Hello, New People to the Treeleaf Sangha,
Please post a little introduction here. Welcome and make yourself at home!
Please post a little introduction here. Welcome and make yourself at home!
Hello Everyone -
My Dharma name is Rinsen, and I have been practicing Zen since 1987 when I started at Zen Mountain Monastery with Daido Roshi. Currently, I am the senior student and first Shuso of Myotai Sensei (Daido's first dharma heir) and run the Toledo Zen Center http://www.toledozen.org and TZC Drinking Gourd Podcast http://www.thedrinkinggourd.org. Myotai Sensei sent me the TreeLeaf link many months ago, and I have been following along ever since. I am happily married to Karen Do'on Weik, and together we homeschool our wonderful 8 year old girl Isabella who received the Dharma name Nyoi. I also am the Sensei at Shobu Aikido of Ohio http://www.toledoaikido.com and teach Jazz Guitar at the University of Toledo here in Ohio, USA.
Thank you for your practice, I look forward to connecting with everyone.
It's wonderful to meet you. Thank you for sharing your info with us. The Toledo Zen Center looks like a marvelous place to be as well. Welcome aboard!
Glad to have you aboard and to benefit from your wisdom here on the forum.
Welcome Rinsen! Glad to have you aboard.
Nice to have you here with us - welcome.
I, too, am a jazz musician and music teacher (no aikido, though--too wimpy).
Glad you are here.
Welcome to Treeleaf!
Welcome to Treeleaf. I look forward to poking around the Toledo website!
Wow, that's quite a coincidence. After lurking most of the summer, I logged on this afternoon to finally post an introduction . . . to find that Rinsen, my sensei at the Toledo Zen Center, just did so. Hello Rinsen!! Propitious!!
I've been interested in Buddhism for many years; my older brother practiced way back in the 80s and my ex-wife was an SGI member of many years standing . . . so practice has been in the air a long time. I finally began sitting when I started attending the Toledo Zen Center this past spring, and at the moment, my biggest challenge is in making my practice more a part of my everyday life. I'm a 40-something native of the UK who's lived in the midwest for twenty years and I teach literature for a living.
I'm looking forward to being a part of the Treeleaf Community.
Mmmmmm....You are in Ohio.
....and Robert Pollard is in Ohio...
Coincidence....I think not! :wink:
Welcome to Treeleaf. It's a good place.
Welcome to you all! Gassho Kent
Welcome Ohioians, Risen & Phil! Glad to have you here/there.
A hearty welcome to OH, from OR.
A warm welcome to all Buckeyes (I lived in Oberlin for year, does that count??) Gassho, ann
Came across the mention of this Sangha / community while listening to a podcast one morning. I figured one would exist, but never found one that went through such lengths to overcome the virtual barriers as does treeleaf. It Sounded like something that would help me out, help keep me focused, and perhaps then I could return the favor someday too. So here I am, and excited at that.
A little about me for the curious... I live in the rural fields of southern Pennsylvania. I think the nearest Zen, Buddhist, or for that matter, non-christian community is probably 50 or 100 or so miles away. Needless to say, I struggle with isolation and loneliness when it comes to spiritual matters. I've practiced, or tried to, zazen (and bikezen and hikezen) here and there at times, but then I struggle and become discouraged and have no one to turn to for guidance. I am married with 3 daughters and enjoy nearly every kind of adventurous outdoor activities.
Kind Regards to all.
Welcome to Treeleaf!
Hello, I have been lurking at the Zendo for about two years now. I searched it out when I was living in Colorado and the distance/weather really limited my ability to search a brick and mortar zendo. I have since moved a few times due to work, and have fallen in love with the zendo and its always being open.
A little about me, I am 34, have two yorkie/silky boys, fitness and nutrition is one of my new (ok...returned) passions. I have been practicing zen for a solid 2 years but have dabbled since I was about 16. I love crafting, I do all crafts except crochet and knitting. Sewing has been my passion since I was a little girl (funny story, I was so little that I had to put stacks of phonebooks up then put the machine foot on top and THEN by golly I could finally reach it, :lol: ).
I have been fully practicing zen for 2 years now. But I realize that I have much to learn!
Welcome everyone! Although new myself just wanted to give a warm welcome to all (Rinsen, Phil, Brian). Rinsen, I noticed that your wife and you are homeschooling your daughter. How wonderful and an excellent choice! I was homeschooled for much of my jr high school years. Then we found a wonderful school that uses their own books and is accredited for a diploma for my High Schoool. I went on the several years in a great college and think that homeshooling was the best choice that my parents could have made. I loved being more in charge what I was learning and be able to choose how far we concentrated on subjects. In a few words ...it was great and provided a fine foundation.
Howdy y'all! :wink:
Welcome to Treeleaf.
Welcome Nichole Brian and phil
Hello... just joined the Sangha and hope this is the right place to say Hello...
