Why was E-Sangha controversial?

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Re: Why was E-Sangha controversial?

Postby shel » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:34 pm

Jikan wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:That was basically it. Different groups and individuals violating the TOS, getting banned, and complaining about it.


That's the short version (I was a moderator for about two years before e-sangha imploded). I understand there's someone who was banned at e-sangha and a few other boards out there who is writing a book on this topic and may well be reviewing DharmaWheel right now for material.

One instance of friction came up regarding some American Zen approaches to the definition of Buddhahood, which were in patent contradiction to traditional definitions. The moderators & admins took one side, some users took the other, and the rest is cyber history. A Zen-specific forum (ZFI) emerged from that particular brouhaha; I understand it's still up and running, although with somewhat different leadership. There are a number of good participants there.

If you're referring to Jundo and Nonin Chowaney I don't believe definitions of Buddhahood was the real problem. Rather, the problems seems to be that Jundo and Nonin wanted to promote their particular views and be more in control. They also both seem to have something of a penchant for confrontational arguing online.

As evidence note that Jundo and Nonin Chowany's views are very much the same, yet Jundo was banned from ZFI where Nonin presides. If Nonin were to visit Treeleaf.com (where Jundo presides) much, I suspect he would be banned from there eventually, just as he was banned from e-sangha.
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Re: Why was E-Sangha controversial?

Postby Yudron » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:26 pm

When I left to go into retreat in February of 2009 it was clear that E-sangha was heading for the dust bin of history, the only question what exactly would happen. If it is true that it happened to be an outside group that brought it down--that's really humorous, because the administrators and moderators--among them the Namdrol (who stepped down as a mod but was the most influential person in creating the rigid and intellectual tone of the forum) had alienated or banned hundreds of people by then. Rumor has it that Namdrol even unknowingly banned Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, under a different avatar, who rubbed him the wrong way somehow. At that time Malcolm presented himself as a Sakya loppon (which he was or is), whose guru was Sakya Trizen and teacher was Lama Migmar (while Namkhai Norbu was his Dzogchen lama) and ran a little Sakya group in Northampton, Massachussetts. He was, in his own words, sectarian and condescending... and I would add of course he is an incredibly knowledgeable and magnetic Dharma scholar, who certainly attracted countless people to the forum as well.

That was several years ago. I've changed, Malcolm has changed, we've all changed. Hopefully, we are all being guided by the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in an ever more positive direction.

udawa wrote:The demise of esangha was explained thus by Malcolm Smith in an earlier thread http://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=4601&start=160

E-sangha was hacked by tamil tiger hackers who were pissed at a debate about Sinhalese nationalism occuring on E-Sangha at the time-- then the hosting company pooched the backup when the database was corrupted. All very straightforward and nothing mysterious.

For the most part, all the other successful Buddhist boards are running under modified sets of rules developed out of their experience at e-Sangha.

E-Sangha, for the most part, failed because it tried to satisfy the competing values of three major Buddhist traditions, Thervada, Zen and Tibetan Buddhism. Now there are three boards, with three different sets of former E-Sangha moderators in these three spheres. And they all have policies more or less derived from E-Sangha with modifications made according to their own experience.

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Re: Why was E-Sangha controversial?

Postby KeithBC » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:03 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:
KeithBC wrote:The anarchist sector of the Internet population could not stand being moderated, as is true on any well-run forum.
I am an anarchist AND (now) a moderator (here) and was a member of e-sangha and never had a problem with the set up (nor was ever warned or banned for my behaviour)! What do you make of that my dear Keith? :smile:
:namaste:

Obviously there is as much diversity among anarchists as there is with any other world view.

My own experience is with more hard-core anarchists who do not accept any moderation. You know the type: "No one tells me what to do! :tantrum: " We have quite a few of that type where I currently live, attracted here by the lack of police presence. They abound on Internet forums.

The fact that you accept a degree of moderation, and are in fact a moderator yourself, indicates that you don't object in principle to telling people what to do. So I would not consider you a hard-core anarchist at all.

With regards to eSangha, it was the "No one tells me what to do", and the "How dare you moderate ME?" elements that were the problem. Big egos.

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Re: Why was E-Sangha controversial?

Postby Jikan » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:06 pm

shel wrote:
Jikan wrote:
Konchog1 wrote:That was basically it. Different groups and individuals violating the TOS, getting banned, and complaining about it.


