All is Well

That evening, when I arrived, Bertrum was already sitting in the pavilion. When I sat down too, Fael came in as well.

Pema Pera: Hi Bert!
Pema Pera: Hi Fael!
Fael Illyar: Hi Pema, Bertrum :)
Bertrum Quan: Hi Pema, Fael
Pema Pera: I hadn’t noticed that your hair looks so much like mine, Fael — is that also new, or has it been like that for a bit?
Fael Illyar: looks like yours?
Pema Pera: I mean the length and colors, roughly
Fael Illyar: I’ve been using this hair for a few days now
Fael Illyar: along with this outfit
Faenik: なるほど^^
Pema Pera: I may have been distracted by the many other details of the interestingly complex outfit :)
Fael Illyar: :)
Pema Pera: Have you both been following the interesting discussion on the email group, about Caspian?
Fael Illyar: Yes, I spend quite some time reading the emails
Fael Illyar: spent
Faenik loves wells!
Bertrum Quan: Yes.
Pema Pera: interesting to see the different perspectives!
Bertrum Quan: Yes.
Pema Pera: although what people say is not very different
Pema Pera: they make it sure sound different :)
Pema Pera: we all say: let’s warn and then see what happens
Pema Pera: some people focus on the warn some on what may eventually happen
Pema Pera: :-)
Bertrum Quan: Different points of emphasis
Pema Pera: yes

I was refering to some email discussions we have had, about the fact that some of the regular visitors had been disturbed by Caspian’s behavior at previous occasions. In that discussion, everyone agreed that it was time to talk directly with Caspian about what we considered to be a potential problem. Fael made an interesting observation.

Fael Illyar: some people expect the warning to be useless, others don’t.
Pema Pera: that is a great point Fael
Pema Pera: that may be the biggest difference
Bertrum Quan: The whole conversation is interesting in terms of building a virtual community
Pema Pera: any community, in fact
Bertrum Quan: yes.
Fael Illyar: oh by the way, Moon asked me to do some special effect scripts last night for the logo behind us :P
Pema Pera: yes, looks nice!
Pema Pera: I asked him the following question, let me copy:
Fael Illyar: they don’t activate unless someone clicks on it.
Pema Pera: bert, do you want to click on it?
Pema Pera: do you see it behind you?
Bertrum Quan: Your article, Pema, will there be any time set asisde to discuss it?
Pema Pera: we could
Pema Pera: do you see the logo behind you, Bertrum?
Bertrum Quan: Yes.
Pema Pera: can you click on it?
Bertrum Quan: Do I need to turn on my sound for the full effect?
Pema Pera: no sound
Fael Illyar: it does have sound
Pema Pera: ah, sound now!

I had not realized that sound was included. And what sound! A blaring siren . . .

Pema Pera: haha, sirens and steam and neon?
Pema Pera: Wait till Dakini hears this!!!!
Pema Pera: perhaps we can make the sirens optionaly :-)
Pema Pera: So here is what I wrote to Moon:
Pema Pera: Pema Pera: Just wondering — no idea whether it would look good — but perhaps worth trying as an option — how about letting orange particles move in from below through the roots of the “tree” so that there is a circulation, with the yellow particles moving out already now?
Faenik: なるほど^^
Pema Pera: Pema Pera: so the orange legs and arms of the human figure would become roots and the yellow rays like branches
Pema Pera: Moon said it would be very hard to do that
Pema Pera: What do you think, Fael?
Pema Pera: Lovely effects by the way!!
Fael Illyar: particles are hard to control precisely.
Pema Pera: well, just a thought

I brought up the question of how much of our conversations to include in the blog. Sometimes we leave out some personal parts for privacy, when people ask us specifically or when we ourselves consider some things to be better to leave out, again for privacy reasons. But here we decided to leave everything in, since the whole question of conflict resolution is something confronting any young and growing organization.

