Well I've been hoisting my opinions about here for a while and have yet to introduce myself
My name's Erik. I came to the dharma from deep depression summer of last year and holy cow, what a bucket of cold water over the head it was. I've devoured countless books on the subject since, and am astounded by the breadth of understanding and help here on Dharma Wheel. Even my fumbling, half-understood practice has been of such benefit and joy. If it takes 1000 lifetimes to reach enlightenment, the simple gift of never wallowing in boredom anymore or feeling a sliver of depression has been enormous. So first off, thank you all so much for being a part of that
DW has been my digital sangha during the time I spent looking for an in-person one.
So since then, I've dithered between different practice centers. Most turned out to either be outright cults or considered at least cultish. It was really discouraging, and a lesson in caution. I finally found a local Karma Kagyu center, and the folks here gave the resident lama the thumbs-up. At last!
I'm taking refuge for the first time January 1st. Through it all, there's been a strange thread of Chenrezig showing up in unexpected places. I'm hoping it's auspicious that this center offers weekly Chenrezig practice and bi-monthly all-day Chenrezig meditations. I haven't had transmission or teachings on the subject, though.
I tend to write novel-length posts full of hot air and not much experience to back up the opinions
It seems like I spent five minutes writing a post, then thirty trying to pare it down.
I hope to be of a fraction of the benefit you all have been to me!