2008.05.10 13:00 - Being and time

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


    During the afternoon session, Dakini was the guardian greeter welcoming visitors to our PaB gettogether in her tea house. She sent me the following chat log, together with her comments. In the rest of this entry, the `I’ voice is Dakini’s. As an aside: it is so much fun for me to read these entries, from the point of view of a reader rather than a writer. And especially today, I enjoyed reading Dakini’s crisp summary of PaB, right in the opening of the conversation, as well as Raz’s quote of Ghandi, what a great start! But let me pass the narrative over to Dakini.

    Preparing for the 1PM PaB session, I sat Dakini Rhode on the cushion and I sat myself on the sofa. I enjoyed a few minutes listening to the SL “crickets” and listening to the RL refrigerator humming, then started fiddling with the music settings. Although the Zen Retreat has streaming ambient music, normally I leave it off during our sessions. This time, I left it on and thus, I’m convinced, attracted Raz, a musician. Raz and I chatted for awhile, and I explained Playasbeing as well as I could.

    Dakini Rhode: every 15 minutes
    Dakini Rhode: we stop mentally
    Dakini Rhode: stop what we’re thinking about
    Dakini Rhode: and just “be”
    Dakini Rhode: for 9 seconds
    Dakini Rhode: sort of a micro meditation
    Raz Baum: i guess my brains are anyway kind of stopped
    Dakini Rhode: you can read more on the blog
    Raz Baum: thx. it sounds interesting
    Dakini Rhode: http://playasbeing.wordpress.com/
    Raz Baum: thx
    Raz Baum: i’ll dig more..
    Raz Baum: :)
    Dakini Rhode: :-)
    Raz Baum: yeap.. i’ll let u continue

    I felt vaguely like a missionary handing out leaflets… Just then, Stim walked through the door. I’m not actually sure whether he opened the door first. I’ve made the teahouse doors phantom, which means they appear to be solid, but your avatar can pass through them. No more need to open the doors! I hope that will make it a bit easier to line the avatar up with the door and get into the teahouse.

    Dakini Rhode: Hello Stim :-)
    Stim Morane: Hello, Dakini!
    Dakini Rhode: Raz, please meet Stim
    Raz Baum: hi stim
    Stim Morane: Hi Raz!
    Dakini Rhode: i was just explaining about the playasbeing practice
    Stim Morane: Good
    Raz Baum: :)
    Raz Baum: getting embaressed now
    Raz Baum: :))
    Dakini Rhode: Stim would you like to say a bit about it
    Dakini Rhode: for Stim’s benefit?
    Dakini Rhode: i mean Raz
    Dakini Rhode: oops

    I’d mixed up the names, but Raz stepped up to the plate and said something for Stim’s benefit…

