2008.05.28 13:00 - Putting off Procrastination

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    That afternoon, Storm was the guardian on duty. He sent me (Pema) the following report, which led me laughing out loud, literally, at several points in the conversation, which I was sorry to have missed!

    Storm was standing in for Caledonia as guardian at the Tea House, dressed not in the maroon robes and the shaven head of a Tibetan monk, but in beach shorts and with a full head of blond hair. Notes are from Storm’s point of view.

    Rajah Yalin: hi Storm
    Storm Nordwind: Greetings Rajah. How are you?
    Rajah Yalin: ah I’m doing good, and how about yourself?
    Storm Nordwind: Doing better in RL and SL :)
    Rajah Yalin: good!
    Storm Nordwind: So what news do you bring from far fields?
    Rajah Yalin: hmmm…
    Rajah Yalin: they
    Rajah Yalin: are trying to get bank frauds
    Rajah Yalin: and my mate has got a job that he is moving to new zealand for

    I thought perhaps Rajah was teasing me by taking me literally! I wanted to enquire about how he was getting on with Playing as Being and what he told me was very encouraging.

    Storm Nordwind: Great. I thought perhaps there was news of your practice? :)
    Rajah Yalin: ah, well it’s going good - I did outside this morning, sunrise coming up - peace
    Storm Nordwind: That sounds wonderful! Over the sea?
    Rajah Yalin: my home is up a hill, you can see the ocean from it
    Storm Nordwind: very nice. A combination of hill, trees and sea perhaps?
    Rajah Yalin nods.
    Storm Nordwind: I was looking at your islands on Wikipedia. I was wondering whether any kind of meditation practice is rather like being on retreat.
    Rajah Yalin: oh well, when I came back from india, even though this is my home, i suppose that it did feel quite a bit like retreat
    Rajah Yalin: but as a native here, it seems to be “the norm”
    Storm Nordwind: So are you managing to record your impressions after doing the 9 second meditations? And are you still finding 9 seconds rather short?
    Rajah Yalin: yeah I’m still finding it short, but when you put into account how many times a day it is, it seems like a large accomplishment - though putting it into words seems to be a bit hard
    Storm Nordwind: Yep I fully understand. How about the regularity? It sounds like you’re doing it quite a few times a day.
    Rajah Yalin: yep working on every 15 minutes though I have skipped a few times there :P
    Storm Nordwind: I think that’s a great achievement! :)
    Rajah Yalin: I have time on my hands :P
    Rajah Yalin nods.

    I recalled that not everyone is wise to chat-speak. So-called “emoticons” like :P still bewilder and confuse. This one is ambiguous, though not as Rajah used it. It shows someone sticking out their tongue, and you have to guess from the context whether that implies the writer is exhausted, disgusted, fed up or whether they are making a rude gesture at the reader!

    We started talking about blogs. First my own.

    Storm Nordwind: Ah yes. I have a strange blog entry today
    Rajah Yalin: I’ll be sure to read
    Storm Nordwind: It says: “There are no blog entries describing or inspired by the ‘9 second every 15 minutes’ Play as Being meditations today. This is quite deliberate. I’m being wilful.”
    Storm Nordwind: “Bad monk! No biscuit for you!”
    Storm Nordwind: But of course there’s a reason and if you’re really that interested you can spend a boring 20 seconds reading it some time!
    Rajah Yalin: boring? I like to read
    Storm Nordwind: If you say that to Isen he will surely approve! :)

    Isen was talking to Tara just out of earshot. The reason for my own blog entry? Well you’ll just have to read it to find out! :)

    We moved on to Rajah’s intended blog.

