Members Bios - please contribute yours

Introduce yourself to others at Dhamma Wheel.
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by jagodage » Thu Sep 11, 2014 6:32 am

Thanks for comments.It is part and parcel of Bawa.Hence no worry.Since I started Dhamma investigation about 20yrs ago present is present.

Wish the blessing of Triple Gems

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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by makotodhamma » Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:29 pm


I just became 28, from japan and I have been interested in buddhism for a long time. since when I was a little I was exposed to buddhism because of my family but I got interested from my own reasons. I was seeking philosophy in life and learned about different thoughts. Buddhism is philosophy more than religion. I learn from the bible sometimes because whatever they teach, if i agree to it and i think it can be added to my philosophy in life to make my life easier, i take it.

when i try to practice Buddhism way in life I notice many things don't really match real life. what it teaches me I should do, if i do it in real life, it seems to cause loss/harm in my life. I cannot keep giving things without intent of getting things in return.. in real life there are things you have to have, like money. and you can't keep giving offer to people. there seems to be collision with what they teach and real life.

also, not to get angry, and be patient and such. I think in asian countries, maybe it's more taken root in people's lives. but in European countries and in North/south america, maybe it's really hard. in those countries people speak up a lot and don't hold back their feelings. sorry if anyone gets offended, it's my mere generalization/assumption.

I hope to find answers I can agree.

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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by Stephen18 » Mon Oct 27, 2014 11:14 pm

My life in image form. Extreme ups and downs as you can see.
My Life's Ups and Downs
stephens-life-chart.gif (63.5 KiB) Viewed 8039 times

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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by Modus.Ponens » Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:16 am

It has been very high sometimes. I hope it gets high up there soon.
"He turns his mind away from those phenomena and, having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.' " - Jhana Sutta

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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by Stephen18 » Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:25 am

Modus.Ponens wrote:It has been very high sometimes. I hope it gets high up there soon.
Thank you! :smile:

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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by Gotami » Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:35 pm

hello... 78 years old female, born and raised in Poland. Remember first days of WWII and the next 6 years. Came to US in '60. Earning living as a Mental Health Counselor specializing in trauma treatment, relationships. Reading and loom weaving are my hobbies as well as sources of nurturing and pleasure. Have a history of over 15 years serving in Hospice as a volunteer, social worker, presently Buddhist chaplain.
Living in a very small, isolated very conservative Christian, ranching and logging community in Oregon, US. Very much missing Buddhist community, and it will be such a gift to be part of Dhamma Wheel.
Became introduced to Buddhism in late 70s, and while reading up on everything related to Buddhism I could find, I found myself coming back to Theravada tradition. Attended three 10 days Vipassana silent retreats several years apart, and, in spite of having read much, still struggling with establishing a regular sitting practice.
Looking forward to listening and learning...
with metta

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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by rowboat » Wed Nov 19, 2014 1:42 am

Hi, Gotami. Welcome to DhammaWheel!

Rain soddens what is covered up,
It does not sodden what is open.
Therefore uncover what is covered
That the rain will not sodden it.
Ud 5.5

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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by clightwalker » Mon Nov 24, 2014 12:14 am

Hello: I am a 56 year old Canadian. I am a student of PhraDhammongolayarn Luangphor Viriyang Sirantharo, Lord Abbot Wat Dhammamongkol in Bangkok Thailand. He has many meditation centres around the world and is building more. I began my studies with him in 2008 and am an Assistant Instructor at the Willpower Institute Calgary Meditation Centre. I am slowly learning more about the Buddha, Sangka and the Dhamma and how to live a happy stable life. My family moved around when I was a child and I have lived in quite a few Canadian cities as well as spending 4 years in Germany. I first learned of meditation during Junior High school classes in the 1970's. It is the meditation that has brought me to Buddhism.

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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by Digity » Mon Jan 26, 2015 4:37 am

As a child I was very inquisitive and could at times be painfully shy and other times extremely outgoing. During my early years of life I was able to fit in at school by being the "funny guy". By junior high and high school I was feeling very disconnected and different from everyone around me. I didn't fit into any groups in school and when I was in high school I started obsessing about philosophy and the purpose of life. I was an odd teenage, more so than most, because I struggled with terrible social anxiety. Just being in a room with another person was a times hard to bear, because the idea of them even looking at me made me panic. Although I had many friends when I was younger by the time I was in high school and struggling with my anxiety my circle of friends had seriously dwindled to next to nothing.

