2008.07.09 19:00 - Customer Service

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    That evening, when I walked up to the pavilion, I met Prosper who was already seated there.
    Pema Pera: Hi Prosper!
    Prosper Telling: Hi. How are you doing?
    Pema Pera: fine, and how about you?
    Prosper Telling: Good here. Weekend in veiw.
    Pema Pera: Already?
    Prosper Telling: Been a busy week and the local Zen group has invited folks for Obon... I think the actual Zen thing would be to look as forward to the next couple of days of work as I do get together with dharma friends....
    Prosper Telling: C'est la vie.
    Pema Pera: ah :)
    Pema Pera: It being Wednesday, in the middle of the week, I was wondering about the weekend . . .
    Pema Pera: actually Thursday for me here already
    Prosper Telling: Yeah, um, Wednesday night here so hump is past. Forget how relative time is in SL.
    Pema Pera: Close to lunch time here :)
    Prosper Telling: Small crowd tonight
    Pema Pera: yeah, unusual; but it would also be unusual if there would be no statistical fluctuations like this
    Pema Pera: and sometimes you have half a dozen people coming in almost simultaneously
    Pema Pera: actually quite fun, never knowing what to expect
    Prosper Telling: Happens in rl as well I notice.
    Pema Pera: :>)
    Prosper Telling: Good to not have to be in control.
    Pema Pera: YES!

    Our conversation switched to Play as Being, and from there to gratitude.
    Pema Pera: Have you played a bit with the 9-sec practice and/or with Being?
    Prosper Telling: Yes.
    Prosper Telling: With me it has taken the forming of reciting the nembutsu which isn't surprising. It seems to be well ingrained response to gratitude on my part.
    Prosper Telling: But I become a lot more aware of the things I take for granted.
    Pema Pera: can you say a bit more about that?
    Prosper Telling: It sounds cliche but at this moment there are what, 11 million orphans in Zambia alone and here I sit drinking grapefruit juice, having enjoyed a day with the grandson.
    Prosper Telling: No hunger, no poverty, no grave illness among those I love. It is the big things I find that I do overlook and that I should thankful for.
    Prosper Telling: And in this moment, if I am truly one of the lucky ones, then in this moment I am obligated to help those who aren't.
    Prosper Telling: And it just comes moment after moment.
    Pema Pera: Hi Steve!
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello
    Pema Pera: Yes, Prosper, thank you very much for sharing that.
    Pema Pera: It is so easy to forget how lucky we are in so very many ways
    Pema Pera: Hi Hotaru!
    Hotaru Myoo: Hola!

    With Steve and Hotaru entering, there were four of us.
    Pema Pera: gratitude is a wonderful way to respond to seeing more of what is happening around us . . .
    Pema Pera: is that a large part of the Nembutsu practice?
    Prosper Telling: On a purely technical note, I did finda great use for my grandmother's old runaway cuckoo clock... It goes off on the hour and half hour, more like every twenty minutes, so it actually makes a rough timer for this kind of thing.
    Pema Pera: how nice to recycle that way :-)
    Hotaru Myoo: yes
    Hotaru Myoo: and to use something meaningful to do so
    stevenaia Michinaga: how many people are here, just the 4 of us?
    Hotaru Myoo: looks like
    Pema Pera: so far yes
    Pema Pera: so no danger of sitting down :)
    Hotaru Myoo: hehe
    stevenaia Michinaga: ok, then it's safe to sit
    stevenaia Michinaga: lol
    Prosper Telling: And we grow.
    Pema Pera: Prosper and I were the only ones for the first quarter of an hour, and Prosper talked about gratitude
    Pema Pera: a wonderful topic
    Hotaru Myoo: truly
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, it refreshes
    Pema Pera: There is gratitude for specifics, all the wonderful things we have
    Pema Pera: and there is gratitude in an even deeper way
    Pema Pera: for being alive
    Hotaru Myoo: it is one of the things I do during my intervals in PaB
    Pema Pera: or just for being
    Hotaru Myoo: exactly
    Hotaru Myoo: thanks for having purpose
    stevenaia Michinaga: and it's pruifying
    Hotaru Myoo: yes
    Hotaru Myoo: cathartic
    Pema Pera: indeed
    Hotaru Myoo: you are giving need away
    Prosper Telling: Those are some powerful images
    stevenaia Michinaga: it replaces so much to be greatful, like dampening all that is in the way of holding you from acceptance
    Pema Pera: There is also gratitude for meeting nice people, whose behavior you can try to emulate, and for meeting not-so-nice people, whose behavior can warn you not to fall in similar traps yourself ;-)
    Hotaru Myoo: sure...the mirror
    Pema Pera: and of course, every one is sometimes nice, sometimes not-so-nice ;)
    stevenaia Michinaga: sometimes these feeling of gratitute can be contagious

