That afternoon, Cal was the guardian. She sent me the chat log, to which I have added some comments.
Caledonia Heron: hey Gen :)
genesis Zhangsun: Hi Cal so I finally had a chance to make it to one of your sessions!
Caledonia Heron: terrific
Caledonia Heron: :)
Caledonia Heron: never seems like “mine” :) just babysitting the teahouse
Caledonia Heron: I like it outside better
Caledonia Heron: how did you come to PaB? I realize we’ve been at sessions together but haven’t gotten to know one another :)
Caledonia Heron: here’s our chance :)
genesis Zhangsun: I met Pema in RL in a coffee shop
Caledonia Heron: lol, that’s great
genesis Zhangsun: he explained his practice and I became quite interested
Caledonia Heron: he loves his coffee
genesis Zhangsun: since then I have been engaged in the 9 second practice
genesis Zhangsun: and this group in SL
genesis Zhangsun: but I am a complete newbie when it comes to both
Caledonia Heron: me too….perfect!
Caledonia Heron: what do you think of the 9sec sessions?
genesis Zhangsun: hard to say of course at this point
genesis Zhangsun: but I know that I feel happier, calmer
genesis Zhangsun: than before I was engaged in it
Caledonia Heron: good points, I sense more calmness also
genesis Zhangsun: With this interest in PaB I have begun to engage in a longer practice too which for me is critical to the 9 second meditation method
genesis Zhangsun: u?
genesis Zhangsun: how did you become involved?
Caledonia Heron: so, 2 different activities? “longer practice” is a meditation?
genesis Zhangsun: yes sorry that is what I meant a longer practice in addition to the 9 seconds
Caledonia Heron: ah ok, got it
genesis Zhangsun: which I do for a few hours a day
Caledonia Heron: wow
genesis Zhangsun: oh no sorry I do the 9 seconds for a few hours and the longer for one hour
After Gen’s story, Cal mentioned how she and I met; it was at the space station in ISM, the International Space Museum.
Caledonia Heron: I became involved by chance also
Caledonia Heron: I was on a tour in SL of some space hardware and met Pema
genesis Zhangsun: ah yes so you also have the RL contact
genesis Zhangsun: oh no sorry this was in SL
Caledonia Heron: no, just SL – I have not met any PaB persons in rl
Caledonia Heron: it seems I know some of them though :)
Caledonia Heron: a bit anyway
Caledonia Heron: in ways that are meaningful
genesis Zhangsun: oh surely its interesting isn’t the kind of deep connections you can make with people through SL
Somebody dropped in and out, too quick to catch.
genesis Zhangsun: oops seems like someone is in the teahouse?
Caledonia Heron: astoundingly so
Caledonia Heron: I will look
genesis Zhangsun: should we invite him?
You shout: we’re out here
Caledonia Heron: brb
genesis Zhangsun: any luck?
Caledonia Heron: nope, noone :)
genesis Zhangsun: a rieul tourist :)
genesis Zhangsun: so what drew u to the practice?
genesis Zhangsun: were u involved in Buddhist practice before?
Caledonia Heron: no, not a Buddhist practitioner in a strict sense
Caledonia Heron: if I were to pick a particular “religious” place to sign up – that would be a closest approach to my philosophy, belief system, operating procedure I think
genesis Zhangsun: but what made you want to engage in this practice now?
Caledonia Heron: curiosity
Caledonia Heron: things that are on my mind
Caledonia Heron: things that are off my mind…lol
genesis Zhangsun: :)
genesis Zhangsun: I was just curious because I wonder if others who began the practice began for similar reasons as I did
I just love reading this dialogue, hearing their voices through the words, and this all happening while I was sound asleep in Japan :-).