At this point I buried my head into school work and video games. My high school years sucked, but this was also the time when my inquisition into the meaning of life really started to take force. I remember sitting in a philosophy class and the teacher telling us about all the different philosophies around the world. When he got to India and spoke about the mind and defilements I remember it really resonating with me. I thought to myself "Maybe that's the answer. Maybe it's the mind." I didn't even know about Buddhism at this point, but my thinking was inclined in that direction anyway.

After all the crappyness of junior high and high school passed I moved onto university. Things got better, but I was still having massive issues with anxiety. My mom was rather worried about my mental state. I did well in school, because I studied like crazy. Although, I started to loosen up a bit after that. I was rather lost and in pain during these years too. I tried marijuana in hopes that it would ease my anxiety and would go out drinking too. Around the beginning or middle of university I discovered Buddhism for the first time. My brother bought the book Buddhism: Plain and Simple by Steve Hagen and I decided to read it one day. From the moment I read it I was hooked. I became obsessed after this point with Buddhism. Although, all I did was read about it. The thought of meditating never occurred to me. I was only interested in study. This went on for years. I would sometimes have piles of homework to do, but instead I would be reading books on Buddhism.

I finally did make some new friends in university. Regrettably, I started to develop a douchebaggy personality around this time. I think I was just a very insecure and resentful person, because I felt I missed out on so much of life due to my anxiety and had very few meaningful personal relationships. I was not always very nice to these friends and besides them I had very few other people in my life. There were others in the group too that had less than ideal personalities (I guess birds of a feather flock together).

Over the years I did well in school, but developed a socially awkward and obnoxious attitude. Frankly, I didn't know what I was doing and my anxiety made me awkward in a lot of social situations. I finally tried some therapy in university and it did help a bit with the anxiety. I was also doing a bunch of self-help and was slowly seeing some positive results.

Despite all my studying of the Buddhism I didn't live up to it at all. I would love to discuss it with anyone, but in the back of my head I realized I was all about the talk. As years passed, I mostly continued to study Buddhism and that's it. After a while I looked at my life, relationships and so on and realized how disconnected they were with what the Buddha was teaching. So, over time I finally gave in and realized I had to stop doing things my way and had to try and start living up to the teachings. I first started off with Right Speech, because I was brutal in this area. Over time I learned to stop being such an asshole with the way I talked to people and my relationships got better. At this point I knew I had to continue with the teachings. As time passed by I even dove into meditation and took up the precepts. Since then I've been trying to deepen my practice more and more. It's been a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, even to this day, but I've always felt like this practice was my calling in life so I always come back to it no matter what life seems to throw at me.

For the remainder of my life I only hope I can continue to deepen my practice. Unfortunately, I haven't had much luck in finding a good teacher and I mostly continue to wander alone in my practice. In the next phase of my life I hope I can begin going on meditation retreats and hopefully start getting more serious about my meditation. Ideally, when I retire I hope I can go on month long retreats, etc.

Discovering the Buddha's teachings were the best thing that happened to me. Although I struggle to live up to much of it...I know it's the right path and I know I just need to keep coming back and applying myself again and again until I get it right.

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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by paul3 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:46 pm

Hello ,
my name is Paul + I have had an intense interest in Buddhism in particular + other religious or spiritual texts + experiences since I was a young teenager.
I do not work at the moment as I am off sick, but I have done many years of voluntary work + have managed several charity shops .I am very into my middle age , am not married nor do I have any children .
My main reason in coming to this site is to explore more of the Buddhist philosophy + to get some feedback on some experiences I have had of the immaterial jhana states.
In particular was the experience of what was an addition to the state of infinite consciousness in wherein after having expanded into infinite consciousness , I then began to feel myself drawn in to a further dimension of an inner infinite consciousness but without losing sense of what now appeared to become the exterior infinite consciousness , so in effect I was having what might be described as a dual experience of infinite consciousness + much more. this progressed in the usual manner up to + including cessation etc.
I wonder if anyone has had a similar experience or can advise me as to what this might be.

Respectfully, Paul.

