Gassho Treeleaf Sangha,
My name is Jim. I have been lurking for awhile and decided to give my introduction today after a couple of emails with Jundo.
I was raised Roman Catholic and went through the alienation from the RC after a divorce and remarriage. I had some major resentment over the prior relationship that was left unresolved for a few years. I felt like I was really unable to enjoy my great job and my wonderful family life. As a result of my apparent and unreasonable unhappiness, a friend recommended “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle.
I got the audio version and listened to it several times. The book really helped me to begin seeing what I was doing to myself. However, there seemed to be something still missing in my life which was spirituality. I can’t say I completely agree with everything Tolle says but I have to give him credit for putting me on a much better path. I knew enough about different world religions to see the Buddhism in Tolle’s book.
From Tolle I started researching Buddhism more. I was particularly attracted to the simplicity of Soto Zen. I began sitting Zazen and can’t describe the effect on my life. I have not found one thing about Soto Zen and Buddhism I can really take issue with. Zazen and the Precepts have brought a mental toughness out in me that I’d lost a long time ago somewhere along the way.
There is no Soto group close to me, so I am alone except for the resources and teachings on the Internet. I would love to start a sitting group in my area one day but I am certainly not to that point yet. For now, my practice is very private and personal. Only my wife and my oldest daughter know what I am doing.
I’m glad Jundo has done this on the Internet and I will begin posting some. I think the idea of a “Cyber-Jukai” is very exciting and would be a great learning experience for this community.