2008.07.05 19:00 - Sky of Awareness

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    That evening, when I walked over to the pavilion, I met Jonni, for the first time.

    Pema Pera: Hi Jonni!
    Pema Pera: Nice to meet you
    jonni Thor: namasta pema
    jonni Thor: good to met u too
    jonni Thor: tea ?
    Pema Pera: sure :)
    jonni Thor gave you green tea Bizen.
    green tea Bizen whispers: Thank you
    Pema Pera: ty!
    jonni Thor: yw
    Pema Pera: Have you been here before?
    jonni Thor: yeah its one of my regular places
    jonni Thor: sorry i gotta go my pager just went off
    Pema Pera: We get together here four times a day; background is on http://playasbeing.wordpress.com/
    Pema Pera: sure, take your time
    jonni Thor: sorry about that someone else is taking it so thats cool
    Pema Pera: np!
    jonni Thor: what happens when you get together here is it for meeting ? discussion ?
    Pema Pera: in RL we have a very simple short practice, 9 seconds every 15 minutes, so four times an hour
    Pema Pera: and four times a day we get together in SL to talk about it
    jonni Thor: meditation practice
    Pema Pera: sort-of yeah
    jonni Thor: sounds intersting
    Pema Pera: but could be seen more general too
    Pema Pera: normally, when people do meditation
    Pema Pera: they spend a few years getting really into it
    Pema Pera: hi Steve!
    Pema Pera: and then they face the challenge to integrate it into their lives
    Pema Pera: hi Stim!
    Stim Morane: Hi Pema!
    Pema Pera: Here we do it the other way around:

    Steve and Stim joined us.

    Stim Morane: Sorry I’m late, I’m in the midst of a medical emergency here.
    Pema Pera: we start with integration even before really getting deeply into what you could call meditation
    Pema Pera: oh, sorry to hear that Stim
    Pema Pera: I can take care of the session
    Stim Morane: I can’t stay, could you or Steven do the honors
    Pema Pera: no reason for you to stay
    Pema Pera: yes, will do
    jonni Thor: the goal of meditation is to bring about that awarenes sure ive been meditating for over 20years
    Stim Morane: OK, thanks, I have to get back to the phone.
    Pema Pera: good luck, Stim!
    stevenaia Michinaga: finally I arrived, hello
    Pema Pera: Hi again, Steve!
    jonni Thor: namaste
    Pema Pera: In your approach, Jonni, how do you go about integration into daily life of what you learn?
    Pema Pera: Steve, did I trigger the “classic look” with my email :) ?

    I was refering to an email exchange in which Steve had volunteered to be the subject of Syl’s movie about an avatar doing the 9-sec practice, upon which I had asked whether Steve would come in his classic yellow-with-suspenders look; indeed, for the first time since a while he now looked like his old self.

    jonni Thor: i suppose its mostly about focus about realising that all there is is that moment so bringing your awareness to that moment
    jonni Thor: be it washing the car
    stevenaia Michinaga: it was perfect, thank you
    jonni Thor: the dishes or at work
    Pema Pera: yes, indeed!
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Jonni
    Pema Pera: Hi Sky!
    jonni Thor: hi there stevenaia
    jonni Thor: namaste sky
    stevenaia Michinaga: scanning the log before I materialized, did you want me to sent it to you pema?
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Sky
    Pema Pera: Question is: how to be mindful of what you just described, moment by moment — I myself found that very difficult at first, frankly, I still find it difficult, seeing so many ways to improve, second by second . . . .
    Sky Szimmer: hi there everyone
    Pema Pera: Sorry, Steve, which log? today? Ah, no, I’ll take care of it, now that Stim is gone — thanks for the offer!
    stevenaia Michinaga: oh great
    Pema Pera: good to see you again, Sky!
    Sky Szimmer: likewise Pema!
    Pema Pera: On the one hand, I see that I have learned to become more and more mindful — but that implies too that I now see much more clearly how unmindful I often was and still am . . . the more I learn to more I see my imperfections and how much more I can learn . . .
    Pema Pera: so that pushed me to become more radical
    Pema Pera: to really focus on it throughout the whole day
    Pema Pera: relentlessly so
    Pema Pera: that was how the 9-sec practice was born
    Pema Pera: four times an hour
    Pema Pera: instead of just once or twice a days doing a sitting period
    Pema Pera: but the two can be combined
    Pema Pera: that would be the most powerful combination
    Pema Pera: longer sitting sessions with frequent short reminders
    jonni Thor: thats happes in many zen traditons
    Sky Szimmer: does it take moment by moment seeing?
    Pema Pera: that’s they ideal, yes, Sky
    Pema Pera: And yes, Jonni, the idea of zen too, for sure
    Pema Pera: or any deep practice

