Buddha's Village Forum

Guidelines and Policies, 
Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers.)

Please feel free to send any comments by e-mail to webmaster@buddhasvillage.com

These FAQs are based on those drawn up by Eddie Rhodes on his Diverlink website for which we gratefully thank him.

General information that applies to all our forums 

This forum is monitored by the entire membership and has a moderator to ensure that posts remain civil. You will find rigorous debate and discussion on occasion where people debate the issues without losing respect for each other, as civilized people have done for hundreds of years.

Reason, tolerance, and respect prevail here. We believe them to be key ingredients to intelligent discussion. There is no room for the hostile and ill-mannered in any of these forums. You can say just about anything you like so long as you do not lose respect for your fellows.

The purpose of a moderator is not that of a censor. Moderators are more like newspaper editors. Members are solely responsible for their comments. Commercial postings, especially those that do not contribute to any thread or add anything new to the Buddhist community may also be refused or removed.

We do not seek to restrict ideas, we simply choose to see them expressed in a civil and respectful manner.

Here is a brief explanation of some of the questions you may have about Buddha's Village Forum:

Technical Issues

Guidelines for posting

Moderation Issues


Do I have to register in order to post here?

Not yet, maybe not ever. Right now, registration is optional. It does allow you to take advantage of several program features, including the ability to edit your own posts. You will have to enable the acceptance of cookies in your browser if you register. The program uses them for several functions. Please see Forum Features for specifics on what those functions are.

At some future time, registration may be required. It will validate the e-mail address of anyone who registers. All those who choose to register now, during the optional period, may have to register again when the validation feature is enabled. it is a process accomplished in less than a minute.

By requiring all participants to become members, it prevents the anonymous vicious posts that happen in other forums all too frequently. It also allows us to deny access to those who may attempt a display of barbaric behavior here as has been done in other forums. It allows us to maintain a congenial, cooperative atmosphere.

Registration also allows us to have member profiles, to add a more personal touch to what some perceive as an impersonal medium. We're very personal here, even though many of us will never meet (and many of us will or have already).

It also enables the moderator of the forum to notify the members of any special announcements. Please note that under no circumstances will e-mail addresses be sold or given to anyone else, nor will they be used for anything other than the stated purposes.

We may never get to the point when registration is required.  Our well established atmosphere of respect and civility in our forum has been a succesful deterrent thus far.  We hope the majority of our members will choose to register and take advantage of its many benefits, but it is not required that you do so.


Why didn't my post show up?

Your post most likely did not show up, because your browser did not reload the page, it simply pulled it into cache and continues to show the same page. Please hit "Reload" or "Refresh" and the new page with your post will then appear.   If it doesn't, hold down Shift and then hit Reload (in Netscape) or Ctrl (control) and Refresh in Internet Explorer.

Please do this before you hit "Submit" again to prevent needless duplication.  If it happens anyway, and you are a registered member, you can delete the duplicated messages yourself.


Won't spammers be able to get my e-mail address if I post it?

NO! Ordinarily it would be true that when you post your e-mail address in a public forum, it can be harvested by those scurvy knaves we call spammers (senders of unsolicited bulk e-mail) using extraction software (a form of electronic eavesdropping). However, when e-mail addresses are posted here, they are protected by several means.  They are encrypted on the main page and not usable by spambots (spam harvesting robotic software).  We also use a simple device (there are others) that makes your address invalid when mailed to directly. You can use it on your own web site. All you have to do is make all e-mail links with mailto:%20 followed by your name and the domain name instead of the usual mailto: When you click on any such link, it will work normally. However, if you mail to any such address, it will return an invalid address message, thus protecting your address from being harvested by spammers.  We want you to feel safe to leave your real address to be contacted by other contributors, not spammers that are the scourge of the Internet.

Leave your normal address. Our script adds the protection automatically.

(Harvesting of e-mail addresses is more of a problem on Usenet (newsgroups) and alternatives, than on the Internet, but why take a chance? Once you get on their mailing lists it is difficult to get off, and nearly impossible.)


How do I use the Optional URL fields and what are they for?

When you wish to tell someone of another site, you can make it an active link by typing in the URL (Uniform Resource Locator), also known as the web address. Be sure to type in the title of the site in the Link Title field. If you wish to add an image (photograph or other image) above the text of your response, type in the URL to it. This is not necessary if the image you want to provide a link to is displayed on the page you listed in the Optional Link URL field. Do not type in the URL for another page in the Optional Image URL, field, it will not work.

Please remember to include the http:// as part of every URL


Are there any rules for posting here?

