ed’s note: I personally am a longtime fan of Tricycle. I also would have included japhyryder in this list. That said, Mr. Pappas is the greatest troublemakin’ heartfelt twangha member out there—my advice is, don’t you dare cross him! Finally, if you’re not included in this list, just include your handle in comments below, so that our readers and follow you. And if you love Trike, say so! Let John’s honesty below be an opportunity for dialogue, not withdrawal. ~ ed.
I love my #twangha.
It flows with some great and some not-so-great Dharma, but just like the thoughts that pop in and out of my head while I am on the cushion, I give them all a bow and smile in turn.
While we see some big names on twitter, my Buddhist practice is all about engagement. A good Buddhist engages his/her practice and community at every possible opportunity—while on the cushion, waiting for the bus, washing dishes or teaching your child. The same aspect of engagement is paramount for a good Buddhist Twitterer…so for that reason there are some relative unknowns on this list.
Here are my Top Ten Buddhist Twitters:
Oops! Before I really begin I would like the opportunity to toss out @TricycleMag from the list completely. Their tweets are boring, repetitive and surprisingly corporate in nature. Like talking to a canyon, you only hear one voice slowly fading away to nothingness. As a point of full disclosure, I was blocked by @TricycleMag for some period of time. As a true testimony to their level of engagement with their followers – I never even noticed until I went to weed out some chaff (marketers, Brit.ney porn sites) from my followers.
- @digitalzendo~ Notation of a Lay Ordained, Rinzai Zen Buddhist. Day-by-day I realize every aspect of our life gives us ceaseless chances to unify Heart & Mind. Practice well. ~ Jaye simply exudes Dharma. He was my first Buddhist Twitterer that I found when I opened my account and we discussed Shunryu Suzuki and Philip Kapleau for the better part of a morning. Honest and engaging, Jaye is everything that a Dharma-Twitterer should aspire to. Far beyond just slinging quotes and digestible bits of someone else’s wisdom, from @digitalzendoyou see a pure, shining, working-class bodhisattva.
- @DriedShitBuddha ~ Ephemeral and as hard to capture as the winds (or a fart), @DriedShitBuddha defies any chance at definition. The Buddhist twitter version of a high-school bully that will give you a wedgie and then turn around and pick you flowers, I am constantly surprised by what is said by this Dharma-ghost. But remember his(?) words well…they may disappear again leaving only a faint odor.
- @bitterrootbadge ~ A coffee-driven Vajrayana Buddhist badger observin life, spiritual and otherwise, on and from the grounds of Namdroling Temple in Bozeman, Montana~ Everything you would expect from a Vajrayana monk who uses a pissy, foul-smelling, ornery mustelid as an avatar. Just like @digitalzendo, mustelid packs some compassionate Dharma behind two windmilling tattooed punk-ass arms. Will bite and tear when needed but then perfectly willing to provide a sweet Dharma snuggle. Recently, @bitterrootbadge has been spear-heading some increased awareness for the current Mongolian Winter Crisis. He has blown the trumpet of compassion until people heard him and even if those notes fell on deaf ears, he would have gone till his lungs failed.
- @mujaku ~ I have dedicated my life to see what the Buddha saw. So far I’ve been lucky.~ Oh, mujaku! What can I say about a crotchety old Dharma-bum that handles the Dharma like Dirty Harry handles a 45 Magnum? A dedicated slinger of archaic Dharma quotes, Mujaku takes it a step further and will describe each and every thing about them that you are missing. Definitely a former English teacher that you hated when in his class but when you reached adulthood you realize exactly why he was so important…and he has a sense of humor because I have made more phallic jokes at his expense then I care to remember.
