Members Bios - please contribute yours

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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby Anagarika » Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:12 pm

It is Sunday and I am sitting at a computer at the XSport, an fitness center in Chicago. I feel little like working out (Sunday lazy) and feel much more inclined to be on Dhamma Wheel. So, I'll complete my brief bio as a sit near the spinners on the stationary bikes whizzing by...

I have been formally a Buddhist since about 2001, when I took precepts at a Zen Center in Chicago. My previous meditation experience was sitting meditation and chanting with Allen Ginsberg while in my last year of university. That sit made me feel as though this was one activity, one experience, that I'd been searching for most of my life. Like others may have said, they'd been a Buddhist most of their life, and just didn't know it.

Post 2001, I drifted away from the original Zen center, and began to read and study on my own. Some years ago, I began to study with some interest the Theravada suttas and those teachers and authors that focused on Theravada foundations. I still kept my kyudo bow dry in my garage, still loved Zen practices, but saw Theravada practice as necessary to a foundation that I needed to build under my(self). Two yeard ago, I spent some time in northern Thailand at Wat Sri Boen Ruang, and was permitted to ordain, after a period of training, as a Samanera. Words cannot express how profound this was. I returned to Thailand last year with my son, and we visited WSBR, as well as the Golden Horse Temple and spent part of a day in Dhamma talk with Khru Bah.

This past year I have had the privilege of visiting Thanissaro Bhikkhu's Wat Metta (California) a few times, meeting him and his excellent young Bhikkhus and men in training, as well as meeting last month the dynamic Jeff at Dharma Bums in San Diego. I am convinced that with each passing day, the Dhamma lives and breathes in so many sanghas and individuals that I have had the privilege to meet. Dhamma Wheel is just one sangha that I am happy to have found and feel privileged to be a part of, despite my limited knowledge and evident penned defilements.

In my work life, I am a family lawyer and mediator. I am on weekends a licensed mixed martial arts judge ( I score combat events where men punch and kick each other in the head). :)

Well, as much as sitting is important, I need to get off me arse and start my workout. As physically lazy as I am today, I feel energized in having Dhamma Wheel as a means to keep my practice invigorated. Dhamma Wheel members: Sadhu!

Michael
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby Ben » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:19 am

A very nice post, Michael!
Thank you for sharing.

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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hi everybody in the forum

Postby lakshmi » Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:20 pm

this is Lakshmi :tongue: I am happy to have become a part of the forum now :) i am an infant to Buddhism and i am here to learn about it. i actually started about surfing the net to learn the basics of Buddhism and i stumbled upon this site. i am a final year college student and i have felt the need for peace and liberation from all the problems of life. i thought i must take up a religious way and as Lord Buddha had fancied me a lot by his pleasant appearance, i desired to read more about the life and teachings of Buddha as a teenager. now after a long battle with my family life and personal life i felt the need to stop craving for things. i developed a policy of un-expectation and now i have lesser disappointments. i know i still have long way to go from this age of 20... but i have planned to take it in a most peaceful way. into the realms of buddhism.
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby Terasi » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:02 am

I am an infant too! I am currently living in Sydney, Australia, but I came from a South East Asian country. My ID there had always been marked as "Buddhist" but actually I knew nothing about it, it's marked that way because I went to Chinese Dao/Confucian temples, noone understood the difference including myself! (Actually I knew nothing about Dao/Confucian either, only knew which statues to pray for wealth/good luck/career..... ).

The seed for learning Buddhism was planted in year 2000 when I was hospitalised because of an accident. A Tibetan nun and a group of Buddhist came to hospital to visit sick people (and another religion groups too but I don't remember). I was still clutching a pendant of Chinese Avalokiteshvara to sleep when I was in pain, but after out of the hospital, I visited both the Tibetan nun and the Buddhist group to express my gratitude. But it didn't go anywhere. I went back to the temples in my home country. My second visit to Australia, this time for good, met with many troubles and I became depressed. I stayed at home like a recluse, didn't work, didn't take care of myself, days and nights my mind was whirring with hate and self-contempt. I became disilussioned with temples and their gods, I blamed them for my own stupidity.