    Sky refered back to the previous session, with Avastu.

    Sky Szimmer: i hope it is ok with everyone but I like to ask a question or two more which stem from earlier this afternoon’s conversation withh Avastu
    stevenaia Michinaga: it was a wonderful session Sky
    Sky Szimmer: oh good. i got a bit worried that I may have dominated the conversation too much
    jonni Thor: i stayed in a zen monestry on retreat for like 3 months or so and thats tehr daily practice im not zen so was there as a guest buts they try ad bring their sits into dily wok ing life
    Sky Szimmer: my question relates to the tendency for me to feel like i deliberated something which action followed
    Sky Szimmer: then i feel like it is I who did something
    Sky Szimmer: which leads to the feeling on there is a solid self
    Pema Pera: yes, Jonni, that must have been a very powerful thing, 3 monhts! And then the challenge is to preserve and further cultivate that afterwards in daily life — not easy to follow up — but let’s switch to Sky for now — sorry Sky
    Sky Szimmer: oh no.. sorry Jonni.
    green tea Bizen whispers: Thank you
    Pema Pera: np Sky!
    Pema Pera: we can get back to the other strand later
    Pema Pera: so solid self sense?
    Sky Szimmer: anyhow, so it is easy to feel like I made a decision which leads to an action
    Sky Szimmer: although, in fact, there is no actor
    Sky Szimmer: can you clarify those thoughts a bit Pema
    Pema Pera: like a movie: it seems there is all kind of stuff there
    Pema Pera: but it’s only light
    Pema Pera: but not random light
    Pema Pera: still very meaningful
    Pema Pera: so we can have our cake and eat it
    Pema Pera: enjoy the meaning
    Pema Pera: but not bound by what happens
    Pema Pera: isn’t that nice?
    Pema Pera: life becomes free, light in two ways :)
    Sky Szimmer: yes that is nice but not too helpful i am afraid
    Sky Szimmer: it doesn’t take care of the feeling that I am the actor
    Pema Pera: so you have to look at that feeling
    Pema Pera: really look at it
    Pema Pera: ideally each moment
    Pema Pera: but even four times an hour, when you really sustain that, will do wonders — literally

    Only later would I read the chat log, realizing how close it was, what I said here and what Avastu had said six hours earlier.

    Sky Szimmer: i see that I am still clinging to an I because of that feeling
    Sky Szimmer: i see that there is no “I” but still, when there is still the feeling that I made a decision, and then an action followed
    Sky Szimmer: I need help to see this more clearly
    Pema Pera: the better you see the feeling
    Pema Pera: and everything else
    Pema Pera: the easier it will be to see that there is no I
    Pema Pera: not only as an idea or intuition but as something that you see clearly
    Pema Pera: but generally this is a process of maturation
    Pema Pera: though sometimes there can be a sudden breakthrough
    Pema Pera: just continue!
    Pema Pera: is the main advice
    Pema Pera: just continue!
    Sky Szimmer: thanks. Pema. After my conversation with Avastu, I saw that there was still much clinging to a “self” though, I see that there is not

    As soon as Sky had referred back to talking with Avastu earlier, I sent him an IM and offered to tp him over. After a few minutes, he kindly joined us.

