RE: The culture of DhO

thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 19 Days ago.

The culture of DhO

Posts: 6068 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. 
thumbnail
Stefan Stefan, modified 19 Days ago.

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 
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 19 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6068 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? 
thumbnail
Stefan Stefan, modified 19 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 238 Join Date: 3/28/21 Recent Posts
my gut instinct says: "steel sharpens steel"
thumbnail
Chris M, modified 19 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 4103 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.
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 19 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6068 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? 
thumbnail
Stefan Stefan, modified 19 Days ago.

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.
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 18 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6068 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. 
thumbnail
Stefan Stefan, modified 18 Days ago.

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.
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 18 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6068 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Can we please not make this about any specific person? 
thumbnail
Niels Lyngsø, modified 19 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 359 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.
​​​​​​​
thumbnail
Zero, modified 19 Days ago.

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.
​​​​​​​
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. 
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 18 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6068 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. 
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 18 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6068 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I agree with you fully, Niels. 
shargrol, modified 19 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 1692 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.

 
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 18 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6068 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.
thumbnail
Papa Che Dusko, modified 18 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 2282 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)
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 18 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6068 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 

​​​​​​​
thumbnail
Zero, modified 19 Days ago.

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. 
thumbnail
J W, modified 19 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 532 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
thumbnail
Papa Che Dusko, modified 19 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 2282 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Who the f.ck is Tim Farrington?!!!









​​​​​​​emoticon 
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 18 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6068 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Tim is depressed. Very depressed. I miss him too. 
thumbnail
Papa Che Dusko, modified 18 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 2282 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! 
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 18 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6068 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I'll reply to you in an email.
Matt, modified 19 Days ago.

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!
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 18 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6068 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.
Adi Vader, modified 19 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 72 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!

​​​​​​​
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 18 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6068 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. 
thumbnail
Papa Che Dusko, modified 18 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 2282 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. 
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 18 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6068 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. 
Adi Vader, modified 18 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 72 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
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 17 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6068 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Thankyou for taking this in such good spirit! <3
thumbnail
Pepe ·, modified 19 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 508 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
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 18 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6068 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. 
thumbnail
Papa Che Dusko, modified 19 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 2282 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  
thumbnail
Chris M, modified 19 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 4103 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.
thumbnail
Dream Walker, modified 18 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 1399 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
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 18 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6068 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. 
thumbnail
Pepe ·, modified 19 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 508 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
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 18 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6068 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.
genaro, modified 19 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 89 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?
​​​​​​​
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-)
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 18 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6068 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. 
thumbnail
Marcia Samana, modified 18 Days ago.

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
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 18 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6068 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I'm really glad you like it here. emoticon. And yes, I hope the interface changes too. 
Edward, modified 18 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 101 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.
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 18 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6068 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Sorry to hear that. 
thumbnail
Chris M, modified 18 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 4103 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?
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 18 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6068 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.
thumbnail
Chris M, modified 18 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 4103 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Are you creating an argumentative culture?  emoticon

(That's a joke, BTW.)
thumbnail
Chris M, modified 18 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 4103 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.)
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 18 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6068 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. 
B B, modified 18 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 26 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.
B B, modified 18 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 26 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.
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 17 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6068 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. 
thumbnail
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 18 Days ago.

RE: The culture of DhO

Posts: 6068 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. 

​​​​​​​

Breadcrumb