2008.06.27 19:00 - Accident Prone

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    That evening I attended the Zen session led by Dakini. I don’t get so many chances to attend, now that I am spending a couple months in Japan, since it doesn’t fit so easily into my morning schedule. But each time I participate, I feel the deep meaningfulness of this joined gesture of traditional practice.

    I enjoy the openness and freedom of Play as Being, as a kind of market place for anyone with a really serious interest in exploring reality. But I also very much appreciate the more specific attempts to give new form to old ways of practicing. Using Second Life as a way to let us avatars `just sit’ is a wonderfully inspiring way to remind us that `just sitting’ transcends cultures and media. Shikantaza, the Japanese expression for `just sitting’, has been an important part of my own development, early on, when I started exploring my own life as a laboratory, in my late teens and early twenties.

    Sharing `just sitting’ with others can be meaningful in a way and on a level that is very hard to convey in words. Of course, it can mean different things for different people, and also different things for the same person at different times. But it has at least the potential to help us drop what we have, and see what we are; the core aim of Play as Being.

    Play as Being itself is equally appropriate for Hinduists, Buddhists, Taoists, Sufis, Christians, or any serious practitioner, including those who are mostly attracted to a scientific of purely humanist exploration. And the Play aspect of Play as Being does play out quite differently in different forms of practice. But the Being part of Play as Being is expressed especially clearly in Japanese Zen and the original Chinese Chan as well as the Korean, Vietnamese, and other versions.

    So even though PaB is not Buddhist, and is equally at home in, say, Advaita Vedanta or many other traditions, it is a fitting and happy historical fact that PaB took root here in Rieul next to the Zen Retreat, with Dakini being the connection between the two, just a few weeks before Play as Being was launched, on April 1.

    Anyway, after we finished our zen sitting, at 6:30 pm SLT, there was still half an hour left before the start of the evening PaB session. At the end of our rounds of greetings and goodbyes, I found the chance to talk with Delani. I had met her only very briefly before in SL, but in another sense I felt I had met her already many times, through reading the PaB blogs: Delani often attends the afternoon sessions, which is my bed time in Japan. Here is a snippet of our after-zen conversation.

    Adams Rubble: Good morning, day, evening or night to you all :)
    Isen Enzo: Blessings…
    Pema Pera: :)
    Amya Bellah: Yes have a good morning…night or evening :)
    Dakini Rhode: you too, Amya
    Delani Gabardini: ty for joining amya
    Pema Pera: it is a good morning here :-)
    Delani Gabardini: ah japan
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: Kyoto, in the middle of the rainy season
    Amya Bellah: wow nice :)
    Pema Pera: but dry this morning
    Delani Gabardini: well it is nice that u joined us
    Pema Pera: Hi Steve!
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello
    Dakini Rhode: hi Steve!
    Pema Pera: Yes, Delani, good seeing you here
    Delani Gabardini: i tried to get to some PaBs
    Delani Gabardini: wonderful concept
    Pema Pera: yes, I saw your visits
    Delani Gabardini: LOL
    Pema Pera: always fun to read the blogs as a reader for a change
    Delani Gabardini: we do tend to stray
    Pema Pera: though in most cases I manage to be there myself
    Pema Pera: oh yes, that’s part of the play
    Delani Gabardini: what time do u go Pema
    Pema Pera: in “Play as Being”
    Pema Pera: oh, whenever I can
    Pema Pera: 1 pm is 5 am in Japan
    Pema Pera: then I’m asleep, mostly
    Delani Gabardini: oh - that is the one that works best for me
    Pema Pera: the other sessions, I’m often there
    Pema Pera: 1 am 7 am 7 pm
    Delani Gabardini: well i will try for one that u attend
    Pema Pera: but in a few weeks I’ll be in California
    Pema Pera: so then I’ll be at the 1 pm as well
    Delani Gabardini: great
    Delani Gabardini: will u return to Japan
    Pema Pera: yes, in September Japan
    Pema Pera: August NYC
    Pema Pera: late July Berkeley :)
    Delani Gabardini: r u on sabatical
    Pema Pera: no, my job is research only
    Pema Pera: anywhere in the world
    Delani Gabardini: ah
    Amya Bellah: I like that idea of anywhere in the world!
    Pema Pera: I’m pretty lucky . . . .

    When Delani mentioned Hikari, it peaked my curiosity.

    Delani Gabardini: well I am heading back to Hikari
    Pema Pera: Hikari, like in “ray of light”?
    Delani Gabardini: Moon’s sim!!!
    Pema Pera: ah!
    Pema Pera: hikari is Japanese for light ray
    Pema Pera: so was wondering
    Pema Pera: whether you went back to the sun :)
    Dakini Rhode gave you Hikaru, Hikari (91, 171, 27).
    Delani Gabardini: visit us sometime
    Pema Pera: Is that in Itsari?
    Delani Gabardini: no it is a new sim
    Pema Pera: or near?
    Pema Pera: ah!
    Delani Gabardini: none of us are on itsari now
    Pema Pera: he moved his buildings from Itsari to Hikari?
    Delani Gabardini: yes
    Delani Gabardini: and built new temples
    Pema Pera: I visited in Itsari a while ago
    Delani Gabardini: beautiful right Gam
    Gambhira Skytower: yes
    Pema Pera: can I come along now and have a look?
    Delani Gabardini: yes does anyone want to come
    Delani Gabardini: i can tp u and give a mini tour
    Dakini Rhode: yes Delani, I love Hikari
    Pema Pera: please
    Gambhira Skytower: i do
    Pema Pera: I’ll have to be back in 20 minutes
    Delani Gabardini: ok
    Pema Pera: for the next Play as Being session
    Delani Gabardini: it wont take long
    stevenaia Michinaga: I’ll pass thank you, need some down time
    Pema Pera: Amya, wanna join us?
    Delani Gabardini: gam will u come
    Amya Bellah: Sure :) Would love to
    Gambhira Skytower: yes Del
    Delani Gabardini: i will tp each of u
    Delani Gabardini: bye Steve
    Pema Pera: c u Steve
    stevenaia Michinaga: thx for the landmark
    Gambhira Skytower: take care Steve

    So we all set off on a little tour to Hikari.

