2008.06.28 19:00 - Baby Blue Volkswagen Beetle

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    Stim was the guardian, that evening. He sent me the following log, with his comments.

    Stim Morane: Hi Gambhira
    Gambhira Skytower: hi Stim
    Stim Morane: Have you attended any of these Play as Being meetings before?
    Gambhira Skytower: yes
    Stim Morane: Good
    Pema Pera is Online
    Stim Morane: Hi Prosper
    Prosper Telling: Hi
    Gambhira Skytower: hi Prosper
    Prosper Telling: Hi
    Stim Morane: Prosper, have you attended these Play as Being meetings before?
    Gambhira Skytower: hi Pema
    Pema Pera: Greetings!
    Stim Morane: Hi Pema
    Pema Pera: Hi Gam, Pros, Stim!
    Prosper Telling: Second one actually
    Stim Morane: OK, good.
    Stim Morane: I see Pia strolling in too … Hi Pia
    Pema Pera: Hi Pia!
    Pia Iger: Hi, Everyone,
    Pia Iger: Prosper, I am glad you come again.
    Stim Morane: So what would you all like to discuss today?
    Prosper Telling: Glad to be back
    Pema Pera: Good having you here again, Prosper!
    Stim Morane: Gambhira and Prosper … do you have anything you’d like to say or discuss?
    Gambhira Skytower: hmmm
    Gambhira Skytower: just a suggestion - can we talk about the meaning of playing as being
    Stim Morane: Hopefully Pema will address that question, since it’s his idea …
    Pema Pera: I’d love to :)

    So this was the session’s first theme. The second proposal followed immediately.

    Gambhira Skytower: Pema, can we be without owning do you think?
    Pema Pera: it depends on who “we” is Gambhira
    Pema Pera: Gam, as long as we identify with the kind of person we think we are
    Pema Pera: then we cannot be without owning
    Pema Pera: what we normally identify with, is totally identified in terms of owning
    Pema Pera: can’t exist without
    Pema Pera: but in fact, when we really look closely
    Pema Pera: there is no such person
    Pema Pera: and then the we who we really are
    Pema Pera: can relax and drop all this attempts at ownership
    Pema Pera: and THEN everything can be fully appreciated
    Pema Pera: in a way that is way above ownership ;-)
    Pema Pera: Stim, does all this make sense, or do you want to add something?

    Interspersed with the above, we also briefly mentioned Martin Heidegger’s background and thought, but didn’t really run with that thread.

    Stim Morane: I’m more comfortable with the “ownership” topic, since I don’t really have enough expertise re Heidegger to say for certain what he understood.
    Gambhira Skytower: Pema you said when we look closely we see there is no such person, how do you look to see this?
    Pema Pera: How to see this, Gambhira, is the goal of many of the most profound approaches to practice in many different spiritual approaches
    Gambhira Skytower: do you have some approach that has worked for you? is this the purpose of playing as being?
    Pema Pera: we here try the Play as Being approach, and you could say that the goal of PaB, in so far as there is a goal, is to drop what we have to see what we really are
    Pema Pera: yes, it is, and yes, I’ve tried many approaches

    Dakini arrived. Shortly thereafter, Alex also joined us. We then continued on the theme of ownership and the nature of the PaB approach.

