My name is Kevin Aldrich and I've just joined the forum. I've spent the last month or two catching up on the sit-a-longs, and am only just now getting to know the forums. It's fun to see in the forum the names I've seen on the blog all along...
A quick bio: I grew up in Syracuse, NY, went to school in Swarthmore, PA, and have bounced around the US and a bit in Australia for the last while. I'm living in Salt Lake City, UT, and have been for about 8 years now. It is here that I met and married my wife, Holly. We're raising two beautiful children (Jayda, 6, and Taegon, 3) together. It's nice to see Leon and Mina in the sit-a-longs. Reminds me of home.
I was raised Roman Catholic, but left that behind when I became old enough to skip church classes and head across the street to play video games at my friend's house instead. I discovered Zen through a tennis instruction book called "Inner Tennis" by Tim Gallwey. That sparked a 12-year-long intellectual study of Zen and philosophical Taoism. I got away from that, and from Zen, about six or seven years ago as I was too scared to really engage Zen, and instead learned more and more about the "local" religion (Mormons). I found some comfort in Mormonism, and a reawakened attention to my more "spiritual" side. Now, I've come full circle back to Zen with a strong desire [sic] to practice, not just intellectualize.
Jundo's sit-a-longs have been a fantastic resource for me thus far. I live about 30 minutes' drive from a Zen center (Kanzeon Zen Center), but have not yet been able to make it out there due to scheduling problems (work, kids, family time, etc). I sit on my own twice a day, but having contact with the Treeleaf sangha has been a great help to me in my young practice (my practice is young. At 34, I'm not quite as young anymore :-)).
I look forward to getting to know everyone better, and learning from all of you. Please feel free to contact me anytime.