Brief members bios - please contribute!

Introduce yourself to others at Dharma Wheel.
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Re: Brief members bios - please contribute!

Post by Emmet » Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:32 pm

I'm 59, happily married, a former firefighter/paramedic and social worker, and have been quite fortunate to live within 3 miles of a Zen Center where I practiced for many years, and a Plum Village sangha as well, in a large and very diverse urban area. The Zen Center was very much my home, although with the virtually exclusive focus on zazen, we tended to silently come, sit, and leave. While I developed some deep relationships with some folks, it tended to be a very individualistic thing. I very much liked the TNH sangha with their very strong focus on community and bodhisattvic practice; collectively "flowing as a river", all Buddhism; all the time.
When I was diagnosed terminally ill with a neurologic disorder, we moved to be closer to family. However, when I didn't die on cue, they re-classified me as merely chronic. We now live in the buckle of the Bible Belt in a very homogeneous rural Appalachian village of 311 people; "three hours from anywhere". It's 98% White, 97% American-born, with the highest weekly church attendance in the state (94%); but only Christian churches; there are no temples, mosques, or gurdwaras for miles. When Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston was shot up by a White supremacist, killing nine parishioners, a veritable thicket of Confederate flags sprouted overnight across the county, and fanciful odes to the Confederacy, and overtly racist screeds, are regularly published in our weekly paper. We don't exactly celebrate diversity here, and neighbors routinely carry sidearms into the coffee shop or hardware store. Having come from a very diverse multicultural society, It's a very curious place to practice.
As I said, the nearest brick-and-mortar sanghas are nearly 6 hour 'round trips in any direction, and I don't drive. Even if I did, I'd never really be a member of their communities in the true sense; able to attend only rarely, I'd always be a visitor; a stranger. I continue to sit zazen in the little zendo I've set up, listening to on-line Dharma talks, and practicing chado (Ryurei, with allowances for my tremor), shinrin yoku (heavily influenced by TNH's style of walking meditation) in the Nantahala National Forest, and Yang-style Tai Chi; all solitary. Hermitage isn't all it's cracked up to be; I'm going to practice Ango this fall with Treeleaf; an on-line Zen sangha.


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Re: Brief members bios - please contribute!

Post by Virgo » Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:01 am

Welcome Emmet. Glad to have you here. :twothumbsup:


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Re: Brief members bios - please contribute!

Post by fikrilast » Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:46 pm

Hi. Im a 26 years old from malaysia and just started to learn more on spiritualism and buddhism to try to get away from my depression. I was on Dm as i had no buddhist friend here to talk about buddhism or perhaps to study further on this. Living in malaysia and was born muslim, i am surrounded by muslims friend or family who are oblivious to the practice of meditation amd mindfulness. Plus they wont tolerate my decision to learn more about budhhism, while the more secular friends seem to not bother at all about spiritualism. I started to be interested in eastern philosophy while reading schopenhaur whom had been mentioning a lot about the vedict philosophy. Then i came across "what the buddha taught" by walpola rahula and started reading more on buddhism and shivaite practice. I hope this could be the first platform for me to learn more and maybe be in a buddhist comunity. And if theres anyone here from malaysia i would love to be friend in real life. Thank you :)

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Re: Brief members bios - please contribute!

Post by Injrabodi » Thu Oct 25, 2018 5:57 am

Welcome Fikrilast. I have a Muslim friend and he typically just replaces the Buddhist paraphernalia with Islamic ones. Meditating while laying or in the prayer position, chanting the names of Allah instead of more typical mantras, always having a Quran close by, etc. This seems to get him by in the local community without too much trouble. From what I understand they merely see it as weird instead of blasphemy.

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Re: Brief members bios - please contribute!

Post by Kjetil_Amanaki » Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:15 pm

Hello :)

I am a 41 year old Theravada lay-buddhist, I was born and raised in Norway and still living here with my fianceè
Buddhism has been a part of my life for over 20 yers now and in many ways it has helped me thru difficult times and in happiness too.
Luckely for me my family was and still are very supporting of my path in life.

I have experienced loss of family member a few times to much (Both parents passed away) but you know, that has only been a teaching about why we are here as human being. Lif is a challenge but it is a reason why we are here :)

I always try to be open toward everyone and compassion has become a part of me during the path :)

Adding a photo of me so you know how i look :)
18095012_1885331978414275_1623231113692446720_n.jpg (71.77 KiB) Viewed 66 times

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Re: Brief members bios - please contribute!

Post by KathyLauren » Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:55 pm

I never noticed this thread before! :shrug:

I am 64 years old.

I got started in Buddhism while I was serving in the RCAF. I was home on leave one time around 1978 and feeling nostalgic for the 1960s. I saw a book by Alan Watts, "The Way of Zen", and thought that Zen was a thing in the 60s so I should read it. I bought the book and it had a profound effect on me. I made notes of his bibliographic references and ordered those books. Then, using the publisher's information card in a couple of those books, I got myself on the mailing lists of a couple of publishers and ordered many more books on Buddhism.

The town I was stationed in had, to the best of my knowledge, no Buddhist groups, so once I realized that I was Buddhist myself, I took refuge by myself in front of a visualized assembly of Bodhisattvas.

At that point, I was starting to understand that being a soldier (in whatever branch of the service) was not Right Livelihood. I served out the remainder of my committment and then left the Air Force. The remainder of my career, until retirement a few years ago, was in IT.

Moving to a larger city, I was able to find a Tibetan group meeting weekly for basic meditation. I attended that group for several years, followed by another when that group's teacher moved away. In 1985, one of my friends from the meditation group went on a Buddhist pilgraimage to India, organized by a group (about 30 people) out of L.A., and I tagged along. We spent two weeks in Dharamsala receiving teachings from H.H. the Dalai Lama, including a private group audience with His Holiness. The pilgrimage also included visits to Bodh Gaya, Sarnath, Rajgir, Lumbini and Kushinagar, as well as touristy visits to Varanasi, the Taj Mahal and Katmandu.

I eventually got married and moved out to the one of the Gulf Islands on Canada's west coast. The islands were full of original and neo hippies, and I was not surprised to find another group to practise with out there. More recently, we moved to Nova Scotia. In spite of the presence of the Shambhala organization here, I have not found any meditation groups close enough to practise with, so I do a daily practice on my own.

Om mani padme hum


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