Article Swap Part Deux!

Ed. Note: Sorry for the delay in posting the pairs. Today I was called in to work because of the snowstorm we had here in the Northeast. I am part of the “storm team” at my job, and thus had to report today, my day off, to help hang new lines and lighten some of the work up. I will have, I promise, the pairs done and posted by Wednesday LATEST! Thanks for your patience! :)

Back by popular demand, Article Swap Part Deux!

This time around we’ll be spicing things up a bit. The same idea as the first blog swap, pairing, will be done again. If it isn’t an equal amount I will use the same idea that Marnie gave me to pair everyone up. Now onto the nitty gritty of this swap.

This time, when you sign up to partake in the swap, leave your name, blog link and idea for a topic. This time around we will all be writing about the same thing! After the pairing is done, I will put everyone ideas on a topic into a hat and pick one!

Also, I’d love to have us all done with this and posted on January 1st. That said, being the first day of the New Year, in addition to the article I’d love each post to have the writers resolution for the New Year and why they are choosing the resolution.

The last day to sign up to be part of the swap is this Sunday, December 20th. I will announce the pairings on the following Monday the 21st.

Are you all ready??


  1. J.,

    At this point it may be a tiny bit late. We did the pairing last week… But, last time we had a couple late sign-ups. So… if you know another blogger would be willing to jump in, what you could do is pair up and choose a topic for another.

    UNLESS anyone else is seeing this and wants to pair up??? Anyone??

  2. Hi all,

    Thank you so much for the kind comments. But…….. (ooops)

    You know the story of the boat. You’re floating along in a boat, gazing at the clouds, having a lovely time, when, all of a sudden, you see another boat heading straight for you. You yell, but it keeps coming – and slams right into you.

    “B^#&^$-i*#{*%!” you shout, your anger rising!

    Only then do you notice the boat was totally empty. Who are you going to be angry with now?

    Well, this is the story of the empty blog comment!

    I checked my email yesterday and saw an old one from John that I’d missed before. It was dated December the 5th and said:

    “I read your comment and almost shit myself. “Damn” I thought to myself “Just one post over here and he’s already cursing in the comments!” – I must be a negative influence! I erased all evidence.”

    It came as quite a shock I can tell you! I make a point of not swearing on-line. Ever. And so hearing that two weeks ago John got a comment from ‘me’ which he had to delete was terrible!

    “Oh no! Someone is playing a stupid joke or, even worse, actually pretending to be me” I thought.

    I was literally shaking with anger/confusion/misery and had to go away and sit it out – watching all these reactions churn away!

    In a much better place I later went back to the email….. John had written again…..

    …it was typo I’d totally forgotten about! I’d written “shit” instead of “shut” in a comment by accident – and had asked John to delete it for me! Which he did!

    If I’d read his first email right away, I’d have know what he was talking about. But, because I didn’t read it until two weeks later, I’d entirely forgotten about the typo I’d asked him to delete!

    So there you have it. Marcus, shaking his fists at an empty boat!

    Oh – and I’m back in the blog swap if that’s okay! LOL!

    (Topic: “The empty boat”. That’s it, that’s my topic suggestion, if it gets picked, make of the title whatever you will!)

    With palms together,


  3. Just thought of an interesting topic- how your geographical region has affected your practice. If it has a large or small community, whether the landscape itself has become a part of it (desert/mountain /ocean), the mental attitudes of the local people, etc. You can go all kinds of directions with it.

  4. @Marcus – that’s extremely childish. I can’t really imagine who would begin to think that they would really be able to pass themselves off as you by swearing as much as possible. I hope you do decide to go through with the swap, as I always enjoy your posts, and have found great value in them. But if not, cool.

    @Ohio Buddhist – Last time we just emailed eachother the posts and put them up that way.

    @Nate – sounds like a plan to me!

  5. Had to consider if there was enough time, with holiday travel etc. to do a proper job at this but now that the date is moved to the 8th I can manage it. So count me in as well.

    Topic: Rules of Engagement. Dealing with conflict in daily life what is your strategy from a Buddhist perspective? Do you de-escalate the situation or engage it “as it is” or wait until the situation (seemingly) resolves itself or a combination or something else? How has your approach changed over the time of your practice?

    @Marcus This kind of thing has happened to me too. Nasty emails and anonymous attributions. But it happens IRL too-personal attacks, water cooler gossip, things attributed and not said, insecurities ill-expressed. It is a form of anonymous violence without a possibility of resolution. Unsettling. At least if there is a name to it there is a possibility, in time, of reaching some common ground. Consider though, that whoever does such a thing has to live not only with the damage they attempt to cause, but their own damaged sense of being in the world which caused them to do such an action as well. They are heavily burdened.

  6. Ven. Dhammadipa once told me that you shouldn’t let someone else’s actions decide how you feel.

    It seems that the people here love and respect you, Marcus… it would be a shame if you let it chase you away permanently. But the need for a ‘break’ is certainly understandable. I had to do just that a few weeks ago, and I haven’t been doing this nearly as long as you have. It would be a shame to miss what you could offer though!

    Curiosity- how could someone let a post go up on their blog without seeing it first? Is everyone exchanging passwords? That seems risky, considering that we’re already targets for hackers.

  7. Hi,

    I’ve just, in the last minute, seen an email from someone (sent ages ago but only just seen by me) saying that my post to their blog was so full of curses that they had to delete it.

    This has left me a bit shaken. I can only guess that someone was pretending to be me in some stupid prank. However, it certainly encourages my increasing disengagement with the Internet.

