2008.05.30 13:00 - Just

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

    That evening, I found Rajah in the tea house, when I walked in.

    Pema Pera: Hi there, Rajah!
    Rajah Yalin: hi Pema :)
    Pema Pera: waiting for the cushions to rezzzz
    Rajah Yalin: haha
    Pema Pera: do you know that there are two poses?
    Pema Pera: if you left click on a cushion
    Pema Pera: you can switch from the default female position
    Rajah Yalin: ah yea if i touch it
    Pema Pera: to the male position
    Rajah Yalin: which is male and which is female
    Pema Pera: You are changing too fast for me to keep up typing :-)
    Rajah Yalin: lol
    Pema Pera: so I’ll say in words, haha
    Pema Pera: hands spread is male
    Pema Pera: hands demurely together is female
    Rajah Yalin: okay so im male now
    Pema Pera: yes

    After figuring out sitting, we also figured out typing.

    Rajah Yalin: :P\
    Pema Pera: you’re a master of ascii emoticons
    Rajah Yalin: you think?
    Pema Pera: I can see the “P” as a tongue sticking out right?
    Rajah Yalin nods.
    Pema Pera: what is teh “\”?
    Rajah Yalin: the \ is a typo
    Pema Pera: hahahaha
    Pema Pera: pity
    Pema Pera: I thought you were about to enlarge my vocabulary
    Rajah Yalin: lol
    Pema Pera: I could think of a hand cupped under your head
    Pema Pera: head to the side
    Pema Pera: deeply thinking
    Rajah Yalin: that works
    Pema Pera: about the political correctness of male/female seiza postures
    Rajah Yalin: lol
    Pema Pera: Thanks for agreeing to be a guardian!
    Pema Pera: You’re our first Polynesian guardian :-)

    Now there I was mistaken.

    Rajah Yalin: polynesian? lol
    Pema Pera: aren’t you?
    Rajah Yalin: I’m a fair way aways from there but tahiti is pretty!
    Rajah Yalin: i’m from vanuatu
    Pema Pera wondering where the border of Polynesia lies
    Pema Pera: I thought that Polynesia is anything in between Australia and America — apart from New Zealand of course
    Pema Pera: wrong?
    Rajah Yalin: polynesia is a country
    Pema Pera: ah!
    Pema Pera: I thought it was a region
    Rajah Yalin: melanesia is a region here though
    Pema Pera: ah!
    Pema Pera: so much to learn
    Pema Pera: and micronesia?
    Rajah Yalin: melanesian i am, micronesia is a country north of me
    Pema Pera: ah!
    Pema Pera: we may need you to give us a *nesian lecture some day
    Rajah Yalin: lol
    Rajah Yalin: no problem

    We moved from the Pacific to the North Sea area.

    Pema Pera: I, too, am used to asking many standard question about my native country, Holland
    Pema Pera: many misconceptions :-)
    Rajah Yalin: yes I usually hear about the coffee shops - and its usually australians who tell me about it - in RL
    Pema Pera: everybody trying to smoke a lot of pot before they receive their euthanasia
    Pema Pera: example of misconception
    Pema Pera: Most inner cities in the world have more drug use than Amsterdam
    Pema Pera: perhaps because it is easier to get in Amsterdam!
    Rajah Yalin: yep lol
    Rajah Yalin: dutch people have told me they dont smoke pot much
    Pema Pera: exactly
    Pema Pera: we love our freedom
    Pema Pera: and as long as we have it, we don’t particularly care in exercising it
    Rajah Yalin: we dont have drugs here
    Rajah Yalin: we have cannabis (we call it kunai) but thats about it
    Pema Pera: what is kava, if I may expose more of my ignorance?
    Pema Pera: Hi Sky!
    Rajah Yalin: hi Sky!
    Pema Pera: Have you met Rajah?
    Sky Szimmer: hi Pema, hi Rajah.
    Sky Szimmer: I met Rajah this past Monday

    Sky joined us and she, too, needed some background to get up to speed about Vanuatu.

