SuttaCentral

Newcomers, Welcome to the Forum! Let's Introduce Ourselves 😀

Are you new to the Forum?

Do you read a lot and post seldom?

Do you post a lot but hide in the shadows?

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

Things like whether you are Buddhist by birth or by conviction, whether you live in a Buddhist majority or minority society. … Some of us feel drawn to teach the Dhamma and others of us don’t. Some know or are learning Pali. We all have different ways of giving service and bringing the Dhamma into our lives.

If you have time, and would like to share, that would be wonderful. :grinning:

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Hello

As have been noticed I’m been a really active user. I have been using suttacentral since last year before the current situation we have world-wide. I tend to not introduce myself in real life and I thought now since this is not real life I think it’s to give a proper intro. My name is Ruben Croes, I am born 1988. In Holland, Apeldoorn. But my family was from Aruba, Caribbean island. So they moved back when I was 1 year old.

So I grew up in Aruba. We not have a monastery here. We do not have a temple. Nothing like that. It’s a catholic island.

So when I was 18. I stopped as usual going with my mom to church almost every Sunday. I told my mom I’m going to study for myself. And that what I did. Within my search of books in bookstore. I found my path back. Since then I was almost becoming 19. So in my study alone I found back the Path, really fast. Since I had two books I followed the guidance in those books. (All words of Buddha) I came to the conclusion finally this is the Path. I embraced Buddhism. But I wanted to be sure I’m doing things correct. So I went to America after 1 year of trying alone. I went for a 10 Day Vipassana course. Teacher was generous. After I did the course. I confirmed this was definitely the Path. In the silence in snow. :joy: I think it was first time I experienced snow as grown up. So after that I went back with more centered focus. But I was still in some worldly things. I knew I had to become more focused. 1 year after that, I went to the Washington Buddhist Vihara to take layperson precepts. The spiritual connection came life. With the monks blessings. I got inspired. They gave me books. And I said when go back Aruba. I will make the Buddhist Society of Aruba. And I did the same year. I don’t have Centre yet. But incredibly to say I am like Ven Kaccana. It’s not easy here to get people interested in meditation and Buddhism so much. But gave 1 course that lasted some weeks. And I give private one to one beginners meditation classes. All at parks or beach. My focus now seeing how people are in Aruba is to build a library for my foundation next to my future (far) house. And gazebo to keep giving private meditation.

Until now it’s been a nice ride.
I want thank Ajahn Brahmali and Ajahn Sujato which has been a huge help for me on YouTube before I even knew Suttacentral existed. :joy:

All the best to everyone!

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Hello. It took me a long time to find the path, though I sped by it a few times. I found a wonderful teacher in 2018, have grown committed to my practice, and am here to expand my learning. Many thanks to each of you.

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That’s so great. You’ll look back at these days with fondness one day! The best Dhamma is always found in simple places, with little groups of people practicing sincerely, not in big shiny temples.

Hey elisabetta, so good you found your way to the Dhamma, and through that to us. Be happy!

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Hi there! I am David. I’m from the U.S. but presently I work in Thailand. I have been interested in the Dhamma for a while, and find the EBTs especially compelling. I joined the forum a few months ago in hopes of getting little nudges to keep me reading and practicing. (Despite having the fortune to live in Thailand, I have failed to engage much with temples or communities here with respect to practice).

I haven’t posted much yet, but hopefully I will have something useful to add at some point! :grinning:

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Are you new to the Forum?

I joined around last October, I think.

Do you read a lot and post seldom?

No.

Do you post a lot but hide in the shadows?

Yes, I probably posted too much lol, but, I don’t think I hid much though.

While we are closed for Vassa we have a chance to relax and look around our community, get to know each other a little perhaps.

Sounds good :slightly_smiling_face:

Things like whether you are Buddhist by birth or by conviction,

I was born into a Hindu family, so by conviction.

Whether you live in a Buddhist majority or minority society.

Buddhist minority society, New Jersey, USA.

Some of us feel drawn to teach the Dhamma and others of us don’t.

I do feel drawn, but I do not feel like I am sufficiently prepared, nor ready - I might not be ready by the end of this lifetime or even next few lifetimes.

Some know or are learning Pali.

I haven’t really started, but I am interested in learning early Buddhist classical languages, included Pali.

We all have different ways of giving service and bringing the Dhamma into our lives.

The ways that come to mind as ways in which I would hope to bring it into my life and/or contribute are “studying, practicing, and translating” the Dhamma-Vinaya.