    Wisdom from customer service.
    Prosper Telling: Charter Communications has taught me more about patience than any company should teach one of their customers.
    Pema Pera: :)
    Hotaru Myoo: attached and disengaged
    Pema Pera: What is Charter Communications, Prosper?
    Prosper Telling: It's our internet service provider and they are not exactly reliable here. But I've learned to not be teh rude customer... That some part of my peace is worth more than being able to check my email.
    Pema Pera: that's a tough challenge, I know all too well . . . . :>)
    Hotaru Myoo: lol
    Hotaru Myoo: I thought it was some cosmic connection ...
    Prosper Telling: Gratitude does remind me of just how many things really small stuff.
    stevenaia Michinaga: where are you from Prosper?
    Prosper Telling: It gives you a sense of perspective.
    Prosper Telling: Alabama.
    stevenaia Michinaga: I wonder is patience is a biproduct of gratitude
    stevenaia Michinaga: it seems to cause time to be less important than being is
    Hotaru Myoo: perhaps in that we send gratitude without expectation of a return
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Magdalena
    Magdalena Colclough: Hi everyone
    Pema Pera: Hi Maggie!
    Hotaru Myoo: Hi Mags!

    Maggie joined us, so there were five of us.
    Magdalena Colclough smiles
    stevenaia Michinaga: we were discussing garitude and patience
    Magdalena Colclough nods
    Hotaru Myoo: we were just talking about gratitude
    Magdalena Colclough: important topic
    stevenaia Michinaga: that too
    Magdalena Colclough: and what were you saying about gratitude?
    stevenaia Michinaga: how cleanzing it is to me
    Hotaru Myoo: giving thanks and showing appreciation is probably one of the most important giva-aways we have
    Hotaru Myoo: and it is free
    Magdalena Colclough nods
    Hotaru Myoo: and offers so much potential goodness for the universe
    Hotaru Myoo: like kindness
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, a gift to others and yourself
    Hotaru Myoo: me nods
    Magdalena Colclough: and a wonderful tool to help maintain mindfulness
    stevenaia Michinaga: a gift very dificult not to accept
    Hotaru Myoo: true
    Hotaru Myoo: and pass along
    Hotaru Myoo: like you said earlier
    Hotaru Myoo: contagious
    stevenaia Michinaga: A short story about that.....
    Hotaru Myoo: it has to be ture tho
    Prosper Telling: Patience and gratitude as a pair intrigues me. Kindness is another one. These three seem very interconnected to me.
    Hotaru Myoo: true*
    Hotaru Myoo: k
    Magdalena Colclough: agreed, Hotaru--obsequious or sychophantic gratitude is really irritating
    Pema Pera: Hi Ayukam, welcome!
    Ayukam Harsley: thank you Pema
    Ayukam Harsley: how are you?
    Pema Pera: fine, thank you!

    With Ayukam joining us, we were now with half a dozen.
    Pema Pera: yes, Maggie, I grew up in a Dutch reformed family, and their gratitude was sometimes slanted as you said . . . .
    Pema Pera: like a burden, a duty
    Magdalena Colclough nods
    Pema Pera: we need humor in gratitude too
    Pema Pera: smile
    Pema Pera: lightness
    Magdalena Colclough: and above all authenticity
    Hotaru Myoo: must be true
    Pema Pera: Steve, are you going to tell us a short story, or did I read you wrong?
    Pema Pera: yes, authenticity is key
    Prosper Telling: And a middle way perhaps.
    stevenaia Michinaga: I was in a large group where the intent was so say the most wonderful things into the ear of strangers in the group, after a number people telling you how wonderful you are to them... the overall sence of the happyness, smiles and wonderfulness of being permeated the room, a room full of reinfored gratitue can be overwhelming
    Prosper Telling: We all do participate in our own reality... we are innocent bystanders.
    stevenaia Michinaga: that was my contagious feeling story
    Hotaru Myoo: if it is authetic then love can have that power
    Prosper Telling: Are not innocent bystanders.
    Pema Pera: nice to be innocent though :)
    Hotaru Myoo: yes..
    Hotaru Myoo: and maybe that is where forgiveness comes in
    Prosper Telling: I would be thankful if they had a spell checker that could catch really big typos :-)
    Pema Pera: hahaha
    Pema Pera: semantic spell checker

    A spell checker for meaning would be interesting indeed.
    Ayukam Harsley: sorry what are you talking about?
    Hotaru Myoo: gratitude
    stevenaia Michinaga: it must be scriptable?
    Prosper Telling: yeah, that.
    Hotaru Myoo: patience
    Hotaru Myoo: thankfulness
    Prosper Telling: kindness
    Hotaru Myoo: and a spellchecker
    Prosper Telling: lol
    Ayukam Harsley: are we talking about that many things at a time?
    stevenaia Michinaga: hard to edit in a one line box
    Hotaru Myoo nods
    Ayukam Harsley: great
    Prosper Telling: With karma and all that jazz, sometimes it's just a matter of being grateful that you haven't screwed things up no worse than you have.
    Pema Pera: yes, making mistakes is not the problem -- that is guaranteed -- it's what you do with them afterwards
    Pema Pera: and there gratitude comes in when you see other people helping you to learn from your mistakes
    Hotaru Myoo: yes...and then it really calls for action//
    Pema Pera: btw, I am glad we don't have a topic checkers . . . :)
    Pema Pera: *-s
    Pema Pera: somehow these different topics seem to be related, Ayukam
    Ayukam Harsley: topic checkers?
    Pema Pera: though often we're not quite sure how
    Pema Pera: like spell checker
    Pema Pera: correcting spelling
    stevenaia Michinaga: I know all to well
    Pema Pera: topic checker correcting going off-topic :)
    Prosper Telling: Pema, you took the words out of my head...
    Pema Pera: hehe
    Ayukam Harsley: good
    Hotaru Myoo: need a rudder

    Or even a topic counter could be interesting . . .
    Pema Pera: fortunately, Being is all over the place too . . . .
    Prosper Telling: still got fuzzy dots between gratitude and kindness but I'm sure there is a trail there
    Pema Pera: playfully so
    Hotaru Myoo: when you have more than one person present ...communiations can get confusing
    Hotaru Myoo: especially in this environment
    Hotaru Myoo: add three or more...
    Prosper Telling: How often are we sincerely grateful for our food?
    Pema Pera: some of us can be confused all by themselves, Hotaru . . . . :)
    Hotaru Myoo: and it gets complex quickly
    Hotaru Myoo: then chaotic
    Hotaru Myoo: understanding disappears quickly
    Hotaru Myoo: or it has potential to..
    Pema Pera: and sometimes reappears in unexpected ways
    Hotaru Myoo: We are thankful daily
    stevenaia Michinaga: food... is easy, eat my wifes cooking and you are greatful for the experience
    Hotaru Myoo: yes
    Prosper Telling: Some Zen Master said understanding has to disappear for wisdom to emerge. We might be on to something.
    Pema Pera: you're inviting us all over, Steve?>
    Magdalena Colclough: yes, please!
    Magdalena Colclough: especially next time you make hamentashen
    Hotaru Myoo: like poetry with mixed meaning in its reading
    stevenaia Michinaga: she is a party hostess... but you have to do the dishes
    Pema Pera: :)
    Magdalena Colclough: doing dishes is very meditational for me
    Prosper Telling: But what the plants and animals all teh way up to the guy in the field picking the tomato or whacking something over the head to the bag boy.
    stevenaia Michinaga: lol, that too Magdalena
    Prosper Telling: everything that particpated in that meal.
    Pema Pera: yes, Prosper, it is a huge web . . . .
    Hotaru Myoo: well it is all connected

    Time for me to say goodbye.
    Pema Pera: but talking about food . . . it is time for me to get off to lunch here, with my colleagues
    Pema Pera: 12 noon in Tokyo
    stevenaia Michinaga: even the plant, iw as looking at her potsof plants with the tomaties ond basal growing, from dirt to this, how is that even possible?
    Pema Pera: good seeing you all here!
    Prosper Telling: eat well...
    Magdalena Colclough: you too, Pema
    stevenaia Michinaga: enjoy lunch pema
    Prosper Telling: and thanx.
    Pema Pera: Steve, could you catch the rest of the log?
    Hotaru Myoo: good to see you too Pema
    Pema Pera: you can just email it to me
    stevenaia Michinaga: sure
    Pema Pera: Good seeing you again, Ayukam!
    Pema Pera: And Hotaru and Maggie!
    Pema Pera: Steve!
    stevenaia Michinaga: I may even spellcheck it
    Ayukam Harsley: you too Pema
    Pema Pera: Prosper and I thought we would be the only ones
    Hotaru Myoo: good night everyone!!
    Ayukam Harsley: have a good afternoon
    Pema Pera: but evening sessions do tend to fill up :)
    Prosper Telling: Sweet dreams! (Hey, it works where I am)
    Pema Pera: bye Pros
    Hotaru Myoo: enjoy lunch!

    At this point I left.  Steve would later send me the rest of the log, which turned bout to be brevity itself :-)
    Hotaru Myoo: Good to see all of you!
    Hotaru Myoo: goodnight!
    Ayukam Harsley: see you all
    Stevenaia: night Hotaru
    Prosper Telling: good to see y'all
    Prosper Telling: I need to be off myself.
    Hotaru Myoo: night Steve!
    Hotaru Myoo: bye Mags
    Magdalena Colclough: bye Hotaru :)
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