Looking ahead...(split from ZFI topic)

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Dan74
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Re: Zen Forum International

Post by Dan74 » Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:19 pm

boda wrote:
Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:00 pm
Dan74 wrote:
Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:29 pm
Then there was the issue that boda refers to when one or more people exert a great deal of authority on the Forum, like telling members they have no idea about Zen. One prominent member didn't like this 'throwing of one's weight around', the creation of a hierarchy of Teachers and Ask a Teacher Forum that would 'inhibit the free flow'. Personally I think a Forum can be big enough to contain the more disciplined rooms for current students with a teacher, the free-wheeling zennies and those in between. What is vital IMO is clear signs - "this place is for this and not that."
Well, if all that was workable it would have worked, right? People go to a discussion forum to discuss. It’s a very simple thing to pin the email addresses of any teachers who are willing to field questions.
the creation of a hierarchy of Teachers
Really? How did that work?
Sorry, boda, I had edited that part of my post because I thought it would open a can of worms. There was no hierarchy between the teachers (AFAIK), I meant the Teacher status.

I think many folks liked to have that opportunity to Ask a Teacher and most teachers were not of the "throwing their weight around" variety. So I don't think that in itself was a deal-breaker.

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Re: Zen Forum International

Post by boda » Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:02 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:19 pm
I think many folks liked to have that opportunity to Ask a Teacher and most teachers were not of the "throwing their weight around" variety. So I don't think that in itself was a deal-breaker.
You're combining two aspects: the Ask a Teacher forum and the TTWA's.

Statistically we can see that the Ask a Teacher forum was unpopular, so there's that. That's not to say that the people who did use it didn't find it valuable. However it's structure and mere presence may have been off-putting to some. Visitors might have arrived at the site and thought something like, "oh, this site is for newbies," and because of it's structure not just for newbies but for the teachings of a fixed set of teachers. There's nothing wrong with that, but it may have been perceived as being at lease somewhat at cross-purposes with why some people visit online Buddhist forums. This is just speculation of course. If it were discovered that this is an issue, and you still wanted to offer the service, making it less visible by pinning the email addresses of teachers willing to participate might be a viable solution.

What do you get when you combine the Ask a Teacher forum with TTWA's? We might know the answer to that now.

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Larryo
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Re: Zen Forum International

Post by Larryo » Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:57 pm

el gatito wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:19 am
I will remove the temporary forum shortly (as it is no longer needed). As soon as ZFI is ready.
I've heard of Pop Up Shops but Pop Up Zen Forums, just for one week, is a new one :smile:

Great work el g and thanks again :smile:

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Re: Zen Forum International

Post by el gatito » Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:13 pm

Larryo wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:57 pm
el gatito wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 2:19 am
I will remove the temporary forum shortly (as it is no longer needed). As soon as ZFI is ready.
I've heard of Pop Up Shops but Pop Up Zen Forums, just for one week, is a new one :smile:

Great work el g and thanks again :smile:
I have no problem keeping it alive until the free trial expiration date (30.dec.2017) and beyond. The issue is that, I don't want any sort of financial involvement (incl. paying for services, receiving payments from others, or distributing donations to the providers), but converting it into something a bit more serious requires an initial investment. A minimum required to register a domain name is usd $0.99 for the first year (around 12/year after that). A minimum needed to keep the forum where it is now is usd $35.40 per year, each year. A minimum to start a new one (at the cheapest GoDaddy promotional plan) is usd $12.00 for the first year (around usd $96 afterwards). I doubt anyone is willing to take care of this matter completely. Also, only 6 members have registered.

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Re: Zen Forum International

Post by el gatito » Sat Nov 04, 2017 2:06 am

Larryo wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 12:57 pm
I've heard of Pop Up Shops but Pop Up Zen Forums, just for one week, is a new one :smile:
OK, just for the fun of it, here goes the short name: http://zenspace.tk/

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Re: Zen Forum International

Post by Wayfarer » Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:44 am

I think if you register as a Mauritus domain name, the suffix would be .mu (definitely an in joke).
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Larryo
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Re: Zen Forum International

Post by Larryo » Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:25 am

And if there's a Tibetan splinter group, they could register in Oman :smile:

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Re: Zen Forum International

Post by el gatito » Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:25 pm

Wayfarer wrote:
Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:44 am
I think if you register as a Mauritus domain name, the suffix would be .mu (definitely an in joke).
But it won't be free, and the above TK domain I registered absolutely for free for 12 months. So that such setup can last forever, like the "wild ivy" climbing plant, as the phpBB3 software is free and open-source, and the trial hosting can be changed to another as soon as trial period ends -- we just can backup the database to a file and restore it to the new host. And point the domain to the new host. But I'd guess all serious Zen people would disregard such enterprises, and wait until our serious forum (ZFI) is repaired and running. Hopefully, it will. Would be interesting to hear how many MB (or GB) the size of the DB was before the optimize script was executed.

