2008.07.11 13:00 - A Slippery Fish

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Solobill Laville. The comments are Solobill's.

     It was yet another beautiful SL afternoon when I arrived at the PaB pavilion to find Fael already there.  I had read through her instructions on the new Pab wiki (http://playasbeing.wik.is/) earlier in the day.

    Fael Illyar: Hi Solo :)
    Solobill Laville: Hi, Fael!
    Faenik: ????^^
    Solobill Laville: Good job on the wiki instructionss, by the way!
    Fael Illyar: Yes, looks like Storm posted a log perfectly. I'm hoping it was the instructions :)
    Solobill Laville: hehe, I'm sure it was...
    Solobill Laville: I do corporate learning and training professionally, so at least my feedback (and compliments) to you is valid (I hope)!
    Fael Illyar: Ah, you do something like that for living?
    Faenik: ????^^
    Solobill Laville: Indeed
    Fael Illyar: thank you :)
    Solobill Laville: yw!
    Fael Illyar: I was thinking of adding some screenshots of the process but didn't get there yet.
    Solobill Laville: That would be ideal, yes

    Gaya joined us!

    Fael Illyar: Hi Gaya
    Gaya Ethaniel: hello again fael how r u?
    Gaya Ethaniel: hi solobill
    Solobill Laville: Hello, Gaya!

    A real neat ice breaker tool is to use the right click/profile function of SL, which Fael and I both did to learn more about Gaya...

    Fael Illyar: in your profile, Gaya, it says "Simulation sickness". I haven't heard that before.
    Solobill Laville: Gaya, may I ask, what is simulation...
    Solobill Laville: yes, hehe

    Adams and Doug joined us.

    Fael Illyar: Hi Adams
    Adams Rubble: hello Everyone
    Solobill Laville: Hi, Adams
    Gaya Ethaniel: yeah i get sick playing 3d game ex
    Gaya Ethaniel: hi adams
    Solobill Laville: Ah, OK
    Adams Rubble: Nice to meet you Gaya :)
    Fael Illyar: Hopefully stable viewpoint helps with that?
    Gaya Ethaniel: same here adams
    Solobill Laville: Yes, me too Gaya
    Fael Illyar: Hi Doug
    Solobill Laville: Hello, Doug!
    doug Sosa: hello.
    Gaya Ethaniel: it's shame isn't it solobill?
    Adams Rubble: Hi Doug
    doug Sosa: hi.
    Gaya Ethaniel: hi doug
    Solobill Laville: :), I hope it doesn't efect you too badly
    Gaya Ethaniel: it's not bad sitting & looking at 1 direction :)
    doug Sosa: gaya
    Gaya Ethaniel: yes?
    Solobill Laville: Well, this is perfect then!!
    Gaya Ethaniel: that's right!
    Fael Illyar: Yes, perfect for these meetings. Have you been part of our meetings before?
    Gaya Ethaniel: no first time i meant to come before but never quite made it
    Fael Illyar: how familiar are you with what we do?
    Gaya Ethaniel: i read your website
    Gaya Ethaniel: just want to sit it today if ok
    Fael Illyar: Sure :)
    Solobill Laville: Of course!
    Gaya Ethaniel: cheers :)
    Fael Illyar: Just need to ask for permission from every new participant if it's ok to have their name on the blog. Is it?
    Fael Illyar: part of the meeting log.
    Gaya Ethaniel: sure that's fine np
    Fael Illyar: Ok, good :)

    I thought I'd bring up a subject that I'd been thinking about recently in terms of PaB, one in which I saw Storm address in one of his sessions.  Namely, the efficacy of previous meditation-type practice experience on PaB, or similar, practice, and what that may mean to folks who hadn't had any.

    Solobill Laville: May I start with a question?
    Adams Rubble: yes please
    Solobill Laville: Who here has practiced some sort of meditation or similar (especially prior to PaB)?
    Solobill Laville: I have
    Adams Rubble: I didn't
    Gaya Ethaniel: i do
    doug Sosa: yes.
    Solobill Laville: Fael, did you?
    Fael Illyar: Not knowingly at least.
    Solobill Laville: :)
    doug Sosa: fael is meditation
    Faenik: ah :)
    Fael Illyar: I think I've been doing something similar but irregularly.
    Adams Rubble: Actually I have to fall into fael's category - not knowingly
    Gaya Ethaniel: i do regularly
    Adams Rubble: I found out I have been doing a form of breathing meditation for years
    Adams Rubble: but not knowingly
    Solobill Laville: A natural meditation Adams

    This reminded me of the idea of "natural practice".  Bassui (an old Zennie) had a natural koan (that is, one not given to him by a master): "Who am I?".  I also have a similar one that started hitting me at odd times about 10 years ago, "Who are you?".  Some of these things; breathing exercises, natural koans, seem to be more active in some people at certain times of their lives and less so in others.

