Members Autobios - post yours if you like!

Introduce yourself and discover who else is here.

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Dan74
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Members Autobios - post yours if you like!

Post by Dan74 » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:44 pm

For those who like to share more, either at the start or later, this is the place to do it. Maybe tell us a bit about yourself, your practice, teacher and what you hope for in your Forum experience (and life in general!), or whatever you like.

I guess I have to start...

I am Dan, 43, a student at Pädagogische Hochschule Bern (a Teachers' College in Bern, Switzerland), a father of three kids. My wife is a potter. It is cold here and I hope we find money somewhere to take the kids skiing this winter - they love it so much. I was born in the Ukraine, grew up mostly in Australia and 11 months ago moved to Switzerland with my family to help my parents-in-law. Sometimes it feels like we are always struggling, moving, fighting to get a job, get a place, get the bills paid, get by, but it's also a lot of fun - never a dull moment - meet great people, meet all the challenges of settling in a new land - we learn a lot! I have a exam in a week, my first in German and I am scared - my German is still pretty average. It's good to be able to somehow stay in contact with the Dharma and serve in some capacity here, though I honestly don't have much time and never expected this responsibility now.

My practice has mostly been in Korean Zen but I also sat with some Soto groups. Lately not sitting as much as before - NY resolution is to quit alcohol and sit daily. Keep me to it, please.

Apart from the Dharma, family, work, study, I used to do a lot of photography, which I posted a link to in the artwork thread. I also write a bit.

_/|\_

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KeithA
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Re: Members Autobios - post yours if you like!

Post by KeithA » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:17 am

It's nice to see your face, Dan. You look similar to a good Dharma friend of mine. :)

My name is Keith and I used the name "Jok Hae" over at ZFI. It's my Dharma name and it means "Still Ocean".

I am in the sales business, working in the green industry and I am also getting my real estate licence this year. Sales is completely out of my comfort zone, but at 50 years old, I am really enjoying learning a new skill.

In Kwan Um, we have 4 "levels" of teachers, although I consider only the top two to be actual teachers and even they will tell you that we are all students, after all. So, I am a senior Dharma teacher in our little tradition, which is I guess is the 2nd level up from the bottom. I don't take myself too seriously, though. :106:

My 14 year old son practices with me, even sitting weekend retreats. It's really a marvelous thing to watch. He sits like a mountain.

*Tried to post a pic of my teacher, son and myself here, but to no avail. Apparently it doesn't accept google links*

Anywho, I do some bows and sitting everyday and cap off the the day with the four great vows. I am not much of a contributor, mostly because I hate seeing what have written in past. A big mistake!

Good luck and thanks for practicing!

Keith
You make, you get.

New Haven Zen Center

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Great Sage EofH
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Re: Members Autobios - post yours if you like!

Post by Great Sage EofH » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:01 pm

Eric Hansen born 1952 Oakland California. First time I escaped from the yard I headed down the hill toward the Bay, I can still remember the seductive West Coast sunshine I was one or two years old I can remember at age 2 we went to look at our new house in San Mateo that would be 1954 and then I can remember going to the dealership maybe it was Burlingame maybe it was San Mateo Looking at the turquoise and white 1956 Chevy station wagon which dad bought off the showroom floor so that must’ve been the year my little sister was born no she was already born in 1954. So in San Mateo our little neighborhood like my three best buddies one was Japanese was Chinese and one was Greek so it was like the four of us in that area . So the interior of the Chinese house where is darkened and it it had the flavor and feel of you know a quiet meditative space and it’s interesting because my Greek buddy that lives across the street well his dad was president of the bonsai association San Francisco so he had maybe 100 huge bonsai masterpieces in his yard and so Asian culture was always pretty close up for me it’s still has yet to be determined if my mother side of the family is not in fact part Asian I guess I could do the ancestry.com and find out for sureSo all this gives the context to when I was four or five years old and we were having a discussion the kids in the neighborhood and I wondered about reincarnation you’re not suggesting that you know maybe we had had passed lives and that we were being reborn into this one
"We are magical animals that roam" ~~ Roam

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Great Sage EofH
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Re: Members Autobios - post yours if you like!

Post by Great Sage EofH » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:05 pm

So like when I was 14 or 15 years old my aunt had given me a copy of James Hilton Lost Horizon which is a fantastic fictional account of the lost city of Shambala and have people lived up to 1000 years old so it’s sort of borrows the Methesullah story of the Bible mixing in with a fictional account of Tibet so I wasn’t really a very good reader but that book I could easily read that was quite enthralled by and ironically it would be only about a year later that I would be reading autobiography of a Yogi by Parmamahansa Yogananda and some of the same apparently fictional stories would be repeated. shortly after that I started practicing yoga and meditation so that should be 1967 and by then the Beatles the Moody blues and others were already yeah singing songs that had a yoga or Buddhism or Hindu references in the music and I was getting caught up in the mystique of these things and of course combined with that was the fact that they’re real interest was in LSD and similar psychedelic drugs
Last edited by Great Sage EofH on Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.
"We are magical animals that roam" ~~ Roam

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Great Sage EofH
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Re: Members Autobios - post yours if you like!

Post by Great Sage EofH » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:12 pm

So 1967 was very much a pivotal year for me I was very active in the Unitarian Universalist youth group and Assumed leadership role. At a different Unitarian church there was a yoga and meditation teacher who is the minister at that church and I went to those meetings and then began practicing in reading about yoga, Sufism, Buddhism etc. etc. at the same time I had a strong inclination towards existentialism and surrealism and sort of metaphysical and occult interests seemed to fit in. This was the time that if you wanted books on yoga yoga philosophy and anything in depth you actually had to go to metaphysical bookstore or occult bookstore to get these things. So then when I went to college I kind a pursuit of these interest some more and developed an interest in Zen I would say starting around 1971. But the group of hippies I was hanging out with, we all went to a big gathering of the Caravan, with Stephen Gaskin. So he had a lot to teach about Zen and sort of like later Osho, People have one kind of “” spiritual experience and they decide to use in as their intellectual bottle for understanding what it is even though they haven’t studied really don’t understand is in anyway looking for something more concrete we turned to TM
"We are magical animals that roam" ~~ Roam

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Great Sage EofH
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Re: Members Autobios - post yours if you like!

Post by Great Sage EofH » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:23 pm

So so far I’ve gone from yoga and meditation to psychedelics to hippie spirituality to Zen and then on to transcendental meditation. Fast forward seven years later moving to Boulder Colorado the early years of Naropa, we already had had a connection to Allen Ginsberg from an earlier time and so we had more exposure to his works and Naropa as community wasn’t really a presence in the rest of the Boulder community it was fairly well cloistered so it only had a slight impact on my life after this I move back to California And that begin years of interest in Christianity and prayer contemplation and meditation in several different Christian perspective is Neo Pentecostalism charismatic liberal mainstream and eventually gnostic texts. Unlike many people in the Buddhist fold I feel no tendency to disavow this kind of thing anyone interested I can show you some very interesting gnostic material that might make you reconsider but for the most part Christianity has no contemplative tradition that goes back To the beginning
Last edited by Great Sage EofH on Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"We are magical animals that roam" ~~ Roam

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Great Sage EofH
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Re: Members Autobios - post yours if you like!

Post by Great Sage EofH » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:32 pm

So by 1999 I had grown fascinated grown disillusioned but had developed a methodology for looking at the ancient texts and I really didn’t have what I would call a solid contemplative practice. But what I did have is I had completed all whole round of east Asian art history of study in Japanese and Chinese ceramics in Korean ceramics and of them had completed my degree in art and design and craft and had studied ceramics in the southwest studied ceramics in museums in England and I was greatly influenced at this point by J Japanese and Chinese painting and art and particularly the tea ceremony ceramic. So there was some psychological crises in our family and so it was in 1999 that I was introduced to mindfulness meditation and it was pretty much around the turn of the new year that I became involved in mindfulness-based stress reduction and then I kind of thought I needed more than that, and then, that’s when I got involved with the Thich Nhat Hanhs Community of Mindful Living sangha. So that’s kind of a big organization and technically the Vietnamese style is based on Chan but it also has Confucianism and Theravada as moderating influences. And in fact as I’ve mentioned earlier to the meditation style comes from Theravada. The sangha is not very active in my part of Northern Virginia so I’m looking for other meetings to go to right now and that brings you up-to-date. So I’m going on 20 years of practice awkwardly in a Mahayana Thein school with Theraveda sitting practice.
Last edited by Great Sage EofH on Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"We are magical animals that roam" ~~ Roam

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Great Sage EofH
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Re: Members Autobios - post yours if you like!