It's only end 2009 that I was suddenly overwhelmed with desire to learn about Buddhism. Probably the seed started to grow. From Internet, I found the Buddhist centre I am currently with. So far I've been blessed with many benefits from learning, mainly my mind is now (mostly) in peace and calm. Discipline is my biggest weakness, and so I've failed to even tell myself to meditate for 5 minutes everyday. It's fine, I take it everything runs on it's course, there will be a time when I could be a better Buddhist as long as I stick to the path. I try to make it up by reading about basic Buddhism, currently I at Chapter 8 In the Buddha's Words, but I also read other things randomly. Bhikkhu Bodhi has chronic headaches too, he can't meditate as much as he would like, but his study of Buddhism has benefitted many people. I consider my main teachers are: Bhikkhu Bodhi, and Dhammawheel! Yes, all of you here are my teachers.

I work as a paper pusher in an office in CBD. My job requires me to nag and fret, and be pushy, but I am actually a milksop so it brings me lots of emotional discomfort. Lucky I now know how to be calm.
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Bros and Sistas in tha Dhamma :)

Postby Noah » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:22 am

It is wonderful to read these intros, seeing many differences and similarities in the words expressed :)

I am Noah, I live in one of the most diverse cities in the US- Atlanta Ga! :) 30, Married with 2 most-beautiful daughters. I have openly studied philosophy and religion before and with great fervor since I embraced a non-theist viewpoint about 8 years ago. I love the Dhamma and realized I was a Buddhist when I read the Diamond Sutra and the Buddha's First Discourse. I read Sutras constantly. Some of my favorite are: Dhammapada, The First Discourse and all Pali texts, also...The Lotus Sutra!
I work as a driver in the city. I deliver cases of wine to nice restaurants in Atlanta. All day I can listen to Talks and Teachings on my Android phone, Yay! I interact with many people and make it a practice to stay mindful and spontaneous. I see the Dhamma everywhere and believe many here are closer to being buddhists than anything else :P

I want to strengthen my meditation practice and devotion. I find it easy to read sutras and think on them, also to be patient and kind but, I feel that there is depth inside me that the Dhamma has not yet reached.
I find it a joy to challenge myself to live well and be kind to all, abandoning distinction, equanimity towards all! :D

It is a great kindness to have community for Dhamma discussion, I look forward to meeting interesting beings on their own unique and glorious path
Evil is caused by and is the cause of future suffering, abandon at all costs! Cultivate virtuous qualities and live the happy life! Just as all wise human endeavors, from Physics to Philosophy, approach the Dhamma; be fearless in your reverence for it- The time for the True Law is yet to dawn in the west!! :D
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby Billymac29 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:28 am

Hello.. Billy from new jersey here... I've been a teacher for a few years.. Been a buddhist for a few years.. Practice samatha / vipassana meditation interested in martial arts and yoga..!

With metta :anjali:
:sage:
Last edited by Billymac29 on Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon will be the inclination of one's mind"
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby locrian » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:21 pm

Hello Everyone -

I find myself in these forums off and on because the conversation is interesting and it helps me learn. I don't know anything about what it means to be a Buddhist, but have found that it comes up often during amazing conversations. The only parts of the religious texts I have read have been short passages and quotes people use in supporting their side of the discussion. I have never had a teacher but feel I have been taught well by those that enter my life. Overall, I have learned from existence with help from all over- much of it Buddhist in origin. I never discuss or ask questions to prove my side, but do in order to expand my thinking (like an artist buying new paint). It would do nothing for anyone to understand my experiences or my life, so I will simply say that I have come to find peace in a stillfull mind (yes, I made up that word on purpose :tongue: )
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby polarbuddha101 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:41 am

After re-reading my original post which I wrote when I was rather sleep deprived, I've decided to re-write it.

Hi everyone,

The name's Andrew. I was born in northern California in the bay area in 1991. I grew up in a nice small town in Marin County and played alot in the hills out there. I moved to Orange County when I was 12 and have been living here ever since. After quite a few years of living a hedonic lifestyle I realized that it was not going to get me anywhere or provide any lasting satisfaction and when I stumbled across buddhism a couple years ago I found it very compelling. After learning much about buddhism while stilling living a hedonic lifestyle, I finally decided that getting drunk or stoned or pursuing other things of that sort all the time was just a waste of time and that I would be much better off trying to cultivate my mind, wake up, and realize the destruction of passion, aversion, and delusion; or at least live a more virtuous life with a calm and peaceful mind and a kind and compassionate heart. I'll be transferring from a community college to the University of California at Santa Cruz in the fall of 2013 to major in philosophy and after that I plan to go on an extended retreat (of at least 3 months) and after that either look for a place to ordain (probably in Sri Lanka) or get some kind of certification to teach english abroad and then go backpacking around asia while stopping in certain areas to teach english for 6 months or so.

