2010.01.02 19:00 - Working with Solidity

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Pema Pera. The comments are by Pema Pera.

    Doug started immediately by talking about the theme session that he and Gen had recently held.

    Pema Pera: Hi Doug!
    doug Sosa: hi pema
    doug Sosa: Well, the conversation about PaB and climate..
    Pema Pera: yes?
    doug Sosa: Well?
    Pema Pera: I have not had a chance to read the chat log, but I will certainly do so
    Pema Pera: the holidays have kept me more busy than I expected
    doug Sosa: It was not a good idea to have it at a regular session.
    For a while, I had no idea what Doug was unhappy about, what was the "not a good idea", so I started questioning.
    Pema Pera: regular session?
    Pema Pera: aren't all sessions regular?
    doug Sosa: 1 pm, right?
    doug Sosa: Ah, well, if it has a theme, people should know.
    Pema Pera: it was advertised, wasn't it?
    Pema Pera: more than once, I remember
    doug Sosa: If i came to d be at a PaB and found it was dedicated to the Kabala I would feel awkward
    doug Sosa: yes, but people came in late had no idea ..
    Pema Pera: well, there is a huge bulletin board, right near the entrance here, with a list of upcoming theme meetings
    doug Sosa: i for one have never seen it.
    Pema Pera: if people don't read that, and if guardians don't read the additional emails they get, there is little extra we can do . .. :-)
    Pema Pera: don't you read the Play as Being email?
    doug Sosa: except to have themes at special times.
    doug Sosa: I do a little, not regularly.
    I thought perhaps Doug was unhappy about the shift from 7 pm to 1 pm, between his first theme session and his second one.
    Pema Pera: so please let me understand, what is the difference between 1 pm and 7 pm?
    Pema Pera: both are regular times, and both were a theme session, the last two you organize
    doug Sosa: The problem of me is, I am stuck back on the way it was - what two years ago/ Quiet, reflective, and coolegial. Now it is more random, most of the time less - well,
    This suddenly opened a new thread, seemingly a quite different one: how PaB has changed over the years.
    doug Sosa: no difference. Themes should not be at regular session times. regular sesssions should be open inquiry into PaB experience.
    Pema Pera: you should feel free to organize special meetings at other times, Doug, by all means!
    Pema Pera: Eos and Eliza and Gaya and others have done that too
    I finally understood what Doug had meant: that he did not approve of the whole system of theme sessions, that we've had in place for more than a year, in which we occasionally have a session dedicated to a particular theme. I could then mention that there is an alternative to theme sessions, namely PaB activities organized at off hours, not overlapping with the four regular sessions each day.
    Pema Pera: Hi Sharon!
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Hi Pema, Hi Doug :)
    Pema Pera: Hi Calvino!
    doug Sosa: For me it used to work, now it is often frustrating. I make an effort to be at a session, and then no one is there.
    This was again a quite different thread, it seemed; it took me a while to understand that Doug only meant that sometimes a guardian on call may be a few minutes late for a session.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Hi Calvino
    Pema Pera: how often does that happen, that you come to a session and no one is there?
    doug Sosa: For me, this s me, i would like much more simplicity and regularity.
    Calvino Rabeni: Hello all !
    Pema Pera: I thought we always have a guardian, one at least
    doug Sosa: one in four.
    Pema Pera: REALLY?
    Pema Pera: that is hard to believe
    Pema Pera: since there are chat logs of more than 90% of the sessions, I would guess more than 95%.
    Pema Pera: can you remember the last few times that that happened?
    doug Sosa: well, tonight if i hadn't come, it would have seemed like noone but you for the oepening. then you might have left.
    Pema Pera: no of course I would not have left
    Pema Pera: this is my session.
    Pema Pera: Do you know about the guardian-on-call system?
    doug Sosa: no idea.
