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Talking about DhO itself

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Talking about DhO itself Daniel M. Ingram 4/10/15 2:15 AM
RE: Talking about DhO itself Pål 4/10/15 4:23 AM
RE: Authenticity of noting Daniel M. Ingram 4/10/15 4:59 AM
RE: Authenticity of noting Pål 4/10/15 6:28 AM
RE: Authenticity of noting Bill F. 4/10/15 5:49 PM
RE: Authenticity of noting katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 4/10/15 7:47 PM
RE: Authenticity of noting Bill F. 4/10/15 7:53 PM
RE: Authenticity of noting Daniel M. Ingram 4/10/15 7:29 PM
RE: Authenticity of noting Bill F. 4/10/15 7:52 PM
RE: Authenticity of noting Ryan J 3/5/17 12:08 AM
RE: Authenticity of noting Laurel Carrington 4/23/15 9:41 AM
RE: Authenticity of noting PP 4/23/15 1:33 PM
RE: Authenticity of noting Bill F. 4/23/15 9:23 PM
RE: Authenticity of noting Daniel M. Ingram 4/11/15 2:19 AM
RE: Authenticity of noting Pål 4/11/15 9:02 AM
RE: Authenticity of noting Not Tao 4/11/15 10:45 PM
RE: Authenticity of noting Bill F. 4/11/15 8:13 AM
RE: Authenticity of noting Simon Ekstrand 4/11/15 1:42 PM
RE: Authenticity of noting katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 4/11/15 2:30 PM
RE: Authenticity of noting Bill F. 4/11/15 5:13 PM
RE: Talking about DhO itself John Wilde 4/11/15 8:43 PM
RE: Talking about DhO itself John Wilde 4/11/15 8:58 PM
RE: Talking about DhO itself Bill F. 4/12/15 12:08 AM
RE: Talking about DhO itself John Wilde 4/12/15 9:33 AM
RE: Talking about DhO itself Bill F. 4/12/15 10:22 AM
RE: Talking about DhO itself John Wilde 4/12/15 11:53 AM
RE: Talking about DhO itself Laurel Carrington 4/12/15 1:47 PM
RE: Talking about DhO itself John Wilde 4/12/15 4:28 PM
RE: Talking about DhO itself Bill F. 4/12/15 4:50 PM
RE: Talking about DhO itself John Wilde 4/12/15 9:51 PM
RE: Talking about DhO itself Bill F. 4/12/15 5:47 PM
RE: Talking about DhO itself John Wilde 4/12/15 5:51 PM
RE: Talking about DhO itself Psi 4/12/15 6:34 PM
RE: Talking about DhO itself Alin Mathews 4/13/15 12:54 AM
RE: Talking about DhO itself CJMacie 4/13/15 12:46 AM
RE: Authenticity of noting b man 4/16/15 4:04 PM
RE: Authenticity of noting Alin Mathews 4/17/15 7:35 AM
RE: Authenticity of noting b man 4/17/15 12:41 PM
RE: Authenticity of noting . Jake . 4/20/15 10:16 AM
RE: Authenticity of noting Ryan J 4/11/15 2:56 PM
RE: Talking about DhO itself Bill F. 4/10/15 5:47 PM
RE: Talking about DhO itself Psi 4/11/15 7:00 PM
RE: Talking about DhO itself Bill F. 4/11/15 8:52 PM
RE: Talking about DhO itself Psi 4/11/15 9:42 PM
RE: Talking about DhO itself Bill F. 4/11/15 10:09 PM
RE: Talking about DhO itself Blue Jay 4/11/15 10:32 PM
RE: Talking about DhO itself PP 4/11/15 10:56 PM
RE: Talking about DhO itself CJMacie 4/12/15 7:13 AM
RE: Talking about DhO itself svmonk 4/12/15 9:35 AM
RE: Talking about DhO itself Bill F. 4/12/15 10:27 AM
RE: Talking about DhO itself CJMacie 4/13/15 5:55 AM
RE: Talking about DhO itself Bill F. 4/13/15 8:20 AM
RE: Talking about DhO itself Alexander Entelechy 4/13/15 10:08 AM
RE: Talking about DhO itself Alin Mathews 4/13/15 11:21 AM
RE: Talking about DhO itself Matt 4/13/15 11:23 AM
RE: Talking about DhO itself Alin Mathews 4/15/15 8:06 AM
RE: Talking about DhO itself CJMacie 4/13/15 11:48 AM
RE: Talking about DhO itself Bill F. 4/13/15 7:52 PM
RE: Talking about DhO itself . Jake . 4/14/15 9:44 AM
RE: Talking about DhO itself Bill F. 4/15/15 6:53 AM
RE: Talking about DhO itself . Jake . 4/15/15 10:15 AM
RE: Talking about DhO itself Bill F. 4/15/15 4:20 PM
RE: Talking about DhO itself Chris Marti 4/15/15 6:27 PM
RE: Talking about DhO itself . Jake . 4/15/15 9:07 PM
RE: Talking about DhO itself b man 4/16/15 4:16 PM
RE: Talking about DhO itself . Jake . 4/15/15 9:26 PM
RE: Talking about DhO itself Bill F. 4/15/15 10:12 PM
RE: Talking about DhO itself . Jake . 4/16/15 7:42 AM
RE: Talking about DhO itself CJMacie 4/15/15 7:45 AM
RE: Talking about DhO itself Bill F. 4/15/15 3:56 PM
RE: Talking about DhO itself Jenny 4/23/15 9:14 AM
RE: Talking about DhO itself svmonk 4/13/15 2:44 PM
RE: Talking about DhO itself CJMacie 4/17/15 7:55 AM
RE: Talking about DhO itself Eric M W 4/15/15 7:45 PM
RE: Talking about DhO itself CJMacie 4/17/15 8:11 PM
Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/10/15 2:15 AM
Daniel is mostly to blame as it is his message board, and he then, as now, has failed to do much of anything about it. He's like the absentee father sticking his head into the smoke filled bedroom of his wayward child on visiting weekends, saying "you kids knock it off!" and then walking away. I like Daniel though. He seems like a nice guy.

Well, Daddy, I mean Daniel, has been working crazy hours at work and at a required conference and working on a video for a competition for our hospitals charitable foundation to help our emergency department that his boss asked him to do and trying to get a bit of sleep in the process. Sorry, but the job of saving lives, helping people and stomping out disease is sometimes a pretty time-consuming one.

Further, while there are some unfortunate aspects to this thread obviously, I think it is ok and some good things came out of it.

As has been stated many times by others, I find dogmatic things about "authenticity" somewhat tiresome. Other's really find it important for their sense of practice or identity or whatever, and I get that also. It is mostly a personality thing much more than it has anything to do with the Buddha, I personally feel.

I like Katy's fine discussion of how canons of texts arise and in particulary what we know about the Pali Canon. Thanks for that.

A few things about the Mahasi tradition: noting is sort of like learning to write the letters of the alphabet with those kindergarden workbooks books that have lots of lines and pictures of how to draw letters with each part of the letter having a number by each stroke with arrows to tell you which order to draw them in and in what direction. They work, in that you can rapidly learn to draw letters and then write words using those simple workbooks, as millions of schoolchildren have learned for themselves.

As you will notice in PIM, noting isn't fast enough to keep up with reality and is dropped in early stages.

As to what you might learn in a Mahasi Center if your practice goes deep: it is vastly beyond noting, and may include jhanas (the Pali Canon samatha ones with peace and bliss and all of that), things like Nirodha Samapatti (Bill Hamilton was big into going to Panditarama to play around with that), and powers and all sorts of other stuff. They just don't talk about that stuff much at the front door. They are fine talking about zero to stream entry, as they consider that on the trivial and straightforward end of things.

Thus, you can tell who here has trained deeply in Mahasi Center that discussed things in this thread: not many that I could identify, but I might be wrong. Want to actually learn something about Mahasi? Go train with some Mahasi-trained people and practice well enough to get to the tood stuff.

Reading this discussion and then comparing it to actually training with the Mahasi monks and those that they trained is sort of like reading Rousseau talking in extremely simplistic and absurdly idealized terms about primitive tribespeople, namely laughably naive.

So, is noting "authentic"? It is sort of like debating whether or not those workbooks from kindergarden that taught you how to write letters were used by the original people that invented the Roman alphabet: basically a ridiculous discussion. Those workbooks taught me to write. My writing is ok most of the time. Now computers form the letters for me. Are computer-generated Roman letters "authentic"? Is typing "authentic"? You get the picture.

Is the Mahasi tradition authentic? Uh, I guess it depends on whether or not you consider things like jhanas authentic, as the Mahasi tradition as actually practiced today is vast and deep.

It is true that Mahasi is insight first, samatha later in a lot of ways. That is one of many possible ways to go. I have some fine and awakened friends, including plenty here, who were samatha first, and that is fine. I care about results, myself. 

Speaking of results: might start yet another thread about that, if people are actually interested, or, if you prefer, read the countless threads that discuss 10 Fetter vs some other model on this site, as it has been a topic of debate since the Dharma Overground was the Dharma Underground on WetPaint at its inception. Still, there is something to having the conversation with new people, as sometimes new people lend something to these important discussions.

I got warned that this thread was bad and some troll-fest, but it actually seems pretty reasonable as the DhO goes. Is this thread "my fault"? I don't think so. Is this forum being here my fault? Partially, but it takes a lot of people to make up what a forum is, and you could just as easily blame Vince Horn, as this place arose out of a conversation with him back in the day.

I think there are a few things that most of us would agree on, thought I welcome any thoughts on this:

1) The sensations that make up our reality are the only basis for practice we have.

2) Noticing things about that sensate experience is likely to cause some increased knowledge of our sensate reality.

3) The more concentrated we are in this, meaning the more consistently we can do this, the more likely we will gain some insights into reality.

4) Samatha jhanas are concentrated states in which the mind is steady.

5) Sensations are impermanent and causal.

6) Some people like to notice impermanence first and learn samatha jhanas later.

7) Some people like to learn samatha jhanas first and notice that all things are impermanent later.

8) Some people mix these together and learn both along the way.

9) Some people like totally different traditions, such as AF, Taoism, and the like, and may mix those with some of the above or just totally do something else.

10) The sense of things being "authentic" is really helpful for some people's practice.

11) The sense of things being effective is really helpful for some people's practice.

12) Given that internal states and "awakenings" can't yet be definitely known externally (say by some fMRI or whatever), we have only people's reports of their experiences and any potential transformations as well as observations of their behaviors and words from which to extrapolate these things.

13) Given point twelve, definitive debates about who has achieved what and how that compares to someone else's practice and results are dubious thought inevitable.

14) Practice for yourself is finally the only thing that will help clarify these points.

15) Balancing the need for sleep, to help patients and running a forum, among other things, is not always easy or optimal.


I personally am extremely happy with my practice, its results, and the methods that got me those results, those being a mix of many things in basically this rough order: Quaker Hippy/New Age, Thai Forest, Mahayana, Advaita Vedanta, Non-Aligned, Zen, Mahasi, Sri Lankan, Vajrayana, Ceremonial Magick, Mahasi, and then a bunch of other stuff that gets complicated. My thanks to all my teachers, to those who have supported my practice and to those who practiced along side me.

Best wishes and practice well,

Daniel





RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/10/15 4:23 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Thanks, especially for the input on the relationship between mahasi and Jhanas. 

But, while you're here:
How can insight make an end to suffering if it doesn't erase attraction and aversion, which MCTB says it doesn't? This makes me confused about the 4 noble truths...

RE: Authenticity of noting
Answer
4/10/15 4:59 AM as a reply to Pål.
Where does MCTB say that?

It actually says the opposite. No sense of this side being somehow special, independent or stable means no split in perception at all, and no split means no sense of a this side that is trying to get to that side for nice sensations, trying to get away from that side for unpleasant sensations, and tuning out for the dull ones. Instead, everything is just where it is, doing what it does.

Thus, those tensions both towards and away from vanish. That is really nice and vastly better than the initial way of perceiving things.

It doesn't fix everything about life. It doesn't eliminate all emotions or even just the "bad ones", but is does transform something in them, though this is hard to quantify. Perceptually, it is extremely satisfying in its straightworward "answer-ness".

RE: Authenticity of noting
Answer
4/10/15 6:28 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
In not accepting the ten fetter model, which basicly says attraction and aversion are gone at arahantship? I don't get this...

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/10/15 5:47 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Well, Daddy, I mean Daniel, has been working crazy hours at work and at a required conference and working on a video for a competition for our hospitals charitable foundation to help our emergency department that his boss asked him to do and trying to get a bit of sleep in the process. Sorry, but the job of saving lives, helping people and stomping out disease is sometimes a pretty time-consuming one.

Is this thread "my fault"? I don't think so. Is this forum being here my fault? Partially, but it takes a lot of people to make up what a forum is, and you could just as easily blame Vince Horn, as this place arose out of a conversation with him back in the day.

15) Balancing the need for sleep, to help patients and running a forum, among other things, is not always easy or optimal.


