Is it just me?

Discuss your personal experience with the Dharma here. How has it enriched your life? What challenges does it present?

Is it just me?

Postby DharmaKitty » Thu May 17, 2012 9:51 am

When I started along my buddhist path nearly 8 years ago now, I relied alot on forums and internet research to get answers to my questions. We did not have teachers close by who I could ask my questions to and get real and honest answers.

From these forums I learned a lot - I got real answers to questions, real advice. I believe that then most of the answers I got to my posts were in an honest effort to assist and to guide and help a beginner on the path. I am so grateful for that.

Sadly, it seems to me (and maybe it is just me) that answers theses days are not always posted with that same intention, I honestly have started to feel that many posters use it as an opportunity to "brag", show how clever they are, bash other traditions, claim superiority and generally by post number 10 the whole thread has disintegrated into a competition as to who is cleverer, whose tradition is superior and no thread is complete without a little name calling and the occasional insult.

Personally I find it all very sad - and a little irritating. I very rarely post my questions anymore for fear of being ridiculed or the thread disintegrating into a show down of who can insult the poster above them best. I am concerned that if I, someone who has been on the path a bit - and been on forums a bit - feels like that, how would a real newbie feel.

There are so many of you with such knowledge that I would love to sit at your feet on a one on one basis as I believe you could teach me so much, but somehow, when we communicate on forums such as this, we tend to use every opportunity to prove that we are not only knowledgeable but superior and witty and insulting.

I am sure that there is still a great deal of knowledge to be gained from a forum such as this, however for those of us "not as clever" or for that matter "enlightened" as the rest of you, it is not often that I have the time to wade through pages of superiority and the like to get to the answer. I have started to feel that we have lost a lot of our compassion and even wisdom (and I don't mean "cleverness") on this forum - and I find it sad.

But as I say, maybe it's just me!
The essence of a real practice is to bring our intellectual understanding to the level of our heart - so as to feel it - to live it!
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby plwk » Thu May 17, 2012 10:41 am

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Re: Is it just me?

Postby Seishin » Thu May 17, 2012 10:58 am

When I first started asking questions I would get a whole multitude of different answers from people of varying backgrounds. Sometimes this can be a good thing, but in my experience it was mostly confusing. These days I ask a lot less questions on forums and much more to my teachers.

Gassho
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby catmoon » Fri May 18, 2012 4:06 am

Nope it isn't just you. Many users seem to have lost sight of Buddhist motivations for posting. On the other hand, many people seek information through confrontational approaches. Maybe it's time to re-iterate the rules Buddha gave for when to speak:

If it is beneficial,
If it is gently phrased,
If it is well timed,
If it is true,

Then one may speak.


IIRC
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby Huifeng » Fri May 18, 2012 7:02 am

To paraphase the late great mahatma Gandhi: Be the change you want to see in the world.

~~ Huifeng
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby mindyourmind » Fri May 18, 2012 7:38 am

:pig: Nah, it's just you. The rest of us are too wise and realized to be guilty of anything like that :pig:
As bad as bad becomes its not a part of you

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Re: Is it just me?

Postby catmoon » Fri May 18, 2012 9:34 am

Huifeng wrote:To paraphase the late great mahatma Gandhi: Be the change you want to see in the world.

~~ Huifeng


I actually do that from time to time. Well, when I'm not busy arguing with people who have ten times my knowledge, that is. :rolling:
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby Paul » Fri May 18, 2012 9:51 am

Yes - I believe I can see it too. It is especially sad on a Mahayana forum where I would think that people should be extra mindful of the consequences of what they say on other people (as per Catmoon's post). What I think is the cause in 90% of people who reply in that way is a desire to test their understanding or experience. This is extra common with young guys. They are only trying to make sure that they know what they are doing & I have done that a lot. There is also the fact that the written word doesn't carry emotions as clearly as when speaking to someone.

In my experience there are people whose posts are definitely worth considering seriously and others whose should be taken with a pinch of salt.
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby DharmaKitty » Fri May 18, 2012 10:36 am

Paul wrote:In my experience there are people whose posts are definitely worth considering seriously and others whose should be taken with a pinch of salt.


So true - luckily some of us are learning to differentiate and know whose posts we can take seriously, for newbies it's a whole lot harder!

Paul wrote:What I think is the cause in 90% of people who reply in that way is a desire to test their understanding or experience. This is extra common with young guys.


Perhaps you're right - sadly, I know some of these guys - and they're NOT so young! :tongue:
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby catmoon » Sun May 20, 2012 7:36 am

On the bright side, we have one poster -Muni - who I don't think has ever posted anything without purely beneficial intent. And there are several others who only rarely allow themselves to be subtly grouchy.

Check out the stuff Will posts, and Ven. Huifeng. Nothing but helpfulness and Dharma. These people, and others like them, are the real stars of Dharma Wheel.




"Like a rhinestone lama....." -Glen Campbell?
Last edited by catmoon on Sun May 20, 2012 7:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun May 20, 2012 10:18 am

Yes! It's just you dharmakitty, you are the one to blame! It's all your fault. The gall! I mean imagine that, she reckons that it's my superiority complex and egoism that's to blame. Must be completely daft and unenlightened to even begin to believe something like that! Pfffft!!! :smile:
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby DharmaKitty » Sun May 20, 2012 10:48 am

catmoon wrote:On the bright side, we have one poster -Muni - who I don't think has ever posted anything without purely beneficial intent. And there are several others who only rarely allow themselves to be subtly grouchy.

Check out the stuff Will posts, and Ven. Huifeng. Nothing but helpfulness and Dharma. These people, and others like them, are the real stars of Dharma Wheel.


