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Change “Ask a Teacher”

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:28 pm
by Caodemarte
One of the most valuable part of ZFI was the “Ask a Teacher” section where only ordained or otherwise traditionally “authorized” teachers would respond. Rocks and stones can be teachers, but, again, here I am talking only about ordained or otherwise traditionally “authorized.”

In the Zen Space experimental section anyone (even me) can respond so it is no different from any other section. It has no special value or reason to exist.

I propose that that the section be changed so that only authorized or ordained teachers can respond. This will require some quality control on both ends. The questions will have to be moderated (redirecting or weeding out the inevitable spam and unrelated postings) and the teacher volunteers, if any, will have to be chosen with some care to weed out the “self-declared” or even fraudulent posters. I would further suggest that questions be practice related or come from the practice and not about historical or other matters that can be addressed elsewhere. Anyone can, of course, start a new thread elsewhere and any teacher can participate in any other thread if they wish.

I am sure there are many ways to do this. The old ZFI forum would put questions into a thread visible only to the authorized responders (teacher) and moderators. If a teacher wanted to respond the question and response would then appear in “Ask a Teacher.”

Re: Change “Ask a Teacher”

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:34 pm
by fuki
I'd like to see the zfi teachers section return to what is was, only with the difference that regular mods(non-teachers) do not decide whether a members post is approved or not. I've discussed this with a teacher there in PM and he/she agreed that mods make unskillfull decisions regarding approving/disapproving members posts there. So I favour that all teachers have "mod powers" eventhough that does not mean it is expected of them to moderate (like Meido does) outside of the ask the teachers thread.

Re: Change “Ask a Teacher”

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:42 pm
by Caodemarte
fuki wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:34 pm
I'd like to see the zfi teachers section return to what is was, only with the difference that regular mods(non-teachers) do not decide whether a members post is approved or not. I've discussed this with a teacher there in PM and he/she agreed that mods make unskillfull decisions regarding approving/disapproving members posts there. So I favour that all teachers have "mod powers" eventhough that does not mean it is expected of them to moderate (like Meido does) outside of the ask the teachers thread.
Sounds good. As a side note I would note that the teachers did have mod power in that old ZFI thread. In my brief moderator experience towards the end, the ZFI moderators did not usually decide if a post became visible to all members or not. The teachers, who could see the postings, did if they wanted to respond. Sometimes the moderators would make a post visible if they thought doing so would encourage a response. The mods only deleted the really offensive screeds that were not actual questions and that nobody would respond to.

Re: Change “Ask a Teacher”

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:01 pm
by Great Sage EofH
On Dharmawheel there’s a new user group, not sure how it works, I was never invited to it as a new user. It’s active a dialog space between newbies and somebody? Moderators or teachers maybe? There’s too much secrecy on DW in my humble opinion, something to avoid. And yet what the vocal posters have mostly comes from book learning. Again, something to avoid here. If you cite direct experience they come unglued and begin leveling accusations. Again, wtf? And befire you become just like ZFI, consider whether or not it wasn’t also sometimes a toxic environment. Things feel more cordial here, I’d not want to lose this.

Re: Change “Ask a Teacher”

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:05 pm
by fuki
Caodemarte wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:42 pm
The mods only deleted the really offensive screeds that were not actual questions and that nobody would respond to.
If only! :roll:

Thanks, looking forward to what the team decides, but I agree about changing the current form.

Re: Change “Ask a Teacher”

Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:26 pm
by fuki
SunWuKong wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:01 pm
If you cite direct experience they come unglued and begin leveling accusations. Again, wtf?
Didn't you know? You can only speak from direct experience if the majority of "somebodies" has approved your name-form-avatar-identity as a somebody. Otherwise your auto-negated from book knowledge (sometimes disguised as holy experience) ah the dharma ending age, alas! :roll:

on zfi I responded to members and was negated for the nobody that I must be locked in a mental picture called the world. Not long after a teacher for christ's sake said the same thing and was put on a pedestal, lol!
Ask Guo Gu why that is...I could say something about the "flourishing of self" and all that but that must be book knowledge. It's not about me it happens to many many ppl not approved as the "somebodies"

we're all stars now in the dope show ;)

I guess we'll inherit the Earth afterall, the nobodies, woohoo!

Re: Change “Ask a Teacher”

Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:25 pm
by Nothing
Good suggestions from Fuki and Cao

Re: Change “Ask a Teacher”

Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:14 pm
by avisitor
This section for asking teachers questions about one's personal practice sounds nice
But, I know that during regular time spent at Zen centers, that what went on between teacher and student was held private
There was a couple of reasons for doing this.
One had to do with having a public audience would make the student try to appear something other than himself, acting??
Another had to do with answers which may be picked up by those viewing in
They would then learn something which is not intended for them
And soon use the information in a manner not correct
It could thereby hinder their personal progress.

Of course, I am new here and my opinion may not be the correct one for this space.
Still, the idea of being able to ask a teacher questions ... does sound like a good idea.

Re: Change “Ask a Teacher”

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:07 am
by Caodemarte
avisitor wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:14 pm
This section for asking teachers questions about one's personal practice sounds nice
But, I know that during regular time spent at Zen centers, that what went on between teacher and student was held private
There was a couple of reasons for doing this.
One had to do with having a public audience would make the student try to appear something other than himself, acting??
Another had to do with answers which may be picked up by those viewing in
They would then learn something which is not intended for them
And soon use the information in a manner not correct
It could thereby hinder their personal progress.

Of course, I am new here and my opinion may not be the correct one for this space.
Still, the idea of being able to ask a teacher questions ... does sound like a good idea.
Questions asked would not be necessarily be about private practice, but of more general interest.
This suggestion was not adopted and teachers, at least ordained teachers, are now banned.

Re: Change “Ask a Teacher”

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:09 am
by clyde
Zen Space no longer has an “Ask a Teacher” forum and no longer accepts ordained Zen teachers as members - we are a Zen discussion board dedicated to lay people. (See: https://www.zen1.space/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=561)

But that isn’t to say that one can’t ask a Zen teacher a question. In the past 10 years I’ve contacted about a half dozen Zen teachers via email and asked them questions. In every case, they’ve answered.

Re: Change “Ask a Teacher”

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:45 pm
by desert_woodworker
clyde wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:09 am
Zen Space no longer has an “Ask a Teacher” forum and no longer accepts ordained Zen teachers as members - we are a Zen discussion board dedicated to lay people. (See: https://www.zen1.space/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=561)

But that isn’t to say that one can’t ask a Zen teacher a question. In the past 10 years I’ve contacted about a half dozen Zen teachers via email and asked them questions. In every case, they’ve answered.
Clyde, I hope their answers were encouraging.

--Joe