2008.05.31 19:00 - Three Ways to Talk About Being

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

    That evening, when I walked toward the tea house, I saw to my delight that Bunan had returned from his rather lengthy retreat. I waslked past the zazen spot, and paused briefly.

    Bunan Bosatsu: The further ‘upstream’ — towards the beginning of the thought … that you can take notice… the better!! So begin to work on doing that….\
    Holden Henig: To know that you are thinking?
    Bunan Bosatsu: Notice the thought…. and then simply label it…. if you are planning to do something after meditation practice….. “Ah! Planning!”… and return to your focus…..

    I did not want to disturb the conversation, so I walked on, and found Stim and Hotaru already in the tea house. Stim had shed his Harajuku look, except for a remaining lock of hair.

    Stim Morane: Hi Pema
    Pema Pera: Hi Stim :-)
    Pema Pera: Hi Hotaru!
    Pema Pera: Wow, you’ve changed, Stim!
    Stim Morane: Hi Hotaru!
    Hotaru Myoo: Hi Pema!
    Pema Pera: Much better!!
    Hotaru Myoo: Hi Stim!
    Stim Morane: we’ll see.
    Pema Pera: haha, we will
    Pema Pera: Hotaru, don’t you want to come closer to the fire?
    Pema Pera: would be fitting . . . .

    There was an open seat still next to the fire

    Hotaru Myoo: ah…
    Hotaru Myoo: yes
    Hotaru Myoo: better
    Hotaru Myoo: ty
    Hotaru Myoo: btw
    Hotaru Myoo: am I floating?
    Stim Morane: yes
    Hotaru Myoo: haha
    Hotaru Myoo: kewl
    Hotaru Myoo: it is my altered state
    Stim Morane: why not
    Hotaru Myoo: tyvm
    Pema Pera: getting excited by the fire :-)
    Hotaru Myoo: as Elvis would say…
    Hotaru Myoo: woot
    Hotaru Myoo: bbbbzzzzz
    Pema Pera: jumping from one cushion to the other here seems to let you float sometimes
    Pema Pera: hehe
    Hotaru Myoo: I ‘ll have to try it more often then
    Pema Pera: drinking tea here does the same
    Hotaru Myoo: haha
    Hotaru Myoo: so I hear
    Hotaru Myoo: Dakini has a mean blend

    I commented on Hotaru’s red dress, and then Doug walked in.

    Pema Pera: Is that an Idian dress you are wearing? Very cheerful!
    Hotaru Myoo: from Oman
    Stim Morane: Hi Doug
    Pema Pera: Hi Doug!
    Pema Pera: ah, Oman!
    Hotaru Myoo: Hi Doug
    doug Sosa: hello all.
    Hotaru Myoo: Oh Man
    Hotaru Myoo: :)
    Pema Pera: Hey man!
    Pema Pera: Doug, you know Stim is Steven, right?
    Hotaru Myoo: Doug…
    Pema Pera: I don’t know whether you’ve met in SL yet
    Hotaru Myoo: here is your chance to catch a wave
    Pema Pera: in Oman?
    doug Sosa: no, didn’t know that. looks can be decieveing.
    Hotaru Myoo: yet ta hey
    Pema Pera: hehe, you should have seen him earlier . . . .
    Pema Pera: he was Harajuku punk goth . . . .
    Stim Morane: I still have the top knot … maybe not for long
    Pema Pera: probably not!
    Hotaru Myoo: haha

    We talked about SL.

    doug Sosa: i find it is hard to look like one’s self.
    Hotaru Myoo: I love Harajuku
    Hotaru Myoo: can you bring it back?
    Stim Morane: not easily
    Pema Pera: It takes a long time, Doug, to learn how to sculpt oneself here
    Hotaru Myoo: what matters is not easy
    Hotaru Myoo: ever
    doug Sosa: even in FL it is hard.
    Hotaru Myoo: lol
    Pema Pera: RL it is normally called
    Pema Pera: Real Life
    Hotaru Myoo: oh
    Pema Pera: many abbreviations to learn here :-)
    doug Sosa: ah!
    Hotaru Myoo: I thought he meant Florida
    Hotaru Myoo: hehe
    Pema Pera: it is like immigrating in a new country
    Pema Pera: takes a while to get the hang of diction and customs
    Hotaru Myoo: Rasta there
    Stim Morane: Hi Rowan!
    Pema Pera: Hi Rowan!
    Rowan Masala: Hi Stim! Hi all :)
    Pema Pera: Good seeing you here again!
    Hotaru Myoo: Hi Rowan!
    Rowan Masala smiles at Hotaru

    After Rowan walked in, I brought up an email exchange that had been going on for the last few days in our little Qwaq-based WoK Forums group, of which Doug and Stim were members.