    Pema Pera: Hi Dakini!
    Pema Pera: And I’ve realized that none of the approaches I’ve tried really seems to fit the modern world very well
    Dakini Rhode: hi :-)
    Stim Morane: Hi Dakini!
    Prosper Telling: Hi Dakini
    Dakini Rhode: hi Stim, Pema, Pia, Gambhira, and Prosper!
    Gambhira Skytower: hi Dakini
    Pia Iger: Hi Dakini
    Pema Pera: So my own meandering path has been to try this and that, and finally little by little over almost 40 years, I have started to see at least some of what all these paths are pointing to
    Pema Pera: So then I saw myself faced with a dilemma
    Pema Pera: In other to distill what I had learned in a clumsy and roundabout way
    Pema Pera: I had two options
    Pema Pera: One was to repackage the message of the past in a new way
    Pema Pera: as a new system
    Pema Pera: The other was to repackage only a very general method
    Pema Pera: without any specific formulation
    Pema Pera: not even a method
    Pema Pera: more an openness, I should say
    Pema Pera: an attitude
    Pema Pera: and most importantly a sense of continuity and integration
    Pema Pera: So that is what gave birth to Play as Being
    Pema Pera: not a system
    Pema Pera: not even a method
    Pema Pera: but a way to help integrate whatever comes up
    Pema Pera: when you start integrating — either another practice you are already doing or perhaps nothing at all;
    Pema Pera: reality will find you if you start integrating
    Pema Pera: no doubt about that :-)
    Pia Iger: and I can say that most of us has seen some results..
    Pia Iger: at least more awareness, or mindfulness.
    Pema Pera: yes, that has been stunning!!
    Pema Pera: Hi Alex!
    Pema Pera: come join us
    Stim Morane: Hi Alex
    Prosper Telling: So would you say that we should not own the outcome? That the goal of Play as Being is play as being, the goal of any practice should be the practice,,, no attachment, no clinging
    Pema Pera: yes, very much so, I agree
    Pema Pera: but that can be taken in too stiff and tight a way too, like any formulation . . . .
    Pema Pera: . . . I have seen many zen practitioners in the US just sitting sitting sitting
    Pema Pera: and afraid to question anything about it, and then it became a rut
    Pema Pera: it is always a question of balance, the middle way . . . .
    Prosper Telling: Thank you… I’ve noticed myself it is a fine line between being present in the moment and being stuck in it.
    Stim Morane: well said
    Pia Iger: interesting.
    Pema Pera: like falling in love with a person — you don’t want to fall in the trap of owning the other, but that doesn’t mean that you have to become more distance and cold, on the contrary, without owning you can actually express your love better, without it being tainted with other agendas
    Stim Morane: So Pema, you are conducting most of these “play is being” sessions each week. Is what you’ve said here what you typically say when people asked what PaB is about?
    Pema Pera: each time I say something completely different, it seems :-)
    Pema Pera: I am not trying to say anything . . . but when put on the spot, I open my mouth and let come out what wants to come out :-)
    Pema Pera: I am often happy to hear what comes out, like in a dream, when you are continuously surprised by what happens
    Pema Pera: even though according to our normal interpretation it is supposed to be our mind that is playing tricks on it
    Gambhira Skytower: would it be helpful for us to talk about the meaning of owning or having?

    Here we became more specific in considering “owning”. Interestingly, cars figured prominently in this investigation … a comment about possessive love affairs in modern life?

    Pema Pera: I prefer the Greek notion of muses whispering in my ears :-)
    Pema Pera: sure, please, Gam!
    Prosper Telling: :-)
    Stim Morane: Would you like to start, Gambhira?
    Gambhira Skytower: sure….
    Gambhira Skytower: i have found that owning means, at least sometimes, that something is “for me”
    Gambhira Skytower: maybe this is just stating the obvious though
    Gambhira Skytower: take my car for example…
    Gambhira Skytower: it is for me to use when i like, and not for other people to drive
    Gambhira Skytower: unless i give them permission
    Gambhira Skytower: and the key!
    Pia Iger: so Having is different to you, Gamb?
    Gambhira Skytower: no, i think i use the words having and owning interchangeably
    Pia Iger: Ok. just want to make sure.
    Prosper Telling: The objects you own then are subject to your will then?
    Gambhira Skytower: material objects moreso than people
    Gambhira Skytower: in so far as you can “own” a person
    Prosper Telling: I think the car is a good example… My first car was a baby blue, extra long 1970 Volkswagen Beetle
    Prosper Telling: Yes, there is an attachment there twenty years after the motor blew… my ownership was a matter of paper, smoke and mirrors. Time and impermance proved that.
    Pema Pera: If you had rented the car, in a long-term rental, you would not own the car, yet everything you said would apply, wouldn’t it? Perhaps for everything we think we own, one step toward looseing up “ownership” and its pitfalls would be to consider us having borrowed it, rather than owning it.
    Pema Pera: Nice example, Prosper :-)
    Gambhira Skytower: very interesting Pema!
    Dakini Rhode: i may have missed something, but what do we see as the pitfalls of ownership
    Prosper Telling: defenitely.
    Dakini Rhode: other than obviously maintenance on a car, etc.
    Prosper Telling: lol.
    Pema Pera: when asked about PaB, I mentioned dropping having and seeing what we are — we are using ownership here as having
    Gambhira Skytower: Prospers example for example Dakini
    Dakini Rhode: attachment to the baby blue volkswagen?
    Dakini Rhode: that seems like a happy memory to me, not sure why that’s problematic
    Prosper Telling: IMHO ownership isn’t bad if we can still let go but it is easy to became paralyzed by own losses if we forget that everything we love will eventually become a memory.
    Dakini Rhode: (i had a blue firebird 400)
    Prosper Telling: We all remember them! Lol
    Pema Pera remembers his motorcycles . . . .
    Gambhira Skytower: say the firebird was totaled the day after you got it…
    Gambhira Skytower: would it cause you grief?
    Pema Pera: full circle!
    Pema Pera: we started with griefers
    Pema Pera: ;)
    Dakini Rhode: speaking from experience, it may have caused some degree of suffering had that happened
    Dakini Rhode: but when i did sell that car, i was happy to sell it
    Dakini Rhode: (gas crisis)
    Pema Pera: Alas, I have to be on my way, out to brunch here in Kyoto . . . I look forward to reading the rest of the conversation on the log, after Stim sends it to me. Really enjoyed our chat! Wish I could stay
    Prosper Telling: Sounds like you managed not to cling too much.
    Stim Morane: Oh, sorry you have to go.
    Pia Iger: :)
    Prosper Telling: Namaste
    Stim Morane: Bye!
    Dakini Rhode: enjoy brunch, Pema
    Gambhira Skytower: goodbye Pema!
    Pema Pera: looking forward to seeing you all soon again!
    Pema Pera: by the way
    Pema Pera: Sunday morning, in half a day, we have a guardians’ meeting
    Dakini Rhode: clinging to things… may not be that relevant to me

