When you come and attend one of our free Meditation classes or retreats you will meet Tobi Warzinek, the main teacher at Phuket Meditation Center in Thailand. This article helps you to understand where he comes from and how he teaches Meditation. We will also explain what influences him and why he teaches.
Influenced by Tibetan Buddhism
Tobi's first contact with serious Meditation practice was when he entered the Center for Higher Tibetan Studies in Switzerland. This is a Tibetan Buddhist monastic Center founded by Ven. Geshe Rabten and currently led by his chief disciple Ven. Gonsar Rinpoche. There he stayed as a so-called lay student (Upasaka) from May 2002 until February 2009. He mainly studied the Tibetan language, ritualistic and discipline, philosophy and monastic debate as well as Buddhist theory and practice. He also absolved several meditation retreats under the guidance of some of the greatest contemporary meditation teachers during this time.
Influenced by Theravada Buddhism
Tobi moved to Phuket/Thailand in February 2009 and founded the Phuket Meditation Center together Parn Sakda in August 2009. Since that time he studied Thai Teravada Buddhism particularly in the Forest Tradition following the teachings from masters such as Ajahn Mun, Ajahn Maha Boowa and Ajahn Chah. He met his Teacher in Phuket and studies with him since November 2011 under the guidance of Luang Por Jumnian Silasettho, one of the most powerful forest monks in Thailand today. He is practicing under their guidance until today.
Why is Tobi teaching?
Tobi is teaching because he strongly feels that this enables him to stay in close contact with the Dhamma (Buddhas teachings and experience of them). It also forces him to constantly work on integrating them into his own experience. Also, the lifestyle and the responsability help him to dive deeper into practice. That way he combines the life of a householder with the life of spiritual practice. With this he wants to show that it is possible for anyone to meditate - not only for monks, nuns, or cave-yogis. Meditation can be practiced by "normal" people in "normal" situations - there's no need to wait for perfect conditions.
Is Tobi a meditation master?
Tobi always denies the idea of being a "master". He says that he is a student learning just like anyone else, and that the word "master" suggests to many things to too many people. He says:" As I am constantly practicing and cultivating the mind working on the subject of meditation I don't see myself as a master. I feel that people all have different ideas concerning this word anyways. It simply doesn't matter what I am or what I am not. What matters is to practice the path - seriously practice. Labeling me as "this" or "that" just stops you from knowing your own mind in this very moment."