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19 Responses

  1. David
    David July 1, 2010 at 10:09 pm |

    When you first made a post about dhammic practice, a useful technique for dealing with life’s problems could be gleaned from it, and I found it useful. However, you have since made many posts about your personal religion, and as someone who is not a Buddhist, I feel alienated from your readership. I would greatly appreciate more posts about gender equality, and less about dogma.

  2. Comrade Kevin
    Comrade Kevin July 2, 2010 at 8:05 am |

    I find that when I write, the broadest, overarching theme is that of my belief in the ideal, and how the ideal is not met in reality. For a time I tried to keep myself out of my writing, but I find the strongest images are personal anecdotes and/or the anecdotes I have observed in watching other people.

    I suppose one must work with one’s strengths.

  3. Axiomatic
    Axiomatic July 2, 2010 at 8:13 am |

    I’m quite fascinated by kloncke’s posts, precisely BECAUSE I’m not a Buddhist. I wouldn’t be interested in reading blog posts by someone who was exactly like me, because in that case I could just go talk to myself and I wouldn’t have to wait on updates because I’m right here.

  4. Dil O. Yarana
    Dil O. Yarana July 2, 2010 at 9:31 am |

    Very interesting concept – “just blog”.
    so right you are.

  5. nathan
    nathan July 2, 2010 at 11:09 am |

    David’s comments bring to mind the flip side I often experienced as a “Buddhist blogger.” When my posts get quite overtly socially and politically focused, and attempt to bring together what I have learned in dharma teachings, I often get some flack. People tell me politics, social justice, discussions of oppression, etc, have nothing to do with Buddhist practice. That’s a great blindness as far as I’m concerned. The same can be said for secular activists who want all religion and spiritual commentary eliminated from discussions and actions.

    Alienation is an interesting concept. What brings on alienation? How do we navigate the spectrum between destructive dogma that puts people out, and real life differences that make the world more lively, and actually aid in each of our awakenings to truth?

    What I find most curious is that many people who are doing work in the world to transform hatred and oppression of peoples who aren’t ruling majorities, often struggle themselves with the very diversity they seek to uphold. It begs the question “What is it truly that each of us want?”

  6. nathan
    nathan July 2, 2010 at 1:33 pm |


    Here’s an example of a response someone gave me just a little bit ago about a comment I made on the Mel Gibson post. My comment asked what the point was in ripping Mel Gibson, and how such actions might lead to lessen the abuse and power guys like him are about.

    “xtinA 7.2.2010 at 11:28 am

    Nathan, your judgments are unhelpful. It’s a discussion blog and that’s what folks are doing. I get a bit short-tempered with spiritual seekers telling others to STFU because their beliefs are about anger as a sin-got way too much of that as a Buddhist seminarian

    What else can I say other than this person wants me and others like me to shut up. Period.

    A people wonder why the status quo is so slow to change. Because really, how many allies or potential allies with spiritual bents are going to hang around to be whipping boards like this?

  7. Sarah
    Sarah July 2, 2010 at 1:40 pm |

    I love the “Our reality is less interesting than the story we will tell” quote. For blogging, and really, for any kind of based-on-reality writing like reporting/journalism/memoirs/what-have-you, it’s so true. You could even expand that to include social networking’s weird voyeuristic take on reality — the pictures I see of my friends are far more interesting than their actual lives, and they’ve been chosen for that purpose specifically.

  8. jeffliveshere
    jeffliveshere July 2, 2010 at 2:01 pm |

    As a Buddhist-leaning atheist, I think I might understand your concerns regarding alienation, but I also would ask you to reconsider what might be a false dichotomy. Maybe go read an earlier post an the relationship between Buddhism and feminism: Put positively, though, I’m beginning to believe that harm work and suffering work — political and spiritual engagement — can strengthen each other enormously. In the words of Buddhist meditation teacher Donald Rothberg, “the two paths deeply need each other.” [Emphasis original.]

  9. nathan
    nathan July 2, 2010 at 2:02 pm |

    Meanwhile, to make the effort to derail my derailing, I love blogging. For all the reasons Katie points to and more, it’s a great opportunity to share with others around the world, as well as learn/help others learn sometimes simultaneously. And sometimes, the threads are so delicious, I skip the post itself and go straight for the comments… LOL

    Makes me wonder if there would be a way to set up a blog that is mostly about comments, but is different from a chat room, which often is too fast and out of control to do what blogs do.