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Location: Tennessee

Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by MaeCheeWannabe » Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:00 pm

I have been lurking and posting for a bit now so I suppose its time for me to contribute my bio/introduction.

People call me Alicia but my family at the temple call me Mae Khao Noi-little mother in white. I was the first american to take the 8 precepts, shave my head and be Mae Chee. I have only a very short time practicing and studying the Middle Way. Until about 9 months ago I really had no idea what Buddhism was.

What ultimately led me was my journey to escape addiction. I struggled for 8 years to stop using drugs and alchohol. I have serious physical disabilites and my health made it difficult to stop opiate use. After many years in a 12 step program I finally had a breakthrough. When I devoured all the literature from the 12 step fellowship I sought more on my spiritual journey. Thats is when I came across zen via Thich Nhat Hanh. It was so similar to the principles of the 12 step program I realized I was Buddhist and never knew it.

I was very excited early on to find a Theravadin temple about 3 driveways away from my house, but being new and barely educated and confused about Buddhism I was very afraid to try to go. Its a Thai/Laotian temple where most do not speak English and I was very concerned about accidentally offending someone somehow.

I was walking in faith in other areas of my life, but every time I set out to visit the temple I got scared and drove past telling myself "next time".

Then one night driving home in torrential rain after a 12 step meeting I kept remembering how fear used to be gone for me but was taking back over. I was afraid at the meeting of another addict stealing my house payment money. I was afraid of wrecking while driving home. Specifically I was afraid of hitting a deer. I prayed and tried to let go of fear again.

As soon as I did, right in front of the temple, a heard of female deer appeared on the road. I barely stopped in time to not hit them. Expecting the car to have startled them I was amazed as they just barely looked at me and single file, one by one, slowly walked across the road unafraid.

I took it as a sign that I should visit the temple regardless of my fear. The next day ... I don't know why... I brought a peacock feather to the temple. I arrived at a good time. The women were gathered and welcomed me with open arms even though I did a lot of things wrong and had to be taught like a child how to act.

The monk impressed me quite a bit as he seemed to have impossible insight to me even mysteriously knowing that my backdoor was unlocked and I needed to lock it (a mysterious intruder tried to get in that night after I locked the door on the monks advice).

He then took me to meet a nun who would end up being my teacher and like a mother to me. I gave her the peacock feather because i just felt I should. She blessed me and placed it on her altar. I finally bowed.. something as a westerner I was very adverse to doing because of the way I was raised... being taught it would send me to hell and other such silly nonsense.

My life was forever changed that day. I feel like I have experienced decades of profound change in just a few months. Last week when I became Mae Chee my temple family rejoiced with tears of joy. I am back to lay life now after living at the temple for 8 days, but I'm looking forward to the next time I can spend more time as Mae Chee. I have a daughter to take care of, but when she stays with her father I hope to go back to Mae Chee.

My life before recovery from addiction and discovering the Middle Way was very much the life of a victim. Abused as a child and an adult in some very severe ways, and having severe physical disabilities and fatal illness I was very angry, full of self pity, and really just wanted to hurry up and die. Today I cannot even recognize that person I used to be. I have a completely new life. Even when bad things happen to me now... I am for the most part happy and at ease. I am excited to see what else this adventure of life has in store for me. I hope to help others find happiness as well.
Mae Khao Noi

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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by lostitude » Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:25 pm

My English is not perfect so here's my quick journey:

-as a kid: very shy, very few friends, growing up on a tropical island I develop a very animistic view of life, talking to trees, to the wind, to the sea, but then grew up in the Catholic faith and unified all those spirits into one.

-teen years: discovering I'm gay, no friends at all, parents know it but have no idea how to handle it and make it taboo, I feel isolated and severely depressed. I get into qi gong, experience a lot of really weird sensations, find it super cool.
-Age 15, turning point: I leave my island forever to continue my education on the mainland, this is the worst year in my life. I find a book in my aunt's house about communicating with angels and asking them for help, so I ask one to give me somebody to help me out. A few months later, what could be compared to a boddhisattva meets me, pulls me up and helps me through this one horrible year, without him I'd have ended it for sure. Once his job is done he vanishes just as quickly as he appeared in my life.
I try qi gong again, but it just doesn't work on the mainland. The energy there is nothing compared with the energy back on my island.

