First Encounters of the Zen Kind

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  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39446

    #31
    Well, Buddhism is 2500 years old, Bodhidharma came to China about 1500 years ago, Dogen lived about 800 years ago ... but Zen was pretty much nonexistent in America and Europe 40 years ago. So, yes, it is a new religion here in the West.

    Being a "new religion", adapting to a new culture and experimenting with new forms, means we have to figure out many things as we go along, some of which will have positive outcomes and some of which will go amiss. Hopefully, the roots will take to the new planting.

    Gassho, Jundo
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    Comment

    • Kelly M.
      Member
      • Sep 2007
      • 225

      #32
      Originally posted by Jundo
      Well, Buddhism is 2500 years old, Bodhidharma came to China about 1500 years ago, Dogen lived about 800 years ago ... but Zen was pretty much nonexistent in America and Europe 40 years ago. So, yes, it is a new religion here in the West.

      Being a "new religion", adapting to a new culture and experimenting with new forms, means we have to figure out many things as we go along, some of which will have positive outcomes and some of which will go amiss. Hopefully, the roots will take to the new planting.

      Gassho, Jundo
      Very true Jundo,

      But what I was referring to with regard to the New Religion Smell was the sense of satisfaction associated with discovering a new and shinny philosophy. The feeling of "Yaa, I have finally found what I was looking for", and "Yaa, my life will now be complete and I will live happily ever after". These, along with the pride of having a new and unique label to attach to one's (my) sense of Self are what I am referring to as "The New Religion Smell". I know consciously that I need to do away with these notions of pride (for my own good), but subconsciously I am enjoying the prospect of perhaps having found what I have been looking for several years.

      Right now, Buddhism for me is a little like a brand new textbook; shinny, crisp, glossy, and with that new textbook smell. But if I am going to get anything out of it, it is time to get out the highlighter, dog-ear the pages, make notes, smear coffee stains and break in the spine (or in this case, have Zazen break in my spine :wink: ).

      But this is just me being silly… its late here and I need to go to bed.

      Cheers,
      Kelly
      Live in joy and love, even among those who hate
      Live in joy and health, even among the afflicted
      Live in joy and peace, even among the troubled
      Look within and be still; free from fear and grasping
      Know the sweet joy of living in the way.

      Comment

      • Jundo
        Treeleaf Founder and Priest
        • Apr 2006
        • 39446

        #33
        Hi Kelly,

        Oh, I see what you mean.

        Well, Buddhism and Zen are not perfect. And Kelly is not perfect. This world is certainly not "perfect" to my eyes.

        But Zen Buddhism is pretty darn good at allowing Kelly to realize that she is what she is. And this world is perfectly just what it is. And while neither is close to "perfect", both are pretty darn good too. At least, most of the time. I think.

        So, Zen will come down to earth, and you will not always be floating in the clouds in the sky. And then, when you fall to earth, you can be well grounded.

        Gassho, Jundo
        ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

        Comment

        • will
          Member
          • Jun 2007
          • 2331

          #34
          nevermind
          [size=85:z6oilzbt]
          To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
          To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
          To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
          To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
          [/size:z6oilzbt]

          Comment

          • Ryan
            Member
            • Aug 2007
            • 27

            #35
            Jundo said:

            Well, Buddhism is 2500 years old, Bodhidharma came to China about 1500 years ago, Dogen lived about 800 years ago ... but Zen was pretty much nonexistent in America and Europe 40 years ago. So, yes, it is a new religion here in the West.

            Being a "new religion", adapting to a new culture and experimenting with new forms, means we have to figure out many things as we go along, some of which will have positive outcomes and some of which will go amiss. Hopefully, the roots will take to the new planting.
            I'm curious. What do you think about treeleaf? Being mostly made up of westerners (as far as I can see), is treeleaf western buddhism or internet/global buddhism? It doesn't really matter from a practice perspective, but I'm just curious what you all think...

            -Ryan

            Comment

            • Jundo
              Treeleaf Founder and Priest
              • Apr 2006
              • 39446

              #36
              Hey Ryan,

              What I think was pretty much summed up below.

              By the way, once I get the floors back into the Zendo in Tsukuba (Japan) and get fully moved in, a mixed local group of Japanese and non-Japanese should sit with us there (in Japan, I give my talks half in English, half in Japanese, switching back and forth. It is amuzing.)