Caledonia Heron: what are your reasons – let’s compare :)
genesis Zhangsun: I think I just got fed up with being so driven by my desires
genesis Zhangsun: and suffering when I didn’t get them,
Caledonia Heron: what you want? and not getting?
genesis Zhangsun: yes exactly driven by I what I want and not getting them
genesis Zhangsun: or getting them and still suffering
Caledonia Heron: have you had any insight into that as a result of 9sec?
genesis Zhangsun: Hard to say whether it is from the 9 seconds or from my longer practice or from studying now Buddhist philosophy
genesis Zhangsun: but I do feel yes that I suffer much less
Caledonia Heron: that seems a good result to me
genesis Zhangsun: I definitely notice from the 9 seconds that I am developing a sense of patience I never had
Caledonia Heron: hard to be patient, for sure
genesis Zhangsun: also the 9 seconds does seem to help me let go of non important desires
genesis Zhangsun: because I actually take the step back away from obsessing and I am able to reconnect with what is really important
Caledonia Heron: very nice….sounds more peaceful :)
Once again, I felt deeply touched by the power of this new kind of practice . . . .
Caledonia Heron: I mentioned I was curious….the curiosity was based on what I thought PaB might be about and something I “saw” or “knew” when I had a medical meltdown, some kind of knowing what’s so and being ok with that…..so I thought I would see if something like that is true for other people
Caledonia Heron: it turns out there are all kinds of ways people come to “knowing” whatever that is :)
genesis Zhangsun: what was this knowing what’s so like?
Caledonia Heron: brief, illusive, warm, peaceful, accepting, gone but still there
Caledonia Heron: doesn’t really make sense when I write it but a true thing, like ringing a bell
genesis Zhangsun: was it blissful?
Caledonia Heron: I did not characterize it as such but can understand someone might
genesis Zhangsun: was it like surrender
Caledonia Heron: it seemed more like everything is ok, absolutely ok, just the way it is
genesis Zhangsun: wow
genesis Zhangsun: yes I understand this
Caledonia Heron: which doesn’t come up to blissful quite – more even, where bliss seems at the top of a curve
genesis Zhangsun: beyond bliss
Caledonia Heron: I wonder if I appear to be babbling – this doesn’t make much sense
genesis Zhangsun: on no it makes sense to me
And to me too! This is one of the closest discriptions I’ve seen so far in our almost two months of daily meetings, of what I mean with Being. Exchanges like this make it worth, all of our efforts that we all are now putting in the PaB enterprize, and all the efforts that Dakini and Storm and others have put into making Rieul and Mieum what it is right now.
genesis Zhangsun: I understand though about feeling like you are babbling
Caledonia Heron: lol
genesis Zhangsun: I often find when I try to describe these things that I am babbling
genesis Zhangsun: and often people don’t understand
genesis Zhangsun: but I think we are here because we do
Caledonia Heron: yes, perhaps so – I figure if I put it out there and share it maybe somone will get it and say it back to me and I will get it :)
Caledonia Heron: some kind of riddle , lol
I couldn’t have described it better; that is my motivation, too. I often compare it with joint scientific research: groping together in the dark and comparing notes.
genesis Zhangsun: what have been people’s responses?
Caledonia Heron: oh stuff comes back wrapped in all kinds of ways – can’t really quantify it but if someone asks why I’m doing this I try to explain through using feeble words to describe something :)
genesis Zhangsun: I just ask because I also feel that I ought to share with others these wonderful experiences…realizations but I feel often after saying anything that it was something I should not share
genesis Zhangsun: isn’t that strange?
Caledonia Heron: it is the mind – I understand
genesis Zhangsun: and now Cal how is your health?
Caledonia Heron: fine – moved right on – thanks for asking :)
Caledonia Heron: the experience I described stayed though, and the acceptance of help was learned
genesis Zhangsun: that is wonderful
Caledonia Heron: an uncommonly hard lesson to accept :)
genesis Zhangsun: yes it seems often these sorts of insights come from these hard lessons
genesis Zhangsun: perhaps there is no other way
genesis Zhangsun: unless you were raised learning to accept them
Caledonia Heron: that’s what’s so cool about 9sec practice….not a hard lesson, a soft repeated lesson to train ourselves to see without looking maybe
genesis Zhangsun: yes
genesis Zhangsun: i like that
genesis Zhangsun: giving room for being to enter
Caledonia Heron: yes, and maybe tapping it so frequently that it just sticks around
Caledonia Heron: so the time in between and/or the transition becomes seamless
Caledonia Heron: that is the idea I am playing with anyway :)
Indeed, the 9 seconds are a trick to get the other 891 seconds in there too, a 9-pound bait to catch the 900-pound fish.
genesis Zhangsun: what do u notice from your 9 second practice? Any changes?
