JonathanB wrote:Hi everyone, this is my first time posting on here!
I'm traveling to India soon to work on a project briefly in the south. I'll then have almost 2 months to spend in the north, I would like to find a place in Sikkim to practice Dzogchen or Mahamudra. I've read a lot of introductory material on each school of Vajrayana and at this point I need to find a teacher. So if anyone knows of a teacher in the area or how I would go about finding one that would be greatly appreciated.
I've had practice in shamatha, bodhicitta, and some vipassana (looking into the nature of experience). I would hope to be able to sit with someone who's years more experienced than I who can help point me towards a recognition of the natural state.
I'd like to bring along a couple books that I can read while I'm traveling there and to reference for practice. I'm looking at "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning" and "Quintessential Dzogchen" "Natural Great Perfection: Dzogchen Teachings and Vajra Songs". The Ocean of Definitive Meaning is a Mahamudra text but I'd like something that is more gradual to work with in conjunction with the pointing of Dzogchen texts.
In my experience, standard visas into Sikkim are two week inner line permits you get in Darjeeling. They only allow access to southern Sikkim. Still good for visiting Gangtok, Tashi Ding, Pemayangtse and various caves blessed by Guru Rinpoche. HH Dodrupchen accepts visitors daily if he's in, at a set time. Best ask monks in the gompa.JonathanB wrote:Thank you all for the quick replies! I knew there was some paperwork to get into Sikkim but now that I look into it further, wow! It might not be possible. I would need to contact the office that oversees travel and explain my circumstance. They say anything beyond 40 days is rare. My time is incredibly flexible and I'm willing to go anywhere in northern India to meet a teacher (Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir, even Nepal if I could get a visa in time).
JonathanB wrote:Plans have changed, I will be in Himachal Pradesh around Dharmsala and north further into Kashmir. I've been trying to search for Dzogchen teachers but I haven't been finding much. Would anyone know of any in that region? Thanks.
JonathanB wrote:Thank you Magnus! That's the spot then, I'm going there.
I mostly have been studying and practicing the Dharma on my own the past 3 years so I'm not sure how it works in the context of a monastery or center like in Bir. If I went there and told them I'm very serious and committed to practice, would they let me stay there for 5 or 6 weeks? I could pay or help clean and do maintenance.
I would really like to sit and talk to a teacher who can help point me towards a recognition of the natural state. Even if I only receive ngondro instructions that will be ok, I just need some guidance, someone qualified who can show me I'm on the right path.