That's the short version (I was a moderator for about two years before e-sangha imploded). I understand there's someone who was banned at e-sangha and a few other boards out there who is writing a book on this topic and may well be reviewing DharmaWheel right now for material.

One instance of friction came up regarding some American Zen approaches to the definition of Buddhahood, which were in patent contradiction to traditional definitions. The moderators & admins took one side, some users took the other, and the rest is cyber history. A Zen-specific forum (ZFI) emerged from that particular brouhaha; I understand it's still up and running, although with somewhat different leadership. There are a number of good participants there.

If you're referring to Jundo and Nonin Chowaney I don't believe definitions of Buddhahood was the real problem. Rather, the problems seems to be that Jundo and Nonin wanted to promote their particular views and be more in control. They also both seem to have something of a penchant for confrontational arguing online.

As evidence note that Jundo and Nonin Chowany's views are very much the same, yet Jundo was banned from ZFI where Nonin presides. If Nonin were to visit Treeleaf.com (where Jundo presides) much, I suspect he would be banned from there eventually, just as he was banned from e-sangha.


That seems sensible. The topic over which the blowup became white-hot was the definition of Buddhahood, but the issues of control, credibility, legitimacy, and competence (or rather what counts as competence) were certainly more fundamental.

I always enjoyed Nonin and appreciated his commitment to practice, even though I disagreed with him sometimes.

:namaste:
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Re: Why was E-Sangha controversial?

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:50 pm

Yes, it was certainly related to the issues people have brought up here in this topic and most certainly not because of the Tamil Tigers. The Theravada forum (most Sri Lankans are Theravada Buddhists) did not even have any discussion of the conflict between the Singhalese Buddhists and Tamil Hindus at the time the site was hacked nor any time before that. I am most certain that the Tamil Tigers have better things to do than look for Buddhist forums to hack. The most heated conflict actually was between the admins and the Soto Zen group from what I have seen and heard.
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Re: Why was E-Sangha controversial?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:57 pm

KeithBC wrote:Obviously there is as much diversity among anarchists as there is with any other world view.
Anarchism is split into two main currents: social and individualist, I tend to support the former. Social anarchism is not opposed to structure and regulation of actions, it is opposed to non-democratic/non-consensual structures and regulations and is guided by the principles of mutual aid.
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One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: Why was E-Sangha controversial?

Postby shel » Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:26 pm

Jikan wrote:
shel wrote:
Jikan wrote:That's the short version (I was a moderator for about two years before e-sangha imploded). I understand there's someone who was banned at e-sangha and a few other boards out there who is writing a book on this topic and may well be reviewing DharmaWheel right now for material.

One instance of friction came up regarding some American Zen approaches to the definition of Buddhahood, which were in patent contradiction to traditional definitions. The moderators & admins took one side, some users took the other, and the rest is cyber history. A Zen-specific forum (ZFI) emerged from that particular brouhaha; I understand it's still up and running, although with somewhat different leadership. There are a number of good participants there.

If you're referring to Jundo and Nonin Chowaney I don't believe definitions of Buddhahood was the real problem. Rather, the problems seems to be that Jundo and Nonin wanted to promote their particular views and be more in control. They also both seem to have something of a penchant for confrontational arguing online.

As evidence note that Jundo and Nonin Chowany's views are very much the same, yet Jundo was banned from ZFI where Nonin presides. If Nonin were to visit Treeleaf.com (where Jundo presides) much, I suspect he would be banned from there eventually, just as he was banned from e-sangha.


That seems sensible. The topic over which the blowup became white-hot was the definition of Buddhahood, but the issues of control, credibility, legitimacy, and competence (or rather what counts as competence) were certainly more fundamental.

I always enjoyed Nonin and appreciated his commitment to practice, even though I disagreed with him sometimes.


I can say with some authority :tongue: that the man does not like being disagreed with, so as a global moderator you can thank your lucky stars he won't ever show up on this forum. E-sangha taught him to not swim in open water.
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Re: Why was E-Sangha controversial?

