Asserting Our Opinions and Posting on Internet Forums (?)

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Asserting Our Opinions and Posting on Internet Forums (?)

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:36 pm

How many of us—including myself—are even qualified to?

It's one thing to share what we've learned, particularly by posting quotes from various Buddhas, Masters, Adepts, etc....

However when it comes to giving our opinions on teachings, and even on things like current events, contemporary trends, politics, etc.; is it even worthwhile, considering that posts here that don't fit the status-quo often get deleted anyway?

Some posters are even Buddhist fundamentalists here... (which is opposed to the essence of the following quote:)


Chögyal Namkhai Norbu quoting Shantideva wrote:There is nothing that the offspring of the Victorious Ones do not learn, there is nothing that does not produce merits for the wise who act in accord with this principle.


...yet at the same time posters here often try to undermine Vajrayana & Dzogchen and do everything they can to uphold the status-quo of the modernist-corporatist establishment (and thereby fall into either one of two (or both) extremes: an antiquated Hinayana-style ultra-conservatism, or a modernist-materialist libertinism).

Perhaps many or even most of us—including myself—ought to reevaluate our reasons for posting...


Atisha and Geshe Tenzin Zopa wrote:All Buddhas say the cause for the completion
Of collections, whose nature is
Merit and exalted wisdom
Is the development of higher perception.


Training oneself to develop the training in the Method teachings through cultivating Bodhicitta and training in Wisdom through developing one’s understanding and realisation of emptiness (i.e. the selflessness of person and of phenomena), are the two main causes which will lead us to gain higher perception in order for us to benefit sentient beings. “Higher perception” refers to clairvoyance, which is needed to benefit sentient beings properly. This is important in order for us to understand the different mental dispositions of sentient beings. If someone is not matured enough to receive emptiness teachings and we give them emptiness teachings, we could cause them to develop wrong view and create the causes for hell; but if they are ready for emptiness and tantra and you focus only on giving the small capability-being teachings, you could distract them from the Mahayana and lead them to the Hinayana path, which incurs heavy karma.

Khunu Lama Rinpoche wrote:One thing that really helps us complete these two collections is the ability to foresee the future; therefore, we should try to acquire clairvoyance. Without it, we are like a baby bird whose wings are undeveloped and has not yet grown feathers and remains stuck in its nest, unable to fly. Without clairvoyance, we cannot work for other sentient beings.


...and, instead of spending so much time online, attend to our own studies and practices more (with the following in mind, particularly if we are Dzogchen practitioners or aspiring ones).


Vajranatha on Commentary to the Bönpo Book of the Dead wrote:...the Trikaya having come into manifestation in this self-arising fashion, they now come to accomplish the benefits of countless beings. Unlike the practice of Tantra, where this transformation of one's total being and environment into pure vision requires the deliberate effort of the mind in terms of visualization, mantra recitation, and so on, here in Dzogchen the transformation occurs as vision, naturally and spontaneously, without effort. In this way, Dzogchen realizes the ultimate goal of Tantra. One may now accomplish the welfare and instruction of all sentient beings, spontaneously and without effort, by simply being, that is to say, by manifesting one's enlightened nature through spontaneously emanating an infinity of Nirmanakaya manifestations. This occurs naturally, effortlessly, and spontaneously, without discursive thoughts, as the free expression of one's inherent energy or compassion, like the sun radiating countless rays of light into the clear open sky, thereby illuminating the entire surface of the earth.



I've noticed that many—including myself—here spend a lot of time posting our opinions and trying to condition others into our way of thinking; yet as Chögyal Namkhai Norbu often says, this is all ego.

This will most likely be my last post here, at least for a while (although I may or may not reply a couple more times within this particular thread).

:anjali:
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Re: Asserting Our Opinions and Posting on Internet Forums (?)

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:37 pm

Hi Kettle, my name is Pot.

The problem on forums (not just those about Buddhism) is when people expect others to conform to their positions without a good argument, and when people "expect' something beyond simple sharing of information. As long as those are avoided, in my experiences forums can be productive for whatever interest or topic.

When one thinks and is convinced of their 'correctness' to a point that it obscures anything else, this gets in the way of communication, on forums or off.

Perhaps many or even most of us—including myself—ought to reevaluate our reasons for posting...


Sure, and what was your reason for this thread, just to get the last word before saying goodbye...or is there something here I don't see?
Last edited by Johnny Dangerous on Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Asserting Our Opinions and Posting on Internet Forums (?)

Postby Jikan » Sat Dec 08, 2012 11:50 pm

I think you get out of it what you put into it. If you go in with the idea that you're there to learn and where you can help others learn, then you're likely to learn something and maybe make some friendships.

