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Thread: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (AUGUST)

  1. #51

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (AUGUST)

    Howdy Folks ..

    Here's my quick (or not so quick) intro thingy 8)

    I think I've been agnostic, or whatever, since I was a young teen. Never really gave any kind of 'spiritual' or 'religious' path and attention as I always had the perception that is was a bunch of dogmatic horse crap. fast forward to about 5-6 years ago (can't pinpoint the exact date, not that it matters!) and I stumbled across buddhanet.net one day while browsing the interwebz .. I had never heard anything negative about these 'Buddhist' types so I decided to start poking around. Well, the initial basics had me hooked, such as the idea of 'non-self', taking action for yourself and not seeking some type of 'salvation', and the idea of the precepts as 'guidelines' and not 'THE LAWWWWWWWWW' .. It just seemed like 'Hey, here are some good guidelines to live you life by, and it may make your life a bit more enjoying/fullfilling .. But if you choose not to practice, eh, oh well, and good luck!' which I also really dug ..

    So, I set off to find a local Buddhist group here in Dallas TX and came across New Kadampa Tradition center and decided to check it out. It almost made me forget about the whole Buddhist thing, as it was most definitely not my cup of tea. So I went back online and did some more research and found that the Theravada tradition might be the one I was looking for as it was supposed to be the closest teachings that the historical Buddha actually taught. I picked up myself a copy of the Middle Length Discourses, found a local Thai temple that had an English speaking group, and started to attend it on a semi regular basis while also dabling with Vipassana at home. This lasted for a bit, and yes something still seemed a bit off as well. There seemed to be too many 'rituals' attached to everything which I just didn't see the point in, which also provided long and interesting arguments with a buddy of mine who really dug all the ritual stuff .. But, in the end they all seemed pointless and when a guy there started talking about monks being able to levitate themselves, I was pretty much outa' there.

    Kinda gave up on the whole thing for a while, till when a couple of years ago I picked up a little book by Brad Warner called Hardcore Zen. His descriptions of the Soto Zen sect of Buddhism (would sect be the proper word?) made me start researching it, and low and behold, it was the Buddhism I think I was searching for all along! So for the past couple of years I've been a nice arm chair Buddhist reading stuff and what not, even though the main stay of Soto is zazen, and finally decided to start a serious (well, serious in my eyes) zazen practice a couple of months ago.

    Unfortunately there are no Soto temples around me, closest one being 4 hours away in Austin (which I do hope to check out someday) so everything I've been doing has been w/o the guidance of a teacher. But, I figured I might as well and sit some every day, as something is better than nothing, right? ! ;-)

    So when I found this site, needless to say I was very excited ;-) Oh, that and I was using the timer on my stove as a zazen timer, which was kinda harsh. The one on here is MUCH better, hehehe .. I've been taking baby steps so to speak, 10 minutes in the morning, and 10 minutes in the evening. Able to get half-lotus, with about a minute of full lotus afterward just to 'test' out the position. But even now at 10 minutes my mind is full of junk and I find it hard to make it through even 5 ;-)

    There, that was short enough, wasn't it??? :twisted: :twisted:

  2. #52

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (AUGUST)

    Bienvenido, replicant.....ok...quick question....A wasp crawls on your leg, what would you do?

  3. #53

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (AUGUST)

    Quote Originally Posted by chicanobudista
    Bienvenido, replicant.....ok...quick question....A wasp crawls on your leg, what would you do?
    Let is crawl and then be on it's way ;-) If it's crawling on me, it is just checking me out without any harmful intent .. I've been stung by one before and it's not fun! ;-)

    Of course that's all fine and dandy be thinking that's what I'd do, but in reality I may be a little more reactionary and try to shoooo it off .. heh

  4. #54

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (AUGUST)

    Quote Originally Posted by replicant
    So, I set off to find a local Buddhist group here in Dallas TX and came across New Kadampa Tradition center
    I forgot too add, and am sorry if I break a precept, but, I think NKT has "issues" so I'm happy to hear that you didn't give up on Buddhism after your NKT experience.

    Unfortunately there are no Soto temples around me, closest one being 4 hours away in Austin (which I do hope to check out someday) so everything I've been doing has been w/o the guidance of a teacher.
    There is also a center in Houston that is also connected to the one in Austin (Austin Zen Center). Both of 'em are connected to the one in San Franciso (SFZC).

