6 – More About Eliza’s Typist

For her typist, there was a feeling of rescue about the energy and enthusiasm that showed up with Eliza. She couldn’t help but go along, although not Buddhist and though her interest in meditation had to then consisted of counting breaths at stoplights for stress control, and an interest in hypnotherapy.

At the time, she was finding less and less feeling of belonging in existing networks; most had come to feel like too small shoes. It was in this light that it makes sense to follow Eliza’s fresh-eyed curiosity, more and more delighting in the quite dynamic world, populated by magical people, seeming to generate around her.

 

Next page: 7 – Earth and Sky

5 – Becoming a Host

It was simple to host meditations, even though Eliza was just learning herself. At first it was about keeping to a script, making sure that anyone new received basic guidance. Then, it was about the people, who, taking her initiative to be indicative of contemplative experience, would ask questions, which she discovered she had or could find answers for quite easily.

More often, she would just watch and listen, since hosting meditation is about holding space, extending time. She was gifted layered Zen robes, and formal bow.

Nine years later, hosting meditation is still when she feels most at home.
Next: More About Eliza’s Typist

4 – Time

Although you may have heard that virtual worlds are full of strange and dark characters, for Eliza there was only kindness, overwhelming generosity.  Small chats about not much would quickly become adventures, each new spot revealing some wellspring of creativity and easy friendship.

Instead of moving linearly through one thing after another, she learned to move naturally through encounters. Connections formed:  the Zen priest from Alaska, the yogi from France, artists, goddesses, fairies and dragons, academics and activists, but most on the verge of one thing or another.

In fact there was a strong perpetually on the verge feeling about everything. A monk encountered may not actually be a monk, yet neither were they in disguise. A fairy might be a grocer in their other world, and a poet. It was more about revelation, true colors, and interacting encumbered by few attachments. Talents felt un-rooted, freely in play.

Which Eliza learned more about, by hosting meditations.

 

Next: Chapter Five – Becoming a Host

3 – Buddha on the Road

Ask Eliza about meditation, and about Buddhism, if you want to find her heart. She has one of course, like you and me, except that hers is unguarded, perfectly suited for such explorations. Which may be why everything cracked open so quickly for her, mystery after mystery, like time inside a diamond.

First there were the temples. A grandly domed structure, gilded in gold, sits majestically mountain top, surrounded by towering figures exuding stability and ease; a humble tea house with seating for few, beckons toward an open zendo and stream; a snowy resort cabin deeply hidden by a forest and waterfalls appears, land scattered with deer; then a wide field with sprinklers and ponds, finely detailed gardens, and an onsen.

Eliza found herself drawn back to these places constantly, attending meditations throughout the day.

 

Next: Chapter Four – Time

2 – About Eliza

Eliza was lured into being by the idea of a Coldplay concert. Coldplay had performed in Second Life as a way to promote Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, though she hadn’t been born in time to attend. In this she was similar to her typist who had been born in 1970, a year to the day after Woodstock.

Curiosity had already taken hold however, and she appeared, fish to water, wearing a pink polka dotted dress and short ponytail, to see what might be seen. Which wasn’t much, at first. Moving her way through a dry tutorial, following gigantic arrows, typing gestures toward other figures that also seemed quite lost, wasn’t what she had in mind at all.

 

Maybe she found the coffee shop first, or the London clothing store, where she paired a wildly pouffy flowered dress with bold tribal tattoos. At which point she went nowhere for about a week, one morning spending about two hours just standing near a bench, just clicking profiles and listening to others chat.

She didn’t initiate conversations, startled to find herself rather shy.

It was in front of the coffee shop that someone first requested Eliza’s friendship, and took her to find a more suitable walk than SL’s then default, duck waddle. The walking animation, worn like a piece of clothing, felt too sensual at first, quite strange. Yet it was that feeling that began to register her senses as an avatar, giving traction, urging her to stay in and continue to explore.  She browsed more stores, but also found poetry and book sites, then an Irish Pub. She was asked to dance, and experienced a parade.

Lounging at Shakespeare’s Sister, perusing  shelves and listening to others coming and going, she realized that not only was the world actually interesting in and of itself, but bursting with souls she might know and learn from.

Next: Chapter Three – Buddha on the Road

1 – Meeting Eliza

Meeting Eliza

If you were to meet Eliza, she would ask you lots of questions. She would want to know where you came from, and what you were looking for just before you arrived. She would want to get a sense of you.  Listening intently, her arms would sway back and forth, occasionally opening into something like a distant embrace.  Then, she would probably, although not definitely because it would depend on your answers, take you to Play as Being.

It would be hard not to go.

In avatar years, Eliza is nine years old, which for humans is like being perpetually sixteen. She is often unusually tall, and seldom not brunette, which is not to say you would recognize her in your next encounter.  Well, you would, but only because her name is prominent in a bubble over her head.

Yours would be too.

Ask Eliza the origins of her name, and she will know it has a vague relation to the Renaissance era and to music, and only a little about the poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay that her typist read over and over again before fathoming its meaning.

 

Next: Chapter Two – About Eliza