Tag Archives: pinterest

A Reflection on Water, Health, and Compassion

Water pollution

Water pollution (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

H2OcomesPassion is my Pinterest title. Before I started creating this page, I thought of using the name Water, Health, and Compassion. However, upon doing research for this project, I felt that I have been passionate on the issue of water. The more understand about water, the more passion I put into this project. My passion is not only to understanding water, its benefits, and its composition in the human body and in the whole universe, but also learning to appreciate the benefits that water brings and the advantages I have living in U.S., where I can access fresh, clean water everyday. My passion also turns into Compassion. I feel empathy for people who live in drought areas, for people who day by day use polluted and contaminated water for drinking and for cooking. Water has affected me to the point where I consciously feel empathy when reading news about polluted water, and where I share my joy when people have an opportunity to enjoy fresh, clean, water from a new well. I have joined a group of volunteers in Facebook  which volunteers to do fundraising for building wells in Africa. I have learned how this group connects people together to do this charity work and how they devote their lives for the benefits of others.

Counting from the time I posted my proposal, I have received 7 comments. Two comments, from Anonymous and Thaitriplegem, confirm my purpose by saying that water symbolizes compassion and harmony. If one makes oneself to be like water, then one is easy to be with people because water adapts to its environment.

One stated, “Without water we will die, without heath we will painful and without compassion this world would looks like hell.” This helps me understand the main function of water, is nurturing. Water nurtures life, and it is itself a source of compassion.

Thesilverbodhisattva gives me a wonderful source relating to water: water has memory. It helps me understand more about the other sources I have posted on my Pinterest, which is water in prayer and practice.

Mettadharma commented, “Water is symbol of the purity. It is clear, cool, and calm. If people can make their mind like water, it will be very useful.”

Dawn made her comment on my proposal and Pinterest page, and she suggested adding a “Call to Action” board. My thanks to her for a great idea, but I forgot to do that. I didn’t have a specific board to list practical things people can do to better the situation of water.

Minh Tu also suggested that I should have a “water recycling” board. I think his suggestion and Dawn’s are similar. I will create a board named Call to Action, which includes water cycling, and water conserving.

Both Dawn and Minh Tu like the experiments of Dr. Emoto. However, Dawn brought up the point that this work hasn’t been proven by scientists; whereas, Minh Tu emphasized water’s ability of being purified by spiritual practices.

Back to my project on Pinterest, my purpose is to raise people’s awareness of water’s benefits on body, mind, and spirit. I have created so far 12 boards and 173 pins. The titles of my boards are:

  1. Information
  2. H2O resources
  3. Water in Reality: Drought and Contamination
  4. Benefits of Water
  5. Tips in Using Water
  6. Prayer and Practice
  7. Charity Work
  8. Organizations in Action
  9. Video & Movie
  10. Books
  11. Call to Action
  12. Others

This page has been in existence about three weeks and I have 5 followers and 10 people following. With what I have gotten so far, I am not sure that using social media such as Pinterest can help me spread out the message of water to everyone. Based on my observation of my Facebook account, I believe that in order to influence more people of using water appropriately and of helping others, I should take an action by participating in a group consisted of individuals who have the same passion. Although my Pinterest has few followers, I believe that I myself have changed during this project, and at least some others also have changed to be more mindful of using water.

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What Do You Know? Reflection

English: Infographic on how Social Media are b...

Infographic on how Social Media are being used, and how everything is changed by them. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Social Media is a fascinating subject.   Do a quick web search for how to create a great social media project and you are inundated with “how-to’s” and “don’t do’s” all of them saying different things.  The commercial world has lept into social media.  In your search you will find that to many social media now means corporate advertisements using “social” media.  No longer is social media a way for people to connect.  It has quickly become just another, more subtle way, to sell mostly unneeded stuff to increasingly poor customers.   “Social Media” also has a dark, hidden, side.  Go to news or progressive action site that tells a story different than allowed in the mainstream (corporate) media and you will find the comments filled with rebuttals, all taking a very similar pro-corporate, pro-inequality, pro-oligarchy line.  Almost always the first few comments are in support of the economic and social policies that are creating and increasing income, wealth, and power inequality and slowing killing the middle-class society constructed after WWII.  A groundswell of opposition by “Real Americans” to the DFH’s (look it up)?  Or the comments of “astro turf” organizations and companies paid big money to counter small-d democratic thinking and organization?

