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New Moderation Policy Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 9/28/14 8:38 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy lama carrot top 9/28/14 11:20 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 9/30/14 12:49 AM
RE: New Moderation Policy CJMacie 9/30/14 1:25 AM
RE: New Moderation Policy Dream Walker 9/28/14 11:57 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 9/29/14 8:30 AM
RE: New Moderation Policy Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 9/29/14 10:43 AM
RE: New Moderation Policy Simon Ekstrand 9/29/14 1:49 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy Bill F. 9/29/14 6:31 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy Nikolai . 9/29/14 7:12 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy sawfoot _ 9/30/14 2:08 AM
RE: New Moderation Policy Nikolai . 9/30/14 5:27 AM
RE: New Moderation Policy Eva Nie 10/4/14 9:38 AM
RE: New Moderation Policy C P M 10/4/14 10:15 AM
RE: New Moderation Policy katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/4/14 11:21 AM
RE: New Moderation Policy Eva Nie 10/4/14 3:27 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/4/14 3:38 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy Jenny 10/6/14 3:08 AM
RE: New Moderation Policy ftw 10/6/14 3:55 AM
RE: New Moderation Policy Eva Nie 10/4/14 3:35 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy Jenny 9/30/14 1:54 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy sawfoot _ 10/1/14 4:49 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy Daniel M. Ingram 10/1/14 4:47 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy sawfoot _ 10/3/14 2:22 AM
RE: New Moderation Policy B B 10/3/14 11:43 AM
RE: New Moderation Policy Daniel M. Ingram 10/3/14 12:06 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/3/14 12:34 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy sawfoot _ 10/12/14 5:27 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/12/14 7:42 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy Not Tao 10/3/14 5:26 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/4/14 5:43 AM
RE: New Moderation Policy Derek 10/4/14 8:00 AM
RE: New Moderation Policy Eva Nie 10/4/14 9:58 AM
RE: New Moderation Policy Daniel M. Ingram 10/4/14 1:53 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy Piers M 10/6/14 4:41 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 10/6/14 4:48 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy Piers M 10/6/14 5:01 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 10/6/14 5:03 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy Piers M 10/7/14 3:07 AM
RE: New Moderation Policy Laurel Carrington 10/6/14 5:30 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/6/14 7:31 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy Jenny 10/6/14 5:46 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/6/14 7:29 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy Florian 10/7/14 7:00 AM
RE: New Moderation Policy katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/7/14 7:27 AM
RE: New Moderation Policy CJMacie 10/6/14 4:42 AM
RE: New Moderation Policy sawfoot _ 10/12/14 5:39 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy sawfoot _ 10/12/14 5:55 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy B B 10/13/14 8:00 AM
RE: New Moderation Policy CJMacie 10/2/14 2:36 AM
RE: New Moderation Policy sawfoot _ 10/3/14 1:18 AM
RE: New Moderation Policy ftw 10/1/14 10:18 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 10/1/14 10:29 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy . Jake . 10/6/14 9:17 AM
RE: New Moderation Policy katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/6/14 1:38 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy Laurel Carrington 10/6/14 1:53 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 10/6/14 2:15 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy Jenny 10/6/14 3:19 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy bernd the broter 10/13/14 6:37 AM
RE: New Moderation Policy Florian 10/13/14 8:10 AM
RE: New Moderation Policy Daniel M. Ingram 10/13/14 9:55 AM
RE: New Moderation Policy Daniel - san 10/13/14 6:18 PM
RE: New Moderation Policy Tom Tom 10/17/14 12:24 AM
New Moderation Policy
Answer
9/28/14 8:38 PM
Please note, due to recent events, that the moderation policy has been changed. In particular, this section has been added to the front page of the DhO:
To help keep the place more inviting of participation by those who can benefit from helpful friends supporting friends in their practices and sharing the intimate and deep adventures that these explorations can produce, the following ground rules have been adopted:
  • No name-calling or ad hominem attacks
  • No on-and-on repetitious, angry rants that marshal no supporting evidence, target an interlocutor, and have the effect of intimidating the interlocutor.
  • No threats of violence, even if metaphorical or aimed at no one in particular
  • No taunting, mocking, or intimidation of an individual or a group on the basis of race/ethnicity, sex, disability (including mental illness), sexual orientation, religious preference, or spiritual practice
  • No speech acts that would be actionable under US criminal or civil torte law 

When in doubt, ask, "Is this helpful and conducive to clarity, wisdom, and the alleviation of suffering?"

The intent is that the mods will now take a more active role, when needed, to maintain a basic level of civility on the site.

Cheers,
Beoman Claudiu Mod Emu Fire Golem

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
9/28/14 11:20 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Hi Beoman,

Like the new rules.

Just a small typo to correct for the front page: "civil torte law" should be "civil tort law", unless you are referring to cake law emoticon.

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
9/28/14 11:57 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
The intent is that the mods will now take a more active role, when needed, to maintain a basic level of civility on the site.

Cheers,
Beoman Claudiu Mod Emu Fire Golem

Here is a thanks for a thankless job...Thanks

Requests-
Perhaps list the Mods and contact procedure after the rules so new people know how to contact/lodge a complaint...does the flag button work?
Please update the list of Moderators here - http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/dharma-wiki/-/wiki/Main/DhO+Management+and+Moderators
Could you explain the active role? What are the various actions that will happen to violators of policy? This should be published near the rules too for clarity. When a person is banned/unbanned will this be known to the general populace?
~D

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
9/29/14 8:30 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Agree... good points. 

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
9/29/14 10:43 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Dream Walker:

Requests-
Perhaps list the Mods and contact procedure after the rules so new people know how to contact/lodge a complaint...does the flag button work?

I'm not sure. I'll flag my post and see if I get any notification.
Dream Walker:
Could you explain the active role? What are the various actions that will happen to violators of policy? This should be published near the rules too for clarity.

Florian has added this section:

The Moderators will warn and, as a second step ban posters who are absolutely not willing to respect these rules. You can contact the moderators by using the Messaging system


Dream Walker:
When a person is banned/unbanned will this be known to the general populace?

Mods responsible for moderation will post warnings & ban notices in offending threads. As for unbanning.. I'm not sure, stay tuned.

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
9/29/14 1:49 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Dream Walker:

Requests-
Perhaps list the Mods and contact procedure after the rules so new people know how to contact/lodge a complaint...does the flag button work?

I'm not sure. I'll flag my post and see if I get any notification.

Hi Beoman,

I sent you a private message regarding flag notifications.

Simon

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
9/29/14 6:31 PM as a reply to Simon Ekstrand.
"Who will watch the watchmen?"

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
9/29/14 7:12 PM as a reply to Bill F..
William Golden Finch:
"Who will watch the watchmen?"


Daniel does. And no doubt the vocal among you will voice concern if Daniel is seen out of line as well. We all watch eachother. 

Being a mod with divine eye would be pretty cool. 


Nick

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
9/30/14 12:49 AM as a reply to lama carrot top.
carrot top:
Hi Beoman,

Like the new rules.

Just a small typo to correct for the front page: "civil torte law" should be "civil tort law", unless you are referring to cake law emoticon.
Didn't you get the memo? This site will now be exclusively about the culinary arts. Any topics not about cooking or baking will be closed accompanied by a harangue using extremely abusive language. This should foster a sense of community in those brave, noble souls who remain. 

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
9/30/14 1:25 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
So we can use phrases like the following German idioms (derived from the sphere of eat/drink)?

1) "Ist mir wurst!"
literally: "It's sausage to me." i.e. What do I care?

2) Use of "Gemuese" literally "vegetables", to mean garbage, inane, of no consequence

Wikipedia:
"Gemüse n (genitiveGemüses, pluralGemüse)
  1. vegetable
  2. (mildly offensive) A person whose brain has been severely damaged."

How about brewing, in addition to cooking and baking?

3) "Ist nicht mein Bier!"
litarally: "it's not my beer." i.e. similar to above (1).

Also, at the extreme:

4) "Ist zum koetzen" -- "makes me want to vomit"


All best with a little added mustard and metta...

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
9/30/14 2:08 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:
William Golden Finch:
"Who will watch the watchmen?"


Daniel does. And no doubt the vocal among you will voice concern if Daniel is seen out of line as well. We all watch eachother. 

Being a mod with divine eye would be pretty cool. 


Nick

Being one of those more vocal amongst you, I am glad this point is taken (as I have made it recently...). Mods (including Daniel).need to "lead by example". Ad-hominen attacks begat ad-hominen attacks and so on. Part of the culture of "hardcore dharma" is this idea that we need to "call people on their bullshit" and expose "shadow sides". Whether this has value or not or is on target or not, it is my estimation that the need to do so (especially in a public forum) is normally pretty well entangled with the own shadow side of the person doing the calling. And it isn't conducive with an atmosphere of civility that the DhO needs at is core if you want this diverse bunch of people to get along with each other. Which means you can't have your torte and eat it too. And there has to be room for doubt and regret, as otherwise you can justify pretty much any action against another ("tough love", "for the benefit of the community" etc...). But basically, everyone has to play nice, and this is a step in the right direction. 

And since half the mods aren't on the site any more, perhaps room for vacancies? I will think about it *-). But Katy gets my vote!

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
9/30/14 5:27 AM as a reply to sawfoot _.
sawfoot _:
Nikolai .:
William Golden Finch:
"Who will watch the watchmen?"


Daniel does. And no doubt the vocal among you will voice concern if Daniel is seen out of line as well. We all watch eachother. 

Being a mod with divine eye would be pretty cool. 


Nick


And since half the mods aren't on the site any more, perhaps room for vacancies? I will think about it *-). But Katy gets my vote!

That needs to be updated by Daniel when he has time. he is on holiday overseas atm. 

Our current active mods are:

Florian
Katy
Nikolai
Jen
Beoman Emu

I asked Daniel to consider more. He'll decide. 

Nick

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
9/30/14 1:54 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Dream Walker:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
The intent is that the mods will now take a more active role, when needed, to maintain a basic level of civility on the site.

Cheers,
Beoman Claudiu Mod Emu Fire Golem

Here is a thanks for a thankless job...Thanks

Requests-
Perhaps list the Mods and contact procedure after the rules so new people know how to contact/lodge a complaint...does the flag button work?
Please update the list of Moderators here - http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/dharma-wiki/-/wiki/Main/DhO+Management+and+Moderators
Could you explain the active role? What are the various actions that will happen to violators of policy? This should be published near the rules too for clarity. When a person is banned/unbanned will this be known to the general populace?
~D

Dreamwalker,

Daniel is in and out because on vacation, but I wrote up a template of headings and subheadings for a more complete Code of Conduct section and Vision/Mission section. I agree that reporting and enforcement protocols need to be clear, consistently followed, and transparently communicated out to the membership. So maybe more to come when Daniel is back and has a chance to make decisions and implement.

Jenny

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/1/14 4:49 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Jenny:
Dreamwalker,

Daniel is in and out because on vacation, but I wrote up a template of headings and subheadings for a more complete Code of Conduct section and Vision/Mission section. I agree that reporting and enforcement protocols need to be clear, consistently followed, and transparently communicated out to the membership. So maybe more to come when Daniel is back and has a chance to make decisions and implement.

