An Incredible Seven Days

That evening, I walked in just before the PaB bell rang. Adams was already there, waiting.

Adams Rubble: Hi Pema
Pema Pera: Hi Adams!
Pema Pera: Good evening
Pema Pera: ah, the bell!
Adams Rubble: Good evening to you too
Pema Pera: I just read your email
Pema Pera: it is morning here in Japan
Adams Rubble: I hope you didn;t mind
Pema Pera: of course not!
Pema Pera: On the contrary

Adams was refering to an enthusiastic email that she had sent me, about the koan I had given her the evening before, just 24 hours earlier. Syl then joined us, after I had given her the tp she had asked for.

Pema Pera: Hi Syl!
Sylectra Darwin: Hi Pema! Thanks for the lift!
Adams Rubble: Hu Sylectra
Pema Pera: I’m happy to discuss these topics any time
Pema Pera: As Syl knows, since she and I have exchanged emails as well, a few times this last week
Sylectra Darwin: Hi Adams.
Pema Pera: sometimes it is just easier to discuss things in-depth through email
Pema Pera: rather than a line at a time here.
Pema Pera: Hi Pia!
Adams Rubble: I got very excited
Adams Rubble: Hi Pia
Sylectra Darwin: Hello Pia!
Adams Rubble: now I’m tired
Pema Pera: :-)
Pia Iger: Hi, all.
Pia Iger: do I miss anything?

Pia joined us.

Pema Pera: Adams, do you want to share with Syl and Pia what you found?
Pema Pera: No, Pia
Pema Pera: we just arrived here as well!
Adams Rubble: I have been very impatient
Adams Rubble: to learn everything at once
Adams Rubble: Pema gave me a koan
Pia Iger: not a bad thing, very motivated!!
Adams Rubble: who is impatient
Adams Rubble: I worked it out on my blog today
Adams Rubble: after missing a few sessions and lamenting that I was losing it
Adams Rubble: it came to me that an impatient person is one who has desire
Adams Rubble: bingo
Pema Pera: :-)
Sylectra Darwin: That is a really good thought, Adams.
Pia Iger: what is the koan?
Adams Rubble: who is impatient?
Adams Rubble: my personal koan
Adams Rubble: from Pema
Pema Pera: I made an exception to the rule — every rule should have an exception — that I prefer not to tell people what to do during the 9 second practice :-)
Pema Pera: it seemed so clear that Adams was so involved and engaged with her practice
Pema Pera: that it seemed to be harmless to give a specific hint :-)
Sylectra Darwin: you couldn’t resist! hehe

Right she was :-).

Pema Pera: generally the danger of specifying what to do is that it closes doors to other possibilities
Pema Pera: yes, Syl :)
Pema Pera: but in this case, Adams clearly had enough momentum
Sylectra Darwin: very cool
Pema Pera: that she would have broken down any door, closed or not (^_^)
Pema Pera: so no danger here
Pema Pera: and it worked :)
Adams Rubble: :)
Pema Pera: thank you, Adams!
Adams Rubble: thank you Pema
Pema Pera: Of course, my suggestion was very much in line with PaB: look at what you are, by dropping what you have
Pema Pera: a recurrent theme
Pema Pera: but I made it more taylormade through the specific form of the question
Pema Pera: for all of us, the challenge is to do that for ourselves
Pema Pera: to let PaB speak to us
Pema Pera: to give it room to let it finds the form it wants to
Pema Pera: so to let Being speak through PaB
Pema Pera: to let Being play.
Pema Pera: And we can all help each other that way
Pema Pera: Adams, would you like to share a bit more what happened, and especially how you were stuck for a while?
Pema Pera: That may be helpful for all of us

Adams reported and gave away the secrets of her explorations.

Adams Rubble: I approached by making lists of people who are impatient
Adams Rubble: children on a long car ride
Adams Rubble: a hungry person when supper is late
Pia Iger: :)
Adams Rubble: Actually I forget the others but they are in the blog
Adams Rubble: Then there was a break for PaB this morning and a few other things
Adams Rubble: and my mind turned away from it for a few sessions
Adams Rubble: then when I came back nothing seemed to be there
Adams Rubble: and then that answer came in a flash
Adams Rubble: and as you said
Adams Rubble: it was exhilarating
Adams Rubble: and at the same time very simple
Pema Pera: you’re very systematic! That is where the notion of lab journal writing really helps. I have mentioned earlier the strong parallel I see between scientific research and working on koans — this is a beautiful example! Including turning away for a bit, to let something fresh bubble up.
Sylectra Darwin: Good, I am happy to hear about that, Adams.
Pia Iger: I feel I am quite relaxed about the practice now.
Adams Rubble: This has been an incredible seven days
Pia Iger: in what sense?
Pema Pera: We have had quite a few discussions about “why write down something while doing the PaB 9-sec practice”. What you just said is a nice example of why :-)
Adams Rubble: I only started the log seven days ago
Adams Rubble: All this happened in a week
Sylectra Darwin: do you write the log during the 9 seconds or after?
Adams Rubble: mindfulness
Pia Iger: Mindfulness is what I found first in practice too.
Adams Rubble: I start in during, pause and then again after
Adams Rubble: sort of a reminder of what I’m doing
Adams Rubble: to help focus

Adams was really systematic about all this, which was great!

