Members Bios - please contribute yours

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Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby Dan74 » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:21 pm

A member just started a thread asking about some other members credentials, etc.

http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=10609

I think it can be healthy to have a little thread where people can contribute a few lines about themselves. Some of us did that in the Intro already but others may feel like doing more after having gotten involved in the forum and gotten to know the folk here a bit better.

Anyhow here goes one of me and I hope some others will follow!

Unlike my more sensible Buddhist friends, I got involved in Buddhist fora probably 5 or so years ago back at the old E-Sangha. "Dan" was from a fond memory of my University days when my Honour thesis supervisor Mike Shapiro would yell out "Come in, Dan!" in his Brooklyn twang every time I stood outside his office door waiting for our appointment. Seeing that most members were North American, "Dan" it was. 74 is the year I was born. In real world people call me "Daniel".

My day job is teaching maths and stats and doing research in the same at a local University. I also have 3 cheeky little kids and a partner who is supportive of my practice. Apart from Dharma practice, I spend a lot of time taking pictures of sunsets, flowers, raindrops, critters great and small, people and places.

I first came across Buddhism roughly 18 years ago in a second-hand book shop, where I picked up Alan Watts' The Way of Zen and Blofeld's The Zen Teachings of Huang Po. Took me nearly 10 more years until I met my teacher and went for a retreat (after Watts I thought I had it all figured out but Haung Po kept nagging on me), the first one of probably a dozen or more that I sat with her. I am very grateful for all I have received in the way of the Dharma - it has transformed my life. The tradition I most closely identify with is Korean Zen but I find the Pali Suttas very relevant to my practice and teachers from all denominations can provide inspiration and insight.

I teach Buddhist Religious Education as a volunteer at a local school and also visit prisons as a chaplain. Though I don't feel ready at all to teach the Dharma, there is a dire shortage here and hopefully I do better than nothing at all.

I like this forum because there is a critical mass of experience, knowledge and sincerity here and I continue to learn a lot here. So I mostly lurk. Thank you everyone for contributing!

:bow: :bow: :bow:

PS Here's a pic of me taken by a friend at the Escher Museum in the Hague a few months ago:

Image
_/|\_
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:54 pm

Greetings,

(Updated 12/12/2013)

My name is Paul and I’ve been Buddhist since 2005.

My interest is in understanding what the Buddha taught and putting that into practice. To that end, I’m nominally Theravadin, since Theravada is the only extant school to place primary emphasis on the suttas most reasonably attributable to the historical Buddha. Modern bhikkhus/teachers of most interest in terms of shining a spotlight on what the Buddha taught, for me, include Bhikkhu Nanananda, Nanavira Thera, Ajahn Chah and venerable Henepola Gunaratana.

I have a son named Bennett from a previous relationship, and a girlfriend named Tamika. For work, I’m in the “project assurance” realm, which relates to project oversight, risk and issue identification/resolution and ensuring appropriate processes are developed and pursued. Outside of work, family and Dhamma, my other interests include music, Bikram yoga, cricket, games of intelligence (e.g. chess, Words With Friends), social sciences, space exploration and the Australian Summer.

I like Buddhist forums because they provide an opportunity to discuss deep matters associated with the Dhamma, road-test alternative interpretations, and cultivate spiritual friendship amongst others across the world who are interested in pursuing the Noble Eightfold Path.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:14 am

Nice pic Dan! Another 'Tiger' here.

Retro and I have a lot in common: Suttanta, interest in chess, and admins / co-founders of Dhamma Wheel.

my bio at Dhamma Wiki: David N. Snyder

Here is some other info not there:

Practicing Buddhism since 1984, started with Theravada and Zen centers, dabbled with Vajrayana centers and their practice for a few years and then back to Theravada ever since about 1990.

Married to a woman from Ethiopia and we have two children. She was a U.S. citizen and a successful business person before we met.

Have lived in Germany, the U.S., and Israel. Have been to India one time in year 2006. Have visited areas in North America, South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, Middle East, India, Nepal, and most of Western Europe.

For those that don't want to list too much detail about your bio, how about 6 words to describe yourself or your life? It could be personality traits, accomplishments, interests, or something else.

