Skid Row and Social Media on Dharma Dialogues
I am happy to share Dharma Dialogue‘s latest posts once again. As readers may recall, this was a blog begun last fall by our Buddhism in the U.S. class at University of the West, taught by Dr. Jane Iwamura in the Religious Studies Department. This semester, it has been handed off to Rev. Dr. Danny Fisher in the Buddhist Chaplaincy Department and the wonderful students in his Spiritual Leadership class. As part of the class assignments, they have each blogged a reflection on their recent visit to Skid Row in Los Angeles and a social media project proposal.
The reflections on the visit to Skid Row truly represent the variety of viewpoints within the program, from that of a Chinese-American woman initially frightened of homeless men, to a Thai monk from Florida reminded of the brahmaviharas, to a white American man reflecting on collective and individual kamma. So far the dozen Skid Row posts cover controversial topics of Dharma, addiction, and social policy.
The social media projects are just starting to be posted. They now include a Pintrest page about death, dying, and Buddhism, a Facebook page called ‘Hungy Ghost Economy‘ which deconstructs the Dharma of capitalism, and a collection of short quizzes about income inequality. It would be interesting to see what exactly the assignment description entailed, because right now these projects seem somewhat random and aren’t really well related to American Buddhism. I’ll be happy to see what the rest of the class comes up with.
[Update 4/25/2013: the most Rev. Dr. Danny Fisher, DBS, gave me some words in response to my critique. I like words! I had a feeling he had some reasons, and knowing him, they’d be good ones. I wanted the rest of the blogosphere to know. Thanks for the words, Danny!]