    Pema Pera: http://playasbeing.wik.is/Information/Guardian_Timetable
    Pema Pera: there is a list of guardians, one for each session
    doug Sosa: ah, ok i know that, didn't know what it was called.
    doug Sosa: I'd say half the sessions I come to the guardian is not there at the start.
    Pema Pera: so how can there be one out of four sessions where nobody is there?!?
    Pema Pera: for how many minutes?
    doug Sosa: a few.
    Having that point clarified, it occurred to me to tell the others who had dropped by in the mean time what we were talking about.
    Pema Pera: (for Sharon and Calvino: Doug started off saying that things were so much better in the past than now, and I'm trying to find out why :-)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: smiles
    doug Sosa: Hm, .. :)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: I've lost my sense of play, have you seen it? I think I left it here last :D
    Pema Pera trying to figure out whether that was a playful remark or a serious one :-)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: partially both :)
    Pema Pera: do you have an idea of how to reach the lost+found department, Sharon :-) ?
    Pema Pera: Hi Arch!
    SophiaSharon Larnia: HI Arch
    Pema Pera: and hi snake :)
    Archmage Atlantis: Multiply life by the power of 2
    Calvino Rabeni: Regarding Doug's idea - Better in the past in what ways?
    SophiaSharon Larnia: as far as changes in PaB I haven't been around much to tell
    Pema Pera: so what did you feel you lost, Sharon?
    Calvino Rabeni: I've been looking at old chat logs... trying to figure it out on that score
    Archmage Atlantis: Ich bin
    doug Sosa: More focused on the simple PaB task of looking at our experience. people came to sessions more ready than now to do that.
    Sharon described her felt sense of reality, looking at her experience, just as Doug had described happened in the past, and was missing now, but neither Doug nor others picked up on that for a while . . .
    SophiaSharon Larnia: well, reality is very solid these days, and with that solidity is a seriousness
    doug Sosa: It was less bureaucratic, and the old pavilion was more intimate.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: ah
    Calvino Rabeni: I noticed you pushing a little on that issue doug
    doug Sosa: It would be ok with me but I find that the sessions are more random and I am less inclined to come.
    Calvino Rabeni: About the pavilion - this is nice, but I think I agree, an occasional change might be good
    Calvino Rabeni: Looking at the old logs, the pictures appear cozy
    doug Sosa: Cozy is a good word for it.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: :)
    Archmage Atlantis: You have reached a middle nirvana, Doug, as did I
    Calvino Rabeni: Also, any organization goes through phases
    I was wondering whether to point out to Doug that Sharon had just done what he had asked for, but I thought perhaps better to ask a more general question first.
    Pema Pera: do you find it impossible to bring in more experience-oriented discussion, into the sessions, Doug?
    doug Sosa: no, but it is work, and hard when arrivals are continuous. And i don't think we have the agreement we used to as to what we are trying to do.
    Archmage Atlantis: You have given me your eggplant, and your garden, Doug
    Archmage Atlantis: That is not small
    Calvino Rabeni: The late and constant arrivals are a little disruptive to concentration
    Calvino Rabeni: Often a topic will be dropped about then
    Calvino Rabeni: I think there is a sense of not being able to focus for an extended period on one direction
    Pema Pera: yes, I recognize that
    Calvino Rabeni: but I have found the ends of the sessions, when only a few are left, to be conducive to that
    Pema Pera: question is how to improve that
    Pema Pera: one option is to acquire everybody to come in on time, at the hour; but I like the idea of a neighborhood cafe, where you can drop in at any time
    SophiaSharon Larnia: i dont see how that would have changed from the past, unless it is the numbers of particiapants
    Archmage Atlantis: Pema, claim this session
    SophiaSharon Larnia: sorry typos
    Pema Pera: another option is to advice people not to disrupt and be quiet if they come late
    Pema Pera: (and often people do behave like that, though indeed not always)
    Pema Pera: what solutions would you all prefer?
