I went to the Unity Temple for the Temple Buddhist Center service on a Sunday early last year. I then read a book titled "Naked Buddha." I looked into another local Buddhist Center... Rime Buddhist Center... and went there as well. I decided that I liked the environment at Rime better than Unity. I started going every Sunday to the service along with all of the mantras and chants towards various deities and such. I took a class there titled "Intro to Basic Buddhism" by a guy that is about to start his own retreat center. He was an amazing teacher of the class and I decided that more than anyone at Rime, even the Lama that runs the place... I felt a connection with.
I started taking another class based off of Jack Kornfield's book, "The Wise Heart," earlier this year. While reading Jack Kornfield, I continued reading books by Thay and more recently Pema Chodron. I was turned on to the Five Mountain Zen Order's Friday night session at Unity by a friend, but then I read about the controversy here in this forum. What I have learned about Zen has me intrigued as I do not feel connected with the Tibetan doctrine.... especially related to the various deities. I like the Zen approach, although I still feel connected to the concept of rebirth that Tibetan follows.
So, that is where I stand with my studies. I have a meditation practice, although it has been rocky as of late.
Right at this very moment, I feel strongly that I need a Buddhist teacher. I have not found anyone locally that I feel a connection with. I feel strongly connected to Jack Kornfield's style of teaching, but I also greatly enjoy Pema Chodron and Thay. Of course, I can't have any of them as a teacher. I did go to the Spirit Rock Meditation center for a week and attended a workshop by Mark Coleman. I also spent an entire day there exploring, meditating and taking photos. I fell in love with the place.
Anyway, back on track. I really need a teacher. I have had a rough time lately. I was building a strong foundation and spiritual path, but the past few months have pushed me from the path. I haven't meditated as much. I stopped going to the class on Kornfield's book at Rime. I am not going to a Buddhist service right now because at this very moment, I do not feel connected to any local Sangha.
I could go into some stories and examples about my life situation and my past that would help anyone understand my strong desire to find a teacher, but I will save that unless requested.
Right now more than anything... I need help when it comes to finding a teacher. I need to know where to look and how to go about connecting with a teacher. Please and thank you