Hello from the Bronx via ways of Queens, NYC, NY

Introduce yourself to others at Dharma Wheel.
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Hello from the Bronx via ways of Queens, NYC, NY

Post by ylee111 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:13 am

For my 42nd post, I will introduce myself which has been long overdue.

I am ethnically Chinese but identify more as Cantonese as I do not speak Mandarin (nor can I really read Chinese). Since I was a small kid, I frequently visited Chinese Pure Land (and then Chan) temples in Manhattan's Chinatown by Mott and Canal Streets with my grandparents. The temple visits were to beseech Kuan Yin to aid my brother who was afflicted with asthma. But my first introduction was the 1986 CCTV television adaptation of Journey to West, which told of the exploits of Tang monk Xuanzhang and the Monkey King Sun Wukong, in Cantonese, though my mom and dad also read me from some of the picture books beforehand. The show introduced me to aforementioned Kuan Yin and a mysterious and somewhat "different" figure whom the Monkey King cannot escape from the palm of (who was in fact Shakyamuni Buddha).

With that said Japanese culture has long been an influence on my life. At 3-4 years old, I remember watching Voltron: Defenders of the Universe (GoLion) and later a Cantonese dub of Doraemon, By age 6 maybe, I saw my first kaiju movie, Godzilla's Revenge (All Monsters Attack). A year or so afterwards, I saw the most amazing spectacle on my television screen: having discovered Pro Wrestling at age 4, there was nobody on the WWF whom I can identify with but then around 1989 on WCW, the amazing aerial assault of the Great Muta (Keiji Mutoh) caught my imagination. In time, my parents purchased my first video game console, the Nintendo Entertainment System with Super Mario Brothers (and Duck Hunt I guess). With video games, came the monthly magazines such as Electronic Gaming Monthly which introduced me to the first three anime I knew about in ways that were innovative compared to the droll programing on my TV: Ranma 1/2, Dragon Ball Z, Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon. I have been hooked onto the genre since then. In High School, I got sick of watching stuff like Scott Hall electrocuting Bill Goldberg on my television set, played some No Mercy on my Nintendo 64, and learned about a more athletic, innovative Pro Wrestling in Japan (Puroresu) where guys like my childhood hero Muta roamed. In college, a great warrior named Kazushi Sakuraba defended said Pro Wrestling and defeated the Gracie Jiu-jitsu family single-highhandedly at the time in the then-growing sport of Mixed Martial Arts and thus cementing my longstanding love with Japanese Kakutougi (combat sports). Where is this story going - why to Japanese Buddhism of course.

Going back to the subject of anime, it seemed odd to me when I watched my first few series that the "Zen" priests on the shows seemed so "unzenlike" due to the fact that the American education system only teaches about Zen as a Mahayana school in Social Studies courses. Also, I thought Pure Land Buddhism was a Chinese aberration in the Buddhist world with its conservative dictates (which I did not know were actually influences by Neo-Confucianism and not part of the core teachings). Despite the current political conditions between China and Japan, I can't help but continue to like what I like. Maybe I am just too attached to it.

I have since visited numerous Buddhist temples throughout New York State. They include:
- The New York Buddhist Church (Jodo Shinshu)
- Wat Buddha Thai Thavorn Vanaram (Thai Maha Nikaya)
- IBPS New York (Fo Guang Shan)

I think I even visited a big Chinese one upstate when I was on a summer vacation. In addition, Trongsa Fortress monks of the Drukpa school have bestowed me with their public dances around Manhattan a few years back.

My major goal on here is to learn as much as possible on the Ten Schools of Chinese Buddhism and Thirteen Schools of Japanese Buddhism as scholars have classified them as such:

Ten Schools of Chinese Buddhism-
01) Abidharmakosa
02) Satyasiddhi
03) Sanlun
04) Tiantai
05) Huayan
06) Chan
07) Vinaya School
08) Tangmi
09) Weishi
10) Pure Land

Thirteen Schools of Japanese Buddhism-
01) Hosso Shu
02) Kegon Shu
03) Ritsu
04) Tendai
05) Shingon
06) Yuzu Nembetsu Shu
07) Jodo Shu
08) Rinzai Zen
09) Jodo Shinshu
10) Soto Zen
11) Nichiren
12) Jishu
13) Obaku Zen

In the future, when I return to Guangdong/Macau/Hong Kong vicinity on vacation I hope to visit numerous temples. It would be helpful if someone could tell me of a site (in English, though I can wing some Spanish) which is a tour guide of holy Buddhist places in the region as that would be awesome.

the seafarer
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Re: Hello from the Bronx via ways of Queens, NYC, NY

Post by the seafarer » Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:35 am

Hi ylee, nice to meet you. I'm looking forward to your posts, I'd like to learn more about Chinese Buddhism as well. :)
ཁོང་ཁྲོ་སློང་མཁན་མེད་ན། བཟོད་པ་སུ་ལ་སྒོམ།

When there is no one to provoke anger, how shall we practice patience?

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Re: Hello from the Bronx via ways of Queens, NYC, NY

Post by lobster » Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:46 am


Enjoyed reading your intro to dharma story, some of which I am familiar with, such as the NY Temple, the adventures of monkey series and Nintendo through the wii - there is a meditate option with wii fit + . . . not 'updated' to wii-u

Good luck in HK :smile:

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Re: Hello from the Bronx via ways of Queens, NYC, NY

Post by Punya » Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:33 pm

Hello and welcome. :hi:
Just as the trunk of an ordinary tree
Lying in the forests of the Malaya mountains
Absorbs the perfume of sandal from the moist leaves and branches
So you come to resemble who whomever you follow.

~Words of My Perfect Teacher

Former staff member
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Re: Hello from the Bronx via ways of Queens, NYC, NY

Post by DGA » Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:01 pm

Hi, Welcome to the discussion! And thank you for the posts you've made so far...

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