Tailoring our offer
Buddhism recognises this. It also recognises the need to work effectively with what we have rather trying to give a 'one size fits all' prescription for practice or trying to force people into practices they are unready for.
Traditionally the way people started to tailor the Buddhist offering to their own needs was to find a teacher, or teachers, and in one to one personal interviews and discussion get guidance and feedback on how their mediation and studies were going. This finding of a teacher was, and still is, considered very important for progressing along the path.
There is a basic recognition in Tibetan Buddhism at least, that you cannot really taste Buddhist practice by reading books or listening to recordings alone, you actually have to engage with a living person and listen to them for the dynamic of practice to really take off.
Left to our own devices there is an unhealthy tendency in many of us to either make the trainings of Buddhism into harsh inflexible self harming structures or to become slack in our practice of countering negative unhelpful attitudes and behaviours in ourself, and so also harming ourselves.
In modern Europe it is not so easy to find the perfect teacher or one fulfilling the traditional list of qualities a teacher should have, even the bare minimum list. But not having met your true teacher, or teachers, should not hold you back from seeking interim advice and feedback to do with your practice or from exploring meditation and trying to broaden your Buddhist learning and understanding.
Advice and guidance:
Jamyang is very fortunate in having a highly qualified Tibetan Geshe teaching at our Centre and he is more than happy to meet people to discuss their practice. Interviews are usually on Wednesday afternoons and can be booked through the Jamyang office.
But if, for whatever reason you would prefer to talk to someone else, Jamyang is also very lucky to have a number of London based ordained Sangha, nuns and monks, with whom you can also discuss your practice or difficulties in your life.
Also we are lucky to have some lay FPMT recognised Foundation and Basic level Buddhism teachers closely connected with the Centre and these too can help with interim advice and feedback on your practice and any difficulties you may be experiencing in your life.