I’m starting to believe that I have found a calling. So from now on, when people
ask me what’s my spiritual practice, my answer is this: I blog.”
~ coolmel of coolmel.com in a post dated 3/16/06.
This week, philosophy, Buddhist's lives, connections and blogging as spiritual practice are hot topics in the Buddhoblogosphere.
me of don’t drop that atomic bomb on me had an epiphany and wrote a long post that deserves some attention in the Buddhoblogosphere. It’s about Watts’ insistance that “You don't exist”, free will and the actions of the universe. me writes, “Are you making the thoughts that appear in your consciousness appear there? No that is happening by itself.”
beesucker of Authentic Personality links us to the Non-Duality Cartoons blogspace. Hahaha!
Nacho of WoodMoor Village recommends seeing the film V for Vendetta, and suggests we go with as little foreknowledge as possible and without expectations. Terry of More coffee, less dukkha is keen on the film, but more so on the twenty-year-old novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. He says of the book and movie, "Good, but different. Different, but good. ... England prevails."
Jigdral Dawa was blogging like a house afire this week in Buddha's Children. Here are two great posts:
- “Me, Minus the Bullshit” is a great, long, meaty post. Jigdral writes, “Rather than act, I'm trying simply to be me - but better. No...not ‘better.’ This isn't a race or any other kind of striving. I guess what I'm doing is practicing just being, free of the clouds of confusion.”
- “Introduction to Integral Theory and Practice” outstandingly delivers on the promise of its title.
The Integral Buddhists are keyboard hopping on the topic ‘blogging as spiritual practice.’ Famous Mel began it all with his giddy observation that if asked what “my spiritual practice [is], my answer is …: I blog.” [coolmel.com blog, posted 3/16]
eBuddha in Integral Practice concludes that flow, a non-conscious creative state, is what coolmel is describing in his blogging regime. “I would hate to say that ‘blogging is spiritual practice,’ as clearly blogging is not physical practice.” wrote eBuddha.
In the IP comment threat, coolmel acts as his own defense attorney, submits a Ken quote, buttressing a claim that ‘blogging is a [spiritual] developmental line’ and ending with this summation: “…saying that blogging is NOT a spiritual practice is like saying that writing is NOT a spiritual practice... there. i rest my case.”
Vince [blogger of Numinous Nonsense] then acts as DA in the IP thread, cross-examines The Ken and says to readers/jury and defendant, coolmel: “Doesn't mean that I don't see blogging as a ‘kind’ of spiritual practice, just that I wouldn't give up what I'm doing now to blog, and have faith that it will bring a permanent non-dual enlightenment. But I hope you prove me wrong dawg!”
Mel barks back: “i'm gonna prove you wrong dawg. i'm gonna prove you wrong. ... where's the fluffy love?” And then, in his home blog, coolmel.com, delivers a masterful link-heavy Howl-like post, a spontaneous Kero-whacky-an beatitudinous floe of wordy words that demonstrates the flow.
Carrying the vendetta over to his home blog, V. Horn of Numinous Nonsense, begins to relate errors in Mel's thinking, but comes around to halfway agreeing with the dawg.
Then, William Harryman of Internet Options Café picks up the bone of contention, relates the history of the discussion [much much better than B'du is doing here], and applies his considerable wisdom in a link-heavy post that (1) contrasts developmental line and spiritual practice; (2) dives into the issue of transformational v. translational; (3) voices support for the coolmel assertion that blogging can be spiritual practice!; (4) examines the meaning of flow as first explained by Csikszentmihalyi; and (5) again voices support for coolmel's assertion.
[B'du will pick up more of the discussion next week, which is continuing to ... you know ... flow.]
If P, then Q
The Will-Gareth-Dharmasattva interblog conversation on Connections continues to thrive. [See the report in B'du last week, “Modus Ponens,” on the dialogue’s beginnings.]
This week, Will of thinkBuddha wrote re insight into conditionality. His concluding sentence is no substitute for his complete, rather-brief essay [i.e., read the whole thing, y’all], but it gives us a clear summation of what Will is saying:
Those things that we need to know can be held in a single hand: the knowledge that all things are conditioned; the humility to recognise that we cannot ever fully comprehend this web of conditions; the mindfulness to see that a discerning knowledge of those things most proximate – sufferings, causes, cessations, paths – is sufficient.Green Cloud’s Gareth bit on a chunk in Will’s post relating to enlightenment. Gareth’s point of interest is the idea of perfection that some claim is achieved by enlightened beings – that he doubts. He writes of enlightened folks,
…perhaps there is a kind of freedom that can be found. Not an escape from karma but a true understanding [that] leads away from free will, and from the notion of a existent self and to an understanding that form, feeling, perception, volition and consciousness are just manifestations of previous causes, which are in themselves just manifestation of previous causes and so on and so forth.After his modestly-long post, Gareth promises more to come, on this topic: “Is omnipotence a state of mind?”
Buddhists' Lives ...
Zenmom of the eponymous blog writes glowingly of her virtual world becoming real: “some of my most important heart warming ‘real’ relationships have been formed online.”
Thoughts of zazen crowd My Zen Life’s John this week. He rouses himself to sit; then reports it was like being a tall, proud tree; but later he asks, “what the heck am i doing with my ‘so called’ zazen practice anyway?”
kim of this life explored ways to feel better in posts this week. She moves from medication to meditation/acupuncture/exercise. She considers taking tai chi in place of “tortuous yoga.” And it a third post, she questions what she’s doing with her zazen. [kim, John of My Zen Life: Do you two know each other?]
Nerdine of my world at the moment tells of her decision to stop serving on the board of the Norwegian Tibet Committee. But by the end of her post, her adamantine no to serving any longer softens to a maybe, “after a break.”
Mike Doe of Doe-Do writes that his father had a hip operation and is now better in body and spirit, which makes Mike happy. “He knows nothing about Zen but the way he was living today sure as hell looks like good practice to me.” [btw, Mike tells us his blog's name is pronounced like the fearless and extinct bird.]
Eric of Virtual Zen writes about work and a cyclone among many things this week, but his post about disappearing a bit at a time is especially interesting. Eric doesn't quite say so, but his commenters think he's been snagged by that L thing.
the girl of auspicious coincidences is repeating words and losing their meanings, is going to California in a few days, and believes that meditation would be better for her than understanding her neuroses.
In Techiepig's discourse on everything we are told that the blogger's beloved pet Clover died. “For some reason, I decided to sing a favourite scripture of mine, 'Adoration of the Buddha's relics.' It's a lovely, if complex, tune and is entirely appropriate for a funeral.”
Buddha Pest of Observe the Observer and his family celebrated the beginning of spring with a ritual fire. “My brother brought over some sage that burned for about an hour that added an amazing smell to the whole affair. At the end of the fire, around noon, I felt very tired and sort of cleansed. It is certainly something I will do again.”
Michael of one foot in front of the other put a hole in the stairwell while trying to move a futon, snaps his cat demonstrating karate’s cat stance, and has a birthday a quarter century after this remembrance: “I remember thinking on my 19th birthday what a neat coincidence it was that Steely Dan's ‘Hey Nineteen’ was playing on the radio that afternoon.”
Taking a big step as a new nun, Soen Joon of One robe, one bowl was the assistant to the Ceremony Master during a memorial. “Fortunately it turned out well,” she kindly advises us early in her post before relating some of her nervousness and events during and after the ceremony.