Finding a good fit is possibly the most important consideration in deciding to look for a guide for your meditation practice. There are many experienced practitioners available and it’s worth checking a few out, seeing who you get on well with. Personality matters. Style and approach matter — particularly in Vajrayana, a path in which personality contributes to practice.
I am interested in methods and how they function pragmatically. I approach all practices in terms of their effects and results — that is, what they were designed to do, how they’re supposed to work, and what happens in practice. In consultation, we look at the intended function of your practice and fine-tune according to its results.
I take a meta systematic, approach. That means I will help you figure out what teachings and practices are appropriate for your circumstances, rather than promoting one method universally. Usually, our practice disscussions are exploratory. I ask a lot of questions. I might ask you to expand on some detail, for example, or to experiment with different language or frameworks.
I can give guidance in your silent sitting meditation and I can help you approach Buddhist Tantra and Dzogchen. I have supported many clients to transition from a Sutric style of meditation — concentrative practice accompanied by a renunciative worldview — to life-affirming, integrative Vajrayana meditation and view. This is not always an easy transition. It can be frustratingly elusive, particularly if you are quite driven and perfectionist. But it can be a valuable process and may alter the purpose of meditation in your life. Not everybody decides to continue in this direction, but the majority who do say that it was worth it. Some say that it radically changed their perspective and daily experience.
Before we meet for the first time, I will ask you to send me some answers to questions about your meditation, experience, and what you would like from our meeting. That gives you the opportunity to reflect on what you need from me, and usually gives us a lot to explore. When we meet, I’ll ask you to talk about your practice so that I can get a good sense of how it fits in your life, what your approach is like, what’s working or not working for you. I might ask you to go into more detail on something you say, or that you wrote in your response to my questions, or I might ask you to explore a particular aspect of your practice that seems important.
I can also help with a study curriculum if you’re interested.
If you are looking for meditation coaching, either as a one-off or with a view to finding a spiritual friend, a guide, or a teacher, and it sounds like we might be a good fit, ask me for a consultation.