Members Bios - please contribute yours

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

Post by Cittasanto » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:36 pm

Here is mine
they are slightly different but that is due to the different natures of the sites ... santo.html" onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false;
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by Sarnath » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:09 pm

This was originally my perspective regarding my experience within Hinduism and the negative impact of the false doctrine of birth based caste system to the hearts and minds of adherents and aspects of discrimination and shunning not only in India but worldwide including against new adherents in the West. However, this subject is not of interest it appears, so I am abbreviating my bio to a simple intro that I am a happily married family man and a world traveller who has many allegiences to India.

In your service ....
Last edited by Sarnath on Mon Apr 15, 2013 3:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Caste System is Not Karma, it is Man Made

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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by SarathW » Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:53 am

Hi Friends
I am sure that most of you already know who I was by reading my forum questions and answers.
It is very difficult to tell you who I am because I find that I am a different aggregate every morning!

However historically I have been through the cycle as follows.

Buddhist parents , wanted to become a monk, Family, Music, Chartered Accountant, Family, Business,
Music , Party, Depression, Five Major Religions, Cosmos,
Buddha’s Teaching by Narada Thero, Dhamma Wheel, Seeker of the Path and Fruit :)
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by Ayu » Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:13 pm

This is an interesting thread. I love reading bio's.

In 1962 i was born near the seaside of Germany. A silent girl, a bad student, only good in arts, wondering about "What is time?" and "How unique every moment is." and "Why am I born here, in the center of the world, in Germany, :tongue: where everything is as normal as it could be?"
Started to do Yoga with 14, drugs with 15, stopped unhealthy lifestyle with 18, started to practice meditaion in Hindu-Tradition. Such an easy protected life and i thought it was hard. :) Got my first son with 24, left the Hindu-Group with 26, did meditation alone without sangha for ten years. Found a good husband, got two more sons.
At the age of 46 i walked along a bookstore and there lay a red book on the table, i saw it from a distance: "Mitgefühl & Liebe" (Compassion & Love) by Jeffrey Hopkins. It was very cheap for to be sold out... When I read it, i found every thought on every page totally familiar. It was what i was thinking since i started to think. Sounds romantic, sorry. :tongue:
Jeffrey Hopkins is a Gelug, was translator for the Dalai Lama for some time. So I started to search a Sangha in Gelug-tradition. I found my teacher in 2009 and i wonder why this happened so late in my life... :smile:
Now i lead on my householder life and try to study about the lamrim and the abhidharma. My hobbies are painting and singing in an a-capella-band. My profession is gardening.

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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by amata_dhamma » Fri May 03, 2013 11:47 pm

I just joined the forum and thought perhaps I'd put a slightly more expanded biography in here.

I was born in the early 80s to a Lutheran mother and agnostic father. I went to church every Sunday and believed it all wholeheartedly. Gradually, as I became a teenager, I entered the crisis years where my critical thought capabilities developed, and I became an avowed atheist.

I stopped and reflected a bit after the 9/11 attacks in the USA, which had a strong personal effect on me. This led me down a kind of spiritual/mystical path and I encountered the writings of Aleister Crowley and Thelema, which I followed for maybe a couple years. Crowley wrote extensively on Buddhist meditation and that was what ultimately introduced me to eastern religions. I eventually morphed into a Buddhist, though quite how I don't really know. I remember thinking something along the lines that there was too much "symbolism" involved in western mystic traditions (I was pretty young).

I started practicing Zen but as I threw myself into learning about Buddhism, I learned more about Theravada. The antiquity and analytic tradition of Theravada appealed to me, so I gravitated there.

Around the year 2005 I went out the Abhayagiri monastery in northern California and spent a week there. It was an experience I still remember fondly. Some time after that, I lapsed in my practice. I reverted to my Christian upbringing for a couple of years.

In 2008 I was diagnosed with a nasty medical condition that requires daily therapy (painless, thankfully, but the condition is thoroughly fatal without the intervention). I am presently awaiting an organ transplant.

In 2010, I was married to my lovely freethinking/humanist wife. No children, but maybe someday...

