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Online Discussion Guidelines

In order to encourage discussions that are meaningful, free and open, we request that you review and adopt the following guidelines when you post comment on the Monasteries of the Heart website. We want this to be a safe place for you. Should anyone post comments that are unkind, inappropriate or hurtful, we reserve the right to intervene, to delete any post or to block an individual from the website.

1. Always speak for yourself, using the “I” voice. Please let your comments be guided by the ideas and insights that others share as well as contributing your own ideas and insights.

2. “Listen” is the first word of the Rule of Benedict. Please don’t feel you need respond to every comment. Listen to what others say and respond at appropriate intervals. Try not to monopolize the conversation.

3. Be brief. Please avoid using this discussion as a chat room. Try to keep your comments to three paragraphs or less. Research shows that the biggest barriers to online participation are long paragraphs and lack of time to follow a long conversation.

4. Our discussion is a multifaith/interspiritual experience committed to respecting all views and religious and spiritual traditions. While it is appropriate to share how meaningful your tradition or point of view is to you, in light of monastic spirituality and values, it is not appropriate to try to convert another to it or to denigrate the experience of others. Nor is it appropriate to generalize about any faith tradition as all traditions are made up of many different kinds of people and have branches and internal divisions.

5. Finally, have fun! Enjoy the diversity of experiences and backgrounds of your spiritual companions. And add your own voice to the mix. Sometimes the things we think we have nothing to say about will reveal what we need to know. Experiment with your level of participation but please consider participating. You are a welcome part of this wonderful adventure. Enjoy the ride with us.