If you don't mind me asking Beatzen, how long exactly have you been practicing?
Well, i'm twenty four years old now. I started studying when I was in middle school, about seventh grade. My best friend was from a zen buddhist family, and they would invite me over every day to watch stuff like prem rawat maharaji and we would talk about the dharma in very simple ways that a seventh gader would understand.
Then I graduated highschool, lived life a little bit. My practice has really become confident and consistent over the last few years. I make a habit of sitting every day, but I don't like to time myself. I just go two rounds on my mala and that's one session for me. I don't claim to be an authority on zen buddhism, or buddhism in general. I do enjoy listening to the teachings, particularly those of Pema Chodron, Tenzin Palmo, Chogyam Trungpa, Thich Naht Hahn.
I think it's a mark of my youth that I am so wary of religious authority, especially because my spirituality is very precious to me. As Tenzin Palmo pointed out, it is very rare to find yourself incarnate in a situation where you may become educated, and follow a spiritual discipline.
But my personal thinking is more tinted by my following of Jiddu Krishnamurti and Alan Watts. I know Alan Watts was quite controversial due to his alcoholism... but IMO, trungpa rinpoche was a great teacher, and he was also an alcoholic.
I just get riled up when I see spiritual practitioners judging eachother. I think my own personal emphasis on the experience, rather than acceptance of thoughts or beliefs, is why I gravitated further toward Zen. I also have an affinity for their "No mind, true mind" position. But I am still learning. I don't like being so closely cross examined. I don't think it's fair.
Mr. G: My position is derrived from the fact that I have not become certain of the truth of transmigration. I am not closed off to the belief. I have thoughts that deny it, but those are just thoughts, and I know that there is the knowing of those thoughts that arises as if behind them. I did not make it seem as if I have directly experienced the falsity of transmigration. If it seems that I did, then I apologise, otherwise...