First Encounters of the Zen Kind

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  • will
    Member
    • Jun 2007
    • 2331

    #46
    Kevin
    or play a really cool (extremely crude by today's standards) video game on my sweet new calculator watch.
    Was it Frogger or Race car?

    G,W
    [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]

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    • Kevin
      Member
      • Oct 2007
      • 113

      #47
      Frogger and Race Car were light years ahead in sophistication compared to the game I played. My game involved maneuvering a dot-shaped object through a series of oncoming walls of dot-shaped objects in which only one dot-shaped-object-sized opening existed, always in a different place along the oncoming wall.

      This was in the late 70s, so that was pretty cool to a young kid back then. It was an easy way to kill an hour during mass.

      Comment

      • will
        Member
        • Jun 2007
        • 2331

        #48
        haha. whew. ok. I had a picture bible. It was like a comic book, but basically the whole bible; Or it was drawing paper. My parents weren't too big on going to church, so I kind of stopped going. This was around the same time I brought a Parker Borthers Ouiji board to church. My Sunday school teacher didn't like that much. Oh well.

        G, W
        [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

        • Shohei
          Member
          • Oct 2007
          • 2854

          #49
          Wow…Krid, thanks for bringing this thread back to the top.
          Your welcome. but i have to thank everyone that posted. I shared this story with 2 others in its entirety. I most likely wouldnt have if some onw hadnt gone before me.

          Gassho
          Dirk

          Comment

          • Komoku
            Member
            • Sep 2007
            • 55

            #50
            I thought about this for a while. I’ve always been really careful about giving up too much personal information on the Internet, but I decided I wanted to. My name is Jim and I gave a shorter introduction a while back. This is a little more about me and how I ended up with Zen.

            I was raised Roman Catholic. My mother and father were “cradle” Catholics too. I went to Catholic school through the 8th grade. Except for being attracted to the opposite sex I probably always thought some about being a priest until high school. I was an alter boy until about my junior year of high school. My parents were Benedictine Oblates at a nearby monastery.

            When I was a kid I always liked “Adam-12” and “Chips”. So, when I was 20 years old I became a police officer in one of the major cities in Alabama. I finished college, got married to my first wife, and by the time I was 24 had three children.

            One of my part-time police security jobs was working at the Catholic cable station. I would go out with the cloistered nuns while they shopped or ran errands and make sure nobody bothered them. There was a certain influence the monks, nuns, and priests had on me.

            After 10 years as a law enforcement officer I thought I might like a career change. I became a full-time student for a year. During that summer I interned at an accounting firm that specialized in fraud and litigation support. I ended up taking a full-time position with them, finished a master’s degree, and probably made more money than I’ll ever make.

            I ended up being really lost and missed police work so bad I couldn’t stand it. I tried reserving but it just wasn’t the same.

            During my accounting days, I followed my parent’s example and became a Benedictine Oblate. I immersed myself in the rule, other readings, and prayerful practices. I really liked and still like Thomas Merton.

            One day I took a chance and broke a cycle that was making me miserable. I left the accounting firm and took a part-time police job at a small rural department for about $8.00 an hour. I eventually left there for a better job and broke another cycle that was making me miserable and left my first wife.

            I worked as a motorcycle officer for a while. I got promoted to sergeant and started a criminal investigations division at the department. I fell in love with one of the officers. She left and is now a patrol sergeant at another police department. I have two step-children and a four year old son with her.

            I ran into some problems with Catholicism after a divorce and remarriage. I’ve questioned everything. I tried an Episcopal Church and really liked it and the priest until they fired him. I was quite shocked about the reasoning and didn’t agree with it and didn’t go back.

            I think my questioning has changed my whole view of the Bible, Jesus, God, Satan, heaven, hell, Santa Claus, etc.

            I first looked at Zen simply for the meditation practice but I’ve started believing that the Buddhist philosophy makes more sense than anything I’ve ever studied. In particular, Zen Buddhist philosophy.

            As an investigator I’ve specialized in crimes against children. I spend some time helping other agencies with those type crimes, travel some in relation to it, and continue to improve my skills there. It’s the part of my job I get the most satisfaction from.

