Don’t forget: you travel the ‘path of enlightenment’ alone
The whole morass of Tibetan buddhism, and its endless practices are past times for those who are not really on the path at all.
Be wary of the whole game.
The real path is simple: meditation. That’s it. Probably alone. I have never been to a meditation seminar (save one in the early seventies for a few hours) so I can’t vouch for their effect.
Beware of the over mechanization of meditation. and the trap of limbs falling asleep. Westerners simply can’t do the Eastern ways easily. so what. Save heroic meditations til you are ready. You can keep the idea alive with five minute sittings, getting up slowly to try and ‘mediate in action’, the supremely hard exercise: don’t force sitting in painful postures (the minus in group meditations where group imitation takes hold). Forget the lotus posture if you can’t do it. Western bodies can’t handle it. A loose cross-legged ‘not even half’ lotus is terrific. Experiment with cushions in stacks: there is a trick method of making most of your legs ‘almost’ hover in the air at the end of the larger bottom cushion, etc… After that, no cushions. A cement block makes a good meditation device. Working alone is hard: you have one hundredth of the will power you would have in a group, not will power in that case?
Meditation is confusing because it is two things in one: a practice of the ‘will’ and a relaxing into ‘being’. If you are on the path of enlightenment you are trying to negate the will. The ‘demon Mara’ is waiting with a chuckle to get you to give up the will to enlightenment. The path of being is simpler: no more samsara, bye. The path of will is a great unknown, and demons like Gurdjieff are typical of those who lose their way there. The riddle here is for you to solve. Very scary.
You can’t do five minute meditations in a group. The frowns will destroy it. Try it alone (or any interval you find doable) and one day the desire to sit for long periods will come on its own..
See if you can catch the demon Mara, on one of his spawn (Mara entered the sangha under duress, finally): make plains to meditate in your, make plans to meditate according to written schedules, and make no plans at all. Compare the difference over time. Beginners usually find this too easy. But, in any case, reading ‘written’ texts is a known psychic power. Suspicious as you find the explicit meditations harder.
From this you can see the need to invent your own methods.