    Archmage Atlantis: The solution that all is flow
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Di guess Doug crashed
    Pema Pera: looks that way, yes
    Doug indeed had crashed, and would not return for the rest of the session.  He later emailed me saying that he had too many problems with his old computer to be able to get back in. Meanwhile, Sharon returned to her discussion of her own experiences.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Do you ever have periods of time like that, Pema, where reality seems more there, more real?
    Calvino Rabeni: I get a feeling like people are a little bored with the meditation idea.
    Archmage Atlantis: I hear him in my mind
    Pema Pera: oh sure, every second it changes, Sharon!
    Calvino Rabeni: Why should that be so? It needn't be.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: im not bored with it at all, just ebb and flow with it
    Pema Pera: and the interesting challenge is to appreciate equally the times that reality seems more real and vibrant, and when it doesn't
    Pema Pera: appreciating the "one taste" in it all
    SophiaSharon Larnia: yes
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, true, but there's a pull to want to pontificate instead
    Pema Pera: doing that gives me a sense of quiet excitement that is in fact far more exciting than any regular kind of excitement -- hard to put into words :)
    Pema Pera: yes, that pull has to be dropped
    Pema Pera: or more precisely: seen for what it is, after which dropping is more or less automatic
    Calvino Rabeni: Perhaps we could put up a big reminder sign. :)
    Pema Pera: that's the 9 sec . . . . .
    Archmage Atlantis: Not so, Pema, only used more well
    SophiaSharon Larnia: i wish i had a word for it, solid reality where thoughts and ideas are ephemeral things with no substance... appreciating that place is very difficult :)))
    I was very impressed with Sharon's attempts to put into words what is so hard to convey and share; clearly she was struggling doing so, and I was happy that we could encourage her, and also learn from her, at the same time.
    Pema Pera: as long as we are looking for results, as long as we feel we need something, we will go through ups and downs, guaranteed!
    SophiaSharon Larnia: so not look for results
    Pema Pera: the more we learn to drop needs, and hope and fear, the more that problem will vanish
    SophiaSharon Larnia: ive been thinking its not a problem, but just another view of what is here
    Pema Pera: and then everything can be appreciated, every little thing, every little appearance, inner or other
    Calvino Rabeni: I feel there must be a yang to that yin, Pema
    Pema Pera: please tell us, Calvino! In what way?
    Calvino Rabeni: Fierce concentration energy
    Calvino Rabeni: intentness
    Calvino Rabeni: cutting through
    Pema Pera: yes, that can be part of the appreciation -- I'm sorry if I gave the impression that I was advocating a meek way :-)
    Calvino Rabeni: I don't think it is you, Pema
    Calvino Rabeni: but there is a aspect of passivity to the way westerners think of buddhism
    Pema Pera: the problem with fierceness is that it often gives an invitation to the ego; and the problem with a gentle way is that it often is not incisive enough . . . . . .
    Calvino Rabeni: not necessarily true in the east
    Archmage Atlantis: I agree, Pema,u are strong
    Calvino Rabeni: see, this bears looking into :)
    Archmage Atlantis: To be strong, is to invite challenge
    Pema Pera: it's hard to say, Calvino: I also see the other side: many Westerners doing the zen thing "JUST SIT!" in a way that is way way too macho, completely overlooking the main point by focusing on one goal
    Pema Pera: so some are too passive, and some are too macho-active, even while "just sitting" :-)
    Calvino Rabeni: the zen patriarchs were not known for passivity
    Calvino Rabeni: Sure, but the inquiry could be how to tell the difference
    Pema Pera: sure!
    Calvino Rabeni: And noting that the difference is imporant
    Calvino Rabeni: important
    Pema Pera: of course, yes!
    Pema Pera: how would you tell the difference?
    Calvino Rabeni: Otherwise, assumptions rule
    Archmage Atlantis: I know how I tell
    Calvino Rabeni: Every moment is a point of choice, a dropping and a new energetic emergence
    Calvino Rabeni: A whole new world emerges with full power in each moment
    Calvino Rabeni: Anyway that suggests a feeling, not a rule
    Pema Pera: yes, exactly
    Calvino Rabeni: Also, one gets to know one's own habits and tricks of non-presence
    Pema Pera: we learn to grow into what is natural
    Calvino Rabeni: And make decisions on that self-knowledge
    Pema Pera: or decisions even without reasoning
    SophiaSharon Larnia: tricks of non-precense?
    Archmage Atlantis: When the cats, the dogs, the plants come to me.....then I know
    Calvino Rabeni: It is a more active thing than "go with the flow" which often is understood as "make no decisions"
    Pema Pera: directly from that sense of natural
    Pema Pera: yes, each sentence can be misunderstood -- and can be understood in so many different ways
    Calvino Rabeni: Tricks of non-presence - for instance, you know what experiences you avoid, due to likes and dislikes - know where you fear, know where you indulge attachments
    Pema Pera: so it's not so much that the sentences are wrong -- it all comes down to how you understand them and work with them
    Calvino Rabeni: The classic story is - searching in the light, not where the thing was lost
    SophiaSharon Larnia: hmm, thank you :)
    Pema Pera: it's like the weather: there is no bad weather, but there are bad clothes (for given weather)
    Calvino Rabeni: Everyone who has spent a long time observing self, will have knowledge on that basis of one's own automatisms, for example
    Archmage Atlantis: Bad is too judge, Mr. Pera
    Calvino Rabeni: Knowledge of gaps in awareness, in willingness, etc.
    Archmage Atlantis: There are choices
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Hi Stevenaia
    Pema Pera: hi Steve!
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello
    Calvino Rabeni: Pema is right, you can't make a policy decision and then set things on autiopilot
    I was eager to get back to the actual experience that Sharon had been talking about, so I tried to return the discussion to that direction.
    Pema Pera: Sharon, how do you work with that sense of solidity, when it happens, if I may ask?
    Calvino Rabeni: since there are possible errors on either side of any dynamic
    Pema Pera: yes, Calvino, you start with guide lines, and then you need line guides -- all of us :-)
    Pema Pera: guiding each other
    Archmage Atlantis: Amen
    SophiaSharon Larnia: I dont work with it, just live my life and forget about thinking too deeply about anything, sorry if this is diappointing
    Pema Pera: oh no, it is realistic!
    Pema Pera: as a start :)
    Pema Pera: just continuing is a big thing!
    Pema Pera: (and often hard enough)
    Archmage Atlantis: Sophia, are you a female in RL?
    I felt that that was a totally improper thing to ask, in SL in general, and especially in a session that is being recorded on the web.  However, in my attempt to finally get back to Sharon's report about her actual experience, I did not want to get into another distraction at this point.  I asked Sharon by IM whether I should leave these lines in or not.  She told me it was no problem, but that she was disturbed by things that Arch added later on.  We discussed a bit more in IM what to do, and finally we both agreed to just leave it all in.  This is the problem with the openness of PaB, where anyone can join in a session, and say what they want: should we edit out what we feel is inappropriate, or leave it all in for the reader to judge, including what is said by those like Archmage who are not PaB guardians?  This will remain an ongoing discussion in PaB for quite a while, I expect.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: Yes Arch
    SophiaSharon Larnia: ive likened it to being in a kind of charnel grounds actually
    Pema Pera: can you tell us more about that, Sharon?
