Hardcore practitioners near Portland, Maine?

George Thomas Simonson, modified 9 Years ago at 8/4/13 9:37 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/4/13 9:37 PM

Hardcore practitioners near Portland, Maine?

Posts: 2 Join Date: 7/2/13 Recent Posts
Hi, all — I'm new to the site and have just finished reading Daniel's book. It has become clear to me that for 40 years I've wandered around aimlessly (just like Daniel described it) in modern American Buddhism — though, if I understood his instructions correctly, my access meditation is pretty good. (I count the breath, follow the breath, or do formless [shikantaza] meditation and, when counting, can get well into the hundreds without drifting off.) Does anyone know of any hardcore practitioners near Portland, Maine, whom I could meet with in person for a detailed kick-start on insight meditation? I live 40 minutes northeast of Portland, on the coast, in Harpswell, Maine. Thanks.
thumbnail
Jake , modified 9 Years ago at 8/5/13 1:38 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/5/13 1:38 PM

RE: Hardcore practitioners near Portland, Maine?

Posts: 695 Join Date: 5/22/10 Recent Posts
Hi! These guys are right next door to you:

http://www.dzogchenmeditation.com/

Ever check them out? Seems interesting. I don't know how much you know about different lineages of Buddhism (like Southeast Asian vs East Asian vs Central Asian etc) but these guys are definitely coming from one particular place, so it seems. Personally I don't get involved in meditation groups very often because I don't like the group politics and the terndency for folks to feel there way is the best or that methods shouldn't be mixed but that's just me.

Or maybe this is the American Buddhism you've been wandering aimlessly in??

I think there are a fair amount of practitioners on this board in the Northeast. There are a handful here in VT, and probably a bunch in Mass and NY. I can't remember anyone posting from Maine recently though.
George Thomas Simonson, modified 9 Years ago at 8/5/13 6:19 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/5/13 6:19 PM

RE: Hardcore practitioners near Portland, Maine?

Posts: 2 Join Date: 7/2/13 Recent Posts
Hi, Jake — Thank you. But, um, yes — without meaning to disparage friends and others — I know lots of Maine groups (Tibetan, Zen, Insight, etc.; I promoted the first website, in the late ’90s, that collected and listed all of them in one place) but none that, to my knowledge, took Daniel's essential message as their focus: "Do the practices in the traditional way, and you will get the traditional results." Talk of actual enlightenment, in this lifetime, was not considered reasonable or polite to bring up (though, again, I don't know every group; I'd be happy to be proved wrong). We kind of just wandered. Or at least: I was a certified meditation instructor with lots of students, a certified assistant weekend retreat director, a co-leader of countless classes, a retreatant on two continents, and the bearer of lots of other credentials and special pins and secret books — and it's a certainty that *I*, for one, kind of just wandered....

Anyway, also, as you happened to mention about yourself, I'm pretty sure I'm tired of groups per se. What I'm hoping to find at this point is a hardcore practitioner or two in Maine (or Boston, etc., somewhere I could drive to), sitting their asses off in insight meditation and willing to help me get started on the right foot. I have (potentially dumb) questions about what exactly a sensation is and what my noting of it is supposed to consist of. But before I pose these and waste other people's time, I plan to reread the instructions in Daniel's book with real how-to-do-it attention.

So: Hello, Maine? Northern New England? Thanks, everyone.
thumbnail
Jake , modified 9 Years ago at 8/6/13 9:16 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/6/13 9:16 AM

RE: Hardcore practitioners near Portland, Maine?

Posts: 695 Join Date: 5/22/10 Recent Posts
Hi George--
lol yes that makes sense. The prag dharma critique of the mushroom culture is a very important facet of Buddhism 'landing' in the West I think.

Good luck finding some people around that you can sit with and speak openly with. I'm sure lots of folks wherever they are would be open to skyping with you and you can certainly get lots of practice questions answered right here on the forum.
Matthew Stickney, modified 8 Years ago at 8/23/13 1:03 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 8/23/13 1:03 PM

RE: Hardcore practitioners near Portland, Maine?

Posts: 7 Join Date: 10/3/12 Recent Posts
I live in Maine (Falmouth, so also near Portland), and am in approximately the same boat you are. I can follow the breath for a good while and get into something that is probably access concentration, but I'm more or less stuck after that. Unfortunately I'm not a particularly good practitioner, either (I really need to spend more time on the cushion). I probably need to find a teacher, but Maine doesn't seem to have many suitable ones.

There are a few things you might do that could be helpful:
1. Post here. It's not the most interactive format, but the people around here really seem to know their stuff. In my case, it might be useful to get help from the folks here about what skills I actually do and don't have, and then identify areas to practice on my own. If you can do reasonably well practicing techniques by yourself, that sort of thing might be useful for you, too.

2. Find an online teacher. I know there are some that are associated with this community or its predecessors (Vince Horn and Kenneth Folk come to mind) that will teach over Skype or similar, and you don't have to move across the country to work with them. I have no actual experience with this sort of process, but I haven't heard anybody really pan it yet either.

Best of luck, and if you want to talk to a truly terribly practitioner, I'd be happy to lend an ear.

Breadcrumb