The culture of DhO

The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/7/22 5:14 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Stefan Stefan 1/7/22 5:23 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/7/22 5:35 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Stefan Stefan 1/7/22 5:56 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Chris M 1/7/22 6:13 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Daniel M. Ingram 5/5/22 10:59 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/7/22 6:19 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Stefan Stefan 1/7/22 5:31 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/8/22 3:01 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Stefan Stefan 1/8/22 4:47 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/8/22 3:02 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Niels Lyngsø 1/7/22 6:59 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Zero 1/7/22 9:14 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/8/22 3:12 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/8/22 3:09 PM
RE: The culture of DhO shargrol 1/7/22 6:40 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/8/22 3:16 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Papa Che Dusko 1/8/22 3:46 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/8/22 5:53 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Daniel M. Ingram 5/5/22 11:06 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Zero 1/7/22 9:31 AM
RE: The culture of DhO J W 1/7/22 1:47 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Papa Che Dusko 1/7/22 3:44 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/8/22 3:18 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Papa Che Dusko 1/8/22 3:30 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/8/22 5:58 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Daniel M. Ingram 5/5/22 11:08 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Matt 1/7/22 9:30 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/8/22 3:25 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Adi Vader 1/7/22 9:38 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/8/22 3:42 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Papa Che Dusko 1/8/22 4:04 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/8/22 4:18 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Adi Vader 1/8/22 11:56 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/9/22 5:58 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Pepe · 1/7/22 10:14 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/8/22 3:46 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Papa Che Dusko 1/7/22 10:09 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Chris M 1/7/22 10:21 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Dream Walker 1/8/22 8:02 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/8/22 3:55 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Pepe · 1/7/22 10:57 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/8/22 3:59 PM
RE: The culture of DhO genaro 1/7/22 11:10 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/8/22 4:06 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Marcia Samana 1/8/22 9:26 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/8/22 4:07 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Edward 1/8/22 11:59 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/8/22 4:19 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Chris M 1/8/22 4:45 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/8/22 5:06 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Chris M 1/8/22 5:20 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Chris M 1/8/22 5:24 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/8/22 6:14 PM
RE: The culture of DhO B B 1/8/22 5:39 PM
RE: The culture of DhO B B 1/8/22 7:26 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/9/22 8:06 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/8/22 6:26 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Arena Heidi 5/3/22 10:02 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/3/22 11:57 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Arena Heidi 5/3/22 4:23 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/4/22 2:52 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Pepe · 5/3/22 11:20 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Chris M 5/3/22 12:00 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Chris M 5/3/22 12:05 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Helen Pohl 5/4/22 1:01 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/4/22 3:05 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Arena Heidi 5/3/22 4:54 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Chris M 5/3/22 5:08 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Arena Heidi 5/3/22 6:40 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Not two, not one 5/4/22 6:10 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Ni Nurta 5/4/22 10:59 AM
RE: The culture of DhO J W 5/4/22 11:48 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/4/22 3:20 PM
RE: The culture of DhO J W 5/4/22 6:29 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Chrollo X 5/4/22 6:36 PM
RE: The culture of DhO J W 5/4/22 6:42 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Chris M 5/5/22 9:18 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/5/22 9:16 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Chris M 5/5/22 8:32 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/5/22 9:47 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Ni Nurta 5/5/22 11:05 AM
RE: The culture of DhO J W 5/5/22 11:29 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Ni Nurta 5/5/22 12:51 PM
RE: The culture of DhO J W 5/5/22 2:41 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Ni Nurta 5/5/22 4:03 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Arena Heidi 5/8/22 7:22 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/5/22 12:22 PM
RE: The culture of DhO J W 5/5/22 12:35 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/5/22 12:45 PM
RE: The culture of DhO J W 5/5/22 12:53 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/5/22 12:55 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/5/22 12:53 PM
RE: The culture of DhO J W 5/5/22 12:55 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Ni Nurta 5/5/22 2:02 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/5/22 4:29 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Chris M 5/5/22 10:05 AM
RE: The culture of DhO J W 5/5/22 10:17 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/5/22 1:01 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/5/22 10:34 AM
RE: The culture of DhO J W 5/6/22 9:37 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Ni Nurta 5/6/22 1:44 PM
RE: The culture of DhO J W 5/6/22 1:58 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Arena Heidi 5/5/22 7:31 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/8/22 1:11 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Arena Heidi 5/8/22 2:30 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/8/22 2:55 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Helen Pohl 5/6/22 2:45 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Chris M 5/6/22 8:19 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Chris M 5/6/22 10:04 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/8/22 12:35 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Steve Rudx 5/8/22 11:04 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/8/22 12:12 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Steve Rudx 5/8/22 11:13 AM
RE: The culture of DhO J W 5/8/22 11:31 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/8/22 12:24 PM
RE: The culture of DhO J W 5/8/22 11:29 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/8/22 12:22 PM
RE: The culture of DhO terry 5/8/22 7:24 PM
RE: The culture of DhO terry 5/8/22 7:25 PM
RE: The culture of DhO terry 5/8/22 7:53 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/8/22 11:21 PM
RE: The culture of DhO terry 5/9/22 1:29 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/9/22 2:40 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/9/22 9:14 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Chris M 5/9/22 11:51 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/9/22 1:07 PM
RE: The culture of DhO terry 5/9/22 1:34 PM
RE: The culture of DhO terry 5/9/22 2:34 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Chris M 5/9/22 2:58 PM
RE: The culture of DhO terry 5/9/22 5:37 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Papa Che Dusko 5/9/22 11:50 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/10/22 2:09 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Papa Che Dusko 5/10/22 3:16 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/10/22 3:46 AM
RE: The culture of DhO Papa Che Dusko 5/9/22 2:49 PM
RE: The culture of DhO terry 5/9/22 5:42 PM
RE: The culture of DhO terry 5/9/22 4:54 PM
RE: The culture of DhO Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/9/22 5:03 PM
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 5:14 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 5:14 AM

The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I think there might be a need for a discussion on the culture of DhO. What do we want it to be?

Personally, I treasure the possibility of discussing the path in a non-dogmatic way, allowing for a variety of perspectives, and I welcome that it's challenging at times. However, that is not the same thing as taking the liberty to take on the role as some wannabe zen teacher and question people's questions in any thread. Everything has its time and place, including respecting what people are actually asking for and humbly accepting that we don't know everything. 

Also, could we please not turn this into another arena for positioning games? Don't we have enough of them in society? Of course, this is a complex topic, and I'm open to discussing it. 

This is NOT based on just one thread, but rather a reflection on what I see as a general trend. 
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Stefan Stefan, modified 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 5:23 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 5:22 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 238 Join Date: 3/28/21 Recent Posts
I think as long as people are engaging with good spirit, then I believe tangents, exploration, and probing are all good fun

I'm yet to see any toxicity on these forums, everyone seems to be a straight shooter 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 5:35 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 5:35 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I love tangents and explorations when it's all in good spirit. As for probing, I have seen examples that were derailing the intent of the thread in ways that have sometimes scared people away (although, to be fair, I think I may have scared away a moderator by protesting to the derailing when I was new here, so I guess it goes both ways). Maybe a fair compromise would be to probe how welcome and relevant the probing would be? 
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Stefan Stefan, modified 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 5:56 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 5:56 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 238 Join Date: 3/28/21 Recent Posts
my gut instinct says: "steel sharpens steel"
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Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 6:13 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 6:09 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 4356 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
DhO has been around for a long, long time. Throughout that time there have been inevitable ups and downs. The current rendition of DhO is pretty darned gentle compared to some of the past renditions. I'm interested to hear what others are feeling about things.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 6:19 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 6:19 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
It is precisely because I treasure this forum and its participants so much that I feel that it's a discussion worth having. I think this forum is awesome, but like any arena, it has its own blind spots. Since we are often so eager to poke and probe into people's blind spots, we could as well do the same thing with our own interactions, right? 
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Niels Lyngsø, modified 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 6:59 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 6:37 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 378 Join Date: 11/15/19 Recent Posts
In my opinion the culture here is really nice.

Yes, there is some drama from time to time. Yes, sometimes people (including me) say stupid things or brag or get defensive. Yes, sometimes there are heated discussions, but unlike most other online-fora, these heated discussions sometimes actually get interesting. And yes, sometimes I do wonder how people who are on the path can act in such an apparently reactive way (I never know the whole story, though, we never do!). But! Compared to other online-worlds, DhO is a really nice place to hang out. So many wise and kind people doing their best to help each other out. It is beautiful, actually.

As on all other online-fora, I think a very simple rule should apply: If you see something you don't like, you have two options. 1) You just let it be there and scroll on. Or 2) You take a little time to see if you can give a good answer.

So what is a good answer? What is in general a good post? Well, on DhO, it could be seen as a practice of "Right Speech" (Right Posting). So before you press "Publish", ask yourself three questions: Is this true? Is this kind? Is this helpful? And if the answers are yes, yes & yes, go ahead. And know that of couse we all fail from time to time. That is why Right Posting is also a practice. emoticon

EDIT: To clarify, by "a simple rule", I mean "a simple rule of thumb", not any formal rule. In my opinion, formal rules should be kept as few and simple as possible.
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shargrol, modified 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 6:40 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 6:38 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 1747 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
The culture of DhO has always been a loosely moderated, wonderful mess of personalities and attitudes, of compassion and conflict. I believe that for Daniel that is a feature and not a bug. It is the niche that DhO fills in this vast universe of dharma, meditation, psychology, woowoo, bodywork, etc. websites. This is a site where anyone can talk and ask questions without requiring official terminology, sanitized language, bowing to particular authority figures, etc.

It personally mostly drives me crazy, but that's my reaction and I own it. emoticon 

There really isn't an way to create a culture unless things are heavily moderated and constrained in scope, but there are other websites like that, that's not DhO.

Ultimately, the culture is created by individuals interacting and the nature of the DhO is the culture of the moment is created by the individuals participating in the moment. 

My best advice is to choose to participate or not in threads. If you don't like a narrative, actively participate in the narrative and bring your viewpoint into it --- or consciously decide not to participate and let it happen.

Again, I suspect that moving to a more forcefully prescribed culture is not likely going to happen on DhO; it doesn't seem to be what Daniel wants DhO to be.

Offered with good intentions, hope this helps.

 
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Zero, modified 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 9:31 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 8:47 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 68 Join Date: 2/21/18 Recent Posts
Can we talk about the user interface first? I can't even DM people and i gotta scroll scroll scroll to the bottom of threads. I know we get what we paid for though... 

It feels like more of a community over at r/streamentry on Reddit. They have dedicated and stickied a weekly q&a thread and weekly community resource thread practice journals, pretty open discourse and easy reply system. The user interface I suppose helps with the community feel a lot. There's transparency on who exactly is a moderator. On this forum, it's the same people posting kinda. Thank the sweet gods Shargrol shares their wisdom on both forums.

​​​​​​​The practice journals really shine here too. Lots of high level practitioners here too due the seemingly higher standards in interrogating attainments; r/streamentry is kinda mixed in that regard. Kinda wish there was more cross talk with the Awakening to Reality group on Facebook. They seem to have a high level of interrogation of attainments there too using their mapping. Soh, a founder of the group who posts here, recently said there were 50 people at least who have realized anatta. 
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Zero, modified 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 9:14 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 9:14 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 68 Join Date: 2/21/18 Recent Posts
Niels Lyngsø
In my opinion the culture here is really nice.

Yes, there is some drama from time to time. Yes, sometimes people (including me) say stupid things or brag or get defensive. Yes, sometimes there are heated discussions, but unlike most other online-fora, these heated discussions sometimes actually get interesting. And yes, sometimes I do wonder how people who are on the path can act in such an apparently reactive way (I never know the whole story, though, we never do!). But! Compared to other online-worlds, DhO is a really nice place to hang out. So many wise and kind people doing their best to help each other out. It is beautiful, actually.

As on all other online-fora, I think a very simple rule should apply: If you see something you don't like, you have two options. 1) You just let it be there and scroll on. Or 2) You take a little time to see if you can give a good answer.

So what is a good answer? What is in general a good post? Well, on DhO, it could be seen as a practice of "Right Speech" (Right Posting). So before you press "Publish", ask yourself three questions: Is this true? Is this kind? Is this helpful? And if the answers are yes, yes & yes, go ahead. And know that of couse we all fail from time to time. That is why Right Posting is also a practice. emoticon

EDIT: To clarify, by "a simple rule", I mean "a simple rule of thumb", not any formal rule. In my opinion, formal rules should be kept as few and simple as possible.
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The one part about Right Speech that trips me up as you alluded to: is it timely? That seems to really depend on if someone is open to hearing what you say or not. The Travis path to arhat thread is a prime of example of speech being untimely due to them shutting down and calling people rude for not staying on topic. They got a lot of good responses and focused on the negative making them wanna leave. 
Matt, modified 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 9:30 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 9:30 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 316 Join Date: 1/14/14 Recent Posts
We are all at different points on the path, we all see things differently, understand differently, feel differently, respond differently and get treated differently, so we are all guaranteed to experience various amounts of pain everytime we check in, can't really change that.

