2008.07.18 01:00 - Staying Up

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    That night, when I arrived at the pavilion, I found Bertrum, Fael and Kat already deeply in conversation.

    Fael Illyar: yes, that’s generally why I don’t use prim dresses often.
    Fael Illyar: Hi Pema
    Kat Lemieux: Hi Pema
    Bertrum Quan: Hi Pema
    Pema Pera: Hi there, Kat, Bert, Fael!
    Pema Pera: Quite a crowd here again, at the wee hours :)
    Pema Pera: a couple weeks ago I came here all by myself for three nights in a row
    Pema Pera: non-random fluctuations?
    Kat Lemieux: Yes, I was just commenting to Bertrum that my wake-sleep pattern is completely discombobulated.
    Pema Pera: (^_^)
    Kat Lemieux: Stayed up all night reading a book a few days ago
    Pema Pera: and all that without jetlag?
    Pema Pera: readlag?
    Fael Illyar has done that too.
    Kat Lemieux: Right, except really “listening” to an audio book, but same thing
    Faenik loves wells!
    Fael Illyar: Although, I’ve been avoiding books, especially ones I expect to be good for that reason.
    Kat Lemieux: ;-) This is the first time I’ve done this in weeks, but it does take a bit of self-discipline (which I lack) to NOT listen straight through
    Pema Pera: no danger of falling asleep meanwhile?
    Kat Lemieux: It wouldn’t be so bad, but Wednesday I managed to miss 3 appointments as a result
    Kat Lemieux: I just woke up, actually, about an hour ago, but it’s the middle of the night. I had to eat something, though, and since I was awake anyway decided to come here for this.
    Fael Illyar: :)
    Pema Pera: glad you came!
    Kat Lemieux: Thanks!

    We talked about frequent visiters, like frequent fliers for airlines.

    Pema Pera: My ideal is to make this permanent presence
    Pema Pera: like a 24-hours neighborhood cafe
    Pema Pera: whenever you want, you could saunter in
    Pema Pera: and chat about reality — or whatever :)
    Kat Lemieux: Oh, no! I’ll never get any sleep!
    Kat Lemieux: ;-)
    Pema Pera: hehe
    Pema Pera: you could sleep here!
    Fael Illyar was just thinking the same thing.
    Kat Lemieux: It is a very restful place, except the conversation can be too stimulating
    Fael Illyar is doing 3 meetings a day often enough.
    Pema Pera: :>)
    Pema Pera: I heard from Gaya that she did 4 meetings once, all of the same day!
    Pema Pera: she plunged right in
    Fael Illyar: ok, that’s … quite a bit :)
    Fael Illyar has never done that.
    Pema Pera: ah, we can keep records — for those who like to break records
    Pema Pera: five-in-a-row?
    Pema Pera: six-in-a-row?
    Pema Pera: :)
    Fael Illyar thinks it’s better to not keep record for unhealthy behaviour.
    Pema Pera: haha
    Kat Lemieux: Probably not
    Faenik: indeed?
    Fael Illyar: Hi gen :)
    Pema Pera: Hi Gen!
    Bertrum Quan: Hi Gen

    Gen arrived, and because of slow rezzing she did not see that the seat that she had chosen was already occupied, a common problem in SL where two avatars can be easily superposed.

    Pema Pera: quatre mains
    genesis Zhangsun: Hi everyone!
    Fael Illyar: It’s funny how you can sit in the same place as someone else as long as you don’t see them yet :)
    Kat Lemieux: Hi Genesis
    genesis Zhangsun: Hi Kat
    genesis Zhangsun: I like the new look Fael ;)
    Pema Pera: it was nice to see the four hands typing simultaneously
    genesis Zhangsun: I am making a note to take notice
    Pema Pera: like an Indian God
    Pema Pera: oh, it happens to all of us Gen
    Bertrum Quan: Yes!
    Pema Pera: there is no end-of-rezzing signal . . . .
    Pema Pera: it must be late for you too, Gen!
    genesis Zhangsun: yes indeed can’t sleep
    Pema Pera: haha, Kat had the same
    genesis Zhangsun: so i decided to pop in and maybe calm
    Fael Illyar: thank you Gen :)
    Fael Illyar: I got lucky when a friend told me about a lucky chair last night :)
    Pema Pera: ?
    Fael Illyar: (my dress)
    Pema Pera: !
    genesis Zhangsun: i don’t get it what is a lucky chair?
    Kat Lemieux: It’s kind of a hold-over from the olden days when LL used to pay landowners based on parcel traffic
    Fael Illyar: It’s an idea thought of by someone somewhere. A chair with a letter chat changes periodically or when a matching person sits on it. If your name begins with the letter, you get something by sitting on it
    Fael Illyar: uh that, not chat
    genesis Zhangsun: oh ok! sounds fun!
    Pema Pera wishes that we would now be paid for traffic . . ..
    Fael Illyar: :)
    Fael Illyar: this pavilion has quite a traffic :)
    Faenik is a hairy black ball with eyes and ears.
    Kat Lemieux: Actually, I’m just as glad the traffic payments have ended. It eliminates the incentive for camping chairs, which are really stupid
    Pema Pera: Yes, I love Gaya’s story about watching the green dots for a few weeks beforing coming over here!
    Fael Illyar: :)
    Pema Pera: camping chairs are still there, though
    Fael Illyar: Curiosity :)
    Fael Illyar: yep, people are still paying other people for camping … although not much.
    Fael Illyar: lucky chairs will probably stay, those work as marketing tool :)
    Kat Lemieux: True!
    Fael Illyar: this dress is for sale at 700L :)
    Fael Illyar: I’m not sure if the chair was temporary or not though :)

