Valid points, Al.

It is the content drives the membership type -- intent, words, actions.  If
our intent was not clear in a forum where 80% of the visual signs are
missing, it is easy to confuse people.  Especially those who are not
familiar with Zen.  One of our practitioners said, we need to be careful not
to give a college text to a kindergardener.  Perhaps our Zen-Forum-Koan are
not easy.

On the other hand, 80% of the people who came to practice with our school
are normally discontent with present life - 70% of which are health
related.  I suspect that the other list that you were on probably filled
with members who are more content and ready to act out.

Lastly, if a gift would make you happy, I could send your some, as long as
you don't continue to ask for more.  We have beautifully printed Diamond
Sutra, Chan CD, DVD, Posters of Ten chakras and Chi Channels, etc.  All in
Chinese however.  :-)

This is one of the most fun Zen related list that I have been on,

On Feb 16, 2008 5:44 AM, Al <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

>   Back around 2004, zen monk Fudo and his wife met with one of the folks
> who
> used to post on the Zen Forum. I forgot his name, but I thought that was
> pretty neat. Then the same guy that met Fudo was travelling to some other
> part of the US and met with another member of the group.
> We are not talking orgies here. They met for lunch and I guess they spent
> a
> couple of hours hanging out somewhere and posted a couple of photos. These
> were nice people. Sadly, I did not appreciate them as much as I should
> have.
> I have often noticed that most of the time it is the first person that I
> meet who turns out to have been the best of the bunch. But that is another
> story.
> As far as I know, those meetings in 2004/05 are the only time in the nine
> years that this group has existed when any of the thousands of members
> have
> ever met in person.
> Now I am the moderator of some hobby forums where people have
> opportunities
> to meet each other at conventions or shows, and so there are many folks on
> those lists who have met each other, etc. It is not a big deal. People
> send
> me things and I send them things. Sometimes people send me gifts. I send
> gifts to others. I get Christmas cards from them. It is nice to deal with
> nice people.
> However, when it comes to a group like the Zen Forum, we have a bunch of
> people talking about enlightening themselves, sentient beings, karma,
> dharma, etc., and yet I always get the feeling that these are the phoniest
> bunch of people that are on any of the groups that I moderate. It is hard
> to
> explain why, but when you are dealing with normal people, usually they are
> outgoing and interactive.
> Like if you wanted a zen cushion and this was a nice group then someone
> would offer to send you one at a reasonable price and/or free. You would
> return the favor to that person or someone else. That is what happens on
> other groups where there are real people involved. I recall a few years
> ago
> I tried that here. I sent a few people some of my zen books. Not a single
> one ever posted a thank you or emailed me. Not a single one ever passed it
> on to anyone else.
> I recall back when this group was posting about 300-900 messages a month
> that at some point it just seemed like endless waves of bullshit. Everyone
> was on a roll talking about enlightenment and the dharma wheel and the
> dharma combat was rocking and rolling. Did a single person get any closer
> to
> enlightenment? I don't know. I often wonder about that, because I have
> often
> wanted to delete this group because I feel that I am participating in a
> fraud by giving anyone the impression that there is anything wholesome
> going
> on here. It is a lot like the practice of law where legal precedents are
> cited in order to advance certain theories with the ultimate goal being
> victory and the monetary rewards that usually come with it. The law
> governs
> people and yet it is usually about codes and statutes.
> It is hard to explain what I mean, but when you are on some groups there
> is
> a certain warmth of the people that really comes across, and even though
> they are not seeking to help sentient beings they are reaching out to
> people
> in a positive way all the time. I guess it is unfair to compare one group
> to
> another. It is like apples and oranges?
> There is the real deal and then there is the rest. I see real zen all the
> time in a lot of other places, but all I see here is discussion about it.
> I
> am glad that there is some participation here now, but I think that the
> best
> days of this group happened several years ago when there were some nice
> people on board who actually travelled across the country to meet each
> other
> for lunch. That was neat. That was then. This is now.
> As far as I know, there is not a single person on this list who actually
> practices zen at a zen temple. Please correct me if I am wrong. I really
> gave up on zen a long time ago. I went to a start-up zen temple and the
> leader was a lawyer. Supercillious, sarcastic, cynical. His focus was on
> keeping time with the gongs and chanting in rhythm. The temple was gone in
> less than three months. So much for precision.
> Zen is ? It means something to me. What does zen mean to you? What is zen?
> What are people? Who are you?

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