In this interview Prajnanandi, who is autistic, explains what autism is, tells Ratnaguna how it is to be an autistic within the Triratna Buddhist Community, and how we can make it easier for autistics to thrive in our sangha.
view our community guidelines for promoting good conversation
Here are key excerpts from our community content guidelines, which are designed to help create a positive environment for everyone:
1. Please be courteous at all times. If you’re engaged in any kind of discussion, be as prepared to listen as you are to express yourself. Remember that there’s always a real person behind a computer/device screen, and they are likely quite different from you.
2. Think twice before posting anything that’s likely to give offence or be inflammatory. That doesn’t promote good conversation. If you’re upset at something you see here, perhaps let a little time pass before responding. Bear in mind this isn’t a space to vent our views, it’s about exploring respectfully with others what it means to be a Buddhist within our community and in the modern world generally.
3. We may remove posts or comments that are considered off-topic.
4. Everyone has off-moments, and we’ll always try to be in friendly dialogue with you if a problem arises with one of your contributions. But we reserve the right to remove posts and comments (or even suspend user accounts) when we feel these guidelines are not observed.
5. Our current editorial policy around Safeguarding is aligned with the advice given by those tasked with developing Triratna’s approach to this important area of ethical life. If anyone breaches current policy by posting in ways that mean The Buddhist Centre Online potentially break the law by hosting the material, then we will have to remove their posts or comments. We respectfully request that all users bear this in mind when posting. If in doubt, please feel free to ask first before posting. It will save time, energy, and lead to less potential polarisation in these spaces, even if there is disagreement.
Whatever you contribute we very much encourage you to think about it in the light of the Buddhist ethical precepts around 'Right Speech'. These encourage communication that is: truthful, kindly and gracious, helpful and harmonious. We look forward to all you have to bring to the site!
We try to keep things light when it comes to moderation of posts and comments within this shared space. And we ask the community itself to lead with this. If you have seen something that concerns you, please feel free to contact us. However, we do ask that you bear in mind the following guidelines, which will help preserve a harmonious atmosphere throughout the site:
Remember there is always a person behind the post or comment you’re objecting to. They may just be having a bad day… If you’re upset, perhaps let a little time pass before responding to them or us. Try contacting the person first in a spirit of open, courteous engagement to see if hearing their perspective changes your own view of things, or if hearing yours changes theirs. Take care to make sure what you are asking us to look at is actually against the spirit of the group or the site itself, rather than simply a difference of view or of personal taste. If in doubt, ask a friend and/or the administrator of the group.
The most important things about this is the first bit: we ask the community to lead with this. That means you! Thanks for helping us promote good conversations on The Buddhist Centre Online.
Read the full set of Community Guidelines
Thanks to both of you. I really appreciated hearing more about your experience, Prajnanandi.
Impressive to hear, and very recognisable! Regards from one of those other autistic OM’s (well Asperger)… With folded palms, Ujukarin
Thank you Prajnanandi and Ratnaguna for this conversation. It was good to learn more, and I look forward to your further conversations - also to reading the book!