Hellos to all:

I am fascinated by how people 'fall' into zen buddhism as a practice. Just because, in my growing up, it was very scarce. When I was in college, and working at a vegetarian restaurant (these were the early days of vegetarianism and we were called vegetarian because we served no red meat, but did serve fish and chicken--there was only one other vegetarian restaurant in all of Rhode Island at the time and they were macrobiotic and had an extensive garden... But let me not stray from my zen beginnings: the dishwasher at the restaurant I worked at liked how I stacked my bus tubs--he lived at the Providence Zen Center, and invited me to his wedding, so I got to see a zendo for the first time. I didn't quite know what to make of it all. Later, he gave me my first 'zen' bookropping Ashes on the Buddha: The Teaching of Zen Master Seung Sahn. It took a long time from point A to point B--first exposure to actually attending a zendo, practicing zazen, becoming part of a sangha--about 10 years--and one thing has led to another ... but I credit that dishwasher, David, at Amara's Restaurant, for starting me on what I will never come to the end of!

I'd love to hear other Treeleafer's stories of how it all began..., and of course...it didn't begin then, it begins now, and now and now and now...but you know what I mean!