Some Thoughts from the Founder

Some Thoughts from the Founder Daniel M. Ingram 7/3/09 9:36 PM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder Wet Paint 7/3/09 10:03 PM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder beta wave 7/4/09 12:41 AM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder Wet Paint 7/4/09 12:52 AM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder triple think 7/4/09 1:30 AM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder beta wave 7/4/09 1:38 AM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder Wet Paint 7/4/09 2:14 AM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder Wet Paint 7/4/09 2:22 AM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder Wet Paint 7/4/09 3:33 AM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder Lee G Moore 7/4/09 3:54 AM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder Mark L 7/4/09 4:07 AM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder Wet Paint 7/4/09 4:15 AM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder Lee G Moore 7/4/09 4:29 AM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder Andrew P 7/4/09 6:48 AM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder Chris Marti 7/4/09 7:13 AM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder Wet Paint 7/4/09 7:29 AM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder Kenneth Folk 7/4/09 7:50 AM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder Trent S. H. 7/4/09 8:06 AM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder Wet Paint 7/4/09 8:14 AM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder j g 7/4/09 12:02 PM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder Chuck Kasmire 7/4/09 12:15 PM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder Gozen M L 7/4/09 12:15 PM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder Wet Paint 7/4/09 2:37 PM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder Wet Paint 7/4/09 4:32 PM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder Wet Paint 7/4/09 4:34 PM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder Trent S. H. 7/4/09 6:35 PM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder triple think 7/4/09 7:33 PM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder triple think 7/4/09 9:33 PM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder triple think 7/4/09 9:34 PM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder Wet Paint 7/5/09 4:05 AM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder Wet Paint 7/5/09 4:42 AM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder Daniel M. Ingram 7/5/09 7:01 AM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder Chris Marti 7/5/09 7:39 AM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder Wet Paint 7/5/09 10:21 AM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder D C 7/5/09 7:07 PM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder D C 7/5/09 7:13 PM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder Wet Paint 7/6/09 10:55 PM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder triple think 7/7/09 12:11 AM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder Wet Paint 7/7/09 12:42 AM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder Mark L 7/7/09 1:42 AM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder D C 7/7/09 2:05 AM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder John Finley 7/7/09 2:05 AM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder Mike L 7/7/09 7:05 AM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder Wet Paint 7/8/09 12:22 AM
RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder tarin greco 7/8/09 12:36 AM
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 13 Years ago at 7/3/09 9:36 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/3/09 9:36 PM

Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 3232 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Forum: Dharma Overground Discussion Forum

Dear All,

Recently I have had to do some hard thinking about this place, as I have found much of the discussion strangely unsatisfying.

I find too much that is not down to earth and practical, too much that is about abstract theory that is not grounded in how to practice, and way too much drama. I find poor communication, poor listening, poor definition of terms, poor debate style and much that simply leaves me feeling like something has been lost rather than gained.

I consider conversations I have with my friends and colleagues and how those compare with much of what happens here, and the gap is so wide and the contrast so stark as to leave me wondering at times what I have created.

It is true that there have been some great discussions here, and there may be many more, but the signal to noise ratio is swinging towards noise, and more and more I find myself not reading all the way through as I find so little that is the sort of stuff I like: people actually doing it and discussing how to do it and helping each other do that, and more and more debates about super-fine points of how to define aspects of high levels of awakening, absurd discussions of how the old texts conflict with reality, and who is enlightened and to what degree, most of which just leaves me feeling slightly nauseus and sad about what an opportunity has been wasted.

This, I urge you: keep it practical and applicable. Listen and ask questions when there is apparent conflict. Post as if you were a mature adult who wished to promote a place and a community that was high level, competent, collegial, and yet also human and honest, but not some base, needlessly unclassy way.

I am also tired of long meta-discussions about how to discuss things, so I hope there is no long run of that after this post.

Instead, when you post, try to think, "How is someone going to benefit from this?"