But, we can change some technical details. I think preventing editing of posts would make the flow of understanding and growth more evident and hence more worth reading and would encourage the OP to get their message straight somehow before posting.

If the moderating happened in the background (as opposed to right inside the content) maybe the content would stand out more.  I mean, maybe just remove a post and explain to the poster why it got removed and let them repost a revised version?

I don't know if I can make this extra point here clear, but I'll try briefly: When people have multiple login credentials, they are encouraged to try to manage their online persona, public point of view, soothe their thoughts about what other people seem to think about them.  This seems to be a trick to indulge identity oriented behavior which seems antithetical to the buddhist practice we aspire to at the cost of the rest of our understanding about what's going on in the thread.  So, doing a little to minimize dual usernames might be a technical hack that reduces noise here.  To me this seemed to happen in 'the path to the arahant' thread, there were two usernames representing the original post.  Seeing someone change their POV in a thread is useful for me, it's growth or process that I can aspire to, or whatever.

​​​​​​​I appreciate what we have here, I always have!
Adi Vader, modified 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 9:38 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 9:38 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 110 Join Date: 6/29/20 Recent Posts
I am not a long time poster here. I am relatively new.

I dont know the culture of DhO so far. But from what I can see currently, its very helpful and supportive and informative. People speak from their understanding, there doesnt seem to be any bullying, any mob censorship.

The recent thread, that has probably gone a bit awry, probably led to this discussion.

In that thread I saw no personal attacks, no mal-intent whatsoever. I saw an OP who got angry at receiving suggestions offered respectfully in the cleanest of language. I saw an OP stating that his goal was arhatship and he had settled on a system of practice and he was looking for retreat centres. Some body who wants a list of retreat centres can simply state that ... and nothing else.
But given that the other stuff was stated, people offered opinions and advice, myself included. Nobody had any animosity or ill will, atleast as far as I could make out. Nobody told OP that it is impossible for them to be an arhat or any other such discouragement.

If some wannabe teacher materialized to 'teach' OP something, they can just be ignored.

In the past I have personally walked away from this forum after seeing clearly mentally disturbed people being told that they are experiencing the 'dukkha nanas', totally frustrated over the maniacal force fitting of the PoI map onto a psychotic episode, done by groupies!

Here today was a perfectly sane, logical discussion!

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Pepe ·, modified 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 10:14 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 10:07 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 560 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
I believe that much of the communication dissonance could be easily solved with a "READ THIS FIRST" sticky thread with a guideline for first posters (*) and some links to resources. 

As that's not available because of software/tech skills/funding/else problems, a second best (cheap) solution would be that a chosen member starts a thread and then click the edit and save bottons every day, so as to keep it in the first places of the Recent Posts page   ¯\_(ツ)_/¯   Though a moderator should be the first choice for that task, I would be happy to do it as I enter every day, either with my username or other an ad hoc one (so as to delegate the task when on vacations, etc).   

(*) to be discussed here or defined by moderators/Overlord
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 10:09 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 10:09 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 2404 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Aw, what a wonderful thread emoticon Popcorn anybody? emoticon emoticon emoticon 

BTW, when I first joined DhO back in 2011 it was a very strict, military boot camp kind of a place! As soon you open your mouth the members shower you with questions like "describe the sensations!", no place for popcorn talk at all emoticon Hence I moved on as I just couldn't wrap my mind around such a strict regiment. It seems much more relaxed these days. 

Then again Ruthless Truth forum (or what the jolly name was) was far more strict and felt like being inside a meet grinder emoticon I think I only stayed there for a week or so. Run Forest Run!!!

I now try and spend time over at AwakeNetwork Forum as its a nice place with fine pragmatic history and needs a bit extra push to keep it more active so to attract more folks. I think we are on the right track. I kind of see AwakeNetwork and DhO correlated, as many there are those who fled away from DhO at some stage emoticon  
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Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 10:21 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 10:19 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 4356 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
I believe that much of the communication dissonance could be easily solved with a "READ THIS FIRST" sticky thread with a guideline for first posters (*) and some links to resources. 

Pepe, this is what I ask folks at the office in cases like this recent one - is this a solution to a systemic problem, to this specific problem, or to a small subset of problems? I'm asking this because the solution will be expensive in terms of time and effort because there's no "sticky" topic function here that works right now.
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Pepe ·, modified 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 10:57 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 10:57 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 560 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
is this a solution to a systemic problem, to this specific problem, or to a small subset of problems? I'm asking this because the solution will be expensive in terms of time and effort because there's no "sticky" topic function here that works right now.

Well, I really don't know. But it's worth a try, especially if we can start with a low-tech every-day refresh of a "Read this First" thread like I proposed and volunteered. Learning on the go, adjusting guidelines here and there, just some common sense rules like:

(i) Don't start multiple threads simultaneously
(ii) Avoid narcissistic titles
(iii) Write down a 1-2 paragraphs introduction with how many weeks/months/years of practice you have, sangha you belong to, or model you follow, or meditation tools you like, or your prefered dharma books, hours of daily practice, number of retreats done, etc
genaro, modified 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 11:10 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 11:08 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 112 Join Date: 11/23/19 Recent Posts
papa che said*
Aw, what a wonderful thread emoticon Popcorn anybody? emoticon emoticon emoticon 

The question 'what do we want it to be' to me implies some form of rules for people to follow or at least nudges in that direction (already happening???).  Me, I like that there are sharp edges,  people who are not yet exalted try thier best and sometimes it's not perfect (guilty? Moi?) yet they all have a reason to be here.  

maybe (not my view) there could be a 'inner sanctum' for those considered 'the elect' reserved for concise, precise, considered and thoughtful remarks and a bear bit for the hoi polloi??

I think Chris has made a good point: what is the problem seeking a solution here? Isn't the Dho doing its thing, perfect or flawed as intended, as is its nature. I'm not it, yes it's not totally satisfying, and it changes from day to day (hey, Linda in  the OP mentioned a trend), so isn't that just apposite?
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No I'm not going to say 'Metta everyone', i hate when people do that, but I can wish joy and happiness for you.

Besides: where's Tim Farringdon these days? 

... Doh! the bar(do) was that last resort bear pit, so it's already sorted.  Beer anyone?



* when i typoed that in is came out as sadu.   8-)
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J W, modified 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 1:47 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 1:47 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 586 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
I know we tried an upgrade recently and it was a bit of a fiasco - I still do think that moving to a new system (while keeping the current forum online as an archive) could really help improve the usability of the site and help it feel like more of a community, especially for newcomers. But, I am starting to see the other side of it a little bit more.  This is the 1996 Toyota Corolla of internet forums... it just keeps going. Now maybe it's got a broken tail light.  But the thing still works great.  In my experience this is an extraordinarily helpful and supportive place. I only hope that people aren't turned off by the sharpness of it. Things might get heated from time to time but we always make up.

By the way -
Where Is Tim Farrington
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 3:44 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 3:44 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 2404 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Who the f.ck is Tim Farrington?!!!









​​​​​​​emoticon 
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Stefan Stefan, modified 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 5:31 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/7/22 5:31 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 238 Join Date: 3/28/21 Recent Posts
It's very obvious you made this thread in response to that thread. I think the consensus here is that DhO is pretty welcoming, open, and friendly. So it's a specific issue to that thread. So it's important to unpack what made the thread go so loopy (not toxic -- nobody was being rude at all).

Firstly, the OP went on about what they wanted to attain and kept their initial query quite vague (IIRC and paraphrasing: "I'm looking for retreat centres or situations that can help me become an Arhat in one fell swoop) this vagueness brought in well-wishers who had no retreat info, but had "situation" info (i.e., auxiliary stuff, veteran meditator protips). Secondly, their disclosure of additional information and the title brought in people who may have only read the title and skimmed the OP, again, incentivising people to focus on the implications of the OP's request (i.e., what really is an Arhat, is it something you actually get, made-up fiction, etc..?).

While old mate didn't appreciate the protips or the implication speculators, I think he could have just let the tangents evolve themselves (and here is where I think the archaic layout of this forum makes tangents a little more painful to navigate than on other forums) and just focused on the replies he was after. But he replied to basically everything, voicing his anger/disapproval/annoyance..? It just reminded me of my novice meditator days where distractions would pop up and I'd focus so bloody hard on making them stop that they'd just overwhelm me, so I found the thread very amusing in that allegorical way. I sympathised with old mate, but sometimes the conversations we start become bigger than our initial expectations or intentions. I've had people drop into my personal logs that I initially felt like "oh, they're just posting here to vent their projections at me" and then after about a minute of just relaxing into it, I learned to appreciate and learn from their contributions. Old mate didn't want to, or couldn't.

At the end of the day, that thread was just a comedy of errors. We can be angry and try to change everything, be so busy in a hurry to evaluate ourselves as good DhO-ers, or we can laugh, sometimes things just don't work out despite everyone's best intentions.
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Dream Walker, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 8:02 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 8:02 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 1414 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Chris M
I believe that much of the communication dissonance could be easily solved with a "READ THIS FIRST" sticky thread with a guideline for first posters (*) and some links to resources. 
Pepe, this is what I ask folks at the office in cases like this recent one - is this a solution to a systemic problem, to this specific problem, or to a small subset of problems? I'm asking this because the solution will be expensive in terms of time and effort because there's no "sticky" topic function here that works right now.
well, there is this at the top of the site ---> HOME
https://www.dharmaoverground.org/home

That seems well thoughtout and allows people to not be "right speach" shamed into silence...
I will be the first to admit that I am a bit harsh at times with posts that are to vague or to lengthy with a "what do you think" ending or just simple lazyness ;instead of searching. most questions have been answered in the past. If I need to prechew something it gets me annoyed, I dug thru the sand to find the gems, I literally read posts from the first one then started skipping boring ones, but ive dug a lot of great stuff up that way.
in google
site:dharmaoverground.org [query words here without brackets]
The culture here has changed many times thru the years and continues to do so....I mostly have liked it most of the time.
The further people get along the path, the less they end up posting and dissapear. Be happy there are still some left to answer stuff, blind following blind is a huge problem.
As always, Good luck,
~D
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Marcia Samana, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 9:26 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 9:26 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 5 Join Date: 8/19/19 Recent Posts
I'm new though I signed up a couple of years ago and had read DhO for a couple of years before that. Tbh the openness was both shocking and refreshing and therefore scary. I'm back mainly because I read Daniel's book and it spoke to me and immediately helped resolve an obstacle. The culture here seems loose and comfortable. I've picked over what I read and have found several gems that have had immediate practical use. I can't say that about the forum I left just before returning here. They had a hefty set of rules to make sure everyone forcibly remained "peaceful and kind and wise and skillful" 'dang it! There was at times a lack of kindness hidden inside bookish words.

If anything changes, and it will, I hope it's the user interface emoticon
Edward, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 11:59 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 11:59 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 110 Join Date: 6/10/19 Recent Posts
Hi Linda, although I think you personally are doing an excellent job as moderator, I agree there's a problem here since Daniel stepped back. I suspect many like me have voted with their feet and just don't engage if they don't like the way the website is currently moderated/controlled.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 3:01 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 3:01 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
This is not the first time I have noticed that people choose to discard the questions asked and instead give unsolicited advice. So no, it is not just that thread. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 3:02 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 3:02 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Can we please not make this about any specific person? 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 3:09 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 3:09 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I agree with you fully, Niels. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 3:12 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 3:12 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
This is not specifically about that thread. I have noticed this many times - somebody asks something, and then people show up to tell the asker that the question is all wrong and that they should really go about this a totally different way. Like, someone asks about how to do the jhanas. People show up to tell them that they shouldn't be attached to specific states, and just assume that they never heard that before. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 3:16 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 3:16 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I basically agree with you, but I've got to say here that Daniel explicitly told me to feel free to create the kind of culture I wanted here. Of course I have no illusions of being able to control that, because just like you said, the culture just exists in the interactions that take place in the moment. But as for what Daniel wants, there you go.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 3:18 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 3:18 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Tim is depressed. Very depressed. I miss him too. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 3:25 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 3:25 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Interesting thoughts. I really wish we had a moderator's panel and a message function.