Postby Dechen Norbu » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:34 am

Yudron wrote:When I left to go into retreat in February of 2009 it was clear that E-sangha was heading for the dust bin of history, the only question what exactly would happen. If it is true that it happened to be an outside group that brought it down--that's really humorous, because the administrators and moderators--among them the Namdrol (who stepped down as a mod but was the most influential person in creating the rigid and intellectual tone of the forum) had alienated or banned hundreds of people by then. Rumor has it that Namdrol even unknowingly banned Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, under a different avatar, who rubbed him the wrong way somehow. At that time Malcolm presented himself as a Sakya loppon (which he was or is), whose guru was Sakya Trizen and teacher was Lama Migmar (while Namkhai Norbu was his Dzogchen lama) and ran a little Sakya group in Northampton, Massachussetts. He was, in his own words, sectarian and condescending... and I would add of course he is an incredibly knowledgeable and magnetic Dharma scholar, who certainly attracted countless people to the forum as well.

That was several years ago. I've changed, Malcolm has changed, we've all changed. Hopefully, we are all being guided by the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in an ever more positive direction.

udawa wrote:The demise of esangha was explained thus by Malcolm Smith in an earlier thread http://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=4601&start=160

E-sangha was hacked by tamil tiger hackers who were pissed at a debate about Sinhalese nationalism occuring on E-Sangha at the time-- then the hosting company pooched the backup when the database was corrupted. All very straightforward and nothing mysterious.

For the most part, all the other successful Buddhist boards are running under modified sets of rules developed out of their experience at e-Sangha.

E-Sangha, for the most part, failed because it tried to satisfy the competing values of three major Buddhist traditions, Thervada, Zen and Tibetan Buddhism. Now there are three boards, with three different sets of former E-Sangha moderators in these three spheres. And they all have policies more or less derived from E-Sangha with modifications made according to their own experience.

N

Maybe it would be wiser if you stopped spreading rumors and got your facts straight before writing nonsense Yudron.
What you're saying has nothing to do with why E-sangha was shut down.
Uninformed opinions, individual tastes, personal disagreements and much less rumors shouldn't be mistaken as facts. You seem to be blaming Malcolm for something that had nothing to do with him.
Funny enough, ZFI seems to me as or more rigid than E-Sangha was. We had a well defined policy, clearly stated. That was a mainstream board. People got banned when they violated the ToS.

The reasons that lead to Dhammawheel and ZFI's existence are well known and they had nothing to do with why E-Sangha was shut down. All I can tell you is that at that time our decisions seemed the best. People were free to leave and do their own thing. It seemed to work well for them. Dhammawheel is a great board for Theravada. ZFI... well, is what we would expect it would be. Some people love it and that's fine.
There's nothing wrong about that. People can leave. After all, some of us did the same a while ago and created Vajracakra.

As I was a mod when it all happened, I can speak about it from the inside. You, OTOH can't and it would suit you better to be silent instead of spreading such nonsense around. You should know better, having done retreat and all that as you keep saying.
Rumors and truth are two different things, especially when some rumors clearly have ill will behind them and nothing else.

I won't waste my time with this issue though, much less with someone who seems to be more interested in a certain version of the story due to personal reasons that have nothing to do with what really happened.
Last edited by Dechen Norbu on Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why was E-Sangha controversial?

Postby Yudron » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:48 am

Maybe it would be wiser if you stopped spreading rumors and got your facts straight before writing nonsense Yudron.
What you're saying has nothing to do with why E-sangha was shut down.
Uninformed opinions, individual tastes, personal disagreements and much less rumors shouldn't be mistaken as facts. You seem to be blaming Malcolm for something that had nothing to do with him.
Funny enough, ZFI seems to me as or more rigid than E-Sangha was. We had a well defined policy, clearly stated. That was a mainstream board. People got banned when they violated the ToS.

The reasons that lead to Dhammawheel and ZFI's existence are well known and they had nothing to do with why E-Sangha was shut down. All I can tell you is that at that time, our decisions seemed the best. People were free to leave and do their own thing. It seemed to work well for them. Dhammawheel is a great board for Theravada. ZFI... well, is what we would expect it would be. Some people love it and that's fine. There's nothing wrong about that. people can leave. After all, we did the same a while ago and created Vajracakra.

As I was a mod when it all happened, I can speak about it from the inside. You, OTOH can't and it would suit you better to be silent instead of spreading such nonsense around.
I won't waste my time with this issue though, much less with someone who clearly is more interested in a certain version of the story due to personal reasons that have nothing to do with what really happened.


You're right, I have no knowledge of why e-sangha was hacked, and I certainly can't "blame" him or you or the other mods about the exact way it was brought down. But, yes, it had lot of problems, and I believe it was coming to an end anyway, as many Buddhist forums had before it. Malcolm has acknowledged that he was sectarian and arrogant back then. You don't think that had an effect on the other mods or the atmosphere of the forum and the users feelings toward it? He is a very influential man, and rightly so. He has moderated his tone a lot since then.

