Buddhist Monk Mentor

I have never had Buddhist teacher or mentor. But after a month on this site and seeing how many members whose knowledge and wisdom I respect greatly have had Buddhist teachers, I am warming up to the idea.

It would not be something I am able to pull the trigger on immediately. But I would like to in the next few months, or by the end of the year.

I live about an hour from Chicago. If anyone knows any good centers there, or teachers they can recommend I would appreciate it.

How much does having a teacher cost?
Do you pay lesson by lesson?

What are things that you should look for in a teacher?
How do you know they are the real deal?

What are red flags that you should be cautious of?

Do people have multiple teachers at once, or only 1?

I would be very appreciative of any advice or tips on this process.
Thank you


I read a book, The Guru Principle in one of my Dharma classes that I thought was useful in understanding how the Guru-student relationship should work. In addition, we read The Guru Drinks Bourbon, which is slightly different take, though no less valid. Seems like a large urban area such as yours would have many options for communities and teachers, so perhaps a Google search might be in order. What is your background in this area? Perhaps attending online classes for a while might be a good way to start? You can ask Andrew about it during one of the Thursday afternoon Q&A sessions. He is from Michigan and may know of reputable Dharma centers in the midwest.


I really appreciate those resources and tips Barry, thank you.

I will check out those resources and do a Google search and ask him in the Q&A.

The only time I met with a monk was during a free meditation class they used to do at a temple near my apartment. It was only 1 time, I wanted to go back and keep attending that weekly class, but that is when The Covid Lockdowns hit, and illegally closed down all the churches and temples and places of worship in the area (but allowed casinos and strip clubs, and alcohol merchants to stay open)

"Perhaps attending online classes for a while might be a good way to start? "

I have thought about that. Was a little skeptical because I felt the quality might diminish? But If it means being able to connect with world renowned teacher(s) from around the world, that may be a really good idea.

Thank you for the great advice


The Dali Lama offers empowerments online, and there are many good teachers online, so the quality seems to be pretty good. Beats the alternative . . . .


What are empowerments?



My understanding is that they special transmissions from spiritual masters who received them from their teachers, allowing an advanced student or students to do certain tantric practices with added energy and purpose. Receiving empowerments usually require a commitment to do certain daily practices as detailed by the teacher. Not for beginners.


That is really cool. I really appreciate you telling me about that.

I wonder if you can give empowerments to people both directly and INDIRECTLY? I wonder if that was how I was drawn to this site? I am at the age where I am starting to be very skeptical of coincidences…

I wonder if that was what happened to me when I went to the Monk for the free meditation my first time? I mention it in the Post about Premonitions and prophecy in dreams, how the teaching he gave me before I went on my camping trip still resonates with me to this day!

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