Welcome to the Wanderer's Park

...in Canada.
What is on offer here, is a place available for use now, for Buddhist monastics to meet and chat, who have attended a past Western Buddhist monastic gathering (or would meet their qualifying criteria to attend).

This "Wanderer's Park" is a web-based, modern, responsive, invite-only chat forum, which is both private, yet accessable to monastics who don't have a smartphone, let alone an active cellular number (and many popular Messaging apps unfortunately require these, such as WhatsApp). Qualifying participants will need only a valid email address to sign up.

It will look similar to the following screenshot:

The experience will be similarly convenient, compared to using WhatsApp in a "group chat": text, emojis, private messages (between users), photos, attached files (including .mp3 audio and .mp4 video), and notifications (which you can turn off) are supported.

Note that fancier features, like 2-way, or multi-party voice calls, and video calls are not built-in (however you can upload recorded audio and video files as attachments). Having said this, it's possible to create online video meeting rooms in video chat services like Zoom, then paste the link for the meeting into the "Wanderer's Park" channel, stating time, timezone, and purpose.

Will you need to install anything, to access the Wanderer's Park? No, there is no app which needs installing, as it's pretty much just a website.

All you need is a web browser
(such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Edge).

Having said this, there are free, optional Mattermost apps that can be installed for desktops, laptops, and mobile devices (and push-notifications work on mobile). These are a bit easier to navigate, and give notifications even if your web browser isn't running with the tab open for Mattermost.

Are you on satellite internet? This is very, very bandwidth friendly, as it's pretty much just a bunch of text! The odd picture or file that people upload might take several MB to download, that's it.

Note: There is an attachment size limit of 10MB, currently.

Your privacy will be respected here, unlike the unscrupulous, global-scale social media platforms of today. This Wanderer's Park is within a secure, privately-run "Mattermost Team" server. It gets upgraded and backed up regularly, which will require only about 20 minutes of downtime per month.
To sign up, once you've:
  1. been given an invite link (request it here, sufficiently identifying yourself, mentioning any past Western Buddhist Monastic Gathering(s) you've attended)
  2. signed up for a Mattermost account (and you should pick a tough password, ideally using a password manager like KeepassXC)
  3. been added to the private "Wanderer's Park" channel (as well as a Bhikkhu/Bhikkshu-only or Bhikkhuni/Bhikkshuni-only channel, as applies)
...then you can enter the Wanderer's park here.
Note: There are also good, free, native Mattermost apps for Android, and iOS. Again, these are optional (as all you really need is a web browser). The Android app is pictured above, with the theme changed to nicer colors. The server's address to connect to, from the app, is: