News from Forum Participants

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News from Forum Participants

Postby ansuchin » Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:03 am

A thread for participants to share their lives, their challenges, their plans, as well as news items in their world they wish to share with others.

To begin:

My husband and I will be leaving this week for the Buddhist Pilgrimage to the “Middle Land” of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in India and up into the Pashchimanchal region of Nepal. Our two little girls will be left in Thailand to the attention of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends who have expressed every intention to thoroughly spoil them. I have completed teaching my graduate seminar and all the participants who stuck it out with me have satisfactorily completed my examinations and have all passed.

:)

In addition to the Bodhagaya where Siddhattha Gotama became awake, we are planning trips to Sarnath, Nalanda, Rajgir, Varanasi, Kushinagar, Sravasti, and Lumbini. From the Mahaparinibbana Sutta:
'
There are four places, Ananda, that a pious person should visit and look upon with feelings of reverence. What are the four?
Here the Tathagata was born!' This, Ananda, is a place that a pious person should visit and look upon with feelings of reverence.
'Here the Tathagata became fully enlightened in unsurpassed, supreme Enlightenment!' This, Ananda, is a place that a pious person should visit and look upon with feelings of reverence.
Here the Tathagata set rolling the unexcelled Wheel of the Dhamma!' This, Ananda, is a place that a pious person should visit and look upon with feelings of reverence.
Here the Tathagata passed away into the state of Nibbana in which no element of clinging remains!' This, Ananda, is a place that a pious person should visit and look upon with feelings of reverence.
These, Ananda, are the four places that a pious person should visit and look upon with feelings of reverence. And truly there will come to these places, Ananda, pious bhikkhus and bhikkhunis, laymen and laywomen, reflecting: 'Here the Tathagata was born! Here the Tathagata became fully enlightened in unsurpassed, supreme Enlightenment! Here the Tathagata set rolling the unexcelled Wheel of the Dhamma! Here the Tathagata passed away into the state of Nibbana in which no element of clinging remains!' And whoever, Ananda, should die on such a pilgrimage with his heart established in faith, at the breaking up of the body, after death, will be reborn in a realm of heavenly happiness.

DN 16 (16-22)


This is a once in a lifetime experience of pilgrimage that began around the time of Christ. Many people have made the journey from Ashoka the Great to Tang, Tibetan, and Sri Lankan monastics. Pilgrims in ancient times would sometimes die on the journey. The pilgrimage sites remained neglected and mostly forgotten for the many years following the 12th century Muslim invasion that destroyed almost all of the monasteries, monuments, and Buddhist universities in India. It was not until the 19th century when the sites began the long process of excavation and redevelopment that has proceeded to the present day. I have traveled in India before to Kolkata as a teenager to make merit to help with the homeless and dying in the Christian mission there. As hard as those weeks there were, I learnt to deeply love the people there. This is now an opportunity though to walk in the footsteps of my much beloved Lord Buddha who has been the master of my life since I was born, and I cannot begin to express how excited I am by this blessed opportunity.

In Buddhism, this pilgrimage is not a duty as the Hajj is for Muslims. This is a journey to the sacred places one decides upon as an act of gratitude for the great blessings the Buddha has brought to our lives as well as an expression of our firm devotion and faith to his teachings. In the scriptures, faith or saddha is the professing of confidence in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, and one also applies this faith during the journey to inspire the purification of the mind and heart. I have known many who have found the experience genuinely transformative and some who returned with an entirely different mind. I hopefully will return far more open in my heart and mind.

We will be leaving in couple of days, and I will be gone for a month without access to internet or email. We will be packing very lightly. As the Buddha said, “Just as a bird in flight takes nothing but its wings wherever it goes, so too the wandering pilgrim just takes whatever they have wherever they go and leaves no trace behind...”

My love, blessings, and my Metta to all,

An

:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D



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Re: News from Forum Participants

Postby Typhoon » Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:15 am

Wishing you a fulfilling trip.

Looking forward to hearing about it.
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Re: News from Forum Participants

Postby Parodite » Sat Jan 14, 2012 4:07 pm

An, watch the snakes, don't step on them. ;)

Enjoy the trip.
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Re: News from Forum Participants

Postby ansuchin » Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:47 am

Parodite wrote:An, watch the snakes, don't step on them. ;)

Enjoy the trip.