  10. jeffliveshere
    jeffliveshere July 2, 2010 at 2:06 pm |

    Regarding your comment on the other thread, I want to add that I felt like you didn’t provide enough of a context for your comments–as they came out, in the place in the thread they were in, they did feel spiritually snarky to me, which I doubt was your intention. One thing that Kloncke does really well, I think, is give lots of Buddhist insight, with lots and lots of context, so that it doesn’t feel like spiritual bullying. Your comment on the other thread does feel a little like spiritual bullying, to me, and I don’t see how you would expect any other sort of response from commentors there, given the lack of context in your comment.

  11. jeffliveshere
    jeffliveshere July 2, 2010 at 2:07 pm |

    “While the memoirist resides at the front end of the past, the blogger perches on the cusp of the future. ”

    Lovely, lovely words…yum!

  12. Mindful Blogging | E-Mindfulness
    Mindful Blogging | E-Mindfulness July 2, 2010 at 2:18 pm |

    […] on July 2, 2010 by oto An interesting article that looks into the art of blogging mindfully. When Blogging Just Blog This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. ← Mindfulness Being Used […]

  13. nathan
    nathan July 2, 2010 at 4:40 pm |


    I get the sense that anything I would have said over besides “Yeah, Mel Gibson is an asshole” would have been taken as an attack. And like I said before, the person who responded to me pulled Buddhism out of the hat, because I said nothing about spirituality whatsoever.

    Do you really think that a lot of context for my comments over there would have shifted responses? Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I could have done better. But you have to understand that I erased, twice, more snarky comments, and instead focused on what I thought many people are really after in writing all this stuff: i.e. actually working through and breaking down oppressions.

    And the thing is, even with lots of context you still get people shouting you down cause you’re not tough enough, nasty enough, and frankly secular enough to hang with the crowd.

    I’ve noticed with Katie’s threads here too that the ones that got endless amounts of comments were the most secular, and those that took a more spiritual bent, haven’t gained nearly as much traction. Now, I haven’t spent a long enough time on this blog, reading through comments and posts to see how things shake out, but that was interesting for me to see.

    And back to the topic at hand, it’s a challenging place to find one’s self in – being “too spiritual” when I step into forums like this to blog and comment, and “too political” sometimes when I’m in my spiritual communities.

  14. Kristin
    Kristin July 2, 2010 at 11:11 pm |

    Hello, just a quick note to say that I’ve been catching up on your Marxist-feminist posts and comments and as an anarcho-feminist I have been quite interested. I appreciate the combination of politics and spirituality . . . not a Buddhist myself, but probably only because I haven’t read up on it. Liked what you said here: “spiritual life is actually relevant to many active feminists, and some of us feel silenced when people on the Left dismiss our spiritual work as dogmatic, superstitious, bullshit, etc.” Any political work I do doesn’t make sense to me unless I can approach it with my whole self.

  15. La Lubu
    La Lubu July 3, 2010 at 6:50 am |

    If you and I don’t agree about that, cool, but please keep in mind that spiritual life is actually relevant to many active feminists, and some of us feel silenced when people on the Left dismiss our spiritual work as dogmatic, superstitious, bullshit, etc.

    THIS. All-the-way-LIVE, this. I’m way too old to be bothered with trying to silence and disguise the inconvenient aspects of myself that Just Don’t Fit In; if this means I can’t be a part of your revolution, so be it.

    I found this post really valuable, in that it emphasizes practice and doing, not….dogma. I wonder if David (and others who feel the same way, but haven’t replied) would have objected to this post if certain words and concepts (dhamma, mindfulness, Theraveda, etc.) were replaced by something more palatable, more “fitting” to the mainstream (white, middle-class) feminist template (dare I say, dogma?)—words like “mental wellness”, “homework”, and “rational-emotive therapy”.

  16. nathan
    nathan July 3, 2010 at 11:47 am |

    Thanks for the comments Kristin and La Lubu – I for one appreciate them.

  17. sophonisba
    sophonisba July 5, 2010 at 1:52 pm |

    I wonder if David (and others who feel the same way, but haven’t replied) would have objected to this post if certain words and concepts (dhamma, mindfulness, Theraveda, etc.) were replaced by something more palatable, more “fitting” to the mainstream (white, middle-class) feminist template (dare I say, dogma?)—words like “mental wellness”, “homework”, and “rational-emotive therapy”.

    If you are seriously wondering, I will tell you that if your sample catchphrases had been used in place of Buddhist sloganeering, a great many of us would have felt much more free to call it bullshit rather than staying politely out of the conversation (or “silencing ourselves,” as the going phrase seems to be.)

  18. worldofdrafts
    worldofdrafts July 21, 2010 at 12:53 am |

    I really enjoyed your post and have recently started blogging about my own interest in dhamma.

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