    Archmage Atlantis: Then that I see, I am a gay male in RL, but with parents who nurtured me
    SophiaSharon Larnia: the world of the solid, flesh and bone, I work as a nurse and am immersed in that reality every day
    Pema Pera: that must be hard, at times, to deal with
    SophiaSharon Larnia: not more than any other profession i guess :)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: we all live in the same world :))
    Pema Pera: oh, when my stars die, it doesn't affect me in the same way; I guess I'm lucky in my profession of astronomer :)
    Calvino Rabeni: I lived with a nurse a long time - and a doctor - so I have heard a lot about that world
    SophiaSharon Larnia: it is unique in a way
    Calvino Rabeni: And there are very different nurses there - different consciousness styles
    SophiaSharon Larnia: yes
    SophiaSharon Larnia: im beginning to thing that this solidity is something im supposed to work with
    SophiaSharon Larnia: to think*
    SophiaSharon Larnia: (sorry I am very tired!!)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: each persons path is unique and we experience different things for a reason
    Archmage Atlantis: You give much of yourself
    Pema Pera: not to worry, Sharon, it is great that you bring in concrete (and solid) concerns -- Doug was right at the beginning of the session, that we often tend to intellectualize too much
    Pema Pera: and it's great to focus on the concrete problems of the day
    Archmage Atlantis: I respect that
    Calvino Rabeni: Intellectualizing is a short cut to communication - I think it may be backed by experience - and then, sometimes not.
    Pema Pera: do you sometimes find time to take a 9 sec break in the middle of solidity, and if so, how does that feel?
    Pema Pera: (to Sharon)
    Sharon then made a connection with the PaB practice, in response to my question.
    SophiaSharon Larnia: well, thats the funny thing, that is where the solidity bocomes almost too hard to look at, like its under flourescent lights
    Archmage Atlantis: Pema, my guess is that she lives every 9 seconds
    SophiaSharon Larnia: which it is literally, at work
    SophiaSharon Larnia: so hard to explain!
    Pema Pera: you're doing a great job already, Sharon!
    Pema Pera: can you describe a single example occasion?
    Pema Pera: here you are, trying the 9 sec, and then what happens?
    Archmage Atlantis: We are dumb men, yet we desire to understand.......So we know why we exist
    SophiaSharon Larnia: yes, just sitting at the nurse station doing my notes, the floor the walls the sounds in the room, the people around me, are very very THERE... i think, drop what you have... drop this, and it's all there, right now. This is something ive felt for a while now.
    Pema Pera: that's a great sense, Sharon, thank you for sharing that! I certainly recognize some of that feeling. Does taking a break help you deal with all that?
    SophiaSharon Larnia: haha no its still there
    Calvino Rabeni: My experience - "dropping" makes things even more there than ever
    Pema Pera: yes
    Archmage Atlantis: And there it is
    Pema Pera: we tend to avoid problems by looking away, and by then looking more clearly they do loom larger . . . .
    Archmage Atlantis: She cannot
    Pema Pera: I think she can speak for herself, Arch
    Archmage Atlantis: To drop is to let go
    Pema Pera: does taking those breaks make it a bit more easy to watch the solidity, Sharon?
    Pema Pera: to acknowledge it, even if not confronting it or trying to change it?
    SophiaSharon Larnia: i just noticed it a short time ago, so I cant say yet
    Archmage Atlantis: Take my body, speak as a man
    SophiaSharon Larnia: its made me wonder if maybe i should seek another type of work environment
    SophiaSharon Larnia: or if it what im meant to see and work through
    Pema Pera: that may well be, but in any case, looking directly at the problems can only help. I have had so many experiences in my own life, where I noticed at some point that I had been avoiding looking directly into what bothered me -- and without any exception, whenever I finally did, the next step became immediately obvious
    Pema Pera: and we always only need to see the next step: walking is one step at a time
    Pema Pera: when we really see/feel/sense/intuite what is right/natural/appropriate for a given situation, there can be such a relief and release
    SophiaSharon Larnia: nods
    Archmage Atlantis: She is ready, Pema
    Archmage Atlantis: Let it be
    Pema Pera: trusting the Universe enough to dare to look, even when you yourself feel you don't have the courage to do so, is the big step
    Pema Pera: that's what I've been trying to suggest with "Being Seeing" rather than "you seeing"
    Pema Pera: Thank you again, Sharon, for sharing! I hope you'll keep us up to date with how things develop -- we all face in one way or other what you are facing, though you may be more intensely in the thick of it right now
    Calvino Rabeni: I respect nurses and the realities of their profession
    SophiaSharon Larnia: i dont really beleive that i think everyone experiences this their was
    Pema Pera: and you're helping all of us by telling us how you feel you succeed or fail in dealing with it -- that is the play part: succeed of fail is not the point
    SophiaSharon Larnia: their own way**
    Calvino Rabeni: My life is so much easier and simpler :)
    Pema Pera: oh, the solidity is something everybody runs into, I think, Sharon
    Pema Pera: (though often hard to acknowledge!)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: sighs i do not mean to make this point, this is why i dont speak of it
    SophiaSharon Larnia: although i need to :)
    All of us immediately reassured Sharon that there was no need to worry, on the contrary, that we were grateful, listening to her.
