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Thread: Friendship on the Path

  1. #1
    I was reading this article "Friendship on the path" by Gil Frosdal and I wondered if anyone would like to share if they think that its possible to have genuine "spiritual friends" in Buddhist internet groups....or do you think it can only apply to people in Buddhist groups in the outside world ?


    https://www.insightmeditationcenter....-gil-fronsdal/



  2. #2
    Forums Member justusryans's Avatar
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    I think it is very likely to form a friendship online in Buddhist internet sites. While this doesn’t apply to Buddhism my wife has developed a strong friendship on another website with a woman for over five years. They have yet to meet.
    With that example I don’t see why you couldn’t have a spiritual Buddhist friend in a Buddhist internet group. I think Gil Fronsdal is correct. It would be nice to have a spiritual friend I can exchange questions and answers with off the boards instead of relying on reading. I live 2 hours to the closest Sangha.




  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by justusryans
    With that example I don’t see why you couldn’t have a spiritual Buddhist friend in a Buddhist internet group.
    Yes, I agree and I think it would be really lovely if we could all nuture our friendships a little more here, I'm sure it would be possible, even if people are quite busy with their lives offline.

    Supporting each other with kindness and good will can also give us a sense of purpose and bring us closer together in our practice.


  4. #4
    Forums Member Olderon's Avatar
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    Seems to me from my own personal experience that Gil is summarizing and clarifying the benefits of belonging to and attending a sangha. Makes a great deal of sense.

  5. #5
    Forums Member trusolo's Avatar
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    I too think that the concept of sangha has to broadened in this day and age and traveling two hours for an hour long session is impractical. I am sure friendships can develop here or on other buddhist forums as well. There is a feature here called “private message” - not sure if it is only for admin folks or everyone.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by trusolo View Post
    I too think that the concept of sangha has to broadened in this day and age and traveling two hours for an hour long session is impractical. .
    I think it depends a lot on one's personal circumstances and also the level of interest. When I first became interested in Buddhism years ago, I travelled for several hours to a monastery at the other end of the country whenever I had the time and the money for the rail fares.I also stayed for weekends or longer periods of time for courses, retreat, etc .... but I don't do that now - and I prefer to have a more secular approach these days.

    Quote Originally Posted by trusolo
    There is a feature here called “private message” - not sure if it is only for admin folks or everyone.
    Our private messaging system is for everyone and is mentioned in number 19 of our Code of Conduct for the website. However, it isn't intended as a substitute for posting in topics on the website and I wouldn't expect people to come here just to use our PM system! It can also be suspended in certain circumstances such as if members report to the staff (myself, Woodscooter, and Esho), that they are getting nuisance messages, or spam from someone, for example.

    A couple of years ago we introduced a private forum "The Inner Sanctum" which couldn't be seen by the public. It was intended for the benefit of logged in members to be able to discuss personal experiences or problems which they might not want to make public on the website. However, it was rarely used, so we removed it eventually and added a "Buddhist Meditation Forum" instead.

    It could be brought back to BWB if there were enough members interested in having it activated again.



  7. #7
    Forums Member trusolo's Avatar
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    Hi Aloka,
    Thanks for the clarification and info. I was just thinking from the point of view that if one were to develop friendship here or find a like minded person here, PM could be used (with mutual consent) to further that friendship. Thats all, eventually it can be taken off board etc.

    trush

  8. #8
    Technical Administrator woodscooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka View Post

    A couple of years ago we introduced a private forum "The Inner Sanctum" which couldn't be seen by the public. It was intended for the benefit of logged in members to be able to discuss personal experiences or problems which they might not want to make public on the website. However, it was rarely used, so we removed it eventually and added a "Buddhist Meditation Forum" instead.

    It could be brought back to BWB if there were enough members interested in having it activated again.


    Well, let's activate it again, anyway!

    https://www.buddhismwithoutboundarie...-Inner-Sanctum

  9. #9
    Forums Member trusolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodscooter View Post
    Well, let's activate it again, anyway!

    https://www.buddhismwithoutboundarie...-Inner-Sanctum
    I was going to suggest a survey and see the response but this works too. Thanks.

  10. #10
    Forums Member JadeRabbit's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I've spent 15 years trying to establish friendships with Buddhists offline, but they've never lasted very long, and I've finally come to realise that I might have a mild form of Asperger's, and so find it difficult to maintain friendships in general - I don't have any close friends.

    I do value friendship though and still feel a weird pressure to 'belong' to a offline Sangha and support them.

    Actually, reading Gil's article made me feel a bit depressed about it all

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