2008.06.30 07:00 - Purity, Magic and Beyonf

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    That morning, I met Prosper and Adams when I walked up to the pavilion.

    Prosper Telling: : )
    Adams Rubble: Hi Pema :)
    Pema Pera: Hi Adams, hi Prosper!
    Prosper Telling: Hi
    Pema Pera: Early morning for both of you?
    Pema Pera: Or not so early?
    Adams Rubble: Not so early :)
    Prosper Telling: The latter… 9 AM here… still clinging to my coffee for dear life
    Pema Pera: I had a coffee too . . .
    Pema Pera: … after a beer after my meal . . .
    Pema Pera: it’s 11 pm here in Tokyo
    Pema Pera: and at midnight I’ll have an astronomy meeting in SL
    Prosper Telling: Time is so utterly surreal in SL
    Pema Pera: these time zones are really inconvenient
    Adams Rubble: Yes, very much for you
    Pema Pera: interesting over-beer conversation though, with some OpenSim developers
    Pema Pera: funny how SL and RL intertwine sometimes
    Prosper Telling: Where are you again?
    Pema Pera: I met them in SL and then we realized we were both in Tokyo in RL
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Pema Pera: My RL is all over the place: I still carry a Dutch passport, I live in New York City, work in Princeton but spend half the time in Europe, California and Japan
    Pema Pera: and half the time in Princeton

    We talked about Puerto Rico . . .

    Prosper Telling: I spend most of mine in Alabama with occassional junkets to Puerto Rico
    Prosper Telling: Our paths only cross here
    Pema Pera: perhaps they’ll cross in Puerto Rice some day — the world’s largest radiotelescope is located there
    Pema Pera: Arecibo
    Pema Pera: have you visited it?
    Pema Pera: a whole valley transformed into a giant radio dish
    Prosper Telling: Yup… Nice area too.
    Pema Pera: a 1000 feet across
    Prosper Telling: The Camuy Caves are also nearby.
    Adams Rubble: I didn’t know it was that big. Wow!
    Pema Pera: If you saw the movie Contact some ten years ago
    Prosper Telling: It’s huge.
    Pema Pera: you have seen the telescope at the start of the movie
    Adams Rubble: I missed that :)
    Pema Pera: I haven’t visited the place, but may very well, some day
    Prosper Telling: It’s well worth a visit. We were there in January.
    Pema Pera: It’s just a matter of finding the time . . . so many places I’d love to visit :)

    . . . and about being there.

    Prosper Telling: But no matter where you are you are there,
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Pema Pera: :-) yes
    Prosper Telling: (in theory at least)
    Adams Rubble: I was looking at the sun rising from my front porch yesterday and everything looked different–like I was seeing it for the first time
    Prosper Telling: nice
    Pema Pera: that’s another there :)
    Pema Pera: seeing a world in a grain of sand — perhaps like that?
    Adams Rubble: I some way…
    Adams Rubble: I thiknk sometimes we forget to look until we go away
    Pema Pera: yes
    Prosper Telling: We live in an old, drafty house that we have to really shut up for our brief but soemtimes cold winters… the place is dark, cold in more places than not and I’m left wondering why we live here.
    Prosper Telling: The nin then…
    Pema Pera: nin?
    Prosper Telling: In the Spring I then see the sun rise for the first time after the winter and I understand why.
    Prosper Telling: (Letters got missed placed)
    Pema Pera: yes, there is something very nice about living in a house that is not so fully isolated from the elements that you forget the weather inside . . . .
    Adams Rubble: although sometimes winter reminds us all too well :)
    Pema Pera: certainly if there is a snow storm!
    Prosper Telling: And less hubris too I think… we expect to impacted by the seasons… We seldom see a half of inch of white stuff here.
    Pema Pera: so the suprise is then larger :)
    Pema Pera: *r
    Adams Rubble: :)

    I refered to an email I had sent Adams just a bit earlier.

    Pema Pera: Adams, I sent an email about three different approaches
    Pema Pera: did that make some sense?
    Adams Rubble: Yes, I received it, thank you very much
    Pema Pera: did that respond to some of your concerns?
    Adams Rubble: Yes it did and it is helpful to have it before I take a few days off
    Adams Rubble: I am pleased that we have reached the point where we are talking about tools :)
    Pema Pera: I love cool tools :)
    Adams Rubble: When I learned about Buddhism through art….
    Adams Rubble: I was toldd at the time that I would not understand Tantric Buddhism :)
    Adams Rubble: It is interesting that there is a harder version of the Path (not Buddhism)
    Adams Rubble: and I am eager to try to understand it
    Pema Pera: hahaha, Prosper, let me summarize briefly what I wrote to Adams
    Adams Rubble: but obviously the first one is the one I should try to understand now
    Pema Pera: I mentioned three approaches: renunciation, transformation, and “as it is”
    Pema Pera: That’s the short of it
    Pema Pera: The long of it is, well, quite a bit longer :>)
    Prosper Telling: Sounds interesting
    Pema Pera: Understanding tantra, from outside the tradition may be a bit like trying to understand the role of automobiles in America, if you come from a country without cars or at least without the American love for cars . . . .
    Pema Pera: explaining them as a way to go from A to B doesn’t quite capture it :)
    Prosper Telling: Good analogy
    Adams Rubble likes that analogy
    Pema Pera: When I saw Jurassic Park, way back when . . .
    Pema Pera: . . . with a CAR CHASE in between the dinosaurs
    Pema Pera: I finally understood the central place of cars
    Pema Pera: in American culture . . . .
    Adams Rubble: hehe

    First Adams asked a question . . .

