Friday, November 06, 2009

.buddha

Just thought I'd write a little about the progress we've made in linking up some of the various available technologies out there to help spread Buddhism to the world. The virtual reality platform has really become a useful tool; at first I thought it was a silly thing, but it's actually helped to connect several people to what I do, and now I have two students following me to Thailand to ordain, one as a monk and one as a nun. I'd never met them before they arrived on my doorstep, but we had certainly connected through the virtual reality world, and if this is the result, I'm all for it.

We've now managed to assemble a team of keen people with similar goals - to learn and study Buddhism together with people from around the world. And it's not all virtual reality; we've connected an IRC chat channel to the world, so people can log into the website here and chat with people on the grid. This is most useful in the case of giving dhamma talks on the radio; questions asked on the radio page can be seen be people inworld and vice versa.

The radio itself is broadcast over the Internet, but is set to be picked up inworld as well, so people looking for the sense of community are welcome to log in and actually sit and listen in the amphitheatre. Those less technologically inclined are welcome to use the traditional website and I've even included a webcam for the chanting sessions so you can see when to prostrate, etc.

All in all, a pretty encouraging enterprise, though in the end, I think I'm past due for a bit of a break. Probably in the coming days I'm going to tone it down a little and try to take time to prepare four our month-long meditation retreat in Thailand. We fly on the 26th of November and I'll be out of touch most of the time until mid-January, unless you would like to come to visit. In that case, there's a nice website with some fairly accurate information on the place here:

http://www.skepticfiles.org/mys5/northasc.htm

Scroll down until you reach "THAM TONG MEDITATION CENTRE" near the bottom. That's where we will be.