    Bas Curtiz: No doubt about that
    Pema Pera: so I am not so interested in what the method is frankly
    Pema Pera: but more in frequency and continuity
    Pema Pera: do something, anything, every 15 minutes, and your mind can let it alone . . . .
    Pema Pera: then take it from there
    Pema Pera: and once you have the 15 minute habit
    Pema Pera: like a virus that has gotten under your skin
    Pema Pera: you can improve what you do with that
    Pema Pera: it’s a totally new and crazy idea
    Pema Pera: but worth trying out I think
    Pema Pera: we started just a couple weeks ago
    Pema Pera: so we’ll see what happens ;>)

    Bas then gave me a picture of an EmWave, a portable device, a kind of biofeedback-measure-system, measuring our HRV, Heart-Rhythm-Variable, to be worn on a thumb, in RL.

    Pema Pera: have you used it?
    Bas Curtiz: I’ve got one myself
    Bas Curtiz: ’round about 175 euro
    Bas Curtiz: But it’s worth it
    Pema Pera: it measures rhythms?
    Bas Curtiz: U actually can now SEE if u’re relaxed and not caught up in ur head
    Pema Pera: interesting.
    Bas Curtiz: And the funny part in this all…
    Bas Curtiz: If u think on positive things
    Bas Curtiz: U can be more in the zone…
    Bas Curtiz: in a balance of ur HRV
    Bas Curtiz: When for instance, u think, worrying, or bad feelings on one or another..
    Bas Curtiz: It will display that real-time :O
    Pema Pera: have you worked with it extensively?
    Bas Curtiz: I do it everyday, regularly,
    Bas Curtiz: but only when I’ve got time for it tho ;)
    Pema Pera: haha, yes, time is always the problem . . . .
    Bas Curtiz: And there comes the problem of al…
    Bas Curtiz: Discipline
    Pema Pera: yes exactly
    Bas Curtiz: It’s like fighting against ur ”’natural behavior”
    Bas Curtiz: But this ”natural behavior”
    Bas Curtiz: is just learned thru social conditioning
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: we have trained for years, or been trained really, to do that social conditioning
    Bas Curtiz: they have good side-effects tho
    Pema Pera: sure, survival, culturally and physically
    Bas Curtiz: but also less good side-effects…
    Pema Pera: indeed!
    Bas Curtiz: So also in this..
    Bas Curtiz: Balance is the key
    Pema Pera: exactly.
    Pema Pera: and yes indeed,
    Pema Pera: It starts in school:
    Pema Pera: Do your homework!
    Pema Pera: So were a child is told: do your homework
    Pema Pera: I say: just do a little something
    Pema Pera: just 9 sec
    Pema Pera: The child can protest that (s)he has no interest in doing homework for an hour
    Pema Pera: but I take away that excuse

    We then talked about various attitudes concerning meditation.

    Bas Curtiz: Look @ nature
    Bas Curtiz: It’s perfectly imperfect
    Pema Pera: yes, evolution
    Bas Curtiz: That’s our best example if you ask me
    Pema Pera: tinkering
    Bas Curtiz: There is a pattern in it all
    Bas Curtiz: A rhythm
    Bas Curtiz: U can sense it
    Bas Curtiz: When u’re in it
    Bas Curtiz: But most of the times
    Bas Curtiz: We sense we’re out of this rhyrhm
    Bas Curtiz: like going too fast, or too slow
    Pema Pera: yes, balance is key
    Pema Pera: we were talking, NN and I, about wuwei, the Chinese idea of not-doing
    Pema Pera: not doing something unnecessary
    Pema Pera: something that causes friction
    Bas Curtiz listens
    Pema Pera: it is nice to listen to the crickets here, isn’t it?
    Bas Curtiz: Yes, it’s soothing
    Bas Curtiz: Like Osho would say:
    Bas Curtiz: There’s only one medicine
    Bas Curtiz: and that’s meditation
    Pema Pera: and it comes in many forms
    Pema Pera: sitting, moving, lying down, working
    Pema Pera: sitting is easiest at first, perhaps
    Bas Curtiz: I noticed for myself…
    Bas Curtiz: Looking @ a wall, from very close…
    Bas Curtiz: Seeing the texture, the patterns
    Bas Curtiz: Is helpful
    Pema Pera: yes, I can see how that helps to really focus and really see
    Pema Pera: how did that feel for you?
    Bas Curtiz: Refreshed
    Bas Curtiz: Clear
    Bas Curtiz: Energized

    And we continued, from sight to sound.