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Re: Zen Forum International

Post by SunWuKong » Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:47 pm

I’d just started posting on ZFI then it shut down. So I’m just now learning there were some schisms but abruptly canceling a forum with no closure - I hope that’s not what happened. For example if people didn’t have a way to otherwise communicate with new friends, what ever conversation you are in the middle of was cut off. I’m joining here anywY waiting to see what happens

—()—

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Larryo
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Re: Zen Forum International

Post by Larryo » Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:06 pm

Yes, a lot of old contacts have been temporarily lost. Hopefully not permanently.

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Re: Zen Forum International

Post by el gatito » Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:13 pm

It would be helpful if all interested parties to participate or just read, manage, upgrade or redesign, finance (sponsor), moderate, own (co-own) or otherwise take part in a dedicated Zen Buddhist discussion board be it a ZFI or other place, make their presence known and voice their opinions regarding the latest developments and ZFI interruption.

It is perfectly OK when people just sit back and wait how the situation unfolds, however this is not helpful for any sort of a positive resolution. Maybe a group of folks whom the current ZFI owners would trust, possibly they must belong to a kind of a formal Zen Buddhist circles, being able to resolve all of the financial/technical/ethical complications, step forward and do something. I am not the one trusted, unfortunately.

Personally, I have purely egoistic motivation. I love to hear what Guo Gu or Meido say, either to one another or to the public. I like when people share their real life stories or events, especially situations difficult to handle. This possibility is temporarily lost, that's the main reason of my participation here (and an attempt to figure out if there are enough people interested in a discussion board of this kind at all).

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Meido
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Re: Zen Forum International

Post by Meido » Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:19 pm

Here's my take:

The attrition at ZFI over the past year or two was extreme. Many folks with substantial Buddhist studies and practice background migrated away. Recently, very few threads discussing much to do with Zen were actually going on. If ZFI comes back online, it's not clear to me that it will be of much use if it continues as it was.

It seemed that the attrition especially began when a few non-Zen folks became active and started dominating threads with their various agendas (one member in particular seemed intent on marketing his own self-created understanding of Zen teaching and practice). Other members, well-intentioned enough but somewhat excessively to my mind, determined to counter him. The resulting tedious back and forth was a thread killer for months.

Minimal moderation - nudging of conversations back on track or else splitting to new threads when needed, squashing of ad homs and other nonsense, and banning of folks who refuse to play nice or aren't down with the intent of the forum - was needed. I would also suggest that excessive, almost compulsive posting by some members was at times a thread-killer (given the shrunken pool of active members), and so it could be that a post-per-day limit would have been useful at times.

If a new forum is created, it doesn't seem likely to succeed if minimal, clear moderation guidelines are not established and consistently implemented. If that does happen, naturally I'll jump in when I can, and hopefully some of the folks who migrated away from ZFI will too.

But honestly, what's wrong with Dharmawheel? There are Zen specific fora here. There's as much Zen activity, and honestly to my mind of an often more interesting nature, than there had been at ZFI recently. Why not just jump in here? If a solely Zen forum is going to happen again, perhaps if nothing else DW could serve for a while as a nest for it. Not to mention that around here, you also get the benefit of hearing voices from other traditions, which for me has only served to illuminate aspects of my own...a pretty precious thing.

~ Meido
Even though you have attained insight into the True Nature (kensho), there is yet the barrier of differentiation, and there is the One Path of Advanced Practice. If you have not yet even seen into the True Nature, what a lot there is yet to do! - Torei

The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org
Madison, WI Rinzai Zen Community [機山龍源寺] - http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
The Rinzai Zen Community - http://www.rinzaizen.org

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Re: Zen Forum International

Post by Matylda » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:25 pm

Meido wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:19 pm
Here's my take:

The attrition at ZFI over the past year or two was extreme. Many folks with substantial Buddhist studies and practice background migrated away. Recently, very few threads discussing much to do with Zen were actually going on. If ZFI comes back online, it's not clear to me that it will be of much use if it continues as it was.

It seemed that the attrition especially began when a few non-Zen folks became active and started dominating threads with their various agendas (one member in particular seemed intent on marketing his own self-created understanding of Zen teaching and practice). Other members, well-intentioned enough but somewhat excessively to my mind, determined to counter him. The resulting tedious back and forth was a thread killer for months.

Minimal moderation - nudging of conversations back on track or else splitting to new threads when needed, squashing of ad homs and other nonsense, and banning of folks who refuse to play nice or aren't down with the intent of the forum - was needed. I would also suggest that excessive, almost compulsive posting by some members was at times a thread-killer (given the shrunken pool of active members), and so it could be that a post-per-day limit would have been useful at times.

If a new forum is created, it doesn't seem likely to succeed if minimal, clear moderation guidelines are not established and consistently implemented. If that does happen, naturally I'll jump in when I can, and hopefully some of the folks who migrated away from ZFI will too.

