2008.06.01 13:00 - Ebbs and Flows

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    Maxine was the guardian that afternoon, and she sent me the following log and comments, afterwards.

    When I arrived at the teahouse Fael and Wol and the black cat Faenik were already there. The feeling of all of us as beginners in the practice was in the room

    Fael Illyar: Hi Maxine, is it your shift today?
    Maxine Walden: yes, I think so, nice to see you
    Fael Illyar: Wol, lets go in
    Wol Euler: ok
    Maxine Walden: have to let everything settle
    Maxine Walden: right now the cushions are still blue balls for me
    Maxine Walden: just tp’d in
    Fael Illyar: rezzing slowly then :)
    Wol Euler: hello Maxine

    We spoke in various strands of conversation as we got started. Referring to the name tag Guardian in the name balloon over my head Fael, a newly appointed Guardian, asked

    Fael Illyar: Should I wear my tag during these meetings from now on?
    Maxine Walden: hello Wol, I don’t think I have seen you before, nice to meet you
    Faenik is a hairy black ball with eyes and ears.
    Wol Euler: no, this is my first visit. Fael pointed me at the PaB blog earlier otday, and I was interested.
    Maxine Walden: oh, Fael, I don’t think the tag is necessary at all, I just happen to have it ‘on’
    Maxine Walden: welcome, then Wol, hope you enjoy the meeting

    We were then joined by Pia, who has just recently become interested in the PaB endeavor

    Pia Iger: Hi, everyone
    Maxine Walden: and the discussions
    Wol Euler: thank you
    Wol Euler: hello pia
    Fael Illyar: Hi Pia
    Maxine Walden: Hello, Pia
    Pia Iger: Is this just starting?
    Maxine Walden: oh, yes, just starting
    Pia Iger: I am glad to finally meet you, Maxine. Read so much about you on blog.
    Maxine Walden: one of the reasons we meet is to think and talk about the Play as Being practice. Oh, Pia, nice to meet yu too. Yes I show up in the blog now and then
    Pia Iger: I came to SL since yesterday.
    Fael Illyar: I think we all will. Are you fine with that Wol?
    Wol Euler: yse, thanks, fine so far :-)
    Fael Illyar: Meaning, what we talk here during this meeting will be blogged
    Wol Euler: sorry, that was a peculiar answer to your question. “yes, it’s fine” :-)
    Maxine Walden: yes is everyone familiar with the general PaB practice? And yes, thanks Fael, we need to see
    Maxine Walden: if everyone is ok with our conversation being taken to the PaB blog
    Wol Euler: only as a theory, from reading hte blog this morning.
    Maxine Walden: OK, maybe Fael and I can speak about the practice
    Wol Euler: please :-)

    For the second time, I notice in reading these notes, I bypass a comment from Pia regarding some of my comments in the PaB blog, perhaps because it is difficult to know just how to respond to a complement. It seems easier, perhaps, to focus on the technicalities of the practice

    Pia Iger: Maxine, I am very impressed by your sincerity of participating/searching, from what I read.
    Fael Illyar: I can’t really say I’ve had much practise myself yet. My second day of doing them still.
    Pia Iger: I download the mindful bell Dakini mentioned. Very helpful for 15 min reminder.
    Faenik loves wells!
    Maxine Walden: Every 15 minutes or so we are invited to take 9 seconds (approximately) to just stop what we are doing, maybe take a deep breath, and notice what occurs to us if we just be
    Maxine Walden: oh, nice to have a 15 min reminder. How is it working, Pia?
    Fael Illyar: I should also mention that there is a bell hanging on the corner of this teahouse that will ring every 15 minutes.
    Pia Iger: I think I start to feel comfortable with the practice. Will do it quite often.
    Pia Iger: Yes. I heard the bell, thanks, Fael.
    Maxine Walden: Yes, the experience of trying the practice does take some getting used to, in my experience…
    Fael Illyar: Wol, do you have any idea how to do these 9 second “explorations”?
    Maxine Walden: and it is interesting to try to write down a little note, maybe a few words to ‘capture’ the experience of what the 9 seconds brings…a kind of mini-log
    Wol Euler: no more than your description now, and the blog. Hearing it described now made more sense than reading about it had done :-)
    Wol Euler: it’s like a serious Zen-ish “twitter” :-)

