2008.09.12 13:00 - No-thought and gender-alts

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    Solobill was guardian.  The comments are his.

    Adams Rubble: Hello Bill :)
    Solobill Laville: Hello, Adams!
    Adams Rubble: I can't stay long but wanted to touch base with PaB
    Solobill Laville: Ah, great!
    Solobill Laville: Any thing to touch base, specifically?
    Adams Rubble: No. It has been a long week and I am not sure whether I am stagnating or just in a calm period :)
    Solobill Laville: Ah... :)
    Solobill Laville: It is interesting the effect of the physical on each of us as well; e.g. tiredness...
    Adams Rubble: Yes, it is. I hadn't thought much about that this week but it has played a part
    Solobill Laville: it's the mental exhaustion that is tougher, in my opinion
    Adams Rubble: Yes, that is what I meant. I haven;t done all that much physically
    Solobill Laville: RIght, even long days take a physical toll, was my point. My Mondays and Wednesdays are 14-15 hour days
    Adams Rubble: Wow, is that all away from home?
    Solobill Laville: Yes, work, then school downtown
    Solobill Laville sighs and shrugs
    Adams Rubble: Ah, it has been a long while since I've done that. When I work long days I do part of it at home
    Solobill Laville: :)
    Adams Rubble: That takes less of a toll
    Solobill Laville: Sometimes, the physical tiredness can be a help to calm the mind though...so there is an upside perhaps too
    Adams Rubble: yes, I am finding that
    Adams Rubble: For me this week it has been the intensity of the time at work, not the hours
    Solobill Laville: ah, hope that is winding down for you?
    Adams Rubble: Yes, it is Friday :)
    Solobill Laville: Oh, yes that!
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Solobill Laville: Is your work project-based primarily, or just on-going?
    Adams Rubble: That should be an easy question to answer; it is both but mainly on-going
    Adams Rubble: Things got shaken up and we are readjusting
    Solobill Laville nods
    Adams Rubble: after today I am hoping there is a way ahead
    Adams Rubble: and hard work will start to pay off again
    Solobill Laville: mm hmm
    Adams Rubble: It's somewhat near the end of a 15 year project though, maybe, if things work out :)
    Solobill Laville: Wow, that is a project!! :)
    Solobill Laville: Does the intensity make the PaB practical stuff (9 secs) hard?
    Adams Rubble: Not hard, just somethings it is only a pause
    Adams Rubble: nothing there sometimes this week
    Solobill Laville: "nothing there" as in?
    Adams Rubble: I just stop and there are no thoughts
    Solobill Laville: oooh... :)
    Adams Rubble: I am not used to that; my three months here has been a whirlwind :)
    Solobill Laville smiles
    Solobill Laville: I have seen that :)
    Adams Rubble: But I looked back and my first week was a little like that
    Solobill Laville: like a whirlwind?
    Adams Rubble: no, just nothing there
    Solobill Laville: ok
    Adams Rubble: many of the times as I was getting started
    Solobill Laville: that is very interesting to me, Adams
    Adams Rubble: oh?
    Solobill Laville: yep
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Solobill Laville: in my 9-secs or sittings it is a part of the practice to have "no-thought"
    Adams Rubble: ah, yes, I have heard many people say that
    Adams Rubble: So maybe I have to get used to it?
    Solobill Laville: hmmm
    Solobill Laville: not necessarily get used to it, as to be there with it...sorry to be opaque...
    Adams Rubble: Unfortunately I have to go now, but I hope to hear more some time :)
    Solobill Laville: :), bye Adams
    Adams Rubble: Hello and goodbye Doug and Quilty :)

    Adams leaves just as Doug and Quilty arrive.

    Quilty Bookmite: Hi and Bye Adams.
    Adams Rubble: bye Bill, thanks for the chat :)
    doug Sosa: hi, sorry to be late..
    Solobill Laville: Hey, Quilty & Doug!
    doug Sosa: can i join the discussion you were having..?
    Solobill Laville: Of course - want me to share where we at?
    Quilty Bookmite: I just arrived too.
    doug Sosa: if it feels good, sure..
    Quilty Bookmite: What was the discussion?

    I sent a notecard of the previous conversation to Doug and Quilty.

