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    Stevenaia Michinaga and I met at his lovely Second Life house.Steve noted that his first PaB session was Saturday, April 26, 2008.

    I came into PaB about a month and a half later and Steve is another guardian who greatly helped me with encouragement, a kind word, or simply a funny comment to break up a discussion that was beginning to get too serious. There were a number of sessions where Steve seemed to wait until the right moment to interject a thoughtful comment that helped clarify some confusion I was having at the time. Right before our exhibition opened in the Hall of Appearance, Steve went through the entire exhibit at our request and made numerous suggestions which eased the way for visitors when we finally opened. After the exhibition he went with me to one of the featured buildings and gave me an architectural lesson.

    stevenaia Michinaga: Perhaps it began when I first met Pema.  This story is on the Wiki somewhere as well.  I met Pema at Dharma Voyager's house at her invitation.  Dharma is a longtime friend.  Pema was searching Second Life for a series of criteria--the board game, GO, Buddhism and a third criteria that escapes me at the moment.  Perhaps a search on Dharma's name will bring up one of a few times the story was recollected at a PaB meeting.

    Note: I found the Pema's delightful story about meeting Dharma Voyager on the May 5 19:00 log. This is a brief excerpt:

    Pema Pera: one question was: how to get myself look decent as an avatar
    Pema Pera: the looking-in-the-mirror question
    Pema Pera: the second question was: how to explore SL for hobbies, like playing go, one of my hobbies
    Pema Pera: the having-fun question
    Pema Pera: the third question was: how to find out what people are doing here in terms of contemplation
    Pema Pera: the having-it-all question
    stevenaia Michinaga: we were introduced, chatted and he struck me as an interesting fellow coming from an interesting RL place.  I had peripheral knowledge of the Institute for Advanced Study.... and wondered what is this sort of person doing here?  So over time I IMed him and eventually he invited me to a PaB session and the rest is, as they say, history.  I knew little of meditation in the formal sense or Buddhism, or much of what he spoke of, but they seemed to be where my interests were going... somewhere out there.  Seems that is still on track... moving in the direction of this and other new interests as only SL can facilitate.

    Adams Rubble: Can you remember what it felt  like coming into PaB in the first few weeks?

    stevenaia Michinaga:   I listened. I know Pema asked of my initial impressions. Much of what was discussed was difficult to wrap my mind around, but eventually things became clearer and my participation grew.  And as time passes, things still get clearer on one hand and Pema's concepts become more and more complex.  Given my RL background visualization was very interesting to me.  Especially visualizing concepts and perspectives on what is seen.  Although I do the nine second meditations now and then, I have also found that my RL way of being includes similar pausing moments and I take that as similar ways of meditation for me... work as meditation, for instance.

    Adams Rubble: yes, I remember you mentioning that

    stevenaia Michinaga: I was also going to yoga for a year and 1/2 at the time and that also helped to clue me in as to the moments of opening my mind to experience the moments between reality, when you pause

    Adams Rubble: Besides, your own adjustment to PaB, how have you perceived the changes in PaB?

    stevenaia Michinaga: changes?... the groups has certainly gotten larger and more diverse, of course. Some meanderings, some empty quiet meetings.

    Adams Rubble: Do you think it has affected the group's focus?

    stevenaia Michinaga: there has been more Play, more distractions, more focused discussions as well

    Adams Rubble: so by diversity you mean in the sessions too?

    stevenaia Michinaga:  Yes in the sessions and the topics.  But if the group continues, I believe much of what Pema originally thought will be realized, a focused group communicating much more easily about many topics of common interest.

    stevenaia Michinaga: many friendships have also arisen, and I have learned much about listening.

    Adams Rubble: wonderful!
    Adams Rubble: One of my favorite memories of you when I started (a little more than a month after you) was when we were discussing Being and you told about a dream (I think) about coming out of the water and seeing you remember that?

    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, I remember and re-read it yesterday, a very clear moment

    The following account is from the July 17 19:00 chat log:

    stevenaia Michinaga: in this moment I was underwater which represented Self to me
    stevenaia Michinaga: the I emerged above the surface , springing out of the water straight upÉ which represented Being
    stevenaia Michinaga: not flying, just head above water
    stevenaia Michinaga: an interested contrast
    Pia Iger: then how do you feel, in each case, under and above the water?
    stevenaia Michinaga: fresh air, clear sight of distance
    Adams Rubble: :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: under water was self reflective and somewhat contained..
    defining self as somewhat introspective and contained
    stevenaia Michinaga: but head above water was externally focused
    stevenaia Michinaga: refreshing
    Adams Rubble: that sounds great Steve
    stevenaia Michinaga: worth the wait of not doing 9 second moments for that one
    Adams Rubble: I was moved by that and it helped me

    stevenaia Michinaga: that's one of the unexpected things I have found, not so much what I have
    received from so many,but unexpected comments such as as yours

    Adams Rubble: and when you saw clearly, you said that is Being
    stevenaia Michinaga: for me it's a moment of clarity, yet I had no idea what it could show others
    Adams Rubble: It showed a way for some if us :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: nods
    Adams Rubble: I think we touch each others in ways unexpected
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, and that is the exciting part of meeting strangers who's paths cross and are focused in a common directions, even if we don't quite know what that direction is
    Adams Rubble: yes
    stevenaia Michinaga: so.. we talk.. and learn
    Adams Rubble nods
    stevenaia Michinaga: and in my case, almost always have a great time with it
    Adams Rubble: :)

    As I have been reading logs for this Chronicles project I have been struck by the uniqueness of each of us and I felt I want to capture it some in these interviews. Funny, my question fell flat because it was unfairly comparative but ironically, Steve did confirm the uniqueness

    Adams Rubble: Now my next question is one I just came up with today and I hope to ask of everyone from now on :)

    Adams Rubble: Do you think that you have a perspective that may be different from other guardians?

    stevenaia Michinaga: perspective on what?