Pema Pera: Question, concerning our Caspian discussions, today, and a few times here in the last day and a bit:
Pema Pera: should we add that to the blog or not?
Pema Pera: I can see equally good reasons for doing and not doing
Pema Pera: doing so: openness to the world of what we do and how we go about it
Pema Pera: not doing: we don’t necessarily want Caspian and everyone to look behind the scenes of what we’re doing
Pema Pera: what do you both think?
Pema Pera: I could go either way
Fael Illyar: I think I’d prefer openness. That seems to be the most natural way for spontaneously forming groups. Keeps doors open for more people to join.
Fael Illyar: no barriers for getting involved
Pema Pera: and you, Bertrum?
Faenik: could be
Bertrum Quan: Well, as I wrote your earlier, I have mixed feelings about it for a number of reasons.
Fael Illyar: Or to put it in other words, if we’re discussing something that shouldn’t be on the log that relates to the whole group, should we be discussing it at all?
Pema Pera: well, should we have IMs at all?
Pema Pera: I think we should
Bertrum Quan: That’s a good point, Fael.
Pema Pera: teh question is whether this is more like a groups IM or open talk
Bertrum Quan: But this is more complex, I think…
Pema Pera: it is in between . . . . .
Bertrum Quan: Yes.
Bertrum Quan: I do not really see this purely in terms of openness.
Pema Pera: But if feels good to talk about whether or not to talk about it ;) — I am glad you posed the question, Fael !
Pema Pera: yes, Bertrum?
Bertrum Quan: Well, some of the most compelling questions are raised in the emails anyway.
Pema Pera: but it is very different to talk in real time than in email
Pema Pera: If someone says something you disagree with, it can take 24 hours to get a response back
Pema Pera: here 1 minute
Pema Pera: and then you can clarify
Pema Pera: without escalation
Fael Illyar: about the IMs, private conversations between 2 people I don’t have a problem with. Individuals do need privacy. But if you’re looking for having PaB grow, we should be as open as possible.

At this point, Caspian walked in.

Fael Illyar: Hello Caspian
Pema Pera: we’ve seen quite a bit of escalation already in email
Pema Pera: Hi Caspian!
Caspian Inglewood: hi
Pema Pera: We were just talking about you!
Pema Pera: come join us
Caspian Inglewood: oh yes?
Pema Pera: yes :)
Caspian Inglewood: only good things I do hope
Pema Pera: quite a few people have been puzzled and some disturbed by your behavior
Caspian Inglewood: what behavior would this be?
Pema Pera: does that come as a surprise?
Caspian Inglewood: yes and no
Caspian Inglewood: go on
Pema Pera: I’d be curious to hear about the no
Caspian Inglewood: Moon and I have had discussions
Caspian Inglewood: apparently when i speak, it is not deemed on topic
Caspian Inglewood: other than this, i do not know what is being discussed
Pema Pera: more than that, you seem to enjoy rubbing people the wrong way
Caspian Inglewood: how so?
Pema Pera: and making sharp remarks, under the cloak of being zen like, which disturbs people
Pema Pera: surprised?
Caspian Inglewood: so you are asking me to not return?
Caspian Inglewood: I am what i am
Caspian Inglewood: I say what i say
Pema Pera: I’m not saying that
Caspian Inglewood: I do not know what is being said then
Caspian Inglewood: I come, i sit, I share
Pema Pera: For starters, I am curious to hear your side
Caspian Inglewood: if someone does not like this, they should say so to me
Caspian Inglewood: who are these people that have trouble?
Caspian Inglewood: only then can I address
Caspian Inglewood: I really have no side

Of course, this was a direct confrontation, but anything else seemed to be even less pleasant and more confusing. Caspian defended himself with the valid request that people talk to him directly if they are unhappy about him. Fael and I tried to point out that most people prefer to avoid or at least postpone confrontation.

Pema Pera: You are now taking a hard-line position, Caspian
Faenik is a hairy black ball with eyes and ears.
Fael Illyar: Most people don’t talk about things like that until they boil over so to speak.
Pema Pera: exactly
Caspian Inglewood: well if people do not do this, how can I know what is the problem?
Caspian Inglewood: ha ha
Caspian Inglewood: it is funny, I quote Buddhist sutras sometime
Caspian Inglewood: maybe I say comments
Pema Pera: are you really that naive?
Caspian Inglewood: never to hurt anyone
Pema Pera: or do you enjoy drawing people out?
Caspian Inglewood: okay, so you are wanting to put on trial
Caspian Inglewood: please proceed
Caspian Inglewood: I have said what i have to say
Pema Pera: see, that is an example
Pema Pera: of trying to draw us out
Caspian Inglewood: trying to draw out?
Pema Pera: rather than trying to understand what we are trying to say
Caspian Inglewood: I am merely having discourse
Pema Pera: you like confrontation, yes?
Caspian Inglewood: given the circumstances, i would say that is ironic statement
Caspian Inglewood: I have been told that talk on Buddhism is not wanted at some talks
Caspian Inglewood: why this is so I do not know
Fael Illyar: Too many topics at once make for fragmented conversation that is hard to follow.
Caspian Inglewood: see that is it…
Caspian Inglewood: this must be the problem
Caspian Inglewood: I can only relate in ways i know how
Caspian Inglewood: what may be off topic to some
Caspian Inglewood: is really just me putting into understanding in own words