:anjali:
Last edited by polarbuddha101 on Sat May 04, 2013 2:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby Ben » Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:51 am

polarbuddha101 wrote:It's been fun

Indeed. And I hope you get some rest.
Thanks for the bio.
Wit metta,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global Relief

Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:04 am

Born near Seattle, raised by very religious Christians. I became a vegetarian as a teenager. As I threw myself into that, I came across a lot of Jain literature. After a short while I became a Jainist but was eventually dissuaded from that path and became a Buddhist about two years ago maybe. I read a lot of Zen stuff and didn't much care for it so I moved on to Theravada, where I've been ever since. Still quite an infant, but already too knowledgeable for my own good. I wish I could purge even the little bit of sutta knowledge I have and just meditate more. Still a vegetarian, out of habit.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby avacal » Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:56 pm

Hello, this is Pete,

I am just here to learn. I enjoy reading everyone's introductions. I am trying to introduce myself to Buddhism, it seems to be a refrdeshing way to look at the world, and a very practical way for me to deal with the problems of day to day life.

Peace
--Pete
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:56 pm

avacal wrote:Hello, this is Pete,

I am just here to learn. I enjoy reading everyone's introductions. I am trying to introduce myself to Buddhism, it seems to be a refrdeshing way to look at the world, and a very practical way for me to deal with the problems of day to day life.

Peace
--Pete

Welcome to the forum! There's a whole section, Discovering Theravada (viewforum.php?f=24) that you can post questions you have. I think you'll find people very helpful here!
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby sunyavadin » Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:24 am

Born 1953, vivid spiritual experiences in youth, started reading Eastern philosophy (Paramahansa Yogananda, Ramana Maharishi and Krishnamurti) in young adulthood. Got drawn to Buddhism in the late 70's, was taught meditation by a secular 'awareness-training' group, followed by some Vipassana sessions at Wat Buddha Dhamma. Continued to practice and read, although sporadically, all my adult years. Did a Goenka retreat 2007, a six day retreat at Sunnataram Forest Monastery beginning of 2011. Currently finishing a Master of Buddhist Studies degree. I am member of a small, informal 'dhamma sharing group' that gives lectures and presentations at the Buddhist Library in Sydney. My 'school' is non-sectarian but tending more towards Mahayana (although I like this forum more than the Mahayana version.)
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby TravisGM » Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:23 am

Skiing is cool, but I heard that sport is going downhill.


Ive gotta say thats the hardest Ive laughed on this forum, good one :goodpost:

So my name is Travis and Im one of those people you often meet who know very little of the 'inside world' or 'real facts' of a certain hobby. With that said, I don't know much about the word of the Buddha straight from the suttas, I know many of his words through indirect quoting.

Ive been studying Buddhism for quite a while now but am still considered a youngin' in the 'real world' :)
I got into Buddhism after a friend of mine introduced me while I was having a difficult time dealing with the realities of my life. I, like many in the West, started with Zen Buddhism and later settled down with Theravada, I appreciate the tough discipline it requires.

Buddha was a beautiful person, he saved my life and I have no reason to not give mine in return to all those who deserve it, if not for Buddha I wouldn't be here. All that is left is compassion and wisdom and I mean to share that with the world.

Happiness, concentration, resolve, wisdom, control, and here; I like those words :)
:anjali:
To be happy...
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby Thangka-Mandala » Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:25 pm

Namaste!
I am 24, grew up in Kathmandu Nepal.
My father is a Shakya, Newar so we practise a form of Vajrayana Buddhism.
I grew up around Thangkas and Mandalas most of my life.
Feel free to ask me any questions related to Thangkas, Mandalas or Paubas.
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby deon » Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:49 pm

Hi
Sometime ago I became ill, mentally and physically. I had held onto things that I used to define myself. When these were taken away from me I was lost and broken.