  5. #55

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (AUGUST)

    Quote Originally Posted by replicant
    Of course that's all fine and dandy be thinking that's what I'd do, but in reality I may be a little more reactionary and try to shoooo it off .. heh
    Mmmm....ok...to the next question. You're in the desert, you see a tortoise lying on its back, struggling, and you're not helping -- why is that?

  6. #56

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (AUGUST)

    Quote Originally Posted by chicanobudista
    Quote Originally Posted by replicant
    Of course that's all fine and dandy be thinking that's what I'd do, but in reality I may be a little more reactionary and try to shoooo it off .. heh
    Mmmm....ok...to the next question. You're in the desert, you see a tortoise lying on its back, struggling, and you're not helping -- why is that?


    Well, my name isn't Leon if that helps :lol:

  7. #57

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (AUGUST)

    Quote Originally Posted by chicanobudista
    There is also a center in Houston that is also connected to the one in Austin (Austin Zen Center). Both of 'em are connected to the one in San Franciso (SFZC).
    Have you had any experience with either of these? I was going to try and check out the Austin 'Newcomers' one Sat morning as I am ignorant of temple etiquette and such ..

  8. #58

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (AUGUST)

    Quote Originally Posted by replicant
    Have you had any experience with either of these? I was going to try and check out the Austin 'Newcomers' one Sat morning as I am ignorant of temple etiquette and such ..
    I am going to have John Grimes (Austin Zen Center teacher) give a presentation at our local sangha in San Juan, Texas and have communicated via email with him and Barbara Kohn, but that's the extent of my interaction with them. Nevertheless, they do come from the Soto Zen tradition via S. Suzuki. You may get an idea of how they do their meditation and ceremonies if you listen to some of their podcasts in their web page. If you talk to John, say "Hi!" for me.

  9. #59

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (AUGUST)

    Quote Originally Posted by chicanobudista

    I am going to have John Grimes (Austin Zen Center teacher) give a presentation at our local sangha in San Juan, Texas and have communicated via email with him and Barbara Kohn, but that's the extent of my interaction with them. Nevertheless, they do come from the Soto Zen tradition via S. Suzuki. You may get an idea of how they do their meditation and ceremonies if you listen to some of their podcasts in their web page. If you talk to John, say "Hi!" for me.
    We'll heck .. I never noticed the talks listed on their website, thanks for the heads up!

  10. #60

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (AUGUST)

    Heya Replicant! Another DFW area person here. I had similar reaction as yours to NKT and similarly was glad to find Treeleaf last month.

    I've recently been looking into the Austin Zen Center's website. Also there is a Zen Monastery in Rendon (south of Arlington) - but I have not looked into it or visited it yet either.

  11. #61

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (AUGUST)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey
    Heya Replicant! Another DFW area person here. I had similar reaction as yours to NKT and similarly was glad to find Treeleaf last month.

    I've recently been looking into the Austin Zen Center's website. Also there is a Zen Monastery in Rendon (south of Arlington) - but I have not looked into it or visited it yet either.
    There is the Maria Kannon Zen Center in Dallas:

    http://www.mkzc.org/

    I haven't checked it out, seems like a mash between Soto and Rinzai traditions. I personally feel a 'click' with the Soto tradition, which is why I haven't checked it out ;-)

    Looks like the one you are refered to is a Vietnamese temple:

    http://www.pluralism.org/news/article.php?id=7819

    Glad to see I'm not the only one in the Dallas area interested in such things!

  12. #62

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (AUGUST)

    Quote Originally Posted by replicant
    Howdy Folks ..
    I think I've been agnostic, or whatever, since I was a young teen. Never really gave any kind of 'spiritual' or 'religious' path and attention as I always had the perception that is was a bunch of dogmatic horse crap.
    I probably could have wrote that same bio... but never have written a better intro :!: :!:

    New here myself, both to Zen and Treeleaf. Pleased to make your acquaintance.

    Warm Regards,
    Brian

  13. #63

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (AUGUST)

    Stoners are not welcome here! Ex-stoners, more the merrier! 8)

    Drugs and Zazen --do not-- mix (at least not during or near the time of Zazen, and never any heavy drugs at any time ... everything in moderation, I say, except those things that are never moderate) We tend to frown on even light and casual intoxicants, thinking that our mind, as-it-is, is all the trippin' we need.

