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This question was asked on the main site: Is it a good idea to spend time on this website?

The OP edited it and it's now considered a valid question, but Andrei wrote in a comment,

I'm not in love with how it's phrased but I agree it's a valid question.

and the OP replied,

I'm not in love with the phrasing either :) but I don't know how to set it better, I'm open to edits


So, this meta-topic is an experiment, it's a way to be "open to edits".

  • Post your suggestions here (below), to suggest how you would understand/rephrase the question
  • The OP (@bbozo) can read these suggestions and pick one that's asking what he wants to ask.

The question on the main site is on hold until then.

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  • I love this topic :D Thank you all very much for helping on this ^_^ What Samana Johann is suggesting rings more "true", what is Andrei suggesting seems more "clear" ^_^ Maybe leave them both? – bbozo Jan 10 '16 at 12:21
  • Thank you Samana for voicing my thoughts :) "The Original has many nuances while your thought is limited to one aspect, one which can actually not be described." <3 – bbozo Jan 10 '16 at 12:27
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    @bbozo You're welcome. The Samana (Johann) pointed out in an earlier meta-topic that there are (four) different kinds of question (which are introduced e.g. in the Pañha Sutta). Andrei's answer to that was that it's better to use this site for types of question which can be answered (and fwiw he's previously said he doesn't want to see this site used for koan answers). – ChrisW Jan 10 '16 at 13:27
  • I wrote a suggestion, I hope it helps ^_^ – bbozo Jan 10 '16 at 16:18
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I think Samana Johann is suggesting that the original version was the best, i.e.,

Title: Is it a good idea to spend time on this website?

To say the word is to miss the mark, said a monk, one would assume same is implied in writing it?

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  • Yes, maybe including for practice. (or wholesome purposes) does not make it a everywhere question (although it should be clear on a Buddhist board) – user7586 Jan 10 '16 at 0:44
  • Well edit it (and/or edit its title) until it shows your best suggestion; or post multiple suggestions. – ChrisW Jan 10 '16 at 0:48
  • Atma would not been that obdurate to try to make it perfect for everybody and for everything, yet he is still obdurate in trying to tell Upasaka Chris "To say the word is to miss the mark". Consciousnesses of beings can be anywhere in the many realms of grasping. :-) Letting go is perfect, mostly. – user7586 Jan 10 '16 at 0:53
  • Thank you for your advice! The OP came with a question, though. You could just tell him to "Let it go", but I think a purpose of this site is to provide answers which specifically address the OP's question. – ChrisW Jan 10 '16 at 0:59
  • It was in regard of your try here. Actually this matter burdens Upasaka Chris since hours and still turning around. – user7586 Jan 10 '16 at 1:01
  • The question is fine as it is, so just let it go. – user7586 Jan 10 '16 at 1:02
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Title: Is talking about Dharma beneficial or harmful?

Discussing Dharma at length and analyzing it, is this always beneficial or could it be counterproductive? - different traditions seem to have different opinions about this. Especially in the Far-Eastern tradition (Chan / Zen), there seems to exist a definite suspicion towards these activities, in comparison with "practice".

Several quotes come to mind, e.g. this one from Lao-tzu:

Those who know do not say. Those who say do not know.

Also, Wumen Huikai:

The instant you speak about a thing, you miss the mark.

and of course, Fen Yang:

When you are deluded and full of doubt, even a thousand books of scripture are not enough. When you have realized understanding, even one word is too much.

What are the dangers of discussing/analyzing Dharma? (This includes, but not limited to, spending time on this site, asking and answering questions). Where should one draw the line? - are there canonical teachings about this in any school, or some practical wisdom passed down the line?

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As a potential edit, I suggest,

Title: Is this Q&A worthwhile?

I'm thinking of these two quotes -- from Wumen Huikai:

The instant you speak about a thing, you miss the mark.

and of course, Fen Yang:

When you are deluded and full of doubt, even a thousand books of scripture are not enough. When you have realized understanding, even one word is too much.

From this, and other sources, one might conclude that spending time on an online forum looking for, or giving wisdom, is one possible path to illusion for the subtle "enlightened" ego,

On the other hand, here I am writing enlightening things on an online forum but yet I feel it is worthwhile ^_^


So given this problem -- this context and these concerns -- my question is: Is it a good idea to spend time on this website? How could it be worthwhile, if "speaking about a thing misses the mark" and "even one word is too much"?

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  • Just the Original-OP sentences and "Is it a good idea to spend time on this website? How could it be worthwhile, if "speaking about a thing misses the mark" and "even one word is too much"?" is quite enough. – user7586 Jan 10 '16 at 0:09
  • @SamanaJohann If you're suggesting keeping nothing but first quote, then instead what about keeping the two quotes, but (as you suggest) remove the next two paragraphs about the "so-called-enlightened ego"? The OP thought the second quote is strongly related (he wrote, "and of course"); and I thought that in the original version with only the first quote and not the second, I wasn't confident about why the OP was asking or how I might want to answer. – ChrisW Jan 10 '16 at 0:26
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    The Original has many nuances while your thought is limited to one aspect, one which can actually not be described. 1000 – user7586 Jan 10 '16 at 0:30
  • So I posted The Original as another proposal, is that the version you're suggesting? – ChrisW Jan 10 '16 at 0:34
  • I can see that Sahassavagga might be related (because it's a description of experience) e.g. it might do as an answer to a reference-request if the question were, "Given this quote, is there any sutta similar to this sentiment in the Pali canon?" ... but I didn't think that was the OP's question -- I thought the question was about Q&A, and people's experience of whether, how, and for what they use this site. I thought it also worthwhile to keep the paragraph about "ego", so that the topic would include a description of a "problem" to be addressed. – ChrisW Jan 10 '16 at 0:53
  • Yes maybe :-) Upasaka Chris is caught as in hell. Once we grasp and touch things, its not easy to make them undone. And yes, its a ego thing. Don't forget to laugh about your self sometimes as soon as U Chris is out of the trap again. – user7586 Jan 10 '16 at 0:59
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Title: Is it a good idea to spend time on this website?

To say the word is to miss the mark, said a monk, one would assume same is implied in writing it?

Background

First, self-note the irony of explaining in many words the question of whether it is fruitful to use any words to explain ^_^ Then read the explanation if you wish knowing it doesn't deepen but constrict the initial question.

I'm thinking of these two quotes -- from Wumen Huikai:

The instant you speak about a thing, you miss the mark.

and of course, Fen Yang:

When you are deluded and full of doubt, even a thousand books of scripture are not enough. When you have realized understanding, even one word is too much.

From this, and other sources, one might conclude that spending time on an online forum looking for, or giving wisdom, is one possible path to illusion for the subtle "enlightened" ego,

On the other hand, here I am writing enlightening things on an online forum but yet I feel it is worthwhile ^_^

So given this problem -- this context and these concerns -- my question is: Is it a good idea to spend time on this website? How could it be worthwhile, if "speaking about a thing misses the mark" and "even one word is too much"?

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