              Gassho, Jundo

              __________________________

              SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Fukanzazengi XCII

              .


              Broadly then, in this world and in other worlds, in India and in China, all similarly maintain the Buddha-posture, and solely indulge in the fundamental custom: we simply devote ourselves to sitting, and are caught by the still state. Although there are myriad distinctions and thousands of differences, we should just pursue the truth through Zen balance. Why should we abandon our own sitting platform, to come and go without purpose through the dusty borders of foreign lands? If we misplace one step we pass over the moment of the present. [Nishijima]

              In general, in our world and others, in both India and China, all equally hold the buddha-seal. While each lineage expresses its own style, they are all simply devoted to sitting, totally blocked in resolute stability. Although they say that there are ten thousand distinctions and a thousand variations, they just wholeheartedly engage the way in zazen. Why leave behind the seat in your own home to wander in vain through the dusty realms of other lands? If you make one misstep, you stumble past what is directly in front of you. [SZTP]

              http://treeleafzen.blogspot.com/2007/10 ... -xcii.html
              ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

              Comment

              • Hans
                Member
                • Mar 2007
                • 1853

                #37
                Hello Treeleaves!


                Okay, here's my story:

                After my parents divorced when I was rounabout two years old, I stayed with my mum, who's a non-practicing atheist, which means she doesn't really care about religious stuff at all. However, apart from the way I look (I am spitting image of my father when he was young) I also inherited a great interest in religous, mythological and spiritual matters from my father's side....which actually makes me truly believe that there may be something like a religious "gene" or collection of genes.

                My two great-aunts were/are both nuns (one of them is still alive and a carmelite nun....which means old-school monastic rules....she doesn't ever get out of her nunnery and isn't allowed to touch visitors - which are seperated from her through an impressive row of iron bars...that kind of lifestyle is good for your skin though, you wouldn't think she's 80+ already....and boy does she have a firm handshake), and their brothers, other than my grandfather, were both priests and died serving on the eastern front.....the further down the family line you go, the more priests you'll find...you get the picture.

                My mum didn't ever try to turn me into anything, she always supported me and my interests. At school I just loved the optional religious classes and have to say that if there ever was a subject at school that I excelled at (sadly it wasn't mathematics) , it was catholic religion. I considered myself a non-denominational monotheist for a very long time, until I couldn't stand all the obvious contradictions any longer and turned to neo-germanic Paganism instead, which taught me a great deal about the pre-christian cultures of middle/northern Europe and made me re-define my own notion of honour, friendship, hospitality and similar virtues....only a few years ago I began to realize, that what had attracted me to that particular branch of modern day paganism in the first place was for the most part a cultural longing, a longing for something that wasn't "tainted" by evil Christianity, not really a theological issue at all.
                Nowadays I am a lot more relaxed about other religions, but my dislike for illogical non-sequiturs, hypocrisy and plain old lies is as strong as ever.

                Last year my much beloved grandparents on my mother's side died....only months apart from one another....and my father in law as well.... I had to confront suffering face to face in a way I hadn't been forced to do before and I finally realized, that a lot of assumptions I had carried with me about life/death etc. didn't really make that much sense once confronted with the real thing. Leading up to all this suffering I had (coincidence some might say) begun to look at Buddhism from the intellectual side a few years earlier.

                Since I had always been a bit of a "psychonaut" (though I was never the type drawn to the use of drugs in this context) ,I had experimented with loads of different spiritual/occult/tantric traditions in a practical way, and had developed a discipline of daily practice long before sitting Zazen became my one and only practice. By the time I took refuge in a Karma-Kagyu centre (not the Lama Ole Nydahl branch of Karma-Kagyu by the way), I was sure that Buddhism was it, my last stop on my spiritual journey. I just chose a tibetan centre because the people there were very nice people btw.

                Ultra-super-states of heightened consciousness, invoking strange entitities, spiritual fireworks....it was a case of been there, done that for me by the time I took refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. I had always wanted to experience and do so many crazy things....and it took me more than 25 years of my life to realize, that the question "who or what is this thing that is wanting all this?", is much more interesting than all the flashy fireworks stuff put together. I read Hardcore Zen and decided to go on a study-sesshin with Nishijima Sensei's dharma heir Doko Waskönig in March....I was very impressed by the fact that Doko was an extremely impressive teacher precisely because she was non-impressive/ non pretentious - but simply the real thing. Shortly after that I stumbled over Jundo's website. And here I am. Though sadly I currently have next to no time to participate in my beloved Treeleaf sangha. In my heart and mind at least, Iam always sitting together with you. Enough rambling for now.