If I had to choose 6 words it would be: chess, family, ph.d., business, kalyana-mittas, Dhamma
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby befriend » Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:36 pm

hi,
i am 26 male. ive been meditating for 5 and half years starting with 2 years of shikantaza, and then 3 years of vipassana and metta.
frequently in the last 2 years i show people with mental illnesses how to practice metta, and now im including how to do daily chores with an altruistic mind, in order to increase there quality of life.
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby Richard » Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:27 pm

Hello everyone,

I first became interested in Buddhism in the 1990's, and made my first contacts at a local Zen center. It took me about 10 years to explore and sort out all the different schools of Buddhism before finally settling on Theravada as the tradition I want to pursue. Now that I have learned some Pali, I enjoy reading sutta texts in the original. I have also enjoyed visiting some Theravada centers, but in my current location I have only a small insight meditation group. Some years ago, while living in Denver, I actually attended a Vipassana group run by David Snyder. I am now 65 and have recently relocated to the American Midwest in order to be near family, which includes a daughter and granddaughter. It's good to be near a large university library, where I can continue to read Buddh8ist scholarship.
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby MoesTavern » Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:52 pm

Greetings,

I have absolutely no credentials when it comes to buddhism, aside from home studies and living a life that knows dukkha in its many aspects :-) Most of my inspiration comes from Ajahn Sumedho and Ajahn Sucitto, whose online dhamma talks form an important part of my life. I live in far north Scandinavia in a caravan, built for cold winters. I take dogs for walks as a living and I also play chess, although it was a while since... I'm a male and 38 years of age. One of my favourite quotes comes from Groucho Marx: :quote: And these are my opinions, and if you don't like them I have others :quote:

Metta to you all!

:namaste:
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby Jason » Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:30 pm

I'm just some bloke who fancies himself a 'Buddhist.' :)
"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" (AN 7.58).

leaves in the hand (Buddhist-related blog)
leaves in the forest (non-Buddhist related blog)
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby Kim OHara » Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:37 pm

Kim O'Hara was born in northern India, son of an Irish soldier in the British army, in about 1880. Orphaned young, he grew up as a street kid amongst Indian people, accepting them and accepted by them, and as a teenager he met a Tibetan lama and became his disciple. In the next few years he negotiated a tricky path back to the white world without losing touch with his local roots.
He was, of course, fictional - the hero of a book by Rudyard Kipling. Kipling is quite unfashionable these days except for his kids books but the accuracy and sympathy of his depiction of colonial India has been praised by people much more knowledgeable than me - Salman Rushdie, for one.

As a child of English emigrants in Australia in the 1950s I grew up with Kipling's Just So stories and Jungle Book, and Kim's lama was my first contact with Buddhism. When I was choosing a screen name, Kim felt like a good one: that first connection to Buddhism, the British colonial parallels, my sense of not quite belonging to Australia but certainly not belonging to England, etc.

In real life I got deeply into the counterculture of the late 60s and early 70s in Melbourne, which meant Transcendental Meditation, Ram Dass, Allan Watts, yoga, and so on. I drifted away from that as I became a music teacher, got married, raised a family and moved to the tropics, but came back to it a few years ago.

:namaste:
Kim
Last edited by Kim OHara on Sun Dec 11, 2011 7:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Sun Dec 11, 2011 1:51 am

I have had an interest in Buddhism since my freshman year of college (I even went so far to as take the refuges long before I had any idea what Buddhadhamma really was) and considered myself more or less an armchair Buddhist despite heavily carousing and otherwise making a mess of my life. It’s funny to think of it now but I truly believed my actions would lead me straight to a Hell realm were I to die without making some substantive changes in my life but the draw of sensuality was far too strong for a long time.

So, it was that almost 8 years ago, I found myself exasperated and alone in my nasty little 7th floor walk up apartment in Brooklyn when I decided I had nothing to lose by trying to meditate. At the time I hadn’t really heard of the Theravada and had been mostly exposed to Zen and Vajrayana. I had been reading Kapleau Roshi’s Three Pillars of Zen and decided to use the method taught therein for zazen. And, although there were no streaming lights or angelic choirs I felt a stillness and peace that soothed away the craziness in my heart and mind during that ten minute sit that verified my faith in the Dhamma and set me on my way.