I think that in that thread, the OP felt umwelcomed and therefore changed his name to something mpre anonymous that also signalled distance. Yes, that can be confusing. I'm not personally fond of editings in retrospect, although I often edit right after posting myself (I blame my ADHD). I like what you are saying about seeing the development happen organically. 

I appreciate what we have here too.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 3:30 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 3:30 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 2404 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Hm ... emoticon  very sad to hear that. I knew that was one possibility but I chose to believe that he has buried himself into his new book and going crazy in a more creative way, so to speak emoticon 

Is he getting help? Is he talking to anyone? I did send a few emails but no reply. Is he at least checking his emails??? Can I/we do anything for him? Maybe I could send him a video, just chatting a bit, to tell him that we looking after his kip hole not far from Hell, called The Bar(do) of Last Resort! 

... Yes, please Linda do tell if he is checking his emails emoticon I dont care if he cant reply as long he still reads them.

​​​​​​​Thank you! 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 3:42 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 3:42 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I didn't see any ill intent either. That's not what I'm saying. And sure, if the question was phrased differently to begin with, the intent would have been clearer. But after the intention of the thread was clarified, people kept discussing what practice he should do and so on. I really do think it was all well intended, but it was not what he asked for, and he was new to the forum and probably felt like everything he had said was questioned by several people at the same time. And when he tried to get the thread back to the intended topic, in his own thread, people told him that he was reactive. Don't you think that was a bit of a culture shock? 

He was scared away. Was it worth it, just to be right?

As for the "clearly mentally disturbed people", I don't know which people you are referring to and what happened. I just want to say that it is fully possible to be mentally ill and on the path, and I personally hope that the research done by Daniel's consortium will shed some light on the grey areas there, for the benefit of all sentient beings. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 3:46 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 3:45 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 2404 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Hm emoticon Good luck with trying to create anything here emoticon DhO seems to be an invisible beasty, hissing from here to there in a blink of an eye ... ney, even faster than that, even Anicca itself gets confused by it emoticon

Just kidding! But seriously I don't think controlling anything here will get anything good. However, I do agree with respecting the OP's original inquiry and either ignoring it or replying in accordance with it.
Still, its a PUBLIC forum and not all people take stuff the same way. What you and anyone can do is try and suggest to those who seem to be pushing against what OP has asked and say something polite like "shut the f.uck up and keep on the subject you little piece of cows dung!" or something like that, as long its friendly emoticon emoticon

​​​​​​​p.s. I really shouldn't be participating on forums when my fetters are on the fritz emoticon emoticon sorry, ignore all I said emoticon (I think my next stage might be misery actually as I feel like a hot popping popcorn)
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 3:46 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 3:46 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Interesting idea. Not sure exactly what information should be there for best results. I don't think everything has to do with first posters. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 3:55 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 3:55 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Yes, you are a bit harsh sometimes. And I do understand you. I haven't been here very long really, and yet I find myself sighing when a question comes up that has been discussed over and over at length far too many times already. But why answer at all if you don't want to? Scrolling is always a possibility. But I see that you still want to help and thefore post links to where you have already explained the issue. That's a good solution. And doing just that, without any snark, is actually faster. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 3:59 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 3:59 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Gee, "avoid narcissistic titles" - that solves everything, right? And exactly what counts as being narcissistic? 

I'm voting no to that version of a thread.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 4:04 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 4:04 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 2404 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
He might be talking about me trying to assist someone we know back in the days that person had tough times. I agree, I was not aware that that person had serious issues back then and thought it to be a DN phase. My bad and I hope not to make such mistakes anymore. I did suggest to "just plow through it with utter acceptance and speed noting, no matter what", which was a big mistake on my part. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 4:06 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 4:06 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I didn't intend for this to lead to some new rules. I just think thay we could all reflect a bit on whether we have to tell people ever so often that their question is all wrong or if we could maybe respect that people want to talk about something specific without having to justify their whole approach to the path. If we don't like it, we can always scroll. Just my five cents.

​​​​​​​Tim is depressed. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 4:07 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 4:07 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I'm really glad you like it here. emoticon. And yes, I hope the interface changes too. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 4:18 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 4:18 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Ah, okay. Yeah, that was definitely not just the regular cycling. But that person is also very much on the path and has been for decades, and he knew what it was. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 4:19 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 4:19 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Sorry to hear that. 
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Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 4:45 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 4:25 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 4356 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
This message board seems to work pretty well regardless of how ridiculously inept the interface is. It's been here serving the audience for over ten years. I celebrate that, even though I'd really like a better system to work from.

The way I see this any attempt to impose a specific culture has to start immediately, at the very beginning of an online community, in order to succeed. Or, it has to be pretty heavy-handed in order to overcome the existing culture. Since the former never happened on DhO (BTW - Daniel Ingram has never been actively involved in moderation here), the latter is the only way to change the culture on DhO -- and why on earth would anyone want to do things that way?
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Stefan Stefan, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 4:47 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 4:47 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 238 Join Date: 3/28/21 Recent Posts
So the core issue here is unsolicited advice? There's no real problem with that. It's the internet, just look away if you don't want something.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 5:06 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 5:06 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Cultures change all the time. They are born anew in each moment. 

Of course they cannot be imposed. That's why I asked what we want it to be.
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Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 5:20 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 5:19 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 4356 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Are you creating an argumentative culture?  emoticon

(That's a joke, BTW.)
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Chris M, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 5:24 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 5:24 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 4356 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Cultures change all the time. They are born anew in each moment. 

Linda, I think cultures change perfectly well on their own, too. As my comment was meant to convey, deliberately attempting to manage culture is difficult, may require the imposition of lots of rules and probably won't work anyway. So, since we have a functional message board, why try? This is not meant to be argumentative. It's something I sincerely believe - this place is doing fine, and I wouldn't want to try to re-engineer it.) Other than the interface, of course.)
B B, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 5:39 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 5:39 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 29 Join Date: 9/3/16 Recent Posts
Awakening is a process of freeing the mind of false assumptions about reality though. Typically the OP's posts will not be written from the point of view of a fully awakened Buddha (hehe), yet the ultimate aim will be to achieve some degree of Awakening. So an ostensibly unhelpful, off-topic reply may actually be written with the intention of nudging the OP towards the questioning of the false assumptions evident in their posts, thus being of real benefit, yet go unappreciated by many readers who are operating from a lesser degree of Awakening.

A deeper problem with the DhO is that often the posts that could have the most long-term benefit, which tend to be more difficult for the OP to really take onboard, are drowned out by more superficial posts which tend to be more agreeable or reinforcing of the OP's preexisting un-Awakened perspective. I think we could do a better job of emphasising the importance of finding a teacher, someone who can be trusted and listened to when they puncture one's bullshit.

I say this as someone who has been frequenting this site for over 10 years, ever since the early years of my practice. I've probably been shaped by the DhO and MCTB as much as anyone. I achieved Stream Entry off-retreat largely thanks to MCTB and the inspiration and guidance of posts on this forum. That was one of the most significant turning points of my life, and the most beneficial by far.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 5:53 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 5:53 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Don't worry, I absolutely have NO ambitions to control the forum in any way. I basically just wanted to say, nice and politely, that just maybe it might be a good idea for people to respect people's wishes and mind their own business if they don't want to adhere to those wishes - and to do so without a final snark implying that the person doesn't know their own best. It's hardly the first time I see this happen. 

And yes, it's a public forum, and none of us is perfect. And again, I really do think it was all well intended. All the times I have seen this happen. Most of them anyway. 

I think I did follow your advice. emoticon 

​​​​​​​
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 5:58 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 5:58 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I'll reply to you in an email.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 6:14 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 6:14 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I'm not trying to manage it. It was just my way of saying "What the fuck is wrong with you people?", as part of the culture. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 6:26 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 6:26 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I do not believe in trying to control communities or cultures. I'm not going to change anything. 

I don't even think that being agreeable is always the best idea.

It just really pisses me off when people - not just in one thread - discard the questions asked and tells the asker what they should really do instead, based on basically zero knowledge of the person and their path, and when people point out to a newcomer how reactive they are while at the same time denying their own reactiveness. There was reactiveness on both sides in that thread, if we are to talk specifically about that thread although this happens over and over in various threads. On one side there was one person, standing alone, totally new to the arena. On the other side there were several people backing each other up. 

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B B, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 7:26 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 7:26 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 29 Join Date: 9/3/16 Recent Posts
It can be dangerous to assume the role of Teacher on this forum though, because there is such a risk of it becoming an ego trip. I've tried to limit my own posts in this regard. I have a deep desire to help people through the dharma which mostly goes unfulfilled, so I sometimes use this forum as a relief valve. Additionally, I understand how off-putting it can be to receive unsolicited advice given with an air of superiority, or even just to read it addressed to other posters. There is a significant chance that the advice will not be heeded. I suspect most of my carefully-worded attempts at taking on the role of Teacher on this forum have failed.

The DhO strikes me as messy and flawed, yet still of value, in a very human way. It may be useful up to Stream Entry, but beyond that I don't think it's a trustworthy source of guidance on the path. The camaraderie may be helpful, but I suspect hanging out here is hardly ever the best use of one's time. It's not a good substitute for a sangha, but it's better than nothing. At its best, it serves as a source of inspiration and encouragement for one's practice as a lay person.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/9/22 8:06 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 8:25 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I appreciate that you added those nuances. Yes, that's what I'm trying to talk about (the first paragraph).

(And yeah, Daniel said something similar to me, about how one eventually outgrows the forum). 

Edited to add (editing instead of replying because I don't want to bump the thread again):
And it doesn't even have to be an ego trip in the usual sense, having to do with identity, but can be subtler than that. Some remaining urge to control - the attachment to a specific outcome. I think that when one is attached to a specific outcome of one's advice, it might be a sign that one should shut up. I try to follow this rule of thumb myself, but that urge is a sneaky bastard. 
Adi Vader, modified 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 11:56 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/8/22 11:55 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 110 Join Date: 6/29/20 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö He was scared away. Was it worth it, just to be right?
It is never worth it to scare someone away just to be right. I agree with you. I didnt see it that way, thanks for pointing it out. I will be more careful of my own speech in the future. emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago at 1/9/22 5:58 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 1/9/22 5:58 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Thankyou for taking this in such good spirit! <3
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Arena Heidi, modified 25 Days ago at 5/3/22 10:02 AM
Created 25 Days ago at 5/3/22 10:02 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 56 Join Date: 4/16/22 Recent Posts
I think there might be a need for a discussion on the culture of DhO. What do we want it to be?
I think that this is an excellent thing that Linda is doing here. I think this is an excellent question to keep asking collectively. I think that collectively making small changes in a desired direction can have a big effect.

I think the consensus here is that DhO is pretty welcoming, open, and friendly. 
I think this may be the consensus among those who post here regularly. When I was an outsider looking in, those would not have been words that I would use to describe this place. There are also lots of people who have left or who refrain from posting here who would disagree.

but unlike most other online-fora, these heated discussions sometimes actually get interesting. And yes, sometimes I do wonder how people who are on the path can act in such an apparently reactive way (I never know the whole story, though, we never do!). But! Compared to other online-worlds, DhO is a really nice place to hang out. So many wise and kind people doing their best to help each other out. It is beautiful, actually.
Yes! This comment encapsulates some of the strength of this place. It's helpful to articulate the goodness and strength already here. Perhaps, regularly highlighting the goodness and strength that exists might even be enough?

There really isn't a way to create a culture unless things are heavily moderated and constrained in scope, but there are other websites like that, that's not DhO.
My mind jumps there first too. But underneath I think and hope that this statement can be proven wrong. I think we need to learn how to create good culture without excessive force and constraints.

The way I see this any attempt to impose a specific culture has to start immediately, at the very beginning of an online community, in order to succeed. Or, it has to be pretty heavy-handed in order to overcome the existing culture. 
I think this isn't about imposing culture, it's about creating culture. It's about exploring how culture is created. It's about asking what culture is here and what we want it to be. In what subtle direction do you want to nudge it?

One important piece of any community is the leadership. Some communities go in not so great directions due to bad leadership. I think that there is excellent leadership here. Daniel's path is not my path (my path might even been looked at as polar opposite) and I've had no interactions with Daniel, but from all that I have seen and read thus far, I really like and respect him, and I really like what he is doing for other people and the world. That he owns this forum is a great good thing. 

I haven't been here long and read all that much, but I really admire both Chris and Linda as moderators. To moderate a forum like this is no easy task. I think think that they do (and perpetually attempt to do) an excellent job that often goes unnoticed and underappreciated. Supporting good moderators might be a small way to make a big difference. 

Chris, I really appreciate some of your moderating skill that I've witnessed thus far. I was wondering if you have written anything on moderation or have guidelines for moderators that you would recommend? I would like to learn from you and pick up more of your skill. Having good moderating qualities spelled out might help others to support what you are doing and do more of it themselves.