Please tell us a bit about yourself.

If you have time, and would like to share, that would be wonderful. :grinning:

I was born into a Hindu Brahmin family in the US, but I grew up relatively skeptical of religion and instead looked to math and science as sources of truth.

About halfway through college, I began finding math and science more and more to be unstable/unreliable foundations to base my life on. There were several phenomena and areas of life that science either refused to investigate or were inadequate in doing so - for example, ethics or happiness. I began looking outside of math and science for a reliable source of guidance.

In high school, I had already surveyed many of the major religions and philosophies and came away relatively impressed by the Buddha. By the age of almost 19, I had arrived at some sort of commitment to learn Buddhism in-depth. Although I continued and continue to try to learn from the harmless and beneficial things outside of Buddhism, my primary focus since then had gradually become learning Buddhism primarily.

I started by undertaking multiple silent, intensive insight meditation retreats.
While these suited my inclination towards intense focus, I came away with a strong urge to want to learn what the Buddha himself taught - as opposed to what meditation teachers and introductory book writers say about what he taught. In other words, I wished to try to go back as close to the source of Buddhism as one feasibly could go back - hence my interest in early Buddhist textual sources.

My approach to learning Buddhism seems to be akin to the education and training necessary to become a doctor. Begin with in-depth study (such as in the first two years of med school) and gradually transition over time into increasingly more training (rotations, residency, fellowships) before becoming an independent doctor.

I completed my undergraduate degree in biological sciences and philosophy of mind in order to pursue an MD-PhD dual degree in medicine and clinical psychology. However, at some point, I was able to develop the courage to pursue graduate education in Buddhist Studies exclusively, and am currently studying at a university in Sri Lanka (but am working on my thesis from home in US).

Ideally, in the future, I would like to:
complete graduate school education in Buddhist Studies exclusively and fully
start and work through a Buddhism-based organization to earn my livelihood
move to and live somewhere near the 4 holy places to easily visit all 4 places

I am very much interested in meeting and getting to know beings (preferably in person, but not necessarily) who share my interest in studying and practicing “early” Buddhism for hopefully long-term/lifelong associations, if not sustained into our future lives as well. And SuttaCentral seems to be a wonderful place to be able to do just that. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Hey David, thanks for saying hi. I hope your stay in Thailand is fruitful. It can be surprisingly hard to find a good community, but just keep your eyes and ears open, and let randomness guide you. Or at least, that’s what I did and it worked out okay.

Interesting, i didn’t know that. If you don’t mind me asking, do you have any impressions about how accurate the EBT descriptions of brahmins are? I mean, there is a variety and diversity, but the basic position seems to be that brahmins are caught up in prestige and status, and relatively few break through it. It’s an interesting dynamic, especially in our modern times with our growing understanding of “privilege”.

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I don’t mind at all.

I have to think about it, because it isn’t straightforward. Should I reply here or would you like to start a new thread for this topic? Perhaps something like “Status, Prestige, and Privilege: The Accuracy of the EBT description of Brahmins”?

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Wow. Please start that thread! It will most definitely be interesting on its own.

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Greetings everyone! I am from India
If you all don’t mind, I have introduced myself here :sweat_smile: -


I would like to add that I am not fluent in Pali, though I am quite familiar with few Pali words and phrases! I wish to learn Pali and Sanskrit to be able to read the texts on my own one day.
My focus of study and practice is mostly the EBTs, along with the intellectual and cultural exchanges between early Buddhism and other Indic religions.
I don’t have experience in meditation practices yet, although I am trying to enroll in one of Goenka’s vipassana retreats.
Hence I am focusing on practicing the precepts for the time being.
Metta :anjal:

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Are you new to the Forum?

I joined in May, I believe, so I’ve been here a couple of months now.

Do you read a lot and post seldom?

Do you post a lot but hide in the shadows?

I read a lot and post moderately, I would say.

While we are closed for Vassa we have a chance to relax and look around our community, get to know each other a little perhaps. Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I have meditated off and on since my early 20’s (over 30 years), when a friend took me to a Dhamma talk (actually, since he was a Zen Master I guess it was a Dharma talk) in NYC given by Korean Zen Master Seung Sahn. My influence was originally Zen, but I never got serious enough to make much progress. Around 2000 I went on a retreat with Shinzen Young, which was a powerful experience, in which I learned a lot. In recent years I mostly listened to Western mindfulness teachers. I learned a lot about certain things, but so much was left out. Then last fall I went on a retreat at Birken monastery. I really like Ajahn Sona - the Abbott there - and have been listening to his podcasts. Then I did an online retreat with him this Spring on the Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta (DN 22), found this site, and knew my path was going back to the Pali Canon and learning from Ajahn Sona and teachers who go back to the Canon. Theravada Buddhism is my path for the remainder of this life.