            I finally met "Ponch" at a crimes against children conference a few weeks ago. I told him it was his fault I rode around in the heat for two years on a Harley.
            Gassho,

            Komoku
            古黙

            Sat

            Comment

            • Shohei
              Member
              • Oct 2007
              • 2854

              #51
              Wow thanks for sharing that! i gotta add that pic is awesome! i had a "Chips" toy set as a very wee kid I watched with meh dad I was like 4 so i was probably tooo young to be watching it ops:

              Gassho
              Dirk

              Comment

              • Dainin
                Member
                • Sep 2007
                • 389

                #52
                Hey Jim,

                Thank you for sharing your story. I can really relate to the Catholic thing. Also, as a father and teacher of young children, I am grateful to you for what you do. Keep up the great work.

                Gassho,
                Keith

                Comment

                • Lynn
                  Member
                  • Oct 2007
                  • 180

                  #53
                  Well, it's taken me 4 days to get through posts. You are all amazing people and I am feeling quite honoured to hold your stories in my heart. The Native Americans have a saying: My heart is full.

                  I haven't been without Buddhism floating somewhere in my life since I was 5 years old. (Might have had something earlier but this is my first memory.) I was born and raised in Hawai'i and am fourth generation on my mother's side. I was raised with more Asian and Polynesian influences than Caucasian.

                  First Memory:

                  When I started kindergarten; and every year during my elementary school years; we had field trips to Chinatown and the first stop always made was to the Buddhist temple which was right in the middle of Chinatown. I very clearly remember being 5 and getting off the bus and looking up, up, up at this huge amount of stairs leading to this enormous Buddha with bright flowers, colored lights, ferocious golden doggies, tons of smoking incense. It was in an open pavillion and there were lots of elder Chinese doing some form of exercise (now I'd guess Chi Kung or some such), playing some kind of board game, or just sitting reflectively. I was scared spitless. The "man in the dress" came down to greet all the children and we all followed him up those enormous stairs and then we were giving one of these incense bits (unlit) and we were shown how to go to the Buddha and bow and put them in the big holders with all the others. We were all then given little tokens of some kind: a little card, a small medallion. Really small bits but we all thought there was some kind of magical stuff in them that had to do with the huge Buddha.

                  As the years went by this became less awe filled but I still always enjoyed it and we used to go to Chinatown and hang out at that same temple when I was a teenager.

                  First Calling:

                  I had a Bodaidaruma (Bodhidharma) nested doll I loved to play with but once, when I was 12 or 13, I had a nightmare that it came alive so it got put in the closet.

                  First Teacher:

                  I was extremely fortunate to have an afterschool caregiver named Toshi watch over me from the time I was six til about 13 or so. She was from Japan and, I now believe, was probably Jodo Shin, but she always talked about Kanzeon, and the compassion of the Buddhas and Ancestors, and about honouring your parents. She also taught me tea ceremony and ikebana, the art of flower arrangement.

                  First Study:

                  I started reading Alan Watts, Chogyam Rinpoche, and Aldous Huxley at the age of 15. Buddhism was too much a part of my childhood for it to be seriously considered a religious path for me, but I liked the ideas for what I could understand of it. Got further involved in all sorts of Buddhist writings, especially Zen flavoured, ages 17-18-19.

                  First Run In With The Four Noble Truths:

                  Then it all kind of stopped for awhile. I got married at 20, my mom died when I was 23, by that time I had two infants and was a single parent. I think I was too much in survival mode for many years afterward for me to deal with nice theories and groovy attitudes. I had to put food on the table, work two jobs, do my best to figure out what parenting was supposed to look like.

                  First Point of Disillusion:

                  Went back to university, they spit some degrees at me eventually, and I got a faculty position at the University of Oregon teaching and doing research in Cognitive Neuropsychology and Brain Electrophysiology. As thoroughly steeped in the hard sciences and academia as I was spiritual matters were suspect and untestable and couldn't get me a grant.

                  First Lesson on Freedom:

                  I met a man somewhere in there and he tore a huge hole in my intellectual, emotional, spiritual bubble of un-touchability. He rendered me down until he was left standing in the small puddle I'd become. He stopped and wiped off the soles of his shoes as he walked out of my life.

                  I went to the bookstore to try to get my soul back. I headed to the spirituality section. In my case, the book literally jumped off the shelf. It was by Pema Chodron. Within a week I was looking for a temple and a teacher. Found zazen and started to look at my mind.