If you're there to convince others of your perspective only, then guess what? You *might* convince a few people that you're onto something, but you won't learn much and you won't have much fun with it.

Which sounds like a better way to use your time?
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Re: Asserting Our Opinions and Posting on Internet Forums (?)

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:49 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Sure, and what was your reason for this thread, just to get the last word before saying goodbye...or is there something here I don't see?


Well I was reflecting on my frustrations with the way the forums are run—and the general extreme lack of harmony among posters here which is rarely seen on internet forums 'spiritual' or mundane—and in doing so, recalled the quotes that I've posted in this thread (and in doing so questioned my own reasons for posting here).

I'm making no claims of objective Clairvoyance myself, however I just thought I'd post the said quotes on my way out, as a final gamble of sorts in hopes that some might benefit from having read and reflected on them (a gamble meaning in hopes that this thread will be a cause for more merit than lack of merit, for self and others).

Open-mindedness doesn't seem to be this forum's strong-suit (post-deletions by mods; the constant downplaying of unconventional yet progressive and even traditional and/or ancient ideas that are progressive, etc.), however hopefully all who visit this thread—if they choose to read the said quotes—will consider the said quotes with an open mind.

And if my good intentions here don't end up panning-out, then well I'll deal with the consequences. Therefore the point is that without objective Clairvoyance, we're all making a gamble whenever we open our mouths or type on forums; at least according to Atisha, Geshe Tenzin Zopa, Khuna Lama Rinpoche, and other Teachers.

I'm not implying that we should never ever discuss anything at all before having Clairvoyance (I do encourage people here—Clairvoyant or not—to ask things such as "what lineage teaches that, what Lama can I go to to learn about this, what practice achieves that, what text is such and such found in" etc.), yet when a forum is filled with constant bickering and/or disagreement from all sides, you can bet that the majority of its posters are not Clairvoyant. Discussing current events, history, and politics, as long as we make efforts to keep our egos & emotions in check would even be alright if posts didn't often get deleted by mods simply because they don't fit the status-quo. Anyhow, I guess I just realized how ugly opinions are, and decided to post some quotes that show why opinions have little value. So here I am 'the pot calling the kettle black' as you said Johnny Dangerous.

Maybe a handful of posters here are objectively Clairvoyant though, who knows. Regardless, I'm not trying to encourage anyone to become fixated on achieving Clairvoyance (because according to the Dharma it is a quality that will naturally unfold with our practice, so there's no reason to become overly fixated on it; just a good idea to watch our tongues and keyboards if we don't have it).

:anjali:
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Re: Asserting Our Opinions and Posting on Internet Forums (?)

Postby viniketa » Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:58 am

For the most part, I enjoy your posts, Lhug-Pa. But, I will spare you further non-clairvoyant posting and bit you a "fare well".

:namaste:
If they can sever like and dislike, along with greed, anger, and delusion, regardless of their difference in nature, they will all accomplish the Buddha Path.. ~ Sutra of Complete Enlightenment
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Re: Asserting Our Opinions and Posting on Internet Forums (?)

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:24 am

Well it wasn't my intention to get a role-call or tally :rules: of who's Clairvoyant and who's not.

Anyway, thanks for the farewell Viniketa.

Tashi Delek

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Re: Asserting Our Opinions and Posting on Internet Forums (?)

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:42 am

Thanks for explaining Lhug-Pa.

For my part I also have generally enjoyed your posts.

Moderation on internet forums is a weird thing, i'm probably a minority in this..but I actually think that heavy handed moderation is often times better than the opposite.

There are some things that are kind of borderline, any unusual opinion on a number of hot-button subjects is going to either have to be moderated or not. Even if one's intent isn't to offend, on a forum the simple fact that some opinions do offend necessitates their moderation. It's unfortunate but true. This is true on any forum, subject doesn't matter.

I haven't been here long, but from what I see the moderation appears like any other decent forum I have been on, there might be places where people have to make close judgement calls..but allowing anyopinion simply on the basis of desiring 'free speech' often leads to the death of forums, in my experience on other forums (not about Buddhism) i've noticed that some subjects simply aren't worth having debate on...even if the intent is debate in good faith, the result often is not. Any good moderator has to think like that.
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Re: Asserting Our Opinions and Posting on Internet Forums (?)

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:19 am

Thanks Johnny Dangerous

The moderators are free to run their forum in any way they choose; nonetheless, my question is why the selective heavy-handed moderation? (post deletions, etc.) And I mean "selective" not as in principled, but "selective" as in the term "selective hearing".

As long as there are no ad-homs, pejoratives, intentionally hateful speech, or disinformation (intentional misinformation) involved, why would this type of censorship get enforced? :shrug:
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Re: Asserting Our Opinions and Posting on Internet Forums (?)

