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Seven years later .....

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Seven years later .....
Answer
12/27/19 10:44 PM
For three or four years, up until, I think, around the spring of 2012 -- I had an intense meditation practice, I was active on this board and several others,  I had a skype student-teacher relationship with Kenneth Folk (I can't quite remember how long that lastest and how exactly it ended), and I was very peripherally involved with sittings at SFZC, Spirit Rock, and with a couple of local sanghas. 

I stopped practicing, I stopped reading and posting online on the subject, and for much of the time I stopped being very interested in it all. I wasn't exactly bitter I don't think, just sort of exausted and  dissapointed with the whole thing, and by "whole thing," I mean, myself. 

While some of the the past seven years were good and fruitful, it was mostly rife with significant failures in marriage/relationships, parenting, career/work life, as well as long periods of addiction and compulsive behavior in regards  to sex, alcohol, drugs (mostly over-the-counter types such as taking 20 to 50 benadryl at bedtime!), music listening/playing, writing, social media, and a couple of fellow humans. I was pretty miserable most of the time. Yay. 

Now, I'm 63, single, living alone, and kind of retired. I live in Modesto, California, and I get monthly social security and work as an Uber  driver  (mostly by driving over to the San Francisco Bay Area) to supplement that meager amount. 

I'm kind of stable finally, and at I'm starting to make some peace with my failures and bad behaviors, and I've been working at repairing some of the damage I've done. 

Sometime around October or November, I started getting interested in practice again. And, now, I am becoming very interested, similar to my experience seven years ago. 

I wanted to make this post partly as a reintroduction, and partly as a way back in to some sense of community, of belonging to a group of like-minded people. 

This is all so new again -- and I feel  some caution due to my prior experiences -- that I'm not sure when or if I'll join a real-life group or sangha (though it's likely), but in the meantime I'm hoping for some of the camaderie I remember I used to feel posting on these dharma-related forums. 

RE: Seven years later .....
Answer
12/28/19 3:00 AM as a reply to Mike Monson.
Hi! I hope you'll find what you are searching for, and I look forward to seeing more posts. Best wishes!

RE: Seven years later .....
Answer
12/28/19 6:44 AM as a reply to Mike Monson.
Nice to meet you. Sorry for the past difficulties. Looking forward to reading about your practice. Wish you peace.

RE: Seven years later .....
Answer
12/28/19 6:46 AM as a reply to Mike Monson.
Welcome back Mike! Best wishes to you from a fellow Californian (Nevada City!)

RE: Seven years later .....
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12/28/19 12:09 PM as a reply to Mike Monson.
Was there a certain event that caused you to stop practising? Do you consider yourself having reached stream-entry? Welcome back to the path emoticon...

RE: Seven years later .....
Answer
12/28/19 12:29 PM as a reply to Mike Monson.
Nice to meet you Mike. Sending compassion, and best wishes your way.  

Malcolm

RE: Seven years later .....
Answer
12/28/19 2:31 PM as a reply to Anton.
I’m Anton:
Was there a certain event that caused you to stop practising? Do you consider yourself having reached stream-entry? Welcome back to the path emoticon...

Ha!
hard to remember all the details of why I stopped but I remember I was very into debating all the fine points of practice and methods and stages and very into being right and I think I just got my feelings hurt in some online debate and decided it was all silly. Or something like that. 

The teacher I was working with thought I’d reached stream-entry and I certainly wanted to believe it was true at the time,  but I no longer believe it. However at this point so far in my new practices I’m not 

RE: Seven years later .....
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12/28/19 3:24 PM as a reply to Mike Monson.
as focused on that yet. 

RE: Seven years later .....
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12/28/19 4:06 PM as a reply to Mike Monson.
Nice to meet you and welcome!

RE: Seven years later .....
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12/28/19 4:08 PM as a reply to Mike Monson.
Mike Monson:
as focused on that yet. 


beginner's mind is the way

RE: Seven years later .....
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12/28/19 7:35 PM as a reply to Mike Monson.
Holy sh*t. it's Mike Monson!

Good to see you again Mike. I hope you stick around.

RE: Seven years later .....
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12/28/19 8:28 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Oh, man!
Great to see you too, Chris. 
You've been on my mind .... 

RE: Seven years later .....
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12/29/19 9:30 AM as a reply to Mike Monson.
In a good way, I hope  emoticon

RE: Seven years later .....
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12/29/19 9:44 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
yes

RE: Seven years later .....
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12/29/19 11:58 AM as a reply to Mike Monson.
And?

RE: Seven years later .....
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12/29/19 5:15 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Nothing else, you have simply been on his mind. emoticon


Hi Mike!!!!!

RE: Seven years later .....
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12/29/19 5:35 PM as a reply to shargrol.
Oh, I thought it was a rhetorical question. emoticon

Hi!

RE: Seven years later .....
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12/30/19 8:29 AM as a reply to Mike Monson.
It was the ellipsis that fooled me, leading me to think...

RE: Seven years later .....
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12/30/19 11:39 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Several thoughts:

-- remembering when you came to visit me in Modesto. I picked you up at the Double Tree Hotel downtown. You were standing among all the people and cars there at the pickup-dropoff spot - everyone and everything moving moving bursting around -- and you were so still and ordinary, your feet on the sidewalk, looking utterly at home, like a buddha in American business casual. 

- remembering that you DID go to the trouble and come visit me (twice?) based on our practice relationship online and it must've been because we really connected in that way and so much time has passed and so much has happened I'm curious about that connection, you know? 

- wondering if you were still involved and practicing and wondering if I'd see you on one of these boards again and being delighted that here you are still doing it and still talking with calm uncensored authority about amazing things like cessation. 

RE: Seven years later .....
Answer
12/31/19 8:32 AM as a reply to Mike Monson.
I recall those things, too. Sitting in your backyard talking for hours until the early morning, for example. That was back in ancient times, maybe 2008 or thereabouts. I don't get to your neck of the woods anymore, but if I do...

RE: Seven years later .....
Answer
12/31/19 10:42 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
. . .