Greetings to all!
I am new to Treeleaf, and new to the practice. I have spent some time over the last few days looking in on your sangha through the forum and would like to ask for the opportunity to listen and participate.
I am 36, married with one son (Owen, 3 yrs old) and I live in central Ontario, Canada. I have not found a local sangha, so my exposure to zen has been limited to books and audio lectures.
Until recently, I would have called myself an athiest, but I have been on a restless search for something. While I am uncomfortable with the Roman Catholic tradition that I grew up knowing, I also recognized that pure athiesm did not provide any focus either. (See Richard Dawkins – a wonderful contributor to the science of sociobiology, but The God Delusion struck me as an angry and unreasonable rant.)
I have had an interest in mythology and comaparative religion since stumbling on Joseph Campbell. I enjoy the stories and meaning behind many of the world's belief systems, but I can not reconcile the ideas of otherworldly beings and existences with my deep seated intuition that here and now is all there is. This past spring, I took notice of Zen.
Thanks for being here.
P.S. I saw the discussion on what music do you listen to. Belle and Sebastian is never far from my player. Other music that sees time on the playlist: Tegan and Sara, the Jam, the Fratellis, the New Pornographers, the Rheostatics, Simon and Garfunkel, Sister Vanilla, Cinerama, the Specials, and with the snow starting to come down...nothing beats the introspection of Leonard Cohen.