The Blogger’s Path to Enlightenment

All human activity has the potential to both enrich one’s life and to increase one’s suffering.  Doubt this?  Just pick any human activity!  Work, sex, eating, politics, religion, whatever.  This is just a restatement of Buddhism’s First Noble Truth.  Whether these activities generate happiness or misery depends on one’s intentions and expectations as well as the degree of mindfulness, compassion and wisdom one can muster while engaging in them.

Blogging is no exception.  It can be for better or for worse.  It can be part of one’s Buddhist practice or it can be a detour and distraction.  It’s a matter of intention, mindfulness, compassion, wisdom, and non-attachment.

What and how you write can be guided (or not) by the Precepts.  Do you employ right speech?  Is what you write truthful and without intent to cause harm?  Is the content  your own  (have you not taken what is not freely given)?  Are your readers someone you care about?  Are you mindful of your potential effect on them?   Do you want to enhance their lives or merely amuse them, titillate them, or use them to sell products or advance yourself?  Are you clinging to and hiding behind an ideal persona, or sharing your actual self?  Does your writing help you to reflect more deeply on your own experience?  Do you learn more about yourself and the Dharma through the act of writing?  Does the amount of time you spend on blogging cause you to neglect other aspects of your life?  Your work?  Your relationships? Your meditation time?

How do you work at building subscribers, links, retweets, and followers on various social media platforms?  Are you spending too much time on Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, et al.?  Are you adding quality links or junk links?  Are you building a genuine community of fellow bloggers and faithful readers, or are you using others to further yourself?  Keeping your life in balance and keeping relationships real are part of the Blogging Path.

What do you expect out of blogging?  Is it a way to tell your truth?  To create community?  To get noticed?  To make money?  How do you feel when your Feedburner counts go up or down?  How do you feel when something you write gets criticized or ignored?  How do you feel when splogs hijack (and monetize!) your content?  It’s all grist for the practice mill.  Do your best and let go, again and again.

This blog is now into its fifth month.  I’ve enjoyed the learning, thinking, writing, corresponding, and befriending.  I’ve tried to keep the process truthful, not have it become addictive, and attempted to maintain mindfulness and equanimity.  I’ve learned more about my strengths and vulnerabilities.  How has your journey been, fellow bloggers and faithful readers? Part of the path or a distraction from it?