I agree, of course there are those who post with love, kindness and compassion!

gregkavarnos wrote:Yes! It's just you dharmakitty, you are the one to blame! It's all your fault. The gall! I mean imagine that, she reckons that it's my superiority complex and egoism that's to blame. Must be completely daft and unenlightened to even begin to believe something like that! Pfffft!!! :smile:
:namaste:


I knew it! It's me :crying:
I just needed truly superior people like yourself and mindyourmind to point it out to me. As the two of you are ALWAYS right, I accept what you say - I apologise profusely for even thinking such a thing - I will now leave you more enlightened beings to complete your work on this forum - you'll find me lurking in the background, being quiet and unassuming!

(Gregkavarnos, I must just add (and not to boost your already inflated ego), that yours are posts generally teach me something - or at least make me smile!)
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby mindyourmind » Sun May 20, 2012 11:14 am

Jokes aside - I think that a part of the problem also maybe lies in the format itself, inherent in any discussion forum on the internet.

I think that for any discussion board to be really interesting, in the conventional, modern sense of the word, it has to have some contentious stuff, some arguments. We so love our dharma drama, our issues, being right, we showed them, we are right and have the real thing, they are not as bright as we are type stuff. For a discussion board to really function as such, there has to be drama, and conflict, at least to some extent. How mind-numbingly boring would we find a board where we always say "Yes, dharmakitty, you are so right. Again".

And that's where things get difficult. As dharma practitioners we should not really be involved in a lot of what goes on here. That is not the fault of DW. The fault lies with us, and with the very format of an internet discussion board. We want to argue, to be right, even if it is in that grim-buddhist-smile-i-love-you-but shutup-and-i-added-a-smiley-so-I'm-not-really-angry type of way.

I'm not trying to excuse or justify some of the behaviour on here at times, but we are trying to marry a contemplative, dharmic life-style and practice to a discussion board format. That will always bring challenges. Add some people's language challenges, some really slow learners in the reading comprehension fields and off we go - drama.

In other words, I don't believe that you can really ever have a properly "Buddhist" (in the tired, cliched sense of the word) discussion board that will be successful and "interesting".

I have this love-hate type of relationship with boards like this - I learn so much here, but there is also the argumentative, testosterone stuff which is really tedious.
As bad as bad becomes its not a part of you

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Re: Is it just me?

Postby Dave The Seeker » Thu May 24, 2012 1:49 pm

DharmaKitty, I agree with your first post here.
I am a beginner and there are some members here who have helped me understand things much more clearly. And I am greatful for that.
But as you've stated many times a thread goes way of course with the opinions/views of those who's great understanding/Ego gets in the way of the true meaning of what is being asked or discussed.

I am truly greatful for this forum and the "insight" I have gotten. But I also will just be lurking and reading from here on out. If I am patient I know somewhere down the line I'll find the answers to questions I have.

And I also know in time if I keep practicing, I'll find a teacher. And possibly a group to help me understand and progress in my path, outside the internet.


Kindest wishes, Dave
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One whose mind is freed does not argue with anyone, he does not dispute with anyone. He makes use of the conventional terms of the world without clinging to them
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby Tree » Thu May 24, 2012 2:17 pm

What I find extraordinary, and something that should be shameful to the online Western Buddhist community is the implosion of E-Sangha.

The largest Christian site in the world is still up and running.
The large Atheist sites like James Randi still up and running.
etc etc

But it was the largest English speaking Buddhist site in the world that imploded with in-fighting, bickering, disrespect etc.

I think it's something to be wary of. Years ago, when E-sangha was just new (I was like member number 350 or something), the online Buddhist community was very respectful and helpful.

Something changed, and for the worst.

I personally find this site Dharma Wheel the only one worth tolerating these days. (Personal choice for me). A good mixture of orthodox teachings, without the Buddhist Fundamentalist rants :P :reading:

We can be the change we want to be, here.

Namaste & Gassho! :buddha1: :anjali:
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby gad rgyangs » Thu May 24, 2012 2:31 pm

this place and esangha are non-dual
Thoroughly tame your own mind.
This is (possibly) the teaching of Buddha.
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby Indrajala » Thu May 24, 2012 2:41 pm

Tree wrote:I think it's something to be wary of. Years ago, when E-sangha was just new (I was like member number 350 or something), the online Buddhist community was very respectful and helpful.

Something changed, and for the worst.


The Usenet forums pre-2000 had some mighty good discussions.

It could be that in the old days it was normally dedicated people who participated in a common interest forum, but now anyone and their dog has the liberty and perhaps duty of sorts to participate on forums to broadcast their views, even if they don't understand the subject material so well.

Ten years ago forums didn't have so many funny yahoos float in from Google.
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby White Lotus » Thu May 24, 2012 3:02 pm

dharma kitty... sorry for your pain.
when people judge each other and you, just try to love them.
if someone does not understand, turn his hatred into love.
you can make blessings upon him, this may help you to
overcome feelings of hurt and dissapointment.

yes there are some wonderful posters on dharma wheel.
hopefully one day we will all be like that.

love, Tom.
in any matters of importance. dont rely on me. i may not know what i am talking about. take what i say as mere speculation. i am not ordained. nor do i have a formal training. i do believe though that if i am wrong on any point. there are those on this site who i hope will quickly point out my mistakes.
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby Luke » Thu May 24, 2012 3:38 pm

No, it's not just you, Dharma Kitty. I also have my concerns.

Everyone should remember the importance of compassion, even if it often doesn't make people look "cool" on discussion forums.
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Re: Is it just me?

Postby ram peswani » Thu May 24, 2012 4:13 pm

[quote="DharmaKitty"]When I started along my buddhist path nearly 8 years ago now, I relied alot on forums and internet research to get answers to my questions. We did not have teachers close by who I could ask my questions to and get real and honest answers.



Include me with you.Now it is me and you.
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