Sylectra Darwin: so do you prep yourself for the 9 seconds, like with breathing?
Adams Rubble: I have a little ritual now
Adams Rubble: I focus on a couple of breaths
Adams Rubble: and then feel my body from head to toe
Adams Rubble: bottoms of feet
Adams Rubble: bottoms
Sylectra Darwin: a mini savasana, then
Adams Rubble: then i relax my mond
Adams Rubble: I don’t know what a savasena is
Sylectra Darwin: final relaxation pose in yoga – similar process
Adams Rubble: oh
Pia Iger: focus on body is a good way to center yourself, I think.
Adams Rubble: after that I started to focus on the koan
Sylectra Darwin: which one?
Adams Rubble: One time it took the whole 15 minutes
Adams Rubble: which koan?
Adams Rubble: Why am I impatient?
SlimeX Grossman: hi pema
Pema Pera: Hi SlimeX!
Adams Rubble: Hi SlimeX
Sylectra Darwin: Hello Slimex
Pema Pera: Adams is talking about her adventures, sharing them with us
SlimeX Grossman: ryu is 41

SlimeX joined us.

Pema Pera: Adams, writing and staying with mindfulness is key, I think
Pema Pera: The two feed on each other: getting excited about practice can lead you to writing — and writing can help you to get more excited, involved, galvanized, into it.
Pema Pera: but those are words, ideas . . . .
Sylectra Darwin: I’ve got to try that.
Pema Pera: . . . your blog gives a very concrete example
Pema Pera: much more helpful for all of us
Pema Pera: to see that working in practice
Pia Iger: agree.
Pema Pera: SlimeX, we are talking about
SlimeX Grossman: oh
Pema Pera: what Adams wrote there recently
SlimeX Grossman: i cant tp
SlimeX Grossman: sys lg
SlimeX Grossman: lag
Pia Iger: Recently, I feel there are so much more can be appreciated in life.
Pia Iger: which I did not notice before.
Pema Pera: yes!
Pia Iger: I think overall I am more relaxed.
Pema Pera: I keep being surprised that there seems to be no end to getting deeper and deeper into appreciation
Pema Pera: and it keeps changing
Pema Pera: its nature, flavor
Pema Pera: each time a new surprise
Pia Iger: Oh, Pema, I do want to hear you talk more about ‘appearance”

Ah, appearance! One of my favorite terms, and what gave the name to the “Hall of Apperance” which we built nearby.

Pema Pera: seeing everything in terms of appearance is one approach to appreciate everything in its raw form
Pema Pera: as it is
Pema Pera: as it presents itself
Pema Pera: there is a sentence that I like very much
Pema Pera: almost like a mantra:
Pia Iger: ?
Pema Pera: “Appreciate the presence of appearance as a presentation by Being”
Pema Pera: The way to read this is from the end
Pema Pera: There is Being — Being is all there really IS
Pema Pera: Being presents
Pema Pera: What does Being present?
Pema Pera: appearance
Pema Pera: more specifically:
Pema Pera: the presence of appearance
Pema Pera: and what can we do with that?
Pema Pera: Appreciate it
Pia Iger: so easy:)
Pema Pera: yes!!
Pema Pera: once you learn to subtract, it all becomes very easy.
Pema Pera: easier and easier as you go along
Pema Pera: and “progress” becomes faster and faster
Pema Pera: almost unfairly so :-)
Sylectra Darwin: i look forward to learning that.

We talked about how simple it all is.

Pia Iger: so we can
Pema Pera: once you see there is no “progress” in the conventional sense
Pia Iger: traditionally, enlightenment progress seems quite painful.
Pema Pera: Syl, a key point is that once you see something more, deeper, you realize that you had already known it in some way — Adams, you wrote something like that, too, didn’t you? Do you want to comment on that?
Pema Pera: Yes, Pia
Pema Pera: so we want to put that on its head
Pema Pera: by starting at the end
Sylectra Darwin: good point
Pema Pera: when we tell ourselves “I don’t see it” we reinforce the illusion that we don’t.
Adams Rubble: Oh I think I know what you mean
Pema Pera: When we tell ourselves “I see it” without seeing it we lie
Sylectra Darwin: ohhhh
Pema Pera: That’s another koan :-)
Sylectra Darwin: I like it.
Adams Rubble: The answer is very simple
Pema Pera: what to tell ourselves?
Pema Pera: yes, Adams?
Sylectra Darwin: How about inviting ourselves to see it?
Adams Rubble is a bit confused
Pema Pera: or inviting ourselves to recognize that we *already* see it . . . .
Pema Pera: great, Adams, that’s how to approach koans, as you know :-)
Pema Pera: but this is a very hard one that I just mentioned
Pema Pera: to see that when not seeing, you in some sense already know
Sylectra Darwin: Pema, I am TPing a friend who would like to join us
Pema Pera: but you got a flavor
Pema Pera: you caught the tip of the tail of the tiger ;)
Pema Pera: who knows what will happen when you pull
Pema Pera: you might get eaten :-)
Adams Rubble: :)
Pema Pera: of course, fine Syl!