    Quilty Bookmite: Thanks Solo
    Solobill Laville: I was getting very interesting in what Adams was saying!!
    doug Sosa: thanks..
    Solobill Laville: yw
    Solobill Laville: So, I think an interesting point
    Solobill Laville: is her attainment of "no-thought" with trying to attain that
    Solobill Laville: it seems to be a by-product of her PaB and other contemplative efforts
    Solobill Laville: We've often discussed the idea of goal setting, and goals being somewhat of a barrier
    doug Sosa: i like letting thoughts float by, not trying to achieve no thought. That seems to me too effortful, too repressive.
    Quilty Bookmite: Yes. that is the case in Zen too.
    Quilty Bookmite: We talk about the goal of goallessness.
    Solobill Laville: For my personal practice, I do strive for it (more of a Soto Zen approach)
    Quilty Bookmite: I'm also Soto Zen.
    Solobill Laville: Ah!
    Solobill Laville: but the trick is to be goalless
    Quilty Bookmite: Be goalless but don;t strive to be. :-)
    Solobill Laville: hehe
    Solobill Laville: Are you familiar with Shikan taza?
    Quilty Bookmite: No. Sounds familiar though.
    Quilty Bookmite: A lot of the names in my tradition have been translated into english,
    Solobill Laville: hmm, don't know if that has or not...
    Solobill Laville: but it is an active focus on no-thought...I guess is the way I'd describe it quickly
    Quilty Bookmite: Oh right. Not heard of that.
    Solobill Laville: But, yes, in the Zen tradition it is often a goal to achieve "no-thought" or "no-mindedness" in sitting
    Solobill Laville: And as Adams has shown, it is achievable without striving :)
    Quilty Bookmite: but it happens naturally through meditation. You can't force the thoughts away.
    Quilty Bookmite: I think it is ONLY achievable without striving.
    Solobill Laville: Right, that would be akin to a dog chasing its tail, yes?
    Solobill Laville: The whirling thought-circle!
    Quilty Bookmite: Yes. Or trying to grasp water with your hand.
    doug Sosa: Last night i was hungry and i said "but the strawberry is real."
    Quilty Bookmite: What did you mean?
    doug Sosa: there are real strawberries, illusory strawberries and dignital strawberries. I love the ambiguity.
    Quilty Bookmite: Yes. :-)
    Quilty Bookmite: Only the real strawberries are any good. :-)
    Solobill Laville: There as real as we are!
    Quilty Bookmite: Yes. :-)

    I finally brought up the fact that Quilty was, well, a woman today! 

    Solobill Laville: Quilty, btw, I noticed a different look today, nice! :)
    Quilty Bookmite: Yes. something of an experiment. :-)
    Quilty Bookmite: You cna see why it happened in the chat log a couple of days ago.
    Solobill Laville: Ah, will do.
    Quilty Bookmite: Takes a lot of getting used to.
    Solobill Laville: :)
    Solobill Laville: I've read a few articles on it lately
    doug Sosa: i will say bye, so, ... bye:)
    Solobill Laville: bye doug
    Quilty Bookmite: It's quite interesting to see how differently people react.
    Quilty Bookmite: Bye Doug.

    Doug poofed out.  Quilty and I talked a bit about gender and culture.

    Quilty Bookmite: For the first time, possibly in my life, I got chatted up.
    Solobill Laville: "chatted up"?
    Quilty Bookmite: Sorry. Let me see...
    Quilty Bookmite: Propositioned?
    Solobill Laville eyes bug out
    Solobill Laville: hehe
    Quilty Bookmite: That's not the surprising bit.
    Solobill Laville: oh, dear
    Quilty Bookmite: It was a woman who chatted me up.
    Solobill Laville: hmmm...maybe also a "woman"...
    Quilty Bookmite: Could be. :-)
    Quilty Bookmite: You never know here.
    Quilty Bookmite: I made my excuses and left.
    Solobill Laville: :)
    Quilty Bookmite: Happily married. :-)
    Solobill Laville smiles
    Solobill Laville: So, have you found yourself acting differently at all?
    Quilty Bookmite: A little, yes.
    Quilty Bookmite: I'm still getting used to it.
    Solobill Laville: There is an argument that our cultural belonging needs are so strong
    Solobill Laville: that we feel deep need to fulfill what our culture expects of us
    Solobill Laville: gender, or sex, plays a big role in that obviously
    Quilty Bookmite: Oh yes. Definitely.
    Quilty Bookmite: However, I'm not really sure what our culture expects of a woman.
    Quilty Bookmite: I don't think a woman is necessarily less assertive than a man.
    Quilty Bookmite: Not any more anyway.
    Solobill Laville: agreed, but that can be culturally restricted too, yes?
    Quilty Bookmite: Maybe women don't really know what is expected of them any more. I'm pretty sure men don't.
    Quilty Bookmite: Yes.
    Solobill Laville: It's funny, there is a default woman avatar
    Solobill Laville: that you can just drag onto your av and wear
    Solobill Laville: so I did that at a store
    Solobill Laville: she is probably 5'4", 115 lbs or so
    Solobill Laville: I rezzed next to a male av
    Solobill Laville: just huge
    Solobill Laville: and all muscles
    Quilty Bookmite: Yes. I noticed that. Men tower over me now.
    Quilty Bookmite: Quite intimidating.
    Solobill Laville: My first thought was "this is some kind of monster"!!!!
    Solobill Laville: That, was an interesting thought...
    Quilty Bookmite: In RL I am 6'3 so it is definitely a new experience.
    Solobill Laville: Oh, yeah
    Solobill Laville: I wonder if there is any SL to RL carry over, and if so, does it effect your sitting mind-set...
    Solobill Laville: may never know that one.. ;)
    Quilty Bookmite: Well, this experiment may help me find out.
    Solobill Laville: That would be fascinating
    Quilty Bookmite: Maybe you should try it. :-)
    Solobill Laville: maybe :)

    Just then, as if on cue by some great PaB script, a huge, muscled, male avatar appeared named arestides.

    Quilty Bookmite: hi Arestides.
    Solobill Laville: Hello, arestides!
    arestides Zapatero: hi
    arestides Zapatero: what are you eating?
    Quilty Bookmite: We aren't eating.
    Quilty Bookmite: We're talking.

    I was thinking arestides must have been looking at the Japanese fare on the table.

    Solobill Laville: That's just for looks, arestides :)
    arestides Zapatero: may I join u?
    Quilty Bookmite: Sure.
    Solobill Laville: We are in a group that discusses the nature of reality
    Solobill Laville: Play as Being
    Solobill Laville: http://playasbeing.wik.is/
    arestides Zapatero: nice place to be talking about reality lol
    Quilty Bookmite: Indeed. :-)
    Solobill Laville: We publish our discussions on the web, is it ok if we include you on our wiki for this session?
    arestides Zapatero: yes
    Solobill Laville: great, thanks
    Quilty Bookmite: Please have a seat.
    Solobill Laville: we were just discussing the nature of cultural expectations on us
    Solobill Laville: and the roles we may play in terms of gender, etc.
    Quilty Bookmite: Try one of the cushions.
    Solobill Laville: and how avatars can play into that
    arestides Zapatero: oops sorry
    Solobill Laville: :)
    Solobill Laville: We meet throughout the day for folks in different time zones
    Solobill Laville: 1AM SLT, 7 AM SLT, 1PM SLT, and 7 PM SLT
    arestides Zapatero: 9pm gmt
    Quilty Bookmite: Yes.
    Quilty Bookmite: Are you in the UK?
    arestides Zapatero: nope portugal
    Solobill Laville: yes, so this is the 1 PM SLT session
    Solobill Laville: ah, I met someone else for Portugal last night... :)
    arestides Zapatero: eheh interesting the coincidence
    arestides Zapatero: we're a small country
    Solobill Laville: :)
    Quilty Bookmite: A lovely one though. My father used to work in Lisbon.
    arestides Zapatero: eheh did he liked it here?
    Quilty Bookmite: Yes. He would have stayed but his company transferred him back to the UK.
    Quilty Bookmite: Much better weather than here. :-)
    Quilty Bookmite: And they really enjoyed the food and wine.
    arestides Zapatero: well the weather isn't like it used to be anymore
    arestides Zapatero: really unpredictable
    Quilty Bookmite: Same everywhere I think. :-)
    Quilty Bookmite: I'm afraid I need to go. I need an early night. Sorry.
    Solobill Laville: Night, Quilty
    arestides Zapatero: bye
    Quilty Bookmite: Goodnight both of you. A pleasure to meet you arestides.
    arestides Zapatero: you too
    arestides Zapatero: bye

    Quilty left us.