    Adams Rubble: hehe. touche

    Adams Rubble: ah

    stevenaia Michinaga: given the diversity of the group, I certainly hope so

    Adams Rubble: :)

    Adams Rubble: Do you have a unique view of the PaB practice that differs from others'?

    stevenaia Michinaga: the question presumes I know other people's perspective as clearly as I know my own.  I don't think PaB is about that, it's about your own perspective... to me it is

    Adams Rubble nods

    stevenaia Michinaga: my own perspective, rather

    Adams Rubble: and mine :)

    stevenaia Michinaga: over time they may very well be close, but as with the definition of a color... red for instance, will any ever see the same red and know it?

    Adams Rubble nods

    stevenaia Michinaga: even if we all stare at the same patch of printed red, we may all feel and see it differently

    Adams Rubble: yes, my question needs more thought :)

    stevenaia Michinaga: ...grins

    Adams Rubble: Do you have anything you would like to add?

    stevenaia Michinaga: not to that question

    Adams Rubble: haha.  No I meant at all :)  I gathered the first part.
    Steve points out I forgot to ask about our real life meetings. Steve and I met for dinner with Pema, Genesis and Sylectra in August and also at the PaB Fest in October with 13 guardians.
    stevenaia Michinaga: other than the two times we (the group) met so far and how it changed my perceptions of the people in terms of imagery

    Adams Rubble: Oh, yes I forgot. oh my. Yes please, let's talk about the Fest

    stevenaia Michinaga: nudges Adams

    Adams Rubble: hehe

    stevenaia Michinaga: even the first dinner in august

    Adams Rubble: yes, that too :)

    stevenaia Michinaga: we were lucky to be local enough

    Adams Rubble nods

    stevenaia Michinaga: I found it interesting, the RL issues that arose that do not matter in SL, similar to the summer fest and concerns about the location

    Adams Rubble nods

    stevenaia Michinaga: I had an exchange with Pema regarding the location of dinner and the food based on the reviews I had read.  Things like that don't matter in SL

    Adams Rubble: :)
    Adams Rubble: But we knew each other almost at once

    stevenaia Michinaga: yes.  Almost

    Adams Rubble: even though some of us look quite different :)

    stevenaia Michinaga: but alas, Pema will never have long red hair for me

    Adams Rubble: I feel a warmth in RL

    stevenaia Michinaga: RL images of the people override SL avatars for me

    Adams Rubble: Hmmmm

    Adams Rubble: Both are there for me I think

    stevenaia Michinaga: nods

    Adams Rubble: almost like a child being an image of both parents

    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, I know.  There was an exhibition of "morphed" images of SL and RL faces into each other by Rowan at a university

    Adams Rubble smiles

    Steve sent me a link to the photo below from Rowan's morphing project:


    Adams Rubble: The discussion after the fest was very focused on the difference between avatars and RL typists. The content of the Fest seemed to get lost in that.  But we did spend much time at the Fest doing social small talk.

    stevenaia Michinaga: I enjoyed reading Genesis's recap.  It touched on much.

    Steve reminded me of the url for Genesis' account of the Fest at

     Small Talk and Play

    stevenaia Michinaga: one more thing... about "small talk'

    Adams Rubble listens

    stevenaia Michinaga: I feel the small talk  IS essential, as once what you need to know about a person is known, usually about the little things, you can then go on more directly to the topic at hand
    Adams Rubble: Oh yes, I agree. It was a bit of a surprise to me because we have much less need for it in SL. Yet meeting in RL, we went right to it

    Adams Rubble: the small talk, that is

    stevenaia Michinaga: there is plenty of small talk at the PaB sessions

    stevenaia Michinaga: :)

    Adams Rubble: often there is...that is the diversity :)

    stevenaia Michinaga: part of play

    Adams Rubble: yes

    stevenaia Michinaga: word play

    stevenaia Michinaga: knowing about each other

    stevenaia Michinaga: bonding

    Adams Rubble nods

    stevenaia Michinaga: it makes us all approachable

    stevenaia Michinaga: or more so

    Adams Rubble: yes, it smoothes over disagreements too

    stevenaia Michinaga: the few that there are

    stevenaia Michinaga: surprisingly few

    Adams Rubble: yes, surprisingly few

    Adams Rubble: yet it is when someone makes a really beautiful statement like yours about Being that I really feel I know the person

    stevenaia Michinaga: ...smiles.  Thank you, perhaps even more so for you than me.  I suppose like a painting, which is an expression of an idea whose impact is seen differently by those who see it.... like the color red, different for each of us

    Adams Rubble: yes

    Adams Rubble: But along the way we seem to be agreeing on some common vocabulary that will help us as we continue

    stevenaia Michinaga: yes

    Adams Rubble: Thank you so much for sharing :)
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    69.33 kB00:16, 10 Apr 2010Adams RubbleActions
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    Great conversation and wonderful impressions.
    Posted 22:38, 27 Dec 2011
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