Bodhisattva Blogger

Laughing Whitefish Falls, copyright Ellen Wilson

Compassion is like springwater running under the ground.  Your life is like a pipe that can tap into that underground spring.  When you tap into it, water immediately comes up.  So drive your pipe into the ground.  Tap into the water of compassion.  We can’t conceive of what real compassion and openess of heart are, but if you tap into them, you can feel them.  If you learn to deal with your life with compassion, magnanimity, and flexibility, you will become very tender, generous, and kind.  This is all that is necessary.

From:  You Have to Say Something

Dainin Katagiri

So, it seems I’m still here on the shore of Lake Superior, on Isle Royale, quoting Japanese monks.

I never know where this blogging adventure will take me.  The other day I get a new message in my WordPress dashboard.  Oh joy!  I like comments.  It is from Kara, author of Between the Miles,  and she says she doesn’t know if there is any help for herself being an ugly duckling blogger and all.  She is wondering if her words matter.

It seems there are more ugly duckling bloggers than I thought – people not understanding the worth of their words.  Well, when I hear that, it just so happens that it kicks starts Bodhisattva Blogger into action.

I’m not going to kid you, of course blogging is hard.  Look at the recent posts from Melissa Donovan, a fine example of a very well crafted post, and it took her around four hours!  She does this because people read her words and she feels appreciated.  And then there is Monika Mundell, who recently completed a post on freelance query letters.  I can tell she spent a lot of time on this.

But sometimes people bloggers don’t feel appreciated.  And I am beginning to realize, blogging is just as much about being heard, as standing on our blog pedestals and being heard.

We all blog for different reasons, but we all contribute to the conversation.  Blogging is somewhat like the situation we have in the publishing industry:  they’re a lot of great writers out there who should be published, but the big publishing houses choose to back only a handful of their popular writers, because they’re a sure “bet.”  Sure, I like to read Stephen King and Darren Rowse over at ProBlogger, but I also like to read Sherman Alexie and little blogs like mine.

So if you see someone suffering, step in and lend a hand – become a Bodhisattva Blogger.  Give them a comment or two or three or hell, become their FAN!

Thank you very much.

Photocredit: © Ellen Wilson

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32 thoughts on “Bodhisattva Blogger”

  1. Hi Ellen, you touched on some great thoughts here. I just read Melissa’s article on Poetry and was very impressed.

    Last night before bed time I had an interesting discussion with my husband about compassion, involving fore fitting useless birthday presents and donating the money to worthy causes instead.

    If we all did this we could not only reduce the junk of clutter but help a worthwhile cause we feel strong about.

    Anyway, what you are saying is a principle I have been adhering to ever since I started blogging and I can tell it makes me feel good to know that I can do my bit to help others with small gestures. To me, that is what life is all about.

    Thank you very much for the link love too Ellen. 🙂

    Monika Mundell’s last blog post..Proposing For A Job – Freelance Writing Guide

  2. Hi Ellen! First let me say thanks very much for the link love. I don’t mind spending four hours on a post when it’s something I’m so passionate about (poetry). I have to confess there are times when I rather wish I could whip something up in 20 minutes or so but it seems to drag on and on.

    @Monika, Ah, that’s a great idea. As much as I appreciate birthday and other gifts, sometimes they are nothing more than a token and end up cluttering my space for a year until I don’t feel to guilty giving them away. I like the idea of giving to charity for birthdays 😉

    Melissa Donovan’s last blog post..The Free-Lance Muse

  3. @Monika & Melissa – I feel the same way about “token” presents. Well, B-day presents make me feel special, but the holiday presents we are required to buy kind of put me off. And I want to thank both of you again for your great posts. I do appreciate all of your work. I do think we could literally spend hours at eachother’s sites soaking up all the good info. I wish there was more time. Maybe I will set more time each week to do that. Everyone deserves it.

    @Brett – Yeah! I tell you, I think grassroots blogging is the wave of the future. If it isn’t already. Well, I have to admit, Mike took the picture, but I will have to collect on it.

