2008.04.23 19:00 - Open Inquiry

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    When I arrived at the tea house, I saw a little group standing around the zazen place to the west of the tea house. Since nobody was in or near the tea house yet, I strolled over to greet them. In landed in the middle of what seemed to be a very serious conversation.

    Willoh Roussel: i dont regret anything i chose to do
    Cid Jacobs: ty
    Tara Farmer: is it what someone else had done?
    Dakini Rhode: hi Pema
    Pema Pera: Good evening all!
    Tara Farmer: hi pema
    Storm Nordwind: Good morning Pema!
    Pema Pera: Hi Tara!
    Cid Jacobs: hey pema
    Pema Pera: Hi Storm!
    Pema Pera: Hi Cid!
    Pema Pera: Hi Willoh!
    Pema Pera: And hi Dakini!
    Willoh Roussel: hi pema
    Tara Farmer: willoh, when you look at yourself, do you the sum of who you are, all of your experiences mean something?
    Cid Jacobs: did the buddha ever give his opinion on gods? i believe he stayed very vague on the subject right?
    Tara Farmer: like when you look in the mirror, do you see the good and the bad, or just the bad?
    Tara Farmer: do you see the sum
    Willoh Roussel: no i know ia m a good person
    Willoh Roussel: to other ppl most of the time
    Tara Farmer: I often question what someones motivation is for finding a “religion” that fits
    Dakini Rhode: that sounds like a good research topic, Cid
    Dakini Rhode: Folks, i need to run along
    Cid Jacobs: kk dakini, tc, well cya soon :}
    Pema Pera: Sleep well, Dakini!
    Dakini Rhode: Bye and have a good evening

    Cid, Storm, Tara and Willoh, whom I saw there for the first time, continued their conversation.

    Willoh Roussel: i am not looking for anything to fit me
    Tara Farmer: ok
    Willoh Roussel: i want something that will make me be a better person
    Willoh Roussel: like myself more
    Willoh Roussel: help me be more
    Willoh Roussel: help me be the person i want to be but afraid to be
    Tara Farmer: well the simple fact that you want to be more, is a step in the right direction
    Tara Farmer: understand this, if nothing else
    Tara Farmer: willoh, who do you want to be
    Tara Farmer: ?
    Willoh Roussel: i dont know
    Willoh Roussel: i dont really want money
    Willoh Roussel: i dont want fame
    Willoh Roussel: i just want to be content
    Tara Farmer: you want to be accepting of yourself
    Willoh Roussel: not happy
    Willoh Roussel: just content
    Tara Farmer: is this true?
    Willoh Roussel: is what true?
    Willoh Roussel: that i want to be content?
    Tara Farmer: you want to go to bed at night and know that you have made a difference?
    Willoh Roussel: no
    Willoh Roussel: its not about that
    Willoh Roussel: knowing u made a difference is selfish
    Willoh Roussel: its ur ego
    Willoh Roussel: being stroked

    The more I listened, the more I appreciated Willoh’s openness and lack of preconceived notions in the way she was questioning herself. Slowly the conversation I had drop in the middle of began to take on contours, as if rising from the mists.

    Tara Farmer: well i am just trying to figure out exactly what you mean by becoming more of who you want to be
    Willoh Roussel: so no
    Willoh Roussel: its not about that
    Tara Farmer: willoh, i think we are very much alike
    Willoh Roussel: tara LOL. i cant explain something i have no words for yet :D
    Tara Farmer: i understand willoh, i will back off
    Tara Farmer: i always try to find out , eek out, exactly what someone is looking for
    Willoh Roussel: no i am not getting angry lOL its just i cant find the words
    Willoh Roussel: i need words
    Tara Farmer: i understand
    Willoh Roussel: i need to write new words to describe me
    Tara Farmer: well sometimes words cannot explain the discontent we feel inside
    Storm Nordwind: Please excuse me, I will adjourn to the tea house
    Tara Farmer: LOL I love that you said that
    Cid Jacobs: kk storm, cya soon
    Tara Farmer: I have said that
    Storm Nordwind: rain thunder off
    Pema Pera: Willoh, and all, if you’d like to join Storm and me for a cup of tea, please feel free to come along!
    Tara Farmer: willoh, you should join us in the tea house
    Willoh Roussel: i wouldnt go so far as to say i am discontent, i thank the universe everyday for being alive where i live i thank the universe that i dont live in poverty
    Willoh Roussel: i am blessed like you wouldnt believe compared to otehrs
    Willoh Roussel: but knowing that doesnt make my world joyful

