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Thread: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

  1. #1

    GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Hello, New People to the Treeleaf Sangha,

    Please post a little introduction here. Welcome and make yourself at home!

    Gassho, Jundo

  2. #2

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Hi, Everyone,

    I guess I jumped the gun when I posted my hello earlier! Have to work on patience!

    I live in Canada and there's no place close for me to visit and meditate with others present as well. There used to be a Tibetan Buddhism group that I studied with but they left due to lack of support amoung other things.

    I sit regularly and have been to a few Theravadin Silent Retreats which I absolutely loved. It's the simplicity of it that I like, no mask, just humans being.

    I'm glad to be here and thanks to all who've already welcomed me,

    Keep well, many blessings,
    Lora

  3. #3

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Hello everyone.

    Though a native of north-east England, I've lived in North America for almost twenty years and I'm a college teacher. I've been interested in zen buddhism for around twenty five years. My previous attempts to develop a regular practice didn't quite work out, but I've been sitting more or less daily for about a year and a half now, with weekly attendance at a local Soto Zen group. I've lurked on Treeleaf for a while, but was prompted to join so that I might be able to participate in discussion. I also like the international scope of this sangha's membership.

    Looking forward to getting to know you,
    Simon.

  4. #4

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    welcome simon.
    we are glad to have you with us

  5. #5

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    HEELLLOOOOOOOO

  6. #6

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Hey Simon. Welcome.

    Lora I already got you in the other thread


    Gassho Will

  7. #7

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    .

  8. #8
    Martin55
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    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    hello everyone.

    It is wonderful to find what you have been hoping for, looking for.

    after a year of studying buddhism and 9 moths studying zen in an isloated area, this zendo is most welcome.

    My practice is difficult due to arthritus and OCD sometimes a session of breath counting is 15 minutes of 1.....1.......1.......1......1 interrupted by constant thoughts and sometimes thoughts about not having thoughts or thoughts of not having thoughts about not having thoughts. You get the picture hopefully.

    Still the practice has been a blessing at work and at home. The support here will be most welcome.

    So from Northwest indiana hello.

  9. #9
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Lora, Simon, and Martin55,
    Welcome to Treeleaf! Looking forward to practicing with you and "seeing" you in the Sangha!

    Alex

  10. #10

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Welcome Lora, Simon and Martin55,


    Quote Originally Posted by Martin55
    My practice is difficult due to arthritus and OCD sometimes a session of breath counting is 15 minutes of 1.....1.......1.......1......1 interrupted by constant thoughts and sometimes thoughts about not having thoughts or thoughts of not having thoughts about not having thoughts. You get the picture hopefully.
    Martin, It sounds like you are on the right track. When I started at Treeleaf, Jundo suggested that I drop the breath count. Although it is a good way to begin to focus, it can get in the way of Soto practice. After that it is a matter of letting go of any thoughts if they come up (they will!)

    Good luck and keep at it.

    Gassho,

    Linda

  11. #11
    Kiddo
    Guest

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Hello to All,

    Glad to have found you and look forward to getting to know one another.
    I've been meditating on my own for 4 or 5 years and don't really know to much about Buddhism other then having read a few books by Thich Nhat Hahn and Pema Chodron. I've never done any retreats or studied with a teacher but I have spent many a session with my therapist discussing meditation as he is a Buddhist.
    My practice is all about staying when I want to run and I want to run much of the time. I can go for long stretches of time where I can witness the insanity of life and then there are times when I feel like I get sucked into my thoughts , feelings, goings on in the world and THAT is who I am. It goes back and forth.
    Anyway, that's my story for now and I'm sticking with it.
    Be well folks,

    Kiddo

  12. #12

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Hello new people. Hope to met you on the forum or in the mediation room.

  13. #13

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Quote Originally Posted by lindabeekeeper
    Welcome Lora, Simon and Martin55,


    Quote Originally Posted by Martin55
    My practice is difficult due to arthritus and OCD sometimes a session of breath counting is 15 minutes of 1.....1.......1.......1......1 interrupted by constant thoughts and sometimes thoughts about not having thoughts or thoughts of not having thoughts about not having thoughts. You get the picture hopefully.
    Martin, It sounds like you are on the right track. When I started at Treeleaf, Jundo suggested that I drop the breath count. Although it is a good way to begin to focus, it can get in the way of Soto practice. After that it is a matter of letting go of any thoughts if they come up (they will!)

