Santtu Heikkinen

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammāsambuddhassa!

 

About me

Hey! I'm Santtu, a meditation and Dharma teacher in the Buddhist tradition. I teach locally in Finland and internationally through Zoom. 

I've been teaching meditation since 2019. I've trained with Upāsaka Culadasa, Tucker Peck, and most recently with Leigh Brasington. I received my upāsaka vows and the name Niccolaggi from Tucker. I teach a variety of practices for the cultivation of insight and a simpler, more pleasant abiding here and now, in this very life.

You may start practicing with me at any stage of your own practice, whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced. I usually teach a somewhat set curriculum of practices, but every student diverges from the course to some extent; we'll begin with the set path, but our actual exploration will always be based on your goals and interests, as well as your strengths and obstacles. We are working with your mind, and your mind is indeed unique.

 

In addition to Culadasa, Leigh, and Tucker, my biggest single influence has been Rob Burbea. Other influences include Buddhadāsa Bhikkhu, Anālayo Bhikkhu, and Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu. My practice and view on the Dharma have also been greatly affected by Chán/Zen and Dzogchen perspectives. Some personal highlights in practice for me are the brahmavihāras (mettā, muditā, karunā and upekkhā), the jhānas, and concentrated contemplations on the four major insights: impermanence, suffering, no-self, and emptiness. In essence I promote a harmony of strong tranquillity practice, especially using manipulation of bodily and mental energies as the method, with a cultivation of insight into the nature of the mind and reality. This investigation takes the form of psychological exploration and a deep-delve into the labyrinth of your belief system, into the essential roots of your suffering, as well as your beauty and ultimately loving nature. With the culminating insight of emptiness of all things the mind is freed, and the stage of beneficial activity in the world - what is called bodhicitta, or the awakened, all-compassionate mind - becomes prominent. The path may be long or short, depending on the prior conditioning of your mind, but rest assured that I can help you get there. I can help you reach the field of ultimate potentiality and rest, where the mind rests in harmony with all.

In addition to being a meditation and dharma teacher I am also a junior researcher in philosophy at the University of Helsinki. My academic studies have concerned especially the philosophy of consciousness. I have written a concise academic exploration of panpsychism as a contemporary theory of consciousness, Panpsychism and the Combination Problem, published in 2021 by Creative Fire Press. My most recent academic work concerns contemporary formulations of idealist metaphysics - that is, views under which mind or mentality is seen as the most fundamental ground of reality.

 

I  have practiced taijiquan since 2014 and have taught it as an assistance teacher since late 2019. I'm pretty versed in depth psychology and transpersonal psychology, especially Jungian perspectives. I studied kundalini yoga for several years from 2015 to 2018, though have since left that practice behind. I hold great respect for all spiritual traditions, since I feel - with great certainty - that at their core they all speak of and to the same thing. With these words I pay homage to all those before and after me, co-occurring with me, who have reached peace and understanding. Homage to all the holy ones!

WhatsApp Image 2021-09-14 at 00.06_edite
 

"In knowing fully the thorough voidness of this and that, of then and now, of there and here, this heart opens in joy, in awe and release. Free itself, it knows the essential freedom in everything."

Rob Burbea
Seeing That Frees

 
 

Book a time with me

You can use the Calendly app embedded here to book a time with me. You can also send me an email message directly at niccolaggi@gmail.com. Since I don't use Calendly exclusively bookings have to be occasionally rescheduled, but in that case I'll let you know. If you book a time here and don't hear from me at all, rest assured that I am going to send you a Zoom link to our meeting sooner or later - hopefully sooner!

All my teaching is done on a semi-voluntary dāna basis. What this means in practice is that if you have the means to give any dāna comfortably, it is very welcome. The amount, though, is up to you. It should feel relatively easy to give, comfortable, not like a sacrifice; something you want to give to me, not something forced. It's a great practice in healthy generosity in its own right. What you essentially want to do here is to avoid the extremes of stinginess and sacrifice.

If, however, you are genuinely very poor, just tell me and you won't have to give anything.

In any case I suggest you wait until after the meeting to decide how you feel about dāna. :)

If you want me to update you on retreats, recordings, and other things I'm doing or organizing, feel free to join the mailing list!

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Upcoming retreats, courses etc.
Residential Retreat
18. - 25. September 2022
Lammi Retreat Center
Hämeenlinna, Finland

I'm teaching an 8-day residential retreat at Lammi Retreat Center close to Hämeenlinna, Finland, from September 18th to September 25th. The center is situated in a beautiful, secluded, quiet location with some wonderful woods beginning right from the backyard. The place functions nomally as a Zen Buddhist center, so it is particularly fitting for a meditation retreat. There's also a sauna. :)

The maximum number of participants is 16. Participants pay a sum of 200 euros upon registration, which will be used to cover rent, food and other necessary supplies. Whatever is left of the retreat budget after the retreat will be returned equally to the participants. The teaching itself does not have a fixed cost; you can pay what feels comfortable and good to yourself as dāna, a kind of donation to support my own livelihood and work as a teacher. :) The amount is entirely up to you.

Some central themes on the retreat will most likely include energy practice (such as the brahmavihāras and the jhānas), love and its role on the path, emptiness, the nature and means of liberation, the role of creativity in meditation practice, and nirvāna/nibbāna. These are some examples of themes that might be touched upon in the evening dharma talks (given each day). The content of the talks will ultimately depend on what feels pertinent during the retreat.  In terms of actual practice I will collaborate with every participant throughout the retreat to find the best use for your time on the retreat - I'll do my best to help and support you with whatever style of practice you feel pulled towards.

Days will have a set schedule with gradually increasing sitting times. So the going gets more intensive as the retreat progresses, in terms of sit time. This will peak on the last few days of the retreat at around 8 to 9 hours total. 

Because of the merely gradual rise in sit time in the course of the retreat this is a relatively novice-friendly retreat. Some prior experience with meditation is pretty much necessary, but you don't have to be very progressed at all. That said, the retreat works great for people who really want to deepen their practice.

 

You can apply by sending me an email to niccolaggi@gmail.com. :) 

 

Welcome aboard!

 
Media

This four-part playlist consists of recordings of my Dharma talks from a retreat held in Lammi, Finland, in May 2022. The talks are relatively advanced and touch on many central topics in Dharma: emptiness, the nature of liberation and nirvāṇa, the role of love and beauty on the path, the causes of suffering and the impossibility of "real" suffering, how to work with the mind for insight, and many others. I strongly suggest this series to anyone interested in my take on Dharma and for all advanced students in Buddhism. At least talks 2 to 4 should be watched in order for them to make the most sense.

The three videos in this playlist form a recording of a seven-hour lecture on Buddhist practice and philosophy I gave at VR Mystery School in September 2021. It can serve as a pretty good primer for all this stuff! Many thanks to the school and their headmaster TarotReaderFrog for hosting me and recording and editing the videos!