    I saw Dakini’s comment as echoing my own perspective on this discussion, but didn’t say so until several minutes later in what ensued.

    Gambhira Skytower: so with having there is a danger or possibility of grief, but not necessarily so
    Pema Pera: to which you are both more than welcome to, Gam and Pros
    Pema Pera: Stim, Pia and Dakini can tell you all about it :)
    Pema Pera: c u !
    Pia Iger: bye, pema
    Dakini Rhode: bye
    Pema Pera is Offline
    Pia Iger: I can’t understand easily about stuffs,
    Pia Iger: but for intangible values, it is hard to let go, like family members.
    Pia Iger: correction: I can understand, at above
    Prosper Telling: I was hoping to go there myself.
    Dakini Rhode: i agree, Pia
    Stim Morane: Dakini, please elaborate your last comment about “things”
    Dakini Rhode: I think we were speaking about possessions, like cars -
    Stim Morane: yes, of course
    Stim Morane: would you like to say more …?
    Prosper Telling: It seems to me we “own” our loved ones when we expect them to be this or that.
    Dakini Rhode: i don’t think the gain or loss of mere material things affects me that much… unless maybe i lose my glasses or something i rely on
    Dakini Rhode: that would be a bit inconvenient :P
    Stim Morane: These expectations can be very subtle … ingrained in the very way we refer to “others”
    Dakini Rhode: i guess i don’t tend to define myself in terms of what i “have”
    Stim Morane: Yes.
    Dakini Rhode: although the closer to what i consider “me” i get, the more subtle it may be
    Prosper Telling: Old sou, youl… I’m just working on relinquishing this choke hold on my toys
    Gambhira Skytower: do you think we “expect” our loved ones to not die?
    Dakini Rhode: no…
    Dakini Rhode: everyone dies
    Prosper Telling: Oh yeah and otherwise be unchanging
    Dakini Rhode: oh yes unchanging that’s a good one Prosper

    At this point, I went ahead with my view of Dakini’s earlier comment.

    Stim Morane: Casually or heedlessly owning the moment is very different from appreciating and truly joining into Being.
    Stim Morane: It’s not so much owning things (objects) that is the issue here, it’s a whole approach to life and the value of life that tends to get distorted by an unconsciously held ownership model.
    Prosper Telling: excellent point
    Dakini Rhode: thanks for clarifying that, Stim
    Stim Morane: It’s actually quite difficult to see what is most problematical about “owning”. And there are different types of “owning”, some of which are fine.
    Stim Morane: So the issue is tricky.
    Stim Morane: On the other hand, it’s important to stay with what we see, at each step along the way. So I would simply emphasize looking into this area of our existence.
    Gambhira Skytower: I liked Dakini’s question, “what are the pitfalls of ownership”… do you think this is an important question?
    Stim Morane: Yes, I see this as a similar injunction to “see” what we can.
    Stim Morane: My point is, it’s more important to practice seeing than to simply give a verbal answer to this sort of question.
    Gambhira Skytower: can you explain the difference please?
    Stim Morane: When we discuss something, we can bypass “seeing” what is really going on in our own minds.
    Stim Morane: This is possible even though we think we are very clear about what is being said.
    Prosper Telling: We begin dealing with the concepts brought up rather than the actual topic?
    Stim Morane: Yes, exactly. This happens on many levels.
    Dakini Rhode: how is this related to an “ownership model”
    Stim Morane: “We” are just another concept, to a considerable extent.
    Stim Morane: We have appropriated reality and turned it into some familiar token
    Stim Morane: that’s a kind of unconscious ownership
    Stim Morane: and the most pernicious.
    Stim Morane: We cannot own Being. We need to see enough to let it own us, or Host us.
    Stim Morane: Get out of the way …
    Stim Morane: It does in fact Host us, our existence. By clinging to our views, we occlude this fact, deprive ourselves of something fulfilling by the very way we seek fulfillment.
    Stim Morane: Anyway, a common point …
    Prosper Telling: WE must approach Life on her own terms
    Stim Morane: yes
    Pia Iger: In a way, I observe babies do better than us in this area.
    Pia Iger: they are more natural,
    Stim Morane: They are certainly used as a traditional metaphor for naturalness
    Stim Morane: we ourselves encompass both naturalness and perverse counter-trends.
    Stim Morane: Are you off, Prosper?
    Prosper Telling: I must be off. Family calls.
    Stim Morane: OK, thanks for joining us!
    Pia Iger: C U, prosper.
    Gambhira Skytower: bye Prosper

    I didn’t want to totally drop some other points raised at the beginning of the discussion, so I next asked Dakini a question.

    Stim Morane: Dakini, what do you think about “having a method” vs “leaving things more open”? This re the diff between your Zen Retreat in SL and Pema’s PaB approach.
    Dakini Rhode: oh good question Stim
    Dakini Rhode: i have some questions about leaving the approach entirely open…
    Stim Morane: Sorry to put you on the spot, but I’d appreciate your views on this …
    Stim Morane: Yes
    Dakini Rhode: but i must explain there is no particular method associated with sitting at the zen retreat
    Dakini Rhode: in fact, my teacher is tibetan, not zen
    Stim Morane: Yes, I recall that.
    Stim Morane: It was more the general issue of a possible contrast that I was inviting discussion on.
    Dakini Rhode: yes, i little bit of a story there about why it’s called the zen retreat
    Stim Morane: Does PaB seem sufficiently focused to you?
    Stim Morane: good
    Dakini Rhode: i feel often confused about PaB
    Dakini Rhode: however i do something, and i call that PaB
    Dakini Rhode: but i could as easily call it mahamudra
    Stim Morane: Mahamudra is a very specific and advanced contemplative Way.
    Dakini Rhode: ok
    Stim Morane: Do you think PaB is necessarily something comparable?

    My question was really “does it need to be something comparable?”, i.e., comparably advanced in that particular way, in order to serve us in this context. However, we could feel the clock ticking at this point, and didn’t find a quick way to do justice to the topic. It was naïve of me to have introduced it at this point.

    Dakini Rhode: well i’ve been wondering, too… since the PaB was introduced
    Stim Morane: it’s good to be open, but I want to make sure we’re also being responsive to peoples’ questions.
    Stim Morane: Anyway, a big subject, and not much time left, so perhaps we can revisit this.
    Stim Morane: Pia, you applied the “ownership” question to the case of other people. That’s another good topic.
    Stim Morane: I hope we can return to that too.
    Pia Iger: thanks. about PaB, just want to give my 2 cents
    Pia Iger: 9-sec is certainly easy for people like me to pick up
    Pia Iger: and the SL community is uncomparable
    Pia Iger: very powerful support.
    Stim Morane: Good
    Pia Iger: I look forward to talking with you more.
    Stim Morane: Great. Well, if some of you would like to stay on, please do so. I need to go at this point.
    Pia Iger: night, Stim
    Gambhira Skytower: i’m gonna go too, gnite everybody
    Dakini Rhode: so am i folks, late here
    Stim Morane: Bye Pia, Gambhira, Dakini, …

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