Haha. I love it.
My only hope in writing that was that you might read it, and feel provoked in some way to respond. You did, and I am glad. Your participation here is useful. Do your thing. And if you don't like the results of the forum you have set up, as you've stated at times in the past, then do something about that as well.

I had to leave for my job so did not get a chance to respond in full. Vince can not be held to the same degree of responsibilty as he is no longer involved with the site. He left years ago, as did just about anybody back then who was seriously involved. Don't you think that's telling? It seems to be a repeated phenomenom. It is normal for people to drift in and out of projects/sanghas/groups but not at the rate they do here. Many of the KFD members from years ago still share their practice consistently at awake network.

I care because I think there is real value in the principles you have set forth and a community that lives out those principles. It was deeply valuable in my own practice when I was able to connect at with people who were willing to share about this stuff openly. My criticsm is that I think you have done a consistently poor job of maintaining this forum in a way that is self sustaining and nourishing for long term practitioners. Whether that matters to you or not I don't know. I would like to develop a similar site as a group effort but I'm not good with technology, and I'm too easy to dislike, and in turn, discredit.

Also, though you may resent the analogy of paternalism, you have referred to yourself as "overlord" and Jenny months back wrote that you referred to the posters here privately as "the kids" in a pejorative manner. Upstream you refer to the posts as "laughably naive". You can't have it both ways, i.e you can't presume authority and reject it in turn when it casts you in an unflattering light.

As for your schedule that all came across as pretty dramatic, and unnecessary. I work with adults with autism and spent years working in mental health hospitals. I'm in graduate school. I have a relationship, and lots of food to cook, etc. etc. etc. Who cares? I never brining that up because it's peripheral. It is your site. You should not both complain about it repeatedly, and not set up parameters to ensure that it is moving in a similar direction to what you imagine is most useful. 

RE: Authenticity of noting
Answer
4/10/15 5:49 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Well, Daddy, I mean Daniel, has been working crazy hours at work and at a required conference and working on a video for a competition for our hospitals charitable foundation to help our emergency department that his boss asked him to do and trying to get a bit of sleep in the process. Sorry, but the job of saving lives, helping people and stomping out disease is sometimes a pretty time-consuming one.

Is this thread "my fault"? I don't think so. Is this forum being here my fault? Partially, but it takes a lot of people to make up what a forum is, and you could just as easily blame Vince Horn, as this place arose out of a conversation with him back in the day.

15) Balancing the need for sleep, to help patients and running a forum, among other things, is not always easy or optimal.


Haha. I love it.
My only hope in writing that was that you might read it, and feel provoked in some way to respond. You did, and I am glad. Your participation here is useful. Do your thing. And if you don't like the results of the forum you have set up, as you've stated at times in the past, then do something about that as well.

I had to leave for my job so did not get a chance to respond in full. Vince can not be held to the same degree of responsibilty as he is no longer involved with the site. He left years ago, as did just about anybody back then who was seriously involved. Don't you think that's telling? It seems to be a repeated phenomenom. It is normal for people to drift in and out of projects/sanghas/groups but not at the rate they do here. Many of the KFD members from years ago still share their practice consistently at awake network.

I care because I think there is real value in the principles you have set forth and a community that lives out those principles. It was deeply valuable in my own practice when I was able to connect at with people who were willing to share about this stuff openly. My criticsm is that I think you have done a consistently poor job of maintaining this forum in a way that is self sustaining and nourishing for long term practitioners. Whether that matters to you or not I don't know. I would like to develop a similar site as a group effort but I'm not good with technology, and I'm too easy to dislike, and in turn, discredit.

Also, though you may resent the analogy of paternalism, you have referred to yourself as "overlord" and Jenny months back wrote that you referred to the posters here privately as "the kids" in a pejorative manner. Upstream you refer to the posts as "laughably naive". You can't have it both ways, i.e you can't presume authority and reject it in turn when it casts you in an unflattering light.

As for your schedule that all came across as pretty dramatic, and unnecessary. I work with adults with autism and spent years working in mental health hospitals. I'm in graduate school. I have a relationship, and lots of food to cook, etc. etc. etc. Who cares? I never brining that up because it's peripheral. It is your site. You should not both complain about it repeatedly, and not set up parameters to ensure that it is moving in a similar direction to what you imagine is most useful. 

RE: Authenticity of noting
Answer
4/10/15 7:47 PM as a reply to Bill F..
..and I'm too easy to dislike, and in turn, discredit.
Aw, Bill.. shush.
Non-sense**.
(Or in Pāli-- āsense?)


care because I think there is real value in the principles you have set forth and a community that lives out those principles. It was deeply valuable in my own practice when I was able to connect at with people who were willing to share about this stuff openly. My criticsm is that I think you have done a consistently poor job of maintaining this forum in a way that is self sustaining and nourishing for long term practitioners.
Erm.. sites seem to attract different needs.

This site does not readily shun debaters/argumenter/tire kickers. Naturally, then there are such debativemental states here and not elsewhere where closed governance doth shun them.
 
This site could make for a good Tibetan buddhism debating site; that team make such good use of the human ability to conceive and debate and to disrupt*! 

But I used to spelunk, so maybe I just value descent? hee hee  


So, for speculation's sake I'll see yours and raise you one speculaty:
Zee good people who come to the DhO may make zee progress in zee meditative 'obby and zehn zhey may move on with zheir lives, moving out of zee cloobhouse, into zee beeeg world with zee suffusive practique, peut-ê
tre? (I noted zhat you speak zee french in other zhread.)*
Whether that matters to you or not I don't know. I would like to develop a similar site as a group effort but I'm not good with technology.
Neat. Bonne chance, ami.

_____
Eet is alzo zee Friday nuit, a silly temps
*Disrupt! So popular now in creative circles!
**I'm not being sarastic anywhere here, Bill, just averse to serious delivery at the momento-- so tired!

RE: Authenticity of noting
Answer
4/10/15 7:29 PM as a reply to Bill F..
Dear Bill,

Is this forum perfectly monitored and run? It is unlikely that anyone would think that, including myself. Is it easy to craft a set of optimal parameters and enforce them uniformly in a forum that doesn't have full-time, dedicated monitors? No, as years of experimentation have shown. I try to find a balance in my life, and sometimes various aspects get short changed, and this is one of the many that this happens to.

Still, how to make this place better is a continued experiment and I welcome your specific and implementable feedback, realizing that anyone who provides feedback likely has a specific set of needs and vision for this forum that might not necessarily be in line with anyone else's or possible given limited resources. We likely need more monitors, and I will try to work on that later today.

The point about Vince was tongue in cheek, and it tried to make the point that you can't hold me resoponsible for everything that people post here when I am not available, particularly when I am caught in unusually heavy runs of work, which I was. That is not dramatic, it is just the way things are. I am not complaining, as I signed up for my job and specifically ask to work that much. Still, those heavy runs are much beyond what most people normally work, and there are only so many hours in the week, as we all know, and I do have the rest of my life to tend to as well.

I try to keep this place high-level, adult and reasonable, and yet the world of internet forums somehow brings out levels of, well, there is no nice way to put it, and this in people who would hopefully never talk that way at work to a colleague or their clients or other people of value in their lives. The more people on a forum, the more the bell curve of internet decorum and sense will create that tail of extremes, and on the bad end of that, it obviously can be bad.

Regarding people leaving, some left, some have come back at points (Kenneth Folk comes to mind) each trying to meet their own changing needs in a vast digital world with lots of options, options that simply didn't exist then. I am very happy that good solid options, such as Awake Network, exist. I do not aspire to provide a place that will keep everyone who shows up here here. This place does what it does. If people need that at points, it is here. In that, at least, it is the longest running pragmatic meditation forum and I hope it will continue to last long into the future so long as there is some need for what it is.

Imagine if all 4000+ members of the DhO plus all of the lurkers posted here regularly. I frankly am very glad that is not happening, as it would be overwhelming for everyone concerned. It is not that I wish to discourage participation, but there is some middle ground. Still, good participation is something I do wish to create a place that works when people need the place for whatever question or crisis or fun social meet up or whatever, and how to balance all of that with the open format of memebership and a culture that encourages people to ask hard questions and have real discussions and arguments about important and complicated points is not clear to me.

Regarding lots of people posting about the Mahasi tradition who know very little about it, my comment that many of those comments are laughably naive stands, as it is true. For example, I don't claim to critique the inner workings of Shingon as I know almost nothing about it. People should hold a similar reasonable degree of skepticism about their own knowledge of traditions they haven't spent a lot of time reading about and training in.

Practical Insight Meditaiton is one of the most basic and introductory of Mahasi's works. It was written to be exactly that. I refer people to it due to its high degree of practicality, efficacy and accessibility, as well as being very short and easy to read if you are not a Pali-glot. However, it is a tip of the gigantic Mahasi iceberg, both in terms of literature and practice depth. The problem is that a lot of his material is not that easy to find. I got my collection at MCMB in Penang, mostly. Some of it I got ordered online. Plenty of his stuff is still in Burmese only. If you want the real deal, you still need to study with those who have trained in the primary centers.

You could also check out the writings of those he trained to see what the real deal looks like: U Janakabhivamsa, U Kundalabhivamsa, U Pandita, all giants of meditation. Still, even most of their writings don't do the tradition justice.

I hope that all find something useful here, that people meditate well, that clarity and wisdom will prevail, and that people get their digital forum needs met somehow and that this place may be one small and useful part of that.

Daniel

RE: Authenticity of noting
Answer
4/10/15 7:53 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
Oui, oui! Je parle un peu francais, pour example: Je m'appelle Bill! J'adore la film "E.T".

RE: Authenticity of noting
Answer
4/10/15 7:52 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I appreciate the thoughtful response. I was thinking big scale trend, rather than that thread, which admittedly I did not read most of. Whatever else I would say in turn I think I already captured previously. Thank you.

RE: Authenticity of noting
Answer
4/11/15 2:19 AM as a reply to Bill F..
The "Overlord" designation is at once tongue-in-cheek, being a preposterous title, and also somewhat true, as this is my site on my server with my domain name and paid for entirely by me, being owner and administrator. It just seemed to make funny sense to me that the person who ran the Dharma Overground should be the Overlord, given the Over in both words. It shouldn't be taken to be more than it is, and I am sorry if this has caused some sort of undue concern, sense of dread or paranoia or whatever.

While plenty of people say all sorts of things about each other behind the scenes of the DhO, that is normal for any community, and not particularly unusual or a source of concern, I don't think. Plenty of us are friends by email, Skype, phone, text, and/or in person beyond just this forum, so talking about what happens here is natural.

Jenny is editing my book, so we are in contact weekly and sometimes daily, but she is just once voice of many that give me opinions on what is going on here, and I am very much my own person as regards my perspective on the place and tastes.

Nobody has to toe the line or else, except as regards some forum cultural aspects, such as trying to keep things about practice when possible (realizing what sub-category you are posting in has some effect on this general admonition), trying to support each other in their practice, trying to exhibit reasonable forum posting etiquette, and the like.

RE: Authenticity of noting
Answer
4/11/15 8:13 AM as a reply to Bill F..
i Bill F; I've read posts where you object to being misunderstood and misrepresented, so please correct me if this is the case now.
In post 466 you stated that Daniel Ingram regards himself as an overlord and that Jenny stated that behind the scenes Daniel says certain things about dho members. You state that this is being done in a pejorative manner. Pejorative means to belittle, put down, rubbish people.
Is this a behind the scenes dho culture or not true or maybe just someone having a bad day.
Certainly if this is a behind the scenes dho culture then it would help to verify the post by Jenny 489, which on face value seemed a highly disfunctional, passive  aggressive, threatening and clearly an attempt to manipulate members to behave according to her requirements or face the concequences.This all backed up by authority, with details soon to be revealed. So everyone better toe the line or else.
On the other hand although still disfunctional, if coming from a group mentality of the us and them syndrome then just a part of a larger system.
I myself think that if such a culture did exist then it could explain why people leave, as anyone with integrity would slip out the back door once recognizing such dynamics at work. I also think that this culture does exist but its not coming from the top.
Please let me know your views.
Regards Gordo. 

Hi Gordo. I don't know that I have much to add, but since you asked politely: I think the numbers you are referencing are the number of times people have posted rather post number so I'm not sure which posts you are talking about. I am also not sure if this is about me or a criticsm of Jenny.
Regarding the bottom paragraph, if I had to weigh in, I would say that it has been a long history. At times that dynamic has come from the top. At times it has come from general culture too. I am aware of what pejorative means, and I remember the context. Daniel has not responded to that criticism, which he does not have to, but it would not be a healthy relationship to hold with the site, i.e to imagine that one is somehow above the members of one's own site, an adult surrounded by children. Similarly, it is/was not appropriate to have Beoman as a moderator as I have read what he has written in other forums and he believes enlightenment, medtation, buddhism, is a delusion, his word, not mine. How do you foster a healthy community with people you look down on? You don't. You simply avoid, or belittle. And that in part has created this.
My main criticism is that there is the potential to deeply transform one's reality through communities such as this, and when intellectual debates about who said what by the Ganges two thousand years ago become the main area of concern people do not change. They simply dry hump the dharma. Which they are free to do. But it's not interesting or that different from what happens so many other places.