    I was reminded of Sky’s words, with which she had tried to point to how she was not able to express what she really wanted to say. I reflected on the fact that thsi is so true for all of us, but that not all of us realize that so clearly. I also appreciated Willoh’s gratitude remaining alive in the middle of her depression. At that point Cid took his leave.

    Cid Jacobs: thanks pema, i really should get going though, ill catch up with you soon though :}
    Pema Pera: fine, Cid!
    Cid Jacobs: tc guys :D
    Pema Pera: And I enjoyed the company of your bugs
    Cid Jacobs: ha, ty :}
    Pema Pera: the yellow one visited the tea house
    Pema Pera: was fun
    Cid Jacobs gave you Social Ladybug.
    Pema Pera: oh thanks Cid!
    Cid Jacobs: cyall soon, have fun guys :}
    Tara Farmer: bye cid
    Willoh Roussel: bai cid
    Pema Pera: nice to be bugged!

    Knowing that I could now rebug the tea house any time I wanted, I kept my newly acquired bug safely in my inventory, wondering all the while whether I would ever get around to organizing my poor disorganized inventory . . . .

    Tara Farmer: willoh, just one more thing, then i would like to go into the tea house
    Tara Farmer: I will attempt to sum up what i am saying in one sentence
    Tara Farmer: hmmm
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Pema Pera: beautiful summary!
    Tara Farmer: I have this same issue myself and i am trying to remember what helped me
    Tara Farmer: shhh pema
    Tara Farmer: i am thinking
    Pema Pera: sorry Tara
    Tara Farmer: get thee to the tea house
    Tara Farmer: :)
    Willoh Roussel: what is the tea house?
    Pema Pera: I like that
    Pema Pera: Willoh we are drinking tea
    Pema Pera: nearby
    Tara Farmer: willoh, it is a house over yonder
    Pema Pera: and talking about reality
    Pema Pera: but in a playful way
    Tara Farmer: i will give up my summation
    Tara Farmer: for now
    Pema Pera: I came in in the middle of your conversation
    Pema Pera: but I really like your open attitude
    Pema Pera: of not wanting to rush into anything
    Tara Farmer: but would like to talk to you about this at a later time if you are interested
    Tara Farmer: spiritual pursuits are a passion for me
    Tara Farmer: mine and others
    Pema Pera: I would feel honored if you would join us
    Willoh Roussel: i think i would yes
    Pema Pera: over here
    Willoh Roussel: lol

    One by one we strolled into the tea house.

    Pema Pera: welcome Willoh
    Pema Pera: that has a nice ring to it
    Willoh Roussel: thank you
    Tara Farmer: hey stormy
    Storm Nordwind: Hey there! :)
    Tara Farmer: so pema, how are you?
    Pema Pera: fine!
    Pema Pera: I very much enjoyed our talk this afternoon
    Tara Farmer: busy being
    Pema Pera: or whatever time it was
    Pema Pera: for all of you ;>)
    Tara Farmer: me too
    Pema Pera: Willoh
    Willoh Roussel: :)
    Pema Pera: we get together here every six hours
    Pema Pera: those of us who want to

    The conversation returned to some of the previous topics, much of which I had missed, but I began to piece together more of a picture. After Willoh had talked about the pros and cons of her current studies, Tara talked about her work with plants.