    Rajah Yalin: kava is a plant we make a drink out of
    Pema Pera: Sky, Rajah is a fellow guardian now, since he appeared as a comet in our PaB sky (no pun intended on your name!)
    Rajah Yalin: spiritual and recreational use, it relaxes - thats why kava bars are called place of peace (”nakamal”)
    Pema Pera: sounds great, Rajah — would you classify it roughly like tea and coffee, or like hash, or like something else, in potency?
    Rajah Yalin: stronger than tea - not as strong as hash
    Pema Pera: like coffee, but then relaxing?
    Rajah Yalin: a little bit less in strength to cannabis
    Pema Pera: is it legal in all countries?
    Rajah Yalin: some it is not
    Rajah Yalin: australis has regulations
    Pema Pera: Sky, you know that Rajah is from Vanuatu?
    Sky Szimmer: no. where is Vanuatu
    Rajah Yalin: in the south pacific
    Rajah Yalin: east of australia, west of fiji
    Sky Szimmer: oh! I am not good with geography and general worldly knowledge
    Sky Szimmer: not time no see Pema!
    Rajah Yalin: well most people dont know us anyways :P
    Sky Szimmer: Was the birthday celebration last night?
    Sky Szimmer: I lost track
    Pema Pera: yes, It’s been a while, Sky :-)
    Pema Pera: yes, we had a great brunch, thanks!

    Doug stopped in as well.

    Pema Pera: Hi Doug!
    Pema Pera: Have you met Sky?
    doug Sosa: hello!
    doug Sosa: no, don’t think so, but then i am good at faces..
    Sky Szimmer: hi doug. no we haven’t met. good to meet you.
    Pema Pera: Doug, Sky used to be a fox
    Pema Pera: now she is trying a human form
    doug Sosa: and same, thought “met” doesn’t quite describe it.
    Pema Pera: but I guess you’re still shifting, right, Sky?
    Pema Pera: why not, Doug?
    Sky Szimmer: yes Pema. I have decided to fashion myself after Storm : )
    doug Sosa: well, no voice, no real (uh oh) face, seems like a thin meeting. more to come.
    Pema Pera: you may be surprised, Doug
    Pema Pera: when you come here a few times more
    Pema Pera: or it may depend on the person, we’ll have to see
    doug Sosa: i look forward, well, not quite forward, just open.
    Pema Pera: Rajah, how do would you describe your experiences here in SL re “meeting” people?
    Pema Pera: Rajah is the oldest among us, in terms of SL residence
    Pema Pera: oops, wrong, I am slightly older I believe
    doug Sosa: it is a delight to listen, to just birds and water.
    Pema Pera: but I didn’t get into SL in a big way until Christmas
    Pema Pera: so in that sense I’m only half a year old here
    Pema Pera: Rajah more than a year
    doug Sosa: I notice how typing looks like playing the piano, and the pot never reverses.

    I filled in Sky on our meeting plans.

    Sky Szimmer: so Pema… I have not been following too closely these days because of RL business, but are you still planning to meet here in the tea house
    Pema Pera: sure, for the time being, yes, Sky
    Pema Pera: but we get more and more people here
    Pema Pera: so sometimes we sit outside
    Pema Pera: and we are thinking about moving to a larger place
    Pema Pera: or a bunch of places
    Pema Pera: with a sign at each place
    Pema Pera: saying where we are
    Pema Pera: and giving teleport options to each other place
    Pema Pera: like we have a nice new place at the beach
    Pema Pera: on a cabana
    Pema Pera: and a pub in the deep forest in Magoja
    Sky Szimmer: lol
    Pema Pera: and we’ll have more soon

    I then asked Doug about the 9-sec explorations.

    Pema Pera: Doug, have you had a bit of time to try the 9-sec explorations?
    doug Sosa: i was just on a yoga and surfing retreat in costa rica, sounds like that.
    doug Sosa: yes, i do them frequently, not on schedule, but cathing myself.
    Pema Pera: great, I’d love to hear more about your Costa Rica experience, that was three weeks, right?
    doug Sosa: no, only ten days. probably preventedd sunburn. Getting up on a wave has a nine second feel to it.
    Pema Pera: was yoga and surfing something you did simultaneously :-)
    doug Sosa: no, surf in the morning yoga mid afternoon.
    Pema Pera has this interesting image in his mind of standing upside down on a surfboard
    Sky Szimmer: interesting combo
    doug Sosa: the younger ones learned how to do it. It didn’t look too hard.
    doug Sosa: great combo, and good food and time to read, and the monkies…!!
    Pema Pera: do they walk up to you?
    doug Sosa: no, hard to find, vey elusive, ghosts in the treetops in small bands.
    doug Sosa: I find in most of my 9 secongs that the world is less substantial than i keep assuming it is.
    doug Sosa: I tend to act as if the world is cartesian solid, but my 9 sec experience is that things ar rather more mobile, fluid, vague,.
    Rajah Yalin: I have to go
    Rajah Yalin: see you all later - Namaste
    Sky Szimmer: bye
    doug Sosa: bye
    Pema Pera: bye Rajah!