By the way, I have never been warned or banned by any forum, and I have been participating in them for 15 years.
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Re: Why was E-Sangha controversial?

Postby Dechen Norbu » Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:05 am

Yudron wrote:You're right, I have no knowledge of why e-sangha was hacked, and I certainly can't "blame" him or you or the other mods about the exact way it was brought down.

Then it's better not to spread rumors when we don't have knowledge about what really happened, no? As a seasoned practitioner you ought to know better. I prefer bluntness to guile any day of the week, Yudron. ;-)

But, yes, it had lot of problems, and I believe it was coming to an end anyway, as many Buddhist forums had before it. Malcolm has acknowledged that he was sectarian and arrogant back then. You don't think that had an effect on the other mods or the atmosphere of the forum and the users feelings toward it? He is a very influential man, and rightly so. He has moderated his tone a lot since then.

All boards have problems.All sanghas have problems. Unenlightened beings are bound to make mistakes. But you have no idea how it was to moderate E-Sangha. It was a hard task and nobody was getting payed. Everyone (and there are people here who were also mods there) was trying to do their best.
Malcolm probably did his share of mistakes. I did mine. We all did. But you know what? We're still to see a board that can fill the shoes of E-Sangha, IMO.
Probably we will never see one like that again.

Malcolm's tone was appreciated by many and not appreciated by others. Some people prefered Namdrol to Malcolm. Others prefer Malcolm to Namdrol.
Most don't have a clue about who he really is as a person and why he makes the decisions he does and mostly project their own frustrations upon him. Besides, he owes them nothing. At least he has the nuts to admit his mistakes. I never saw him being disloyal to anyone or perform some stunts I've seen happening in other places. He could be blunt, but one of the reasons why E-Sangha was a trustworthy forum was Malcolm. Period. Many people prefer BS to that. That was a problem in itself.
Could it have been done better? Sure. But at that time we lost many hours of sleep without getting payed so that thousands of people could have a decent Buddhist board. If you ask me, I think we did a hell of a job there. many will surely disagree, some who even got harder than we ever were.

By the way, I have never been warned or banned by any forum, and I have been participating in them for 15 years.

Good for you. Want a medal? Well, neither have I. What does that say about me? That I know how to behave, at best? If one is intelligent enough, one can go a long way harming others without ever being warned. I've seen it happening. All it takes is guile and a few neurons. So that says nothing to me about someone, Yudron. Just that you're patting your own back for some reason alien to this discussion, discussion that for me is now over.

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Re: Why was E-Sangha controversial?

Postby Yudron » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:01 am

Dechen Norbu wrote:
Yudron wrote:You're right, I have no knowledge of why e-sangha was hacked, and I certainly can't "blame" him or you or the other mods about the exact way it was brought down.

Then it's better not to spread rumors when we don't have knowledge about what really happened, no? As a seasoned practitioner you ought to know better. I prefer bluntness to guile any day of the week, Yudron. ;-)

But, yes, it had lot of problems, and I believe it was coming to an end anyway, as many Buddhist forums had before it. Malcolm has acknowledged that he was sectarian and arrogant back then. You don't think that had an effect on the other mods or the atmosphere of the forum and the users feelings toward it? He is a very influential man, and rightly so. He has moderated his tone a lot since then.

All boards have problems.All sanghas have problems. Unenlightened beings are bound to make mistakes. But you have no idea how it was to moderate E-Sangha. It was a hard task and nobody was getting payed. Everyone (and there are people here who were also mods there) was trying to do their best.
Malcolm probably did his share of mistakes. I did mine. We all did. But you know what? We're still to see a board that can fill the shoes of E-Sangha, IMO.
Probably we will never see one like that again.

Malcolm's tone was appreciated by many and not appreciated by others. Some people prefered Namdrol to Malcolm. Others prefer Malcolm to Namdrol.
Most don't have a clue about who he really is as a person and why he makes the decisions he does and mostly project their own frustrations upon him. Besides, he owes them nothing. At least he has the nuts to admit his mistakes. I never saw him being disloyal to anyone or perform some stunts I've seen happening in other places. He could be blunt, but one of the reasons why E-Sangha was a trustworthy forum was Malcolm. Period. Many people prefer BS to that. That was a problem in itself.
Could it have been done better? Sure. But at that time we lost many hours of sleep without getting payed so that thousands of people could have a decent Buddhist board. If you ask me, I think we did a hell of a job there. many will surely disagree, some who even got harder than we ever were.

