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  1. #51
    A very warm welcome from Germany!

    Good to have you here.

    Gassho and kind regards,


  2. #52
    Welcome Dan and Chris!

    Dan, I live just up the road in Maryville, TN (just outside of Knoxville). I teach music at Maryville College, and I have a best friend who lives in Murfreesboro. Don't know why all that's important, but I thought I'd let you know.

    Look forward to getting to know both of you,

  3. #53

  4. #54
    Hi Chris,

    Glad you are here. Welcome.

  5. #55
    Dan & Chris,
    Welcome to you both.


  6. #56
    Greetings to all the new folks who have come aboard!!! May your stay here be fruitful.

    In Gassho~

  7. #57

    greetings from a baby buddhist in texas

    Hi everyone,
    My name is Shane and Iíve been a meditating person since I was 13 (thatís 26 yrsÖyou donít have to cut me in half and count the rings to tell my age just yet) but it was only about 5 months ago when I took a class in Zen meditation from Houston Zen Center (Soto School lineage) that I got introduced to Shikantaza. It really knocked my socks off and I knew this was what I had been looking for since I was 13.
    I heard Jundoís interview on Buddhist geeks in early January and have been reading the forum and watching the sittings since then. My grandmother was in her dying process that entire month so I wasnít much up for getting signed up and involved at Treeleaf, but life is getting back to normal now.
    Iím a 39 yr old gay male near Houston, Tx. The nearest Soto Zen sangha is 45 minutes away (with Houston traffic, that means 1.5 hours) and a lot of expensive gas and exhaust, so I donít get there very often. I have taken 1 class and will take another starting next week. The 1st was on zazen and this next one will be Buddhist concepts. For some reason I stayed away from Buddhism for a long time but now that I see more of what it really is, I canít believe I didnít get involved sooner, but maybe it was something I was only ready to really hear as I approach 40.
    So Iím a baby Buddhist or what I like to call myself..a ZenfantÖHA. I like reading the posts. You can be snarky with me, but keep in private mail. Iím quite snarky too, but I keep it in check most of the time in mixed company.
    I knew this Sangha would be a good home for me when I read Jundo talk about the metaphor of the universe as an ocean and Jundo said we could just as likely be a fart in the cosmic anusÖyeah baby YEAH!

  8. #58
    Hey Shane,

    Welcome to Treeleaf Zendo! I'm glad you decided to join us.

    I lost my Grandmother in January as well, I'm sorry for your loss.

    take care,


  9. #59
    Hi Shane. Welcome. Very glad you're here.

  10. #60

    Greetings from sweden

    Hi everybody.
    Just letting you know i finally got in.
    I'm a 32 years old schoolteacher currently trying to take a masters degree and at the same time being "parentfree" (being home with my kid), and working in a bookshop.
    I dont really know what else to tell you, i'll just sit this one out... :wink:

    May the force be with You

  11. #61
    Welcome everyone!

    The more the merrier


    OOOO, I like this color thing too.


  12. #62
    Greetings Tb (Filur).

    Welcome to Treeleaf.

  13. #63

  14. #64

    I have been a student of Theravadin Buddhism for perhaps five years now, but my practice of meditation has come and gone. Recently I set aside a room for an extremely simple shrine and have found that this simple change has done a great deal for my practice. While I still keep my nose in the Pali nikayas, I've begun reading a bit of Zen literature.

    I am from a decently large city, but because of my strange schedule I've not been able to join any local sangha. Apparently, Tuesday and Thursday nights are the Buddhist Sunday around here. I enjoy the friendship and accountability that I have found in the few sitting groups I've been able to visit and hope that I can find something similar here.

    Thank you,

  15. #65
    Welcome Dan, Chris, Shane, Filur and Dustry.

    Dusty and Filur, where abouts are you from?


  16. #66
    Hello Sangha,

    My name is Nicole and I am 32 years old. I live on O'ahu, kind of in the country. I'm studying cultural anthropology at the University of Hawai'i. I and my husband are headed to home to his native Sweden in Autumn.

    I am a very beginner with shikantaza and I've been sitting all of one week now. Over the years I've been acquainted/practiced with various forms of Buddhism and have been (loosely) choosing Buddhist philosophy as a guiding teaching for my life since I was 14 years old.

    My first encounter with Zen Buddhism was in a philosophy class at a city college. My next one was sitting (and walking) off and on since four years ago. When I say off and on, I really mean... maybe a total of twenty times. I haven't read many Zen books. I do have a few.... Suzuki, Beck, Hahn, Zen and the Brain... etc... right now I'm reading Katagiri and then the Treeleaf Bookclub book.

    I found this Sangha in a determined Google search. I'd been Yahooing and Googling "online zendo" off an on over the years...and... look what happened!

    For many reasons I've made up for myself I haven't or preferred not to go to a 3d zendo. But I've had many burning questions and wanted someone to show me good posture and breathing and just guide me in my practice.

    I am a total beginner physically but also really feel like a beginner in all ways in everything. I feel a bit of relief when I take refuge in the feeling that I don't understand anything at all.

    I want to build the trust it takes to ask questions authentically and be with my beginnerness in all its bumbling glory. I do worry about wasting everyone's time with silly "beginner questions" but I also trust that folks in the Sangha will not see me or the questions that way.

