Kenneth has written to inform me that my threads have not been removed. I looked for them this afternoon but couldn't find anything older than a few months but he's provided me with the links to my stuff. So I was wrong about them being missing. Sorry about that!
So Kenneth, apologies.
One more time -- I apologize for leaving the impression - though I didn't think this at the time and still don't - that Kenneth was responsible for the removal of old threads on KFDh. When I looked for old threads there yesterday afternoon there were only 5 pages of them available, going back only a few moths. This was odd, so I went back twice in the space of an half hour to check. Every time I looked, there were five pages of old threads.So Kenneth, apologies.
Blame it on Wet Paint.
Thanks for the warm welcome; I'd have posted sooner but have been quite busy with the end-of-semester finals. Although I haven't posted I have read a few of the conversations here, and am happy to be part of a non-dogmatic online community. I had a similar experience with Kenneth, Brian, in terms of making progress but having a falling out based on, from my perspective anyway, a pattern I noticed of being treated very differently depending on whether I accepted Kenneth's interpretations, language, and so on. I was impressed with his skillful instruction and attainments but I was not impressed with the way in which this skillful instruction seemed to depend on my swallowing his interpretations whole, particularly when they strongly conflicted with mine.
Of course, this is generally how people treat each other in most contexts, but I have this funny sense that "spirituality" is more than cultivating altered states and experiences, or even having a transformation in how we relate to experience. I suspect the attainment of liberation/4th path in the sense of the pragmatic dharma community is a real and valuable basis from which to explore the full dimensionality of human, natural and spiritual being, and not only that, but an honest inquiry into the nature of one's existence, conducted holistically in everyday life supplemented with regular sitting, should produce this basis naturally. When arising out of a holistic practice, I suspect that this realization will have very different significance for oneself and one's relations than if it arises out of a more narrowly technical practice conceived as separate from the rest of life.
I'll have to offer a synopsis of my path thus far in another note as parenting calls---
Ona here, aka "girasol" in some
previous incarnations. I am looking forward to the kind of fascinating,
wide-ranging and intelligent discussion I've been missing for a while.
My practice is in western magick. The meditation aspect of my practice
got kickstarted by the death of a friend and reading Ingram's book, the
magick part I didn't know I was looking for - but it got quickly
incorporated via the usual synchronicities. It unexpectedly reconnected
me with a magickal/shamanic practice I had had many years ago, but
I like being eclectic and dislike dogma. I like experimenting. Despite my deep involvement in magick I am not a fan of robes, candles and chanting. However, I do occasionally pop in to a local Tendai center or sit with a Tibetan lama just for the socializing and the energy that comes from working in a group and the esoteric tidbits that I pick up in those contexts.
That said I am rigorous in my meditation which was Theravada-esque for a good while and is now more just sitting type practice. I did a five month self retreat from August to December last year, and worked (and still do) one on one with a mentor to give me a whack on the head if I get off track. It's done me a world of good.
Anyway, besides that I work in social media/IT and as a freelance writer. I have two incomplete master's degrees, one in Religious Studies and one in Interactive Telecom. Despite all the years in academia I am not a big reader, preferring to just do stuff and see what happens.
Looking forward to the conversations...
The name hit home. As I read through some of the blog posts, the intelligence and inspiration that I read touched a place in me that I have been missing; namely authenticity and honesty.
I come to you from a pretty rough place. As of January 2011, I am a former student of Genpo Roshi of the Big Mind Zen Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Chris was kind enough to tell me that I didn't need to post that I am his former student, but it is part of who I am and part of my practice. For the past two months I have been floating around feeling like the rug was ripped out from under me and my practice had no ground. I am slowly descending back on tera firma, though with the small Zen community in SLC, it is a very difficult process to find a new home. Hence, the name Dharma Refugee meant a lot to me.
The fact that Genpo was the FIRST man I have ever trusted and he turned out to be almost my father's twin, I have had quite the ride. Luckily, I studied the man my dad was and the pathology he walked through life with. Unfortunately, I didn't recognize the similarities in Genpo until it was a little too late. Or maybe it was just in time... I have learned so much. And I continue to do so. I know that my practice does not belong to anyone but me. I know that a leader is assigned his/her importance by me and that I will never again submit to a teacher as a "higher power". We all have something to teach. We all have something to learn.
It is this, the desire to teach and to learn, that I am excited to be part of this forum.
With palms together,
- Dharma Comarade
We welcome you to our small community of human beings who share some similar interests, and who want to continue to grow in our respective spiritual practices. I hope that you find this forum to be a supportive and safe place to share your ideas and have meaningful conversations.