Thank you, Parodite, I certainly will. Stepping with my foot on such a creature would indeed be deeply disrespectful to them. I really could not blame them for attacking me if I committed such an insult.

Thank you for the warning, but as far as snakes go, these glorious creatures have been part of my life here. They are beautiful, magnificent animals that only ask for our kindness and respect. I consider Kraits, cobras, and vipers as my friends and neighbours so I have never harmed by one and they have never harmed the people I love or those who have heeded my instructions :D

If you ever travel to Bangkok check out inside the compound of the Thai Red Cross near Chulalonkorn Hospital on Rama IV road which has one of the largest snake farms in Asia (Queen Saowapha Memorial Institute). Venom extraction is conducted here in order to make the antidote for snakebites and for medical research. They are well fed, housed, and cared for and, in return, they provide much benefit to all of us.

Image

Leaving from Suvarnabhumi around noon today.

Goodbye everyone...

:)
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Re: News from Forum Participants

Postby NapLajoieonSteroids » Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:03 am

ansuchin wrote:
Leaving from Suvarnabhumi around noon today.

Goodbye everyone...

:)



I hope your trip goes well and you and your husband find peace and reward on and from your journey.
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Re: News from Forum Participants

Postby noddy » Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:09 am

enjoy.
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Re: News from Forum Participants

Postby Hoosiernorm » Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:38 pm

Hope she takes some good photos
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Re: News from Forum Participants

Postby Parodite » Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:17 pm

Hoosiernorm wrote:Hope she takes some good photos


I want to see more of her.
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Re: News from Forum Participants

Postby Nonc Hilaire » Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:34 pm

Blessings Ansuchin!

I am in the process of moving and am doing NOTHING but hauling stuff around, so a pilgrimage makes me a bit envious. We have remodeled Dad's house (he has severe memory loss) and are moving back into the old place with him so he can continue to enjoy his tangerine and grapefruit trees. Throwing away and selling tons of old stuff. Moving rooms full of books - think of that chore when discussing eBooks, Apolonius!
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Re: News from Forum Participants

Postby Typhoon » Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:39 pm

NH, very sorry to hear about your father. However, glad to see you back and posting.
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Re: News from Forum Participants

Postby planctom » Sat Jan 21, 2012 7:44 pm

Nonc Hilaire wrote:Blessings Ansuchin!

I am in the process of moving and am doing NOTHING but hauling stuff around, so a pilgrimage makes me a bit envious. We have remodeled Dad's house (he has severe memory loss) and are moving back into the old place with him so he can continue to enjoy his tangerine and grapefruit trees...


NH , I´m sorry for your father , but he is a lucky father to have a son who cares about him and because he lives in a house with taangerine trees!!!
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Re: News from Forum Participants

Postby Nonc Hilaire » Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:44 pm

Typhoon wrote:NH, very sorry to hear about your father. However, glad to see you back and posting.


Dad is happier than he has been in his whole life. Luckily he escaped the Alzheimer's my mother has and just has almost no mid-term memory due to atherosclerosis. He has some happy childhood recollections and still remembers family and the day he is in, but forgot all the mean or sad things. Plus, he rediscovers that he loves Mexican food every month.

Posting will sporadic for a while.
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Anxiety

Postby Hans Bulvai » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:18 am

Huge difference between EV's and ROV's.

This is turning out to be ok...
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Re: News from Forum Participants

Postby Hoosiernorm » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:01 pm

Been awhile wonder how Ann is doing on her trip?
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Re: News from Forum Participants

Postby YMix » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:17 pm

And when do we get to see the photos? ;)
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Re: News from Forum Participants

Postby Typhoon » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:09 pm

Hoosiernorm wrote:Been awhile wonder how Ann is doing on her trip?


Seconded.

Never mind Waldo, where's An?
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Re: News from Forum Participants

Postby Hoosiernorm » Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:04 am

Well I've been smoke free for one week, or at least I will be at 8am central time this morning. I have smoked off and on since I was about 12 years old, you could still buy them at a gas station or at the bowling alley out of a vending machine at that time. I have replaced smoking with smokeless tobacco pouches, hard candy, and the occasional ecigarette when the really hard cravings strike. This has actually gone much better that I expected but I really needed the correct circumstances in place to be able to begin.