Linda, I feel a resonance with you that I've said already in a number of places. You could write more about what you are trying to do so that others get it. I get it (or at least I think I do) and am trying to support it through this post. 

I think that culture is shaped the most by the regular and long term folks who make up the central core of the community. I am new and not yet fully part of that core. I might be able to set a few things in motion, but success in terms of influencing culture probably needs come from a core of regulars and old timers. I think a handful of aligned core members can make a big difference. What do you want? What kind of subtle shifts might make this place better or allow it to freely grow into more of what it wants to be?

One idea that I would love to see happen is a compilation page of some really good threads. Some kind of table of contents that links to good old threads on a wide range of topics. There is so much great info here, but it is hard to find and access it. A page like that could really highlight the beauty and wisdom of this place.

One last observation: I think that this place leans towards masculine and yang energy. I am saying this just as an observation. I am not trying to make male energy wrong or bad, even though people do that a lot in the world. (I think it is a mistake to make masculine wrong and feminine good or vice versa.) My own bias is towards community that has a good balance of yin and yang, masculine and feminine. A group could be composed only of men and still have a good balance.

Do you agree with my assessment that DhO leans towards the masculine? If so, do you like that and prefer things this way? Are you interested in cultivating a culture that has more balance and what might that look like? (I have been in groups that lean toward the feminine and am not looking for or wanting that.) What is your own relationship to feminine energies as an archetype? I'm not even sure if this should be made a focal point. But I am curious if others perceive things this way.

Are there are things that might make more of a difference for you? What are those things? What do you want?
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Pepe ·, modified 25 Days ago at 5/3/22 11:20 AM
Created 25 Days ago at 5/3/22 10:59 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 560 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
One idea that I would love to see happen is a compilation page of some really good threads. Some kind of table of contents that links to good old threads on a wide range of topics. There is so much great info here, but it is hard to find and access it.

In the Wiki you'll find Best of DhO

Regarding DhO's gender imbalance and much more, there's a whole section dedicated to DharmaOverground Community in Daniel's posts compilation.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 24 Days ago at 5/3/22 11:57 AM
Created 24 Days ago at 5/3/22 11:57 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Thanks, Arena! Yes, I think you got it. It was never about imposing anything on anyone. Rather the opposite, actually. There was a bit too much imposing going on at the time, the way I saw it, and that was the problem I was trying to address. I haven't seen much of that lately, so maybe it was a temporary thing (or maybe I stopped seeing it). 

I like that discussions here are often very hands-on, and that we often aren't afraid to address problems in our own and each other's practices but seek to make the practice work rather than maintain facades. I like it that there is more focus on practicing than on dogma. I like it that we aren't afraid to disagree with each other but find room for a variety of interpretations without going all relativistic about it. I like it that people are generous with their experience and knowledge. I like that this is one of the few places where it is okay to talk about "attainments" and how to get there - and that at the same time we are aware that there are no individual attainments, or however one wants to phrase it (nuances may differ here). I generally like the people here and the humor and the wisdom and the human-ness and the nerdiness and the quirks. 

As for yang culture: It appears to me that whatever position one may take with regard to aspects of the practice that can be placed on a yin-yang continuum, there will always be someone here who argues that one should do the opposite. Thus, in that regard, perhaps one could say that there is a balance. On the other hand, the fact that there is always a devil's advocate ready to pop up might perhaps be seen as a specific point on such a scale? Communication-wise, I mean. I don't know. I find that binary scales rarely fit with how I experience the world. It's weird how my way of communicating, for instance, can be interpreted by one person in accordance with stereotypical assumptions about women (indirect, elliptic, evasive etc - personally I don't buy it as an accurate description of any group's communication) while at the same time interpreted by others as problematically straightforward in accordance with stereotypical assumptions about my autistic wiring. I really just wish that we could all be open and honest about how we think and feel and function etc without having to fear sanctions because of some categorization that may or may not fit, and that this would go well because we all wish each other well and assume the best rather than the worst. Communication is a weird thing insofar as it presupposes that we assume some shared references to build upon. I would wish that people in general (not just here) would be open to really explore the references that we build upon instead of taking them for granted. Of course "people" includes me as well. 

Having said that, it does seem like we have historically had a tendency to scare away women from this place. Even though I'd say that I'm nonbinary rather than specifically a woman, I have sometimes been subject to chauvinistic jokes that made me think that I can understand why, not to mention the talking down to women that a minority (! and a really small one at that) of the members use now and then as a way to win arguments or whatever their game is. I think most members here do not even see it because it doesn't concern them. I wouldn't call that yang, though. Just poor self-awareness and poor judgement and lingering identifications and reactiveness (with regard to specific aspects, not in general).

I'm not sure writing this (this comment of mine) was a good idea. I just thought that you deserved a thorough answer. 
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Chris M, modified 24 Days ago at 5/3/22 12:00 PM
Created 24 Days ago at 5/3/22 12:00 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 4356 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Chris, I really appreciate some of your moderating skill that I've witnessed thus far. I was wondering if you have written anything on moderation or have guidelines for moderators that you would recommend? I would like to learn from you and pick up more of your skill. Having good moderating qualities spelled out might help others to support what you are doing and do more of it themselves.

​​​​​​​I have over two decades of experience moderating message boards, starting with formal training (Compuserve) followed by watching and learning from those more experienced than me on the systems I've been asked to moderate and, of course, making lots of mistakes and learning from them.

I believe the best way to learn is to watch those with experience and then talk to them about why they act in certain ways, and for them to explain their thoughts and process. I'm happy to talk privately if you would like to.

I'll work on some moderation documentation but will need to talk to the Grand Poobah of the DhO first  emoticon
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Chris M, modified 24 Days ago at 5/3/22 12:05 PM
Created 24 Days ago at 5/3/22 12:05 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 4356 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
IMHO, DhO has almost always been a male-dominated place. Sometimes more so, sometimes a bit less, but it does have an offputting effect on women. I like seeing more women posting here, so to any active women here now, please don't disappear. Pragmatic Dharma itself has been male-dominated, BTW, though this seems to be slowly changing. 

​​​​​​​
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Arena Heidi, modified 24 Days ago at 5/3/22 4:23 PM
Created 24 Days ago at 5/3/22 4:23 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 56 Join Date: 4/16/22 Recent Posts
Thanks Linda for sharing all your thoughts. I hope that some old time and regular members will chime in. No one really answered your question when you asked it and maybe it won't be answered now. But I have noticed for myself and with my husband that just making small changes or just holding awareness around something can make a big difference. It seems like that should work collectively, too. That a handful of core members can hold awareness of and change the culture of a group. 

I have friends who have had heart-centered awakenings and they discuss enlightenment with more heartfelt language. It's an approach that I would call more "feminine" but we don't have to talk about it in terms of polarity. I have had great discussions with them and wonder about inviting them here. So there's a part of me testing things out and being a kind of guinea pig. How far can I push into these kinds of things and not get squashed? How can I use language that will evoke some interest in these kinds of qualities? Lots of folks here have children. Is this forum a place that your daughters (when old enough) might be comfortable coming to and posting? Why or why not?

Another approach to this subject is to talk about safety. A lot of people that I know would not feel safe posting here. How could the forum feel safer and less intimidating? Or perhaps being challenged here works well for the spiritual path? Maybe folks feel things are good enough as they are and that things don't need tweaking. That would be good to find out, too.
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Arena Heidi, modified 24 Days ago at 5/3/22 4:54 PM
Created 24 Days ago at 5/3/22 4:51 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 56 Join Date: 4/16/22 Recent Posts
Thanks Pepe. I will look into the Best of DhO. Someone (Smiling Stone maybe?) mentioned a favorite thread of theirs on Reichian Therapy I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but it had me wondering how many other gems like that are hidden here. 

I read some of the DharmaOverground Community iin Daniel's post compilation that you linked to. It was great to read some backstory. And I came across this great old thread on Closing Discussions.

Chris, it was great to read about your beginnings of moderation in that thread and how you became a moderator after only 19 posts! Thanks for your offer and I would love to have more discussion with you around moderation. But perhaps a public discussion thread around this could be good? Or is it too sensitive to publicly discuss old issues and how you handled them?
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Chris M, modified 24 Days ago at 5/3/22 5:08 PM
Created 24 Days ago at 5/3/22 5:08 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 4356 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
I don't think discussing specific examples of moderation on DhO is a good idea. It could dredge up old issues that don't need to be rehashed and may actually cause some harm. Let me think about how best to have this communication. I'm not sure we should do it on DhO.
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Arena Heidi, modified 24 Days ago at 5/3/22 6:40 PM
Created 24 Days ago at 5/3/22 6:40 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 56 Join Date: 4/16/22 Recent Posts
I understand. I didn't feel comfortable linking to specific examples either. No pressure around doing this. Just if it's easy. I can do more learning through observation first. 
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Helen Pohl, modified 24 Days ago at 5/4/22 1:01 AM
Created 24 Days ago at 5/4/22 1:01 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 91 Join Date: 8/10/20 Recent Posts
Chris M
IMHO, DhO has almost always been a male-dominated place. Sometimes more so, sometimes a bit less, but it does have an offputting effect on women. I like seeing more women posting here, so to any active women here now, please don't disappear. Pragmatic Dharma itself has been male-dominated, BTW, though this seems to be slowly changing. 

​​​​​​​
Haven't disappeared, just mostly content with reading emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 24 Days ago at 5/4/22 3:05 AM
Created 24 Days ago at 5/4/22 3:05 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Good to see you, Helen! 
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Not two, not one, modified 24 Days ago at 5/4/22 6:10 AM
Created 24 Days ago at 5/4/22 6:10 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 981 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
Very interesting thread.  Two things jump out.

1 - We can continue to strive to be more inclusive and helpful.  This is a really good aim.
2 - The culture of the DhO is impermanent, not us, and doesn't satisfy.

I'm not saying 2 trumps 1.  It doesn't.  But it is worth noticing 2.
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Ni Nurta, modified 24 Days ago at 5/4/22 10:59 AM
Created 24 Days ago at 5/4/22 10:59 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 927 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
Arena Heidi
Do you agree with my assessment that DhO leans towards the masculine? If so, do you like that and prefer things this way? Are you interested in cultivating a culture that has more balance and what might that look like? (I have been in groups that lean toward the feminine and am not looking for or wanting that.) What is your own relationship to feminine energies as an archetype? I'm not even sure if this should be made a focal point. But I am curious if others perceive things this way.


Even if most users are males I do not think this necessarily indicates imbalance exists here. Having balance does not mean there is 50% boys and 50% girls, that doesn't work that way. How much of each gender is on any site depends on what is the topic of this site and what is the advertisement strategy used. If topic of the site is not interesting to girls then they won't register or won't stick around for long and this is totally fine. Nothing wrong with that. As long as people are respectful and do not discriminate against other people then there might be no need to 'tweak' anything.

My take is that if this place was to change what it was it would be due to user influx and changes they might cause. More women (or men!) who like to use eg. heartfelt language would make average language used here to be more heartfelt. Simple.

I think the only thing that DhO suffers from is complete lack of advertising. Not even sure what is the strategy, probably "best strategy is no strategy". In my opinion this area should be improved. If it was it wouldn't necessarily change yin/yang balance but this is obvious thing which can be improved and so it should be improved.

Another approach to this subject is to talk about safety. A lot of people that I know would not feel safe posting here. How could the forum feel safer and less intimidating? Or perhaps being challenged here works well for the spiritual path? Maybe folks feel things are good enough as they are and that things don't need tweaking. That would be good to find out, too.

Not sure what kind of safety you are concerned with but as long as site code is secure, allows anonymity if someone needs it, and people are respectful then the only things which remain is being too easily triggered. That last bit is not the kind of issue we should do anything about. And I am absolutely serious. There are reality bubbles on Internet for pretty much anyone. This one is for people interested in meditation and dogma-free dharma.

Sure we could try to accommodate insecurities of everyone but then this site would be useful to no one.
I would say people are too concerned with political correctness as it is.
Say Heidi, when you read anything here or anywhere else do you think about how it makes you feel or how it might make someone feel? Cause if its the latter than imho its mental illness. I made myself not do that. I let everyone feel for themselves and guess what: I experience much less suffering since I made such change. This is because when you start pondering about in what ways someone might take something you are only conjuring negativity. Heck, often such negativity finds its ways to people and affect them in exactly the worst ways you thought would happen.

Since this site is also about the so called 'awakening' it should be obvious that even thinking about negative reactions in form of projecting it to people, even if you do not really make physical contacts, will affect reality around you. Especially this part of reality that you are connected via effect-cause chains so the one immediately affecting you. And even without crazy land theories, if you were to recommend this or any other site to anyone but yourself had reservations based on "worst case scenario analysis" then you will pre-set expectations. This is not useful.