    Pema Pera: Doug and Stim, did you see my email exchange with Jan?
    Hotaru Myoo: :)
    Hotaru Myoo smiles back
    Stim Morane: Yes, I saw it
    doug Sosa: (uh oh, beautiful)
    doug Sosa: yes.
    Pema Pera: Hotaru and Rowan,
    Pema Pera: Doug and Stim and I met many times in a different virtual world
    Pema Pera: Qwaq
    Pema Pera: and there we used voice all the time
    Hotaru Myoo: Ah Quaq
    Rowan Masala: ah yes, I’ve seen Qwaq, brielfy
    Hotaru Myoo: I am still a newbie when it comes to Qwaq
    Pema Pera: over the last few days I have had an email exchange with another fellow Qwaq resident
    Hotaru Myoo: only through Pema have I heard about it…
    Pema Pera: about the pros and cons of text vs voice
    Hotaru Myoo: and his work

    At that moment I blundered and typed “voice” where I should have typed “text” . . . .

    Pema Pera: I feel strongly that voice has unique qualities to offer for what we are doing here
    Rowan Masala: it’s an interesting topic–text and voice
    Hotaru Myoo: what are those …the p & C
    Pema Pera: while Jan disagreed, based on three things:
    Pema Pera: 1) his experience years ago of chat rooms
    Stim Morane: I think you meant to say “text”
    Pema Pera: 2) his reading of teh PaB blog
    Hotaru Myoo: I dunno
    Pema Pera: 3) theoretical arguments of voice being richer
    Pema Pera: AH YES SORRY
    Pema Pera: I MEANT TEXT
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Pema Pera: that could be confusing
    Rowan Masala: oh good!!!
    Hotaru Myoo: screamer
    Pema Pera: I feel strongly that TEXT has unique qualities for here
    Hotaru Myoo: I agree
    Pema Pera: So what do you both think, Stim and Doug, having experienced both?
    Rowan Masala: I couldn’t agree more–I’ve seen some really miraculous things happen through text
    Stim Morane: I’ll decide in a year or so.
    Pema Pera: me too
    Pema Pera: me too, Rowan and Hotaru I mean
    Pema Pera: I am sold :-)
    Hotaru Myoo: come on
    Hotaru Myoo: text has such various levels of interpretation
    Rowan Masala: I think it creates an interesting rhythm, which allows for a marvelous combination of mindfulness and quick wit

    Pia walked in, and we continued discussing text vs voice.

    Pia Iger: Hi, everyone.
    Hotaru Myoo: Hi Pia
    Pema Pera: and interleaving options that are simply not present in voice
    Stim Morane: Hi Pia
    Rowan Masala: hi Pia :)
    Pema Pera: Hi there Pia!
    Rowan Masala: exactly!
    Hotaru Myoo: Yes
    Hotaru Myoo: voice can actually flatten things
    Rowan Masala: pauses and pressures that forge something entirely different than voice can
    Pema Pera: quiet people can speak up in chat in ways they don’t do in voice
    Pema Pera: yes
    Hotaru Myoo: yes
    Hotaru Myoo: slice through the interace
    Pema Pera: And all that I cannot convey to someone who has never been in-world in SL
    Rowan Masala nods
    Hotaru Myoo: with genuine truth and feeling
    Pema Pera: Hi Holden!
    Pema Pera: yes!!
    Holden Henig: hi!
    Hotaru Myoo: Hi Holden
    Stim Morane: Hi Holden
    Rowan Masala: Hi Holden

    Holden, whom I had seen earlier at the zazen place, had joined us now in the tea room.

