Saturday, June 19, 2010

7 Ways to Scope Out a Good Buddhist on Twitter

Part of my morning ritual, is checking out new followers @minddeep, and deciding which ones to follow back. I have become pretty good at figuring out tweeples in a few seconds, just by taking a look at:
The picture:
Don't weird me out. Don't look too sexy. Smile. Even better, dress as a Buddhist monk (or nun) :)
The bio:
No new age-ish linguo, please. Instead sprinkle one of the magic words like 'meditation', 'Vipassana', 'zen', 'Buddhist', 'Dharma', etc
The website:
I prefer you don't sell stuff. I love it when you blog about the Dharma.
The ratio of 'followers' to 'following':
Greater than one usually tells me you've got something to say. But there are exceptions!
How recent is the activity?:
At least within the past month, and fairly frequent. Otherwise, how can I have a conversation with you?
List titles:
'Dharma', 'Buddhist', 'zen' lists tell me you are interested in the stuff.
The first page:
Do your tweets ooze mindfulness, loving kindness, authenticity, and Dharma intelligence?
Here is what I mean:

Any other ways, people use to discriminate who to let into their Twitter community of Dharma brothers and sisters?


  1. Well, that is just not fair. We need to compete with Jaye?! He is like pure twitter dharma gold!

    One thing though...I don't view number of followers or followees as a criteria. Plenty of smaller (?) tweeters that are amazing. Sometimes big numbers don't mean much.

    I also don't mind people that are selling things but you are on notice when you twitter probation. There had better be something interesting...

    Nice post! Cheers.


  2. Funny that you are dropping in, John, as you nearly ended up there . . . Only you did not have the habit! As you said, 'competing' with Seiho is just not fair :)

    By the way, notice that I did not refer to number of followers, only ration of followers to following, which is very different. Like you, there are quite a few almost confidential Buddhists whom I appreciate greatly and follow very closely on Twitter.

    Deep bow to you, Dharma brother!

  3. There has to be a sense of humour and evidence that one is not enlightened. That is all.

  4. Marguerite,

    Beyond the gassho and thank you for kind recommendation, I have to say, i face the same challenge as you. My interest and focus is learning from others and sharing practice, in a kind of down to earth sort of way. My sense is that if the person on Twitter's practice reflects the authentic ups and downs of our day-to-day life, there's a window of opportunity that I may be able to use that experience as a possible reference point to support my own practice. Growth is a driving force, behind practice.

    With Gassho,


  5. NeighbourhoodBoy, oh! yes, humor :) and wise understanding of where one is on the path . . .

    I must say my teacher Gil Fronsdal helped me gain a different view of enlightenment as an on-off thing, that can be experienced at various times throughout our day. Not the top of a big mountain to arrive at too, maybe some day . . .

    Deep bow to you!

  6. Seiho, I am with you! I am always very moved and engaged by someone else's authentic sharing of their personal journey. This is where real conversations and a sense of meaningful community can arise, at least from my perspective.

    With much metta,


  7. Good post Marguerite,

    I'd say, like John there a lot of folks out there with just a few followers who have a lot of good stuff to say. To be honest, I don't really like it when someone,(unless they are famous and for obvious reasons can't follow all their followers) follows only a few, and has many more followers. To me that seems fairly pretentious.(But thats just me.)

    Also, I enjoy people who twit more about their everyday lives with how Buddhism helps them, rather than just the very many quote machines out there. Life isn't rainbows and butterflies all the time, and I enjoy reading those folks who can acknowledge and discuss that.

    The picture, as long as it also isn't pertentious, doesn't bother me. They don't always have to be in monk or nun robes to have profound things to say. Pictures of cute squirrels is always a plus!

    For the rest of it, I have to agree with you. :-)

    Thanks for the thought provoking post!

  8. So nice to have your visit, Kyle!

    I will even go further regarding your second point. It is my sense that random 'feel good' quotes do very little to help with the universal problem of personal suffering. So much more powerful I agree is the sharing of each other's real experiences of suffering and how we are able to use those towards greater self-love and compassion for others.

    And I love the squirrel pic . . . :)

    Deep bow to you, Dharma brother!

  9. I'd recommend, a monk from the Thai forest tradition.

  10. Thank you Buddhavacana. I just did! Forest monks on Twitter are a rare breed indeed . . . and definitely one worth following.