    Pema Pera: Hi Avastu!
    Avastu Maruti: hello my friends
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Avastu
    Pema Pera: Sky was just talking about talking with you before, Avastu :-)
    Sky Szimmer: the hitch being that when action taken, “I” come into being
    Avastu Maruti: but do you really?
    Sky Szimmer: what. the “I” ?
    Avastu Maruti: does the “I” really come into being?
    Sky Szimmer: yes and no. “I” becomes concretized so in that way yes.
    Sky Szimmer: though, reality no.
    Avastu Maruti: when the “I AM” comes, all else is assumed
    Sky Szimmer: what do you mean all else is assume?
    Avastu Maruti: this is the creation of duality, of subject and object
    Sky Szimmer: oh.
    Avastu Maruti: even the I AM is an assumption
    Avastu Maruti: what IS, NOW - that never requires any assumption?
    Sky Szimmer: so how do I see more clearly that there is no one taking action.
    Avastu Maruti: yes, this it the “problem”, isn’t it?
    Avastu Maruti: how do “I” see that there is no “I”?

    Nice way to distill the problem into a single question.

    Pema Pera: :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: …smile
    Pema Pera: touche
    Sky Szimmer: well. yes. indeed.
    Avastu Maruti: simply stop and look, now
    Avastu Maruti: is there any solid and persistent entity doing anything?
    Avastu Maruti: seeing/knowing is happening
    Avastu Maruti: birds, bells
    Avastu Maruti: the mind creates the “I”
    Avastu Maruti: thought…
    Avastu Maruti: passing clouds
    Avastu Maruti: you are the vast and infinite sky of awareness in which all this passes
    Avastu Maruti: then the idea comes that there is an “I” that needs to look
    Avastu Maruti: and this very creation of an the idea of an “I” itself is suffering
    Avastu Maruti: violence
    Avastu Maruti: war
    Avastu Maruti: being is never hidden
    Sky Szimmer: yes. my mind is very tricky.
    Avastu Maruti: it is seemingly obscured to a “seeker” simply because it is ALREADY everything
    Avastu Maruti: looking for it is the problem
    Sky Szimmer: “I” gets hooked at every turn
    Avastu Maruti: the idea that there is an “I” that needs to “find” being is the problem
    Avastu Maruti: if you can call it that
    Avastu Maruti: but that TOO is being!
    Sky Szimmer: yes. I too is Being
    Avastu Maruti: yes
    Avastu Maruti: so what is the problem?
    Avastu Maruti: you are ALREADY THAT!
    Sky Szimmer: there is never any problem when I am here talking with you guys: )
    Pema Pera: hehe
    Sky Szimmer: only when left to my own devices : )
    Avastu Maruti: you are the very container in which it all happens
    Avastu Maruti: and always HAVE BEEN
    Sky Szimmer: Thank you to everyone! Unfortunately I must run.
    Avastu Maruti: good bye my friend
    Pema Pera: bye, Sky!
    Pema Pera: Now you can be the Sky of Awareness!

    And so the title for this session was born, while Sky said goodbye to us.

    stevenaia Michinaga: bye Sky
    Sky Szimmer: Thanks a bunch!!!!!
    stevenaia Michinaga: I was late for the 1:00 group, but listening to you Avastu, was interesting
    Avastu Maruti: you are already full and complete as you are, my friend - you need no dialog
    Pema Pera: the dialog is really a form of celebration of not needing a dialog :-)
    Pema Pera: not a tool or method
    Avastu Maruti: yes - words can never describe reality, yet words happen!
    Pema Pera: the express, rather than describe — like everything expresses Being
    stevenaia Michinaga: but listeninG
    stevenaia Michinaga: assists in understanding
    Avastu Maruti: what is to be understood? understanding is knowledge
    Avastu Maruti: knowledge is ignorance
    Avastu Maruti: rest in not-knowing
    Avastu Maruti: Truth can NEVER be given in words or grasped with the mind
    Avastu Maruti: yet you ARE!
    Avastu Maruti: undeniable
    stevenaia Michinaga: that may work for being but not knowledge is relivent in interation with the physical world
    Avastu Maruti: yes - “practical matters” require knowledge - but what really is happening?
    Avastu Maruti: can we ever say?
    stevenaia Michinaga: they are separate
    Avastu Maruti: no, my friend
    Avastu Maruti: separation never happened
    Avastu Maruti: what are you now?
    Avastu Maruti: without using concepts?
    stevenaia Michinaga: I am here now
    Avastu Maruti: yes!
    Avastu Maruti: you ARE
    Avastu Maruti: has that EVER not been the case?
    stevenaia Michinaga: no
    Avastu Maruti: all has happened within YOU
    stevenaia Michinaga: I am always here
    Avastu Maruti: YOU are the ground of all temporary experience
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes
    Pema Pera: Hi Blane
    Pema Pera: Come join us
    Blane Ansar: Hi