    Good luck and keep at it.

    Gassho,

    Linda
    Yes, I recommend breath counting for a few weeks, or a few months at most, for new folks who are having difficulties in calming and centering their thoughts during Zazen. But we consider that as just training wheels on the bike, to be taken off sooner rather then later.

    In some schools of Buddhism, and even in some Zen traditions, breath counting or breath following are pursued with greater intensity and for longer periods, even for years. But in our Soto way, in which our goal is no goal, we begin "just sitting" Shikantaza as soon as the person gets some sense of the difference between a quiet, open, nonjudgmental mind and a mind filled with thoughts and emotions.

    Gassho, Jundo

  14. #14

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Greetings Martin, Kiddo, Simon, and Lora [again].
    Glad you all are here.

    Bill

  15. #15

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Hello All,
    Retired New York City Fire Dept. Interested in Zen for about ten years but mostly
    reading and minimal sitting. Started sitting more regularly to the Treeleaf
    timer, which really does beat the old egg timer stuffed into a towel gig.
    Anyway, greetings to all from New York State.
    Sincerely
    Dan

  16. #16

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Hi all,

    I'm a librarian living in the Cincinnati, Ohio area. Sitting zazen for almost 10 years, mostly alone, and have been to a couple of short sesshins. I sit every morning for about 30 minutes. Some of my favorite authors are Charlotte Joko Beck, Steve Hagen, John Tarrant, Brad Warner, Shunryu Suzuki, Norman Fischer, and Ann Coulter. (kidding on that last one, just seeing if you're paying attention) :P It's beginning to sink in that books can't tell me what my life is all about. Only Just THIS can.

    I read the thread about yoga practice here. Does anyone recommend some stretches that will help a fella sit in half-lotus (at least)? I've been using a seiza bench for the last couple years and have recently begun to sit Burmese style.

    Gassho,
    M@rk

  17. #17

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Welcome Everyone!

    M@rk, you got me with "Ann Coulter" :lol:


    Gassho, Tony

  18. #18
    Graham
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    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Hello everyone, I'm glad for the opportunity to join the Group...thanks to Heather for pointing me here and to Jundo for letting me in...

    My name is Graham. I live in Trinidad, a small island on the Southern Caribbean. I am the administrator of a small group affiliated to the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives. I also maintain a website for the Group at http://www.zenislandsangha.org .

    I've spent several days "lurking" on TreeLeaf and very much enjoyed the postings by both Jundo and the members, hence my decision to sign up. By coincidence, I'm also in the middle of a reread of Uchiyama's "Hand of Thought"...serendipity!

    I have been following a Soto practice for about five years, with various others before that.

    I look forward to your posts and participating where I think I have something to add.

    Metta
    Graham

  19. #19

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    .

  20. #20

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Thanks for the link Martin. Some of those stretches look almost as painful as full lotus! ha ha.

  21. #21

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Hello

    I am new to meditation. I started using the meditation timer here about a month ago, and sit for 10-20 minutes early morning at work, before anyone else shows up. I was with a Nichiren group about 20 years ago, but for a number of reasons that did not work well for me. I've wandered through almost every Christian denomination that exists. I'm rather of tired of wandering, and now I'm enjoying this just sitting, and not thinking. I feel rather alone in this, in that my husband doesn't want to do or talk about any kind of practise, and I don't know anyone else to share this new (for me) discovery with. So, I finally got up the courage to join here.

    Ann

  22. #22
    Senior Member Kent's Avatar
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    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Chessie, welcome aboard, this is a very friendly place, with lots of wisdom and support. Gassho Kent

  23. #23

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Hi Chessiem M@rk, Graham and Dan,

    Welcome!

    M@rk, nice to see a fellow librarian.

    Gassho,

    Linda

  24. #24

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Quote Originally Posted by chessie
    Hello

    I am new to meditation. I started using the meditation timer here about a month ago, and sit for 10-20 minutes early morning at work, before anyone else shows up. I was with a Nichiren group about 20 years ago, but for a number of reasons that did not work well for me. I've wandered through almost every Christian denomination that exists. I'm rather of tired of wandering, and now I'm enjoying this just sitting, and not thinking. I feel rather alone in this, in that my husband doesn't want to do or talk about any kind of practise, and I don't know anyone else to share this new (for me) discovery with. So, I finally got up the courage to join here.

