The Urban Retreat 2015 - November 21-28

Tips For A Successful Urban Retreat Online!

On Thu, 19 November, 2015 - 18:05
Centre Team's picture
Centre Team

Hi all, from the folk here at Dharmachakra. We’re the Right Livelihood team who provide The Buddhist Centre Online and Free Buddhist Audio, and who look after most Triratna social media spaces. Amongst other things!

We wanted to share a few notes about getting the best out of this online space as a support for your practice during the Urban Retreat. If you have any questions, please feel free to add to the comments here, or email us at support [at] thebuddhistcentre.comWe hope you have a great week!

This online space will be largely private for the duration of the Urban Retreat and afterwards. You’ll see that we’ve already made a set of public posts (including this one, and Parami’s introductory talk) to set the scene, promote the event, and give you the materials you need to get started. Once the retreat starts, most of the posts - including all the rest of the retreat teaching materials - will only be visible to those participating. That way your retreat comments, thoughts, discussions, and sharings of all kinds will be kept private and secure. After the retreat is over we will make the teaching materials publicly available in another form, but the archive of posts from the retreat itself will remain accessible only to those who took part.

If you’d like to make sure you see the retreat materials and can take part fully, you’ll need to register with the site, and once you have logged in click + follow above.

Retreat materials and getting notified of new posts by email
You’ll see from the Urban Retreat programme that there is a lot of great Dharma material being prepared behind the scenes to help you go deeper with your practice all week. We’ll group some of these resources together so you won’t get completely bombarded by email notifications from us. We aim to make around 4 retreat material posts a day…

That said, there are a lot of us taking part this week. And it might mean a lot of posting in general (see below)! So we’d recommend considering turning off instant email notifications for the duration of the retreat and switching to a digest. 

If you do want to turn off notification emails and just check the site daily, you can do this easily by clicking here. Or just hover over your name at the top right of any page (you need to be logged in to see this). Choose ‘my profile’ and scroll to the bottom of the settings page. You can turn off notifications completely and just use your My Sangha stream. Or you can set email notifications to come once a day - or once a week (on a Sunday) - as a digest.

N.B. Retreat material posts have been scheduled to appear 7am Sydney, Australia time each day. That’s 8pm UK and 3pm EST the day before.

If you join the retreat, when you come to this space we’ll automatically show you the retreat materials. If you want to see everything else that’s going on around the retreat online, view latest & updated.

What can you do on this space?
Once you’ve clicked + follow, you’ll see the + post something bar on the page (top left of the banner image above). You can make several different kinds of post. Here are a few key ones that might be useful if you want to connect with others online:

1. + discussion. Start a new discussions thread for any burning questions you have - or just to explore an idea in response to the retreat as it unfolds.

2. + pictures. We’d love to see pictures of you and your shrine/meditation space! If you add the tag ‘metta wave’ (without the single quotes) it will appear under the Metta Wave menu, which is the focal point for seeing who else is taking part.

3. + blog. If you want to share longer reflections on how the retreat is going for you, add your own blog posts. As with other blog spaces, you can include text and images and links. You can even share your own retreat poems if you like! :)

+ other stuff: You can also post audio talks, videos, share files (+ resources), etc. If you don’t immediately see the corresponding menu item for any kind of post, try the filter button next to the menu. 

N.B. If you plan on posting or commenting during the week, please read our Community Guidelines for the site. It’s a good overview of our policies on harmonious interaction online and the kinds of material you can share here.

One more thing: mobile support for posting on this platform isn’t currently brilliant… We’re working on the next version of The Buddhist Centre Online to radically improve this. Commenting should be fine, but for now we’d recommend using a laptop or desktop if you want to write a post of any length. 

OK, that’s it from us. We’re support [at] (here to help) all week - and we really look forward to meeting you online as we practise together for this Urban Retreat. May all be well! 

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