    After Rajah left, we continued from Doug’s fascinating observation.

    Pema Pera: Yes, I recognize that, Doug
    Pema Pera: Feels similar to me too
    Pema Pera: it seems that we continuously use effort to hold the world together
    Pema Pera: like hoops around a barrel
    doug Sosa: it is a bit scary but rather pleassant, and seems more creative, more pregnannt.
    Pema Pera: drop the hoops
    Pema Pera: and the barrel falls apart
    Pema Pera: in a good way
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Sky Szimmer: what would it be if the world is not held together?
    doug Sosa: Old jewish saying,,the talks in life is to break the nine bands of steel that enclose the human heart.
    doug Sosa: I think we can trust the world to hold together and we can give up trying to hold it solid.
    Sky Szimmer: it isn’t like the world falls away
    Pema Pera: nice saying, hadn’t heard that before, Doug!
    doug Sosa: I’d forgotten it, that’s why conversation is sooo goood.
    Pema Pera: The world has never been held together, Sky
    Pema Pera: we just assumed it had been
    Sky Szimmer: the world just is.
    Pema Pera: so there is nothing to fall away — yes
    Sky Szimmer: right. but it isn’t held
    Pema Pera: but then we have to explore what it really means that the world just is
    Pema Pera: and that’s what we’re trying to do here :)

    We talked about “just”.

    doug Sosa: why “just” is. How is that different from “is” or “really is”?
    Pema Pera: just in the sense of not manufactured
    Pema Pera: no history
    Pema Pera: no reason
    Sky Szimmer: and all inclusive
    Pema Pera: no reason in the sense of our usual constructs of explanation, that is
    doug Sosa: but no history? What is the place of memory?
    Pema Pera: there is no time
    Pema Pera: when you take a really radical view
    Pema Pera: and then you can say “just is”
    Sky Szimmer: doug why do you ask about the just
    Pema Pera: but of course you don’t have to take a radical view
    doug Sosa: It seemed to be limiter. and to try to strip away other aspects. .
    Pema Pera: what is a limiter, doug?
    doug Sosa: the word “just” limits the meaning of is, lile “I am just five years old” or “its just dad.”
    Pema Pera: ah!
    Pema Pera: thanks for pointing that out
    Pema Pera: that is not what is meant in this case, important point!
    doug Sosa: is seems to me total.
    Pema Pera: words can be so confusing, without the precise context
    Pema Pera: here just is meant in the way that I started to describe
    Pema Pera: more like in zen “just so!”
    Pema Pera: a flower blossoming “just so!”
    Pema Pera: without reasoning or judging, just flowering
    doug Sosa: “no more, no less.” but the flower is just the breath of the world for a moment.
    doug Sosa: Is to me is like all the leaves when trying to get through a jungle.

    Sky probed deeper, much deeper.

    Sky Szimmer: when you said” it seems that we continuously use effort to hold the world together” it is confusing for me because it leads me to think that there is something else. but of course, the world is there but what is that world
    Sky Szimmer: and whose world
    Pema Pera: all great questions, Sky, where shall we start :-) ?
    Pema Pera: so many possible entry points . . ..
    doug Sosa: y world i meant i usually act as if my desk is rectangular, each five minutes has the ame length, things have definite colrs. But inthe nine second experiment the solidness gets abit limp, things flow or float, like seahorses in an aquiarium. And color, say my blue fleece jacket, turnout to be a cornocopia of colors,
    Sky Szimmer: i iguess that saying made me think that there is a different state of consciousness or something other than a “world” as I know it.
    Sky Szimmer: right doug. thanks for your clarification
    doug Sosa: You “know” where your keyboard is. But stop for a second and ask where really do I see it, how exact, how known?
    Pema Pera: yes, Doug, that is a beautifully apt description!
    Pema Pera: very phenomenological
    Pema Pera: and I see that as a sign of getting closer to reality
    doug Sosa: i read too many novels.
    Sky Szimmer: right. but it isn’t like the keyboard is not there and you see semething else
    Pema Pera: in a way like quantum mechanics is getting closder to reality than classical mechanics
    Sky Szimmer: it is just that the keyboard is not solidly held
    Pema Pera: look at matter more precisely, and you see that its solidity was “just” your attempt at simpifying your description of what was out there :-)

    Sky and I were expressing something very similar in somewhat different ways; and so did Doug.

    doug Sosa: yes. and it takes effor to assume the world is so rigidly euclidian. it is freeing to let that go. the keyboard won’t go away, it just will require that you really look at it, if you drop the assumption uou know where it is.
    doug Sosa: you can catch yourself chosing the path from a finger to a key. delightful, like ice skating for the first few times.
    Pema Pera: something doesn’t go away, and we still call it keyboard, but it wasn’t what you think it was — what you thought it was cannot go away, since it never had been there, it was a (partly at least) wrong impression
    Sky Szimmer: ah, but the impression was there, no?

    Now that was a tough question to answer . . .

    Pema Pera: weeeelllllll
    Pema Pera: no we have to chose framwork
    Pema Pera: context
    doug Sosa: yes, like i try to figure out what the music is you are playing, as i watch you type on your very wide keyboard!
    Pema Pera: in the every-day context there is a solid keyboard
    Sky Szimmer: more explanation needed
    Pema Pera: then we can widen that up by looking more closely
    Pema Pera: as Doug described
    Pema Pera: and then there is a much more open presence of what we still call keyboard
    Pema Pera: but I think that we can make many more such shifts
    doug Sosa: solid is an attribution. and because we check it, it is “real” because it fits, but then we are limited.
    Pema Pera: and ultimately we can drop all contexts, all frameworks
    Pema Pera: and that is what I call Being
    Sky Szimmer: oh?
    doug Sosa: Dalvadore dali and his liquid dial watches melting in the sun.
    Sky Szimmer: but the lack of solidity and not really being there is similar to having an impression, an imprint
    Sky Szimmer: nothing lasting but the impression passed
    doug Sosa: let the impression go, “it” the keyboard, will stil be there.
    Sky Szimmer: hummm. not sure what you mean doug
    Sky Szimmer: like a dream, there is nothing real, but you see a keyboard but it was a dream, an impression
    doug Sosa: like here with us. i normally would try to discover you through every sense and feeling, but because our jestures are scripted, the infinity of you has to be found in the typed words. Disconcerting.
    doug Sosa: The real keyboard i type on is more fluid than the objecs in SL, which are held in their rigid euclidian space and scripted routines.
    Pema Pera: Doug, I think there is MUCH more going on here than typed words — Second Life is much more than email

    This would become the topic of repeated conversations in the days to come, the richness or lack thereof of SL.

    Sky Szimmer: can one say world is being, being is world
    doug Sosa: The dream is a capacity, and that capacity is constrained when our senses set bounary conditions. so our seeing is a subset of dreaming, a constrained sybset.
    doug Sosa: Yes, SL is much more, but … it is also less in ways I find painful.
    Sky Szimmer: please explain further doug
    Sky Szimmer: about the capacity dream thing
    Pema Pera: it will be interesting to see whether that painfulness passes
    doug Sosa: Like if i were siting in a zendo with sky I would know much more about him than I have larned here. Back to my reaction to “meet”.
    Pema Pera: I have found SL to be strangely liberating with respect to Qwaq
    Pema Pera: like haiku
    Pema Pera: like poetry
    Pema Pera: forcing to be crisp and precise
    Pema Pera: not talking on and on and on as we have done in Qwaq for a year now . . . . .
    doug Sosa: Dream thing. When we dream we are using our capcity to interpret arousal, but with the world shut out. Whe we open the doors to the world (eyes, ears, posture) that sets conditions on what can be seen, so when we see it is like dreaming, but the constraints make it “real”.
    Pema Pera: well, I would be happy to summarize my understanding, but I would have to go slowly, step for step, and it is getting late now . . . . I see at least a dozen “levels” on which to talk about solidity, from every-day impressions, to levels of meditative awareness, to going beyond location, to going beyond form, all the way to Being — we need to build up quite a bit of shared understanding/insight and vocabulary.
    doug Sosa: yes. this was scatter shot.
    Pema Pera: Doug, what I said about Qwaq is this: I feel that a year of talking has had rather limited results
    Pema Pera: and two months of communicating in SL here for me has had far more results
    doug Sosa: yes.
    Pema Pera: through texting
    Pema Pera: quite amazing
    doug Sosa: i need to answer the phone..
    Pema Pera: I would be very interested in seeing whether you will have the same experience
    Pema Pera: maybe, maybe not.
    Sky Szimmer: i like to explore more of the dozen levels but maybe another time
    Pema Pera: sure!
    Pema Pera: Well, I need to be going. Great seeing you, Sky!
    Sky Szimmer: bye pema and doug
    Pema Pera: please do come back soon, if you have a chance!!
    Pema Pera: I’d love to continue this conversation
    Sky Szimmer: will do
    Pema Pera: bye Doug!
    Sky Szimmer: yes me too

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