  4. @Kara – Centering is something I need constantly! I always have to bring my restless mind back to being centered. Well, if you ever feel lost remember there is always someone there. And good luck on your marathon.

  5. I think these are the “Frontier Days”. We’re in the middle of seeing some major changes with Commercial Writing As We Know It.

    Instead of a few dozen authors earning millions of dollars, we’ll now start seeing thousands of authors earning thousands of dollars.

    Maybe we won’t all get rich, but the opportunity for good writers to get heard and earn a living wage is a lot greater now that it was 20 years ago.

    Same thing’s happening with artists and the “Painting a Day” concept.

    Friar’s last blog post..Another Small Town Moment…

  6. I may have shown up to your party a little late, 🙂 but I add my YOU GOT THAT RIGHT to the excellent post and comments. I think the value needs to begin with the need to write…the need to communicate what we “see” and “hear” and how we do that.
    With you it’s with words and such marvellous photos. With Brett, a unique view of life from a very busy world, etc..
    We need the voice of those who take the time to write.

    In some teachings, writing is considered a way to tap into the soul…so if for no other reason, write to engage yourself, and then ping the world. 🙂

    I admire your effort here Ellen and I am joining forces with you and others to do the same.

    Many blessings for an “enlightened” week!

    Harmony’s last blog post..Help! I Want To Lose My Mind

  7. Ellen,
    I Love, love, love your quote on compassion! It is what I strive for. It isn’t always obtainable, but it is always strivable.

    These two very wonderful woman you have mentioned, Melissa and Monika, have both played a huge part in helping me up in the blogging world, and now as we go forward, we get to “pay it forward for others too.
    I love this community we are all building together.
    Talent and Heart,
    Heart and Talent.

    In balance together.

  8. @Friar – I agree. It’s hard to say how it will all pan out. Maybe it will progress the way that you mention.

    @Harmony – I wouldn’t feel right about blogging if I couldn’t respond to others. We all exist together in this sea of consciousness, even if it doesn’feel that way sometimes. You are never to late to the party! Stop in anytime you want.

    @Wendi – What I like about Zen is there a lot of nature influences and the poetry and teachings reflect this. I guess compassion is something we have to striving for. I don’t always hit the mark. Yes, Monika and Melissa are great writers! I love reading their stuff. Well, I love reading everyone’s stuff, and try and comment as much as I can.

    I need to schedule my “blog visit” time, so I can adequately make the most of everyone’s blog writing and commentary.

  9. To stir up the discussion, I might like throw in my two cents here.

    Anyone can write a blog nowadays. But does it necessarily mean they SHOULD? (I’m just playin’ devils’ advocate here.)

    Ellen points out all the great things about blogging, and I agree 100%. I think it’s a great way to communicate and meet others. It encourages people to write who would never do otherwise. It allows lesser-known writers to be discovered and be heard.

    …on the other hand, blogging also provides a glut of useless information. We’ve all seen what’s out there…there is some really great stuff, but you have to sift through a lot of chaff before you find the few grains of wheat.

    Good bloggers deserve to get noticed. As for the bad ones, well, the World may not necessarily grant them an audience.

    (Don’t worry, I think you guys are all pretty darned good). 🙂

    Friar’s last blog post..A Honkin’ Good Time

  10. Ellen, there are no little blogs only big blogs waiting to be discovered. 🙂 Okay, yea totally botched that small parts/small actors line but I love this post. I like many of the popular blogs too but I also love discovering the hidden gems in the great big blogosphere. There are many great voices out there and your analogy to publishing is so right on. I agree with Brett, new bloggers, and ugly duckling bloggers can unite and support one another. We can read, comment, and encourage one another. In doing so we grow, learn and have a lot of fun in the process and when we become swans we can graciously help the newest ducklings to find their beauty.

    Karen Swim’s last blog post..Before You Move Forward, Be Still

  11. @Brett – Mike took a picture from my best side. Hehe. Ellen filtering water. Just one of the many things you have to do when you start out the hiking day.

