Another unusual title for a blog post but i hope it all hangs together some how! On the 27th August i published a blog titled "Inspiration for following the way". In some ways i want to continue this theme but touch upon the subject of Twitter and then share with you a new online community i have discovered known as the #OMCru.
I'm sure many of you reading this blog will be familiar with Twitter. I created a Twitter account about three years ago now and it has been a tremendously positive experience and one which has enhanced my spiritual practice. Traditionally i was skeptical of social media and even now think it can have negative effects if you are not careful. So I am surprised to find myself writing a blog advocating Twitter. How has Twitter helped my spiritual practice i hear you ask?
I have been a Buddhist for about 12 years now and as part of my practice i try and meditate twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. If you have meditated for several years yourself you will know that you get periods when sitting comes easily and other times where you have to really dig deep to find the motivation to sit. This seems to be a natural part of the process and even Buddhist monks i have spoken to say they experience these ups and downs in practice. Maintaining inspiration to practice is important i believe and Twitter can come into this category.
I discovered on Twitter that there are a large group of people out there tweeting and blogging about Buddhism, other faiths, meditation and yoga. These people share their practice, their ups and down, but also post interesting links to articles, scriptures and blogs. Some of the posts range from the very technical analysis of scriptures to a single Mum talking about her difficulty in maintaining her practice whilst facing the challenges of raising children. In all of these tweets/blogs there comes across a sincerity to practice and live the spiritual life. I have found this enormously beneficial to my practice and am grateful to my Twitter friends. On a day when maybe i don't really feel like sitting i will read a post that will challenge me or inspire me.
Then very recently through Twitter i discovered the #OMCru. This stands for the on line meditation crew (#OMCru). Basically they are a group of people who want to meditate regularly and share their practice. For me it is really beneficial as it challenges and encourages me to sit regularly. If you click on the link above it will explain how you get involved. An example of how it helps me is, i put out a call that i am about to meditate, i might get a response from an #OMCru friend in Canada, the USA or Singapore. It is uplifting to know there is this connection and that you are sharing this moments practice with someone else where ever they are. If you like the sound of it give it a go.
I think we need to be cautious how we use Twitter. I really enjoy communicating with other people but feel it's important we keep this in balance. I try to only communicate with people promoting a positive message and try and avoid any celebrity gossip or sensationalism. I use Twitter everyday but i try not to become consumed by it. But my wife bought me this mug below so perhaps i am drowning in my own delusion!