How has the path manifest in your daily experience?
Foundations of Cause and Effect,Impermanence and Karma has brought a deeper understanding of why we/I Suffer. Long Term Wisdom has helped make complex decisions much easier. The mindfulness practice helps manage the symptoms of living with Complex PTSD and Borderline Personality Disorder I am less reactive, calmer disposition and more understanding of others needs. As a volunteer at the Olympia Foodbank, allows the encompassing of generosity, patience, ethics, concentration and effort. Working on the Nalanda Institutes landscaping and maintenance allows me to show gratitude.
If you explore other lineages within Buddhism, how did you come to decide on which lineage was right for you?
Tushita Kadampa American Buddhist was my first introduction. The teach an amazing Mahayana practice and do the entire Lam Rim like 4 times a year for Bodhisattva Vows ceremonies. But because internal politics, being backed by Communist China and their degradation of Dalai Lama we had to part. I stayed at home developing a home based practice for about a year. When ready I went to Nalanda Institute for Buddhist Studies, (Shakyamuni lineage) and Meditation for afternoon Meditation a couple months before asking Bob Harris to be my teacher. We had much in common with him being exKadampa, Zen trained and similar life experiences. This began more study, tantric practice and having the opportunity for personal growth. Bob calls me a Hammer. At first the comment was taken as a slight but now more understanding. The understanding of my nature is to pound the truth to dust.
What is your primarily profession?
I was a Social Worker and a Teacher. Primarily working with Developmentally Delayed and Medically Fragile. All children have to have the chance at learning. The practice allowed me to have more patience, an ability to reach the most obstinate students. Now because of physical and mental health I am on Social Security Disability. Before, the purpose was to be of absolute benefit to all encountered in my work. The Practice brought clarity of purpose. Being disabled, life had to be repurposed. Who Am I NOW!?. But being on disability has allowed the time for volunteering, whittling down to the essential me.
Do you think your personality or background influence the lineage/practices that resonate with you?
My intelligence level is of a quick study and higher learning, which makes study of Highest Yoga Practice possible. With all the experiences of a hard life to live, it allows a greater understanding of more people. I am a naturally good mediator because of the time spent having to overcome physical pain, limber and ability to use vivid imagination. The right intention and ethics gives me the faith and courage to pass long the Wisdom gained yet remain with Beginner’s Mind.