Jenny
Speaking of vision and mission, although I think the new rules are a step in the right direction as I stated above, I do have some member concerns about how we enforce our enforcement protocols.

It feels like if we try to force people to be nicer to other then it means we lose out what this place is really about. It could end up being just another "Awake Network", and who would want that. After all, this is a place for hardcore meditation practice.

I think Daniel has to take the lead here:

Oh, yes, a brief warning. I should mention that I am hardcore, into hardcore practice, into very hard-hitting dharma, and sometimes I let it out with both barrels. This seems to happen more when I talk on the phone with people, which I do on occasion, but it also happens in emails at times. I expect people to be self-reliant to a high degree, and projections both negative and positive tend to piss me off. I probably should be more understanding, but clearly at times am not. If it happens with you and you are sure nothing good came of it, my apologies, but at least you were warned.From <http://integrateddaniel.info/contact/>

And so by being nice to each other, aren't we going to miss out on the possibilities of that very hard-hitting dharma that Daniel describes, truly "heavy dharma"?

One possibility is that we have a little flag next to a username. This could something simple as a wallet (echoing Jule's wallet with the inscription "Bad M***** F*****" from the well-known film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino called "Pulp Fiction") or perhaps a picture of a skull and crossbones, with the skull wearing a cowboy hat, inspired by a description of Daniel here:
He does not claim to have any special knowledge of how to live skillfully in the conventional world, but has found that a positive attitude, non-pretentious kindness, and a sense of humor will take you a long way. If you imagine that you want to bust out some hardcore practice but are in fact just looking for a daddy, shrink, social worker, or someone to help you prop up your self-esteem, Daniel is unlikely at this stage in his development to be the best person to help you meet your needs. He considers himself to be one badass Dharma Cowboy and prefers similar company or at least those who aspire to be so.
From <http://batgap.com/daniel-ingram/>

That way, if some pisses you off, and you decide to let it out with both barrels, then at least they would have been given some fair warning.

And as for shadow sides, as I mentioned above with the new rules, it seems like it would compromise real hardcore dharma if we don't get people to call them on it. Again Daniel takes the lead here:
Daniel is an extroverted Gen X intellectual. He is known for his pronounced enthusiasm, lip-flapping, grandiosity, eccentricity, and calling people on their stuff and shadow sides regardless of whether or not this is helpful or even accurate. 
But then again, perhaps if we are able to give the people that piss us off "both barrels" with a positive attitude, non-pretentious kindness, and a sense of humor, and this is transparently communicated, then it would be ok? 

Thoughts from my mods?

Sawfoot_  AKA "The Violator"

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/1/14 4:47 PM as a reply to sawfoot _.
My book and this forum are not the same thing. Your odd logic relates to helping people and yourself to reduce suffering how?

Daniel

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/1/14 10:18 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
New policy but noone addressed abusing of moderation privileges in the process.
Guess we're just gonna forget bout that...

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/1/14 10:29 PM as a reply to ftw.
ftw:
New policy but noone addressed abusing of moderation privileges in the process.
Guess we're just gonna forget bout that...
The general rule is: if a mod is involved in a thread as a participant, then you have to get another mod to moderate it, just as if they were another participant. That should address most concerns no?

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/2/14 2:36 AM as a reply to sawfoot _.
It's confusing trying to reconcile the talk of 'hardcore', 'being pissed-off,' 'shadow side,' 'both barrels,' etc. with the time-honored (too traditional, ideal?) notion of focusing on words and views, rather than persons; and ways of coaxing those caught in personal or ad-hominem fixations to discern the difference.

To use another traditonal tack, discussion groups are by nature 'a thicket of views,' and arahantship was associated (e.g. Visudhimagga) with abandoning the 'canker of views,' etc. But views, like other fabrications, such as models, maps, etc. also comprise the rafts used by those of us not yet arrived to navigate towards the other shore.

Complication, and perhaps contextual risk, so to speak, is that much of the interplay here does deal with personal stuff, by necessity, or at least by design.

"…a positive attitude, non-pretentious kindness, … a sense of humor, and … transparently communicated…" does sound reasonable, if challenging.

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/3/14 1:18 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
Chris J Macie:
It's confusing trying to reconcile the talk of 'hardcore', 'being pissed-off,' 'shadow side,' 'both barrels,' etc. with the time-honored (too traditional, ideal?) notion of focusing on words and views, rather than persons; and ways of coaxing those caught in personal or ad-hominem fixations to discern the difference.

To use another traditonal tack, discussion groups are by nature 'a thicket of views,' and arahantship was associated (e.g. Visudhimagga) with abandoning the 'canker of views,' etc. But views, like other fabrications, such as models, maps, etc. also comprise the rafts used by those of us not yet arrived to navigate towards the other shore.

Complication, and perhaps contextual risk, so to speak, is that much of the interplay here does deal with personal stuff, by necessity, or at least by design.

"…a positive attitude, non-pretentious kindness, … a sense of humor, and … transparently communicated…" does sound reasonable, if challenging.
That last part is absolutely reasonable, and it is challenging.

But isn't this just a place for discussing meditation practice?! It seems like a nice simple idea...but life is complicated...

I think it does make sense to consider a discussion forum like this a "raft". And my assumption is that everyone here still has a need for that raft, as no-one has yet "arrived". We are all in the same boat. 

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/3/14 2:22 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
My book and this forum are not the same thing. 
One of the quotes was from your website discussing how you respond to questions you don't like (verbally or via email). And it seemed pretty indicative on your vision of what the "hardcore" in "hardcore dharma" is all about. The other is a bio about yourself from a recent interview, which I am guessing was written by yourself, and also quite indicative on your vision of "hardcore dharma", in your embodiment of it and setting of an example. Neither was directly related to your book (though they obviously greatly inform your book). 
Daniel M. Ingram:
Your odd logic relates to helping people and yourself to reduce suffering how?
It is a simple question really - how do you reconcile being nice and being hardcore? Can you have both? I suggest not. So which one do you want? You can't have your torte...etc

The logic of your response to this issue in this reply, as far as I can tell, is "I do more to help people reduce their suffering than you, therefore, I am better/I win".

I think my logic is pretty straightforward, but I will spell it out again. It seems clear to me that a lot of the recent and past problems on this site (e.g. people enjoying people getting hit with both barrels, and the blasting of people with those barrels) stem from inherent problems in the culture surrounding it. People (both users and mods) have justified their suffering-causing behaviour because they believe they are acting in the vision of what this place is all about, a place for "hardcore dharma" and "hardcore practice". As this is your site, it feels like you need to take some responsbility for that vision. And that vision, or more favourably, the distortion of that vision, causes suffering. Exposing and opening up for discussion the contradictions and problematic aspects of that vision (or its distorted aspects) may be helpful in reconciling some of those problems and moving forward (and reducing suffering in the future), as having a stricter moderation policy doesn't really get at the root causes.

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/3/14 11:43 AM as a reply to sawfoot _.
It seems clear to me that a lot of the recent and past problems on this site (e.g. people enjoying people getting hit with both barrels, and the blasting of people with those barrels) stem from inherent problems in the culture surrounding it.

Is the issue of severe personal attacks and harsh treatment really a serious one though? The only ones that come to mind for me are (1) triplethink attacking you (by far the worst), (2) Chuck Kasmire attacking you, (3) a user named Dan, IIRC, forcefully telling Jen Pearly to "get out with your feminism", and (4) "Ian And" quite severely disparaging the practice quality of a young guy whose name I now can't recall. In my very regularly frequenting this site over the past 2 and a half years these occurrences seem to be very rare. Can you link to a few others?

But, I must ask, why do you even care? Is it because you're genuinely interested in achieving Awakening in this lifetime and have a serious practice to prove it, or, perhaps, because you simply enjoy receiving attention and stirring things up, and so create endless numbers of meta-posts and meta-threads on a forum where you can exploit the exceptional patience and civility of its members? To be honest, a far more important issue for me is how you could have possibly amassed 468 posts on this site when you almost never talk about your own practice, give advice based on your own practice, or show any interest in improving.

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/3/14 12:06 PM as a reply to B B.
I have similar concerns.

It is ironic that, in my view, the person who has caused the most trouble over the life of the Dharma Overground is actually Sawfoot, and the restraint that has been shown in light of this is truly remarkable and vastly more civil that most forums would produce, in my view.

Sawfoot: you will find imperfections here, incongruities, and that is normal. Still, were you interested in the sorts of practices generally discussed here (or others for that matter that are useful that you wish to introduce), you would likely find more value and perhaps spend less time trying to pick the place apart. I still think that, as this place continues to not meet your ideals in so many ways that you continue to describe in such detail day after day, you should do as many other fine people before you have done, meaning started a site that suited their tastes with a group more closely matching their ideals. It tends to save trouble all around and in all cases that I am aware of has resulted in increased happiness for all sides.

You may also note that The DhO is one thing, and I am another. While there is clearly some connection between the two, I have ignored the DhO for months at a time, once not posting or checking it once for 3 months, and it carried along just fine. This is a model that you somehow have missed.

Further, the word "hardcore" is a word that you clearly take very differently from the way it is intended. You seem to mix into that all sorts of ideas of your that don't actually apply in reality.

I am reminded of the word "extreme", such as the example in the movie Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, when they are plagued by a group of guys yelling, "Extreme!" and then tearing things up and causing trouble. That sort of use of the word, taken in that context, would seem to be associated with the sort of behaviour you seem to associate with "hardcore".

However, the implications of the term "hardcore", as used here, are to differentiate it from things such as the more low-dose, light-weight, hyper-psychologized, low-expectation mindfulness practices that one sees in much of the Western meditation world, and not to imply something about being caustic. Mixing up my own self-depricating critique of some of my speech and communcation patterns (patterns I feel have faded somewhat in the 15 years since I wrote those words) with the term "hardcore" is neither helpful nor accurate and does not convey the spirit of the term.

"Hardcore" is meant to encourage people to aim high, to apply doses of practice likely to affect deep changes, to empower people, not to give license to verbal abuse. You associate the two together in ways that are not helpful and may color people's impression of the place adversely and out of proportion to actual incidents of malignant speech, as B B points out.

Were you to practice, you might be willing to forgive some of the inconsistencies and flaws that you seem so adept at perceiving, plenty of which may have some validity, at least in the abstract, and start appreciating what this and its sister sites offer, which is a community of people supporting practices that can truly transform perception and open whole worlds of understanding. It is always amazing to me that people can be exposed to these things and not find them extremely attractive, but then tastes vary and cognitive barriers abound.

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/3/14 12:34 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel: 
Sawfoot: you will find imperfections here, incongruities, and that is normal. Still, were you interested in the sorts of practices generally discussed here (or others for that matter that are useful that you wish to introduce), you would likely find more value and perhaps spend less time trying to pick the place apart. I still think that, as this place continues to not meet your ideals in so many ways that you continue to describe in such detail day after day, you should do as many other fine people before you have done, meaning started a site that suited their tastes with a group more closely matching their ideals. It tends to save trouble all around and in all cases that I am aware of has resulted in increased happiness for all sides.

