2009.07.03 19:00 - Openness

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Dakini, but Pema stood in for her, since she was not able to come. The comments are by Pema Pera.

    For a while nobody else was present, and I enjoyed the quiet night of Second Life.  After a while a newbe came by, just born today, who walked up and stood next to me, but perhaps did not know how to communicate.  He went into editing mode for a while, then walked around some more and disappeared, without responding to my welcoming remarks.  Then, toward the end of the hour, Vajra appeared, with whom I had talked a day earlier as well.

    Pema Pera: Hi Vajra!
    Vajra Radikal: hi pema
    Vajra Radikal: sort of a quiet night 2 night
    Pema Pera: good to see you again
    Pema Pera: yes, quiet here, this evening
    Vajra Radikal: same here
    Pema Pera: for me it is morning, in Japan :-)
    Vajra Radikal: cool
    Vajra Radikal: im in mexico
    Pema Pera: must be pretty hot this time of year, I bet
    Vajra Radikal: not really actually cold and rainy in mexico city
    Pema Pera: oh? surprise!
    Vajra Radikal: where in japan do u hail from
    I overlooked that question during the session; I hail from Holland, live in New York, visit Kyoto now for a month.
    Pema Pera: Good to see you dropping by the other day, here. Do you have any questions about what we are talking about here, normally, or ideas or comments?
    Vajra Radikal: i was intrigued by the concept of higher and lower levels
    Vajra Radikal: or was it planes?
    Pema Pera: either way -- and either expression can be quite confusing. Normally I never talk about levels or planes; what you heard yesterday was an exception, triggered by Threedee quoting from a book
    Vajra Radikal: i did feeel a bit out of place from lack of knowledge but enjoyed it quite a bit
    Vajra Radikal: especially as i like to dwelve in emptiness or nothingness
    Vajra Radikal: im not sure if the translation
    Pema Pera: oh, please don't worry! We have a wide variety of people, some very steeped in their own particular tradition, others completely without any background in these things whatsoever
    Vajra Radikal: is correct
    Pema Pera: emptiness is a very important concept, but it is often misunderstood at first
    Pema Pera: I like to call it "openness" which sounds a lot more accessible and positive than "nothingness"
    Vajra Radikal: yes agreed
    Vajra Radikal: i like your definition
    Pema Pera: did you study some Buddhism?
    Vajra Radikal: i am currently a majayana practitiones
    Vajra Radikal: practitioner
    Pema Pera: great! Are you enjoing it?
    Vajra Radikal: las 2 years
    Vajra Radikal: yep
    Vajra Radikal: as a matter of fact i was amazed
    Vajra Radikal: as i was allways an atheist and a skeptic
    Vajra Radikal: i find it compatible
    Vajra Radikal: and quite eye opening
    Pema Pera: definitely!
    An interesting topic: compatibility between Buddhism and atheism; there are many ways in which atheism can be defined, almost always in contrast to Christianity in particular or monotheism in general, even though it often also is understood as being against any religious/spiritual tradition.
    Vajra Radikal: do you hold your own particular beliefs or follow any tradition
    Vajra Radikal: if u dont mind my asking
    Pema Pera: I have worked with approaches from many different traditions
    Pema Pera: and I have also tried out their "beliefs", but I prefer the word "hypothesis" rather than "belief"
    Vajra Radikal: true
    Pema Pera: or at least "belief" in the sense of something worth trying out, not as in blind belief
    Vajra Radikal: true i do have a problem still with rituals as i am quite resistant 2 them
    Vajra Radikal: i need to leave 4 a sec but will be back later
    Pema Pera: yes, I understand. Rituals can be easily seen as something superstitious or misleading
    Pema Pera: sure, np!
    Vajra Radikal: sayonara!
    Pema Pera: But rituals can also be very powerful, if their function is understood correctly, as a kind of magnifying glas, so to speak
    Vajra Radikal: like mantras for example?
    Pema Pera: yes, and many other approaches
    Vajra Radikal: or tantra
    Pema Pera: sure
    Pema Pera: but it is important to know what rituals stand for, and to really get into the spirit of them, the sense of them
    Vajra Radikal: some tea while i get back
    Pema Pera: thanks for the tea :-)
    Pema Pera: take your time!
    Vajra Radikal: does your info bot give out landmarks
    Vajra Radikal: ?
    Pema Pera: it should be on the note card
    Pema Pera: or you can look at our wiki at http://playasbeing.wik.is/
    Vajra Radikal: ok be back l8r
    Pema Pera: :)

    After a while, it was time for me to leave.  I sent Vajra an IM accordingly, and took off.

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