The mission of the Play as Being initiative is to engage in an exploration of reality in which we use our own life as a laboratory. When we switch from what we have to what we are, what do we find? Can we make conjectures, hypotheses about what Being could be, and play with those in our day-to-day life? What happens when we do?
Before starting the experiment we ask participants to take a look at our Steps in Preparation page. The format of the Experiment is to ask participants to pay a sort of 1% time tax. Roughly each quarter of an hour, participants spend about nine seconds on this type of exploration (there are 900 seconds in 15 minutes, hence the 1% tax). During this time they are asked to take a full breath, relax, and focus on considering themselves as Being. We think of it as taking a 9-second moment, or a micromeditation, between tasks during the day. Although frequency and consistency are important we suggest that participants don’t get hung up on following a schedule – any amount of this type of play is helpful. For more details go to PaB Exploration & FAQ.
This is a joint research project, in which we as a community can compare similarities and differences in approaches, to share what we see and learn, and the results we find. We meet in the virtual world of Second Life here: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Bieup/64/24/104.
There are daily meetings every six hours, at 1 am, 7 am, 1 pm, and 7 pm SLT (SLT = Second Life Time = PST/PDT or UTC-8/7) or at 01:00, 07:00, 13:00 and 19:00. The current SLT is:
Play as Being was started by Second Life resident Pema Pera (Piet Hut), and is run now with help from volunteers known as Guardians. Please look at our Meeting Guidelines before attending for a better idea of what our community supports and encourages, and which behaviors are better catered for elsewhere.
Real life Play as Being retreats now take place approximately every 3 months around the world. The first such retreat was held in August 2009 in the Santa Cruz mountains.
These regular retreats are built on the success of a more modest pilot event: a "Play as Being fest" was held in October 2008 at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton.
Snippets from Play as Being Meetings
Pema Pera: One way to look at the 9-sec practice is that it shakes you up... every quarter of an hour you shake yourself; every quarter of a day you can come here to be shaken up by your peers.
Magdalena Colclough: it was so beautiful just to pause...I hadn't realized how rarely I do, normally.
Neela Blaisdale: Somehow the whole process has helped to make me more mindful in general. In other words I do try to stay in the moment much more than I used to before PaB.
Stim Morane: Play needn’t be silly, although perhaps silliness is good too. The question is whether play can restore us to reality.
Kojiro Eretz: Oh man you guys really discuss things in an interesting way... first time in a good while that something got my brain to really work ... I'm definitely coming back to these meetings.
Pema Pera: the notion of “getting it” or “enlightenment” can be very misleading. We learn, we see, we see better, deeper, fuller. . . it just goes on and on . . .
Storm Nordwind: it's as though things like PaB free me of things that I would otherwise erroneously identify with... you seem to do more - more 9 second practice - but as a result your life seems less cluttered.
Pia Iger: I am connected with other people. Our experience, or suffering is connected or shared. Surely I have heard this kind of sayings before, but yesterday it is much clearer to me, and more heartfelt.
Gaya Ethaniel: Different people at PaB offer unique point of views that I can absorb as I see it fit.
Stim Morane: Casually or heedlessly owning the moment (Being) is very different from appreciating and truly joining into it.
Adams Dubrovna: I am working on bringing things I learned into RL and I am getting better at it. One thing here is that we are reacting to a bunch of friends and so it is easier.
For more examples go to the Best of PaB