    On the other hand, Zen monks all over the world love their caffeine (especially during those long Sesshin), and I have a couple of glasses of wine with dinner and such (Nishijima Roshi is completely against alcohol, I say a little bit is healthful and pleasant ... if not near sitting time or during a retreat. I have been to sittings in France where wine, and a heavy creamy lunch, is served during retreats ... not recommended, unless you want to sleep away the next period of Zazen). If someone has an addictive personality, no intoxicants are recommended at any time, any how.

    We will talk about this subject more during our upcoming Precepts study for Jukai, regarding the Precept on intoxicants.

    Also, DO NOT TRY ORYOKI WHILE STONED ... YOU COULD POKE YOURSELF WITH A CHOPSTICK OR THINK THE TOFU IS YOUR BRAIN IN A BOWL!!

    We had a thread on Zen & Drugs awhile back ...

    viewtopic.php?f=1&t=639&p=8822&hilit=zazen+drugs+p ot#p8822

    Gassho, Dr. Jundo, The Dharma Pusher

  14. #64
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (AUGUST)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Stoners are not welcome here! Ex-stoners, more the merrier! 8)

    Drugs and Zazen --do not-- mix (at least not during or near the time of Zazen, and never any heavy drugs at any time ... everything in moderation, I say, except those things that are never moderate) We tend to frown on even light and casual intoxicants, thinking that our mind, as-it-is, is all the trippin' we need.

    On the other hand, Zen monks all over the world love their caffeine (especially during those long Sesshin), and I have a couple of glasses of wine with dinner and such (Nishijima Roshi is completely against alcohol, I say a little bit is healthful and pleasant ... if not near sitting time or during a retreat. I have been to sittings in France where wine, and a heavy creamy lunch, is served during retreats ... not recommended, unless you want to sleep away the next period of Zazen). If someone has an addictive personality, no intoxicants are recommended at any time, any how.

    We will talk about this subject more during our upcoming Precepts study for Jukai, regarding the Precept on intoxicants.

    Also, DO NOT TRY ORYOKI WHILE STONED ... YOU COULD POKE YOURSELF WITH A CHOPSTICK OR THINK THE TOFU IS YOUR BRAIN IN A BOWL!!

    We had a thread on Zen & Drugs awhile back ...

    viewtopic.php?f=1&t=639&p=8822&hilit=zazen+drugs+p ot#p8822

    Gassho, Dr. Jundo, The Dharma Pusher
    Sitting while drunk is useless in my experience, except maybe as an act of pure determination. Listening to stoned people talk about Zen is just about the most irritating thing I've ever done - and I did it a lot with some of my smarter friends....they always wanted to turn it into an intellectual exercise.

    I've done acid. It is nothing like what I experienced that may or may not have been the 'k'. We're talking miles apart.

    But then, that's just one ex-stoner curmudgeon's useless talk.

  15. #65
    Quang Vo Uy
    Guest

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (AUGUST)

    Hello all, I have been sitting Zazen for about 5 years or so (but who's counting) and took the three refuges and five precepts recently in a Vietnamese Zen tradition. Although our teacher teaches Vipassana meditation, I was first instructed in Shikintaza by a Soto Darhma teacher when I first started my practice in earnest, and remains my preferred sitting style. I live in Ontario, Canada, have been married for 16 years and have two wonderful children (who are a constant source of applying the precepts!). Thank you in advance for all the experiences that the members of this Sangha share with each other, maybe I can add something too.

  16. #66

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (AUGUST)

    Hi Replicant, Brian, & Quang Vo Uy. Welcome to Treeleaf!

    Best,
    Keith

  17. #67

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (AUGUST)

    Hello Quang Vo Uy,

    Welcome again.

    Let me mention that the picture you have as your image is that of Ven.Thich Quang Duc, who set himself on fire on a busy Saigon street in 1963 to protest the persecution of Buddhists by the then South Vietnamese government.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thich_Quang_Duc

    On my recent trip to Vietnam, I found that some there and elsewhere consider him a great hero. Other Buddhists around the world (I lean this way) think that any form of suicide, especially merely to make a political statement, is not in keeping with the Precept on Life (which we will talk about more during out "Precepts Study" for the Jukai).

    Was he a hero, or merely our own form of "suicide bomber" ... although perhaps not acting out of anger or hate, and not taking any other people with him? Anyway, I do not want to debate this here ... we can save it for our "Precepts Study" class.