                Gassho,


                Hans

                Comment

                • Bansho
                  Member
                  • Apr 2007
                  • 532

                  #38
                  „Go stand in the corner!“ was a phrase I heard under certain circumstances from my mother when I was a small child. It meant that I was to go into a corner of the room and do a sort of ‚standing‘ Zazen for an indefinite period of time to be determined solely by my Mother (typically 10 – 15 minutes if I remember correctly). Of course she didn’t call it Zazen, but when I took up the latter practice some 30 odd years later I couldn’t help but think back to those childhood experiences which were then considered punishment and which I now (strangely enough ;-)) do of my own free will.

                  I was brought up Roman Catholic and attended a Catholic school up to and including the 8th grade. By most standards I was what people would call a ‚good kid‘, but I considered religion something that involved the tedious tasks of listening to boring lectures and attending mass on holidays and Sundays. I guess I accepted the whole ‚heaven & hell‘ deal in my younger years, but it didn’t really shape my behavior. I can remember once asking my father where god came from and he just said ‚he always was and always will be‘. Hmm. Somehow I wasn’t satisfied but I went along with it for the time being.

                  I can distinctly remember that one day (I must have been between 9 and 12 years old, as it was sometime after moving into a different house when I was 9) I began to think about my ‚self‘ and wondered what it actually was. What was the thing that actually defined what/who I was? I remember looking into the mirror for quite a while and I managed to narrow it down to my head. That’s it, that’s who I am. I continued to look into the mirror, however, and after a while I wasn’t so sure anymore, so I tried to narrow it down a bit more. Finally, I was convinced that my ‚self‘ could be reduced to my eyes. Surely I had found it now. Unfortunately I found that the longer I stared at my own eyes, the weaker my conviction became that I had found what I was looking for. In the end I gave up, but was somehow unsatisfied and sure that I had missed something.

                  By the time I had started going to public school (9th – 12th grade) I had pretty much stopped going to mass on Sundays altogether and just went on holidays. (My parents and sister also went only sporadically). Sometime during the period in which I was at university I realized I didn’t believe in god and didn’t care much about the rest of the whole Christianity thing either. At that point I read a few books which were only vaguely associated with eastern religions, e.g. ‚Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance‘, ‚The Tao of Pooh‘, ‚The Tao of Physics“. Unfortunately nothing brought me close enough to the Buddhadharma at that point to make it click with me.

                  During the Sommer of 2003 I had the opportunity to go to a small show of ‚Shaolin Monks‘. Most of those shows around here are like the circus and fill large arenas, but this one was different. There were only 3 Chinese ‚monks‘, a German narrator/translator, and about 50 people in the audience at a local adult education center. Of course they did a few tricks which were quite impressive, but above all what moved me were the remarks of the German guy about the lifestyle of the ‚monks‘. (I’m not sure whether they were officially monks or not, but it doesn’t really matter.) He said that they had no rules amongst themselves, that if they wanted to drink beer or have lots of girlfreinds, whatever, they were free to do so. However, they just didn’t. Why? Because it wasn’t good for them. Hmm. It probably sounds trivial for those reading this, but something clicked with me when he said that. Somehow those monks appeared absolutely authentic, content, somehow just plain happy. It made perfect sense and I asked myself why don’t I just do what’s good for me? Although I had achieved many of my life’s goals, something was still missing. Anyway, it sparked my interest in Buddhism and I wanted to find out more, so I bought ‚Introduction to Buddhism‘ by the Dalai Lama. Most of it seemed so logical to me that there could be no doubt that it was true, however there were also many things I couldn’t really accept. I bought a few more books on Buddhism and also on Zen, began doing research on the Internet and started participating in Internet forums. I learned a great deal and from the discussion on those forums it became clear to me that Soto Zen as Dogen Zenji taught it was pretty much the only tradition in which I felt completely at home in. So after 2003, I read many, many books, papers, Suttas, Sutras, commentaries, etc. and began incorporating what I had learned into my daily life. I didn’t start doing Zazen regularly until September 2004, though, and I also didn’t have a Sangha. Now, since I joined Treeleaf, I’ve been doing Zazen every day (except on vacation...) and no longer feel that my life is missing anything.

