Hello, Bill, and thanks for the welcome.

> Where did you live while studying and practicing in Asia?  
> I live in Thailand and am surrounded by Theravada Buddhism 
> which is not appealing to me at all. 

I stayed at Wat Ram Poeng while in Thailand, up near Chiang Mai 
( http://www.palikanon.com/vipassana/tapotaram/tapotaram.htm ).  
It was a hard, deep, mainly psychological experience in vipassana 
and I'm not the least bit interested in doing it again.  

Before that I'd spent several months on two different trips in 
Sri Lanka, at a meditation center in the tea highlands near 
Kandy.  It's a good, rather laid-back place for practice - 
though now it's become sort of famous and there are too many 
guests, even during the summer monsoon when the place is crawling 
with leeches and other beings (a traveler's description, with 
photos, is at http://sophia.smith.edu/~jhubbard/2001/Nilambe.htm ).  

I've stayed four times at Bodhi Zendo in the mountains of Tamil 
Nadu in south India ( http://www.bodhizendo.org ).  This is an 
unusual center started by a Jesuit Priest, and the practice is a 
bit soft and eclectic but you can make of it what you want, with 
extra sittings, work, etc.  There's a terrific library with 
Buddhist, Hindu and Christian works.  

Also, as I mentioned in the last post, I stayed for a while 
(in '92) at Sogen-Ji Zen Monastery in Okayama, Japan.  It's 
Rinzai.  The roshi (first rate!) is Shodo-Harada.  

In 2001 I went up to Ladakh, in the western Himalayas, to find 
out what Tibetan Buddhism was about, studied for a brief period 
under a lama and came away changed.

I guess the moral to all this is that there's plenty of Dharma 
out there, and the different traditions are NEVER what thought 
they were - via prejudgment - before looking deeper and in 
fair-mindedness.  Not that everyone needs to do this - but I did 
and my Zen practice was enriched by it. 

Where are you in Thailand, and for how long?  Please say more.  
Is there Zen practice where you are? 

Best Regards,  

~ Frank



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