2008.05.20 19:00 - Always Breathing

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

    That evening, when I walked up to the tea house, the zen session had already disbanded, and I was the first one to arrive. I saw Ziana and Friedrich materializing across the bridge, and I waited for them outside. Soon Hotaru would drop out of the sky, Dakini would walk up, and Ayukam would rez as well, and quickly there would be half a dozen of us.

    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: hey
    Pema Pera: Hi there, Fred!
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: early, for once.
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: evening…
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: or, morning. whatever
    Pema Pera: Hi Ziana!
    Pema Pera: Morning here, yes
    Pema Pera: Hi Hotaru!
    Pema Pera: Nice wings, Ziana!
    Hotaru Myoo: hiya
    Ziana Tauber: Why thank you
    Hotaru Myoo: exotic!
    Pema Pera: Hi Dakini!
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: wow. can you fly w/ such lacy wings?
    Dakini Rhode: hi!
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: hi there
    Ziana Tauber: sure can
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: nice
    Ziana Tauber: see?
    Pema Pera: haha
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i must rely on the magic of the nyc subway for my super powers
    Pema Pera: Hi Ayukam!
    Pema Pera: Good morning!
    Ayukam Harsley: hi Pema
    Pema Pera: At least for the two of us
    Ayukam Harsley: Good morning
    Pema Pera: it is 11 am in Japan
    Ayukam Harsley: oh you’re in Japan?
    Hotaru Myoo: not bad
    Pema Pera: yes, Mitaka Tenmondai in Tokyo

    Hotaru refered back to the meeting we had twelve hours earlier.

    Hotaru Myoo: better than the 11 oclock meeting
    Hotaru Myoo: on the other end
    Pema Pera: Astronomy Observatory, quite far from central Tokyo
    Dakini Rhode: 10 o’clock here
    Hotaru Myoo: 9 here
    Dakini Rhode: we’re almost opposites, Pema
    Ayukam Harsley: yes but Mitaka is not too far
    Hotaru Myoo: how far by train?
    Pema Pera: It takes almost as much time to travel from Kyoto to Tokyo as from Tokyo to MItaka
    Pema Pera: About one and a half hour, trains and bus
    Hotaru Myoo: ah
    Pema Pera: Whereas from Kyoto to Tokyo oonly 2 hours twenty minutes
    Pema Pera: by bullet train
    Ayukam Harsley: haha
    Pema Pera: There is a very small airport right next to the observatory
    Pema Pera: but no flights to Kansai :(
    Hotaru Myoo: fly private?
    Pema Pera: only to the small islands South of Tokyo
    Pema Pera: forgot the names
    Pema Pera: Oshima or something
    Pema Pera: very tiny planes
    Hotaru Myoo: I’d like to see them or something
    Hotaru Myoo: I fly tiny planes
    Ayukam Harsley: maybe Miyake jima or Oshima
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: you fly planes, Hotaru?
    Hotaru Myoo: is jima =island?
    Pema Pera: yes
    Hotaru Myoo: ah
    Ayukam Harsley: yes
    Hotaru Myoo: ty
    Hotaru Myoo: yes

    Johnson stepped by and soon Mongo would join us well, so there were then eight of us.