                  First Renunciation:

                  Buddhism and the brain don't mix. Something finally had to give and I waved goodbye to my students and the hallowed halls and got myself to a monastery with the intent of living the remainder of my life as a monk.

                  First Step, Baby Step:

                  My life had other plans for me. Inside the walls, outside the walls. All the same.

                  There has been despair, there has been joy. Some days I love my life, some days I slog through it screaming and cursing. But, 11 going on 12 years of sitting, of studying, of not giving up have been worth it in ways I can never explain.

                  The little moments the make one dance.

                  In Gassho~

                  *Lynn
                  When we wish to teach and enlighten all things by ourselves, we are deluded; when all things teach and enlighten us, we are enlightened. ~Dogen "Genjo Koan"

                  Comment

                  • Jundo
                    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                    • Apr 2006
                    • 39446

                    #54
                    Lynn,

                    Wow wow wow. A life! Thank you for relating that ... You are not a puddle to us, sweety!

                    I have to ask you this: As a refugee from Cognitive Neuropsychology and Brain Electrophysiology .. what is your take on the Five Skandhas? You can answer here or over at the 'Skandha' thread.

                    Gassho, Jundo
                    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                    Comment

                    • Keishin
                      Member
                      • Jun 2007
                      • 471

                      #55
                      Re: First Encounters of the Zen Kind

                      Hellos to All!

                      Thought I would pull this thread up from the past--because it is timeless!

                      please enjoy...

                      I just noticed the thread I wanted to link it to (Where did it Start?) is on the other forum (way back when, there was only one forum--oh well)

                      Comment

                      • Fuken
                        Member
                        • Sep 2006
                        • 435

                        #56
                        Re: First Encounters of the Zen Kind

                        Yeah, it was a pleasant thread.
                        Yours in practice,
                        Jordan ("Fu Ken" translates to "Wind Sword", Dharma name givin to me by Jundo, I am so glad he did not name me Wind bag.)

                        Comment

                        • Fuken
                          Member
                          • Sep 2006
                          • 435

                          #57
                          Re: First Encounters of the Zen Kind

                          Still is.
                          Yours in practice,
                          Jordan ("Fu Ken" translates to "Wind Sword", Dharma name givin to me by Jundo, I am so glad he did not name me Wind bag.)

                          Comment

                          • Jundo
                            Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                            • Apr 2006
                            • 39446

                            #58
                            Re: First Encounters of the Zen Kind

                            Originally posted by Jordan
                            Still is.
                            Hey Jordan,

                            Did you find a place to sit in Okinawa?

                            Gassho, J
                            ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                            Comment

                            • Fuken
                              Member
                              • Sep 2006
                              • 435

                              #59
                              Re: First Encounters of the Zen Kind

                              Hey Jundo,
                              My Zafu and Zabuton got to our apartment on base while I was on ship. And I have a small bedroom with a few extra sitting cushions set up for guests, but I haven't invited anyone formally yet.
                              So as far as a Sangha, no.

                              However there are a few other people even within my small unit that have "Buddhist" down as there religious preference.
                              And on the boat they have no command sponsored representative, and there for no services, for those (there are many more) who profuse to be Buddhist. So I have approached the religious programs specialist and command chaplain about the means whereby to do some kind of semi organized Sangha both here on Okinawa and on the Ship.

                              I was just now thinking about asking for your assistance in setting up a program.

                              What do you think?

                              R/S
                              Fuken (Maybe we could change that dharma name while were at it?)
                              Yours in practice,
                              Jordan ("Fu Ken" translates to "Wind Sword", Dharma name givin to me by Jundo, I am so glad he did not name me Wind bag.)

                              Comment

                              • Shohei
                                Member
                                • Oct 2007
                                • 2854

                                #60
                                Re: First Encounters of the Zen Kind

                                Very good thread indeed!
                                /me hops on signal lamp:
                                .... .. .--- --- .-. -.. .- -.
                                -. .. -.-. . - --- ... . . -.-- --- ..- .-.-.-
                                ... .- ..-. . - .-. .- ...- . .-.. ... .-.-.-

                                --. .- ... ... .... ---
                                ... .... --- .... . ..



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