It is good to do some analysis but from what you say and really from what can be felt from your posts overall you are torturing yourself with many things which do not help you or anyone. Just cheer up and go toward the sunshine. Chances are none of the bad scenarios you conceived in your head will happen emoticon
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J W, modified 24 Days ago at 5/4/22 11:48 AM
Created 24 Days ago at 5/4/22 11:48 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 586 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
Wow, great, super helpful Ninurta

/s
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 23 Days ago at 5/4/22 2:52 PM
Created 23 Days ago at 5/4/22 2:52 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Thank you

I can promise that I won't squash you for inviting people here. I don't think anyone will. Perhaps your friends wouldn't like it here, but if that's the case, they could just say no thankyou, right? 

Why would people feel intimidated here? Because it's a public forum? Or because of the way we express ourselves here? 

I sometimes use what I think of as heartfelt language, but I have no idea whether it resembles your heartfelt language in any way. Thus I have no idea how people would relate to it. If they don't like it, they can always scroll. Or ask, if they don't understand. Please feel free to try!

(If I phrase myself poorly right now, it's because I'm sad and worried - one of my cats has gone missing. That makes it hard to compensate for my different wiring and translate myself to non-autistic language. I hope I'm not coming across as rude or nonchalant or something.) 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 23 Days ago at 5/4/22 3:20 PM
Created 23 Days ago at 5/4/22 3:20 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I think that the consequences might very depending on who uses the approach to just care about their own feelings when they post. In my experience, when women and people who are seen as women do it, they are seen as much more rude than a man who does the same thing, because people's expectations are gendered. Sad but true. Here too. 
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J W, modified 23 Days ago at 5/4/22 6:29 PM
Created 23 Days ago at 5/4/22 6:29 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 586 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
Now that I've got more time to do so, I would also add that it's not a realistic viewpoint to believe that our words and our actions do not have consequences outside of ourselves, and that we should not take into consideration what type of effect our words or actions might have on other people.  It's certainly not what the Buddha taught.  I know that sounds condescending but unfortunately I feel like it needs to be said, sorry. 

I don't want to live in a world where we all just speak gibberish to each other and no one understands anything.  For that to happen it requires listening.  Which I think is a much better approach to take towards some hypothetical person who is "tortured"  than, for instance, telling them to smile more.

BTW yes Heidi, I have noticed the same thing you mentioned about the masculine overrepresentation here on DhO. No it's not some sort of 'fundemental flaw' (as if that's what anyone said in the first place), nor do I think it has anything to do with the moderators here who really do an exceptional job IMO.  Personally though, yes, I would prefer to hear more feminine voices here and elsewhere in the world of dharma.   I think it's a great thing to bring up so thank you! I would love to hear more of your or anyone else's thoughts on how we might achieve an aim of being more inclusive.
Chrollo X, modified 23 Days ago at 5/4/22 6:36 PM
Created 23 Days ago at 5/4/22 6:36 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 53 Join Date: 1/11/22 Recent Posts
DhO could be advertised to more groups so more women can potentially join. But, I'm pretty sure prag dharma is going to remain male-dominated. What kind of dharma are women attracted to and why?
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J W, modified 23 Days ago at 5/4/22 6:42 PM
Created 23 Days ago at 5/4/22 6:42 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 586 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
I really don't think advertisement of any type is the answer...

Not that I have one emoticon
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Chris M, modified 23 Days ago at 5/5/22 9:18 AM
Created 23 Days ago at 5/5/22 8:14 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 4356 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
The historically male-dominated nature of the DhO has mostly been reflected in its culture. Culture is the norms we use when we interact in groups. A group's culture is usually not seen clearly, if at all, by its participants. Outsiders, new people, are much more aware of a group's culture from their external perspective. So, as a result, it's critical that we hear and consider the POV of outsiders when they say things about DhO culture. This speaks directly to the gender issues that have been raised here, and that have in the past prevented some people who arrive here from feeling comfortable enough to stay and participate actively.

Just sayin'
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Chris M, modified 23 Days ago at 5/5/22 8:32 AM
Created 23 Days ago at 5/5/22 8:18 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 4356 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
In re advertising DhO:

Daniel Ingram is the best advertising for DhO and always has been. DhO is part of Daniel's brand and there is a cache about the man that carries over onto this message board. I don't think there's a need for explicit advertising beyond the periodic mentions DhO gets from Daniel and other folks involved here. This kind of organic marketing seems to work at getting new visitors on a regular basis - and then having an accommodating culture that is welcoming to newcomers will encourage them to stay here.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 23 Days ago at 5/5/22 9:16 AM
Created 23 Days ago at 5/5/22 9:16 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Thankyou! Well said. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 23 Days ago at 5/5/22 9:47 AM
Created 23 Days ago at 5/5/22 9:47 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Again, well said. I really don't think advertising is the problem. From what I hear, there are many people in the dharma who know about the forum, even though they aren't active here. They just choose not to be here. And lots of people also choose to be here. 

And to continue my reflections (the following is not as much a reply to Chris's comment as my own thoughts about how our culture could be more accomodating):

I don't think we need to actively cater to everyone's wishes. We could refrain from overstepping people's boundaries, though, and think twice about what we say to people and how we say it when it's sensitive stuff. And I believe that we often do, actually. Just not always. We are human, after all. 

Something that I have seen from time to time (not so much lately, though, but then again, I haven't had the energy to read as much as I used to) is that some people seem to assume that it's always helpful to poke around in other practicioners' most difficult feelings. Just because there are traditions where teachers do that, it doesn't mean that it's helpful for random internet strangers with a self-diagnosed enlightenment to do so with people they don't have that kind of relationship with. I believe that scares people away, even if it's well-intended. 

Another thing that I think might scare people away is the occassional verbal combat that occurs here. This also includes instances of two or more people making fun of a third party, often around attainments, and often using elliptic wordings so that it can't be called out. 
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Chris M, modified 23 Days ago at 5/5/22 10:05 AM
Created 23 Days ago at 5/5/22 10:04 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 4356 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
There's an inherent tension on the DhO around attainments. In the very early days there was a tacit assumption that anyone could challenge anyone else. This challenge process helped to develop the inherent cuture of DhO, in my opinion (male-dominated, "combat" orientation). I think there are legitimate reasons to challenge other DhO members but those revolve around that person spewing obviously nonsensical dharma and things like that. This is not the same thing as message board moderation, which should always be aimed at posting behavior. Sometimes, rarely, these two things may overlap.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 23 Days ago at 5/5/22 10:34 AM
Created 23 Days ago at 5/5/22 10:15 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Yes, I agree that it's important to challenge misinformation. No problem with that. It's how it's done sometimes that I find offputting. But just to be clear: the no bullshit approach is one of the things I appreciate most about DhO. I wouldn't want to change that.

Verbal combat that occurs here doesn't just revolve around attainments (or even the dharma sometimes). Some verbal combat just seems to be for the sake of combat, without making sure that the other party enjoys it, and including personal character traits (as subjectively perceived/projected).
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J W, modified 23 Days ago at 5/5/22 10:17 AM
Created 23 Days ago at 5/5/22 10:17 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 586 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
Sometimes, rarely, these two things may overlap.
I think this is one of those things that can get confusing especially for newer members of the forum, at least it has been for me in the past - our moderators are also great contributers to the site and engage in discourse as normal users, not as moderators - and I'm glad they do, because our current moderators also happen to both be pretty serious and highly accomplished meditators.  Which can sometimes create the perception of them being teachers.  But the moderator role is not the same as the teacher role!  I have noticed that Chris will often sign his posts as "DhO Moderator" when he is 'wearing that hat' so to speak, and I think that's helpful for us to be able to differentiate so as to avoid some of that confusion. 
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 23 Days ago at 5/5/22 10:59 AM
Created 23 Days ago at 5/5/22 10:59 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 3229 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
I agree, the current phase of the DhO is one of the most hospitable so far, I believe, but happy to hear advice on strategies for improvement.

As to the seemingly large preponderance of male participants, this has been true since the beginning, with threads on this subject springing up every few years, and occasional actionable solutions proposed to make this place feel more welcoming broadly to all people, which was the impetus for the rotating logo portlet that would convey a range of styles and thus appeal to a range of user demographics (currently being fixed, as broke when Liferay upgraded), as well as various color adjustments of the theme along the way. These were obviously relatively superficial, cosmetic changes, and I am interested in deeper structural adjustments that people think would be of benefit.

Thoughts welcome!

Thanks,

Daniel
Third understudy to the second scutmonkey of the DhO, aka owner
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Ni Nurta, modified 23 Days ago at 5/5/22 11:05 AM
Created 23 Days ago at 5/5/22 11:04 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 927 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
I was thinking about advertising tailored to women.
Though this would be something women would have to do themselves on their social media of choice.
I do not think Daniel can advertise DhO to women. I mean he could try but if that would be well received I am not so sure ;)

BTW. Imho this site would be less intimidating if it went in the direction opposite to this in which it is moving. Say 8 years ago there was much more focus on the main topics at hand: meditation, vipassana, retreats, attainments, jhanas.
Now its dukkha, therapy, more therapy, inclusiveness...

These days it is about therapy and how meditation causes people DN and how terrible this is. Who cares about DN. Stop saying its bad, just say its technical quirk and let people move on to more practice. That is the only way to make spirit of Pragmatic Dharma not melt down to Mushroom Therapy Dharma and the only way to keep people sane.

And why would emotional people be intimidated by non-emotional things anyway?
Also there was more women in the past here than it is today.

@Linda
Elliptic wording and being insincere would not be needed if people felt they can speak honestly. It is this damn inclusivity and trying to be nice that makes people to resort to such methods. I hate it.

If someone thinks other person is not enlightened JUST SAY IT!

In the past any 4th path claim would result in person needing to explain themselves in gruesome details. That wasn't intimidating. It was simple and straightforward. If person is enlightened they can defend themselves. If they are not they won't know how to answer and maybe for them knowing they didn't attain sheet is the best thing that can happen to them. This is what sangha is for, to support each-other. Not to talk nicely and then use elliptic daggers to stab each-other in the back.

Just my 2 cents. Honestly from the heart... is that heartfelt language Heidi was speaking about? emoticon
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 23 Days ago at 5/5/22 11:06 AM
Created 23 Days ago at 5/5/22 11:06 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 3229 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Yes, I very much prefer something slightly looser and more open, recognizing that wherever you drawn the line you will create some problem, just a different problem than if you drew the line somewhere else. Thanks, Laruelle! In an ideal world, there would be a great diversity of fora where that line is drawn in a way that suited everyone's needs, and we would be but one shining star in that great contellation of options, and at least that partly exists today.<br /><br />My apologies for having not been here as much recently, as the projects of the <a href="https://theeprc.org/">EPRC</a> &nbsp;and <a href="https://ebenefactors.org/">Emergence Benefactors</a> have taken a lot of my time, but they are an attempt to solve the global structural issues that even make the DhO so needed and valuable. If and when we get done with our current round of fundraising, I hope to have more resources to hire more people to take some of the load that at the moment is very much full-on in that founder of a company in the first few years is full-on sort of way. In the meantime, I very much appreciate those who show up, participate, and help keep this place as high-quality as it can be.
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 23 Days ago at 5/5/22 11:08 AM
Created 23 Days ago at 5/5/22 11:08 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 3229 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Sending best wishes to Tim: may he recover well and rapidly!
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J W, modified 23 Days ago at 5/5/22 11:29 AM
Created 23 Days ago at 5/5/22 11:25 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 586 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
And why would emotional people be intimidated by non-emotional things anyway?

Ni Nurta: This is my attempt to be less "Elliptic" in your words (which I think what you mean here is 'elliptical' as in, ambiguous?) 

Perhaps you can shed some light on this question for us.  All of your responses here on this thread seem to me to be a "pot and kettle" situation, where you are projecting all sorts of stuff onto the OP and by extension anyone else who values inclusivity and yet accusing us all of the very thing which you are doing. 

The question OP posed seemed perfectly reasonable to me, I don't understand where all of this "tortured" business is coming from on your side.  None of this is personal but you seem to be taking it so.

By the way, I wish I did not feel the need to make this clear, but unfortunately I feel like I have to: I'm not defending the OP or anyone else.  Believe it or not, inclusivity is something that I personally value.  I'm not implying that you have to have the same preferences that I do.


If someone thinks other person is not enlightened JUST SAY IT!