    For a while now I’ve been doing less and less on the Internet, and that’s probably for the best (certainly in light of this, it is) and so, I’m really sorry people, but I’ve decided to drop out of this blog-swap. Please ignore my last comment here.

    And please forgive me. I’m a bit shaken by this and really want to just get away from the computer for a while.


  8. Hi,

    Right… I think I’ve got it. To be honest I liked the idea of everyone writing on the same day on the same topic – that would have been fascinating. But, another time perhaps.

    Okay, so lets get this straight in my head. (1) We all post New Year Resolutions on Jan 1st on our own blogs. (2) The swap (with a topic from a third person) happens on Jan 8th.

    Is that right?

    Of course the other thing we need, I think, is more participants.

    Anyway, count me in. My topic is…….

    “If you could only have a single Buddhist book by a single author, which one would it be?”

    All the best,


    PS – Little does John know, but I was in costume for those late-night schoolgirl chats!

    PPS – That’s not actually true, but it sure beats the costume Kyle pictured me in on his blog the other day. I have a nasty horrible feeling he might just end up my partner!


    We’ll keep going with people signing up and suggesting topics, but due to some comments here and a couple e-mails I’ve received, we’ll do the actual swapping of articles again. Here’s how it’ll work…

    Like before, I’ll toss everyone names into a hat and pair up buddho-bloggers to swap articles. Since we’ve all been suggesting topics, I will than take the topics and place them in a hat with people’s names in another hat, and pair the topics with people. For lack of a better description, it could than become a three way link.

    For example, and this is only an example, say I was paired to write for Adam, his blog and mine than become linked. But the topic that I get paired with is John’s topic, it than becomes a three way link! That seem self explanatory? If not ask questions. Since the idea has changed last minute, we can all do the resolution idea for the 1st on our own blogs, the articles for one anothers blogs will be due for posting the following week, January 8th.

    I guess the whole idea of the “swap” is to do exactly that, swap articles, so we’ll keep it that way going forward. I enjoyed it and from the feedback it seems more people liked it that way anyway. So… let’s keep those sign-ups coming!

  10. I am a fan of the actual “Swap” aspect of the blog swap. I will, however, participate in whatever we decide to do.

    Perhaps, since time is limited, we go with the idea raised by Marcus and everybody post on one topic (to be choosen) and we link to everybody else’s post. That way we get some movement.

    I do agree with Ohio Buddhist in that I really liked the interaction that went with the actual swapping. Marcus and I stayed up all night chatting like school-girls!

    I’m kidding…it wasn’t ALL night. But getting to be on some-one’s else’s turf was sorta fun. Did anyone see a change in their demographic or some new visitors afterwards?


  11. Hmmm, I think I misunderstood this exercise. After reading the original Swap post, I was under the impression that we were going to get partners, then examine their blogs, then come up with a topic for them to write about to post on our own blogs. This way, our readers are exposed to a more diverse reader base and there is interaction between us as a community, livening up the Buddhobloggosphere.

    I saw that everyone else posted topics, so figured I probably should too although it seemed to contradict the intent. If we’re just picking topics without knowing who is getting them, and not exchanging the posts to put on our blogs, I’m not really sure what the point is beyond a temporary cure for writer’s block.

    I’m not trying to be a killjoy, and I’d still like to participate. Can someone explain? If there are practical reasons for changing it from the first time, I would like to understand. :)

    Many thanks… Emily

  12. Yeah, I think Marcus has the right idea. Maybe everyone post their new year’s resolution on New Year’s Day, and then a week later (jan 8th?) we can all post on the topic that comes out of the hat on our own blog. I think the easier we keep things, the more successful it will be.

  13. Marcus, I agree with it not being necessary to post someone else’s article on your own blog, probably not relevant to this exercise.

    Like you said, maybe we’ll just post it on our own blog BUT ALSO link all the people that are participating in the post. Not sure if everyone else agrees, but I think maybe doing the two-for-one would be easier for some. Being the “holidays” and all, I know I’m out straight and it’d work out for “me” to do it all at once. Anyone else have thoughts on this?

  14. Hi,

    I’m a bit confused. If we are all going to write about the same thing, why do we need swap partners? Why not everyone just suggest a topic, pick one from the hat, and then we all publish on our own blogs on the agreed date? With links to all the other bloggers blogging on the same topic?

    I’m not sure how having an article swap improves the exercise.

    As second suggestion….

    Why not make this two different topics? (1) The New Year’s Resolution – posted on January the 1st. And (2) the topic that comes out of the hat, posted, say, a week later?

    (Okay, now, I have to go away and think about a topic to suggest, but I must say I do like John/Jack’s idea.)


  15. I’m in!

    The topic I would like is how do converts handle celebrating a Christian Holiday (like Christmas) while still staying true to their practice. Successes? Failures? and suggestions/stories?

    It can be reversed to those practicing from birth to include simply handling their practice during the holiday in a country that is largely Christian in nature.

    All these topics are great! Maybe the ones not choosen we could just randomly do on our own blogs next time? Like hey everyone lets all post on on this day.

  16. I’m in!

    Shane – zenfant’s home for dirty Dharma email

    Topic: Practice Futurecast: Next December what will your practice look like? As you look back over the year 2010 did your practice deepen? get sidetracked? add bits? loose bits? study more or less? meditate more of less?

    2nd topic: Where does the rubber meet the road in your practice of the dharma? where do you make it real in the world? where are you pushin your cushion beyond just meditating?

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