    Solobill Laville: So, many of us in the group here have an interest in reality, ultimately speaking, or Being
    Solobill Laville: so we each practice in some way and try to make progress into "seeing" it
    Solobill Laville: then come here and share our experiences
    Solobill Laville: (I know it sounds very heavy....)
    Solobill Laville: But it is light and fun too :)
    arestides Zapatero: well i would like to ear more about it
    arestides Zapatero: well to read
    Solobill Laville: The link that I gave you to the wiki site gives an overview and also some highlighted chat logs
    Solobill Laville: You're always welcome :)
    Solobill Laville: You can also just come to listen, of course
    arestides Zapatero: well i looked at the wik
    arestides Zapatero: what kind of experiences do you mean?
    arestides Zapatero: could u give an easy example?
    Solobill Laville: Sure
    Solobill Laville: and I'll take this from the site...
    Solobill Laville: Play as Being is a playful shared adventure around the theme of Being. “Playing as Being” points to an exploration of reality. When we switch from what we have to what we are, what do we find? The best way to find out is to just give it a try.
    Solobill Laville: http://playasbeing.wik.is/Information/Hints
    Solobill Laville: Here look at this page....may give you more of an idea...
    arestides Zapatero: xiii this is deep
    Solobill Laville: hehe...

    Arestides dove right in!!

    arestides Zapatero: so .. let's start
    arestides Zapatero: to have vs to be
    Solobill Laville: ok....
    arestides Zapatero: it remind me some discussions about labels within certain groups
    arestides Zapatero: you have an handicap or you are handicapped .. you have autism or you are autistic
    arestides Zapatero: does it apply?
    Solobill Laville: sure
    Solobill Laville: all of those things are labels
    Solobill Laville: either put on internally or externally
    arestides Zapatero: or you mean to have material things? when u mention gender i thought it to be personal labels
    arestides Zapatero: yes
    Solobill Laville: Well, often people define themselves by what they have
    arestides Zapatero: one became the label that accept for himself
    arestides Zapatero: we all belong to several groups so to speak, but we chose the ones we want to be identified with
    arestides Zapatero: does it make sense?
    Solobill Laville: yes
    Solobill Laville: That is culture, and sub-cultures, or co-cultures
    Solobill Laville: but the trick is
    Solobill Laville: to peel away all of those layers
    Solobill Laville: those things, that make you think, makes up arestides
    arestides Zapatero: and what's left behind when the layers are gone?
    Solobill Laville: Exactly
    Solobill Laville: That, is the question :)
    Solobill Laville: But, to get there can take some effort
    Solobill Laville: WE all have made great efforts to build up this idea of "what we are"
    Solobill Laville: Some call this our "ego"
    arestides Zapatero: ohh but labels are confortable, a confort zone so to speak
    Solobill Laville: Oh, yes, it is all comfortable
    Solobill Laville: To not have those things can be very disconcerting
    Solobill Laville: As you said perfectly, what is left behind when the layers are gone?
    arestides Zapatero: i'm so and so - male, female, job, etc - and many efforts in life - behaviours, expectations - are defined so to speak
    Solobill Laville: Yes
    arestides Zapatero: no need to think about them
    Solobill Laville: And that is the external side
    arestides Zapatero: yes culture makes it easy
    arestides Zapatero: to give up on those thing ....
    Solobill Laville: There are many internal pillars, many unseen, that we have created to hold up our "ego"
    arestides Zapatero: such as?
    Solobill Laville: Sometimes fear
    Solobill Laville: Sometimes guilt
    Solobill Laville: Sometimes anger
    Solobill Laville: Sometimes a wall
    arestides Zapatero: ops nothing positive?
    Solobill Laville: Oh, no positive too
    Solobill Laville: In fact, the positive things can be much more challenging
    Solobill Laville: because they bring pleasure
    Solobill Laville: and we get attached to them
    arestides Zapatero: hiup
    Solobill Laville: And then we have to work on these attachments to "get through the layers", so to speak
    Solobill Laville: I think you'd do well here, arestides :)
    arestides Zapatero: i was thinking that in life we mostly do the opposite exercice
    arestides Zapatero: we try to find out in which sub-culture (?) we would like to belong
    arestides Zapatero: and we do our best to fit in
    Solobill Laville: sure
    arestides Zapatero: until likely but hardly life turns our expectation upside down and we find out we don't belong anymore
    arestides Zapatero: but then probably we turn into another group
    arestides Zapatero: doing the kind of exercise or pratice you propose .. well it's not usual i guess
    Solobill Laville: many people do some sort of practice like it without even realizing it sometimes  :)

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