    Let me mention too, I rather encourage folks to ...


    Might I request that we go back to photos of ourselves (the photographable self) in the 'avatar' space. Or, at least, for those who wish privacy, some human face that generally resembles ourselves? And I do not mean our inner self or abstract self or 'no self' self or 'everything is the' self. Just a photo of what you look like in this world.

    One thing we cannot do here at Treeleaf is look each other in the eyes all the time. A photo would be a step in that direction. I agree with a comment by Bill ... Faces help get a feeling of community, I think.

    It would also be nice, unless confidentiality is an issue, if everyone would sign their e-mails with their given first name (again ... I know, I know, it is just a name, and names are just names! )

    Gassho, Jundo

  18. #68

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (AUGUST)

    welcome all -- scottydoo, been to st. george utah many a time, always on the way to beautiful zion canyon, and the other wonders of utah

    re: stoners: i admit, if i had some acid, i might take it -- i do not put it in the same category as pot and booze, but instead use it ritually, usually about once/year, in the desert, alone -- but at the same time, i have another response when considering it, which is "what's wrong with "this"(state of consciousness) that i have to change it", and that really bugs me --- so i am actually a bit ambivalent - i will say that it put me on the right path -- it also just about killed me -- a bit too risky to recommend to anyone, including myself

    i have the good fortune to not have an addictive personality(almost) -- very quickly after a few times usage of anything(and i have tried most), my response is "is that all there is?(to the experience)" -- obviously, straight consciousness is way out there -- opening your eyes each day is beyond any drug

    only exception to my non-addictive personality: caffeine -- recently had to quit(again) -- this time, was using it to not fall asleep when doing zazen! -- and so i really have to question monks use of this drug ( don't laugh, for folks like me, caffeine definitely fits the definition -- it totally effects my mood, and i resent the interference of any chemical in that way, such that you "need" it on a daily basis)

    2 books: "the natural mind" by andrew weil(yes, the health guru, way back before he was healthy -- in which he proposes that all drugs are "active placebos" -- yes, they do something, no, they don't get you high, you get you high -- and second: "thirst for wholeness", by christina grof(part of the huband/wife lsd therapy team with stanislov grof), in which she(recovering alcoholic), theorizes that addicts simply experience an exaggerated version of what we all have, a "thirst for wholeness", that becomes twisted to sucking on the bottle(to any alcholics out there, don't start using this as another bogus rationalization for not stopping drinking, just stop drinking)

    i guess i'm very straight -- or odd, or both -- i think anything goes on occasion, but if any mind-altering chemical is done on a regular basis, i consider that a "problem" -- and i definitely include caffeine and alcohol -- i'm too convinced, intuitively, that "this" consciousness gives anyone all that they need -- how could it not, since it is all that is??

    gassho, bob

  19. #69

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (AUGUST)

    Hello,

    Welcome to all new people!

    Many Blessings,
    Lora

  20. #70
    Senior Member Kent's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (AUGUST)

    A warm welcome to all new folks arriving at Trealeaf Kent

  21. #71

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (AUGUST)

    Hi everyone!

    I am basically a beginner having read a number of books but with no real direction. After visiting Tree Leaf a number of times I decided to join. I am married living in Clermont, Florida. I previously lived in the Miami area for a long time. Looking forward to learning from the friendly people at Tree Leaf. I am currently playing "watch the hurricanes" as we had a near miss recently and another one hanging around down south.

    Hurricanes give us an interesting dilemma: If we wish it to miss us are we hoping someone else suffers instead of us?

  22. #72

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (AUGUST)

    Hi all.

    I have been looking around for a little while, but i decided today to formally say hi. Some of you may know me as bukowski from e-sangha. Nice site you have here jundo. Anyway, i tend to read and learn far more than i post, but i'm a soto practitioner in the serene reflection school. I'm also a big fan of the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh. At work i'm a counsellor helping people with class A drug use issues to address their problems.

    That's it. Nice to see you all. Take care. Metta, bukowski.

  23. #73
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (AUGUST)

    Welcome, Bukowski!

  24. #74

    Re: GREETINGS BY NEW FOLKS (AUGUST)

    Quote Originally Posted by bukowski

    That's it. Nice to see you all. Take care. Metta, bukowski.
    Bienvenido!

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