    Tara Farmer: you could come and talk to my plants
    Willoh Roussel: only if ur plants can talk back :D
    Tara Farmer: i agree a lot can be learned from a plant
    Tara Farmer: they thrive in even the worst conditions
    Tara Farmer: a lotus flower is a beautiful flower grown from the mud
    Willoh Roussel: u could make the anaolgy that plants are like ppl, somethrive in the worst conditions and some are very sensitive
    Willoh Roussel: and give up and die
    Tara Farmer: i agree willoh
    Willoh Roussel: i dont want to be one of the give up ones
    Tara Farmer: willoh, are you afraid of losing all of your leaves?
    Willoh Roussel: i want to be a seed that flys away from the family and starts a new
    Tara Farmer: ficus trees, right? one of the most common plants in offices
    Tara Farmer: a EXTREMELY fickle
    Tara Farmer: if it is too cold, they drop their leaves
    Tara Farmer: if it is too hot, they drop leaves
    Tara Farmer: if someone breathes on them, they drop their leaves
    Tara Farmer: but i have found that i have the Touch with them
    Willoh Roussel: i want to be a tree a gum tree that survives in extremely harsh conditions
    Willoh Roussel: needs fire to breed etc
    Pema Pera: you got Tara!
    Tara Farmer: he he pema
    Tara Farmer: willoh, you are everything you wish to be a
    Tara Farmer: and more
    Tara Farmer: willoh, the simple fact that you desire these things is all the fuel you need
    Storm Nordwind: Well then Willoh, perhaps you need to practise to be all these things. And practice does not make perfect: only perfect practice makes perfect!
    Tara Farmer: and even that aint perfect
    Tara Farmer: :)
    Tara Farmer: right storm?
    Storm Nordwind: absolutely
    Tara Farmer: willoh, you ARE a survivor
    Tara Farmer: if you lived for longer than a day, you are a survivor in this world we live in
    Tara Farmer: if you were bornm, you were already blessed
    Tara Farmer: with life
    Tara Farmer: i think it helps for someone to believe in you
    Tara Farmer: in order for you to see yourself for who you are
    Tara Farmer: you have found us, so you obviously are on the right path
    Willoh Roussel: maybe
    Willoh Roussel: but i need to believe those words

    Red Tara continued.

    Tara Farmer: ahhh a sparkle of hope
    Willoh Roussel: atm i dont
    Tara Farmer hugs willoh
    Willoh Roussel: LOl its ok
    Tara Farmer: i believe in you
    Tara Farmer: and i am a complete friggin stranger
    Willoh Roussel: hehe nice to know :D thanx
    Storm Nordwind: It’s amazing Willoh. Two hours ago i didn’t know you. Now I find myself looking forward to your eventual success!
    Willoh Roussel: hahaha well that is the issue for me
    Willoh Roussel: others believe in me more than i do
    Willoh Roussel: i am confused why ppl do
    Tara Farmer: willoh, that is not the problem, it is the solution
    Storm Nordwind: I can tell you why I do
    Tara Farmer: maybe you could believe in someone, and that would help you too
    Willoh Roussel: maybe but the expectation that i can achieve lots makes me stressed
    Storm Nordwind: I do because I see me in you
    Tara Farmer: i agree with storm
    Tara Farmer: i see myself in you too
    Willoh Roussel: i dont want to disappoint anyone
    Tara Farmer: otherwise i would not give a shit
    Willoh Roussel: and that belief in me
    Willoh Roussel: anyway i have loads to do i have two days and 8 assignments
    Tara Farmer: willoh, i have enjoyed meeting you
    Willoh Roussel: i have been avoiding them with a passion
    Willoh Roussel: not been motivated and easily distracted
    Willoh Roussel: thank you
    Willoh Roussel: :D
    Storm Nordwind: Then away with you. And I will go too! (To bed in my case. It’s 3:30am)
    Tara Farmer: wow storm

    Sensing that Willoh might leave soon, I joined the conversation.

