2008.05.02 13:00 - From words to WOOOSH

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    The guardian at this meeting was Pema Pera and the comments are his. 

    When I arrived at the tea house, approaching from the West, I saw that Thorberg had just approached the place as well, and in a rather fancy way, using a segueway.
    one of those high tech scooter-like self-stabilizing little one-person vehicles.

    Pema Pera: Hi Thorberg!
    Thorberg Nordlicht: hello
    Pema Pera: fancy way of transportation you got there!
    Pema Pera: a segueway?
    Thorberg Nordlicht: yeah, it’s my favorite
    Thorberg Nordlicht: It’s called a Terr “Z”
    Pema Pera: intriguing name!
    Thorberg Nordlicht: it’s make by a guy who does lots of interesting unusual vehicles
    Thorberg Nordlicht: his name is Cubey Terra
    Pema Pera: I’m sure the possibilities here in SL are endless . . . .
    Thorberg Nordlicht: yes, i think SL has only scratched the surface so far
    Pema Pera: shall we sit outside? It is nice weather ;>)
    Thorberg Nordlicht: sure
    Thorberg Nordlicht: I took a brief look at your blog
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: what did you think?
    Thorberg Nordlicht: i stopped by here at 1AM this morning, but i was the only one here
    Pema Pera: ah, sorry
    Pema Pera: that will start next week
    Pema Pera: you were just a few days too early
    Pema Pera: my apologies
    Thorberg Nordlicht: so i spent the time starting to look at the online materials
    Thorberg Nordlicht: no need to apologize
    Thorberg Nordlicht: you blog didn’t say you were commited to be here every time
    Pema Pera: not me personally
    Pema Pera: but someone will be
    Pema Pera: starting next week

    Moon Fargis dropped by in a hard-to-describe infant-toy-like cheerful avatar. Just before he arrived, he had kindly given me an icecream cone hat, of the type that Dakini often wears when she goes into chocolate disco mode.

    Pema Pera: Hi Moon!
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Pema Pera: you look great
    Pema Pera: and now I really start craving for ice cream!
    Thorberg Nordlicht: I just kind of stumbled across this project by accident
    Pema Pera: Have you met Thorberg?
    Thorberg Nordlicht: no, i haven’t had the pleasure
    Moon Fargis: hihi i just came from a childsim
    Thorberg Nordlicht: hello Moon
    Pema Pera: how did you stumble on it, Thor?
    Thorberg Nordlicht: nice avatar
    Moon Fargis: hi thorberg
    Thorberg Nordlicht: i was out exploring
    Pema Pera: haha, what a transformation!

    Moon was slowly changing back into his normal form.

    Moon Fargis: *WOOOSH*
    Thorberg Nordlicht: I used the Search command with the keyword “zen”
    Pema Pera: ah, yes, you told us the other day.
    Thorberg Nordlicht: and just started down the list and visited every place till i ended up here
    Moon Fargis: then you might be also on my garden thorberg:)
    Thorberg Nordlicht: most “zen” references are of the popular culture type
    Pema Pera: yes
    Thorberg Nordlicht: i was looking for somewhere in SL with a virtual zendo
    Moon Fargis: hoh pema… where did you catched that igle sitting on your head?
    Pema Pera: haha

    I was still wearing my punk hairdoe.

    Pema Pera: I asked my neighbor whether she would be willing to sell a small plot of land, just between that of mine and that of Dakini . . . .
    Pema Pera: and she said no, but she does sell hair
    Pema Pera: so I settled for hair — and this was the most impressive one I could find
    Moon Fargis: well.. hmmm maybe also good to perforate your grass in your garden :)
    Pema Pera: And Thorberg, what did you think of the blog, if I may ask?
    Moon Fargis: thorberg: there are some zendos over sl
    Thorberg Nordlicht: ((your blog)) very interesting
    Thorberg Nordlicht: definitely deals with topics I’m interested in
    Thorberg Nordlicht: “ways of knowing”

    Storm joined us.