    Blane walked in, asked a simple question, upon which I gave a simple answer. Steve noticed that he was born in Second Life the day before.

    Blane Ansar: wat r we doing ?
    Pema Pera: talking about what we are
    Blane Ansar: kool
    stevenaia Michinaga: how did you find this place on your second day, Blane?
    Blane Ansar: join me and take to the skys
    Blane Ansar: lol
    Pema Pera: that’s why we have a sun roof, Blane :)
    Blane Ansar: well come on and follow me
    Pema Pera: before I forget, blane, we have a blog where we record our conversations — do you mind being included on the blog?
    Blane Ansar: its ok
    Pema Pera: thanks!
    Blane Ansar: as long as i dont get made fun of
    Pema Pera: oh no, not to worry :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: he keeps disappearing
    Pema Pera: Another Sky of Awareness seeker?
    stevenaia Michinaga: and I appear to be floating
    Pema Pera: contagious!
    jonni Thor: namaste blane
    Pema Pera: Avastu, thanks for stopping by. I look forward to read the chat log of your earlier visit, today. It is so nice to see you bringing such a profound approach with Hindu roots, rather than the Buddhist roots that many people here have. Often visitors ask whether Play as Being is Buddhist. It is not; we respect Buddhism as well as many other traditions — and it is wonderful to see you concretely embodying such a different tradition. Thank you!
    Avastu Maruti: you are welcome, my friend

    I briefly summarized Play as Being for Blane.

    Pema Pera: Blane, http://playasbeing.wordpress.com/ is our blog
    Pema Pera: with background of what we’re doing here
    stevenaia Michinaga: is not hinduism rooted in Buddism?
    Blane Ansar: ok
    jonni Thor: intersting question
    jonni Thor: difficult to say whih came first i think
    Pema Pera: historically the other way around
    Pema Pera: Hinduism as a whole is much older
    Blane Ansar: i want to ask somthing
    jonni Thor: go on
    Pema Pera: but Advaity Vedanta in its modern form came later
    Pema Pera: sure, Blane!
    Blane Ansar: not to sound rude but wtf are we doing here?
    Blane Ansar: lol
    Pema Pera: great question, Blane!
    stevenaia Michinaga: ..smile
    Pema Pera: We are talking about an exploration of reality
    Pema Pera: in which we ask ourselves what we are
    Blane Ansar: ok
    Pema Pera: most of the time when we really look carefully
    Pema Pera: what we think we are is actually what we have
    Pema Pera: I am a man — I have a male gender
    stevenaia Michinaga: good questions as yours are the basis of the discussion
    Pema Pera: I am from Holland — I have Dutch citizenship
    Blane Ansar: OK
    Blane Ansar: im leaving
    Pema Pera: almost anything we normally say “I am” for means something we have
    Pema Pera: have a good trip, Blane!
    Pema Pera: be well

    Blane left, and Steve looked at his watch.

