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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:12 pm 
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Time we spend online is often seen as wasted. But we do a lot of useful things when online: translating, working, connecting with others, reading, learning and much more. How has the online world been useful for your (dharma) activities? Have you met inspiring people or made new friends?

Just as an example: I heard about a great adult education project, then translated a book, found my translation team more or less online. It wouldn't have worked out without the web. Especially translating is really easy now.

So let's hear the stories.
:namaste:
amber


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:52 pm 
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Hi, Amber,

We can make use of basically everything in a wise or silly way.

It makes a big difference if you read a sutra and participate in a discussion about it, or if you play a game in which you have to shoot as many as possible.

I'm actually making most of my money via the internet, and present my artwork on the internet.

I stay in touch with friends, and I have found new friends on the internet, that I am in contact with since I met them.
That's great.

Since I live in a village, the web is my door to the world.

I research a lot, for instance in Wiki and others.

I find both the web and TV very educative.

My English skills have gotten better too! :cheers:

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:09 pm 
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Probably 80% of what I do online is pretty irrelevant. But that other 20% is crucial to my practice. Online I have learned the 4NT, something of the 8FP, most of what I know about jhana and have resolved some issues regarding emptiness. I have learned that a hallmark of Buddhism is harmony and respect between sects, and have pretty much finished with sect bashing and partisanship. My first deeper look into the 4NT was a Utube video of the Dalai Lama's teaching on the subject.

Throught the net I have been exposed to Goenke on vippisana, Thubten Chodron on various topics, sutra translations and commentaries, that incredible French monk Mathieu Ricard on the scientific investigation of meditation, and much more.

Online friends have provided real support in difficult times, vigorous debate, novel viewpoints and profound insights.

I still practice a strange hybrid of Tibetan Buddhism with Zennish minimalism. Because of Ven. Huifeng I am getting something of an idea of the difference between Chan and Zen and he seems to delight in periodically dropping bombshells on me that leave me stunned and awestruck.

So the sites can be extraordinarily useful.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:38 pm 
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To voice the inverse.
Quite often internet conversations become a addiction of sorts, and not necessarily a good sort. To whit I add the story of esanga.

The founder, Leo, posted on his site,,,,,if you still need to get your fix....he then provided another site through which one may converse. Inadvertant of course, but the equation was to a drug addict. And thinking about it, this is not completely wrong. I found this once on a political site, The most innane things were mentioned in political discussion. One member was quite agast to find out the owner would delete all threads over two months or so old. These gems of wisdom were being summarily deleted.

There is some value to internet as resource, what suffices as discussion is usually of the baser sort and engaged into as a addiction quite often. And not to mention the vast vast pool of misinformation out there presented, since as qualifier there is none.....as fact. And just wait until peoples with certain obsessive characteristics to their personality find your site....forget about it.

So personally I use intenet for certain purposes of discussion such as this. But such must be taken in the proper perspective and the attachment must be kept minimal. To do such I advocate no discussion useage for long periods of time. AS soon as a personality seems to remain consistant it is probably time to leave. And it becomes repetitive and boring.

So that's my two cents. A necessity for my pursuits of a monetary nature, a source of information, if you know where to look, but not without its pitfalls.

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"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:13 am 
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Thanks for sharing: Anna, Catmoon, Ron!
Right speech is an important thing here: what do I say and when (and when should I keep quiet)?

I just looked at a dharma e-zine, where some fotos came to life: the start of a teaching or some bells chiming. A lot of what we're experiencing now was just science fiction a decade ago.

Got to do my sitting practice now. Have a great day!
:buddha1:


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:33 am 
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I wonder how much of what we see in others is a projection of ourselves.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:06 pm 
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Annapurna wrote:
I wonder how much of what we see in others is a projection of ourselves.


Oh yeah! hehe.

Like anything, time on the 'net can be profitable or wasted - it is up to us.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:57 pm 
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To whit....