    Delani Gabardini: this is the main temple - come look
    Amya Bellah: wow really nice :)
    Dakini Rhode: i think Moon has done a beautiful job with this
    Delani Gabardini: we have a stupa which I donated
    Pema Pera: definitely!
    Delani Gabardini: and another temple
    Delani Gabardini: tea house
    Pema Pera: Are you a builder too, Delani?
    Delani Gabardini: no no
    Delani Gabardini: i just happened to have a stupa
    Pema Pera: what a great one-liner, lol !

    It could be the title of a movie “I just happened to have a stupa” . . . .

    Delani Gabardini: shall we walk around
    Dakini Rhode: i like the trees moon made himself
    Delani Gabardini: btw Moon has diff seasons on the island - this is fall obviously - this is where I live
    Pema Pera: yes, very bright and cheerful
    Delani Gabardini: i think we should fly - ok
    Delani Gabardini: hi gam!!
    Delani Gabardini: good
    Delani Gabardini: the stupa is on the other side of the island

    Delani’s agile flight took me by surprise, and I had to use minimap and keen eyesight to spot her in the distance. I just managed to catch up, noticed Amya wasn’t there, and gave her a tp.

    Amya Bellah: thank you!
    Pema Pera: yw!
    Delani Gabardini: there is also a hidden temple
    Amya Bellah: Lost my flying ability for a second
    Dakini Rhode: and i hear this spot is Isen’s inspiration…
    Pema Pera: i almost lost them too :)
    Amya Bellah: hehehe
    Delani Gabardini: there are all these amazing little zendos and yes Isen was the designer
    Pema Pera: did you buy a whole island, as a group?
    Delani Gabardini: no Moon bought the sim - I bought the name
    Delani Gabardini: he is the owner
    Pema Pera: ?
    Pema Pera: bought the name?
    Delani Gabardini: hikari
    Pema Pera: how do you buy a name?
    Delani Gabardini: had to pay for it
    Pema Pera: ah :-)
    Pema Pera: how many people live here?
    Delani Gabardini: right now 4
    Delani Gabardini: but there are houses available
    Amya Bellah: …how can we get to live here?
    Delani Gabardini: you must speak with Moon
    Delani Gabardini: Moon Fargis
    Amya Bellah: thanks :) was going to ask
    Delani Gabardini: Moon is in Germany so not on this time
    Delani Gabardini: we would love to have u join us here
    Delani Gabardini: so why don’t u explore the island and I will just sit here
    Delani Gabardini: oh do u want me to take u to the stupa first?
    Dakini Rhode: :-)))
    Pema Pera: sure!
    Amya Bellah: Sure!!
    Delani Gabardini: i will tp u

    This time I was determined to get there without tp, and I just managed, showing up right in front of the stupa. My particular AO lets my av do a summersault when I sto flying while still a bit above the ground, which was what drew the comments.

    Gambhira Skytower: lol
    Delani Gabardini: wow Pema good trick
    Pema Pera: :)
    Delani Gabardini: this stupa was free at Bodhi
    Delani Gabardini: it is Tibetan
    Amya Bellah: very nice…and what does it say?
    Delani Gabardini: Dakini - u should relate to this
    Dakini Rhode: oh yes Delani, in fact i have one of these in my inventory :-)
    Delani Gabardini: i have no idea - i don’t understand sanskrit fully
    Delani Gabardini: did u get it at Bodhi?
    Dakini Rhode: the rotation bit in the center?
    Dakini Rhode: that is om mani padme hum
    Dakini Rhode: Chenrezig’s mantra
    Delani Gabardini: oh that is wonderful - I say that often
    Dakini Rhode: the mantra of compassion
    Pema Pera: It is Tibetan
    Amya Bellah: :)
    Delani Gabardini: a beautiful mantra
    Pema Pera: I think it say Om mani pema hum
    Dakini Rhode: yes indeed

    I had not noticed that Dakini had typed the same already. I was staring at the rapidly rotating Tibetan characters, trying to parse them from what little Tibetan I remembered after learning the alphabet many years ago. Dakini used padme, the Sanskrit word for lotus, while pema is the Tibetan pronounciation; the name I’ve choosen for my avaatar, Pema, thus means lotus in Tibetan. The Sanskrit word shows up also in the name Padmasambhava, litterally lotus-born, who brought Buddhism from India to Tibet. The Tibetan version of lotus-born is Pema Jungney.

    Pema Pera: but it goes a bit too fast for me to read easily
    Delani Gabardini: moon built the platform
    Pema Pera: a bit rusty in my Tibetan :)
    Amya Bellah: I am very new in the meaning of mantras
    Dakini Rhode: yes that is it Pema
    Dakini Rhode: the 6 syllable mantra
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: I see it now too
    Pema Pera: I love the whole landscape setting as well
    Delani Gabardini: Zato helped us with the temple
    Pema Pera: the hills, the sky, the sea
    Dakini Rhode: i love Moon’s trees
    Pema Pera: all very well done!
    Pema Pera: yes
    Dakini Rhode: they’re low prim yet lovely
    Gambhira Skytower: there is a hidden temple?
    Delani Gabardini: we had some very good input - Zato is a rl monk
    Pema Pera: wonderful place, Delani, and beautiful stupa too!
    Delani Gabardini: yes it is beautiful
    Pema Pera: I’ll have to return to Dakini’s pavilion :-)
    Delani Gabardini: i have trouble finding it - it is well hidden
    Delani Gabardini: ty for coming Pema
    Pema Pera: thanks for showing, Delani!
    Delani Gabardini: it was so nice seeing you again
    Dakini Rhode: (Pema: it’s YOUR pavilion) lol
    Pema Pera: looking forward to meeting you at a PaB session!
    Delani Gabardini: you will
    Pema Pera: haha, our pavilion then
    Amya Bellah: It was really nice meeting you all. I will go ”work” on my other SL house :)
    Dakini Rhode: haha
    Delani Gabardini: maybe gam can join us
    Pema Pera: enjoy, Amya!
    Amya Bellah: Very nice pavillon!
    Delani Gabardini: nice to meet u amya
    Pema Pera: c u Gam!
    Dakini Rhode: bye for now - and please join us if you like for PaBs
    Pema Pera: bye everybody!
    Gambhira Skytower: bye Pema
    Delani Gabardini: Gam do u want to look for the hidden temple
    Amya Bellah: Thank you and see you soon :)

