Week 3

This third week was even more encouraging that the first one. The conversations among the regulars continued to deepen, while a influx of new visitors brought an increasingly greater complementary variety to those conversations. And how rich a week it was! Not only were there the twenty-one different sessions, three a day, but many a session was composed out of quite different parts, with various people coming and gong. I was left with the impression that we effectively had more like forty of fifty distinct meetings, in total.

In the second half of the week, the conversation turned a few times to the question of where we were going and what had been reached so far, in this Playing as Being adventure. Different friends asked me that question at different occasions. We all agreed that it was clearly far too early to make any definite judgments. And yet we also agreed that a remarkable thing had happened, a clear example of the whole being more than the sum of the parts.

Dakini had built a tea house in the hope something interesting would happen there. Pema had started to use it to see whether a playful way of exploring reality would make sense. Storm had started a companion blog to Pema’s right the first day that the whole adventure started, on April Fools Day. Many other individuals became regulars: no less than thirteen visitors appeared at least three times each during the first three week. And yet, the sense of community that is being formed already far exceeded the sum total of what each of us could have possibly accomplished.

2008, April 14, Monday
So many moods and atmospheres in one day! All alone, for the first time in more than a week, and then five us of this afternoon and five of us in the evening, or four of average. That afternoon Riddle and Stim and I talked, as we had often done in our Qwaq Forums virtual world, during the last few months. In the evening the little tea house was almost filled up with visitors, while Maxine talked about her dream and Friedrich about his practice.

2008, April 15, Tuesday
Today was a day of introductions, in which I summarized the basic ideas behing PaB, Play as Being, to three different individuals who just happened to be passing through Rieul. Of all the people who have visited our little tea house, I get the impression that there are three comparable categories. Roughly one third hears about our meetings directly from me or from a note that has been sent around to a few groups; one third hears about it through word of mouth, friends of those who have already visited; and yet again one third just happens to walk by and listen in to see what we are doing. And in addition to all these fresh overviews today, Maxine and I had one of our most in-depth discussions of the PaB practice, early in the morning. On average, we had three visitors per session today.

2008, April 16, Wednesday
A busy day today, with four participants per gathering, on average. Early in the morning, Maxine and Sky had a fascinating conversation, in which each was curious to hear more about what the other had to say. That afternoon, Zenon visited and neighbor Storm kindly helped him figuring out some of the basic controls in SL. Storm that also helped me, instructing me how to approach Linden Lab to request them to put up land for sale adjacent to what I already own in Rieul. The evening was conducted in two parts, the first half ending in the PaB disco dance, and the second half going back to square one in Playing as Being.

2008, April 17, Thursday
This morning, we talked about stopping, and connections with accepting, opening up, surrendering, and how direct and physical it can feel. In the afternoon, I met Kess for the first time; I had heard a lot about her from her alt, and she had heard a lot about me from my alt, but we had never yet met ourselves — such a funny virtual sitation within a virtual world. That evening we talked about aliveness and continuity.

2008, April 18, Friday
Maxine and I had a very lively conversation, in which we also came back to the notion of `who am I?’ We talked about the role of play, and its possible function as an antidote for feelings of fear and dread. In the afternoon Stim and I reflected on how PaB is coming along, as I had done with Storm and Kessidri the day before. Among other things, we talked about the differences between our SL experiences and our ealier work with Qwaq Forums. That evening, a flurry of visitors came and went, sharing each other’s presence here in SL.

2008, April 19, Saturday
Today was the end of an era. No longer would unsuspecting tea house visitors get trapped in the attic . . . . Dakini had made the roof partly phantom, meaning that teleports to visitors that had stuffed them in the attic would now lead to a graceful descent. From now on “dropping in” was going to be literal: visitor are now dropping from the ceiling. What happened in the rest of the day? We came across a roaming group interested in the zen meditation place nearby, we talked about blogs and large birds, and many other topics.

2008, April 20, Sunday
Amidst the coming and going of the regulars, two different passers-by joined into the conversations, at different times. Rieul really is a good place to hold the type of meetings we do, given the significant number of serious individuals happy to engage in a freewheeling conversation about the nature of reality. Even though the setting looks very different, walking around in Rieul I got a sense of how it must have been to meet Socrates and the people he conversed with in ancient Athens.

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