Brief members bios - please contribute!

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Emmet
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:51 pm
Location: Clay County, NC

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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Virgo
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Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:47 am
Location: Uni-verse

Re: Brief members bios - please contribute!

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

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

Kevin...
ངོ་རང་ཐོག་ཏུ་སྤྲད། །
ཐག་གཅིག་ཐོག་ཏུ་བཅད། །
གདེང་གྲོལ་ཐོག་ཏུ་བཅའ། །


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