    Ann
    ann,

    My wife seems unsure about my Zen practice as she was raised in a very fundamentalist U.S. church. She doesn't go to that kind of church anymore and doesn't like their social conservatism, but it's hard for her to shake some of what was instilled in her. We don't talk much about my practice life; hopefully she'll see the results in me and will be more comfortable with it.

    M@rk

  25. #25

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Quote Originally Posted by M@rk

    We don't talk much about my practice life; hopefully she'll see the results in me and will be more comfortable with it.

    M@rk
    The question came up yesterday about prostelitizing. We don't. And we have also had some discussion on this forum about how to "explain" our Practice to friends and family who might have doubts or questions. I think the following about summed it up ...

    what do you do with your family and friends to explain your practice?? Well, in my case, I did not need to do much. After I had been practicing for awhile, they noticed changes is me that they thought good. When other people would get worked up about situations or act in negative ways, I was always pretty peaceful and level headed. They told me that I seemed more caring and at peace with myself (you should have known me when I was an A-type personality corporate lawyer about 20 years ago).

    Finally, they found that I was "just the same old guy", in the meaning that I was not a robot, not unemotional or "detached" from relationships and my family, not hanging around airports raising money dressed in a bedsheet, not doing anything really different from before ... but yet different from before.

    My own mother began to take an interest, and came to sittings once in a long while. By the end of her life, when she had cancer, she turned in part to Buddhist philosophy to go through that. She eventually asked me to conduct her funeral in a Buddhist way (and I did a kind of very personal Buddhist funeral for her).

    The way to tell people about what we Practice is just to live your life, be their friend, husband and son. I think.
    Gassho, Jundo

  26. #26

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Hi everybody!

    I'm Päivi (paivi) from Finland. I've been reading Buddhist texts for ages now (I'm 50). I live in the country, so I haven't had a teacher or a regular sitting group before. I've done my sitting on and off for about 15 years - mostly off, I'm afraid.

    Buddhism is a big part of my everyday life nowadays. I hope to get involved in planning and starting a retirement home for... let's say... people like me. It would be wonderful to be able to share what we all have learned in life and do our practice together.

    I have recently changed my livelihood into something that I feel is right. I work with developmentally challenged elderly people. Originally I was a journalist, later a copywriter. Now I'm really happy with what I do for a living.

    It would be good to get to know yall a bit. Feel free to ask, if you want to know something about me or share something.

    Gassho, paivi

  27. #27

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Thank you for showing me the way here, Sakari! p

  28. #28

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Hi everyone. Welcome to Treeleaf.

    Gassho Will

  29. #29

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Hi all,

    Welcome, great to have you here with us!

    Gassho
    Ken

  30. #30
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Hello all,

    My name is Scott and I'm a stay at home dad to a nearly 3 year old son. I'm 33 years old today (the 26th) and relatively new to Zen in that I've read about it but never got to the sangha part of it. That's due to a combination of my somewhat shy nature but also because of the commitments I have here at home. There is actually a well known Zen Center about 10 miles away, but it might as well be 10,000 with the schedule I keep. So, I was very intrigued by the idea of Treeleaf and from what I have seen so far I think it will provide a great opportunity. Now, all I have to do is take advantage of that and hopefully get to know you folks in the coming days, months, and years if I'm lucky. It looks like jumping right in is the thing to do, so I'll do my best.

    Gassho,
    Scott

  31. #31
    Senior Member Kent's Avatar
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    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Welcome Scott and Happy Birthday!! Gassho Kent

  32. #32
    sitonmyfaith
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    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Hey everyone!

    My name is Geoff, I'm 32, from the north-west of England, but recently moved to Vienna (Austria) with my girlfriend. I've been interested in Zen for around 6 years, and have been practicing zazen/mindfulness on and off for this period but never for longer than a month due to issues with anxiety.

    For the last 2 weeks I have meditated every day for 50 minutes, I really want to keep the practice going this time, so that will probably be one of my first discussions on the forum.

    I've found a zendo in Vienna, and I'll be visiting in 2 weeks, when the next introduction takes place.

    Some of my favorite buddhist books are:
    Being Zen - Ezra Bayda
    Everyday Zen / Nothing Special - Charlotte Joko Beck
    The Places That Scare You - Pema Chodron
    Hardcore Zen - Brad Warner

    I look forward to meeting you all, and sharing some experiences with you!

    Geoff

  33. #33
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Thanks Kent and welcome Geoff!

