Thursday, 10 December 2009

The future of Progressive Buddhism blog

Hi all,

Quiet isn't it?

The Progressive Buddhism blog has been running since August 2007. There have been 158 posts and we have 107 Blogger followers. There have some really great discussions.

I originally set the blog up because I wanted to be able to discuss Buddhism in an environment of free-enquiry (cough-esangha-cough) and because I wanted to be involved in the process of making Buddhism relevent and accessible for Westerners. From the start I wanted this to be a group thing rather than lone project - I knew I wouldn't be able to carry it by myself. And many people have expressed an interest in contributing but only a minority do - and of those only a very few have done so on an ongoing basis (thanks Justin. Things got a little quiet last year, but fortunately Kyle arrived with and contributed a great deal. But since he left, things have got a little quiet once more.

Under other circumstances I'd take up the challenge myself and try to contribute something at least once a week, and when I started blogging I had loads of time (I was freelancing) and loads of thoughts about progressive Buddhism. But that isn't really the case any more. I'm permanently employed with a long commute, a wife, a son and two dogs. I spend over an hour a day doing my Zen (and/or mindfulness) practice. And I'm a regular contributor to Zen Forum International, and other site. Also, my own attitude have shifted a little - it's not that I've become more of a traditionalist, it's more that with the expansion of secular mindfulness-based approaches I no longer see such a pressing need to 'reform' Buddhism in this regard. Secular and traditional approaches can sit alongside each other quite happily and people can choose which path suits them (apart from awkward people like myself who insist on doing both!).

Anyway it seems that we have three options:
  1. Close the blog
  2. Find new, regular contributors
  3. Simply accept that Progressive Buddhism is a quiet, infrequent blog due to it being a fairly niche interest
What do you all think?


  1. This blog has posted infrequently as of late, but when there is a post, it is always quality. Personally, I'm fine with that. Though if you wanted to seek out new authors, I think you should feel free to do so as long as they will contribute in a way that will carry on the "mission statement" of Progressive Buddhsim. Whatever your decision, best of luck to you all.

  2. I say #3 is just fine. Infrequent, but high quality, to summarize "Adam" before. And if you ever come across authors that have proven themselves to be semi-regular quality posters at other locations (their own personal blogs or elsewhere),invite them to "guest post" here... once a week for 5 weeks, to "test" them out.

  3. Justin , I am sorry that my leaving has meant such difficulty. I always enjoyed posting here, when I could, and would hate to see the blog close.

  4. sometimes quiet is a good thing.

    maybe everyone is meditating.



  5. Keep it alive! #3!!

    Bodhipaksa, over at the blog is pretty proactive with his legion of contributors, which I'm sure has helped a great deal. (we all tend to get overwhelmed with things).

    Maybe send an nudge to contributors: please post your thoughts at least once a month (which would be plenty if everyone did it) or sign-off/make room for others?

    Any way - many thanks for your efforts thus far!

  6. Thanks for all the suggestions. It seems pretty unanimous that we should keep it running steadily with occasional quality pieces.

    And Kyle, don't feel bad. There's no difficulty apart from a very mild sense of responsibility for writing something when in reality I don't usually have the time.

    I might try to source some fresh contributors - if I get around to it that is :)

  7. Thanks Justin, I certainly would love to help again, to contribute again if you'll have me back. I can't promise more than a post a week or two. I'll leave it up to you.


  8. Quiet is good. I have not posted for a while, since I have been busy with the completion and, now, the promotion of my new book. But I'll be back. Keep at it, quietly, I say...

  9. as a baby-buddhist i have found PB's postings extremely thought-provoking and (of consequence) influential in my practices. i am from a small town. i do not know of any buddhists in my area and rarely attend temple as the nearest temple is a few hours away. internet communities are my sangha and sites like this my primary source of [contemporary] dharma.

    i do not want to ask you to strain yourself or your limited time but i do hope you are able to find a way too keep this site alive, be it in a quiet way or with new blood

  10. I've only just discovered this blog (through the suddenly infamous St Matthew-in-the-City), and there's already been talk of closing it down! At first glance, the site looks intriguing, and I'm adding you to my feeds now. I hope you continue even if sparsely.

    For what it's worth, a long running, favorite site of mine went through a slow period to the point that the admins thought about shutting it down, but activity revived in the long run.

  11. I think the discussion is useful, even if it's episodic. Please keep it up.

  12. I've just discovered this blog via Huffington and there are the podcasts we've chosen for our sangha program next year.

    Being new to this virtual world, I'm not sure what I can contribute. If there is something that will help, I'm happy to pitch in as best I can.