2009.07.04 07:00 - Prayer - theme session 3

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    Wol Euler was guardian and commenter for this session, filling in for Lia.


    This was the third in a continuing series of theme sessions relating Islam to Play as Being. The previous sessions were Ways of Knowing and One and Many

    Sophia and I arrived a little early to plan the session, and the recorder caught us in mid-connivance. We interwove two streams of conversation until the others started arriving.

    Wol Euler: I like the idea that the need to pray 5 times a day challenges you to find something to say, something to be thankful for.
    sophia Placebo: why did it start 10 mints earlier
    Wol Euler: ah :)
    Wol Euler: I wrote it that way to avoid missing the beginning of the session.
    Wol Euler: It wakes up 10 minutes before the hour, and starts looking for guardians.
    Wol Euler: as soon as it finds one, thte session is declared open.
    sophia Placebo: ok
    sophia Placebo: yeah i like it too when i started thinking of it that way , makes things much easier
    Wol Euler: I'm not sure who is GoC for this, Lia asked for a replacement. Maybe I'll just volunteer
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Wol Euler: remembering to start and stop is too tricky, bound to go wrong sometime
    sophia Placebo: instead of waiting the blessings , go search for one
    Wol Euler: this is good, sophia, the personal history of self-improvement through prayer is nice.
    sophia Placebo: i guess no one volunteered , at least no one announce that
    sophia Placebo: ^^
    Wol Euler: I just claimed it, have to see what happens with the visiting noobs.

    We turn half-serious as the hour turns and people start to arrive.

    sophia Placebo: hi nymf
    Nymf Hathaway: Good day you two :)
    Wol Euler: hello nymf
    sophia Placebo: hi mick
    Nymf Hathaway: Hello Mickorod :)
    Wol Euler: hi mick
    Mickorod Renard: hiya nymf, wol and sophia
    Wol Euler: Mick, I noticed that you and I almost always sit in the same places. Do you do this in RL too? when you go to your usual pub, do you have a usual chair there too?
    Mickorod Renard: unfortunately I dont have a favorite pub..but yes, I am a creature of certai habits
    Mickorod Renard: here I sit and se you all,,but also can see who arives
    Wol Euler: I achieve that by camming out :)
    Nymf Hathaway: is using a hud for that
    Mickorod Renard: like sitting in restraunts facing the door and window
    Wol Euler: yes, I hate having my back to the room
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Scath
    Nymf Hathaway: Hello again Scathach :)
    sophia Placebo: hi scath
    Wol Euler: hello scath
    Wol Euler: ((well, I should get a cup of tea and otherwise prepare for the session))
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Sophia, nymf, Wol, Mick!
    Mickorod Renard: it may be a man thing
    Wol Euler: or a paranoia thing.
    Mickorod Renard: more likely,,yes
    Wol Euler: :)


    Sophia was in a new av, a floppy-eared rabbit.

    Scathach Rhiadra: Love your Av Sophia:)
    sophia Placebo: thank you scath ^^
    Nymf Hathaway: yes its sweet :)
    Mickorod Renard: cute,,but I prefer the real Sophia
    sophia Placebo: anyone have a carrot :))
    Nymf Hathaway: Nope but I do have a salad if I am right :)
    sophia Placebo: recession
    Wol Euler: ah, but what is "real" here, Mick?
    Nymf Hathaway: hahahha
    sophia Placebo: true sophia is fantasy too
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Nymf Hathaway: depends on where you are Wol
    Mickorod Renard: what is real anywhere?
    Wol Euler: "usual" perhaps?
    Wol Euler: also true!
    Nymf Hathaway: Hello Pema :)
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Pema
    sophia Placebo: hi pema
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Pema!
    Wol Euler: hello pema!
    Pema Pera: Hi everybody!
    Wol Euler: I think that is one of the delights of SL, one fo the lessons it has to teach us: that personality ("who we are") is not a feature of our bodies.
    Nymf Hathaway: Loves that about sl
    Scathach Rhiadra: :)
    Wol Euler: in RL they get in the way, we cannot help but notice size and shape and colour and smell ...
    Mickorod Renard: I enjoy that bit
    Wol Euler: perhaps that will carry over into RL, and start educating a generation who really don't care about the way people look?
    Nymf Hathaway: Hello Yakuzza
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Yaku
    Yakuzza Lethecus: hey everyone
    sophia Placebo: hi yak
    Wol Euler: hello yakuzza
    Pema Pera: Interesting thought, Wol !
    Pema Pera: hi Yak!
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello yakuzza
    Nymf Hathaway: I like that thought as well Wol
    Mickorod Renard: In Rl it has its draw backs
    Nymf Hathaway: Two years ago we did a project in the forum... everyone was asked to make their avi ugli...by giving it a belly, make it hairless etc... and than walk into secondlife... it was hard to see what happend
    Wol Euler smiles. What a great idea. What did happen?
    Mickorod Renard: hey,,some of us like hairless
    Nymf Hathaway: well everyone got ignored...even in places they usually visited
    Wol Euler thinks of Sean Connery and smiles
    Nymf Hathaway: smiles at Mickorod, I do as well :)
    Mickorod Renard: ty ;)
    Nymf Hathaway: the visual stays important even in sl :(
    Wol Euler: yes, that is true.
    Yakuzza Lethecus: maybe when it's provocating and intentionally ugly
    sophia Placebo: hehe
    Mickorod Renard: yes,,cute outfit wol
    Nymf Hathaway: yes possible as well Yakuzza
    Wol Euler: ty mick :)
    Mickorod Renard: I think the vanity that sl affords us is what is risky
    Yakuzza Lethecus: i mean i am just black it's a standart skin it was a bug in the first place and after i logged in with the wrong secondlife browser and i became colorful again i intentionally made it like the bug before :)
    Yakuzza Lethecus: somebody told me that it's not even that easy to have only one shoe
    Yakuzza Lethecus: i never tried that much with the editor
    Mickorod Renard: I like one shoe