-20: spiritual crisis, I look into zen buddhism, it sounds so nice. But then I discover islam a while later and become a Muslim. Islam tells me what I can/should do with my life, at last I gain a sense of purpose.
From 20 to 30: I start out as a salafi muslim then progress towards a more spiritual, sufi-type of islam. I start getting weird HD dreams, I even meet Muhammad in one such 'dreams'. He tells me 'don't worry, everything is going to be alright. Just be careful not to....' and I don't catch the end of his sentence. Several years later I still wonder about that missing bit.

-30: I meet my current partner, which forces me to distance myself from some islamic rules that say gay fornicators should be whipped or killed. Also realise the status quo and complete lack of spiritual progress over the last few years. Maybe I should try something new. Back to zen buddhism, and that's when I discover this forum and theravada along with it. Now I feel torn between atheist buddhism and theist sufism.

I'll be 31 in two days.

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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by ubeysekaramapa » Wed Dec 02, 2015 5:38 am

Hi, I am Upali from Sri Lanka; age 72 retired public servant.

This is what the Buddhas teach- " To refrain from all unwholesome deeds-practice wholesome deeds- purify your mind"

'Wholesome' is not an act gaining merit as many believe; but it is an act which leads towards eradicating dukka. Not to be born in a higher realm!

In order to do it Buddha has prescribed many ways that suits one's character; for ex: Buddha advised Bahiya not to absorb as MY SELF- what is heard,felt, seen etc. just consider them as HEARING, FEELING, SEEING etc. That means one takes in only what is heard as hearing ; it is stored in one's memory (sanna) only for the purpose of recollecting and identifying BUT not go beyond that purpose. I hope I have made it clear. It becomes clear if deeply contemplated in a serine surroundings.

Similarly advised Nakulapita who complained to the Buddha (at the age of 120 years) that he is now feeble and week. The Buddha advised him: " even if the body feels feeble; keep the mind alert" . Anatapindika was advised not to cling on to five faculties, four great elements, next world etc.

One's mind does not yield easily to leave one's SELF unless one sees its emptiness by contemplating -to gain wisdom.

Cormac Brown
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by Cormac Brown » Sun Jan 24, 2016 2:49 pm


My name is Cormac Brown. In this lifetime I had my first encounter with Theravada practice at a retreat in 2012. I became very inspired to follow the Buddha's path. In particular I was inspired by how useful a tool mindfulness of the body seemed to be in uprooting ignorance and the cause of suffering. It took a while, however, before I came to an appreciation of the importance of sila, being still engaged in taking intoxicants and in acting. I later decided to give up acting (and intoxicants, and other things besides) to try and ordain as a monk. I stayed in several monasteries in the UK before going to Thailand, where I became a pah-kow/anagarika under Ajahn Dtun, a disciple of Ajahn Chah, and someone who seemed to be of very admirable character. I stayed for three-four months before returning, due to health issues, to England. I later took up pah-kow training in an English monastery, but due to mental health issues, was advised to "take a break" and return to family for some time.

I'm still with my family, and have hopefully regained some balance. I hope to recommence plans for ordination soon, and in a more balanced fashion.

My faults: strong craving for food; a mind that can get overcome with lust and viciousness; laziness; being argumentative; focussing on others' bad points; lack of skilful mental qualities; lack of jhana. I had a most unwholesome adolescence, including intoxicants of various kinds, and illicit sex, all of which could well have contributed to later mental health issues. If you're reading, and are debating whether or not psychoactive drugs (lsd, salvia, cannabis, ketamine) fit into Buddhist practice - in my experience, they most certainly don't.

Best wishes,

“I in the present who am a worthy one, rightly self-awakened, am a
teacher of action, a teacher of activity, a teacher of persistence. But the
worthless man Makkhali contradicts even me, (saying,) ‘There is no
action. There is no activity. There is no persistence.’ "
AN 3.138, trans. Ven. Thanissaro

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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by connoronealscanlan » Tue Apr 19, 2016 9:05 pm

Name's Connor.

Came to Theravada by way of Zen, prompted by the desire to be free from addiction and alcoholism. Been Theravadin for, perhaps, two or three months; no real clean break from Zen or any other philosophy in particular.

Love to draw comics and cartoons. Political science student. Marxist, striking a balance between dialectical materialism and Buddhist spirituality.

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