Postby jeeprs » Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:26 am

I ask myself what draws me to posting on forums. I post here and a couple of others. Sometimes I think I ought to stop posting altogether. But I actually miss the interactions after a while. The actual sangha group I am part of meets once a month, and I don't have a lot of contact with other practitioners. So I like to see how others think. Also testing out your ideas has some value. So I think I post to challenge others and to be challenged (although this applies more to my activities on the secular forums which are generally more combative in my experience).

I had stopped posting here initially after having joined earlier this year, but I have returned because I feel an affinity with Mahayana. I try not to be sectarian, although I will often post to support what I regard as the right interpretation of a particular point. But I obviously get something out of interacting with others through this medium. However it is easy to get a bit obsessive with it, and I think it is definitely true that meditation and devotional practice is far more important than posting.

Hey here's an idea - balancing the time you spend posting to be NO MORE than the time dedicated to practice. That way if you want to post more, you have to practice more.
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Re: Asserting Our Opinions and Posting on Internet Forums (?)

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:39 am

:good:

Like monks debating to sharpen their skills.



Image


Fair enough, although I wonder if Tibetan monks ever get muzzled or thrown out simply for stating unconventional and/or traditional (albeit previously-secret) ideas, even though there are no ad-homs, pejoratives, intentionally hateful speech, or disinformation (intentional misinformation) involved?


I'm suddenly inspired to study a biography on Gendün Chöphel or him on Nagarjuna, and the new book on Khyentse Chökyi Wangchug.

:reading:
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Re: Asserting Our Opinions and Posting on Internet Forums (?)

Postby jeeprs » Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:30 am

That's right! Debating can be like stress-testing your point of view. You seek out the opposing viewpoints and then debate them. That is what those monks are doing, albeit in a somewhat ritualized format. But in debating worthy adversaries, you will soon learn the merits of your position and how well you can put it. You also need to learn not to be too emotionally invested in your point of view, and to try and be dispassionate in your assessment of the result. That is the real value of debating, and for those with a scholarly inclination, it is a good practice indeed.

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Re: Asserting Our Opinions and Posting on Internet Forums (?)

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:23 am

Jikan wrote:I think you get out of it what you put into it. If you go in with the idea that you're there to learn and where you can help others learn, then you're likely to learn something and maybe make some friendships.


In my experience, it depends on what it is that you're saying and where you're saying it/who you're saying it to; regardless of your idea/intention for posting. For example, even though I have learned something and have maybe made some friends here; I've apparently made more 'enemies' or opponents rather, even though I came here with the idea/good-intention that I'm here to learn and help others learn. Whereas there have been other forums where my idea/intention was exactly the same, yet I made less 'enemies' and more friends.


Johnny Dangerous wrote:The problem on forums (not just those about Buddhism) is when people expect others to conform to their positions without a good argument, and when people "expect' something beyond simple sharing of information.
jeeprs wrote:You also need to learn not to be too emotionally invested in your point of view, and to try and be dispassionate in your assessment of the result.


Exactly.

Some of the moderators apparently don't agree with you on that though. Otherwise, why would they delete posts even though there are as I've said no ad-homs, pejoratives, intentionally hateful speech, or disinformation (intentional misinformation) involved on the part of the one whose posts got deleted? Yet I've seen people here emotionally fly off the handle without getting so much as a warning let alone their posts deleted.

Anyway, since I can no longer edit my initial post..., the following, instead of reading like this:

"...yet at the same time posters here often try to undermine Vajrayana & Dzogchen and do everything they can to uphold the status-quo of the modernist-corporatist establishment (and thereby fall into either one of two (or both) extremes: an antiquated Hinayana-style ultra-conservatism, or a modernist-materialist libertinism)."

Should actually read like this:

"...yet at the same time posters here often try to undermine Vajrayana & Dzogchen and/or do whatever they can to uphold the status-quo of the modernist-corporatist establishment (and thereby fall into either one of two (or both) extremes: an antiquated seemingly strictly-'Hinayana'-style ultra-conservatism, or a modernist-materialist libertinism)."
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Re: Asserting Our Opinions and Posting on Internet Forums (?)

Postby muni » Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:53 am

Through my simple thought here is no any teaching other than interactivity or sharing. But at the same time it is all teaching. Of course, Buddha never was arguing but many argued with him.

Sharing is like interaction. We can consider the kindness of all, we need everyone.

Dear Lhugpa, there are on internet everywhere so many different translated scripts and texts, to read about our simple nature like it is and we can be concerned about fellows/ourselves this can cause harm.
But to push a doctrine in one's nosetrills and hammer it by conceptual mind in "another" being indeed can harm. Some conceptions cause harm some are leading us in free nature.