This thread is not about your or anyone else's claims to attainment.  I'll just leave it at that. If you want to discuss someone's claims I would suggest starting a separate thread for that so as to not detract from what we're discussing on this thread.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 22 Days ago at 5/5/22 12:22 PM
Created 22 Days ago at 5/5/22 12:19 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Ni Nurta:

The elliptic wordings I have seen have not had anything to do with being nice. Not at all. Neither real caring nor the image kind. And by the way, why does several people here seem to think that I want everything to be covered in sweetness and fluff? That's pretty much the opposite of what I want from communication. 

I agree that it's better to say it in a straightforward way if one doubts someone's claims (and you have seen me do it). I'm autistic, for crying out loud. Honest and direct communication is very important to me. I really have no problem with that at all. I actually intensely dislike false nice-ness. 

Just so you know, I think you and I have really good communication most of the time. There are some exceptions, such as when you made a joke about "sexual tensions" between me and someone else who was already singling me out as a woman and projecting stereotypes onto me (the other guy, not you) in a way that was making me uncomfortable (perhaps especially since all those stereotypes - from the other guy, not you - fitted his own behavior better than mine, which I really didn't want to get into because I didn't want to scare away a new member with petty fights in his thread where he was asking for help).  That was not fun. I think you noticed that, and you stopped, so it's not a problem now. I appreciate our exchanges a lot. I appreciate that we can be straightforward with each other, and I'm grateful for your help. I actually think you are one of the people here that it's easiest for me to communicate with. Right now, however, I think you are misunderstanding me. Or maybe it's not me. 

As for advertising DhO to women, I see your point, but I don't think lack of knowledge about DhO is the problem. 

​​​​​​​
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J W, modified 22 Days ago at 5/5/22 12:35 PM
Created 22 Days ago at 5/5/22 12:35 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 586 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
The elliptic wordings 
I think it would be helpful if Ni Nurta could point to specifically what he finds ambiguous or upsetting here, because I've found most of the discussion on this particular thread at least to be pretty unambiguous.  Frankly I don't really know what he is referring to -  something I said? Something Linda said?  Heidi? Just a general frustration?  It's really not clear at all.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 22 Days ago at 5/5/22 12:45 PM
Created 22 Days ago at 5/5/22 12:45 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
He was replying to something I said about elliptic wordings. We both dislike them. He thinks they are the result of too much niceness and inclusion (or misguided attenpts at it, to be fair). I strongly disagree with that, both because being elliptic is not nice at all and because people have proven to be perfectly capable of being elliptic and actively non-inclusive asshats at the same time. 

Now I'm being elliptic. Yuk! I don't like it. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 22 Days ago at 5/5/22 12:53 PM
Created 22 Days ago at 5/5/22 12:51 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
It's at the end of the post from me that Ni Nurta replied to. If you read it, it also explains why he talked about attainments. I was the one who brought that up. He was just responding to me. Sorry for the confusion! Indeed it was a bad example from me. Critically discussing attainments was not was I wanted to address. I think that can be very helpful. 
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Ni Nurta, modified 22 Days ago at 5/5/22 12:51 PM
Created 22 Days ago at 5/5/22 12:51 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 927 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
 J W,
I can feel people. Its a sort of skill some people can have when they have nothing better to do.
I might sound little crazy at times but it feels its for a purpose.

Tortured souls are the souls who bear more than they should at a time and they do not need to do this.
Heck, I wonder why I am doing it. Anyways, light washes it all out. Bright light, not my light, not anyone's, just the light... or the opposite, not darkness but just no light at all. One can actually choose and both are the same... but that kinda makes it confusing so... bright light and sunshine emoticon

It doesn't make sense, I know. Sorry.
Some times tensions are hard to break. I wish I knew more skillful ways than kinda trigger something, kinda joke about it. Thankfully people here are generally skillful so no need to again, torture myself about it.
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J W, modified 22 Days ago at 5/5/22 12:53 PM
Created 22 Days ago at 5/5/22 12:53 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 586 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
Ah, gotcha... so elliptic was your word! ;)
I have to admit I had to use a dictionary for that one.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 22 Days ago at 5/5/22 12:55 PM
Created 22 Days ago at 5/5/22 12:55 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Oh sorry. Heh, that's ironical. The wording "elliptic" was in a way elliptic on its own. 
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J W, modified 22 Days ago at 5/5/22 12:55 PM
Created 22 Days ago at 5/5/22 12:55 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 586 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
It's no worries thanks for explaining. Internet discourse I think is just always confusing but far moreso in other places on the Net than it is here, IMHO.  People here seem to hold themselves to pretty high standards and that is a good and rare thing.  
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 22 Days ago at 5/5/22 1:01 PM
Created 22 Days ago at 5/5/22 1:01 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I try to be clear about my hats too, but I'm sure there's plenty of room for improvement. Good input.

I really tend to see myself as an underdog, just saying what I believe needs to be said even though I don't expect it to have much impact. That can probably be very confusing from a moderator. 
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Ni Nurta, modified 22 Days ago at 5/5/22 2:02 PM
Created 22 Days ago at 5/5/22 2:02 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 927 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
 Linda,
The point is that everything is right and not much here can be improved without affecting other aspects.
I mean in general but even more so when it comes to moderation.
Appearances from new members are important and valuable but their view can be colored by their own assumptions. I chimed in because of reasons. I think its fine now. It has to do with multi-dimensional spaces and ball rolling down a hill. Hope you understand importance of such things ;)

Anyways, don't you want everything to be sweet and fluff? Now that you mention it I want that too!
When you have lots of consciousnesses active, like very large amount of neurons, and they are in jhana then everything is sweet and fluff emoticon
Language... if you read text with lots of jhanic neurons also everything is fluff. No real difference between nice text or less nice except how likely its gonna want them participate processing it and be secluded from unwholesome qualities. At least that is my take on what makes text sweet and fluff. Rest is outside my neuro-sis.

Communication wise I think we are good.
Just one time I felt we could not find common vocabulary like at all. Occasional skirmishes about meaning of words are imho fun and I am for one not gonna surrender my war against surrender and relief.

With tensions I definitely went overboard. Rather unskillful post. Especially since it was not observation of anything, had no purpose and I for a fact didn't consider how anyone would feel reading it. I actually thought you would chuckle then have to get mad and no one from outside like other woman would ever read it. It was not motivated by ill will. Still not my best work emoticon
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J W, modified 22 Days ago at 5/5/22 2:41 PM
Created 22 Days ago at 5/5/22 2:41 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 586 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
I can feel people. Its a sort of skill some people can have when they have nothing better to do.
This is unfortunately a skill many claim to have and few actually do.  More often than not you 'feeling' people is just normal unskillful projection of your own insecurities, anxieties, and fears.  If you are claiming to be telepathic that's actually quite easy to prove or disprove.  But again, let's start another thread for it because I'm not interested in derailing this thread.
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Ni Nurta, modified 22 Days ago at 5/5/22 4:03 PM
Created 22 Days ago at 5/5/22 4:03 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 927 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
J W
This is unfortunately a skill many claim to have and few actually do.  More often than not you 'feeling' people is just normal unskillful projection of your own insecurities, anxieties, and fears.  If you are claiming to be telepathic that's actually quite easy to prove or disprove.  But again, let's start another thread for it because I'm not interested in derailing this thread.

Testing such things would be pretty nice. I was pondering about that. Maybe we should make a thread for testing siddhis ;)
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J W, modified 22 Days ago at 5/6/22 9:37 AM
Created 22 Days ago at 5/5/22 4:23 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 586 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
Replying here at top level because it's getting too confusing with the nested replies.

Ni Nurta:
I can feel people. Its a sort of skill some people can have when they have nothing better to do.
I might sound little crazy at times but it feels its for a purpose.


J W:
This is unfortunately a skill many claim to have and few actually do.  More often than not you 'feeling' people is just normal unskillful projection of your own insecurities, anxieties, and fears.  If you are claiming to be telepathic that's actually quite easy to prove or disprove.  But again, let's start another thread for it because I'm not interested in derailing this thread.

​​​​​​​Ni Nurta:
Testing such things would be pretty nice. I was pondering about that. Maybe we should make a thread for testing siddhis ;)
If you're offering yourself up as a subject of such trial I would be happy to participate in putting such claim to the test.  You should first make the official claim as to what magickal powers you think you have, and then we can decide on a way to test it.  So if you want to, create a separate thread, making your claim(s), and we can go from there.  
I suspect I'm not the only one who would be interested in seeing the results. Who knows though?

EDIT:
By the way Ni, because I think there might be some ambiguity here - I meant this as more of an 'olden days DhO' challenge than an "oh Ni Nurta, how does he do it!"-type thing.  Honestly I can't be sure how you interpreted it.  But I think whenever people are offering abundant advice on how others should practice, accountability is important.

Edit #2 - the last thing I'll say here - I just want to provide a little bit of context here around some of my harshness with my interaction with Ni.  Other users may not be aware of the history here.  But you can just check this post:  https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/21686002
Do a bit of research based on that and you'll hopefully understand my grievances here.  Maybe I am still being unskillful, if so I apologize.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 22 Days ago at 5/5/22 4:29 PM
Created 22 Days ago at 5/5/22 4:29 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Ni Nurta
It has to do with multi-dimensional spaces and ball rolling down a hill. Hope you understand importance of such things ;)

I actually think I do. From one weirdo to another.

Anyways, don't you want everything to be sweet and fluff? Now that you mention it I want that too!
When you have lots of consciousnesses active, like very large amount of neurons, and they are in jhana then everything is sweet and fluff emoticon

If it genuinely manifests that way, well maybe, I guess. Or I don’t know. Jhanawise, I definitely prefer the pristine clarity to the sweet fluff.


Language... if you read text with lots of jhanic neurons also everything is fluff. No real difference between nice text or less nice except how likely its gonna want them participate processing it and be secluded from unwholesome qualities. At least that is my take on what makes text sweet and fluff. Rest is outside my neuro-sis.

Basically yeah.


Communication wise I think we are good.

Yeah.


Just one time I felt we could not find common vocabulary like at all.

Frustrating when that happens.

Occasional skirmishes about meaning of words are imho fun and I am for one not gonna surrender my war against surrender and relief.

No problem. But you assume wrong. emoticon
My usage of those words is highly influenced by how they are used in some subcultures that have much more to do with pleasure than with war.

With tensions I definitely went overboard. Rather unskillful post. Especially since it was not observation of anything, had no purpose and I for a fact didn't consider how anyone would feel reading it. I actually thought you would chuckle then have to get mad and no one from outside like other woman would ever read it. It was not motivated by ill will. Still not my best work emoticon

Thanks for acknowledging that. Yeah, it felt pretty yucky at the time, but I know there was no ill will (I knew that instantly). You are forgiven (you were instantly, but it took some more time to get over some of the yucky feeling, most of which had to do with structural effects which I know you did not intend).
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Arena Heidi, modified 22 Days ago at 5/5/22 7:31 PM
Created 22 Days ago at 5/5/22 7:29 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 56 Join Date: 4/16/22 Recent Posts
I appreciate all the discussion that has happened on this thread.

To add a bit of backstory, I had been to DhO a long time ago when it had different sections for different teachers and practices. At that time, I looked to see if there was a teacher or section that felt right for me. Nothing called to me, so I didn’t join or stick around.

Then in recent times, I started looking for a forum because I had students/friends that I was having spiritual discussions with on social media. I wanted to find a better place to have those kinds of conversations. I immediately thought of DhO and what it was like long ago. However, upon visiting it was completely different now. So I spent time researching other forums, but DhO still seemed like the best place to test out first. I like the spirit and underlying intent of this place. I like the people here. I like that it has a long history and that some folks have been here a long time. I like that there’s a feeling of bondedness and camaraderie among regular members. Its enriched my life and I’ve been learning a lot in the short time that I’ve been here. Perhaps I will let go of that initial motivation to find a place where students/friends would also feel comfortable posting. I’m doing my best to remain present with what is happening. I’ll see what evolves.

I think the only issue that I have here thus far is that I am not interested in combative type dialogue or being called on things. The few times people have done that here, it has felt unskillful and counterproductive. (My husband is especially skilled at calling me on stuff, typically with great humor.) For me that kind of feedback works best when it comes from a place of kindness and from someone who is seeing me clearly and not projecting their own assumptions on me.

​​​​​​​For me, heartfelt communication comes from the heart, but it is also is important that it’s received as heartfelt by the person to whom it is directed. With people that I am close to, I ask for specific feedback. How did my words feel to you? What words would you like to hear? Different people need to hear things in different ways. There is no one way that fits all or one right way. Same with internalized self talk. Is my internal dialogue healing and supportive and how can I change it to make it more that way? (I also have worked with being able to reduce internal dialogue and stop it completely, but I still find it helpful to have internal dialogue that is kind.)