  34. #34
    sitonmyfaith
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    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Cheers Scott

  35. #35

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Hello
    I appreciate the opportunity to be involved with the Treeleaf Zendo. A bit about myself,

    I retired four years ago from the National Park Service after 41 years and moved from Hawaii to a little town in West Texas called Marfa. I chose my log in name "lorax" from the Dr. Suse story of the Lorax who speaks for the trees. Seems appropriate after a career of "speaking for the trees" and other natural and historic resources of our National Parks.

    A bit of background of my Buddhist practice.

    It has been a slow involving trip. If I look back the trip actually started over 50 years ago as I learned Japanese and Chinese brush painting as my chosen art media. Also several years of Judo contributed to building a Buddhist base. It probably also was the reason more than half of my career with the Park Service was spent in Hawaii. In Hawaii many of my friends were Shin Buddhist, so on the social level a Buddhist consciousness was building. Several friends followed a Tibetan Buddhist practice and provided the opportunity for my wife and I to meet the Dali Lama when he was visited a small temple in Ka'u Hawaii.

    While all the above were building blocks, the primary push came about seven years ago when I accepted a short assignment to work with folks from the Ministry of Construction in China reviewing their management of the World Heritage sites in Sichuan. All of the sites included strong Buddhist historic values. I was struck by the quiet but profound devotion of many of the young people in our group as well as the old professors from Beijing University. It completely changed my preconceived belief about the Chinese people and their spiritual practice. Working with them on developing sustainable management practices for these sites pushed me further towards a Buddhist practice in my personal life.

    A personal practice, of sorts, started to develop after returning to Hawaii. My supervisor and mentor worried about the stress I was under as Superintendent of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park; sort of out of my league in dealing with the politics and demands of the position. He suggested I look into "zen meditation" to help me calm my mind and keep things in perspective. So I started on a non directed path looking at the various practices and settling on a loosely structured practice of studying the dharma and sitting.

    Just when I was settling in on what seemed to be a zen practice I retired and moved to a place where Buddhist practice is not common if existing at all. West Texas is not Hawaii! So I found myself on my own. Sitting each morning, and studying the dharma.

    A month ago I noted information in the Buddha Dharma or Tricycle magazine on the Treeleaf Zendo and your commitment to sit "on line" for nine years. I visited the site and was enjoying your daily commentary before sitting. Just what I needed, an opportunity for a friendly contact beyond myself. Perhaps filling in the void of not belonging to a shanga.

    So that's me. Jim Martin, Retired Park Ranger, who sits each morning in far west Texas.

  36. #36

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    It seems I have some catching up to do on my welcomes. So, welcome to Treeleaf:

    lora
    Simon
    Martin55
    Kiddo
    Dan
    M@rk
    Graham
    chessie
    paivi
    Scott (Is that a Red Sox hat on your head? If so, we'll get along fine. )
    Geoff
    lorax

    It's great to have you all here.

    Gassho,
    Keith

  37. #37

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Scott, Geoff, and Jim -- welcome! Looking forward to getting to know you.

    --Charles

  38. #38
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith
    It seems I have some catching up to do on my welcomes. So, welcome to Treeleaf:


    Scott (Is that a Red Sox hat on your head? If so, we'll get along fine. )


    Gassho,
    Keith
    Yep, I'm a Sox fan and that picture was taken on Cape Cod a few weeks ago. It's one of the few places on Earth I feel totally relaxed...and getting Sox games on TV is nice too.

  39. #39

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott
    Quote Originally Posted by Keith
    Scott (Is that a Red Sox hat on your head? If so, we'll get along fine. )
    Yep, I'm a Sox fan and that picture was taken on Cape Cod a few weeks ago. It's one of the few places on Earth I feel totally relaxed...and getting Sox games on TV is nice too.
    Excellent! I am orginally from CT, but lived in Boston for 4 yeas before moving to FL. I wish I could catch more Sox games, but I see them during interleague play when they play the Marlins. Ultimately, there are more Sox fans than Marlin fans. I can understand about Cape Cod. My wife and I had a lovely (albeit brief) honeymoon there.

    Gassho,
    Keith

  40. #40

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Hi Guys
    welcome one & all
    Best wishes
    Jools

  41. #41

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Thanks again for the warm welcomes. I finally figured out the picture thing! :lol: Ann

  42. #42

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (JUNE)

    Hello and welcome to all the new faces from June!
    Gassho
    Dirk *the onceler*

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