    Practicing in earnest and sincerely asking those questions I've thought were silly is what I've wanted to do for a long time.



  17. #67
    Hello and Welcome to all the new faces!!
    Sorry for my lateness ops:


  18. #68
    I'm with Dirk. ops: Welcome to the Leaf nikolelie, dusty, Tb, Dan_D, Chris H, and if I missed anyone.

    Gassho Will

  19. #69

    Hi, everyone

    Hey, Tree-leafers. I've seen this project grow from a cool zazen timer doohickey into a -- well, is it cliche to say "vibrant community?" A healthy place to practice. So it was time to quit lurking and join.

    Seems like a lot of folks here came to Zen kinda how I did: a little Goedel / Escher / Bach, a little Shunryu Suzuki, a little Chadwick, a little Joseph Campbell. Envying Zen from afar, until finally it clicked that Zen is something anyone can do. A few tentative sits in 2001. A few more. Legs starting to fold into the requested shape.

    When I lived in a decidedly un-Zen town (albeit one with a Zen center), it was easy to make it down there once a month or so for group sitting. In my new home, it's feast 'n' famine: at least three Zen centers, but all heartbreakingly far away. Driving there would be a wasteful luxury, and public transit would keep me away from duties at home for too long.

    So -- I'm glad you guys and gals are here at the Treeleaf. My practice grew lazy in 2007, but thanks to this place it's snapped right back. Wth the sit-alongs and the timers, it's actually easier to just do it than it is to think of excuses not to.

    This group practice stuff -- I miss it. That air of ceremony or sense of occasion or whatever it is -- it's a reminder that practice is worth taking care of.

    So, um, thanks.

  20. #70
    Hi Donkey,

    Welcome. As to "group practice stuff", I think we will have more in the way of retreats and such once I get back to Japan. Also, we will be studying for a Precepts ceremony (a Jukai) starting soon, including sewing a Rakusu and holding a short retreat at the end (all online... I think it will be the first online Jukai). You are welcome to participate. But, for me, the most important thing is to seek now to be a person who, as you can, does not do harm and acts in healthful, helpful ways toward ourselves and others (not two). The ceremony merely commemorates that fact,

    Gassho, Jundo

  21. #71
    Hello everyone,

    My name is Charles. I'm 28 years old, I live in Southeast Michigan, and I'm very new to Zen. I've read a few books and browsed some internet sites, and I've been sitting for less than a week -- that's pretty much the whole of my experience. My intellectual background and main interest (until now, I guess) is in Western philosophy. I got interested in Zen when I started to notice that it deals with many of the specific problems I've been interested in in my study of philosophy, but in a way that's completely new to me. Its focus on ethics and action, as opposed to pure study, really appeal to me.

    I'm looking forward to talking to and learning from all of you in the future.

    Best wishes,


  22. #72
    Woo hoo! I get to try out my new hazing pad... er, compassion club.

  23. #73
    Lol. Compassion club, eh? Thanks for the welcome all.

  24. #74
    Quote Originally Posted by Rev R
    Woo hoo! I get to try out my new hazing pad... er, compassion club.
    Uh oh...what have I gotten myself into? :?

    In my profession the term 'clue stick' pops up a lot...I'll try not to need that too often


  25. #75
    Hey Charles. Welcome

    You might want to check out Jundo' sitting for beginners.

    I'll try to find the link or if someone else could post it in the meantime.

    Gassho Will

  26. #76
    Woops. ops: I forgot about the sticky on the forum.


  27. #77
    Hi Will,

    I've already watched several of them, and they've been very helpful. I had a really hard time with posture until I saw it demonstrated in those videos. Though I'm sure my posture has a ways to go, I think I'm much better off now than when I started.

    Thanks for the welcome!


  28. #78
    Welcome to Treeleaf Charles, Nicolelie, and Donkey!

  29. #79
    Hi Nicole, Donkey, and Charles -


  30. #80
    Wow, so many new people, that's great! Welcome everyone.


  31. #81

    From the Rio Grande Valley, Texas - Namaste.

    A quick "about me". I am currently a 38 yo Chicano who has lived most of his life along the Texas-Mexico border. Since I was 17, I have been involved in the Unitarian Universalist Association with an interest in Humanism and Soto Zen. Currently, I have restarted my zazen practice, but in very limited levels. In my local UU church, a meditation group has started and am using that as my springboard to more serious zazen. Finally, I came upon your community upon joining the e-sangha group.

    Erik Carlos Torťn

  32. #82
    Welcome new folks. I have been remiss in checking this thread lately. So, a batch welcome to all of the new people.


  33. #83

    Hello everybody!

    Let me introduce myself...

    My name's John, I'm 35 yrs old, married with no children and I live in NJ.

    I was first introduced to eastern thought and specifically Zen about 10 yrs ago by listening to the tape, Alan Watts Teaches Meditation. That tape really opened my eyes. I also became an avid reader of Cheri Huber's books.

    In a nutshell, my experience with Zen over the past ten years has been basically intellectual with only rare moments of actual sitting meditation. I had the humbling realization the other day that I've been "talking the talk" all these years but I haven't been "walking the walk" when it comes to spiritual I have finally reached the point where I've begun to sit on a daily basis. Regardless of how long it's taken me to get to this point, I'm very grateful.

    I'm looking forward to being a part of this community!

    - John

  34. #84

  35. #85

  36. #86

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