illustration (attribution, if any possible, is at the end of the article)
Travelling in South India, teaching face-to-face for several days, sitting my final comprehensive exam in Buddhist Studies, preparing to support several students around taking precepts, December has been busy and decently challenging.
As previously mentioned, I'm still in Chennai (India) until the beginning of February. If you're in the area, and if you want to meet, just let me know (private post, hangout message or email…).
Online, I refrained from the traditional pre-Christmas advice on buying presents (with wise generosity) or on meeting the family (with wise equanimity), not because it's inadequate advice but because it was already flooding my stream; I didn't want to add to the visible "just duplicate the same old advice" blogging strategy. The whole phenomenon felt particularly 'alien' when seen from India (not so much into the Christmas-specific shopping frenzy) and frankly 'artificial' ("first-world problem").
Contrarily to the last two years, I'll refrain from the "new year resolution" post too. We all know that most people don't keep any such resolutions for long. Instead, I decided to support a growing number of 'direct' students (i.e. students having one-to-one exchanges with me, even if it's still potentially online), starting with the precepts, and I hope this will make more of a difference in the long run. I also hope many people will take up the opportunity of working more in depth than merely scanning posts.
And I refrained from joining the seasonal calls by charities to raise funds. I could explain the impossibility to balance a budget with only 18 regular supporters (out of 300,000 followers and after 5,000,000 views); but does it really need an explanation? I could call people to "become a partner, now!" and offer a nice menu of "missions" to fund; but does it really need the sales speech and marketing tricks? At the end of the day, the support and content are for you and those around you, hence it's your call: you decide how long the service is sustainable.
14 posts in December… included 8 personal contributions:
• 'Joys' of travelling —Indian diary (8)
• Spiritual vs. artistic
• Late, when it will cost… — Indian diary (9)
• Selfish likeable
• Anger is a veil over sadness
• Pests and monkeys
• Precepts and meditation (advanced teaching)
• "Right" view (from the eightfold path)
In December, this original content as well as the interactions in communities and in comment threads, and the individual support to more people than usual, were financially supported by 18 people. This production accrued 7,100+ views a day on average, out of 289,000+ followers; and 268 people now ask for notifications when original content is posted.
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photo © Denis Wallez, 2014