RE: Authenticity of noting
Answer
4/11/15 9:02 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
"...and then start posting nonsense such as the idea that samatha jhana leads to liberation..."

I wish you and the one who posted what you reffer to (was it Not Tao?) could be clear about and admitt that liberation can mean different things to different people and that one should be clear about what kind of liberation one is writing about. 

You seem to have a narrow view about what liberation should mean. 

I don't agree at all that practice is not discussed much btw.

@Daniel
I'm confused. How can you experience for example anger w/o aversion or sexual desire without attraction? 

RE: Authenticity of noting
Answer
4/11/15 1:42 PM as a reply to Bill F..
Bill F.:
Similarly, it is/was not appropriate to have Beoman as a moderator as I have read what he has written in other forums and he believes enlightenment, medtation, buddhism, is a delusion, his word, not mine. How do you foster a healthy community with people you look down on? You don't. You simply avoid, or belittle. And that in part has created this.


I've said this before when this has come up but I think that Beoman does a fine job as a moderator of the DhO and has also been one of the most consistently active moderators the last couple of years along with Nicolai.

Simon

RE: Authenticity of noting
Answer
4/11/15 2:30 PM as a reply to Bill F..
Salut Guillaume (Bill),
Don't you think that's telling? It seems to be a repeated phenomenom. It is normal for people to drift in and out of projects/sanghas/groups but not at the rate they do here. Many of the KFD members from years ago still share their practice consistently at awake network.


If another community, let's say the awake network you mention, is satisfactory, why do you think people visit here from there?

Some people come with and present their arrival in noble terms; they claim that so many people need help this site is doing a disservice, that the founder should not surrounded by children, that people need practice not speech.. etc.

I am curious about your answer: If, say, another community you mention, is satisfactory, why do you think people visit here from there and with the intention to enforce salvation? Why not stay in their so-called effective community?

For me I think different sites are very important to meditative practices:

One community may be well manicured and monitored and enforced for tight code of conduct; that's fine.
When unrestrained ill-will and desire come up (as in the "fetter model" of extinction (nibbana)), that community can handle a self-reflective conversation about, "Oh, you're medititing on desire and ill -will; yes, interesting, challenging." Self-reflective. 

But sometimes people do not instantly have that restraint nor the causes of natural and willing restraint and so they naturally just want to have sex with a/ their partner and they also go out and argue, run their hositlity out.

I've seen many times people argue their way out of argumentation into natural meditative calm: they just realize at some point they needed to argue, they needed go pick fights (including faux virtuous /salvation fights), in DhO-land (for example) and in a couple of years they realize the work is with their own minds, not any community. 

This is visible, too, in monasteries: People live their best in tight rule, but they still have fight and desire that seems to not be extinguished until someone learns the limits of pleasure therein and the resultant stress finally causese a person to calm down naturally.


So I would say if a community is effective there, stay there. And when the urge to "save" another community or it's founder comes up or the urge to demote someone else's practice methods come up, just reflect on why you have to act on that, why you cannot sit in your effective community and let it go. 


This is why I tend to welcome this site's differences with say a site like you mentioned. It's clear its members need to come here, are attracted here, to vent-- vent argument, vent superiority, whatever. We're basically all neighbors on a tiny planet so if you can get this aggitation and hostility out online and start looking to own mind and own body for calmness, so much the better offline.


Kind regards.

RE: Authenticity of noting
Answer
4/11/15 2:56 PM as a reply to Bill F..
Having participated in all the drama lama now and in the months past, I'll say a few things and not say a lot more.  May we be filled with rainbows, gluten-free sprinkles, and loving-kindness.

I'll keep myself terse. When Kenneth Folk, for reasons I don't think he said as to why but I was happy for, decided to come back to the DhO and participating in the community, Kenneth Folk himself probably didn't feel too welcome. Kenneth Folk's own words is that there is a trolling problem on the DhO. I myself don't think it's so much trolling as it is an inherit inclusivity/exclusivity problem. Vincent Horn himself talks about trying to be inclusive results in excluding certain groups. I myself do not believe there is a way around this for any group larger than 5 people. Thus, conflicts of values leads to deadlocks in the community. It's a huge topic, a very interesting one at that, and until it's addressed somehow I think over the months and years you'll see deadlocked topics between people of fundamentally conflicting values.

Anyways, part of the drama was about Folk charging money for teaching. Well, Vincent Horn, Emily Horn, Hokai Sobol, Alan Chapman, Ona Kiser, probably more I'm not aware of also charge teaching fees just as Kenneth Folk does. Therefore, we can assume all of these people would receive similar treatment as Kenneth Folk did. And yet think of this list of people, they're all founding members of the pragmatic dharma movement. They are the genesis of pragmatic dharma and current teachers continuing this culture/demographic on a larger scale. Thus, it isn't too unreasonable to suppose that the very founding members of the pragmatic dharma movement are not welcome in the beta version community of pragmatic dharma, the DhO they once contributed, quite valuably, to.

I don't think I'll get it without asking directly, but it would be intellectually enlightening to hear these people's thoughts on the condition of the DhO culture. Kenneth Folk, in his own words, at least, we can safely assume doesn't think how things have operated work, as can be found in the long as hell Modeation thread a few months back where he said so himself.

To close, Stephen Iverson over at Buddhist Geeks a half year ago wrote an essay on hacker culture forums on the early internet and how that culture could be actionably implemented on both the DhO and Buddhist Geeks. Since it was posted on Google+ I can't get it off hand nor can I remember how it worked, but it was something that intuitively and intellectually seemed promising. Basically, he proposed an actionable plan that utilized the best of hacker culture for online communities. I'm too lazy to contact him, but I do believe there are ways to structure the community to flourish, but that would require the will to do so, which I'm not sure this community even wants? So I'm not sure, but it's worth mentioning in case anyone remembers what I'm talking about.

RE: Authenticity of noting
Answer
4/11/15 5:13 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
Haha. Your feelings as rhetorical questions as supposedly insightful analysis. 

I will ponder it and give you an answer by sunset tomorrow, madame. Bonne nuit.

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/11/15 7:00 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Reply to all, 

I guess I just do not get it...

What trolls?  All I have seen is that if someone has a different viewpoint, has valid questions and concerns, has historical questions, has Sutta questions, has Buddha questions, has ideas about their own opinions derived for their own experiences, and what not, it seems they are labelled as Trolls?

Challengers are excellent, it makes one think, makes one learn and examine themselves.  If it seems disruptive, just note it and move on, simple, why cling to it anyway?

Sometimes we just do not want to hear the truth of what is being said?

Is there the expectation that there are not to be allowed any beginners on DHO?  If you were starting practice to reduce anger and greed, then everyone tells you you are wrong, and that you will have to go through Dark Nights, disgust , misery, hopefully blip out for a millisecond, then start the cycle all over, How as a Novice could you accept any of that?  Would you not have questions, misconceptions, misunderstandings?

Again, I will say , I just do not get it?

Why?  Cuz I personally do not see a problem on DHO, nothing, not how it is run, not with the moderators, not with the highly intellectual discussions, not with the high level of wisdom passed along, not with the poo poo humour, not with the perceived trolls, not with  people being Dogmatic against Dogmatism (that's my favorite). 

Maybe because I am a Troll?  If I am that would suck, would a Troll know if they were one?  Sometimes I have seen people Trolling while saying that others were Trolls, Basically Trolling Trolls that were not even there.  

So what if I am an Avatar?  I am listed under a pseudoname, because, Hello?, this is the Internet, and I have a family, I do not want anyone to link any of this to my family.  Why? Because anyone in the entire world can read this, and say, if I wanted to discuss Telepathy or Astral Travel, I do not want people showing up at my doorstep, Hello? emoticon  But, I am a real person, live , human, trying to be compassionate, born with instincts, human., Or am I???  lol

But, I must be really dumb, ignorant , naieve, or part of the problem, because I will state again, 

I do not see any problems with DHO...  I have always thought it was pretty freakin' awesome!!!!

I mean, so what if everyone does not agree all the time, THAT is the point of a Discussion Board, to discuss, to learn, right?  Or am I wrong?

Just Perplexed,

Psi

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/11/15 8:43 PM as a reply to Bill F..
The problem with the DhO is that so many of its founding assumptions were false, and -- no surprise -- it has had to evolve and change.

The main one is: They used to think that insight / liberation / awakening requires serious, sustained, dedicated practice with a good set of tools, and a community of skilled practitioners to help each other out. But it's turned out that all we need to do is relax and concentrate a bit, so none of that's needed, haha.

The other related point is: people who use MCTB are either striving for the wrong thing or using the wrong tool, or both. They don't understand what the Buddha really taught, or that the Buddha didn't really get it either.

These are hard to correct because there's a recalcitrant few who cling to their beliefs. But they're thinning out. And luckily there's always a fresh supply of newcomers who can explain where they went wrong.  

Occasionally, I've seen it work the other way where, worn down by years of attrition and disillusionment with their fancy ideas, a person abandons better judgment and succumbs to an actual practice. But if we brainstorm, I'm sure we could find ways to minimise that risk.

*

I like the openness, the pragmatism, the inclusiveness, the non-prissy atmosphere of the DhO (and at least one of the trolls). But as a long-time observer / casual participant I do think the core has been eroded too much. Something good is being lost, not by lack of civility or concerted trolling, but by too much blather without expertise or respect for expertise. (No wonder the old despise the young; I hate seeing what I used to be).

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/11/15 8:52 PM as a reply to Psi.
Why?  Cuz I personally do not see a problem on DHO, nothing, not how it is run, not with the moderators, not with the highly intellectual discussions, not with the high level of wisdom passed along, not with the poo poo humour, not with the perceived trolls, not with  people being Dogmatic against Dogmatism (that's my favorite). 

Maybe because I am a Troll?  If I am that would suck, would a Troll know if they were one?  Sometimes I have seen people Trolling while saying that others were Trolls, Basically Trolling Trolls that were not even there.  

Haha. I appreciate your humour and perspective, and what I gather of your personality from reading your posts.

Taken to its natural conclusion if you accept everything on the Dho and everything is fine then that perspective must also include those who say everything is not right with the Dho. Or you think everything is fine except the perspective that not everything is fine.
And good things do come from criticism. We now have two new moderators that we would not have if criticism had not been leveled. People occasionally need to be criticised into action. 

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/11/15 8:58 PM as a reply to John Wilde.
Bill F.:

John: This is incorrect information and it is wrong because it is wrong. The small portions of it that are correct are correct because they are correct. Boom!


Glad we've got that sorted.

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/11/15 9:42 PM as a reply to Bill F..
Bill F.:
Why?  Cuz I personally do not see a problem on DHO, nothing, not how it is run, not with the moderators, not with the highly intellectual discussions, not with the high level of wisdom passed along, not with the poo poo humour, not with the perceived trolls, not with  people being Dogmatic against Dogmatism (that's my favorite). 

Maybe because I am a Troll?  If I am that would suck, would a Troll know if they were one?  Sometimes I have seen people Trolling while saying that others were Trolls, Basically Trolling Trolls that were not even there.  

Haha. I appreciate your humour and perspective, and what I gather of your personality from reading your posts.

Taken to its natural conclusion if you accept everything on the Dho and everything is fine then that perspective must also include those who say everything is not right with the Dho. Or you think everything is fine except the perspective that not everything is fine.
And good things do come from criticism. We now have two new moderators that we would not have if criticism had not been leveled. People occasionally need to be criticised into action. 
Yes, true, people can feel or think everything is right or not right with the DHO, that is fine by me also, it all is what it is. That is why I like this place, I can express ideas, even original ideas, controversial ideas,  without getting a Webmaster threatening me with banishment because of ideas. This is not to say one should not be respectful when in someone elses house.

Ideas, discussions, mind on mind, that is how things grow and evolve.

But,  I am sure people, including youself are seeing things on a level I am unaware of, hence my genuine ignorance and befuddlement.  

So, yeah I really do have an aversion to the possiblity that I may be a Troll, because , for now, I am not aware enough to know what is either true or untrue, either what can or can not be known.  That, coupled with , from my experience, the Theravadan Ten Fetter Model seems to be real, and what I am experiencing, right now , in this very life.  Which may put me at odds with alot of practioners here, which would probably make me a Troll,  RAH!  or whatever sound Trolls make...

But, if I am a Troll, I will regenerate at 1 hit point per melee round, even after death, unless I am attacked with by fire, which is impossible through the internet.

Anyway, you are a good guy Bill.

 Remember Mahamudra...  Close your eyes, Look backwards, Look over the edge, what do you see, Bill?  GO!

Psi Out

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/11/15 10:32 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Thank you Daniel. You provide a free service, paid entirely by you, for our bennefit. I know I would be in terrible shape, had I not read the maps of the progress of insight on MCTB. So, again, thank you.