I realized that I was playing hard ball here. I tried to speak on the same wave length, as much as I could, as I had seen Caspian speak. Many people prefer a more gentle and indirect approach, and I often try to go that route. In this case, however, I tried to respect Caspian’s style by following it myself, in my way of talking with him. At the same time, I tried to show that not everybody enjoys such a direct (or honest, or confrontational, depending on your judgment) style.

Pema Pera: we are trying to create a friendly environment here, in which we mutually respect each other, and we are trying to gently listen to each other. If you are happy to play along, that is fine. If not, this is not the right place for you. This is not a place for trying out role playing.
Caspian Inglewood: hmf
Caspian Inglewood: so I am unfriendly now?
Caspian Inglewood: ha ha
Caspian Inglewood: this gets better by second
Caspian Inglewood: you are saying, “be like everyone else, or go away.”
Pema Pera: You have told us you wanted to play the role of a zen priest. There is a lot of room in SL to do that, if you like, but this is not the right place.
Caspian Inglewood: to me
Caspian Inglewood: that is the definition of role play
Pema Pera: yes, but that is not our purpose
Caspian Inglewood: so your purpose is to control others?
Caspian Inglewood: to exert power?

Up to this point, I really did not know what to think of the situation. Either Caspian had been sincere but let’s say somewhat insensitive, or he was trying to play with us, seeing how far he could get in impersonating a zen priest — a kind of role play that he had indicated during his very first couple of visits here. To find out, the best way seemed to be to just ask him. I was greatly relieved to hear Caspian’s response.

Pema Pera: you are enjoying this, aren’t you?
Caspian Inglewood: you think that?
Pema Pera: seems so
Caspian Inglewood: you do not know how uncomfortable this actually is
Caspian Inglewood: I only come here to have conversation
Caspian Inglewood: to make friends
Caspian Inglewood: I did not know a few words here or there cause so much hostility
Pema Pera: If you really mean that, we are all happy to talk about that
Pema Pera: and then you can certainly continue to join us
Caspian Inglewood: the problem is, it has not been said WHAT I have said that is problem
Caspian Inglewood: this makes it difficult to address, again
Caspian Inglewood: it is like telling someone they must change, but not what they must change
Caspian Inglewood: what must i do, to conform to your ways?
Pema Pera: It all depends, Caspian, on whether you come here to really learn, like we all learn, together, or whether you come here to pester us — we have gotten mixed signals so far, so it is important for us to know why you come here
Caspian Inglewood: lol
Caspian Inglewood: this is ludicrous
Faenik loves wells!
Pema Pera: If you think people have misunderstood you, we are all happy to talk
Pema Pera: and then we will all learn
Caspian Inglewood: that is good
Pema Pera: about what the misunderstanding was
Caspian Inglewood: i do not just think this
Caspian Inglewood: I know this
Pema Pera: know what, Caspian?
Caspian Inglewood: obviously there is a misunderstanding
Caspian Inglewood: I am RL Zen practitioner
Caspian Inglewood: am I master?
Caspian Inglewood: no
Pema Pera: okay, if so, let’s talk then
Caspian Inglewood: do i share things from Zen experience
Caspian Inglewood: you bet

Now that we had crossed the largest hurdle, the choice between misunderstanding and mischief, and had concluded that we were dealing with misunderstanding, I felt we could talk about specific points, to clarify what had been bothering some of us.

Pema Pera: let us focus on one thing at a time
Pema Pera: to see whether we can resolve the misunderstandings
Pema Pera: why do you like to smoke here?
Caspian Inglewood: so far I do not know the one thing
Caspian Inglewood: am i smoking?
Caspian Inglewood: I am not
Caspian Inglewood: have I smoked on previous visits?
Caspian Inglewood: occasionally
Pema Pera: hi Libby!
Caspian Inglewood: okay
Caspian Inglewood: so no smoking
Caspian Inglewood: easily done
Libby Sohl: good morning everyone or whatever time it is for you
Fael Illyar: Hi Libby
Caspian Inglewood: hello Libby
Pema Pera: Afternoon for me, Libby!

