List Principles

Insight Practice Discussion Group

List Principles

Version 2.3.2

April 4, 2012

Preliminary Remarks

The InsightPractice list is for the discussion of Buddhist theory and practice, and related subjects. Its core topics are intended to be Buddhist meditation—for example, insight (Vipassanā) meditation—and the application of Buddhist ideas and practices to daily life.

Your comments will be gladly accepted at

Guidelines and Rules

Everyone is encouraged to treat others with respect. If you do this and avoid over-posting, posting too much fringe material, and posting any forbidden material, you should find your ability to post uninterrupted.

Limited, respectful conflict has always been permitted here. It provides an opportunity for us to practice conflict resolution, which is an important skill to anyone practicing Buddhism (or life). If you do find yourself in conflict with others here you may contact a moderator or someone whom you have good reason to trust, or attempt to resolve the conflict on the list. Please do not prolong a conflict.

Not everyone will agree with what you say. People can and should be able to voice their disagreement here.

The list is a public place. Please avoid saying anything that could be used against you in real life.

When posting from a workplace, be sure that you do not exceed your employer’s guidelines.


Moderation Principles

Here’s a rough guide to how I evaluate the material posted on the group:

Primary: Buddhism ancient and modern. Buddhist meditation, Buddhist texts, Buddhist theory and practice and the application of Buddhist ideas to daily life. Asking questions about these things is of special value. New member introductions. Encouraging others. Conflict resolution.

Secondary: Relationship of Buddhist theory and practice with other traditions and psychological and philosophical approaches.

Fringe: Other material that is not forbidden. Especially conflict, flames, etc. Moderators will be more tolerant of fringe material when there is a good flow of primary and secondary discussions. Historically fringe material has been a good source of primary and secondary discussion.

Forbidden: Extended conflict is now forbidden here. Attempts to subvert a moderator’s decision are forbidden. For example, if you are banned or in a non-posting state, you may not use another account to post to the list. Threats, in the general sense to be defined below, are forbidden. As an alternative to forbidden action, you are invited to communicate your concerns to the moderators.

Moderators are not responsible for what you post. That means that, except when you first join or rejoin, moderators will not read your posts before passing them to the list.

Everyone starts out with their posts moderated. This is only to prevent spam. After that your posting status should be either in a banned, non-moderated or non-posting state. Your state will only be non-posting for a short period, up to a week or two. Moderators from time to time will take any other action made available to them by Yahoo! Groups. Moderators will not normally give warnings or prior notice of their actions. If you find yourself in a non-posting state, it is likely that a moderator feels that it is in the best interest of the group to hear a little less from you and a little more from others. Not a big deal. If you feel that a moderator action has been unfair to you, please feel free to contact us. And if you do feel imprisoned by a moderator action, speaking to the moderator about it is the best way to “get out of jail free”. :-)

The list owner reserves the right to reverse the decision of another moderator. (At the time of writing there is only one moderator, the list owner.)


Banned: An account is in a banned state if the account is not a member of the group, and is not permitted to join the group. An account will be in a banned state if, in the opinion of the moderator, the person posting through through the account appears to be acting in a way that is either not in the person’s own best interest, or not in the best interests of the group as the whole. It is obvious that the opinion of a moderator of a group is not in any way infallible. However it has also been made obvious that a mailing list cannot operate unless its moderators are willing to ban accounts on rare occasions. Moderators may, at there discretion ban any account for any reason that the moderators see fit. As always moderator decisions can be appealed. Ultimately the list owner will decide; if you cannot abide the decision of the list owner, then this is not the right list for you. So if the web is, indeed, democratic then the vote is cast by the choice of whether or not to continue to subscribe to a service.

Flame: A remark or post that tends to draw people into conflict. Insults are the most common example of flames. A common form of flame is a troll: that is a baited remark that often hooks unsuspecting readers (the term is from fishing).

Flame War: A conflict, or seeming conflict, consisting of flames, without genuine attempt at conflict resolution.

Moderated: On Yahoo groups, a post is called “moderated” if it must be read and approved by the moderator before it is passed on to the group. An account is called “moderated” if posts from the account are moderated.

Non-posting: Your account is in a non-posting state if you are a member, but cannot post to Insightpractice. You can recognized this from the InsightPractice web pages by noticing that the interfaces to post a message are missing. You should receive a email notice from Yahoo Groups if you attempt to post by email while in a non-posting state. Yahoo groups gives moderators the ability to move an account into a non-posting state. Moderators will occasionally do this to try to restore balance to the group’s posting.

Over-posting: When does posting more than usual become over-posting? It’s very subjective. But, please consider this. Each time we post we change the balance of the group ever so slightly. It is very easy in our enthusiasm to overbalance the group so it becomes about us more than it is about Buddhism and related topics. When that happens other people tend to reduce or stop their posting and the situation becomes still more unbalanced. Anyone who is contributing significantly to an over-posting situation should consider alternative ways of communication. For example, blogging, and sending in infrequent links to the blog.

Threat: Speech whether direct or by insinuation that tends to make or makes people fearful. Threats, in this sense, include physical threats, but they also include other behaviour. For example, “I wonder what [someone in authority over you] would do if she or he heard you saying that?” That insinuates a possible communication to an authority, e.g., the police or a boss.

Other terms can be found through Internet searches.

Contacting Moderators

Moderators will make estimates of the satisfaction of the group based on comments, complaints criticisms and suggestions sent to the moderators in confidence at

Moderators will use your input as a guide to taking moderator actions that are in accord with the will of the group.

If you are contacting the moderator about a conflict, please be aware that moderators here have traditionally been more concerned with helping others use meditative tools to calm hurt and anger so that we can voice our concerns more effectively than they have been in talking sides in a conflict. I’m less good at this than others have been, so please bear with me.

David, List Owner