Members Bios - please contribute yours

Introduce yourself to others at Dhamma Wheel.
avacal
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:30 am

Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by avacal » Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:56 pm

Hello, this is Pete,

I am just here to learn. I enjoy reading everyone's introductions. I am trying to introduce myself to Buddhism, it seems to be a refrdeshing way to look at the world, and a very practical way for me to deal with the problems of day to day life.

Peace
--Pete

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LonesomeYogurt
Posts: 900
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:24 pm
Location: America

Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by LonesomeYogurt » Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:56 pm

avacal wrote:Hello, this is Pete,

I am just here to learn. I enjoy reading everyone's introductions. I am trying to introduce myself to Buddhism, it seems to be a refrdeshing way to look at the world, and a very practical way for me to deal with the problems of day to day life.

Peace
--Pete
Welcome to the forum! There's a whole section, Discovering Theravada (http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewforum.php?f=24" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) that you can post questions you have. I think you'll find people very helpful here!
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.

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Way~Farer
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:38 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by Way~Farer » Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:24 am

Born 1953, vivid spiritual experiences in youth, started reading Eastern philosophy (Paramahansa Yogananda, Ramana Maharishi and Krishnamurti) in young adulthood. Got drawn to Buddhism in the late 70's, was taught meditation by a secular 'awareness-training' group, followed by some Vipassana sessions at Wat Buddha Dhamma. Continued to practice and read, although sporadically, all my adult years. Did a Goenka retreat 2007, a six day retreat at Sunnataram Forest Monastery beginning of 2011. Currently finishing a Master of Buddhist Studies degree. I am member of a small, informal 'dhamma sharing group' that gives lectures and presentations at the Buddhist Library in Sydney. My 'school' is non-sectarian but tending more towards Mahayana (although I like this forum more than the Mahayana version.)

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TravisGM
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:23 pm

Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by TravisGM » Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:23 am

Skiing is cool, but I heard that sport is going downhill.
Ive gotta say thats the hardest Ive laughed on this forum, good one :goodpost:

So my name is Travis and Im one of those people you often meet who know very little of the 'inside world' or 'real facts' of a certain hobby. With that said, I don't know much about the word of the Buddha straight from the suttas, I know many of his words through indirect quoting.

Ive been studying Buddhism for quite a while now but am still considered a youngin' in the 'real world' :)
I got into Buddhism after a friend of mine introduced me while I was having a difficult time dealing with the realities of my life. I, like many in the West, started with Zen Buddhism and later settled down with Theravada, I appreciate the tough discipline it requires.

Buddha was a beautiful person, he saved my life and I have no reason to not give mine in return to all those who deserve it, if not for Buddha I wouldn't be here. All that is left is compassion and wisdom and I mean to share that with the world.

Happiness, concentration, resolve, wisdom, control, and here; I like those words :)
:anjali:
To be happy...

Thangka-Mandala
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:26 pm

Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by Thangka-Mandala » Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:25 pm

Namaste!
I am 24, grew up in Kathmandu Nepal.
My father is a Shakya, Newar so we practise a form of Vajrayana Buddhism.
I grew up around Thangkas and Mandalas most of my life.
Feel free to ask me any questions related to Thangkas, Mandalas or Paubas.

deon
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:31 am

Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by deon » Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:49 pm

Hi
Sometime ago I became ill, mentally and physically. I had held onto things that I used to define myself. When these were taken away from me I was lost and broken.

I began to have panic attacks and became aware several times a day of my imminent demise. The terror of death was and is very real for me. I had lived in an environment of abuse and violence as a child and tried to escape this by joining the military. After the military ( with its violence and abuse) I had a violent and abusive relationship. I had two wonderful children. In my 30's I began to change, but not fast enough. At 40 I was a broken person.

I found Buddhism through a book my loving wife gave me on 'Happiness'. I began to read, approached a sangha and began to study Buddhist Philosophy. I lost my secular and scientific dogmas. I began to understand the purpose of faith, to meditate and develop awareness of my many delusions. As I began to understand my delusions I began to see the delusions that others also suffered. I enroled on a councelling course and I'm now training to become a councellor / therapist. May I be fortunate enough to help others.