I've taken my practice back up in the past several months after I thoroughly and persistently lost any sense of God (when I prayed, it felt like I might as well be talking to a brick; last Christmas I was asked by family to lead in prayer before dinner and I floundered); stunned, I realized it was doing literally no good any longer and I wondered if it ever really did - I remembered the teaching of the Buddha (I maintained a deep respect and fondness for Buddhism throughout this period) to the general effect of that which does not eliminate suffering is not useful (skillful). I guess you could say I'm an agnostic-inclined-to-atheist these days (but I try to not stand on too solid a view).

For a day job I work in the information security field. I'm a security technician for a midsize private US manufacturer on the east coast. It pays the bills (almost, kinda).

That's my story, winding road that it's been.
...t happens to a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones that something that is subject to illness grows ill... that something subject to death dies... that something subject to ending ends... that something subject to destruction is destroyed. With the destruction of what is subject to destruction, he reflects: 'It doesn't happen only to me that what is subject to destruction will be destroyed. To the extent that there are beings — past & future, passing away & re-arising — it happens to all of them that what is subject to destruction will be destroyed...'
-Kosala Sutta, AN 5.49

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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by Indrajala » Sun May 05, 2013 3:40 pm

I'm much more active over at Dharma Wheel, but once in awhile I check in here as well.

I'm 27, Canadian and have been practising and studying Buddhadhamma since I was 18 or 19.

I have a MA degree in Buddhist Studies from Japan. My main area of study has been classical East Asian Buddhism, though I've been reading Indian and more Eurasian history a lot as of late.

At the moment I'm in India, but I've lived in Japan, Taiwan and to some extent Kathmandu. I like to wander and own nothing more than a backpack of stuff.

I also like to read and write. I have a lot of my writings stored here:

In the future I hope to travel to many more places and hopefully do some long-term retreat.

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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by tiltbillings » Mon May 06, 2013 7:43 am

Indrajala wrote:I'm much more active over at Dharma Wheel, but once in awhile I check in here as well.

I'm 27, Canadian and have been practising and studying Buddhadhamma since I was 18 or 19.

I have a MA degree in Buddhist Studies from Japan. My main area of study has been classical East Asian Buddhism, though I've been reading Indian and more Eurasian history a lot as of late.

At the moment I'm in India, but I've lived in Japan, Taiwan and to some extent Kathmandu. I like to wander and own nothing more than a backpack of stuff.

I also like to read and write. I have a lot of my writings stored here:

In the future I hope to travel to many more places and hopefully do some long-term retreat.
Thankyou for posting. I, for one, am glad to have you here.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by equilibrium » Mon May 06, 2013 10:05 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Indrajala wrote:.....
Thankyou for posting. I, for one, am glad to have you here.
Ditto here.
The article on "Fazang on the Fate of Arhats" is well as many others!

Nan Tien Institute
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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by Nan Tien Institute » Wed May 08, 2013 2:44 am

Nan Tien Institute (NTI), located on Australia’s picturesque South Coast of NSW, just south of Sydney, is the country’s first Institute of higher learning grounded in Buddhist wisdom and values.

This innovative learning environment has grown from a belief that education is an essential part of a life-long quest for knowledge, skills and wisdom. Our vision and mission is to provide a place for cultural exchange, and to broaden students’ knowledge and perspectives through subjects covering the arts, philosophy, humanities, business and science.

As part of a dynamic international learning community that spans Australia, the US and South East Asia, we offer innovative and distinctive subjects and courses designed to enrich and enhance lives. NTI offers an education with a strong foundation focused on multicultural and practical life applications.

NTI is the fourth in a series of tertiary education facilities established worldwide by Fo Guang Shan. Along with our sister universities University of the West in Los Angeles, California; Nan Hua University and Fo Guang University in Taiwan, NTI has the infrastructure to provide a strong support network for students (including future international exchange opportunities).

NTI aims to be recognised internationally for our outstanding location, unique teaching methodologies, world renowned lecturers and researchers, and high-achieving students.