Thanks,

Daniel
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 7/3/09 10:03 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/3/09 10:03 PM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Adam_West

Hi Dan,

I think most of us see the same things you speak of. I wonder if the goals and ideals you speak of are impossible to achieve given there seems to be little agreement on how to practically get it done, how we may know if we are making progress to that end, and what exactly getting it done entails. If there is no basic consensus, on principle dissonance must follow, or at least be compensated for and be perpetually mediated against; necessarily resulting in instances of failure to that end. Furthermore, for how long can an individual keep his various personality drives out of such discussion and interactions, when it is a natural organic process that such drives are inevitably triggered whenever individuals find themselves in the social domain. Is it all too much to ask? All historical evidence seems to suggest this is true - the gap between the ideal and the human reality has been vast in apparently every society. You know the old admonishment to never talk politics and religion at a dinner party. Perhaps we are just asking for trouble in this place? :-)

Perhaps self-moderation is too much to expect. I know of no successful online example where large groups of people regularly come together, do you? At best people seem to do their own thing; many come and go, and return and leave. Mostly there is a no insult policy and people are left to their own devices.

In kind regards,

Adam.

Edited for spelling
beta wave, modified 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 12:41 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 12:41 AM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 5 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
My observation is that when folks were/are asking questions about how to improve >their own< practice, there wasn't/isn't a problem. The signal to noise ratio is more than acceptable. And many people have made the next steps in their practice -- progress does occur.

I also recall that very early on there was a string of theoretical/abstract discussions and those went into the weeds almost immediately, too. Now we have more people, more ranges of practice, and more opinions --- so I'm not surprised that this latest theoretical/abstract binge also went into the weeds.

It's fair to say that all the questions that have been recently asked were valid, but maybe they were indulged more than they should have been. In the past, if someone asked "what changes after enlightenment", the reply would have been "it's essentially impossible to say... how will this help you practice, what are you working on now?" That was the price of admission.

I consider this most recent binge an experiment and we are learning from the failure of an experiment. It seems like this site not a good way to hash out philosophical questions.

So let's return to questions about one's own practice. Let's be clear about what we are doing in our own practice and what questions we're asking.
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 12:52 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 12:52 AM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Adam_West

@ "And by the way, I notice that people stop asking public questions about their own practice post-stream entry and take on more of a "teacher" role. It might be better if there were more role models for question-asking as well."

Yeah, that is a good point. There does seem to be far too many cooks in the kitchen, trouble follows... ;-) You make several good points actually.

In kind regards,

Adam.
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triple think, modified 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 1:30 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 1:30 AM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 362 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Yeah, I hate all my friends too. They eat all my food, spend all my money, loose all my books...
: }
beta wave, modified 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 1:38 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 1:38 AM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 5 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
(BTW, Adam's quoting something I deleted in my original post (too slow!). I had a second thought about making this request of others.)
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 2:14 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 2:14 AM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Adam_West

@ Betawave "I had a second thought about making this request of others.)"

You're not the first to make this observation. Its implication has come up before. Vince talked about a 'not know' or 'lack of certainty' factor that is helpful when we discuss these topics that are on the fringe of human knowledge and experience. I think it is fair to say misplaced arrogance and patronizing paternalism is rather obnoxious and grates on most peoples' asses.

In kind regards,

Adam.
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 2:22 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 2:22 AM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: garyrh

Hi Daniel,
Use the featured thread feature to show those threads you consider to be of good quality. And on the new wiki site I would find it acceptable you hide somes posts within the thread of course the whole thread would be available. The new site can have these featured threads as the most prominent. Unfortunately I see no solution without you doing some reading, but the community will know hands on what you find valuable and may follow your lead.

Also one persons signal is anothers noise, but as founder filtering the threads is a good compromise.

Gary
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 3:33 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 3:33 AM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: pookee

You wish to start a school, not a forum. (Good heavens, you even wrote the text book!) I am not surprised that you are disappointed when, wanting a willow tree you planted tomato seeds.
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Lee G Moore, modified 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 3:54 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 3:54 AM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 18 Join Date: 7/4/09 Recent Posts
Forums come in many flavors and with many variations of rules moderation and posting guidelines. Often it is necessary to adjust policies to keep growing communities in line with the original vision. Some forums go so far as to approve every poster and approve every post not that this community should be so strict.

It can be helpful to take inventory of the emergent trends and see what is worth keeping and what needs to be curbed. There are no wrong or right answers here, but rather a balancing act that needs to be evaluated and rebalanced regularly. Unfortunately this re balancing often comes with various reactions and a fair amount of pain depending on how drastic the changes are. It also gets more painful as the forum grows and matures.
Mark L, modified 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 4:07 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 4:07 AM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 90 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
One way to improve the signal-to-noise ratio is have separate forums. I bet something like this will be available on the 2.0 site. One forum could have very clear rules posted, and it could be heavily moderated (which would be much easier because the volume would be lower). Other forums could be more lax.

Many websites have a "meta" forum to talk about the site, and a "fun" forum to talk about anything. This may improve the discussion in the on-topic forum(s). There are so many things that I'd like to share with other members on this site, but they'd be woefully off-topic with regards to the main purpose of the site. I think if there was a place people could blow off steam, the on-topic conversations would improve.
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 4:15 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 4:15 AM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Check_Username

Many forums solve similar problems of people who insist on discussing things not in the original founder's intention by creating a sub forum for it and more or less ignoring it. Here I guess that would be a division into a practical board, which is what you wish the whole thing would be, and a "philosophy" board you seem to wish you didn't have to deal with. But the nature of open admission on the internet makes that difficult; some people are just unable to split their interests into forums with two different domain names. Like, If you don't give them a special bucket to vomit in, they'll do it in you Ming vase.

EDIT: Oh wow, look what happens in 7 minutes... I couldn't see that Mark said essentially what I was typing but better before I posted.
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Lee G Moore, modified 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 4:29 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 4:29 AM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 18 Join Date: 7/4/09 Recent Posts
I think having a specific forum for theory/philosophy is an excellent idea. It is much less heavy handed to move a discussion to a new forum than to lock it or delete it.

Lee
Andrew P, modified 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 6:48 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 6:48 AM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 0 Join Date: 8/24/09 Recent Posts
I think something has been brewing in the most recent discussion of the thread and that's the practical/theoretical split.

This reflects some of my own experience with the information here. Some ideas in the (MCotemoticon book and on this board that were immediately practical and there were some that did not seem immediately apparent but made sense later on.

Examples of immediate practicality would include sitting my "behind" down and pounding the pavement with 3c's investigation. The application of this was helpful and it provided theory for actual real life progress.
Then there were the ideas of watcher/knower/witness and eventually non-duality of which I had neither conceptual nor direct experiential understanding. I have a little more experience with these concepts now, but at the time all the discussion surrounding these was a pure digression by people that were obviously seeing things I was not seeing (and still not fully seeing).

Ajahn Amaro told a story about asking Ajahn Chah about why he would teach him one concept only to turn around and tell another monk something completely opposite. Ajahn Chah responded that different people have different needs and stray from the path in different ways (mountain road metaphor, some people go too much left or too much right).

Applicability is an aspect that is largely dependent on the receiver of the teaching and their level of understanding/experience. What others would find applicable now, might seem like flung out theory to me.

There is a baby here somewhere in this bathwater.
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Chris Marti, modified 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 7:13 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 7:13 AM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 379 Join Date: 7/7/09 Recent Posts
I believe it's unrealistic to open a forum like this and not expect to have some philosophy crop up. I agree with those who urge the opening of a separate thread(s) that can cover this aspect of Buddhism. It will, I think, always come up and having a natural place to talk about it will relieve other threads of that burden. Restricting this message board artificially to what's okay and what's not, however defined, will be very, very difficult to do if you want to retain an audience that meets critical mass.

Also, Daniel, I'm confused by some of the terms you use in the introduction to this topic. What do "base" and "unclassy" mean in our context? Where here is that happening in any major way?
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 7:29 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 7:29 AM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: telecaster

wow.
As a new member I'm not sure whether I'm doing the things Daniel wants us to do or doing the things that make him nauseous and sad. I think I've posted some down to earth material on nuts and bolts meditation but also loved discussing the "enlightenment" of the alcoholic Maezumi ("who is enlightened and to what degree").
One thing is for sure: this is a group of people who LOVE to THINK. And I don't think most people here (no matter how experienced) are going to be able to hold back when they are excited about some idea or another. It's just too much fun and too tempting.
Basically though, I really don't understand the rules that Daniel is obliquely making here and that makes me bashful about continuing to post (except now, of course). But, I enjoy this place and hope I can figure it out.
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Kenneth Folk, modified 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 7:50 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 7:50 AM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 439 Join Date: 4/30/09 Recent Posts
"Some ideas in the (MCotemoticon book and on this board that were immediately practical and there were some that did not seem immediately apparent but made sense later on."-AndruP

I think this is a great point, Andrew. Daniel's vision for the site is that it be practical, with lots of good information that people can put to use immediately, rather than just another forum for idle speculation. I'm completely onboard with that, as I think most of the active members are. But what is practical for some may not be practical for others, depending on what is going on in their practice and understanding at any given time. As an example, direct path ("non-dual") teachings may look very different from Theravada teachings, but are no less practical for some people.

