Blogging anniversary

Until recently I didn’t know when (not started – late 2005.

And this blog, signature103, was my first blog anywhere online. I started it on this day in February 2006. This makes me a kind of early adopter here.

The blog is older than my daughter so it’s a kind of journal and journey of this time.

Many of my most important thoughts are made public here. and sometimes I have been affected, both positively and negatively, by comments and interactions. But it was important to be open to the public. Withdrawing from the world is a form of fear.

I started this blog because I had read an article about a lady (whose name I don’t remember) who had put her life into the public domain. It came with dangers of course but it also was freeing. It helped her engage with the world.

I too wanted to engage with the world. And I am thankful to have done so with this blog.

Blogging hasn’t been best social media to engage with the world though but it is still an important one. It has its purpose among all the other ways we engage with the now.

So, thank you, Thank you, readers.

blog bloat

I cleaned up my blog today.

I changed the title back to the URL, got rid of most of the pages, streamed lined the menu, removed most of the widgets and rewrote the about page.

What is left is effectively a timeline of 5 posts at the top and a simplified navigation of the essentials.

I had suffered from blog bloat without knowing it. lol

Sooooo happy to be

Finally, an address I like. 

From today onwards I am Simple. Elegant. Easy to remember.

Like a well chosen name for your child I feel the blog is now taking shape again to be something like what I had wanted it to be – a personal space of sorts.

And the blog will continue to be ad-free for your reading pleasure.

Let’s start having dialogues again – comments on

There was a time when I had great conversations with people online. We would argued about finer points of things. I was open to opinions. But that was until I got trolled.

These days I Periscope a lot. And there everything is in real-time, including interaction with your audience as well as trolling. But this also had meant blocking trolls had become real-time as well, which is a good thing. By interacting with viewers who felt trolls a nuisance had meant blocking was no longer a problem I faced alone. To know other people feel the same way as you about trolls had meant that I can now block without feeling I was shutting out perhaps a valid opinion.

At times people disguise their trolling as views, and one must learn to deal with it as much as one does in real life.

So let’s get back to dialogues. Let me build again a good community of readers as I once had had. Let me be free to speak my mind without fear.

11 years of sustained blogging

Today is this blog’s 11th birthday. My first blog post was entitled Text and Scrutiny. It reminds me of what I was and still am interested in – Buddhism and philosophy. Lately, I have been working on equivalent ideas in Western philosophy to Buddhism. And I can see I will be writing a lot more on this in the future. Hopefully you will join me on this adventure.

(Update: I have turned back on comments as default again. I don’t remember when I turned it off but life was sure easier without it.)

My thoughts on 10 years of sustainability dharma

Has it been that long?

sustainability dharma started ten years ago on 17 February 2006. It was a critique of our lifestyles and a call to sustainability and a sustainable lifestyle. I still believe in these values but I myself have not achieved that. I am not even close. But this, as a log of who I am, is invaluable.

To live sustainably would mean to give up many things and to change my way of life. Blogging would most definitely be one. My work as an assistant professor would be another. They both use more energy than necessary. A lot of wastage.

But that is not a reason why I should quit. One must look at the overall situation. Do I lead an overall sustainable lifestyle? No, I do not. But perhaps the most sustainable part of my life is the farming, the growing of food. My wife estimates 80% of our vegetable come from our garden. It is grown organically and we probably have room to increase capacity.

My spiritual practice also has gotten better. More than anything my giving up of alcohol (for health rather than spiritual reasons) has made me a better and more controlled person, less likely to blow up and react inappropriately.

During this time I have watched my children grow up, grown older together with my partner, become a father and husband of sorts. I have taken on many more responsibilities, chosen to do things I have believed in, learned more than perhaps I have imparted.

Blogging is not easy. You need to have something to say in order to blog. You could say a lot but whether they are worth saying is a different matter. Which is why I have less to say today than I did ten years ago.

Another difference is that the internet landscape has changed somewhat. Blogs made it easy for everyone to have an online voice. But it was relatively static. It took a long time to reach an audience and to get comments. In 2016, we have Twitter but I think more importantly we have Periscope. No other time have we had life broadcast with an interactive audience to boot. Anyone can show their world to an audience and get realtime feedback and interaction. Once I have done my live broadcast, my scope, I am finished. No more is necessary. No editing is needed. It is different and efficient. It is the future of communication.

So is there a place for traditional blogs? Can we call them traditional even though they are no more than 15 years old? The time length for anything to become traditional has become shorter. These are stressful times. I would hate to be my son’s age. I would hate to be born now. It is so confusing and at the same time exciting in a strange kind of way.

We no longer surf the net with notebook or desktop computers. We go online with our mobile devices – our smartphones and tablets. The landscape has changed a lot. I no longer read about this morning’s protest at this afternoon’s website, I can now see it from four people’s perspective in realtime and even react to and with those people who are scoping.

But somewhere in there, still, is room to write these posts, albeit only once in a while rather than on a daily basis like in “the old days” when I had no other means.

The rebirth of sustainability dharmablog

Change is inevitable. Change is natural.

It is believed in Zen that every moment is a death. We die and change without knowing it. It is the grand illusion of of life. Some will go as far to say without being enlightened we are living as though we are dead.

So too sustainability dharma must end and be reborn as sustainability dharmablog. If you have hung around this blog long enough you will know it used to be ‘sustainability dharma blog’ (with a space) before it became ‘sustainability dharma’. I had dropped the ‘blog’ bit. Now I am reinstating it but as one word, not a compound.

This blog will now focus on Buddhism exclusively. It is not that I am not concerned about sustainability but that I am not going to write about it anymore. That is all. Gassho.

New Year’s resolution for SD

btw HNY.

This year’s NY resolutions are

  • meditate more
  • help the world more
  • blog more

Hope together we can do more for ourselves spiritually as well as for the world.

Where is sustainability dharma at now?

Lately I have been thinking about what to do with this blog. It has been a while since I wrote anything substantial especially about sustainability.

I had tried to write about the two things which are most important to me – sustainability and Buddhism – and show how they work together in me as one concept or idea. After all every person is one individual with multiple concepts. Sometimes they are complementary, at other times they are contradictory. We are pluralistic. We have influences from all directions.

But to be honest it has been hard to sustain writing about them both as though they were one concept. So I feel it is now time to concentrate on one topic: sustainability. While Buddhism is still important to me it is far more personal and also more difficult to write about. Besides, focusing on one subject is better, more logical and makes for easier-to-understand writing. It also makes it easier to write. After all don’t we write to be read?