    Fael got us started in terms of the experience of the practice itself, and Pia then shared some of her experience

    Fael Illyar: Personally, I just try let go of all feelings and thoughts, close my eyes and just try to be
    Pia Iger: I have more lazy person’s version
    Maxine Walden: oh?
    Pia Iger: Just every 15min, allow myself to do NOTHING. which sound more like a treat, not another thing you HAVE TO DO.
    Wol Euler: half-seriously, yes: the instant summary of what-is-happening-now is similar to Twittering
    Wol Euler: but hte content presumably more … serious, shall we say.
    Maxine Walden: yes, that sounds like a good approach, I think that trying to let go of ‘having to do’is very important
    Faenik is a hairy black ball with eyes and ears.
    Pia Iger: every 15 min, my mind entitled to be completely relaxed. not thinking, not feeling.

    We then notice our noticing the presence of a black cat named Faenik

    Pia Iger: I love Faenik here, feel very homey w/ a cat here.
    Faenik purrs contently.
    Maxine Walden: and what do you notice then Pia,yes, so nice to have a cat nearby
    Fael Illyar: I still find it amazing that people pay this much attention to Faenik :)

    And then we turn back to the practice

    Maxine Walden: what do you notice when you are so completely relaxed…any changes?
    Pia Iger: I do notice some TRUTH comes up after the 9sec break.
    Pia Iger: which may be buried during daily life/rush.
    Maxine Walden: sounds interesting
    Maxine Walden: daily life and rush does seem to bury important truths
    Maxine Walden: important inner truths
    Fael Illyar: I find it removes you from your immediate surroundings/tasks and allows thoughts you had previously repressed to bubble to surface.
    Faenik: why not?
    Maxine Walden: very interesting, Fael
    Pia Iger: exactly, Fael.
    Wol Euler: like a non-specific meditation, then?

    We then are joined by Zaul Xue

    Fael Illyar: Hello Zaul
    Maxine Walden: yes, that is a good description,
    Maxine Walden: Wol
    Zaul Xue: Hi
    Pia Iger: I just wrote today a note that “my life is not what is in front of me”.
    Maxine Walden: Hello Zaul, nice to meet you
    Zaul Xue: Nice to meet you all too
    Pia Iger: Hi, Zaul,
    Maxine Walden: oh, Pia? Interesting note
    Maxine Walden: Zaul, are you familiar with our Play as Being practice?
    Zaul Xue: Im not sorry
    Maxine Walden: We are trying to share our experiences here with ‘letting go’ and being for 9 seconds or so every 15 minutes…kind of a mini-meditation
    Maxine Walden: and we all are new at it, I rather think we feel new no matter how long we may have been doing it
    Zaul Xue: Interesting

    And then an ebb and flow of attention from the practice to some struggles Zaul was having with his avatar

    Zaul Xue: one sec, not trying to grief , my avatar scripts are going nuts today :S
    Maxine Walden: perhaps Fael and Pia can share more of the experiences so far
    Fael Illyar: Somehow, when just asked to share experiences, nothing tends to come to mind.
    Pia Iger: Zaul is giving a show of many appearance.
    Maxine Walden: Oh, I know how that is, sorry did not mean to put you on the spot

    We seemed to be witnessing Zaul’s frustration which became just a little distracting to the atmosphere in the teahouse and there then follows some comment on the outer and inner causes of tension and distraction