    Pema Pera: Hi Johnson!
    Hotaru Myoo: hi Johnson
    Hotaru Myoo: that was some entrance!
    Pema Pera: perhaps we can get a RL meeting some day, with Hotaru flying us around!
    Ayukam Harsley: hi Johnson
    Hotaru Myoo: haha
    Johnson Euler: Hello.
    Hotaru Myoo: I break all flight rules
    Hotaru Myoo: Dakini!
    Dakini Rhode: hey!
    Hotaru Myoo: You look pretty exotic this evening!
    Dakini Rhode: :-)
    Dakini Rhode: the zen archer
    Ayukam Harsley: hi Dakini
    Dakini Rhode: hi :-)
    Ayukam Harsley: good to see you again
    Hotaru Myoo: yes you are
    Dakini Rhode: likewise :-)
    Pema Pera: Have you been to Kumamoto, the city on the back of your shirt, Johnson?
    Johnson Euler: No, I haven’t. You?
    Pema Pera: yes, nice place, nice park and castle
    Pema Pera: in Kyushu, not so far from Nagasaki
    Hotaru Myoo: I’ve seen the castle before!
    Johnson Euler: Never been to Japan. But it’s on my bucket list.
    Ayukam Harsley: my mother was born in Kumamoto
    Ayukam Harsley: :)
    Pema Pera: Hi Mongo!
    Pema Pera: Ah, what a small world, Ayukam!
    Ayukam Harsley: hehe
    Pema Pera: Is there a Kumamoto in SL, Ayu?
    Pema Pera: I know there is a Nagasaki
    Pema Pera: with a peace park
    Ayukam Harsley: ah
    Mongo McGinnis: hi
    Ayukam Harsley: let me search
    Mongo McGinnis: i have to walk my beagle hes was kicking for a reason duriing meditation
    Hotaru Myoo: lol
    Ayukam Harsley: haha

    While Ayukam was looking up Kumamoto, I suggested getting back to the Play as Being adventures.

    Pema Pera: would anybody like to say something about their play with the 9-second explorations?
    Hotaru Myoo: Ayu found a castle the other day…Kenroku
    Ayukam Harsley: I found some place that have Kumamoto as their name
    Pema Pera: ah, in SL? Should explore that!
    Ayukam Harsley: yes Kenrou-en is on my picks
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i started to bring this up yesterday, but we didnt get into it. i have been thinking about the similarities between 9-sec play and smoke breaks
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i don’t know if anyone here has ever smoked, i don’t (very often)
    Dakini Rhode: i never smoked but i take breathing breaks
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: but, i have been wondering about this aspect of the smoke break.
    Hotaru Myoo: haha
    Ziana Tauber: I quit almost a year ago, and I miss the excuse to go outside
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: right right. i always joke that I don’t smoke - i just use it to regulate my breathing
    Hotaru Myoo: anything that is habituated like that
    Dakini Rhode: yes Fred
    Dakini Rhode: and catch up on the gossip
    Pema Pera: hehe
    Dakini Rhode: the smokers know everything
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: and, presumably, for some, to STOP
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: have we simply reinstituted the smoke break for non-smokers?
    Dakini Rhode: haha
    Pema Pera: very efficient if you can finish a cigaret in 9 seconds . . . .
    Hotaru Myoo: well…depends on if your 9 sec break is communal or a singular endeavor
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: one that keeps going out
    Ziana Tauber: just gotta know how to hotbox
    Johnson Euler: It’s coffee for me. I could drink a coffee every 15 minutes. And they don’t make you go outside to do it.
    Hotaru Myoo: lol
    Pema Pera: but yes, sure, there are some clear similarities — any type of breaks — haha, Johnson, yes, nice in freezing weather
    Hotaru Myoo: ah…sumimasen…brb….
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: smoldering holes in reality? but, the serious side to this question is whether there are familar names for this experience we are experimenting with. its not /that/ alient
    Pema Pera: I think our 9-sec breaks are a bit more radical — stopping / cutting / waking up — but sometimes smoking might trigger something similar

    Dakini brought up an interesting angle on the practice.

    Dakini Rhode: Pema, i have found the 9 sec breaks can seem aggressive
    Pema Pera: can you say more, Dakini?
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: dakini - their frequency, or shortness?
    Dakini Rhode: After doing it for awhile, i find i’d rather retain the thread of awareness consistently
    Pema Pera: that would be ideal, yes
    Dakini Rhode: abrupt stopping seems rather aggressive - maybe not the best word
    Dakini Rhode: jarring
    Dakini Rhode: not fluid
    Ziana Tauber: abrupt?
    Dakini Rhode: all those perhaps
    Pema Pera: that is actually the goal, to keep continuity
    Pema Pera: would “waking up” sound better than “stopping”?
    Dakini Rhode: it’s the practice, not the name…. i think
    Pema Pera: can you describe more what your version would be?
    Pema Pera: perhaps the words we use are more different than what we do . . . .
    Dakini Rhode: you mean, as i’ve come to practice it?
    Pema Pera: yes, in how far it is not like stopping
    Johnson Euler: Hmm. How to make it more fluid? Maybe shifting from tactical to strategic thinking and back?
    Pema Pera: but like something more gentle or different
    Pema Pera: Hi Ron!
    Pema Pera: Come join us
    Johnson Euler: Or small picture to big picture and back?

