Posted in Buddhist community activities, Dharma Talks, On the Path, Precepts Holders, Vinaya

Dharma Teaching with Technology

Dharma teaching by Sangha with technology like computers, websites, APPs for itouch, ipad, and such. It is clear technology will quickly leave us behind as beneficial instruments of modern dharma teaching. Also if we do not accomodate the way people learn now versus the way we used to learn then it will also cause lags in motivating people to explore in detail as they are capable of doing on their own or in dharma classes.

First explore the community in which you live right now,  not where you want to live.

It’s easy to miss this one, because don’t we all have goals in our ideal community?  Me I really like to live somewhere else. Why? Only  because I am so isolated here because there is no temple nearby and hardly anyone visits me to ask for dharma teachings or services.  And I am not able to raise funds for one in these past 4 years. If funds came then it would be easier to sponsor monks and nuns to come here to live and help lay the foundation for the community.  Right now I’m just practicing patience until the situation resolves itself or I am on my way to live in a temple community.

This town where I live has a university community separate from the town community. Residents of the town community are largely concerned with their own lives and going or not to church or mosque or synagogue. But every one where is waiting for someone else to provide a place to practice Buddhism; specifically me.  I haven’t money for that. I’m a sangha member without community here.  The only bhikshuni for the entire state. It takes more than one to do this and a generous group of benefactors.

The university community hasn’t touched one effort on my services or called beyond the first and only invite to a world religions course in 2006. They have their own links with a japanese nun in the southern Iowa with her own place who has connected years before I arrived here. She is in her own system and not interested in sharing mine. So that’s a dud for now, I’m open to working with her but she has not called me only once in 2006 just to respond to my calls to her.

We got 3 temples in the capital. But there is a language problem right away and nobody from the Wat called me back. Also the Vietnamese places are not open to englsih programs at this time, just doing everything in Vietnamese but we share common traditions being they are Pure Land. I just want to be in a place where I don’t have to learn another language as it takes quite awhile to get it down and you want to know it to be in harmony with the rest. So it has been fruitless for me but I send high reccomendations for the public to visit these wonderful dharma places. I wish in the future to work with all of them.

Develop online presence

Blog, facebook, twitter, wordpress, typepad, blogger, etc. Get a free website. But..do not count on Buddhist forums for serious dharma discussions, there have been many attempts to invite Sangha to participate but the rudeness and the eventually blasting towards uncouth posters who just want to do their own thing or denegrate Sangha always prevails or there some ppl who are on power trips and rip apart anyone they feel they can, Sangha are really not respected by moderators or forum founders. It’s a pity maturity is just not there.

more later.. Amituofo

ok, now about the time it takes to do some of these things. It has taken me all week to figure out some sites since I’m not always on this computer to do it efficienty.  Also it’s scary to jump into donation buttons and messing around with learning the ropes of online banking or any other thing you have to be responsible for in dharma teaching. Like raising funds or accepting funds so printed material can be paid for for those who are not online or to use during study or services.

Fundraising

The biggest concern of everyone in our modern life as monastics. It should be a higher priority that it is. We have too many alturistic types in our moanstic sangha. Or they willingly put their heads in the sand not facing this reality until it’s in their face. What churches do and other non-Buddhist communities do works very well. Some parts of it can lend itself easily to our communities. What upsets ONLY most nonBuddhists is that we would consider this or ask for donations. well it’s done in most Asian temples as a matter of course quite easily.  The westerners get mad and huff and puff (and I might have been one of those types when I first visited a temple too!) about putting in to the community financiallly but really they use alot of services and materials expecting all the while it is free to them. Demuring to these types is not useful to help our communities sustain themselves even most don’t have healthcare becasue of this problem. Just scraping enough money to have food or pay for mortgages or rent and utilities.  Use the web is impersonal and easy.

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Author:

I am a Bhikshuni ordained in Mahayana Chinese Buddhist tradition. I'm currently translating Vinaya sutras from the Chinese Mahayana Tripitaka.