My new job has been probably the biggest help, I am home every day now and my stress levels have improved significantly. I had caught a really bad spring cold and my allergies were making my throat so sore and my sinuses so inflamed that smoking was quite painful and stopping was such a relief to my respiratory system that I had very good additional motivation.

It's odd the little things that have transpired since I decided to stop. I still go back to my laundry room/utility room when I am stressed to stand at the spot that I normally smoked at. It was really puzzling how much of my behavior was on auto pilot when it came down to my routine. Even though I wasn't smoking I would still walk back there out of habit and simple stand there for a brief moment. My sense of smell has improved significantly in a very short period of time and I really was shocked at how fast it returned and how badly my smoking room smelled.

I have been reading different articles online from different health blogs about what is happening to my body and I am wondering how long it will take to see more changes in my health. I sleep better now and feel more rested than I have in years, I don't wake up tired which is really an odd sensation since I have gotten use to waking up and not really feeling awake.
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Re: News from Forum Participants

Postby Marcus » Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:00 pm

Hoosiernorm wrote:Well I've been smoke free for one week, or at least I will be at 8am central time this morning. . .



Way to go, Hoosier, hang in there.
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Re: News from Forum Participants

Postby Hoosiernorm » Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:10 am

Marcus wrote:
Hoosiernorm wrote:Well I've been smoke free for one week, or at least I will be at 8am central time this morning. . .



Way to go, Hoosier, hang in there.


Thanks Marcus, I'm hoping that my being a quitter will actually become useful at this point in my life. My thoughts are if you have a personality defect, you might as well make use of it. :D
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Re: News from Forum Participants

Postby Azrael » Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:55 am

Marcus wrote:
Hoosiernorm wrote:Well I've been smoke free for one week, or at least I will be at 8am central time this morning. . .



Way to go, Hoosier, hang in there.


+1
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Re: News from Forum Participants

Postby Azrael » Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:56 am

Parodite wrote:
Hoosiernorm wrote:Hope she takes some good photos


I want to see more of her.

+1
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Re: News from Forum Participants

Postby Hoosiernorm » Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:00 pm

Azrael wrote:
Marcus wrote:
Hoosiernorm wrote:Well I've been smoke free for one week, or at least I will be at 8am central time this morning. . .



Way to go, Hoosier, hang in there.


+1


Thanks Azrael

I was wondering if there are any other forum members who also chew tobacco or use smokeless tobacco? I am reading up about the snus tobacco as an alternative to the pouched chewing tobacco that I am currently using. Marlboro and Camel are both selling an American snus but I have never used it. I was reading about Swedish snus and wondered if any of the European members had ever tried it. I'm not sure how widespread the usage is outside of the US and parts of Europe, I know that smoking is very popular in Asia but did not know if smokeless was also popular.
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Re: News from Forum Participants

Postby Parodite » Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:04 pm

Good luckz Hoos. I was off cigs nearly two years and started again 3 weeks ago :(

Yes swedish snus i used it once.. Amazing stuff. Gives you high alertness and removes fatigue.. Better than coffee.
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Re: News from Forum Participants

Postby Marcus » Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:09 pm

It's springtime in Alaska . . .



But don't believe that 40-below stuff . . heard the first robin three days ago . . . :D
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Re: News from Forum Participants

Postby Azrael » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:49 pm

Hoosiernorm wrote:
Azrael wrote:
Marcus wrote:
Hoosiernorm wrote:Well I've been smoke free for one week, or at least I will be at 8am central time this morning. . .



Way to go, Hoosier, hang in there.


+1


Thanks Azrael

You're welcome.

You might find this interesting (from Wikipedia): In Sweden, snus is often used to quit smoking, which has led to a significant decrease in the prevalence of smoking among men. In fact, Sweden has the lowest male smoking rate in the European Union.

[. . .]

Snus may be less harmful than other tobacco products; according to Kenneth Warner, director of the University of Michigan Tobacco Research Network,
"The Swedish government has studied this stuff to death, and to date, there is no compelling evidence that it has any adverse health consequences. ... Whatever they eventually find out, it is dramatically less dangerous than smoking."
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