With a campus on-site at award-winning major tourist attraction Nan Tien Temple, and a future $40 million campus under construction, NTI has the facilities to support students in all academic endeavours.
NTI  Woods Bagot.jpg
Nan Tien Institute new campus - Wollongong, Australia
NTI Woods Bagot.jpg (455.37 KiB) Viewed 9957 times

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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by Kim OHara » Wed May 08, 2013 5:18 am

Nan Tien Institute wrote:Nan Tien Institute (NTI), located on Australia’s picturesque South Coast of NSW, just south of Sydney, is the country’s first Institute of higher learning grounded in Buddhist wisdom and values.

This innovative learning environment has grown from a belief that education is an essential part of a life-long quest for knowledge, skills and wisdom. Our vision and mission is to provide a place for cultural exchange, and to broaden students’ knowledge and perspectives through subjects covering the arts, philosophy, humanities, business and science. ...
That looks and sounds wonderful!
It also looks like a good place to address this gap in our higher education system:
Environmental Ignorance Is Economic Bliss
by Philip Barnes [ ... mic-bliss/]
Despite the overwhelming scientific evidence that economic activity is exceeding environmental limits and destabilizing both global and local ecosystems, demonstrably flawed pro-growth economic theory continues to be touted as the cure to our ailments. Could the collective of practicing economists, policy-makers, economics professors, and economics students all be suffering from something akin to the Dunning-Kruger Effect? As a community, are these individuals so unknowledgeable about the environmental consequences of pro-growth economic activity that they tend to systematically overestimate the discipline’s environmental performance?
So if you want to find a representative sample of courses being offered in the leading economics departments, looking at the US News and World Report cream of the crop is a useful approach. … For the 2012-2013 academic year in all ten of these departments, only one single course presented alternative economic theories through alternative learning methods. The one-off course entitled “Buddhist Economics” was a seven-week-long sophomore seminar at UC Berkeley taught by Dr. Clair Brown. Eight students enrolled. …
Yet Dr. Brown’s course was the exception rather than the rule … in introductory courses for micro and macroeconomics, ecologically-minded economic theory and knowledge is woefully absent. This claim is supported by a recently published paper [ ... -GREEN.pdf] in which the author, Tom Green, reviewed the most popular introductory level economics textbooks and found that the causal relationship between economic activity and environmental consequence was either systematically ignored or underrepresented.

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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by chargingbull » Wed May 08, 2013 1:55 pm

Please forgive the length, but I have never been one for brevity....:)

If anyone chooses to read it in part or in whole, I thank you in advance. Welcome to the story of my meat-bag so far....

My ‘spiritual’ journey, started as a young teenager, reading books such as “Conversations with God” by Neale Donald Walsh. I was psychologically and emotionally sidelined by these books, becoming fascinated with the deeper concepts and truths that appeared to be held within. I continued a normal teenage exploration of life, but privately subscribed to a deeper search for truth and relationship to the numinous. It almost invaded my mind and I looked for these truths everywhere.

Unfortunately, somewhere around 17 years of age, I remember becoming much more introverted, anxious and depressed than I had been previously, perhaps as a result of smoking too much cannabis, as I went through a period where I smoked multiple times daily, every day. I soon discovered CBT and self-help, that I feel allowed me to progress past a definite depressive period. In terms of mental health, the years that followed were predominated by a rapidly cycling mood, alternating between an almost hypomanic confidence, especially after meditating, and periods of dysthymia. I remained mostly functional, at least to all observers, although I struggled greatly with affect regulation, self-concept, anxiety...but most of all, a pernicious and pervasive sense of self-doubt, that was never far from my consciousness.

 By university, I was looking for more. I got lost down rabbit holes of New Age spirituality; David Icke, Eckhart Tolle, internet ‘energy groups’, online reiki ‘attunements’, conspiracy theories...the list goes on. It ended, and began again, with a group called “Higher Balance Institute”. I was led there on one of my long internet searches, clicking from one link to the next in a kind of compulsive madness, or addiction to information. It all changed with the discovery of this institute, promising to be one of the last remaining authentic spiritual ‘schools’ on the planet. It taught meditation, the development of psychic sensory, higher consciousness and promised intense experiences. The meditation techniques resemble what I now understand to be almost tantric yogas in kind; I meditated twice daily on chakras, gaining energy or ‘prana’ and developing what they called ‘non-thought’, or clearness of mind.