Agree. Sawfoot, I think you do have a practice community that excites you if our old chat is still relevant. While I don't want anywhere to become a cozy echobox of non-scrutiny, I think you have played the same-style harp too long here. I tend to ignore it and, in my own pompous mind, see your activity as a sympton of it being easier to chase and create outside mice to chase instead of watching own-mice arise in own-mind and sit with that chase.

And I do relate to this as I have already shared: sometimes aggressive debate/arguing is a way to kick the tires and see if a practice is worthwhile. Still, one has to get to own-mind and to just watching it, not ever outgoing biting remarks and chase and stir ups.

That's said, I wish people ignored posts like these and stopped giving chase..

Best wishes and I welcome a practice thread of yours, though not more of the discursiveness which you've been sharing.


edit: spelling... as usual

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/3/14 5:26 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Maybe this will be more meaningful coming from someone other than sawfoot.  I actually agree with what he said in that last post.  I had to leave this forum for a while because the atmosphere is so dense.  I felt like every post I made I had to somehow prove myself to a whole chorus of condescending voices, and I realized I was starting to mimic them when making my own posts.  I came back because, over the past year, I've benefitted a great deal from old posts on the forum.  I wanted to add to the pot, so to speak.  But my first attempt to add something meaningful (the actual freedom thread) turned into a justification process fairly quickly.  I've tried to adopt a skillful way of navigating these things (you can just ignore people! haha) but I think this is easier said than done for someone who's new to a forum - or even people who have been on a forum for a long while.  If this is a forum dedicated to an exchange of ideas, then why did two seperate people tell me to "get out" this week because I'm not practicing the same things they do?

Daniel, the reason I left the forum before was because I made a rude post in your practice update thread asking you, essentially, what was the point of your practice when it didn't seem to be leading anywhere for you.  Your response was defensive - which is understandable - but it's obvious you don't like getting both barrels pointed at you.  Wouldn't you say I caused you suffering?  From a hardcore pragmatic standpoint, my question was legitimate, but a while after I posted it I didn't feel very good about it - so I caused myself suffering as well.  I realized I had created an alter ego on this forum to match wits with the atmosphere I felt confronted by.  Really, though, how can we possibly know how something is working for someone else - or if the same things that have worked for us will work for other people?

When I came back, that same ego reared it's ugly head, and I had to keep close watch on it.  Disassembling it has been a great learning process for me - as someone who's interested in emotional triggers - but is that really the purpose of this forum - to provide an emotional jungle gym where we all need to be indiana jones just to keep posting?  I'd encourage everyone to consider their own dharma self that they've created.  Is it really skillful?

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/4/14 5:43 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Hi NT,

Just to say I like a lot of what you've written here.

What I find is that I have two living influential people who I natively like in the buddhist philosophy. The reason for this because I've generally had strong insights while being in their company or as a result of some mental door they open for me just by them doing what they do, nothing special. 

Elsewhere, though, even among the so-called rock stars of dharma, I generally have to watch my mind, mouth or I even direct myself to leave, because, yes, I have felt that I am witnessing some condescending arrogance, some illogical speech,  and/or some clubby cozy non-scrutiny around such teacher, and/or I'm hearing something that doesn't seem to pass whatever dharma teacher test I have.

This happens all the time: people arrive at dharma centers and they either are fine with the teacher/host and community, are partially fine with the teachers/community, or they have corrections/challenges to bring, or they leave knowing that their view is simply their view.

While I have had the strong urges to correct what I see as obvious flaws in a teacher, in this world with actual harm, it would be rididiculous for me to hound these teachers who seems arrogant and limited to me. Who cares? It's just a community of people practicing in an area they like.

At some point a civil person can just realize, "I always want to correct this place, these people when they're just doing their thing, which is not acutally harmful in this world with actual harm and malicious actions. I can deal with my own arrogant urge to correct this community on my own and leave or, if I really want to participate with this group, I can do so otherwise."


_______


This is one part. And another part is for people who make "claims of attainment" it is for them to know or discover that they become a beacon to people who want to challenge that or live in the shade of the claim. So making public claims inherently brings others: the public claim has a cause of wanting to share something with others and so its natural result is others will share back. So to ones who make public claims, they can know this comes with territory naturally, by way of causality: plants arise based on their seeds. In this case, wanting to share something publically creates a new vector between "person wanting to share claim publically" and "public" wanting to share back. 

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/4/14 8:00 AM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
katy steger:


Elsewhere, though, even among the so-called rock stars of dharma, I generally have to watch my mind, mouth or I even direct myself to leave, because, yes, I have felt that I am witnessing some condescending arrogance, some illogical speech,  and/or some clubby cozy non-scrutiny around such teacher, and/or I'm hearing something that doesn't seem to pass whatever dharma teacher test I have.



I've certainly seen "senior teachers" of famous meditation centers who are at best mediocre and more likely, in all honesty, somewhat lousy. Certification programs don't solve this problem -- they just raise the question of who certifies the certifiers, and on what basis. I think some chapters of MCTB allude to this problem.

A large part of the problem, I think, is that the teacher-student model of relationship has been adopted unquestioningly from other fields. It works quite well for traditional crafts in preindustrial societies, where students learn from their teacher how to work with metal or wood or leather or clay or whatever. It's much more problematic when our subject matter is how to work with the mind. Here we have an inexact science, taught by teachers who still have their own blind spots, and who wittingly or unwittingly expect the student not to call them on their stuff.

I agree with your general conclusion. In the end, we can't solve the problems of the entire world. We can only do what's best for ourselves and those around us.

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/4/14 9:38 AM as a reply to sawfoot _.
sawfoot _:
And there has to be room for doubt and regret, as otherwise you can justify pretty much any action against another ("tough love", "for the benefit of the community" etc...). But basically, everyone has to play nice, and this is a step in the right direction. 
Being a mod is not easy.  No matter what you do, some will say it's too much and others will say it's not enough.  But I've definitely seen that if mods justify acting/sounding like jerks for any reason, even if the other guy was acting/sounding like a jerk first, then what the board will attract is more people who like to act like jerks or like to read that kind of thing.  Tough love or no tough love, like attracts like and I've seen trainers, especially, in martial arts, try to train their pupils into not being jerks by acting extra jerky to them, as if somehow that will teach them what it's like and that they will learn.  But IME, all that it seems to teach them is that once they are in power, it's OK to act like a jerk.  The trick then is to figure out how to lead by example and diffuse problems without sounding like a jerk, which is not easy either! 

Also to consider, many boards have a private mods only section where mods can discuss in private potential problems and solutions if they start to develop.   Only mods get access.  Also, since many boards are very active and it's a bit much to keep track of for any one person, boards often assign specific mods to specific sections so that a mod only has to diligently monitor one or two sections instead of the entire board.   Also, many boards have a 'cat fight' section where they can move threads that turn very angry, thus those that want to fight can continue but all the rest that don't want to see the fight are not forced to see it.  But even in that section, minimal standards still apply, like no threats, etc.  The 'battleground' section  here might be similar, but not sure if you guys move threads there or just hope they start there in the first place.  Anyway, not saying that you should or should not do those things here, but mentioning them as potential ideas. 
-Eva

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/4/14 9:58 AM as a reply to Derek.
Derek Cameron:

A large part of the problem, I think, is that the teacher-student model of relationship has been adopted unquestioningly from other fields.
I think this model is so pervasive because most teachers on some level want something in return for their time and efforts and responsibility.  What they can get as 'the boss' is respect, adoration, attention, and a feeling of superiority (and they may also get food, money, etc).  Or on a milder side, they  may get a sense of identity, purpose, security, direction and usefulness.  Students get to feel a sense of team superiority, being a part of something greater than they see themselves alone, companionship, plus also the sense of identity, purpose, security, direction and usefulness as well. It works out that just a few really like the leadership roll and a lot are naturally followers, so this system naturally develops almost on autopilot over and over according to human tendencies.  You'd be hard pressed to find any cohesive group that does not have one main leader that sort of brings the followers together with the power of his/her psyche.  If more than one leader, then there are typically schisms in the group.  But that system definitely has a lot of potential psychological traps for all involved, both leader and follower.    
-Eva   

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/4/14 10:15 AM as a reply to Eva Nie.

Also to consider, many boards have a private mods only section where mods can discuss in private potential problems and solutions if they start to develop.   Only mods get access.  ....   Also, many boards have a 'cat fight' section where they can move threads that turn very angry, thus those that want to fight can continue but all the rest that don't want to see the fight are not forced to see it.  But even in that section, minimal standards still apply, like no threats, etc.  The 'battleground' section  here might be similar, but not sure if you guys move threads there or just hope they start there in the first place.  Anyway, not saying that you should or should not do those things here, but mentioning them as potential ideas. 
-Eva

Some good ideas. One problem is that many people just access the threads through "Recent Posts". I never know what section a thread is posted in.  I believe battleground posts should have more leeway (within limits), the title of the battleground section is "Here is where high controversy and heated debate should happen with all the compassion, listening, clarification, passion for the truth and intelligence you can muster." But I don't think people realize that they are reading/contributing to a battleground post.

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/4/14 11:21 AM as a reply to C P M.
I prefer no private mod section. I feel the entire community naturally moderates and I like that people pitch in as they see fit.

The technical moderator ability involves the technical ability to "press the ban button". That's still a very subjective event, in my opinion. I'm okay with that. It's reversible, usually temporary and everyone can weigh in. If I ever select the "ban" button, I'll just note it in the thread so people can respond to that. So far I'm way to laissez-faire to do that, but I guess I understand relate to angry/argumentative/discursive types. I easily could've been banned when I started. Maybe I was! There were days I couldn't log on around those times I challenged argumentatively day after day after day after... 

Ideally, with some natural thrashing allowance period for more affrontive types (which affront would move towards civil, even collaborative scrutiny which turns to just curiosity and friendly engagment/ignoring) we'd all play nice, as the sawfoot notes.

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/4/14 1:53 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Dear NT,

I acutually didn't remember your post, but I went back and found it. It was on the thread where I posted about a black sphere and some other things that had happened in my own practice. Your response was:

"You know, Daniel, every time you recount meditation experiences, you seem to descibing an epic, time-consuming struggle full of strange visions and feelings of energy, but what are you actually trying to do?  If it was all full of bliss and happiness, then at least it would be a nice form of entertainment, but it always sounds pretty unpleasant..."

To which I responded (to you and others who posted):

"I will look into the Leopard Bro dude and the Bodywork stuff: thanks for the tips. I am getting older: 45 these days, and it is definitely not 25, that is for sure.


As to an epic struggle or whatever, I am just reporting. I have no great context for those things, no great maps for them, no particular frameworks that I can say are definitive. Find me the book that tells what to do when you start to experience a black sphere there doing that and I will read it. In the meantime: this is all experimental, a work in progress, things that show up and I deal with them as best I can given the tools and hints and intuitions I have available.

As to when I started seeing energetic stuff: the first time was the first time I crossed the A&P as a teenager, and stuff like that has shown up on occasion since in various ways, but I certainly don't see or feel it all the time.

As to things being all full of bliss and happiness and entertaining, well, that sounds nice: what do you suggest? I am interested.