At this point Libby walked in. In some way, it must have been even more uncomfortable for her than for us, given that she fell into the middle of this already uncomfortable conversation, and on top of that, not being familiar with the background. I was very impressed with the fact that she stayed, and contributed her own share to making the discussion work.

Pema Pera: We’re talking with Caspian, Libby, about a possible misunderstanding
Caspian Inglewood: have I ever offended you Libby?
Caspian Inglewood: Bertrum?
Pema Pera: Some people have been uneasy about their interactions with Caspian, and we’re not trying to figure out what has been going on
Libby Sohl: no caspian you have not
Caspian Inglewood: I am glad to hear this
Caspian Inglewood: Ryusho will vouch, also
Caspian Inglewood: as will Dhakini
Bertrum Quan: I have been confused by some of the interruptions. Not offended.
Faenik loves wells!
Caspian Inglewood: what interruptions?
Caspian Inglewood: if sharing is called interruption
Caspian Inglewood: then maybe I am guilty
Caspian Inglewood: maybe you should hand me script
Caspian Inglewood: so i can say what you want said
Libby Sohl: maybe its just the style he uses when joining into discussions
Fael Illyar: The only complaint I have is excessive quoting from Zen masters with little obvious relevance to the topic.
Bertrum Quan: There were time when you would shout out “Pay attention.”
Libby Sohl: in general caspian uses short statements and questions
Caspian Inglewood: katsu! pay attention!
Bertrum Quan: That is one example.
Caspian Inglewood: that is gesture
Caspian Inglewood: it goes with keisaku
Caspian Inglewood: as to relevance
Bertrum Quan: It sometimes cam in the middle of a conversation. Or the was a flashing of the sword.
Caspian Inglewood: honestly, i cannot help you on that
Bertrum Quan: There were remarks that did not seem to follow the flow.
Caspian Inglewood: I have no sword
Caspian Inglewood: only keisaku
Caspian Inglewood: katsu! pay attention!
Bertrum Quan: I was not offended. But I wondered why you did not appear top care about the discussion.
Bertrum Quan: to care…
Caspian Inglewood: to do what you dislike…
Caspian Inglewood: I will say lin Chi was not understood when he said Buddha was a dry shit stick
Caspian Inglewood: Zen Buddhism is not special, but maybe it does not always make instant sense
Pema Pera: Caspian, Bertrum is trying to point out that you behave in a way that doesn’t seem to respect the feelings of others very much
Caspian Inglewood: I apologize, also
Pema Pera: You asked for an example
Caspian Inglewood: because some things must be understood in contexts you are unfamiliar with
Fael Illyar: Basically, what I’m asking is to consider before quoting is whether or not it’s likely to be understood.
Pema Pera: thank you, Caspian

I felt that the conversation was picking up steam, and I much appreciated Caspian’s willingness to apologize and to explain his own motivations to us.

Caspian Inglewood: I did not hear Bertrum say anything about disrespect
Pema Pera: Let me give an example
Pema Pera:
Pema Pera: is the log of a few days ago
Caspian Inglewood: okay
Caspian Inglewood: this should be good
Pema Pera: At that time Pia spoke about a very troubling occasion for her
Pema Pera: you spoke rather directly back to her
Pema Pera: in a way a zen master might have done
Pema Pera: in the right setting and the right occasion
Pema Pera: many of us felt uncomfortable
Pema Pera: and even during the meeting Adams remarked upon that
Pema Pera: said you were somewhat harsh
Pema Pera: then you reacted rather hostile to Adams
Pema Pera: basically telling it was none of her business what you said to Pia
Caspian Inglewood: let me look
Pema Pera: Caspian, that is not how we have our discussions here
Caspian Inglewood: this is rather long
Pema Pera: sure
Pema Pera: about half way
Pema Pera: Adams Rubble thinks Caspian has ben a bit harsh about Pia’s encounter
Caspian Inglewood: all i said was she is the homeless person
Pema Pera: Caspian Inglewood: that was not for you
Caspian Inglewood: I think to say it was seriously troubling to her is probably not even entirely correct
Caspian Inglewood: why was it not for me?
Fael Illyar: a new quote, which you don’t understand, coming every couple of minutes tends to begin looking like noise. No time to even think about it before the new one shows up. In addition, they’re long and frequent enough to make it difficult to follow the rest of the conversation as well.
Pema Pera: sorry, I am quoting
Pema Pera: two lines for the web site
Pema Pera: sorry, confusing, let me try tagin
Pema Pera: quote#!:Adams Rubble thinks Caspian has ben a bit harsh about Pia’s encounter
Caspian Inglewood: okay
Faenik is a hairy black ball with eyes and ears.
Pema Pera: quote#2:Caspian Inglewood: that was not for you
Caspian Inglewood: he is entitled to think as he wishes
Caspian Inglewood: it was not
Caspian Inglewood: I spoke to Pia in my comments
Caspian Inglewood: not Adams Rubble
Caspian Inglewood: I will stand by everything I said