While Mahasi-style vipassana is about sitting quietly, with proper investigative technique, and learning about the workings of our own minds, direct path teachings rely heavily on pointing out instructions and verbal reminders. Several members have written to say that they have made breakthroughs in their practice just by reading the posts here. Both of these modalities, i.e., the developmental approach of Burmese vipassana and the direct path approach of Dzogchen or Advaita, can (and in my opinion should) be part of a comprehensive package of practice.

Although the boards have been a bit chaotic of late, there is some really high-level and practical discussion going on. It has been painful at times, but I would say the benefits have outweighed the pain. And, although I agree with Daniel that the signal to noise ratio was a little out of hand for awhile, I think we're back on track now.
Trent S H, modified 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 8:06 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 8:06 AM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 0 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Hey,

With the talk of subdividing the forums into contexts, I think splitting the "practical" forum would also benefit from this. One split for the burmese vipassana type approach and one for the dzogchen/advaita type approach. I think most people would probably troll around in both, but it would set up a proper context and increase the clarity of the discussions. It seems like most of the people who really need a forum like this are sticking to a single tradition at first anyway. Thus, there wouldn't be a vipassana practitioner getting force fed advaita, or vice versa. That mash-up of traditional views is typically where most of the less-practical, heated discussions originate anyway. Lastly, I don't think 3-4 subdivisions would be too much either, and I mention that because some forums do get waaaay too neurotic about dividing subjects.

Best,
Trent
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 8:14 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 8:14 AM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Check_Username

So maybe more compartmentalization than just practice/philosophy might be a good idea?

Maybe a "things that are useful for reaching stream entry" forum, a "things that are usually only really useful after stream entry" forum, etc? Or just divisions or types of practice: "Noting forum," "Dzogchen/Advaita Forum" etc.

I personally would love a way to restrict my reading in that way; with my tendency to over-study and theorize in my head.

EDIT: 7 minutes again... So sorry, I'll take it as a cosmic sign to shut up and practice.
j g, modified 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 12:02 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 12:02 PM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 0 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Some thoughts from a Practitioner,

There really is way too much noise and distraction around here. I think newbie questions are fine, as they relate to practice, but the excessive verbiage from those that think they just got to reply is too much. Here is a couple of suggestions:

(a) Before posting, read your comments about 20 times. Leave your computer for 20 minutes and come back and read it again before posting.

(b) Cut your posts down to what is only essential. Trim out the fat. If it ain't going to help in your practice or someone elses, leave it out. Seriously, LEAVE OUT THE NON-ESSENTIAL!!! Observe noble silence.

(c) Don't start any new threads until first doing a thorough search on the internet for your answers. If you don't have your answer or still have questions, private message one of the leaders on the board, who really should be clearly marked. If the question needs to be discussed openly then the leader should post the question to a thread discussing some practical implications. In fact, threads should probably only be replied to by the "teaching" team on the board. All side disucssions or additional questions should be funneled through the teaching team.

(d) Read the f@*&!$g book!!! Daniel covers so much ground already. In fact, he already covered this topic in his chapter "Buddhism vs. The Buddha" .

edit: fixed wording issue.

clarification of point c: What I mean is that a teaching team should be recognized (like moderators) and only they should be allowed to post. Besides for Daniel's book, the pages on the left, and the recommended reading materials, there are lots of websites with solid teachings on them. In other words, exhaust all your sources to get any answers to your questions from people who have already answered them, and then come here once you have reached the end of your search without any practical solutions.
Chuck Kasmire, modified 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 12:15 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 12:15 PM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 559 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
This does seem to be where there is the most conflict. Personally, I have long felt cramped for space here with regards to non-Burmese Theravada practices. We need separate areas where we can talk about our practices within a greater context. An example is 'The Value of Silence” thread pookee started. It was a great opportunity to discuss this kind of practice but went off on a tangent (by well meaning people) that seemed to keep coming back to a noting practice approach. I bring this up as an example to show what we are losing. Everyone ends up getting frustrated. I see this same issue again with Kenneth, Nathan, and others – all meaning well and trying to define their approach and experiences – but there just isn't the space and context. Even if we want to mix practices we still need to clearly define those practices in the first place.

