Not a very frequent poster here but the good folks who run the forum have asked me to be a mod, so I thought it's a good idea to reintroduce myself.
I sat my first retreat in 2003, and soon after met my main teacher, a nun in Korean Zen (Seon) tradition, who trained alongside the (in)famous Batchelors, as well as Robert Buswell Jr, at the great Ssongwan-Sa under Kusan Sunim. Of course I take the responsibility for all the nonsense I have and will spout - none of it should be taken as a reflection on the teacher or that amazing tradition which stretches from Chinul. I had also sat with a Soto group for a while while it was present at my work, which was good. I am not sectarian in the sense of holding one tradition above others and have spent a fair bit of time at the other Wheel where I like many members and the moderation style. I know less about Vajrayana but would be happy to practice with a Vajra group if an opportunity presented itself.
I have a family, including 3 pesky kids and an old cat. The job that pays our bills is working as a mathematician at a large local University, which means teaching and playing with the Rubik's cube, among other things. I also spend a lot of time on photography and have a website at http://www.heliography.com
and an upcoming (first) exhibition in a few weeks. I also like making up bedtime stories.
Originally I hail from the Ukraine, which I left back in 1987 and since then spent most of the years in Melbourne, Australia, and also a bit in Italy and Switzerland.
My take on being a moderator is basically helping facilitate a constructive exchange, which is sometimes supportive, sometimes informative and sometimes a robust debate. I prefer a light touch, basically treating members as responsible adults and my role as a member with extra work. Dharma Wheel is obviously different things to different folks and I don't have a particular view or dogma to promote, but rather hope that people with different approaches to the Dharma and practice find support, useful info and even a kind of a virtual Sangha here without pissing on each other's parade but interacting in a respectful way. I like threads to stay on track and if they go off track for the mods to split bits off before they become a mash of different threads and people talking past one another. I did a stint as a mod at ZFI a few years back and left mainly due to work commitments.
The manner in which I was taught the Dharma was very immediate, from the heart stuff, dealing very much with the here-and-now rather than getting into the theory and the dogma and this is where I mostly gravitate on the fora. I am hoping to see more activity in the Zen/Chan/Seon fora and I think this place can be a great place for Zen practitioners since I think Zen makes most sense as a Mahayana school. I think there is a bit of Buddhist cultural difference between Vajra and Zen, even the pretty traditional variety that I was taught such as the importance of believing various tenets, like rebirth, the importance of teacher and lineage, the forms, etc and I am hoping for a healthy live and let live attitude.
That's pretty much it. I realise many folks here are far more experienced and wiser than me. I am hoping I never have to moderate you and if and when I do, I hope we all see it as a joint work in keeping this place going and going strong! Thanks if you read this far, it turned out to be quite a spiel...