That said, for those of us trying to address various problems around the world, social media and the internet is a great resource.  Since most of our mainstream media outlets no longer discuss or present any options other than those that support the status quo (and domination of society by a very small group of extraordinarily wealthy men), the internet and social media is one of the best ways we have to communicate with people who know something is seriously wrong with society but don’t know what to do about it.  It is the only game in town.

In my project I didn’t get much in the way of comments, likes or followers.  I’m not sure at this point that I can call it a success.  The most people that have taken one of my quizzes is three (and one of them was me).   I can think of several reasons for this:

  1. Any social media project has to hit a sweet spot.  In other words, a need in people to express themselves or solve a common problem.  The areas that I covered (inequality, the distortion of capitalism to maximize profit for banks, etc.) are covered in great depth by other social media actors.  Perhaps potential readers are overwhelmed with bad news since so much is going wrong.
  2. I think a good social media project allows people to interact and contribute.  It is not enough to just push ideas out into the “blogosphere” and hope people will read it.  How can the person reading your post, quiz, Pin, etc., join in helping solve the problem?  How can they express their own concerns?  How can they self-organize?  My project at this point is too much push and not enough interaction.
  3. I wonder if I am taking on too many subjects?  Do I need to concentrate on a more specific social issue?
  4. Consistency.  A general rule of thumb is that a content provider (me) needs to put out some sort of post (quiz) every week.  With the demands of school and my general sense of fatigue caused by nearly a year of school, I’ve not had the energy to generate quizzes and posts on a consistent basis and to keep new viewers coming back to my site.
  5. Time.  I think this just takes time to grow an audience.
  6. Perhaps quizzes aren’t the best way to present this type of information.

I plan to continue this effort over the summer and see if I can grow an audience.  I’m going to investigate how to use Pinterest as the core to my project rather than a blog.  That way I can post my quizzes, images and other media in a place where people can interact and respond to the issues I present with their own thoughts and media.  I can then respond to the interests of my audience based upon what they post.  I also want to use twitter to present my posts to those that are interested so they can keep track of my project without having to pay close attention.   I will look around to see what other, new, mechanisms are available, and there are a lot of them.   It will be very interesting to see how this project has evolved by the end of summer and the start of a new school year at University of the West.

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Death, Dying, and Buddhism – A Pinterest Page Update

Two months ago I proposed an educational social media project for the MDIV670 Spiritual Leadership course entitled “Death, Dying, and Buddhism” as a Pinterest page.(https://dharmadialogue.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/death-dying-buddhism-a-pinterest-page/) The intent of the page is to provide easy access to information, quotes, and other resources for those interested in death and dying, primarily from a Buddhist perspective. Some of what I have learned in the process includes:

There seems to be much more emphasis on death and dying in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition than in the other Buddhist traditions. This may be due to the fact that I am much more familiar with the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, but I made an effort to seek out quotes and other resources from the many other traditions, and only had mild success.

I was too quick to come up with categories and needed to change the names of the ‘boards’ on my page on several occasions, or merge some of them together (as an ongoing project, this may continue to be the case). It has been challenging trying to keep the project limited to the Buddhist approach to death and dying. The Buddhist and non-Buddhist worlds have much to learn from each other – of course, the relationship of each with death and the dying process is not exclusive. I have included both Buddhist and non-Buddhist resources, but, with some exceptions, my goal is to focus primarily on the Buddhist approaches. The board titles are currently as follows:

Buddhist Books on Death & Dying

Quotes by Buddhist teachers

Film & Other media on Death & Dying

Reflections on Death & Dying

Resources

Other Books on Death and Dying

Meditations, Mantras, & Music

The Bardos

Buddhist Psychology re: Death

Buddhist Art on Death and Dying

Buddhist Pilgrimage

I am pleased to report that without advertising this page beyond the Dharma Dialogue post, I have attracted 21 followers. Additionally, most of my ‘original pins’ (those that I personally sourced outside of Pinterest) have been repined by one or more of my followers, and many of those that I have discovered through Pinterest and repined have also been repined by my followers. When I Googled the words “Death” “Dying” and “Buddhism” together, the search results in my Dhama Dialogue post being listed as #8, and my Pinterest page as #12. This is clearly indicative of the lack of material out there.

I invite anyone to offer suggestions to improve the site and hope that some of you will join Pinterest and ‘Follow’ me at Death, Dying, and Buddhism. For those not interested in Pinterest, I hope you will comment here to alert me to any websites, books, quotes, or other resources that address death and dying from a Buddhist perspective.