My Dharma name is Gautami... 72 years old, grew up in Poland Europe (1936 --- 1960) then came to the US. Living in the central Eastern Oregon, in a small ranching and loging community, very very far from anyone or anything "Buddhist."
Superficially read in most of the traditions, with more concentration on Theravada. Attended two ten days silent meditation retreats, but need more discipline to sit regularly.
Earning living in the mental health profession, also over ten years as a Hospice worker (the service saved my life :-).
Favorite activities: weaving and reading reading and reading!
I want to say that I would like to understand Zen teaching more, yet my impression is that the (Zen) practice is built on paradoxes in order to eliminate the addiction to logic...
Thanks for having me...
Welcome to Treeleaf! I hope you all will feel at home here.
Hello, Brian, Nichole, and Gautami. Welcome to Treeleaf!
Why?Originally Posted by UnitySpirit
Well, we usually say stuff like "better to find out 'who you truly are' than to worry about some name".Originally Posted by UnitySpirit
Please continue to "go forth boldly"!
PS- It is typical to receive a "Dharma Name" as part of a Jukai (Undertaking the Precepts) ceremony ... which commemorates trying, as we can, to be persons who do not do harm. You can read about that here, as we are preparing for one.
It is usually something undertaken after careful consideration, usually for folks who have been doing Buddhism for some time. Heck, it is not even a necessary thing in order to be an "official Buddhist" (for want of a better term) ... you're a "Buddhist", I would say, when you try to put into practice the Buddhist teachings, and think "gee, I guess I'm a Buddhist". :lol:
In fact, the "Jukai" is not even necessary for being a nice person who tries to avoid harm.
Another new guy here. I'll give you a detailed intro =)
It was probably 6 or so years ago that a friend of mine stared asking me if I had ever heard of Zen. I said that I knew the term, but that was about it. He began to tell me many of the things he had been learning from a new coworker who was a practicing Soto Zen Buddhist. I was immediately fascinated and was directed to a few books, including "The Idiots Guide to Zen Living". It was a great basic intro to Zen concepts, imho, for someone who is completely new to it and is unfamiliar with Buddhism in general.
I found myself becoming very interested in Buddhism, and I continued reading various books I would come across and continued this for about 5 years. I never really got serious about anything and didn't apply anything to my life really, though I wanted to.
About one year ago I found myself really dissatisfied with the religion of my youth. I was born and raised LDS (Mormon) my entire life. Most of the core doctrine of the religion just never really sat well with me and I had a hard time really believing it, though I just went through the motions anyways, because what did I know, I was just a kid right? Well I was finally fed up with it decided to really start to dig deep into it's history and the foundation of it's doctrine. Long story short, I quickly knew that there was no way I could continue living my life in the LDS church. The problem was, my wife was a very devout member.
I decided to start back up my reading into Zen and Buddhism, and I was now looking at things from a different perspective. I was no longer looking at it through Mormon glasses. Suddenly the message seemed very different, and very clear. The confusing and unorthodox views I had growing up were all falling right in line with Buddhism. It was amazing. I would continue to read and study and it never failed that I would have multiple a-ha moments where I felt that I was finally finding answers as well as something that just made sense. More sense than the religion of my childhood ever had.
Okay, so here I am, finding that I feel more like a Buddhist than a Mormon. I started to share more and more some of the things I was learning and she enjoyed much of it and thought that I should find a way to incorporate it into my Mormon lifestyle. I decided to do this for her, as to not rock the boat, but I had a hard time. Not because it's not possible to find a way for the two to live in harmony, but because I didn't want anything to do with Mormonism, nor Christianity really at this point.
Fast forward again...
After more and more conversation, some heated, some not. I told my wife that I had doubts about the truthfulness and validity of the LDS religion. This alarmed her, and we struggled for a while, till she finally decided to do her research on her own. She ended up coming to the same conclusion as me and we both decided to leave the religion we had been raised in. She still considers herself very much a Christian in a more traditional sense.
At this point, I decided to really get serious about studying Buddhism. I started finding everything I could, and started reading books from Thich Nhat Hanh, Pema Chodron, Alan Watts, Dalai Lama, Lama Surya Das, etc, etc. I decided that I wanted to start a meditation practice as well and have been doing horribly at it. I bought myself a zafu/zabuton and figured, okay, now I'm ready to start. Well, I've found every excuse in the book to not get on the cushion. I even signed up for a 6 week online course from the Insight Meditation Center in CA. Obviously they're teaching the Vipassana style, and that's about all I have real experience with so far, though I have been doing terrible about keeping a schedule and sticking to it.