One possibility - under 'Practical Dharma'. Setting up something like:
Practical Dharma
Traditions/Practices
Advaita
Chan
Daoist/Chi gong
Theravada/Burmese Style
Theravada/Thai Forest
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Gozen M L, modified 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 12:15 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 12:15 PM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 0 Join Date: 5/12/09 Recent Posts
My best friend is such a remarkable guy -- even his friends hate him!
{Thanks for triplethink for bringing out the humor in all of this.}

As to what Daniel said, let me admit to being guilty of several of the unhelpful sorts of statements he points to. I take his criticisms to heart.

One on point, however, I disagree profoundly: If done in a spirit of cooperation and respect, I see much value in "debates about super-fine points of how to define aspects of high levels of awakening."

The value of DhO discussions, in my opinion, extends from providing information and sharing experiences of beginning level practice all the way up to the highest levels that anyone here knows by personal experience. Just because there is broad agreement about the beginning stages and widely divergent views in discussions of the higher levels does not render the former positive and the latter negative. Nor, in my view, should we aim for some lowest commom denominator practitioner demographic. If we're going to talk openly about the practice and its fruits, we ought not to put a ceiling on that discussion.

That's my 2 rupees worth. Mere opinions. Take 'em if you like 'em.

- Gozen
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 2:37 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 2:37 PM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Adam_West

@ Trent "Thus, there wouldn't be a vipassana practitioner getting force fed advaita, or vice versa."

Good Call, Trent! :-)

In kind regards,

Adam.
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 4:32 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 4:32 PM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: telecaster

Again - wow.
I'm so surprised by this thread because I thought the site was great when I started a couple of weeks ago.
I think I am officially intimidated.
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 4:34 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 4:34 PM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: pookee

There is a system that is isomorphic to this one. The various 'races' here are on different 'quests', and are each at a different 'level'. The races are traditions, the quests the models, and the levels the degree of attainment according to the model. Set the level limit to be arbitrary but simple, like level 100.

Advaita - Human
Chan - Dwarf
Daoist/Chi gong - Mountain Elf
Theravada/Burmese Style - Halfling
Theravada/Thai Forest - Wood Elf

So, I might be a Level 26 Halfling. Now, I would certainly listen to a level 50 wood elf, but the comments of a level 10 Human, or even a level 50 Dwarf may not be as useful for me. It's quite possible that people at level 100 would all get along just fine.

It may also be possible to give individuals attributes, like 20 concentration, and 50 wisdom.

I'm sure that a forward thinking scholar could go quite far with this metaphor.
Trent S H, modified 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 6:35 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 6:35 PM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 0 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Pookee,

Best. Post. Ever.

Peace,
Trent
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triple think, modified 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 7:33 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 7:33 PM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 362 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
There is ...It's quite possible that people at level 100 would all get along just fine.
-Pookee,

Best. Post. Ever.

Peace,
-Trent

word
-n
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triple think, modified 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 9:33 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 9:33 PM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 362 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
warning
split if registered as noise

@ pookie
in profound gratitude to the founder, the following offering
___
a preliminary cartography & suggested subdivision developments for
a game / not game universe playing field including generative and dynamic sources
based in the wide spectrum raw instrumentally sampled data such as
known universal standards for space time / the universe

arisings
ceasings
conditions
unconditions

sub a
base and basis

sub sub a
causal - conditional instrumentation
non-causal - unconditional instrumentation

world systems data universal data including quantitative & qualitative background mass & radiation

eg.:
the present / the event horizon / the time / the is
http://www.sipp.org/

c->
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triple think, modified 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 9:34 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/4/09 9:34 PM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 362 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
and localized phenomena

world inhabitants, collected artifacts, etchings, relics & episodic scoring systems

by heaps

a
inexperience
sub a
perceptions
symptoms
responses

b
instruction
sub b
developmental pathology
discussion

c
experience
sub c
perceptions
symptoms
responses


a
individuated forms of awareness
sub a
ethos
aesthetic
expression


b
community awareness by
sub b
ethos
aesthetic
expression


sub sub a & sub sub b
identified paths
known paths
verified paths


sub sub sub a b c etc....