    stevenaia Michinaga: that was another quick hour
    Pema Pera: :)
    Pema Pera: time flies when you’re having fun . . .
    Pema Pera: Jonni, do you also have a Hindu tradition background?
    jonni Thor: yeah my parents are sanyasins
    Pema Pera: The Truth is the same, of course, the I am or just “am” . . .
    stevenaia Michinaga: hope to see you soon, and pema perhaps tomarrow you can talk about that the approprate content ofor the video should be…smile I may not be the bleading edge of that point
    Pema Pera: but it’s interesting to see all those different roots
    Pema Pera: . . .smile
    stevenaia Michinaga: see you soon
    Pema Pera: sure, we’ll talk!
    Pema Pera: thanks for stopping by, Steve!
    jonni Thor: i chose to study dzogchen which from the mahyana tibetan line
    jonni Thor: buddhist obviously
    Pema Pera: yeah, but marginally so . . .
    jonni Thor: srry my typing is bad
    Pema Pera: in the sense that there are strong roots outside Buddhism too
    Pema Pera: like the Tibetan Bon tradition
    Pema Pera: many Tibetan buddhists traditionally did not accept dzogchen
    Pema Pera: too wild for them :)
    Pema Pera: too direct
    jonni Thor: yeah sure byt dzogchen is pretty well rooted but your right some tibetans rejected dzogchen
    jonni Thor: people find the vehicle that suites them
    Pema Pera: perhaps grafted onto buddhism rather than rooted — sorry, don’t want to be too picky here, but interesting to see the differences
    Pema Pera: yes, sure!
    Avastu Maruti: Pema, if you’re interested sometime, stop by and see the new Nonduality Corner at OWOKUN island
    Pema Pera: sure!
    Pema Pera: Shall we go there now?
    Avastu Maruti: if you like
    Pema Pera: fine!
    Pema Pera: Want to join us, Jonni?
    jonni Thor: yeah sure

    We then teleported over to Avastu’s Nonduality Corner, on OWOKUN Meditation Island.

    jonni Thor: see u there
    Pema Pera: Nice place, Avastu!
    jonni Thor: where were we
    Avastu Maruti: if you have media muted, you can hear the various chants from the nondual traditions

    Avastu Maruti: the pictures on the wall hold notecards and quotes, the books can be clicked on to read the texts online
    Pema Pera: wow, that’s a wonderful idea, those chants!
    Pema Pera: perfect setup!

    Pema Pera: May I ask, is there a connection with Osho?
    Pema Pera: I see the name after the coordinates on the top
    Avastu Maruti: the owners of the island are connected with Osho in some way
    Pema Pera: ah, I see
    jonni Thor: the island here was set up based on osho teaching the temple here is a replica of the one at the ashram in puna
    Avastu Maruti: but they are looking to expand that into other traditions
    jonni Thor: known as buddah hall
    jonni Thor: many osho centers now teach a range of things from different traditions although this is controversial amoung sanyasans
    Pema Pera: any young spiritual organization has many controversies . . . amazing that any initiative can last at all . . . .
    Pema Pera: older organizations only avoid those controversies by becoming rigid . . . .

    I let my camera look around and noticed that we were up in the sky.

    Pema Pera: nice sky building, Avastu, with the ponds and the minimal structure from the outside
    Pema Pera: and the rich presentation of traditions inside
    Pema Pera: is this the place where you teach now?
    Avastu Maruti: spontaneous conversations seem to happen here
    Avastu Maruti: the scheduled class takes place on the island
    Pema Pera: below?
    Avastu Maruti: yes
    jonni Thor: cool
    Pema Pera: are the conversations here voice or also text sometimes?
    Avastu Maruti: depends on the microphone
    Pema Pera: Do you invite people to stop by here? At certain hours?
    Avastu Maruti: no, nothing scheduled here
    Pema Pera: Or more like a personal living room, with occasional guests?
    Avastu Maruti: yes, seems to be that way
    jonni Thor: great place to generate discussion
    jonni Thor: well done
    Pema Pera: yes, so much inspiration in so many ways!
    Pema Pera: visual, audio, atmosphere
    Pema Pera: Well, I’ll be on my way
    Pema Pera: Thanks for showing me this place, Avastu!
    Avastu Maruti: good bye, my friend
    Pema Pera: And thanks again for joining us earlier
    Pema Pera: nice meeting you Jonni!
    Pema Pera: Hope you’ll stop by again
    jonni Thor: blesings and peace
    Pema Pera: now that you’ve found us!
    Pema Pera: you too!

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