    Dakini and I teleported back to our pavilion. Most of the pictures that follow were taken by Sylectra; the two pictures with avatar names were taken by me.

    Dakini Rhode: Pema i will give you a tour of Rieul one of these days :-)
    Pema Pera: wonderful island they built there in a short time!
    Pema Pera: sure, I’d be happy too.
    Dakini Rhode: yes!
    Pema Pera: I think I’ve seen most of Rieul and Mieum
    Dakini Rhode: Moon does beautiful work…
    Pema Pera: but I’m always happy to learn more fo the background
    Pema Pera: it makes me wonder what to do with our forest
    Dakini Rhode: Rieul is always changing… maybe one day it will be finished (ha!)
    Pema Pera: oh no . . .
    Dakini Rhode: i have some ideas, but Storm needs to put in the river first
    Pema Pera: how to make the forest land friendly for many guardians to live in
    Dakini Rhode: yes
    Pema Pera: to become neighbors
    Pema Pera: not only during PaB sessions, but as places to homestead
    Dakini Rhode: to date the river has been the pathway thru…
    Dakini Rhode: do we have many living in the forest now?
    Pema Pera: nobody that I know off yet
    Pema Pera: but I may be wrong
    Dakini Rhode: i see that Rajah is there
    Pema Pera: ah!
    Pema Pera: great
    Dakini Rhode: :-)
    Pema Pera: we’ll have to talk about that during the guardian meeting
    Dakini Rhode: Maybe it would be helpful for us to put houses in there
    Dakini Rhode: maybe not all know how to build or want to…

    Almost simultaneously, Steven, NeitherNorist, Pia and Sylectra arrived, so suddenly there half a dozen of us.

    Pema Pera: Hi Steve!
    stevenaia Michinaga: how was your tip
    stevenaia Michinaga: trip
    Pema Pera: Hi NN!
    Pema Pera: welcome back
    Dakini Rhode: Hi Steve Pia and NeitherNorist
    stevenaia Michinaga: this is someone looking for you Pema
    Pema Pera: Hi Pia!
    Pema Pera: NN, this is our new place
    NeitherNorist Ohl: hey PP
    stevenaia Michinaga: hi Pia
    Pema Pera: we moved a week or so ago
    NeitherNorist Ohl: I can see
    Pema Pera: the other place became too small for us
    Dakini Rhode: Hi Syl
    Sylectra Darwin: oops! Forgot to stop dancing
    stevenaia Michinaga: hi Sylectra
    Pema Pera: or we became too large, really :)
    NeitherNorist Ohl: isn’t this nice
    Pema Pera: Hi Syl!
    Sylectra Darwin: Hi!
    NeitherNorist Ohl: hi everybody
    FX1-Black V1.0 (High Prim)_v4 whispers: Coffee type set to - Mocha
    stevenaia Michinaga: danicng your way here? Sylectra
    FX1-Black V1.0 (High Prim)_v4 whispers: Coffee Machine ready for use.
    Sylectra Darwin: OK, am I stopped?
    Dakini Rhode: i think you are
    Sylectra Darwin: OK, thank you!
    Sylectra Darwin: Good to see you all!
    Pia Iger: hi,all
    Dakini Rhode: brb
    Pema Pera: Hi Pia!
    Pema Pera: Hi Syl!
    Sylectra Darwin: Hi Pema!
    Windchime Bronze 12: Pema Pera picked the option ‘Sounds’.
    Pia Iger: more birds sound, there are.

    Steve refered to an email I had sent to the guardians email group.

    stevenaia Michinaga: thanks for the reminder about the interesting blog on anger from the other day, worthwile read
    Sylectra Darwin: It was - the one on anger and compassion?
    Sylectra Darwin: good read
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes
    Dakini Rhode: you know there was one day we kept talking on that subject…
    Dakini Rhode: i haven’t seen that in the blog
    Sylectra Darwin: hmmm
    Dakini Rhode: maybe we only need to blog the first hour not the next 2 or 3
    Dakini Rhode: :-)
    Sylectra Darwin: haha
    Pema Pera: oh, everything I get I put up :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: it reads quicker than actually being there
    Pema Pera: when was that Dakini?
    Dakini Rhode: i wish i knew for sure, Pema
    Pema Pera: I’m about two days behind
    Pema Pera: generally
    Dakini Rhode: last Saturday maybe
    Pema Pera: that should be there then
    Pema Pera: if it was in a PaB session
    Pema Pera: NN, have you followed a bit what we’ve been doing?
    Pema Pera: NN was one of our first participants, back in April when we started

    Steve shared a fascinating observation.