    Adams Rubble: sort of
    Solobill Laville: The reason I ask
    Gaya Ethaniel: meditation doesn't require sitting in lotus positioni per se
    Adams Rubble: :)
    doug Sosa: the reason...
    Solobill Laville: is that I often wonder the relative impact between the two
    Solobill Laville: that is, PaB and "other" practice
    Fael Illyar: Yes, I tend to meditate sitting, walking, washing dishes ... I think I even meditate sometimes during these meetings.
    Solobill Laville: To me, it is reinforcement to my daily sittings
    Solobill Laville: That is a wonderful place to be Fael
    Solobill Laville: That is another challenge I find;

    Moon arrived to join our forum.

    Adams Rubble: Hello Moon
    Solobill Laville: fighting the 21st century demands and zen practice
    Moon Fargis: hello everyone
    Gaya Ethaniel: hi moon
    Solobill Laville: hi moon!
    doug Sosa: i find sitting a limited practice. good place but i also think that tai chi , yoga, painting, dance... are supportive of meditation.
    Fael Illyar: Hi Moon :)
    doug Sosa: moon!
    Solobill Laville: I agree Doug
    Moon Fargis: oh you talk anoutzazen ?
    Solobill Laville: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: me too but i especially find being mindful in everyday activities as fael said
    Moon Fargis: about i mean... my arms still hurts :)
    Fael Illyar: I've been trying to add meditation to small openings that are in normal life.
    Fael Illyar: seems to work so far :)
    Solobill Laville: The practice of on-going mindfulness
    Solobill Laville: not too easy ;)
    Solobill Laville: but so worth the effort!
    Gaya Ethaniel: yeah less stressful
    doug Sosa: we get stuck. ksn't minlessness also a goal, along with midfulness?
    doug Sosa: "mindfulness"

    Mindlessness vs. Mindfulness...

    Solobill Laville: Not really, in my view
    Moon Fargis: yes abosultey, i just came from my first nature zazen session, we sat on a hidden lake in a wood end enlighted a insece stick
    Solobill Laville: The mind is really full, but only when it is cleared
    Gaya Ethaniel: think 'mindlessness' and 'mindfulness' is two different thing
    Solobill Laville: "mindless" only in the sense of our "little" minds not getting in the way
    Solobill Laville: of Mind
    Gaya Ethaniel: in order to see clearly, one should aim to be mindful
    Fael Illyar: What I've been doing myself is to try to only think the thoughts I believe are necessary and leave out thoughts that aren't.
    Solobill Laville: well put Gaya
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Solobill Laville: That is interesting Fael!
    Solobill Laville: How do you determine which is which?

    Doug eloquently clarified his view of mindless and mindful...

    doug Sosa: each is the shadow side of the other, and each is the bright side of the other.
    Fael Illyar: well, first, if there is thought that is making me uncomfortable but only that. Has no potential to lead to anything else. That's clearly unnecessary.
    Moon Fargis: well fael you are near to the "known thought" state
    Solobill Laville: Like, worry, perhaps?
    Fael Illyar: Yes, worry is unnecessary if there is nothing you can do about it.
    Fael Illyar: if there is something you can do, you should think of that.
    Gaya Ethaniel: i agree worry takes one away from present
    Fael Illyar: If not, stop worrying
    Solobill Laville: I saw that on an old episode of Kung Fu (seriously)!
    Solobill Laville: Love that show
    Solobill Laville: :)
    Moon Fargis: the old ones where the best:)
    Solobill Laville: At least it has stuck with me for 30 years...
    Solobill Laville: hehe
    Gaya Ethaniel: hm... not sure of the show you're talking about
    Fael Illyar: yes, less scripting tailored to what people like and more of the creators' ideas.
    Solobill Laville: it was an old TV show from the 1970s
    Solobill Laville: yes
    Gaya Ethaniel: alas before my time!
    Solobill Laville: :)
    doug Sosa: alas after my time

    I tried to get back to a point that Moon had made a while back.

    Solobill Laville: Moon, what is the "known thought state"?
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Solobill Laville: hehe
    Fael Illyar: Actually ... I wonder if I just defined all thoughts I think are unnecessary.
    Solobill Laville: Some say don't think, do
    Solobill Laville: or not do
    doug Sosa: why necessary? What of play?
    Fael Illyar: ah, thank you for asking, solo, I almost forgot.

    Fael thought I asked the question that actually Doug had asked. 

    Solobill Laville: yw
    Moon Fargis: oh, well.. with more practise in looking at yourself, especially in zazen, you will notice the layers of thoughts, diffferent layers, louser and quieter ones, you will learn how to quieten them all, until then you can see how thoughts are made in your mind from where they come, and you start to notice that you already know what you want tho think before you think it
    Faenik: ah :)
    Moon Fargis: so you know what you want to think then you dont ave to think it
    Moon Fargis: have
    Fael Illyar: Oh, I do that already ... I wonder how long I've done that.
    Moon Fargis: no idea only you know :)
    Solobill Laville: Right, but something can also come about, WHO is thinking?
    Moon Fargis: solo: the mind
    Fael Illyar: that's what I've meant when I've said I think without words.

    Sky joined us.

    Adams Rubble: Hello Sky
    Solobill Laville: Hello, Sky!
    Moon Fargis: hi sky
    Gaya Ethaniel: hi sky
    Solobill Laville: Ah, I remember that Fael!
    Fael Illyar: Hi Sky
    Sky Szimmer: hey there
    Solobill Laville: Thinking without words is very difficult for most of us, I've found
    Solobill Laville: For me at least ;)
    Moon Fargis: ah solo
    Solobill Laville: yes?
    Moon Fargis: what color got this pillow i am seating on

    I looked at the color of the pillow and started to type yellow, then backspaced, then typed orange, which was still was not quite right, so I decided on orang-ish, which is not so easy to spell...

    Solobill Laville: Orang-ish!
    Moon Fargis: seems you thought alot about this answer
    Solobill Laville: no, typed poorly and fixed it
    Fael Illyar: oh, that's clever way to show what it is, Moon :)
    Moon Fargis: so ok when then you didnt thought about it you knew it was orang.ish
    Solobill Laville: yes
    Moon Fargis: see it works..:)
    Solobill Laville: :)!
    Solobill Laville: I'll start doing that with everything
    Solobill Laville: But, alas, this language need we have gets in the way sometimes
    Adams Rubble: I must leave you all. bye for now :)
    Moon Fargis: bye adams
    Gaya Ethaniel: see u adams
    Gaya Ethaniel: know what u mean solo
    Faenik is a hairy black ball with eyes and ears.

    This idea of thinking without words is so interesting, and challenging! (On a side note: I really like the way Adams leaves sessions; we may over formalize some of our RL social norms into SL, and there is some awkwardness and loss of flow with long hellos or goodbyes...)

    Fael Illyar: I think I've been thinking without words for years.
    Solobill Laville: I have been practicing zazen for several years
    Solobill Laville: and often still can look at myself thinking in language
    Solobill Laville: What is an example Fael?
    Fael Illyar: I've paid attention to it when I've been learning languages.
    Gaya Ethaniel: i follow theravadan tradition so don't really identify with ur problem i'm afraid solo

    I'd really like to follow up with Gaya on this thought sometime, I'd bet if I clarify what I mean better we'd find that this is not any sort of a Mahayana / Theravada difference; it is actually more about how our brains work, and how practice helps us to realize these things.

    Fael Illyar: I don't think in Finnish when I'm writing English
    Fael Illyar: I just directly write English. or directly write Finnish or directly Japanese.
    Gaya Ethaniel: people like u speak languages better - no translation between
    doug Sosa: bell. must leave. thinking about finnish

    Doug left with the quick finality of Adams...

    Fael Illyar: but in each case, I'm translating from ... some kind of thoughts. I never manage it perfectly
    Gaya Ethaniel: bye
    Solobill Laville: but what do you think when you reflect on, say, a PaB meeting?
    Gaya Ethaniel: i know what u mean fael, i do same
    Solobill Laville: that may be a bad example

    joseph joined us.  I wanted to explore more of Fael's non-word thinking...

    joseph Ruhig: shitsurei shimasu!
    Solobill Laville: how about when looking at a tree
    Gaya Ethaniel: yes that would be an extensive thinking invovled solo, not suitable for meditation
    Fael Illyar: Hello joseph
    joseph Ruhig: hELLO1
    Gaya Ethaniel: hi jeseph
    Solobill Laville: hello, joseph
    Moon Fargis: hi joseph
    joseph Ruhig: hi! How are you, guys?
    Moon Fargis: relaxed:)
    Solobill Laville: fine!
    Gaya Ethaniel: good thanks u r?
    joseph Ruhig: please, continue the conversation. I apreciate stay quiet
    joseph Ruhig: very good! Thanks!
    Solobill Laville: Well, my thought was not just in meditation
    Solobill Laville: but just in thoughts without words
    Solobill Laville: If is say to myself, this is good
    Solobill Laville: is still am saying in my mind, this is good
    Solobill Laville: not just a positive no-word - affirmation
    Gaya Ethaniel: i see what u mean, for me it'd be difficult to think without word though can feel/meditate without words
    Gaya Ethaniel: am i making sense?
    Solobill Laville: yes
    Sky Szimmer: got to run! see you all: )
    Gaya Ethaniel: bye
    Fael Illyar: Bye Sky
    Moon Fargis: bye sky
    Solobill Laville: bye Sky
    Fael Illyar: The only thing I tend to use words for in my own thinking is if I'm imagining a dialogue between me and someone else.
    Fael Illyar: or perhaps just 2 someone elses :)
    Solobill Laville: If you walk out your door and think, this is a beautiful day, it is without words then Fael?
    joseph Ruhig: there is no beautiful day
    Fael Illyar: I don't remember thinking those words. So it has to be without words.
    Gaya Ethaniel: same here
    joseph Ruhig: This is judgement
    joseph Ruhig: beautiful
    Solobill Laville: :)
    Solobill Laville: I'm familiar with your meaning Joseph, just looking through more of a practical application lens right now

    Moon presented the idea of "quiet thoughts".

    Moon Fargis: well there are thoughts which cant be remembered because there are too quiet
    Faenik: ah :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: sorry but can u expand on that moon?
    Moon Fargis: well ever try to remember a dream?
    Moon Fargis: and know how hard it is?
    Moon Fargis: this is becasue you quieted thoughts where just active in your sleep alll loud logical ones where shut off
    Moon Fargis: these quiet thoughts also trigger emotions and are quiet confused
    Moon Fargis: babbling thougths maybe:)
    Gaya Ethaniel: u mean supressed memories or thoughts?
    Moon Fargis: thoughts
    Moon Fargis: but they trigger memorys and emotions
    Moon Fargis: without your control
    Gaya Ethaniel: i c
    Solobill Laville: I've been able to control and remember my dreams to a great degree for most of my life
    Fael Illyar: I usually don't remember them.
    Moon Fargis: thats great, yes you can learn that
    Gaya Ethaniel: i don't really have dreams or remember
    Moon Fargis: for example wfter you woke up you can write something down
    Moon Fargis: then your logical thoughts are able to save it
    Solobill Laville: yes, the more you are aware of anything, the more it can be controlled
    Solobill Laville: if that is the right word, and i think it is not
    Solobill Laville: how about awareness
    Fael Illyar: can you be aware of awareness :) ... I'd think you can
    Moon Fargis: body - mind - thoughts = awareness
    Moon Fargis: (or being)
    Solobill Laville: yes, but at that point it can also slip through your fingers
    Solobill Laville: and you are only aware of yourself being aware
    Solobill Laville: then, no more
    Solobill Laville: just you and everything outside of you
    Gaya Ethaniel: surely ur sitting medition of a few years help things not slipping through solo
    Solobill Laville: yes, but that is a very slippery fish!
    Solobill Laville: and there are different levels of awareness
    Solobill Laville: :)
    Fael Illyar: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)

    At this point of the coversation, the Pavilion bell sounded one reassuring "BONG!"

    Moon Fargis: back from awareness:)
    Fael Illyar: :)
    Solobill Laville: *bong* :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: almost time for bed here
    Gaya Ethaniel: lovely talking/meeting u guys
    Fael Illyar: Good night Gaya :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: have a nice weekend
    Solobill Laville: you as well Gaya, I'd love to learn more about your practice
    Faenik is a hairy black ball with eyes and ears.
    Solobill Laville: :)
    Solobill Laville: bye
    Gaya Ethaniel: see you again
    Moon Fargis: night gaya
    Fael Illyar: Yes, I hope to see you again soon :)
    Fael Illyar: I'm finding I'm unable to put a lot of things to words because I haven't really noticed myself developing those.
    Fael Illyar: or more like not think the details important enough to remember
    Solobill Laville: There is truth to the saying that the devil is in the details
    Solobill Laville: Seemingly so important, but more often not

    A great discovery of mine through the PaB sessions is the wonderful connection through collaborative silence.  Moon and I listened, through long periods of silence, as Fael considered some of these aspects of communication, words, and perception.

    Fael Illyar: I'm therefore unable to put to words what I perceive about people.
    Faenik loves wells!
    Fael Illyar: you can perceive how "Enlightened" someone is by talking with them, right?
    Fael Illyar: I lack the means to communicate that to others.
    Fael Illyar: although ... I suppose that's not too easy even if you did remember details about your own journey.
    Fael Illyar wonders if she's talking to air here.
    Solobill Laville: no just thinking about your words :)
    Solobill Laville: without words hehe
    Moon Fargis: you answer your question already yourself:)
    Fael Illyar: Yes, I did :)
    Moon Fargis: since you are aware of it now
    Solobill Laville: I'm fairly pragmatic about things
    Solobill Laville: So I try to incorporate everything as practice
    Solobill Laville: Otherwise, I fear, nothing will be
    Moon Fargis: ok i have to go back to hikari, see you soon my friends
    Solobill Laville: bye moon
    Fael Illyar: I guess I'll go too. See you later Solo :)
    Solobill Laville: bye Fael!
    Fael Illyar: nice topic again :)
    Solobill Laville: :)
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