2008.05.27 07:00 - Talking about Time

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

    That morning, Maxine and I met again in the tea house.

    Pema Pera: Morning, Maxine!
    Maxine Walden: good evening, Pema!
    Maxine Walden: good to see you
    Pema Pera: yes, same here
    Pema Pera: It has become a nice ritual, greeting you here early in your morning.
    Maxine Walden: and for me as well, my morning early and your very late evening
    Maxine Walden: two sides of the day as it were
    Pema Pera: for now at least; in one and a half month I’ll be in your time zone again :-)
    Maxine Walden: oh, really?! back in the USA?
    Pema Pera: From July 20 till August 9 in the Bay Area, mostly Berkeley, working with Stim, but also a few days in the Stanford area, to visit Stanford and Qwaq and Google and such
    Maxine Walden: oh, nice, yes, very same time zone. Would be lovely to somehow have a retreat or something at some point, maybe with Stim
    Pema Pera: in SL or RL?
    Maxine Walden: perhaps I could learn more about the Stanford meetings…it is my old alma mater…actually I was thinking in RL

    Maxine had mentioned getting together in RL, definitely an interesting idea, and something we’re likely to do at some point. But in addition, a new idea occurred to me, which I hadn’t thought about yet. If we do contemplations in SL, either the 20-minute zazen sessions followed by chats, led by Dakini, or the similar total length PaB chats led by the guardians here, why not try out a full-day retreat some day, in SL, with a mix of sittings and talkings, and perhaps even doing some work together, as often happens on retreats as well?

    Pema Pera: It had not occurred to me to do a one-day intensive retreat in SL but then again . . . why not?
    Pema Pera: Might be interesting . . . .
    Pema Pera: No meetings scheduled in Stanford — just chatting with individuals I know, nothing formal or group related
    Pema Pera: Same at Google, same at Qwaq
    Pema Pera: just a nice conglommeration of interesting people all within a few miles of each other
    Maxine Walden: I see. Right…guess I am still in the experience of meetings in RL as to really getting to know individuals and minds…that is what I know up my way
    Maxine Walden: SL is of course an interesting new ‘world’ and may be the way of the future, but maybe I am still a creature of the ‘old world’ so to speak
    Pema Pera: there is room for both — no need to choose
    Pema Pera: I still drink my coffee in RL :-)
    Maxine Walden: right, likley to be so…haha, me too, right now, a morning latte
    Pema Pera: I just had my late evening doffee :)
    Pema Pera: well, shall we talk about Being?
    Maxine Walden: yes, so interesting two sides of the day in the same room
    Maxine Walden: yes, an interesting awareness coming up recently, perhaps around the Being practice, contingent in time, at least:
    Maxine Walden: an awareness of perhaps not getting too deeply involved in things, half remembering papers given, talks as well; often half recalling what I had written re RL papers in process
    Maxine Walden: a wondering if I am 1) getting older and this a sign of age or 2) less actively involved in previous endeavors as I try to be open to new things or
    Maxine Walden: 3) perhaps exploring the peripheries (re discoveries) rather than stay wholly in the world of the known
    Pema Pera: it may be all of the above, and it may not be important to decide :-)
    Pema Pera: what is important is to keep exploring
    Pema Pera: and I’m glad we can do that here together
    Pema Pera: I know that I am learning a lot every day here
    Pema Pera: not just one or two things, but far more
    Maxine Walden: the exploring is central, quite central, and it seems to be the core of my interest, ‘beyond the known…’
    Pema Pera: Perhaps we can let go of our tendency to label, analyze, judge, and so compartmentalize our “progress” . . . and go with the flow of what presents itself
    Pema Pera: Such an attitude goes quite a bit against the grain of our education
    Pema Pera: but it may touch the creative streak
    Pema Pera: what happens when you “jam” or open up
    Pema Pera: I think Being can be found more in that direction

    We talked about time.

    Maxine Walden: that appeals to me, in that it invites the focus on ‘now’ and not the ‘achievement’ or disappointments of the even ‘just past’
    Pema Pera: and not even “now” :-)
    Pema Pera: what would that mean, dropping past and future AND now?
    Maxine Walden: yes, this notion of letting go of time…
    Maxine Walden: (it is part of the old world measuring stick, as it were)
    Pema Pera: what would that mean, concretely, for you, here on the spot, to drop “now” ?
    Pema Pera: right here
    Maxine Walden: let me see…it lets go of a temporal measure…focus on my breath and heartbeat perhaps (aware that I have an appointment in 40 min brings a bit of anxiety) but focus on my presence I think…re letting go of now
    Pema Pera: in how far would what you just described be different from focusing on “now”?
    Maxine Walden: perhaps not too far from ‘now’ …just trying to glimpse and describe…actually being open to the ’sounds’ beyond me such as the nature sounds in SL gets me a bit farther…maybe not
    Pema Pera: the difference is not easy to state in words
    Pema Pera: Hi Dakini!
    Dakini Rhode: hi Maxine and Pema
    Pema Pera: but is profound
    Maxine Walden: hi, Dakini
    Pema Pera: and has everything to do with Being
    Dakini Rhode: I should just mention i have ameeting in 5 minutes so will be in and out