    Adams Rubble: I have a question
    Pema Pera: sure!
    Adams Rubble: Understanding the identifications (or thigs in the way)
    Adams Rubble: Is that something I should be thinking of taking stock of
    Pema Pera: ((I have many questions too, by the way :) )
    Adams Rubble: or is this soemthing that I might better expect to happen over time
    Adams Rubble: or is it different for everybody?
    Pema Pera: oh, I think that trying to notice identifications is a great thing to do, for anyone anytime
    Pema Pera: or in short “look at what you think you are”
    Pema Pera: and then try to sort out which of that is “what you have” and which of that is “what you really are”
    Pema Pera: this is my minimal description of what to do in the 9 seconds of PaB
    Pema Pera: if you like to have a description — not necessary for sure
    Pema Pera: so that is all about interpreting identification — but that sounds too complex
    Adams Rubble is thinking this is a little like putting ones inventory in order
    Pema Pera: is what I think I am perhaps something I have — that is a plain language question, no philosophy, just no nonsense questioning
    Pema Pera: yes, nice analogy Adams
    Adams Rubble: It seems a useful question to work with
    Pema Pera remembers how unkempt his inventory is . . . .
    Pema Pera: I am angry . . . really? Or perhaps you have anger? Or anger has you? Is there really an “is” there . . . ?
    Pema Pera: and so on
    Pema Pera: I am scared, fearful . . . really???
    Pema Pera: probably not
    Prosper Telling: Sounds like some of the Celtic languages I’ve looked at. You basically say “I have a happy” instead of “I am happy”.
    Pema Pera: yes, much more accurate, I think
    Pema Pera: and then we come back to ownership, what we talked about the other day
    Pema Pera: perhaps we don’t own the happy, but rent it, or borrow it or . . . .
    Prosper Telling: really big circle
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Pema Pera loves circles (^_^)
    Prosper Telling: pass through it maybe?
    Pema Pera: yeah, sure!

    . . . and then I asked a question.

    Pema Pera: Well, let me ask a question too
    Pema Pera: One of my questions, which I often ask myself, is:
    Pema Pera: I know that the “as it is” path is not difficult . . . . . so why do I not follow it more whole heartedly?
    Pema Pera: BIG question
    Pema Pera: work with it every day, a kind of koan
    Prosper Telling: We all have histories, karma if you like and with that comes affinities for different approaches.
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: from our usual perspective, yes
    Pema Pera: but from an “unusual” perspective, no :-)
    Adams Rubble: I am sightly confused witht eh wording
    Adams Rubble: the
    Pema Pera: yes, Adams?
    Prosper Telling: Precisley
    Adams Rubble: It would seem the first opath would be the easiest (the avoidance)
    Adams Rubble: Isn’t the “as is” the third?
    Prosper Telling: Addiction is the problem with avoidance… we crave distraction I think like a meth addict craves fix.
    Pema Pera: yes, easiest in the sense of easy to get into, and easy to understand what to do and easy to know how to avoid pitfalls — still, it can be incredibly difficult to REALLY follow it every second of your waking life . . . .
    Adams Rubble: ah
    Pema Pera: so that was the first one
    Pema Pera: I commented on
    Pema Pera: Sorry, Prosper, let me finish the three paths thoughts first
    Pema Pera: so the second one, transformation is far more difficult in the sense of much more difficult to understnad what it is about, more difficult to avoid pittfalls more difficult to find the right teacher etc
    Pema Pera: and the third one is neither easy nor difficult
    Pema Pera: from the ordinary mind angle it is incredibly difficult, in fact inpossible
    Pema Pera: and from the other side of the telescope, from teh Being end, it is not difficult at all . . . .
    Pema Pera: Prosper, sorry, just wanted to complete that — yes, addiction is coupled with avoidance!
    Pema Pera: addiction is always addiction to the past

    At that point Caledonia dropped in.

    Caledonia Heron: Hola :)
    Pema Pera: we want to repeat the past
    Pema Pera: Hi Cal!
    Pema Pera: great seeing you here again!
    Adams Rubble: Hi Cal :)
    Caledonia Heron: :) sorry to be late
    Caledonia Heron: hi Adams :)
    Adams Rubble: So your question is a way to begin to understand what “as is” really is?
    Pema Pera: Ah!
    Pema Pera: Yes, Adams
    Pema Pera: I know that I cannot reach for it
    Pema Pera: reaching is impossible — unlike in the other two paths
    Pema Pera: but I also know that there is nothing to reach for
    Pema Pera: that it is all incredible simple .. . .
    Pema Pera: sorry, Cal, we are musing about three paths
    Caledonia Heron: yes, catching on :)
    Pema Pera: avoiding, transforming, and “as is”
    Pema Pera: purity, magic, beyond
    Pema Pera: different ways to point, roughly speaking
    Caledonia Heron: sorry to interrupt
    Pema Pera: oh no
    Pema Pera: not at all!

