Here are some essential guidelines for your posts. Please download and use this as a handy reference.
1. What should subjects of posts be? Is this a platform for anything, or a more focused discussion? Should this just be a discussion of our reflections or experiences, or could this also be an outlet for academic questions (e.g. What does this Sanskrit word/concept mean)?
This is intended to serve as a platform for focused mananam (contemplation) on Acharya Shunya ji's teachings (shravanam) so that we can successfully apply them to our own lives (nididhyasanam). This is not a place for concept clarity questions. Those would be better reserved for the Sadasya Google group. This is also not a place for teaching or preaching, but rather a space purely for reflection.
2. How personal do we want the content of posts to be? It is natural for our reflections to circle around our unique plays of samsaara, but how unedited do we want our postings to be? Should Sadasyas speak about life situations or rather to pull out the essential struggle? (e.g. "I applied Vak Tapas with a difficult situation communicating with a person in my life" vs "my mother")? How detailed should the posts be on the story vs the resolution or the question at hand?
This is a great question and an important point to clarify for everyone. We want these to be pretty concise posts (a couple paras max) - and they should be mindfully contemplated prior to posting...as part of the Sadhana of posting on the Sadhana group.
So yes, pulling out the essence of a challenge, and expressing it in a way that is truthful about where one currently is. While being careful not to vent about particular situations - as this can serve to reinforce our jiva attachment(s) to specifics that may not be helpful to ourselves or others.
In that sense, the more we can detach from the ahamkara / mamakara (me/mine) of the situation, view and then express it in a more universal sense, the more beneficial it can be - and the more it can invite mindful support from others vs becoming an ordinary sort of support group in which we may unconsciously start leaning on one another (reinforcing ragaha). We want to, at all times, be clear that we are really striving in this group to grow towards Self-independence.
Examples to illustrate:
a) A less beneficial post - "My mother-in-law is so annoying. I got really frustrated with her and started to argue with her about whether or not we should go to XYZ place b/c I thought it was a bad idea for XYZ reason. But then I remembered to apply vak tapas to the situation. It was hard, but I'm glad I did it."This post is not very beneficial to the group as it focuses more attention on the jiva particulars, and does not lend an opportunity for reflection on application of the concept of vak tapas.
b) A more beneficial post - "I observed that I had a lot of raga/dvesha (attachment/aversion) towards something a person close to me wanted to do that I did not agree with. Once I remembered Acharya Shunya ji's teachings about the importance of mindful communication (vak tapas), I was able to recognize my instinct to want to argue with this person in a violent way. That moment of recognition allowed me to then navigate the same situation with much more ease as I brought more ahimsa into my communication. I am grateful for the guidelines we've learned for practicing vak tapas...that speech should have these qualities:
1) Ahimsa (non-violent)
2) Satyam (truthful)
3) Priyam (pleasant)
4) Hitam (beneficial)
This post universalizes the mother-in-law issue, evokes observation vs expressing a knee-jerk reaction, and gives us all a chance to "chew" on and review the rich teachings of vak tapas through someone's lived experiences.
Posts can also share about Sadhana victories, as Sadasyas will surely have triumphs along with challenges on the path. The way we share these, too, should also be mindfully contemplated prior to sharing. We don't want this to become a bragging space. At the same time, hearing about others' triumphs can give the group strength and encouragement.
Since the victories we experience would be arising thanks to the knowledge we have learned, it would be appropriate for such posts to somewhere express gratitude and thanks for the knowledge that freed, uplifted, empowered, and/or supported them.
As Acharya Shunya ji taught us about Brahma Yajna: "What practicing gratitude does is prevent the ego from bloating up. Gratitude is the best sentiment we can have in the performance of Brahma Yajna (which includes svadhyaya, or learning, as an important activity). When we have gratitude, we are able to not allow the ego to come up. So there is a learning of gratitude to the Sampradaya, to the Acharya, and to all saints as well.
4. Does the group need to be only a platform for discussion or should it also be a community group? (e.g. "I would like to invite Sadasyas to xx event or xx house or xx potluck")? We are a unique type of family so I am curious how that will carry in our group.
We want this to remain a Sadhana-focused discussion-only platform, so no event promotions will be permitted on this forum. The focus is on Upasana Yoga (practices for body, mind, soul that range from speech discipline to detox and food disciplines to meditation and Svadhyaya) and Karma Yoga, both of which help us with Jnana Yoga.
So our focus is really Tapas in the ultimate sense, for Atmabodha—all those activities a Sadasya does or doesn't do to reach Sattva.
A reflection following an event, class, etc., however, would be welcome. And photos of our important Sadasya Sadhana classes, retreats, and workshops would be encouraged, to have a dedicated place for us to cherish the opportunity to learn and grow together as a community.
5. What happens when a post or response strays from these guidelines? A small group of Sadasyas will moderate the site. If it is felt that a post strays from these guidelines, you'll receive an email suggesting changes or edits to the post. In some cases, a post may need to be removed.
If you have any suggestions on how to make our site work better – and be more aligned with the mission of our Sadasya program – please send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.