path divergence
path convergence


have a happy day
-triplethink
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 7/5/09 4:05 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/5/09 4:05 AM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: marinr

pre A&P = Elementalist
post A&P = Druid
hard jhana = Mindcrafter
soft jhana = Wizard
brahmavihara = Priest

emoticon))
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 7/5/09 4:42 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/5/09 4:42 AM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: pookee

@marinr Yes, perhaps class would be a better match with meditative tradition. That would reserve race for general personality.

But forgetting the isomorphism for a moment, you could just use 'the real thing' in a small precis:

name: pookee
personality: INTJ
tradition: Theravada, Burmese
level: 26
current quest: 3rd Jhana
concentration: 40
wisdom: 30
equanimity: 35

The levels can be read as percentages. Could probably drop the least significant digit, too. Other stats that could be important for some traditions (not normalized):

years practicing: 8
hours on mat: 1200 (est)
number of long (>10 day) retreats: 5
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 13 Years ago at 7/5/09 7:01 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/5/09 7:01 AM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 3232 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Something really was missed in my post.

Perhaps I was unclear.

While I can appreciate the shining humor and raw wit in the abstract, somehow it is hard not to hear abject mockery in the face of a relatively serious thread topic.

I myself came from the gaming traditions, Dungeons and Dragons and many others, so it is clear there are parallels and I have noticed those since I began this. However, as mine was a heartfelt plea for practicality, staying on topic, and the like, and it rapidly degenerated to essentially useless, impractical posts, and as this has outraged and filled with dismay another senior visionary behind this site, who also has a vision of clear, practical, useful dharma, realize that this thread is about to be locked, and many posts deleted. You are, perhaps without realizing it, alienating some of your core supports people here, and while one might cry, "Oh, lighten up," the fact of what is happening remains and you should consider respecting that.

I have heard a number of calls for some divisions on the website, and I think that a practice part and a theory/philosophy part is a good start. However, perhaps there should also be a Drama Overground (DrO) for those who wish flame wars and the like, so that we cannot be accused of needless censorship from those who for some bizarre reason really need that, but they can essentially be told: "Take it outside", and perhaps we should come up with a Dharma Playground (DhP) for this sort of thing, which, while seemingly innocuous and lighthearted, is, to some, like finger paint on the furniture, and grossly misses the point of what I was trying to say.

The simple fact is that people such as myself and a few other key supporters of this place do not have the time to sort through all the junk to get to the good parts that are worth commenting on. Please, if you want us around, keep this simple fact of life in mind when you post.
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Chris Marti, modified 13 Years ago at 7/5/09 7:39 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/5/09 7:39 AM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 379 Join Date: 7/7/09 Recent Posts
Daniel, this is your site. You get to decide what it is to be. You could move toward a fully moderated message board system where all user posts are hidden until they're approved by a moderator. That's what some message boards do to keep things where they want them. Other sites retain volunteer moderator help, although that takes quite a bit of coordination and training so that the board rules are enforced in a unified, common way. In the end, you have to make these decisions in light of what you're willing to do on a voluntary basis (it's extremely time consuming. I know, I've done it.) and what you're willing to tolerate in the way of topic straying, philosophy, joking around, flame wars, and all the other distractions that come along with public message boards.
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 7/5/09 10:21 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/5/09 10:21 AM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: pookee

Daniel, this is a light-hearted way to say the following: the soundness of advice depends on the context. The context is a function of tradition, attainment, seniority (which may or may not scale with attainment), and personality. This is all the D&D isomorphism is there to show; I mean no offense or harm by it.

I am stunned that you would privately threaten to ban me over this. That's not the reaction I expected at all.
D C, modified 13 Years ago at 7/5/09 7:07 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/5/09 7:07 PM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 28 Join Date: 8/23/09 Recent Posts
These views from above resonate with me:

"It is true that there have been some great discussions here, and there may be many more, but the signal to noise ratio is swinging towards noise, and more and more I find myself not reading all the way through as I find so little that is the sort of stuff I like: people actually doing it and discussing how to do it and helping each other do that, and more and more debates about super-fine points of how to define aspects of high levels of awakening, absurd discussions of how the old texts conflict with reality, and who is enlightened and to what degree, most of which just leaves me feeling slightly nauseus and sad about what an opportunity has been wasted."