    Ron was a new visitor, and after I invited him to join us by IM, het settled down next to Friedrich on the wooden plank next to the tea house. Friedrich made an interesting comment on theater vs. film.

    Ron777 Homewood: hi pera
    Dakini Rhode: Begin with a longer sitting, that sort of gives you a baseline.. which stays with me
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: this reminds me of a friend of mine who prefers
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: theater to film - he can’t stand the rapid jump cutting
    Dakini Rhode: so as i go about my day, i find myself returning to that
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i mean, our mediascape is saturated with rapid cuts like the ones we are replicating
    Dakini Rhode: rather than forcing it
    Pema Pera: Forcing is not good, I agree
    Pema Pera: but I have always felt that reminders were good
    Dakini Rhode: maybe i have too many meetings, appointments, reminders…
    Dakini Rhode: 15-minute breaks starts to feel busy
    Dakini Rhode: like speed meditation
    Pema Pera: no matter how much I got deep into practice, at various times in my life, I did always notice that I could get deeper into it, could be more focused, could be more present — and my question was: what is holding me back? There is no barrier, nothing preventing me — just seemed I needed to remind myself, very frequently
    Pema Pera: so how to you keep the liveliness, the presence?
    Dakini Rhode: good question
    Pema Pera: there must be many ways, I’m sure
    Dakini Rhode: i get bored and lose it
    Pema Pera: we all do
    Dakini Rhode: i start to get somewhere then get bored
    Pema Pera: so we all need something . . . . .
    Dakini Rhode: haha i see a couple of excuses for laziness haha
    Pema Pera: and I think for all of us it has to be frequently . . . .
    Pema Pera: . . . . if we agree on that, we could make a list of tricks
    Pema Pera: and see how the 9-sec trick comparese with others
    Pema Pera: like Fred’s smoking breaks for example
    Pema Pera: or like more gentle approaches which you may suggest, Dakini
    Pema Pera: Do you have a specific alternative suggestion you can think of?
    Dakini Rhode: breathing
    Pema Pera: but how to remind yourself?
    Dakini Rhode: i’m always breathing

    Ziana brought up a kind of Buddha realm practice.

    Ziana Tauber: I read about driving meditation where brakelights are viewed as buddha winking
    Pema Pera: but we are also always slipping . . ..
    Dakini Rhode: slipping is ok so long as you slip both ways, i think
    Johnson Euler: What if it were 9 seconds of seeing yourself and everyone and your whole situation from outside yourself? That would be a form of meditation and reframing. Without losing continuity.
    Dakini Rhode: slip into meditation, slip out of meditation
    Dakini Rhode: or like when you change activities - go from one thing to another
    Dakini Rhode: a chance for mindfulness
    Dakini Rhode: phone rings, be mindful before picking it up
    Pema Pera: yes, anything can be seen as reminders, as Ziana also mentioned
    Dakini Rhode: scooping cat poop
    Dakini Rhode: anything
    Pema Pera: that too :>)
    Dakini Rhode: anything is a chance to shift perspective
    Dakini Rhode: or to check if you still have that wide perspective, that panoramic vision
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: but, if everything is a reminder, nothing is…
    Johnson Euler: Not having a cat. One of my many blessings. :)
    Dakini Rhode: even better, right?
    Dakini Rhode: well, just some thoughts :-)
    Pema Pera: Yes, Fred, that is the problem, in practice
    Pema Pera: If you try to let everything remind you, after a few minutes fatigue may set in
    Pema Pera: or a few hours
    Pema Pera: or days
    Pema Pera: and then what?
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: choosing seems important too, not just letting it wash over you
    Pema Pera: then new reminders are needed, it seems . . . .
    Hotaru Myoo: after a while do you really need reminders?
    Pema Pera: I do :-)
    Hotaru Myoo: isn’t it habituated?
    Hotaru Myoo: like breathing?
    Dakini Rhode: I think that is what I was thinking, Hotaru
    Pema Pera: if you’re a fully realized being, perhaps you don’t
    Hotaru Myoo: rofrbl
    Pema Pera: but if you find yourself slipping out of full presence, then what?
    Johnson Euler: Replacing old patterns of thought is tremendously difficult. Requires frequent reminders.
    Hotaru Myoo: pop the string on your finger