Rather than developing a lack of thinking, it encouraged developing a higher awareness. My experiences developed rapidly and I became progressively dedicated to my spiritual path, even teaching others whilst I was still at university. I was known as something of a spiritual maverick, an odd-ball perhaps, but grounded enough to associate with my peers through all the normal rituals of a university education. I experienced deep ‘awakenings’ and profound meditations, sometimes walking around in alternate states of consciousness for hours at a time, reflecting on the nature of existence and the nature of my own mind. I developed considerable strength of mindfulness, but my cycling moods were always around the corner.

 I attended a number of meditation/informational ‘retreats’, meeting with the master of this school on a number of occasions in a one-on-one context. The third retreat was held in Hawaii in 2009, named “Across the Universe”. I had a profound vacation for sure, but at this point my experiences very much took a turn for the worse. The retreat was a week long and by the third day things were really beginning to heat up from an experiential point of view. I was walking around in a shifted state of consciousness continually, without the periodic grounding in more human relational frames that I had been accustomed to.  

Wild ‘kundalini’ type energies rocked through my psychological, emotional and physical systems, expanding my mind and stressing my physical body. I felt like I was ‘downloading’ information from the cosmos, directly in tune with a super-conscious force of energy, guiding and flowing through all things. Of course, these feelings directly resembled the ideas of my then teacher, things we were instructed to try and find, but the intensity was overwhelming. I remember feeling time and space move in ways very alien to our three dimensional training and vastly complex ideas flowed through my understanding with ease.

I was walking around the retreat, talking to others and relaying to them some of this information, at which they were frequently in awe. On the final day, there was a definite shift. Everyone in the retreat was meditating in preparation for the final lecture, when a new energy came over me. The previous flares of knowledge calmed to an inner silence, with my visual perception taking on a luminous quality. Everything glowed intensely, as if I could see, directly, that it was made completely of light. That all matter is really this multi-dimensional stream of information, shimmering down from higher, non-physical dimensions. Everything was infinitely connected to everything else, and it felt like I just understood. Before I could formulate a question in my mind, it was as if I knew the answer. I felt like I radiated outwards like a sun, with flowers growing in the ground, following my steps (metaphorically). Everything I looked at was a reflection of the divine, including my own actions, now that I felt I was truly listening to this cosmic force.

Reality seemed to bend to my will, and I remember thinking I was controlling large expanses of energy, including the weather etc. At one point, I remember leaning down to a small flower, willing it to grow, and seeing it grow before me a number of inches. I have no idea as to the physical reality of this act, although I suspect a heightened state of self-suggestion and perceptual disturbance. There were no gross visual hallucinations that I really remember, but all senses were greatly magnified. The liberation did not last more than half a day or so, if I remember correctly, which I am pretty sure I don’t.

There was an interpersonal issue with my teacher, who apparently misunderstood some of my previous actions on the retreat, involving some of my peers. I was very confused, as I found it hard to think in a ‘normal way’, or relate to my normal identities, with my attempts to do so ending in a hellish dovetailing of human and dimensional/cosmic thought. These began to bleed over into one another; I can only imagine that they magnified my inner demons and complexes, which started to roar into a renewed existence, fuelled by this high state that I was in. Metaphorically, it was as if the light of my consciousness magnified and intensified the shadows on the wall. I began to flee, psychologically and emotionally speaking, in attempt to run from myself. Conversations about Krishna and Kali intensified these inner fears and before long I was in complete crisis internally. There were only a few that really knew of the extent of these reverberations, a fact that is somewhat ironic considering this was supposed to be a camp full of highly psychic individuals.