                  BTW, thanks to everyone for their postings. I just got back from a trip to London a few days ago and have been scrambling to catch up on things since then.

                  Gassho
                  Kenneth
                  ??

                  Comment

                  • Mensch
                    Member
                    • Jun 2007
                    • 77

                    #39
                    Originally posted by Kenneth
                    „Go stand in the corner!“ was a phrase I heard under certain circumstances from my mother when I was a small child.
                    This is funny. Ages ago, whenever I was really mad I used to say "I want to go home and stare at a wall." Tragically missed chance, I think.

                    Mensch

                    Comment

                    • greg
                      Member
                      • Oct 2007
                      • 41

                      #40
                      Hello all,

                      I am new here, and am enjoying it already! Reading this thread has been great, I see a lot of similarities...

                      I started researching buddhism (and every other philosophy/religion/crackpot fantasy) in high school. I was having a lot of difficulty socially and emotionally, a lot of episodes of depression and a lot of rage. Buddhism really struck me, it seemed the most 'real', and I really liked the idea of a religion encouraging its practitioners to question it, to find out for themselves the truth. So for the next several years I read as much as I could. I read a few books pertaining to zen and thought "Oh, this isn't for me.... too ceremonious, too disciplined, I could never do that..."

                      About 2 1/2 years and 1700 miles later, the majority of the depression lifting and deeper research into buddhism and I again found myself reading more about zen... again thinking it was far too disciplined and ritualistic for me...

                      A couple of short years after that, moving back to the Midwest with my soon to be wife, so much going on, I pretty much put my buddhist studies on the back burner. The WAY back burner. the cold one in the back covered in dust.

                      Two years after moving back, with a new baby girl (our second), I got a computer and, with access to the internet, I found a lot of wonderful buddhist resources and again began studying buddhism and started meditating again. Well, without getting into all the gorey details, my wife became a very condescending anti-buddhist and to prevent a lot of static, I dropped it.

                      Fast forward 8 years, my wife decided that she needed to leave. Deep depression set in, which took almost a year to crawl my way back to the surface. Then I felt the need to, once again, find truth... rereading pretty much everything that I read in high school, eventually coming to the same conclusions and reaffirming my connection to buddhism. Over the last year and a half I have been reading more and more getting back into a steady routine of meditation, but it wasn't until just a couple of months ago that I began reading more about zen, and I've found that it now seems the most like 'home'. And one night, reading through the fall issue of Buddhadharma magazine I saw a small advert for a guy doing zazen online.

                      'No WAY!' This was EXACTLY what I had been looking for! Since I live in a smaller town, the closest zen center is hours away, and with three children, it would be pretty much impossible to visit regularly. So I started sitting with Jundo every morning and using the treeleaf.org meditation timers every evening, and I eventually found this space too. What a great community this is!

                      And reading through these messages, I can't help but ponder the wonderful, unfathomable, impossible series of events that found us all here!

                      Gassho,
                      Greg M.

                      Comment

                      • Kelly M.
                        Member
                        • Sep 2007
                        • 225

                        #41
                        Originally posted by greg
                        And reading through these messages, I can't help but ponder the wonderful, unfathomable, impossible series of events that found us all here!
                        So true!
                        Live in joy and love, even among those who hate
                        Live in joy and health, even among the afflicted
                        Live in joy and peace, even among the troubled
                        Look within and be still; free from fear and grasping
                        Know the sweet joy of living in the way.

                        Comment

                        • Jundo
                          Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                          • Apr 2006
                          • 39446

                          #42
                          Originally posted by Ryan

                          I'm curious. What do you think about treeleaf? Being mostly made up of westerners (as far as I can see), is treeleaf western buddhism or internet/global buddhism? It doesn't really matter from a practice perspective, but I'm just curious what you all think...

                          -Ryan
                          Hi Ryan,

                          I am going to talk about this a little more on Wednesday's "Sit-a-Long with Jundo". Very good question, and something to consider.

                          Gassho, Jundo
                          ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                          Comment

                          • Kevin
                            Member
                            • Oct 2007
                            • 113

                            #43
                            Sorry I'm coming to this thread so late. It is a fascinating thread, though. It's wonderful to read all of your stories and to recognize so many common elements, appreciate so many interesting differences, and share with you all thoughts on topics that are so important to me, and so enjoyable to discuss, yet so difficult to really converse about with the people I see around the neighborhood day to day.