There are other Buddhist councellors near me. I find a combination of Buddhism and Western psychotherapy productive and beneficial.

I have too many faults to list. The beneficial changes I have experienced through a combination of my teachers, the Dhamma, meditation and deep enquiries into my mind help me to approach each delusional or unbalanced aspect and begin the process of understanding, acceptance and integration. I learn the Dhamma from any tradition or source and if I experience it, then so much the better. I have already been touched by the profound words on this forum - thankyou.

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Anagarika
Posts: 915
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:25 pm

Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by Anagarika » Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:18 am

Hi Deon:

You are amongst kalyana mitta here (dhamma friends), and always feel that you have a huge support sangha here. All of us here have a story to tell, stories of difficulties as well as stories of positive growth, and one great aspect of sangha is that no matter each of our stories, we have the Buddha, the Dhamma, and Sangha in which to take refuge. It's great that you are bringing your wisdom and experience into counseling, in order, in part, to be a bodhisatta to others. Metta to you, and stay in touch with this forum....
deon wrote:Hi
Sometime ago I became ill, mentally and physically. I had held onto things that I used to define myself. When these were taken away from me I was lost and broken.

I began to have panic attacks and became aware several times a day of my imminent demise. The terror of death was and is very real for me. I had lived in an environment of abuse and violence as a child and tried to escape this by joining the military. After the military ( with its violence and abuse) I had a violent and abusive relationship. I had two wonderful children. In my 30's I began to change, but not fast enough. At 40 I was a broken person.

I found Buddhism through a book my loving wife gave me on 'Happiness'. I began to read, approached a sangha and began to study Buddhist Philosophy. I lost my secular and scientific dogmas. I began to understand the purpose of faith, to meditate and develop awareness of my many delusions. As I began to understand my delusions I began to see the delusions that others also suffered. I enroled on a councelling course and I'm now training to become a councellor / therapist. May I be fortunate enough to help others.

There are other Buddhist councellors near me. I find a combination of Buddhism and Western psychotherapy productive and beneficial.

I have too many faults to list. The beneficial changes I have experienced through a combination of my teachers, the Dhamma, meditation and deep enquiries into my mind help me to approach each delusional or unbalanced aspect and begin the process of understanding, acceptance and integration. I learn the Dhamma from any tradition or source and if I experience it, then so much the better. I have already been touched by the profound words on this forum - thankyou.

frankinnc
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:11 am

Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by frankinnc » Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:40 am

Hi, my name's Frank...and my bio is gonna read alot different than most others, lol. Here goes: Grew up poor, did drugs, broke laws, smoked crack, broke more laws, went to prison ( 5 and 1/2 years), discovered Zen second year of prison, sat zazen almost everyday thereafter, went on "community passes" to a zendo last year of prison, got out of prison and continued to practice..still sober and sane and breaking no more laws. there ya go.

Reductor
Posts: 1382
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:52 am
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by Reductor » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:29 am

A most excellent bio, frankinnc! :anjali:

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bodom
Posts: 6241
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by bodom » Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:32 am

frankinnc wrote:Hi, my name's Frank...and my bio is gonna read alot different than most others, lol. Here goes: Grew up poor, did drugs, broke laws, smoked crack, broke more laws, went to prison ( 5 and 1/2 years), discovered Zen second year of prison, sat zazen almost everyday thereafter, went on "community passes" to a zendo last year of prison, got out of prison and continued to practice..still sober and sane and breaking no more laws. there ya go.
Awesome. In fact it reads almost identical to mine. Good to have you onboard Frank!

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

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marc108
Posts: 464
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:10 pm

Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by marc108 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:28 pm

great thread, its really neat to read about the people i see posting here.

I'm Marc, 31 years old.