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Building Extropia Together

How to Help1

In my previous posts at 3Ratna3Kaya and Dharma Dialogue, I have written a little bit about the concept of Extropia. Extropia, a non-Utopian/non-Dystopian future characterized by continual successful efforts to meet societal stretch-goals, probably sounds like a distant ideal. In actuality, I have a strong conviction that Extropia is not only our future, it is also being built brick by brick at this very moment.

Decade after decade, the technologies that enable the achievement of societal-stretch goals are developing at an accelerating rate. Consider for example, the ninety years that passed between the invention of the Light Bulb and the Moon Landing vs the mere nine years that passed between the invention of the World Wide Web and the Sequencing of the Human Genome. The best news about this current stage of progress is that we can all play a meaningful role in it.

When people think about most forms of charity, various obstacles arise: “I hardly have two nickels to rub together. How am I supposed to make a difference?” “I’d volunteer my time and labor, but I am swamped with academic and professional obligations.”

Luckily, there is a new way to practice philanthropy and help build a better future. The method I am speaking of is the relatively new phenomena known as “Online Crowdsourcing.” Within Online Crowdsourcing, there is a movement of “Citizen Scientists” that I find particularly impressive.

The advantages of online philanthropy is that you can help without “opening your wallet.” In terms of labor, you do not even leave your home, and  with regards to time investment, as little as five minutes can still produce valuable data for researchers.

Unfortunately, not nearly enough people know about Citizen Science, its successes, its value, and ease of participation. For this reason, I have decided to start a project to promote Citizen Science websites that collect data for bio-medical, psychological, and other scientific research.

My project is mainly built around my Pinterest Page: 3Ratna3Kaya. However, I will also try to garner interest by featuring teaser pins on my more established Word Press Blog: 3Ratna3Kaya and a couple relevant Facebook pages of which I am a member. For a full look at the content I have created for this project though, people will still have to access my Pinterest page.

My page features three boards and 12 total pins currently. These boards are as follows:

“Building Extropia Together” – The pins on this board are advertisements I have made to get viewers interested in current Citizen Science projects and the websites that host these projects.

“Call to Action”- This board looks at Transhumanist thinkers and frames their ideas through a Buddhist lens.

“Inspirational Case Studies”- The pins on this board highlight Buddhist spiritual leaders’ ideas on science and technology. Most of these pins feature quotes from those leaders.

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Death, Dying, & Buddhism – A Pinterest Page

The educational social media project that I’d like to propose for the MDIV670 Spiritual Leadership course has to do with my concern regarding the lack of attention to and resources for those who are dying. Our American culture is very good at denying the reality of death and we tend to hide or disguise anything that hints of decay. We avoid discussions of death, shove our elderly in out-of-the-way retirement homes, and glorify youth and beauty. Additionally, many are aware that Buddhism offers a unique approach to death and dying, though it can be difficult to find out what this approach is. I have created a Pinterest account entitled “Death, Dying, and Buddhism,” where I have created ‘boards’ that offer resources for the dying and for those with dying loved ones, with a particular focus on the Buddhist approach to death and dying. In creating this site, I hope to allow people the space and opportunity to access the rich array of teachings, techniques, and symbolism offered by Buddhism to address and accept the reality of death and dying.  Among the boards will be those entitled:

  • Buddhist Books on Death and Dying
  • Other Books on Death and Dying
  • Buddhist Art on Death and Dying
  • Helpful Quotes by Buddhist Teachers
  • Quotes re: Contemplative & Palliative Care
  • Film on Death and Dying
  • Reflections on Death and Dying
  • Resources
  • Images of Death and Buddhism
  • Music and Mantras
  • Prayers

I have just begun accumulating ‘pins’ for these boards, and invite any suggestions or ideas that anyone may have to offer. Though I would like to keep the Pinterest site narrow enough to help those specifically with interest in the Buddhist approach, I am also more than happy to include those resources that are compatible with but not specific to Buddhism.

As Dr. Joe Loizzo put it: for both the dying and their caregivers, “the end of life often offers rare opportunities to affirm and deepen our highest human values—reconciling conflicts, sharing forgiveness and gratitude, deepening a sense of loving intimacy, and rising above our myopic experience of ourselves, our lives, and the world.” (Tricycle, Spring 2013) I am hoping this ‘Death, Dying, and Buddhism’ Pinterest space will enable such opportunities by consolidating resources for those looking either for help or to help in death and dying from the Buddhist and contemplative traditions.

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