2008.05.16 19:00 - Back to Normal

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    That evening, it was Thorberg and me (Pema) for a while, in the tea room. I was a few minutes late, since I had to restart my internet connection.

    Thorberg Nordlicht: hello Pema
    Pema Pera: Hi Thor!
    Pema Pera: I didn’t have much luck with my internet connection
    Pema Pera: it drops once an hour or so, and this time just when I was about to enter the tea house a fe minutes ago
    Pema Pera: oh, well, I made it, only three minutes late :>)
    Thorberg Nordlicht: np; i’m was the only one here ’till you showed up
    Thorberg Nordlicht: It’s very HOT where I am in RL :-(
    Pema Pera: I like to be on time, since there is the tendency to go away if no one is here — and if everyone does that in turn, no one will stay :>)
    Pema Pera: hot right now?
    Pema Pera: Is that unusual?
    Thorberg Nordlicht: yes, cooled off a bit, but house is still very warm
    Thorberg Nordlicht: my avatar is comfortable, though; at least he hasn’t complained
    Pema Pera: hahaha

    I tried to follow up from an earlier discussion, but I later realized I had misremembered who said what, from in the middle of a bumble of interweaving conversations.

    Pema Pera: earlier we talked about the PaB 9-sec practice
    Pema Pera: you mentioned nothingness
    Thorberg Nordlicht: yes?
    Pema Pera: a few times,
    Pema Pera: can you say more about that?
    Thorberg Nordlicht: hmm, do you remember the context?
    Pema Pera: I mentioned that I was surprised with every time I went into the practice, seeing what came up
    Pema Pera: and you said: nothing nothing nothing
    Pema Pera: I believe
    Pema Pera: when I asked how the practice was for you
    Pema Pera: (^_^)
    Thorberg Nordlicht: actually, i’m not sure i’m the one who said “nothing”
    Pema Pera: you also asked whether I was doing other practice
    Thorberg Nordlicht: but i can respond to how “practice is to me”
    Pema Pera: ah, sorry, I may have confused participants
    Thorberg Nordlicht: yes, i asked whether you have a regular formal practice, only because i have found that in the 9 second practice it seems like a continuation from my formal practice
    Thorberg Nordlicht: whereas, I was wondering what it’s like if there’s no formal practice for it to be a continuation of… ouch that didn’t come out very clearly
    Thorberg Nordlicht: my regular formal practice has evolved over time
    Pema Pera: yes, I understand
    Pema Pera: a very interesting question
    Thorberg Nordlicht: of course, as everyone reports when the first start out, the mind wanders a lot
    Pema Pera: btw, it was Solobill who talke about nothing — sorry to have confused dialogues
    Pema Pera: yes, I agree that the 9-sec practice can be a wonderful extension of regular practice
    Pema Pera: and no doubt it will be different if one has never done any formal practice
    Pema Pera: yes

    Thorberg talked about his experience with meditation.

    Thorberg Nordlicht: there we are attending to the “single minded effort” and next thing we know, we realize our attention has wandered off into daydreaming
    Thorberg Nordlicht: and we don’t even remember the “wandering away” part
    Thorberg Nordlicht: just one place and then suddenly realize we’re somewhere else in our imagination
    Thorberg Nordlicht: yes, i agree, it will be different for someone who does not have a formal practice
    Thorberg Nordlicht: not saying that’s good or bad; just different
    Pema Pera: yes, that is typical for any type of mediation, the way you describe it
    Thorberg Nordlicht: early in a formal practice, it seems to take “the effort of non-effort” to keep our mind from wandering
    Thorberg Nordlicht: kind of like when I drink too much caffein (see t-shirt), my mind is very “jumpy”; hard to stay on one thing
    Pema Pera: ah nice, I hadn’t notice your T shirt from close up — caffein molecule lay out!
    Thorberg Nordlicht: but there was a definite point in my formal practice — one particular sitting in fact — when it seemed to reverse…
    Thorberg Nordlicht: so that it took no effort just to stay in the moment, and it felt like it DOES take effort to think thoughts so to speak — not in present moment
    Thorberg Nordlicht: it’s like “which is the normal state: staying in the moment or wandering off”
    Thorberg Nordlicht: am i making any sense?

    Thorberg told me a very nice image, another example of turning things upside down.

    Thorberg Nordlicht: there’s a metaphor in the soto tradition that sitting zazen is the normal state, and then when we stand up at the end we are “taking on the world”
    Thorberg Nordlicht: the reverse of thinking of “being in the world” as normal and then taking time out to sit zazen
    Pema Pera: I like that
    Thorberg Nordlicht: i didn’t understand what that meant early in my practice, but now it makes sense to me
    Pema Pera: yes, it takes time to get familiar with that type of reversal
    Thorberg Nordlicht: so the 9 second micro-meditation doesn’t seem like “taking time out” it seems like momentarily going back to the normal state, and everything else is the “time out”
    Pema Pera: YES!
    Thorberg Nordlicht: seems to me you made a similar point a while back, but can’t remember when
    Thorberg Nordlicht: but that “reversal” of the normal view was a major step in my formal practice; and then it wasn’t so hard to just “stay in the moment” because it just feels like that’s where we reside normally, and everything else is the agitated, too-much-caffeine state :-)
    Pema Pera: exactly
    Pema Pera: and what you described makes no sense for someone else until they also have that experience
    Pema Pera: Like anything in life:
    Thorberg Nordlicht: right!
    Pema Pera: describing how it feels to dance for somebody who has never ever danced
    Pema Pera: just doesn’t come across
    Pema Pera: etc
    Thorberg Nordlicht: right! or kind of like describing what it’s like to ride a bicycle
    Pema Pera: so in contemplation/meditation there are stages, and you learn to recognize them, and then interestingly you also move in a kind of spiral combing back to earlier stages and finding them far deeper than before, and so on . . . . .
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: anything
    Thorberg Nordlicht: yes, i agree

    I brought up one of my favorite notions, that of subtraction.

    Pema Pera: but in a way even more so than dancing or bicycling
    Pema Pera: since in those examples you have just added a skill
    Pema Pera: and here you subtract
    Pema Pera: far more strange
    Pema Pera: you learn to drop things, habits you didn’t even know you had
    Pema Pera: you thought you were them
    Pema Pera: but they were not part of you
    Pema Pera: you could drop them so it was something you had
    Pema Pera: very odd experience
    Thorberg Nordlicht: yes, very odd
    Pema Pera: until that time meditation seems very hard
    Pema Pera: but then it gets easier and easier
    Thorberg Nordlicht: yes, “gets easier and easier”
    Thorberg Nordlicht: ((one problem i have with text chat is trying to say too much))
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Pema Pera: good practice for distilling
    Pema Pera: like haiku
    Thorberg Nordlicht: ((sometimes i start to type something and then just give up and backspace))
    Thorberg Nordlicht: (( i suspect others do that too; lots of typing and then nothing comes out))
    Pema Pera: Was it Maxine, who talked about sentences here being framed by silence?
    Thorberg Nordlicht: i remember the comment, but not sure who it was from
    Pema Pera: ah yes, Maxine spoke about “rim of silence” enhancing each sentence in texting
    Pema Pera: I just looked it up
    Pema Pera: search is wonderful ;>)
    Thorberg Nordlicht: (( anyway, didn’t mean to sidetrack the conversational thread, just explaining why i seemed to be doing more typing than was actually coming out :-))
    Pema Pera: hehe
    Pema Pera: yes, know that feeling too
    Thorberg Nordlicht: so, where were we, before i got us sidetracked
    Pema Pera: the 9-sec practice
    Pema Pera: and the 891-sec complement
    Thorberg Nordlicht: yes
    Pema Pera: the question is:
    Pema Pera: can the 9-sec be the yeast
    Pema Pera: to let the bread of the 891-sec rise?
    Thorberg Nordlicht: excellent question

    Jack Milgrom walked in, a new visitor.

    Pema Pera: Hi Jack!
    Pema Pera: Welcome
    Thorberg Nordlicht: when i started my practice, i was expecting to achieve some profound mystical state while meditating
    Jack Milgrom: Hello
    Thorberg Nordlicht: Hello Jack
    Pema Pera: feel free to join us
    Thorberg Nordlicht: have a seat
    Jack Milgrom: Thank you
    Pema Pera: right clicking on a seat and choosing “sit” should work
    Thorberg Nordlicht: ((right-click a cushion and select “sit here”))
    Jack Milgrom: Thank you. I am new to Second Life. Navigation has been challenging
    Pema Pera: I know!
    Pema Pera: We all go through that
    Pema Pera: take your time
    Thorberg Nordlicht: ((i suspect you’re trying to sit on the floor mat instead of one of the blue-gray cushions))
    Pema Pera: and don’t hesitate to ask questions
    Thorberg Nordlicht: no problem being new; we all remember how it is
    Pema Pera: there you go!

    After Jack sat down, it occurred to me that probably many of us don’t yet know about the remaining choice we have on Dakini’s cushions.

    Pema Pera: btw, you both have the “female” position — it took me a while to realize there are two positions programmed into these cushions — if you left click again on the cushion you toggle between male and femail position ;>)
    Thorberg Nordlicht: oh? didn’t know there was a difference; i’ll try it
    Pema Pera: hmm, now it doesn’t work for me — just a sec
    Pema Pera: yes now I am seated properly
    Pema Pera: can you see me toggling?
    Pema Pera: In Japan, men sit with their hands and legs a bit more apart
    Thorberg Nordlicht: maybe i’m not following you, but when i right-click the cushion all i see is the “sit here” command; am i looking the wrong place?
    Pema Pera: while women have both close together
    Pema Pera: left click
    Pema Pera: gives toggle
    Pema Pera: each time you left click
    Pema Pera: you switch between male and female
    Pema Pera: like that yes
    Thorberg Nordlicht: oohhhh, now I understand
    Pema Pera: now you know ;>)
    Thorberg Nordlicht: didn’t even know about that option
    Pema Pera: Dakini told me
    Pema Pera: after I had been here a hundred times or so :>)

    At this point more and more visitors started to drop by, all of whom arrived to our PaB sessions for the first time. First a young kid with an oversize gun on his back.

    James007 Tone: hi.
    Thorberg Nordlicht: hello Kiddy
    Thorberg Nordlicht: welcome
    Jack Milgrom: Which position is which?
    Pema Pera: yours is female now, Jack
    Thorberg Nordlicht: have a seat
    James007 Tone: thanks
    James007 Tone: dont worry about my gun lol
    Pema Pera: Hi James!
    James007 Tone: HIII!!!!
    Thorberg Nordlicht: i can never keep track of who’s been here before and who hasn’t
    Thorberg Nordlicht: you guys new here?
    Thorberg Nordlicht: or been here before?
    Jack Milgrom: I’m new.
    James007 Tone: i’m old
    Thorberg Nordlicht: so, should we leave it a mystery to Jack, or Pema, do you want to say a word about what we’re doing here?
    Thorberg Nordlicht: ((everytime you say it, it get’s better ))
    James007 Tone: Thorberg nice name u have

    At that moment my internet connection went out again, and it took me a minute or so to get back in. King and Atha had joined us in the mean time.

    Thorberg Nordlicht: Pema, you there?
    Thorberg Nordlicht: thanks
    Thorberg Nordlicht: have a seat king
    KingAceAlfred Ferraris: this place is peaceful
    James007 Tone: ya
    Thorberg Nordlicht: yes, very peaceful
    James007 Tone: dont make much nosie indeed
    Thorberg Nordlicht: ah, here’s Pema now
    James007 Tone: ya
    Thorberg Nordlicht: hello Athalicus
    Pema Pera: sorry, internet dropped again
    James007 Tone: oh
    James007 Tone: my is lagging too
    Pema Pera: Hi Athalicus
    James007 Tone: have some problem with SL
    Thorberg Nordlicht: yes, i explained to everyone you were having system problems tonight
    Athalicus Brimm: namaste.. *gassho*
    James007 Tone: me too
    Pema Pera: namaste
    James007 Tone: i have problems
    Thorberg Nordlicht: expected you’d return, Pema
    James007 Tone: in SL
    Thorberg Nordlicht: namaste Athalicus
    James007 Tone: laggy
    Thorberg Nordlicht: so, Pema, were you about say a few words about what goes on here (or am i putting words in your mouth?)
    Pema Pera: welcome everybody, King too, nice to see such a crowd here!
    Pema Pera: haha
    Thorberg Nordlicht: :-)
    Pema Pera: I’m sure you can do fine, Thor
    KingAceAlfred Ferraris: er haha

    I started a minimal type of summary.

    Pema Pera: what we do here is talk about reality
    Pema Pera: and also “do” reality
    James007 Tone: hmmmm…..
    Pema Pera: trying to get more real
    James007 Tone: u mean hang out =)
    Pema Pera: yeah
    Pema Pera: basically
    James007 Tone: ;-) peace hang out
    Pema Pera: and also do some exploring
    Thorberg Nordlicht: well, while you were gone, i just explained that we’re on the grounds of “Zen retreat” meditation center, and we meet here every evening to talk about our meditation practice
    James007 Tone: peace to be with u ;)
    Pema Pera: what we are doing here is very easy though
    Pema Pera: thanks James
    Thorberg Nordlicht: but we often get WAY off topic :-)
    Pema Pera: we do a type of meditation, but only for 9 seconds at a time
    James007 Tone: trade for peace ;)
    Pema Pera: very relaxed and simple
    Pema Pera: but once every fifteen minutes
    Pema Pera: so in that sense quite intense
    Pema Pera: well, that’s about it
    Pema Pera: the rest is hanging out
    James007 Tone: to relax ur MIND…….
    Pema Pera: yeah
    Thorberg Nordlicht: yes, a lot of “hangin’ out”
    Pema Pera: and we talk with each other about what comes up
    Pema Pera: everybody has different experiences
    Pema Pera: really everybody is a different universe
    Pema Pera: so we are comparing universes

    We continued talking about our different angles on SL.

    Thorberg Nordlicht: i’ve been in second life about 18 months now, but this group is my first experience hanging out with “like-minded” people
    Pema Pera: (^_^)
    Pema Pera: how about you all, what are you interested n?
    Pema Pera: in?
    James007 Tone: i have been 3 years in SL now
    Pema Pera: wow!
    Athalicus Brimm: May all beings, whereever they are, be free from suffering. Thank you all for this quiet moment of reflection.
    KingAceAlfred Ferraris: ouch
    Athalicus Brimm: Namaste.
    James007 Tone: i born in 12/23/2006 in SL
    Jack Milgrom: I have only been in SL for a few days.
    James007 Tone: oh
    Thorberg Nordlicht: no problem, Jack
    James007 Tone: jack u learn so fast =)
    Thorberg Nordlicht: hope you’re enjoying your stay in SL; there’s someting for everyone in SL
    Thorberg Nordlicht: you just have to explore a bit to find what’s interesting for you
    James007 Tone: but….
    James007 Tone: something there is no peace in sandbox
    James007 Tone: anoyying things
    KingAceAlfred Ferraris: your right
    Jack Milgrom: I am exploring, although this seems more to my tastes than many of the spots I’ve visited
    James007 Tone: so we must protect SL
    Thorberg Nordlicht: well, glad you found us; hope you’ll come back
    James007 Tone: ok
    Thorberg Nordlicht: zazen meditation for 20 minutes nearby on the grounds every night at 6 PM
    Thorberg Nordlicht: informal hangin around from 6:30-7:00
    Thorberg Nordlicht: and then this discussion group at 7 PM
    Pema Pera: at also at 1 am 7 am 1 pm besides 7 pm — every six hours
    Jack Milgrom: I assume that is Pacific Time?
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: SL time = PDT
    James007 Tone: i can hang out doing noting for 6.20 am to 1.34pm
    James007 Tone: ok brb
    James007 Tone: my friend tp me
    James007 Tone: peace all
    Pema Pera: bye 007

    James007 dissppeared, and so did Athalicus. We were left with Thor, King, Jack and me.

    Thorberg Nordlicht: actually, there’s discussion scheduled every six hours to accomodate people in different timezones
    Thorberg Nordlicht: 1 PM, 7 PM, 1 AM, 7 AM
    Pema Pera: Jack and King, did you know each other already, or did you both wander in here by chance at the same time?
    Thorberg Nordlicht: but sometimes nobody shows up
    Pema Pera: but there is always someone here
    KingAceAlfred Ferraris: no we don’t know each outher
    Pema Pera: Thor means;
    Pema Pera: nobody else may show up
    Pema Pera: but you can always find one of us
    Pema Pera: at least
    Jack Milgrom: We just wandered in. You’re the first people I’ve spoken with in SL
    Pema Pera: ah, you knew King already, you mean, with “we”?
    Thorberg Nordlicht: ah, Pema’s getting us more organized, so now there’s a “greeter” here for every session
    Pema Pera: just curious
    Jack Milgrom: No, I met you all at the same time
    Pema Pera: ah, okay
    Pema Pera: King, what are you interested in , in SL?
    Pema Pera: or RL for that matter?
    KingAceAlfred Ferraris: hmm not sure
    KingAceAlfred Ferraris: good work in sl
    KingAceAlfred Ferraris: i only got a poor work
    Thorberg Nordlicht: lot’s to do in SL: explore, clubs, shopping, building stuff, scripting and on and on
    KingAceAlfred Ferraris: only im bad at scripting but im good at building planes
    Thorberg Nordlicht: :-)
    KingAceAlfred Ferraris: only im bad at scripting
    Pema Pera: airplanes? that sounds nice!
    KingAceAlfred Ferraris: airplanes are big
    KingAceAlfred Ferraris: its like a quiet plane with less loud sound
    KingAceAlfred Ferraris: thats wat i like

    James dropped back in again.

    James007 Tone: sorry
    Thorberg Nordlicht: ((i’m going to have to leave in a few minutes at 8PM))
    James007 Tone: i was talking to someone juz now
    Thorberg Nordlicht: hey, welcome back!
    Pema Pera: yes, I’ll have to leave soon too
    Thorberg Nordlicht: but, everyone else feel free to carry on without us :-)
    Pema Pera: Well, Jack, feel free to join us again, any time after 1 and 7, am or pm!
    Pema Pera: And James and King, too
    KingAceAlfred Ferraris: :)
    Jack Milgrom: I’ll do that
    Pema Pera: nice seeing you all here.
    KingAceAlfred Ferraris: me too
    James007 Tone: pema juz call me kiddy
    James007 Tone: short form
    Thorberg Nordlicht: did you give them the URL for the blog?
    Pema Pera: http://playasbeing.wordpress.com/
    Pema Pera: now I did ;>)
    Thorberg Nordlicht: good
    James007 Tone: ;)
    James007 Tone: peace to be with u
    KingAceAlfred Ferraris: i have 1 blog in wordpress too
    Pema Pera: there’s lots of stuff there.
    Pema Pera: yes, wordpress is a nice medium
    Thorberg Nordlicht: well, folks, i’ve got to get back to RL; not here much over the weekend; see you again on Monday; I’m the “greeter” on monday, so I’ll be here
    Pema Pera: I started using it two months ago

    Both Thor and I were about to leave.

    Pema Pera: bye Thor!
    Thorberg Nordlicht: see you later
    James007 Tone: bye Thor
    James007 Tone: Thor peace to be with u
    Thorberg Nordlicht: bye bye for now
    KingAceAlfred Ferraris: i started using it 1 year ago
    KingAceAlfred Ferraris: bye
    Jack Milgrom: I’ve been using blogger. I haven’t tried wordpress yet.
    James007 Tone: Thor peace to be with u ;-)
    KingAceAlfred Ferraris: i have blooger and wordpress
    Thorberg Nordlicht: hope to see you all again soon
    KingAceAlfred Ferraris: bye’
    Thorberg Nordlicht: good bye bye for now
    Jack Milgrom: Bye Thor
    Pema Pera: see you later — and I look forward to continuing our discussion!
    James007 Tone: BYE THOR
    Pema Pera: well, I have to go too. We normally stay here for half an hour or so
    KingAceAlfred Ferraris: ok
    Pema Pera: and we’ve been here an hour already.
    Pema Pera: But feel free to stay here.
    Pema Pera: take care everybody!
    James007 Tone: ok
    James007 Tone: bye pema
    Jack Milgrom: Good night Pema
    Pema Pera: good night all!

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