    Holden Henig: Sorry, the other man was giving very good advice at the meditation place
    Holden Henig: I learnd a lot
    Hotaru Myoo: haha
    Pema Pera: Yes, Bunan seemed charged tonight!
    Hotaru Myoo: get it while its hot
    Pema Pera: just back from a retreat
    Holden Henig: He is till shelping him.
    Pema Pera: I listened briefly but had to come here
    Holden Henig: Hi hotaru
    Hotaru Myoo: ^^
    Holden Henig: Why not listen to the master talk?
    Pema Pera: Doug, do you want to defend voice over text :-)
    Holden Henig: Hotaru, I think ur hair changed
    Pema Pera: it is an interesting argument!
    Hotaru Myoo: slipping again?
    Holden Henig: Yes
    Holden Henig: Very punky now lol :)
    Hotaru Myoo: well…at least I have hair
    Holden Henig: EROFL
    Holden Henig: hahaha
    Pia Iger: I think it is easier to interrupt by typing,
    Hotaru Myoo: well yes…
    Pema Pera: yes, Pia, that is one reason I like typing
    Hotaru Myoo: you can just go on…talking abou
    doug Sosa: and easy to be quiet
    Hotaru Myoo: true
    Pia Iger: It is not so polite to cut off people when they talk
    Holden Henig: Why be quiet?

    We continued to talk about the pros and cons of texting.

    Rowan Masala: but the interruptions often aren’t intentional, and they can decrease the linearity of the conversation
    Pema Pera: But Doug, I know you disagree, so don’t let our enthusiasm for texting silence you :-)
    Hotaru Myoo: well…and that’s the beauty of this chaos
    doug Sosa: quiet is a pleasure.
    Hotaru Myoo: it is like poetry
    Hotaru Myoo: poetry in motion
    Hotaru Myoo: nonsequitor
    Rowan Masala: another reason I’m very fond of typing is the typographical errors themselves
    Hotaru Myoo: non linear
    Hotaru Myoo: sure
    Rowan Masala: I think they’re so rich–so much potential for leading the mind into areas it hadn’t considered
    Hotaru Myoo: it gives an organic feel to the process
    Hotaru Myoo: life
    Holden Henig: i will be back shortly.. sorry.. want to hear the other man talk
    Hotaru Myoo: happy accidents that lead somewhere else
    doug Sosa: i don’t disagree about writing. it is new and thrilling. but i may get frustrated to notknow others though voice, real looks, even smell.
    Rowan Masala: yes!
    Holden Henig: discussing text versus voice is good though
    Pema Pera: it is true that everything has drawbacks, of course, and nonlinearity can break an otherwise interesting conversation — but in my experience the essence then goes underground and pops up again later in different form — especially because we have four chances a day to continue
    Hotaru Myoo: scratch and sniff text? how about that?
    Rowan Masala grins
    Pema Pera: But Doug, having no smell did not prevent you from enjoing Qwaq
    Rowan Masala: I do like to use voice in SL as well–just not exclusively
    Pema Pera: All the arguments in favor of voice vs text can be translated as arguments of RL vs VW
    Pema Pera: and they don’t hold
    Pema Pera: as we know

    Ecstasy joined us.

    Hotaru Myoo: Hi Ecstasy!
    Ecstasy Dreamscape: hi!
    Rowan Masala: Hi Ecstasy
    Pema Pera: Hi Ecstasy!
    doug Sosa: but it was limited, yet qwaq like sl is an addition to my normal. I came out of the garden by the river to be here.
    Pema Pera: Great to see you again, welcome back!
    Ecstasy Dreamscape: whoosi*giggle
    Stim Morane: Hi Ecstasy!
    Ecstasy Dreamscape: laaggggg!!!!!
    Hotaru Myoo: nah
    Ecstasy Dreamscape smiles
    Pema Pera: yes, both are limited, both are a type of distillation
    Hotaru Myoo: settle in …
    Hotaru Myoo: it goes away
    Pia Iger: Hi, Ecstasy. I am busy reading
    Ecstasy Dreamscape: i did settle in for a moment on Stim’s lap!!!!
    Ecstasy Dreamscape: sorry bout that
    Ecstasy Dreamscape: hi Rowan glad to see you back!!!
    Rowan Masala: thanks, Ecstasy :)
    Stim Morane: no problem.
    doug Sosa: no problem!?
    Pema Pera: But I wouldn’t suggest that text has only advantages over voice — in fact, for my astronomy work I like using voice, more efficient, given that we know what we are doing there
    Pema Pera: Stim responded to Ecstasy
    Pema Pera: text interweaving :-)
    Pema Pera: But here we are groping in the dark
    Pema Pera: and this groping may work better with text
    Rowan Masala: and during explorations in SL, voice is so much easier
    Rowan Masala: you need your hands to negotiate the terrain
    Rowan Masala: and the companionship of voice, without having to stop to type

    Yes, all good points. Most of the time we have been hanging around while talking, but when there is more moving around, like us walking to and through our forest, stopping to type is a bit of a distraction and interruption.

    Pema Pera: given a firm framework like astrophysics, you may want to speed up communications
    Hotaru Myoo: guys…I have to run…
    Pema Pera: yes that too, Rowan
    Hotaru Myoo: text on!!
    Pema Pera: Bye Hotaru
    Pia Iger: Plus, so many foreign languages, hard to understand by voice.
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Rowan Masala: Bye Hotaru
    Pema Pera: yes, Pia, good point!
    Hotaru Myoo: ciao!
    Stim Morane: Bye Hotaru
    Hotaru Myoo: matane
    Pema Pera: I love texting in different languages
    Pema Pera: jaa mata!
    Ecstasy Dreamscape: Bye Hotaru
    Pema Pera: Actually, I have to go pretty soon too, have to take a train from Kyoto to Tokyo in RL
    Stim Morane: you haven’t worked out a way to stay online thru that process?
    Stim Morane: I’m shocked
    Rowan Masala smiles
    Pema Pera: in a normal train yes
    Pema Pera: I have a wireless cell phone
    Pema Pera: but above 100 miles/hour
    Pema Pera: the cells don’t switch fast enough
    Pema Pera: it seems :)
    Stim Morane: interesting
    Pema Pera: experience
    Pema Pera: I could take a local train
    Pema Pera: but that would take six hours instead of two
    Pema Pera: :-)
    doug Sosa: I wish the teapot would reverse direction after a while.

    Well, perhaps one of the scripters among the readers can offer some help here? I agree, it would be good to have the tea pot change directions rather than winding its cord up indefinitely. It’s a small point, but like with many things, once it catches your attention . . . .

    Rowan Masala: and I would think that at 100 miles/hr, you might want to be more fully present in the non-virtual world
    Rowan Masala: how exhilerating, the speed
    Pema Pera: haha, well, I’m used to it
    Pema Pera: but it is fun
    Stim Morane: I have often thought the same re the tea pot
    Pia Iger: I agree. RL is fun too.
    Pema Pera: yup!
    Pema Pera: and going beyond RL too
    Pema Pera: Being
    Pema Pera: which is our main theme
    Pema Pera: :)
    doug Sosa: in RL you can’t exit
    Pema Pera: wellll
    Pema Pera: I could argue you can
    Pema Pera: but it depends on what we mean with that
    Rowan Masala nods
    Pema Pera: waking up
    Pema Pera: is a metaphor in Zen
    Pema Pera: for stopping
    Pema Pera: stepping out of illusion
    Pema Pera: not stepping out of the real RL
    Pema Pera: but out of the perceived RL
    Rowan Masala nods
    Pema Pera: from SL to RL to Being
    Pema Pera: just folow the dots

    The conversation moved to Being.

    Pia Iger: The Being is still elusive to me yet.
    Rowan Masala: or perhaps the dots might move in the other direction as well?
    Pema Pera: It took me many years to get a sense, Pia
    Pema Pera: or not move :-)
    doug Sosa: is being the same as experience?
    Pia Iger: but interesting to listen to possiblites.
    Rowan Masala nods
    Pema Pera: no, beyond experience
    Pema Pera: experience still has “ex”, separation
    Pema Pera: and time and experiencer
    Rowan Masala: interesting
    doug Sosa: what is -perience?
    Pema Pera: Being is beyond time and space
    Rowan Masala: I’d never thought about the etymology of “experience”
    Pema Pera: don’t know Doug
    Pema Pera: but what we normally call experience has an experiencer
    Pema Pera: so it is duality still
    Pema Pera: Being is beyond duality
    Rowan Masala nods
    Pema Pera: I’m speaking now from a being-in-duality point of view
    Pema Pera: Speaking from Being’s point of view all is Being
    Pema Pera: and I would have to then deny all that I said :-)
    Rowan Masala smiles
    Pema Pera: so we always have to know what point of view we are talking from
    Pema Pera: otherwise confusion reigns
    Pema Pera: and sects starts and battles and schisms
    Pia Iger: Pema. what you said may be true, but so far from daily life, as to me

    Doug had found an official definition of experience.

    doug Sosa: Origin: 1175–1225; ME < OF < L perīculum trial, test, danger, equiv. to perī-, verb base meaning “try” (found in the compound experīrī; see experience) + -culum -cle2]
    Pema Pera: interesting, Doug!
    Rowan Masala smiles
    Rowan Masala: cool, Doug
    Rowan Masala: thanks
    Pema Pera: Didn’t know that — but trial and try is also dualistic
    stevenaia Michinaga: evening all
    Ecstasy Dreamscape smiles “uh oh rl is calling, catch you all later and take care”
    Rowan Masala reaches out a hand to Steven
    doug Sosa: from dictionary.com
    Stim Morane: Bye Ecstasy!
    Rowan Masala: bye, Ecstasy
    Pema Pera: And Pia, Being seems remote at first, but then can be seen as more intimate than anything else
    Pema Pera: hi Steve!
    Pema Pera: Hello and goodbye
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello…smiles
    Rowan Masala takes Steven’s hand and grasps it gently

    Steve entered, Ecstasy left, and I would have to depart soon as well.

    Pema Pera: I really have to leave know, sad to say
    Rowan Masala: hello, Steve
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Rowan, pema
    Pema Pera: would love to continue this
    Pema Pera: but some other time :)
    Stim Morane: Bye Pema
    doug Sosa: soon
    stevenaia Michinaga: glad our paths crosed Pema
    Rowan Masala: enjoy your velocity, Pema
    Pema Pera: yes, Steve!
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Pema Pera: yes
    Rowan Masala: revel in it
    Pema Pera: astronomically speaking still slow
    stevenaia Michinaga: sorry Stim, I;m still rezzing
    doug Sosa: i too must leave.
    Pema Pera: much less than 1 km/sec
    Rowan Masala: but it’s all about your point of view, as you just said
    Pia Iger: Bye Pema.
    Pema Pera: haha, yes
    Pema Pera: btw Steve, could you keep a chat log from here on and send it to me?
    Pema Pera: Stevenaia I mean?
    stevenaia Michinaga: sure
    Pema Pera: This is Stim’s guardian session
    Pema Pera: but you may stay here longer than him
    Pema Pera: whoever stays longest can send it to me :-)
    Stim Morane: that won’t be me, probably
    Pema Pera: Bye Stim, Steve, Rowan, Pia!
    Rowan Masala: goodbye, Pema
    Rowan Masala: safe journey

    From here on I am using that chat log that Stevenaia sent me afterwards. I have continued to add some comments in the following as well.

    stevenaia Michinaga: what did I miss?
    Pia Iger: Hi, I have been reading blog. Now I can see you all in SL.
    Rowan Masala smiles
    Stim Morane: We discussed the merits of text vs voice
    Rowan Masala: we were talking about text v. voice, Stevie
    Rowan Masala: and about experience v. being
    stevenaia Michinaga: one being internal and one being external?
    Rowan Masala: Pema was arguing
    Rowan Masala: that with experience
    Stim Morane: We can send you a copy of that part of the Log, if you like.
    Rowan Masala: there is an experiencer
    Rowan Masala: and so, duality
    stevenaia Michinaga: I will read about it later, thanks Stim
    Stim Morane: sure

    The discussion went further into the meaning of duality.

