For me life is practice. Whan I make coffee, that is practice. And it is also meditation.
From this viewpoint, it becomes problematic for me to comply with a prohibition on discussion of practice in the context of discussing the EBT’s, since that would lead to the rather odd result of not posting anything related to personal experience.
However, I also understand that certain discussions are dangerous to the practitioner and should always be avoided. For example, a discussion of how to achieve breathless aborption, even in the context of EBTs is highly dangerous and potentially injurious to the practitioner. Such discussions are necessarily private and should be only be held in consultation with a teacher in the context of a long relationship of mutual trust.
This question goes to the heart of the Purpose or Goal of Sutta Central. The moderator and admin teams (past and present) are in the process of reviewing the guidelines. This is currently on hold, and expected to move forward in the new year.
For general information; there are no major changes anticipated, it is more a question of fine tuning, clarifying and clearly articulating the guidelines, specifically looking at issues like this.
We would ask for your patience, while this process is happening. In the mean time, it is business as usual.
With regard to personal practice issues, they have been accepted where they are used to demonstrate particular points within an EBT discussion. The forum can’t support discussions that are purely about subjective practice issues. There are many many forums online that have this specific focus, and we encourage people to use those existing resources for practice support/discussions. Sutta Central is designed specifically to provide access to EBT’s to all people in as many languages as possible. Most of the categories in the forum are designed to support this activity, involving scholars, translators, programmers etc. This is the unique focus of SC, and the core business. General, EBT related discussions have been supported as their benefit in spreading the Dhamma is clear. However, given the continually changing population of users, and the ebbs and flows of interests, the moderator team have a tricky job of maintaining a reasonable balance, all within available resources, and maintaining the integrity of the SC purpose.
Apologies for the lack of a more definitive answer at this time, but I hope that this answer at least provides some guidance for the time being
I believe I started the thread in question. I have never attempted the breathless absorption, and I agree that it would be unwise. I’m sorry for having asked a question about practice; I suppose I had not properly considered its subject before posting.
I regret even more that I seem to have been interpreted as having attempted a dangerous act. I think it might be best simply to delete the thread.
This topic and thread are not aimed at you or any individual specifically. This has been an ongoing issue on the forum, and reappears whenever there is a significant ‘drift’ in a particular direction.
However, as is evident from your post on meditation, meaningful discussions about personal practice on a public internet forum have limited value. It is such a complicated and nuanced thing, to attempt to communicate such subtle details, and to have them perceived and understood with any reliability is extremely difficult. The more general the points, the less of an impact this has, as people can then just point to helpful resources. Discussions in person with a teacher, or mentor in the Dhamma are always the best.
Otherwise, for those of us, who have limited, or no, access to real ‘people’, it is useful to try to establish a contact with someone whose posts resonate, and communicate by Personal Message or email.
Finally, one of the good things about a moderated forum is that you can rest easily that any really damaging posts will be addressed via flagging by the community or directly by the mods in a PM
Thank you for your sensitivity and willingness to fit in with the forum, and hereby abolish all sense of regret/guilt.
Helping us all be more aware is nothing to be sorry for.
Thank you for helping me sort some things out in my own head!
I like this perspective and upon reflection also realized that many of us may simply not know how to PM. I know I had some difficulty with this. If we simply add the PM suggestion prominently to the guidelines and show people how to PM we might have a practical solution.
It might also help to have someone (an ordained someone) explain formally about the dangers of incorrect meditation practice (with specific examples) and why we should refrain from making online practice recommendations in general. I think it would basically be the Buddhist equivalent of a doctor’s Hippocratic Oath “…do no harm…”.
When I was very young boy, I asked myself, “What if I immerse deeply?” And after some time I reached a point where there was a choice and I felt one choice as irreversible. Where it led I do not know. This is what scares me about discussions about breathless absorption. I’m sure there are other reasons to not discuss practice.