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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Posted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 11:43 pm
by Lynnmnee
I am a midlife neophyte who doesn't dare to say I am a Buddhist. Although I aspire. I found this path in 2016 when my father was terminally ill.

I have a strong interest in the Pali Canon. If only I could pronounce the words 🤣.

Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Posted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:31 pm
by sentinel
ashavp wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:51 pm
Hello friends!

My name is Asha, from Kerala, India.

Buddhism was predominant in Kerala centuries ago, but not nowadays.
I am raised to be a Hindu. But circumstances led me here. It is really tough to follow 5 precepts here as we cook/eat non-vegetarian food daily and I work at a department store.
Friends and family won't go easy on me if I reveal that i am trying to learn Buddhism. I am a 34 year old married woman and has a daughter.
Thank you

Namo Buddhay
Hello Asha , if one practise the dhamma , no need to declare one is a buddhist . One can say follows what is wholesome , virtuous and righteous .

Many Hinduism teachings can lead one to wholesome state , which is a preliminary step towards liberation .

Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Posted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:34 am
by bokaratom
My name is Tom Fernandez. I retired from teaching Computer Science at a State University in Florida. For the last four years I have been traveling around the USA in a motor-home with my wife. Usually when I get to a new area I look for Buddhist groups to visit. I have been to a variety of different Buddhist groups including Theravada, Zen and Tibetan. I enjoy meeting people meditating and sharing thoughts about Buddhism. I've met some wonderful people who have helped me on my path. I've been meditating off and on since I was a teenager. I started in a Hindu tradition (actually Sant Mat). I became disillusioned by the teacher but have continued to meditate and have been learning about Buddhist techniques of meditation. I'm skeptical of dogma but I try to stay open minded. I hope that everyone including myself can transcend all suffering and come to complete realization. I am optimistic about this and my intuition tells me we're all going to be OK! Visit me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DoctorTom

Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 2:01 am
by 0000sunyata
My name is Jim Dillon. An American, I have been living in New Mexico though my family are in Michigan, where I lived for many years. In my early 30's my work involved teaching several psychiatry residents from India. I began to inquire about their religion and they were eager to educate me. A searcher by nature, or maybe just by virtue of desperation, I thought deeply about what they had said and decided that my next step would be to read the Bhagvad Gita. I put this off for several months, until one day, while attending a meeting at the World Trade Center (not far from where the airplanes would come crashing in on 9/11), I began to think obsessively about reading the Gita. I resolved that at lunch time I would find a book store in the WTC (the ground floor was shop after shop arranged in a large circle) and acquire a copy. When the meeting let out, I was first to the elevators and soon found myself on the ground floor looking from left to right, wondering which way would bring me to the nearest book store. As I reflected on this decision, a robed man, perhaps one of the once ubiquitous Hari Krishna's, came up to me, held out a book, and placed it my hand. "I would like to give you this book," he said, or something of the sort. I looked down and was flabbergasted to see that I was holding the Bhagvad Gita.

Plainly the East was beckoning and surely something was expected from me, though I still do not know what that was. I later read the Tao Te Ching, which affected me profoundly. Eventually martial arts led me to Buddhism, especially Zen. Zen, in practice, has much in common with Theravada Buddhism, I think, though it extols a range of beliefs, not especially critical to practice, that are distinctly Mahayana--fanciful, magical, and informed by a cosmology that is contrary to what we know of our own universe, let alone all the other posited realms of existence filled with innumerable Buddhas and competing paths to Buddhism. Theravada seems to me much like Zen, stripped of the magic and belief in Gods and ghosts and other forms of spiritual life. DNS has said something along the lines of different strokes for different folks with respect to schools of Buddhism, suggesting that all paths are basically OK; but not all have been so generous in their estimation of alternative beliefs. I just read a tract by Nichiren who calls for burning the temples and beheading the priests of the rival Pure Land, Shingon, and Zen sects!

The Pali texts are of an entirely more modest and more plausible provenance than the Mahayana sutras, which stretch credulity to the extreme when placing their words in the mouth of the historical Buddha. This is not to say that there is not great wisdom to be found in these writings, only that their sources, obscure or unknown, cannot be reliably traced to the Buddha. Moreover, the Pali texts are largely apolitical, requiring no commitment to saving the planet from climate change or removing Trump from office, agendas that many American Mahayanists embrace. (See, e.g., https://www.lionsroar.com/buddhist-teac ... ntial-win/ . It seems to be a given that if you are Buddhist, but especially a Buddhist of the "socially engaged" variety, you see Trump's presidency as a catastrophe.) I do not know where American Theravadists stand on such matters, but I don't think that the philosophy requires them to stand anywhere, whereas the Bodhisattva vow is a pledge to make everyone else as compassionate as you are. (OK, maybe not exactly, but you get my drift here....) Nor do the Pali texts require from the practitioner seeking relief of suffering that she vow to continue to suffer for countless Kalpas and rebirths while everyone else is being saved. I admit it: even if the Mahayana doctrines made sense to me, I am just not nice enough to embrace them. So... this is why I have joined the Theravada forum.

I may said a great deal about myself while ostensibly revealing virtually nothing. By profession I am a psychiatrist with a special interest in forensic and correctional psychiatry, aggression through the life span, and a few other things. I am a lousy amateur musician. I have three grown-up (to varying degrees) children, one of whom is about to marry and has warned me that I will likely be a grandfather soon. I left my last job when the company I worked for was booted out of the state corrections system and I am now decideing what to do next. I am 67 years-old, so one option is to do nothing. But that does not pay very well and my daughter is being charged out-of-state tuition at the University of Michigan. So stay tuned on my next assignment. I have visited Thailand a few times and have vowed to learn the language, but Thai is tough, especially for a geezer with failing hearing, so I may need to be reborn in Thailand before I fulfill the vow.

I've read a few posts and can see that there are many very smart, thoughtful people here. I look forward to learning why I am totally wrong about everything. :jumping:

Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 10:36 pm
by Ceisiwr
31 years old. Welsh. Currently in my 3rd and final year of a biomedical degree. Will get my state registration as a biomedical scientist in the autumn. Returned to uni after dropping out the first time (18) and working low skilled jobs through most of my 20’s.

First found the Dhamma when I was 18 and at uni (for the first time). Was bored one day and the thought just popped into my head that I didn’t know anything about Buddhism, so I typed “Buddhism” into google. 13 years later and I’m still following it. For sure it changed my life completely, and for the better, even though during my early and mid 20’s there were times when I struggled to stay on the path (drinking, drugs and some casual sex on and off over the years).

I’ve always stuck to Theravada, although I’m not always orthodox. Never really embraced Mahayana or Vajrayana, or any other spiritual or religious system. Early influences on me were Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Sumedho and Ajahn Buddhadasa. These days I mostly read and agree with Ven. Nanananda.

Currently no bf and no plan for one in the future. No kids either. Don’t drink. Don’t do drugs. Currently trying to refrain from all sexual activity (which is quite hard, but having some success). Also trying to cut down on food indulgence and entertainment. Plans for the future? Finish my degree, buy my own house, learn to drive (I never have learnt) and live like a renunciate as best I can whilst being a layman. I do have a desire to ordain, but as I’m an only child I feel I need to be in the world so as to look after my parents in old age.

I try not to read too much philosophy these days, but when I do indulge my favourite topic is the philosophy of mind. I have a big love of politics, but I’m starting to refrain from engaging in that as of late. Have a love of science (obviously lol). Star Wars fan. Also a Star Trek fan. A bit of a causal gamer, although a lot less than I used to be. Bit of a nerd really. I used to be an extrovert but these days I’m quite introverted.

That’s about it :smile: