2008.05.18 01:00 - Upside Down and Around

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    The Guardian for this session was Pema, the comments are his.

    Soon after I arrived at the tea house, Moon stopped by.

    Moon Fargis: oi
    Moon Fargis: hi pema
    Pema Pera: Hi Moon!
    Pema Pera: Good seeng you here
    Moon Fargis: good morning:)
    Moon Fargis: hmm yesterday i went throught 3 buddhist talks…. quite interesting
    Moon Fargis: oh no 4 even hehe
    Pema Pera: wow
    Pema Pera: I would love to come to your 1 pm events
    Pema Pera: but for me in Japan that is 5 am ;>)
    Pema Pera: on Monday morning
    Moon Fargis: eew
    Pema Pera: not ideal….
    Moon Fargis: yes i will make logs of nice discussions anyway
    Pema Pera: do you have other events at different times?
    Moon Fargis: yes yesterday our sim owner do one at 10 am
    Moon Fargis: every saturday
    Pema Pera: let’s see, that is 2 am for me
    Pema Pera: still a bit late -)
    Moon Fargis: and there is one at hmm i think 7 pm on wednesday
    Pema Pera: 11 am, that’s better!
    Pema Pera: were it not for the fact
    Pema Pera: that I then have my own session here in the tea house
    Pema Pera: oh well
    Pema Pera: perhaps some day!
    Moon Fargis: hehe dont worry
    Moon Fargis: we al doo a meditation before wich is some 25-30 minutes
    Moon Fargis: so the real talk begins a half hour later
    Pema Pera: okay, I might catch the talk then, some day

    We talked about Second Life.

    Pema Pera: may I ask how you got into SL?
    Pema Pera: was it with the intention of spreading Buddhism?
    Pema Pera: or did that come later?
    Moon Fargis: hmm that came later.. i just got heard of it and took a look
    Moon Fargis: but soon i found out that there are many intresting placed around here and that it is a ideal way to talk to other buddhist/meet other buddhists
    Pema Pera: is there some kind of coordination, or does each Buddhist group does its own thing?
    Moon Fargis: im glad ive done this .. i would never met so much abots and priests (RL ofcourse) my my rl
    Pema Pera: yes, it’s amazing, the connectivity here!
    Moon Fargis: yes very much groups and everyone does its own thing
    Pema Pera: is there at least a list with pointers to each group?
    Pema Pera: that would be useful
    Moon Fargis: hm no not that i know of
    Pema Pera: the search facility in SL is not very helpful — I wish they would get Google in here
    Moon Fargis: hehe well we got a search button
    Moon Fargis: but you are right.. there are things in sl wich could be easier
    Pema Pera: wow, upside down!
    Pema Pera: quite a feat
    Moon Fargis: ahh alwas wanted to do that in rl
    Pema Pera: hwo did you do that?
    Pema Pera: hehe
    Pema Pera: called yoga

    I commented on the fact that Moon had somehow reverse positions, seemingly standing on his head now, with his cushion above him. He wanted to get me into the game as well. Well, why not. And yes, soon I would also see the world from an upside-down position.

    Moon Fargis: sit on my zafu behind you :)
    Pema Pera: yes?
    Pema Pera: ah
    Pema Pera: so your magic powers depend on people sitting on your safus!
    Moon Fargis: haha
    Pema Pera: now I have to hold my laptop upside down
    Pema Pera: or use a mirror
    Pema Pera: or twist my head
    Pema Pera: choice choices . . . . .
    Moon Fargis: lets see
    Pema Pera: at least my hair knows the correct direction of gravity . . . .
    Pema Pera: so your force field is not complete
    Moon Fargis: haha

    I had pointed out that my hair was hanging down, lower even than my head. Next thing I knew is Moon started to let the cushions rotate pretty fast.

    Pema Pera: well well
    Moon Fargis: well
    Moon Fargis: yes
    Moon Fargis: haha
    Pema Pera: another new experience
    Moon Fargis: eable mouselook then :)
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Pema Pera: relativity
    Pema Pera: now the world turns, instead of me
    Moon Fargis: no one is turning
    Pema Pera: only the mind turns, right?
    Moon Fargis: yep
    Moon Fargis: hehe

    We both got up, but our cushions kept rotating, above the wooden board next to the tea house, where we had been standing on, on our heads, with the cushions above us.

    Pema Pera: and the cushions still turn ;>)
    Moon Fargis: i hope dakani forgives us making holes in her house with our heads
    Pema Pera: haha
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: that may happen if we keep going at this
    Pema Pera: depending on how hard-headed we are
    Moon Fargis: hehe see sl is a nice thing to explain some buddhism facts
    Pema Pera: By the way, if I may ask, have you tried this crazy 9-sec idea for yourself a few times?
    Moon Fargis: yes hehe
    Pema Pera: and how did it feel?
    Moon Fargis: like a short period of zazen without sitting :)
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Moon Fargis: how did you came on 9 secs ?
    Pema Pera: 1 percent time tax
    Pema Pera: 900 seconds in 15 minutes
    Pema Pera: and I thought doing it four times an hour would be great for continuity
    Pema Pera: and then four times a day having a meeting here
    Pema Pera: slowly stewing until done . . . .
    Moon Fargis: ahyes hmm well since i never wear a clock its a bit hard to keep the 15 min everytime:)
    Pema Pera: oh, no need to be precise
    Moon Fargis: we have to develop own being clocks maybe:)
    Pema Pera: some people like precision, with an alarm
    Pema Pera: other like to do it roughly a few times an hour

    I was curious to hear how Moon approach the question of integration.

    Pema Pera: How do you normally approach the question of how to carry meditation into daily life?
    Moon Fargis: well everyone got is own daily life and has to find his suitable time for doing a meditation.. normally i advice before going to bed or after waking up.. people moslty got time before going to bed
    Moon Fargis: because noone really hurrys to go to bed
    Pema Pera: yes, that’s great advice — but then the question is how to sustain the mediation during the remaining 23 hours . . . .
    Moon Fargis: well lets substract 6-7 hours of sleep :)
    Pema Pera: okay, 16 hours, say
    Moon Fargis: well a daily meditation can hold on if you do it really daily
    Moon Fargis: but that need practise
    Pema Pera: I myself found it rather difficult to sustain a sense of practice, beyond the times of sitting on a cushion
    Pema Pera: I guess it took me a few decades :>)
    Moon Fargis: yes right its verry hard exept you do zazen even in your lunchtime
    Moon Fargis: at work
    Moon Fargis: and i never seen one before doing this
    Pema Pera: and also, when I read the literature, it seems that the great zen masters spent more time integrating their insight into their life, before starting to teach, than the time they spent getting their great breakthroughs in the first place
    Pema Pera: so that is why I suggested the 9-sec practice
    Pema Pera: not only during lunch time
    Pema Pera: but during any activity
    Pema Pera: far more frequent than meals
    Moon Fargis: yes and its a good idea
    Pema Pera: it may work best together with a standard practice of sitting half an hour or so a day
    Pema Pera: but it may work even without that — we’ll have to see
    Pema Pera: I’m not suggesting people give up their regular practice :>)
    Pema Pera: I think a combination is best
    Moon Fargis: yes
    Pema Pera: but for those people not interested in meditation it may still be an interesting exploration
    Pema Pera: much more direct than philosophical reasoning

    We talked about various ways to stop for a while

    Moon Fargis: well its good to keep the mind down…
    Moon Fargis: you know the monkey mind
    Pema Pera: yup
    Moon Fargis: hmm i think most people do that 9 secs already without knowing
    Moon Fargis: maybe they are just staring out of the widow for a short time
    Moon Fargis: or drink something
    Moon Fargis: smoke
    Moon Fargis: whatever
    Pema Pera: yes, I think you are right
    Pema Pera: it is natural, animals probably do it too
    Pema Pera: but the problem is that we can work for hours, or do whatever for hours, and forget about it
    Pema Pera: so some reminders may help
    Moon Fargis: yes he social life ..the modern life … rejects this from us
    Pema Pera: actually, I remembered how smoking, when I did that as a teenager, was actually a type of meditation in that sense — or at least it could be, and it was in some cases
    Pema Pera: if the bad aspects (health, bothering others) wouldn’t be there, it could be another good method
    Moon Fargis: ahyes well one mom phone

