I am a solo practitioner, living in the hinterlands of San Diego County, California. I am of the 'Beat' generation.
My introduction to Buddhism was through Goddard's 1938 edition of A Buddhist Bible. Watts and Keruoac introduced me to Zen. Although I have meditated on and off, in various manners, since 1955 I did not become a practicing Buddhist until 2001.
Because I have an affinity for Japanese art and architecture I have been called to Zen practice. In my travels I have managed to visit several Japanese shrines and temples, including the Great Buddha at Kamakura and Kinkakuji in Kyoto.
My primary spiritual training was in Christian Science and I was qualified as a 'practitioner'. I have also studied Vedanta and Yogananda's SRF.
It was my good fortune to meet Thich Nhat Hahn on his first visit to the US, in 1973 before he was established in the west.
I am by profession an architect. My interests include auto racing, mountaineering, Alcoholics Anonymous and reading. I have two sons and a daughter. My daughter is also an architect, as well as an artist. Her performance art works have a standing invitation to exhibit at the New York Museum of Modern Art.
As is common for Americans my genetic pool includes Welsh, Irish, French and German sources. When I mentioned this to a Swedish girlfriend I had (while living in Greenwich Village in the 50's) she was shocked to realize she had a 'half-breed' boyfriend.
Jundo, your project here is a worthy one! I saw your notice regarding the readings/sittings at e-Sangha, where I am a founding member.
May your success be of benefit to all sentient beings.
Always nice to meet another Alan Watts reader. Impossible to read any of his books without smiling (more probably laughing outloud) :D