After teaching Deep Ecology online for several years, and also having participated in many small-group processes in person (such as circle, dialogue and Nonviolent Communication practices), as well as online discussions on other sites, I have learned that there is a need to set boundaries for discussions. Sometimes internet discussions can become quite hot, provocative and argumentative. However, a productive discussion requires discipline on everyone’s part. That is the ‘dharma’ part of a Dharmagaian discussion: self-reflection and respectful consideration for others make for a more productive discussion.
Since moderating online discussions can take up a lot of unpaid time, Earthling’s role will be to filter out postings that do not abide by the following protocols, and to respond when inspired to do so. This website is intended to be a safe place for Dharmagaians, not their detractors. We welcome Dharmagaian discussions!
Protocols for commenting: These are the protocols to observe if one wishes to contribute comments. Postings will be moderated before appearing publicly.
1. Brevity – preferably no more than three paragraphs, and no more than one page per entry.
2. References — When posting, if you are responding to a particular essay, links page, or any other aspect of the Dharmagaians.org website in Comments on Dharmagaians.org, please provide a reference to the title and section where you found it (eg, “Animal Allies” in the Gaia section), so that the rest of us know what you are talking about. If you are responding to a blog entry or another person’s post, please address your post to the author or the commenter’s username.
3. Clarity – if you are posting something that is worth taking the time to read, please take the time to make sure it is readable and understandable to others.
4. Only one comment per essay per day, please. In other words, if you wish to comment on more than one blog posting, or more than one piece from the Dharmagaians website in one day, that’s fine. But multiple comments in the same thread in one day are strongly discouraged. Give yourself space for reflection.
5. Questioning oneself and questioning others with courtesy and respect are encouraged. Self-reflection about one’s own impulse to react is strongly encouraged.
6. Self-indulgent ranting and/or disrespect towards others will be filtered out.
Since this blog and site are new, it is entirely possible that these protocols may change, and that a different method for hosting discussion will be devised. If so, this will be announced.