Clear progress: now we had a specific and concrete case, where Caspian had spoken his mind to Pia in a rather direct way, such that at least Pia and Adams and I were not comfortable with at the time. After Adams had pointed that out, Caspian had brushed her mild objection aside, and this gave us a handle to talk about now.

Pema Pera: Caspian, that is not how we have our groups discussions
Caspian Inglewood: there was nothing confrontational or insensitive about any of it
Pema Pera: we try to talk together, and share together
Pema Pera: how can you know that Caspian?
Caspian Inglewood: so you never talk back to others?
Caspian Inglewood: because I know my intention
Caspian Inglewood: and my intention was correct
Bertrum Quan: We are discussing mis-communicating.
Pema Pera: yes, the point is how what you say comes across
Fael Illyar: Even if your intention is correct, if you express it in a way that won’t be understood …

Bertrum, Fael and I all tried to point out that “confrontational” and “insensitive” is not only a matter of honesty in speaking from the side of the speaker, but also a matter of trying to feel out how something may be received by the listeners.

Caspian Inglewood: lol, 99% of things will not be expressed
Caspian Inglewood: if it always must be understood
Caspian Inglewood: how does nuclear physicist explain nuclear physics?
Pema Pera: Caspian, we are not trying to attack you
Caspian Inglewood: he cannot give “simple” course
Pema Pera: so there is no reason to defend
Pema Pera: we want to talk together to see how we can communicate better
Caspian Inglewood: okay, no reason to defend
Pema Pera: understand each other better
Caspian Inglewood: okay
Caspian Inglewood: understad this, I beg
Faenik: why not?
Caspian Inglewood: the things I say may often be within a Zen context
Caspian Inglewood: they may not make sense
Caspian Inglewood: if that is so
Caspian Inglewood: please disregard
Fael Illyar: That is what I’ve done this far
Caspian Inglewood: very simple, no?

This time I was even more impressed by the way in which Caspian was listening to us. Most anybody, me included, has the tendency to become defensive and angry when confronted with miscommunication. It is very hard to listen to constructive criticism. Almost before we know it, we take a defensive stand, and strike back in self preservation. Caspian was willing to let go of that stand, and I felt deeply moved, seeing that.

Pema Pera: Zen is wonderful, Caspian, but it can be easily confused with occasions to be less than respectful . . . . there is a fine line
Libby Sohl: maybe if somebody doesnt understand a quote they could just ask for help
Libby Sohl: i dont know the situation so i am tyring not to comment
Fael Illyar: Libby, that isn’t possible when there are new quotes coming every few minutes
Caspian Inglewood: it is very direct pema, this is true
Faenik: なるほど^^
Pema Pera: May I try to summarize?
Pema Pera: Caspian likes to be direct, has good intentions
Pema Pera: Others also have good intentions, and are puzzled and sometimes disturbed by some of the things Caspian says
Pema Pera: So, let us see how to solve this problem
Libby Sohl: maybe you need to be more selective about who will benifit from what you are saying
Caspian Inglewood: it is very difficult to tailor a message to stranger
Pema Pera: Perhaps all of us can give Caspian more of a benefit of the doubt, so to speak, not assuming that being hurt was intentioanl
Caspian Inglewood: because it was not Pema
Pema Pera: and in turn Caspian can try to be more gentle and careful in what to say when
Caspian Inglewood: that I can say without hesitation
Libby Sohl: and maybe if we feel hurt we need to express that right away so caspian knows to ease off slightly
Caspian Inglewood: my observations?
Caspian Inglewood: often I come here and everyone just talks
Caspian Inglewood: nobody listens
Caspian Inglewood: like you said
Pema Pera: yes, Libby, that is exactly why we have this conversation
Caspian Inglewood: everyone has own agenda
Pema Pera: Caspian, if that is your interpretation, you have missed a lot . . . .
Pema Pera: many of us feel that we have had very profound exchanges
Caspian Inglewood: well, from my view
Caspian Inglewood: that is how it is
Caspian Inglewood: and in light of conversation
Caspian Inglewood: I see why
Caspian Inglewood: I was being ignored
Pema Pera: Okay, that’s a central point yes
Pema Pera: Let’s focus on that
Caspian Inglewood: so in my view there seldom was discussion
Caspian Inglewood: because i was being excluded for not “fitting”
Caspian Inglewood: no martyrdom here
Caspian Inglewood: just truth

Difficult as this conversation still was, I was deligthed that we could really call a spade a spade now.

