Connect the virtual more with the physical

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upasama
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:29 pm

Connect the virtual more with the physical

Post by upasama » Sat Jun 28, 2014 3:26 pm

As nice as virtual communities can be, I wish that Dhamma Wheel and Dharma Wheel (DW) would connect more with physical communities, such as by having sections for classifieds, events, resource needs, etc. These things are sometimes already posted to DW, but they could be more organized and standardized.

A few ways that this could help people:

- Help lay people who do not live near many Buddhist centers, as well as those who do, find more Buddhist friendship and relationship options.

- Provide a central place for Sanghas around the world to advertise their talks, retreats, events, resource needs, etc. Posting things on a well-known forum might draw more viewers, participants, or supporters than requiring people to find and browse the website of a small center or monastery.

- Make it easier for lay Buddhists in different areas/countries to find Buddhist pen pals, guest-hosts in people's homes/B&Bs for holiday visits, immigration/acculturation helpers, and so forth. Things like this could bring money to individuals, including in poor rural areas.

- Make it easier for bhikkhu(ni)s to travel to, and teach accurate Buddhism in, parts of the world where Buddhism is uncommon, by making it easier for them to find hosts/attendants and peer-companionship options in more areas.

- Some people seriously want to be bhikkhu(ni)s, but cannot be because of lifelong health conditions (e.g., disabilities, genetic disorders, serious injuries, etc.), indefinite family obligations (e.g., caring for a disabled sibling), and the like. Such people may be very serious practitioners, may be celibate, may be quite reclusive, etc., and so may not want a typical marriage/romance or a very worldly life. Nevertheless, especially if they have some serious health problem, as they age and if they have no kids or close relatives, they may need a companion/caretaker, ideally someone who is in a similar circumstance, so that they can help each other. As such a person myself, I can tell you it is very hard for someone like me to find a similar companion, even in the large coastal US city with many Buddhist centers and immigrant communities where I live. DW could help such people find each other.


A few discussion points:

- In many parts of the world, Buddhists, much less those of a certain tradition, are few and far between. The odds of meeting a very compatible person at the local center/temple are often not very good. The Buddha/Tipitaka understood the benefit for lay couples to be "in tune" (samajivina) with each other. If one does not have many options, it is hard to find someone who is very in tune with oneself. I have seen a lot of people on this site quoting the Rhinoceros Sutta (i.e., "We praise companionship — yes! Those on a par, or better, should be chosen as friends. If they're not to be found, living faultlessly, wander alone like a rhinoceros.").

- Dating sites usually only let users choose "Buddhism", not a tradition or type. You often have to contact people to find out their tradition, which is laborious and time-consuming. By presenting themselves as dating sites, such sites may be distasteful to Buddhists who are seeking non-romantic friendships or relationships. Also, dating sites usually refer to Buddhism as only a religion (not also a life philosophy, a worldview, a monastic culture, a qualitative psychology, etc.), and the secularism of many of today's societies often stigmatizes anything labeled as a "religion".

- The DW sites already have quite large and well-established user-bases. They are places where many Buddhists know and want to visit. Posting an ad on a dating or classifieds site is much more of a shot in the dark for a Buddhist than posting an ad to DW probably would be.

- If the idea of personals ads seems unwholesome, think of how people in the lounge often talk about what entertainments they are watching or listening to (which may go against the seventh of the Eight Precepts), or how the Five Precepts limit only sexual misconduct, not sex altogether. Per the sexual misconduct precept, which is common to both Mahayana and Theravada traditions, in addition to prohibiting things that are illegal in one's country, DW might prohibit ads seeking/offering casual sex.

- If people do not want their main user account on DW to be associated with a post, it is easy to register a second account.

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Goofaholix
Posts: 2969
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:49 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Connect the virtual more with the physical

Post by Goofaholix » Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:04 pm

Your first post is a wish list of how you think Dhammawheel could be better?
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

upasama
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:29 pm

Re: Connect the virtual more with the physical

Post by upasama » Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:06 pm

upasama wrote:If people do not want their main user account on DW to be associated with a post, it is easy to register a second account.
There is some personal/sensitive information about me in that post that I don't want to be associated with my main account. My main account is easier to connect with my real life identity. Also, I had hoped I might someday be able to use this account for a personals-type ad on this site, which would also probably contain more personal of information than I'm comfortable saying with my main account.

culaavuso
Posts: 1363
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:27 pm

Re: Connect the virtual more with the physical

Post by culaavuso » Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:32 pm

upasama wrote: There is some personal/sensitive information about me in that post that I don't want to be associated with my main account. My main account is easier to connect with my real life identity. Also, I had hoped I might someday be able to use this account for a personals-type ad on this site, which would also probably contain more personal of information than I'm comfortable saying with my main account.
Terms of Service wrote: Members may only have one account. Additionally the creation of an account commonly known as a "sock puppet" account and/or also any attempt at impersonating someone else will result in an automatic permanent ban. Any account where the true (IP address) identity has been concealed in some fashion for the purpose of deceit will result in an immediate permanent ban.

upasama
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:29 pm

Re: Connect the virtual more with the physical

Post by upasama » Sun Jun 29, 2014 12:11 am

Thank you - I'm sorry. I do not see a way for me to disable/delete/cancel the account. If there is a way, please tell me. I will never use this account for any other topics.

However, please still consider my other suggestions. I would not feel comfortable re-posting them from my main account.

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Mkoll
Posts: 6386
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:55 pm
Location: California

Re: Connect the virtual more with the physical

Post by Mkoll » Sun Jun 29, 2014 12:12 am

Uh...

Welcome to the forum!

:hello:
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

culaavuso
Posts: 1363
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:27 pm

Re: Connect the virtual more with the physical

Post by culaavuso » Sun Jun 29, 2014 4:17 am

upasama wrote: - Help lay people who do not live near many Buddhist centers, as well as those who do, find more Buddhist friendship and relationship options.
Existing services such as the Spirit Rock Kalyāṇa-Mitta Program may be helpful in this regard.

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