                            Anyway, I've shared a bit of my story in my intro post already, but I'll elaborate a bit here.

                            I was raised Roman Catholic, and was always jealous of my older sisters, who were somehow able to be sleepy enough in the morning at church time for my Dad to allow them to stay home while the rest of us trooped off to church. No matter how hard i tried, I could never fake sleep. I always burst into laughter whenever my Dad would enter the bedroom. Nonetheless, I soon learned to smuggle books into the chruch and hide them behind the missal, or play a really cool (extremely crude by today's standards) video game on my sweet new calculator watch. This was somewhere in the late 1970's.

                            Anyway, needless to say, my interest in Roman Catholicism was passing, at best, though the notions of God, the Devil, Heaven, and Hell became deeply entrenched, as did the guilt the religion seemed to instill in me.

                            At one point, in my teens, I had started playing tennis with my friends. In the library, looking for tennis instruction books, I found Inner Tennis, by Tim Gallwey. It teaches a non-judgmental, awareness-based approach to tennis, essentially focusing the mind to allow the wiser body to play the game. My tennis improved immensely, and the practice began to seep into everything I did, and changed my mindset tremendously. The recreational drugs I soon began using probably played a role, as well.

                            I began to study Eastern thought intensely, reading every book I could find in my college library, buying books from the bookstore when I could, including Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, some Cheri Huber stuff, DT Suzuki, etc. I took a few classes on Buddhism, and started getting into the Beats (Gary Snyder, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsburg, who I had the pleasure of meeting for dinner once). In this way, the idea of Zen and Eastern thought marinated my life in a general way, though I did little to actually bring it into practice.

                            I came across the tao Te Ching during this period, and it became and remains a very powerful book for me. It seemed to me that this teaching was the core of all of the major world religions, and that the other religions had simply build edifices of varying elaborateness on top. All that elaboration seemed like extraneous crap to me at the time. But, religious Taoism seemed to have more than its share of mystical, elaborate crap. Zen, especially Soto Zen, Shikantaza Zen (which apppealed to my Inner Tennis experiences) seemed the religious practice that had the least artifice heaped upon the core teachings.

                            I whipped myself into this intellectual understanding and postured myself as a "Zen/Taoist guy" for a long time. But, I was also depressed, abusing drugs and alcohol, adrift emotionally, etc. When I got out of college, I moved around a lot. I remember standing on the doorstep of the Zen center in Cambridge, MA (I was living in Allston at the time). The shadow-sun patterns of the light in the afternoon leaves was so sharp, the riverrun sound of occasional traffic so clear, my fear so palpable. I think, after a few minutes, I mustered the courage to enter the antechamber and pick up a few glanced-at-but-unseen pamphlets before I hightailed it out of there.

                            It was years before I could bring myself to actually enter a Zen center and talk to someone. That happened in Salt Lake City. I actually was able to take the intro to meditation course there, every Tuesday for 90 mins for four weeks. I couldn't afford the suggested donation, but hid my guilt. It culminated in a Sunday session with all the chanting and walking a certain way in the Zendo, etc. That freaked me out. I let Zen hide in my brain for years after that. I became more enmeshed in the local culture, learned about Mormonism, saw a familiarity there, and, more, an acceptance in the culture. I grilled the missionaries for months as they taught me about the religion. I got a picture from them of a certain type of religion, and so joined. Two years of intense study and participation, trying to be the "ideal" Mormon, as described in the reams of church doctrine I absorbed, only created problems in my life, and caused me to be more and more judgmental. Where was the open-minded, questioning faith I had sought and though I had found? Where was the compassionate, devoted society? Where were the answers the members of the church so confidently claimed to have, yet could rarely discuss with precision? I found only more questions. Behind every supposed answer was a nest of nagging questions and what I found to be a self-referential system of supporting logic. I left the church.

                            A few months ago, I saw my old zafu in the closet and dragged it out. I looked for some videos online about how to sit Zazen, just to refresh my memory. I found an old Japanese guy talking about balancing the autonomic nervous system, and a bearded American guy who kept blowing imaginary dust from his empty hand. Here I am, where I always was.

                            Thanks, Jundo.

