Buddhism and the dexterity of social networking
Monks surf social networks and Facebook, even blog to keep their order alive.
The discerning Buddhist monks from Tibet based in small hamlet at Mcleodganj have more than 2,500 years of history behind them but they are not letting the time to slow them down, instead they are reaching out to the world and aspirants of Buddhism in a modern way.
These holy-men are now new web users here. One can often catch them in the internet cafes, sprinkled around the town. They sit there for hours every day trolling Facebook and other social network sites while dressed in their fine-looking red robes (ceremonial dress).
They are using Facebook and other brand new social networking websites. Some are even blogging to keep their order alive. Hundreds of them are discovering new ways to communicate with the world.
Mcleodganj is one of the strange combinations of spiritual enlightenment and natural beauty and now with the Buddhism’s embrace on the Internet, it gives a glimpse of what 21st-century Buddhism is all about.
Among many of them, one is Tsering, a Tibetan monk and an active Facebook user. He believes that this not the first time, that monks have carved out a new path with modern technology.
“Our job is, while we are here is to pray and to work. It allows us to do exactly what we are supposed to do. This might be the platform to spread good Karma’s and divine messages to the world” he said.
In this town where monks play daily religious duties, now they have also started surfing social networks and Facebook is turning out be a trend, particularly among young Buddhist monks.
“Facebook is not only restricted to public self-expression or tagging friends but it’s also a modern Buddhist way of life, it is also that how my spirituality intersects with science” says another monk, Sonam Gompo.
“You add me and I will poke you,” smiles Sonam, while checking Facebook at an Internet cafe.
Lamas and monks are increasingly “adding” friends and family from across the globe to their Facebook accounts, posting images, sharing videos, and “liking” Web pages. Internet is somehow bridging the gaps for this community living in exile.