My kudos to those who initiated this site and to the various moderators who guard this site for their acts of selfless service.

I have participated and tried to instill a bit of controversy and in depth issue discussion to this site to increase participations. As it has been my experience such does so. Postings of links or simple notifications of upcoming events, interpretations of sutra or sutta, or sharing of feeliings of bliss and such have certainly their purposes and bare stateing and are very important and useful.

Some peoples however, even peoples of a dharmic bent, really truly do like to engage in or just to watch good debates on other considered, exciting issues to include current events and perhaps some core Buddhist issues. This has been my observation. So I provided a few. There are many here, and many visit it for various purposes. We should not, to my opinion, exclude one type of participation to favor another, as such boards have differing purposes to differing peoples. If only one type or form of participation is present it serves in a fashion, but does not serve the totality of what may be usefull for a greater number.

So to my view I have provided a very small service of sorts, though others may consider it otherwise. And I have learned and studied some as a result of my participation so the site has served me as well.

Personally I must measure things against my practice which states in some regard in this specific.....Dakpo Tashi Namgyal, Clarifying the Natural State......"When there is benefit or harm happening to others, there is thje danger of being caught by the Godly Son Mara, so cast away superficial deeds to benefit others. It is also essential to remain unattached to followers, possessions and fame."
I will now suspend participation and cease my postings.

At some later time six months or so, I may engage again or I may not depending upon circumstance.

My appologies to the initial poster of this thread for deviating from point. I found it quite opportune to state this here on the circumstance of this thread.

Enjoy!! My life....it is a fantastic jewel of many parted aspect. May yours if it is not....be, thusly understood.

_________________
"This order considers that progress can be achieved more rapidly during a single month of self-transformation through terrifying conditions in rough terrain and in "the abode of harmful forces" than through meditating for a period of three years in towns and monasteries"....Takpo Tashi Namgyal.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:57 pm 
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Ron, wishing you all the best! And thanks for this great analysis of getting caught up in your own concepts and looking for a way to get out of it. This has to do with going beyond dualistic experiences. And it cannot be analyzed intellectually (or at least it gets really complicated, when you try to write it down on a computer and try to explain it). Tashi delek!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:06 pm 
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ronnewmexico wrote:
To voice the inverse.
Quite often internet conversations become a addiction of sorts, and not necessarily a good sort. To whit I add the story of esanga.

The founder, Leo, posted on his site,,,,,if you still need to get your fix....he then provided another site through which one may converse. Inadvertant of course, but the equation was to a drug addict. And thinking about it, this is not completely wrong. I found this once on a political site, The most innane things were mentioned in political discussion. One member was quite agast to find out the owner would delete all threads over two months or so old. These gems of wisdom were being summarily deleted.

There is some value to internet as resource, what suffices as discussion is usually of the baser sort and engaged into as a addiction quite often. And not to mention the vast vast pool of misinformation out there presented, since as qualifier there is none.....as fact. And just wait until peoples with certain obsessive characteristics to their personality find your site....forget about it.

So personally I use intenet for certain purposes of discussion such as this. But such must be taken in the proper perspective and the attachment must be kept minimal. To do such I advocate no discussion useage for long periods of time. AS soon as a personality seems to remain consistant it is probably time to leave. And it becomes repetitive and boring.

So that's my two cents. A necessity for my pursuits of a monetary nature, a source of information, if you know where to look, but not without its pitfalls.

Thank you very much for your interesting posts. _/\_

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:44 pm 
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I doubt my lama would think much of forums. He thinks that most technology is used for immoral purposes.

My position isn't as extreme. I think Buddhist websites can be a very useful way to give other people accurate information about Buddhism. They also can in some cases inspire new people to become Buddhists. And most of all, I think Buddhist forums especially can promote peace and friendship between the many different schools of Buddhism.

Websites can also provide new people to care about, and can help people who feel socially isolated develop a feeling of loving-kindness towards some other human beings. That can be the start of a feeling of love which can then be extended further and further.