Here's the bottom line so far on that: there is a degree of awareness of this body that is far beyond what I had before. This transformed some things and allowed some other things to be seen clearly that I am extremely glad were seen clearly, but it also substantially dialed up the sense of things unpleasant also, and this body was born, will get sick, feel pain and die. So said the Buddha, so has been demonstrated again and again, so my life has gone, as expected.

The clarity about this is remarkable, the facts of its ordinary aging mammalian aspects being highlighted by that clarity. Thus, things like muscle spasms and sore throats and the like are at once perceived in this much wider context that is as broad as the experience field, which really helps, and there is not that annoying sense of some part of things trying to figure out its vantage point as it pretends to observe or try to get away from pain, which also really helps, but the direct clarity about pain itself is very, very real. We wake up to this ordinary life in all its conventional aspects: do your best to care for this body and mind.

As to the black sphere thing: WTF? I have no idea. I do know that if you get your concentration strong and open up to that side of things by intention or accident, all sorts of odd stuff can arise and you get to deal with it. There are no great maps in that territory that I have found. I have some general principles, some guesses, some intuitions, but no more than that. I had never had anything like that happen before, and I have been meditating seriously for 20 years now. I had to wing it. I do get the sense that, if something magickal is happening, include something magickal in the way you address it. Thus, exploration using various props that happened to be around and happen to catch my interest.

I am pretty sure I can't really explain why I chose the props I did, nor can I easily explain why I did what I did with them. Why did I visualize silver circles of protection in the x, y and z planes forming a sphere around me and then practice controlled explosions in that safe space, testing out what their implications might be? Why did I start to try to visualize an idealized and perfect magickal trainer showing me how to do these things? Why did I suddenly feel compelled to walk into a store in Asheville, scroll through about 100 pages of tarot cards, and finally settle on the Witche's Tarot by Ellen Dugan and learn it to a degree that I had never learned the Tarot before? I couldn't possibly tell you.

Sound crazy? Maybe. It sounds odd to me just writing about it, but then I still have this scientist, skeptic voice in there somewhere from my upbringing that looks at this stuff happening and just can't make heads or tails of it. I stayed totally functional in other ways while this was going on, work was just fine, etc. I learned a lot in the processes and am now happy I went through them. It feels like something good happened, particularly the black sphere thing, like something was cleaned out by it. I feel lighter. Both sagas seem to have ended. What will happen now? I have no idea.

Anyway, I am just reporting. Speaking of why I don't report much: the projection, even small amounts of it, is really, really offputting, even for one just wanting to write about their own practice on thier own forum which is vastly more tolerant of this stuff than basically any other place on the web. I don't promise bliss and entertainment in my book anywhere that I know of. Adventure, definitely, but that is not quite the same as entertainment. I promise blissful states and stages, and these definitely happen. I promise clarity about this body and mind: can be done. However, something about having to constantly wade through people somehow imagining whatever they imagine and then projecting that out is more taxing than I think I generally realize and am generally willing to admit. Notice that there are not a lot of the old, high-level practitioners talking about much here anymore. A few show up on occasion, but many have gone elsewhere, and where, I have no idea.

Thus, while the questions are normal, and the projections are normal, there is something strange about how that just makes one want to wander alone, and some of this is still definitely still wandering, as I haven't promised to have figured out everything, just a very few specific things."

As to that being defensive, perhaps it is, but it is also very explanatory and honest without resorting to name-calling or other grossly objectionable speech, so far as I can tell. You should also take this in context: that was relatively recently after the whole Scientific Proof for Fairies thread, which was also initiated by Sawfoot and involved a long series of cynical attacks on me and my practice descriptions, so your post rode on the back of that wave of annoyance, which thus actually serves as yet another strong argument for the point about needing more moderation and people protecting a space where people can talk about deep practice, which is still very rare on the internet, and the essential reason for this forum's existence.

Vince Horn and I were having a conversation years ago about the terrible state of the world of Buddhist internet forums, my isolation in Alabama, and the need to connect with fellow adventurers in the territory I found valuable and interesting without being blasted for that, as happened on numerous forums I tried posting on back then, so this forum was created by the two of us in the week that followed for this purpose. Things that get in the way of that violate this place's whole reason for being, and the more of that shows up, the more I will defend this place. So, in that sense, my post was definitely defensive, and I will defend it similarly again. Sorry this caused you angst. Consider helpful posts that help support practice, that is my best advice.

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/4/14 3:27 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
katy steger:
I prefer no private mod section. I feel the entire community naturally moderates and I like that people pitch in as they see fit.
Sometimes people like to hear a second opinion on sticky issues, if that's not you then no one would force you to do it obviously!  ;-) 
The technical moderator ability involves the technical ability to "press the ban button". That's still a very subjective event, in my opinion. I'm okay with that. It's reversible, usually temporary and everyone can weigh in. If I ever select the "ban" button, I'll just note it in the thread so people can respond to that. So far I'm way to laissez-faire to do that, but I guess I understand relate to angry/argumentative/discursive types. I easily could've been banned when I started. Maybe I was! There were days I couldn't log on around those times I challenged argumentatively day after day after day after... 
It may be my personal opinion only, but IMO the power of a moderator is not just about the buttons he/she can or can't push but as being a representative of the group and what it is hoped to stand for.  As such, leading by example and helping to direct some threads gently in more 'skillful' (or whatever you want to call it) directions before they fall off the rails.  A lot can be accomplished to cool hot heads and keep things on track via a careful and judicious word or two by a mod.  It's like herding cats, the best method is gentle persuasion before things get out of hand and it turns to flailing claws and teeth.  The very thing you want to avoid is having to resort to the ban button.  That's why, IMO, the moderator job is not an easy one, and is often a very thankless one, and also I think works best when mods operate for the benefit of the goals of the board foremost.  It may sound kinda silly but once you become official, people will be looking to the mods for direction in how to act and how to handle things and also for limits to their own sometimes less than perfect control on their own behavior.  And of course, you will never get rid of the $%#% stirrers, it's part of humanity and I've played that roll myself, instead it's more about trying to keep it from getting out of hand.    
-Eva

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/4/14 3:38 PM as a reply to Eva Nie.
To me, you raise good points, Eva.  As in, one can't expect any to abide a conduct if there is not a code of conduct/expectation, and if no one clearly upholds it and consistently. So this thread has helped hash some of this out and created some new guidlines for moderators to act.  I can say I have been and am appreciative that some mods here intercede in threads. And Daniel's system does let a lot of thrashing out happen here and at length. So i think the place is not at risk of becoming a cozy, fabricated echobox in any of the new tweaks.

So hopefully, we've got some new clarity to work with. Still I think of everyone as a moderator here. 

Edit:
And of course, you will never get rid of the $%#% stirrers, it's part of humanity and I've played that roll myself, instead it's more about trying to keep it from getting out of hand.  

Super subjective line there, but that's why these threads are sort of democracy-at-work: messy, slow, debated. If it's too clean and fast, then something else is getting out of hand, like sterilizing/controlling the site of the testiness that often gets people to want to sit with their own mind ("meditate", observe) in the first place. I appreciate that the founder set up a very open system here. 

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/4/14 3:35 PM as a reply to C P M.
C P M:
  I believe battleground posts should have more leeway (within limits), the title of the battleground section is "Here is where high controversy and heated debate should happen with all the compassion, listening, clarification, passion for the truth and intelligence you can muster." But I don't think people realize that they are reading/contributing to a battleground post.
Yep, that's normally whats done, battle ground type area tends to be much more hands off in other boards, mostly just not allowing threats or anything really bad like that.  People are typically left to say what they want as long as they keep it in battle ground.  But the battle ground section here is not exactly described that way currently, sounds like the goal is more like one is hoped to know in advance that a thread will create an argument and so one is asked to start the thread there in the first place.  I don't keep track of the sections well here so I don't have any opinions on advantages and disadvantages of that plan. 

As for the use of 'recent posts,' I do that too and so am in the same boat of usually having no idea what section I am actually posting in.  Might be a good idea if it were possible, to have some kind of red lettered warning info on the battleground threads!  ;-P  Also, if i knew the section, there is a chance that might improve my ability to keep on topic just a tad more..
-Eva

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/6/14 3:08 AM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
Katie:
As in, one can't expect any to abide a conduct if there is not a code of conduct/expectation, and if no one clearly upholds it and consistently. So this thread has helped hash some of this out and created some new guidlines for moderators to act. 

Actually, this thread has not "created some new guidelines." The purpose of this thread was to announce new behavioral rules that had already been approved and posted by Daniel. Other discussions are continuing off-line with regard to enforcement protocol.
And Daniel's system does let a lot of thrashing out happen here and at length. So i think the place is not at risk of becoming a cozy, fabricated echobox in any of the new tweaks.

To the extent that Daniel formerly had a "system" at all, it is being changed. Trolls have become a problem here, as you yourself know from the flood of emails that have occurred over the past few weeks, so the changes are designed to stop nonconstructive "thrashing out here" "and at length." As for any "risk of becoming a cozy, fabricated echobox"--in what way could that description even begin to be thought of as a "risk" when compared with the other extreme with which we have for some time been contending?

I don't consider civility and discussion of the issues rather than free-for-all personal attacks an "echobox." I consider them to be adult behavior, as people in any real-life environment you can name are expected to abide by. As for "cozy"--mmmm, that sounds exactly like what I personally am looking for: intimacy and trust among practitioners supporting each other constructively toward the end of suffering. As for "fabricated," what in this human realm isn't fabricated? 
So hopefully, we've got some new clarity to work with. Still I think of everyone as a moderator here. 

First, we are far from having all the new clarity we need to act as moderators, and I don't intend to take on the task until that clarity is forthcoming. As Dream Walker noted up this thread, we still lack and need an enforcement protocol that all moderators, including you and including me, follow in exactly the same way. This protocol is to be transparent to the membership and consistently adhered to among moderators. So I'm puzzled as to why you are implying that matters will go on in the same vein they have in the past--with each moderator making unilateral rulings (or in your case, no rulings) and not even attempting to be consistent with the other moderators. All this new documentation is to end that way of doing things, as that way of doing things is precisely what has contributed to the problems occasioning all talk of change in the first place.

And, no, not everyone is a moderator here. Only you are, I am, Nick is, Beoman is, and Florian is. That is a fact. It is precisely the shortcomings of the past nonsystem that are driving the current changes. So I wouldn't expect for Daniel to have issued new do's and dont's but not say exactly how enforcement will work to make sure the vision happens--and, by the way, how members should escalate perceived violations. The members here deserve clear boundaries and procedures, honesty, and consistency from moderators working as a team and adhering to a common protocol of enforcement. Moderators need to moderate any and every time the conditions named in the enforcement protocol manifest.

In the spirit of this new transparency, I'll say that I've recommended that Daniel consider the following:

  • Revamping and clearly heading the vision, mission, and history of this forum and putting all this updated language on the same landing page as the Code of Conduct so that the relationship between the two parts is more evident,
  • Finishing the Code of Conduct by drafting an enforcement protocol for mods to follow and an escalation protocol for members to follow, and
  • Providing moderators a private channel of communication so that they can confer with each other quickly in real time about threads that are escalated--again, for the sake of consistency and speed of response.
I brainstormed some other ideas, but I don't consider it prudent to discuss those ideas here and now because they are just possibilities and too tentative to mention until Daniel clarifies his current vision and leads the way to it. 