Within months I had taken the 5 precepts (having giving up alcohol and drugs for good) and was making the rounds of the Buddhist temples and centers in NYC. At first I stuck mainly with Zen (Soto Zen specifically at the Village Zendo) but later, as a result of Ajahn Brahm’s online Dhamma talks) I began to read the Tipitaka and was hooked. Since then the Dhamma has become increasingly more important in my life and, in terms of its importance, I would place it on the same level as my kids and wife. In short order I began to practice with various insight groups until I eventually hooked up with a lay teacher who is a disciple of Ven. Thanissaro. For mos to f my time as an upasaka I have studied primarily in the Thai Forest tradition although I have recently begun to follow the teachings of Bhante Vimalaramsi. In essence, I truly feel that the Dhamma saved my life so I apologize if I ever come across as naïve due to an over-abundance of saddha. May we all taste the deathless in this lifetime! :anjali:
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

Uposatha Observance Club:http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=148031379279&v=info
Kiva-Theravada Buddhists:http://www.kiva.org/team/theravada_buddhists
Dana on the Interwebs:
http://greatergood.com
http://freerice.com
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby Mawkish1983 » Sun Dec 11, 2011 7:31 am

I'll share. I am a physics teacher in a very prestigious grammar school in the North of England. I was supposed to get my PhD in 2009, but I didn't. I am married and have absolutely no interest in raising children. I make stupid mistakes often, offend people, upset people, make enemies and generally leave destruction in my wake (all points I am not proud of). Friends are limited, even online friends are finding reason to abandon my virtual company. I discovered Buddhism in or around December 2007 and committed myself to the five precepts on 30th March, 2008. I identify myself as a Buddhist but my Dhamma knowledge is insufficient. I try, whenever I can, to improve it. I meditate less often than I'd like to but often enough to observe the benefit of regular sitting practice. My wife is an Atheist and has no interest in religion. I'm tall (2m), fat (120kg) and clumsy. I play the piano. I don't like TV but neither do I enjoy reading fiction. I'm an aspie. I'm 28 years, a number that annually increases. I am petrified of death but fascinated by it also. I'm a metalhead.

Is that enough?
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Dec 25, 2011 5:46 am

Next, please!
:popcorn:
Kim
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby Reductor » Sun Dec 25, 2011 7:48 am

You would have us share our personal self narratives, Kim? Naughty, naughty. ;)

But I'm eager to oblige. Pardon me if it is too long and rambles on a bit.

I was born in the year of our Lord, nineteen hundred and eighty three. The wild lock of black hair, and the beady eyes with which I was delivered soon changed. In their place was a lovely head of brown, and two large brown 'bambi' eyes. Additionally, I was slightly built in those early years. Yes, I looked like a lovely little girl when I was a wee one.

Alas! being cute didn't make me wholesome in any meaningful way, for I grew up with a penchant for lying and suffered an agonizing fear of abandonment. Add in an opinionated character, and it is little surprise that I inevitably came into conflict with every friend that I have ever had (and more than one family member). "Violent" would be an appropriate term for such collisions. "Dishonest" and "Bitter", too.

Fast forwarding through my life story, we may note the deep dark sad hole that I climbed into in my early teens, the bright spot where I had climbed out in my early twenties, subsequently meeting my wife, and the pit, lit by an orange light and well heated, into which I tossed myself only a few short years later.

Eventually I was separated from the wife, living with my parents and fearful that I would lose access to my kids. Not knowing what else to do, and having never applied myself to my Buddhist Beliefs, I was desperate for some divine intervention. Enter here my Bible, my Quaran, and my many hours reading one or the other. I even took to church attendance; all that singing is great, by the way.

Now, I had been a crappy so called Buddhist right from my introduction to the dhamma, at the age of 16. I'm still trying to get the 'good' wedged into my title now that I'm 28. But I certainly had understood basic tenets of dhamma long before I came to this low point in my life. I had just ignored them.

However, in light of this new interest in God, I started to wonder just how it was that God was to save me. Wasn't it true that my lusts and hates had ruined my life? That was obvious, as I clearly had ruined my life by pulling in one and pushing out the other. Yet, those things were right here in my mental space, and it seemed fantastical that a being could reach in and tweek them. Especially with the whole 'free will' thing. Worse, God seemed very much a 'tit-for-tat' kind of being who would provide no comfort unless I gave him all my love. Really? He was that needy? He didn't seem much better than me.

It seemed more that I was to bear down on this notion of God, unproven and unprovable as it is, with all my mind and heart, thereby suppressing the 'undesirable' aspects of my personality. Which seemed a course of action fraught with pearl. Then a verse from the Quran came to mind: 002.061 Y: And remember ye said: "O Moses! we cannot endure one kind of food (always); so beseech thy Lord for us to produce for us of what the earth groweth,- its pot-herbs, and cucumbers, its garlic, lentils, and onions." He said: "Will ye exchange the better for the worse? Go ye down to any town, and ye shall find what ye want!"