"It's fair to say that all the questions that have been recently asked were valid, but maybe they were indulged more than they should have been. In the past, if someone asked "what changes after enlightenment", the reply would have been "it's essentially impossible to say... how will this help you practice, what are you working on now?" That was the price of admission."


"Many websites have a "meta" forum to talk about the site, and a "fun" forum to talk about anything. This may improve the discussion in the on-topic forum(s). There are so many things that I'd like to share with other members on this site, but they'd be woefully off-topic with regards to the main purpose of the site. I think if there was a place people could blow off steam, the on-topic conversations would improve.'

Damon
D C, modified 13 Years ago at 7/5/09 7:13 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/5/09 7:13 PM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 28 Join Date: 8/23/09 Recent Posts
Following on from what others have already said and my previous post I think a bit of parsing is all that's really needed. As possible food for thought here's five divisions that would work for me:

1. Beginners and lower level practice. With the focus on Mahasi Sayadaw style noting.
2. Higher level practice. Here the no-practice models would more naturally begin to enter into discussion.
3. 'Speculation' aka Theory/Philosopy.
4. Shadow Issues. Issues that arise and means to address them from both East and West. Despite Daniel's scorn for 'whiny Westerners', there is a place for this.
5. Playground. A place where people could go shoot the shit on anything, and/or discuss issues that didn't easily fit into the other forums.

And importantly there should be FAQ/Stickies in the appropriate place/s giving some orientation to what is expected. Once structures are in place posting should align itself and some of the 'noise' fall into its proper place. And, of course, the moderator can then fairly easily assign errant threads where they more usefully belong.

I'm not sure there needs to be a separation of forums into No practice/Non dual, styles on the one hand, and Burmese/Thai style noting practices on the other. The two approaches are not mutually exclusive as most recognize. A sticky addressing the issue along with some links to relevant threads would be enough to provide orientation.

Damon
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 7/6/09 10:55 PM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/6/09 10:55 PM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: ratanajothi

This is my first post. Firstly, thank you to Daniel for bringing together a group of truly world class meditators. Clay Shirky wrote in 2003 how a group is it's own worst enemy. http://www.shirky.com/writings/group_enemy.html and we are only started seeing the beginnings of this, thanks to the Overground's growing popularity.

Even when discussions are done in the open in the interests of meditation, we all should be mindful of human nature, and how they can debase in the absence of any restraint.

In most threads, it is more appropriate we post in hush tones, akin to dharma halls, perhaps on a question and answer basis. In others, it is more like a canteen, where one socializes.

In all cases, I invite posters to post mindfully. Besides being an excellent practice on its own, it will certainly improve the atmosphere of this place.
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triple think, modified 13 Years ago at 7/7/09 12:11 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/7/09 12:11 AM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 362 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
The longer DhO proceeds the more data it accumulates. So a structure is necessary and the delegation of oversight because, Daniel, why should you have to read it all?

I used to be a carpenter. Worked with highly skilled tradesmen who ran crews of journeymen in various sized enterprises. The ones who succeeded and were at ease could delegate and structure the management of the enterprise. Other such tradesmen with similar operations who were unhappy were those who struggled and experienced excessive stress and were naturally distressed by it. Typically this was observable as the compulsion to examine everything that everyone does. Please relax about it.

Post 25 and those it generated honestly appeared to be worthy of consideration as a useful kind of template for filing a wiki and forum by schools of practice and forms of instruction. It is simple and effective to just split ot posts off to another new topic.

It really is a useful idea, I just tried to indicate some of the ways that instructions, questions, experiences and understanding could be organized by various Dharma lineages and so on in a way that they might demonstrate an overall integration over time.
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 7/7/09 12:42 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/7/09 12:42 AM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: tina_g

I feel that the first four divisions may be quite helpful, but, with respect, I disagree with the fifth one.

On a daily basis, people have many opportunities to shit on anything and they seem to do this more easily than saying things that are helpful and positive. Just from my own experience, gossip and negativity prevail in family settings, at public gatherings, and especially at the work place, where shitting on anything and anyone is the norm.