I live in a smallish town (small to me, coming from Seattle) and there are virtually no local resources. I finally found one lady in town who has her home as a Dharma center that the Tibetan Monks stay at when they come through our area on their tours. She put me in touch with a small local sangha and I've started meeting with them. I haven't been meshing too well so far however as I'm not digging how things are run. Mind you, I have no experience with an actual sangha, with an official teacher. I imagine that plays into. Maybe things are like this in any tradition, I just don't know. The teacher guides the sangha remotely from another state and comes to visit once or twice a year. I immediately had a hard time as everything had a specific way it must be done. All of the things I had been learning, with meditation, etc, were apparently incorrect, or atleast not from their tradition, and I was told I needed to learn how they do things. The teacher had come up with her own meditation style and I'm apparently supposed to now be following that for the sake of the sangha...that's fine, but it doesn't interest me. I'm continuing to go for the sake of having a community to share with in person, but I'm wanting to go down the Zen path where my real interest lies, but that doesn't really jive with how the sangha is run, so we'll see. Though I am still very much a beginner, I feel that my study has been very broad and I enjoy learning from all traditions. This group is not really encouraged to venture much outside the suggested study of the teacher, and it just seems like you're missing out that way. Maybe it's just me and I don't know how things are "supposed" to work.
Okay, wow...this is really long, I should cut it off. I'm excited to have found treeleaf, as my real passion has been to learn and experience more of the Zen Buddhist path, and more specifically the Soto path. Feel free to correct me, guide me, chastise me, whatever is needed. I'm still struggling with myself and learning as I go. I have a far from perfect understanding.
Thanks for letting me take up so much of your time with my words.
We have all traveled like paths I think, about everyone here in fact!
Questioning is good! Never stop, even if you finally think you have found some "answers" (or dropped some of the "questions")!!
You will find like, all places, we too have our own Shikantaza "style" of Zazen around here. See if it suits ya.
Welcome to Treeleaf ScottyDoo and Unity Spirit!
And anyone else recently I have forgotten!
I believe that it would be fitting to say that in many instances I have dropped some of the questions. That's a great way of looking at it.Originally Posted by Jundo
As far as having your own style, that's totally cool, and I'm truly open to whatever as I'm just a newbie at it all. It was more the vibe I got, being told that "this is not how we do it here, so you'll need to figure that out". Were it merely a suggestion saying something to the effect of "we have a certain style we choose to practice here which may vary from other methods you have learned. It may be wise to get a better understanding and you may find a better sense of community when we're all focused as a group".
Here I am all hung up on it though. I'm learning
Hi UnitySpirit & ScottyDoo, Welcome to Treeleaf!
ScottyDoo, thank you for sharing your experience!
Welcome aboard new folks!
Bienvenidos, ScottyDoo & UnitySpirit.
Hello everyone! I'm Rob, another new member. Came across Treeleaf by chance and liked what I saw...
I live in central Maryland, about halfway between Washington D.C and Baltimore; I just turned 42. My wife and I are raising two small kids (one five, the other 11 months). Zen has been part of my cultural surround since my teens, but my interest deepened a couple of years ago for reasons unknown -- probably parenthood and growing older are part of the explanation. I've been exploring Mahayana and Buddhism in general via Thich Nhat Hanh, Taitetsu Unno, Jiho Sargent and other teachers and writers, and am currently working my way through the Pali Canon. My practice is very basic -- I do a sitting meditation each morning before work, keep the precepts in mind during daily life, and try to follow the Eightfold Path to the best of my (limited) abilities.
That's about it...good to meet you all. Thanks, Jundo, for welcoming me into this sangha!
Rob, Scott, UnitySpirit,
Welcome to Treeleaf! Thank you for sharing your experiences with us...
Hiya and welcome!
nice to see more Nuts on the Tree
My name is Chet. I've been Buddhist since I was 19 after having a nearly spontaneous 'kensho'-type experience when I was 17. I have ADHD and Borderline Personality Disorder - although I've worked significantly on each.
I sat everyday by myself for about four years, but then dropped the practice significantly because I'd become a neurotic mess. That was about ten years ago. I've recently begun sitting again, but I'm now a travel RN and sometimes have trouble staying in one place. I plan on finding a stable place to live after I pay down most of my debt - but this Sangha seems like a wonderful place for someone who keeps night-time hours and moves frequently. I'm a fan of Brad Warner, and I'm hoping to learn more about Nijishima Roshi.
I've experimented with binaural beat entrainment, isochronic beats, etc. Much of this had to do with the fact that I wasn't diagnosed with ADHD or BPD until I was in my late twenties and early thirties respectively.
I have a profound faith in Zen because of my initial experience - sometimes I'm fooled for a moment that the rope is really a snake, but pain usually pushes me to drop the delusion sooner rather than later. As someone with an extremely unstable personality, Zen is the only thing that has been with me for so long, other than my family.
I look forward to getting to know you all better.
Hi and welcome to all new people! It is so good to hear everybody's experience.
who will try to remember that it's "Chet" but who really wants to call him "Mr. Mouse" cause it's so cute
Hi Robert. Welcome!
Chet, an "official" welcome to you!
welcome to everyone who joined in August