Speaking of online sangha and practice, the following event occurred recently and was announced on the Treeleaf Zendo blog on the Shambala Sun website:
Taigu and I (Jundo) are very content to announce that, last Thursday, our Treeleaf Sangha ordained three new novice Soto Zen priests in the traditional manner.
What was not so traditional, however — and rather groundbreaking and somewhat controversial — is that it was, we believe, the first time that a Buddhist Ordination has been performed simultaneously on three continents (with the preceptors, Taigu and Jundo, in Japan, and our three ordainees in Canada, Germany and Sweden) all linked by audio-visual media via the internet.
Like it or not, things are changing, at least to some degree. Although Treeleaf seems to be alone in doing these major ceremonies, it's very clear that Buddhist teachers are taking to the online world with classes, Buddhist practitioners of all flavors are taking to the online world with our blogs, virtual communities, and discussion boards, and Buddhist folks online are having an impact on the practicing world around them.
Gotta wonder what's coming next? And how will all this impact our practices? Certainly, I have written about these issues before, but I continue to find the crossroads between the internet world and the "in the flesh" world totally fascinating.
A pack of crows just flew over my head. Have a good weekend!