Out now: Cyberloka: A Buddhist Guide to Digital LifeOn Wed, 2 November, 2022 - 11:00
We’re delighted to announce the release of Cyberloka: A Buddhist Guide to Digital Life, by Prajnaketu.
About the book
Welcome to the world of the cyberloka – the online realm in which so much of life now takes place. In this short, punchy, and often funny book, Prajnaketu offers deep Buddhist insights to help us manage and flourish in the digital age of hyperavailability, superstimulation, and social media.
An excerpt from Cyberloka
You started out with such good intentions. Maybe you were going to thank your auntie for her lovely gift. Or just check the forecast to see if you’d need an umbrella for later. But you’ve just spent the last half an hour scrolling down the comments on a video that’s now a distant memory. Your shoulders are tense, your eyes are bleary, and you feel vaguely angry in a can’t-quite-put-my-finger-on-it way. Oh, and you’ve just missed your bus stop.
Welcome to the cyberloka.
This book is for human beings who use the Internet. Whether the above scenario is familiar or not, I’m sure we’ve all encountered what I call the cyberloka – the realm of online activity, screen time – and its effects. ‘Cyberloka’ is a made-up term combining ‘cyber’, adapted from Greek to refer to electronic communication, and ‘loka’, a Sanskrit word meaning ‘world of experience’. For Buddhists, as we’ll see, a loka is not a brute fact ‘out there’: what appears as the objective situation arises together with our minds. This teaching says we’re constantly co-creating the worlds that we inhabit along with our family and social conditioning, the previous choices we’ve made, and the products of our imagination. This co-creation has a sort of ‘logic’, consisting of the cyclical patterns we fall into, and the seemingly objective landmarks in that realm – all of which hang together as a piece. The message at the heart of this book is that it’s helpful to look at our relationship to digital technology in the same way – as if it ushers in a new realm: the cyberloka. We can think of the cyberloka, then, as the world of experience – our thoughts, feelings, actions, habits, relationships, and more – that we cocreate with digital technology.
– Prajnaketu, from the Introduction to Cyberloka
Cyberloka online book launch
Join us for the online book launch at 7:00 pm UK time on Thursday, 3rd November, when Maitreyabandhu will be in conversation with the book’s author, Prajnaketu.
Praise for Cyberloka
‘An engagingly personal dialogue between Buddhism and how to survive life in the metaverse. Read it and be enlightened!’ – Robin Dunbar, Professor, University of Oxford
‘Offers a clear-sighted and refreshing Buddhist critique of our digital lives, free from dogma and moralizing.’ – Shantigarbha, activist, mediator and author of The Burning House
‘A deeply thoughtful, nuanced, contemporary account of how Buddhists can relate to their digital life.’ – Vidyamala Burch, OBE, author of Mindfulness for Health
About the author
Prajnaketu was born Timothy Holden in 1985 in Southampton, England. He began to embrace Buddhism while studying for a degree in mathematics and philosophy at the University of Oxford and was ordained into the Triratna Buddhist Order in 2014. He’s at his most inspired when reflecting, writing, and teaching at the interface between Buddhism and twenty-first century life.