Buddhist forums and why you choose to be active on dharmawheel

Casual conversation between friends. Anything goes (almost).
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prsvrnc
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Buddhist forums and why you choose to be active on dharmawheel

Post by prsvrnc » Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:50 am

Hi, for some reason I didn't research around much before making an account and posting here. I think Dharma Wheel is a great forum. I have no complaints and only good things to say about my experience here. :smile:

I came across some forum related politics the other day and it got me thinking about what else existed out there. I don't want to drudge up gossip -- we can skip some of the negative evaluations perhaps or anything too weighty -- but, if you care to share, why did you choose to make an account at Dharma Wheel over other forums? Or, maybe you are a member at other forums as well -- which ones and why? I'm sure different forums have different characters to them and attract different kinds of practitioners/discussions/views. I would be interested to know more about these differences from people who have actually scoped them out.

Other forums that I see here on my google search:
Reddit
Vajracakra
FreeSangha
NewBuddhist
Buddhism Without Boundaries
Discussions: Secular Buddhist Association
...

Thanks for your thoughts.

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Wayfarer
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Re: Buddhist forums and why you choose to be active on dharmawheel

Post by Wayfarer » Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:13 am

I think Dharmawheel is the best Buddhist forum. I have discovered most of the others at various times, but they don't have the same depth or quality. Also the secular Buddhist forum is definitely ideological in a way that I can't abide. But at the same time, this forum has the profound drawback of being 'an internet forum', and the internet has certain attributes and characteristics that are inimical to any traditionalist attitude. I mean, you can have five sessions open, one with Dharmawheel, one with news, one with Facebook - whatever. It is a very different kind of 'headspace', flooded with ideas, images, media, and opinions, and not all of them beneficial. This is causing me to become less active on forums generally - it is easy to get drawn into forums, especially for me, who loves to type and loves to debate. But that is not always the most beneficial activity from the point of view of practice and maintaining a healthy inner state.

But, other than that, I agree that DharmaWheel is an excellent facility and I am always greatful to the owner, mods and admins.

:namaste:
'Only practice with no gaining idea' ~ Suzuki Roshi

Jeff H
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Re: Buddhist forums and why you choose to be active on dharmawheel

Post by Jeff H » Tue Oct 11, 2016 3:27 pm

Writing is an essential part of my learning process. I’m a slow thinker and live discussions are difficult for me. Plus, I’ve never been close enough to a Dharma center to be a regular participant. I have not checked out a lot of Buddhist forums, but my first was A View On Buddhism, which was a great forum in its day. It’s still out there but totally defunct now, ever since some hacking disasters and especially since Rudy stopped actively moderating and participating. It was a lot different than DW. Its character was more gentle and less erudite, but just what I needed then. I’ve also experienced both very good and very bad student discussion forums in my online coursework.

When I write for myself it helps me clarify and seat what I’ve learned and meditated on, but it’s limited. It’s too easy to assume I’ve gotten it right. I need a variety of input to stimulate my own thinking, and I need to have it pointed out to me when I’ve misunderstood.

DW is an excellent resource, and pretty intense. I couldn’t have gotten much out of it when I was engaged in my formal and other structured studies. But now that I’m not enrolled in any classes I have the time to come out here every day, mostly to lurk and learn. I pipe up when I either think I have something of value to add or when I want to try out my interpretations. On the other hand, I would also point out that if I didn’t have ten years of foundational study behind me, I think I could get very confused and possibly lose direction here.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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DNS
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Re: Buddhist forums and why you choose to be active on dharmawheel

Post by DNS » Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:14 pm

My online time is limited, so I almost only participate in the ones I help run:

dhammawheel.com
dharmawheel.net
dharmapaths.com
prsvrnc wrote: Reddit
The format looks like an old 1980s list serve and I don't care for the votes up or down, I think it has.
Vajracakra
:thumbsup: Good Vajrayana forum.
FreeSangha
Appears to be a good forum, but not much traffic.
NewBuddhist
Bad format, in my opinion, but maybe I'm not navigating correctly. I like to see the various sub-forums, like Zen, Theravada, etc on the main index page, but at this site it just goes straight to recent topics.
Buddhism Without Boundaries
Excellent format, but little traffic. I like the clocks at the bottom and the format. I asked the webmaster for some assistance with my v-bulletin software, but unfortunately he was not familiar with the newer version of v-bulletin, but still nice people over there.
Discussions: Secular Buddhist Association
I'm not familiar with this forum, but it looks pretty good. Maybe it's because I don't really identify as a secular Buddhist.

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Rick
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Re: Buddhist forums and why you choose to be active on dharmawheel

Post by Rick » Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:37 pm

I find Dharma Wheel to be an excellent resource for Buddhist teachings.

