Dana and Sila - useful/missed Forums?

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Dana and Sila - useful/missed Forums?

Postby hanzze_ » Mon May 28, 2012 6:54 am

Dear runner and supporter,

I mentioned that on Buddhist internet forums, there is always less interest or let me say focus on the foundations of any beneficial practice. We would find mass on meditation, traditions, wisdom, philosophical things but quite less about Dana and Sila.

As forums are naturally places for laypeople and starter, those two foundations I thought of missing very much. I am pretty aware that those issues are not broadly beloved as we like quick ways, but as much I had seen, there is always less success if the foundations are not erected in the right way.

In this way, what do you think about a Forum for Dana and a forum for Sila (incl. a sub-forum Vinaya and even a place to make a kind of layman confession section - which would be also very health for the online community) like you have one for Mediation.
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Re: Dana and Sila - useful/missed Forums?

Postby Ben » Wed May 30, 2012 4:44 am

Thanks for your suggestion, Hanzze,

Our policy is to only create new fora when the need for the forum has been demonstrated by numerous threads being created along a similar theme.
I would very much like to create a forum for sila but I don't think there is a great deal of interest, as yet, relating to sila.

With regards to a forum on layman/woman confessions - I will take my advice from the admin/mod team and our membership but I'm personally not in favour of such a forum. I tend to think that a confession should happen within the context of a private meeting between student/teacher or two kalayanamittas.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Dana and Sila - useful/missed Forums?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed May 30, 2012 4:49 am

Greetings Ben, all,

Ben wrote:I would very much like to create a forum for sila but I don't think there is a great deal of interest, as yet, relating to sila.

Personally I wouldn't like to see it separated as if it is somehow discrete or detachable from the broader Theravada practice we can discuss in existing forums.

Similarly I don't see that there's any barriers to discussing sila at the moment, so nothing much to gain for it (save for further complication to the current structure).

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Dana and Sila - useful/missed Forums?

Postby Ben » Wed May 30, 2012 4:55 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Ben, all,

Ben wrote:I would very much like to create a forum for sila but I don't think there is a great deal of interest, as yet, relating to sila.

Personally I wouldn't like to see it separated as if it is somehow discrete or detachable from the broader Theravada practice we can discuss in existing forums.

Similarly I don't see that there's any barriers to discussing sila at the moment, so nothing much to gain for it (save for further complication to the current structure).

Metta,
Retro. :)


Yes, that's right Retro. I was thinking of not just demand but also structural issues as well.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Dana and Sila - useful/missed Forums?

Postby hanzze_ » Wed May 30, 2012 5:46 am

Thanks Ben, thank Retro for you interest.

Let me put some arguments into it.

Regarding the interest I have no doubt and if we would count the discussions and posts in regard of Sila (or better the virtue section inkl. livelihood) we would see that its not just a impression.

Regarding the argument of Retro. I would clearly say that this is one very sad point in Buddist practice to make virtue something secret and I think it would have a general good impact on others to show that it is possible and not just something people talk about.

Today it's very hard to find a way to a virtuous live and I am sure that many people profit form personal experiences and creativity in daily live of others.

When people seeing others doing so, they are more willing to adopt ways of live. We need to remember that human mostly orientate on there group and if they see that their is a group who walks different ways they will more easily join and give there group pressure to a group with has more value.

I am fully aware that discussion on virtue can be quarrelsome (as we see it in food issues). It is mentioned well in the sutta. Things people are not used to, which one has not established in one self are not discussed which much pleasure. The opposite we can see in discussions or teachings regarding knowledge, there is mostly no much missing and so this discussions are flourishing harmoniously.
I know that it sounds hard, but even modern people think that they lead a virtuous life they are virtuous just in the measurement of the surrounding society but as there is no big Buddhist surrounding its still far away from a virtuous life, peaceful life which would be needed for spiritual attaining.

So such a focus can people show, that their alternatives and that they are not just crazy allies and give much courage to do it in the same way.

Also it is sad to see that such things like lifestyle, food, wellness... are always some kind of separated from Dhamma discussion. It suggests (and also reflects) a "this is my live" and "this are my tools to render the possibilities to it". Effective are the things when they come together and there is no more separation of this is what I need to do and that is what I enjoy.

Regarding confession. The Dhamma tradition (beside just a general religions propose) is mainly a monastic tradition. We know that confession has a very important rule originally (even i doubt that it is still practiced rightly in most monastic communities, especial in Asia) and is the backbone tool to keep a health community as well it is a way to lighten ones burden and to be able to walk on in spiritual ways. Forgiveness is something we train and which one can do all the time, reconciliation requires more skills, skills with are useful far beyond a "buddhist" live as well and useable all the time in daily live. It has also great possibilities to overcome ones own pride.
When we look for example on christian layman's practice, it plays a very important rule (even it is not really a reconciliation but a kind of artifact alternative). This is something that is totally missing in the Buddhist tradition for layman and this is maybe also the reason why paradoxically Buddhist layman's are often at odds on each other.
A "secretly" step to reconciliation might be a way, but one would not easy do it as the quarrel was mostly a public and one does fear to be hurt again and looses his face. A kind of public confession is much more effectively and healing for the community and its also a good place for others to learn form the capacity of other for reconciliation which give them courage to join step by step.
The behind things, the secretly convention I would call more destructive for a community but for sure better to maintain ones personal persistence.

Overall it can be just a by choice things even it would be also possible to adopt it as a frequently binding "ritual" for one self (a little like Bhikkhus do) and I am sure that one or the other Bhikkhu would help us to establish such a thing.
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Re: Dana and Sila - useful/missed Forums?

Postby Ben » Wed May 30, 2012 6:16 am

Hi Hanzze,

Thank you for your thoughts.
As for sila - anyone is welcome to start a thread on any aspect of sila that they wish and members can generate a thread in whichever forum appears most appropriate for their needs.
A wellbeing forum was created to contain threads that were predominantly regarding the mundane health benefits of diet, exercise and other activities. You will find that the ethical dimension of dietary choices is sometimes discussed there or in the 'personal experience' forum.
As for confessional threads - as I mentioned before i am not in favour of them but I will respect the advice of my colleagues and friends and we shall act accordingly.
kind regards,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: Dana and Sila - useful/missed Forums?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed May 30, 2012 6:18 am

Greetings,

Ben wrote:As for confessional threads - as I mentioned before i am not in favour of them but I will respect the advice of my colleagues and friends and we shall act accordingly.

"Personal experience" seems suitable, should someone wish to do something like this.

None of the types of discussion raised above cannot be had under the current structure. There is no impediment.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Dana and Sila - useful/missed Forums?

Postby hanzze_ » Wed May 30, 2012 6:45 am

One more thing (even more visionary), which I have not expressed, is that moderators would not have that much to carry as they often need to act as a kind of judge, which does not really exist in Dhamma tradition like we are used to it in our worldly ways.

I could also imagine something like a Dhammawheel ordination (official member, which has adopted a set of rules), a kind off vow to a couple of precepts which one could take (after a good time of practice). That would reduce the moderation into a administrative work and takes away the burden of judgement like a judge. In that way it also has much more mental secure for new comers and they would not easily have the feeling like something is steering in the back.
That would give many some orientation. Of cause it could be that it works in that way already, but this could be made more openly and with the join of others in this group it grows to a bigger orientation for others.
There would be also not so much fear of people not used to keep rules and with it it would grow bigger without the need to set example for some who are not able to adopt a full amount of it. Furthermore the grow in regard of virtue for Dhammawheel ordinated members would be not limited by a need of equality.

All activities would grow more transparent and more open to even more success as there already is and it could be a good sample for other communities as well and the set of general roles for joiner can be minimized.

Ben wrote:Hi Hanzze,

Thank you for your thoughts.
As for sila - anyone is welcome to start a thread on any aspect of sila that they wish and members can generate a thread in whichever forum appears most appropriate for their needs.
A wellbeing forum was created to contain threads that were predominantly regarding the mundane health benefits of diet, exercise and other activities. You will find that the ethical dimension of dietary choices is sometimes discussed there or in the 'personal experience' forum.
As for confessional threads - as I mentioned before i am not in favour of them but I will respect the advice of my colleagues and friends and we shall act accordingly.
kind regards,

Ben

Thank you Ben,
I am aware of the current situation and just thought to give it a thought.

One more thing is the Dana section, I guess we lost it out of eyes on this way.

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Ben wrote:As for confessional threads - as I mentioned before i am not in favour of them but I will respect the advice of my colleagues and friends and we shall act accordingly.

"Personal experience" seems suitable, should someone wish to do something like this.

None of the types of discussion raised above cannot be had under the current structure. There is no impediment.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Yes Retro, there are places to put things into but it mis-reflects the Dhamma pratice a litte, as I had told before with the message "This is my life" and "This is my Buddhims"

There is Theravada Meditation and many other Wisdom related forums, but there is no clear reference to the pillow sila as well as the practice pillow Dana which are of much need to establish the foundations of practice. Of cause this input comes form outside and is not easy seen when one is inside and involved with all the usually ideas behind.

I mentioned the reactions a little to quick and resolute and that lets me think that there was no real "step outside a little an view it simply through the practice glasses" jet. How ever, these are just ideas and there is no will of it must be like that behind.