    Pema calls us to order.

    Pema Pera: Shall we get started with our theme meeting, Sophia and Wol ?
    sophia Placebo: sure
    Wol Euler: let's do.
    Wol Euler: Sophia, will you start off please?
    sophia Placebo: ok
    sophia Placebo: as the theme is about prayer i wanted to make sure that you see the diffrence btw the whispered prayer and salat
    sophia Placebo: i hope you get through the email ,even in glance
    Yakuzza Lethecus: hi ara
    arabella Ella: hiya
    Mickorod Renard: ;)
    sophia Placebo: today i'm going to tell about my personal journey with salat specifically , that is the one that is mandatory and performed five times a day
    sophia Placebo: hi ara
    Nymf Hathaway: Hello Arabella
    sophia Placebo: what prayer means to me ?
    sophia Placebo: first we were told as children that we should pray so Allah would love us and we shouldnt let satan fool us and make us miss a prayer, and that what it was about, we perform the prayers then jump happily here and there ,you've done your job then the question: why i pray became so annoying, though we might asked that at first and we were answered but the prayer became more like a habbit ,a routin, i was looking for an efect for a result for something i can sense
    sophia Placebo: though at that time i think was prayer would draw you close to Allah and the more one become so carefull about details and such things one would fel the closeness , hmm and i had this image of white halo or the feeling of completely detach from this world
    sophia Placebo: well thats never happen, whuch leads to frustration and thw why iam not worthy
    sophia Placebo: then prayer has a meaning of purifcation, the more you are pure the more halo feeling you would got, and the more halo feeling you got the better you see and more purness you become so i started to develop self, stop lies, stop talking behind poeple backs and so on
    sophia Placebo: with time prayer becomes like an alarm, when you are angry at someone and really thinking to harm him/her, and it is a prayer time, you would think btw your self befor performing salat how pointless it is, you are standing asking for guidance and mercy but at the same time planning to harm someone so you just stop, calm, try to distracts those ideas and start praying
    sophia Placebo: prayer then become like a shelter, daily one that you just stop all your worries, the external one and instead start self review about how you treat poeple or solve problems, did i went right did i went wrong? there is no escape and you cant hide yourself from Allah so better not to fool oneself
    sophia Placebo: the shelter is at the same time a chance and a challange a chance to self review a chance to calm but also a chance to talk to someone when you really in distress, you just find in salat some calamity or chance to stop doing something you werent aware that you have done all the time, you stand there and say please God forgive me and guid me and give me the power to change it
    sophia Placebo: the routine nature of salat is a challange: everyday obstacles usually dominate our thinking, the challange is to not let them dominate for 5 mints five times a day. as much easy as it looks but it is not
    sophia Placebo: but the routin nature is a chance too: chance to find something during your day to thank God for, glory and praise him for or something to ask for forgiveness and then the routin words and acts have new meaning and more stronger meaning day after day
    sophia Placebo: ps: calmness im talking about is not as strong as the one after smoking a cigar or drinking a wine or drugs or anything of that sort it is so fine feeling, but dosne vanish, it persist and you build upon it. end.
    Wol Euler smiles. thank you, sophia.
    Wol Euler: I like the idea that the need to pray 5 times a day challenges you to find something to say, something to be thankful for. A reason to be grateful
    Wol Euler: I'm curious about the difference between two kinds of prayer, that you made explicit.
    Wol Euler: There is the routine prayer with a fixed form or words, that is repeated regularly. This seems to be like "sweeping the path", clearing away the weeds that might grow betwen you and perceiving God
    Wol Euler: but when you also talked about considering what you had done or might do, reviewing where you stand today, that seems to be quite a different kind of "prayer"
    Wol Euler: when we met earlier to discuss what to say, you named these kinds of prayer as Dua'a and Salat
    Wol Euler: where Salat is the regular prayer, the standard form of words, five times a day
    Wol Euler: and Dua'a is "the whispered prayer" as you called it :)
    Wol Euler: which is personal and self-examining
    Wol Euler: could you tell us a little more about the difference?
    sophia Placebo: well , it is a diffrence in faith strenghth thing as explained islamically , to make it clear , if you wish to be slim is not like thinking serously about it and is not like planning to it and is not like taking a physicall step towards it , what motivates you to take the physical steps is much stronger than the one that makes you wish
    sophia Placebo: the inner has manfested on the outer