    From lucky chairs to play as Being.

    Pema Pera: Kat, did you have any more questions about what we are doing here, when we’re not just chatting?
    Faenik: why not?
    Kat Lemieux: well, not really. My princicpal questions are about how one can learn meditation. Lots of people recommend it, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of DIY instruction out there
    Pema Pera: Meditation comes in many forms
    Pema Pera: almost like saying “I like to learn about sports” — there are so many ways to do sports
    Fael Illyar: PaB is built around something similar too. I found that very useful :)
    Faenik: could be
    Pema Pera: but what seems to be common to all form of mediation is that there are two aspect: the calming or deepening of the meditation itself and the challenge to then let that seep into the rest of your life, the challenge of integrating what you learned
    Kat Lemieux: Maybe the first step would be defining exactly what one calls meditation?
    Fael Illyar: I have a bell sound going every 15 minutes and I stop what I’m doing for the duration of the bell sound. I also try to let go of thoughts, feelings and wants.
    Pema Pera: What is unusual in Play as Being is the order of the two. Instead of first meditating for a few years and then focusing more and more on integration, we reverse the order here. We integrate WITHOUT knowing what meditation is — and once we get really good at integrating we begin to learn more about meditation
    Kat Lemieux: Interesting!
    Pema Pera: As Fael just described
    Fael Illyar: actually I refuse to let myself do anything else until I don’t feel the pull anymore.
    Pema Pera: every 15 minutes something
    Pema Pera: and then figuring out what to do in the something
    Kat Lemieux: I worry that I have enough trouble concentrating on things that require it now, without introducing a deliberate interruption every 15 minutes
    Pema Pera: many people find the reversal integration meditation very refreshing, liberating, stimulating
    Faenik: why not?
    Pema Pera: not so much an interruption as a stretch
    Pema Pera: a deep breath
    Pema Pera: a smile
    Fael Illyar: At first it hampered my concentration, yes. but after a week or so I’m much less hampered by distractions in general
    Kat Lemieux: That sounds promising
    Bertrum Quan: It’s another level …
    Bertrum Quan: I’ve been thinking about intuition in these 9 seconds…
    Faenik: could be
    Bertrum Quan: hoping it will develop along with the conscious thoughts…
    Bertrum Quan: So not really a distraction

    Kat then rose straight into the air, a couple feet.

    Pema Pera watches Kat becoming elevated in body and mind :)
    Kat Lemieux: Maybe one of my questions is about how this effect can be tested scientifically
    Kat Lemieux: Yeah, I’m not sure why I got “high” just now!
    Pema Pera: drinking!
    Pema Pera: side effect of the tea
    Kat Lemieux: What was in that, anyway?
    Kat Lemieux: Must be illegal ;-)
    Bertrum Quan: Anti gravity
    Fael Illyar: It’s been 6-7 weeks since I started. earlier this week, I suddenly got a huge pile of things to do and started feeling pressured but managed to get a handle of that and when I was working, I didn’t feel bothered at all by by people sending me IMs (well, through MSN)
    genesis Zhangsun: lol
    Fael Illyar: or other kind of distractions
    Fael Illyar: sort of felt like I meditated the whole day :)
    Fael Illyar: the bells helped in that I remembered to pay more attention to my mind for a moment when it rang.
    Fael Illyar: although many times I couldn’t find something to let go.
    Pema Pera: Yes, Bert and Fael, I recognize the same effect, of learning to integrate the punctuations into the rhythm of life, so to speak
    Pema Pera: Kat, the whole process of 9-sec exploration for me has very much the nature of scientific research . . . to what extent you can test it from the outside scientifically is another question, but at least the exploration dynamics itself feels like developing and following working hypotheses.
    Pema Pera: like “there is no time”
    Kat Lemieux: The only way I can think of to test this is to try to design a test based on results, and that would be very difficult.
    Fael Illyar: also worth remembering, though, is that “there is no time” is not exactly correct.
    Pema Pera: I agree, Fael, although there are various ways in which to agree with what you just said :)
    Faenik: ah :)

    We discussed the limits of using objective scientific methods for studying the kind of topics we are interested in.