Caledonia Heron: mmm, maybe less effort to do so, not a to-do…ha ha, a to-don’t
genesis Zhangsun: unlearning
Caledonia Heron: I guess, I read that and think I get it but then I think I don’t
Caledonia Heron: by definition everything we do is learning
genesis Zhangsun: is it?
Caledonia Heron: sure, we’re learning right now
genesis Zhangsun: so you are saying even unlearning is learning
Caledonia Heron: lol, in a circular way I guess so :)
genesis Zhangsun: maybe it is in a way
genesis Zhangsun: the way I understand it unlearning is about taking what you have learned and not letting those things keep you from learning
genesis Zhangsun: more, evolving further
Caledonia Heron: mmm, ok, I get that….not being your history
Caledonia Heron: i get a little tied up in the vocabulary usage by the group but think I get the essence
genesis Zhangsun: oh I have no idea if that is within the def of the group! :)
genesis Zhangsun: Improvising LOL!
Caledonia Heron: lol
genesis Zhangsun: but that seems like for me what it is
Caledonia Heron: I have heard “unlearning” before, used in different ways
genesis Zhangsun: How else have others defined it?
Caledonia Heron: unlearning; it’s a sticky wicket…..it appears like a fresh slate to me – we would have to comb the logs to see all the ways it’s been used in conversation
genesis Zhangsun: yes yes I suppose its been used quite a bit
genesis Zhangsun: For me it is like this analogy that Pema uses
genesis Zhangsun: about the jazz musicians
Caledonia Heron: let’s hear it
genesis Zhangsun: I won’t say that this is exactly the way he says it but its how I remember (just saying because I know Pema will be reading this)
LOL ! ! !
genesis Zhangsun: ok here goes
Caledonia Heron: lol (we know you’re out there)
genesis Zhangsun: so first a musician must understand his instrument, reading music, the structure, the form
genesis Zhangsun: but then at some point in order to truly make new music, to jam you have to let go of everything you knew
genesis Zhangsun: to prevent all of your learning from binding you, keeping you from making something new
genesis Zhangsun: something in that moment
genesis Zhangsun: fresh
genesis Zhangsun: beautiful
genesis Zhangsun: profound
Caledonia Heron: where you make something new
Caledonia Heron: lovely, makes me want to put on some Coltrane or Clifford Brown :)
genesis Zhangsun: lol
genesis Zhangsun: Yeah kind of made me appreciate jazz in a new way
Caledonia Heron: the improvisational moment leaves me thunderstruck
genesis Zhangsun: how so?
Caledonia Heron: the sheer audacity of making something up on the spot out of nothing but ingrained knowledge and gut, something from nothing which is based on everything a player has internalized coming straight out of their heart….awesome
And that is exactly what Cal and Gen were doing right there, through there words and thoughts. Oops! After writing this commentary as I was going along, I just now saw the next sentence — but I don’t want to change my comment so I’ll leave that in there as well.
genesis Zhangsun: what you just did right there, describing the beauty of improvisation was a perfect example of the beauty of improvisation
Caledonia Heron: LOL
genesis Zhangsun: :)
Caledonia Heron: I made that up on the spot, from the heart….lol
genesis Zhangsun: yeah exactly
Caledonia Heron: funny
Caledonia Heron: thanks
genesis Zhangsun: and its was beautiful
Caledonia Heron: let’s end on that note :) ha ha
genesis Zhangsun: I like that
genesis Zhangsun: Nice chatting with you
Caledonia Heron: very much so – thank you so much :)
genesis Zhangsun: namaste
Caledonia Heron: I will save the log
genesis Zhangsun: great!
genesis Zhangsun: See you again soon!
Caledonia Heron: bye :)
genesis Zhangsun: Thank you so much for sharing
Caledonia Heron: you too – I feel very something….good does not seem right
Caledonia Heron: something very nice having spoken with you :)
genesis Zhangsun: same
genesis Zhangsun: :)
Caledonia Heron: adios :)
genesis Zhangsun: hasta luego
Well, this exchange has left me pretty speechless — said he :-).