Compatible Communities / Practices

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of David Starflower starflower 3 weeks, 5 days ago.

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  • #2213
    Profile photo of David Starflower
    starflower
    Member

    Hello. I am following The Mind Illuminated (TMI) in the earlier stages.

    I value community a lot and thus like to go to e.g. weekly group sittings and talks. Also I would like to attend retreats. I live in Melbourne (Australia, not Florida) and Dharma Treasure is not really a thing here. Hence I wanted to ask what styles/schools/sanghas could be compatible.

    Generally it would be helpful to know what branches would be compatible or what TMI is derived from / comprised of (e.g. Theravada, Thai Forrest, …). It would also be helpful to know what to avoid (e.g. Mantra meditation, chanting, …).

    Also, here are a couple I found nearby, a few are focused on Vipassana, while TMI focuses on Samatha (first):

    General list of centers

    http://www.buddhanet.info/wbd/search.php?keyword=Melbourne&search=Search&country_id=18&province_id=2
    http://www.bcv.org.au/map-of-buddhist-centres.html

    More promising

    http://bsv.net.au/ (Theravada Tradition)
    http://meditateinmelbourne.org/ (Kadampa)
    https://www.facebook.com/manohara251/ (scarce profile, Sayadaw U Pandita, Junior)
    http://www.ddmmelbourne.org.au/ (Chan)

    Less promising

    http://melbournebuddhistcentre.org.au/ (Metta, Triratna Buddhist Community)
    http://www.samadhivihara.org.au/ (Sri Lanka)
    https://www.dhamma.org/ & http://www.dharma.org.au/ (Goenka, Vipassana) http://www.melbourneinsightmeditation.org/ (Vipassana)
    https://www.tobygillies.com/ (Dalai Lama)

    #2218
    Profile photo of Mary Hill
    maryhill
    Member

    Hi Starflower. I’m one of Culadasa’s newer batch of teachers in training. Thanks for contacting us here. Someone more experienced may have a better answer, but I wanted to reach out and tell you what I know, and what my experience has been.

    To my understanding, Culadasa is combining attention and awareness in a way that is pretty unique. Not in the actual practice, but in the specific way of learning it.

    It’s why I am following the book, and became a teacher in training.

    Sharon Salzberg recommends his book, and she’s a founding member of the Insight Meditation Society here in the USA, in MA. Other well respected teachers from that society, in the USA, include Jack Kornfeld and Joseph Goldstein.
    So, asking at one of the two following places from your list about their familiarity with any of those three teachers might be helpful.

    I looked at the first link you posted.

    If I were you, I would start with the Melbourne University Buddhist Studies Society. Just contact them and see about going and sitting with them.

    The other promising one was the Monash Buddhist Society, because they are non-sectarian. They offer instruction from different traditions and you could simply try them and see if you find a good fit. Also, since they are non-sectarian, they may be open to adding another tradition to their repertoire?

    Some Buddhist groups are extremely dogmatic. Learning the dharma is an important part of meditation, and if I were you, I would look for the least dogmatic group.

    There are also two online TMI teachers, who I am familiar with, who you can find on the website for dharmatreasure.org One is Tucker Peck, who runs a group called eSangha. The other is Nicholas Grabovac, who runs a twice monthly group which meets from noon to 2p.m. PDT. A few months ago, there was someone from New Zealand in Nicholas’s group.

    I founded a TMI sangha by going onto the Reddit TMI discussion group and asking if there was anyone who lives in my metropolitan area, and got 3 responses.

    You might have success finding other TMI practitioners doing that, as well.

    I’m not a student of the traditions, so I can’t answer your question based on the traditions posted. I’m just giving you the best practical advice I can.

    Also, if you have the Insight Timer app on your phone, Chris Gagne, another one of Culadasa’s teachers in training has a medication there called: Metta Meditation based on The Mind Illuminated.

    And I have a really great study guide to Stage 2, if you are interested. I could send it to you as an attachment.

    Blessings,

    Mary

    #2220
    Profile photo of David Starflower
    starflower
    Member

    Hey Mary,

    thanks for your response.

    I found the Metta Meditation, posted on Reddit and contacted the groups you mentioned. With your tips I am also going to try to find further ones from the list above.

    The eSangha is not within a feasible time for Down Under, but I messages Nick.

    I would very much like to read your stage 2 guide. I’ll message you with my email address.

    Cheers
    David

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