@Pal
I think you will agree that an arahat feels sensations through bodily contact, like pain, or cold. It's the same with sensations associated with sounds, tastes, smells and sights. An enlightened being remains undisturbed by these sensations. The absence of suffering is absence of disturbance when these sensations are present, not the elimination of these sensations themselves, which is impossible.
As I understand this, the same happens with sensations arising from mind contact. If a beautiful woman throws herself to the arms of an arahat, there may be arousal, which is a sensation(s) arising though sense contacts, including mind contact. But there will be no wanting, no desire to pursue that pleasant sensation. In the absence of disturbance when sexual related sensations are present, there is no suffering with sex.
If you understand the elimination of the fetter of attachment, not as elmination of any sexual sensation, but as the elimination of the desire, or the thirst, or the need, usualy behind those sensations, the ten fetter model is what Daniel describes as the 4 paths.
Being deeply immersed in sexual desire may prevent you to conceive that sexual sensations might be separated from the attachment to them. But that is how I understand the elimination of the fetter of attachment.


Hopefuly, I'm not misinterpreting this.

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/11/15 10:09 PM as a reply to Psi.
I don't think anyone thinks you're a troll Psi. You're too earnest, which is a good thing. emoticon

RE: Authenticity of noting
Answer
4/11/15 10:45 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Hi Jenny,

I think you were reffering to my post here:

Jenny,

Letting go does lead to insight. I think if we compared notes it could be said that I come from a samatha-heavy side of practice, and you come from a vipassana-heavy side of practice. It doesn't make a lot of sense to point out the three characteristics to a samatha meditatior because they're focusing on the aspect of liberation rather than the aspect of samsara. By practicing letting go of objects and looking for a state of non-discrimination, the "no-self" characteristic appears as a kind of total reality, all inclusive, disembodied awareness of phenomena (a Self that is not found in the aggregates). Impermanence is not the insight but rather the opposite: when there is nothing held on to, there is nothing to let go of, impermanence is itself permanent and stable. By stepping back into this, the stability that's created as a background within the instability is blissfully still and perfect, which is to say, there is no more suffering.

I think it's important to remember that even insight is a conditioned phenomena. It's direct until you try to explain it, then it's no longer reliable. I think the way the Buddha explains things in the suttas is very good. He doesn't say "these three characteristics describe reality" but rather "by looking this way, specifically, you can see how your suffering works." Because of this I was able to see my own understanding in what he was saying. When you break down the teaching into "three illusions," as you said, it loses a lot of meaning, I think.

To put it succinctly, noticing may lead to letting go, but letting go also leads to noticing.


I'm not sure why this makes you angry, I was actually rather proud of it as an explanation to unify my understanding with vipassana in general - though, I'm assuming you're looking at my general posting record and find my ideas misleading.

I'm sorry I've inspired so much aversion in you. I will stop posting for a while so you can find some peace of mind. I'll leave you with an explanation why I've been challenging noting practice, the progress of insight, and vipassana in general. I have experienced a state of mind many times over the last two years where it was not only easy to be a perfect saint who was perfectly happy, but any other way of acting seemed kind of silly and pointless. My less informed arguments have always come fom the fear that Daniel is right, and this state is just more impermanence - especially because some of what Daniel was saying seemed to fit. So, in this way, I can empathize with how you feel. You feel like I am threatening the practice that you've found so useful, and you see me as injecting an opposing viewpoint into your sanctuary. You're afraid I'm corrupting impressionable people with bad ideas and derailing good practice. If it makes you feel better, I suffered from the same paranoia. (Not to demean how you feel - I am only judging my own feelings as paranoia.)

Anyway, please, Jenny, just let go of all this. My posts on this forum are so insignificant, really. Not worth worrying about. emoticon

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/11/15 10:56 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
This whole situation made me remember I Ching's 4th hexagram Youthful Folly. The book/oracle depicts both a global situation and specific evaluations for the (individual) characters involved. Though here in DhO there isn't a teacher-pupil relationship, you'll get the point: 

...It is not I who seek the young fool; The young fool seeks me. At the first oracle I inform him. If he asks two or three times, it is importunity. If he importunes, I give him no information. Perseverance furthers.

Global Situation:


In the time of youth, folly is not an evil. One may succeed in spite of it, provided one finds an experienced teacher and has the right attitude toward him. This means, first of all, that the youth himself must be conscious of his lack of experience and must seek out the teacher. Without this modesty and this interest there is no guarantee that he has the necessary receptivity, which should express itself in respectful acceptance of the teacher. This is the reason why the teacher must wait to be sought out instead of offering himself. Only thus can the instruction take place at the right time and in the right way.

A teacher's answer to the question of a pupil ought to be clear and definite  like that expected from an oracle; thereupon it ought to be accepted as a key for resolution of doubts and a basis for decision. If mistrustful or unintelligent questioning is kept up, it serves only to annoy the teacher. He does well to ignore it in silence, just as the oracle gives one answer only and refuses to be tempted by questions implying doubt.  

Given addition a perseverance that never slackens until the points are mastered one by one, real success is sure to follow. Thus the hexagram counsels the teacher as well as the pupil.

Specific evaluations for the (individual) characters involved:

1st line: Law is the beginning of education. Youth in its inexperience is inclined at first to take everything carelessly and playfully.  It must be shown the seriousness of life. A certain measure of taking oneself in hand, brought about by strict discipline, is a good thing. He who plays with life never amounts to anything. However, discipline should not degenerate into drill. Continuous drill has a humiliating effect and cripples a man's powers.

2nd line: These lines picture a man who has no external power, but who has enough strength of mind to bear his burden of responsibility. He has the inner superiority and that enable him to tolerate with kindliness the shortcomings of human folly. The same attitude is owed to women as the weaker sex. One must understand them and give them recognition in a spirit of chivalrous consideration. Only this combination of inner strength with outer reserve enables one to take on the responsibility of directing a larger social body with real success.

3rd line: A weak, inexperienced man, struggling to rise, easily loses his own individuality when he slavishly imitates a strong personality of higher station. He is like a girl throwing herself away when she meets a strong man. Such a servile approach should not be encouraged, because it is bad both for the youth and the teacher. A girl owes it to her dignity to wait until she is wooed. In both cases it is undignified to offer oneself, and no good comes of accepting such an offer.

4th line: For youthful folly it is the most hopeless thing to entangle itself in empty imaginings. The more obstinately it clings to such unreal fantasies, the more certainly will humiliation overtake it.  Often the teacher, when confronted with such entangled folly, has no other course but to leave the fool to himself for a time, not sparing him the humiliation that results. This is frequently the only means of rescue.

5th line: An inexperienced person who seeks instruction in a childlike and unassuming way is on the right path, for the man devoid of arrogance who subordinated himself to his teacher will certainly be helped. 

6th line: Sometimes an incorrigible fool must be punished. He who will not heed will be made to feel. This punishment is quite different from a preliminary shaking up. But the penalty should not be imposed in anger; it must be restricted to an objective guarding against unjustified excesses. Punishment is never an end in itself but serves merely to restore order. This applies not only in regard to education but also in regard to the measures taken by a government against a populace guilty of transgressions. Governmental interference should always be merely preventive and should have as its sole aim the establishment of public security and peace.

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/12/15 12:08 AM as a reply to John Wilde.
The problem with the DhO is that so many of its founding assumptions were false, and -- no surprise -- it has had to evolve and change. 

The main one is: They used to think that insight / liberation / awakening requires serious, sustained, dedicated practice with a good set of tools, and a community of skilled practitioners to help each other out. But it's turned out that all we need to do is relax and concentrate a bit, so none of that's needed, haha. 

John,

      It is actually more simple than this. Rather than relaxing and concentrating one just needs to be happy and not be unhappy. Forget the concentration, or relaxation, go the direct route. Just stay out of the hindrances. Do not go there.

Bill

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/12/15 7:13 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
re: Daniel M. Ingram (4/10/15 2:15 AM)

"5)  Sensations are impermanent and causal."

Daniel (or anyone): could you explain the sense of "causal" here? (The implications aren't clear to me, and I don't recall an explanation in MCTB – tho I well migh thave missed it.)

Is it meant simply in the sense of "conditioned"? I.e. in the doctrinal sense that, even for arahants, experience is still conditioned by "past karma" (not necessarily in "past lives")? If so, "causal" would mean not necessarily relating to (causing) future results, as the actions (karma) of arahants are said to be "functional" (an Abhidhamma term), meaning not generating future karma.

Or is there some other implication here of "causal"?

Note: This may seem an academic question, but I consider it practice related. At some level, just watching sensations as paying close attention is a sort of beginning approach, to hone the skill at seeing sensations as they simply appear. At another level in developing insight, sati /mindfulness in applying vipassana includes also noticing how sensations relate to prior ones, or even future ones, for insight into "things as they become" – translating bhava / bhuta as becoming-process rather than a static "things as they are".

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/12/15 9:35 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
So I've mostly been lurking, but lately I've moved to a part time job so I've got more time. I've got some comments on this topic. I've been involved in Internet discussion groups since the late 1970's when UUNET was the system people used to read and distribute them, and I know of one other person who posts to DhO semi-frequently who has also been involved in Internet discussion groups for as long if not longer than I have. While I am not saying that this is true of DhO, it's been said that in the end, any thread in an Internet discussion group on which people have a fundamental disagreement inevitably ends up with one side accusing the other of being a Nazi. Consequently, there needs to be some attention paid to how the thread is managed and how the participants manage the discussion when fundamental disagreements occur.

First off, we can't expect Daniel to take care of managing the discussion. While it is quite generous of him to pay for the domain name and run the server, he has a very demanding day job. The fact that he is saving lives in the emergency room, on top of trying to act as an informal Dharma teacher to the hard core Dharma crowd, is a sign of his bodhisattva commitment. What he could do better is empower the moderators to become more proactive in shutting down threads that go into the weeds (after warning people that the thread will be shut down if the discussion doesn't clean up), and banning people who consistently exhibit behavior that is causing threads to go into the weeds. The latter is often difficult, because they can just come back and sign up again with a different name, even get a new email address to disguise who they are.

What we could do better is recognize when there is a fundamental disagreement, and simply state that we will agree to disagree rather than pushing the conversation further. This tactic invariably causes a heated discussion to cool down, and later, when people have had time to recover their equanimity, they can perhaps return to the topic with some additional insight and perhaps even come to a resolution where both sides can agree. I've used this and seen it used many times, in some cases where technical decisions on standards were being made on which the competing product plans of companies were based, and it invariably keeps the conversation at a rational level.

Despite some folks interpretation, I haven't seen any outright instances of trolling (though, as I said, up until recently I haven't had much time to monitor the discussion groups). By "trolling" I mean someone posting overtly abusive notes or starting threads that are specifically designed to attract such abusive posts. Rather, I think the problem is a kind of behavior I would characterize as "guys in junior high", namely boasting about attainments (or what look like some), subtle or not so subtle putdowns which, while not overtly abusive, still seem somewhat out of place on a Dharma list, and the like.

So I would suggest that the moderators agree on specific critera about when a thread will be shut down or someone will be banned, when necessary collect evidence to send to the offender if an incident occurs, and if someone is banned, remind them about proper behavior ("if you had said this and this in that post instead of what you said, the discussion would have evolved differently").

The other thing to remember is words are just the finger pointing at the moon. Practice reveals the moon itself.

Pratice well.

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/12/15 9:33 AM as a reply to Bill F..
Bill F.:

      It is actually more simple than this. Rather than relaxing and concentrating one just needs to be happy and not be unhappy. Forget the concentration, or relaxation, go the direct route.


I'd highly recommend it, Bill.... if I were a cruel man.

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/12/15 10:22 AM as a reply to John Wilde.
I'm not sure what you mean, John. I tried it yesterday, simply relaxing and allowing the mind to become unified on the present. Why had I not done this before, I thought, or actually all the time, as the relaxation gained intensity. It was very nice. Then I was thinking: No paths, no serious committment, none of that, just relax and focus, this is where it's at. It certainly feels better, but how could it be streamlined. It just semed blatantly obvious that the next logical step once mastering relaxing was to just be happy and not unhappy. Why waste time trying to conenctrate. It's a waste of time. Just be happy. That's where the concentration is taking you anyways. I doubt it will take on here as we must first discard are committed and intensive phase and enter relaxed and concentrated phase, but I think that will have to follow inevitably though people will not like to hear it. A prophet is never recognized in his hometown type thing.

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/12/15 10:27 AM as a reply to svmonk.
First off, we can't expect Daniel to take care of managing the discussion. While it is quite generous of him to pay for the domain name and run the server, he has a very demanding day job. The fact that he is saving lives in the emergency room, on top of trying to act as an informal Dharma teacher to the hard core Dharma crowd, is a sign of his bodhisattva commitment. What he could do better is empower the moderators to become more proactive in shutting down threads that go into the weeds (after warning people that the thread will be shut down if the discussion doesn't clean up), and banning people who consistently exhibit behavior that is causing threads to go into the weeds. The latter is often difficult, because they can just come back and sign up again with a different name, even get a new email address to disguise who they are.

I agree with this totally. I was criticizing Daniel but I don't and can't realistically hold him accountable for the behavior of others, only that he sets forth some of the measures you propose. It's also okay to criticize a system while still holding it in some regard. I mostly hoped to spur him into action.
Group think is funny. When I originally posted what I did there was no response at all for a couple of days. As soon as Daniel responded others saw fit to follow and align. 