    Zaul Xue: Yeah
    Zaul Xue: Sorry
    Zaul Xue: not trying to distract
    Zaul Xue: trying to fix model
    Maxine Walden: so many things to take attention in SL
    Pia Iger: I am new here, so enjoy watching looks changing.
    Wol Euler: not unlike RL …
    Wol Euler: distraction is in us, not the world.
    Zaul Xue: Im amazed at the …
    Zaul Xue: energy here
    Maxine Walden: oh, yes, Wol, I agree
    Zaul Xue: I just came from the christian zone, they were bickering and fighting
    Zaul Xue: talking about how evil everything is
    Maxine Walden: yes there is a lot of energy here
    Wol Euler chuckles
    Zaul Xue: Im ashamed to call myself one of them -_-
    Zaul Xue: Shame I cant be a Buddhist-Christian lol
    Pia Iger: I am not comfortable in fights.
    Wol Euler: oh, why not?
    Wol Euler: I know many such.
    Maxine Walden: oh, yes? Guess we can focus on the bad or on exploring the unknown which just may have a lot of good, hope and such
    Fael Illyar: I don’t think Buddhism conflicts with Christianity.
    Zaul Xue: Because in a Fight theres too much darkness in ones heart and its hard to control
    Zaul Xue: I dont think it does either, the reason I want to join is because I’m such a tense person
    Zaul Xue: and I belive that this tense energy is hurting my relationships
    Zaul Xue: Havnt had a date in ages
    Wol Euler nods.
    Zaul Xue: but its because of my beliefs, expectations, willingness to rush in ect
    Zaul Xue: and its really destructive
    Maxine Walden: darkness and fear are difficult…make it hard to trust
    Zaul Xue: i’m sure you’ve all seen it before in someone
    Faenik: ah :)
    Maxine Walden: oh, yes, and you know each of us probably feel tense, and dark sometimes which makes it hard to trust ourselves or others
    Zaul Xue: doesn’t help when you’ve had an upbringing like mine, but yeah :p

    Fael then turns back to her experience of the PaB practice and how it seems to counter the negative experiences we had been considering which Zaul candidly expressed

    Fael Illyar: From what little experience I have had with doing these PaB 9 second “explorations”, I haven’t had much negative feelings since starting.
    Maxine Walden: that has been my experience as well, Fael
    Pia Iger: That is why the practice can help us to see the tense can be dropped..
    Wol Euler: I used to meditate every morning before starting work, I found it a wonderful way to begin the day. Very calming, focusing, un-distracting.
    Zaul Xue: I often wish they’d put special carts on trains for meditation
    Pia Iger: Great, Wol, I am not able to do that yet, though I have wanted.
    Fael Illyar: Zaul, would you like to try doing an exploration now?
    Maxine Walden: that is a benefit, isn’t it Wol
    Zaul Xue: It’s much nicer than going to work tense and hating life
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Zaul Xue: I’ll just watch for the moment
    Zaul Xue: Not to sound rude , Just got alot of walls up
    Wol Euler: and it is your decision too.
    Wol Euler: (being tense or not, I mean)
    Maxine Walden: please feel free to watch, to listen if you wish, of course
    Pia Iger: I can relate re the work, walls.
    Zaul Xue: Ive been a fighter all my life, lots of barriers and walls, inability to trust , thinking I’m going to be backstabbed ect, but I’d like to watch with an open mind ;P
    Zaul Xue: I’ve got jet shortly too, so Im only here for a few mins but by all means continue
    Pia Iger: fighting is hard on relationships.
    Zaul Xue: in fact my friend is calling me now =) I’ll be back soon ladies, its been nice
    Maxine Walden: Lovely, Zaul, please listen for as long as it is comfortable. P
    Zaul Xue: ah
    Maxine Walden: Bye, Zaul
    Zaul Xue: Sorry
    Zaul Xue: next time for sure
    Wol Euler: take care, zaul
    Zaul Xue: Didnt want to sound rude :D wasnt expecting to find anyone here
    Zaul Xue: you too :) live with passion
    Pia Iger: nice meeting you, Zaul.
    Fael Illyar: bye Zaul