    Dakini joined us, with the intention of staying only briefly . . . fortunately, she would in fact wind up staying for half an hour, stretching time, in good SL tradition :-)

    Pema Pera: letting go of time instead of ensconcing in a narrow “here and now” — even though as an initial step that can be very helpful and liberating
    Pema Pera: np, Dakini!
    Dakini Rhode: haha speaking of letting go of time…
    Pema Pera: We were just going beyond time, including the “now”
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: so you fit in perfectly!
    Pema Pera: Reminds me of Hotaru explaining our PaB practice
    Pema Pera: as a 0-sec meditation
    Pema Pera: the other day
    Pema Pera: instant enlightnement
    Dakini Rhode: haha
    Maxine Walden: haha. lovely
    Dakini Rhode: or popping in here to do the 9 sec
    Pema Pera: typos can carry such wisdom here
    Pema Pera: yeah
    Maxine Walden: typos really carry wisdom
    Pema Pera: wow, you have been shopping, haven’t you!
    Dakini Rhode: some old, some new
    Pema Pera: I have to get myself into this SLexchange some day soon
    Dakini Rhode: it may not take you so long as it took me
    Maxine Walden: how long did it take you, Dakini?
    Dakini Rhode: a year…
    Maxine Walden: thanks, Dakini.

    I had commented on Dakini’s latest set of new clothes, a dress in a very stylish black.

    Pema Pera: well, today I’ve been shopping for land :-)
    Maxine Walden: oh?
    Pema Pera: I don’t know whether you say the new map
    Maxine Walden: not yet
    Pema Pera: you two just keep sleeping when Storm and I are running around :-)
    Dakini Rhode: and vice versa, Pema
    Pema Pera: yeah, that too — on those days that I get enough sleep
    Pema Pera: perhaps we should organize a shopping tour
    Dakini Rhode: haha you’re like… “Ive been waiting all day for an email…”
    Pema Pera: for the fashionably challenged PaB avatars, including me
    Pema Pera: and you keep sleeping yeah!
    Dakini Rhode: while we’ve been merely asleep
    Dakini Rhode: haha
    Pema Pera: wu wei
    Pema Pera: not doing
    Pema Pera: you’re great!

    We were refering to the fact of Storm being in Scotland, me in Japan, and Dakini in the US, leaving uneven gaps in our email conversations, with often two of the three of us exchaning various emails with the third person remaining strangely silent . . . because of being asleep.

    Maxine Walden: oh, now I wouldn’t knock the value of sleep…lots goes on then
    Pema Pera: PaB shopping trip?
    Dakini Rhode: lots of decisions get made whilst sleeping
    Dakini Rhode: new perspectives…
    Maxine Walden: right,
    Dakini Rhode: insight…
    Maxine Walden: and consolidation of things
    Dakini Rhode: i call it defragging the brain
    Maxine Walden: wonderful metaphor
    Maxine Walden: my understading is that is just what goes on
    Maxine Walden: defrag the brain
    Dakini Rhode: yes, that is how i understand it…
    Dakini Rhode: deep meditation can reduce the need for sleep
    Dakini Rhode: or eliminate it
    Maxine Walden: really , did not know that
    Dakini Rhode: all this running around does not :-)
    Dakini Rhode: the space of deep meditation is just at the border between sleep and wakefulness
    Maxine Walden: maybe Being comes close this level of deep meditation…
    Dakini Rhode: yes, maybe this is being with being
    Dakini Rhode: being being?
    Maxine Walden: such an interesting idea…
    Dakini Rhode: is tied to the brainwaves, too
    Dakini Rhode: alpha, beta, delta, theta - deep meditation has all these brainwaves going on at the same time
    Dakini Rhode: or so the studies show
    Maxine Walden: yes, I have not looked into that, brainwave studies for some time, but …oh, thanks for the update
    Dakini Rhode: it has been afew years for me too…
    Dakini Rhode: excuse a mom
    Maxine Walden: I am aware that at times I just need to sleep in order for somethings to ‘get straight’ etc…oh yes, Dakini, so nice to see you
    Maxine Walden: Pema, this notion of the sleeping/near sleep state as close to being is very interesting…the notion of time does not apply to those states…
    Maxine Walden: but then one is not really conscious either…so that is not quite what you were speaking to, I believe
    Pema Pera: indeed, not quite :-)
    Pema Pera: Being is so radical . . . so far from the verbal currency of brain waves and individuals and time and space even . . . . .
    Pema Pera: . . . .trying to bring up the subject seems foolish . . . and yet . . . .
    Pema Pera: I keep being drawn to it . . . . like a wino to the bottle . . . ;)

    I do feel a kind of addiction to trying to talk about Being, but at the same time I realize more and more how hard it is to get anything across concerning that topic.

    Maxine Walden: not foolish, I think, but using that word may hint at how simple it seems to be
    Pema Pera: oh, it is so much simpler than anything else
    Maxine Walden: and you do keep bringing up the simplicity and ‘here already’ notion
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: I feel that we are having a party at the edge of a cliff
    Pema Pera: talking about the sea
    Pema Pera: in many beautiful words and descriptions
    Pema Pera: My hands just itch to give us all a little shove
    Pema Pera: off the cliff
    Pema Pera: and show the sea
    Maxine Walden: and into the sea
    Pema Pera: in a splash
    Pema Pera: with or without void :-)
    Maxine Walden: probably no void (SL or RL) in that plunge
    Pema Pera: or all void?
    Pema Pera: If I may come back to time
    Maxine Walden: please do
    Pema Pera: If you start with the normal way of being lost in memories and expectations, living in past and future
    Pema Pera: past and mirrored past
    Pema Pera: addiction and mirrored addiction
    Pema Pera: then switching to “here and now” is a very healthy first step
    Pema Pera: but the second step is dropping that same kind of obsession with the now
    Pema Pera: in a somewhat similar way
    Pema Pera: perhaps when you describe what happens in the first step, maybe that will help you stumble upon what might happen in the second step?
    Maxine Walden: what comes to mind is a loyalty to the future, by which I mean the ‘as yet unknown’ rather than the past…but you may disagree

    Dakini returned, and the three of us continued talking about time.

    Dakini Rhode: i’m back
    Maxine Walden: loyalty to ‘what is to come…or whatever may be’ wihout control, but with just wonder…
    Maxine Walden: hi, again, Dakini
    Pema Pera: hi Dakini!
    Dakini Rhode: it seems “now” is a tiny point
    Dakini Rhode: as soon as I say “now” it’s already past
    Dakini Rhode: it’s part of a continuum
    Maxine Walden: exactly..moment…moment, the crest of an ever moving wave
    Dakini Rhode: or maybe, the continuum is, and “now” is focusing on a tiny point in that continuum
    Dakini Rhode: yes
    Dakini Rhode: almost as though you can focus on now, now, now… and ride the wave… or…
    Dakini Rhode: you can be the wave
    Pema Pera: dropping time altogether
    Pema Pera: and dropping you
    Dakini Rhode: yes
    Pema Pera: but there are so many levels and ways
    Pema Pera: and each time you discover a new and deeper and different one
    Pema Pera: a new world opens
    Pema Pera: and you look back at yourself, a day, a year, ten years ago
    Pema Pera: when you thought you “got” it
    Pema Pera: and you just smile
    Pema Pera: like smiling at a child
    Pema Pera: playing with toys
    Maxine Walden: yes, I can relate to that, new world opens…when there is no reaching for a ‘getting it’ but just being as openly, completely and yet not self-consciously as possible
    Dakini Rhode: excuse me again
    Maxine Walden: in those situations time imposes an order as from the outside, keeping schedules in line etc, but it feels irrelevant to the experience
    Dakini Rhode: (gone)
    Pema Pera: gone gone totally gone?
    Pema Pera: well, I have to go too, I’m afraid
    Pema Pera: almost midnight again
    Dakini Rhode: Pema i stopped in so you could show me that land
    Dakini Rhode: but on phone now

    Dakini refered to a rather complex three-way land swapping operation in Rieul that we had been preparing between our group and two of our immediate neighbors.

    Pema Pera: ah!
    Maxine Walden: yes, and an appointment for me in a few minutes…
    Pema Pera: well, I have to do a few other chores
    Maxine Walden: see you later, then
    Pema Pera: so you can IM me when you’re back off the phone!
    Pema Pera: See you Maxine!
    Dakini Rhode: k
    Dakini Rhode: tc Max

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