    Raz Baum: i read aqute
    Raz Baum: quote from ghandi
    Raz Baum: he said: it is not important what u do, but the fact u do it
    Raz Baum: found that quite inspiring
    Dakini Rhode: im interested…
    Dakini Rhode: what does that mean to you Raz?
    Dakini Rhode: i find myself thinking
    Dakini Rhode: was he speaking of meditation practice only?
    Raz Baum: i guess so.. to mee it mean that beeing occupied with something u like
    Raz Baum: is enough regardless the result..
    Raz Baum: or ?
    Dakini Rhode: so i guess to tie that to playasbeing
    Dakini Rhode: that we’re doing SOMETHING
    Dakini Rhode: every 15 minutes
    Raz Baum: :)
    Dakini Rhode: matters….
    Stim Morane: Yes, time is important.
    Dakini Rhode: could you say more about time’s importance Stim?
    Stim Morane: Well, I should not go beyond the basic picture and format for practice that Pema has suggested. His time tax in the latest in a series of approaches to encourage people to apply some quintessential form of a traditional View.
    Stim Morane: In > *is
    Dakini Rhode: some of us had a traditional practice before starting this
    Stim Morane: yes
    Dakini Rhode: so this is added on
    Stim Morane: right
    Dakini Rhode: i find… i thought i could remember to stop every 15 minutes
    Dakini Rhode: with no timer
    Dakini Rhode: and now i want a timer
    Dakini Rhode: :-)
    Stim Morane: yes, I know what you mean
    Dakini Rhode: When I’m engrossed in something
    Dakini Rhode: the time goes by
    Dakini Rhode: it passes without my being aware
    Dakini Rhode: then I stop
    Dakini Rhode: when i remember
    Dakini Rhode: sometimes i’m surprised
    Dakini Rhode: for how long i didn’t remember
    Stim Morane: lapses are as instructive as anything else
    Dakini Rhode: yes
    Raz Baum: is there any time anyway ?… to talk about ?
    Stim Morane: What do you think?
    Raz Baum: i can’t grasp the idea of time at all..
    Raz Baum: just bits of it but only when it relates to some experience
    Raz Baum: or transition
    Stim Morane: In a traditional contemplative context, time is no-time. But that concerns a direct perception . As for the idea of time, yes, it’s illusive.
    Raz Baum: beeing is direct..
    Dakini Rhode: i can only talk about my perception
    Dakini Rhode: time seems to expand
    Dakini Rhode: or collapse
    Dakini Rhode: depending on my attention
    Dakini Rhode: if i’m sitting on the cusion
    Stim Morane: Yes, that is also possible.
    Dakini Rhode: cushion
    Dakini Rhode: and i’m restless
    Dakini Rhode: 20 minutes can be an eternity
    Dakini Rhode: if i’m settled
    Dakini Rhode: if i’m quiet
    Dakini Rhode: i don’t notice time passing
    Dakini Rhode: or maybe not thinking about it
    Raz Baum: it happens to me very often to find my self in a timeless cuantuum, where everythining seem alien.. or strange..
    Raz Baum: specially when contemplating something.. or look at something for long periods of time

    There was a pause when nobody in the teahouse typed. Since the way we communicate during these sessions is by typing, it was interesting to experience that conversational gap. It made me wonder whether I’d lost my connection. So I checked.

    Dakini Rhode: i’m here
    Dakini Rhode: not sure i understand tho
    Raz Baum: it was again a moment of timelessness
    Dakini Rhode: how did you know it was timeless?
    Stim Morane: ha
    Raz Baum: i stoped thinking at time discutions, and then all this, the computer, fireplace where distant in time, like a few milions of years ahead
    Dakini Rhode: not trying to be tricky
    Raz Baum: :)
    Dakini Rhode: just trying to understand :-)
    Stim Morane: Yes.
    Raz Baum: that was all

    I wasn’t sure whether Raz had been describing “lag” - a common phenomenon in SL - or a profound insight. Another timeless moment followed, when none of us typed a word. This time, Raz broke the silence…

    Raz Baum: still there?
    Stim Morane: Still here. Just enjoying …
    Dakini Rhode: do you have music on?
    Stim Morane: no, is there music?
    Dakini Rhode: yes! it goes rather well with this discussion
    Stim Morane: I only notice the birds etc, which is fine
    Dakini Rhode: do you have a musical note
    Dakini Rhode: at the bottom of your screen?
    Stim Morane: oh, interesting
    Dakini Rhode: if you click on the arrow there you get music
    Stim Morane: thanks
    Dakini Rhode: streaming music :-)
    Raz Baum: ogh, yes i m listenintg to some ambient music..
    Raz Baum: streaming also
    Raz Baum: limbikfreq.com
    Raz Baum: it’s nice
    Dakini Rhode: ah
    Raz Baum: the music here is not working..
    Raz Baum: i’ve tryed to enable it
    Dakini Rhode: hmmm it works for me
    Dakini Rhode: does it work for you Stim?
    Raz Baum: all the buttons are disabled for me
    Raz Baum: cant click on them
    Dakini Rhode: go to edit > preferences
    Stim Morane: oh, yes. I turned it on when you mentioned it.

    Stim switched the conversation to ask me how I think the PaB practice is working for our participants. Hmmm… all y’all will have to weigh in on that one!

    Stim Morane: Dakini, I have been wanting to attend one of the sessions in your zendo, but haven’t managed it yet. How do you feel the PaB time tax is working for the participants here?
    Dakini Rhode: it seems
    Dakini Rhode: everyone is doing something a little different
    Dakini Rhode: which is OK
    Dakini Rhode: but not sure how to say how it’s working
    Dakini Rhode: some people - as i can see by reading the blog
    Dakini Rhode: and in the discussions here
    Dakini Rhode: have noticed things
    Dakini Rhode: some of the comments
    Dakini Rhode: mention similar things - like
    Dakini Rhode: a sense of lightness
    Dakini Rhode: not a disconnect from thought
    Dakini Rhode: but a sense of lightness -
    Dakini Rhode: i find i’m not expressing this well
    Stim Morane: Regarding your first comment, about people doing different things, yes, I’m not surprised. The same thing has happened with the other approaches Pema and I have tried recently with various groups of participants.
    Dakini Rhode: i’m trying to repeat other people’s words
    Stim Morane: as for the rest, I think you’ve put it well.
    Dakini Rhode: if i used my own words
    Stim Morane: Yes?
    Dakini Rhode: i would say a shift in perspective
    Dakini Rhode: insight
    Dakini Rhode: things seem more workable
    Dakini Rhode: it does make a difference to pay attention
    Dakini Rhode: :-)
    Stim Morane: Of course.
    Stim Morane: That’s interesting in several ways.

    Leili walked in and sat on one of our cushions. I hope she enjoyed listening to us…

    Dakini Rhode: hello Lieli
    Lieli Ling: hello
    Stim Morane: Hi Lieli!
    Lieli Ling: may I join you
    Stim Morane: sure!
    Dakini Rhode: Raz check your Audio & Video preferences
    Dakini Rhode: Streaming Preferences
    Dakini Rhode: the checkbox next to Play Streaming Music
    Dakini Rhode: sorry Stim
    Dakini Rhode: please continue
    Raz Baum: ok
    Raz Baum: thx
    Raz Baum: hahahaha
    Raz Baum: it works
    Raz Baum: i love it
    Stim Morane: I’m sorry, I probably am not aware of the exact point you’re asking about. But I am interested in the way this particular exploration will differ from the more traditional approaches both in its method and in its outcome.
    Dakini Rhode: do you think it’s similar
    Dakini Rhode: to any of the traditional approaches
    Dakini Rhode: in method
    Stim Morane: The method of regular or even continuous awareness is certainly no different.
    Stim Morane: But the view is quite open, in some ways even undefined. When Pema and I discussed this much earlier, we both felt this was an advantage.
    Dakini Rhode: so in some ways
    Dakini Rhode: already having a particular view
    Dakini Rhode: would be a disadvantage?
    Stim Morane: In my own teaching, I particularly like the View aspects and emphasize them. But here probably the whole point is different in some ways, there’s no necessary fruit or result that traditional teachings stress. This is realistic, at least.
    Stim Morane: it make sense to me that something done in second life should not be held hostage to the standards of the traditions, even though I greatly value the latter.
    Dakini Rhode: hmmm but actually
    Dakini Rhode: we are doing this in so-called “real life”
    Dakini Rhode: we have the same mind
    Dakini Rhode: here as there
    Stim Morane: Yes, that’s certainly true
    Dakini Rhode: i’m interested to see this
    Dakini Rhode: interested enough to try it myself
    Dakini Rhode: but i dont’ know whether i’m enough of a beginner
    Dakini Rhode: with the whole thing
    Dakini Rhode: to be the best subject
    Raz Baum: i found myself not knowing what is more real: reality or virtual reality.. cause in certain ways virtual is real .. to some extent, there’s no difference between those two
    Dakini Rhode: yes RAz
    Dakini Rhode: you are pointing out
    Dakini Rhode: something a lot of us have noticee
    Dakini Rhode: noticed
    Dakini Rhode: you have company!
    Dakini Rhode: I think i’m doing mahamudra
    Stim Morane: yes
    Dakini Rhode: because that is what i know
    Dakini Rhode: so if someone says stop and be -
    Dakini Rhode: i fill the gap
    Stim Morane: If you followed the format that Pema has suggested, for 10 hours every day, you would still only end up doing six minutes of practice per day. So I just meant that we should not expect the same kinds of fruit that would figure prominently in a traditional approach, based on much more “practice”.
    Dakini Rhode: i see
    Dakini Rhode: i don’t want to give up
    Dakini Rhode: my regular practice
    Dakini Rhode: to do this only
    Stim Morane: no, of course not
    Dakini Rhode: so i see what you’re saying
    Dakini Rhode: i think this complements my regular practice
    Stim Morane: yes, that is my hope, and Pema’s too
    Stim Morane: But it can also be something entirely new
    Dakini Rhode: yes
    Dakini Rhode: i’m not sure if he has someone
    Dakini Rhode: with no experience in meditation or contemplation
    Dakini Rhode: doing this
    Stim Morane: that’s interesting
    Dakini Rhode: i’m not sure
    Dakini Rhode: i don’t know actually
    Dakini Rhode: the people i talk to have some other experience
    Stim Morane: Well then it will serve to complement the other approaches, perhaps throwing open the boundaries
    Dakini Rhode: Pema will need to weigh in on this :-)
    Raz Baum: i’ll go now. catch up with u later ..
    Dakini Rhode: yes
    Dakini Rhode: ok Raz
    Stim Morane: see you later!
    Dakini Rhode: good to meet you :-)
    Stim Morane: yes
    Raz Baum: oki….
    Raz Baum: take care.
    Stim Morane: bye

