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Thread: Another introduction...

  1. #1

    Another introduction...

    Hi, I'm Kev, just found about this forum a few days ago and joined to day.

    I'm from North East England and was working as a primary school teacher until I had to leave my job due being ill with to CFS/ME for the last year.

    I've been involved and interested in all sorts of spiritualities since my teens, including funnily enough Zen, but re-discovered it about a year ago and a half ago when I discovered a local group. I was attending a soto zen group linked to Throssel Hole Abbey, founded by Rev Master Jiyu Kennet but my ill health combined with the time and distance has made this pretty impossible for a while.

    Since re-discovering Zen as an adult I've been interested following the DSI blogs and enjoyed and got a lot from Brad Warners two books. I've being trying to sit 3x20mins a day for the last few weeks (can't manage half/full lotus) using my sieza bench which I find very stable, but I may have to restort to chair or lying as I've been having alot of pain in my legs/back/shoulders since increasing the number of sittings.

    I do find that zazen helps with my headaches and general fatigue (other than my aches) as well as enjoing zazen for zazens sake.

    I do hope, Jundo, that you get chance to do some Dharma talks as MP3s as I have difficulty reading much at the moment especially on the computer.

    Trying to work my way through some of the back postings to avoid annoyingly asking things which have all ready been dealt with. :lol:

    thanks for your time


  2. #2
    Hi Longdog,

    Welcome to you too. Happy to open one more space in the Zendo for another backside!

    Oh, and if you want your fill of my longwindedness ... you can get that all here (although today's topic, by coincincidence, was silence).

    If you go back through that, you can have many months of my ramblings and untold timeless hours of Zazen. Unfortunately, not downloadable to an Mp3 (Kirk, any idea about that? ... I believe you know something on the topic! :-) )

    Gassho, Jundo

  3. #3
    Welcome Kev,

    Jundo's sit-alongs will probably be enough to last you a while. And you get video along with your audio!

    I will admit though, MP3 format would be handy as we could then download the talks and listen to them anywhere... such as morning commutes for example.

    For people such as Kev and I who have not yet had a chance to catch up on all the previous sit-alongs prior to our discovery of treeleaf, this would also be a great way to take advantage of all those past timeless hours.


  4. #4
    Hey Kev,

    Welcome to Treeleaf!


  5. #5
    If you go back through that, you can have many months of my ramblings and untold timeless hours of Zazen. Unfortunately, not downloadable to an Mp3 (Kirk, any idea about that? ... I believe you know something on the topic! Smile )

    Gassho, Jundo
    I use a piece of freeware called Soundflower (I have a Mac) that basically pulls the audio off anything that is played through the speaker/soundcard. It works pretty well. I have used it to archive some talks for importing into my iPod.

    I'm not sure what PC folks would need.


    PS-- Welcome Kev!

  6. #6
    Hi , and thanks for the welcome.

    I don't need MP3s for an ipod type thing so I'm happy to listen to the videos. I guess it was just that on the main site there is a heading for MPs and podcasts with nothing under it yet. Don't worry I know these things take time and are another demand.


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  13. #13
    Longdog? Sounds like there's a story there!

    Welcome, Kev!

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  15. #15
    thanks for all your welcomes.

    :lol: I started using Longdog as a username when I discovered the net and discovered that people don't generally use their own name, at least until they're sure if people are 'friendly'.

    The story is pretty straight forward. I like greyhounds, lurchers and whippets and have two old ladies at the moment, Fern and Skye. People generally refer to these dogs as longdogs.

    I'm not into racing/hunting by the way, my dogs are rescues.

    Gassho, Kev

  16. #16
    Welcome to the forum Kev/Longdog!

    As far as I know there is a Zen group near me too which is also associated with Throssel Hole Abbey, I would maybe like to attend in the future, but don't have the courage or the confidence. I think they sit for an hour at a time which is something I don't think I could do.

    Best wishes.

  17. #17
    Hi Ten

    Don't know where you are in the UK, may be you could PM me if you don't want details on here for the world to see?

    I'd be surprised if any of the Throssel Hole associated groups sit for an hour.

    Our group usually sat for 2x 20 minutes with 5 mins kinhin in between. Occasionally one sitting of 30minutes.