    Pema Pera: sometimes listening to a single sound — bird or even machine — can be interesting too
    Bas Curtiz: Yup
    Bas Curtiz: It was funny
    Bas Curtiz: When walking in the city, where they were building stuff
    Bas Curtiz: I heard the rhythm of some pill-driver
    Bas Curtiz: And it was kinda..
    Bas Curtiz: Peaceful
    Pema Pera: you know, that is so interesting, that really rings a bell for me.
    Pema Pera: The last week or so I’ve been terribly busy
    Pema Pera: to the point of really not sleeping enough
    Pema Pera: and one night I just kept going in order to finish a paper before a hard deadline
    Pema Pera: and the next morning, in the hotel where I was sleeping
    Pema Pera: just a few hours after I had gone to bed
    Pema Pera: they started to make a lot of noise
    Pema Pera: hammering schlepping whatever
    Pema Pera: and to my great surprise it didn’t bother me at all
    Pema Pera: it was like background music
    Pema Pera: I was weaving in and out of sleep and either way was fine
    Pema Pera: sleeping was okay
    Pema Pera: dozing was okay
    Bas Curtiz: Exactly
    Pema Pera: I was too tired to care I guess
    Pema Pera: but at the same time I learned to maneuver so to speak
    Pema Pera: not enough energy to “do”
    Pema Pera: my body and mind naturally found the way of “not-doing”
    Bas Curtiz: Hmmm this time between being totally awake and dreaming
    Bas Curtiz: Is when I found I had a good meditation
    Bas Curtiz: Like ur there
    Bas Curtiz: Everything is clear
    Bas Curtiz: in sound and view
    Bas Curtiz: but ur more distant from it
    Bas Curtiz: and then again ur not
    Bas Curtiz: a paradox
    Bas Curtiz: like it doesn’t matter if it is there
    Bas Curtiz: it’s nice
    Bas Curtiz: it’s doesnt affect u
    Pema Pera: yes, so many dimensions . . . . .
    Bas Curtiz: but u don’t deny it is there
    Bas Curtiz: like trying to not hear it, or see it
    Bas Curtiz: no, just as it is
    Pema Pera: simple, but takes a while to get a taste
    Bas Curtiz: funny part is…
    Bas Curtiz: if u get to that moment…
    Bas Curtiz: then all is good.
    Bas Curtiz: like not esp. not caring.
    Bas Curtiz: but like everybody has his/her own path to walk.

    We ended on a good note, actually beyond good and bad.

    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: but at the same time we can inspire each other
    Pema Pera: sometimes you see something that you’d like to try
    Pema Pera: and sometimes something that you want to avoid
    Pema Pera: ;>)
    Bas Curtiz: funny part is..
    Bas Curtiz: that’s a misconception of ur brain
    Bas Curtiz: like there’s good, or bad
    Bas Curtiz: social conditioning
    Bas Curtiz: in this society, yes, it bad to kill someone
    Bas Curtiz: but that’s this social-system
    Bas Curtiz: only if that exists…
    Bas Curtiz: you can say it is bad
    Pema Pera: I agree that ultimately there is the challenge to go beyond good and bad . . . . but that notion can also lead to many misunderstandings, and if one tries to do that prematurely, one can do a lot of harm.
    Bas Curtiz: and within’ that..
    Bas Curtiz: we learn
    Bas Curtiz: experiencing
    Bas Curtiz: what has consequences
    Bas Curtiz: in a ”good” or ”bad” way
    Bas Curtiz: but in the end..
    Bas Curtiz: we don’t feel like killing at all
    Bas Curtiz: coz it’s all good
    Bas Curtiz: just as it is
    Pema Pera: that would be ideal, yes.
    Pema Pera: Well, I’m afraid I have to go now
    Pema Pera: RL is calling . . .
    Pema Pera: Good talking with you, Bas!
    Pema Pera: Thanks for stopping by.
    Bas Curtiz: viceversa ;)
    Pema Pera: yw!
    Bas Curtiz: and remember:
    Bas Curtiz: it’s all good
    Pema Pera: that’s a great thing to remember, I agree!
    Bas Curtiz: just feel the soothing in ur stomach
    Bas Curtiz: the vibe
    Bas Curtiz: of life
    Pema Pera: Thank you!
    Pema Pera: see you!

    Tag page (Edit tags)
    • No tags
    You must login to post a comment.
    Powered by MindTouch Core