    Pema Pera: please do continue to speak of it, seriously!
    stevenaia Michinaga: wonders if simplicity of life is (merely) a perspective
    Pema Pera: why do you feel you shouldn't make this point, Sharon?
    SophiaSharon Larnia: because i feel it monopolizes a conversation or that others wont 'get' it, etc etc
    SophiaSharon Larnia: or that others will think I think im in this such and such unique postion which is not true
    Calvino Rabeni: No worries
    Pema Pera: on the contrary, Sharon!
    Calvino Rabeni: An offering is always appropriate :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Each of us has a lot to offer
    SophiaSharon Larnia: yes
    Pema Pera: Doug had been asking for more direct experience, and of all that we have talked about in the last 80 minutes, yours has been by far been the most direct experience related!
    Calvino Rabeni: yes
    Pema Pera: I just hope you will tell us more
    Archmage Atlantis: My mother told me not to go into a bathroom, because it was for th colored people
    SophiaSharon Larnia: yes i seriously think i can not work in the place i do and continue exploring reality in a philosophical manner, if this makes sense
    Pema Pera: many of us, like Calvino said, have the luxury to hide from the thickness in front of us; I have that too to a large extent; now that you're in a period in your life that you can't hide easily, you can help all of us to point out, effectively, what we are hiding from!
    SophiaSharon Larnia: on the other hand maybe the charnal ground is this world, and that is my task, to know this
    SophiaSharon Larnia wants to be a paperpusher :)
    Pema Pera: either way can be the case, Sharon, and take breaks and reflecting on it will no doubt help you to see which one is right -- you may have to leave, and you may be able to stay
    Pema Pera: or leave for a while, try to do the paper pushing thing, and then perhaps later back to the push-ups? :-)
    SophiaSharon Larnia: laughs
    Pema Pera: allowing yourself the choice can already be a deep breath of fresh air
    Pema Pera: (a very modern thing to do: selling tickets to the charnel ground, while handing out introductory leaflets :-)
    Archmage Atlantis: My cat, Nimbus, thinks not to the papepusher......he, at 18 yo, does demand my attention
    SophiaSharon Larnia: oh my Pema LOL
    Pema Pera: you might make a fortune!
    SophiaSharon Larnia: good night all, I hope you had a Happy New Years and see you soon!! Falling asleep at the keyboard
    SophiaSharon Larnia: bye for now!
    Pema Pera: you too, Sharon, really, thanks a lot for giving us a peek into your life!
    Pema Pera: see you soon again
    Archmage Atlantis: Yea, I do that too Sohie
    stevenaia Michinaga: night
    stevenaia Michinaga: I must be off too
    Calvino Rabeni: Bye steve
    Pema Pera: and me too
    Pema Pera: bye everybody!
    Calvino Rabeni: Sorry doug did not come back
    Calvino Rabeni: And pema, bye
    Calvino Rabeni: We keep on keeping on
    Archmage Atlantis: Doug never comes back, have u not yet learned that Cal
    Calvino Rabeni: No, I suppose when people disappear with no word I think they crashed and may return
    Archmage Atlantis: I find a way to return If it is somethin I desire
    Archmage Atlantis: I will go somewhere, tp you, you may choose
    Calvino Rabeni: Sounds good, I may have to leave shortly after, but go ahead :)
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