I have a matter that I would like to discuss with the Sangha. We have been invited to move the 'Sit-a-Long with Jundo' blog to BELIEFNET.COM, the very large and widely respected internet site for religious discussion and information.
They host a small collection of blogs and columns, felt that they were underrepresented on the Buddhist and Zen Buddhist side, and thought that "Sit-a-Long with Jundo" might be a good fit after watching for awhile what this place is about.Beliefnet or Beliefnet.com is a large spiritual site on the internet that is owned by Fox Entertainment Group, a division of News Corporation [JUNDO NOTE]. It provides information about various religious and spiritual beliefs, ranging from Christian denominations to atheism to smaller faiths like Zoroastrianism. It interviews religious figures, offers articles and blogs on various creeds. It collaborates with Newsweek on a column. ... Beliefnet is a large multi-faith e-community. It aims to provide a free forum for religious information and inspiration, spiritual tools, and discussions and dialogue groups.
I am thinking it will be a good fit too with Treeleaf's 'mission' ...
I think it is an excellent opportunity to reach many such people who do not know about the resources we have here.Treeleaf Zendo was designed specifically as an online practice place for Zen practitioners who cannot easily commute to a Zen Center due to health concerns, living in remote areas, or childcare and family needs, and seeks to provide Zazen sittings, retreats, discussion, interaction with a teacher, and all other activities of a Zen Buddhist Sangha, all fully online.
My only concern is that I want to preserve the atmosphere, decorum and warm cosiness we have around this small Sangha. However, I think that we would still tend to attract almost exclusively folks, both new and experienced, with a serious interest in Zazen and Zen Practice ... so I do not think anything will change. I very much doubt that there will be a flood a people or anything like that.
Let me emphasize that THIS FORUM WILL NOT MOVE OR CHANGE in its style and content.
Also, the editors at beliefnet did make a couple of suggestions for changes to the blog. I think they are reasonable. First, they want to describe what I teach on the blog as a "guided Zen meditation". I went back and forth with them on this, and now feel that (even using such a description) it will still be clear that I am not actually "guiding a person's Zazen during Zazen (as "guided meditation" might imply)", but simply providing instruction and a talk (exactly as I do now). Second, the editors feel that, as the right mix in order not to overwhelm folks with too much content, it is best to mix "sit-a-longs" sittings about 3 times a week with short written postings in between. We will still do the "live" sitting on Saturday as now. I see their point.
As I said, I think it is an excellent opportunity to reach many people who do not know about the resources we have here. In fact, our subject for Precepts study this week happens to be ...
To Refrain from Being Stingy with the Dharma Teachings and All Things ... [this] refers to the treasure which is the teachings of the Buddha, as well as to all the treasures to be found in this world.
So, the move would be as early as later this month. All things are change. What do you think?