I thought I'd introduce myself, even though I've already been posting.
I live in the pacific northwest of the United States. A Small town called Corvallis in Oregon, home of Oregon State University. I'm 24 years old. Dropped out of college because my Zen practice was taking off, and in reflection, I decided that an academic education and where that would lead me wouldn't be satisfying.
A few years ago I went through a serious bout of depression and anxiety, mostly affected by my drug experimentation when I was younger. I had a minor stroke on some cocaine that was laced with pcp, and ended up enduring a psychotic episode from that. I think the earnest character of my practice comes from the determination I derived from the teachings of Pema Chodron (even though she's of a Tibetan tradition). I found her very comforting during the trauma that I went though. If any one person could be said to have kept me from indulging my suicidal impulses, it is her.
The last few years have been up and down. I was fascinated with the sophistication of Tibetan philosophy, and that fixation really did detriment to the efficacy of my Zen practice. Created some confusion. I had previously tried to get in with a Nyingma group for Ngondro, but I had a sense that the local lama didn't think my karma was ripe for that. Or whatever.
Now I'm practicing with a white plum zen sangha in town. Deepening my practice.
"Cause is not before and Effect is not after"
- Eihei Dogen Zenji