What exactly should I do in those 9 seconds?
At a minimum, three things:
- stop what we are doing at that moment (as long as that is easy and natural; no need to stop driving your car or stop having a conversation);
- focus on your next breath (doesn’t have to be extra deep or slow, but shouldn’t be shallow);
- write down a few words, or at most a short sentence, whatever spontaneously comes up (keep a journal for this, a small notebook or computer file).
Besides these three, it would be good to keep the notion of Play as Being in mind as well, in a very loose way.
Can I spend more than 9 seconds?
Oh, sure, however long you like. But I may be better to keep it really short, otherwise it is unlikely to be sustainable in the long run. The advantage of just one breath and just a few words jotted down is that such a 1% time tax can never become a burden.
What should I do in the remaining 891 seconds?
Here is where the notion of Play as Being comes in. Initially it is sufficient to remind yourself of this idea during the 9 second interval. But gradually you may find that the idea of playing as Being pops up in your mind at random times outside the 9 seconds as well. Ideally, the notion that we can play as if we are Being will take on its own life. And we will find that while we are playing as being Being, Being may show us how it is playing as being us. But this cannot and should not be forced. Much better to just keep the idea of play as Being in mind, loosely, as a background taste, or as something to naturally fall back on — like someone really drawn to a hobby, or someone who has fallen in love, or someone deeply puzzled by some as yet unsolved problem.
Why should I do the 9 seconds?
If just the idea of doing them as a thought experiment is not enough reason, here are some common practical benefits we have noticed.
- Universal alarm clock. Set an alarm for every 15 minutes and it will become a natural break during which you can remember things you need to do. Many of us rarely late because of "I forgot" anymore. (http://www.mindfulnessdc.org/mindfulclock.html)
- Also doubles as a typing break.
- Many people find it noticeably easier to stay calm and composed after just a few days.
- The perfect excuse for spending a total of few minutes less time working during the workday. Long term, it's likely to improve your overall productivity.
Is this something anybody could try out on their own?
The practices discussed in Play as Being groups can be life-changing--as can be the reading of a good poem, watching a good movie, having a really good talk with a good friend. It seems that the wonderful support structure that PaB has built up in just a few months is what makes it so powerful. But the "power" of the support is a gentle power. Group members in general have a deep willingness to help and share, a willingness to listen to each other. That may lead to PaB participants re-evaluating their lives, looking with new eyes at the world, asking critical questions about assumptions they may have held onto for a long time: marvelous!!
What do the acronyms mean?
A few acronyms are being used in the discussion logs which are explained below.
YS = you seeing
ES = enlightened version of you seeing
BS = Being seeing (although that acronym has different associations,
this is what it means in our context
YSBS = you seeing Being seeing
ESBS = enlightened you seeing Being seeing
Some hints for practice in real life / second life situations...
Pema Pera: how about sort-of stepping out of a situation, and watching it, gazing upon it in a gentle but somewhat distanced way
Pema Pera: that is unlikely to hurt anyone or to let you be hurt
Pema Pera: when you start with that view, as if a third-person witness looks upon the situation, then you can take the next step
Pema Pera: imagine that that person is very wise
Pema Pera: very gentle
Pema Pera: wonderful in all ways
Pema Pera: so then you let God see
Pema Pera: or a saint of Boddhisattva
Pema Pera: now a third step is to let Being see
Pema Pera: so perhaps we can talk about all three steps, in turn
Pema Pera: watching as a witness, as a Goddess, as Being [YS, ES, BS]
Pema Pera: all three are different, and it helps to taste them clearly, and then to compare notes
stevenaia Michinaga: bring that vision or watching to the moment is what needs work
Pema Pera: that's why we do it every 15 minutes and come here every 6 hours :)
Pema Pera: our hidden assumptions are persistent, but so are we !