    One by one, we went through the revolving doors of SL crashes, first Prosper, then Caledonia.

    Pema Pera: Hi Prosper
    Adams Rubble: Welcome back
    Pema Pera: did you disappear or did my display malfunction?
    Prosper Telling: Antivirus locked me up
    Pema Pera: I see your name tag, but not your avatar :)
    Pema Pera: perhaps you are already “beyond”
    Pema Pera: “as is” :)
    Pema Pera: showing us how easy it all is !
    Prosper Telling: different cushon maybe
    Adams Rubble is thinking it depends on what the definition of is is
    Pema Pera: antiviral cushion?
    Prosper Telling: (the ones that make knees hurt)
    Pema Pera: it’s not so much a definition as a seeing
    Pema Pera: and an attempt to put in words what you see
    Adams Rubble: sorry, couldn’t help myself :)
    Pema Pera: now Cal succombed to the virus?
    Pema Pera: and is back again
    Pema Pera: magic at work :>) ??
    Pema Pera: lots of transformation here!
    Caledonia Heron: a spectacular crash with all the fireworks :)
    Prosper Telling: same here.
    Caledonia Heron: as I was saying….hi Prosper :)

    Whatever Cal was saying got lost in a `Romulan moment.’

    Prosper Telling: hi
    Pema Pera: Just curious: Cal and Adams, can you see Prosper?
    Adams Rubble: Yes I can
    Pema Pera: I only see his name and no avatar . . . cloaked!
    Caledonia Heron: yes, clearly
    Pema Pera: haha
    Pema Pera: I see the “clearly” printed clearly, yes
    Caledonia Heron: he’s a romulan :)
    Prosper Telling: Obfuscate!!! Sorry, LARP moment
    Pema Pera: ?
    Prosper Telling: nevermind
    Caledonia Heron: romulans cloak their starships….silly joke :)
    Pema Pera: that I got, Cal
    Pema Pera: but LARP?
    Caledonia Heron: gosh, I should go back to bed and get up again :)
    Pema Pera: ?
    Prosper Telling: Live action role play, geekdom to the nth degree I fear.
    Pema Pera: Ah!
    Caledonia Heron: a geek’s geek

    Prosper called us back to reality.

    Prosper Telling: You were mentioning three approaches when I crashed and burned
    Pema Pera: haha
    Caledonia Heron: me too
    Pema Pera: and then Cal came and went and came again
    Pema Pera: yes
    Pema Pera: I talked about purity, magic and something else
    Adams Rubble: beyond
    Pema Pera: another way to say it, yes
    Pema Pera: “else”, “as is”, “beyond” . . . there is no good word for it
    Pema Pera: nothing as clearly pointing as “purity” or “magic”
    Pema Pera: “Being”
    Pema Pera: is what I prefer
    Prosper Telling: In the Perfect Enlightenment Sutra three approaches forms the basis for 25 practices
    Prosper Telling: A very inclusive little SUtra btw… I can see the same principal here
    Pema Pera: What are thr three approaches there, Prosper?
    Pema Pera: ((btw, I can see Prosper again, after going way up with camera few and then looking down — beyond did it, after all!))
    Prosper Telling: Samatha, Dhyana (Zen) and one whose name escapes me at the moment
    Prosper Telling: Actually the translate out as almost identical to the three you mentioned
    Pema Pera: interesting! I should have a look
    Pema Pera: do you mean the heart sutra?
    Pema Pera: one of the prajnaparamita sutras?
    Prosper Telling: You can find it online. Nope. This is anoher one. Caught on bigger in Korean Buddhism than elsewhere though.
    Prosper Telling: It is prajnaparmita. It takes the form of the Buddha having a dialogue with twelve bodhisattvas.
    Pema Pera: Yes, there are various prajnaparamita versions, the heart sutra being one of the shortest, and some being quite long

    Time to go . . .

    Pema Pera: Alas, I’ll have to leave in a minute . . .
    Pema Pera: off to an astro meeting in SL
    Prosper Telling: I must get to work in RL.
    Pema Pera: nice talking with y’all !
    Adams Rubble: I hope you all have a very good week :)
    Pema Pera: And Cal, I guess you come over to the astro meeting too, right?
    Prosper Telling: Thank you
    Adams Rubble: Yes, and thanks. BYE :)
    Pema Pera: I’m glad you keep coming back, Prosper :)
    Caledonia Heron: see you all soon :)
    Pema Pera: great having you here!
    Pema Pera: see you Adams!
    Prosper Telling: Y’all are an amazing bunch, what can I say
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Prosper Telling: later
    Pema Pera: you help making it more amazing :)

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