If you meditate or study Buddhism, you eventually have to find a meditation teacher, either through books on meditation, Buddhist podcasts, meditation lectures, Dharma talks, or hopefully good old fashioned human contact. There are lots of great teachers out there, but personal contact can sometimes be hard, especially if you are shy or hesitant.
(photo courtesy of The Chronicles Project)
So…who’s your favorite teacher? Who’s affected your life the most? Have you met them personally or just received wisdom and insight from them at a distance? If you are having a hard time finding teachers, maybe we can give some advice here at the One City Blog.
For myself, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche (above) is where it’s at. He is an amazing bridge of east-west knowledge and culture. Especially if you want to study the Vajrayana teachings of the Shambhala tradition, you need to meet him. I haven’t ever met another human being with his level of personal discipline. The ease with which he handles adversity, his humor, his radiant kindness (seriously, the dude glows) and especially his ability to clarify the complexity of the teachings of the Shambhala tradition all make him without peer (in my humble opinion). Not that it’s a competition. I’m not trying to create a US News and World Report list of the Best Buddhist Teachers here. Just trying to see who you are connecting with, because connecting with teachers is superduper important, you hear?
I also need to give a grande-sized shout-out to the master teachers of Shambala (called Acharya), especially the ones I know best and study with the most, especially Dr. Gaylon Ferguson, Eric Spiegel (I.D. Project Lineage Mentor), Arawana Hayashi, Adam Lobel, Pema Chodron, John Rockwell, Bill McKeever and others.
Also on my personal list of big influences and teachers would have to be: Dr. Miles Neale, Sharon Salzberg (I.D. Project Lineage Mentor), Roshi Enkyo O’Hara (I.D. Project Lineage Mentor), Ponlop Rinpoche, Noah Levine, and of course (though I’ve never met him), Thich Nhat Hanh.
Who moves you as a teacher? Have you studied with them in person? If you haven’t connected with living teachers yet, what are the obstacles, what’s holding you back?