- @RevDannyFisher ~ Professor and Coordinator of the Buddhist Chaplaincy Program at University of the West in Rosemead, CA; ordained Buddhist minister; writer.~ Not only did the Good Reverend win Elephant Journal’s Hottest Male Buddhist Blogger contest but he also kept his humility. The Dharmic equivalent of a cup of cocoa, a warm Snugee™ and a night of heavy petting, Danny puts his reputation on the line whenever he acknowledges me on Twitter. Unlike other professional Buddhist Scholars (*ahem* @djbuddha*kaff*), Danny communicates and engages and leaves smiles behind on everyone’s faces…even this old Jack Daw.
- @IntegralHack ~ Dharma, Yoga, Recovering Rortian Ironist, Buddhism (not so much ism), Spiritual But Not Religulous, Integral/Lyrical Thought, Archetypal Psychology, Comedy~ The Karmic Buzzsaw of this Washington lumberjack cuts through the most stubborn of Dharma Douchebags (ei. ME). Wielded with precision, the Hack’s blade dives a little philosophical for me at times but is always willing to stop and explain the big words. If you want a great show then keep an eye out for when @IntegralHack and @Mujakuget started with Dharma combat. If you are really lucky, I may jump in and start flinging jokes.
- @DrumsofDharma~ Student of the Dharma seeking enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings in the ten directions and the three times. Namo Buddha! ~ The Drums of Dharma are played loudly and proudly on Twitter once again. We lost @DrumsofDharma for some amount of time in the #twangha when he took a well-deserved self-exile…and he was instantly missed! Well, he came back with a new avatar, the Name of the Buddha and a handful of sage and is really to start the drum roll once again. An esoteric treat for this practical Zen-Dork, @DrumsofDharma keeps me floating in the Pure Land when all I want to do is stroll down the street.
- @ponlop ~ The fact is I am a generation x-er, according to some. The truth is I’m a rebel without any culture on my way to finding the buddha I know is within me. ~ This one is, I admit, new to me but I am looking forward to great things from an acknowledged master of Tibetan Buddhism that is also well versed in Western culture and technology. He is new to the #twangha, but he is making a great start from the gate.
- @dharmatalks ~ Death Experiences changed my personal growth and spirituality. Then stage IV lung/bone cancer. I share my transformation. ~ One of my favorite purveyors of relevant information in the world of Buddhism, Dharma and spirituality (a close second is the enigmatic @C4Chaos). He is known to sling occasional Rumi quotes but we are trying to cure him of this affliction.
- @shambhalasun ~ The online and print magazine of Buddhism, Culture, Meditation, Life~ Ok, Ok. Since I threw out @TricycleMag for being anemic on Twitter, it seems only fair that I include one of the Big Three Buddhist Magazines in this list. While I am not the hugest fan of the Shambhala Sun magazine, but their blog, Shambhala Sunspace has been rocking the MF’inghouse down in my humble position and they do take the time and effort to engage their readers on Twitter. They use this medium to its full potential (and they don’t block me!). I have to give them some serious and most heartfelt bows for featuring the Mongolian Winter Crisis prominently on their website and blog.
- @DeepakChopra ~ author of more than fifty books translated into over thirty-five languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers in both the fiction and nonfiction categories. Time magazine heralds Deepak Chopra as one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century and credits him as ‘the poet-prophet of alternative medicine’. ~ LOL! @DeepakChopra can SUCK IT!
- @elephantjournal ~ Subscribe free: http://www.elephantjournal.com/join-the-cause is blog, articles, videos, interviews re: ‘the mindful life’: yoga, Buddhism, green, politics. ~ I, of course, should mention @elephantjournal in my list for one simple fact: “mindfulness.” While not exclusively a Buddhist twitterer, The Elephant Journal does one of the most Buddhist-y things of all: they walk the walk and talk the talk! What’s more, Waylon lets us do the talking on the Elephant Journal. You can get some crazy sh*t when you open up a forum like that, and we appreciate it.
Cheers y’all! I hope this meager and incomplete list can get you started in the #twangha. Feel free to check out their pages and then come back here to vote on your favorite …
and if you have nothing better to do, send a tweet to @ZenDirtZenDust.