    Dakini pointed out that, while it had become night in Rieul, there seemed to remain a circle of light encompassing us right there, while we were sitting on the benches and standing on the grass. I had some serious lag, and at first I thought we were still talking about staying with the practice :-)

    Dakini Rhode: who notices that?
    Pema Pera: if you notice it you don’t need a reminder :-)
    Dakini Rhode: what is the light source here?
    Dakini Rhode: this spot here seems light with no light
    Dakini Rhode: all around is dark
    Hotaru Myoo: lol
    Johnson Euler: Everyone got their streaming music on? I’m just curious what everyone else is experiencing while they’re here?
    Dakini Rhode: i’m trying to see where the light is coming from
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i hear chirmping crickets, and a bubling stream (streaming)
    Johnson Euler: Yes, I still here the crickets, even with the new age symphony playing.
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: oh. i didn’t have the music playing. i thought the nature was the soundtrack. funny.
    Dakini Rhode: I think it is Ayukam brings the light :-)
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: Dakini - are those firefiles?!?
    Dakini Rhode: where?
    Johnson Euler: Lots of bright stars up there too.
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i am seeing dancing lights above the heads of the bench warmers
    Johnson Euler: Northern lights?
    Dakini Rhode: the white lights?
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: but, in the trees. white dots, not yellow.
    Dakini Rhode: over the heads, the white light means voice is activated
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: its in the distnace. not over their heads. and more lights than people
    Dakini Rhode: oh the little lights under the tree?
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: yeah, the fireflies ;-)
    Dakini Rhode: fireflies
    Dakini Rhode: :-)
    Hotaru Myoo: hotaru
    Dakini Rhode: :-)
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: (^_^)

    It was getting time for me to leave.

    Pema Pera: I’ll have to leave soon
    Pema Pera: lunch in Japan is very strictly exactly at 12 noon ;>)
    Johnson Euler: I just had a bunch of 9 second meditations. Felt good.
    Dakini Rhode: i think eveyrone just discovered the streaming music :-)
    Dakini Rhode: wow Johnson :-)
    Johnson Euler: What’s for lunch, Pema?
    Pema Pera: Had you done that in RL too, Johnson?
    Pema Pera: teh 9-sec thingies, or just now for the first time?
    Johnson Euler: Yes, in RL too!
    Pema Pera: how did that go?
    Pema Pera: different?
    Pema Pera: lunch will be rice — surprise :-)
    Dakini Rhode: haha
    Dakini Rhode: i like rice :-)
    Hotaru Myoo: perfect
    Pema Pera: Johnson, did it feel different in SL than in RL, these 9-sec explorations?
    Johnson Euler: No, about the same.
    Johnson Euler: I meditate best when there’s some kind of stimulus to focus on.
    Johnson Euler: SL has all kinds of that.
    Pema Pera: I’d love to hear more, next time — have to run to lunch now! See you all soon, thanks for stopping by!
    Dakini Rhode: Thanks for doing this, Pema
    Dakini Rhode: Namaste
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i wanna hear more about the person who meditates while driving!
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: g’night
    Johnson Euler: Good night Pema.
    Johnson Euler: Yes, Namaste.
    Dakini Rhode: mindfulness while driving
    Hotaru Myoo: Bye!!
    Pema Pera: till next time!
    Ayukam Harsley: take care Pema
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: yes, for sure, it is a great occasion.
    Mongo McGinnis: have a good lunch
    Pema Pera: I’ll fly Dakini, a bit safer ;>)
    Mongo McGinnis: good day

    Off I flew, in SL, and then I logged out, to get my lunch.

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