Open invitation: Help us improve your DW experience!

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Open invitation: Help us improve your DW experience!

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:00 am

Greetings members,

Over recent months, one Dhamma Wheel member has expressed grave dissatisfaction in relation to the way this forum is managed, via a blog specifically designed to target this forum and its volunteer staff.

Lest it be soddened by the rain
http://dhammawheel.wordpress.com/2010/0 ... llo-world/

On his blog, the author goes so far as to say, "The bottom line is that my experience at Dhamma Wheel has been by far the most negative experience I’ve ever had on the web."

We feel disappointment that a Dhamma Wheel member feels this way despite our efforts to create a forum in which all members feel welcome and are treated fairly and consistently in accordance with the Terms of Service.

Most of the feedback that we receive from members is positive, but if you are experiencing any dissatisfaction with the way Dhamma Wheel is being managed, we would like to extend an open invitation to all members to raise discussion topics in the Suggestion Box and work with us collaboratively to improve this forum, for the betterment of all. We are volunteers with a genuine interest in making this a productive site for all members and for the online Buddhist community in general. Therefore, we would greatly appreciate any constructive feedback you could offer that may help improve people's experience with this forum.

Alternatively, you are welcome to post comments (either negative or positive) on the aforementioned blog about your Dhamma Wheel experiences without feeling as if you are jeopardizing your standing here at Dhamma Wheel by doing so. Dhamma Wheel staff decided that it would be inappropriate to ban or suspend the author of the blog simply for criticising Dhamma Wheel, so do feel free to speak your mind about your Dhamma Wheel experiences, whether you choose to do it via the Suggestion Box or at Lest It Be Soddened By The Rain. However, if you would like a guaranteed and prompt response from staff to your issue, we would recommend utilizing the Suggestion Box as we are here far more often than we are there.

Thanks for your time.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Open invitation: Help us improve your DW experience!

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:10 am

In reference to the above linked blog, since I am the (negative) focus of much of it, I would recommend - if you are at all interested - reading all of the entries.

Also, here are 4 threads referenced in the blog entries where I and/or the DW staff are said to have acted badly:

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=6847

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=6849&start=0

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=6880

viewtopic.php?f=24&t=7174
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Open invitation: Help us improve your DW experience!

Postby alan » Sun Feb 27, 2011 5:09 am

I've read through all these threads and see no problem with what tilt said.
Yes, as a reply to a post that used the word, I said I "scorn" certain arguments. I'll stand by that. We're here to discuss and debate. Not everyone can deal with that--fine. If you can't, there are other places to go where you will not be challenged. I personally find a good argument to be clarifying. Helps to refine my ideas--as long as there is someone on the other side I respect.
I respect those who are honest in their intentions. Crying about how bad you were treated in an honest forum does not deserve my respect.
DW has treated me more than fairly. I've made a few mistakes, no doubt about that, but Mod's have given me chances to redeem myself. No complaints here.
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Re: Open invitation: Help us improve your DW experience!

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:29 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings members,

Over recent months, one Dhamma Wheel member has expressed grave dissatisfaction in relation to the way this forum is managed, via a blog specifically designed to target this forum and its volunteer staff.

Lest it be soddened by the rain
http://dhammawheel.wordpress.com/

On his blog, the author goes so far as to say, "The bottom line is that my experience at Dhamma Wheel has been by far the most negative experience I’ve ever had on the web."

We feel disappointment that a Dhamma Wheel member feels this way despite our efforts to create a forum in which all members feel welcome and are treated fairly and consistently in accordance with the Terms of Service.

Most of the feedback that we receive from members is positive, but if you are experiencing any dissatisfaction with the way Dhamma Wheel is being managed, we would like to extend an open invitation to all members to raise discussion topics in the Suggestion Box and work with us collaboratively to improve this forum, for the betterment of all. We are volunteers with a genuine interest in making this a productive site for all members and for the online Buddhist community in general. Therefore, we would greatly appreciate any constructive feedback you could offer that may help improve people's experience with this forum.

