Tugas Gunadarma Gunadarma Tutorial VB.NET Download OST Anime Soundtrack Anime Opening Anime Ending Anime OST Anime Japan Download Lagu Anime Jepang

Results 1 to 18 of 18

Thread: Herding cats

  1. #1
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    East Texas
    Posts
    1,247

    Herding cats

    In light of the struggles I have seen with Chris and Stephanie trying to get some sort of sangha-wide community service project going it occurs to me that doing so is sort of like herding cats. Why is it so difficult to get us all lined up behind one idea and then go act on it? We are great at talking about it, but when it comes to action it seems we end up with paralysis by analysis. Why is that?

    Are we too diverse? We are literally all over the world, which means vast distances and social environmental differences, but is it so much so that it becomes impractical to act as One?

    Is it the medium? Is it because this sangha is based on and in the Internet that we can't come together as One? Do face-to-face sanghas have this kind of struggle when it comes to deciding on and carrying out a group action?

    Is it the individualist nature of our Zen practice? Do we spend so much time looking at our own lives that we can't get more involved in our group life outside of this cocoon we call Treeleaf?

    Is it the messenger? Would we be more willing to act as One if Jundo or Taigu, our designated and respected leaders, says this is what we are going to do? But when someone in the rank and file makes a similar call to action we balk because they don't hold the same level of authority?

    Or is it the message? Are the ideas just not that good? Or do we give up on ideas too soon because we are so good at finding the flaws in them. Are we waiting for the perfect idea? We know there is no such thing, right? But is that an excuse not to act on any idea?

    Is this even a problem? Is it even an issue that we have such a hard time coming to some sort of consensus on a community action project? Is it okay if we keep doing our own small things in our own small communities? Do we even need a group project?

    Is it all of the above? Is it something other than the above?

    I don't know the answer to any of these questions, but they seem like good questions to ask. I think we need to look at ourselves, as a group, and reflect on these questions whether we come to any answers or not.

  2. #2
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: Herding cats

    I think there's probably most or all of the elements you listed at play.

    I think the number one thing is the nature of the Internet. Many times I have advocated for the efficacy of the Internet as a medium for teaching and community. But the reality is that people tend to treat things they do on the Internet more casually. We may connect in meaningful ways with people via the medium of disembodied text, but the bond is less strong. I can tell you Treeleaf has become much more meaningful in my life, and I feel much more bonded to my sangha members here, since I started joining in on the chats on Skype.

    I think another thing is simple leadership. We all want to be nice and collaborate and share ideas and with all the intellect we have going on here, that can turn into the main event, all that brainstorming. I think if someone simply came out and said, "This is what I've set up, anyone want to join?" it would be different. Unfortunately, I don't have the time, energy, or focus, to get my project going as a solo project, but perhaps at some point in the future I can get some folks together, and Chris and/or Perry can, and just say, "This is what we're going to do." Hopefully this will come to fruition at some point.

  3. #3

    Re: Herding cats

    Sooooo we aren't talking about taking my children to the mall? :lol:

    I think that the major barrier here is what we feel whe know about our practice. We may feel that action in the public eye has elements of the ego. We may feel that trying to do something on a large scale has echoes of desire. We may feel that the person trying to get it started may be looking to laud themselves. As Buddhists we are taught that giving should be selfless without thought of merit or reward, so naturally the above points become anathema to us. Jundo and Stephanie used a word that I still can't spell, which means conversion of the masses. Many of us shy from that idea, because none of us want to do what others have done and tried to distribute our Teachings either per force, or by insinuating them in a sneaky manner into other peoples lives. This is actually all very good, that we don't want to do things for the wrong reasons, and ultimately, it seems to me that we think this way because we want to be of true and uncolored benefit to others.

    The thing I've been seeing with the other thread is that it's slowly been devolving into a theological discussion, where we are all analyzing each other's motives. It's getting away from why I started it, to get ideas on what we as a community could do to really help others, while representing our faith for those who would want more information.

  4. #4
    Senior Member AlanLa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    East Texas
    Posts
    1,247

    Re: Herding cats

    More questions to reflect on:

    Herding cats is my metaphor for trying to find consensus, which begs these questions: Why does a group need Treeleaf consensus to act in a socially engaged Buddhist activity? Does a group need consensus? If so, how much consensus is needed to act? Who does a group need consensus from? How important is consensus? What is gained/lost in the process of consensus? If consensus is a barrier, then why not just act now without it? Is ego the barrier to action or consensus? Or both? Or is talking about ego the barrier?

