Meditation Retreat / Refuges (USA Based)

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Meditation Retreat / Refuges (USA Based)

Postby Zenainder » Sun Feb 16, 2014 4:21 pm

Good morning Dhamma friends!

I have been investigating the Insight Meditation Center in Massachusetts (cofounded by Joseph Goldstein). I have not committed to this one, but I was curious if anyone had any experience with this specific location (refuge or retreat) and if they were willing to share their experiences. Please relay if you recommend or do not recommend it and why. As well, I am open to other suggestions. I would not mind a retreat to be of monastic origin (provided language compatibility is present). There are some POSH places here in the states happy to take more than a few dollars, so I am hoping for one that is balanced financially.

All comments and insights welcome!!!

Metta,

Zen
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Re: Meditation Retreat / Refuges (USA Based)

Postby Zenainder » Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:24 am

Bump
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Re: Meditation Retreat / Refuges (USA Based)

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:58 am

Where are you located? You may be able to find one near you, that is also not too costly:

http://www.buddhanet.info/wbd/country.php?country_id=2
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Re: Meditation Retreat / Refuges (USA Based)

Postby JeffR » Sun Feb 23, 2014 5:08 pm

I have not been to IMC but I know people who have. I've heard from those who have done retreats there that they are worthwhile. I'm not interested because I think their prices, which only cover accommodations, are high; it is clearly implied that an additional donation (which they call dana) is expected for the teacher. Mass. is far enough away that travel time and expenses are also a concern, and I prefer guidance from monastics.

Sharon Salzberg, one of the senior teachers at IMC, did a weekend workshop in this area last Fall. I talked with a number of people who went, some who practice at a similar level to me, and they all said they got a lot out of it.

There is a wilderness hermitage only 6 hours drive from me with a very good monastic teacher in residence, Ajahn Punnadhammo; which is run truly on the traditional system of dana. I prefer the rustic nature as it is in alignment with the forest tradition teachings; some people can't handle living off the grid (out of craving for creature comforts or due to medical conditions) and/or fear adhering to the 8 precepts (esp. eating only once a day), which keeps them away.
http://www.arrowriver.ca/

Metta,
Jeff
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Re: Meditation Retreat / Refuges (USA Based)

Postby befriend » Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:12 pm

i have also heard good things about IMS I know a teacher there who is really great.
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Re: Meditation Retreat / Refuges (USA Based)

Postby Zenainder » Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:35 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:Where are you located? You may be able to find one near you, that is also not too costly:

http://www.buddhanet.info/wbd/country.php?country_id=2


I live in Indiana. Aside from the western side of the states my traveling is not extremely limited. Do the links they provide clear on retreats / stays? The temple I frequent does not accommodate it at this time (hence why I ask). :)

Thanks,

Zen
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Re: Meditation Retreat / Refuges (USA Based)

Postby Zenainder » Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:53 pm

JeffR wrote:I have not been to IMC but I know people who have. I've heard from those who have done retreats there that they are worthwhile. I'm not interested because I think their prices, which only cover accommodations, are high; it is clearly implied that an additional donation (which they call dana) is expected for the teacher. Mass. is far enough away that travel time and expenses are also a concern, and I prefer guidance from monastics.

Sharon Salzberg, one of the senior teachers at IMC, did a weekend workshop in this area last Fall. I talked with a number of people who went, some who practice at a similar level to me, and they all said they got a lot out of it.

There is a wilderness hermitage only 6 hours drive from me with a very good monastic teacher in residence, Ajahn Punnadhammo; which is run truly on the traditional system of dana. I prefer the rustic nature as it is in alignment with the forest tradition teachings; some people can't handle living off the grid (out of craving for creature comforts or due to medical conditions) and/or fear adhering to the 8 precepts (esp. eating only once a day), which keeps them away.
http://www.arrowriver.ca/

Metta,
Jeff


Jeff,

This is more in line with what I have in mind. For my wife and I to do IMC it's more or less the cost of a vacation (posh). Not that our spiritual journies aren't worth it, but it's hard to justify if one is stretched beyond his means. Not to mention, I would prefer a Bhikkhu teacher. How do I find other places like the one you listed? To a certain extent I've accepted the need for travel so even the prospect of going into canada isn't overly cumbersome! :)

Thanks,

Scott
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Re: Meditation Retreat / Refuges (USA Based)

Postby JeffR » Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:19 pm

Zenainder wrote:
JeffR wrote:
There is a wilderness hermitage only 6 hours drive from me with a very good monastic teacher in residence, Ajahn Punnadhammo; which is run truly on the traditional system of dana. I prefer the rustic nature as it is in alignment with the forest tradition teachings; some people can't handle living off the grid (out of craving for creature comforts or due to medical conditions) and/or fear adhering to the 8 precepts (esp. eating only once a day), which keeps them away.
http://www.arrowriver.ca/

Metta,
Jeff


Jeff,

This is more in line with what I have in mind. For my wife and I to do IMC it's more or less the cost of a vacation (posh). Not that our spiritual journies aren't worth it, but it's hard to justify if one is stretched beyond his means. Not to mention, I would prefer a Bhikkhu teacher. How do I find other places like the one you listed? To a certain extent I've accepted the need for travel so even the prospect of going into canada isn't overly cumbersome! :)

Thanks,

Scott

Scott,

I haven't heard of other places quite like Arrow River. The closest might be Wat Metta Forest near San Diego, but you don't get as much guidance.

ARFH's address is Thunder Bay, but it is much closer to Grand Portage, MN. It takes about 15-20 minutes on back roads once you cross the boarder (bring passport), which is ~6 hour drive from Minneapolis. From Indiana, it would be an overnight trip. I've driven from Minneapolis to Indianapolis in a day before and it's a long day; although you wouldn't need to go through MInneapolis (there's a short cut through Wisconsin), it'd still be another 5 hours or so. I feel the rustic conditions are more conducive to practice than staying in the cushy conditions of retreat centers (e.g. IMC), plus, everything you offer as dana goes towards keeping the place operating.

Metta,
Jeff
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