Buddhist ethics · Buddhist philosophy · Buddhist psychology · Buddhist Teachings · compassion · mindfulness · psychology · social media · virtue

More Perfections of Post.news

Saul Tobias offered on Post.news a lovely explication of the six pāramīs (generosity, virtue, wisdom, zeal, patience, concentration) from the Mahayana Buddhist tradition. You can read it here. Following in Saul’s footsteps I would like to add how the following forms of virtuous conduct can be applied on Post.news and all other social media sites.

The Theravada Buddhist tradition (the teachings of the historical Buddha found in the Pāli Canon) teach ten paramitas. They are as follows: generosity, virtue, renunciation, wisdom, zeal, patience, truthfulness, determination, goodwill, equanimity

Renunciation: Restraint is a profound tool for creating a social media environment that is both thoughtful and informative. Renunciation means the impulse to post harmful content gets recognized and assessed internally for wholesomeness and usefulness to the community at large. Renouncing self aggrandizement and posturing can go a long way toward fostering civility and care in a social media environment. 

Truthfulness: This paramita seems self-evident yet so hard to put into practice in daily life. Our internal distortions, negations, evasions, and biases show up full force in social media. We so want our own views to be affirmed and yet disagreement can be a rich part of human interaction—as long as there is a commitment to honest debate and deep listening.

Determination: Once again, the historical Buddha was a big fan of checking ignorance and reactivity in thought, word and deed. Determination to respond thoughtfully takes a lot of zeal to be real instead of getting lost in habit reactivity and posturing. 

Goodwill: Also translated as friendliness or lovingkindness, mettā is an altruistic aim to resonate a kind of love which is unfettered by self-interest and bias. In the Udana Nikāya, the Buddha famously said, “Searching all directions with your awareness, you find no one dearer than yourself. So you shouldn’t hurt others if you love yourself.” Applied to social media, attention-seeking can often lead to posts that emphasize benefiting oneself rather than seeking the welfare of others. Goodwill and renunciation complement and strengthen one another. 

Equanimity: This paramita is for me the outcome of practicing the preceding nine paramitas. In Buddhist psychology equanimity is described as a neutral feeling tone of experience or a mental quality of impartiality. Equalness as a perspective builds distress tolerance and cognitive-affective flexibility by lessening self-absorption or what is known in pop psychology as ‘taking things personally’. Recognizing humanness and its inherent imperfection is a wonderful virtue to practice as one engages in social media. All humans are prone to misapprehend primarily because our perceptual apparatus views everything through one’s own mind-psyche-experiences.

May this post be of benefit to all who read it!

integrative psychotherapy · mental health · social media · Uncategorized

The Creatrix and Post.news

My first 24 hours on Post.news and wow… the artist in me has reignited. The angst and grief of the last few weeks of Twitter dissolution has given way to the fascination of interacting in a cauldron of intelligence, realness (weirdly enough), and a chance to diversify to other communities and voices I rarely had access to because of the ever-present social-media-generated algorithms dictating who I am and forcing me to stay in that box. So far relatively bot-free! And no ads! And a virtuous intent I can get behind.

The two decades I spent in the visual art world were years of me as rebel, technical fiend, technology envelope pusher (when online visual creation tools sucked!) and advocator for every human awakening—not in today’s woke way—in the ancient wisdom tradition way. Yes art, particularly interactional installation art can do that. And the raw nature of Post.net and its UX has a similar feeling of engaging with a newborn that is learning about itself and the world simultaneously.

Slowly I am finding other mental health professionals as more people get invited and sign up. Building community will take time but Twitter feels so horrible when I visit the site that I am convinced this is the way to go. Post.news uses a points system instead of ads, which feels a little like what Clubhouse tried to do a year ago and it pretty much failed over there. We’ll see if it works here. I get that this is way to keep ads away and reward “creatives”. That label was attached to a lot of crappy content at Clubhouse which is why I didn’t stay on it.

In other news, Youtube has granted my channel a new name. You can now find it at https://www.youtube.com/@integrativepsychotherapy

impermanence · mental health · psychology · relationship · social media

All Things Must Pass Away

For ten years Twitter has been my primary resource to access and interface with colleagues nearby and far flung. Residing and working around the globe, my feed was populated by a rich mix of medical, psychological, academic, contemplative researchers and clinicians.

I was appreciative of how intentional contact curation made this possible and somehow I assumed Twitter would not change. The basic platform would remain as it was. My community would keep contributing and interacting with intelligence, care and respect. Oh how wrong I was.

Of course I knew that Twitter was a cesspool of hatred, misinformation and nefarious bots. Yet, I counted on Twitter’s infrastructure of values/rules of conduct to keep that away from my feed. Then a couple of weeks ago the specter and reality of Elon Musk arrived full force and disassembly began to erode much of Twitter’s corporate and technical foundation.

One by one my community began to close their accounts. And my feed filled with Elon Musk’s antics and the counterpoint #twitterapocalypse. The rich community I had relied on for years to offer up the latest and most interesting research links and discussion dissolved before my eyes.

And I was sad. So bereft and powerless.

And then the wave of Mastodon tweets started showing up. “Find me now @mastondon!” So I investigated Mastodon and though it seemed interesting, I kept bumping up against the futility of not finding my people. So many servers… disjointed, slow, not intuitive coding in the app. And I realized anyone could say they are me and create a profile that looked like me. Big red flag!

For years people have admonished social media sites as superfluous, consumerist, privacy nightmares, and rife with the worst humans can dish up. It was not till my community went away in a poof of Elon Musk smoke that I understood how real cyber-reality actually feels for modern humans. Especially when a user has carefully over many years orchestrated it to deliver nurturing, informative, and honest content.

Today one of my colleagues let me know that Noam Bardin, former Waze CEO, has decided to get in the game of building a new social media site Post.news dedicated to “Real People, Real News, and Civil Conversations”. They seem to be taking their time to carefully build, so now you can only join the waitlist. I look forward to my invitation arriving so I can see what Post is actually like.

I did not expect Twitter to devolve so quickly and yet I know all things are subject to impermanence. My heart goes out to all Twitter employees–whether fired or remaining. Thank you for a wonderful decade! May you find peace and healing.