    We then focus back upon the practice of PaB

    Fael Illyar: Ok, where were we?
    Pia Iger: Wol, how long have you been meditating?
    Wol Euler: well, it went for about a year, hten I stopped during a holidy and never bgot back into the rhythm :-(
    Wol Euler: I used to sit evenings with a friend in SL, but sshe has dropped out, so that went too.
    Fael Illyar: I’ve set up a sound to play every 15 minutes to alert me to do an exploration.
    Fael Illyar: next one due in 2 minutes
    Pia Iger: Do you come here at 6pm for sitting? do you know that?
    Wol Euler: me?
    Fael Illyar: I don’t think Wol has known about this place before today.
    Wol Euler: true, so no. And 6pm is 3am my time, so it wouldn’T work that well :-)
    Wol Euler: this is evening to me (and fael too)
    Maxine Walden: oh, the time zones do make things awkward sometimes
    Pia Iger: Oh, I did not know the time zone difference.
    Maxine Walden: SL time, which you see at the top of your screen is the same as Pacific Coast time in the USA
    Fael Illyar: Yes, it’s 23:31PM in Finland right now.
    Pia Iger: I see. Fael.
    Fael Illyar: oh, wrong name

    Rajah then joins us and Faenik the cat remains a figure among us too.

    Fael Illyar: Hi Rajah
    Wol Euler: helo rajah
    Maxine Walden: Hello, Rajah
    Faenik: could be
    Pia Iger: Rajah is still rezzing
    Rajah Yalin: hi everyone
    Pia Iger: Faenik is right.
    Pia Iger: Hi, Rajah.
    Maxine Walden: hi, Rajah
    Maxine Walden: what is Faenik right about, Pia?
    Faenik is right about something?
    Pia Iger: Faenik said “could be”,
    Pia Iger: which is right response to what I said “Rajah is still rezzing”
    Faenik: why not?
    Fael Illyar: Oh, I got the lines in opposite order.
    Maxine Walden: oh, yes…Rajah, we are sharing our experiences with the PaB practice, which you are familiar with, I believe
    Rajah Yalin nods.
    Rajah Yalin: yep
    Maxine Walden: Fael, so many lines of conversation going at once, hard to keep them straight, and we get used to the braiding of thoughts
    Fael Illyar: Maxine, I think Rajah is member of the Guardian group.
    Maxine Walden: or try to get used to them

    Zaul then returns to join the group and we as a group have a few conversations going on at once

    Wol Euler: wb zaul.
    Zaul Xue: Ty
    Maxine Walden: Oh, sorry Rajah, I had lost that important detail of your being a Buardian
    Fael Illyar: Ah, yes, welcome back Zaul.
    Maxine Walden: Guardian
    Zaul Xue: ;)
    Pia Iger: I want to get a eyeglasses like Zaul’s.
    Wol Euler: I was just thinking that.
    Zaul Xue: I’ll see if they are xferable
    Zaul Xue: darn no Xfer
    Zaul Xue: :(
    Pia Iger: :(
    Maxine Walden: Rajah, would you care to share what your experience in the practice, the 9 sec practice is?
    Faenik: could be

    Fael mentions an interesting experience in her practice

    Fael Illyar: As I was saying a while ago, when I do the explorations, I take a comfortable position in my chair, close my eyes and try to identify feelings and thoughts I’m holding on to and let them go.
    Fael Illyar: I continue it until I can find no more.
    Maxine Walden: find no more?
    Rajah Yalin: hmm
    Pia Iger: Fael, that sounds good. I will try it too, identify feelings
    Pia Iger: yes, won’t it take long time to get “find no more”?
    Fael Illyar: Find no more as in when I no longer find something to let go, I consider the exploration complete.
    Maxine Walden: ah,
    Fael Illyar: Sometimes, if I continue for a moment after that, I get a flash or vision of something I can recognice but aside from that, I don’t really manage to get anything to write down

    And Rajah mentions some of the relationships with time he has noticed to become a part of his practice, and others take up the topic of time and habituation to it, relationships to various types of alarm clocks