Alternatively, you are welcome to post comments (either negative or positive) on the aforementioned blog about your Dhamma Wheel experiences without feeling as if you are jeopardizing your standing here at Dhamma Wheel by doing so. Dhamma Wheel staff decided that it would be inappropriate to ban or suspend the author of the blog simply for criticising Dhamma Wheel, so do feel free to speak your mind about your Dhamma Wheel experiences, whether you choose to do it via the Suggestion Box or at Lest It Be Soddened By The Rain. However, if you would like a guaranteed and prompt response from staff to your issue, we would recommend utilizing the Suggestion Box as we are here far more often than we are there.

Thanks for your time.

Metta,
Retro. :)


The only real complaint i have with this forum is that occaisionally mahayana buddism gets slammed, unfairly i think, usually by exaggerating its doctrines so that fault can be found with them. And even that is not often and doesnt really bother me anyway, after all its a theravadan forum, no? :)

All told i think you all do a good job, in fact maybe the best job i have seen at a buddhist internet forum. I think you all deserve congratulations that you do as well as you do. If this person is picking on dw, i think they need to broaden their experience a bit :)

EDIT: Otoh, if a mod really did post personal info without permission thats a big no no. You just shouldnt ever do that without permission. Especially wearing the mantle of authority. Even if offended against.
"When you meditate, don't send your mind outside. Don't fasten onto any knowledge at all. Whatever knowledge you've gained from books or teachers, don't bring it in to complicate things. Cut away all preoccupations, and then as you meditate let all your knowledge come from what's going on in the mind. When the mind is quiet, you'll know it for yourself. But you have to keep meditating a lot. When the time comes for things to develop, they'll develop on their own. Whatever you know, have it come from your own mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: Open invitation: Help us improve your DW experience!

Postby PeterB » Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:51 am

Logging on to forum that declares itself to be:

"A discussion forum on the Dhamma of the Theravada"

is an entirely voluntary activity.
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Re: Open invitation: Help us improve your DW experience!

Postby plwk » Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:52 am

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .budd.html
O Atula! Indeed, this is an ancient practice, not one only of today:
they blame those who remain silent,
they blame those who speak much,
they blame those who speak in moderation.
There is none in the world who is not blamed.

There never was, there never will be, nor is there now,
a person who is wholly blamed or wholly praised.
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

Anguttara-Nikaya: Ekanipata: Ekadhammapali: Pañhamavagga
VSM VMM WBB TBHT WTBT My Page
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Re: Open invitation: Help us improve your DW experience!

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:55 am

Greetings m0rlock,

m0rl0ck wrote:The only real complaint i have with this forum is that occaisionally mahayana buddism gets slammed, unfairly i think, usually by exaggerating its doctrines so that fault can be found with them. And even that is not often and doesnt really bother me anyway, after all its a theravadan forum, no? :)

It's an interesting point though. I don't think people intentionally exaggerate its doctrines, but it's quite possible they don't fully understand their ins-and-outs from a Mahayana perspective. This not being a pan-Buddhist forum, there's often not enough of a qualified Mahayana presence to frame them from a Mahayana POV (and even then, as we're often told, there is no homogenous Mahayana view on most issues). Furthermore, as you point out, such reframing might not be relevant to a Theravada topic anyway.

All that said, we do like our Mahayana and Vajrayana friends... so much so we created a forum for them to manage as they see fit - http://www.dharmawheel.net/ . I'm pleased to say that over recent months, traffic and the depth of discussion at Dharma Wheel has really picked up and in my opinion, the staff there are doing a good job at keeping discussion appropriately focused.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Open invitation: Help us improve your DW experience!

Postby PeterB » Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:58 am

Actually I have mixed feelings...On the one hand it is a good thing to be open to criticism etc.
On the other hand it is an invitation to those addicted to meta discussion, circular argument, and in fact to anything that gives them reason to ignore their meditation cushion and/or meatworld Sangha.
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Re: Open invitation: Help us improve your DW experience!

Postby PeterB » Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:00 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings m0rlock,

m0rl0ck wrote:The only real complaint i have with this forum is that occaisionally mahayana buddism gets slammed, unfairly i think, usually by exaggerating its doctrines so that fault can be found with them. And even that is not often and doesnt really bother me anyway, after all its a theravadan forum, no? :)

It's an interesting point though. I don't think people intentionally exaggerate its doctrines, but it's quite possible they don't fully understand their ins-and-outs from a Mahayana perspective. This not being a pan-Buddhist forum, there's often not enough of a qualified Mahayana presence to frame them from a Mahayana POV (and even then, as we're often told, there is no homogenous Mahayana view on most issues). Furthermore, as you point out, such reframing might not be relevant to a Theravada topic anyway.

All that said, we do like our Mahayana and Vajrayana friends... so much so we created a forum for them to manage as they see fit - http://www.dharmawheel.net/ . I'm pleased to say that over recent months, traffic and the depth of discussion at Dharma Wheel has really picked up and in my opinion, the staff there are doing a good job at keeping discussion appropriately focused.

Metta,
Retro. :)

More power to Dharma Wheels elbow. :thumbsup:
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Re: Open invitation: Help us improve your DW experience!

Postby Euclid » Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:06 am

I would hazard a guess and say that the bruised ego who created a blog due to perceived persecution on Dhamma Wheel is an outlier.

Not to say that we should close our eyes and ears to criticism, and not to say that Dhamma Wheel is perfect, but I can't think of any simple way you could make my personal DW experience any better than it already is. :anjali:
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Re: Open invitation: Help us improve your DW experience!

Postby christopher::: » Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:14 am

From the blog...

Aggression may have its appropriate and skillful application in certain situations, who knows? But I tend to believe that in general, aggression is incompatible with the goal of cultivating a healthy and helpful Dhamma discussion community on the Internet.

Is it possible to discuss the presence of aggression without straying into the realm of ill will? I think that it is. S.N. Goenka has written:

If you find a fault in somebody, certainly, you should go and tell him or her humbly, with mettâ and compassion, “Well, I feel this action of yours is not according to Dhamma.” Try to convince them, but if they are not convinced, don’t generate negativity, instead generate more compassion. Try again and if again this person doesn’t understand, then inform an elder, let the elder try. If this is not successful, let another elder try. If this is not successful, have compassion for this person. If you have anger and hatred, how can you help anyone else? You have not even helped yourself. Be careful. Remember: vivâdam bhayato disvâ. It is a frightening situation where you create animosity or controversy. This is a family and a member of the family has become weak. The entire family should help to make this person strong. Don’t condemn them or try to push them out. This person requires our compassion, not our hatred. If we continue to have this attitude, then Dhamma remains with us all the time because we have started helping ourselves first. There should be nothing but love and compassion. This should become the guideline for every Dhamma server.



I think the above is quite wise, and yet very challenging to implement. As far as Dhamma Wheel goes you all do a much better job then most other forums I've participated in, to create a healthy atmosphere. I have a quote from Ben in my sig area which speaks to this. I've thought about removing it a number of times (thinking it might embarrass Ben to be quoted) but it's so wise and simple I keep it there, to remind myself when I post online:

"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."


Practicing the brahmaviharas continously and effectively is very difficult. We all get irritated and angry. To do as Goenka advised, and try to understand where another person is coming from- to not condemn them- can be really hard.

Something i've noticed is that often two people will develop a dislike of one another, and then fall into a pattern. One person attacks, then its counterattack, etc, its a cycle that continues... Each person sees him or herself as right, as attacked, the other as wrong, an attacker, when actually both are caught up in the same unhealthy pattern.

For which application of the dhamma, and the brahmaviharas especially, is the best cure. Not easy to apply, but very effective.

Just my thoughts.

~Chris
Last edited by christopher::: on Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Open invitation: Help us improve your DW experience!