In this exchange the people are weary of manna, the food of God, and wish for many forms of common food. Obviously Manna is better, but their low nature makes them long for the common. And it is this verse that stuck in my mind, because I had been longing for the familiar sustenance of my youth, the faith in God that my mother and family members spoke of freely and upon which they anchored all hope, while always recognizing that the Dhamma, as loosely as I grasped it, was the better. At least, it seemed so for me, as I habitually and unintentionally read the Bible and Quran through the prism of the four noble truths and kamma.

It was at this point that I shelved my Holy books, and even those Nikayas I owned but had read little, and found some simple instructions on ATI about meditation and virtue. I sat in meditation that night, and it was difficult but wonderful too. Fascinating, even.

That was between 3 and 4 years ago (my memory is too hazy for certainty). While I still have my difficulties, I am pleased to report that I am an honest man who tries, and usually succeeds, at being kind in speech and restrained bodily. My mind is more happy than not, and I have made amends with my family. Those faults that remain cause me some mental grief, but are unable to get the better of me, for they are only shadows of their former selves.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Dec 25, 2011 8:37 am

Thank you , thereductor
:namaste:
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Re: Members Bios - ndangelo

Postby ndangelo » Sat Jan 21, 2012 5:32 pm

Hello Everyone!

I hope you are all well. Here's a bit of my background.

I have studied various forms of Buddhism in my life. I took my
Precepts in the Chinese Theravada tradition – I still keep in touch
with a Bhikkhu who travels up and down the east coast of the US. We
trade notes and discuss sutta's and other Buddhist writings.

My meditation practice in generally Vipassana, but sometimes a feel like using a more Samatha method.

Some of the books I have read are "In the Buddha's Words, An Anthology
of Discourses on the Pali Canon." the "The Dhammapada.", The Wings to Awakening".
"The Compass of Zen" and "Zen Mind, Beginners Mind" and "The Truth About Rebirth".

I look forward to taking part in this Sangha!

Nick
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby SDC » Tue Jan 24, 2012 11:34 pm

This thread is good idea. Hope a lot of people decide to share.

My name is Jonathan. I'm 30.

Grew up just north of New York City. Been a skier since I was 5. Struggled through my teen years. Went to college. Did drugs and skied. Got a degree in psychology and sociology. Did more drugs and skied. Went on to be a mechanic/electrician. Stopped the drugs but not the skiing. Found Buddhism when I was 26. Got married 2 years ago to my girlfriend of 10 years. Bought a house in New Jersey. Became a supervisor. Still skiing. :smile:
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:53 am

SDC wrote:Still skiing.


Skiing is cool. But I head the sport is going downhill.

(sorry if you've heard that bad joke several times already :tongue: )

Do you have a favorite type; cross-country, downhill, etc.?

Interesting bios above, thanks.
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby Gena1480 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:29 am

Hello dear friends
my name is Gennadiy Grishayev
and started studying Buddhism
around 6-7 years ago
i hope i bring good stuff to this forum
i still study, meditate, and listen to talk from Sangha.
still searching for full ordination in the future.
metta mitta
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby SDC » Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:15 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:
SDC wrote:Still skiing.


Skiing is cool. But I head the sport is going downhill.

(sorry if you've heard that bad joke several times already :tongue: )

Do you have a favorite type; cross-country, downhill, etc.?



Oh its definitely going downhill. :D

The only type I have ever tried is downhill, but I would really to get into cross country. It's supposed to be one of the best workouts you can get. You can appreciate the scenery more as well.
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby buddhadhamma » Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:07 am

David N. Snyder wrote: how about 6 words to describe yourself or your life? It could be personality traits, accomplishments, interests, or something else.

If I had to choose 6 words it would be: chess, family, ph.d., business, kalyana-mittas, Dhamma



Dhamma, Family, Kalyana-Mittas, Faith, Tolerance, Kālāma Sutta.





Metta to All
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Postby Kim OHara » Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:29 am

SDC wrote:... I would really to get into cross country. It's supposed to be one of the best workouts you can get. You can appreciate the scenery more as well.

I've done it (before I moved to the tropics!) and you're right on both points. Do try it sometime.

:namaste:
Kim

Now ... :focus:
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