But honestly, what's wrong with Dharmawheel? There are Zen specific fora here. There's as much Zen activity, and honestly to my mind of an often more interesting nature, than there had been at ZFI recently. Why not just jump in here? If a solely Zen forum is going to happen again, perhaps if nothing else DW could serve for a while as a nest for it. Not to mention that around here, you also get the benefit of hearing voices from other traditions, which for me has only served to illuminate aspects of my own...a pretty precious thing.

~ Meido

I do agree. Specially things like zen forums or any other buddhist forums need to be properly managed. Those are dharma forums and improper statements are absolutely wrong. It creates only confusion and wrong picture.

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Lindama
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Re: Zen Forum International

Post by Lindama » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:31 pm

Meido wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:19 pm
But honestly, what's wrong with Dharmawheel? There are Zen specific fora here. There's as much Zen activity, and honestly to my mind of an often more interesting nature, than there had been at ZFI recently. Why not just jump in here? If a solely Zen forum is going to happen again, perhaps if nothing else DW could serve for a while as a nest for it. Not to mention that around here, you also get the benefit of hearing voices from other traditions, which for me has only served to illuminate aspects of my own...a pretty precious thing.
Good point. and yes, I appreciate the voices of other traditions.

el G also brings up good points to consider... the connection to Meido and Guo Gu, and our experiences in living zen. At this point, the path seems clear. I'm one to let it flow where it will... pushing the river will not produce a positive result. that's me. The forum was precious to me because it gave an opportunity to relate to others who I consider friends on the path and who I most likely will never meet. As I said previously, it opened my knowledge of zen in the beginning when there were many experienced folks.

I felt that the forum was near death last year but for a small band.
:anjali:
linda
Not last night,
not this morning,
melon flowers bloomed.
~ Bassho

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Re: Zen Forum International

Post by DGA » Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:30 pm

With regard to Meido's last point:

I would be delighted if DW had a much stronger, more energized, and more diverse (in the sense of more voices) Zen subforum. I've learned a lot from eavesdropping and occasionally engaging here, and I am confident others who may have even less connection to Zen teachers and traditions than I have, have too.

I would encourage our new friends to please stick around these parts even if ZFI re-emerges, or an alternative is built. I'm glad you are here.

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anjali
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Re: Zen Forum International

Post by anjali » Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:40 pm

Lindama wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:31 pm
el G also brings up good points to consider... the connection to Meido and Guo Gu, and our experiences in living zen.
For what it' worth, I've been informed that Guo Gu is aware of the ZFI thread here. If he has time and is so inclined, perhaps he will post at some point. That would be nice. :)

By way of supporting our Zen members, if there is anything in our current forum structure that you believe is missing, please let me know, or make a suggestion in the Suggestion Box.

If there is interest, I just confirmed with our Admin that a specific suggestion box just for the Zen forum could be set up in the Announcements section of the Zen forum. It could provide a dedicated place for specific suggestions and/or strategic discussion on improving and supporting our Zen forums and community here.

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Lindama
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Re: Zen Forum International

Post by Lindama » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:13 pm

it's so very un-zen to say this :tongue: ... I trust Guo Gu will show up in good time. Back at ZFI, a little background, we saw Guo Gu open his new Chan Center in Tallahassee, FL last month with Meido in attendance.... and many of us who wanted to be there... great pics.

thank you folks for your warm welcome. :twothumbsup:

linda
Not last night,
not this morning,
melon flowers bloomed.
~ Bassho

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KeithA
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Re: Zen Forum International

Post by KeithA » Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:40 pm

Lindama wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:13 pm
it's so very un-zen to say this :tongue: ... I trust Guo Gu will show up in good time. Back at ZFI, a little background, we saw Guo Gu open his new Chan Center in Tallahassee, FL last month with Meido in attendance.... and many of us who wanted to be there... great pics.

thank you folks for your warm welcome. :twothumbsup:

linda
While I didn't contribute to that thread, it was one of my favorites, second only to Ko Shin's practice thread. There was great love in that thread. :group:

Also, I second the thanks for the warm welcome from the DW folks. I too, have enjoyed poking around in the non-Zen threads. :coffee:

Keith
You make, you get.

New Haven Zen Center

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Lindama
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Re: Zen Forum International

Post by Lindama » Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:34 am

:group:

way to go Keith, enjoy poking around. We all want and need the same thing in the end. I'd offer, relax around the strange terms that you may hear, listen under... and sooner or later you may see the family. I'm not a scholar but I can follow a bit. My first experience was with dzogchen which I could never see was diff from zen or silent illumination. ofc, the scholars have ideas about that, I guess. I am still in awe of how the names of rinpoches roll off the tongue. I was blessed to arrive on the 3rd day of Namkai Norbu's retreat at Lake Tahoe in 1999.... I barely knew who he was.... until I walked in the woods to the lake.

linda
Not last night,
not this morning,
melon flowers bloomed.
~ Bassho

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Larryo
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Re: Zen Forum International

Post by Larryo » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:44 am

:group:

Yes, this is starting to feel more and more like home. Even if I would get Keisakued for naughty ZFI style contributions :jumping:

And it would be even better if Guo Gu was onboard as regularly as he used to be at ZFI :smile:

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