    stevenaia Michinaga: funny how talking bout anger and compassion was quite uplifting, your the conversation of Happiness from a week or so ago was quite the opposite (for me)
    Pema Pera: hahaha, lol
    Dakini Rhode: interesting how the mind goes…
    stevenaia Michinaga: seems there is less happiness than anger
    Pema Pera: or less easy to formulate
    Pia Iger: I think Steve means “cats, dogs and happiness”
    Pia Iger: that entry
    stevenaia Michinaga: you can remove yourself from an angery state, but finding happyness is more dificult
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes
    NeitherNorist Ohl: I haven’t been following it. It’ll take me a while to fully catch up. FL needed a lot of attention
    Pema Pera: Rl
    Dakini Rhode: what do we mean by happiness?
    Pema Pera: RL = real life
    Pema Pera: SL = second life
    NeitherNorist Ohl: yes, RL
    Dakini Rhode: or FL = First Life
    stevenaia Michinaga: happiness… my usual state
    stevenaia Michinaga: a plce of contentment
    Dakini Rhode: that’s how i see it too
    stevenaia Michinaga: place
    Dakini Rhode: basic happiness
    Dakini Rhode: or absence of disturbing emotions & conflicting thoughts?
    Pia Iger: calmness?
    stevenaia Michinaga: all of those things
    Sylectra Darwin: I’d go with contentment and a sense of fulfillment
    stevenaia Michinaga: at once
    stevenaia Michinaga: fulfillment is easy as that is life itself, or perhaps being
    stevenaia Michinaga: Being
    Dakini Rhode: it’s funny as i don’t think about happiness that much….
    Pia Iger: Oh? to me fulfillness is not easy
    stevenaia Michinaga: but isn;t it as easy as a smile?
    Pia Iger: has to get something to be fulfilled, right?
    Dakini Rhode: interesting thought, Pia…
    Dakini Rhode: as if we have to get something to be fulfilled i guess that could be difficult
    Sylectra Darwin: maybe we should differentiate between fulfillment and a SENSE of fulfillment
    Sylectra Darwin: The latter being a perception, possibly brought on by the choice to feel fulfilled.
    FX1-Black V1.0 (High Prim)_v4 whispers: Coffee type set to - Latte
    FX1-Black V1.0 (High Prim)_v4 whispers: Coffee Machine ready for use.

    Pia noticed that Dakini, seated next to her only a moment ago, had just risen way above her, leaving only seem of her black robes draped down on her cushion below.

    Pia Iger: Dakini is higher than me.
    Pema Pera: :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: is dakini levatating? tr to much starch in her robe?
    stevenaia Michinaga: or
    Sylectra Darwin: It must be the caffeine
    Dakini Rhode: have some Latte, Pia
    Dakini Rhode: lol Steve
    FX1-Black V1.0 (High Prim)_v4 whispers: Coffee type set to - Cappuccino
    Dakini Rhode: this skirt does look a little stiff
    Sylectra Darwin: hehe
    Dakini Rhode: i have to talk to the cleaner about that….
    FX1-Black V1.0 (High Prim)_v4: Must clear coffee cups before making another.

    At that moment, after Pia took a sip herself, she too levitated.

    Sylectra Darwin: hahaha, Pia!
    Pia Iger: what happened?
    Dakini Rhode: lol
    Dakini Rhode: definitely the caffeine
    Dakini Rhode: not the starch

    stevenaia Michinaga: I was thinking about what Dakini said earlier: Dakini Rhode: basic happiness [19:15] Dakini Rhode: or absence of disturbing emotions & conflicting thoughts?
    Pema Pera: :-)
    FX1-Black V1.0 (High Prim)_v4: Must clear coffee cups before making another.
    stevenaia Michinaga: seems that she mentioned things that could prevent happiness
    NeitherNorist Ohl: hey everyone, I have to run. see you all soon.
    Pia Iger: bye, NN.
    Pema Pera: bye NN!
    Dakini Rhode: nice to see you again NN!
    Sylectra Darwin: see you soon NN
    stevenaia Michinaga: by NN
    stevenaia Michinaga: but happyness id not what;s left after you remove all the negative things , is it?
    stevenaia Michinaga: it;s a state that prevents those thongs
    Sylectra Darwin: that’s an interesting way to put it
    stevenaia Michinaga: things
    stevenaia Michinaga: nothing should prevent thongs
    Sylectra Darwin: It occupies space rather than is the void.
    Sylectra Darwin: hmmmm
    Dakini Rhode: lol that’s a matter of taste… (thongs)
    stevenaia Michinaga: well, yes, a freudian lapse
    Sylectra Darwin: hehe, Steven!
    Sylectra Darwin: Well we were discussing happiness
    stevenaia Michinaga: in our own way…smile
    Dakini Rhode: who is tonite’s guardian?
    Pema Pera: me
    Dakini Rhode: (ok)
    Pema Pera: and I’m just happy to sit and listen
    Pema Pera: but I can walk and talk too :)
    Pema Pera: I don’t know much to say about happiness . . . .
    Pema Pera: I think I’m with Steve there, generally happy . . . .
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Dakini Rhode: i never quite know what happiness is, so i don’t think about it much
    Pema Pera: when I’m not happy, I’m generally happy to investigate why not
    Pema Pera: and learn from that
    Sylectra Darwin: excuse me - dogs want out
    Pema Pera: c u Syl!

    Thanks to Steve’s persistence, we continued our conversation around happiness, and many interesting aspects were brought forwards.

    Dakini Rhode: when i feel something negative i usually have some changing coming up
    Dakini Rhode: so now i look to see what needs changing
    Dakini Rhode: usually it’s my mind…
    stevenaia Michinaga: happiness can be as simple as acceptance
    stevenaia Michinaga: that can be the change
    Sylectra Darwin: back
    Pema Pera: wb Syl!
    Sylectra Darwin: ty
    Sylectra Darwin: acceptance is a big part of it.
    stevenaia Michinaga: how things, outside problems , affect you can affect your relative state of happiness, if you don;t let them affect you, or change to not let them affect you, happiness remains
    Pema Pera: the problem is, do you always have the power to do so, Steve?
    stevenaia Michinaga: power to affect yourself… sure
    stevenaia Michinaga: it;s probably the only power you do have
    Pema Pera: hmmmm
    Pema Pera: if you would be in a really terrible situation
    Pema Pera: how do you know you would have the power to deal with it?
    Sylectra Darwin: the serenity prayer is an example from Christian culture.