    Pema Pera: Willow, I came in in the middle of the discussion
    Willoh Roussel: well pema that is how i feel everyday
    Pema Pera: but I really enjoyed the way you voiced your questions
    Willoh Roussel: that i come in half way through
    Pema Pera: without grasping for any particular solution
    Tara Farmer: willoh, i disagree, you are halfway there then
    Willoh Roussel: i dont know what the answer or solution is to my questions
    Pema Pera: that’s great, Willoh
    Pema Pera: I really mean that
    Pema Pera: that’s the best possible way to start
    Pema Pera: you know
    Pema Pera: in all approaches that I know
    Willoh Roussel: i truely believe in love at first sight, and as such i believe when i find what i seek even if i dont consciously know what i am looking for
    Tara Farmer: pema is very wise
    Willoh Roussel: i think my soul will know
    Pema Pera: whether it is any form of philosophy or spirtuality or any training
    Pema Pera: the biggest part is to unlearn what you think you know
    Willoh Roussel: and i am not talking about love here i am talking about life
    Storm Nordwind: You are surely right Willoh. And only the empty cup can be filled
    Pema Pera: and you’ve already done that it seems
    Willoh Roussel: if i find something i should know should be apart of i will recognise it and know its for me
    Pema Pera: so you’re ready for the more juicy part
    Willoh Roussel: am i ?
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: absolutely
    Storm Nordwind: yes

    I just love these jumbled conversations, with everyone talking all at once. In RL it would have been hard to follow, and for newbies to texting the jumble of sentences at first seems confusing, but pretty soon you learn to read between the lines (with a wink to Types) and the different strands sort themselves out in your mind.

    Willoh Roussel: at this stage i just want concentration and focus
    Pema Pera: the one tricky part though is
    Pema Pera: the question who is you
    Willoh Roussel: and i think meditation will help me focus on what i need
    Pema Pera: the you you may think you are because everyone told you is you may not be you
    Tara Farmer: meditation has helped me a lot
    Pema Pera: and that may be the only small sticking point left
    Pema Pera: the rest is done
    Pema Pera: already
    Pema Pera: in your case
    Willoh Roussel: i have a stronger urge not to fail than to succeed
    Willoh Roussel: that is my problem
    Pema Pera: that’s connected with a wrong sense of who you are
    Tara Farmer: willoh, i know that feeling
    Pema Pera: and easy to correct
    Willoh Roussel: i hope so
    Willoh Roussel: that fear of failure is stiffling
    Pema Pera: it is a role that you have been made to play
    Pema Pera: and roles you can switch
    Pema Pera: like clothes
    Willoh Roussel: yeh but not so easy
    Pema Pera: who says?
    Pema Pera: why ?
    Tara Farmer: easy
    Tara Farmer: its the easiest thing you will ever do
    Willoh Roussel: because if it was that easy i would not be who i am right now seeking answers to unknown questions
    Tara Farmer: but you will not realise that until you do it
    Willoh Roussel: i would already know
    Pema Pera: maybe that is not what you are
    Pema Pera: just a role you can look at, laugh, and drop
    Willoh Roussel: i am many things
    Pema Pera: you have many things
    Pema Pera: there is a difference
    Willoh Roussel: a mother a teacher an artist a film maker
    Pema Pera: what you are you cannot drop
    Willoh Roussel: pick one
    Pema Pera: all things you have
    Willoh Roussel: yeh
    Storm Nordwind: You are logged onto real life as one avatar. You can log on as a different one. Or just be the you that is not logged on!
    Pema Pera: important roles, sure!
    Pema Pera: but roles
    Willoh Roussel: but not content with any
    Willoh Roussel: i am so depressed with “something” happening in me that i cant be
    Willoh Roussel: what do i want to be
    Willoh Roussel: that is the question
    Willoh Roussel: i dont know
    Pema Pera: perhaps you are already what you want to be? Sorry, not meant as a trick idea — I really mean it, seriously!
    Pema Pera: you seem to be so sure that you know what you are, Willoh
    Pema Pera: but that is the one thing that I don’t believe
    Pema Pera: that you are what you think you are
    Willoh Roussel: i dont know what i am
    Willoh Roussel: i dont know who i am
    Pema Pera: wonderful!
    Pema Pera: that is 99% of the solution
    Pema Pera: wonderful!
    Willoh Roussel: i just know i am not content with what i am
    Tara Farmer: then how can you know what you are not?
    Pema Pera: ah, that does not follow, Willoh
    Pema Pera: stop the press!
    Pema Pera: two things
    Pema Pera: if I may
    Willoh Roussel: well for me i know u mean well but it doesnt give me solutions or answers or even more questions about me
    Willoh Roussel: its like empty retoric

    I then took a gamble, and tried a logic angle, which I myself find helpful, but may or may not appeal to others. At this point I was acutely aware of the lack of body language while talking between avatars, and the risk of switching to logic in the middle of a more emotional debate. Still, I made the snap judgment that it was worth the risk — if it didn’t come across, I could always back off and try other angles.