    Storm Nordwind: So you mentioned you were going to try putting a blog together, albeit general purpose. Do you find blogs an attractive medium?
    Rajah Yalin: I like to get my thoughts put somewhere before i forget them
    Rajah Yalin: I did have a blog for about a year and a half but I took it off last october
    Storm Nordwind: I like the thing about getting your thoughts down before you lose them.
    Storm Nordwind: Why did you take the other one down?
    Rajah Yalin shrugs.
    Rajah Yalin: went from daily to weekly to ‘every now and then
    Rajah Yalin: and i just sort of stopped writing and took it off
    Storm Nordwind chuckles
    Storm Nordwind: Sounds like it had fulfilled its purpose by then
    Rajah Yalin: yeah and the domain was expiring :P
    Storm Nordwind: Haha!
    Storm Nordwind: What i could do with is a musical blog to do the same thing
    Storm Nordwind: The problem with improvising is that things come and go
    Storm Nordwind: And when someone says “Play that again” you can’t
    Storm Nordwind: Because you’re totally in the moment
    Rajah Yalin: definitely
    Rajah Yalin: there was a time where i played ‘the greatest song i ever wrote’ and it was improvised
    Rajah Yalin: I forgot it bout 10 minutes later, but i swear it was the greatest song ever wrote by me
    Storm Nordwind: haha! I fully sympathise
    Storm Nordwind: I once thought of putting a tape recorder on the guitar
    Storm Nordwind: but - another project that never happened!
    Rajah Yalin: yeah I
    Rajah Yalin: get ideas that never come into play a loooot
    Storm Nordwind: It’s kind of like a meditation technique that has you watching silently, seeing perception arise and go, thoughts arise and pass, and never holding on to anything. Just being, and letting it all rise and fall
    Rajah Yalin: procastination can be very zen
    Storm Nordwind: I’ve decided to put off procrastinating till … well … maybe tomorrow. Or the next day perhaps.

    Moon arrived and I apologised in case people had been expecting a different guardian. Somehow the mood became playful and we discussed beverages.

    Moon Fargis: hello my friends
    Rajah Yalin: hi Moon
    Storm Nordwind: Hi there Moon. Welcome
    Storm Nordwind: Incidentally, I am sorry to disappoint you guys tonight, but if you were expecting Caledonia, she wanted to swap with me on my normal slot tomorrow. I’ll do my best to look chic though! ;)
    Rajah Yalin: your doing the look well
    Moon Fargis: hmm aslong you dont wear a woman kimono it will be fine :)
    Storm Nordwind: I promise!
    Rajah Yalin: you kind of look australian
    Rajah Yalin: the surfer brand
    Storm Nordwind: Can’t sustain the accent though for longer than a few seconds.
    Storm Nordwind: And you won’t get me drinking their beer!
    Moon Fargis: you really have to taste german beer :)
    Rajah Yalin: whats wrong with australian beer?
    Storm Nordwind: German and Belgian beer are the best in the world. I modelled my own homebrew on them.
    Moon Fargis: hui
    Rajah Yalin doesn’t drink alcohol in RL.
    Moon Fargis: well there is also beer without alcohol :)
    Rajah Yalin: what fun is that?
    Storm Nordwind: Australian beer has all the subtlety of a charging rhinoceros. In my view!
    Moon Fargis: hehe
    Rajah Yalin: i stick with kava and tea myself
    Storm Nordwind: Very wise!
    Moon Fargis: yes.. btw you can add a lilebit inger to a alcohol free beer so it will taste like alcohol
    Rajah Yalin: fresh kava - processed kava is bad for your liver
    Moon Fargis: ginger
    Moon Fargis: i mean
    Storm Nordwind: These are esoteric distinctions for me sadly!
    Rajah Yalin: i don’t think you can get good kava outside of the south pacific, and the best comes from here in vanuatu
    Rajah Yalin: fijian kava is not as good
    Storm Nordwind: Haha! There are strong regional variations for so many things.
    Storm Nordwind: I have been telling a bunch of Russians that they don’t make the best vodka. Of course that is not a popular view!
    Rajah Yalin: I think it’s because we drink it less than 24 hours before harvest
    Rajah Yalin: sent out and packaged to america or austrlia or wherever, the kava is bad for the liver if you drink it everyday like us ni-Vans do
    Storm Nordwind: Hmmm… I suspect many things are bad if you take them habitually.
    Rajah Yalin: true
    Storm Nordwind: And perhaps that’s like life
    Storm Nordwind: Lack of mindfulness means that even the best activity can become hollow or even counterproductive
    Rajah Yalin: thats why I dont drink alcohol - dulls the mind
    Storm Nordwind: Indeed. In fact I have found myself drinking less and less. Many months go by without my touching alcohol now
    Moon Fargis: thats good.. now youre on tea too ?
    Rajah Yalin: ah tea time, brb
    Storm Nordwind: Not really. When I first went to Malaysia I turned onto iced lemon tea in a big way. But now I drink mostly water.
    Moon Fargis: well try water..with tea.. narly the same but better for your health :)

    I put forward a notion about “doing things for yourself or others” that had occurred to me a while ago, one that I had discussed with my fiancee before and with which she had agreed. The discussion became quite fascinating.