    Kat Lemieux: One of the reasons “intuition” is distrusted by many cognitive scientists, I think, is because it’s so easy to define it to be whatever you want it to be, with no controls.
    Fael Illyar: heh, yes :)
    Pema Pera: Well, we could try to measure heart beat rhythm and blood pressure of visitors, during the weeks after first coming to PaB :-)
    Pema Pera: But for startes, on an admittedly more anecdotal level, there has been a quite strikingly large number of people who have testified to the positive effects of the 9-sec practice
    Pema Pera: several dozen at least
    Kat Lemieux: That’s possible, but to make a really good test you also need to try to elminate other possible factors.
    Faenik loves wells!
    Pema Pera: yes, if you want to treat it objectively, according to current scientitic standards of what that means
    Kat Lemieux: And you’d also need some test subjects who are not doing the practice.
    Pema Pera: but who *would* be equally interested in doing so!
    Pema Pera: not so easy
    Pema Pera: to make sure
    Pema Pera: unless you would force people to do PaB :)
    Pema Pera: or just pay them
    Faenik: なるほど^^
    Kat Lemieux: Unfortunately, human tests are very difficult to design, since there are so many possible infludences that might affect perceived results in our lives
    Bertrum Quan: What I wonder, Kat, is if what is measured would really equate to the results of meditation…
    Kat Lemieux: And how do you measure the results objectively, anyway?
    Pema Pera: good questions!!
    Pema Pera: most likely not at all, Bert
    Kat Lemieux: It’s almost like what I’ve seen described as the problems quantum physics faces, where the observation affects the outcome.

    We talked about why we would be interested in objective kinds of tests.

    Fael Illyar: I’m quite happy to leave the testing to others :)
    Pema Pera: :)
    Fael Illyar: I just test with myself :P
    Pema Pera: what is your interest in the testing Kat?
    Pema Pera: Would it influence your interest in doing it yourself?
    Pema Pera: if you knew the outcomes?
    Kat Lemieux: Well, my interest is in trying to avoid thinking that something is happening, when it’s just wishful thinking.
    Kat Lemieux: I am a cognitive scientist of sorts (or was trained to be anyway), so testing is something I think about
    Fael Illyar: ah, aware that unreasonable expectation brings unhappiness :)
    Kat Lemieux: But testing might help avoid errors of unrealistic expectations
    Fael Illyar: the key is to not expect either way.
    Kat Lemieux: That’s certainly an ideal that scientists try to achieve, but how do you know what effect a practice is having if you can’t test it?
    genesis Zhangsun: are you aware Kat of studies which show frontal cortex growth from meditation
    genesis Zhangsun: there are a few different studies I have read about
    Kat Lemieux: Yes, genesis. I think that’s fascinating
    genesis Zhangsun: they are interesting if you are looking for “proof”
    Fael Illyar: frontal cortex? what functions did that part have?
    Kat Lemieux: But we don’t all have a PET scanner handy….
    Faenik: could be
    Pema Pera: (unfortunately my battery is about to run out — here in a coffeeshop in Tokyo halfway work place and hotel — so have to bail out)
    genesis Zhangsun: they say future planning is one of them?
    Pema Pera: (an objective fact I have to obey :)
    Fael Illyar: See you later Pema :)
    genesis Zhangsun: but many different functions
    genesis Zhangsun: but Pema!
    Kat Lemieux: Bye, Pema!
    Bertrum Quan: Bye Pema
    genesis Zhangsun: oops bye Pema
    Pema Pera: great seeing you all here!
    Pema Pera: Fael, Bert, anyone, chat logs welcome later!
    genesis Zhangsun: I think I am going to bed now
    genesis Zhangsun: thank you for the calming effect!
    genesis Zhangsun: :)
    Pema Pera: sleep well, Gen — and everyone in due time!
    Kat Lemieux: I should try to do that, too, so I can get back on a “normal” schedule

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