    Sky arrived, and again there were six of us.

    Pema Pera: hi Sky!
    stevenaia Michinaga: that reminds me of Stem’s story of anger and the imprisoned monk who had compation for his imprisoners
    Sylectra Darwin: hello Sky!
    Dakini Rhode: hi Sky!
    Sylectra Darwin: I read that blog - and had trouble buying into it.
    Dakini Rhode: I nearly didn’t recognize you (except for you name)
    Dakini Rhode: I completely buy into that
    Dakini Rhode: and this is why
    Dakini Rhode: i have had experience like that
    stevenaia Michinaga: also, for me locally there were those menenite children in lancaster pa who were killed by a deranged neighbor, the community forgave and offered help to the killers family
    stevenaia Michinaga: they had that power
    stevenaia Michinaga: compassion
    Sylectra Darwin: wow
    Dakini Rhode: what is the key to touching that heart of compassion?
    Sylectra Darwin: possibly releasing anger
    Sylectra Darwin: the two cannot exist in the same space
    Dakini Rhode: for me, it was seeing that we are all interconnected
    Dakini Rhode: in a very real way
    Sylectra Darwin: I like that
    Pema Pera: Yes, there is that power, and it is always available, and sometimes it seems to come easy, and sometimes not . . . so the question is what or even whether we can do anything to open up more for that
    Dakini Rhode: we can do PaBs
    stevenaia Michinaga: releasing, letting go of anger and other things, these are the things that allow love, happiness and compassion to take hold, more of the positive, reduces the negative
    Dakini Rhode: or other forms of practice
    Sylectra Darwin: I feel more compassionate when I take care of myself.
    stevenaia Michinaga: ever try to be angy in a group of happy people, it;s rather defusing
    Dakini Rhode: the reason i say that…
    Dakini Rhode: isPaB or other practice like that
    Dakini Rhode: allows you to see things differently
    Pema Pera: seeing is key . . . .
    Dakini Rhode: yes, seeing reality
    Dakini Rhode: seeing what is real and what is not
    Pema Pera: life experience helps, good friends help, serious practice of any kinds helps, but the question is seeing . . . .

    I had to smile about the way Dakini and I sometimes seemed to finish each other’s sentences.

    Pia Iger: can Seeing just happen to ourselves, without helps
    Pia Iger: ?
    Sylectra Darwin: Maybe I should start with a less extreme example than a monk being tortured by the government.
    Pema Pera: it can, but less likely so
    Dakini Rhode: sometimes we have no helps (like that extreme example) and seeing is all we have
    Pema Pera: Pia, what I meant was: when good friends, say, help us see, then when the friends are not there, we still see — but when good friends help us to feel good, we only feel good when they are there — same for other factors that can help us. It has to lead to seeing to last
    Dakini Rhode: yes!
    Dakini Rhode: everything else is like a bandaid
    Dakini Rhode: or mental tricks
    Pema Pera: And when friends recognize in each other the seeing, then they are also far more likely to stay friends — not to get into quarrels and leave ; so it works both ways :)
    Dakini Rhode: how can we make ourselves prone to “seeing”?
    Pema Pera: we can’t
    Dakini Rhode: maybe i asked the question wrong
    Pema Pera: but we also try to do, I know all too well myself :)
    Pema Pera: I find that the most difficult thing to learn
    Pema Pera: to not grasp, try , reach
    Pema Pera: for seeing
    Pema Pera: but to let seeing see
    Pema Pera: Being see
    Pema Pera: and every day I learn from all of you
    Pema Pera: to not grasp
    Pema Pera: both because I witness my own grasping and that of all of yours
    Pema Pera: thank you for presenting so many different ways of grasping!!
    Pema Pera: :-)

    Pia brought up another important point, and both Sky and I responded.

    Pia Iger: Pema, I was talking today, that I feel sort of bordom not grasping, or reaching
    Pia Iger: no happyness or unhappyness
    Pia Iger: no excitements
    Pema Pera: yes, that can happen . . . and then the challenge is to continue
    Pema Pera: to not give up
    Pema Pera: again, PaB is about continuation
    Pema Pera: through time tricks and through a community of friends, both
    Pema Pera: will help you to continue
    Sky Szimmer: grasping, boredom, aversion all different aspects of the self and it is all ok
    Sky Szimmer: but who is seeing that there is boredom, or grasping
    Pema Pera: in general small happiness stands in the way of big Happiness — and sometimes Happy takes over from happy, all of a sudden; sometimes we drop happy and Happy doesn’t come yet and we feel a bit empty and bored . . . .
    Pema Pera: no problem . . .
    Pema Pera: just continue . . .
    Pema Pera: yes, great question, Sky!
    Pema Pera: wonderful koan
    Pema Pera: Does that question work for you, Pia?
    Pia Iger: I have been thinking about it.

    I had used the terms happiness and Happiness in the way Stim sometimes does, using capital letters to point to what transcends the usual dualities. We can judge something to be good as opposed to bad, or we can talk about a fundamental Goodness that is not part of a good-bad pair. In this sense Happiness, Goodness, Gratefulness directly flow from Being as a resource instead of being part of a tug-of-war between opposites.