                            Gassho,

                            Kevin

                            Comment

                            • Shohei
                              Member
                              • Oct 2007
                              • 2854

                              #44
                              im late posting this but ill have a go at it
                              Basically i was rasied with out any religious influlence (by that i mean intentional). I was never very scholarly (still aint :B) but anything i took any interest in i put all my effort into and devoured any information i could find on X subject. Sooo eventually life bit me in the ass.
                              (im cheating hear a bit as i have already written this once but its the way things went down)

                              I struggled with the loss of my brother a few years back. I
                              held much guilt because i didnt spend enough time with him due to
                              differences between us that "I" thought mattered. I learned the hard
                              way that my personal views were just that. He like to tease me some as
                              all sibblings do but i dont think he ever really judged me for what
                              i thought was right or wrong. I did. The day before his death he asked
                              me to go fishing with him... hang out, drink a beer with him. I said i
                              couldnt because i was busy. BLANTANT LIE. I lied because i was a vegan
                              and going fishing would have been hypocritical. The next day i sat
                              home cleaning up an old project computer i had. I got a phone call
                              from my eldest brother asking if i had seen/heard from our brother. I
                              said yes...but not today and asked why.. i still heard the urgency in
                              his voice, it scared me. He said a vehicle like my brothers was
                              wrecked and there were a couple of ambulances and RCMP cars there. I
                              got off the phone and called the hospital. When i asked if any one was
                              just addmitted or if they had anyone in named Trent i got silence
                              followed by who are you? i told them and was instructed to come to the
                              hospital now. I asked why and they said they couldnt discuss this over
                              the phone.

                              I arrived 4 minutes later @ the hospital as i entered emerge and asked
                              about my brother i was met some very sombre faces. I was met by an
                              orderly whom stated the now obvious that there had been an accident
                              and i needed to speak with a doctor. I was told the news and asked to
                              identify my brother. i did . i then called my parents and my brother.
                              i stayed for 4 hours simply looking at the body of what used to be one
                              of my best friends. I remembered the last things we said. It broke my
                              heart. The next day my brother and i went to our brothers and cleaned
                              up his house. gathered any effects we could, took his bills and payed
                              them, then went to his wreck and gathered his effects from there. That
                              was it. a few weeks later i finally lost it, or "it" found me, so to
                              speak. I began suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.
                              medicated i followed up with my own self medication.

                              I lived (or died) for a few years carrying around a rediculous fear of
                              death. I spent so much time and energy dying i forgot to live.

                              I got off the perscription a year later and quit drugs a year after
                              that. I do not drink any more (not that i did alot in the first
                              place... alcoholism is a somthing i kept a healthy fear of) and i quit
                              smoking too. i gradually worked through most of my issues on my own. i
                              got to reading one day and found a person who suffered from a
                              debilitating disease. He was a buddhist. on his site he spoke of the
                              stillness of his mind and the reality of his situation. he would die.
                              so would you and you and you...but he wasnt angry... he hadnt stopped
                              exisiting... infact he was more "alive" now than when he was in good
                              health. t may sound lame but THAT made sense. I decided to look up
                              buddhism and read all i could on buddhanet.net. I decided that day
                              that i would become a buddhist. not only did i already agree on most
                              of what i read. the rest seemed to be the pieces that i was missing

                              Ill add to this that i checked out a few branches of buddhism that i could and back in... March maybe?? i began vipassana meditation and reading what ever i could. A friend recommends a few books which I picked up and devoured. I practiced this way on my own for a bit. I read some on Zen and it seemed interesting to me. There were no Zen sanghas near me and i had no idea what i was to do. I searched online and found e-sangha. There i was still serching for for a zen sangha and TADA someone posted a few places and Treeleaf was one of them

                              Thats it in a long winded nutshell
                              and now you are all stuck with me mwhahaah!

                              Gassho!
                              Dirk

                              Comment

                              • Komoku
                                Member
                                • Sep 2007
                                • 55

                                #45
                                Wow…Krid, thanks for bringing this thread back to the top. I needed it! I can’t believe I missed this thread somehow. I’ve had a bad Zen day. So much I saw that I have in common with people. Catholicism, Catholicism, and Catholicism. My mother dying with breast cancer the last semester of my first year of law school (dropped out and never went back). Working at an accounting firm and becoming disillusioned over the greed and billable hours. Jordan, your story was really moving for me. I’ve been in that empathetic state a million times; it can take its toll actually if you don’t attend to it. My little girl is stationed at Pendleton too.

                                The long version of my story will have to wait. I needed this thread today though.
                                Gassho,

                                Komoku
                                古黙

                                Sat

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