Ogyen wrote:Luke, I am thrilled for you. One day a teacher will give me the lung and practice. *sigh* It's a matter of merit and readiness. When the time is ripe, the right teachers appear.
Google is also one hell of a matchmaker between lama and student. I would have never even have known about my current lama unless I had done a search on Google and found his sangha's website.
Just so I don't make things sound as if they were completely heavenly, I want to mention that I went through a lot of suffering on my journey to see my Guru. I had to endure extremely cold weather, difficult relatives, various illnesses, and my own negative emotions which were reactions to all these things on my way to see him. So I faced obstacles, but thankfully, none of them were great enough to stop me from seeing him.
I hope you find the teacher you're looking for, Ogyen. I think it helps to recite mantras of key deities/founding lamas in the tradition you're interested in. For example, I'd been attending Guru Rinpoche teachings and empowerments for a while and often recited Guru Rinpoche's mantra. If you're interested in Gelug, you'd probably want to think about Tsongkhapa all the time, etc.
To share with you, I have struggled finding a teacher now for near 2 years. I have WONDERFUL practioners around me. A Rinpoche contacted me personally to tell me I'm valued and needed. Imagine my shock as I was ready to give up in this search for a teacher. But the Rinpoche would not have contacted me had I not been open about who I am and what I seek. I did not tell him what I seek, I simply was transparent, and that warmth radiated and he gave warmth back. That is the lesson I took from it, nothing more.
Oh, I'm open and transparent--just not on internet forums! I emailed my lama a letter describing myself and my previous Buddhist experience before I saw him. I think this helped save time when I actually saw him because he already knew who I was and what I was looking for.
As in dating, you first have to have the courage to ask.
For me it all came down to one nerve-wracking moment when, after months of emails and preparations, I was finally sitting face-to-face with a great Tibetan lama in a private meeting and staring into his deep, dark eyes.
"So?" he challenged/questioned me rather sternly without revealing any emotion (perhaps to test me?). When the magnitude of the situation really hit home for me, my voice began to shake and I became quite nervous, but I mustered up the courage to ask his permission to begin Ngondro anyway.
If had not requested to begin Ngondro and expressed my deep interest in the Nyingma teachings to my lama, then I most likely would not have been permitted to begin Ngondro.
Believe in yourself and go for it!