"Beyond the Ordinary Mind"

by Anthony "Kalyanamitta TJ" Jewgieniew, Midwest City, Oklahoma, USA, The Buddhist Channel, Feb 17, 2006

Since discovering this wonderful informative news website in 2002, I wrote a letter in the "Opinion" column and one in "Letters" titled "Defend paths towards non-dogmas...". Both e-mails were published to my amazement, the first letter really was personal and emotional.

I am often considered by many as humble yet outgoing, which I try to balance both characteristics to no success (chuckle). I just want to thank you all for being my light and future hope of bettering the faith of many practicing Buddhists, especially in America. I have been told I am the youngest and boldest Buddhist teacher in America. I try not to pride myself with such words, I just do what any Buddhist would do and that is practice and continue to uncover the truth.

Buddhism in America and the world needs to appeal to the young for all the rightful ways, yet that is a different topic. I took my practice seriously in 2002, when I created a rough draft teacher booklet for an egalitarian practice, sect if you may, of Buddhism called MANA (acronymn), or Lokottarmana (long version), which means "Beyond the Ordinary Mind".

Since than I have been eager to use the Dharma and thus teach or practice with anyone who seeks to know what Buddhism is and isn't, which is hard to define in short and sweet words. The title Kalyanamitta TJ means friend, and that is all I refer myself to my students or friends. I mispelled "Kalyanamitta" in the "Letter" article, an honest mistake.

This Saturday I will be joining a Korean buddhist group in practice. I am quite nervous and yet excited. The Koreans, who are the teachers of their temple, recently had their grant opening last Saturday. To my disbelief, the approach of their practice is quite open and is of traditional Buddhism, a bit like Theravada, yet open to all three Buddha's denominations.

Though I use and operate my own Buddhist practice, which is a hard mix to shallow from Toni Packer to Stephen Batchelor to Allan Wallace to "crazy wisdom", I try to maintain traditional values in mediation and teachings.

So now, I currently live in Midwest City, Oklahoma, right outside of Oklahoma City. My transition from Las Cruces, New Mexico to Oklahoma has not always been pleasant and enjoyable, as currently I am recouping from a pulled hamstring (avid runner).

Everyday I wake up to realize that there is a news outlet which contributes to my values and knowledge of the type of philosophy I deem revolutionary and that is Buddhism and the many psychological endeavors that are mixed in.

Once again, thank you for your contributions.
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