    Pia Iger: What duality mean here? separation?
    Stim Morane: this is a tricky issue.
    Rowan Masala: yes, specifically between two things
    Rowan Masala: if you take the word literally
    stevenaia Michinaga: I would think of it not as duality but as experience feeding the development of being
    Stim Morane: There is nothing wrong with distinguishing subject from object, especially in some contexts.
    Rowan Masala smiles
    Rowan Masala: I like that, Steve
    Stim Morane: The problem comes in when the issue at hand is something that by its very nature is more intimate and direct.
    Stim Morane: Even there, it is possible for the usual structure of s/o duality to obtain.
    Stim Morane: It’s not the structure that’s the problem, but the fact tthat it usually is attended by a heedlessness of a more fundamental presence and unity.
    stevenaia Michinaga: being cannot exist in a vacuum for very long
    stevenaia Michinaga: scratching head Stim
    Rowan Masala: but wouldn’t being and a vacuum be mutually exclusive
    Pia Iger: seems being includes everything.
    Stim Morane: we’re already tackling something that may be hard to discuss this way, ie., using text. We’ll see.
    Stim Morane: Being is just a word. It remains to be seen what meaning it should have in this context.
    Stim Morane: I have discussed this issue a lot with Pema before the PaB was set up.
    Pia Iger: Stim, what is other ways you will recommend to discuss?

    And now it really got interesting, talking about Being; I wish I could have stayed to hear that . . . but there will be other chances.

    stevenaia Michinaga: isn;t being internalization, reflection of one’s self to oneself?
    Stim Morane: One option is simply some form of sacred dimension.
    Pia Iger: not clear to me? Sacred dimension?
    Stim Morane: But another, which is more advanced, relates to the traditional contemplative notion of Suchness, a direct presence that is expressive of a larger and more fundamnental dimension.
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, it can be “discussed” at length
    Rowan Masala: I need chocolate chips. BRB
    Stim Morane: Beyond that is something that takes that realization to its ultimate form. Perhaps this latter could be called Being here

    Of the three increasingly more radical interpretations that Stim had mentioned, a sacred dimension, Suchness as a direct presence, and something taking realization to its ultimate form, it has always been the last one that has inspired me, and let me to suggest the title “Play as Being”. But I fully agree with Stim, it is good to start with something that has a bit more traction.

    Stim Morane: We can insist on chips next time.
    Rowan Masala: back
    Rowan Masala: hello Rajah
    Stim Morane: Anyway, Pia, I would suggest the “sacred dimension”, or intrinsically-satisfying dimension point first.
    Rajah Yalin: hi there
    Stim Morane: Hi Rajah!
    Pia Iger: Hi, Rajah
    Pia Iger: How we can get the point. or see the point?
    stevenaia Michinaga: evhello Rajah

    Rajah joined, and Stim talking about Being in the context of Realization, and then circled back to Pia’s question.

    Stim Morane: Steven, you raise other important points about Being. Again, there are many possible meanings, and yet we can’t try to emphasize all of them. I look forward to seeing the tree trimmed a bit as we proceed.
    Rowan Masala: but we prune it only to guide its later fullness, no?
    stevenaia Michinaga: hmmm, ponders the metaphor
    Stim Morane: The closest analogue to Being in traditional contemplative teaching is a realization/reality that remains originally “right”, authentic, central.
    Stim Morane: But in Western thought, the word is used in somewhat diff ways.
    Stim Morane: This is why I opted for what I hope is a simpler idea, sacred dimension. But this avoids some issues that will have to be picked up.
    Stim Morane: Anyway, Pia, do you find that in your own life, sometimes your situation can be seen as complete in itself, without regard to pragmatic judgments?
    Pia Iger: yes. I do have the experience. Being whole. not need anything.
    Stim Morane: Yes.
    Stim Morane: That’s surely relevant.
    Pia Iger: more and more feeling so.
    Stim Morane: So the 9-second appreciativeness discipline bears on that.
    Pia Iger: I found 9 sec/15min is so frequent. no time for a long escape.
    stevenaia Michinaga: I like that desctiption, Appriciativeness
    Stim Morane: Appreciation is important here.
    Stim Morane: the word just means “seeing the value of”.
    Pia Iger: It wrapped me tight.
    Stim Morane: But here we mean something independent of ordinary valuations.
    Stim Morane: value beyond ordinary reasons and preferences
    Stim Morane: all of life bears that

    Holden returned.

    Stim Morane: Hi again, Holden
    Holden Henig: hi
    Holden Henig: Sorry, had to ask them some deep questions
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Holden
    Stim Morane: uh oh
    Holden Henig: hi everyone
    Holden Henig: What is the topic?
    Stim Morane: we’re discussing “Being”
    Stim Morane: but of course, that’s a way of saying we’re exploring possibilities
    Holden Henig: Well, we are “being” whether we like it or not I think.
    Rowan Masala: forgive me, all. I must go
    Holden Henig: Bye Rowan
    Stim Morane: Bye Rowan!
    Rowan Masala: good to see you all :)
    Pia Iger: Bye, Rowan.
    stevenaia Michinaga: bye rowan

    Rowan left, and Stim continued to give his reflections on Being.