Post by Great Sage EofH » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:57 pm

we moved from Kansas to Oregon in 2002 so it was right before we moved that I went to introduction of zazen with Fukushima Keido Roshi and that was interesting interaction basically he grabbed my hands to form a more perfect cosmic Mudra and I understood all at once that Zen practice is a more formal practice than what I had been exposed to and certainly visiting Japanese Zen Zendos now it’s considerably more formal. But in Oregon I was able to connect with the sangha, CML and no other Zen group around. In 2005 moved to Washington DC and after about 10 years of practicing mindfulness meditation and having fully been stuck in what some teachers call the serenity trap I desired to exercise more mindfulness but this time in the context of wakeful attention so as I was minding the breath I was focused, wakeful and concentrated on staying with the experience. And this had remarkable results. Although I had a profound and deep change, there was still an expectation that this experience would carry me on its shoulders , in fact I was delusional in that regard. So now, 2017-2018 I’m back on the Path knowing that one is never done with the Path. Beyond the Mountains Are More Mountains!
"We are magical animals that roam" ~~ Roam

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bukowski
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Re: Members Autobios - post yours if you like!

Post by bukowski » Wed May 30, 2018 6:20 pm

Hey all.

I'm Karl. I'm 49, (big 50 in Setember, 2018,) and i have a son, Oli, who is 10, and a wife, lizy. We have been married for 25 years this year.

At age 31, after leaving school with no qualifications, having had many, many jobs, smoking lots of Cannabis and generally wasting lots of my time i had an existential breakdown, and became quite poorly. Through this process i was lucky to be put forward for some therapy by my employer, which inspired me to make the changes i needed to make, and from there i studied counselling myself and qualified as a counsellor 4 years later. I ceased using drugs at that point, and for the last 16 years i have worked in the substance misuse field in a number of roles. Currently i am fortunate to look after a team of workers at the young persons substance misuse service in my city.

As part of my recovery from my breakdown my younger brother, who is a theravada practitioner introduced me to mediation. I took to sitting quickly and joined a Soto zen sangha in the serene reflection order of Buddhist contemplatives. I don't sit formally with a Sangha anymore, but it is something that i plan to return to at some point in the near future. i still identify as SotoZen Buddhist and i still sit frequently.

In reccent years my practice has become more focussed on every day life, and how i can best follow the 8 fold path in my dealings and relationships. I take my role as a Dad and a Husband very seriously, and at work i try hard to be a compassionate and empathic manager.

I have lots of interetst including music, the ocean, (surfing,kayaking, etc.) reading, swimming, cycling etc.

That's me. I'm more of a lurker than a contributor, but i am always keen to meet new people and hear peoples stories.

Metta, Kar l( Bukowski) :namaste:

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clyde
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Re: Members Autobios - post yours if you like!

Post by clyde » Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:27 pm

Share more? OK.

At my local peer-led non-sectarian Buddhist sangha they sometimes ask a member to give what is called a Practice Talk. As I note in my Practice Talk (from 2009),
A Practice Talk is intended to give a member of the Sangha (in this instance, me) an opportunity to share their practice with the other members of the Sangha (you). So, thank you for this opportunity.

And a Practice Talk is not a Dharma talk [which is a good thing for all of us], so I will focus on what I’ve done and what I do.
But it’s too long to post, so I’ve put a pdf of it in my DropBox and you can read and/or download it here:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/6egwjnmvl4nf ... VgbHa?dl=0
“Enlightenment means to see what harm you are involved in and to renounce it.” David Brazier, The New Buddhism

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desert_woodworker
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Re: Members Autobios - post yours if you like!

Post by desert_woodworker » Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:19 pm

In brief:

I came; I saw; I was conquered.

Nature, and Human nature, continues to knock me out.

--Joe (Tennen)

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Great Sage EofH
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Re: Members Autobios - post yours if you like!

Post by Great Sage EofH » Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:04 am

clyde wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:27 pm
Share more? OK.