    @Friar – I really don’t know how or why a blogger will become popular. But if every writer knew that formula, I’m sure they would cash in on it. I think Karen hit it right on. Not everyone will find their blogging feet right away, and it’s good to encourage them, and I really don’t know if they should be blogging or not. Who decides that anyway? Do they? Do we? Who makes the rules?

    @Karen – I don’t think you botched it. Not at all. It kind of relates what I said to Friar. People become swans if you show them their beauty and allow them to be themselves. People need support, and if they feel like they are in a cutthroat game they droop.

    You know, I will tell you a secret. I feel priveleged to have born a well fed American. And maybe, just maybe, if I can encourage other Westerners to feel good about themselves, well, maybe we can all take it global. Maybe we can ALL care about one another. And wouldn’t that be grand? I could spend the rest of my life doing that. I have enough food. What else am I going to do?

    Or am I just too idealistic? Or do you care to join me on my vision quest?

  12. Ellen,

    I don’t know why I just thought of this here on your blog, something about the ugly ducklings, I think and that made me think of geese…but I am STILL laughing my head off over Friar’s Lottory Bat.

    And if we little peoples didn’t all stick together, we might not have the things like that which make me crack up right in the middle of washing dishes for no reason at all. The world just wouldn’t be right.

  13. @Ellen,

    It looked like a beautiful day (I know Bob Younce said not to use “beautiful” when blogging, but I don’t care!) and I can almost feel a breeze coming out of the picture.


    I guess I’d look at it like TV shows, or movies. There’s some pretty bad stuff out there, somebody took a chance – the viewing audience will decide. Maybe it fails, and the screenwriter quits. Or, he tries again later, having learned from his mistakes – then succeeds. While you are right in that the world doesn’t owe everyone an audience, I think “eh” – I’ve been to some pretty bad blogs.

    And, in fact, one of the worst ones for me, personally, is one of the most popular blogs on the planet (I’m not going to name names and be mean, it just doesn’t do it for me – but I’m the exception, I guess…)

    So the market might just decide for us.

    @All – check your email, I was brainstorming an idea that you chatted about on my blog. See what you think.

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..from dusk till dawn. a story about running.

  14. @Ellen. Yeah, nobody really gets to decide who SHOULD blog. Everyone is allowed. As I said before, there are no rules.

    Like in my painting class, there are some God-awful people there. But they’re learning, and I try to say at least one nice thing about their work to encourage them.

    Like Brett infers, what’s popular is not necessarly good, and vice versa. It’s the market that decides what’s gonna sell. And to some extent, we can influence the market.

    Friar’s theory. There are four possibilites, regarding talent and marketing yourself.

    If you’re talented and you’re a great marketer, you’ll do well.
    If you’re talented but you’re a bad marketer, you’ll probably still do okay.
    If you’ve no talent, but you’re a great marketer, you’ll probalby still do okay.

    But if you’ve no talent..AND you’re a bad marketer….well, guess what’s gonna happen?

    Friar’s last blog post..A Honkin’ Good Time

  15. I find that if I take my blog posts, as you do, from the angle of ‘what can i do to make you think in a positive way’ it always makes me feel like I have accomplished something worthwhile, often I start with a question and end up answering myself by the time I finish the post.

    The act of writing helps the mental process and that’s a great thing!

    Darren Daz Cox’s last blog post..Beauty is as beauty does

  16. @Wendi – There is nothing better then getting hit with the humor stick at no particular time! Yeah. We can do that for eachother.

    @Friar – That looks like a good run down to me. #3 irritates me, but hey, it does seem like it’s the name of the game. I feel extremely guilty if someone comments on my blog and I don’t go over and do the same for them. It’s only fair. I see it as concentric circles. But when you get more people commenting, it does get harder and harder. That’s why Brett’s post on Time seems crucial today for me.

    @Brett – Why does Bob Younce say not to use “beautiful” when blogging?

    @Darren – I think that why writer’s write, and artists create. They need to figure things out for themselves.

  17. Ellen, yeah but Bob also knows that rules are made to be broken, you just have to know the rules, then you can break them. The deal is…have more words to say then beautiful. Then when beautiful is the true right one you can say it.


