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Post by Wayfarer » Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:50 am

I have been posting here since Christmas but thought I might copy a post from Dharma Wheel which explains a bit about my background and approach.

My approach originally was from the need to find out what this 'enlightenment' thing was about. At aged about 18 or so, I became convinced that this was real, and important, and that it was important to know about it. I was often puzzled that not many other people were interested in it. Being a sixties type, I grew up with the Beatles - I think aged around 11 or 12, I got my first ever blue jeans and sneakers, and a copy of Revolver. It was the first time in my life that I felt I was part of something interesting. At that time, due to The Beatles and their discovery of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and also because of, shall we say, certain 'entheogenic' factors, 'enlightenment' was in the air, so to speak. I wrote spiritual songs. I got Paramahansa Yogananda's book; I was given a Krishnamurti book for a birthday. By my mid-twenties, it seemed to me that Buddhism had the best 'product offering', all things considering, and that feeling was largely based on Zen Mind Beginner's Mind, of which I think I had a first edition. (I eventually visited and stayed briefly at SFZC in 2009).

Other people I knew had actually taken off to Asia - one went to Dharamsala and learned Sanskrit. But I just stayed in my hometown and tried to learn through reading and hearing visiting speakers, then, eventually, learning about meditation (first from a kind of New Age type teacher named Walter, and then via a self-lead retreat at Wat Buddha Dhamma when Phra Khantipalo was resident). I also heard a lecture in Sydney by the famous Lama Yeshe which I think had quite a long-lasting if subtle effect. That combination of teachers, along with what I was reading, really set me on the path I've been on since. I read To Meet the Real Dragon back in 1987, which I also consider one of my formative texts. (I even wrote to Nishijima roshi - this is before the Internet - and got a nice reply.)

I did a degree in Comparative Religion and related subjects, but didn't have the academic credentials or skills to make a career in it (although I have passed exams in both Sanskrit and Pali 101.) Along the way I had various conversion experiences, some of which were very vivid. Eventually I was fortunate to do an MA course in Buddhist Studies during 2011-12. My main involvement since has been giving casual classes at The Buddhist Library in Sydney, although I am looking for more ways to contribute.

So I see myself as a dedicated, mainly self-educated lay practitioner. I intend to keep going although I think in future I will benefit from doing some long retreats and becoming part of a more formal community.

Homage and salutations to all my teachers.

The most important thing is not at all important.

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Re: Namaste

Post by fuki » Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:35 pm

Wonderful, thanks for sharing and we're "lucky" to meet you.
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen.


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Re: Namaste

Post by Great Sage EofH » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:37 am

Nice, that’s excellent!
"We are magical animals that roam" ~~ Roam

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Re: Namaste

Post by jundocohen » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:29 am

Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha, an online practice place for folks who cannot commute to a Zen Center due to health, living in remote areas, work or family needs. The focus is Shikantaza 'Just Sitting' Zazen

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