Adams liked the tiger theme

Adams Rubble: Yes like the tiger on the mountain
Pema Pera: anyone here is welcome
Adams Rubble: the one I brong along for the view
Adams Rubble: Is it foolishness, courage?
Adams Rubble: and if I return
Pema Pera: wanna watch Adams get eaten, Syl?
Adams Rubble: will I remember the view from the mountain
Sylectra Darwin: sure
Pema Pera: beyond both, Adams
Sylectra Darwin: sounds like fun
Dakini Rhode: hi!
Pia Iger: Hi, Dakini,
Adams Rubble: Hi Dakini
Pema Pera: Hi Dakini!
Sylectra Darwin: hello Dakini
Dakini Rhode: :-)))

Dakini walked in, followed quickly by Gar whom Syl had teleported in.

Pema Pera: We’re having a great time here
Pema Pera: triggered by Adam’s blog
Pia Iger: I am a bit confused…
Pema Pera: Adams’ blog
Pema Pera: yes, Pia?
Adams Rubble is confused too but is too tired to explain
Pema Pera: btw, Adams, I’m glad you continued the “who?” koan, as I saw in your blog — there are so many levels, won’t easily be exhausted
Adams Rubble: :)
Dakini Rhode: confused: the theme for the day
Sylectra Darwin: there he is.
Pema Pera: Hi Gar!
Sylectra Darwin: Everyone, this is Gar.
Adams Rubble: Hi Gar
Dakini Rhode: hi Gar !
Gar Hallard: hey all
Pia Iger: Hi, Gar,
Pema Pera: Welcome to our group!
Gar Hallard: thanks
Pema Pera: Did Syl tell you what we are doing here?
Gar Hallard: not too much
Pema Pera: is the web site
Gar Hallard: ok
Pema Pera: and by now Syl has a pretty good idea what we’re doing :)
Adams Rubble thinks we drink big bottles of wine
Sylectra Darwin: pretty good, but that’s not to say expert…smile

I gave a micro-explanation of PaB.

Pema Pera: 9-sec micromeditations during the day, four times an hour, and then we meet here four times a day, to talk about it — and having fun, yes, Play as Being is the theme :-)
Pema Pera: And we keep chat logs — do you mind to appear in it on our blog?
Gar Hallard: not at all
Pema Pera: just wanna make sure
Pema Pera: thanks!
Pema Pera: Have you met Dakini, Gar?
Pema Pera: She is the one who built the tea house you are resting against
Gar Hallard: no i havent..smiles
Gar Hallard: cool
Pema Pera: and is lending it to us
Pema Pera: you should see the inside, very nicely done in Japanese style
Sylectra Darwin: And Dakini is often shiny.
Dakini Rhode: well now you have :-) nice to meet you, Gar
Gar Hallard: nice to meet you too
Pema Pera: Dakini, do you want to summarize your Zen Retreat practice too?
Dakini Rhode: we sit for zazen every day at 6PM SLt
Dakini Rhode: (no blog)
Pema Pera: Pia and Adams both talked about being confused . . . would you like to say something more about that?
Dakini Rhode: seems a good day for confusion
Adams Rubble: I think the ideas flew past a little too fast to absorb them all
Pia Iger: yes, seeing and not seeing part.
Adams Rubble: seeing the log will help

I commented on Gar’s great quote.

Pema Pera: By the way, Gar, I just love the quote in your profile: “The best things cannot be said. The second best are misunderstood.”
Adams Rubble: :)
Gar Hallard: smiles
Gar Hallard: thank you
Pema Pera: In our case: Being cannot be spoken about — and we are trying not to misunderstand “Play as Being” too much . . . . .
Pia Iger: Gar already sees.
Pema Pera: :)
Gar Hallard: hardly
Gar Hallard: im all very new to any of this
Gar Hallard: i just started reading ‘when things fall apart’
Dakini Rhode: Pema Chodron?
Pia Iger: really, I just saw it today.
Gar Hallard: dharma voyager is leading a discussion group on it..yes
Pema Pera: yes, there is a link to her web site from the PaB web site
Pia Iger: where
Dakini Rhode: very pithy
Pema Pera: “Skillful means”
Gar Hallard: yes
Pia Iger: oh.
Pema Pera:
Pema Pera: is her web site
Pia Iger: I just knew her name today.
Pema Pera: She visited here a few times
Pema Pera: She originally introduced me to Stevenaia
Pia Iger: good to know.
Pema Pera: Her discussion group started just a few days ago
Pema Pera: I would have gone had I had the time . . . .

And I would go, soon afterwars, to the second meeting, at Tuesday evenings, 6 pm SLT.

Pia Iger: I will check it out.
Pema Pera: Pia, seeing and not seeing is the hardest to “get”
Sylectra Darwin: thanks for the link
Pema Pera: but the key is this:
Pema Pera: normally, when we think we don’t see something
Pema Pera: we want to search for it, reach for it
Pema Pera: In the case of Being, or any deep spiritual pursuit
Pema Pera: searching and reaching in the usual way only gets you further away from it
Pema Pera: never works
Gar Hallard: why?
Pema Pera: until you find a way to see without reaching
Pema Pera: then you see it was already there
Dakini Rhode: hello Steve
Sylectra Darwin: Steven, hihi
Pema Pera: Hi Stevenaia, we were just talking about you!!
Pia Iger: Hi, Steven
Adams Rubble: Hi Steve
stevenaia Michinaga: my ears were rining

Steve dropped out of the sky. I looped back to Adams’ adventure, earlier that day, as an example of suddenly seeing what really never had been hidden in the first place, and what could not have been found by grasping.

Pema Pera: Actually, in some way Adams just had a bit of a taste of that
Gar Hallard: hello steven..smiles
Adams Rubble: yes I recognized it
Pema Pera: Can you say it in your own words
Pema Pera: from your own experience?
Adams Rubble: me?
Pema Pera: yes, Adams
stevenaia Michinaga: hello
Adams Rubble: It ws pretty much as you said. I was reaching for the answer
Adams Rubble: and not getting there
Pema Pera: Steve, we are talking about
Adams Rubble: and then all of a sudden it was there
Pema Pera: Adams web page of the day
Gar Hallard: what do you mean?
Adams Rubble: I was given a koan to ponder
Adams Rubble: a question to answer
stevenaia Michinaga: aww, I will review the site
Gar Hallard: as ive said ive only just started..a koan?
Adams Rubble: a koan is a riddle
Gar Hallard: ok
Gar Hallard: what was it?
Adams Rubble: or question
Adams Rubble: Who is impatient?
Gar Hallard: what were you trying to answer?
Adams Rubble: an answer could have been me
Adams Rubble: but it was one who has desire
Pema Pera: to get a feeling of what Adams searched for and found, Gar, reading her blog will help a lot
Pema Pera: Seeing the bottom line may be almost meaningless
Pema Pera: but the process of investigation is key
Gar Hallard: ok

Adams described the sense of seeing what had been staring her in the face.

Pia Iger: So Adams got a tast of finding something that is already there?
Pema Pera: what do you think, Adams, how did that feel?
Adams Rubble: in answer to Pia’s question yes
Adams Rubble: Buddha said unhappines is caused by desire
Adams Rubble: In answer to Pema, It felt exhilarating. I was giddy for a while
Adams Rubble: now I am tired
Adams Rubble: worn out
Pema Pera: Hi Clytemestra!
Pema Pera: I fact, I have to leave now too
Pema Pera: I’m at the Kyoto train station, and my train to Tokyo will leave soon
Adams Rubble: bye Pema :)
Sylectra Darwin: OK, don’t want you to miss that.
Pia Iger: ok. have a good day. Pema
Gar Hallard: it ws good to meet you
Pema Pera: sorry to have so little time Clytemestra!
Pema Pera: Nice meeting you Gar!
Clytemestra Dezno: Its ok

Clytemestra Dezno had walked up to us, but alas, I couldn’t miss my train.

Pema Pera: We’re here four times a day
Pema Pera: 1 am 7 am 1 pm 7 pm
Pema Pera: so plenty of time to catch each other again!
Pema Pera: nice talking with you all!
Pema Pera: Steve, can you continue the chat log?
Sylectra Darwin: G’night, Pema!
Pema Pera: happy noon for me here, Syl :-)
Pema Pera: Goodnight to you !
Pema Pera: bye, Pia, Gar, Syl, Dakini, CLyte, Steve, Adams!
Sylectra Darwin: Bye for now.
Adams Rubble: goodnight
Adams Rubble: goodbye
Dakini Rhode: happy trails Pema

One response to “An Incredible Seven Days

  1. Pingback: Three Small Children « Play as Being Weblog

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