The discussions I participate in are pretty much all lively and full of Buddhist goodies: information, advice, etc. Sometimes they get a bit too lively perhaps ... off-topic, agenda-driven, a teensy bit aggressive ... but for an online forum that kind of thing is kept to a refreshing minimum.

I think the founders, moderators, and participants are all doing a good job. :thanks:
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...

Fortyeightvows
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Re: Buddhist forums and why you choose to be active on dharmawheel

Post by Fortyeightvows » Tue Oct 11, 2016 4:54 pm

I found this forum by typing things into google. There were several times that this forum was the first or only relevant result!

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Queequeg
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Re: Buddhist forums and why you choose to be active on dharmawheel

Post by Queequeg » Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:12 pm

used to hang at e-sangha. when that imploded, I found old pals from the esangha Nichiren forum at Nichiren Sangha. After the founder of that site got sick, I took over modding but it became too much and we shut it down. Then navigated here. Others navigated here, too.

I'm pretty habitual. When I find something that works, I just go with it. This place has a wide variety of views, interesting conversations, but mostly, I just like you all. even when you infuriate me.

:smile:
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Luke
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Re: Buddhist forums and why you choose to be active on dharmawheel

Post by Luke » Tue Oct 11, 2016 6:18 pm

Queequeg wrote:used to hang at e-sangha. when that imploded, I found old pals from the esangha Nichiren forum at Nichiren Sangha. After the founder of that site got sick, I took over modding but it became too much and we shut it down. Then navigated here. Others navigated here, too.

I'm pretty habitual. When I find something that works, I just go with it. This place has a wide variety of views, interesting conversations, but mostly, I just like you all. even when you infuriate me.

:smile:
My reasons for being here are similar. I used to enjoy participating in the old E-Sangha forum, despite some of the negative politics there. Dharma Wheel and Dhamma Wheel seem to be the most worthy successors to E-Sangha, in my opinion.

One forum the OP didn't mention is ZFI. Occassionally, there are some interesting threads there, but overall, I find it kind of boring and more limited in perspective than DW. I enjoy hearing what is going on in the other forms of Mahayana Buddhism here.

Sentient Light
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Re: Buddhist forums and why you choose to be active on dharmawheel

Post by Sentient Light » Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:23 pm

I greatly enjoy the reddit community for a few reasons, namely that the best responses will invariably tend to float to the top. However, that is also its shortcoming: a handful of posters ultimately end up drowning out everyone else. I grew up with forums like these, so the anonymity of reddit was really appealing at first, and then eventually, it became a lot less anonymous. And, in some respects, I feel the reddit community runs a danger of developing cults of personality, or at least treating certain users with greater respect and reverence than they deserve. And that can be a huge problem, but is an unintentional manifestation of the upvote/karma system: if what you have to say is appealing to the audience, it will accumulate upvotes and thus become more visible; the more one single voice is visible, the more drowned out everyone else is. Many times at reddit, I feel like there are only actually 6-8 or so users who are engaging with one another, and thousands of other smaller voices that may have something significant to contribute, but lack the rhetorical skill to gather upvotes, regardless of how solid their point or observation or comment may be.

Here, it's a lot more democratic and people are quite learned, so I enjoy just sitting back, being just another voice, and learning and absorbing as much as possible.
:buddha1: Nam mô A di đà Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Quan Thế Âm Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Đại Thế Chi Bồ Tát :bow:

:buddha1: Nam mô Bổn sư Thích ca mâu ni Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Di lặc Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Địa tạng vương Bồ tát :bow:

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Buddhist forums and why you choose to be active on dharmawheel

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:17 pm

Sometimes there are good conversations here.
His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

-Lokavipatti Sutta

Norwegian
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Re: Buddhist forums and why you choose to be active on dharmawheel

Post by Norwegian » Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:07 pm

When I first started exploring Buddhism online around 1999-2000, which is when I got my own Internet connection, I eventually came across a Buddhist IRC channel, where I got to know a bunch of people.

From there I also started reading posts on Usenet (alt.religion.buddhism.tibetan I believe it was), eventually I found Tricycle forums in early 2001 or so. Then Tricycle forums closed down, and shortly after I think there was a forum called Buddhist Boards that opened up. Then that closed down pretty quickly, and another new forum was made called eSangha, which I joined.

Then after eSangha there wasn't much in terms of forums (interesting ones at least), but then I found Dharma Wheel and joined it, after seeing Malcolm was an active member here. Basically I read Usenet because Malcolm was active there and there were many interesting discussions to read, and I joined Tricycle because he was a member there, and likewise so with eSangha and now Dharma Wheel.

In addition I am also a member of Vajracakra (traditional Vajrayana forum).

