2009.04.28 01:00 - A Long Strange Trip

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Wester, but Pema Pera took over from her. The comments are by Pema Pera.

    For almost half an hour, I was the only one present.  I spent the time chatting via IM with some friends, including Strannik, Travieso, and Sidona, and then I decided it would be more fun to have all three of them at the pavilion, so that they can talk with each other as well.  It was the first visit for Strannik and Travieso.  Sidona had been with us a couple times earlier.  And just when I sent them tps, Fael arrived as well.

    Pema Pera: oh hi there, Strannik!
    Pema Pera: You see, I'm here all by myself this time
    Strannik Zipper: this is a nice space
    Pema Pera: thanks!
    Pema Pera: Storm Nordwind built it
    Pema Pera: He also built the Kira Cafe.
    Pema Pera: Hi Fael!
    Strannik Zipper: How are things with the IAS?
    Fael Illyar: Hi Pema, Strannik :)
    Strannik Zipper: Greetings
    Pema Pera: Fine, but far away now
    Pema Pera: btw, Strannik, we record our chats here and add them to the wiki I just gave you the URL of, is that okay with you?
    Strannik Zipper: sure
    Pema Pera: ty!
    Pema Pera: Hi Travieso!
    Travieso Sella: hello =]
    Fael Illyar: Hello Travieso :)
    Pema Pera: Hi Sidona!
    Sidona Donogal: Hi Pema!
    Pema Pera: Good seeing you all!
    Travieso Sella: こんにちは
    Travieso Sella: konnichiwa
    Pema Pera: こんにちは
    Pema Pera: 日本語話すの?
    Fael Illyar: Hello Sidona :)
    Travieso Sella: [I don'tactually speak Japanese]
    Sidona Donogal: hi fael and everyone :)
    Travieso Sella: yet
    Pema Pera: Travieso, did I ask you already whether it's okay with you that we put up our chat logs on our wiki?
    Sidona Donogal: go for it trav!
    Travieso Sella: oh, I don't mind
    Pema Pera: ty!
    Pema Pera: It is http://playasbeing.wik.is/
    With two new visitors, I gave a quick overview of PaB.
    Pema Pera: shall I quickly summarize what we do here?
    Strannik Zipper: please do
    Pema Pera: given that Strannik and Travieso are here for the first time
    Pema Pera: The idea is very simple:
    Pema Pera: in RL we spend a few hours every day taking a 9-sec break roughly every 15 minutes
    Pema Pera: which will cost you a couple minutes a day
    Pema Pera: During that time we try to stop and drop what we have in order to see what we are
    Pema Pera: Here is Second Life we stop for a whopping 90 seconds :-)
    Pema Pera: you will see the fountain going misty, and you will hear a bell to indicate start and end
    Pema Pera: and green letters in Local Chat
    Pema Pera: so that was a turbo version :-)
    Pema Pera: the basic idea of the 9 seconds is that it trades duration for frequency
    Pema Pera: instead of trying to spend half an hour or longer on martial arts or yoga or a form of meditation
    Pema Pera: we spend only a couple minutes, but spread over many small intervals
    Pema Pera: and surprisingly, for many people it makes a big difference in their day, already after the first few days
    Pema Pera: Well, that's about it :-)
    Travieso Sella: It's is described on the website as an experiment
    Strannik Zipper: excellent - I even have a piece of software for that :)
    Pema Pera: Four times an hour a short break in RL, and four times a day a chance to talk about it here in SL
    Pema Pera: "experiment" means here to view your whole life as an experiment
    Travieso Sella: i see
    Pema Pera: as something to try out, tinker with, play with
    Pema Pera: not an academic experiment :-)
    Pema Pera: Recently we had our first birthday, and someone put together a history of Play as Being's first year: http://playasbeing.wik.is/PaB_Chronicles
    Sidona Donogal: cool, congratiulations pema!
    Pema Pera: thank you, Sidona!
    Fael Illyar smiles.
    Fael Illyar: Might be difficult to make an academic experiment out of something like this :)
    Pema Pera: I certainly have no interest in that direction
    Strannik connected our approach with another one:
    Strannik Zipper: Sounds a bit like Mr. Gurdjieff's "stop" exercise, but a bit more flexible
    Travieso Sella: hehe
    Pema Pera: I'm interested in exloring the nature of reality
    Pema Pera: and I like to share that with friends who have similar interests
    Pema Pera: what did Gurdjieff do/say, Strannik?
    Strannik Zipper: Here is a brief description:
    Strannik Zipper: The Stop Exercise is said to be impossible to do on your own. The aim is to immediately stop whatever you're doing and freeze in that position, mentally, emotionally and physically, so that you can observe your current inner state. The command must come from an external source such as the person or Teacher giving the command to stop. When you freeze you should observe the state of your physical, emotional and intellectual centers and evaluate if you were Remembering yourself at the time or were Identified. Note your physical position, your emotional state and the thoughts in your intellectual center. Were you in a physically balanced and stable position or in an awkward one? Were you worried, angry, depressed or happy? Were you thinking about the past or future or what other people thought about you? Were you aware of your surroundings or lost in an inner world of subjective concerns?
    Pema Pera: well, I guess we are attempting to do the impossible here, Strannik, welcome to a strange club!
    Fael Illyar: :)
    Strannik Zipper: There is software which helps if you work at a computer all day:
    Strannik Zipper: http://www.endlesssearch.co.uk/exercises_stop.htm
    Travieso Sella: heh, so far it reminds me somewhat of that and also the practise of mindfullness in zen
    Pema Pera: ah, that may be fun and helpful -- but perhaps the "question for the day" is not necessary :)
    Strannik Zipper: right
    Fael Illyar has a bell sound playing every 15 minutes on her computer.
    Pema Pera: yes, it is like "wall gazing" in zen,
    Pema Pera: but instead of long attempts to empty out, it shoots many little wholes in your usual conditioning
    Pema Pera: with any form of meditation, integration of what you learn in your life is hardest and takes longest
    Pema Pera: so what we do here is starting to integrate while we meditate, so to speak :)
    Pema Pera: shampoo and rinse all in one!
    Strannik Zipper: with consistency achieved like a software enginner reading the shampoo instructions (lather, rinse, repeat, endless loop :))
    Pema Pera: for Strannik: the phrase "Play as Being" comes from the Time, Space, Knowledge book by Tarthang Tulku
    Pema Pera: yes, Play as Being is pretty endless (so far :-)
    Strannik Zipper: ah ha! I thought it sounded familiar!
    Pema Pera: last page, Strannik :)
    Pema Pera: PaB is starting at the end of TSK
    Strannik Zipper: there is an end?
    Pema Pera: (Strannik and I met 19 years ago at a workshop on Time, Space, Knowledge)
    Pema Pera: what do you think?
    Strannik Zipper: only to the sequention paper of the book
    Strannik Zipper: er sequential
    And Sidona asked a pertinent question :-)
    Sidona Donogal: strannik, may i ask you what the 19 years in between brought for you?
    Strannik Zipper: um...wow! a lot!
    Pema Pera: :)
    Strannik Zipper: It is a long and spiral path
    Strannik Zipper: in that it seems to repeat, and yet not
    Sidona Donogal: how has you perception of your own "being" changed?
    Strannik Zipper: lets see - there are less parts because there are more wholes for one
    Strannik Zipper: there is more space because there are less walls, or they have become transparent
    Sidona Donogal: nicely put stran
    Strannik Zipper: or in the words of the Grateful Dead - what a long strange trip its been!
    Travieso Sella: hehe.
    Pema Pera: :)
    Pema Pera: the Grateful Non-Born ?
    Sidona Donogal: during the first bell here i felt the closeness sitting next to you and it felt confortable to be around you, thank you for being who you are
    Strannik Zipper: yeah, thanks Pema
    Pema Pera: we all feel close here, Sidona, like a kind of family
    Sidona Donogal: i never met stran before, so i felt that more intense
    Pema Pera: meeting often and talking about heartfelt things helps bringing that out
    Fael Illyar: :)
    Sidona Donogal: in the being it is there right away, for me
    Fael Illyar: helps but I've got that with some people on first meeting before saying a word :)
    Sidona Donogal: right, fael, that is my experience too
    Pema Pera: yes, I realized that we simultaneously typed about very different experiences :-)
    Sidona Donogal: then with others it might take a while as well :))
    Pema Pera: which are both familiar to me too
    Travieso made an interesting comparison.
    Travieso Sella: I just came from philosophy house. I have some friends there. But I find the vibe to be a very negative one and devoid of real friendliness.
    Pema Pera: it may be a lack of theme, and too much discordance
    Travieso Sella: Its mostly a very scattered argument
    Strannik Zipper: perhaps its because philosophy requires the clashing of thoughts (like in Plato's Republic)
    Sidona Donogal: often these philosophy people struggle to find a path to their hearts in my experience, that makes it difficult for them to relate to each other
    Pema Pera: the fact that we don't only engage in theory, but also in experiment, grounds us a lot
    Pema Pera: instead of speculation, we explore and talk about our actual explorations
    Travieso Sella: I like the free forum aspect but with freedom comes repsonsibility
    Travieso Sella: but places with a focus seem to not have to deal with any of that
    Strannik Zipper: I really like this format, but I occasionlly like an intense clash of minds - it helps to bring out discriminating intelligence which can balance out too much space
    Sidona Donogal: animals are great helpers to me. you see a cat and you are out of everything all of a sudden, cloaked in a furry cosiness and in the joy of existence.
    Travieso Sella: I think that place could benefit from one of these timers
    Sidona Donogal: i agree with you stran, limits are very healthy for our life on earth
    Strannik Zipper: Cats are wonderful - of course they were worshipped in Egypt, and they've never gotten over it
    Pema Pera: (sorry, will have to leave now; my batteries are running low, here in the cafe where I found a place to sit down before dinner)
    Fael Illyar: See you later Pema :)
    Sidona Donogal: thank you pema
    Sidona Donogal: safe path to you
    Sidona Donogal: :))
    Strannik Zipper: Cheers Pema - have some good Ramen for me :)
    Travieso Sella: cya
    Fael Illyar waves.
    Pema Pera: thanks for joining me here -- bfn
    Fael Illyar: I'll move to other things as well.
    Fael Illyar: See you later :)
    Sidona Donogal: bye fael
    Sidona Donogal: nice meeting you
    Sidona Donogal: :))
    Strannik Zipper: bye Fael
    Travieso Sella: cya
    Travieso Sella: さよなら
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