Jenny

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/6/14 3:55 AM as a reply to Jenny.
Jenny:
Katie:
As in, one can't expect any to abide a conduct if there is not a code of conduct/expectation, and if no one clearly upholds it and consistently. So this thread has helped hash some of this out and created some new guidlines for moderators to act. 

Actually, this thread has not "created some new guidelines." The purpose of this thread was to announce new behavioral rules that had already been approved and posted by Daniel. Other discussions are continuing off-line with regard to enforcement protocol.
And Daniel's system does let a lot of thrashing out happen here and at length. So i think the place is not at risk of becoming a cozy, fabricated echobox in any of the new tweaks.

To the extent that Daniel formerly had a "system" at all, it is being changed. Trolls have become a problem here, as you yourself know from the flood of emails that have occurred over the past few weeks, so the changes are designed to stop nonconstructive "thrashing out here" "and at length." As for any "risk of becoming a cozy, fabricated echobox"--in what way could that description even begin to be thought of as a "risk" when compared with the other extreme with which we have for some time been contending?

I don't consider civility and discussion of the issues rather than free-for-all personal attacks an "echobox." I consider them to be adult behavior, as people in any real-life environment you can name are expected to abide by. As for "cozy"--mmmm, that sounds exactly like what I personally am looking for: intimacy and trust among practitioners supporting each other constructively toward the end of suffering. As for "fabricated," what in this human realm isn't fabricated? 
So hopefully, we've got some new clarity to work with. Still I think of everyone as a moderator here. 

First, we are far from having all the new clarity we need to act as moderators, and I don't intend to take on the task until that clarity is forthcoming. As Dream Walker noted up this thread, we still lack and need an enforcement protocol that all moderators, including you and including me, follow in exactly the same way. This protocol is to be transparent to the membership and consistently adhered to among moderators. So I'm puzzled as to why you are implying that matters will go on in the same vein they have in the past--with each moderator making unilateral rulings (or in your case, no rulings) and not even attempting to be consistent with the other moderators. All this new documentation is to end that way of doing things, as that way of doing things is precisely what has contributed to the problems occasioning all talk of change in the first place.

And, no, not everyone is a moderator here. Only you are, I am, Nick is, Beoman is, and Florian is. That is a fact. It is precisely the shortcomings of the past nonsystem that are driving the current changes. So I wouldn't expect for Daniel to have issued new do's and dont's but not say exactly how enforcement will work to make sure the vision happens--and, by the way, how members should escalate perceived violations. The members here deserve clear boundaries and procedures, honesty, and consistency from moderators working as a team and adhering to a common protocol of enforcement. Moderators need to moderate any and every time the conditions named in the enforcement protocol manifest.

In the spirit of this new transparency, I'll say that I've recommended that Daniel consider the following:

  • Revamping and clearly heading the vision, mission, and history of this forum and putting all this updated language on the same landing page as the Code of Conduct so that the relationship between the two parts is more evident,
  • Finishing the Code of Conduct by drafting an enforcement protocol for mods to follow and an escalation protocol for members to follow, and
  • Providing moderators a private channel of communication so that they can confer with each other quickly in real time about threads that are escalated--again, for the sake of consistency and speed of response.
I brainstormed some other ideas, but I don't consider it prudent to discuss those ideas here and now because they are just possibilities and too tentative to mention until Daniel clarifies his current vision and leads the way to it. 

Jenny


1. Yep he/we had a system. And it worked pretty good in my book. 
2. Trolls are by a definition problem only when spoken to. One doesn't need much inteligence and will power to stay away from such conversation.
3. Nobody's attacking nobody. Are you all that sensitive?
4. Exactly. Handle it like a grownup.
5. Cozy to me is pure freedom to express ones opinion. Very few restrictions. For example I wouldn't mind if some experienced meditator would even in a very rude way point to my mistakes. I would trust that kind of person more than someone who's trying to repackage his message into being nice and by that loose some of it's original meaning. It's constricting.
6. We don't need no stinkin protocols. You can't enforce anything on people if you want them to be sincere. And yes I agree with  Katy. Nothing would change. Except mods banning people by their own personal sane judgment at which I'm beginning to doubt as of right now. In fact I think this would bring even more negative energy to the forum. Since every ban would bring heated discussion as to what and how. Unnecessary waste of time and energy. Mods should just use common sense as they did up till now.
7. So we had a nonsystem here? Interesting.
8. Icing on the cake. Honesty/Consistency/blablabla... That includes all moderators Jenny? Or are we going to be seing someone's posts dissapearing from thin air without any explanation? 

9. Sorry but this is:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9S2f76Kjx0c

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/6/14 4:42 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
re Not Tao (10/3/14 5:26 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.)

Being a newby here, much of this thread relates to matters outside my ken, and the instinct is not to get involved. Just to air something that came to mind while reading Not_Tao's message cited above, which may not exactly apply to the issue there, but would seem to relate to the overall issue of the kind of behavior that might need moderating (and perhaps in another sense, 'moderation'):

The passage that sparked the association / memory:
"…Wouldn't you say I caused you suffering?  From a hardcore pragmatic standpoint, my question was legitimate, but a while after I posted it I didn't feel very good about it - so I caused myself suffering as well..."

Remembering a quotation (somewhere)where G. Buddha discourses on the downside of anger (and possibly related to 'right speech' in terms of harshness):

"When one picks up a red-hot coal to throw at someone, who gets burned first?"

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/6/14 9:17 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
So this whole conversation is interesting. From what I see, there seem to be two vocal camps, and since I feel more sympathetic to one of them, and I'm having a hard time understanding what the objections are to increased clarity consistency and transparency of moderation, I am going to ask for more clarity on that point. What are folks afraid of?

OK so:

On the one side it seems to me folks are advocating for: clarity, consistency, and transparency about 1) the role of moderators and 2) the protocals of moderation. It seems to me that the purpose of this advocacy is to create a safe(r) environment for people to share stuff about their practice, life etc. The purpose of the site is to have a place to share stuff about practice and life and dharma in a way that supports the development of good practice and supports people to 'awaken' or in other words to experience baseline shifts in the way experience functions.

(ETA: I understand from personal experience and observation that in the process of developing a solid practice, navigating shifts in practice, and navigating baseline shifts in how experience functions there are times when our 'stuff' comes up and the safe space requirement has to apply to this as well. This means sometimes we will be pissy, confused, or pushing things in a weird way becuase of what we are going through in our practice development. I get that this place needs to be a safe place for people to work some of this stuff out at least. However, I think we have to be careful not to make this an excuse for this place to be a 'wild west'; a place where folks unload on each other becuase of their own growing pains and thus the place becomes less helpful for others. You can say "well be an adult, don't take it so personally" but the thing is, the "be an adult" thing is, logically, better applied to folks who would initiate negative interactions, right?)

On the other side I'm not clear on exactly what then objection is to having a clear consistent transparent moderation policy.  So I wonder if this position can be articulated in a really direct, clear way, so that (since it appears the community is moving forward with position 1) the opposing camp could articulate some red flags or warning signs that they fear will result from a more clear consistent transparent moderation policy in general. What are some things you guys are worried will result from this increased clarity consistency and transparency of moderation? If there were a nice list of things you fear occurring as a result of this change then the community as a whole could be on the look out for these possible negative outcomes of the change.

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/6/14 1:38 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
Howdy all, 

 "What are some things you guys are worried will result from this increased clarity consistency and transparency of moderation? If there were a nice list of things you fear occurring as a result of this change then the community as a whole could be on the look out for these possible negative outcomes of the change."-- Jake


Nothing, I'm okay with the list of points ~ especially the cake-torte item, and I'll happily monitor tortes ~ Claudiu uploaded recently. It's just kind clearer that, like you write, .Jake. that the site is not an excuse for unchecked unloading on others (the precedent of "unloading", yes, being caused to some degree by Daniel's own double-barrel language).


So, now with the new language, DhO users can still keep on having their practice logs on their own terms. If some other party starts jumping on a person's practice log, then the thread owner can just ask the unwelcome person to leave and if that doesn't work, the thread owner can then contact a moderator for technical intervention. I've also worked with that easily here. "Moderator, can you split the thread?" or something like this.

And people who still want to raise political ideas and theories for discussion-- they can still have their threads. If those get debate-y, that's normal; it's what they're co-creating. If those threads get too testy, rude, whatnot, violent then the community can act with civilty and request the tone return to civility and respect for one other. If that doesn't work, go to mods for a technical intervention.


I moderate when people ask either here or in private email, including with other mods. So far, okay. If someone doesn't want to be banned, they can also contact a mod and mods can chat with the mod who banned or the community can raise it as a point.




I think for every year I've used this site, and I had an alias, Katy S.?, for a couple years before I used my name, there's been a yearly "gettin' ugly" kerfuffle and people get very upset, community responds and tweaks things a bit like now, and then the community settles again into more temperate variation. To me, it's normal, to be expected and a healthy annual airing without being procrustean.

So Claudiu added a few new lines that came from a moderator emailingl last week. Works for me. If you all go for more, I just see if I fit into that.

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/6/14 1:53 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
I don't think you're ever going to get perfect consistency; just looking at the mod list shows an array of personalities and communication styles. And what sets one person off might be perfectly okay for others. I would like to point out that we should all be responsible for ourselves and not leave everything up to the "grownups"--for example, if someone attacks you, don't keep responding in ways that invite escalation. Or if you do, recognize what you have contributed to the situation, and take responsibility for it. I also hope that people can still feel free to speak their minds. 

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/6/14 2:15 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Yeah, I like that Ms. Carrington. To me, well said! And I'd love to have your succinctness!

Jane Laurel Carrington:

I don't think you're ever going to get perfect consistency; just looking at the mod list shows an array of personalities and communication styles. And what sets one person off might be perfectly okay for others. I would like to point out that we should all be responsible for ourselves and not leave everything up to the "grownups"--for example, if someone attacks you, don't keep responding in ways that invite escalation. Or if you do, recognize what you have contributed to the situation, and take responsibility for it. I also hope that people can still feel free to speak their minds. 

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/6/14 3:19 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
katy steger:
Yeah, I like that Ms. Carrington. To me, well said! And I'd love to have your succinctness!

Jane Laurel Carrington:

I don't think you're ever going to get perfect consistency; just looking at the mod list shows an array of personalities and communication styles. And what sets one person off might be perfectly okay for others. I would like to point out that we should all be responsible for ourselves and not leave everything up to the "grownups"--for example, if someone attacks you, don't keep responding in ways that invite escalation. Or if you do, recognize what you have contributed to the situation, and take responsibility for it. I also hope that people can still feel free to speak their minds. 
There is never going to be "perfect" consistency, just as there was not perfect "objectivity" in my grading my students' American literature essay exams. It does not follow that we should therefore just "wing it" unilaterally. As when I taught English I socialized a rubric to make grading criteria as close to objective as possible--and at least documented, transperant, and citable--so we need a hierarchy of measures that moderators will progressively take when one of the rules Claudiu listed is claimed at least by someone on the receiving end to have been violated. This is only plain sense: If you have rules but don't tell members what will be done if the rules are broken, then that plan is what we can call "half baked." Would you raise a child or run a classroom or corporation that way? No, of course not.