    Pema Pera: 1) you don’t know who you are
    Pema Pera: 2) you say you are not content with what you are
    Pema Pera: so that cannot possibly be
    Pema Pera: 2) suggests that you know at least what you are to the point of knowing that you are not content with it
    Pema Pera: so that contradicts 1)
    Willoh Roussel: i have never been content
    Pema Pera: If 1) is really true, 2) is a mistake — and easy to fix
    Willoh Roussel: i dont know what true happiness is
    Willoh Roussel: in my soul
    Willoh Roussel: well birth of the babies was true happiness
    Willoh Roussel: but then . . .
    Willoh Roussel: see i dont know
    Pema Pera: you half don’t know . . . . .
    Willoh Roussel: i know its me that has to change
    Willoh Roussel: but i cant do it by myself
    Tara Farmer: well willoh, I have lived in many diff places and been scared and alone a lot of times
    Willoh Roussel: its not about being alone that scares me
    Tara Farmer: sometimes the drive to get away becomes the thing that brings you closer to what you need
    Willoh Roussel: i want to be alone and just focus on me

    By then I suddenly realized how late it had become, and that I had to be on my way.

    Pema Pera: I wish I could stay longer, Willoh, to talk more, but I have to leave now — RL is calling. I’m very glad you dropped by and I hope you’ll be coming back, whenever you feel like. We are here every day at 7 am, 1 pm, and 7pm, with whoever show up here, sometimes just me, sometimes several people. Some of us write blogs; see http://playasbeing.wordpress.com/ which is mine, with pointers to the blog by Storm and others.
    Willoh Roussel: thanx pema
    Pema Pera: yw
    Willoh Roussel: i appreciate it
    Pema Pera: I wish I could give some good friends of me the openness you show — and again I really mean that!!
    Willoh Roussel: lol
    Willoh Roussel: thanx i…..
    Willoh Roussel: dont know what to say
    Pema Pera: I have the feeling many people can be inspired
    Pema Pera: many people who are vaguely unhappy
    Pema Pera: will be inspired
    Pema Pera: when they read how clearly you express your unhappiness
    Pema Pera: that will speed up the prcoess for them
    Pema Pera: you have done most of the work
    Pema Pera: in breaking down the wrong idea about yourself
    Willoh Roussel: you think?
    Pema Pera: now you have to grow the right idea
    Pema Pera: that’s the easier part
    Storm Nordwind: Without realising it you have given many people a great blessing Willoh :)
    Willoh Roussel: for me i just feel like a toddler trying to find my way
    Tara Farmer: i agree willoh, it takes alot to come here and be open
    Pema Pera: most of meditation is realizing you’re a total failure
    Tara Farmer: it is no small feat
    Pema Pera: took me a long time . . . . .
    Willoh Roussel: awh thanx
    Pema Pera: I’m not saying that to make you feel happy
    Pema Pera: I would be ashamed to be a trickster like that
    Pema Pera: I really mean it
    Pema Pera: anyway, have to run
    Pema Pera: Thank you all!
    Tara Farmer: bye pema
    Willoh Roussel: okis bai
    Storm Nordwind: Bye Pema
    Willoh Roussel: be good
    Pema Pera: I’m grateful to be part of this group
    Storm Nordwind: I have to go too or else I’ll start talking even greater gibberish!
    Willoh Roussel: thanx
    Pema Pera: bye all!
    Tara Farmer: ok byue storm
    Willoh Roussel: gibberish is good
    Storm Nordwind: 4am is WAAAAY past my bedtime!
    Pema Pera: Willoh and Storm and Fire!
    Willoh Roussel: indeed
    Tara Farmer: LOL

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