Pema Pera: If somebody hurts you, there are two things you can do: ignore or confront
Pema Pera: right?
Caspian Inglewood: I suppose
Pema Pera: so far we have indeed been ignoring much of what you said and did
Pema Pera: and now the time has come to confront
Caspian Inglewood: though so far i haven’t established anyone to have been “hurt”
Caspian Inglewood: confused, apparently
Pema Pera: hopefully in a friendly way
Libby Sohl: surely not fitting is integral to this group, if we all had the same opinion no discussion could happen and nobody could learn
Pema Pera: so from now on, we will tell you immediately and directly if there is something that disturbs us
Fael Illyar: Libby, when that is bad enough that communication doesn’t work, something has to be done.
Pema Pera: and we will no longer ignore what you say, okay?
Caspian Inglewood: that will take up too much time
Caspian Inglewood: i will limit what I say instead
Caspian Inglewood: lol
Caspian Inglewood: now I feel like I must always check
Caspian Inglewood: always check my speech
Libby Sohl: i wasnt around when this all happened so im feeling slightly akward
Fael Illyar: I always check my speech, often rewrite it once, sometimes even twice before saying
Caspian Inglewood: that is very nice Fael
Faenik: indeed?
Caspian Inglewood: I am not like this
Libby Sohl: i have onyl had one conversation with you caspian but in my opinion i found your thoughts helpful and intresting
Caspian Inglewood: ZM Seung Sahn used to shout at students, “If you do not answer correct, i will HIT 30 times!”
Caspian Inglewood: was this meant to hurt?
Caspian Inglewood: was he checking?
Caspian Inglewood: was he violent?
Fael Illyar: I also tend to be very direct. But doing this allows me to communicate more meaningfully.

At this point, some kind of extraordinary coincidence happened, if it was a coincidence; at least an odd sort of synchronicity, let’s say. For the first time since I’ve started the Play as Being sessions, I actually encountered grievers! They brought loud music with them, and started dancing on and near the table in the middle. Meanwhile, I refered back to the very first conversation I had with Caspian, when he told me he was looking for a Seung Sahn skin.

Pema Pera: Hi Porkmor!
Pema Pera: Caspian, with all due respect, you are not Seung Sahn
Pema Pera: whether or not you found his skin in SL
Pema Pera: :)
Caspian Inglewood: I did not know that pema
Pema Pera: Hi Destruction!
Destruction Skytower: hullo
Caspian Inglewood: I am also not Lin Chi
Caspian Inglewood: or Dogen
Caspian Inglewood: or any other
Caspian Inglewood: but I am able to make anaology
Caspian Inglewood: or not?
Caspian Inglewood: see
Caspian Inglewood: do you see how that
Pema Pera: Destruction and Porkmor, can you please stop bothering us?

No answer, so I swiftly ejected both Porkmor and Destruction from the premises

Caspian Inglewood: what you said, is actually very confrontational
Caspian Inglewood: very arrogant?
Caspian Inglewood: “you are not Seung Sahn”
Caspian Inglewood: as if this needed saying

I wanted to answer Caspian, but the two griefers had returned. I gave them one brief last chance.

Libby Sohl: please stop playing music
Pema Pera: one thing at a time
Pema Pera: Porkmor and Destruction, how did you find us here?
Caspian Inglewood: lol
Destruction Skytower: i like the music keep playing
Caspian Inglewood: nice deflection
Porkmor Morpork: lol
Faenik: ah :)

So this time I choose the combination “eject and ban” which implied that they couldn’t come back anymore. First #1.

Avatar ejected.
Caspian Inglewood: good
Caspian Inglewood: now THAT is disruptive behavior
Pema Pera: weird coincidence
Pema Pera: first time it has happened in three month for me
Fael Illyar: Yes, quite. apparently people who want to annoy people.
Pema Pera: Caspian, you said I was very arrogant
Pema Pera: I was just commenting on the fact that you compared yourself with Seung Sahn
Destruction Skytower: blargh
Caspian Inglewood: I did?
Pema Pera: in justifying your way of confronting people
Caspian Inglewood: I compared myself to him?
Caspian Inglewood: i gave example of the tradition I come from

By that time I had done my clicking to get rid of #2.

Avatar ejected.
Caspian Inglewood: very direct, very physical, very confrontational
Pema Pera: okay, first time I have done and “eject and ban”
Pema Pera: at least those two won’t come back anymore
Libby Sohl: well they really were trying to cause trouble

At that point, the same kind of music could be heard again, and I saw #3 at 20 meters distance from the pavilian. Clearly he was part of the group, and by now I ws becoming quite practiced in ban-and-eject.

Avatar ejected.
Fael Illyar: That Zen Master can get away with it because he has gained the respect of others.
Caspian Inglewood: lol
Pema Pera: okay, Destruction Skytower is now also ejected and banned
Pema Pera: busy day!
Caspian Inglewood: students do this to!
Libby Sohl: id just like to make it clear that im finding this discussion uncomfortable
Caspian Inglewood: anyway, tradition does not matter
Caspian Inglewood: you do not practice Kwan Um, no problem
Libby Sohl: a stratergy has been decided upon and were still talking about it
Fael Illyar: Libby I think that holds for all of us.
Caspian Inglewood: the point was only that sometimes world is not nice
Caspian Inglewood: helping is not always lovely
Pema Pera: Yes, Libby, that is why we have not had this discussion for quite a while now
Faenik: indeed?
Caspian Inglewood: always happy with roses
Pema Pera: Caspian asked us at the beginning: why did you not tell me early that you were bothered?
Pema Pera: Well, you gave the answer, Libby
Pema Pera: but now we have to
Caspian Inglewood: again, this is way overblown
Caspian Inglewood: imo
Libby Sohl: yes i understand that but..
Libby Sohl: nm
Pema Pera: no please
Pema Pera: I’d like to hear what you feel about this situation
Libby Sohl: no i cant work out the words i need at the moment so i keep staring at the white bar like its going to write itself
Caspian Inglewood: :)
Fael Illyar: I know that problem :)
Pema Pera: I understand — like Fael said, this is uncomfortable for all of us

I fully realized that the discussion was still uncomfortable, but in the light of all the progress we had made, I did not want to leave loose ends.

Pema Pera: Caspian
Pema Pera: what I meant was:
Pema Pera: I tell you that some people have felt hurt
Pema Pera: then you say that a certain zen master hurts others
Caspian Inglewood: lol
Libby Sohl: i think what im trying to say is feeling a little bit uncomfortable when you are discussing new concepts is a good thing
Caspian Inglewood: you put words in mouth
Caspian Inglewood: but okay
Pema Pera: then I say that that is no excuse for you to act like that zen master
Pema Pera: is that arrogant from my side?
Caspian Inglewood: you said NO SUCH THING
Caspian Inglewood: I can quote, but why bother?
Libby Sohl: some people may take this personally but i think that is something that should be discussed between the two people
Fael Illyar: That was what could be read from between the lines
Libby Sohl: at the moment i feel were all being agressive to capsian for not following the same path as us
Caspian Inglewood: oh
Caspian Inglewood: I am hurt
Caspian Inglewood: waaaaaaaa
Libby Sohl: and i dont really like it
Caspian Inglewood: please confront Pema for me
Caspian Inglewood: seriously
Pema Pera: Yes, Libby, if there are two people involved — if there a half dozen it is different
Caspian Inglewood: this is how it is going
Libby Sohl: ok
Caspian Inglewood: everybody gets hurt
Pema Pera: Libby, you came in the middle
Caspian Inglewood: little boy gets spanked, OUCH!
Caspian Inglewood: but he never runs in street again!
Pema Pera: if you like, I can give the background
Libby Sohl: yes thats probably why im feeling this is difficult
Libby Sohl: i think i might just go actually
Caspian Inglewood: no
Pema Pera: either way is fine

Of course, Libby was free to leave, but I’m really glad she chose to stay.

