Aro Membership

Aro Membership

The essence of the Aro Membership programme is personal instruction from an ordained Aro mentor.

The rôle of a mentor is rather like that of a piano teacher or ski instructor. You can learn to play the piano, to ski, or to meditate working alone from books and recordings. However, you will make more rapid progress with a tutor who:

  • answers your questions about meditation and Buddhism as they arise
  • helps diagnose problems and suggest solutions
  • helps you decide when you have enough experience with a particular meditation technique to move forward, and can suggest possible next steps
  • provides encouragement when you feel stuck
  • may occasionally suggest that you go just slightly deeper into practice than you had been expecting.

Your mentor can answer meditation questions like these:

  • My left foot keeps falling asleep. Should I just let it? Or should I switch position when it does? I don’t want to be twisting around every three minutes to get comfortable.
  • I was half way through my meditation session and then suddenly found myself in the kitchen writing a shopping list. I didn’t mean to stop – I think I must have been on autopilot! What happened? Is this normal?
  • It seems lately that whenever I try to meditate I feel really guilty about minor bad things I did long ago and had mostly forgotten. Why does this keep coming up now?
  • Some days I’d rather just practice yogic song instead of shi-nè. Is that all right?

These questions don’t have generic answers. It depends on the individual. Your mentor can work with you to find answers based on your specific experience, body, mind, and energy.

Your mentor can also answer questions about Buddhism generally and Aro specifically:

  • I read in one book that you don’t have to believe in reincarnation to be a Buddhist. Another book says you do. I’m confused – which is right? Do I have to believe the Aro Lamas are reincarnations? How could anyone know, anyhow?
  • How is it significant that Aro is a Nyingma lineage?
  • I think I’d like to become an Aro apprentice, but I can’t see myself as a Buddhist. What to do?

Useful questions are those that relate to your current experience of meditation and to where you are headed in the near-term. Aro mentors have studied Buddhism in depth and can answer a wide range of questions, but encourage a focus on practical matters.

It is also important to understand that Aro mentoring is not similar to—or useful as a substitute for—counselling or psychotherapy.

The Aro mentors

The mentors are ordained practitioners in the Aro teacher development programme. They have undergone rigorous training in Buddhism and meditation practice over many years – see our ordination page for details. They have made a life-long commitment to make the tradition available to those who ask for guidance.

Since all the Aro mentors are thoroughly qualified, the best mentor for you is one with whom you feel a connection. It is also best to have a mentor who lives near you if possible. That makes communication easier. If you are able to meet in person at Aro events, you can arrange for a private interview.

We will do our best to match you with the mentor of your choice, if you have one. (This may not always be possible, depending on the teacher's availability.) You can request as a mentor one whom you have met at an Aro event and liked. Or, you can read the biographies of the mentors and choose one on that basis. We can assign a mentor to you if you don’t want to pick one.

If you feel that the relationship with your mentor is not working for you, you can switch to a different one at any time.


Membership costs $40, £20, or €30 per month. Aro is a non-profit charitable organisation, and mentors are not paid for their role. Your fees go to supporting the development of new courses, websites, publication of books and making the tradition available to those who are interested.

You can enrol on a month-by-month basis, or prepay for a year. If you prepay, we can offer you twelve months for the price of eleven. In that case, we will refund the unused part of your payment (at the monthly rate) if you decide to quit before the year is up.

To enrol, please follow one of these links:

If you have any questions about the Membership programme, please contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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