I am from India, and I am looking for a teacher/school to learn from, and perhaps also volunteer for. Basically I am looking to spend a couple of months or more trying to further my understanding the mind and its training, while also contributing in whatever way I can to the establishment I go to, if possible. I am looking for possible recommendations/pointers from the folks here.
A brief background follows.
A mystical kind of experience I had a couple of years back set me on the path of spiritual seeking. After reading around and trying to refine/deepen my understanding, I found that I could connect most deeply with Buddhism, and its focus on the mind and suffering.
Some of the ideas/teachings completely make sense to me - like impermanence, dependent origination, interconnectedness, no-self, the origination of suffering in our minds, and hence its solution being in our minds too. However, there are others that I don't really understand yet - like what happens after death, and the doctrine about rebirth, and the importance of ending the cycle of birth and rebirth.
At a gross level, I feel that I am no longer prone to suffering, which means that whatever happens, I remain generally happy in life, and grateful for it, and that I can no longer get depressed whatever happens or bitter about the actions of someone. Yet, at a closer level, I find negative tendencies such as pride, envy, agitation, self-consciousness and greed still operating in their subtle forms. Even though I can totally see that there is nothing that I could call the self, yet I find myself associating my actions with pride or shame. I feel some of this is due to deeply ingrained habitual tendencies of wanting to please others and/or project a certain image of oneself, that have their roots in the past. But some of it is also due to presently existing impurities of the mind. I also have a bit of attention deficit disorder, which could either be the cause of, or the result of, an unstable mind, or perhaps both, to varying extents.
My self diagnosis, at the moment, consists of a gradual process of purification of the mind (the intent, motives, etc, ) and a training in concentration/one-pointedness/ attentional stability and vividness. I have being working on this two-pronged approach myself, and its going good, but I feel I have reached a plateau and that I could do better in the company of like minded people, and with a teacher for guidance.
A little "non spiritual" background:
I am 26, male, Indian. I have a background in Computer Science and IT. I worked for Microsoft in India for 2 years, and following a degree in the UK, for a couple of months in Bloomberg at London. Both of these were technical positions. I am fairly good at what I do. I mention this primarily because I wonder if my general ability with computers and programming might help me contribute to the establishment I go to (seeing as computers, websites, etc. are ubiquitous these days). Of course, I would be happy to do any other work as well, including unskilled work (anything, so long as I can meaningfully contribute). I have taken a break from working for now, so that I can devote some time to pursuing mind work/spiritual work full time. I am in no hurry to go back to full time employment.
Would you have any recommendations/pointers about how to go about doing this? I have read of people finding teachers/schools that they train under the guidance of, but I have never tried anything like this myself. Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated.
Much love and thanks for your time,