2008.06.08 19:00 - Over the Rainbow

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    When I walked up to the tea house, that evening, I saw Stevenaia standing outside, and Pia inside. Before I could reach him, Steve also went in, and I followed him. As soon as all three of us were inside, Sylectra dropped out of the sky and joined us.

    Pema Pera: Hi there!
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello
    Pia Iger: Hi, Pema, I just went inside. You want to stay outside?
    Pema Pera: either way is fine, Pia!
    Pema Pera: I was just slooooowly rezzzzzzing …. :)
    Pema Pera: Hi Steve
    Pema Pera: HI Sylectra!
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Sylectra
    Sylectra Darwin: hi!
    Pema Pera: welcome!
    Pia Iger: I feel like being outside, if nobody minds.
    Sylectra Darwin: Hi Steven, good to see you again.
    stevenaia Michinaga: thanks for joining us, this is my friend Pema and Pia, Sylectra
    stevenaia Michinaga: have a seat once you Rezz
    Pema Pera: fine to go outside, sure!
    Sylectra Darwin: Nice to meet you
    Pema Pera: Steve, Pia prefers to be outside
    Sylectra Darwin: I am okay with going out too
    Pema Pera: Same here Sylectra!
    stevenaia Michinaga: ok
    Pia Iger: thanks.

    We all walked out into the sunshine. Steve, Sylectra and I each took a seat on the stone benches, and Pia sat opposite us on the wooden board of the tea house.

    stevenaia Michinaga: since Sylectra is new, Pema, could you do an introduction?
    Pema Pera: sure!
    Sylectra Darwin: thank you
    Pema Pera: You know each other, Steve and Sylectra?
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes
    Pia Iger: now I have better view of you three and the garden :)
    Pema Pera: just wasn’t sure from your intro, Steve :)
    Pema Pera: sure, Pia!
    stevenaia Michinaga: thouhgt she may ahve an interest
    Pema Pera: Often in the evening we fill up the tea house quite quickly
    Sylectra Darwin: definitely.
    Pema Pera: Sylectra, did Steve tell you anything at all
    Pema Pera: besides “come over!”
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Sylectra Darwin: He sent me a Web link…
    Sylectra Darwin: I am familiar with the philosophies but come with an open mind.
    Sylectra Darwin: May i compliment you on the music?
    Pema Pera: great, that’s what we’re all trying to do :)
    Pema Pera: not my music :)
    Sylectra Darwin: smile
    Pema Pera: Dakini made all this
    Pema Pera: tea house and area
    Sylectra Darwin: well it is perfect.
    Pema Pera: Dakini Rhode, she holds a zen sitting here every evening 6 pm SLT
    Pema Pera: thanks!

    Time for a little PaB intro.

    Pema Pera: we gather here four times a day for Play as Being
    Pema Pera: http://playasbeing.wordpress.com/ is the web site
    Pema Pera: the basic idea is surprisingly simple
    Pema Pera: four times an hour
    Pema Pera: you take a short break
    Pema Pera: 9 seconds
    Pema Pera: and try to see whether you can get some sense of “Being” in a playful way
    Pema Pera: hence Play as Being
    Pema Pera: and then four times a day we talk here about our experiences
    Pema Pera: what it can mean
    Pema Pera: how we can explore further
    Pema Pera: that’s about it :)
    Sylectra Darwin: that is lovely, Pema
    Pema Pera: what are your interests in this respect, roughly?
    Sylectra Darwin: I am interested in letting go and just being in the moment.
    Sylectra Darwin: I have a stressful job and I have been looking for ways to transcend it emotionally.
    Sylectra Darwin: I want to be more connected to people and nature in general, and to myself.
    Pema Pera: all wonderful aspects to explore, Sylectra! How have you been approaching these questions so far?
    stevenaia Michinaga: sounds like realization of that is 1/2 a step in that direction
    Sylectra Darwin: smiles
    Sylectra Darwin: Well I have been on quite a journey thus far - jolted from my materialist lifestyle by a sick parent.
    Sylectra Darwin: My chant became, Let it change you, because I feared it so much.
    Sylectra Darwin: And all of the wonderful and dreadful experiences flooded into my mind and heart, as my intentions resolved to make something positive of this experience.

    While Syl talked about her recent experiences, Doug walked up and took a seat on a stone bench as well.