Postby Mawkish1983 » Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:17 am

Hmmm. I see nothing wrong in those threads Tilt has responded to. I'm quite surprised that someone has been upset by the moderating team. My experience has always been very positive here. If I have ever read any hostility in a post by a moderator I have quickly realised that there is no hostility in the words, only my interpretation, and tried to re-read the post neutrally. I can't give an example of when this has happened because it is such a rare occurance and, quite frankly, I've forgotten.

I greatly appreciate the work the moderators here do. I suppose it's a testament to how sucessful Dhammawheel has become; someone feels the need to moan about the moderation team on a third-party site.

I've posted a brief response to that blog. It is awaiting moderation. Let's see if it is approved.

Edit: It was approved. I said:
I disagree with this rant. Dhammawheel has proven to be an excellent place for me to learn the Dhamma from like-minded people.

To which Jechbi replied:
Thank you for your comment, Mawkish. I’m glad your experience has been good. If it ever happens that one of your Dhamma Wheel posts is made invisible but you feel it was a worthwhile post, this is a venue where it can be visible.


Seems all is well :)
Last edited by Mawkish1983 on Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Open invitation: Help us improve your DW experience!

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:19 am

christopher::: wrote:. . . .
You have been here from the beginning and have been involved in some of the more vigorous exchanges at times, your feedback is appreciated.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Open invitation: Help us improve your DW experience!

Postby christopher::: » Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:23 am

tiltbillings wrote:
christopher::: wrote:. . . .
You have been here from the beginning and have been involved in some of the more vigorous exchanges at times, your feedback is appreciated.


Thanks Tilt.

:anjali:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009
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Re: Open invitation: Help us improve your DW experience!

Postby Mawkish1983 » Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:43 am

Oh my! I've been reading through more of that blog! It seems the moderating team has been put under a lot of unnecessary strain with these events. It is such a shame a private dispute has spilled out into such a public discussion.

Moderators, keep up the good work :)
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Re: Open invitation: Help us improve your DW experience!

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:45 am

Mawkish1983 wrote:Oh my! I've been reading through more of that blog! It seems the moderating team has been put under a lot of unnecessary strain with these events. It is such a shame a private dispute has spilled out into such a public discussion.

Moderators, keep up the good work :)
Hearing that from another long time member here, it is appreciated. Thank you.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Open invitation: Help us improve your DW experience!

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:47 am

Yes, thank you Mawkish.

We appreciate your support.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Open invitation: Help us improve your DW experience!

Postby appicchato » Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:05 am

Viva Dhamma Wheel!... :thumbsup: :coffee: .
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Re: Open invitation: Help us improve your DW experience!

Postby Modus.Ponens » Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:23 am

I've been here since the beggining and only have two major cases where I've been displeased with a moderator or another member: the case which was the reason to create two more subforums for meditation. In that case the moderator said he was sorry in the thread he ruined so no problem there. And the other one is when people make fun of Hanzze, namely alan.

Apart from that I'm quite satisfied with this forum in the years I've been here. And let me take this oportunity to thank David Snyder for the forum he has provided us with and to the moderating team for doing an excelent job in general.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: Open invitation: Help us improve your DW experience!

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:35 am

plwk wrote:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .budd.html
O Atula! Indeed, this is an ancient practice, not one only of today:
they blame those who remain silent,
they blame those who speak much,
they blame those who speak in moderation.
There is none in the world who is not blamed.

There never was, there never will be, nor is there now,
a person who is wholly blamed or wholly praised.

:goodpost:

And I'll say again what I've said before: the mods here do a great job and I thank them for it. Anyone who reckons DW has given them their worst Web experience has led a very protected Web life indeed.
Some of us do express ourselves occasionally in language that is forthright enough to bruise others' feelings :thinking: and that's not a good thing, but more often, IMO, neutral statements are *read* in a snarky voice and cause offence where none was intended. I don't think there is anything that anyone except the reader can do about that.
:namaste:
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