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  1. #1


    Dear Leafers,

    Our Forum is meant as a place where Sangha members can discuss honestly and frankly matters of Zen Practice and all of life (not two, by the way). We hope that people here feel the confidence, mutual trust and acceptance to be able to “open up,” drop walls, and talk about any subjects in their lives, including very difficult and personal matters, and their connection to Buddhist Teachings.

    However, the nature of our Sangha makes it very open to prying eyes via the internet.

    Thus, a few simple steps by our members can let us have both the security to talk absolutely openly and great privacy from the “rest of the internet”.

    1 – First, please note that two sections of our Forum are visible and accessible only to Sangha members who have registered for our Forum. Those are our (1) TOPICS ABOUT ALL OF LIFE section, and (2) JUKAI, PRECEPTS STUDY & SEWING FORUM section. The reason is that, in those sections, people tend to speak most often about subjects such as past health struggles, personal problems, marriage and work difficulties and the like that best should not be shared with the likes of strangers, nosey neighbors and co-workers. Thus, we believe that Google and like search engines will not have access to those sections, and if you wish to prevent search engines from access to such information, it is best to post in those two parts of our Forum. All other sections of our Forum are potentially open to anyone for perusal, and to search engines to collect and archive the content. So, be careful in discussing very private matters in other sections of the Forum unless you do not care who reads it. (If you have previously posted very private information in other sections of the Forum, you may wish to go back into your past posts and delete such information).

    Because the above is not sufficient alone, we also STRONGLY suggest that:

    2 – Our Sangha members should best STICK TO A FIRST NAME OR, IF HAVING RECEIVED JUKAI, THEIR DHARMA NAME. This allows privacy while also building informality and a feeling of comradery in the Sangha. For the same reason, however, please do not use invented “internet avatars” or fanciful names. Please try to sign all your postings with some version of your first name ("Elizabeth" can be a Liz, Beth, Bet, Liza etc. etc., even if that is not what you usually call yourself) or Dharma name.

    3 – Be careful and discreet in being TOO SPECIFIC ABOUT WORK PLACES, overly identifiable HOME ADDRESSES, CHILDRENS’ AND SPOUSE’S NAMES and the like. This will let us talk about anything, but with some safety. For example, instead of saying “I am a physician named Robert Smith at Mercy Hospital in Bedford, Texas with a past drinking problem” one could say “I am a medical professional named Bob at a hospital in Texas with a past drinking problem.” Just use common sense here.

    4 – We request that all members post photos of their visible human face (the photographable self … not the True Self, of course! ) in the 'avatar' space. However, for those who wish privacy, some limited measures are fine, for example, using PHOTOSHOP (or some free, online photo editing service as described below to make small adjustments, shading or the like to the photo so that it is "you, but not you". Maybe, just put on a hat! However, we prefer that it not be an abstract drawing, cartoon character, mask, famous actor or the like. One thing we cannot do here at Treeleaf is look each other in the eyes all the time. A photo with warm human eyes is a step in that direction! We do have a very few people who are excused from the requirement for special reasons (living with a a domestic abuse situation, in a country where Buddhism is not accepted, because of identity dysphoria and the like), but we try to have most of our members show their human face. In such special cases, an option available these days is to choose one of these "people who never existed" faces that represents your "inner self." ( Pick somebody who could be a you (hopefully, not too handsome! ). If you feel that it would be dangerous or a hardship for you, please write me (Jundo) and we can find an alternative.

    A quick and easy way to do this is to visit
    and follow the instructions given there. Also if you have re-sized your image and are certain it meets the 80 px by 80px @ 72 ppi requirements yet still cannot upload your image you can visit or or any image hosting service and upload your image to be hosted, for free, there. and use the "Link to off-site Avatar" option. You can also do further editing to your photo for free at sites such as .

    You find the place to load your avatar if you click "Settings" in the upper right corner of this page or any Forum page (or go to, and then look in the left column where it says "Edit Avatar" and "Edit Profile Picture" (they can be different pictures).
    Finally, at the time of registering or other times, you may be asked to provide a bit more detailed and specific information to Jundo, the teacher at Treeleaf Sangha, so that we can know about who is actually participating here. Also, if in a private “DOKUSAN” or other personal communication with Jundo, including emails to them (and all personal communications with our ordained novice-trainee priests too), ALL SUCH MATTERS ARE INTENDED TO BE TREATED AS CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS WITH CLERGY. Absent, for example, a court order or true emergency involving health, life and death, the content of such discussions are not circulated beyond our Ordained priests and, if you request, are not to be disclosed to anyone but the speaker and priest involved.

    With the above, few, simple steps … this can be a place of safety and openness.

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 08-15-2023 at 11:44 PM.

  2. #2
    A Caution on Phishing ...

    Phishing is the act of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.

    It has been brought to my attention that someone on another Buddhist forum may have joined simply to ingratiate himself with the members to gather personal information or to work a "con" to borrow money. If you ever suspect anything like that in this forum, please let me know. So far, we have had no such reports at Treeleaf ... and we always trust our fellow sentient beings. However, good to always be alert.

    By the way, if anyone thinks this is a problem just "online", let me tell you a couple of stories. It happens quite often in "brick and mortar" Sangha too, not to mention churches and temples.

    A few years ago, I was sitting with a Zen Sangha that had a charming fellow show up, claim some serious personal hardship, and ended up borrowing large sums of money from several members (unbeknownst to each other, each humbly not disclosing their acts of charity, meaning that he walked away from the Sangha with a very very large sum). That may be fine, and charity is at the heart of this Practice, but we then learned that he traveled around the country working the same plan at Buddhist groups, churches and Jewish temples coast-to-coast.

    Also, many Zen Sangha in the west regularly receive emails from "Buddhist Monks" in Asia asking to come visit and study at their Sesshin and Zen Centers that, in the end, turn out to be very much the same as the "Nigerian Prince" email scam that is so well known.

    So, while I have no evidence whatsoever that anything like this has every happened here at Treeleaf ... or will ever happen here ... we sit Zazen with our eyes open!

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 11-07-2012 at 12:38 PM.

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