    Storm Nordwind: Greetings friends
    Pema Pera: hi Storm!
    Moon Fargis: well might it be allso called ways of remember knowing?
    Moon Fargis: ahh storm hi
    Storm Nordwind: Pema - it seems you have had a nasty accident with a sea urchin ;)
    Pema Pera: haha
    Pema Pera: trying different fashions
    Pema Pera: the skull cap didn’t quite work
    Moon Fargis: well maybe i sayd it a bit wrong.. maybe “ways to be aware of knowing”
    Pema Pera: so my old hair shines through
    Pema Pera: yes, Moon, we are trying out some tricks to become more aware, you could say .. . .
    Pema Pera: but that begs the question who is the you that is becoming more aware . . ..
    Moon Fargis: well there isnt such think as a real “me” just this wich is generated out of my past
    Storm Nordwind remembers that “begging the question” does not mean what most people think it does
    Moon Fargis: but looking through this mind of past you will see awareness
    Moon Fargis: (darn enlgish isnt my native languge hard to explain sometimes)
    Pema Pera: Deutsch ist auch okay!
    Pema Pera: wir koennen dann uebersetzen
    Moon Fargis: och..das wird ja noch komplizierter:) aber danke ich muss das auch auf englisch hinbekommen
    Moon Fargis: learning means practice
    Pema Pera: well, there are many ways to talk about that, and the question is where to begin
    Pema Pera: My suggestion, Play as Being,
    Pema Pera: jumps to the end
    Pema Pera: and starts at the end
    Pema Pera: and then we can try to work backward
    Pema Pera: so I am at first not worried about what it means to know, to learn, etc
    Pema Pera: but to Be
    Pema Pera: to play
    Pema Pera: to play with Being
    Pema Pera: to let Being be
    Storm Nordwind will wander around for a few moments (on a mission) but will stay in earshot
    Pema Pera: okay!

    While Storm strolled around the neighborhood, Moon and Thor and I continued our conversation.

    Pema Pera: so of course we have to unpack what it means what I just wrote
    Pema Pera: we have to use words . . . ..
    Moon Fargis: well i think thats the problem… in buddhism we try to explain things with a language that wasnt made for this kind of explanations…
    Pema Pera: we can try and see how far we get
    Thorberg Nordlicht: perhaps useful to distinguish between awareness, consideration, conceptualizing, and expressing concepts with language
    Thorberg Nordlicht: language is far removed from basic awareness
    Pema Pera: yes, we can define a technical vocabulary
    Pema Pera: and that may be useful
    Pema Pera: but does take time
    Moon Fargis: well yes… maybe we also can use concepts
    Pema Pera: we can also try to point out more directly . . .
    Moon Fargis: like the tree concept
    Moon Fargis: to compare things on some natural objects
    Moon Fargis: btw did you got time to read the logs i gave yo pema?
    Moon Fargis: i kow there is a lot to read
    Pema Pera: not yet, Moon, sorry, I have been too busy trying to write my own blogs, three times a day . . . . I barely succeed doing so . . . .
    Pema Pera: . . . I hope to simplify my life soon . . ..
    Moon Fargis: try it one time a day
    Pema Pera: either by putting up less or asking others to help more . . . .
    Pema Pera: well one time a day is hard
    Pema Pera: different time zones
    Pema Pera: I want to give everyone equal chances
    Pema Pera: different continents
    Pema Pera: early risers
    Pema Pera: late sleepers
    Pema Pera: people with good computers at work
    Pema Pera: people with good computers at home
    Pema Pera: so you wind up with several times a day . . . . .
    Pema Pera: I don’t want to discriminate
    Moon Fargis: noble noble…

    We then talked about some of the pros and cons of the way I have been structuring the PaB sessions so far. I was very happy to do so with them, since we hadn’t yet looked at the overall setup with a critical eyes, so far.

    Moon Fargis: but this is internet. everyone can use the “back” button anytime
    Pema Pera: well, thanks, but like, I don’t see any other option ;>)
    Thorberg Nordlicht: This is fun, but I find text chat to be a limited medium. Perhaps the blogs and associated comments are the primary medium for this discussion and our meetings in SL are more to socialize and plan direction for the blog.
    Pema Pera: but we need live dialogue
    Pema Pera: not only passive reading
    Pema Pera: I find texting interesting in many ways –
    Pema Pera: it forces you to boil down what you wanna say
    Pema Pera: in a few key notions
    Pema Pera: off-line invites reflections
    Pema Pera: this on-line is more direct
    Thorberg Nordlicht: I was going to say it’s hard to express much in text chat, but I agree it encourages distillation to essential points.
    Moon Fargis: yes.. text is useful for informations
    Pema Pera: zen tradition is only a few words . . . .
    Pema Pera: haiku too . . .
    Thorberg Nordlicht: agree
    Moon Fargis: well “just sit” should be enougth text for me :)
    Pema Pera: haha
    Pema Pera: could be
    Pema Pera: but I prefer to share a bit more ;>)
    Thorberg Nordlicht: “return to the single-minded effort”
    Moon Fargis: ah yes “return to beginners mind”
    Thorberg Nordlicht: yes
    Thorberg Nordlicht: “In the beginner’s mind there are many possiblilities”
    Thorberg Nordlicht: “In the expert’s mind, few”
    Moon Fargis: but also many traps
    Thorberg Nordlicht: “Always be a beginner”
    Thorberg Nordlicht: ((quotes around thatj))

    Much as I respected those sayings, I also wanted to stress the need for bringing out fresh responses in terms of the situation at hand, as complementary to ancient quotations.

    Pema Pera: I like those pithy sayings but
    Pema Pera: in our blog we have had a number of occasions where I clearly felt that participants were opening their heart . . . that goes beyond a core pithy saying
    Pema Pera: more personal
    Pema Pera: what do YOU feel, struggle with and HOW
    Moon Fargis: hm? sorry was disatttracted for a minute
    Moon Fargis: so hmm my favorite quote in zen is ” “
    Thorberg Nordlicht: ((smile))
    Moon Fargis: ok ill get a visitor atm .. see you later
    Pema Pera: see you Moon
    Moon Fargis: dan
    Pema Pera: thanks for stopping by!

    Moon then started a rather wild dance, leaving Thor and me a bit puzzled. It turned out that the name of the dance started with the letter g, like gassho, which is what he had intended to do.

    Moon Fargis: again this gesture
    Moon Fargis: why does this gesture have to start with G :)
    Moon Fargis: like gassho
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Pema Pera: it certainly is expressive!
    Pema Pera: goes well with “”
    Storm Nordwind laughs out loud from a distance
    Pema Pera: clap clap clap
    Moon Fargis: ok another try

    This time Moon properly bowed with hands in gassho. I had taked the opportunity to take off the flat side lobes of my hairdo. After what Storm had said, I couldn’t keep my mind off the uni associations ;>).

    Pema Pera: Does this look better, Storm, with only the mohawk?
    Pema Pera: no side lobes?
    Storm Nordwind: hmmm
    Storm Nordwind considers
    Storm Nordwind wonders how to break this to Pema
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Storm Nordwind looks up his book of diplomacy
    Storm Nordwind: It’s …er… wonderful! :D
    Pema Pera: hehe
    Pema Pera: ‘nough said!
    Storm Nordwind: But but it really is good
    Storm Nordwind: brilliant
    Storm Nordwind: most excellent
    Storm Nordwind: and compares very favourably
    Storm Nordwind: to wearing a sea urchin
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Pema Pera: well, beauty is relative I guess
    Storm Nordwind: And in this case it certainly is relative :)
    Pema Pera: well perhaps we should change the subject
    Storm Nordwind wonders whether the British habit of friendly mutual insults works cross-culture!
    Pema Pera: I think so
    Pema Pera: we have all seen enough British movies and read British novels ;>)

    As we frequently do, the next moment we made another switch from playful to serious.

    Pema Pera: coming back to the use of words here
    Storm Nordwind: I agree with your point of people sometimes opening their hearts here and in their PaB blogs
    Pema Pera: you were ahead of me ;>)
    Pema Pera: yes
    Thorberg Nordlicht: I submit that words always refer to concepts. Words cannot point directly to reality.
    Pema Pera: but can be like artist’s tools, expressive
    Storm Nordwind: How else, Thorberg, do you inspire someone towards reality?
    Thorberg Nordlicht: lead them to the edge of the cliff, then kick them off
    Thorberg Nordlicht: zen koans… lead them into a verbal trap and then let them exhaust themselves into realization on their own
    Storm Nordwind: How can you lead them without words
    Storm Nordwind: ?
    Thorberg Nordlicht: lead WITH words
    Thorberg Nordlicht: “what is the sound of one hand clapping”
    Thorberg Nordlicht: no conceptual answer
    Storm Nordwind: there doesn’t need to be a conceptual answer
    Storm Nordwind: Words are just a tool
    Storm Nordwind: They are not an end in themselves
    Thorberg Nordlicht: that’s my point, but the listener has to come to that conclusion on their own
    Storm Nordwind: Although, their beauty can inspire too

    I really enjoyed this exchange. While I agreed with what both Storm and Thor said, I also saw an opportunity to try out different kinds of emphasis, rubbing them off each other, comparing them.