    Pema Pera: Hi Doug!
    Sylectra Darwin: For a year after Mom’s death I delved deeper into work, resting my heart, and in November of last year I woke up and wanted to live differently.
    Pema Pera: What did you change, if I may ask?
    Pia Iger: Hi, Doug.
    doug Sosa: hi.
    Sylectra Darwin: Good question, Pema. :)
    Sylectra Darwin: I would have to think about that - you have to be careful what you allow to change you - not all in the world is good and helpful.
    Sylectra Darwin: I changed my setpoint.
    Sylectra Darwin: What causes me to fear so much that I pull away.
    Sylectra Darwin: Sorry this is so abstract.
    doug Sosa: very common experience.
    Pema Pera: oh no, I get some sense
    Pema Pera: even from a short description
    Pema Pera: suffering, either for ourselves or others, can really help us to wake up, and to change
    Sylectra Darwin: yes
    Pema Pera: and letting go is a great start
    Pema Pera: being in the moment, as you said
    Pema Pera: in fact, we can even drop the moment
    Pema Pera: and just Be
    Pema Pera: that’s what we’re trying in the 9 seconds
    stevenaia Michinaga: there’s a time at the end of my yoga class, the resting time, where the mind empties and thoughts just flow, give me a sence of what I belive the 9secs can be, but rarely can I find 9 seconds in a strucdtured way

    I brought up the notion of continuity of practice, staying with the practice throughout the day.

    Pema Pera: our approach is to first do it, without worrying about what it is or what it can be, that’s perhaps a unique aspect of PaB . . . . .
    stevenaia Michinaga: but if you create a “being” moment, it;s always interesting what fills that moment
    doug Sosa: Interesting . at te end of yoga i find myself actually lying ther with very clear and specific thoughts.
    Pema Pera: start with continuity, then try to figure out what to the continuity can provide . . .
    stevenaia Michinaga: I drift from those into emptyness
    Sylectra Darwin: I too love the clarity that comes during Savasana
    Sylectra Darwin: what do you mean by continuity?
    stevenaia Michinaga: what is that Sylectra?
    Pema Pera: regularly doing something, every fifteen minutes
    stevenaia Michinaga: awww, the resting
    Pema Pera: not letting it drop
    Pema Pera: like beads on a string
    Sylectra Darwin: Oh, the practice of it.
    Sylectra Darwin: Lately when I go into the final relaxation, I see visions.
    Pema Pera: yes, most meditation techniques focus on what to do and then you do it for half an hour, and for 23.5 you tend to forget about it . . .. .
    Pema Pera: here we turn that on its head
    Sylectra Darwin: hehe, I know.
    Pema Pera: just continue
    Pema Pera: and later worry about what it is you’re continuing
    Pema Pera: integrate without even knowing what you’re integrating into daily life
    Pema Pera: it will come by itself
    Pema Pera: Being will show Itself
    Pema Pera: when you keep asking
    Pema Pera: keep doing the practice
    Pema Pera: so rather than delving deeply and then integrating
    Pema Pera: we start by integrating deeply :)
    Pema Pera: no delving here
    Pema Pera: only playing

    I somehow got more talkative :-).

    Sylectra Darwin: Are you talking about releasing the analytical mind?
    Pema Pera: not focusing on it, yes
    Pema Pera: it, too, is part of Being
    Pema Pera: but it tends to cover much of the rest
    Pema Pera: to that extent it is good to deemphasize it sometimes
    Sylectra Darwin: What are other names for this part of us?
    Pema Pera: it is not part of us
    Pema Pera: we are not part of It even
    Sylectra Darwin: smile
    Pema Pera: everything is Being already in its totality
    Pema Pera: Being is beyond all dualities
    Pema Pera: polarities
    Pema Pera: distinctions
    Pema Pera: like part and whole
    Pema Pera: he problem is
    Pema Pera: it sounds so abstract
    Pema Pera: however
    Pema Pera: it is more close to you and more intimate than you are yourself
    Pema Pera: the you you have thought you were
    Pema Pera: and it is the most concrete
    Pema Pera: the only concrete whatever in your life!
    Pema Pera: the rest is all virtual, illusion :)
    Pema Pera: and It can be seen
    Pema Pera: directly
    Pema Pera: in fact we are using IT already
    Pema Pera: in anything we do, say, think
    Pema Pera: we just don’t realize it normally that that is what we’re doing . . . .
    Pema Pera: all we need to do is let Being speak up :-)
    Pema Pera: 9 seconds is more than enough . . . .