Only self-imposed rules of good manners and respect for others. We ask that you refrain from vulgarity and profanity, insulting others, and nitpicking remarks about spelling and typographical errors. Please keep your language appropriate for polite adult ears who have no desire to hear rough or abusive language.

People with a recent history of unprovoked attacks on others in other forums are not welcome here. This is not a refuge for the uncivilized. It is a haven for those who wish to get away from them.

Also, this is a global medium. While English is the predominant language here, please keep in mind that it is not the native language for some of the members and errors in spelling and grammar will occur. Please overlook them, though you may ask for clarification of their meaning if it is unclear.

Additionally, we encourage members to follow other Internet and Usenet guidelines like not typing all in capital letters. It is considered the equivalent of shouting and makes messages harder to read. Also, please keep the Subject field of reasonable length.

To reduce confusion, please make sure that you are responding to the message you intended to respond to before you post your response.

We also ask that you do not make unfavorable comparisons to other forums.  All too often, they invite disparaging remarks towards our own.  Enjoy each forum for what it is, and leave behind the problems of any others when you join ours, and the comments about their problems.  If you wish to make any comments about other forums, they belong on those forums.

We do not censor this board and you are on your honour to follow these simple rules of respect for yourself and others. Occasionally, when someone has repeated the same exact message several times due to some error, we may remove some of the extraneous postings to conserve bandwidth and reduce confusion, though we will not modify or delete the original message.

If a hostile or vicious message is posted, it will be removed. Our entire membership monitors the forums and notifies the moderator. This is not censorship. The Golden Rule is in place here. Ideas flourish in a receptive environment. We will not allow this forum to degenerate into a yelling match where insults are exchanged instead of information. We will not restrict ideas though we may remove uncivilized and anti-social posts for the greater good. Barbarians are free to demonstrate their bad manners, intolerance, hostility, and general incivility elsewhere.

If you turn up the heat, we will hit "delete."


How long do messages remain posted?

Until we run out of space! Newer messages are posted above older ones and responses to a message are posted directly below it. Older messages move to other pages, accessed by via the Go button on the navigation bar. Eventually very old messages will be archived; announcements to this effect will be posted.


Is there an archive of old messages?

Yes. We will maintain the previous Buddha's Village Forum pages and they can be accessed via the link at the top of the page. Older previous messages from the new Forum will eventually be archived and can be accessed from the main forum page. You may read them but no replies are possible.


Can I put HTML tags anywhere in my posts?

Yes. If you know how to use HTML tags, you may use them to embolden or italicize text, and other things. Please don't overdo it.


I find the colors and background makes it hard to read. Can I change them?

Yes. We have chosen colors and style for a balance of attractiveness and ease of viewing. The appearance to each member will vary from one computer to another based on browser used to view it, monitor and graphics card, and your own browser settings. If you are straining to read on your particular system, you can override our choices and set your own colors, font, and other things. Please see Resources, Technologies and Tips for the Visually Impaired to Increase Access to Websites for instructions on how to configure your browser. For members on AOL, whose browser usually lags behind Netscape's and Microsoft's, you will have to speak with them for help in configuring your system.  The same is true for WebTV users.


Sometimes I have problems connecting or posting. What's wrong?

For connectivity problems, it may be nothing more than the vagaries of the Internet and how it functions, from one computer through several hops to the final destination. Try connecting again. If you want to see the connections you make and if there is an excessive delay on any of them affecting your connection time, go to a DOS prompt (if running Windows), type tracert and the destination domain, such as tracert buddhasvillage.com You will see each connection to the destination for this particular session. Anything much over 300 ms (milliseconds) indicates a traffic jam on that particular part of the information superhighway. Connecting again means you will take a different route, perhaps one less crowded.

For more on problems with connectivity, see Internet Issues and FAQ.


Guidelines for posting

Choice of name or nickname

You may use your own name or a nickname when posting messages. If you use your first name, please add an initial or last name after it, particularly if it is a common name. It reduces or eliminates confusion. Even using first name and last initial, it is possible some duplication might occur, so please be as unique as possible. Use of names and nicknames is on a "first come, first served" basis. Whoever first used a name (properly) or nickname has the exclusive right to use it. Naturally, it is improper and a violation of our rules to post using someone else's name or nickname, regardless of how benign the message might be.  Our program allows registration of a name and prevents unauthorized use of anyone's name.