    See? It stands alone.

  18. @Ellen,

    I laughed when he wrote that, as I like the word very much.

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. 🙂 I’m with Wendi on this one, rules are made to be broken. So let’s go break the rules, and make history.

    And I know what you mean about time and commenting. I started out leaving lots of comments. I still do, yet we have some interesting stuff on the go as you know and we’ll all have to start to focus on those things.

    I think people will see it and understand. Perhaps as long as you drop a comment once in a while, and concentrate on responding to each of the ones on your own sites, that is what works. James & Harry do comment on my blog, for instance, but not nearly as much as I do on theirs. And yet, I can’t spend as much time over at their place now, as I’ve decided to make the time available for other stuff I want to do.

    Brett Legree’s last blog post..time.

  19. @Wendy & Brett – Yeah, I get it…the old overused adjective scene. Like, awesome. You will never hear me use that word. Yes, we do have some interesting stuff on the go.

    I like adding momentum to a site and see it fly. But yeah, once a site does get that momentum, it’s like a kite, and does tend to stay in the air. At least that’s what it seem like so far. Perhaps it’s just force of habit that we tend to go to the same blogs over and over. I have a feeling that’s part of it.

  20. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful!

    (Ain’t I a stinker?)

    Friar’s last blog post..Management Visual Aids for Dummies

  21. You have resaid something, in your own very lyrical way, I have heard many times but you have reminded me of it at a very appropriate time. This thought process, that of compassion instead of petty resentment and self pity, lifts me up out of quagmires of my own creation and brings a freedom and lightness to my sluggish mood. I used to read a few books that would get me out of the contentious frame of mind that locked up my best energies. I liked Herman Hesse a lot for that release. What college sophomore does not like Hesse? Or have things changed since the 60’s? Today I was feeling really petulant over some unimportant affront from an associate. My vindictiveness was weighing me down. Your blog has reversed my attitude toward the associate. Finding compassion toward her and her current difficulties was a much better feeling for me and I was released. I think that I am, normally, a kind person, but I have my frailties and a fragile ego can sometimes be one of them. Anyway. Thanks.

    nouveaufauves’s last blog post..“Tag the Wall”, a family fun graffiti project at the Charlotte Art League Gallery Crawl

  22. @Friar – And you didn’t even get askimetted. Imagine that.

    @nouveaufauves – I used to study all the philsophers, too. I had this great female philosophy teacher who used to say, “never let the men see you get all emotional.” I always wondered why she said that? Because I am a very passionate person and usually say what I think. It’s always on the tip of my tongue. Believe me, I constantly have to come back to my ego and question it. It’s a major koan for all of us. We always bump up against the wall of “self” and “other.” I read somewhere, I think it was Pema Chodron that it is the wisdom of no escape. There is nowhere to hide.

    @Friar – Today is not a beauty day, eh. Today my toilet is clogged and I’m getting really angry. No, it’s not a metaphor for clogged thinking, it really is stuffed up. AAAHHH! Nothing ever goes as planned so I just have to let go of it. Yeah, I was close to the Great White North when we lived in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Who sang that song anyway?

  23. @Brett – Now I want to know about this blog. I’m probably too late with helping you brainstorm. Oh, well, I’m not omniscient!

  24. Bob and Doug McKenzie used to say “Beauty, eh?”, and they sang “Take off!”

    (In case you don’t know..that’s Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis. (Earlier on in their careers on Second City TV).

    Bob and Doug were huge in Canada, 25 years ago. Their movie “Strange Brew” is pretty funny, in a stupid kind of way.

    Bummer about your toilet. (I clogged mine this morning, but managed to get’er going again!)

    deepfriar’s last blog post..Management Visual Aids for Dummies

  25. Hey Friar! Now I remember. And I remember Second City TV. Very good stuff. The equivalent of the old Saturday Night Live.

    We have a techy toilet.

  26. Good one, Friar. Virtual toilets.

    What goes in, must come out. I think that applies to everything in life.

    And I’m going to fit it on a poster.

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