I began to have panic attacks and became aware several times a day of my imminent demise. The terror of death was and is very real for me. I had lived in an environment of abuse and violence as a child and tried to escape this by joining the military. After the military ( with its violence and abuse) I had a violent and abusive relationship. I had two wonderful children. In my 30's I began to change, but not fast enough. At 40 I was a broken person.

I found Buddhism through a book my loving wife gave me on 'Happiness'. I began to read, approached a sangha and began to study Buddhist Philosophy. I lost my secular and scientific dogmas. I began to understand the purpose of faith, to meditate and develop awareness of my many delusions. As I began to understand my delusions I began to see the delusions that others also suffered. I enroled on a councelling course and I'm now training to become a councellor / therapist. May I be fortunate enough to help others.

There are other Buddhist councellors near me. I find a combination of Buddhism and Western psychotherapy productive and beneficial.

I have too many faults to list. The beneficial changes I have experienced through a combination of my teachers, the Dhamma, meditation and deep enquiries into my mind help me to approach each delusional or unbalanced aspect and begin the process of understanding, acceptance and integration. I learn the Dhamma from any tradition or source and if I experience it, then so much the better. I have already been touched by the profound words on this forum - thankyou.
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby Anagarika » Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:18 am

Hi Deon:

You are amongst kalyana mitta here (dhamma friends), and always feel that you have a huge support sangha here. All of us here have a story to tell, stories of difficulties as well as stories of positive growth, and one great aspect of sangha is that no matter each of our stories, we have the Buddha, the Dhamma, and Sangha in which to take refuge. It's great that you are bringing your wisdom and experience into counseling, in order, in part, to be a bodhisatta to others. Metta to you, and stay in touch with this forum....

deon wrote:Hi
Sometime ago I became ill, mentally and physically. I had held onto things that I used to define myself. When these were taken away from me I was lost and broken.

I began to have panic attacks and became aware several times a day of my imminent demise. The terror of death was and is very real for me. I had lived in an environment of abuse and violence as a child and tried to escape this by joining the military. After the military ( with its violence and abuse) I had a violent and abusive relationship. I had two wonderful children. In my 30's I began to change, but not fast enough. At 40 I was a broken person.

I found Buddhism through a book my loving wife gave me on 'Happiness'. I began to read, approached a sangha and began to study Buddhist Philosophy. I lost my secular and scientific dogmas. I began to understand the purpose of faith, to meditate and develop awareness of my many delusions. As I began to understand my delusions I began to see the delusions that others also suffered. I enroled on a councelling course and I'm now training to become a councellor / therapist. May I be fortunate enough to help others.

There are other Buddhist councellors near me. I find a combination of Buddhism and Western psychotherapy productive and beneficial.

I have too many faults to list. The beneficial changes I have experienced through a combination of my teachers, the Dhamma, meditation and deep enquiries into my mind help me to approach each delusional or unbalanced aspect and begin the process of understanding, acceptance and integration. I learn the Dhamma from any tradition or source and if I experience it, then so much the better. I have already been touched by the profound words on this forum - thankyou.
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby frankinnc » Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:40 am

Hi, my name's Frank...and my bio is gonna read alot different than most others, lol. Here goes: Grew up poor, did drugs, broke laws, smoked crack, broke more laws, went to prison ( 5 and 1/2 years), discovered Zen second year of prison, sat zazen almost everyday thereafter, went on "community passes" to a zendo last year of prison, got out of prison and continued to practice..still sober and sane and breaking no more laws. there ya go.
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby Reductor » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:29 am

A most excellent bio, frankinnc! :anjali:
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby bodom » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:32 am

frankinnc wrote:Hi, my name's Frank...and my bio is gonna read alot different than most others, lol. Here goes: Grew up poor, did drugs, broke laws, smoked crack, broke more laws, went to prison ( 5 and 1/2 years), discovered Zen second year of prison, sat zazen almost everyday thereafter, went on "community passes" to a zendo last year of prison, got out of prison and continued to practice..still sober and sane and breaking no more laws. there ya go.


Awesome. In fact it reads almost identical to mine. Good to have you onboard Frank!

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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