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 Post subject: Forums as a Diversion
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:13 pm 
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I am writing to say that I probably will not be posting much more. I started posting on online forums in February 2009. I spent some time on a couple of Philosophy forums, also ZFI, and here and its sister forum. But I realize I have become a bit habituated to forums. It becomes a way of killing time or simply a diversion. I don't know if it is constructive past a certain point. I do have a real interest in Dharma but the most constructive way to engage in it is to practice every day like a householder-yogi. I have been doing that for a long time but inconsistently. So now I want to concentrate on being consistent. Fortunately life has been very kind to me. I have a 'home-shored' job, meaning I work from my home office. Really the way the cards have fallen it is ideally suited to really practicing and studying in-depth. There is a dharma teaching centre nearby and also a supportive sangha group that I have been meeting with for more than five years now. I finished a Master of Buddhist studies during 2011-12 and now intend to enroll in some of the excellent online courses offered by the Nitartha Institute, which is the online school of Nalanda, and just keep studying and practicing. Sometimes it is hard to stay motivated but one has to realize that this is actually a priceless opportunity even if this life just seems like an ordinary existence.

I enjoy forum debates but I am also wary about being too attached to opinions. One of the characteristics of this age is the astounding diversity of opinions that are circulating. I find some social trends and commonly-held opinions rather disturbing, and often feel the urge to speak out, but I think I have to stop being so concerned. There is a Taoist saying 'the sage does not contend, so he can't be contended with'. I think I should try and emulate that. From now on I will try and confine myself to discussion of particular Buddhist philosophical ideas if I feel I can make a contribution or to seek some insight from others. I won't declare that I am signing out for good, as I have done that before and generally come back. I'll just be lying low for a while.

Two things to share: I have been reading an excellent ebook commentary on the Aspiration Prayer of Mahamudra by Tai Situ Rinpoche, which is here. I find this text very inspiring. I also found a very beautiful recitation of the preliminaries on youtube here. This particular chanting is very moving.

So - this is not goodbye, but for now, goodnight.

:anjali:

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Learn to do good, refrain from evil, purify the mind ~ this is the teaching of the Buddhas


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 2:17 pm 
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:namaste:

And thank you for the Aspiration Prayer.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:27 pm 
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jeeprs wrote:
...I realize I have become a bit habituated to forums. It becomes a way of killing time or simply a diversion. I don't know if it is constructive past a certain point. ...

I enjoy forum debates but I am also wary about being too attached to opinions. One of the characteristics of this age is the astounding diversity of opinions that are circulating. I find some social trends and commonly-held opinions rather disturbing, and often feel the urge to speak out, but I think I have to stop being so concerned. There is a Taoist saying 'the sage does not contend, so he can't be contended with'. I think I should try and emulate that. From now on I will try and confine myself to discussion of particular Buddhist philosophical ideas if I feel I can make a contribution or to seek some insight from others.


I feel exactly as you do. I feel I spend way too much time just bouncing around forums because I am bored at work. I could be reading a book instead. I call internet forums and other sites "information overload". So many conflicting ideas, especially for new practitioners, of whatever discipline, religion or tradition. It's not sufficient for someone who's stating an opinion to say "but that's just my opinion" because you can't unring the bell. Once the seed of confusion has been planted, it starts growing. That's not my opinion, but my experience. :tongue: The Taoist saying is spot on because you can't change someone's mind once they've made it up and closed the door. So why keep arguing?

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Worthy, wise and virtuous: Who is energetic and not indolent, in misfortune unshaken,
flawless in manner and intelligent, such one will honor gain. - Digha Nikaya III 273


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:06 am 
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Because sometimes I just can't stop myself..... :thinking:

But I am going to try and limit my postings to specific topics.

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Learn to do good, refrain from evil, purify the mind ~ this is the teaching of the Buddhas


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:43 am 
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Thats one way to go. I am going to use another way of cutting down.
No forums before 9am or after 6pm. And a 'shabbas' break on Sundays. From next week.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:28 pm 
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jeeprs wrote:
Because sometimes I just can't stop myself..... :thinking:


It is definitely difficult.

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Worthy, wise and virtuous: Who is energetic and not indolent, in misfortune unshaken,
flawless in manner and intelligent, such one will honor gain. - Digha Nikaya III 273


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