    stevenaia Michinaga: and your definition of big and little happy is .. what, pema?
    Pema Pera: Stim’s definition, really
    Sky Szimmer: Pema, don’t you think words are a problem? say small happy or big Happy, this often conjures up some expectation of what Big Happy is
    Sky Szimmer: then, we are always looking for the big Happy.
    Pema Pera: the idea being that when we talk about good and bad, we have two poles, but Good is Good by itself — same with happy and sad vs. Sad
    Pema Pera: words are always a problem, Sky
    Pema Pera: living is a problem too :)
    Pema Pera: yet here we are living and talking
    Sylectra Darwin: living is a problem?
    Sky Szimmer: for me, I find that some conjured expectation of what is, is always a problem
    Pema Pera: you die
    Pema Pera: yes, Sky, sorry
    Pema Pera: I see what you mean now
    Pema Pera: reaching for Happy is impossible
    Sky Szimmer: no sorries :)
    Pema Pera: doesn’t work
    Pema Pera: you can only reach for happy
    Pema Pera: Happy is already here
    Pema Pera: we have to recognize it
    stevenaia Michinaga: but we are all capable of happyness, it;s jsut a matter of not letting things interfere with it
    Pema Pera: can’t reach forit
    Sky Szimmer: we are always happy.
    Pema Pera: yes, Steve, and the people in your nearby community are a geat example
    Pema Pera: as you described
    Pema Pera: Being is always Happy
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes
    Pema Pera: and when we see enough to be able to recognize Being as a resource
    Pema Pera: then we share in Happy
    Pema Pera: but for a long time we consider Being as abstract, dont’ know what to make of it
    Pema Pera: or we make it into a God
    Pema Pera: a parent or something

    I had been talking long enough, and Dakini gently took turns.

    Dakini Rhode: If I may…
    Dakini Rhode: My experience is that Being is a flow, and there is no question of happiness or not happiness of you’re in the flow
    Dakini Rhode: so i’m not sure how meaningful it is to me to be looking for a big Happy
    Pema Pera: yes, and what Stim meant with “Happy” was what you called “flow”, I think
    Pema Pera: words are just labels
    Pema Pera: and we all have different associations with the labels
    Sylectra Darwin: I am going to try to think of happiness as something you LET happen when you get the other stuff out of the way.
    Pema Pera: so we have to be clear what we mean
    Pema Pera: that’s a great approach, Syl!
    Dakini Rhode: there are things more important to me than happiness
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, a grat start Syl
    Sylectra Darwin: ty (smiles)
    Pema Pera: yes, Dakini, for sure
    stevenaia Michinaga: for clearity, Dakini, what?
    Pema Pera: so Happiness may be the wrong label for you then
    Sylectra Darwin: One thing that allows me to be happier is to stop thinking so much about myself and my problems and think of things what are more important than me.
    Pema Pera: if it reminds you too much of “happiness”
    Dakini Rhode: lol Pema
    Pema Pera: Joy, grace, openness, clarity — we could give them Capital letters too :)
    Sylectra Darwin: lol
    Pema Pera: I think Stim just tried to connect to everyday language . . .
    Pema Pera: yes, Syl, indeed!
    Dakini Rhode: steve, to answer your question, a couple of things - truly seeing reality/emptiness is probably the biggest for me personally, and making a difference for other people is another
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes
    Sylectra Darwin: very nice
    Dakini Rhode: and probably those produce “Happiness” but are not a particular goal of mine
    Dakini Rhode: i said that wrong
    Dakini Rhode: “Happiness” is not a particular goal of mine
    Pema Pera: Perhaps the question of happiness is like children who are cute. A child that tries to be cute isn’t. When a child is really cute, there is no intention to be so
    Pema Pera: but that is the real cuteness
    Dakini Rhode: right and when a child is really cute, naturally so, it opens your heart
    Sylectra Darwin: beauty is that way
    Pema Pera: yes

    We returned to Sky’s earlier point.

    Pema Pera: So Sky was right, words mislead us :)
    Sylectra Darwin: things which float away on the breeze if you strive too hard for them….
    Dakini Rhode: Sky is wise :-)
    stevenaia Michinaga: I have been told that whatever this state is, joy, bliss, yes, all those thngs can have that opening and changing affect on people
    Sky Szimmer: I just get confuse a lot : )
    Dakini Rhode: :-)
    Pema Pera: but you gave the answer already, Sky, as a question: who is confused?
    Sky Szimmer: problem is, with all these words, they create an image of what Being is, and that is not possible, I think.
    Sky Szimmer: don’t think we can imagine Being
    Pema Pera: indeed
    Pema Pera: it is very very elusive
    Pia Iger: I am not trying to imagine
    Pema Pera: and yet it is the base of all we do
    Pema Pera: of all that is and happens
    Pema Pera: or seems to happen
    Pema Pera: the light in the projector or movie
    Pema Pera: but even much more than that
    Pema Pera: images fail here . . . .
    Dakini Rhode: well we can see it
    Pema Pera: the warmth in anything that occurs
    Pema Pera: yes, Dakini?
    Dakini Rhode: and when i asked the question about what can we do to make our self prone to seeing….
    Dakini Rhode: i truly do think there is something we can do
    Dakini Rhode: doing nothing is not the answer
    Pema Pera: absolutely!
    Dakini Rhode: grasping is also not the answer
    Pema Pera: we can step out of the way, as Fael said the other day
    Pema Pera: (but that’s only approximately true, a good start)
    Pema Pera: (but we can get stuck in that attempt too)
    Dakini Rhode: perhaps seeing a glimpse of being is like an accident…
    Dakini Rhode: but we can do things to become accident prone
    Pema Pera: haha, yes!!!
    stevenaia Michinaga: lol
    Pema Pera: very nice :_)
    Pema Pera: Play as Accident Prone children — PaP

    Play as Being as Accident Prone Anonymous?