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/12/15 11:53 AM as a reply to Bill F..
Bill F.:
I'm not sure what you mean, John.


This shows me that I didn't know what you meant either. No worries. All I meant was that, in my past experience, putting happiness first -- or more accurately, intending to feel good come what may -- was one of the least happiness-inducing things I've ever done, so I wouldn't recommend it to anyone else.

Quite different from what you're describing, though. For one thing, I was doing this in an actualist context where a lot of good feelings (things like love, compassion, affectionate bonds with fellow human beings, beauty, awe, mystery, brahmaviharas, etc) were also to be minimised, and the 'felicitous' feelings maximised. It sucked (is my assessment), and I couldn't recommend it to anyone based on that experience.

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/13/15 12:54 AM as a reply to John Wilde.
John Wilde:
Bill F.:

      It is actually more simple than this. Rather than relaxing and concentrating one just needs to be happy and not be unhappy. Forget the concentration, or relaxation, go the direct route.


I'd highly recommend it, Bill.... if I were a cruel man.

right ...in that one person's happiness can be another person's torture .. and many people's happinesses can pollute a whole planet.

i too have my doubts that all instinctual passions surfacing as emotional feelings can be deleted as actualist aspire to, or even need to be.  

what i am interested in is speeding up the growth of intelligence [beneficient consideration] which requires conscious concentration and relaxation tools to overwrite those neural pathways which make us the most instinctively aggressive species on earth.

this brain enjoys concentrating and relaxing so it's no chore. 

happiness is more of an end result (a reward transmitter?) of successfully relaxing aggressive reactions and repeatedly replacing them with malice free, misery free behaviour. the more sense one sees in doing this the easier the overwrite becomes. eventually like any old unwanted habit it dies. children copy these new learned responses which could eventually make them inherent in future generations.

initially spotting which reactions are instinctual aggressions also requires concentrated observation, since the human condition likes to imagine its more benign than it actually is. 



 



 

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/12/15 1:47 PM as a reply to John Wilde.
Okay, forgive me if I'm off base, but I assumed John was being satirical. and maybe those responding are as well and I didn't pick it up. 

In any case, there is tremendous value to a place like this. I used to puzzle endlessly about it when I was working on first path, but what the original pragmatic dharma people have done is alter the paradigm for waking up. The paradigm they were replacing was the big retreat center approach, which was to put people in meditation halls for months and months and tell them very little, other than that the practice itself was valuable, even if only a fraction of people following it woke up. I've spent time in such environments, and it does indeed feel good to go on retreat and eat vegetarian meals and listen to inspiring dharma talks every evening. 

What worried me about the pragmatic dharma approach was the rapid feedback loop. There is an addictive quality to all such Internet forums, because you post a comment, and then wait for someone to respond, and then keep engaged. Humans love such stuff because it reinforces the sense of self. Even an upsetting thread is addictive (I should say especially so) because you get caught up in clinging to a view, which is red meat to the ego. Plus there is a sense of transgression in openly discussing attainments, which the more traditional approaches explicitly forbid. 

In the three + years I've been engaged in this practice I've hit all the potholes numerous times, and yet in spite of myself I've advanced. I consider it beyond miraculous, and I think about it most days and stop and just realize that it is in fact the most wonderful thing a person can do, although I suppose it's not for everyone, but to me it has been wonderful. My mother has dementia and is dying, I have a chronic pain condition that makes life extremely difficult, I have a surly teenager in the house (as well as a supportive husband, thank the universe), and when I just stop and think about everything, I am insanely happy with just whatever arises moment by moment. I am happy even when feeling fear, sadness, and anger. 

I wish to lay my gratitude at the feet of Daniel, Kenneth, Beth, Ona, Abre, and countless others who have shared this path, and continue to do so. I cherish my more traditional teachers as well, and lay a wreath at the graves of Bill Hamilton and all the Burmese teachers on whom the gen x people have built. I love and thank hundreds of people who are young enough to be my children. 

To everyone reading this: there is no troll on the entire World Wide Web who is trollish enough to take this away from you. Strong practice, good feedback, excellent advice, and even bumps on the path, openness about what is happening, and a focus on the phenomena that arise in each moment is the paradigm for pragmatic dharma. It is effective. If someone is doing AF or Magick or something else, then either skip those threads or read them in a spirit of open curiosity. If it is not for you, then stay with what is for you. If on the other hand people doing those practices are making progress, then be happy for them. 

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/12/15 4:28 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel Carrington:

Okay, forgive me if I'm off base, but I assumed John was being satirical.


You're not off base Laurel :-)

Loved the rest of your message.

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/12/15 4:50 PM as a reply to John Wilde.
I don't understand. What were you satirizing?

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/12/15 9:51 PM as a reply to Bill F..
Bill F.:
I don't understand. What were you satirizing?

Interesting; this must be a cultural thing. I thought I'd laid it on too thick. But I have noticed before that the tongue-in-cheek irony that's so common down here in the southern hemisphere doesn't go over too well with US Americans (as a rule).

If you read the original post again (up thread), with the knowledge that I wasn't serious, does it still sound like I'm saying that the DhO's founding assumptions were false and that it's had to evolve and change? Or does it sound like I'm ribbing the attitude of people who don't know shit, think they know it all, parade their pedestrian insights and states of consciousness as if they've discovered the latest and greatest, making most of the dharma world kind of redundant now? (Been there, recognise it in others). And when you said (paraphrasing) "you don't even have to relax and concentrate now, you can just take the direct route, just be happy", I thought you were playing along and extending it.

Pablo's post on the "Youthful Folly" hexagram said it better.

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/12/15 5:47 PM as a reply to John Wilde.
Oh, this must be what it's like to read me at times.

I thought you were serious in your initial post. And I was satirizing what I believed to be your seriousness in that approach because it seemed so utterly simplistic and funny in that it didn't account for the many different factors and subtleties in experience, a la "don't worry....be happy", which is a nice song but a terrible religion.

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/12/15 5:51 PM as a reply to Bill F..
Bill F.:
Oh, this must be what it's like to read me at times.

I thought you were serious in your initial post. And I was satirizing what I believed to be your seriousness in that approach
Ha! ha! That's priceless.

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/12/15 6:34 PM as a reply to Bill F..
Bill F.:
I'm not sure what you mean, John. I tried it yesterday, simply relaxing and allowing the mind to become unified on the present. Why had I not done this before, I thought, or actually all the time, as the relaxation gained intensity. It was very nice. Then I was thinking: No paths, no serious committment, none of that, just relax and focus, this is where it's at. It certainly feels better, but how could it be streamlined. It just semed blatantly obvious that the next logical step once mastering relaxing was to just be happy and not unhappy. Why waste time trying to conenctrate. It's a waste of time. Just be happy. That's where the concentration is taking you anyways. I doubt it will take on here as we must first discard are committed and intensive phase and enter relaxed and concentrated phase, but I think that will have to follow inevitably though people will not like to hear it. A prophet is never recognized in his hometown type thing.

You are definitetly on to something here, important insight, this is not tongue in cheek, and I am being serious.

What practioners do, summed up, Train, Attain, Maintain.

If I am correct, you are describing wholesome states, i.e. happiness, or the better definition, joy, piti.

This is one of the seven factors of enlightenment.

To be able to abandon unwholesome states of mind, i.e. unhappiness, and arouse wholesome states of mind. i.e. happiness, this is of great benefit.

Here is why.  When one is able to arouse Wholesome states of joy, peace, and happiness from within, they are able to cut off much of the craving and searching for joy , peace and , happiness in the external world.  Thus they are freed from much of the craving for sensual worldy pleasures.  One will never get this from the world anyway.  And, they will have at their disposal the skill to arouse joy from within.

This principle of Dhamma is understood by all truly enlightened beings, no matter the path or tradition.

This is a real Insight of great importance that you are remembering.

This is a skill you have trained and attained, thus it just requires the action of being mindful, i.e. remembering, in order to maintain, and thus be free from searching externally for something you have already within, or at least a reduction of searching.

In this way, You are binding together Right Mindfulness, Piti, and The Four Supreme Efforts in real life.  So, this is proof, to me anyway, that what some may call Dogma, others may call an experience.

This is not to say that the insight you are describing is or is not taught in other traditions, I have no doubt that it is, I have heard it many times, many ways.

Train, Attain, Maintain.   Insight not remembered and not used seems to drift away into the background of our consciouness, once an Insight is gained it seems true that we do not lose it, though we just might not always remember it.

So, yes, one can not chase what already is available within.  The more one chases the farther away they trod.

How is that for off topic trolling?

Best wishes for your practice

Psi

P.S.

To all, 

Another thought, when we train to substitute the distractions that arise within the mind with the breath, one thing we do this and reason when train this way is for application in daily living.

In this way, when unwholesomeness arises in the mind during the day, we have trained the skill to substitute the unwholesome with the wholesome, so in this way we use the same skill and function we have trained our minds to do thousands of times in formal sitting practice, why not apply it to functionality during the rest of the day?


P.S.S.

Of further note, 



Six Words of Advice
First short, literal translationLater long, explanatory translationTibetan (Wylie transliteration)
1Don’t recallLet go of what has passedmi mno
2Don’t imagineLet go of what may comemi bsam
3Don’t thinkLet go of what is happening nowmi shes
4Don’t examineDon’t try to figure anything outmi dpyod
5Don’t controlDon’t try to make anything happenmi sgom
6RestRelax, right now, and restrang sar bzhag


RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/13/15 12:46 AM as a reply to Alin Mathews.
re: Alin Mathews (4/12/15 1:30 PM as a reply to John Wilde.) and others…

Bill F.:
"…one just needs to be
happy and not be unhappy…"

Alin Mathews:
"i too have my doubts that all instinctual passions surfacing as emotional feelings can be deleted as actualist aspire to, or even need to be."

Thanks for that. I had formed an impression that you were something of an AF fundamentalist, in that you seemed to repeatedly bring-up what I took to be AF related viewpoints. (How many of us have the time or insight to read everything here really closely, try to see what another is meaning on their own ground, and give the benefit of a doubt? Quite often we (at least I) just scan, in a sense unknowingly, for previously conditioned, anticipated patterns, and ignore or shoot back depending on the mood of the day.)

"what i am interested in is speeding up the growth of intelligence [beneficient consideration]…"
Non-trivial aspiration, but I agree that's the skillful trajectory.

"…
happiness is more of an end result (a reward transmitter?) of successfully relaxing aggressive reactions and repeatedly replacing them with malice free, misery free behaviour…"
see below – the major point of this post

re: Laurel Carrington (4/12/15 1:47 PM as a reply to John Wilde.)
"…I am insanely happy with just whatever arises moment by moment. I am happy even when feeling fear, sadness, and anger…"

(btw, Laurel, outstanding post you wrote there, brimming with well-seasoned insights, even with celebration.)

The word "happy," "happiness", etc. comes from some ancient linguistic root which means having to to with fortune, with luck, with how things just turn out. "Happen", "happenstance", "hapless".
 
Analogous, in a sense, to that word "eu-daimonia" that Stephen Batchelor associates with modernist Buddhist attainment, except that this word originally meant "well-god-ed/spirited" ("eu-" = good, well, as opposed to "dys-" meaning not good; "daimon," English "demon" meant spirits, the naturalistic original Greek gods). Rather than Stephen's (and Aristotle's) sense of attained "human flourishing", eudaimonia originally meant more "having the favor of the gods", which has more to do with fate and circumstance than one's own actions.

Here's the point (finally): There's happiness that just happens (but also may not), so to speak. and then there's happiness that one has control over in some sense, that one can rely on.

And the difference can be a function of intentional training (call it Buddhadharma, pragmatist, whatever you will).

There's the sort of happiness if you happen to be "well-born" (which, btw, is the meaning of the Pali "Su-jato" as in the name of that Australian monk), well-bred and well-educated, in a place and time of peace and prosperity; things just go your way, as with "the grace of God" (as distinct from that saying my mother, the daughter of a Lutheran minister, used to voice: "There [some poor misfortunate sucker], but for the grace of God, go I…").

And then there's a sort happiness that doesn't depend on anything outside of one's own mind, doesn't take away from or harm anyone else; a "blameless pleasure", an imperturbal, unshakable happiness, timeless and unconditioned…

Take this as idealistic, as doctrinal (or even dogmatic), if you will, but it does point to a possibility, a path; and there's good evidence (c.f. DhO) that it's doable.

( Psi  (4/12/15 6:34 PM as a reply to Bill F..) fills a lot of relevant details.)

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/13/15 5:55 AM as a reply to svmonk.
re: svmonk (4/12/15 9:35 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.

"So I would suggest that the moderators agree on specific critera about when a thread will be shut down or someone will be banned, when necessary collect evidence to send to the offender if an incident occurs, and if someone is banned, remind them about proper behavior ("if you had said this and this in that post instead of what you said, the discussion would have evolved differently")."