I started practicing Yoga & Meditation as a spiritual discipline around the age of 18. 2 or so years ago I became interested in Buddhism after I read Mindfulness in Plain English and realizing that the Buddha's approach to meditation, and spiritual practice in general, was superior to anything I had done previously and have since immersed myself in the Dhamma. I love this forum as it's the only place I've found, on or offline, to have serious discussion about the Dhamma with seasoned practitioners.

In the unreal world I'm a student, finishing up a degree in nutrition & i work for a vitamin company doing product demos and education. I enjoy olympic weight lifting, anything in nature, playing with my cats & gardening. I grew up in New York & New Jersey, and 4 or so years ago moved to Northern California.
"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."

Sutiro
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:48 am

Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by Sutiro » Sat Sep 01, 2012 10:49 am

My life in the Sangha (also see http://www.fourwindslao.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;)

I was an angry, restless young man. I started to take stock of myself after the premature death of my older brother in 1975. I took a course at university on Comparative Religions of which Buddhism was one and began reading anything of Hermann Hesse that I could get my hands on. I closely related to Harry Heller in the "Steppenwolf" but it was after reading "Siddhartha" that I first realized that the Buddha was a real person not a demi-God and I imagined being alive in the 6th Century BCE and able to sit with Him and listen to Him. I could also have slipped over to China and sat with Confucious, then back to Persia to be with Zoroaster, then to Israel and the desert Prophets and so on back to India to listen to Mahavira. I set my mind upon travel to Asia as so many of us were doing back then.

When doing the section of the course on Buddhism I was wrapped to have Pra Khanti Palo come to our class and outline the basic tenets of Buddhism. He was the first bhikkhu I ever saw. It all made so much sense and he explained much of what had been inexplicable. He invited students to come and see him later that afternoon in his rest room. I was late and thought there would a big queue waiting. It turned out that I was the only one of about 200 students at the lecture who had bothered, so I was lucky really.

I worked two jobs for a year and saved up $3000 and took off overland to Asia in early 1977. After some hedonist adventures in Bali, Phuket and Koh Samui, I met a Lao refugee who lived in Australia. He had just returned from a trip to NE Thailand. I asked him if there was some place a Westerner could go and learn about meditation. He recommended Wat Bah Pong. I had bought a one way ticket to Kathmandu but, luckily, had a few days before I could fly and I hated being in Bangkok in Summer so I caught the night train to Warin, Ubon Province. I arrived in the morning and found my way to Wat Bah Pong.

It was like falling into a well. Set in a quiet and serene re-growth rainforest the huts and buildings were camouflaged even hidden amongst the trees. There were very few people around, not many monks and just one Westerner, Pra Arranya Bo. How lucky I was.

Loom Por wasn't there. He was in England with Ajahn Sumedho on his first trip overseas that would eventuate in the transference of the Western Sangha to England. I was lucky that Arranya Bo was there. He was perfect for what I needed. He explained the practice and the dhamma in the most clear, compelling and humble way. He talked at length about Loom Por's 'Five Year Plan'. Five years is an eternity when you are twenty-four. After talking with him all day I said I had better find a hotel somewhere. He said I could stay there on the floor of the sala. It would be almost six years before I returned to normal life again out of the Sangha.

I started at he bottom at Wat Bah Nanachaht which had been established about eighteen months before. Everything happened in stages, little renunciations that would go on for years. After a week I shaved my head and took eight precepts and became a Pa Kao and spent the pansah of 1977 at Nanachaht. I cleaned spitoons, cleaned toilets, washed monks feet, drew water from the well and sat at the end of the queue for food distribution. I hated the place and was desperate to get out into the Lao sahkahs (branch Wats) where I could really practice and learn the language:) I knew nothing about practice.

The first pansah was hell, constant pain in my knees as we sat forever on concrete floors with knees up under my armpits, listening to boring talks. I committed for three months, then a year. I ordained as a Samanera after 5 months and then Loom Por sent me to famous Wat Tum Saang Pet where I stayed more than a year. I took full ordination with Loom Por as my Uppacchaya just prior to the 1978 pansah. Loom Por gave me a new name to signify my rebirth in the Sangha, Sudhiro or Sutiro in Thai.