    Storm Nordwind: Yes. But you know, when you live by yourself, even that amount of preparation is just too much. If, on the other hand, I have to make it for someone else, it’s easy!
    Moon Fargis: so making a tea for yourself is hard and for others easy?
    Storm Nordwind: yes
    Moon Fargis: why do you think you are acting like this?
    Storm Nordwind: Because I enjoy giving to others
    Rajah Yalin: me too
    Moon Fargis: so then you dont enjoy giving yourself something good?
    Storm Nordwind: If I have the choice of being lazy and not being lazy, being lazy usually wins
    Moon Fargis: ahyes.. well there is no choice
    Moon Fargis: just desire
    Moon Fargis: if you really desire some tea then you will make yourself one i think
    Storm Nordwind: Yes that is so. I am a connoisseur. I like fine things and fine flavours. I like intensity and contrasts. Spicy food. Pungent whisky (when I drink it at all now). But unless I am sharing with someone else, I am quite happy to go for minimum effort. I have no desirous attachment to these things.
    Moon Fargis: mm i think the effort for giving something to an other person is much higher as to give it to yourself
    Storm Nordwind: Yes it is. But the reward is far greater too!
    Moon Fargis: well i know what you want to say :) so i leave that topic now in the room as it is
    Rajah Yalin: i dont know
    Rajah Yalin: I’ve found it easier to give to others in the last few years
    Rajah Yalin: less effort
    Moon Fargis: depends. if you do a tea for another person.you will take a look if everything is clean,the time is long and short enought,if the water has right temperature….aso
    Storm Nordwind: Things that are joyful DO take less effort than things that are more boring.
    Moon Fargis: if you give yourself a tea all those things have a lower priority
    Storm Nordwind: But it doesn’t SEEM like more effort
    Storm Nordwind: It seems like less
    Storm Nordwind: because you have the joy with it
    Rajah Yalin: yes what storm said is what I was going to say
    Rajah Yalin: in a different way, but same thing basically
    Moon Fargis: and its true just wanted to clear it up.. that such things are heavyly based on ego and mind actions
    Moon Fargis: like feeling the time.. sometimes it runs, sometimes it doesnt go over
    Moon Fargis: and such things

    I explored whether or not this would transfer over to Play as Being. Again fascinating.

    Storm Nordwind: Now it makes me wonder about Play as Being meditations…
    Storm Nordwind: Why am I doing it? For myself?
    Storm Nordwind: No
    Storm Nordwind: I doubt that I could sustain it if it was just for me
    Moon Fargis: well like i zen, just sit
    Storm Nordwind: I do it for the same reason as I do my religious practice
    Moon Fargis: just pab
    Storm Nordwind: I do it for the benefit of others
    Storm Nordwind: Bodhichitta is in there somewhere
    Moon Fargis: where?:)
    Storm Nordwind: haha!
    Storm Nordwind: The motive - my motive for the practice, PaB or my Buddhist practice
    Moon Fargis: ahyes
    Moon Fargis: well do you really need a motive for it?
    Storm Nordwind: To do it for myself is not enough for me. Works for others, or some others, but not for me
    Storm Nordwind: Without a motive, what will i do?
    Rajah Yalin: mindfulness doesn’t only benefit you
    Moon Fargis: just do storm just do
    Storm Nordwind: Why?
    Moon Fargis: no why:)
    Storm Nordwind: Then no do
    Moon Fargis: ono do, just do doesnt make a difference then. welcome in the beautiful world of zazen

    That wasn’t going to be agreed upon! So we returned to the practicality of Rajah’s Blog.

    Rajah Yalin: so, what should I name my zen blog?
    Storm Nordwind: Is it Zen?
    Rajah Yalin: I hope so
    Storm Nordwind: First Principle

    I said this, not realising it would cause confusion.

    Rajah Yalin: i was thinking like Rajah’s Karma or something
    Storm Nordwind: Sure
    Moon Fargis: hmm
    Storm Nordwind: I merely suggested the name of a well known Zen story, that’s all
    Rajah Yalin: :P
    Storm Nordwind: Hmm… it’s your choice of course. I would steer to other things if it were me.
    Rajah Yalin: do you like Osho?
    Storm Nordwind shrugs
    Storm Nordwind: Not particularly like nor dislike. No attraction. Not consequential to me it seems at the moment or over the years
    Rajah Yalin: I’m not too sure where I stand on it
    Storm Nordwind: Do you feel you need to stand this way or that way?
    Rajah Yalin: No
    Storm Nordwind: Then life is full of things we are not sure of. If you need a box and a ribbon for it, you can package it as “enigma”. Or “don’t care”. meanwhile, your life will fill your attention with higher priorities perhaps? :)
    Rajah Yalin: i only asked your opinion cause osho had written a book called first principle
    Storm Nordwind: Ah I see. That had escaped me! My apologies for being dense. :)
    Rajah Yalin: oh its alright I hadn’t really thought of it like that
    Storm Nordwind: I just liked it because of the story about Kosen

