Introducing 'Cyberloka' by PrajnaketuOn Wed, 25 May, 2022 - 10:00
Dhammamegha here. I’m very pleased to be writing to tell you about a new book we will publish in November, and to ask you to be part of making it happen. The book has been written by Prajnaketu, and it’s called Cyberloka: A Buddhist Guide to Digital Life.
This book is just what we need right now when our capacity to deal creatively with being online so much hasn’t caught up with the amazing technology and media we’re using. Through stories and a Dharmic focus on the mental states from which we engage in our digital lives, Prajnaketu tackles the issues of hyperavailability, superstimulation – including pornography – and the practical ethics of communicating through social media. In it you’ll find some great stories, helpful reflections, a ‘Facebook Sutta’ and skilful ways to think about the nature of the ‘cyberloka’ – the online world.
After working with Prajnaketu on his book, I’ve been thinking a lot about my own mental habits. Like many of you, I connect with many of my friends and loved ones online, and it is also how I read the news, work from home, seek entertainment and information, and sometimes it’s the medium for studying and practising the Dharma. With so much time in the cyberloka, I have found I’m often restless and discomforted in the ‘in between’ moments, and all too easily reach for my device in an unsatisfying attempt to settle or distract myself. As the volume of stimulus increases, so does my restlessness and craving, and the craving attaches itself to online shopping, or scrolling through images that reinforce the craving. Prajnaketu’s book is a great guide to being more mindful and intentional about life online, and it is making a difference to my own mental wellbeing.
Windhorse Publications is working hard to commission and support books that offer practical and direct expressions and applications of the Dharma in the world we live in. It’s a rather precarious time in publishing with high inflation and global trade difficulties affecting print costs and resulting in very small margins to sustain our work over time.
One of the ways you can help is by sponsoring one of our upcoming books. This helps us to cover the costs of producing these Dharma books, and you’ll get a print copy and an eBook hot off the press, as soon as it is released.
Click here to watch a short video of Prajnaketu telling you a bit more about Cyberloka and asking you to make his dream of becoming an author come true.
If you go to the sponsorship page for Cyberloka and click on ‘Look Inside’ you’ll be able to read a few extracts from the book and see for yourself what it is all about.
Here’s what Vidyamala and Candradasa wrote after reading it:
‘Prajnaketu has written a deeply thoughtful, nuanced, contemporary account of how Buddhists can relate to their digital life. Rather than offering simple solutions based on a now vanished, pre-Internet past, he accepts that the digital landscape is an inescapable part of our lives in the 21st century, and offers a wide-ranging critique of how we can best navigate this new world.’
– Vidyamala Burch, author of Mindfulness for Health and Mindfulness for Women, and Co-Founder of The Breathworks Foundation
‘Prajnaketu knows from experience the deep, restorative value of awareness and positive emotion when it comes to facing the new kinds of challenges inherent in an online world. His non-judgmental, unfailingly kind, and witty engagement with the thornier aspects of the Web promotes open-ended dialogue with the reader.’
– Candradasa, Founding Director of Free Buddhist Audio and The Buddhist Centre Online. Author of Buddhism for Teens
And now for a moment offline before I move onto the next thing.