I spent the first pansah as a monk at Tum Saang Pet, where I was the only Westerner for a 100 kilometres. Malaria struck during that retreat. There were five monks and novices and one Pa Kao, a 10 year old brother of one of the novices. Sadly he died an agonizing death when the dreaded virus went to his brain. Everyone on retreat at Tum Saang Pet went to hospital for treatment except me who took the least care to avoid mosquitoes, (as an addhitthana I slept without a net for the pansah. The "Mad Falung" they called me.) How lucky I was!

I spent future pansahs at Suan Goo-ay, Nanachaht, and another remote Wat of forgotten name. Loom Por always sent me to the roughest places, including a sala in a paddy field near Dorn Muang Airport, right under the flight path of the Jumbos. Try meditating there! It was the 1980 pansah that I was able to spend with Loom Por at Wat Bah Pong. I had enough language, spoken and written, a tape recorder, dictionaries and I was the second most senior Western bhikkhu there. How lucky I was that Loom Por would be at the top of his teaching prowess before he was gradually overcome with creeping diabetes. I taped and translated everything I could. I sat under his kuti with him every opportunity. He took ill towards the end of the retreat and had to go to Bangkok. But it was still the most rewarding experience of my spiritual life.

That year I also returned to Australia for six months. I spent time with Pra Khanti Palo at Wat Buddha Dhamma in 1981 before returning to Ubon for my 4th pansah as a monk. My final and fifth retreat was at Nanachaht. Big things were happening in the West. The Western Sangha at Chithurst in England had been a success. There was an invitation from Perth to set up a Wat in Western Australia and other places around the world.

I completed my fifth pansah and the famous 5 Year Plan and went Toodong (dhutanga) as is the tradition when a bhikkhu is released from dependence and becomes an Acariya (or Ajahn). It was during this time that I decided to disrobe and return to a new life in Australia. I made arrangements and then returned to Bah Pong to do the deed. Loom Por was now just a shell of the great man that we knew and loved. It was sad to see him that way but such is the lot of all condition things. He never taught again and finally died in 1992.

I had to go and face Ajahn Liam which was something I wasn't looking forward to, as I always found him mysterious. But I was lucky. He was very pleasant and asked me if I was sure, which I was. He wished me all the best and with a few short words my Sangha life was over.

I had many excuses for disrobing : I'd done my five pansahs, life in the Sangha had one purpose only that was to seek enlightenment, I didn't want to become a career monk in the West, Loom Por would never teach again, I could do wonderful things with my life now that I had my stuff together. The mind can throw up some very compelling arguments when you let it but there was really only one reason. I knew that I just wasn't up to the task. I marvel when people say they cannot see Kamma at work in their lives. I now see it as luck.

That was nearly thirty years ago. I have great marriage, have raised a family, and have had a good career but it leaves a strange feeling inside as you get older and realize that you did the most important thing you will do in your life when you were only 25.
Sadhu.
Sutiro
http://www.fourwindslao.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Last edited by Sutiro on Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by Ben » Sat Sep 01, 2012 11:53 am

Thank you Sutiro for your very interesting bio. It sounds like your experience in SEA during the 70s to 80s were incredibly formative. I would hesitate to say the most important thing you've done was when you were 25. Every step on the path we take is important regardless of our status at a particular point in time.
kind regards,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

Sutiro
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2012 9:48 am

Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by Sutiro » Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:04 pm

Thanks Ben

That time in the Sangha laid a foundation for the rest of my life and made me a better person. I retained some valuable tools that have assisted in my working life. But that's not the end of it of course. I have a duty to give something back to the Sangha and honor the teacher with practice as I move into the next phase of life. Have a nice night.

Sutiro

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Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by Ben » Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:06 pm

You too.
with metta,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

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