July 27, 2010

Buddhist Teachers on Facebook

A 10-second history of the internet: First, there was a Big Bang (millions of individual little websites spewing out randomly into a vast virtual cosmos) followed by a Big Crunch (everybody slamming together onto social networking sites) then evolution (various websites fighting for survival and the top spot in a brutal Darwinian mess).

In recent years, Facebook, having all but slain its feebler and shallower rival MySpace, has emerged the victor in this evolutionary struggle and now boasts over over 500,000,000 active users, about one eighth of the entire planet's population.

Certainly, there are both benefits as well as dangers that come with the internet and social networking.  Among the benefits is that we can now instantly share information and ideas and stay connected with vast numbers of people like never before, but this goes hand-in-hand with one the site's biggest dangers: It is a highly discursive place.  Yet amid this constant chaotic bombardment of information I have noticed a group that provides some much needed equanimity to the Facebook landscape: Buddhist teachers.

Here are some posts that have popped up in my newsfeed in the last day, among my friends and family babbling on about who knows what:

Via the Dalai Lama's Facebook page,

His Holiness the Dalai Lama on arrival at Yarma Gompo Monastery in Nubra Valley on July 23rd, 2010. His Holiness is on a nine day visit to Nubra Valley, a remote region of Ladakh, India, from July 20th - 28th. During his visit His Holiness is visiting Samstanling, Yarma Gonpo and Disket Monasteries where he is giving teachings to local Buddhists and consecrating a new Maitreya statue at Disket Monastery.

Via Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche's Facebook page,

"You probably know, more than I do, that this world needs tremendous help. Everybody's in trouble. Sometimes they pretend not to be, but still, there's a lot of pain and hardship. Everybody, every minute, is tortured, sufferring a lot. We shouldn't just ignore them and save ourselves alone. That would be a tremendous c...rime. In fact, we can't just save ourselves, because our neighbors are moaning and groaning all over the place. So even if we could just save ourselves, we wouldn't have a peaceful sleep. The rest of the world is going to wake us up with their pain."

-Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, from Great Eastern Sun: The Wisdom of Shambhala

Via Thich Nhat Hanh's facebook page,

Song: Oneness with All Beings
Artist: Thich Nhat Hanh

I am the frog swimming in the lake, but I am also the water snake who needs to nourish its body with the body of the frog. I am the caterpillar and the ant, but I am also the bird who is looking for the caterpillar and the ant to eat.

From the book Touching the Earth by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. In this meditation entitled "Oneness with All Beings" we see that we are connected with all species.

...and that's only to name a few.  Please feel free to recommend other tech savvy teachers

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Ahmad Sultan's picture


Nestor's picture

Jiddu Krishnamurti (www.jkrishnamurti.org)
and Eckhart Tolle (www.http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/Eckharttolle?ref=ts)

Ancient Dragon Zen Gate's picture

Taigen Dan Leighton, author, scholar, and Dharma teacher in the lineage of Shunryu Suzuki (of San Francisco Zen Center) often posts on the Facebook page of his sangha here: http://www.facebook.com/ancientdragonzengate

Emily Utz's picture

A daily quote from Reggie Ray, Vajrayana teacher in Chögyam Trungpa's lineage, goes up here: http://www.facebook.com/dharmaocean

Vitor Pomar's picture

2 suggestions
not strictly buddhists but quite often above and beyond . . ..
that is
Brother David, from gratefulness.org
Tony Samara

Gina's picture

I highly recommend Michael McAlister at Infinite Smile Sangha. His podcasts are terrific! http://www.facebook.com/InfiniteSmile

Michele Cavin Lowrie's picture

Here's who I follow:
B. Alan Wallace
Phagyab Rinpoche
Lama Lena Feral
Lama Surya Das

Katherine's picture

This development in social media has made Facebook so much more useful! My FB newsfeed is now just as full of gems, if not more, than my Google Reader feed. Though yes, the dangers of so much discursive thought, and information overload to boot.

A few others (not all personally administered / official pages): Shunryu Suzuki Roshi Dzigar Kongtrul RinpocheDzogchen Ponlop RinpocheAjahn Chah (see more frequent posting affiliated pages from there) Lama Zopa Rinpoche Master Sheng-YenBhikkhu BodhiThere are so many!

raded6's picture
raded6's picture

Soto-Zen teacher and author Brad Warner maintains a blog, twitter feed, and facebook page.

Part travel diary, part teaching platform.


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Maia Duerr's picture

Roshi Joan Halifax is certainly one of the tops on this list... she is a very active user of Facebook and Twitter, and spoke at the Wisdom 2.0 conference this past spring in Silicon Valley. You can find her here on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Joan-Halifax/332428918537?ref=search

Bonsai Doug's picture

I would also recommend the page of Pema Chodron: http://www.facebook.com/Pema.Chodron?ref=search