    Pema Pera: I don’t feel any urge to try and lead someone . . . . I prefer to let Being/Universe/It express itself through the gathering of friends, all of us
    Storm Nordwind: Others can lead Pema. So many of us choose our leaders and we follow. And then change. perhaps the best leaders are those that are chosen, not those that choose
    Pema Pera: yes, words here are again tricky. I agree that real leaders and teachers are not consciously leading and teaching, not in any calculating way at least, but more spontaneously . . . but even that is not an accurate way of expressing it . . . .
    Pema Pera: . . . . to me it very much feels like stepping out of the way
    Pema Pera: A week ago Dakini and I talked about that
    Pema Pera: that really hit me as coming close to how it feels
    Storm Nordwind: That is how facilitators work
    Storm Nordwind: And in doing so they inspire others to step out of the way of their lesser selves
    Pema Pera: yes, it is a shared movement toward giving up habitual identification
    Storm Nordwind: quite so
    Pema Pera: helping each other to drop the habit
    Pema Pera: conceptualists anonymous
    Storm Nordwind: Much as I love loans, I think it is an approach that is accessible to more people
    Storm Nordwind: *koans
    Pema Pera: ah!
    Storm Nordwind smiles!
    Pema Pera: haha
    Pema Pera: with buying so much land
    Pema Pera: I might need loans
    Storm Nordwind: haha!
    Pema Pera: I really enjoyed reading your blog today Storm
    Storm Nordwind: Oh! Good :)
    Pema Pera: balancing between playing and going on a journey
    Pema Pera: using words is like riding a bicycle
    Pema Pera: half the time you fall to the left
    Pema Pera: half the time to the right
    Pema Pera: and the skill is to balance
    Pema Pera: not too serious
    Pema Pera: not too silly
    Storm Nordwind: And the other half? ;)
    Pema Pera: ?
    Storm Nordwind: Limited only to two halves? ;)
    Pema Pera: oh no hehe
    Pema Pera: but in pointing to your journey vs play
    Pema Pera: temporarily wanted to point out that tension
    Pema Pera: of course there are many more
    Storm Nordwind: yes
    Pema Pera: ;>)

    Thor pointed out a key point in all that we discussed.

    Thorberg Nordlicht: ((riding a bicycle)) good example: you can “explain” with words everything just short of that special feeling of just getting it…. getting that special balance that makes all the difference
    Storm Nordwind: sure
    Storm Nordwind: thank you
    Pema Pera: like in mathematics too,
    Pema Pera: yes, Thorberg
    Pema Pera: you can write words and draw diagrams
    Pema Pera: but you have to fall into the proof
    Thorberg Nordlicht: agree… the listener (student) has to make that final leap on their own
    Pema Pera: but perhaps the leap takes the student . . . .
    Pema Pera: (not trying to quibble here)
    Thorberg Nordlicht: you can take them right to the brink with words, but they have to make the final essential step on their own
    Pema Pera: (but emphasis is important)
    Pema Pera: but perhaps the final step is not something you “make”
    Pema Pera: you prepare
    Pema Pera: open
    Pema Pera: then it can happen
    Pema Pera: (again no quibble)
    Pema Pera: (emphasis only)
    Thorberg Nordlicht: agree… “make” just my limited way of expressing
    Pema Pera: fine to use that word if we all agree on the meaning
    Pema Pera: takes a while to build up vocabulary
    Pema Pera: one more reasong to write a blog
    Pema Pera: and blogs
    Pema Pera: of course
    Pema Pera: together
    Pema Pera: just like we have developed the disco dance with ice cream cone hats as a way of communicating ;>)
    Thorberg Nordlicht: hahaha

    I had been looking for a while now at how Thor’s typing gestures where far more fancy than that of most of us. Instead of just typing in the air, as the standard avatar gesture, each time he typed a fancy looking laptop appeared in front of him out of thin iar, for him to type on.

