My username -- Ikkyu -- is that of a famous Japanese Zen monk, poet, rebel and eccentric who, despite being ordained, is known for his enjoyment of sake, sex and the Japanese bamboo flute (or shakuhachi.). When he wasn't meditating in the mountains, Ikkyu would decend into nearby towns to visit a brothel or just get smashed. His poems often satirize, and at the sime time revere, the Dharma utilizing sexual/erotic puns and unorthodox methods of criticizing conventional Buddhist ethics.
Like Ikkyu, I'm into Buddhism although I am by no means perfect at it. I often stumble over the uncarved block. My original face is mired with the fact that I don't meditate as regularly as I should, and after I do meditate I don't exactly always practice "mindfull consumption". I have yet to take precepts as, you guessed it, I have a problem with the fifth one. (And to a lesser extent the third.) I'm a believer in the idea that being liberal with alcohol use and sexual conduct isn't so bad if a person is mindfull and aware of their actions, and doesn't intend to cause harm.
Feel free to disagree.
Also like Ikkyu, I am fond of poetry and the shakuhachi. (But damn, it's hard to play.)
Anyhow, I'd like to maybe one day commit to the precepts but I simply don't get how never smoking pot again or refraining from "sexual misconduct" is somehow compassionate. Live and let live, I say. Ikkyu said the same thing, and yet still believed he was treading a Buddhist path. As long as you're not hurting anyone what's the problem?
I've been attending a local sangha group in a nearby town for about a year and a half now. My group is a delineation of Thich Nhat Hanh's lineage in the Lam Te (Rinzai) Thien (Vietnamese Zen) tradition. I'm still considering looking aound to find out whether or not any other certain tradition will suit me better.
I would love to study the history of the Komuso, or the mendicant, basket-wearing monks of Japan who played the shakuhachi in order to gain enlightenment more.
I guess the reason I'm here on Dharma Wheel is primarily because I'm a skeptic. Although I've read A LOT on Buddhism and most other religions (I'm sort of a comparitive religion and philosophy nerd in my spare time, although I'm working to get my BA in professional writing at the moment), I still have issues with the Dharma that I may very well bring up in later posts.
In any case, thank you for reading my introduction and I hope that everything works out well. Many happy returns. Metta. Namaste. Gassho. Yada yada.