    Tara walked up and sat down as well, on another stone bench.

    stevenaia Michinaga: Now that you have been doing it, what do you get from Being clearer, Pema?
    Tara Farmer: hey guys
    Pema Pera: sorry, Steve, “get from Being clearer” ?
    Pema Pera: hi Tara!
    Pema Pera: what do you mean?
    stevenaia Michinaga: the practive, what does it bring to you
    Pia Iger: Hi, Tara,
    Pema Pera: oh, everything :)
    Pema Pera: it helps open my eyes
    Sylectra Darwin: Hi Tara
    Tara Farmer: hipiahowareyouthisevening
    Pema Pera: like looking at a mathematics problem and suddenly seeing the whole situation
    Pia Iger: asgoodasthismorning

    I did not understand at that moment what Tara and Pia were refering too; I would later realize that 12 hours before they had been playing a game of leaving out spaces in sentences, triggered by Rajah’s poor keyboard . . . .

    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Tara Farmer: fabulous
    stevenaia Michinaga: awww, a wider vicion of sorts
    stevenaia Michinaga: vision
    Pema Pera: still morning for me Tara :)
    Tara Farmer: ah yes pema
    Pema Pera: even more than a vision, Steve
    Tara Farmer: always over the rainbow
    Pema Pera: a vision still would be too limited
    Sylectra Darwin: Pema, do you find that after these moments of being, you connect better with others?
    doug Sosa: i must go.
    Pema Pera: and there would be something outside the vision
    stevenaia Michinaga: bye Doug
    Pema Pera: bye Doug!

    Doug left, and I tried to answer the questions about how playing with Being has affected me.

    Pema Pera: there are many good side effects Syl, but those are just that
    Pema Pera: nice, but not really the main point
    Sylectra Darwin: right, I see
    Pema Pera: although they’re very encouraging
    Pema Pera: and it has been wonderful to share those here
    Pema Pera: and in fact, the main idea is to connect with Being for the full 15 minutes — but good to start with 1%, 9 seconds
    stevenaia Michinaga: did you feel you didnot have this before you began or are they enhanced now
    Pema Pera: oh, it slowly grew over the last 38 years or so :)
    Sylectra Darwin: smiles
    Pema Pera: and this particular Play as Being practice is the highest-grade approach I’ve found so far
    Sylectra Darwin: I was thinking that for me, sometimes I have to sit quietly for a very long time even to see an instant of clarity.
    Pema Pera: have tried beer, wine, whiskey, but this is wodka :)
    Sylectra Darwin: wodka, I like
    Tara Farmer: trekkie
    stevenaia Michinaga: perhaps you should switch to scotch
    Sylectra Darwin: grins
    Pema Pera: The basic idea is that there are two approaches:
    Pema Pera: 1) walk a long parth to find something
    Pema Pera: 2) try to see that everything is here already and celebrate
    Pema Pera: PaB is 2).
    Tara Farmer: see you later guys, i am going to go be a mermaid for a little while before bed
    Pema Pera: but can easily be misunderstood!!!!!
    Pema Pera: bye Tara!
    Sylectra Darwin: OK Tara
    Tara Farmer: bye
    Pia Iger: see you, Tara.

    It was time for Tara to go, and we continued talking about the notion of “the goal is the path”, another way of expressing 2).

    Sylectra Darwin: 1) walk a long path to find something - example?
    Pema Pera: sorry to be so talkative, Syl, but since this is your first time here, and you started with very serious questions, I’d just wanted to give the lay of the land a bit
    Pema Pera: 1) examples: almost every spiritual approach I know of
    Sylectra Darwin: no problem, I can handle deep
    Pema Pera: and I deeply respect them
    Pema Pera: can you handle me talking too much ?
    Pema Pera: that was my worry :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: …smile
    Sylectra Darwin: Absolutely.
    Pema Pera: 1) is very natural
    Pia Iger: we all hope you talk much
    Pema Pera: we feel we miss something, so we reach
    Pema Pera: thanks, Pia, haha
    Sylectra Darwin: that’s right
    Pema Pera: as long as we are caught in 1), we can’t imagine that there is any alternative
    Sylectra Darwin: so you didn’t mean walking as in a walking labyrinth?
    Pema Pera: we suffer, right?
    Pema Pera: we want a solution right?
    Pema Pera: we seek, right?
    Pema Pera: wrong
    Pema Pera: there is an alternative
    Pema Pera: 2) is so much easier and faster
    Pema Pera: BUT . . . . you have to know how to do that
    Sylectra Darwin: indeed
    Pema Pera: took me, oh, about 35 years or so
    Pema Pera: and I hope to speed up
    Pema Pera: convey it in perhaps 3 years
    Sylectra Darwin: It’s a journey…
    Pema Pera: we’ve been doing this for 3 months
    Sylectra Darwin: everyone is different, I imagine
    Pema Pera: so we’re just starting
    Pema Pera: of course, Syl
    Pema Pera: I’m just giving a sketch
    Pema Pera: an impression
    Pema Pera: point is, you don’t need anything at all
    Pema Pera: none of us
    Pema Pera: so let’s help each other seeing that

