In response to my video on the most recent blog (vlog) swap, I wanted to take a little more time to explain in detail why, and how, I am where I am now on the path. For the past 4 1/2 years, minus some assistance from some dharma friends, I’ve been “unaffiliated” with any Buddhist group. Until this point, I really and truly thought it would stay that way.
Recently, I was even quoted in Buddhadharma magazine about my non-affiliation…
Individual practice is definitely a plus sometimes, because we are not following someone just for the sake of having a teacher. On the other hand, though, we can get stuck and need help. I know my practice has gone stale from time to time and I’ve had a question or two to ask. I’ve reached out to many people—through the internet, phone calls, and attending dharma talks—and asked some close friends who are also on the path.
A teacher can be found anywhere. I know, because my main teachers, or “root gurus” as they are sometimes called, are my children. I learn many things from them, such as patience, compassion, and right speech.
To sum it up, individual practice can be very enlightening, but sometimes we need a nudge or some guidance from someone who may have traveled a bit farther along the path. The great thing is, we can take the advice and implement it, or reflect on it to make sure it is right for us. Regardless, the fact of the matter is it’s up to us how we do it. But the key is doing it!
I’ve been to teachings from a range of Buddhist schools, from Korean Kwan Um Zen, Zen from the Thich Nhat Hanh perspective, Theravada/ Insight Meditation and Tibetan. I’ve been on two retreats, one with the Kwan Um school and the other, more recently, at Insight Meditation Society. At various points, I thought I had found a path, maybe it was just the bliss from the experiences I was having (as you’ll see from the posts linked).
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