On the "Question for the Sangha" thread about sub forums Hans made a good point about people using their real names and having real photos, which prompted me to see if any of you nice folks can help clear my thinking on the issue of using Dharma names on line.
Since our wonderful Jukai ceremony, some have started to post in their Dharma names. Some have not. Whatever works for others is fine by me, and I'm not seeking to criticise anyone else, just setting out my own muddled thoughts on the subject.
On the one hand, I found the Jukai ceremony incredibly moving, and it seems rather rude not to use the dharma name given to me by Jundo. On the other hand, as Hans says, one of the strengths of Treeleaf was a kind of collective decision taken in the early days that if we were to be a "real Sangha" on line then people would use their real names and photos wherever possible (and I realise that for some, it's just not possible for a number of reasons). If we all had a Zen Sangha down the road, we'd all see people's real names and faces, not avatars and made up names after all. And it has also occurred to me that if I were new to Treeleaf, and found everyone posting under Dharma names like "Peaceful Watermelon", or whatever, I might find it a bit cliquey, or even think I'd stumbled across a cult, and I might be discouraged from hanging around.
What do other think?