So, do we have to include a shitting area here? Isn't something helpful, and in this case the omission of the "normal" kind of exchange, supposed to set this site apart from others?

Respectfully,
Tina
Mark L, modified 13 Years ago at 7/7/09 1:42 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/7/09 1:42 AM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 90 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
>> "5. Playground. A place where people could go shoot the shit on anything, and/or discuss issues that didn't easily fit into the other forums."

>> "I disagree with the fifth one. [...] On a daily basis, people have many opportunities to shit on anything and they seem to do this more easily than saying things that are helpful and positive."

The DO is a community, filled with people and personalities. Given that we have a meditation practice in common, it's likely that we'll have other interests in common that aren't necessarily shared by friends in "real life." It's natural to want to connect on a human level. We could treat this entire forum like a retreat center and practice noble silence when not precisely and carefully on-topic. But, the internet is a casual place. The DO would go against the grain and customs of most of the internet, which is fine and laudable, except that there would be a continuous, time-consuming battle to enforce standards as new people arrive and veterans slip up. The ultimate goals are to help people with their practice, to create a record for future people to utilize, to not create an undue burden for moderators, and, finally, probably, to contain the best, uncompromising, meditation instruction on the planet. I feel that a simple multi-forum solution, with a small number of forums and a clear and graded level of "strictness" would be the easiest to moderate and would improve the signal-to-noise ratio. There are a many good ways to do this. As I suggested above, in addition to carefully thought out "content" forums, there should also be a "meta" forum and a "fun" (or "chat" or "respectful off-topic discussion") forum. This is the solution that has been found to work best on many, many long-lasting forums.
D C, modified 13 Years ago at 7/7/09 2:05 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/7/09 2:05 AM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 28 Join Date: 8/23/09 Recent Posts
Hey Tina,

You'll be glad to know that 'shoot the shit' doesn't mean get negative about others but rather hang out and engage in inconsequential chat. The sort of thing you might do with friends, or even strangers if you're the talkative type. Sorry my meaning was unclear.

Best,
Damon
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John Finley, modified 13 Years ago at 7/7/09 2:05 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/7/09 2:05 AM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 11 Join Date: 8/24/09 Recent Posts
Thanks for that Daniel. I've been watching and following some of the debate and discussion here intermittently as my schedule allows. I've chosen not to participate, mainly because most of it has been somewhat over my head, but also because I find myself firmly entrenched in Dark Night territory and my fear has been that some of the negative thoughts and feelings I've experienced in reading some of the posts recently were a direct result of being mired down here.

Now I'm not so sure. I know that I appreciate the opportunities that membership in this community offers: friendship, advice and encouragement, education, technical tips and pointers, but I've sensed a change in the tone and feel of this place over the past several weeks that worries me a bit. It's starting to feel to me like some of the other sites I've visited with lots of conflict and esoterical discussions about theory, etc. that seems very different from what I've come to expect and hope for when I log on here.

I sure hope to see things swing back the other way and the community will once again focus on the practical, hard core practice and team sport attitude toward helping each other along The Path.
Mike L, modified 13 Years ago at 7/7/09 7:05 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/7/09 7:05 AM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 75 Join Date: 5/13/09 Recent Posts
Can someone familiar with DhO 2.0 comment on whether/how discussions will be linked to wiki pages? That seems like a natural mechanism for sorting most discussions.
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Wet Paint, modified 13 Years ago at 7/8/09 12:22 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/8/09 12:22 AM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: tina_g

Damon,

I am familiar with "shoot the shit", so please accept my apologies.

I accept responsibility for my misinterpretation, although I do stick by some of what I said about the many everyday conversations that people engage in, even when they are shooting the shit! Especially where I work, which is a very casual environment, there are lots of conversations based on self-centered story telling, griping, and gossiping. Just lots of noise!

Again, I apologize and I'll do better in reading postings more slowly in the early AM to avoid misunderstandings!

Tina
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tarin greco, modified 13 Years ago at 7/8/09 12:36 AM
Created 13 Years ago at 7/8/09 12:36 AM

RE: Some Thoughts from the Founder

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
thanks for asking, joriki. as best as i can tell, its a matter that's still being worked out. we might be a little behind schedule with 2.0 but it shouldn't be too far away for now.

ok, this thread has served its purpose and then some.. i'm locking it so we can move on.

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