    Pia Iger: Stim, Please say more.
    Stim Morane: Yes, this is an example of some of the difficulties we face.
    Stim Morane: It’s Pema’s choice of words.
    Stim Morane: It derives from the last chapter of a book called Time, Space, and Knowledge.
    Pia Iger: Being sounds neutral. Sacred is kind of religious.
    Stim Morane: But here the idea is to keep a connection to something closer to all experience, all of life.
    Stim Morane: Yes, I realize the word “sacred” has barbed aspects too.
    Stim Morane: But I meant it in the way I defined, an appreciation of all of our lives, beyond the usual “reasons”
    Pia Iger: I want to know the “something”!
    Stim Morane: let it go, then you have it

    Yes, subtraction rather than addition . . . how to convey this, how to taste celebrate and it?

    Holden Henig: lol
    Stim Morane: please say more, Pia
    Pia Iger: but I truly found hard to go through daily life w/o reasoning.
    Stim Morane: There’s nothing wrong with reasoning. But the best reasoning is based on the most direct and appreciative perception.
    Holden Henig: Yes, I agree.
    Pia Iger: you make sense.
    Stim Morane: The nine second format is supposed to nurture that.
    Stim Morane: even reasoning can be a higher capacity, if it is freed up from ordinary habits and attachments.
    Pia Iger: I don’t call it 9-sec. more every 15min. Frequency is main point.
    Stim Morane: yes, good.
    Stim Morane: it’s not as though we really care about the clock
    Stim Morane: the intention is to stay in touch with what is usually buried
    Pia Iger: I already feel quite difference from practice, even more strictly per 15min
    Pia Iger: not strictly, I mean
    Stim Morane: I see
    Stim Morane: Steven and Rajah, could you take over here? I need to leave now.
    Holden Henig: Im going too
    Holden Henig: Thank everyone.
    stevenaia Michinaga: I will be here a while
    Holden Henig: I will try the 9 seconds again.
    Stim Morane: Okay, thanks!
    Stim Morane: Bye Holden!
    Holden Henig: Bye everyone!
    Pia Iger: bye Stim, good talking to you.
    Stim Morane: Bye Pia! i hope to see you again.

    Holden left, but Stim lingered a bit more, responding to questions triggered by his reflections.

    stevenaia Michinaga: I am new to much of that and not a 9sec practicioner
    Stim Morane: we may find that our real practice happens here in SL.
    stevenaia Michinaga: but I;m a good listener
    Pia Iger: Just give it a try, You will have some taste.
    Stim Morane: I’m wondering how many of us are actually using the method.
    Pia Iger: many, as per blog
    Stim Morane: Anyway, it’s early days yet.
    Stim Morane: I see. Good.
    Pia Iger: nobody doing strictly, all quite loosely
    Stim Morane: I’m curious to see how it works out.
    Stim Morane: That’s fine.
    stevenaia Michinaga: it may not be suited to all of us in the same way
    Stim Morane: yes
    stevenaia Michinaga: but may be adapted in other ways
    Stim Morane: why not?
    Stim Morane: it’s just an example
    Stim Morane: did you just shrink?
    Pia Iger: I start to enjoy taking notes.
    Stim Morane: Notes are tricky. If you can do it, great!
    Stim Morane: Sorry, Steven. I was just noting that on my monitor, your avatar suddenly shrank.
    Pia Iger: I found some vision or idea coming up quite precious, so I wrote down. I know I will enjoy reading it later.
    Stim Morane: It’s just a render glitch
    stevenaia Michinaga: size is not important (says my wife)

    :-). Athalicus joined the group, and Stim left. Pia was so kind as to check whether a chat log was being kept.

    Stim Morane: Hi Athalicus
    Pia Iger: Hi, there,
    Stim Morane: sorry I mentioned it. I’m just so new to SL, everything fascinates me
    Athalicus Brimm: Namaste.
    Stim Morane: Anyway, gotta go. See you all again, I hope.
    Pia Iger: See you.
    Pia Iger: Steven, are you taking chatlog for tonight?
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes
    Pia Iger: ok. Rajah, How are you?
    Rajah Yalin: I’m good
    Pia Iger: have you started practice?
    Rajah Yalin: yep
    Pia Iger: any thoughts?
    Rajah Yalin: sorry I have to go
    stevenaia Michinaga: bye Rajah
    Rajah Yalin: Namaste everyone

    A 9-sec appearnce of Rajah?

    Athalicus Brimm: Pia how long have you been practicing?
    Pia Iger: a month or so.
    Pia Iger: Just recently more frequent.
    Pia Iger: How about you?
    Athalicus Brimm: off and on for a few years now :)
    Pia Iger: oh.
    Athalicus Brimm: you could say buddhism has been flirting with me since I was 17 (11 yrs ago) yet I never offered it the engagement ring
    Athalicus Brimm: lol
    Pia Iger: what is holding you up?
    Athalicus Brimm: as I said with the other group, being raised christian.. I like to do something 110% or nothing at all. so over the years it has been going down the buddhist path, and for some reason suddenly thinking about a christian hell/eternal punishment, and taking two steps back into church. a personal problem to be certain
    Athalicus Brimm: yet tossing back and forth like on waves, has gotten me quite tired now some years later.. still have not found a good anchoring point yet.
    Pia Iger: This may be your special path. Everyone is different. So don’t push yourself.
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, different but there is an eastern bias, since nothing really exists like this in western religions
    Pia Iger: personally, ‘christian hell/eternal punishment” always turn me off.
    Athalicus Brimm: I think that is good advice, but perhaps a bit late for my mind to grasp.. tried so hard twice in my life, wound up in the er.. I do not do drugs/alcohol/smoking, it was more a emotional thing I suppose, and the body just gave up
    Athalicus Brimm: my christian youth teachings, battle with my passion/love for buddhist thought and way almost daily.
    stevenaia Michinaga: remember, you have a lifetime to think about this, sometiems it;s about the path traveled, not the destination
    Athalicus Brimm: if christianity did not say “it is us or nothing” it would not be a problem. I am envious of japanese people, who can be both christian/buddhist and feel no problem
    Pia Iger: Steven, you are right. Maybe sometimes we are too eager to get somewhere.
    stevenaia Michinaga: you can learn much on a slow walk
    Pia Iger: I prefer spiritual groups with no dogma.

    Reading this later, I felt touched by Atha’s frank descriptions of his feelings and reactions, and I hope we can talk about those more soon in another session.

    Athalicus Brimm: not a matter of going somewhere as such philosophically. I am still dealing with this irrational fear of dying and going to hell for considering buddhism in my heart, as my former christian ministers taught me as a child “its the devils work.” etc etc
    Pia Iger: They made so deep impression on you!
    Athalicus Brimm: intellectually, and objectively, I can see it is nonsense. .makes no sense, death is just a gateway to another existence. yet add in panic/anxiety attacks I started having recently, and its a whole new thing
    stevenaia Michinaga: shedding baggage that holds you and your personal potential back is alot of what I belive this place and thought is about
    Pia Iger: Maybe you can take it loosely, while death is not here yet.
    stevenaia Michinaga: in the end fearing death, or anything else gets you nothing
    stevenaia Michinaga: just sidetracked in fear
    Athalicus Brimm: I was able to slough it off before, but this new aspect of panic attacks which throws the mind into overdrive and thoughts of death.. all such nonsense, but knowing what it is, does not keep my body from betraying me lately
    Athalicus Brimm: :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: perhaps that is what your 9 seconds can be about
    Pia Iger: I know physical pain is hard to face lightly.
    Pia Iger: but it does propel you to search more, like coming to here.
    Pia Iger: and try new things.
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes
    Athalicus Brimm: yes, instead of staying in a room, bemoaning my fate or whining.. I have sought out my options.. and finding this place has been nice
    Pia Iger: I was at Zen sitting too. and heard Bunan Bosatsu’s advice. it is quite inspiring too.
    stevenaia Michinaga: I must be going, nice meeting you both, I will be forwarding the log to Pema, feel free to continue
    Athalicus Brimm: take care, stevenaia
    Pia Iger: see you, Steven.

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