    Pema Pera: by the way I envy you Thor!
    Thorberg Nordlicht: oh?
    Pema Pera: Where can I find such a nice laptop?
    Pema Pera: splendid!
    Thorberg Nordlicht: hmmmm, not sure where I found this particular one
    Thorberg Nordlicht: but i’m sure others on SL Exchange
    Storm Nordwind: “Come to the edge. We might fall. Come to the edge. It’s too high! COME TO THE EDGE! And they came and he pushed and they flew…”
    Pema Pera: …and they looked back and could no longer find any edge ….
    Storm Nordwind: I’m not sure Christopher Logue put that bit in his original poem - but I like it!
    Pema Pera: ah! Thought you just made that up ;>)
    Storm Nordwind: Oh no
    Storm Nordwind: His book called “New Numbers” from 1969
    Pema Pera: well, a new hour is approaching
    Pema Pera: Storm, do you want to come with me to Paduk?
    Pema Pera: I’ll get another 1500 sqm
    Thorberg Nordlicht: This has been interesting. I look forward to your blog update.
    Pema Pera: feel free to join us Thorberg
    Storm Nordwind: I’m sorry. I have an RL appointment and I’ll do a test first before leaving
    Pema Pera: okay!
    Storm Nordwind: Hectic this week!
    Pema Pera: Thanks for coming here Thorberg!
    Pema Pera: I hope we’ll see more of you here
    Thorberg Nordlicht: Thanks, but think I’ll go my own way. Other things to attend to today. Hopefully buying land this afternoon.
    Pema Pera: from Monday onward four times a day
    Storm Nordwind: See you again soon
    Storm Nordwind: Namaste
    Thorberg Nordlicht: ok, i’ll try to stop back
    Thorberg Nordlicht: Namaste
    Pema Pera: Namaste!

    I then went over to Paduk. Alas, SL was down for buying, and logins were temporarily suspended. It would take an hour or so for things to come back to normal, but of course I had no way of knowing that, so I kept trying for a few minutes. As an example that everything has its good side, waiting there gave me an opportunity to meet my neighbor in Paduk. He had seen me flying over. We chatted for a bit, and then I flew over to nearby Chongno, where I had an appointment with someone else to discuss possibilities of buying some land there as well.

    That was a great educational experience. The potential seller showed me the rather complex layout of his various pieces of land using what he called a lazer tag game method. What happened is that we could fly up rather high above everything else, where a kind of sculpted blue-white glacier was suspended in the exact same shape as the piece of land he owned. What is more, we could actually walk over the glacier, which gave me the chance to compare the positions of all the corners and sides with where my avatar would be located on the map at the same time I reached those corners and edges. A very useful tool indeed!

    Soon afterwards Dakini came on line, and I showed her some of the land I had bought earlier in the week. Her first reaction after I tp-ed her concerned my new copy of the icecream cone hat that I had seen her wearing often.

    Dakini Rhode: haha nice hat!
    Pema Pera: isn’t it!
    Pema Pera: Moon gave it to me
    Dakini Rhode: this is a nice large bit of land
    Pema Pera: bless his heart
    Pema Pera: yeah, isn’t it!
    Dakini Rhode: landscaping comes with it?
    Pema Pera: wanna see some other piece?
    Dakini Rhode: of course!
    Pema Pera: what do you mean, the objects?
    Dakini Rhode: rocks and trees
    Pema Pera: oops
    Pema Pera: had forgot to add this part
    Pema Pera: it is larger, you see?
    Pema Pera: 8k
    Dakini Rhode: Yes, I see! wow!
    Pema Pera: and here is another 1k
    Pema Pera: here
    Pema Pera: not yet connected
    Pema Pera: trying to get the missing square
    Pema Pera: a Japanese womand told me I can probably get the missing piece ;>)
    Dakini Rhode: sort of like a missing puzzle piece?
    Pema Pera: ah sorry
    Pema Pera: this is part of the 8k
    Pema Pera: you CAN join across points
    Dakini Rhode: yes
    Dakini Rhode: I’m imagining the possibilities

    We toke off, flying due west and then a bit further South.

    Pema Pera: please come over!
    Pema Pera: this is Magoja
    Pema Pera: 32k with 16 k more coming up next month ;>)
    Dakini Rhode: nice big empty canvas
    Pema Pera: and this is Chokki, 4K plus
    Dakini Rhode: oh my!
    Pema Pera: and here below 512
    Pema Pera: all contiguous
    Dakini Rhode: you MUST allow us to terraform - I’d love to see the possibilities
    Pema Pera: of course!
    Pema Pera: I do NOT allow you NOT to terraform ;>)
    Pema Pera: can’t possibly do it by myself
    Dakini Rhode: there are probably hills and lakes hidden here
    Pema Pera: I bought it for the group
    Pema Pera: for you and Storm and everyone
    Pema Pera: did you see my Rieul area having grown as well?
    Dakini Rhode: yes, it seems the Rezzidents have sold you their land
    Pema Pera: some did so, yes, and others as well.
    Pema Pera: well I should go back to blog writing ;>)
    Pema Pera: I’m way behind
    Dakini Rhode: :-)
    Pema Pera: see you !
    Dakini Rhode: bye - thanks for the tour!
    Pema Pera: yw!
    Pema Pera: lets start planting soon

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