Finding a spiritual guide

I absolutely love this community and I am grateful for all the topics posted and all the fast responses, there is always someone on here keeping an eye out.
But sometimes I wish I had a spiritual guide for one on one discussions, but where I live it is difficult to find a Buddhist centre or a temple or even simply other Buddhists.
Or the couple that exist are way too far and simply not ideal (it makes for a couple hours drive each way).
I don’t know if online gurus are a thing, but if they are, I’d love some pointers. I regularly have questions that I often find guidance for either here or in books, but at times being able to refer to the one monastic I can call my guide would be so much easier.
If any of you have gone through this and found solutions, I’d appreciate some tips.

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Please have a look at this thread

To that thread, I’ll add KBV, which is still (I believe) conducting most of their classes online:

They have two discussion groups per week, one on the suttas and one on practice.


Thanks for the topic links. Most of what I have found in other threads and in the suggested ones are online meditation sessions, which isn’t exactly what I’m looking for, which is discussion and Q&A sessions, and also because they’re in the US and I’m in Europe, so the time difference just makes it impossible to take part. Thank you for taking the time to respond though, I very much appreciate it. I’ll spend a little more time looking around in past threads, perhaps I’ll find something more local.

Where in Europe are you?

I reside in France. Gmt+1

You could check out iSangha – Tilorien Monastery


Time zones are interesting things. Here in NZ I’m at GMT+12 or +13 (winter/summer). This, for example, makes evening events in Europe accessible in early morning here, or morning events in Europe accessible in the evening. So I would take a wider view of time zones than trying to find something in your own.

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I found this an insoluble problem. Looking in the NYC area, I found two genuine and respected monastics, both of whom had problems with repressed anger, and one Vipassana expert who was remarkably kind and generous, but who believed that Buddhism properly understood was not concerned with liberation from conditioned being. I am studying and meditating on my own. I mention this because it’s useful to remember that a guide or community, though a great asset, is not essential.

So it sounds like what you are looking for is one on one time with a monastic, either synchronous (talking on the phone) or asynchronous (email).

In general, it’s going to be difficult to find a monastic that is willing to do this kind of thing just because of time constraints. (not time-zone constraints!) I do know that Ven Thanissaro has daily “office hours” where you can call and talk to him. It is, of course, difficult to get through, but it is possible. And, out of necessity, I think he tries to keep the calls to the point. So I don’t know if you resonate with his teachings, but it might be an option.

Thank you Jake. I have been indeed studying Buddhism and meditating on my own since I started a while ago. And usually the literature is enough for me to find answers/guidance for some questions I have, about specific situations in life that have a grey area.
Reading your response you’re probably very correct and a monastic him/herself may not always hold the guidance I’m looking for. Meditating on those questions could be more useful to my practice.

Thank you!
Yes my only constraint with time zones is being able to attend specific live sessions when I work full time with an ever changing schedule.
I’ll have a look thank you very much for your response!

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I inadvertently discovered a way to find a monastic mentor when I first started practicing. I happen to be lucky to live near a Thai wat in the United States. The head monk asked me to help him practice his English once a week. It turns out the English he wanted to practice were Dhamma teachings, so in return for my help with his English I got one-on-one Dhamma lessons. We each got something out of the arrangement.


That’s what I was thinking, I would like by 2024 to be teaching English in a monastery in Asia/India and become a student at the same time. It’ll probably be the best way.
I could ask questions on here in posts but so many people so many different points of view and at times we can leave the app more confused ! One on one seems the right thing.

In case these are helpful for anyone, here are a couple of open access books I’ve found on teaching ESL. (If people have pointers to others, I’d be happy to add them!)

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Thank you very much.