Buddhists on Twitter -THE TWANGHA!

I wasn’t planning on posting this morning. I didn’t really have too much to say but I came across Jaye’s post over at digitalZENDO on the benefits and detriments of twitter in relation to Buddhist practice. That, plus the fact that I am presenting to the Library Board next week on the usefullness of twitter for expanding and marketing library services led me to want to reiterate a few of Jaye’s points.

The expression, “Social Media,” gets kicked around a lot, but what does that really mean? For me that’s simple. Community. I live in an area where I’m very far away from actual Zen centers and temples. While I’m aware of a group that sits near by, it’s like “theoretical physics zen,” and I’m not really in to hyper-analytical posturing. That’s not Zen. That’s getting lost in the dark and you might not make it back.

The above being said is my motivation for using twitter. I’m looking help expand and support my practice and that of others. My teacher is in Seattle, Washington and though I have regular conversations with he and a few of the Sangha members there, I recognize that I find it useful, to have a steady and consistent group of people that I can share practice with, supporting each other through the grinds over day-to-day life.

Beautiful! The whole point is community and epxanding our practice by sharing it with and learning from practitioners we would never have contact with otherwise. Personally, I connected with Jaye via twitter and I know that he has helped me deepen my practice and I hope that I have done the same for him. Reciprocity is what twitter is all about.

I am also fairly far away from any temples or large zendos and always appreciate the fact that I can expand and broaden my practice and get into contact with other practitioners in a fairly quick and easy manner. I am also familiar with the “academic book club” school of Buddhist practice that Jaye is alluding to and I wholeheartedly agree that it is not my cup of tea. Academic discussions are fine but I need to find people who actually sit and ritualize in their practice.

Where twitter can be a hassle and hindrance to Zen practice is there’s people with what I might call “wayward,” motivation. The endless marketing can be a nuisance. The over-reliance of quotes can be disappointing. I feel like if you’re using a quote, tell me how you applied it to your life, so that I can learn from you. Otherwise quotes are just dead words to me.

Again, I agree for all the good out in the Buddha-twittersphere-land, there is plenty of annoying crap. I try to keep my follower and folllowing list clear of those so feel free to peruse through and find some people that share your voice. Twitter can also become a distraction. While it is nice to connect with people we should also not forget that while it is enriching to contact with people far away, there are also probably a few good-old fashioned home-practitioners close by as well.
The one big difficulty is to actually express yourself the small window that twitter provides. I enjoy myself with my quotes and retweets and try to bring a small spark of humor into what can tend towards a solemn practice.

Here is the list that Jaye provided. I follow mostly the same group and agree that these are some good Twangha-folks!

And a few of my own…

I have to say that I have enjoyed the conversations I’ve had with other Buddhists on twitter. I get the opportunity to learn quite a bit and it gives me a taste of how others approach their practice.



7 thoughts on “Buddhists on Twitter -THE TWANGHA!

  1. When I first joined twitter, I wondered if it might be a mindfulness tool of sorts, in that if I had stopped to pay attention to something long enough to post about it, I was probably being a least a bit more mindful about those things. (I'm still thinking about if this is actually true for me, or if it's just a way to justify my twittering!)

    As someone very new to Buddhism, I know I sure do appreciate the window into others' practice that twitter provides.

  2. @ Bija – FIXED! I knew I shouldn't have posted this morning. Oh well, 2 out of 100 links isn't too bad, right? I did like "jiba" though…

    @ theresa – I wasn't too sure either when I started but I have found that, when under control, twitter is a great resource for the budding buddhist.

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