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!