    Dakini Rhode: the particular time i say the interconnectedness of myself and someone who was acting toward me with anger…
    Dakini Rhode: in such a way that i felt the greatest compassion for that person
    Dakini Rhode: in fact it brought tears to my eyes
    Dakini Rhode: it was after a weekend of practicing tong len
    Dakini Rhode: a tibetan buddhist practice
    Dakini Rhode: the connection wasn’t direct
    Dakini Rhode: i didn’t have the experience when i was practicing tong len
    Dakini Rhode: it was after
    Dakini Rhode: during my normal daily life
    Dakini Rhode: but i connected that to the practice
    Dakini Rhode: similarly, i think what we do PaBing or whatever transformative practice we do…
    Dakini Rhode: can make us “accident” prone
    Sylectra Darwin: yes
    Pema Pera: yes
    Sky Szimmer: I have found that taking apart the self has been a useful practice for me
    Sky Szimmer: and fully appreciating and accepting every part of the self as part of the practice
    Pema Pera: It is a bit like being presented with the choice Democrat or Republican — or any binary choice. You wonder about a third way. Here, too, grasping doesn’t work and ignoring doesn’t work. What is the third way? Whatever it is, it seems to need continuity. And that’s what PaB provides, leaving the precise choice of third way to all of us open
    Sylectra Darwin: I’m sorry but I must go - please excuse me
    Pema Pera: bye Syl!
    Sylectra Darwin: thank you all
    Pema Pera: yes, Sky, that’s essential
    Pia Iger: night, Syl
    Sylectra Darwin: take care

    Syl took off, and Dakini and I found ourselves in a friendly PaB ping pong :-)

    Pema Pera: appreciation rather than denial or suppression
    Dakini Rhode: yes
    Pema Pera: reaching for one thing implies denying or suppressing something else
    Pema Pera: the third way doesn’t do that
    Pema Pera: appreciation is core in any third way
    Pema Pera: love, compassion, all that
    stevenaia Michinaga: and acceptance
    Pema Pera: yes, to oneself and others equally
    Pema Pera: no false pride no false shame
    Dakini Rhode: all we really need to do…
    Dakini Rhode: is see that shame pride and the situations that cause them to arise
    Dakini Rhode: are not ultimately real
    Dakini Rhode: and release them
    Dakini Rhode: (sounds easy)
    Pema Pera: yes, seeing that
    Dakini Rhode: it is easy actually
    Pema Pera: true seeing implies release
    Pema Pera: yes!
    Pema Pera: that’s the joke
    Dakini Rhode: it’s like a snowball rolling downhill
    Dakini Rhode: once you see how easy it is it gets more easy
    Dakini Rhode: it becomes a natural reaction
    Pema Pera: yes, exponential growth :)
    Pema Pera: Fael even build a graph here for that!
    Sky Szimmer: it does sound easy but not easy to do at all. so much brain washing is in place and so many things we regard as part of self
    Dakini Rhode: oh yes the math angle
    Dakini Rhode: yes but those things are not ultimately real
    Pema Pera: yes, Sky, but saying that makes it more difficult . . . .
    Pema Pera: on one level you are right
    Pema Pera: but on a deeper level you are wrong . . . .
    Pema Pera: ;)
    Pema Pera: both
    Dakini Rhode: and too, to say they are not ultimately real
    Pema Pera: you have a choice
    Dakini Rhode: could be wrong in a way
    Pema Pera: yes
    Dakini Rhode: if it seems like denial
    Pema Pera: anything we say can be misinterpreted
    Dakini Rhode: or seems like nihilism
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: we talk like brother and sister, Dak :)
    Pema Pera: hehe
    Dakini Rhode: right
    Dakini Rhode: lol Pema

    Sky brought up a very practical concern.

    Sky Szimmer: yes. of course we can say it is all a dream and it is but sometimes, that doesn’t make it easier to deal with what is thrown in your face
    Pema Pera: it depends
    Pema Pera: IF we can take the problem at a high level, great!
    Pema Pera: If not, you deal with it on a lower level
    Sky Szimmer: sometimes, it maybe too high to reach
    Pema Pera: it is good to have a toolbox
    Pema Pera: an arsenal
    Sky Szimmer: sometimes, it may be necessary to take it down a notch
    Sky Szimmer: but that maybe just me
    Pema Pera: my experience, personally, is that I used to find myself switching levels, so to speak, once a week or so
    Pema Pera: then once a day
    Pema Pera: then once an hour
    Pema Pera: then once a minute
    Dakini Rhode: I think you’re right Sky
    Pema Pera: and now typically once a second or so
    Pema Pera: same idea
    Dakini Rhode: people don’t actually skip levels of maturation
    Pema Pera: just becomes more easy and flexible
    Dakini Rhode: i think i’m just getting old….
    Dakini Rhode: haha
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Dakini Rhode: i just seem to hold a lot of things more lightly than i did
    Sky Szimmer: I have found the website pathwaytohappiness.com useful. it is about seeing what the self is up to and what archetypes we have conjured up to deal with life
    Pema Pera: problem is: everyone can do this, really, and maturity is not necessarily, really — yet maturity makes it easier . . . so both are true
    Dakini Rhode: well the practice of letting go of thoughts…
    Dakini Rhode: is key
    Sky Szimmer: all techniques are just tools ultimately but the more we see what the self is up to, the more we can just be
    Pema Pera: yes
    Sky Szimmer: anymore, just wanted to throw that out there.
    Dakini Rhode: thank you, sky

    I threw out another mathematical metaphor, of coordinate systems, and Dakini seemed to take it literally, levitating again to a higher level.

    Pema Pera: so all the contradictory things we say here are all true . . . but like in different coordinate systems, lke on a map of the Earth
    Pema Pera: we have to know which coordinate frame we are using
    Pema Pera: and we switch all the time.
    Dakini Rhode: i can relate to that…
    Pema Pera: One moment we feel angry and we are caught in anger
    Dakini Rhode: lol i just switched
    Pema Pera: and the next moment we can laugh about it
    Pema Pera: yes, Dakini took the example very serious!!!
    Pema Pera: at first we are angry for a day
    Pema Pera: then the next day we wake up and laugh — or perhaps it takes a week or month
    Pema Pera: then perhaps an hour or a minute
    Pema Pera: and we can learn to dance with coordinate frames
    Pema Pera: switching a few times a second
    Pema Pera: How is that for you, Steve
    Pema Pera: Do you feel ALWAYS happy
    stevenaia Michinaga: thinking
    Pema Pera: and undisturbed?
    Pema Pera: or is there quick adjustment
    Pema Pera: like bicycling
    Pema Pera: falling this way and that but correcting?
    stevenaia Michinaga: actually, on that point, the more emotion that;s brought to bear on a situation, being usually less productive, the more ammusing things appear to me
    Dakini Rhode: oh that reminds me of my son….
    Dakini Rhode: lol
    Dakini Rhode: he could not keep a straight face if i were to get angry
    Pema Pera: even when you would be tortured, you think, Steve?
    Pema Pera: lol, Dakini!
    stevenaia Michinaga: like rowing upstream rather than letting the currents take you
    Dakini Rhode: he would try really hard, too
    stevenaia Michinaga: I’ll let you know, Pema
    stevenaia Michinaga: like laughing yourself out of a bad situation
    stevenaia Michinaga: a change of perspective results
    stevenaia Michinaga: my child tortures me daily, I have compation for him and myself, we both move on
    Dakini Rhode: lol steve
    Pema Pera: yes, if you can do that, great — question is what if you can’t — I wouldn’t know the answer for myself . . .
    Pema Pera: . . . I would know where to look though
    stevenaia Michinaga: if you can;t, then you cannot change , until you do you cannot be happy or forgive or accept
    Sky Szimmer: that it is a really really bad dream and it’s all ok.
    Dakini Rhode: those people who felt compassion for their tormentors… were very realized beings… and even in the Jewish concentration camps this happened
    Pema Pera: yes, Sky
    Pema Pera: And if I may . . .

    This reminded me of a book I had read that had made a profound impression on me.

    Pema Pera: about concentration camps
    Pema Pera: there is the example of Jean Am�,Ai�(Bry
    Pema Pera: has anybody read his book?
    stevenaia Michinaga: no
    Pema Pera: Jewish, born in Austria
    Pema Pera: wound up in a Nazi camp, survived
    Pema Pera: He described how he tried to talk with a famous philosopher
    Pema Pera: who was also in the same camp
    Pema Pera: he risked his life at night sneaking to the other barrack
    Pema Pera: where the philsopher was
    Pema Pera: at the risk of his life
    Pema Pera: asking the philosopher: what does this all mean
    Pema Pera: the philosopher said something like: don’t bother me, nothing of what I have taught is of any use here
    Pema Pera: but then Jean added
    Dakini Rhode: ah yes but Jean had the right question
    Pema Pera: that there were two groups of people that could handle the situation
    Pema Pera: not the intellectuals to which he belonged
    Pema Pera: but the Christians and the Communists could — at least some of them
    Pema Pera: because they saw the situation from a different level
    Pema Pera: the struggle of the proletariat
    Pema Pera: and grace
    Pema Pera: in both cases beyond the small self
    Pema Pera: and he was amazed and it was like a koan for him
    Pema Pera: couldn’t buy into either
    Pema Pera: yet saw that his own reasonable attitude was bankrupt
    Pema Pera: Yes, Dakini he had the right question
    Pema Pera: but sadly did not see the answer . . . .
    Pema Pera: became bitter
    Dakini Rhode: i think if you can stay with the question….
    Dakini Rhode: which must have been incredibly difficult btw
    Pema Pera: he committed suicide in the end in 1978
    Dakini Rhode: that is hard
    Pema Pera: of course, yes
    Pema Pera: but sad since he came so close . . .
    Dakini Rhode: b/c i want to think life can provide the answer
    Dakini Rhode: if you look
    Dakini Rhode: question and look

    We were back to seeing! But by now the session had gone on for more than an hour and a half, two and a half when adding the zen sitting and the Hikari tour, and we started to leave.

    Sky Szimmer: thanks everyone. got to run.
    Dakini Rhode: by Sky
    Pema Pera: bye Sky
    stevenaia Michinaga: nice meeting you Sky
    Pema Pera: and yes, I have to too :)
    Dakini Rhode: and yes i have to too
    Dakini Rhode: great chat!
    Pema Pera: 2 x to too
    stevenaia Michinaga: thanks for the evening
    Pema Pera: yes, wonderful
    Pema Pera: thank you all so much!
    Pema Pera: It’s so amazing how much we can learn from each other
    Pema Pera: every day here
    Pema Pera: bye Steve, Pia, Dakini!
    Dakini Rhode: really amazing, considering the limitations of chat
    Pia Iger: bye, all.
    Dakini Rhode: bye
    Pema Pera: yes, or because of?
    Pema Pera: hard to say
    Dakini Rhode: one of those questions…
    Pema Pera: probably both :)
    Pema Pera: in some way
    Dakini Rhode: :)
    Dakini Rhode: well you do get time to think…
    Dakini Rhode: with all the delays
    Pema Pera: peaceful
    Pema Pera: invitation to being pithy
    Dakini Rhode: :)
    Pema Pera: funny thing is, don’t like sound bites, love haikus — now what’s the difference?
    Pema Pera: that was a sound bit :)
    Pema Pera: *bite
    Dakini Rhode: i’ll bite
    Dakini Rhode: what’s the difference?
    Pema Pera: difference between sound bites (considered bad) and haikus (considered good)
    Dakini Rhode: (by Pema)
    Pema Pera: ( :) )
    Dakini Rhode: ;p;
    Dakini Rhode: oops typing in the dar
    Pema Pera: ?
    Pema Pera: ;p; looks like having a cold
    stevenaia Michinaga: night
    Pema Pera: dripping from eyes and nose
    Dakini Rhode: lol
    Dakini Rhode: it was supposed to be lol
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Pema Pera: saying goodbye in SL can take a while . . . .
    Pema Pera: okay, . . . goodbye!
    Dakini Rhode: night

    Dakini would later send me the following few lines, ending the session:

    Pema Pera is Offline
    Dakini Rhode: that is going to be one loooong blog
    Pia Iger: yes. I am glad I am here, don’t have to read it from scratch.

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