2008.05.05 13:00 - The outpatient

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    Sky Szimmer was the guardian for this meeting and the comments are Pema Pera's.

    Sky was the guardian/greeter/facilitator for the afternoon session, while I was asleep in Japan. For a while she was in the tea house all by herself. She then noticed Isen walking around nearby, went out and chatted for a while with him. She sent me the following log.

    Sky Szimmer: hi there
    Isen Enzo: Hello Sky.
    Sky Szimmer: have we met before?
    Isen Enzo: I don’t think so…
    Isen Enzo: but my avs memory is not so good…
    Sky Szimmer: oh! I am here for the PaB
    Isen Enzo: aha
    Isen Enzo: at what time?
    Isen Enzo: I wonder?
    Sky Szimmer: it is at 1:00 a.m., p.m., 7:00 a.m. and p.m.
    Sky Szimmer: have you been to one of the sessions?
    Isen Enzo: Dropped in on one briefly…
    Sky Szimmer: what did you think?
    Isen Enzo: can’t remember..
    Isen Enzo: Have you attended before?
    Sky Szimmer: i am learning to be comfortable in my SL form
    Isen Enzo: aha
    Sky Szimmer: yes. I go quite regularly
    Isen Enzo: not your regular form…
    Sky Szimmer: it is a nice forum to meet others with similar interest
    Isen Enzo: yes.
    Sky Szimmer: this is my usual form in SL
    Isen Enzo: ah
    Sky Szimmer: i haven’t learned to change it
    Isen Enzo: My av is very near my RL form…
    Isen Enzo: but I do not wear a practice robe all the time in RL…
    Sky Szimmer: It seems that many people are
    Sky Szimmer: are you a monk in RL?
    Isen Enzo: only part of the time..
    Sky Szimmer: why are you attracted to SL
    Sky Szimmer: if you don’t mind my asking
    Isen Enzo: Well kinda…
    Isen Enzo: took lay ordination…
    Isen Enzo: in December…
    Isen Enzo: same vows as monk..
    Sky Szimmer: oh?
    Isen Enzo: and priest…
    Sky Szimmer: How has it been?
    Isen Enzo: but I live in the secular world..
    Isen Enzo: have a business, home, wife…
    Isen Enzo: not a full-time monastic..
    Sky Szimmer: has it changed for you since you became a monk?
    Isen Enzo: kind of an “out-patient”…

    I smiled reading this part. You just can’t help liking Isen.

    Sky Szimmer: ah
    Isen Enzo: are you a Buddhist, Sky?
    Isen Enzo: I’m Soto Zen…
    Sky Szimmer: yes
    Isen Enzo: What sort?
    Sky Szimmer: i am a generalist
    Isen Enzo: aha
    Sky Szimmer: i follow what ever makes sense
    Isen Enzo: yup
    Isen Enzo: Have a sangha?
    Sky Szimmer: my main concern is integration
    Sky Szimmer: with my life
    Sky Szimmer: sangha is here, for now

    If nothing else, hearing such a statement is enough for me to justify all the effort that we have made, collectively, to let our activities bloom here in Rieul.

    Isen Enzo: yes.
    Sky Szimmer: i imagine being a monk in SL helps with RL
    Isen Enzo: there is daily zazen behind me at 6:00 pm SL time..
    Sky Szimmer: it would seem to reinforce the image
    Sky Szimmer: ah.
    Sky Szimmer: i am currently tied up with a 2 year old
    Sky Szimmer: no time for normal practice
    Sky Szimmer: do you come to zazen regularly here?
    Isen Enzo: yes, I come daily…
    Isen Enzo: av meditation is a little goofy…
    Sky Szimmer: and you just sit here
    Isen Enzo: but I come to show solidarity…
    Sky Szimmer: with your SL form and do you meditate in RL
    Sky Szimmer: at the same time
    Isen Enzo: and people learn basics of meditation..
    Sky Szimmer: Oh. that is a great idea
    Isen Enzo: no- I pass out notecards with contemporary readings…
    Isen Enzo: on various short themes…
    Isen Enzo: not all Zen,
    Isen Enzo: but all Buddhist..
    Isen Enzo: no reading plan…
    Isen Enzo: I’m not a teacher..
    Sky Szimmer: when do you pass these out?
    Isen Enzo: at the start of each session…
    Isen Enzo: people read them during the av zazen..
    Isen Enzo: unlike real zazen..

    Ah, that was new for me; I had not realized that the intention was to read those instead of actuality sitting zazen in RL while sitting in SL. I had thought they were meant for later reading. Perhaps it depends on the individual, but just sitting there twenty minutes without reading or doing other things I found very appealing in itself.

    Sky Szimmer: Oh. I have to come to get one : )
    Isen Enzo: sure..
    Isen Enzo gave you 5-2-08 What Practice is Not.
    Sky Szimmer: thank you.
    Isen Enzo: Here’s a sample…
    Isen Enzo: yes.
    Isen Enzo: sure
    Isen Enzo: nothing long, no sutra stuff…
    Isen Enzo: mostly recent…
    Isen Enzo: often from Shambhala Sun, Tricycle, ect..
    Isen Enzo: just stuff I read that seems interesting…
    Isen Enzo: I’ve been typing up these readings for about four years…
    Sky Szimmer: that’s great. I find all such info useful.
    Isen Enzo: I pass them out weekly at our little sitting group…
    Isen Enzo: as we have no teacher..
    Isen Enzo: in our remote village..
    Sky Szimmer: in RL or SL?
    Isen Enzo: In RL..
    Isen Enzo: I function as a kind of “lay leader” at weekly zazen..
    Isen Enzo: ding the bell…
    Isen Enzo: clonk the wooden drum..
    Isen Enzo: set up the zendo..
    Isen Enzo: brb
    Isen Enzo: excuse
    Sky Szimmer: That’s great!
    Sky Szimmer: I am sorry but I have to run.
    Sky Szimmer: It has been nice meeting you.
    Sky Szimmer: hi Storm!
    Storm Nordwind: Hi Sky
    Sky Szimmer: It is nice to see you!
    Storm Nordwind: And you. Sorry couldn’t make it earlier
    Storm Nordwind: Did you have many attendees?
    Sky Szimmer: Nope. But I had a nice chat with Isen here
    Storm Nordwind: Chats with Isen are ALWAYS good! :)
    Sky Szimmer: yes indeed! But unfortunately I have to run! See you both again, hopefully.
    Storm Nordwind: OK
    Storm Nordwind: Bye for now

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    Originally written on 23:40, 26 Oct 2008
    This comment was from Dakini // 2008, May 8, Thursday at 3:48 am:

    Oh, NOW I understand why Isen keeps dinging me while I???m sitting zazen :-P

    But seriously, I know SOME folks out there are doing RL sitting practice along with their avs, and it warms my heart that Isen is there to pass out notecards and demonstrate his commitment to the others??? process.

    And the response:
    playasbeing // 2008, May 8, Thursday at 3:37 pm

    Yes, Dakini and Isen, what I appreciate tremendously is the openness of the zen group, inviting everyone, letting everyone participate in their own way, giving them all their own space, yet giving everybody a joint space in which to be together and interact. No reason to have rules of what to do: to read, or to reflect, or to meditate, or to engage in whatever combination. Everyone can experiment for themselves to see what works best when and how. For me, this combination of freedom and inclusiveness, that I tasted already at my first visit to the zen group two months ago, has been a clear inspiration in finding a style for the Play as Being gatherings. Thank you both!
    Posted 01:16, 9 Apr 2010
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