Thanks for your thought and attention to it.
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Re: Dana and Sila - useful/missed Forums?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed May 30, 2012 6:53 am

Ben wrote:Thanks for your suggestion, Hanzze,

Our policy is to only create new fora when the need for the forum has been demonstrated by numerous threads being created along a similar theme.
I would very much like to create a forum for sila but I don't think there is a great deal of interest, as yet, relating to sila.

With regards to a forum on layman/woman confessions - I will take my advice from the admin/mod team and our membership but I'm personally not in favour of such a forum. I tend to think that a confession should happen within the context of a private meeting between student/teacher or two kalayanamittas.
kind regards,

Ben

Hi Ben,
I think there has been quite a few posts on each of these, hasn't there?
but just to note here is the only contact some of the members have with kalayanamittas, and also a community of kalayanamitta for many even if they do.

fwiw, the patimokkha chanting does indicate that confessions were probably done in a group not in pairs as is custom nowadays, noted in the vinayamokkha (not sure about BMC) and it is the Dhamma-vinaya, not just the Dhamma.

(edit) just finished reading the thread and if it would be a structural problem, then there is no need to cause a problem for it, although maybe reword or less likely rename an area (like the personal experiance?)
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Dana and Sila - useful/missed Forums?

Postby Ben » Wed May 30, 2012 7:14 am

Thank you Hanzze for your thought and consideration you have put into this thread. I will need some time to think about what you have written and formulate a response.

Thanks Cittasanto,

Certainly there are a number of threads regarding masturbation, one of which is a thread for those who are declaring their abstinence from pornography and masturbation and to seek the support of others. I understand that traditionally, confessions may have been conducted in a group environment, however, I don't think it was an activity that the laity were involved in? I may be wrong on that point. However, I do have concerns regarding members volunteering some very personal information about themselves to a forum that is essentially open to all to read. Hence, I would be more in-favour of supporting our members to seek someone within their own flesh-and-blood sangha to have a close mentoring relationship with or in the absence of a flesh-and-blood sangha - someone who they have a close connection with here.

Again, I will be happy to implement any changes regardless how I may personally feel about them, following consultation with the membership and mod/admin team.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Dana and Sila - useful/missed Forums?

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:00 pm

Create and they will come! I personally think that a forum on sila is a good idea- it does send out a positive signal about sila and brings it to people's attention as an important area of practice. We could assemble the presently available threads under this forum (vegatarianism, killing, sex etc).

I'm not however against a confession thread. There is one in there somewhere already- unless you are confessing wrong speech against a forum member, it is dicey. Incidentally an interesting thought came to my mind- on-line is a distinction such as lay and ordained meaningful? Any thoughts? :)

with metta

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Re: Dana and Sila - useful/missed Forums?

Postby perkele » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:44 pm

Just wanted to express my support for the idea. Now I see the forum on ethics has already been created. I think what Hanzze had to say about it in his OP was very well thought up (although the later ideas I found a bit over the top). Sadhu.
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Re: Dana and Sila - useful/missed Forums?

Postby Kim OHara » Thu Aug 23, 2012 3:23 am

rowyourboat wrote:Incidentally an interesting thought came to my mind- on-line is a distinction such as lay and ordained meaningful? Any thoughts? :)

with metta

Matheesha

I know some of our lay members well enough to respect them as much as I would respect an ordained member (or nearly as much) but others (let's be polite :tongue: ) deserve no more respect than any stray person wandering in off the street. That being so, the lay/ordained distinction is really newcomers' best indication of who to trust online.
I guess moderators rank next, and so they should.

:bow:
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Re: Dana and Sila - useful/missed Forums?

Postby rowyourboat » Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:33 pm

Hi Kim,

Not to be disrespectful of the bhikhus and bhikkunis and others on the path to becoming fully ordained (anagarika- 'home-less') etc, I agree that such a distinction would be a useful one.

With metta
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Re: Dana and Sila - useful/missed Forums?

Postby Ben » Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:12 pm

perkele wrote:Just wanted to express my support for the idea. Now I see the forum on ethics has already been created.

Yes, the new forum on Ethical Conduct: General discussion of issues related to Theravada Training of Sila, the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla). has been created.
The structure of the forum is constantly under review and changes will take place from time to time to reflect interest, use and to assist in the propagation of knowledge, the encouragement of practice and the companionship of kalayanamittas.
kind regards,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: Dana and Sila - useful/missed Forums?

Postby Kim OHara » Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:57 am

Ben wrote:
perkele wrote:Just wanted to express my support for the idea. Now I see the forum on ethics has already been created.

Yes, the new forum on Ethical Conduct: General discussion of issues related to Theravada Training of Sila, the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla). has been created.
The structure of the forum is constantly under review and changes will take place from time to time to reflect interest, use and to assist in the propagation of knowledge, the encouragement of practice and the companionship of kalayanamittas.
kind regards,

Ben

Looks good so far.
:thumbsup:
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