I’ve created a new online space for people who have a connection with me based on practice.
A lot of people have practiced meditation with me over the years, at face-to-face classes, online classes, Skype classes, through CDs and MP3s, through Wildmind’s online meditation guides, or via books I’ve written. I’m in touch with some of those people directly, but there are many people who follow what I post on Facebook, Wildmind’s blog, my personal blog, Google+, and Twitter, that I have no contact with at all. And perhaps some of those people would like to have contact with each other. And I’d like to have that — to create more of a sense of community. But how?
Google+ to the rescue
You may be on Google+ already. But if you’ve never heard of it it’s Google’s equivalent of Facebook. In many ways it’s better than Facebook, because there are no ads (and probably never will be), and because there are awesome features like “Hangouts” where you can have (FREE) videoconferencing with up to nine people. And most people find that the quality of what’s going on in G+ is better than in Facebook, although that’s subjective, of course.
So, Google+ has recently (just yesterday!) started a new feature called “Communities.” These are basically online moderated forums. Some are public. The Wildmind community is private, which means that only members can see what’s posted there.
Here’s the link to the Wildmind community. Of course you won’t see anything until you’ve joined.
How is it going to be used? Initially, I’m suggesting that it’s a place we can talk about our practice and get feedback and encouragement from others. As well as sharing what’s going on in our own practice, the community allows for discussion, which could include giving moral support and showing empathy, comparing notes about how we’ve handled particular problems, sharing useful approaches to practice that we’ve stumbled upon, etc.
I’m not seeing this as a “Bodhipaksa fan club” because I don’t see the focus as being on me. I see the focus as being on the community itself. But it’s not a general forum for people interested in Buddhism and meditation, but for people interested in Buddhism and/or meditation who have some kind of connection with me, even indirectly.
If you’re interested in this, then you’ll have to visit the community and request to join, because of the private nature of the group. And you’ll have to have a G+ account, of course, but that’s easy to set up. Just go to https://plus.google.com and follow the instructions.