    Kosen was a master 200 years ago at the Obaku temple in Kyoto. The story of the First Principle is a lesson in calligraphy and minds free from distraction. But it wasn’t going to be told right now as we continued mulling over names.

    Storm Nordwind: Anyway, you are set on Rajah’s Karma? :)
    Rajah Yalin: nah, maybe Rajah’s Zen Dialogue or something - i have no idea - I dont hav any real clever titles
    Moon Fargis: “just blog”
    Storm Nordwind: Whom would it be a dialogue with?
    Rajah Yalin: the world I guess
    Storm Nordwind: Yes. It’s nice to get comments on blogs
    Storm Nordwind: How about “Yet another”? As in “Yet Another Blog”
    Moon Fargis: YAB ?
    Rajah Yalin: Yet Another Blog By Rajah
    Rajah Yalin: in reference to the old one
    Storm Nordwind: yab, however, has other connotations for me. And may also for some of your intended audience.
    Storm Nordwind: I guess from the silence that it doesn’t for either of you! :)
    Rajah Yalin: lol
    Moon Fargis: i just enjoy silence:)
    Storm Nordwind: me too
    Rajah Yalin: i could put the yab-yum…
    Rajah Yalin: controversial
    Storm Nordwind: indeed. People not sympathetic to tantra might be put off reading otherwise good material
    Storm Nordwind: It depends on who you’re writing it for
    Storm Nordwind: Yourself or others?
    Storm Nordwind: That motivation again!
    Rajah Yalin: Im writing for me and whoever has a low enough self-esteem to read it
    Rajah Yalin: ha! no
    Rajah Yalin: me and whoever has the time to read it
    Moon Fargis: or the motivation :)
    Rajah Yalin: :P
    Rajah Yalin: then I guess it will just be me reading
    Moon Fargis: haha
    Storm Nordwind: we’ll see. Tell us the address and we see if we can be motivated to move a mouse… :)
    Rajah Yalin: lol

    And general teasing broke out!

    Rajah Yalin: I don’t have it yet - it’s still in procrastination stage
    Storm Nordwind: I never get round to that stage
    Rajah Yalin: yes you wait until tommorow
    Storm Nordwind: I once heard something on a British radio station that cured me of my procrastination
    Storm Nordwind: The announcer started by saying a well-known proverb, and then extended it with their own wisdom
    Storm Nordwind: She said this…
    Storm Nordwind: “Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today…”
    Storm Nordwind: “Because you might enjoy it today, and then you can do it again tomorrow!”
    Moon Fargis: hehe thats a good one
    Rajah Yalin: :)
    Moon Fargis: okay lets finish those woods today storm :)
    Storm Nordwind: Three sims-worth of woods in one night… hmmm!
    Rajah Yalin: :O
    Moon Fargis: remember, it has to be look good :)
    Rajah Yalin: you might enjoy it today storm
    Rajah Yalin: then you can do it tommorow!
    Rajah Yalin: :)
    Moon Fargis: enjoy it that you can do it tomorrow
    Storm Nordwind: And in fact…
    Storm Nordwind: I enjoy it so much that I WILL do it today…
    Storm Nordwind: but NOT all of it…
    Storm Nordwind: to leave more for tomorrow…
    Storm Nordwind: and the day after…
    Storm Nordwind: and the day after that…
    Storm Nordwind: :)
    Moon Fargis: ah yes
    Rajah Yalin: yes to keep you busy for them days
    Storm Nordwind: It sounds like Dakini was taking a shower
    Storm Nordwind: maybe it will be raining outside in a few seconds
    Storm Nordwind: I do feel a sudden ’storm’ approaching
    Moon Fargis: you mean the dakini’s fly low ?

    I laughed and, with an incantation of magic words, brought down a deluge of thundery rain outside the tea house. Dakini came in a few moments later holding an umbrella! After that Pema came around and, with the PaB session closed, we discussed other urgent business

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