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Post by Emmet » Tue May 15, 2018 11:52 am

I'm 59, married, and have been quite fortunate to live within 3 miles of a Zen Center where I practiced for many years, and a Plum Village sangha as well, in a large and very diverse urban area. The Zen Center was very much my home, although with the virtually exclusive focus on zazen, we tended to silently come, sit, and leave. While I developed some deep relationships with some folks, it tended to be a very individualistic thing. I very much liked the TNH sangha with their very strong focus on community and bodhisattvic practice; collectively "flowing as a river", all Buddhism; all the time.
When I was diagnosed terminally ill with a neurologic disorder, we moved to be closer to family. However, when I didn't die on cue, they re-classified me as merely chronic. We now live in the buckle of the Bible Belt in a very homogeneous rural Appalachian village of 311 people; "three hours from anywhere". It's 98% White, 97% American-born, with the highest weekly church attendance in the state (94%); but only Christian churches; there are no temples, mosques, or gurdwaras for miles. When Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston was shot up by a White supremacist, killing nine parishioners, a veritable thicket of Confederate flags sprouted overnight across the county, and fanciful odes to the Confederacy, and overtly racist screeds, are regularly published in our weekly paper. We don't exactly celebrate diversity here, and neighbors regularly carry sidearms into the coffee shop or hardware store. It's a very curious place.
As I said, the nearest sanghas are 6 hour 'round trips in any direction, and I don't drive. Even if I did, I'd never really be a member of their communities in the true sense; able to attend only rarely, I'd always be a visitor; a stranger. I continue to sit zazen in the little zendo I've set up, listening to on-line Dharma talks, and practicing chado (Ryurei, with allowances for my tremor), shinrin yoku (heavily influenced by TNH's style of walking meditation) in the Nantahala National Forest, and Yang-style Tai Chi; all solitary.

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Re: Hello.

Post by fuki » Tue May 15, 2018 4:19 pm

Hi Emmet, welcome. :)
meldpunt seksueel misbruik in boeddhistische gemeenschappen.


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Re: Hello.

Post by Fruitzilla » Wed May 16, 2018 8:23 am

Hi Emmet! :558:

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Re: Hello.

Post by Wayfarer » Wed May 16, 2018 10:05 am

Hi Emmett - quite a story. The bit about the diagnosis of terminal illness really caught my attention, and then the reprieve, only to move to a remote village where everyone packs side-arms. Phew! And then, also the depth and longevity of your commitment. Glad to have you join our small on-line sangha, and hope we can be good company for you.

The most important thing is not at all important.

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Re: Hello.

Post by desert_woodworker » Thu May 17, 2018 1:28 pm

Welcome!, Emmet, to this discussion forum.


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Re: Hello.

Post by Dan74 » Fri May 18, 2018 6:14 am

Happy to have you here and looking forward to reading more of your contributions, Emmet.


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