Just a brief introduction.
I began my studies of Buddhism about 8 years ago when I attended a month long monastic life program in Taiwan at the Fo Guang Shan monastery (Chan/Pureland), I had always been interested in Buddhism, but that's when the love affair really kicked off. After that I changed my major from Computer Science to Religious Studies focused in Buddhist Studies. My meditation practice was certainly off and on, mostly off, at that point and would continue that way for the next few years.
Three years ago I began to attend Naropa University in the Contemplative Psychotherapy masters program and am now in my final semester. Part of this program is two one month retreats and one one week retreat, but my practice was still very off and on. My interest in the various forms of Buddhism has also shifted through the years, starting with Chan, moving strongly towards Vajrayana, and now strongly moving and settling in Theravada (for now).
In the past three months, my practice has taken a huge jump and I am now sitting 2 hours a day with a very specific schedule I set for myself and have been happy to keep. The biggest change for me I believe has been my relationship to the practice. Previously I have had a floundering sense of meditation where I was unsure as to what the goal is, and felt any realizations were certainly possible and real but did not really believe they were possible for me. This for some reason, has very suddenly changed. I have let many things go in my life, not even by choice really, it feels they have just dropped away (such as drinking, negative relationships/friendships, etc.) and practice has become the number one most important thing for me in my life right now.
I am looking forward to joining this community as a place to receive and give support to fellow people on this long and difficult path.