The atmosphere is one of total peace. Calm vibes soothe the air and I sit myself down and meditate on life. My hands are in total control of my emotions and they take on the ancient ritual of elevation and descent, fingers meeting together a few millimeters away from the front of my chest.
Then the gong is struck. It is over.
No, I'm not smoking something I shouldn't be. I am simply describing the experience of meditating in the Beit Binah virtual community centre which can be found at the Second Life online site.
I've tasted the program before, but didn't realise how strong the Jewish presence had become. "We" have built online synagogues, a ritual bath (Mikve), a Holocaust museum, a Jewish Historical Museum and yes, even meditation rooms. Yesterday night, I found myself boogieing to silent music on a sunset beach in Ir Shalom, the rapidly developing and expanding Secret Island where we "New Jews" are getting on down. On the beach, noch.
I have joined a number of virtual Jewish groups and have made acquaintance with fellow Heebs from all over the world. Yesterday my new friend from Australia gave me a guided tour of his detailed and stunning design work. I had the opportunity to put a memorial candle by a beautifully scanned image of Liviu Librescu , the heroic lecturer gunned down at Virginia Tech, before marvelling at the beautifully designed buildings and architectural creations dominating the surrounding vista.
I know that some people would call me rather "sad" for getting involved in this very two dimensional existence, but I see it as just another way of meeting other Red Sea Pedestrians (isn't Life of Brian fab?) who are similarly looking to branch out across cyberspace to hook up and kibbitz with their brethren.
After all, how could real life compare with meeting a talking, life sized squirrels in a stunning synagogue on an island where money seems to no object in allowing people to create the perfect Jewish community.
If only real life were this much fun.