Caspian Inglewood: please, let us end this
Caspian Inglewood: what needed saying has been said
Pema Pera: This is the first time in 300 sessions that we have had a direct confrontation like this, Libby
Pema Pera: it is quite an exception
Faenik: ah :)
Bertrum Quan: Perhaps the points from all perspectives have been made.
Pema Pera: Yes, I’m happy to end here.
Pema Pera: From now on, let us all just be open and direct
Pema Pera: and not wait till later to talk about feeling uncomfortable
Pema Pera: but do that right in a session when it happens
Libby Sohl: well ive been like that from the start
Pema Pera: not easy perhaps
Pema Pera: that’s great, Libby!
Pema Pera: Caspian, and anybody here, do you have any objection against putting today’s session on the blog?
Pema Pera: Just want to make sure everybody agrees — or not
Pema Pera: Libby, this is
Libby Sohl: i dont mind as long as it is clear i am not feeling comfortable at all about it
Pema Pera: that is completely clear, Libby — and I’m sure that’s true for all of us.
Pema Pera: Caspian, I hope this has cleared the air
Pema Pera: Let us start from scratch next time
Pema Pera: We will tell you if we are disturbed
Caspian Inglewood: alright
Caspian Inglewood: lol
Pema Pera: and you try to see what it is that bothers others — and whether you want to change that then or not
Pema Pera: perhaps the others change
Pema Pera: either way would be interesting
Pema Pera: and helpful
Bertrum Quan: We all come here for many of the same reasons.
Caspian Inglewood: only go straight, only help all beings
Caspian Inglewood: very simple

We seemed ready to wrap up.

Pema Pera: Libby, does this seem like a good way to end, or is there something else you’d like to share?
Faenik: indeed?
Libby Sohl: i really dont know i wasnt involved in the actual situation
Pema Pera: Perhaps it is not necessary to rewind
Libby Sohl: no it isnt
Pema Pera: We are all learning from each other
Caspian Inglewood: :)
Pema Pera: And I think today we all did too
Caspian Inglewood: and always remember
Caspian Inglewood: i am not Seung Sahn!
Caspian Inglewood: lol
Pema Pera: I found this the most difficult conversation I have had here in the three months that I have been here
Pema Pera: haha, Caspian, noted :)
Libby Sohl: capsian has a different view on things to me and i find that more useful than talking to someone with similar views

Libby made a great point, to which we could all agree. I thanked Caspian, and I think we all felt relieved.

Pema Pera: Thank you, Caspian, for not running away :)
Pema Pera: It must have been quite uncomfortable for you
Libby Sohl: and i am just going to accept the conversation was neccesary and leave it at that
Caspian Inglewood: if i can’t take a little vrusing, i’d have died long ago
Caspian Inglewood: bruising*
Pema Pera: I like vrusing
Pema Pera: like virus?
Pema Pera: :-)
Pema Pera: we all infect each other with new ideas
Pema Pera: whether we like them or not
Caspian Inglewood: :)
Pema Pera: Caspian, I have never confronted someone before here the way I did you
Pema Pera: for two reasons:
Pema Pera: one, that some people were disturbed, as I mentioned
Pema Pera: two, that I thought you were one of the few people who could take it, being talked to so directly, without running away
Pema Pera: So I’m glad my gamble was right
Pema Pera: Most people would have left right away
Faenik: why not?
Caspian Inglewood: all is well

And at this point, the title for the session was born!

Libby Sohl: well i very nearly left myself it was only bertrum that kept me here
Pema Pera: Thanks, Bert!
Bertrum Quan: Pema you’ve constructed a wonderful opportunity to learn in SL. I’m glad we’re moving forward…
Pema Pera: Thank you, Bert!
Pema Pera: I was only the fuse though . . . the gunpowder is this whole group
Libby Sohl: fuse gunpowder, and no one expected and explosion
Libby Sohl: hmmm
Pema Pera wonders sometimes about his choices of metaphor
Pema Pera: :)
Pema Pera: well, it’s dinner time for me
Fael Illyar: Ok, see you later Pema :)
Pema Pera: good seeing you all!
Caspian Inglewood: take care Pema
Bertrum Quan: Thanks, Pema.
Caspian Inglewood: may you use your fork and knife with ease
Pema Pera: Thanks, Caspian!
Pema Pera: chop sticks, but thanks!
Libby Sohl: bye perma
Pema Pera: :-)
Pema Pera: I’m still in Kyoto for a couple weeks
Caspian Inglewood: cool
Pema Pera: Thanks, Fael, Bertrum, Libby!
Pema Pera: Hope to see you all back again soon

2 responses to “All is Well

  1. Fascinating. I wish I’d read this before meeting Caspian yesterday.

  2. Pingback: Dropping Extra Baggage « Play as Being Weblog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s