Wednesday, December 15, 2010

7 Villains of Buddhist Blogging

While there are many reasons to blog about one's mindfulness practice, the activity carries within itself all the potential dangers of wrongful communication, and more. Whenever blogging, I try to stay clear of the following seven villains:
Blogging becomes a diversion from practice - writing about practice becomes a substitute for real practice. 
Blogging becomes food for the hungry ego - letting greed have a field day, in pursuit of unique visitors, comments, backlinks, and other goodies that make bloggers smile. 
Blogging becomes a platform for self-righteousness - lecturing and  trying to convince the world to rally to one's opinions. 
Blogging becomes an outlet for aggression - engaging in Dharma wars, and getting upset when others don't subscribe to one's views.
Blogging becomes a mindless life filler - blogging out of habit, one post a day because it's good for Google rankings, or just because.
Blogging becomes a dead end exercise in superfluous concept making - blogging out of the head only, with little input from the heart, and the body. 
Blogging becomes another trap for the rigid self - bringing the Buddhist blogger me to all aspects of our life, even when clearly not relevant.
Can you think of more ways to get in trouble?
Of course, mindfulness and right understanding can go a long way towards avoiding those pitfalls.  May you blog away, now, about practice, and mindfulness . . .



    I posted this some time back. It is focussing on the ego aspect of your post. It came from some hard lessons.

    Also some would disagree with writing not being a form of practice. It can be and a few like John Daido Loori have written about it.


  2. Thank you John! Nice to read you here.

    Absolutely writing can be a form of practice! I am only pointing to the danger of it becoming a substitute for practice, just like reading about the teachings can be.

  3. Although I love blogging, I struggle with remaining present and connected to my intuition. I'm glad I'm not alone.

    The upside seems to be a collective shift toward remaining present. A bit ironic that social networking is the outlet for educating the masses about mindfulness!

  4. Yes, isn't it? (ironic)

    I smile as I watch even the most Web reluctant Dharma teachers join the ranks of Facebook, Twitter, Ning, YouTube, . . . It is really inevitable given the societal pull towards more online presence. And also requires that we be very mindful of the potential dangers!

  5. Another good list. I, too, think blogging is practice - but also agree that it can fall away from being practice if you stop paying attention to your intentions.

  6. I think in the blog world (including yoga blogs), there's an awful lot of "writing about practice becomes a substitute for real practice". It's not to say that writing a blog can't be part of your practice. But those who don't practice at all, just write about it... I think there's more than enough of those!

    I think I see a lot of your second point as well. ;)

  7. Yes, Nathan, intentions . . . Being mindful allows us to discern right from wrong, and to decide "en connaissance de cause".

  8. Svasti, welcome to Mind Deep blog! and wishing you a happy yoga, and mindfulness practice . . .

  9. I'd add to the idea of blogging feeding a hungry ego on the negative side. Ego can so easily reinforce itself on through negative associations and grasping.

    I sometimes find my ego clinging to negative self image after reading insightful, well written and moving blog posts. It hinders my mindful blogging practice, however also creates fodder for my contemplative practice.

    As always, thanks for another insightful and well written post. :)

  10. I´m afraid of a neglecting of local relations with people, plants, animals.. in favour of virtual global..

    "The willingness to harm or hurt comes ultimately out of fear. Non-harming requires that you see your own fears and that you understand them and own them. Owning them means taking responsibility for them." Jon Kabat-Zinn

  11. Thanks for sharing Jamison. I must say I am guilty of envy, often also, and not just in the blogosphere. The good news is envy noticed can get transformed :)

  12. Doris, yes, the danger is there. AND the online world also offers tremendous opportunities for creative, mindful efforts - blogging being one of them.

  13. Marguerite,
    Ah envy! That was the word I was searching for, but I was more trying to highlight the way the ego solidifies itself through negative reinforcement. Such as, "I could never write that well..."

  14. Yes, instead of just giving into the joy of just writing in the moment :)
    All these extraneous 'I' thoughts, to be quickly dispensed of!