I noticed back during the early February melee that the moderator named Claudiu… would at times offer specific detailed analysis of potentially offending statements or arguments, in a non-partisan way (which, however, was usually  interpreted as partisan). The techniques he was using seemed along the lines of the material mentioned in that thread that Kenneth Folk launched shortly thereafter on "Intellectual Honesty as Right Speech".The fact that Kenneth Folk (and one or two others more recently) have specifically, even vehemently attacked Claudiu's moderation is surprising. In fact, one of those criticisms was ad hominen – attempting to disqualify his moderating because of his purported background beliefs or lack thereof (without pointing out where this might have compromised his moderation actions). Maybe being somewhat an outsider, less partisan, could help moderation maintain an evenhandedness. (Apparently there are various politically partisan and/or personal issues floating around, possibly from times before I joined here (Aug 2014).)

Then a week or so ago, one moderator (Nikolai) interrupted a couple of discussions in terms not of offending language or attitude, but in terms of defending, even asserting specific doctrine (authenticity of noting), and in turn was accused of "bullying". He did note that he was, at the time, experimenting. Actually I don't mind that, find his contributions most often worthwhile, and think it's good to vary, experiment with criteria, and perhaps keep off-guard those who might be trying to game the system, so to speak.

Nikolai's recent use of forking-off threads has helped keep discussion themes clear.

I think agreement on specific criteria would be perhaps best kept at some meta-level, such that things don't become too legalistically picayune.

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/13/15 8:20 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
I noticed back during the early February melee that the moderator named Claudiu… would at times offer specific detailed analysis of potentially offending statements or arguments, in a non-partisan way (which, however, was usually  interpreted as partisan).

Please go back and read the thread. Beoman wrote himself that he was not in fact acting as moderator at that time as he did not feel himself to not be biased. So you read him as non-partisan, when he himself wrote that he was partisa n, which is interesting and worth considering in terms of your own bias. Often if someone agrees with our point of view, we think they are unbiased, i.e we believe we are perceiving accurately, so if you agree with me then you must be perceiving accurately as well ha.


The fact that Kenneth Folk (and one or two others more recently) have specifically, even vehemently attacked Claudiu's moderation is surprising. In fact, one of those criticisms was ad hominen – attempting to disqualify his moderating because of his purported background beliefs or lack thereof (without pointing out where this might have compromised his moderation actions).

Again, please go back and read the thread. If someone believes that the beliefs or practices of a group of people who they are moderating is stupid, or delusional, they will not be able to moderate well as they will inevtiably reflect that in their actions. This seems so clear to me, but perhaps it is not a commonly held view. You would not send a racist policeman to patrol an all black neighborhood. Okay, bad example, but you get the point. 
I pointed out a very specific instance in the thread  where I believed  Beoman's views about Buddhist culture had caused him to m ake assumptions about the posters at DHO, and Beoman agreed that it he assumed certain things about the posters that he could not have objectively known (the word he used was that they were "pretending" not to see, what he saw clearly) and should not have, but did not agree it was due to previously held beliefs about meditation, etc.


Then a week or so ago, one moderator (Nikolai) interrupted a couple of discussions in terms not of offending language or attitude, but in terms of defending, even asserting specific doctrine (authenticity of noting), and in turn was accused of "bullying". He did note that he was, at the time, experimenting. 

You are confusing threads. This was the emptiness/codependent origination thread. When accused of "bullying" he made no mention of experimenting. 

You seem to like anaylsis, and I have benefitted from your knowledge at times in the past (given your reporting was credible then, which I assumed), but your memory seems pretty skewed to your own bias, or else your memory is just not so great, in which case links or direct quotes can help one to be more objective.

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/13/15 10:08 AM as a reply to Bill F..
I lurk here more than I post, here's my opinion.

The MCTB style awakening is bullshit. I read Daniel's descriptions of a PCE and he seems to be a in a mode where suffering is genuinely eradicated. I read his descriptions of Arhatship and it sounds like loony nonsense I'd never want to attain to.

That said. I don't enter threads* where people are taking about MCTB Arhatship and talk about this other thing that's better. That just seems to derail the thread and shit it up. It's like weird passive-aggressive proselytizing. It's not just limited to the kinda AF crew either. You get pragmatic Buddhists shitting up Sutta Buddhist threads. Sutta Buddhists shitting up AF style threads and so on.

An analogy: If I join a forum discussing model trains and how to make the little tree's and where to buy certain types of tracks. Then I'm going to be pissed when the model plane crew come along and go 'Lol. Why even make little tree's and buy tracks. Model planes are so much better.' Model planes might be better but I'm here to discuss the little tree's, not the merits of Trains v Planes.

If the above is the problem, is the solution to be more clear that we want to talk about how to make little tree's and less about whether planes are better?

* Except when I do

RE: Authenticity of noting
Answer
3/5/17 12:08 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel, our Lord, Cosmic Ruler abiding Wizard wrote, "Still, how to make this place better is a continued experiment and I welcome your specific and implementable feedback, realizing that anyone who provides feedback likely has a specific set of needs and vision for this forum that might not necessarily be in line with anyone else's or possible given limited resources. We likely need more monitors, and I will try to work on that later today."

Noah made a topic addressing this very issue that basically amounts to restructuring the forums and recent post function. I then ran with his idea and expanded on it. Personally, I like it because it's easy to implement, no upkeep required, moderate in it's changes, and is inclusive to the various groups of practitioners that utilize these forums. It would be nice to hear your thoughts on this or something similar to the actionable ideas put forth in Noah's thread:

http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5712379

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/13/15 11:21 AM as a reply to Alexander Entelechy.
Alexander Entelechy:


An analogy: If I join a forum discussing model trains and how to make the little tree's and where to buy certain types of tracks. Then I'm going to be pissed when the model plane crew come along and go 'Lol. Why even make little tree's and buy tracks. Model planes are so much better.' Model planes might be better but I'm here to discuss the little tree's, not the merits of Trains v Planes.

If the above is the problem, is the solution to be more clear that we want to talk about how to make little tree's and less about whether planes are better?

* Except when I do

actually your analogy explains why so few people have been able to benefit from every sincere enquirer thats ever existed. most people still favoritize and compartmentalise the awakening of intelligence as though its just a toy hobby. no wonder so few are anywhere near coming to their senses.  

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/13/15 11:23 AM as a reply to Alin Mathews.
Alin Mathews:
actually your analogy explains why so few people have been able to benefit from every sincere enquirer thats ever existed. most people are still favoritising and compartmentalising the awakening of intelligence as though they are playing with toy hobbies. no wonder so few are anywhere near coming to their senses.  


I think there are many paths up the mountain, that what matters is finding the motivation and focus to practice something, that the helpful thing is supporting a persons desired practice.  If it seems they are really heading down a bad path, the helpful thing is to help them determine that from their own experience.

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/13/15 11:48 AM as a reply to Bill F..
Bill F.:
I noticed back during the early February melee that the moderator named Claudiu… would at times offer specific detailed analysis of potentially offending statements or arguments, in a non-partisan way (which, however, was usually  interpreted as partisan).

Please go back and read the thread. Beoman wrote himself ...

Can you help refresh my memory by pointing to what thread here to re-read?

The fact that Kenneth Folk (and one or two others more recently)...

Again, please go back and read the
thread. ...

Likewise here?

...
Then a week or so ago, one moderator (Nikolai) interrupted a couple of discussions in terms not of offending language or attitude, but in terms of defending, even asserting specific doctrine (authenticity of noting), and in turn was accused of "bullying". He did note that he was, at the time, experimenting. 

You are confusing threads.
..

Here also?


RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/15/15 8:06 AM as a reply to Matt.
matthew sexton:
Alin Mathews:
actually your analogy explains why so few people have been able to benefit from every sincere enquirer thats ever existed. most people are still favoritising and compartmentalising the awakening of intelligence as though they are playing with toy hobbies. no wonder so few are anywhere near coming to their senses.  


I think there are many paths up the mountain, that what matters is finding the motivation and focus to practice something, that the helpful thing is supporting a persons desired practice.  If it seems they are really heading down a bad path, the helpful thing is to help them determine that from their own experience.
i agree.  for me the motivation and focus was always a no brainer; harmlessness i.e. to become incapable of malice towards this body or any body and be free of delusions no matter how down to earth i had to become to achieve it.

nevertheless as sensible as those motivations were it still took years to clearly define that quest, which in turn enabled me to recognise then effortlessly gravitate towards those practices most suited to offloading my social conditioning and unblinding myself from gullibility and harmful delusions.  

there are probably as many practices and practices within practices as there are goals, cultureral conditionings and personalities. whats better for one can be too confronting for another.

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/13/15 2:44 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
Hi Chris,

Well, there's always this:

http://thestack.com/cornell-justin-cheng-troll-behavior-130415

Apparently, Cornell has an algorithm that will spot trolls from initial posts. This won't handle other kinds of behavior that have been discussed in this thread however.

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/13/15 7:52 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
Chris,

      What odd logic. Normally the burdern of proof lays on the one accusing wrong doing. None the less here is the chronological order of what happened, in the thread where Nikola was accused of bullying, with no segment in which either Nikolai or I were responding to each other ommited, preceded by your recall of what happened:

Then a week or so ago, one moderator (Nikolai) interrupted a couple of discussions in terms not of offending language or attitude, but in terms of defending, even asserting specific doctrine (authenticity of noting), and in turn was accused of "bullying". He did note that he was, at the time, experimenting. .- Chris J. Macie

Thread you are referencing:

As we have no idea who you are unless we have frequented the facebook page Dharma Connection, you have simply posted a bunch of text that could be found in a Dharma Book. Since this place is a practice orientated site and not one to simply preach one's views, please share your actual experience/s, how you experienced what you are talking about, what you did or didn't do etc.-
Nikolai

There are lots of posts here where people are sharing their insights without a practice log. Why are you singling John out? The word "preach" has negative connotations as well. It's enough to point out the purpose of the site. Don't be a bully, bruh.- Bill F. 

A bully,  not a bully.  Conceiving makes the 'world' go round.-
Nikolai

A valuable point. Hopefully it does not signal you are incapable of self-reflection.-
Bill F

Capable, incapable. Defense, no defen....meh! - Nikolai


This was found in the thread "Emptiness, Dependent Origination". You report it happened in  "Authenticity of Noting". It did not. You report that Nikolai described his approach here as experimental. He does not. That was a different thread, responding to Pal where he told Pal to describe his practice or "stfu" (Shut the fuck up), and in which to the best of my knowledge no one called him a bully. You are forming an opnion based upon a pattern of communication which you do not remember accurately.

You are misremembering, which is fine, but when it is coupled with criticism it becomes unethical. I do not know how to make it more plain that. If you are not able to correctly recall threads that happened just last week, or find them on your own to make sure what you are saying did happen, I would think it fair to not attempt to recall and ascribe blame from threads two months past. Your memory appears to be failing, or some other personal motive is at play. Not for me discern. 

The other thread was "Money and the Buddha". When I went to go copy and paste the comments I found that it has been blacked out and I am not able to retrieve it. That you do not remember the thread you are using as a reference to criticize, and won't look for it yourself, is also concerning regarding the integrity you bring to criticism. 
It's a shame because in that thread you are claiming others had taken a neutral position when they in fact stated they did not, which is telling, and worth some reflection. 
You also report that I did not do the very thing I did. Also worth reflecting on, and suggests this is more opinion and bias than objective analysis.





RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/14/15 9:44 AM as a reply to Bill F..
Bill F.:
Chris,
 Your memory appears to be failing, or some other personal motive is at play. Not for me discern. 







--Calling Nik a bully for asking a poster who was making very high level (if implicit) claims of attainments to ground his claims in phenomenolgical descriptions of practice and experience

--Making the above statement directed at Chris

Wow.
I don't want to get into a big thing, but I just want to say, I generally find your contributions fascinating, balanced, kind, backed by strong practice and deep insight. I guess I just get blindsided when you 'descend into the muck' and start in on the back and forth and it makes me wonder what's up? What about interaction or thread X brings this out in you? It's none of my business really but I just thought I'd share. Maybe we can reel this thread back from the precipice of a long back and forth quoting counter-quoting 'who is biased?' thing. maybe not. worth a shot.