By the way, I have never been warned or banned by any forum, and I have been participating in them for 15 years.

Good for you. Want a medal? Well, neither have I. What does that say about me? That I know how to behave, at best? If one is intelligent enough, one can go a long way harming others without ever being warned. I've seen it happening. All it takes is guile and a few neurons. So that says nothing to me about someone, Yudron. Just that you're patting your own back for some reason alien to this discussion, discussion that for me is now over.

See you folks!


I can't see where I made any claims or spread any rumors. I did not say that Namdrol hacked the site, or caused the site to be hacked, or that I know who did. I just recounted what was clearly my opinion about the moderation at the time, and that there were many alienated and banned people. One can also still find several anti-e-sangha websites on-line :| from that period (that I had nothing to do with).

In addition to the other groups mentioned above who decided that they could do better starting their own forums at the time were the Nyingmapas (a short-lived forum I hear), and the Bonpos, just have you have done when you became very unhappy with Dharmawheel.

I also said above that it is extremely difficult to moderate these boards, and very stressful, and I would not be up to the task. The reason I posted about Malcolm specifically is that someone reposted his version of events, which basically said that everything was hunky dory until the site was hacked by outsiders. It was not, and he was one of the reasons it was not.
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Re: Why was E-Sangha controversial?

Postby tobes » Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:44 am

I found E-Sangha to be a massive wake up call for me. It was in many ways, extraordinary - a lot of great talent, wise minds, good intentions, interesting threads. When, in all of Buddhist history, have so many diverse traditions been in such constant dialogue? Amazing.

But it was a wake up call in the sense of getting such an acute feel for how much sheer madness there is, among dharma practitioners, east, west, north and south! How much dogma, how much ideology, how much conceit, vanity, confusion....

Before E-Sangha, I was under the incredible delusion that Buddhists were mainly a soft bunch of good hearted, open minded treasures. I no longer suffer that error of judgement! In a way, it forced me into a confrontation with sociology - we cannot really pretend that dharma operates in a sociological vacuum.

Given the experiment of having such diversity side by side, the only way that would have worked was radical pluralism. That was not the way it ran. I think Dharma Wheel has a better ethos - mods are there to stop destructive or pernicious speech, not to impose a particular hegemonic view or to prescribe what is and what is not orthodoxy.

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Re: Why was E-Sangha controversial?

Postby Dechen Norbu » Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:18 am

tobes wrote:I found E-Sangha to be a massive wake up call for me. It was in many ways, extraordinary - a lot of great talent, wise minds, good intentions, interesting threads. When, in all of Buddhist history, have so many diverse traditions been in such constant dialogue? Amazing.

It was amazing. Unfortunately in the end people's egos won the upper hand. But few people outside the team know what really happened and how the splits came to be. It's not a linear matter. However, E-Sangha ended how it did due to reasons alien to that.

But it was a wake up call in the sense of getting such an acute feel for how much sheer madness there is, among dharma practitioners, east, west, north and south! How much dogma, how much ideology, how much conceit, vanity, confusion....

Before E-Sangha, I was under the incredible delusion that Buddhists were mainly a soft bunch of good hearted, open minded treasures. I no longer suffer that error of judgement! In a way, it forced me into a confrontation with sociology - we cannot really pretend that dharma operates in a sociological vacuum.

You had to be a tad naive then, Tobes. Welcome to the wonderful world of Buddhism (or of humans if you prefer to generalize). What were you expecting, really? We're dealing with religion. Few things stir people that much, especially when reason can't decide things one way or the other. Chagdud Rinpoche used to say that the sanghas are like bags of cereal, grain against grain until the husk fell off. Dogma, conceit, ideology, vanity... all human traits. Buddhists are, after all, humans. Buddhists are not Buddhas. Compared to so many forums, E-Sangha was a peaceful place. Maybe we all had too high expectations to what was possible, no? I still think that if it wasn't for the hack, E-sangha would still be alive and kicking.

Given the experiment of having such diversity side by side, the only way that would have worked was radical pluralism.