    The half-hour minute bell and the arrival of a few latecomers coincide with the end of our presentation.

    Wol Euler: well, sophia and I seem to be done, so the floor is open :)
    Pema Pera: I just want to thank you, Sophia, for your heartfelt expressions in sharing with us what prayer means for you -- it is not easy to share such aspects in a group; I really appreciate it!
    sophia Placebo: my pleasure
    arabella Ella: yes it is extremely interesting and i think for those of us who were raised in the spirit of 'prayer' i think i can identify with a great deal of what you said
    arabella Ella: there are certainly many similarities
    Wol Euler nods
    arabella Ella: but you expressed them so nicely too
    sophia Placebo: ^^
    arabella Ella: is there a theological reason for having times for prayer five times a day?
    arabella Ella: some religious orders in christianity have that system too
    sophia Placebo: not a one that we know
    sophia Placebo: it was 50
    Wol Euler: wow!
    arabella Ella: you mean 50 times a day?
    sophia Placebo: then prophet asked Allah to makes them less
    sophia Placebo: yes 50 per day
    arabella Ella: oh
    Wol Euler: what are the times, sophia?
    Pema Pera: (50 times is more like PaB, if you do them 12 and a half hours a day :-)
    sophia Placebo: at dawn befor sun raising , at mid day , at afternoon which is after the mid day by hour and a half i think
    sophia Placebo: at sunset and then in evning that is after sunset by maybe an hour
    Hana Furlough: and everyone would participate?
    arabella Ella: is there any connection between these five times for prayers and going to a mosque?
    sophia Placebo: at the beginning at the end or working day and in the middle
    Wol Euler: hello kiremimi
    sophia Placebo: hana it is a mandatory one
    arabella Ella: Hiya Kiremimi
    Pema Pera: Hi Kire!
    Kiremimi Tigerpaw: hello wol
    sophia Placebo: ara yes , all mosques should have five times a day prayer being held there
    Hana Furlough: hi kiremimi
    Wol Euler: yes, good question.. When we were talking earlier, you called Salat " prayer with actions"
    sophia Placebo: hi kiremimi
    Scathach Rhiadra: Hello Kiremimi
    Nymf Hathaway: Hello Kiremimi
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Hi Kiremimi
    Kiremimi Tigerpaw: Hi, sophia
    Kiremimi Tigerpaw: Hi, Nymf
    Wol Euler: by "action", did you mean prostrations in the Mosque?
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Kiremimi
    Mickorod Renard: it was destiny I sat here
    sophia Placebo: i meant the actions of salat it self , we stand , then kneel then put our forehead on the ground
    sophia Placebo: participating in mosques is recommended
    sophia Placebo: in sunni islam it is a must , in shia islam it is not
    sophia Placebo: praying in a mosque is called jama'ah ie praying all togather moveing at one time
    Wol Euler: aah, ty.
    arabella Ella: does praying in a mosque together give you more of what you called a 'halo' by which i think you meant 'holiness'?
    Nymf Hathaway: slips away quietly
    sophia Placebo: halo i think i meant this white cloude that tv and some children boks put around a good person
    sophia Placebo: bye nymf
    Yakuzza Lethecus: bye
    arabella Ella nods
    sophia Placebo: it gives you the sense of unity actually
    arabella Ella: Wol seems to me to have a halo right now as the remained a cloud halo for me today :)
    Wol Euler: :)
    Wol Euler: ah, sorry, you should hve said.
    arabella Ella: :)
    arabella Ella: no worries
    arabella Ella: how are you fixing it Wol the cloud has disappeared and only your name is there and just a 'breath' now
    Wol Euler: oh dear.
    Mickorod Renard: wol looks good to me
    Wol Euler: talk amongst yourselves for a moment
    SophiaSharon Larnia: me too
    arabella Ella: ok
    arabella Ella: so dont worry Wol I seem to be the only one to see your halo today
    Wol Euler: that should do it
    arabella Ella: yes!
    Wol Euler: so, um, as we were saying...
    Scathach Rhiadra: :)


    About mosques and marriages.

    arabella Ella: sophia ... i expect the mosques have other functions too dont they not just for the five times a day prayers?
    sophia Placebo: they do
    sophia Placebo: they are basically a community center
    arabella Ella: but for example does religious marriage happen in a mosque or not?
    sophia Placebo: deaths marriges are announced there
    sophia Placebo: lessons and courses are given
    sophia Placebo: lectures and events are hold there
    sophia Placebo: in the past they were the universities
    arabella Ella: oh
    sophia Placebo: no marrige is just a contract that is agreed upon btw 2 poeple
    sophia Placebo: that usually happened at home
    sophia Placebo: or in court
    Wol Euler: oh, that is interesting. So it's not a religious ceremony in the community?
    sophia Placebo: but they may announce marrige or most importantly divorce there
    arabella Ella: and so you do not distinguish between religious marriage and state marriages? (wnat we call civil)
    sophia Placebo: well everything is religiouse but not the same way it is in christianity
    arabella Ella: but in ways which are more similar than expected sophia :)
    Pema Pera: (Pema sneaking out, since it is midnight for him; thanks again, Sophia & Wol and all !)
    sophia Placebo: if the conditions are the same there is no diffrence
    Yakuzza Lethecus: bye pema
    Wol Euler: 'night pema, sleep well.
    arabella Ella: bye pema
    sophia Placebo: bye pema
    Scathach Rhiadra: night Pema
    Yakuzza Lethecus: still in japan ?
    Mickorod Renard: nite Pema
    Yakuzza Lethecus: night
    Hana Furlough: bye pema~
    Kiremimi Tigerpaw: good night, all
    arabella Ella: bye Kiremimi
    Scathach Rhiadra: good night Kiremimi
    Wol Euler: 'night kiremimi, nice to see you again
    sophia Placebo: bye kiremimi
    Mickorod Renard: nite nite Kirem
    Hana Furlough: goodnight kiremimi~
    Kiremimi Tigerpaw: bye...thanks all
    Yakuzza Lethecus: night kir
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Night Pema, bye Kiremimi
    Mickorod Renard: this was a very interesting sesion
    Wol Euler: indeed :)
    arabella Ella: another quick question if i may
    SophiaSharon Larnia: I wish i wasnt late
    sophia Placebo: sure

    Friday prayers.

    arabella Ella: sophia your important day is what we call friday
    sophia Placebo: true
    Mickorod Renard: I would like one day,,to see how the division manifested itself,,
    arabella Ella: do you have extra prayers or mosque sessions that day like christians have on sundays?
    sophia Placebo: not extra but special
    Mickorod Renard: between Islam and Christianity
    arabella Ella: how do you mean special?
    sophia Placebo: jomo'ah prayer or friday prayer
    sophia Placebo: it is replacement of the midday prayer
    arabella Ella: longer and more elaborate perahps?
    sophia Placebo: the midday prayer is 4 cycles of act
    sophia Placebo: the jomo'ah prayer is only 2
    arabella Ella: ah
    Wol Euler: oh, so it's actually shorter than usual?
    sophia Placebo: but befor the prayer there are 2 speeches
    Wol Euler: aaah
    sophia Placebo: one to glory allah
    sophia Placebo: the second to adress muslims affairs
    arabella Ella: by who?
    sophia Placebo: the imam
    arabella Ella: ok
    arabella Ella: and is it the imam too who speaks from the minaret?
    arabella Ella: and is that a reminder to pray?
    sophia Placebo: no thats moa'then
    arabella Ella: excuse my ignorance :)
    sophia Placebo: it is the call to prayer
    arabella Ella: ok ty
    sophia Placebo: no worries ara
    arabella Ella: :)


    Does everything stop?

    Hana Furlough: what is it like to have everyone praying five times a day?
    sophia Placebo: hmm what do you mean ?
    Hana Furlough: well, i guess in other secular societies there is no time where everyone stops together and remembers something higher
    Wol Euler: the closest in modern Germany is probably watching the 8:15pm news
    Hana Furlough: lol exactly
    Yakuzza Lethecus: lol
    sophia Placebo: well i havent been to non muslim country befor
    Yakuzza Lethecus: i live on a village here it's still more popular to visit a church at least once a week, even when i don't do that
    sophia Placebo: though turkey considered secular but you can find mosques there too easly
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Wol Euler: what do shopkeepers do, for example? Do they close their stores during those times?
    Hana Furlough: does everyone have a similar experience of prayer?
    sophia Placebo: in saudi arabia it is mandatory - yeah i know many poeple just dont like it , they close them for lenghthy periods
    arabella Ella: i remember visiting karachi in pakistan some years back and everyone would stop to pray at certain times regardless of where they were
    sophia Placebo: but in other countries yes they close them or 2 poeple make a shift during that
    arabella Ella: and in malaysia where i was last week the universities and hotels and shopping centres all have prayer roomms for same purpose but in malaysia people choose to pray or not
    sophia Placebo: saudi and maldive islands , the stores are closed
    sophia Placebo: ooh ara you reminds me of you tube vedio
    arabella Ella: yes?
    sophia Placebo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pg4Z9...eature=related
    Hana Furlough: i should get going
    arabella Ella: interesting sophia thanks
    sophia Placebo: bye hana
    Hana Furlough: thanks for chatting everyone
    Hana Furlough: bye~
    SophiaSharon Larnia: yes Sophia thank you :)
    sophia Placebo: yw ara
    Wol Euler watches and laughs out loud at the scuba diver prostrating himself on teh sea floor.
    Wol Euler: bye hana, take care
    arabella Ella: bye hana and sophia sharon
    Scathach Rhiadra: :)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: bye Hana
    SophiaSharon Larnia: bye
    sophia Placebo: hehe me too wol
    Wol Euler: bye ara
    Scathach Rhiadra: bye Hana, sophiaSharon
    Mickorod Renard: bye hana
    sophia Placebo: you welcome sophia
    Mickorod Renard: bye sophi shaz
    arabella Ella: i mmust go too
    sophia Placebo: bye ara
    Mickorod Renard: ok guys,,must go,,thanks very much Sophia and Wol
    Yakuzza Lethecus: bye ara
    arabella Ella: thanks sophia very very interesting :)
    sophia Placebo: bye mick
    Scathach Rhiadra: bye Ara, Mick
    Wol Euler: bye ara, bye mick. enjoy your satudays
    sophia Placebo: you welcome
    Mickorod Renard: bye,,peace be with you
    sophia Placebo: peace with you mick
    Wol Euler: bye yakuzza, take care
    sophia Placebo: bye yak
    Scathach Rhiadra: bye Yakuzza
    Yakuzza Lethecus: bye
    Wol Euler: I was flipping through the wikipedia during hte last pauses, checking on various words and how they overlap
    Wol Euler: worship, prayer, devotion, supplication ...
    sophia Placebo nods
    Wol Euler: wikipedia on prayer: "Various spiritual traditions offer a wide variety of devotional acts. There are morning and evening prayers, graces said over meals, and reverent physical gestures. Some Christians bow their heads and fold their hands. Some Native Americans regard dancing as a form of prayer. Some Sufis whirl. Hindus chant mantras. Orthodox Jews sway their bodies back and forth and Muslims kneel and prostrate as seen on the right. Quakers keep silent."
    Scathach Rhiadra: that was a beautiful video:)
    sophia Placebo: :)
    Wol Euler: yes, thank you very much.
    Scathach Rhiadra: to see prayer such an integral part of all life
    sophia Placebo: intersting wol
    Scathach Rhiadra: I must go, thank you Sophia and Wol for a great presentation:)
    Wol Euler smiles.
    sophia Placebo: thank you scath bye :)
    Wol Euler: bye scath, enjoy the day.
    Wol Euler: and thank you sophia, that was another great session!
    Scathach Rhiadra: _/\_
    sophia Placebo: my pleasure wol
    Wol Euler smiles
    Wol Euler: I hope you are enjoying these sessions too, I hope it isn't a burden?
    sophia Placebo: not at all
    Wol Euler: good :)
    sophia Placebo: ^^
    sophia Placebo: g2g too see you later
    Wol Euler: bye for now, sophia, take care
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