Finding a teacher

Was thinking. I want to deepen my practice as seeing The Buddha as a teacher. I used to be a teacher so it can kinda relate in seeing lessons that way.

But around these parts it’s hard to find a teacher here. The temples I went to the monastics aren’t fluent in English. Pthers ate three or s hours so I’d have to plan for that retreat ahead of time.

Anywayz, how do you find a teacher? I know we practice by ourselves but it does help to have someone to help as well.

I looked it up…but looking for fresh thoughts on the subject.


The monks at the Wat I attend in the United States aren’t fluent in English either (they are from Thailand), but so far I have not experienced that as a barrier. In fact, the head monk and I have an arrangement whereby I help him practice his English and he provides me with private Dhamma lessons (that is how he practices his English). It works very well. The Wat also provides meditation lessons once a week in English to Americans who want to learn the Dhamma. The monks try very hard to teach us in English. The few Americans who attend lessons usually help fill in the blanks when English vocabulary escapes the monks. I am also fortunate to have found an experienced practitioner in another state who is available to talk on the phone and exchange e-mail messages. What’s the old saying? Where there is a will there is a way.


Nice. Yeah, we have a Thailand (cant remembe, I think) a good couple hours from here. They have English Dharma talks but its so late in the evening Id have to take a good fiftty dollar cab back. The on near me, the abbot is always out of town and people only come on his property during yearly ceremonies.

He is nice. He recently received (cant figure then name) his oridination but he is very busy. Im sure they would help if not the language barrier. I have both phone one of the congrats and practitioners phone number. Its been over a year so I dont have it. Id have to look. Both speak english.

I just got a nother job so Ima see how much expenses I can spare.

How do you address someone to be your teacher? Im sure Id have to go to the temple english dharma lessons often if I can. The other english monastary is out of state but about four hours.

Its hard to sort things out via transportation and money. If these werent barriers then participation would be best.

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I have found YouTube Dhamma talks very helpful. Such talks touch on common problems we all face. It’s not as good as directly asking a teacher a question, but seeing and listening to such a talk offers more than just reading.

Also, I have found it valuable to simply open up to learning whereever it may arise. A few weeks ago a car cut in front of me as I was walking and I could feel the drivers impatience at me. At first resentful, I remembered reading about letting go of resentment in the suttas. In this way Bhante Sujato has taught me via his translations. In this way, even the impatient driver was my teacher as well (although more by accident than example).

That said, it is valuable to have a single teacher for consistency of viewpoint. When we open up to learning, teachers often show up in our lives. It’s odd how often that happens. Be sure to choose an ethical teacher who follows Vinaya.


Hmm. Nice. Im working with a cognitive behavioral therapist. She isnt familar with Dharma practices; but, it would be helpful to use the Dharma for context and the physical stuff can be addressed by both.

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In the cases of both the head monk at the Wat I attend and the experienced practitioner who lives in another state, I didn’t so much approach them to ask them to teach me so much as I simply indicated my genuine interest in learning at which point they approached me! Regarding the practitioner in another state, I was given his e-mail address by a mutual acquaintance. I sent him a brief e-mail message indicating that I would like to participate in a retreat he would be attending here. He then called me and started offering me lessons over the phone. As for the head monk at the Wat I attend, about a month or two after I started attending he came to me and asked me to help him practice his English, and then those weekly practice sessions turned into an opportunity for him to teach me the Dhamma. So in my own situation I found teachers simply by showing an eagerness to learn and then the teachers took the initiative in offering me their insights.


Can I ask? Is the Wat yr. Monastery in VA? I notice they have other ones here.

The one in Sterling (out of my area) is the one I wanted to go to if not the time. Id probably invest going there since its closer than the West Virginia monastery. Though, they dont have retreats so far as I know. I called them years ago and two had broken english. Some temples are on private property, so going on celebration days helps a lot to get to know people.

It’s in Oregon.

Thats way out of my way. But, yeah, I try call monday and see if they still have the same time for english talks. I think they also have either English or Tai classes for children.

Thats what it was. Tai for children and english for adults. They said if I wanted to know Tai I can always practice with the children.