sherubtse wrote:Many thanks indeed for your feedback, Ngawang Drolma.
As mentioned, it said some things that raised my ire. Perhaps you and the other members of this forum could suggest some excellent introductory books on the topic.
I really enjoyed the book "Mind at Ease: Self-Liberation through Mahamudra Meditation" by Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche.
http://www.amazon.com/Mind-Ease-Self-Li ... 1590301560
The title may sound advanced, but the author actually covers all levels of meditation starting from the basics and covers essentials like the Six Paramitas and the basic ideas of Vajrayana. The book is also written in straight-forward, but intelligent manner. I found myself re-reading many passages, not because they were difficult, but because the ideas they contained were so profound.
sherubtse wrote:Yes, I agree that it is best to visit a dharma centre / temple and learn from them. I have been to a Kagyu temple here, and found it to be quite nice. The lama spoke very good English, and was quite lucid in his teachings. I found them to be of real benefit in helping me understand Mahayna & Vajrayana better. Having said that, the other members of the group ignored me. (As a former minister, I can honestly say that many Buddhist temples have **much** to learn from Christianity about making people feel welcome!)
I agree that Buddhist sanghas in the west need to be very careful not to give off an icy, elitist feeling I feel very lucky that my current sangha is not that way at all and is full of some of the nicest people I've ever met. However, at most sanghas people look fairly serious during dharma teachings. Did you try and talk to the members afterwards?
I remember the first time I came to my present sangha. I arrived late to a Dharma talk about shinay and all the members were sitting stoically cross-legged on the floor and turned to look at me as I came in. I briefly had the thought, "Oh crap, will I be able to fit in here because I am such a beginner at Vajrayana and these people look so damn serious?"
But during the talk, my lama's little dog was walking around the room and going from person to person looking for attention. Later, a tray of cookies was passed around. These were good ice-breakers which showed me that the members of my sangha were not totally cold-hearted meditation robots. And during the break, I found that everyone was very friendly when I chatted with them.
If you keep looking and reading about Tibetan Buddhism, you will eventually find your guru. In meantime, you can meditate and perform positive actions to accumulate good karma.