I am not sure how to respond directly and effectively to unskillful combative type comments. I would like to develop my communication skills in this way, which was why I asked Chris to teach me about moderation skills. (I am not interested in becoming a moderator. I just recognize that he has skills that I don’t have.) I am open to learning communication skills from others, too. Wishing each of you all the best. Linda, I pray that your cat returns alive and well. It’s so wrenching when they disappear like that.
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Helen Pohl, modified 22 Days ago at 5/6/22 2:45 AM
Created 22 Days ago at 5/6/22 2:45 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 91 Join Date: 8/10/20 Recent Posts
At risk of being perceived as fluffy etc-on every other forum I've been a member there's always been plenty of general talk besides the topics the forum's chiefly about(tea, video games, computers), but it seems frowned upon here? In my experience that's how you get to know(and like!) people.

Is there any special reason there's so little of that thing here?
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Chris M, modified 22 Days ago at 5/6/22 8:19 AM
Created 22 Days ago at 5/6/22 8:19 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 4356 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Is there any special reason there's so little of that thing here?

Helen, I don't know of any "official" reason that non-dharma specific topics aren't allowed. On other conferencing systems I use there is usually a topic or series of topics devoted to things like "Introduce Yourself" or "Get to Know Everyone." The early culture of DhO promoted a no-nonsense kind of participation but that, I think, had more to do with the original cast of characters and Daniel's style as represented in MCTB #1 than anything else. That culture perseveres in some ways and not in others.
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Chris M, modified 22 Days ago at 5/6/22 10:04 AM
Created 22 Days ago at 5/6/22 10:04 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 4356 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
I'm putting the moderator hat on now...

Let's all keep this topic clean, inviting, and fun. I know we've dredged up some of our past grievances and arguments. Let's put those aside for this topic. If anyone feels truly compelled to pursue them, wants to understand another person's perspective, desires to make peace, etc., then please continue that on the original topic or start a new one. Whatever you decide, please be respectful of each other. We can disagree with grace.

Thanks, all!

Chris
DhO Moderator
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Ni Nurta, modified 21 Days ago at 5/6/22 1:44 PM
Created 21 Days ago at 5/6/22 1:44 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 927 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
Yeah, I remember that topic. It was pretty fun until people started getting things really personal


BTW. I do not experience any 'harshness' from you or ill will. Quite the opposite.
I also like no-BS approach - and just so we are clear, I do not claim telepathy but rather being able to make experiences very strong by changing 'layers' that cover experiences (whatever they may be!) to be transparent and then multiplying the experiences by using more faculties (more arising consciousnesses) to make it even more strong, especially some aspects which normally do not reveal itself. Whether that samsara eye is testable as a form of siddhi or not I have no idea. Would say not at this point. Is it skillful to act on such things... depends perhaps on what you feel is at stake. Here not much at stake in the grand scheme of things. DhO is about practice. I can only say it practice for other parties involved. I for one have moderate fun. You?
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J W, modified 21 Days ago at 5/6/22 1:58 PM
Created 21 Days ago at 5/6/22 1:58 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 586 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
See other thread Pawel.  I agree with Chris this should be done on the original thread.
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Arena Heidi, modified 20 Days ago at 5/8/22 7:22 AM
Created 20 Days ago at 5/8/22 7:22 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 56 Join Date: 4/16/22 Recent Posts
 J W,
I can feel people. Its a sort of skill some people can have when they have nothing better to do.
I might sound little crazy at times but it feels its for a purpose.

Tortured souls are the souls who bear more than they should at a time and they do not need to do this.
Heck, I wonder why I am doing it. Anyways, light washes it all out. Bright light, not my light, not anyone's, just the light... or the opposite, not darkness but just no light at all. One can actually choose and both are the same... but that kinda makes it confusing so... bright light and sunshine emoticon

It doesn't make sense, I know. Sorry.
Some times tensions are hard to break. I wish I knew more skillful ways than kinda trigger something, kinda joke about it. Thankfully people here are generally skillful so no need to again, torture myself about it.

Ni Nurta, I appreciate this post of yours and can relate to it much more than your first post to me which seemed to just “kinda trigger something, kinda joke about it.” Your first post brought up grief, because it was the first communication I’d received from you and it left me feeling misunderstood. It brought up grief because I like you and have been working with a long post of yours on another thread. What you wrote in your comment on that other thread has been helping me with exhaustion. I had hoped to connect with you, so receiving a triggering and joking introduction was understandably disappointing and bewildering. But this comment of yours to J W (which I somehow missed when you posted it), I can easily receive and work with. (Thank you J W.)

When I was a child, I was “tortured”. I was bullied badly for several years. My life during those years felt like imprisonment and torture. I endured medical procedures that were internalized as rape. My family moved and I felt heartbreaking loneliness and grief. The residue of those traumas reside in my body and I heal them now. You said: “light washes it all out. Bright light, not my light, not anyone's, just the light... or the opposite, not darkness but just no light at all. One can actually choose and both are the same... but that kinda makes it confusing so... bright light and sunshine”

I agree with what you said and would like to attempt to articulate things more precisely.

The emotions, sensations, and contractions of trauma that remain in the body become quite pleasurable to experience, when they are accepted and received in emptiness, spaciousness, or light. When those emotions and sensations are received as what they are, it feels like the opposite of torture. Something akin to salvation or grace, but without any specialness attached to it.

Resting in emptiness one receives everything as it is. Emotions like grief may still be there, but they are not separate from the emptiness. Because there is no longer a mirage of separation, the sense of "suffering" and “torture” disappear. But emotions and sensations aren’t washed away. They remain and are recognizable.

I am drawn to experience this spacious emptiness that holds grief, torture, and all other things. This empty meditation is better than bliss, drugs, or orgasms, because everything is allowed to be simply as it is.

The realness of non-real things is incredibly satisfying and fulfilling. And it is always here. Everything is it. Many spend years, perhaps entire lifetimes, just orbiting around it. So close and yet somehow subtly missing it. It’s easy to miss because we’ve been trained to feel lack and need. We’ve been conditioned to desire things that cannot fulfill. It’s helpful to have a simple practice of kind presence and being with the body and self, and allowing whatever arises to be felt. Eventually, intangible presence and nothingness become stronger than things. Although things appear to be solid and real, they are actually quite fleeting and insubstantial. Emptiness endures. God is.
Steve Rudx, modified 20 Days ago at 5/8/22 11:04 AM
Created 20 Days ago at 5/8/22 10:59 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 17 Join Date: 2/26/22 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö I think there might be a need for a discussion on the culture of DhO. What do we want it to be? Personally, I treasure the possibility of discussing the path in a non-dogmatic way, allowing for a variety of perspectives, and I welcome that it's challenging at times.....&nbsp;


Hi Linda "Polly Ester"!

Most communication involves a lot of mind reading, and I'm not too good at that.   Also, you seem to be suggesting some sort of enforcement mechanism, which involves some more-or-less "objective" (unchangeable or "true") standards of behavior be codified.

Can you bullet point the rules and maybe code, or at least pseudocode, the logic so the website can enforce "the culture"?

I'm not being flippant but merely pointing out that unless "the culture" can be defined in this way it is pretty near impossible to put that up for a vote, much less fairly enforce it.  I think pretty near everyone here likes the idea of being "non-dogmatic".    I am even more sure that there are nearly as many definitions, and constraints, on a nominalization such as "non-dogmatic" as there are people on the planet.  

Alternatively, maybe you can point us to *very* specific examples of the problem, as you see it, and make clear what portion of what was said is problematical?   I'm trying to be helpful.   Please take my comment in that light.    Otherwise, someone "guessed" what thread you were concerned about, and you replied that wasn't really what you were talking about. Can you understand that creates a mind-reading and enforcement problem?
Steve Rudx, modified 20 Days ago at 5/8/22 11:13 AM
Created 20 Days ago at 5/8/22 11:13 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 17 Join Date: 2/26/22 Recent Posts
I have one specific suggestion which could reasonably be coded:  an "Ignore member" command.  That would be useful, although I don't, as yet, have anyone at all I would personally choose to ignore -- but, then, I am new so give me time.

Until then, as yogis, we can hone our mind powers by mentally ignoring the people and comments we don't like.  Again, I'm not being flip -- I would like to better develop that power in myself.
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J W, modified 20 Days ago at 5/8/22 11:29 AM
Created 20 Days ago at 5/8/22 11:29 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 586 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
I wanted to offer a couple of thoughts as I've done some reflection over the past couple of days on my own interactions here.

All communication does involve mind-reading -- not arguing with that.  And to add, only a very small percentage of 'how' we communicate is verbal.  Even when the medium of communication does not involve anything other than text and emojis -- as is the case here.  Furthermore, we all project. I've done it here, I did it on this very thread. 

So with that in mind, one thing I was thinking about: there's a big difference between noticing that someone is upset, and asserting as to why they are upset.  The latter is actually infinitely complex, it's that individual's karmic imprint.  I do think it's a good thing to understand each other's karma though but this usually needs to be done delicately.

BTW we all share at least one trauma: being born. ( now that sounds kinda emo doesn't it emoticon )

Happy sunday everyone , I'm most likely going to go back into to my cave for a little while!

with respect
John
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J W, modified 20 Days ago at 5/8/22 11:31 AM
Created 20 Days ago at 5/8/22 11:31 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 586 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
My vote would vote against this feature... the reason is that, if you were able to 'block' or 'ignore' someone, and that person is participating in a thread in which you are also a part, it would limit your ability to participate in that thread because you wouldn't be seeing whatever the 'blocked' person was saying.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 19 Days ago at 5/8/22 12:12 PM
Created 19 Days ago at 5/8/22 12:12 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Hi Steve!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts! 

I agree that communication always involves some kind of reading between the lines, necessarily. I just personally find it more helpful to be aware of that and open to reading it wrong, and having an explorative approach to it. I'm definitely not doing it perfectly myself. 

I'm glad that you asked about how you read what I had written, because that gives me the opportunity to assure you that no, I definitely do NOT want to enforce anything. I didn't at the time when I created this thread, which was quite a while back, and I still don't. I really just wanted a dialogue and to gently remind people that we are constantly doing the culture, in how we interact. At the time, it felt like such a reminder was needed. And even though many posed similar questions as you do now, there were also people who did take a step back to reflect, and I appreciated that very much. I felt that the thread filled its purpose and forgot about it. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 19 Days ago at 5/8/22 12:22 PM
Created 19 Days ago at 5/8/22 12:22 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Great points!

Yes, we all project. Keeping that in mind and being open to realizing it when it happens takes us a long way. 

I wish you awesome quality time in your cave. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 19 Days ago at 5/8/22 12:24 PM
Created 19 Days ago at 5/8/22 12:24 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I personally vote against it too, because in my experience it tends to create more disharmony than harmony. It's not my decision, though.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 19 Days ago at 5/8/22 12:35 PM
Created 19 Days ago at 5/8/22 12:35 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Thanks, I agree, and I appologize for whatever grudge I may have stirred up. I really don't have much of a problem with any of this. I think I got entangled because at first when speaking very generally it sounded like I had a problem with lots of things that I actually love about this forum. So in trying to be more specific, it got messy.

I really don't expect it to be perfect. We are people. It won't ever be perfect, and that's just fine. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 19 Days ago at 5/8/22 1:11 PM
Created 19 Days ago at 5/8/22 1:11 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I don't think there is any good way to respond to combative type comments when one doesn't enjoy the combat, except maybe just saying no thanks and leave it at that. If you do find a good way, please let me know. 

On a different forum some years back, I did manage to get a hateful troll (who was also a diagnosed sociopath according to himself, and apparently a very traumatized young guy) to start writing about art and healthy food and about how he was building a paradice for his pet hamster. I did that by way of only responding to the stuff that wasn't hateful. Since nobody else replied at all, but totally ignored him, it worked surprisingly well. Unfortunately, after having allowed himself to be vulnerable for a while, he disappeared never to return (before this, he had been banned over and over again many times and always come back). He probably wasn't ready to be vulnerable. 
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Arena Heidi, modified 19 Days ago at 5/8/22 2:30 PM
Created 19 Days ago at 5/8/22 2:30 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 56 Join Date: 4/16/22 Recent Posts
 Thanks for sharing that moving anecdote, Linda. It reminds of a very long time ago when I led an afterschool program at a Quaker school with 3 other teachers. At one of our meetings, we discovered that we each loved a different one of the "problem" students. We each agreed to just focus on the difficult student that we loved, and it was very successful to do that. Work was easier and much more enjoyable. Because I loved that particular student, he didn't get on my nerves like the others did.