Teachers have different personalities, too, but when they follow a common rubric to grade even very subjective matters like essays, the resulting scores are 90% reliable, meaning that in a roomful of teachers following the same rubric 90% will assign any given essay the exact same grade. Now, 90% is not "perfect," but it is a heck of a lot better than letting pure subjectivity, favortism, and current mood rule the day.

So we aren't talking about just annual "tweaks." We are talking about formulating a coherent vision, mission, and code of coduct. In my view, vision and mission are Daniel's to determine, as founder and owner of this entire site. From there, a code of coduct would be drafted that coherently supports vision and mission, and lists not just some bandaid rules, but a rubric for moderators to follow in enforcing those rules. 

There are many directions such a protocol could take, depending on vision and mission. For example, perhaps moderators won't intervene unless asked to by the individual supposedly wronged (or unless laws are broken). And the hierarchy may be to warn, and if that doesn't work then lock the thread, and then time ban--or whatever, so long as it seems to fit with the written vision and mission. 

Several people have brought up the "Wild West" theme, which stems in some people's minds from Daniel's calling himself on his book's cover copy a "badass dharma cowboy" who prefers the company of others of that mind. Daniel has said he wrote that when much younger than he is now and did so specifically to promote his book over against the Mushroom Culture of most Western dharma organizations at the time. Also, as others have pointed out, this forum is no longer a "hardcore meditation" site, nor even strictly a "meditation" site, for we are welcoming of cognitive-behavioral therapy, Actualism-inspired practices, and other "axes of development" that reduce suffering for ourselves and others. This is the reason that, for the sake of clarity and coherence, I'm suggesting that it is time for Daniel to overhaul the portal to this Discussion forum, updating his vision and mission before we even attempt to support those key communications with a Code of Coduct. Doing so is simply the way businesses and nonprofits operate, and I cannot imagine why any "sincere" people who don't happen to be trolls or their sockpuppet second cousins would object to that kind of coherence, transparency, and reliability.

Jenny

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/6/14 4:41 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel,

"Notice that there are not a lot of the old, high-level practitioners talking about much here anymore. A few show up on occasion, but many have gone elsewhere, and where, I have no idea".

This is off the general topic about moderation but as you quote the above (and I don't know the date you first posted that one) I find that somewhat alarming, especially as I'm a pre-1st pather looking for guidance from time to time. You may not know where they've gone but
have you (or anyone else) got any ideas/specualtions as to why they have left this DhO forum?
Has it become too "mainstream" and thereby diluted with too much talk not related to hardcore practice at all? (I'm not saying it has, it's just my own curiosity...)

BTW, I've not got the quote buttons either if I press reply or reply with quote? Has this happened to anyone else? And was the format changed because I seem to remember (1 or 2 years back) it was much easier to partially quote chunks of other threads (rather than all of it) and now it all seems a bit clunky to do... (is there a category to post about technical issues? And to suggest changes/improvements to web design - I'm not in the least bit technically gifted so no idea how easy/difficult it might be to implement seemingly small changes. For example as someone pointed out when you click on recent posts, couldn't there be a sub heading as to which Category it was originally posted and a date?)

~ Piers (PS mods you get a thumbs up from me!)

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/6/14 4:48 PM as a reply to Piers M.
Piers M:
Daniel,

"Notice that there are not a lot of the old, high-level practitioners talking about much here anymore. A few show up on occasion, but many have gone elsewhere, and where, I have no idea".

This is off the general topic about moderation but as you quote the above (and I don't know the date you first posted that one) I find that somewhat alarming, especially as I'm a pre-1st pather looking for guidance from time to time. You may not know where they've gone but
have you (or anyone else) got any ideas/specualtions as to why they have left this DhO forum?
Has it become too "mainstream" and thereby diluted with too much talk not related to hardcore practice at all? (I'm not saying it has, it's just my own curiosity...)

Well, I know triplethink in particular left because nobody followed through in their threads to him, there wasn't enough interest in the stuff he was writing, and in general I suppose there weren't enough topics interesting enough to him to keep around.

Piers M:
BTW, I've not got the quote buttons either if I press reply or reply with quote? Has this happened to anyone else? And was the format changed because I seem to remember (1 or 2 years back) it was much easier to partially quote chunks of other threads (rather than all of it) and now it all seems a bit clunky to do... (is there a category to post about technical issues? And to suggest changes/improvements to web design - I'm not in the least bit technically gifted so no idea how easy/difficult it might be to implement seemingly small changes. For example as someone pointed out when you click on recent posts, couldn't there be a sub heading as to which Category it was originally posted and a date?)

~ Piers (PS mods you get a thumbs up from me!)

I just click on the "Source" button and edit everything as before.

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/6/14 5:01 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
"Source Button"? I've got reply, reply with quote or quick reply the last of which doesn't even work...

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/6/14 5:03 PM as a reply to Piers M.
Piers M:
"Source Button"? I've got reply, reply with quote or quick reply the last of which doesn't even work...
Once you click "Reply with Quote", one of the buttons on the editor (last item on the 2nd row) is called "Source". It'll switch you to editing directly with the forum code instead of a rich text editor.

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/6/14 5:30 PM as a reply to Piers M.
I started out here in the early spring of 2011, when AF practice was a big deal. I came expecting hardcore Vipassana and was horrified to find something else, had a tantrum, and left for Kenneth Folk's site, where I happily settled in (well, not all that happily until I got some paths and found my reactivity greatly reduced as a result). That site underwent trauma when Wet Paint shut it down, but I had migrated to Awakenetwork by then (which some people here seem to think should be renamed Asleepnetwork, except I think that it's a great place to live as well as visit, even though there are no arguments to speak of). I love stopping in over here, however, even though my practice thread is on Awake/Asleep-network. 

So that's where I've gone. I have never been a regular here, and so probably no one should listen to me. But I have hung around one or another of these forums for close to 4 years, and I've watched myself develop over time, and watched others do the same. These practices, however Daniel cares to define them, can lead to volatility. Katy has attested to that, and I remember fondly her volatility, as well as enjoy the seasoned, philosophical version she presents today. Who knows what any of us will present tomorrow? The crux of it is, though, people sometimes just need to be nursed through this stuff. 

That being said, some things are too obvious to be tolerated, and someone needs to step in at such times. My preference would be for more vigilance than has typically been the case, but not for a complete overhaul of the mission and culture. 

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/6/14 5:46 PM as a reply to Piers M.
Piers quoting Daniel and commenting:
Daniel:

"Notice that there are not a lot of the old, high-level practitioners talking about much here anymore. A few show up on occasion, but many have gone elsewhere, and where, I have no idea".

This is off the general topic about moderation but as you quote the above (and I don't know the date you first posted that one) I find that somewhat alarming, especially as I'm a pre-1st pather looking for guidance from time to time. 
Piers, this is not off the general topic about moderation at all. If anything is driving the current revisions of moderation policy, then it is exactly this issue of the flight of advanced practitioners from this forum.

Please remember as you read what I say here that I cannot and do not speak for all the high-level practitioners who have left, but from various conversations I've had with people still here, the following issues have come up:

  • High-level practice can enter "territory" that is odd, magickal, unmappable to insight stages or jhanas, and beyond familiar Western paradigms altogether. Consequently, the information these practitioners share can be "sensitive," and they need to feel safe from taunts, mocking, and insincere questioning of their aims and motives. As someone who only recently attained First Path, that the advanced people leave distresses me too; this is the chief reason that a new code of conduct is necessary--to create a safe environment for sharing, to stop the flight of 3rd and 4th Pathers to what are perceived as safer spaces for sharing. Observe on Daniel's post above about "projections," that he was posting what was perceived as "defensively" after the Fairies thread. In an enviromnent that tolerates mocking of people who practice with the powers or engage in other spiritual practices unfamiliar to most, is it any wonder that even innocent questions may be perceived to be "projection"?


  • High-level practictioners still here feel that they are doing "community service" for the prepathers and early-pathers. They feel this way simply because so many of the 4th pathers have either left or don't participate much anymore. Because these practitioners therefore cannot receive answers to their own questions here, they go elsewhere to receive advice and knowledgeable commentary. So, basically, we have a self-reinforcing pattern of advanced-practitioner flight. 

  • Fourth-Pathers have attained the goal; therefore, they can simply turn back to their lives and to other axes of development. So graduating from this forum is probably a natural outcome to some extent.

Again, just some scattered observations and hearsay--not a scientific survey. I would be interested to hear others' analyses of reasons advanced people leave. 

Jenny

[Edited to add quote at the beginning]

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/6/14 7:29 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Again, just some scattered observations and hearsay--not a scientific survey. I would be interested to hear others' analyses of reasons advanced people leave. 
I think people naturally get quieter or they know better where to go for themselves, like Daniel founding his own site. 

I just think this starts waaaay earlier than so-called 4th path. 

  • Fourth-Pathers have attained the goal; therefore, they can simply turn back to their lives and to other axes of development. So graduating from this forum is probably a natural outcome to some extent.
You know, even the stream-enterer is said to become pretty autonomous, though still seeking teachers who/sources which directly know more than they do. 

So this site has fostered a lot of people's work in that "stream-entry" goal. And, like, Jane noted, there's a lot more calm. Some forums become the "Awake/Asleep" network. That's great. It feel very appropriate that more experienced practioners are on an asleep-awake mild channel.

I'm okay if you all go with a code of conduct and those things you delinated, Jen; it's not for me though. I think the niche of letting people find their mind's stream-entry is just by nature gonna be a broad invitation and it's honorable, hard niche: people are going from rougher edges to more self-regulation, more consideration, including less affrontive ways of engaging.
 
 This could be a good time for the pond to flip, so to speak, and have some mods like me exit as new ones enter with their wants.

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/6/14 7:31 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Katy has attested to that, and I remember fondly her volatility, as well as enjoy the seasoned, philosophical version she presents today. 

Maybe I can dig it out for Halloween emoticon Grrr! Grrr... pffst... No, I still get fierce, but nearly none of what I've seen here in DhO inspires that. Int the news, <sigh> yes, here, no. We're essentially among friends.

Beautiful:
Who knows what any of us will present tomorrow?
The crux of it is, though, people sometimes just need to be nursed through this stuff. 
Yes, soemtime like a messy, messy disease. There are few amazing nurses for that stuff, but sometimes there's one that inspires. Oh, yeah, that buddha called our desirous minds a cancer. Okay, disease. Messy. I was lucky to arrive here, too, during the AFers moderation period. Thank you, Claudiu for still bringing that to the table with a composure I love.
 
Okay. 

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/7/14 3:07 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Piers M:
"Source Button"? I've got reply, reply with quote or quick reply the last of which doesn't even work...
Once you click "Reply with Quote", one of the buttons on the editor (last item on the 2nd row) is called "Source". It'll switch you to editing directly with the forum code instead of a rich text editor.

Thanks for that.
On my PC (using Windows 7) only the 1st row comes up, and without the afformentioned quote marks in that row.
Now on my wife's laptop (using Windows 8.1) and both rows including the previously elusive quote marks and source button.
Weird.