    Leili was still sitting on the cushion in silence, and I thought, perhaps she felt we’d ignored her…

    Dakini Rhode: Leili I should explain
    Dakini Rhode: something of what we’re talking about?
    Dakini Rhode: would that be good?
    Dakini Rhode: hm ok
    Stim Morane: I’m still here. Shall we ask again?
    Dakini Rhode: i never know
    Dakini Rhode: if people are IMing
    Dakini Rhode: have left the room
    Dakini Rhode: anything is possible
    Stim Morane: Yes, I’m only beginning to see how things work in this env
    Dakini Rhode: or just listening
    Dakini Rhode: i dont want you to feel ignored, Leili
    Dakini Rhode: i have to tell you
    Dakini Rhode: I would get invitations to meditate
    Dakini Rhode: here in SL
    Dakini Rhode: i would sit my avatar on the cushion
    Dakini Rhode: say, OK meditate for me
    Dakini Rhode: and go take a shower
    Dakini Rhode: true confession
    Stim Morane: a new form of practice
    Dakini Rhode: lol like visualizing
    Stim Morane: yes
    Dakini Rhode: well i needed a shower
    Stim Morane: I wonder a lot about what VR in general will do to our sense of self, groundedness etc.
    Stim Morane: Your comment reminds me of that concern, + the possibilities for something wonderful to come forward

    This session highlighted, for me, both some of the possibilities of VR and also the peculiarities of SL social interactions, as well as SL quirks. As did this interchange…

    Dakini Rhode: i just checked your profile
    Dakini Rhode: to see how old you are
    Stim Morane: there’s nothing there. I’m one of the oldest practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism in the West. I’ve been teaching the Chinese Ch’an tradition + other things for the last twenty years or so.
    Dakini Rhode: Stim its the SL/RL thing again
    Dakini Rhode: avatars less than 30 days old
    Dakini Rhode: can get a lot of freebies - free skin, hair, etc.


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