By Eileen Kiera Mentoring in Seattle is very informal. It has developed naturally from the needs of the Sangha. Once a person declares interest in becoming an Order member, they are asked to do the formal practice of the Order: a weekly Day of Mindfulness, an annual one-week retreat, and Mindfulness Trainings recitations at least twice a month. To support their practice, aspirants are invited to join practicing Tiep Hien members for weekly half-days of Mindfulness and Mindfulness Trainings recitation. So far, this has been a successful way for aspirants to grow into solid Order members. Practicing together, people have gotten to know each other well, and learned to appreciate each other and work well together.
As a Dharma Teacher, I like to have a personal relationship with an aspirant. Each relationship is of course unique, but includes practicing together on retreat as well as regular correspondence. I like Therese's suggestion of a once-amonth check-in. People wishing to join the Tiep Hien order should have a basis for living a life of mindfulness and have a practice that is alive and transformative. The guidance of Sangha friends or a teacher helps an aspirant develop the ability to heal their own suffering and support others in their practice. I feel these are the qualities that an aspirant needs to develop during the year of mentoring.
Dharma teacher Eileen Kiera, True Lamp, is the guiding teacher for several Sanghas in the Pacific Northwest.