    At the Abbey they seem to sit for 30-40 minutes a time, which leaves me pretty numb in the legs :lol: I have actually stumbled once ops: when rushing to get up for kinhin and thinking my legs were not as numb as they were :lol:

    I don't know about all groups but there is usally a short sung service of one of the scriptures before zazen sung in English in gregorian chant style, I like it.

    The other thing is they are realxed about using a bench or chair to sit but stil require proper upper body posture if that makes sense. Most seem to use a bench or chair, not seen a full lotus yet :shock:

    Be brave and get in touch with them, if you find it's not your thing at least you'll know. I just wish my health would let me attend both the group and the festivals at the abbey.


  18. #18
    Hi Kev,

    Welcome, nice to have you here!


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  20. #20
    Hi Kev, and welcome!! Nice to have you here. Are you anywhere near Whitley Bay?

    I've never been to Throssel but we always had monks visiting us when I was at Shasta Abbey (Throssel's sister Abbey.) They are such a lovely, warm group. I've a great fondness for the English!

    Ten, please do go. You don't have to commit to anything by going, but it's wonderful to have a live sangha to gather with. You will need to attend an introduction session and you can let the monk doing the session know of any physical limitations you may have regarding sitting. You will happily be accomodated. Heck, I threw my back once and did an entire 7 day sesshin in a portable recliner! The meditation periods are 40 min.

    Really...hie thee hence! (And watch out for the wild bunnies!)



  21. #21
    hi Lynn

    No where near Whitley Bay, but I did got to the Spanish city on a club trip as a kid :lol:

    I'm down the coast near Saltburn so I go to the Teesside Group when I can. ... de/WebHome

    Throssel Hole is a lovely place in a lovely setting on top of the Pennines, they often have visiting Monks from Shasta.

  22. #22
    Hi again Kev,

    I used to have Greyhound retirees. It broke my heart when each of mine passed. They are great, well behaved pets.

  23. #23
    Hi Kev, I live in Northern Ireland. I watched a video one time about Throssel. The priest was explaining about posture and how to sit properly,


  24. #24
    Hi John,

    is there somewhere on the net to watch that video? Be interested to see it. I the first time I visited there a monk went through posture etc with me.

    SPD901, yeh they are lovely pets. We lost one last year to cancer :cry:

    gassho Kev

  25. #25
    Sorry Kev. It was a really old black and white video on VHS tape. I'm not sure if we still have it. It was good for showing newcomers the rudiments of good posture while sitting,


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  27. #27
    Hi Kev and Lynn. I found the page out where I saw about the Throssel Hole affiliated Zen group. I'm on the Isle of Wight by the way.

    There's no mention there that they sit for an hour, so I've no idea why I thought I had read that, sorry. This may sound really silly, but it's minor things that put me off going, like my stomach always rumbles really loudly when it's quiet and I have trouble breathing through my nose most the time, sometimes it whistles. I think I'd spent the whole time worrying about that instead of the usual things like meeting others, not being able to sit for that long, or what you might be asked to do. :lol:

  28. #28
    When your stomach rumbles, let it rumble. When you whistle, just whistle. No problem.

    That being said, eat lightly before going ... and try some nasal spray perhaps.

    Gassho, J

  29. #29
    Hi Ten

    My first retreat was with the FWBO up in Danakosa in Scotland about 10 years ago, special place and special people on that retreat.

    Isle of Wight is a place I'd love to visit, nearly go there on a trip to the new forest years ago.

    It's funny my concerns when sitting other then at home usually revolve around my disturbing others with my cramped foot or numb shuffling and I too have the whistling nose (even after an op.) :lol:

    I think there is a lesson there about my 'self' and may be an opportunity for others sitting with me about their self too.

    Gassho, Kev

  30. #30

  31. #31
    Hi Kev. I'm glad I'm not the only one who worries about this, when it's silent and you're trying to be silent every noise seems amplified 100 times.

    I find it easy to accept the noises because it's just me at the moment, but I do worry what other people will be thinking if I was sat with a group. Perhaps I could do mindful eating instead with a couple of straws stuck up my nose. :?


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