Every event, every interaction, was overwhelmingly symbolic; it was as if reality itself, at every turn, was teaching me something about my own psychology, lessons that had to be learned. These lessons were coming directly from the universe and it was up to me to not only decipher them, but to control them. If my mind became too anxious, my reality became more terrifying. If I surrendered, it became benevolent. With the retreat over, people began to dissipate, leaving me with only a few others. It must have took me hours to orientate myself to leaving, collecting my things in confusion and horror, constantly running away from the growing shadows in my mind. Friends gave me a lift to the airport. At the terminal, I became convinced that the ‘darkside’ of this cosmic energy was going to trap me if I could not control my mind. As my mind was connected to all things, on a psychic or energetic level, again my world would oscillate between a safe or dangerous place. It felt very much that I was in a cosmic game, weaving between different layers of truth, whether they be the more mundane appearance of human life, or more subtle interactions of energy, and ultimately the force/darkside, at others. I was having to constantly ‘stealth’ my mind, so that I wouldn’t be found out too much. As I felt it slipping, I would feel the awareness of other people on me. I don’t know if you have seen the movie ‘Inception’, but it was very much like trying to avoid the subconscious of the dreamers mind. After getting through security, highly concerned they would find a gun in my bag (some kind of baggage swap etc), I couldn’t read my tickets, as they were just a jumble of letters and numbers, so my friends helped me board.

On the plane, obviously things did not improve and each flight became a wrestle between my life and death instincts, if I can put them that way, trying to not allow the plane to crash. I could feel the plane all around me, the nuts and bolts, the engines etc. As you can imagine, this was terrifying. I have no idea how I navigated each domestic airport, as there were two before the final jump to the UK. It was all part of the game - it would take me a long time to relate all of the narratives contained within it. I hope the gestalt I have already given is enough. I became highly confused on the flights themselves, losing my seat multiple times, as I eluded the grasp of the FBI/Mi5. I found it incredibly hard to pay attention to anything, and I am fairly sure that multiple in flight movies, that I watched without sound, became encoded into my nightmare. I was the possessor of an intergalactic decoding device that showed me multiple meanings in everything around me. A dimensional criminal, on the run from the dimensional law. By the end of the final flight, as we approached Heathrow, lightning did actually strike the plane (was later validated), which of course signalled the end for me. I thought the plane was genuinely flying towards the ground, convinced that I would kill myself and everyone in it. The guilt and pain was dissociating - I cried gently to myself, holding an ice-cube, a metaphorical dagger, trying to sacrifice myself to God to save the plane. I thought I was going to hell, and saw how I would spend an eternity getting back out. I genuinely thought I had an evil soul, that I was a devil incarnate, that I would pay for trying to become God, or whatever I thought it was that I had done. As we escaped the storm turbulence, I thought the plane had been saved. As we approached the airport, I broke down, no longer able to tolerate the identity confusion; at one point, I thought I was actually Ricky Hatton, the boxer, that our identities had been somehow switched in this inter-dimensional game I had entered, and that I would spend the rest of my life suffering unspeakable toil in jail. I had vivid visions of being paraded through the airport in deep shame and humiliation. I was wheelchaired off the plane, no longer able to walk.

By this time, I must have been severely sleep deprived and dehydrated. My Dad, who came to find me, said I look severely gaunt and perished. My anxieties grounded a little on seeing my father, although he soon became the subject of my unleashed insecurities. I remember experiencing all these memories that he wasn’t my real father, that I had seen my mother copulating with my uncle as a child. I think, in truth, these were confusions from the movies I had ‘seen’ on the flight, as the idea is completely preposterous, knowing the dynamics of my family as I do. It may have been some internalised childhood trauma, manifesting in another way. I am sure I experienced many traumas in my youth,  as I have always felt different from others, despite an apparently healthy upbringing. I was checked out by psychologists, but by that point I was somehow able to orientate myself in date/time. I probably narrowly avoided a section, but returned home with my Dad. The week that followed consisted of child regressions, acute hypochondrias, terrifying persecutory nightmares (often of being dragged down to hell by malevolent beings) and fears of impending doom. I experienced frequent panic attacks, but with the help of diazepam, I gradually began to re-orient. I was struggling to decompress all my post-retreat experiences, and nearly left the country for America (to be closer to my teacher), at one point. Over the course of months, I began to leave my spirituality. I began to consider an acute stress psychosis, or possibly mania. I weighed up the possibility of biological brain dysfunction, against those of genuine spiritual crisis. I had begun my career in psychology as an assistant clinical psychologist and I think, by osmosis of that environment, I began to view my experiences with increasing scepticism. I read a little material on critical thinking, neuroscience.... Fast forward 3 years. I’m working in primary mental health care, within the “Improving Access to Psychological Therapies” services, as a ‘psychological well-being practitioner’. I have aspirations for clinical psychology, but to varying degrees since Hawaii, have been haunted with echoes of the transcendent. I am looking to understand my experiences, and intergrate them into a path lived now. I don’t know what form that will take, but I am greatly attracted to the mindfulness-based paradigm rising within the psychological mainstream

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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by chargingbull » Wed May 08, 2013 2:05 pm

Apologies, my android is having trouble editing and sensibly paragraphing my post!