    Rajah Yalin: its strange how my mind has became a part of the 15 minutes thing
    Pia Iger: Pls say more, Rajah,
    Maxine Walden: please say more, Rajah
    Rajah Yalin: I don’t need to see a clock to think “oh it’s been 15 minutes” - almost like it has became automatic
    Maxine Walden: part of your inner clock
    Rajah Yalin: yep
    Pia Iger: cool, Pema found your natural clock,
    Fael Illyar: I’ve had a sound playing every 15 minutes for 2 days now and I’m often looking at the clock 1 or 2 minutes before the sound.
    Pia Iger: We are creature of habits.
    Wol Euler: and we have abilities that we don’T even suspect.
    Maxine Walden: oh, anticipating the sound before it goes off, yes I understand that we can learn often quickly to accomodate to expected times/sounds
    Wol Euler: I set an alarm clock just in case, but it hasn’T woken me in years: I lways beat it by a minut or two.
    Maxine Walden: that is also interesting, Wol
    Pia Iger: amazing, Wol.
    Fael Illyar: That only happens sometimes for me
    Rajah Yalin: that happens with me
    Faenik loves wells!
    Rajah Yalin: I got rid of my alarm clock because i found it disturbed my sleep
    Pia Iger: Yah, I can’t count on my inner clock. I am late a lot.
    Rajah Yalin: i would often wake up so much to see if it were near time or not
    Wol Euler: ha!
    Fael Illyar: That is interesting :)
    Pia Iger: It is good to pick a alarm with nice sound. I like the sound of bell we have here.
    Zaul Xue: I purchased a CD player alarm clock
    Maxine Walden: nice to anticipate lovely sounds as opposed to ‘alarming’ ones
    Zaul Xue: so it wakes me with the sound of the rainforest
    Zaul Xue: mind you half the time I sleep even deeper ;)
    Pia Iger: nice, Zaul
    Maxine Walden: that does sound lovely
    Zaul Xue: this is what the old alarm clocks used to do to me
    Zaul Xue: grr
    Rajah Yalin gasps
    Zaul Xue: Any with that I must be off my friends :) Take care

    As Zaul is about to go I felt I needed to ask him about blogging the conversation

    Maxine Walden: Zaul, before you go
    Rajah Yalin: take care
    Rajah Yalin: Namaste
    Zaul Xue: Yeah?
    Maxine Walden: may I ask you something?
    Zaul Xue: Go for it
    Pia Iger: bye, I enjoy your looks, Zaul.
    Zaul Xue: hehe
    Maxine Walden: Are you ok with our blogging all the conversation?
    Zaul Xue: Sure
    Zaul Xue: that’s fine with me ;D
    Maxine Walden: I am not sure you were here when we brought it up earlier.
    Zaul Xue: It’s all good :)
    Maxine Walden: ok, just wanted to make sure..yes, these conversations become lovely things to read over
    Zaul Xue: no problems :)
    Rajah Yalin: lol
    Maxine Walden: see you again, Zaul,
    Zaul Xue: For sure

    And then a question about the length of these PaB sessions interweaves with continuing threads about alarm clocks

    Pia Iger: Maxine, how long each session would be here?
    Maxine Walden: I will have to leave in about 5 min for another meeting…
    Fael Illyar: I’ve sometimes set my computer to wake me up with a playlist of music. First songs something calm and relaxing and then something later that is guaranteed to wake me up.
    Pia Iger: interesting tricks, Fael.
    Maxine Walden: Pia, the meetings can last for as long as people want to stay; as the guardian here, the greeter, as it were, I am obliged to stay for about 30 min. And I will need to go soon, for another meeting, and will take the text as I go
    Maxine Walden: take the text for the blog
    Maxine Walden: but you may stay on as long as you wish
    Pia Iger: I am leaving, too. It is good to come here often, but no need to stay too long.
    Fael Illyar: I find an hour is a good amount of time for these.
    Faenik: could be
    Maxine Walden: yes, everyone chooses how long, even Faenik the cat
    Wol Euler: heheheh
    Pia Iger: Faenik nailed it again.
    Maxine Walden: how long to stay for oneself
    Maxine Walden: I will go now, very nice to see everyone and look forward to another time together

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