    At first I had gotten the impression that Moon’s mom was calling him many times a day, but at some point I realized that for him “mom” was a breviation for “just a moment” :-)

    Pema Pera: You said: ” like a short period of zazen without sitting :)” when I asked you about the 9-sec practice ; did it help also with integration of a meditative attitude into daily life — or is it too early to ask that question?
    Pema Pera: okay, take your time!
    Moon Fargis: ok back
    Moon Fargis: well for me its too early becasue i didn’t practise it that much yet
    Pema Pera: if you get a chance to do it a bit more, I would be fascinated to hear whether or not it would make a significant difference
    Pema Pera: a significant addition to your practice, or just more of the same
    Pema Pera: this is all new for me, and I still have little idea for whom this will turn out to be useful
    Moon Fargis: ok this might take some time.. human body and mind mostly takes about one week to recognice it as a common action in life
    Pema Pera: perhaps . . .
    Pema Pera: . . . what I was surprised about is how several people, myself included, found this persistent way of working with short intervals effective very quickly . . . but it may depend on the person
    Pema Pera: there is a lot to be explored here
    Pema Pera: We are lucky in that we now have access to all traditions of the last few thousand years
    Moon Fargis: hehe yes
    Pema Pera: and we are perhaps unlucky in that we can’t make them to work so easily
    Pema Pera: since our circumstances are so different
    Pema Pera: so we have a lot of homework to do
    Moon Fargis: yes exactly
    Pema Pera: to find new ways of exploring the old paths
    Moon Fargis: time is faster today that back then
    Pema Pera thinks “ways” and “path” that was a funny sentence
    Moon Fargis: everything is fast has todo now faster faster faster efficent mre efficent ultra efficent hurry huryy huryy *dong* blackout
    Pema Pera: yes, but . . . .
    Pema Pera: we have learned to think “meta” — different levels
    Pema Pera: so we are perhaps not so stuck to one reality
    Pema Pera: thanks to tv, movies, especially virtual worlds now

    We both agreed that no matter how hard, nothing was impossible.

    Moon Fargis: well ofcourse the human mind needs a retreat from this fast reality
    Moon Fargis: otherwhise everyone would go crazy
    Pema Pera: unless you jump right into Being
    Pema Pera: or whatever you like to call it
    Pema Pera: perhaps unlikely
    Pema Pera: but you can’t say it’s impossible
    Moon Fargis: sure not, just wanted to point out why all the old paths are so hard to go in our todays life
    Pema Pera: yes, I agree
    Moon Fargis: ahwell i make another tea now hehe i went up to early today
    Pema Pera: and when I put on my “reasonable” hat, I feel that we all have to first learn to slow down before we can even begin to get some real meditative insight
    Pema Pera: but when I take off that hat, I wonder whether that is not too restrictive
    Pema Pera: perhaps there are other openings, unlikely as they may seem . . .
    Pema Pera: . . . .okay, to be continued!
    Moon Fargis: hehe
    Pema Pera: enjoy your tea!
    Moon Fargis: im here i read hot water is right left of me
    Pema Pera: It’s time for dinner for me here in TOkyo
    Moon Fargis: the to the right yummy
    Moon Fargis: ahh hmmm enjoy your miso soup
    Pema Pera: will do!
    Pema Pera: Thanks for stopping by.
    Pema Pera: I’ll try to come to a Wednesday evening event!
    Pema Pera: by for now
    Pema Pera: bye
    Moon Fargis: okay nice to see you again
    Moon Fargis: See you later!

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