In short, over the past months, the Theravada tradition and its associated practice has become a sanctuary for me. I greatly look forward to growing in the Dhamma, but also meeting some good friends along the way. This board seems to be brimming over with authentic practice! :). I hope to attend a 10-day Vipassana in a month or two.

If anyone wishes to contact me about my somewhat vivid story, please don't hesitate to ask questions or offer council.

Moderators, if my above post is too long or in someway inappropriate, please let me know and I will edit accordingly!

In warmth,

Rick (a.k.a "chargingbull", as my task is to tame quite the beast of a mind!)
Last edited by chargingbull on Wed May 08, 2013 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by Dan74 » Wed May 08, 2013 2:08 pm


I did read it - you write well.

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel, Rick! You may notice I have a bull (somewhat tamed) in my avatar. It's from the 10 Ox-herding Pictures (but it is really a bull - oxen don't need taming).

I hope you find he right thing for you here.

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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by Bookie216 » Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:37 pm

Hello all,

My name is Will and I've had quite an intrigue for Buddhism for sometime now. I've been looking for a religion to help fill the void of purpose I've had for sometime. I found myself drawn to Buddhism staggering away from the common teachings of christianity that surround me because of the area I reside in. I love Buddha's teachings and I've found myself really taking in his vast knowledge he spreads, but I find it difficult to practice because of other obligations (graduate school for physical therapy, family values, and lack of time). I've been studying what I can to help free my mind of trivial things and unhealthy habits too which I've done decently so far with a few faults. I want to spread my compassion to others be it friends, family, future patients in order to provide a better life for those around me while not neglecting my own needs. I find myself caught in a continual loop though. I find myself geared toward my religion lose sight because of other constraints and falling back into feeling I have learned nothing from my lack of practice. I'm hoping to change that and really bring forth my love for this religion but it is hard to tread a path others do not follow in with me. I know I should take more initiative for my actions but it seems difficult with how my life is in constant change with other knowledge I need to absorb for my career path and other personal things that tend to cloud my judgements. I'm hoping by joining this community I will become more active in my faith and hope I will become enlightened from Buddha's teachings and be a better being because of it.

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Re: Members Bios - please contribute yours

Post by dsaly1969 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:28 am

Hi all,

I've been a lurker on the board for quite a few months so I thought I would post a short bio.

I was raised Mormon but was spiritually seeking even when I was young. As a kid I read Socrates and Plato, the BIble and Book of Mormon (both from cover to cover), the Qur'an, the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita. Initially my interests laid more in Vedantic philosophy and yoga practice (I studied hatha yoga in the Iyengar tradition and practiced jnana yoga, raja yoga, karma and bhakti yoga through the Vedanta Society and Self-Realization Fellowship) as a teenager. Eventually I was introduced to Buddhism through the Mahayana schools and practiced within the Japanese traditions for many years. I took Ti Sarana through the Kubose Dharma Legacy (now called Bright Dawn Institute). Eventually I was practicing with Rissho Kosei-kai which is a Lotus Sutra school which also puts a lot of emphasis on the "core teachings" of Buddhism. This, of course, led me to Theravada as it is more direct (I was using all of the extravagant imagery from the Lotus Sutra as an expedient mean).

My personal daily practice since the beginning of this year has been shamatha / vipassana (with metta added in twice per week). I maintain a home altar and teach basic Buddhist philosophy to my kids. Since I live at a distance from any compatible Buddhist center, I study the suttas and other writings at home (thank goodness for resources like Access to Insight, Buddhanet, Just Be Good, and this site). My wife is a supportive secular humanist.

Professionally I work in the field of social work.


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