Please keep messages in Subject field short

Long messages belong in the Message box. Long Subject fields not only take up more than their fair share of space on the board, they make the page needlessly bigger and make everyone have to put up with longer times to load and reload the page. This is even worse when people respond to such messages without trimming the Subject field. For those with slower connections, especially if they pay by the minute, this is even abusive as well as costly.  There is an eighty (80) character limit for this field to prevent that.


Please, no "stupid questions" in Subject field

You will find the members here supportive of those with open and inquisitive minds. As some say "the only stupid question is the one not asked." There is a difference between being uninformed and stupid. If you are asking a question to find the answer to something, you want to be informed which is not the least bit stupid. Look at it another way, all of us have been unknowledgeable about many things in our lives (and still are about countless others), including diving, until we found out. If you call your question stupid, you are calling our (earlier) questions stupid too. Please respect yourself and us at the same time.


Please don't anticipate being flamed in your remarks

This is just a suggestion. Too many forums have people who are so intolerant of discussion and so easily prone to hostility, that some participants anticipate that even the most innocuous of remarks will bring a barrage of insults (flaming). We hope the more congenial atmosphere here will put all people at ease and relaxed. Such remarks suggest an intolerance that is not at all characteristic of our members and should be as rare here as a narwhal in tropical waters. No one here wants the kind of atmosphere where people are hesitant to ask any civil question because they fear the response.


Check the waters before you dive in

Before posting any statements, you might want to read some posts first. Sometimes newcomers might drop in on some good natured banter and take it seriously, not realizing that some ribbing (kidding) is going on between people who know each other and have kidded before. It's the failure of the written word that it often fails to convey intent and meaning. Dry and subtle humor is especially easy to mistake.

It's a good idea for other reasons too, especially on a long thread. If you read for awhile, you get up to speed on that particular discussion and are less likely to have misconceptions. You can add to the conversation rather than asking what you've missed (by not reading).

Please don't take that to mean that you shouldn't ask questions right away, though, or even that you have to observe before saying anything. It's like anything on the Web. Sometimes you listen as someone tells you what a new site is like, sometimes you discover that on your own.


Have fun

This is more like an online Buddhist club than just an electronic forum. The Internet is only as impersonal as the people on it. We have a friendly group of contributors here. You're welcome to join us! There is always room for another. Intelligent, thought provoking, incisive discussions can occur without barbaric and uncivilized behavior. In fact, it is nearly impossible when such behavior is present.

Civilized discussions and debates are conducted in this manner and have been for hundreds of years. When people maintain respect for each other, they can disagree, exchange ideas, even understand the opposing point of view, regardless of agreeing with it, with insults and attacks nowhere in sight. When discussions degenerate to trading insults, minds are generally closed to new ideas and it becomes an imposition of wills, trying to prove the other person wrong and seeing who knows the most vulgarities. Nobody wins in such cases.

How can any civilized person justify such actions? This contains the answer as well as the question. A civilized person doesn't.


Who is the moderator and how do I contact him or her?

The Forum has a moderator who is a member of the forum. There is an e-mail address at the top of each forum page that is forwarded to the current moderator. Our moderator is able to do many things beyond what is typically thought of as moderation, including creating polls and fixing the occasional problem a user might have,


What do I do if I should see a post that shouldn't be there?

Send an e-mail to the moderator of the forum. They are charged with the responsibility of deleting all inappropriate posts. Each forum is monitored by the entire membership of the forum. The moderator simply carries out their collective wishes to maintain a forum for the trading of information rather than insults, vulgarities, or excessive advertisements.

Don't respond at all to the post. If it is offensive, any remark may spark an argument over it. The moderator will deal with it. Please don't give the people who post offensive posts the attention and notoriety they crave. Ignoring them really is the best solution, especially knowing their message of hate will disappear soon.


What does OT mean and why do some posts have it?

OT stands for Off Topic. It is something some members add to the Subject field as a courtesy to others so that an OT  post may be easily ignored if one is looking only for Buddhist information. We talk about many things here, principally, though not always, about Buddhism. You may use it as well, though it is not required that you do so.


Why are some posts made by Buddha's Village and some by Tony Page- aren't they the same?

Not quite. Buddha's Village, the site and resource, is owned by Tony Page, though the site reflects information and contributions from a great many people and sources. Any time a post involving policy or administration is made, it will show Buddha's Village as the name (as the administrator of the site). When participating in the Forum discussion and other issues) as any other contributor, anything that doesn't involve administration or policy, posts will show Tony Page(as the member).


Return to Buddha's Village Forum

These FAQs are based on those drawn up by Eddie Rhodes on his Diverlink website for which we gratefully thank him