    I always wonder in how far my attempts to talk about Being make some sense, given the limitations of words . . . it can so easily seem dry and abstract. To counter that impression, I had tried to give some sense of rough time scales of how long it may take to see to some extent what Being is about — although as Syl had immediately pointed out, these time scales are different for different people. Still, it is important to realize that there is something really there there, something you can see, fall into, like in a mathematics proof.

    Pema Pera: Alas, I’ll have to stop talking too much in five minutes . . . .
    Pema Pera: RL is calling
    Pema Pera: Lunch meeting here in Tokyo
    Sylectra Darwin: ah -
    Pema Pera: But let me add one more sentence:
    Sylectra Darwin: But you’ve been most helpful.
    Pema Pera: If I can really convey to at least some of you, within say the next one year, what it really means to not reach, to see what is here already, I would be more happy than I could possible express . . . . .
    Pema Pera: . . . . but it’s a lot to ask for
    Pema Pera: (still part of the same sentence?)
    Pia Iger: pressure on us!
    Pia Iger: kidding.
    Pema Pera: and traditionally it would be considered to take at least ten years, and only for the most dedicated and those with the right karma — so what we’re doing is EXTREMELY unusual . . . .
    Sylectra Darwin: Oh I see…
    Pema Pera: but what the heck: we live in a different time, and we may not have that must time left . . . .
    Pema Pera: . . I’ll end my one sentence here :-)

    That one sentence had come out longer than I had intended.

    Sylectra Darwin: smile
    Sylectra Darwin: thank you for that.
    Pema Pera: thank you for coming here, Sylectra!
    Pema Pera: Please come back whenever you feel like
    Sylectra Darwin: Of course you know I have a million more questions but you have a lunch meeting.
    stevenaia Michinaga: always good the hear it again in a different way
    Pema Pera: btw, we blog these sessions
    Sylectra Darwin: I will just have to ask them later!
    Sylectra Darwin: OK
    Pema Pera: okay to include some conversations we had here in the blog?
    Pema Pera: Just want to make sure!
    Sylectra Darwin: I’ll try not to say anything racy (wink)
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Sylectra Darwin: absolutely
    Pema Pera: np with me
    Pema Pera: and also, I do erase details that are too personal
    Pema Pera: I play as Being and I play as Big Brother every day …:)
    Sylectra Darwin: you can relate my Mom story - I am okay with that
    Pema Pera: just to protect everyone’s privacy
    Pema Pera: okay, I was about to ask, yes
    Pema Pera: thanks!
    Sylectra Darwin: yw
    Pema Pera: well, I’m looking forward to talking about the other million questions
    Sylectra Darwin: Yes, me too.

    And now it was really time to go.

    stevenaia Michinaga: enjoy lunch
    Pema Pera: see you all soon again!
    Sylectra Darwin: Enjoy your lunch
    Pema Pera: thanks for joining us!
    Pema Pera: well do!
    Pia Iger: see you all. It was a rare change to hear Pema talk through.
    Pia Iger: chance.
    Pema Pera: rare?
    Pema Pera: I am always afraid I talk too much . . . . .
    Pia Iger: maybe we are good listeners today.
    stevenaia Michinaga: never to much
    Pia Iger: usually a lot interruption.
    Pema Pera: yes, we can’t see body language clues here . . . .
    Sylectra Darwin: a shame.
    Pema Pera: often hard to know how to jump in and when — good thing about texting is that it can jumble
    Pema Pera: and you can later sort out
    Pema Pera: an art form really
    Pema Pera: :)
    Sylectra Darwin: It is true
    Pema Pera: okay, have to run !!
    Pema Pera: /ga
    Pema Pera: /ga
    Pema Pera: ??
    Pema Pera: !
    Pema Pera: haha, those gestures . . . .
    Sylectra Darwin: hehe

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