A virtual hermitage for admirable companions?

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

A virtual hermitage for admirable companions?

Postby starter » Sun Jun 09, 2013 4:09 pm

Hello friends,

I'm wondering if it's possible for the admirable companions to establish a kind of virtual hermitage to promote our Dhamma practice. When becoming occupied and distracted by worldly affairs, I found it difficult to keep the schedule of practice. It's difficult to maintain the focus and practice alone despite the interferences and disturbances.

It would be helpful if several admirable camaraderies can form a virtual hermitage and practice together (meditation, reflection, Dhamma study, reporting the weekly practice, online group discussion, exchanging the experience of the practice and have some admirable camaraderies to help each other on the path ...) as in a physical hermitage. This idea has just occurred to me and I haven't gotten time to get into more details, but I suppose it can be run in a similar way as a physical hermitage, without the need for financial support. A good practitioner with good organization skills (who has plenty time available) can probably act as the abbot of the hermitage, and come up with a more detailed plan for the practice schedule, rules, expectations and so on with the input of our friends here. A board of directors (3 ?) can probably be formed to discuss and approve relevant matters, such as the admission of qualified practitioners.

Just some food for thought. Your input will be appreciated. Metta to all,

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Re: A virtual hermitage for admirable companions?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jun 09, 2013 4:23 pm

Hi Starter,
Isn't Dhamma Wheel already like this idea? there is the sutta study area, the meditation discussion area, and room for other relevant discussions here.
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Re: A virtual hermitage for admirable companions?

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Jun 09, 2013 4:38 pm

Cittasanto wrote:Hi Starter,
Isn't Dhamma Wheel already like this idea? there is the sutta study area, the meditation discussion area, and room for other relevant discussions here.


:goodpost:

A "virtual" hermitage / sangha? I believe we have that here. We are all kalyana-mittas and we even have several ordained monastics, bhikkhus and bhikkhunis here posting and providing instruction, information, and ideas.
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Re: A virtual hermitage for admirable companions?

Postby starter » Sun Jun 09, 2013 6:32 pm

Hi David and Cittasanto,

Thanks for your comments. I'm not talking about a big general forum, but a small "hermitage" where several admirable camaraderies practice together and interact with each other closely to help each other's daily practice as in a physical monastery. The internal weekly reflections/reports and discussions will not be publicized. By being a member of such a hermitage, hopefully one can stick to the practice schedules strictly, and help correct each other's mistakes on the path.

With metta,

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Re: A virtual hermitage for admirable companions?

Postby Ben » Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:32 pm

Starter, I think you'll find the people here very supportive.
Perhaps if you wanted to organize something a bit more intimate you could try contacting a few of your closest DW friends and see if they were interested in supporting each other via PM.
kind regards,

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in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: A virtual hermitage for admirable companions?

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:47 pm

starter wrote:Thanks for your comments. I'm not talking about a big general forum, but a small "hermitage" where several admirable camaraderies practice together and interact with each other closely to help each other's daily practice as in a physical monastery. The internal weekly reflections/reports and discussions will not be publicized. By being a member of such a hermitage, hopefully one can stick to the practice schedules strictly, and help correct each other's mistakes on the path.


Okay, as Ben mentions that could be done here too. There is the Dhamma Wheel meditation challenge thread here.
viewtopic.php?f=41&t=2647

Also, you might want to check out Hamster Wheel:

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=13208
http://www.hamsterwheel.ca/

And I see they have regularly scheduled chat sessions here at Dhamma Wheel.
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Re: A virtual hermitage for admirable companions?

Postby Alobha » Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:34 am

Hi starter,
Hamsterwheel.ca is similar to that, only that we don't have an abbot but are equals. It has worked quite well so far. We have a Sutta discussion every sunday and meet up daily (both voluntary of course) at 19 UTC at Hamsterwheel chat (/Dhammawheel chat until some issues with hamsterwheels Chatplugin are solved.)
We choose the suttas on sunday depending on what is of interest or of relevance for the current practice of groupmembers and the daily chats are mainly practice related. IE we talk about motivation issues, finding the "right time to sit", clarify and reread meditation instructions and just pretty much help each other out with things. It's a good opportunity to speak about daily struggles and so on.

A good practitioner with good organization skills (who has plenty time available) can probably act as the abbot of the hermitage, and come up with a more detailed plan for the practice schedule, rules, expectations and so on with the input of our friends here. A board of directors (3 ?) can probably be formed to discuss and approve relevant matters, such as the admission of qualified practitioners.

Taking a layperson you know not much about as a teacher like in the abbot idea is difficult from my point of view (and finding a suitable person for that would be even more difficult). And getting to know people really well takes time.

Anyways, feel free to join us for one of the daily chats or the sunday discussions.

Best wishes,
Alobha
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Re: A virtual hermitage for admirable companions?

Postby starter » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:12 pm

Hi Alobha, David and Ben,

Many thanks for your comments. It's nice to learn Hamsterwheel.ca, which is a great effort. Surely I'd like to join a Hamsterwheel chat when I can, probably tomorrow. How can it be done?

Metta to all,

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Re: A virtual hermitage for admirable companions?

Postby perkele » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:08 pm

I do not know if this comes anywhere near what you are looking for, but on reading "virtual hermitage", this springs to mind: http://www.sangham.net - a "Virtual Dhamma-Vinaya-Vihara".
It is a very interesting place. To me, it is mainly an internet forum, but the structure is very much organized in a way that is meant to focus on improving and supporting each other in Dhamma practice, in whichever way. By sharing materials, translating texts, ..., there is a place for making confessions (after having behaved badly in the community, which is very easy to do online as we all know - so this dedicated place for reconcilation can be actually quite useful), a place for sharing merits or expressing rejoice and appreciation, and so on... It's a very extensive place. There are so many things. At first one may feel overwhelmed and it takes some time to find into it. And as of now there are not many members there. As of now most discussion is in German, but it is open to being bilingual. It's like a huge empty monastery. Maybe with time and patience some more pepole will come and try to do good works there and support each other.
The initiator, Johann, has put a really huge amount of work into this place. He lives as a hermit in Cambodia, trying to follow Dhamma-Vinaya as best as possible, without being formally ordained as a buddhist monk. He has started a German mirror of accesstoinsight and many translation projects. There is much opportunity to share and help each other out in such things. Mostly I think it is a place to do good works in this way or that way and do that as a community, helping each other out, with people coming and going as they please like wandering ascetics, and really much focus on "personal improvement" in the way of Dhamma.
Up until now my main focus there has been on translating some texts into German and knowing everything better than anyone else and getting angry and trying to be not an asshole, and trying to learn something, which has been quite worthwhile I think.
I don't know whether this really gives a fitting impression. And actually I don't completely understand what it is supposed to be all about in its full scope. But I think it is good and full of opportunity and open for many possibilities.
So, that's the advertisement. Reality is what people make of it.
Hope you find whatever is good for you. May the force be with you.
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Re: A virtual hermitage for admirable companions?

Postby starter » Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:20 am

Hello perkele,

Thanks for the helpful info. It's nice to know there's such a virtual monastery. It's bigger than and different from what I proposed, but I'm sure it can help with the Dhamma practice.

It would be nice to have a small virtual hermitage composed of several camaraderies who share the same goal and path, which is purely practice oriented. The camaraderies can practice together on a daily basis, improve each other's practice by reading and commenting on practice schedules/contents, reflections, progress, and so on, and chat with each other when necessary. Such a virtual hermitage could enjoy so many benefits of a physical hermitage without having to worry about the "headaches" associated with a physical hermitage.

Metta to all!
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Re: A virtual hermitage for admirable companions?

Postby perkele » Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:48 pm

Yes, maybe Hamsterwheel is more like what you are looking for. Sounds like a good place for such things, no?
I hope you'll find what you are looking for, or something just as helpful.
May the force be with you.
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Re: A virtual hermitage for admirable companions?

Postby marc108 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 12:08 am

i think this is a good idea and would love to participate in whatever arises. there isnt much of a Sangha where I live and sharing in a public forum that is so large takes away from the intimacy that i assume would arise in a hermitage type situation. shoot me a PM sometime :)
"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."
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