My interests when it comes to topics that I read and sometimes participate in online, are Mahayana, Vajrayana, and Dzogchen.

I don't really care for the other Buddhist alternatives out there, none of them interest me, for various reasons.
"The Guru is the Buddha, the Guru is the Dharma,
The Guru is the Sangha too,
The Guru is Śrī Heruka.
The All-Creating King is the Guru."

-- The Secret Assembly Tantra

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Sprouticus
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Re: Buddhist forums and why you choose to be active on dharmawheel

Post by Sprouticus » Wed Oct 12, 2016 3:02 am

Years ago I lurked on eSangha :spy:
It was largely disappointing, so I gave up on forums for a while until internet searches turned up the DWs. Reading, and occasionally participating, has been very educational. Especially when posters disagree, I closely watch how their arguments are formed. At this point I am not here so much to debate doctrine as I am here to observe and take part in community.
:thanks:
Namo Buddhaya

Admin_PC
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Re: Buddhist forums and why you choose to be active on dharmawheel

Post by Admin_PC » Wed Oct 12, 2016 3:47 am

Started checking out various Buddhist forums in 2012 after deciding to get serious about Buddhism as an adult. I joined most of the forums that have been listed so far, with mixed results. Some places have been accepting, at least 1 or 2 were more antagonistic. At first, it was strictly educational, but over time I noticed certain teachings I was interested in catching a lot of flack. That's when I started trying to get more involved. Feel like I just ended up arguing a whole lot. A moderator position opened up here and it seemed like a good opportunity to help out with cutting back on the sect-bashing. So far it's worked out okay, though I still end up arguing a lot more than I'd like to be. I appreciate all the helpful info that's been posted by the knowledgeable users here, I'm forever in your debt.

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Yavana
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Re: Buddhist forums and why you choose to be active on dharmawheel

Post by Yavana » Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:50 am

I'm here because I'm a religious fanatic who enjoys arguing with rich people.

:jedi:

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Ayu
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Re: Buddhist forums and why you choose to be active on dharmawheel

Post by Ayu » Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:43 am

Just found this thread after being on holiday.

I'm a long time participant in one German Buddhist forum. They offer space for every kind of Buddhists and in history there were endless discussions about Palicanon vs Vajrayana or Zen-view. This was very lively, while on the other hand the community shrank. As an oldtime member I felt like being in a very small village there. The issues were discussed - I think more than 40 pages about "free will" - and every now and then old venerable members left.

Dharmawheel.net was mentioned there, I took a look and enjoyed beeing unknown here. Also I enjoy using and improving this foreign language English. Now I miss writing in English, when I'm on holiday. :smile:
So, when I wasn't a mod, this place was my refuge. I could work on personal issues in the light of Buddhism with knowledgable people who didn't know me and my aquaintances any further. Many thanks, also still, for the presence of you kind and open-minded people.
Now for me as a mod DW is a place to take care for.

In former times I was reading and writing regularly on several forums, most of them German. Now my online-activity lessens. I enjoy reading on FB and I lurk in irregularly at Dharmapaths.com and Buddhaland.de.
I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. -

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mindyourmind
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Re: Buddhist forums and why you choose to be active on dharmawheel

Post by mindyourmind » Sat Oct 22, 2016 4:26 pm

The Cicada wrote:I'm here because I'm a religious fanatic who enjoys arguing with rich people.

:jedi:
No, you don't.
Dualism is the real root of our suffering and all of our conflicts.

Namkhai Norbu

Malcolm
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Re: Buddhist forums and why you choose to be active on dharmawheel

Post by Malcolm » Sat Oct 22, 2016 4:49 pm

The Cicada wrote:I'm here because I'm a religious fanatic who enjoys arguing with rich people.

:jedi:
Then you're in the wrong place.

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maybay
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Re: Buddhist forums and why you choose to be active on dharmawheel

Post by maybay » Sat Oct 22, 2016 5:40 pm

Malcolm wrote:
The Cicada wrote:I'm here because I'm a religious fanatic who enjoys arguing with rich people.

:jedi:
Then you're in the wrong place.
Priviledged people?
People will know nothing and everything
Remember nothing and everything
Think nothing and everything
Do nothing and everything
- Machig Labdron

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Grigoris
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Re: Buddhist forums and why you choose to be active on dharmawheel

Post by Grigoris » Sat Oct 22, 2016 7:58 pm

Dumbass people?
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Yavana
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Re: Buddhist forums and why you choose to be active on dharmawheel

Post by Yavana » Sat Oct 22, 2016 8:07 pm

maybay wrote:Priviledged people?
Veritable Masters of the Universe.
Sherab Dorje wrote:Dumbass people?
And you, too, SD. :smile:

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