Hi, everyone. I'm Erik and I hail from Tigard, south of Portland in Oregon
I'm 27 and work as a captioner for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing. I've been practicing Buddhism for only two or three years.
I'm coming to Theravada after starting in Zen, and a brief stint at a Kagyu center in town. My first introduction to Buddhism was Henepola Gunaratana's "Mindfulness in Plain English" which I read while deeply depressed. I had tried to find relief in Christianity, but was unsuccessful. The directness and practical advice of the Buddha and the authors I've read have made such a difference in my suffering and ability to help others with theirs.
I don't know why I never thought to explore Theravada more fully. I delved into Zen because of its no-nonsense approach, which is great for a self-admitted addict to complex theories and metaphysical speculation. It certainly helped put that into perspective. Several things have lined up to bring me full circle back to the tradition that was my gateway from depression into a surprising love and humor I never knew were there. I'm eager to explore it more.
If anyone can recommend local centers, I'd be so grateful. I'm hoping to attend something with the PDX Friends of the Dhamma.
So after all that, hi