It could have worked as it has for some time. The reasons that lead to separation are more deep than simple ideological divergences. If you ask me and want an honest answer, it was more a matter of egos than doctrine. Anyway, it's past.

That was not the way it ran. I think Dharma Wheel has a better ethos - mods are there to stop destructive or pernicious speech, not to impose a particular hegemonic view or to prescribe what is and what is not orthodoxy.

The intent was not imposing a particular view, because many coexisted in E-Sangha. That doesn't make justice to what we have done there at all. It's unfair and inaccurate. Due to the sheer number of members, E-Sangha had to keep itself closer to the mainstream. There were risks we wouldn't take in a board that big for the sake of newcomers. Here I just hope you don't end up with a forum filled with new age garbage passing as Dharma, as most were back then with the notorious exception of E-Sangha were you could actually learn something credible about Dharma. If the mods do their job as they know how - and they do - that won't be a problem.

It was cool seeing you, Tobes. I only participated in this thread because some things that were flatly untrue were being voiced.
You know where to find me if you wish.

All the best.
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Re: Why was E-Sangha controversial?

Postby plwk » Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:46 am

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Re: Why was E-Sangha controversial?

Postby Indrajala » Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:49 am

tobes wrote:Before E-Sangha, I was under the incredible delusion that Buddhists were mainly a soft bunch of good hearted, open minded treasures. I no longer suffer that error of judgement! In a way, it forced me into a confrontation with sociology - we cannot really pretend that dharma operates in a sociological vacuum.


Yeah, I found eSangha quite the learning experience myself. When I first started reading it maybe in 2007/08 I was really impressed with the debates and solid arguments that were so readily presented. I learned a lot from it and feel grateful that the forum existed.

Later, though, my experience of continual disillusionment occurred whilst traveling around Asia and seeing what Buddhism looks like on the ground with natives.

The result is a much more jaded Huseng. :smile:
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Re: Why was E-Sangha controversial?

Postby ground » Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:08 am

Good that it disappeared because it had attracted too many passionate believers cultivating their passions. Ideas are just ideas, buddhist or not, like bubbles on the verge of bursting. :sage:
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Re: Why was E-Sangha controversial?

Postby Yudron » Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:16 am

Huseng wrote:
tobes wrote:Before E-Sangha, I was under the incredible delusion that Buddhists were mainly a soft bunch of good hearted, open minded treasures. I no longer suffer that error of judgement! In a way, it forced me into a confrontation with sociology - we cannot really pretend that dharma operates in a sociological vacuum.


Yeah, I found eSangha quite the learning experience myself. When I first started reading it maybe in 2007/08 I was really impressed with the debates and solid arguments that were so readily presented. I learned a lot from it and feel grateful that the forum existed.

Later, though, my experience of continual disillusionment occurred whilst traveling around Asia and seeing what Buddhism looks like on the ground with natives.

The result is a much more jaded Huseng. :smile:


I'm curious, perhaps in another thread, about stories from your travels.
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Re: Why was E-Sangha controversial?

Postby tobes » Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:36 am

Some sympathy is warranted, for mistakes made both on E-Sangha, here and other online places ~ the virtual world is still very new, all of us are still learning how to navigate it skillfully and wisely.

One conclusion I keep drawing is that the virtual world works best when it is strongly connected to a material locus. For example, a retail shop with a website, a university which offers public lectures and puts them on podcast. When the virtual gets too disassociated from **real** relationships and connections, problems arise....perhaps because it is harder to be aware of causal consequences.

Having said that, we should not underestimate how useful it is to be able to dialogue with strangers on basically any topic under the sun: if there is an ethos of respect, openness and honesty, it is really quite precious. Most of the time, that ethos is at play here. Worth appreciating in this moment.

:anjali:
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Re: Why was E-Sangha controversial?

Postby Konchog1 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:28 am

From experience, E-Sangha and Dharmawheel are relatively the politest websites I've viewed.

The only exceptions being when there is an argument about ideologies and we enter the "I'm wrong?! Me?!" area.
Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

-Ra Lotsawa, All-pervading Melodious Drumbeats
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Re: Why was E-Sangha controversial?

Postby Astus » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:49 pm

If anyone is interested, the major trouble in the Zen section of eSangha was about rebirth, a subject that was put into the TOS in order to avoid further debates. Both Jundo and Nonin got banned in the course of that issue, and of course personal heated debates with mods. The interpretation of buddhahood was never a subject of regulation as far as I remember.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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