One day, I noticed that all of the "problem" kids were absent. I thought it would be an especially easy day, but I was wrong. What was fascinating was that kids that were always good in the past, acted out that day in ways that were entirely out of character for them. It was like the group as a whole needed to express dysfunction or difficulty in some way. When the kids who usually offered that service weren't there, others rose to provide it. 

So sorry that your cat hasn't reappeared. It's always especially painful when you don't know what happened. 
 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 19 Days ago at 5/8/22 2:55 PM
Created 19 Days ago at 5/8/22 2:55 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Your story says something interesting about not-self, I believe. Thanks for sharing it!

And thanks for caring about my cat! He's a very special guy. 
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terry, modified 19 Days ago at 5/8/22 7:24 PM
Created 19 Days ago at 5/8/22 7:24 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 2168 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
'
"Personally, I treasure the possibility of discussing the path in a non-dogmatic way, allowing for a variety of perspectives, and I welcome that it's challenging at times. However, that is not the same thing as taking the liberty to take on the role as some wannabe zen teacher and question people's questions in any thread. Everything has its time and place, including respecting what people are actually asking for and humbly accepting that we don't know everything. "

+1


lolololololololo
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terry, modified 19 Days ago at 5/8/22 7:25 PM
Created 19 Days ago at 5/8/22 7:25 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 2168 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
need to be a moderator to do that shit...


​​​​​​​hehehehe
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terry, modified 19 Days ago at 5/8/22 7:53 PM
Created 19 Days ago at 5/8/22 7:53 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 2168 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
aloha linda DHO Moderator,<br /><br /><br />said:<br /><br /><br />"Don't worry, I absolutely have NO ambitions to control the forum in any way. I basically just wanted to say, nice and politely, that just&nbsp;<em>maybe</em>&nbsp;it might be a good idea for people to respect people's wishes and mind their own business if they don't want to adhere to those wishes - and to do so without a final snark implying that the person doesn't know their own best. It's hardly the first time I see this happen. "<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />&nbsp; &nbsp;You would like to see a culture here where you think everyone is respecting each others wishes, apparently. In truth, people have contradictory wishes, and are confused, and seek help.<br /><br />&nbsp; &nbsp;The shortest distance between two points is not always a straight line. People are here to find enlightenment, regardless of what they think they seek. They may ask for yellow leaves, but they really want gold.<br /><br />&nbsp; &nbsp;I think if you really believe that people are sincerely well intentioned, telling them to "mind their own business" is haole talk. And you invite a similar response.<br /><br />&nbsp; &nbsp;Why not live and let live until there is a real problem.<br /><br />&nbsp; &nbsp;<br />&nbsp; &nbsp;You have made your feelings felt. I'll spare you any poetry.<br /><br />terry<br /> 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 19 Days ago at 5/8/22 11:21 PM
Created 19 Days ago at 5/8/22 10:57 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
There was a real problem at the time. This is an old thread. I wouldn't post it now.

But since you bring it up, I think it is possible to do a lot of harm by guessing based on scarce online interactions how to poke someone into the right direction against their explicit wishes. Don't you? Too much room for one's own projections, especially if one is convinced that one knows better and thereby neglects looking into how one's own remaining karmic patterns have a tendency to play out. 
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terry, modified 19 Days ago at 5/9/22 1:29 AM
Created 19 Days ago at 5/9/22 1:29 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 2168 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
Drunks fear the police,
but the police are drunk too.

People in this town love them both
like different chess pieces.


~rumi
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 19 Days ago at 5/9/22 2:40 AM
Created 19 Days ago at 5/9/22 2:40 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
And so are the people. We are all drunk in some way. It helps if we at least acknowledge that and realize that we play our own part in it. That's basically my point. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 19 Days ago at 5/9/22 9:14 AM
Created 19 Days ago at 5/9/22 9:14 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
You know, sometimes even the jester smokes too much pot. 
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Chris M, modified 18 Days ago at 5/9/22 11:51 AM
Created 18 Days ago at 5/9/22 11:51 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 4356 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Not to interrupt the current dance but I have found that the most accommodating way to talk about dharma stuff, especially when you can feel disagreement, is to speak from your personal experience. This defuses tension because your experience.

emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 18 Days ago at 5/9/22 1:07 PM
Created 18 Days ago at 5/9/22 1:07 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I find that very helpful too, with most people. I warmly recommend it in general. Unfortunately, I have had bad experiences with that here at DhO, as it has resulted in being talked down to and occasionally made fun of. Therefore, I'm afraid I can't wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone that can't count on any support. 

If anyone ever finds themself in such a situation, please feel free to send me a message. I won't take it lightly or joke about it. 
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terry, modified 18 Days ago at 5/9/22 1:34 PM
Created 18 Days ago at 5/9/22 1:34 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 2168 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
from tales of the dervishes, idries shah:



 The Snake and the Peacock

ONE day a youth named Adi, The Calculator—because he had studied mathematics—decided to leave Bokhara and seek greater knowledge. His teacher advised him to travel southwards, and said: 'Seek the meaning of the Peacock and the Snake:' something which gave young Adi a great deal to think about.

He travelled through Khorasan and finally to Iraq. In the latter place he actually came across a place where there was a peacock and a snake, and Adi spoke to them. 'We are having a discussion', they said, 'about our relative merits.'

'This is just what I want to study,' said Adi, 'so pray speak on.'

'I feel that I am the more important,' said the Peacock. 'I represent aspiration, flight into the heavens, the celestial beauty, and hence knowledge of the higher things. It is my mission to remind man, by mime, of aspects of his self which are hidden to him.'

'I, on the other hand,' said the Snake, hissing slightly, 'represent just the same things. Like man, I am bound to the earth. This makes me remind him of himself. Like him, I am flexible, as I wind my way along the ground. He often forgets this, too. In tradition, I am he who stands guard over treasures, hidden in the earth.'

'But you are loathsome!' shouted the Peacock. 'You are sly, secretive, dangerous.'

'You list my human characteristics,' said the Snake, 'while I prefer to list my other functions, as I have already done. Now look at you:
'You are vain, over-plump, and have a harsh cry. Your feet are too big, your feathers too well-developed.'

Adi interrupted at this point. 'It is only your disagreement which has enabled me to see that neither of you is altogether right. And yet we can clearly see, if we take away your personal preoccupations, that together you make up a message for mankind.'

And Adi, while the two opponents listened, was able to explain to them what their functions were.

'Man crawls on the ground like the Snake. He could rise to the heights like a bird. But, just as the Snake is covetous, he retains this selfishness when he tries to rise, and becomes like the peacock, over-proud. In the peacock we can see possibility of man, but not properly achieved. In the sheen on the Snake we can see the possibility of beauty. In the Peacock we see it taking a flamboyant turn.'

And then a Voice from within spoke to Adi and told him: 'That is not all. These two creatures are both endowed with life: that is their determining factor. They fight because each has settled for his own kind of life, thinking it to be the realization of a true status. One, however, guards treasure and cannot use it. The other reflects beauty, a treasure, but cannot transform himself with it. In spite of their not having taken advantage of what was open to them, they yet symbolize it, for those who can see and hear.'


MS
Considered a mystery by Orientalists, the Cult of the Snake and Peacock in Iraq was founded on the teaching of a Sufi Sheikh, Adi, son of Musafir, in the twelfth century.

This story, preserved in legend, shows how the dervish masters shaped their 'schools' around various symbols, chosen to illustrate their doctrine.

In Arabic, 'Peacock' also stands for 'adornment'; while 'Snake' has the same letter-form as 'organism' and 'life'. Hence the symbolism of the cryptic Peacock Angel Cult—the Yezidis—is a way of indicating 'The Interior and the External', traditional Sufi formulae.

The Cult still exists in the Middle East, and has adherents (none of them known to be Iraqis) in Britain and the United States.
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terry, modified 18 Days ago at 5/9/22 2:34 PM
Created 18 Days ago at 5/9/22 2:34 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 2168 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
from the way of chuang tzu, trans merton:


​​​​​​​

OWL AND PHOENIX


Hui Tzu was Prime Minister of Liang. He had what he
believed to be inside information that Chuang Tzu coveted
his post and was intriguing to supplant him. In fact, when
Chuang Tzu came to visit Liang, the Prime Minister sent out
the police to apprehend him. The police searched for him
three days and three nights, but meanwhile Chuang presented
himself before Hui Tzu of his own accord, and said:

"Have you heard about the bird
That lives in the south
The Phoenix that never grows old?

"This undying Phoenix
Rises out of the South Sea
And flies to the Sea of the North,
Never alighting
Except on certain sacred trees.
He will touch no food
But the most exquisite
Rare fruit,
Drinks only
From clearest springs.

"Once an owl
Chewing a dead rat
Already half-decayed,
Saw the Phoenix fly over,
Looked up,
And screeched with alarm,
Clutching the rat to himself
In fear and dismay.

"Why are you so frantic
Clinging to your ministry
And screeching at me
In dismay?" 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 18 Days ago at 5/9/22 2:49 PM
Created 18 Days ago at 5/9/22 2:49 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 2404 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
You are all such losers! I am the only winner and know what's the right way to do around these uncertain waters! And I will not even quote anyone! I will just say " he that hath ears to hear, let him hear" (shit I think I just quoted someone)

emoticon 
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Chris M, modified 18 Days ago at 5/9/22 2:58 PM
Created 18 Days ago at 5/9/22 2:58 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 4356 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Classic story.
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terry, modified 18 Days ago at 5/9/22 4:54 PM
Created 18 Days ago at 5/9/22 4:54 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 2168 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
The Fragile Vial


I need a mouth as wide as the sky
to say the nature of a True Person, language
as large as longing.

The fragile vial inside me often breaks.

No wonder I go mad and disappear for three days
every month with the moon.

For anyone in love with you,
it’s always these invisible days.

I’ve lost the thread of the story I was telling.
My elephant roams his dream of Hindustan again.
Narrative, poetics, destroyed, my body,
a dissolving, a return.
Friend, I’ve shrunk to a hair trying to say your story.
Would you tell mine?
I’ve made up so many love stories.
Now I feel fictional.
Tell me!

The truth is, you are speaking, not me.
I am Sinai, and you are Moses walking there.
This poetry is an echo of what you say.

A piece of land can’t speak, or know anything!
Or if it can, only within limits.
The body is a device to calculate
the astronomy of the spirit.
Look through that astrolabe
and become oceanic.

Why this distracted talk?
It’s not my fault I rave.
You did this.

Do you approve of my love-madness?
Say yes.

What language will you say it in, Persian,
or what? Once again, I must be tied up.
Bring the curly ropes of your hair.

          Now I remember the story.
A True Man stares at his old shoes
and sheepskin jacket. Every day he goes up
to his attic to look at his work-shoes and worn-out coat.
This is his wisdom, to remember the original clay
and not get drunk with ego and arrogance.
To visit those shoes and jacket
is praise.

The Absolute works with nothing.
The workshop, the materials
are what does not exist.

Try and be a sheet of paper with nothing on it.
Be a spot of ground where nothing is growing,
where something might be planted,
a seed, possibly, from the Absolute.


Excerpt From: Coleman Barks. “The Essential Rumi.”  
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 18 Days ago at 5/9/22 5:03 PM
Created 18 Days ago at 5/9/22 5:03 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Terry, if you are bothered by how I moderated your interactions recently, you are welcome to send me a message so that we can talk about it. I will listen, if you do the same. 
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terry, modified 18 Days ago at 5/9/22 5:37 PM
Created 18 Days ago at 5/9/22 5:37 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 2168 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
take your pick (or your turn)

owl, phoenix, peacock, snake...
common mortal or sage


and the calculator...
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terry, modified 18 Days ago at 5/9/22 5:42 PM
Created 18 Days ago at 5/9/22 5:42 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 2168 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
winners do not depend on the liking of men...
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 18 Days ago at 5/9/22 11:50 PM
Created 18 Days ago at 5/9/22 11:50 PM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 2404 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
I think there is an online free program for this kind of shuffling of a story. You just add "names" and it creates a new story for you emoticon 

Soon enough all song lyrics will be written by such computer programs! 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 18 Days ago at 5/10/22 2:09 AM
Created 18 Days ago at 5/10/22 2:08 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Papa Che, I don't think that kind of program would fill the same purpose. If you add the names, you would have to be explicit about whom you are addressing.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 18 Days ago at 5/10/22 3:16 AM
Created 18 Days ago at 5/10/22 3:15 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 2404 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
I never used it. From what I've heard I think the program must know what the story is about then would randomly assign a story for each character. 

As said never used it just heard after reading such generated stories in the past. 

I might be wrong. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 18 Days ago at 5/10/22 3:46 AM
Created 18 Days ago at 5/10/22 3:46 AM

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6297 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
That's what I was referring to. The stories posted here are not random. 

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