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.
Her favorite quote:
“I would suggest that science is, at least in part, informed worship.” – Carl Sagan
She was also mother to three and a sometimes educator, finding little place of belonging in existing networks, most of which had come to feel like cramming into too small shoes. In this light it makes sense that Typist began to follow the lead of Eliza’s fresh-eyed curiosity, and to inhabit the quite dynamic world quickly generating around her.
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
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 landed in revealing some sort of wellspring of creativity and easy friendship. Time appeared out of nowhere.
Instead of moving linearly through one thing after another, she learned to move naturally through encounters, insight upon insight. 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 every thing and every one. A monk encountered may or may not actually be a monk, yet neither were they in disguise. A dance partner fairy could be a grocer in another world, and a poet. It was more about revelation, true colors, and interacting amidst few attachments. Talents were un-rooted, freely in play.
Which Eliza learned more about, by hosting meditations.
Next: Chapter Five – Becoming a Host
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