I ask myself: Mind on topic with Dharma (dedication to everyone), check check, then intersharing. If not shame can powerful leading me back.

Thank you for your kindness.
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Re: Asserting Our Opinions and Posting on Internet Forums (?)

Postby Lhug-Pa » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:26 am

muni wrote:Through my simple thought here is no any teaching other than interactivity or sharing. But at the same time it is all teaching. Of course, Buddha never was arguing but many argued with him.


Agreed here, at least for the most part if I understand you correctly.


muni wrote:Sharing is like interaction. We can consider the kindness of all, we need everyone.


Yes, it is taught that we should always have this awareness in view; in practice however it is taught that wrathful conduct is necessary at times.


muni wrote:Dear Lungpa, there are on internet everywhere so many different translated scripts and texts, to read about our simple nature like it is and we can be concerned about fellows/ourselves this can cause harm.


Wait, what exactly can cause harm?


muni wrote:But to push a doctrine in one's nosetrills and hammer it by conceptual mind in "another" being indeed can harm.


How could doing such a thing even possible on an internet forum?

It's an easy thing to ignore a post or posts that contains concepts that one is 'offended' by, doesn't like, or can't handle.

Now of course if for example one goes into a forum specifically meant for monks, and tries to convince them that they should abandon celibacy and practice Karmamudra; that would be negative behavior. However in a forum with a Mahayana section, a Dharma 'Free-for-All' section, a Vajrayana section, and a Dzogchen section; would one even think that such a topic in itself would even be a controversial issue?


muni wrote:Some conceptions cause harm some are leading us in free nature.


Okay, I think I see what you mean here.


muni wrote:I ask myself: Mind on topic with Dharma (dedication to everyone), check check, then intersharing. If not shame can powerful leading me back.


Hm, I don't quite follow your second sentence here^....


muni wrote:Thank you for your kindness.
:namaste:


Even though I haven't often replied to your posts Muni, I have appreciated many of them.

:anjali:
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Re: Asserting Our Opinions and Posting on Internet Forums (?)

Postby lobster » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:31 am

When you are as ignorant as me any sharing of the better endowed is a blessing. :woohoo:

Of course people have levels of experience, insight and wisdom [strange but almost true] :popcorn:

Many of are in a posture of expression of ignorance :emb:
rather than a radiance of Buddha naturalness :yinyang:

The only cure that I am aware of is listening to others as if they are Buddhas . . . which strangely enough may not be so far from the truth [not in my case - still busy building a raft . . . with wheels] :oops:
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Re: Asserting Our Opinions and Posting on Internet Forums (?)

Postby muni » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:34 am

"Lhug-Pa"

Wait, what exactly can cause harm?


Clinging. :namaste:
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Re: Asserting Our Opinions and Posting on Internet Forums (?)

Postby JKhedrup » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:37 am

Fair enough, although I wonder if Tibetan monks ever get muzzled or thrown out simply for stating unconventional and/or traditional (albeit previously-secret) ideas, even though there are no ad-homs, pejoratives, intentionally hateful speech, or disinformation (intentional misinformation) involved?


I spent time at Sera but never debated, so can only hazard a half-informed opinion. I think that the style of the debates is quite structured and requires the citation of traditional treatises by the Indian Pandits and their Tibetan commentaries. So you might find it a bit constricting for your taste :tongue:
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
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But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
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Re: Asserting Our Opinions and Posting on Internet Forums (?)

Postby muni » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:45 am

"I ask myself: Mind on topic with Dharma (dedication to everyone), check check, then intersharing. If not shame can powerful leading me back."

Lhugpa answer: Hm, I don't quite follow your second sentence here^....

I am making a mess by quoting. Sorry, I simplify it a bit. But what I mean is again regarding that clinging. Whether re-action based on emotional disturbed state of mind or not. And this aswer is all I have, regarding harming on a forum.
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Re: Asserting Our Opinions and Posting on Internet Forums (?)

Postby JKhedrup » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:55 am

I don't know about you guys but even after years of being in the dharma I would say most of my actions of Body, Speech and mind and tainted by the disturbing emotions (maybe I am just not diligent enough).
A foolish man proclaims his qualifications,
A wise man keeps them secret within.
A straw floats on the surface of water,
But a precious gem placed upon it sinks to the depths
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Re: Asserting Our Opinions and Posting on Internet Forums (?)

Postby ground » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:59 am

Lhug-Pa wrote:How many of us—including myself—are even qualified to?

What is qualified? Qualified for what?

If qualification and non-qualification arise it is manifestation of cult. What cult? Consciousness' cult ... consciousness grapsing itself, affirming itself, making a cult of itself. :sage:
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