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/15/15 6:53 AM as a reply to . Jake ..
Jake,
 
       Thank you for your response. You have given me some things to reflect on:
To begin with, perception is flimsy, and we (me, you, everyone) are blinded at times by our conscious or unacknowledged biases’. The way that plays out seems worth discussion to me.
     Regarding my communication style, I don’t do a lot of revising. Sometimes I realize later the potential for negative and unwarranted negative reaction and then I go and delete what I’ve written, or apologize in real life. That’s o.k. I am more interested in transparency and directness than political correctness, and I prefer direct confrontation (of the sort you’ve evidenced here in bringing these things up directly with me), to a lot of the passive aggressiveness I see on the board.
     I think sometimes my flagrant contradictory writing is a response, and at times a performance in reaction to my distaste for indirect, passive aggressive comments mixed with just my natural way of being in the world, which is at times overly direct. I have a tendency to beat people over the head with my opinion in a way that probably lessens its impact, which is an interesting thing to reflect on and perhaps modulate if it seems to be spreading more harm than good. At times I’m sure it does. And at times being very direct is what is needed. You were invited to be a moderator within 24 hours of my exchange with Daniel where I cited the need for changes. And now you can moderate me ha. And help me grow.
        Regarding the statement where I accused Nikolai of bullying, i.e “Don’t be a bully, bruh”, I did not mean it in a hostile manner, hence the “bruh”. Given that the association with bullying is intimidation and I did not then or now believe that was the motivating factor for Nikolai I should not have used the word. His words seemed to me dismissive and subtly insulting and I should have just said that. I came to John’s defense because I asked him if it were cool if I copied and pasted his words to the Burbea thread, which he agreed to, so when he seemed to get what I perceived to be a xenophobic response here, I felt both defensive and protective of him, as though I were in some way responsible for having introduced his ideas here, which prompted him to create the other thread. Perhaps this was not my place, but there it is.
      I know you are a person of integrity, but I have a hard time reconciling that with what I see as your take here, and I fail to see why you feel so alarmed. In the past you wrote to Not Tao “No one really gives a fuck about your half-assed opinions”, and Nikolai writes to Pal to share his practice or shut the fuck up, but my calling Nikolai a “bully” in half-jest, or saying that Chris either does not remember correctly or has something personally against me somehow warrants such a response. Big bro, please explain the logic of that to me because I am confused, sincerely (I have never not been sincere with you).
      I believe in part it’s because you agree with Nikolai’s point of view regarding the thread, but if you read it honestly your description of what Nikolai was doing was much more neutral than his actual words, which were dismissive. It’s funny how things become filtered out in our own reactions. As you read, I said Nikolai should just tell John the site’s ideals without being subtly insulting in the process. You are writing that all he did was ask him to talk about it phenomenological language, but he did that in a way that was dismissive, using language that was not positive. In other words, he did not state the positives (the ideals of site), but stated how what John was doing was negative (“preaching”, “nothing that couldn’t be found in a dharma text”). The sites principles could have been pointed out without a put down. If you agree with his point of view then maybe that language seems fair. If you agree that Pal should just write about his practice then it seems fine (maybe) to tell him to share his practice or “shut the fuck up”. I don’t want to get a place where I ever feel it’s okay or appropriate to tell someone to shut the fuck up, but those are my values, and I am sure I violate the values of others in my communication.
      I feel my comments to Chris were valid and appropriate given the context. That he mentioned me indirectly three times in the thread upstream, and that he recounted those events I was involved in such a way that he criticized, and was incorrectly remembering the course of events, deserved a response. I don’t know why you feel I said something terrible to him. Perhaps you are reading more into it than I intended, or it is simply a matter of values. Either his memory is failing him in these instances, (i.e he is not recalling what actually happened), as displayed above factually, or there is a personal motive, (i.e I have offended him somehow, and he is not concerned with remembering correctly). You will have to speak more on this as from my current point of view I do not see anything I would change about that interaction.
     And if there’s things you think I should do differently please share them. I like this sort of out in the open criticism, and I believe I grow from it as well.

Bill

 
 

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/15/15 7:45 AM as a reply to Bill F..
re: Bill F. (4/13/15 7:52 PM as a reply to Chris J Macie.)
"
What odd logic. Normally the burden of proof lays on the one accusing wrong doing."
No logic or proof/disproof was intended there when I asked for the links. Just asking for help as the material is wide-ranging, at least beyond my ability to accurately remember it all. (And the search function in the DhO implementation is very slow and lacks facility for compound search patterns.) Thanks for supplying the information.

You were correct on my confused memories:

1) In the "Emptiness…" thread, Nikolai had challenged J Ahn's OP on grounds that it didn't seem practice-related. And you questioned Nikolai's reasoning, mentioning "bully".

2) Then, as OP to the thread "Authenticity of noting", Nikolai was spliting this thread off from "I was wrong. (Also, ngondro.)" to allow Pal and Pawel et al to go off and dispute the authenticity of "noting" (as OT to "I was wrong…"). Early on in "I was wrong…", Nikolai had warned Pal and Pawel about that. In the OP post of "Authenticity of noting", Nikolai noted "testing new approach".

Both "Emptiness…" and "I was wrong…" ended on 30 March, two weeks ago, and I had confused them. Maybe because in both cases I noted that Nikolai was using OT reasoning rather than correcting disrespectful or offensive behavior. (In the 1st case, I also had noted at the time that I emphathized with the "bully" comment, but hadn't particularly noted that you (Bill F.) were the one making the comment.)

And I also associated Nikolai's "new approach" with doctrinal rather than bad-behavioral moderation, where in fact he may have been referring to the thread-splitting; and this splitting method, IMO, is working remarkably well.

On the other hand, it's not clear where the unethical blaming occurred in those two instances. Apparently you were projecting that backward from the next point – about the moderation / Claudiu – Beoman issue:

The thread "Money and the Buddha" I have, after you brought it up, reviewed. (I download – "save as" to html files – all threads I find interesting, because I read and work with them on off-line computers (and, being s/w an historian, save them forever – apropos: just bought a 128GB memory stick, for only $40); I have a complete copy of this thread, all 196 posts down to the last relieved chorus of "lock it!" posts; can perhaps email a copy of it to you if you want. Some day, when DhO is history, I believe that thread will belong in the "best of…" archive, when we can all look back on it, in perfect equanimity, with nostalgia and humor.)

After reviewing it, including finding that you had engaged there in an extensive dialog with Beoman, it is clearer to me perhaps why you have been reacting so strongly here. I apologize, that I did not realize (forgotten or not noticed) that you (Bill F.) were the author of the "bully" comment, and also had a history of difference-of-opinion with Beoman. It might well have seemed that what I was saying (in the first post here) was directed at you. Let me assure that I did not at all have you in mind when writting that.

I will say, having re-read "Money and the Buddha" (from the first moderator entrance (Beoman's) through to the last "lock it!"), that it's all the more clear to me that the moderation there was expertly handled. Beoman had, prior to engaging, already polled the other moderators, and they generally continued to back his method of review / overview and analysis. Oddly enough, one of the most insightful overviews there ("…this whole thing has now become at least three conversations… 1) Kenneth and [his students]… 3) Kenneth and Katy… and 3) the conversation ABOUT the conversation") was posted by ". Jake .", who was not a moderator at the time.

From an historical, anthropological perspective, moderating at DhO has got to be one of the more Herculean tasks* in the whole universe of discussion forums, given the added contextual burden of the notion of "Right Speech".

*(wikipedia) Labours of Hercules -- 5) Clean the Augean stables in a single day.... which housed the single greatest number of cattle in the country and had never been cleaned. [talk about BS...]

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/15/15 10:15 AM as a reply to Bill F..
Bill F.:
Jake,
 
       Thank you for your response. [...] I like this sort of out in the open criticism, and I believe I grow from it as well.



 
 


Thanks for your thoughtful responses, Bill. I think I was just feeling a pre-emptive exasperation with the possibility of a(nother) prolonged back and forth that ultimately contibuted little on a practice level and was feeling riled a bit by what I perceived to be you drifting into a more personal, possibly even slightly mean-spirited approach to engagement with Chris. But whether or not that was an accurate perception it was definitely a projection  as well. Part of being human I guess ;)

I did note at the time that your response to Nik, while being (in my opinion) over the top with the use of the word 'bully', was also meant in a friendly enough way (as indicated by the 'bruh', got it, totally). I happen to disagree with your assessment but that doesn't mean I am convinced I'm right about my own assessment, it just is what it is and it's no big deal. I was wondering about the nature of your relationship with John Ahn and what was up with your defending him/being offended on his behalf but that was really none of my business anyway (thanks for sharing though, your reaction makes sense in terms of you having effectively invited him to DhO, and perceived a less-than-warm welcome).

Still, I think a guy claiming what he was claiming should probably expect that. And there are a few posters who contribute heavily to Dharma Connections such as John and So Wei who, while having valuable things to contribute, also have an in-my-view annoying tendency to not always share directly from their own experience for whatever reason which makes it tough to relate to what they are sharing as it is often couched in more abstract and more to the point didactic terms (this is this way, that is that way, a bunch of doctrinal statements about what is what.) 

Also, and relating to your point about perception being funny, my impression of Nik's initial 'checking' of John was actually quite different from yours. I am aware that Nik is familiar with the Facebook group that John posts on, and though I don't read many of their posts over there, I had kinda assumed Nik was more familiar with John from there and wasn't necessarily questioning his practice/attainments/whatever so much as providing John with some clarity about the culture of THIS community in that it is, ideally, more aimed at phenomenological than doctrinal/theoretical reports of ones own attainments. John wasn't just dicussing doctrinal issues he was doing so in terms of critiquing Rob Burbea's attainments in the light of what John felt his own attainments to be; that was the basis for John's critique of Rob, and therefore it seems appropriate to have drawn John out into being direct and forthcoming about 1) his own practice background and 2) his own experiences along the way (rather than just mounting a theoretical critique that was sort of implicitly grounded in Johns implicit claims of attainment-- all of which indirectness definitely goes against the DhO ethos, right?). John responded to that request, and all was well. So all in all I read the whole interaction quite differently, for what it's worth.

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/15/15 3:56 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
Hi Chris,

      Thank you for the explanation, apology and for taking the time to write that out for me.

Bill

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/15/15 4:20 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
Jake,


drifting into a more personal, possibly even slightly mean-spirited approach to engagement with Chris. But whether or not that was an accurate perception it was definitely a projection  as well. Part of being human I guess ;) 

That was not at all my experience internally during that discussion. I still feel confused that you reacted so strongly. I believed Chris to be innacurately representing me or misremembering. The latter was true as he said. His memory truly was failing to accurately recall events. Yes, it is his memory so I guess it is personal, but it is also the more innocuous of the two explanations, the other being a malicious portrayal and disregard. If it is personal, then all criticism is personal, and mean spirited. I just reread it again and do not see anything beyond my criticism of what I believed to be his criticism. I still find it difficult to comprehend that my words to Chris or my calling Nikolai a "bully" were such a trigger, and yet you wrote to another poster "No one gives a fuck about your half-assed opinions", and Nikolai tells Pal to share practice or "Shut the fuck up"*, and it's cool. Why do we condone what we condone as okay, or negligible and react so strongly to other things? It seems like a double standard to me.
Now that I've written this, I wonder, will this be read as mean, an attack. It is not. I just desire to understand what seems to me a confusing set of standards. If you would rather speak to me about this in a different venue you know where to find me.

*I think Nikolai generally does a good job of moderating, and have benefitted from his moderation. My criticism is not general, but situation specific.


RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/15/15 6:27 PM as a reply to Bill F..
So it's finally come to this: an argument about arguing on a message board thread that's about arguments on a message board thread.
emoticon

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/15/15 7:45 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel,

I do not know if you will see this post, since it is at the back end of this thread. However, I do not wish to add to the large backlog of emails through which you are reading. I say all this in the spirit of constructive criticism.

I will be brief. One caveat: I have been dark-nighting pretty hard for three years now, so my perspective may possibly be skewed in ways that are unfortunate, and I am open to correction.

The Dharma Overground is not what it used to be. I first signed up three years ago, when I crossed the A&P but didn't realize it. There were a large number of highly attained practitioners, and a lot of interest in hardcore meditation practice as outlined in MCTB. If I wanted to ask a question about second jhana, I could do so, and receive an answer, for example. 

Now, things are very different. Where are the anagamis, the arahats? Where is the discussion about nanas and jhanas and brahma viharas? Where are the dharma diagnosticians? Most threads are simply debating semantics or praising/dissing various models. No one is actually practicing. The board seems to have been taken over by a small group who, as far as I can tell, have no idea what the fuck they are talking about. There is no longer any frame of reference.

I realize that this board is devoted to open dharma discussion, but things have strayed so far that we are no longer even in meditation territory. Even Tommy M, one of the finest practitioners this corner of the web has seen, took one peek and left in disgust.

I know that you are incredibly busy. I do no work nearly as much as you (I typically work around 30 hours a week), but I spend most of my time at home chasing toddlers and running errands, while trying to wedge practice and sleep in the whole mess. You do not have time to babysit the overground. I understand. But something has to change. More active moderation would be a step in the right direction.

If newcomers (who have recently read MCTB, perhaps) cannot come here and feel welcome, nothing will change.

I hope you can see where I am coming from. 

Eric

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/15/15 9:07 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
So it's finally come to this: an argument about arguing on a message board thread that's about arguments on a message board thread.
emoticon


Lol

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/15/15 9:26 PM as a reply to Bill F..
Bill, this interaction isn't something I have strong feelings about. Also, I want to clarify that in the portion of my comment that you quoted, when I say something like 'whether this perception [of Bill being mean] is accurate or not it is definitely a projection' i meant to be a clarification that I had projected that onto you and so I also meant it as an acknowledgment that I don't by any means have privileged access to your mindstates-- an acknowledgment that you may well have meant it to be an innocuous comment. 