I just came back from a weekend retreat and I thought of this forum a few times while I was there...


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:47 pm 
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Luke wrote:

I just came back from a weekend retreat and I thought of this forum a few times while I was there...


So how was the retreat?

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:52 am 
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I have experienced both positive and negative consequences from on-line forums. When I attend dharma talks at different centers, it is mostly meditation followed by a teacher's discourse, and maybe some questions and answers. There are not opportunities for a lot of discussion. I have learned a lot in these on-line forums, and I have read some great perspectives on the 5th precept, sexuality, the role of morality in daily life, read way more sutras than I would on my own, etc. I have read on-line discussions that are more than worth the time I spend on these forums.

The downside is quality control. Trolls, people who spread misinformation, people who have declared themselves enlightened, people who believe their practice is superior because of this or that empowerment or how many books they have read, etc...


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:58 am 
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ball-of-string wrote:
people who believe their practice is superior because of this or that empowerment or how many books they have read

Yes, I think that one is the worst. My lama often talks about how spiritual practices can be misused for non-spiritual purposes. Seeking after really exotic practices all the time can be a just another distraction and a form of attachment.

Talking loudly about having received all kinds of impressive-sounding empowerments can be like trying to impress your neighbors by buying many exotic sports cars.

I think it's good to have beginners on a Buddhist forum to counterbalance this, so that other beginners don't feel they need to hide from the Vajrayana community until they've received an empowerment which sounds impressive enough on a forum.

Of course other people might find beginners like myself to be totally boring and distasteful and might wish they could listen to an expert discuss all kinds of exotic trivia (rare sadhanas, rare termas, rare thangkas--rare anything, really). I am sorry: I am boring.


Last edited by Luke on Wed Mar 17, 2010 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:21 pm 
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Luke wrote:
Of course other people might find beginners like myself to be totally boring and distasteful and might wish they could listen to an expert discuss all kinds of exotic trivia (rare sadhanas, rare termas, rare thangkas--rare anything, really). I am sorry: I am boring.

Hi Luke and ball-of-string,
Thanks for your thoughts - I made similar experiences. Just reading and not daring to write, because I was afraid, that I'm not exotic enough...
But on the other hand, a unique voice could be missing. So let's not get impressed too much by the "spiritual supermarket". :)


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:56 pm 
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Consider the Buddha empowerment.

It is freely given to all who ask.

It enables understanding the nature of the universe and we who live in it.

It can erase anger, hatred, lust and jealousy.

It can take the practioner completely out of this cycle of existence.

It can even turn you into a Buddha.


I think that's pretty impressive really.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 6:41 pm 
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amber wrote:
Hi Luke and ball-of-string,
Thanks for your thoughts - I made similar experiences. Just reading and not daring to write, because I was afraid, that I'm not exotic enough...
But on the other hand, a unique voice could be missing. So let's not get impressed too much by the "spiritual supermarket". :)


Yes, indeed. Please post your thoughts, Amber. As long as you love the Three Jewels, you are as Buddhist as anyone else.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:31 pm 
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I think the main benefit of Buddhist forums is that they serve as virtual sanghas (or e-sanghas, if you will). "The sangha" is one of the Three Jewels which we Buddhists take refuge in. It is very hard to live your life as a Buddhist without the sangha, without knowledgable, more experienced Buddhists to help you along the path. Good Buddhist forums can provide this.

As of yet, there are very few Buddhist families or Buddhist residential areas in the West. If we interact with other Buddhists online, we can counteract this isolation and each do our small part to help establish Buddhism more firmly in the West.

Any Buddhist sangha which has the right motivations is something any Buddhist can take joy in. Anyplace where Dharma is discussed becomes a holy place. Anyplace where Buddhist images are displayed is a holy place. Any object with verses of Dharma written on it becomes a holy object.

Although Dharma Wheel is not the E-Sangha (which was known far and wide), Dharma Wheel is an e-sangha.

OM MANI PEME HUNG


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