Learning "the ropes" around here. Posted by John on May 14, 2001 at 13:01:37:
In Reply to: About this site posted by Rakesh Sharma on May 13, 2001 at 05:30:10:
I'm delighted to have you speaking up here now from what we call "the Bleachers" around here, Rakesh. The Bleachers is where some dozen or more
of you have been watching our class from, for some time now. And I hope you Folks there are all comfortable and enjoying what you see.
And it's always nice when one of you comes down onto the awareness game playing field with the other men and women around the world from all
walks of life who are students in this class, and speaks up as a player, as you do now. In fact, several of our present classmembers sat in the Bleachers
for a long time before they joined in with this play. It's perfectly okay to attend this school any way that you Folks like to. And I mean that.
So, welcome to the playing field of the awareness game, Rakesh. The *actual field* of this game is the space around you and the space within. And we
learn to play with whatever pops up in this space. That's what this game is about, playing with life skillfully, and intelligently, and lovingly—and, oh
yes, above all, awarely—whatever it is that life may serve up in the field.
Again, tap, tap, tapping on the blackboard:
The field of the awareness game is the space.
Thank you, too, Rakesh, for your interesting e-mail. I enjoyed it . . . . . in fact, I enjoyed it so much that I immediately felt sorry I couldn't share the
questions you brought up with the rest of the class, too.
Let me explain about 'the ropes" around here. By that, I mean the mores, customs, and conventions that we've adopted in our class, in the interest of
smooth operations. And, by the way, all your classmates here can give you helpful and accurate tips on learning the ropes from time to time, and I
hope they will.
It's become a convention around here that e-mail conversation with me is called "the Coach's Office." From time to time, many of you have had
occasional problems, personal things, maybe an issue with me personally, or otherwise private things that you wished to share or get clear about. The
Coach's Office is a good place for things like that. Sometimes, a few of you have run ideas by me, before venturing to post about them in class, and
asked for feedback. That's okay. I don't mind. And most of these topics have been discussed here in class.
The Coach's Office has become a place where any of you can have private conversation with me that is private and confidential, and not repeated in
class. I've tried to be consistant and "honor-bound" with that.
It may be a good place for me to give very specific *short term* coaching to any one of you on a given point (those of you who have done this know
what I mean), sometimes over a period of several days (and none of you have *ever* taken improper advantage of this service during the last three
years—amazing to me!—and I salute you All for that!), but the Coach's Office is not a good place for me to be doing general coaching, if you get what
I mean. It's not a good place for me to spend time answering the kinds of questions that *everybody in class* might be interested in.
So, when you started asking for "practical advice to overcome self-generated resistance," heh-heh, well, I was delighted by the great question, but,
you know now I'd be happier to address that here in Classroom Talk, if you don't mind.
And if you'd be so kind as to just post a "Go ahead, Coach," or words to that effect, I'll feel free to quote the several questions you asked in your
email here in Classroom Talk, and do my best to give responses that the whole class might find helpful and valuable.
In doing that, I will not reveal anything of the personal information you shared about you. That I leave entirely up to each one of you here—that is,
it's up to you whatever you do or don't wish to post about personal information here in Class.
I'm glad this came up, as it's a good time for me to get this highlighted again, at this point.
In general, most of us know where each other live, somewhat vaguely. It's up to you if you care to share with classmates anything about where you
live, what you do, what your life is like, if you have a family or not, things like that. I encourage you all to do that kind of sharing. But there's no
requirement of doing that. It's up to you.
In the course of classroom training, some of you have shared very personal experiences and situations with the rest of us. We have traveled together
a long, long way from the usual superficiality of public Internet conversation, to discover the value of sharing inner experiences and personal realities
about our lives. Again, this must be on a totally voluntary basis! But as we have been becoming more comfortable together in this class, we have
gradually been becoming a "real group" in the sense of our knowing each other, very deeply at times, and also—as I have seen again and again—a
group of caring friends, a group where healing and personal growth can happen.
These kinds of sharings have enriched the learning potential in the class enormously. Insofar as possible, we are actually studying real life with each
other in this class—and not just "examples in a textbook." I hope we have reached a level of sophistication and detachment in doing this where we
always realize that it doesn't matter which one of our lives we are studying at any given time in this class, because all of us are learning about our own
Selves in the lesson, too, as much-so as we learn about observing the Selves of others.
But it is not the responsibility of any member of this class to share about personal information. I encourage newcomers to hang around for awhile, and
get a feel of what it is like to join in with the conversations around here for some months, or longer, until they feel ready and comfortable to risk
sharing more personal things about their lives.
In short, never share anything personal in class that you don't feel comfortable about sharing. Follow 'the ropes' with that, and you won't go wrong
in your studies with us here.
So . . . . I'll just say "Welcome to the Class!" to you again, Rakesh, and I'll wait to hear from you about whether it's okay to discuss those topics you
brought up in the email with the rest of us.
Continue with Spring 2001 Classroom Talk or
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Archived August 6, 2001