    There seems to be some idea that Treeleaf consensus will either mean or lead to official approval, which begs these questions: How important is it that Treeleaf sanction some form of engaged Buddhist action? Is true Treeleaf sanctioning even possible? If so, what form does it take? Is true Treeleaf sanctioning even desirable? If so, why? What is gained/lost by official approval?

  5. #5

    Re: Herding cats

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephanie
    We all want to be nice and collaborate and share ideas and with all the intellect we have going on here, that can turn into the main event, all that brainstorming. I think if someone simply came out and said, "This is what I've set up, anyone want to join?" it would be different.
    Couldn't agree more! But of course, we are a Sangha and sharing is essential!

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanLa
    How important is it that Treeleaf sanction some form of engaged Buddhist action? Is true Treeleaf sanctioning even possible? If so, what form does it take? Is true Treeleaf sanctioning even desirable? If so, why? What is gained/lost by official approval?
    Couldn't we just find a simple way ...? A person who have an idea can share this idea, demand Jundo and Taigu their advice. It is possible to integrate a lot of initiatives in the Sangha. I don't think we need a plan of "Treeleaf engaged buddhism policy".
    And another thing, We can't expect every active member of the Sangha to participate in every "event". If one shares an initiative, with the approval of Jundo and Taigu, then some of us take part in this initiative it is great! if they can share their experience regularly it is better! Some will not participate because it just don't fit with their actual life and practice... great for them! They can read about and learn from the initiative too!

    Well, all this to say that I'm aware of the amount of time and energy all this demand to everyone involved... but what if we just keep things simple..?

    gassho,
    Jinyu
    Thanks to all of you for sharing your thoughts on this and on the other related thread, I haven't been participating much, but I've been reading regularly!

  6. #6

    Re: Herding cats

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanLa
    Why does a group need Treeleaf consensus to act in a socially engaged Buddhist activity? Does a group need consensus? If so, how much consensus is needed to act? Who does a group need consensus from? How important is consensus? What is gained/lost in the process of consensus? If consensus is a barrier, then why not just act now without it? Is ego the barrier to action or consensus? Or both? Or is talking about ego the barrier?

    There seems to be some idea that Treeleaf consensus will either mean or lead to official approval, which begs these questions: How important is it that Treeleaf sanction some form of engaged Buddhist action? Is true Treeleaf sanctioning even possible? If so, what form does it take? Is true Treeleaf sanctioning even desirable? If so, why? What is gained/lost by official approval?
    If I may take a crack at this with my own perspective? We don't need consensus, we don't need official sanction by Treeleaf or anything in order to be socially engaged Buddhists. We don't need for even everyone, or even one or two people, to participate.

    We never did. And really, we never will need any such concept of approval or consensus to act as engaged Buddhists. Approval to use Treeleaf's name or web address as a reference, or to represent the sangha, then yes, our priests should be consulted and we should await their ok or not.

    But it would be nice to have consensus. One flame can light many candles, and the more candles, the less darkness. I think it would be of benefit if we had consensus and involvment as a sangha, because then the impact of our actions grows, we can do more good, because we have more people.

    This was meant to be, and still is on the other thread I started, a project for our sangha members to participate in if they would like to. No requirement, no mandatory participation. Just this. One person can do so much, but many people engaged in the same action, can do so much more. That's really what this is about, trying to do some good in the world, good that effects the most people who need help. That's really it.

  7. #7

    Re: Herding cats

    With all the troubles in the world, all the disasters, all the hardships... with all the people here who may be in trouble or need right within our own Sangha, with all the needs one finds on a simple walk or drive to work every day, how hard is this really?
    May I propose something really simple? Since it's hard, in our situation, to coordinate an effort between Japan, America, Denmark and London... How about if we came up with uniform business cards or something... something with the Treeleaf name, web location and logo on it, and next time one of us makes a donation, large or small, or performs a service, or random act of kindness, or simply leaves a tip at a restaurant or a card in a suggestion box, instead of doing it ourselves, leave a card and do it in Treeleaf's name?
    We could EASILY set up a standard card to be reprinted by anyone right here on the site, and then, instead of trying to herd cats rom all over the world with a single intention, we could have a single intention working in all directions all over the world. The cards would make us more mindful, even just carrying a few to do something with would call our attention to giving, and their use would give our Sangha a single direction, wherever and however we might use them.
    Just an idea, a possibility.

  8. #8

    Re: Herding cats

    Quote Originally Posted by KvonNJ
    With all the troubles in the world, all the disasters, all the hardships... with all the people here who may be in trouble or need right within our own Sangha, with all the needs one finds on a simple walk or drive to work every day, how hard is this really?
    May I propose something really simple? Since it's hard, in our situation, to coordinate an effort between Japan, America, Denmark and London... How about if we came up with uniform business cards or something... something with the Treeleaf name, web location and logo on it, and next time one of us makes a donation, large or small, or performs a service, or random act of kindness, or simply leaves a tip at a restaurant or a card in a suggestion box, instead of doing it ourselves, leave a card and do it in Treeleaf's name?
    We could EASILY set up a standard card to be reprinted by anyone right here on the site, and then, instead of trying to herd cats rom all over the world with a single intention, we could have a single intention working in all directions all over the world. The cards would make us more mindful, even just carrying a few to do something with would call our attention to giving, and their use would give our Sangha a single direction, wherever and however we might use them.
    Just an idea, a possibility.
    I like this idea!

    And it could be just one of myriad other Treeleaf-related activities. I don't think there has to be a "one service project to rule them all" approach. Again, herding cats is not easy...

  9. #9
    Treeleaf Unsui Shokai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Sarnia, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    2,076
    Blog Entries
    119

    Re: Herding cats

    I like the card idea, especially the aspect of it reinforcing each individuals mindfulness and resolve

    gassho,

  10. #10

    Re: Herding cats

    I like the idea. It would keep us mindful of situations where we can do something for someone, and it would cover the annonymity issue pretty well. I like it alot!

    I would like to make a suggestion, though I'm not sure how to go about it. Do you think there could be a small sentence on it that might entice the person who gets the card / service / donation / random act of kindness to sort of "pay it forward"? Keep the spirit of the act of kindness going, so that the person who gets the card is maybe more mindful and does something good for someone else. Sort of like a chain letter, but with good deeds and no curse at the end if you don't send it to 500 of your friends?

  11. #11

    Re: Herding cats

    How about something like, "One person's good intentions brought this card to you. Imagine what you can do with your own."

  12. #12

    Re: Herding cats

    Quote Originally Posted by KvonNJ
    How about something like, "One person's good intentions brought this card to you. Imagine what you can do with your own."
    You're on a roll!!!

  13. #13

    Re: Herding cats

    Karl, you are a poet and a genius sir. I love both of these ideas. Would you like to present the Idea to Jundo?

  14. #14

    Re: Herding cats

    LOL I can if you wish, but I'm guessing he's read this all by now... so... Jundo, your thoughts?

    I can have a prototype card of sorts ready for review this weekend, unless someone else has better ideas and more capability.

  15. #15

    Re: Herding cats

    Quote Originally Posted by KvonNJ
    LOL I can if you wish, but I'm guessing he's read this all by now... so... Jundo, your thoughts?

    I can have a prototype card of sorts ready for review this weekend, unless someone else has better ideas and more capability.
    I really am tickled by these ideas, especially the "pay it forward, doing a good deed' idea ...

    ... I am a bit occupied today both with the upcoming Jukai, an article I have to finish for Shambhala Sun magazine (and I do actually have a job ... Japanese translator, you know ... plus Leon has a bug that is going around) ...

    I promise some serious input on this next week.

    However, that is just for the part that might somehow concern this place. As was said ... everyone is both free and strongly strongly encouraged to just get involved on their own too in various good activities.

    Gassho, Jundo

  16. #16
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    2,024

    Re: Herding cats

    I love the idea that Karl suggested about the cards. It could totally work!

    Gassho
    John

  17. #17

    Re: Herding cats

    Hi everyone!

    The card idea is great! At least it allows every kind of possible activity.

    Count me in!
    gassho,
    Jinyu

    ps: I'll probably start an open sitting group outside in public locations in Brussels, I have to think a bit more about it, and ask our teachers some advices, but it could be very easy and efficient to use "Treeleaf cards" in this kind of situations were people come and go...

  18. #18
    Senior Member Hoyu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    2,024

    Re: Herding cats

    Hi Jundo Sensei,
    Hope Leon feels better soon!
    Gassho
    John

Similar Threads

  1. Ox Herding Series
    By Kyrillos in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 03-15-2011, 01:16 PM
  2. On cats Again
    By will in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 02-16-2010, 12:58 AM
  3. While the cats away....
    By Undo in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 06-06-2008, 04:17 PM
  4. Ox Herding pictures
    By Undo in forum TREELEAF COMMUNITY: Topics about Zazen, Zen, Buddhism & MORE ZAZEN!
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-20-2007, 03:08 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •