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, satipaṭṭhāna practice, and concentrated contemplations on the four major insights: impermanence, suffering, no-self, and emptiness. With the culminating insight of emptiness the mind is freed, and further practice will then be as much about finding beauty as it is about ending suffering. This will include a further creative variety of emotional, imaginal, and psychological practices.

In addition to being a meditation 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.

 

I practice taijiquan 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.

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"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
9. - 15. May 2022
Lammi Retreat Center
Hämeenlinna, Finland

I'm teaching a 7-day residential retreat at Lammi Retreat Center close to Hämeenlinna, Finland, from May 9th to May 15th. 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 this time around is 20. As of April 4th half of the spots have already been filled. 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 be brahmavihārā-practice, jhāna-practice and post-jhāna insight practice, including satipaṭṭhāna. Those who know none of these things I will mostly encourage to do brahmavihārā; those who know brahmavihārā I will encourage to pursue jhāna; and those who know jhāna I will encourage to do satipaṭṭhāna or some other insight practice. You can check my own background above to see my core influences, and thereby maybe have a hint of what kind of stuff I teach.

 

But honestly, you can use the retreat for whatever style of practice interests you. I'll do my best to help you.

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, especially along the lines I state above (brahmavihāras, jhānas, post-jhāna stuff etc.).

 

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!