Junior Bum
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About AKD

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    What experiences this?

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  1. Hello Steve, I would also like to request a Personal Practice Discussion thread please. Thank you!
  2. Thank you for having me!

    Thank you ilumairen, and thank you Cobie! Yes, Cobie, spiritual angst is what fuels the Path (for me at least) so it's a blessing and a curse. I look forward to seeing what the community is like here!
  3. Thank you for having me!

    Hello everyone, I’m AKD, a guy in his late 20’s who has been interested in human Awakening for about 6 years now, but I’ve always been drawn to the magical, the mysterious, the esoteric, the spiritual, etc. even as a child. Upon graduating college, I realized life seemed rather unsatisfying. Pursuing Western milestones such as graduate degrees, careers, marriage, home ownership, etc. just seemed unfulfilling - none of these things guarantee lasting happiness or satisfaction. It felt like I was asked to check off boxes on ‘life’s to-do list’ so that I could fit in with my peers and conform to the expectations and desires of my family & society. Was this really it? What is the point? The latent interest towards the spiritual dimension that had been with me since I was young then became a full blown search for Meaning. Life/Reality/the Universe then offered up the writings of people such as Daniel Ingram, Kenneth Folk, Michael Taft, Shinzen Young, Daniel P. Brown, Angelo DiLullo and many others who all were saying the same thing: Awakening is a real lived experience, it’s definitely worth pursuing, it can be done, and here is how to do it. It was empowering and immediately actionable. For the first few years, my practice was mostly related to Pragmatic Dharma and some Theravadan practices such as Mahasi noting or freestyle noting with labels. After a few years of this, things stalled out and practice was frustrating. After reading and listening to Vajrayana teacher Ken McLeod, the context/intention of the Path shifted for me, and formal practice itself became a spacious, choiceless awareness style sitting. I am now very interested in Tibetan and Zen Buddhism and I see many similarities between the two traditions. Currently, I sit once or twice a day if I have the time - all in all about 45-90 minutes of formal daily practice. On the cushion I am practicing mostly open awareness and self inquiry, occasionally practicing the Brahmaviharas or Metta or Tonglen. Off cushion, I use Life as an opportunity to bring the mind back home again & again and to cultivate Presence & Compassion in the face of reactivity (whether my own reactivity or the reactions of others). I have a teacher that I check in with once about every 3 weeks. I am interested in engaging with people who have consistent, daily practices, who are pragmatic and talk about what works or doesn’t work as it applies to practice/the Path. I appreciate when practitioners speak from their own experience and talk about waking up in the context of their lives. I am not too interested in getting bogged down by dogma, conjecture, speculation, spiritual fantasy, or arguing, etc. I have little experience with Daoism as my practice/exploration up until this point as been almost entirely based on Buddhist schools/traditions. That said, I think most religions are pointing to the same Truth and so it’s worth it to engage with others who have Wisdom to share. If you made it this far, thank you for reading & thank you for having me! With gratitude, AKD