As for my rude comment to Not Tao, yeah, that was rude, and perhaps even bullyish! Certainly not skillful. I was exasperated with what seemed a pattern of his of contesting with others about their modes of practice in a half baked way-- actually, I think this was an accurate perception of a lot of his activity on the board. But yep I was pretty much a dick. I think I apologized later in that thread but I'm not sure. Please note I am not now nor did I then even in that comment dismiss the totality of NT's contributions. His whole-assed opinions (those grounded in experience) are often insightful and I, for one, give a fuck about them. 

I ccan't speak for Nik but my impression is he was consciously trying a different tack to generate a result of getting someone who, again, seems to have a lot of strong opinions about how others practice to basically fuck off with that behavior. I don't see that as a big problem, honestly. 

I'm actually just now reminded of an interaction I had with Omega Point where he said in response to my earnest advocacy of straightforward communcation that is not disturbing to others, something to the effect that my 'communicative ethics' was, though naive, 'adorable'. I remember getting a kick out of that! It's been percolating under the surface for a while I guess.

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/15/15 10:12 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
I can't co-sign all that as appropriate or "okay", brother, but I thank you for responding. 

This thread is probably not that useful from a point of moving things forward on a large scale. This thread probably has a much better chance of that.

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/16/15 7:42 AM as a reply to Bill F..
Agreed!

RE: Authenticity of noting
Answer
4/16/15 4:04 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
katy steger:
....
This is why I tend to welcome this site's differences with say a site like you mentioned. It's clear its members need to come here, are attracted here, to vent-- vent argument, vent superiority, whatever. We're basically all neighbors on a tiny planet so if you can get this aggitation and hostility out online and start looking to own mind and own body for calmness, so much the better offline.
.....

I'd tend to lean to the opposite view. Go get your anger out offline, then come here. Go to the gym, go for a long run, go take a bath, go do 1000 pushups, go have sex, go shout into a pillow and then when you are calm, come online and talk about things that matter to you in the right frame of mind.
People need to start having the same amount of repect for people online as they would offline. I  bet half the things that are said online wouldnt be said to that persons face in the flesh. Thsi is a good test: before you post, read what you have written and ask yourself "would I really say this in real life"?. If yes, then press the post button, if not, go back and make it acceptable. I dont feel online should just be a free for all, we are civilised human beings. Lets act that way! 

love to you all. For what its worth, I tend to think this forum is great. I was getting a little tired of the "sutta vs noting" thing but that was a small thing in comparison to the overall awesome amount of good will and help that people offer each other. Thanks for everyone for making this place great. 

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/16/15 4:16 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
So it's finally come to this: an argument about arguing on a message board thread that's about arguments on a message board thread.
emoticon


haha! its the final round of the 15 round match. Ive got ring side tickets and popcorn! 

RE: Authenticity of noting
Answer
4/17/15 7:35 AM as a reply to b man.
b man:
katy steger:
....
This is why I tend to welcome this site's differences with say a site like you mentioned. It's clear its members need to come here, are attracted here, to vent-- vent argument, vent superiority, whatever. We're basically all neighbors on a tiny planet so if you can get this aggitation and hostility out online and start looking to own mind and own body for calmness, so much the better offline.
.....

I'd tend to lean to the opposite view. Go get your anger out offline, then come here. Go to the gym, go for a long run, go take a bath, go do 1000 pushups, go have sex, go shout into a pillow and then when you are calm, come online and talk about things that matter to you in the right frame of mind.

interesting because the right frame of mind to an actualist is one thats the same online or offline. one that faces emotional feelings but without venting. so theres no punching pillows etc. their intent is to appreciate life unconditionally not 'because' they feel good (eg) just had sex etc. 

their practice is to observe in action how bad feelings (and good) are generated by instinctual passions that combined with our new thinking brain have morphed a Feel-er whose MO is to control the body, other people, and the environment.

these non actual conceptualised feelings are the filters that obscure the simplicity of direct apperceptive experience. i.e. actual freedom. 

so their practice is the reverse. one notices asap that feeling happy (also a filter but preferable for now) has become a less constructive filter eg frustration, discontent, aggression etc. they then practice getting back to appreciating this only moment one ever has to be alive then they examine what caused the loss of appreciation for this incredible moment of being alive.  the discovery, if one dares to look deep enough, is always an instinctual passion of some kind (fear, aggression, desire etc) warped by our new barely functioning intelligence.  

the work is to uncover the instinctual passions we inherited from our animal ancestry and observe how they show up as feeling driven thoughts in the human condition, justifying it's biased and senseless behaviour and obscurring actual sensate experience.

actualism forums openly discuss which instinctual passions reared up in what form to cause one to lose the plot during daily life, but without venting as that is counter productive to consciously deleting the ancient emotional reactions and social identity that condones lashing out  

   



People need to start having the same amount of repect for people online as they would offline. I  bet half the things that are said online wouldnt be said to that persons face in the flesh. Thsi is a good test: before you post, read what you have written and ask yourself "would I really say this in real life"?. If yes, then press the post button, if not, go back and make it acceptable. I dont feel online should just be a free for all, we are civilised human beings. Lets act that way! 


I really haven't seen that much incivility on here. and i would probably say a lot more face to face confident that my facial expressions would always portray no offence. 

love to you all. For what its worth, I tend to think this forum is great. I was getting a little tired of the "sutta vs noting" thing but that was a small thing in comparison to the overall awesome amount of good will and help that people offer each other. Thanks for everyone for making this place great. 

likewise emoticon

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/17/15 7:55 AM as a reply to svmonk.
svmonk:
Hi Chris,

Well, there's always this:

http://thestack.com/cornell-justin-cheng-troll-behavior-130415

Apparently, Cornell has an algorithm that will spot trolls from initial posts. This won't handle other kinds of behavior that have been discussed in this thread however.

Thanks for the reference.

1) As an analysis tool that kind of effort could be informative. I would suspect any attempt to implement some machine-based (whatever the degree of AI-sophistication) regulation of people's behavior could eventually have comical, if not disastrous results. Echos of, HAL?

2) A curious related item came up sometime ago (I can't remember if it was here or in the Hacker's forum) about machine-based statistical analysis of things like emotional-tone in verbal texts as in on-line discussions. The person bringing it up had tried applying the algorithm (some kind of apparently available software package, maybe it was from IBM) to parts of the discussion there, and the results were very interesting.

3) Another curiosity: A while ago (also in the Hacker's forum, but may have been mentioned here also) – a discussion of the #GamerGate issue (harassment of women in the on-line game venue). It was triggered by a national news report of a coed's comments on seemingly systematic difficulties women undergo in the computer science dept at Stanford University.

Anyway, and interesting article popped-up recently:
The Game of Trolls and How to Win It @ Al Jazeera America

http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2015/3/the-game-of-trolls-and-how-to-win-it.html
The author: "In my research on masculinity in gaming culture, I describe trolling as a rhetorical meta-game that takes place in all the online venues where gamers gather. Trolls police their communities using harassment and ridicule as their weapons of choice against anyone they think does not belong."
[Notice, the definition – the last sentence here – actually fits how moderators sometimes operate.]

The idea is that "… design can help squelch trolling…", that is, the design of the on-line system, apparently pioneered by "Tinder" (an on-line dating app) in an effort to " protect women from a continuous cascade of rants, requests for nude pictures and sexual propositions and solves a problem that plagues online services…" (Obviously, alienating women isn't good for that kind of business.)

" These developers recognized the game that trolls play using the interfaces of traditional online dating sites… The same lesson appears to be on the verge of transforming online gaming."

" The culmination of its research into user psychology resulted in a tribunal system in which players participate in punishing offenders, through restrictions of their in-game chat privileges or even outright bans."

" Microsoft is implementing a community-powered reputation model … Microsoft reasons that making the outcomes of these algorithms visible to other players will induce trolls to work toward a positive score."

That seems to indicate that the kind of technology that svmonk cited is in fact being implemented, at least in the game world. Hmmm

RE: Authenticity of noting
Answer
4/17/15 12:41 PM as a reply to Alin Mathews.
Alin Mathews:


actualism forums openly discuss which instinctual passions reared up in what form to cause one to lose the plot during daily life, but without venting as that is counter productive to consciously deleting the ancient emotional reactions and social identity that condones lashing out  

The thing is, this isnt a actualism forum, its a pragmatic dhama forum. What you are describing sounds like the philosophical analysis of ones  "stuff", deliving into the psyhcology of why we feel the way we do. What I am suggesting is go and get over all that how ever you feel before you come onto the forum, and then you'll free yourself up to focus on the task at hand, which to my mind, on this forum, should be about discussing meditation practice and not how you feel in daily life.

Maybe I have misunderstood you though?

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/17/15 8:11 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
To the administrators (?) -- a minor annoyance:

This thread now appears (on the "Recent Posts" list) as "Talking about DhO itself"

which was originally splitt-off from "Authenticity of noting",

yet now about 1/2 the posts are labelled "Talking...", and the rest "Authenticity...",

and there's no obvious pattern to it, at least relative to time of posting and time of split?

Most recent posts are headed as "Authenticity..."

Can users do anything to straighten this out? or is it just a "feature" of the platform?

Note: This post was a reply to the OP; is labelled "Talking...", just as the OP is. So it's by inheritance hierarchy?

Wierd -- one post (Pawel K) has an empty label...

RE: Authenticity of noting
Answer
4/20/15 10:16 AM as a reply to b man.
b man:
Alin Mathews:


actualism forums openly discuss which instinctual passions reared up in what form to cause one to lose the plot during daily life, but without venting as that is counter productive to consciously deleting the ancient emotional reactions and social identity that condones lashing out  

The thing is, this isnt a actualism forum, its a pragmatic dhama forum. What you are describing sounds like the philosophical analysis of ones  "stuff", deliving into the psyhcology of why we feel the way we do. What I am suggesting is go and get over all that how ever you feel before you come onto the forum, and then you'll free yourself up to focus on the task at hand, which to my mind, on this forum, should be about discussing meditation practice and not how you feel in daily life.

Maybe I have misunderstood you though?

I didn't read Alin's comment but i wanted to say that on the home page it is written "The Dharma Overground is a resource for the support of practices that actually lead to beneficial, fundamental mental, perceptual and emotional transformations." That is a broad characterization which does not exclude, as I read it, practices that focus on 'how we feel in everyday life'.

Whether Alin is referring to a practice or not is a different question I suppose but I think there is a misunderstanding sometimes present in Prag Dharma circles that Prag Dharma is somehow not about concentration and morality as much as it is about insight.

I don't think that's the intent of the founders of this movement but there are historical-cultural reasons why the emphasis was placed on insight, as that is often left out of 'mushroom dharma' in favor of cultivation of temporary states and ethical practices.

Human beings have feelings, perceptions, etc. and all of this is significant in practice and daily life, don't you think? Not to mention that at a certain point the distinction between formal practice and everyday life tends to dissolve... Though admittedly there is a difference between never having started a formal practice and breaking down the artificial barriers between practice and life.

RE: Talking about DhO itself
Answer
4/23/15 9:14 AM as a reply to Bill F..
There was, and I guess still is, a thread called "Moderation" from that same period.

I like Claudiu. I've chatted with him. But I think that getting into long semantic and legalistic tribunals right out on the thread that is being moderated isn't helpful to the situation. It is polarizing instead of tending toward resolution of the specific matter, and everyone piles on and divides. That is fine if the escalation is serving some purpose, like this discussion of how to finally make this site function, but that isn't usually the case or outcome.

I was trained as a classroom instructor not to do that sort of round and round with someone and disrupt the class with it (and lose cred in the course of it).

The mods might want to consider an internal policy of deliberating complaints, facts, and findings on a private channel instead of out on the policed thread itself. 

Florian is a wonderful model of a moderator. I would listen to and observe what he does. He is very effective. Very.

RE: Authenticity of noting
Answer
4/23/15 9:41 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Jenny, I would appreciate your not posting your differences with Daniel over and over again on the public forum. I don't want to start a lengthy, antagonistic exchange over it (or even a brief exchange), but it feels personal when you repeat things you've talked about over email or on the phone with him. I don't think it's helpful to the forum, nor does it advance anyone's practice.

I think everyone here is now aware of your positions regarding the forum, its functionality or lack thereof, and the need for a particular kind of moderation. You have as much right to be heard on these matters as anyone else. But aiming your frustrations at Daniel, or continuing an argument from a one-on-one interaction in public, is not the way to do that.

RE: Authenticity of noting
Answer
4/23/15 1:33 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Thanks Laurel for speaking aloud. I was trying to post something alike, but as English isn't my first native language, I was afraid to say things in a not so nicely way.

RE: Authenticity of noting
Answer
4/23/15 9:23 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
I understand what you are saying, Laurel, but I also understand what Jenny is saying in terms of the danger where a sites experienced members are disposable.

I just read a thread where someone is asking for advice about stream entry, and there are a lot of responses, but almost no one to say "this is what I did, it worked, try it". A community that does not retain its members loses what is valuable as those who are newer are less likely to get the help they need as those who have come before and could offer insight, knowledge and experience have left.

I have a nasty sinus thing going on at the moment so if my response was less than coherent, or if I failed to glean certain particulars from the above posts that would have informed my opinion differently, I apologize.