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/7/14 7:00 AM as a reply to Jenny.
Jenny:
High-level practice can enter "territory" that is odd, magickal, unmappable to insight stages or jhanas, and beyond familiar Western paradigms altogether.


I think it's the Theravada-centric, i.e. Eastern, focus, which may be the bigger factor than any perceived lack of Western paradigms, of which there are actually many: Hellenistic philosophy, Jewish mysticism, Christian contemplative traditions, Sufism, Magick, the rational Enlightenment philosophies, the Romatics, American Transcendentalism, the mythos of modern conspiracy theories... and many more.

Or rather, the result of Westerners reading Theravada scripture through Christian Protestant "sola scriptura" goggles, i.e. the way we are culturally conditioned to read scripture. I feel this is true for secular, sceptical readings of scripture in particular, where the aim historically has been to out-do the apologists in their own field.

So the preoccupation with one particular way of holding one particular Eastern paradigm is a big contributing factor, I feel: Daniel's book debunks so many useless models of enlightenment that the sutta model (or gross oversimplifications of one popular sutta harmonization) sometimes is the only common ground, and people can get a bit worked up around text-based apologetics, which is just tedious, especially in the light of personal realization.

Jenny:
High-level practictioners still here feel that they are doing "community service" for the prepathers and early-pathers. They feel this way simply because so many of the 4th pathers have either left or don't participate much anymore. Because these practitioners therefore cannot receive answers to their own questions here, they go elsewhere to receive advice and knowledgeable commentary. So, basically, we have a self-reinforcing pattern of advanced-practitioner flight.


Hmmm... yeah maybe, but then those whom I consider advanced will do whatever they feel like doing, and community service does not seem to be something they feel bound to do unconditionally, or deterred by unconditionally. It's really hard to bully or shame or otherwise manipulate enlightened people into doing stuff they don't want to do. They tend to be awfully stubborn ("imperturbable").

In other words, I don't think they can be lured here by promising exemption from community service, but I also don't think the prospect of doing such service drives them away.

Jenny:
Again, just some scattered observations and hearsay--not a scientific survey. I would be interested to hear others' analyses of reasons advanced people leave.


There are many advanced and enlightened people here, who just don't advertise. Of those who don't post here any more, I think they have a wide variety of reasons of their own, and why I think they left may not be the main reason for them. Anyway:

Some left because of personality clashes, "two tigers on one mountain" effects, for example, Kenneth, Chris, and Trent.

Some rarely posted here in the first place, but have an online presence of their own, like Bypasser, Duncan Barford.

Some had real life circumstances change, parenthood, job, studies: Tarin, Alan Chapman, Jackson, Triplethink.

Some just don't like internet forums very much, for example, Duncan Barford.

Some founded sites of their own: Kenneth, Vincent...

Those are just a few that came to mind - not an exhaustive list by any means.

Cheers,
Florian

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/7/14 7:27 AM as a reply to Florian.
Yeah, I find there are a lot of experienced practitioners here. And when I follow these long practice threads, like Jean B. who brings in another tradition and Mind Over Easy who often brings music into the practice chat... and too many to name.

I'm grateful for that wide window the site has, which, to me, is very, very much mostly non-inflammatory practicioners, who become so-called "advanced" (directly experienced) every day.

But when something testy happens, for those too close to/fueling the flame, naturally they feel and act consumed by it, even to high dugeon.

-------

I think it's the Theravada-centric, i.e. Eastern, focus, which may be the bigger factor than any perceived lack of Western paradigms, of which there are actually many: Hellenistic philosophy, Jewish mysticism, Christian contemplative traditions, Sufism, Magick, the rational Enlightenment philosophies, the Romatics, American Transcendentalism, the mythos of modern conspiracy theories... and many more.
Yep, a little thera-centric here. But that's okay. I do like reading cross-contemplative practices here, too, though. 

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/12/14 5:55 PM as a reply to B B.
B B:
It seems clear to me that a lot of the recent and past problems on this site (e.g. people enjoying people getting hit with both barrels, and the blasting of people with those barrels) stem from inherent problems in the culture surrounding it.

Is the issue of severe personal attacks and harsh treatment really a serious one though? The only ones that come to mind for me are (1) triplethink attacking you (by far the worst), (2) Chuck Kasmire attacking you, (3) a user named Dan, IIRC, forcefully telling Jen Pearly to "get out with your feminism", and (4) "Ian And" quite severely disparaging the practice quality of a young guy whose name I now can't recall. In my very regularly frequenting this site over the past 2 and a half years these occurrences seem to be very rare. Can you link to a few others?

I was referring to "problems", not just severe personal attacks and harsh personal treatment. I could think of few of others of this type, but I take your point - they are pretty rare. But you miss out the next sentence in your quote:


People (both users and mods) have justified their suffering-causing behaviour because they believe they are acting in the vision of what this place is all about, a place for "hardcore dharma" and "hardcore practice". 

So problems... the point about the culture and vision is what people do to justify behaviour. So I had a post about this recently that got deleted to illustrate. But to rehash, dat buddha field had an perceived arrogant attitude in that he knew what real practice/the dark night was all about . This upset a few users as they felt they were being talked down to by someone they believed to be their inferior/younger. This lead a pissed-off DW to make a disparging remark in the spirit of this what this place is all about - where practice involved non-lacking phenomonlogical descriptions,  I made a snarky meta-comment about DW's perceived ability to be the guardian of the spirit of the site, then Florian made a snarky comment in the spirit of what he believed this site is about with his mantra "this is place is about meditation practice", then I made a thread trying to highlight some of the problems in all this (myself included), that led to a small shit storm, then we had this secondary shit-storm with that thread with Bill/victim identity, where he kept on repeating over and over "this is a site for practice" where it was apparent he was justifying his behaviour with a (distorted) perception of the spirit of the site. Now, in these cases, I don't think the word "hardcore" was used, but it is pretty clear in Daniel's vision of the site (or at least was until recently) that this is a place for hardcore meditation practice, where "practice" is often used as a signifier or pointer to "(hardcore meditation) practice"


But, I must ask, why do you even care? Is it because you're genuinely interested in achieving Awakening in this lifetime and have a serious practice to prove it, or, perhaps, because you simply enjoy receiving attention and stirring things up, and so create endless numbers of meta-posts and meta-threads on a forum where you can exploit the exceptional patience and civility of its members? To be honest, a far more important issue for me is how you could have possibly amassed 468 posts on this site when you almost never talk about your own practice, give advice based on your own practice, or show any interest in improving.

The first part of your post is about the content of my post, which I appreciate, and I have responded to it, as you make a valid point in my opinion. The second part is an ad hominen attack. 


Mods: A suggestion - Could we change the first line of the new rules from:
  • No name-calling or ad hominem attacks
to

  • No name-calling or ad hominem attacks, unless that person deserves it because they are a troll/a troll sock-puppet second cousin/has a shitty practice/has or used to have the user name James Yen/a whiner who whines about being treated as an outsider when someone else has had enough/doesn't show signs of improving/has no practice/is an attention seeking shit stirer/doesn't meditate/has pissed me off/is insincere/is excessively discursive/is an intellectual mastubator/provides lacking phenomonological descriptions/is a pot-stirring cynical misinterpreting hyper-simplistic armchair-quarterbacking speculative ignorantly-pontificating knee-jerk-negative reductionist who hangs out on formus that have nearly nothing to do with their apparent interests and wouldn't seem to adequately address their core personal pathology


RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/12/14 5:39 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
I have similar concerns.

It is ironic that, in my view, the person who has caused the most trouble over the life of the Dharma Overground is actually Sawfoot, and the restraint that has been shown in light of this is truly remarkable and vastly more civil that most forums would produce, in my view.

Sawfoot: you will find imperfections here, incongruities, and that is normal. Still, were you interested in the sorts of practices generally discussed here (or others for that matter that are useful that you wish to introduce), you would likely find more value and perhaps spend less time trying to pick the place apart. I still think that, as this place continues to not meet your ideals in so many ways that you continue to describe in such detail day after day, you should do as many other fine people before you have done, meaning started a site that suited their tastes with a group more closely matching their ideals. It tends to save trouble all around and in all cases that I am aware of has resulted in increased happiness for all sides.

You may also note that The DhO is one thing, and I am another. While there is clearly some connection between the two, I have ignored the DhO for months at a time, once not posting or checking it once for 3 months, and it carried along just fine. This is a model that you somehow have missed.

Further, the word "hardcore" is a word that you clearly take very differently from the way it is intended. You seem to mix into that all sorts of ideas of your that don't actually apply in reality.

I am reminded of the word "extreme", such as the example in the movie Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, when they are plagued by a group of guys yelling, "Extreme!" and then tearing things up and causing trouble. That sort of use of the word, taken in that context, would seem to be associated with the sort of behaviour you seem to associate with "hardcore".

However, the implications of the term "hardcore", as used here, are to differentiate it from things such as the more low-dose, light-weight, hyper-psychologized, low-expectation mindfulness practices that one sees in much of the Western meditation world, and not to imply something about being caustic. Mixing up my own self-depricating critique of some of my speech and communcation patterns (patterns I feel have faded somewhat in the 15 years since I wrote those words) with the term "hardcore" is neither helpful nor accurate and does not convey the spirit of the term.

"Hardcore" is meant to encourage people to aim high, to apply doses of practice likely to affect deep changes, to empower people, not to give license to verbal abuse. You associate the two together in ways that are not helpful and may color people's impression of the place adversely and out of proportion to actual incidents of malignant speech, as B B points out.

Were you to practice, you might be willing to forgive some of the inconsistencies and flaws that you seem so adept at perceiving, plenty of which may have some validity, at least in the abstract, and start appreciating what this and its sister sites offer, which is a community of people supporting practices that can truly transform perception and open whole worlds of understanding. It is always amazing to me that people can be exposed to these things and not find them extremely attractive, but then tastes vary and cognitive barriers abound.

Oh, yes, a brief warning. I should mention that I am hardcore, into hardcore practice, into very hard-hitting dharma, and sometimes I let it out with both barrels.
The bio is humorous and self-depreciating, this quote (from your website, above, that I excerpted earlier) is more aggrandizing than depreciating. I don't know how the link could be any less clear - there is even a physical violence metaphor of "hard-hitting". This might have been written a long time ago, but it has to mean something, though I appreciate your views and personality may have changed since it was written. As I said in my post, I was talking about how people (which means people, that includes people other than myself) could have a perception or a distorted perception of what hardcore is all about. And it is useful to hear what you would like to have that word mean. 

You know it is possible to criticise something that you find value in, because you want to make it better? And going around in circles, you know you don't get to decide what practice is and who is doing it? 

Not Tao has a practice - their interactions on this forum have been part of that, and it apparently has ben very useful for them. I would concur. It isn't just about an expression of your personality, it is about understanding your-self - your dharma self:
Not Tao:

When I came back, that same ego reared it's ugly head, and I had to keep close watch on it.  Disassembling it has been a great learning process for me - as someone who's interested in emotional triggers - but is that really the purpose of this forum - to provide an emotional jungle gym where we all need to be indiana jones just to keep posting?  I'd encourage everyone to consider their own dharma self that they've created.  Is it really skillful?
Were you to practice, Dnaiel, you might be willing to understand and appreciate some of the inconsistencies and flaws that you seem so adept at perceiving in me, plenty of which may have some validity, at least in the abstract, and start appreciating what I and people like me have to offer, which is a community of people supporting practices that can truly transform perception and open whole worlds of understanding. It is always amazing to me that people can be exposed to these things and not find them extremely illuminating, but then tastes vary and cognitive barriers abound... etc..

You know, that community which creates the other 99% of posts which don't involve "deep" "heavy" "hardcore" "serious" "real" "practice".  

But yes, overall, getting past the 8 paragraphs all structured to have a dig at me (ad hominen much?), point taken. 

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/12/14 5:27 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
katy steger:
Daniel: 
Sawfoot: you will find imperfections here, incongruities, and that is normal. Still, were you interested in the sorts of practices generally discussed here (or others for that matter that are useful that you wish to introduce), you would likely find more value and perhaps spend less time trying to pick the place apart. I still think that, as this place continues to not meet your ideals in so many ways that you continue to describe in such detail day after day, you should do as many other fine people before you have done, meaning started a site that suited their tastes with a group more closely matching their ideals. It tends to save trouble all around and in all cases that I am aware of has resulted in increased happiness for all sides.

Agree. Sawfoot, I think you do have a practice community that excites you if our old chat is still relevant. While I don't want anywhere to become a cozy echobox of non-scrutiny, I think you have played the same-style harp too long here. I tend to ignore it and, in my own pompous mind, see your activity as a sympton of it being easier to chase and create outside mice to chase instead of watching own-mice arise in own-mind and sit with that chase.

And I do relate to this as I have already shared: sometimes aggressive debate/arguing is a way to kick the tires and see if a practice is worthwhile. Still, one has to get to own-mind and to just watching it, not ever outgoing biting remarks and chase and stir ups.

That's said, I wish people ignored posts like these and stopped giving chase..

Erm, people not including you?! This sure seems like an ad hominen attack that ignores and devalues the content and context of the original post and instead makes it about me and we all know where that leads...

But yes, good advice, isn't it...Actually mediating and letting those insights pervade your life in a meaningful way. 


Best wishes and I welcome a practice thread of yours, though not more of the discursiveness which you've been sharing.

Not likely to stop with the discursiveness any time soon! But will see what I can do with more productive avenues and avoiding stirring up trouble here. 

Cheerio. xx

edit: spelling... as usual

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/12/14 7:42 PM as a reply to sawfoot _.
Katy:

And I do relate to this as I have already shared: sometimes aggressive debate/arguing is a way to kick the tires and see if a practice is worthwhile. Still, one has to get to own-mind and to just watching it, not ever outgoing biting remarks and chase and stir ups.


That's said, I wish people ignored posts like these and stopped giving chase.

Sawfoot:
Erm, people not including you?! This sure seems like an ad hominen attack that ignores and devalues the content and context of the original post and instead makes it about me and we all know where that leads... 


Yes, definitely including me, S. 

Do you think the way you've communicating draws a person to the content and context of your writing, or do you think the way you've commicated draws a person to engage defensively or hostilely? 

I eventually did see something in the dhammapada that I related to: With our thoughts we create the world.

So what, at death, do I want to know I created more of: working together or warring together? 
More from the dhammapada: ill-will only ever gives rise to ill-will...
Emotions are like that: conceit creates more conceit..
Gratifying affrontiveness creates affrontiveness.
In what sort of world do I want to live? With our thoughts and feelings expressed, a caused experience comes into being.

It helped that people I respected in the forum also were basically ignoring my posts (me!) and only mutually hostile/affrontive people were jumping in to reply to me. Yep, I got surrounded by the environment I created.


Sawfoot:
Not likely to stop with the discursiveness any time soon! But will see what I can do with more productive avenues and avoiding stirring up trouble here. 
Well, for me, it's interesting. If there's emotional gratification in "stirring up trouble" that stirring would happen wherever that mind presents itself. 


We're both guests at this potlatch, so to speak. So I am generally happy when I read you've "walked in the door here", figuratively speaking. In part, because we've also chatted once for a while and I think body language and facial expression form a helpful basis, too (and the presence of funny cat).

So I'd love to see your thoughts without the affrontive expressions.

But if that's where you're at, yes, I will probably wish you well but ask you to avoid this particular "potlatch" (online forum), else it's like an expressive, talented relative who sings a great "Danny Boy", but follows quickly in becoming inflammed/troublesome/unrestrained at the table.


Smile and high five and happy approach to one-year wedding anniversary (yes, soon?)...

My two cents,
Katy

{edited: I lengthened this post, I tried to re-shorten this post, now I'll just leave it alone... maybe ten times now?}

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/13/14 6:37 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Threats of Violence shouldn't be allowed.
IMO other threats shouldn't be allowed either.
I'm not at all amused about this:
Jeremy May:
If I ever see you tell someone that
they may be crazy, even once in all the years that I will watch you, I
will tell everyone what you are in a way that will ruin you.

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/13/14 8:00 AM as a reply to sawfoot _.
sawfoot _:
B B:
It seems clear to me that a lot of the recent and past problems on this site (e.g. people enjoying people getting hit with both barrels, and the blasting of people with those barrels) stem from inherent problems in the culture surrounding it.

Is the issue of severe personal attacks and harsh treatment really a serious one though? The only ones that come to mind for me are (1) triplethink attacking you (by far the worst), (2) Chuck Kasmire attacking you, (3) a user named Dan, IIRC, forcefully telling Jen Pearly to "get out with your feminism", and (4) "Ian And" quite severely disparaging the practice quality of a young guy whose name I now can't recall. In my very regularly frequenting this site over the past 2 and a half years these occurrences seem to be very rare. Can you link to a few others?

I was referring to "problems", not just severe personal attacks and harsh personal treatment. I could think of few of others of this type, but I take your point - they are pretty rare. But you miss out the next sentence in your quote:


People (both users and mods) have justified their suffering-causing behaviour because they believe they are acting in the vision of what this place is all about, a place for "hardcore dharma" and "hardcore practice". 

So problems... the point about the culture and vision is what people do to justify behaviour. So I had a post about this recently that got deleted to illustrate. But to rehash, dat buddha field had an perceived arrogant attitude in that he knew what real practice/the dark night was all about . This upset a few users as they felt they were being talked down to by someone they believed to be their inferior/younger. This lead a pissed-off DW to make a disparging remark in the spirit of this what this place is all about - where practice involved non-lacking phenomonlogical descriptions,  I made a snarky meta-comment about DW's perceived ability to be the guardian of the spirit of the site, then Florian made a snarky comment in the spirit of what he believed this site is about with his mantra "this is place is about meditation practice", then I made a thread trying to highlight some of the problems in all this (myself included), that led to a small shit storm, then we had this secondary shit-storm with that thread with Bill/victim identity, where he kept on repeating over and over "this is a site for practice" where it was apparent he was justifying his behaviour with a (distorted) perception of the spirit of the site. Now, in these cases, I don't think the word "hardcore" was used, but it is pretty clear in Daniel's vision of the site (or at least was until recently) that this is a place for hardcore meditation practice, where "practice" is often used as a signifier or pointer to "(hardcore meditation) practice"


But, I must ask, why do you even care? Is it because you're genuinely interested in achieving Awakening in this lifetime and have a serious practice to prove it, or, perhaps, because you simply enjoy receiving attention and stirring things up, and so create endless numbers of meta-posts and meta-threads on a forum where you can exploit the exceptional patience and civility of its members? To be honest, a far more important issue for me is how you could have possibly amassed 468 posts on this site when you almost never talk about your own practice, give advice based on your own practice, or show any interest in improving.

The first part of your post is about the content of my post, which I appreciate, and I have responded to it, as you make a valid point in my opinion. The second part is an ad hominen attack. 


Mods: A suggestion - Could we change the first line of the new rules from:
  • No name-calling or ad hominem attacks
to

  • No name-calling or ad hominem attacks, unless that person deserves it because they are a troll/a troll sock-puppet second cousin/has a shitty practice/has or used to have the user name James Yen/a whiner who whines about being treated as an outsider when someone else has had enough/doesn't show signs of improving/has no practice/is an attention seeking shit stirer/doesn't meditate/has pissed me off/is insincere/is excessively discursive/is an intellectual mastubator/provides lacking phenomonological descriptions/is a pot-stirring cynical misinterpreting hyper-simplistic armchair-quarterbacking speculative ignorantly-pontificating knee-jerk-negative reductionist who hangs out on formus that have nearly nothing to do with their apparent interests and wouldn't seem to adequately address their core personal pathology

I didn't intend to influence people's opinions regarding the validity of your original statement by arguing ad hominem. In fact, I wasn't trying to question the validity of your original statement at all. I was trying to raise the separate issue of your motives behind being one of the DhO's most frequent posters, and prompt you to question them. In support of this I tried to make an objective statement about the proportion of your posts that are directly related to practice, based on my time spent reading large numbers of them. I contend that none of this constitutes an "attack". My intention was to help keep this forum in line with its stated purpose of being a support for hardcore meditation practice, and I have long identified your contributions as being largely disregarding of that purpose. Would you seriously claim otherwise? Are you actively trying to attain Awakening and have the necessary practice for that goal? Have you crossed the A&P? Can you enter even the 1st jhana?

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/13/14 8:10 AM as a reply to bernd the broter.
bernd the broter:
Threats of Violence shouldn't be allowed.
IMO other threats shouldn't be allowed either.
I'm not at all amused about this:
Jeremy May:
If I ever see you tell someone that
they may be crazy, even once in all the years that I will watch you, I
will tell everyone what you are in a way that will ruin you.


Thanks. Btw, the "flagging" function works now - it alerts the mods.

A moderator has already addressed the post in question.

Cheers,
Florian

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/13/14 9:55 AM as a reply to Florian.
It should also be noted that, as the FAQ points out, "That said, this place couldn't happen without a wide range of talents and efforts from a wide range of people, and this place will only do well if there are people who feel that they are getting something out of it and able to contribute something to it, and so in reality, for most things, a mix of group consensus, individual action, and compromise drives the day to day governance of the thing, and thus, the reality what happens is generally an organic collective democracy tempered and augmented at times by frank dictatorship as a last resort.", and I have no problems resorting to that frank dictatorship as a last resort, and, as I don't believe that the benefit-to-harm ratio favors Sawfoot's posts, on balance, however possibly well-meant he says they are, and, as previous requests have not gotten the message across, I am again requesting that Sawfoot find another outlet for what he feels are his talents, interests and perspectives, as, if they are truly of the value he says they are, perhaps some other community will agree and embrace his level of meticulous engagement and meta-cognitive abilities with open arms.

Should that be in any way ambiguous, feel unfair, or cause you other objections, Sawfoot, please simply leave anyway, recognizing that the web is a vast place and, I believe, capable of providing a much closer fit to your ways of interacting and viewing the world, thus increasing happiness all around.

Daniel
Administrator, Owner and Founder of the DhO

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/13/14 6:18 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Anyone else got something smart to say about fairies being real or not?
I didn't think so...

RE: New Moderation Policy
Answer
10/17/14 12:24 AM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Anyone else got something smart to say about fairies being real or not?I didn't think so...


I believe the term is not "smart," but "smartass."