Monday, December 13, 2010

6 Reasons to Keep a Mindfulness Practice Blog

Today, I was most grateful to receive the 2010 Blogisattva Award for 'Best Buddhist Practice Blog'. My immediate thoughts went to the other very talented bloggers whose names I had submitted in that same category. A small consolation was seeing three of them in the finalists' list: Digital Zendo, ZenDotStudio, and Peace Ground Zero

In the Awards announcement's post, I was moved by Kyle Lovett's thoughtful appreciation of all Buddhist bloggers:
. . . all of these people that have had the heart, the guts and the determination to come online and share their thoughts and their practice with the world, cannot win or lose. What they do, what you do, day after day is immeasurably beyond the realm of relative winners and losers. YOU together are all the voices and the spirit that is moving and shaping the future of Buddhism, the future of an ancient tradition that points to a way beyond winners and losers, a way beyond suffering, a way beyond doubt. 
Collectively, all of our words, which are linked together by print or by digital media or by podcasts, is far greater than one lone voice could ever be; and its real power and influence is beyond the poor abilities of human vocabulary to describe. However if I had to choose, I would say this community is the embodiment of Prajñā, Dāna and Śīla. We are all Sangha; Perhaps not in the traditional meaning of the word, but nevertheless a Sangha that I am most humbly overjoyed to be a part of.
Kyle's tribute got me thinking about the interrelatedness of blogging and mindfulness practice. How can mindfulness practice inform one's blogging? How can blogging sustain one's practice? What are some of the potential pitfalls?

The first question, I covered in an earlier post, in the form of  '7 Tips for Buddhist Bloggers'

Next comes an exploration of the many benefits of blogging for one's mindfulness practice. Come to think of it, maintaining a mindfulness practice blog is seeded in a long standing tradition of spiritual sharing, dating as far back as the Buddha's and Christ's times. It springs from the same need to share what is both a very personal and transpersonal experience. Only now, with the advent of the Internet, that sharing is enriched by the possibility of asynchronous and synchronous responses from a world wide community of spiritual friends. 

Here are '6  Reasons Why I keep Blogging About my Mindfulness Practice':
1) Blogging about practice keeps me honest - it is akin to interviewing with a teacher, only the accountability is to the ones that read me.
2) Blogging about practice takes care of an often neglected part of practice that is reflection - harvesting the fruit from mindful investigation, and transforming them into enduring insights.
3) Blogging about practice helps seal those same insights - anchoring them in the mind through the careful selection and articulation of words to describe them.
4) Blogging about practice helps make the connection between one's direct experience and the wealth of Dharma teachings available on the Web - Access to Insight and Buddhanet are two of my favorite sites.
5) Blogging about practice is the opportunity to join the worldwide sangha of other bloggers and readers - through my blog, I have formed many enduring and deep dharma friendships.
6) Blogging about practice, is an integral part of practice - following the 7 tips suggested above, one turns the blogging activities of writing, sharing, commenting, and responding into yet other mindfulness practice opportunities.
Tomorrow, I shall cover some of the potential pitfalls to guard against when blogging about one's mindfulness practice . . . 

8 comments:

  1. Congratulations Marguerite!!

    I guess one of the main reasons I blog, although it's not completely about my mindfulness practice, is what you mention in #2 above. The process of writing allows me to reflect and contemplate a lot of what I'm going through in my practice as well as life itself. Doing this can certainly lead to #3 - insights.

    I guess I'd also say that I want to help others as much as I want to help myself through practice. That doesn't really mean that I want to 'preach' what I write as the be all, end all way of looking at things, but rather I want to share and hopefully help people who may be going through the same things I'm going through and that they can hopefully find a small slice of insight, understanding or connectedness with what I write about.

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  2. I made my way over because of your win in the Blogissatva Awards. Congratulations! I'm so glad I did. I've been blogging for a couple of years now, but most seriously for the last 10 months or so. I'm struggling to fully define what blogging is to me, and why I share my most initimate thoughts with so many. The way you describe it here, helps me to understand why it's important. For that I'm grateful! Thank you.

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  3. Oh! yes, Nate. Helping, or rather serving others is another big reason to keep such a blog. Whenever I write, I always ask myself the question, is this just for me, or can it be of use to others as well. It it fails the second question, I do not include it.

    By the way, I just went over to your blog. I loved your post about contentment today!

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  4. Dear Christine, I am happy to 'meet' you. The post you wrote today about overcoming depression was very profound and I very much appreciated it. You may want to check out a relatively recent article about the Theravada monk U Tejaniya, in Tricycle magazine, where he shares his own struggles with depression and how he was able to make it on the other side. I particularly remember him describing how adopting an attitude of curiosity towards the illness helped him live through and transform the illness.

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  5. These are really good points. I've written about blogging as practice before as well. Some months back, although a line or two slips into posts fairly often, sometimes to remind myself and explain to others what I'm doing.

    I've been enjoying the "Ruth D." posts. Congrats on the award!

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  6. congratulations...I love what you said about blogging keeping you honest in your practice...I find this to be true for me too.

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  7. Thank you Nathan. I saw your name on the Blogisattva Awards list as well, hence kudos to you also!

    Regarding the series on Ruth Denison, I still have quite a few posts left to write, and videos to post. Writing those posts has been my way of paying tribute to Ruth, whom I consider to be one of the greatest contemporary teachers, and one whose name does not come up often unfortunately. I was amazed to find no videos of her on YouTube, for instance - before I started putting mine up, that is.

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  8. Laura, thank you so much for paying a visit. Your blog is such an inspiration to me! I send much metta your way and wish you to be well.

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