At my local peer-led non-sectarian Buddhist sangha they sometimes ask a member to give what is called a Practice Talk. As I note in my Practice Talk (from 2009),
A Practice Talk is intended to give a member of the Sangha (in this instance, me) an opportunity to share their practice with the other members of the Sangha (you). So, thank you for this opportunity.

And a Practice Talk is not a Dharma talk [which is a good thing for all of us], so I will focus on what I’ve done and what I do.
But it’s too long to post, so I’ve put a pdf of it in my DropBox and you can read and/or download it here:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/6egwjnmvl4nf ... VgbHa?dl=0
Thanks Clyde, reading that was very refreshing.
"We are magical animals that roam" ~~ Roam

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Meido
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Re: Members Autobios - post yours if you like!

Post by Meido » Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:45 am

Never posted in a bio thread before. But maybe it's good for all of us to learn more about each other, see some history behind the voice, and so on. So here goes:

Raised in NJ, both north and south (grew up in the Pine Barrens...my birth name is Keith). Got interested in Buddhism at a very early age...not quite sure how. Went to Rutgers for religious studies, and while there by chance saw a poster on the department bulletin board for a Buddhist studies abroad program: Antioch University's, in Bodh Gaya. Applied, and went there. Was able to meet and practice with Anagarika Munindra, Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche (who gave me refuge vows). Met Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche (who knocked my socks off, though I didn't really realize what happened until years later when a Zen teacher did the same thing).

Came back home from India/Nepal with TB, and began practicing martial arts seriously (Aikido) to get healthy again. During that time also attended my first Zen (Chan) retreats in NY under Ven. Sheng-yen (where I met Guo Gu for the first time as well). Very grateful to have had that opportunity. I'd thought I'd go back to Nepal and possibly ordain in a Tibetan lineage...but was afraid to do so because of the illness. So getting ready to graduate from Rutgers, I was unsure what was next.

Turns out the chief instructor of the Aikido association I'd gotten involved with was also a lay Rinzai Zen master; he had emigrated to Chicago in 1974. Finding out I had no definite plans, he grabbed me and I ended up living in his training hall - which was a branch of a Rinzai temple Omori Sogen Roshi had founded - as his apprentice/personal attendant for 6 years. At that time I also began to do sanzen with Omori Roshi's main dharma heir, and later one of his heirs.

Ended up staying in Chicago for almost 25 years, studying under my teachers (and also working for one of them). Taught martial arts and meditation for a long time in my own dojos and at seminars around the USA and Europe; got to go to Japan a lot. After my main teacher died I did a brief stint in law enforcement. What I really wanted was to ordain, however, and I was finally able to do that in 2005. Eventually received inka. Later, after 10 years of work we were able to complete Korinji; I'm now 50, so it's not too late...if I stay healthy there should benough time to get the place settled and the training culture set.

I split my time now between Madison, WI where we have a Zen group, and the monastery which is about an hour from there. Don't teach martial arts much anymore except at a few large seminars each year; I still value that discipline tremendously, though, for giving me things I needed to complement my Zen training. I do practice on my own for enjoyment, or to teach someone at Korinji who can benefit from it as I did.

I get to go to Europe fairly often for sesshin and other things, which is nice. Hoping to squeeze out another book or two, and hopefully train someone who can take over the monastery one day. I have a very wonderful wife who also practices in our community...she's a psychotherapist and very smart (other than her choice of a partner).

Looking back over it all, I'm mostly struck by the incredible good fortune of all the dharma connections I encountered. Without really trying (or even knowing who I was dealing with) I somehow managed to meet eminent masters, one after another. I find that really remarkable, and I'm incredibly grateful.

~ Meido
The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice
Korinji Rinzai Zen Monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺] - http://www.korinji.org
Madison, WI Rinzai Zen Community [機山龍源寺] - http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
The Rinzai Zen Community - http://www.rinzaizen.org

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Enver M.
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Re: Members Autobios - post yours if you like!

Post by Enver M. » Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:06 pm

hello everyone,
Enver M. is my real name.
living in turkey.a muslim country.
i hate from turkey but won't get into this subject.
level - beginning
english - medium
style - soto but like to talk about rinzai or zen in general
devotion - sincere
suffering - much

my only aim to get this site is to succesfully accomplish to carry the zen practice in my whole life

nice to see old zenies here from ZFI,
like joe, keith and others

hope not speak too much
and make you get tired.

take care.

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