name rank and serial number

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name rank and serial number

Postby Digger » Fri Nov 05, 2010 10:53 am

Many of the posters here have very little info on themselves in their profiles. Personally I would like to know more about others here (not in any specific order):

a) Are they monks or laymen?
b) Who have they learned from?
c) Have they been to any retreats, spent any time in a monestary or are they currently in one?
d) What books have they read that they recommend?
e) How much of the Pali texts have they read?
f) How long have they been "on the path"?
g) Are they available for private meetings or discussions?
h) Are they available as teachers or to meet with (in person)?

The reasons I think this personal information is beneficial is:

a) It might put more "weight" on one's answer if they have been a monk for 15 years vs they have zero experience other then they read a blurb on the Buddha on Wikipedia. I'm not saying a monk is always right and a beginner is always wrong but it is nice to know who is behind an answer (or question).

b) If someone is regarded highly, you can follow their path (read the same books, go to the same teachers, etc)

Thanks for taking the time and effort to put forth this great forum!
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Re: name rank and serial number

Postby Kim OHara » Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:05 am

It would often be nice to know a bit more about each other, Digger, but the nature of the medium presents some difficulties.
First, that any information people give is basically unverifiable.
Second, because it's a world-wide forum, anything to do with real-world meetings is unlikely to be useful.

If you hang around long enough you will gradually glean information about regular contributors, and you will work out for yourself how knowledgeable and sensible they are. Meanwhile, treat them (us) all like people you just happened to sit next to in a meditation hall or concert hall: you don't know much about them except that you have at least one interest in common and you assume (at least until shown otherwise) that they are basically people of goodwill.

:namaste:
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Re: name rank and serial number

Postby Ben » Fri Nov 05, 2010 11:11 am

Greetings Digger

I tend to think that the discussion forum is a great place to discover those things about other members - as and when they feel comfortable revealing those things about themselves. Its part of participating in a community and getting to know people. And you'll get to know people fairly quickly from the calibre of their posts.
kind regards

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Re: name rank and serial number

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Nov 05, 2010 5:46 pm

Name or rank is not relevant when assessing the truth of anyone's statements. Many have been led astray by relying on the name, fame, or seniority of a teacher.

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Re: name rank and serial number

Postby Individual » Fri Nov 05, 2010 6:00 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Name or rank is not relevant when assessing the truth of anyone's statements. Many have been led astray by relying on the name, fame, or seniority of a teacher.

See The Four Great References

Well said, Venerable Bhikkhu! :)
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Re: name rank and serial number

Postby clw_uk » Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:27 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Name or rank is not relevant when assessing the truth of anyone's statements. Many have been led astray by relying on the name, fame, or seniority of a teacher.

See The Four Great References




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Re: name rank and serial number

Postby James N. Dawson » Fri Nov 05, 2010 8:51 pm

I agree we shouldn't judge the truth or value of a member's comments on Dhamma by certain credentials, but it would be convenient to have some brief encapsulation of his Dhamma approach, other interests, basic life philosophy, a website, his or her blog, favorite blogs, etc.,in case we might want to have a closer association with that person. I'm not saying it's absolutely necessary, or I'm down on anybody who doesn't want to provide any of this, just welcome and convenient. Indeed, that's what profile pages are for, aren't they?---JND
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Re: name rank and serial number

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:46 am

I concur wholeheartedly with Bhikkhu Pesala.

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Re: name rank and serial number

Postby Digger » Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:29 am

Thanks all for your replies.

To Kim "any information people give is basically unverifiable" I can only hope all here are not of the nature to "fake" their credentials - reminds me of the internet joke of someone claiming to be a 14 year old girl on a chat room and actually being a 45 year old guy.

To Bhikkhu Pesala, James, Individual, CLW and Retrofuturist - I think we all concur regarding "rank" not equaling being right, please note my original post "I'm not saying a monk is always right and a beginner is always wrong but it is nice to know who is behind an answer (or question)"

To James regarding profile pages - for whatever reason most people (including me) don't put much info on their profile page. I will update mine to add more info. Maybe others will too.

To Individual - I love your avatar!
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Re: name rank and serial number

Postby Kim OHara » Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:48 am

Digger wrote:To Kim "any information people give is basically unverifiable" I can only hope all here are not of the nature to "fake" their credentials - reminds me of the internet joke of someone claiming to be a 14 year old girl on a chat room and actually being a 45 year old guy.

I guess we all hope that everyone else here is being honest about who and what they are, and why they are here, but my point was really that we can never be sure, even if the mods tried to check every new member's bona fides. Since we can't be sure, we could never completely trust the information anyway.
And we do get the occasional troll - most often a follower of another religion, out to annoy the heathens. :tongue:
So ... we hope for the best and get to know each other gradually.
:namaste:
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Re: name rank and serial number

Postby James N. Dawson » Sat Nov 06, 2010 7:53 pm

Digger wrote:To James regarding profile pages - for whatever reason most people (including me) don't put much info on their profile page. I will update mine to add more info. Maybe others will too.


Actually it was only after I read your post that I filled out mine ;) .
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Re: name rank and serial number

Postby Guy » Sun Nov 07, 2010 2:07 am

Hi Digger,

No matter how long we have been practicing we all have our individual strengths and weaknesses. The old timers have their experience to draw from but the new kids on the block may have fresh perspectives which others may not consider. Even non-Buddhists can teach us Dhamma (even if unintentionally) if we are open to it.

So I think we should be open to learning from everyone. Don't judge a post based on who posted it instead try to look at the content of the post, consider it with an open mind, see if the post is in accordance with truth and watch how your mind responds to what you read.

Metta,

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Re: name rank and serial number

Postby Phra Chuntawongso » Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:39 am

Guy wrote:Hi Digger,

No matter how long we have been practicing we all have our individual strengths and weaknesses. The old timers have their experience to draw from but the new kids on the block may have fresh perspectives which others may not consider. Even non-Buddhists can teach us Dhamma (even if unintentionally) if we are open to it.

So I think we should be open to learning from everyone. Don't judge a post based on who posted it instead try to look at the content of the post, consider it with an open mind, see if the post is in accordance with truth and watch how your mind responds to what you read.

Metta,

Guy

:thumbsup: I am a monk and yet one of the reasons I like to come on sites like this is the wealth of experiences of so many different people,young and old,Bhikku or lay person.I have learned much by just reading some of the posts.
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