Q: For the last five years, I have been committed to meditating daily, either at home or at the zendo I currently go to. I also participate in our monthly daylong sesshins, zazenkais, and weeklong retreats. Actually, practice has gotten to be almost addictive!
I respect and admire my current teacher, but recently I participated in a zazenkai with a teacher at another zendo and really liked her dharma talk and the sangha members. I originally chose my current zendo mostly because it is near my home, making morning sittings convenient. But after hearing this other teacher’s dharma talk, I got a sense that a teacher-student relationship with her would be more supportive and nurturing.
I feel I’m being disloyal toward my current teacher for considering moving to another one. Yes, “it’s a poor workman who blames his tools.” Am I just imagining that my practice would grow and strengthen with another teacher? What if it really would? I find myself going from one teacher to the next—a few years with one, a few with another. Living in New York, I am fortunate to have a variety of Zen teachers from various schools and backgrounds available to me.
How do you know if you should be with one teacher or another?