Greetings. I have been browsing this board for some time but just decided to join.
I am an American who has been living in Japan for 18 years. I have been studying Buddhism and Shinto formally and informally, on and off, during all this time. I probably should have accomplished more in terms of formal accreditation, etc. during my lengthy stay, but basically I have been content to wander happily among various traditions and practices, getting lost in the arcana of different sects and schools. I suppose I have spent the most time studying the Amidist forms of Japanese Buddhism (Jodo Shu, Jodo Shinshu, Ji Shu, etc.), but I have also tinkered around with Japanese Esoteric Buddhism (Shingon Shu, Tendai Shu, etc.) and spent time studying Nichiren theories. I am particularly interested in heterodox byways (hence my user name
) such as Shinbutusu-Shugo (combined Buddhism/Shinto) and the intersection of Amidism and Esoteric thought (i.e., Kakuban's writings). For the past 2 years or so I have been especially interested in Kannon (Aveloketsavara) manifestations and sutras in Japanese religious history. The Avatmsaka Sutra remains another abiding interest, although I feel that one could spend many lifetimes studying this beautiful text without even scratching the surface.
As you can see I am a bit of a dilettante (or, perhaps less charitably, a flake...
), but one of these days I will buckle down and pick a single path. Or maybe not. In the meantime I am enjoying rambling through the peaks and the valleys of theory and practice. I hope to interact with you in the days ahead.