I do not believe there is any work in the entire Buddhist canon that does not expound the virtues of preaching the Dharma either in its introduction, in the course of its discussion, or in the conclusions it draws. We must regard the preaching of the Dharma with the greatest veneration, as a karmic cause of the highest order. Yet if a person preaches the Dharma for even the slightest thought for reputation, gain, or profit, or with the slightest sense of self-importance in his heart, then the preaching will generate a karmic cause and will send the preacher straight to hell instead. Because of that, preaching of the Dharma must be approached with the greatest circumspection; it must be undertaken with the utmost care.
The Vimilakirti Sutra says that one whose mind still resides in the world of birth-and-death must not preach the Dharma. Elsewhere it is said that those who lack the true eye of wisdom, who cannot distinguish the various capacities of his listeners should not preach the Dharma, and that a person must not preach the teachings of the Lesser Vehicle to those with the capacity to receive those of the Greater Vehicle. Chao-Chou said that if a false teacher preaches the true Dharma, then the true Dharma becomes a false Dharma. All of those words are only too true.
Now Hakuin, of course, says many other things in the work I've cited, and there's a great deal of superstitious behavior floating around in Hakuin's work from the time. (The tale in question from which this quote is taken concerns the "possession" by a kami of a 13 year old boy who was defending Hakuin against some charges that were being made by his contemporaries.) The superstitious psychology behind the behavior of the main story is not the point of this post however, but rather, what the relationship is between expounding the Dharma and blogging.
It's not for me to say why someone else blogs or what their final motivation is of preaching the Dharma. To be honest, though, when some folks talk about how they've made peace with the shadows of greed and therefore there's no problem with them profiting from "preaching" the "Dharma," it looks difficult to reconcile such boasts with what Hakuin wrote above. (That said, I might as well put a link to Amazon here for the book I just mentioned, if only to let you know the source of the quote better. I doubt you'll find that quote on the internet elsewhere easily.) I suspect even old Hakuin himself now and then did not live up to his ideal. But that's part of being human.
I have to try to keep in mind that when I see certain stories and blog posts that seem to be egregious examples against which Hakuin warned, that my response should not be an over-indulgence of ego. That's not always easy.
I also need to keep in mind that other bloggers and teachers might have different "mileage" than those in the school to which I belong, although that doesn't get anyone a license to avoid dedicating themselves to a practice that lacks self-centeredness. It is true that the blogger benefits from blogging, but that benefit is voided by active seeking of it, I think.
I had been reading that bit over the weekend, and simply thought that it was of relevance to the phenomenon of Western Buddhists blogging about Buddhism. Whether or not or how it compares to those who've been hogging microphones to declaim for and against other religions lately, well, that's a question I won't go near today.