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How to get the most out of NewBuddhist

BrianBrian Detroit, MI Moderator
Hi! NewBuddhist is a discussion community catered to those (primarily Westerners who were not raised with Buddhism) who are either curious about Buddhism or interested in becoming a Buddhist. I'll re-post something I wrote earlier on the subject:
Just to clarify: This site is not about any "New Buddhism"

I started this site for people, specifically Westerners, who have zero experience with Buddhism. I'm talking utter ignorance like my dear, sweet, departed grandmother who thought Buddhists were orange-robed Christians—her worldview literally couldn't comprehend a non-Christian existence.

Many of us are raised in cultures that completely ignore Buddhism; at most it's a footnote in the local bookstore, a "religion for Asians", or a special on evening television. In Western pop culture, it's a religion for weirdo celebrities, and most middle Americans would be hard pressed to tell you the difference between Buddhism, Hare Krishna, Hinduism, and Kung Fu movies.

This site was founded on the idea that Westerners who come from these types of backgrounds need a safe place where there are no stupid questions. Do Buddhists celebrate Christmas? Was Buddha a real person? Is the fat Buddha in Chinese restaurants a god that Chinese people worship? How can I be happy?

Anything else that this site has become is a direct result of the people who choose this as their online home. We have monks, laypeople, born again Christians, Muslims, Jews, and people from every internet-connected nation on Earth visiting here. It's going to be wild and diverse and crazy; that's what we love about it.

There is no "Primary focus" or "Primary school of Buddhist thought" for this community. Rather, it is a place where @Lincoln, @Jason, @Federica, and the other moderators will keep things nice so that everyone can talk about Buddhism at any level, freely, and without fear of being ripped a new asshole for saying something someone else disagrees with or thinks is stupid. Nothing more, nothing less.
There are two main parts to the site: The articles, and the discussions. Articles are written by contributors, but discussions can be created by anyone. If you comment on articles, they also show up in discussions (a new discussion is created anytime an article is published).

When you register, you get a user profile (here's mine!), which has your information, a picture if you upload one, and other things like the discussions you've participated in, the reactions you've received, and your participation badges.

Reactions are things like "Insightful" and "LOL" that people can click on your posts. If you post funny things, people may give you a "LOL" reaction. If you post insightful and helpful comments, people may mark them "insightful". If you achieve certain numbers of reactions, badges are awarded.

Badges are also good ways to explore what the community has to offer. For example, uploading a picture to your profile (giving yourself an "avatar") earns you a badge, because it helps make our community feel more personal.

The first thing you can (and should!) do is introduce yourself here. After that, explore the categories on the left to see other discussions.

Welcome to NewBuddhist! We hope you find something worth participating in here, and it's our goal to make this online community a great place to hang out at.
This discussion has been closed.