The mantra I try to instill in my clients & online loved ones is the classic: Don’t Feed the Trolls but have found the suggestion to be quite useful when sitting trying to meditate. Plays on Sharon’s advice to relate to the thoughts that arise during practice like seeing an old friend. Anyway I can increase my equanimity & not loose it when online meanies come a-knocking is a good thing.
Meditation & Writing are both things I’ve been dabbling with for most of my life but until the Real Happiness online challenge they’ve been very separate things. The past week of the online Real Happiness challenge has been insightful, hard & reassuring all at the same. Super grateful for the supportive community and the gentle pointing instructions found in Sharon’s books & her growing audio teachings I’ve been digging from the MindPod Network. Sitting daily has been incredibly rewarding when I’ve made time and gotten my butt onto the mat.
As I’ve begun to sit regularly and ponder how my relationship to my thoughts is shifting ever so slightly in writing online I’ve been dealing with trolls. My internet writing life begin in 1984 in pay per minute chat rooms and I’ve worked as an online community manager as social media emerged so I grown up dealing with anonymous online accounts harassing me & and the brands I work for.
You can say I’ve even made a career out of it. As apart of my grassroots work with the Occupy community I even ran weekly story telling events for kids that centered around the problem of internet bullying. Alot of my day centers around dealing with marketers, activists & people who for one reason or another target the accounts I run: personally & professionally. It’s draining & can be quite toxic.
I’ve always tried to use the values & principles found in Buddhist practice in dealing with them. The Wisdom, Compassion, Equanimity, Patience, Generosity & Loving Kindness hasn’t always been so easy to carry over from the mat to the internet. The improved concentration is allowing me to not loose my temper when the trolls play dirty & catch me off guard as often as in the past. One thing I never expected were that skills & insights from Troll Hunting would be transferable to my meditation practice.
So as the trolly thoughts arise I’ve been simply noting to myself ‘Don’t Feed the Trolls’ and smiling gently inside to myself. Trying to not have an interior grin going from mental ear to ear to broadly as I learn a new way to deal with them.