Things like whether you are Buddhist by birth or by conviction, whether you live in a Buddhist majority or minority society. …

I was brought up Presbyterian, raised in Upstate New York. Lived most of my life in New York City. Then moved to BC, Canada 13 years ago when I married a Canadian woman. So I have always lived in Buddhist minority societies, and I am attracted to Buddhism by the ideas and practice, not by birth. So a Buddhist of conviction.

Some of us feel drawn to teach the Dhamma and others of us don’t.

Much of my professional life has been teaching and preparing educational programs, so I am very drawn to teaching. I am also very cautious about teaching anything before I am ready.

Some know or are learning Pali.

I am currently taking @stephen’s Pali Intensive course.

We all have different ways of giving service and bringing the Dhamma into our lives.

I guess my goal is to let the 8-fold path inform the way I give, the way I volunteer, the way I’m active in the community. So - other than volunteering to help the local monastery - I’m not sure if the what of service will change or not, but the way in which I perform that service has changed and will continue to change as my knowledge of Dhamma grows and my practice of the 8-fold path deepens.

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Hi everyone!

Are you new to the Forum?

Yes, I just joined a few days ago.

Do you read a lot and post seldom?

I have been reading during the Vassa retreat, this is my first post.

Do you post a lot but hide in the shadows?

I’ve only just found the shadows to hide in! :slight_smile:

While we are closed for Vassa we have a chance to relax and look around our community, get to know each other a little perhaps. Please tell us a bit about yourself.

Hope it’s ok to tag onto this topic. I moved to New England in the USA a few years ago, which turns out to be a place with a lot of Buddhist activity. However because of the pandemic I haven’t been able to participate in person, of course. Ironically, I suppose, I have found a Buddhist community (or at least a Pali-interested friends!) online via @stephen’s Pali course (hi Stephen, @Gillian, @fiachra.harte, and @JimInBC!).

I have been interested in Buddhism for many years. I was once a vocal atheist, but I found that it made me angry. I read the Kalāma sutta and found it interesting, and that was kind of the starting point for me.

I’m a linguist so I guess it’s unsurprising that studying Pali is my main practice. Like many I have been pretty stressed lately, so I just haven’t been able to hold down a meditation practice. (I used to have a decent one.) Studying Pali and more recently learning about chanting has been very important to me.

Things like whether you are Buddhist by birth or by conviction, whether you live in a Buddhist majority or minority society. …

I was raised protestant and went through (well, suffered through) a Catholic education. Buddhism is unheard of in my family and so I keep to myself about it offline. Happily my partner is very open to it, and I am introducing my child to it.

Some of us feel drawn to teach the Dhamma and others of us don’t.

Pretty sure teaching Dhamma directly isn’t in my path, although I do very much enjoy sharing about Pali. I am also a programmer and I do web design and stuff like that: I hope to contribute some Pali-learning materials down the road. This noun inflection lookup tool is all I have online so far! I also started a subreddit at pali.reddit.com which has been fun.

Some know or are learning Pali.

Yep!

We all have different ways of giving service and bringing the Dhamma into our lives.

Indeed. I’m very hopeful about being a member of this community. It’s surprising to me how much I miss the community from the online course; I hope to find it again here.

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Absolutely it’s ok to tag onto this topic, Khagga. Welcome to the Forum. You’ll probably find your way around easily but if you have any questions just ask: either in the relevant thread or send a PM to @helpdesk-dd for technical assistance or @moderators for procedural advice.

I very much enjoyed meeting you in the Pali course. I’m also a linguist, but a retired one. The Linguist in me got a great buzz out of the course, while the Retired bit hampers me as my memory gets worse with every decade. So I’m going off to delight in your noun look-up very soon. :smiley:

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Hey, so great that you are continuing with Pali! And exciting that you created a Pali learning forum.
Nice!

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Hi @khagga!

Great to see you here! Look forward to being part of the SC’s Pali group with you!

:heart:

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Cheers Pat! @khagga Great to be here and getting to know you all.

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