Retreat with limited funds

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Retreat with limited funds

Postby JKPenumbra » Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:50 am

Hello all..
I've wanted to go to a retreat somewhere for quite some time.. I live in the same State as the Bhavana Society, which I hear is an EXCELLENT monastery, but they're always filled up and I can't really register for something 5 months in advance, as I have no idea where I'm going to be in 5 months..
I have trouble meditating in my own room for some reason, and it's very cold outside. I find it best to meditate somewhere peaceful and comfortable.. I would love to do a 3-10 day, even a month retreat to some monastery but am very limited with funding, as I am a poor college student.

Does anyone have any ideas as to a monastery that may have open doors which I could attend?

With Metta
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Re: Retreat with limited funds

Postby Ben » Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:56 am

Hi JKPenumbra

You could do a ten-day course of vipassana meditation in the tradition of sayagi u ba khin as taught by sn goenka. The courses are run solely on a donation basis by grateful "old" students who give according to their means.

http://www.dhamma.org

Go to the North American page for course centres close to you.

I'm sure some of our other members can provide links to centres of other traditions and monasteries that provide low-cost retreats.
kind regards

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Re: Retreat with limited funds

Postby JKPenumbra » Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:02 am

Ah yes, I've seen this site.. The only problem is the amount of traveling required..
I wonder why Bhavana is always so full!
I'm working on about a $200-$300 budget, atm.

Ben wrote:Hi JKPenumbra

You could do a ten-day course of vipassana meditation in the tradition of sayagi u ba khin as taught by sn goenka. The courses are run solely on a donation basis by grateful "old" students who give according to their means.

http://www.dhamma.org

Go to the North American page for course centres close to you.

I'm sure some of our other members can provide links to centres of other traditions and monasteries that provide low-cost retreats.
kind regards

Ben
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Re: Retreat with limited funds

Postby JKPenumbra » Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:05 am

(And am trying to do it before Fall semester at Marshall U
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Re: Retreat with limited funds

Postby Ben » Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:13 am

Did you see the "mid Atlantic" course schedule?

I have been practicing in this tradition since 1985, and every year I travel over 1,500 km to attend a retreat at the main Australian centre. I've also travelled to India and NZ for special long courses. What I'm getting at is that its worth travelling for. And you won't know this for yourself until after you've completed a course. If the mid-atlantic course shedule doesnt offer a 10-day course at a time suitable to you, check out some of the other course centres on east-coast/mid-west.

After completing a course, donate whatever you can afford. No one is turned away because they don't have any money, and no one is ever harrassed to make donations. But if you have $200-$300 to donate, and you could afford that - great.
kind regards

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"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

Sayagyi U Ba Khin


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Re: Retreat with limited funds

Postby JKPenumbra » Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:15 am

Ben wrote:Did you see the "mid Atlantic" course schedule?

I have been practicing in this tradition since 1985, and every year I travel over 1,500 km to attend a retreat at the main Australian centre. I've also travelled to India and NZ for special long courses. What I'm getting at is that its worth travelling for. And you won't know this for yourself until after you've completed a course. If the mid-atlantic course shedule doesnt offer a 10-day course at a time suitable to you, check out some of the other course centres on east-coast/mid-west.

After completing a course, donate whatever you can afford. No one is turned away because they don't have any money, and no one is ever harrassed to make donations. But if you have $200-$300 to donate, and you could afford that - great.
kind regards

Ben


If I weren't over $30,000 in debt with 2 maxed out credit cards (Just to eat while in college) and now no vehicle, that would be a little more simple for me.
I would love to travel.
But I can hardly afford to stay fed
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Re: Retreat with limited funds

Postby altar » Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:53 am

Hi,
I am hoping to do the a March 10 retreat that is one of the ones Ben recommended, a goenka one, from the dhamma.org page. It is in Georgia. I looked and you can get a $125 train ride to Savannah from Charleston (I'm not sure if that's one or two ways, you can check, it's Amtrak). It looks like there is still room available in this retreat, as long as you are male, and I would be interested to find someone I "knew" there, or at least had exchanged forum posts with before... I will be coming from New York. If you can't make that retreat there is another one later in March and more in April, etc. And it's free like Ben said (that is, if you want to donate, you are welcome to, but especially if you don't have the money, I wouldn't feel pressure to pay, that's one of the reasons behind donation).
Zack

*EDIT*
I looked a little closer at the train schedules I mentioned... They're not very convenient... a 20 hour trip in total and it leaves the day of the retreat so you would be arriving late. But I looked at Greyhound and there seem to be busses for around $100, that are 14 hours and leave at midnight which is actually good timing because you could leave midnight and get there for the retreat (exhausted... utterly exhausted... maybe not so great). Anyway it's all up to you of course.
And lastly, on a new edit, I've just found that you can get a round-trip flight for $330 or so.
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Re: Retreat with limited funds

Postby Ben » Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:58 am

JKPenumbra wrote:If I weren't over $30,000 in debt with 2 maxed out credit cards (Just to eat while in college) and now no vehicle, that would be a little more simple for me.
I would love to travel.
But I can hardly afford to stay fed


Thanks for the clarification and I understand a little better now where you are coming from.
Whatever you choose to do, I wish you the very best.
metta

Ben
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Re: Retreat with limited funds

Postby appicchato » Mon Feb 22, 2010 6:50 am

A google search of 'share ride' showed many possibilities...I don't know where you fit in those, but there are many...
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Re: Retreat with limited funds

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:01 am

Look for a night porter or security guard type of job where you have to stay mostly alone and look after a building. Knowing that you're doing something to reduce your debt will help your meditation more than doing a retreat, and there will be many hours on the job where you can practise walking meditation, or just sit quietly and watch your breath.

When I was a layman, I had an ideal job as a pool attendant. During the winter months there were very few customers, so I could meditate the whole day and get paid for it.
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Re: Retreat with limited funds

Postby meindzai » Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:15 pm

WRT to Bhavana - the *retreats* are often filled but you can always schedule a visit when there is not a retreat. I have done this two or three times. I have yet to do an actual retreat there. The schedule is less disciplined than the retreats, but it's still a monastery schedule as opposed to sitting at home on your duff and sleeping in. There is work to be done during the work periods but often there is a lot of free time to practice meditation, visit the library, or speak with the bhikkhu's bhikkhunis and other staff and residents. Visit their web page listing the items they can use for donation and bring something. Not mandatory but appreciated. If you donate food items they will probably end up in your breakfast or lunch while you are there. I really would like to go back there soon. My practice has been enriched by every visit.

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Re: Retreat with limited funds

Postby JKPenumbra » Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:22 am

Oh wow! Thank you so much everyone for the replies..

meindzai: I sent an e-mail to Bhavana regarding a visitation, I wold love to go there (And actually, now that I checked I have received a reply, I will only have to find a ride now)

Bhikkhu Pesala: I'm a student, but I'm also a carpenter. I do construction work in my spare time, and I try to be as mindful as I can (but music keeps me motivated on those real tough jobs)

appicchato: I'm not really sure who to ask to share a ride with, but hopefully as time unfolds I will find a retreat or something of the sort that I may in fact attend with the help of a shared ride :)

I'll do my best to research retreats.
I had heard of that S.N. Goenka (sp) retreat in Georgia, I've actually been to their site. the problem would be that I could easily afford a Greyhound anywhere in the country given a little time to save up, but once I'm there I'm not so sure about Taxi's, etc.

again, thanks for all the interest :)
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Re: Retreat with limited funds

Postby appicchato » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:18 am

JKPenumbra wrote:I could easily afford a Greyhound anywhere in the country given a little time to save up, but once I'm there I'm not so sure about Taxi's, etc.

Don't quote me but I've heard tell that some of these individual centers will/can pick you up at the station...try asking them...
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Re: Retreat with limited funds

Postby Ben » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:19 am

appicchato wrote:
JKPenumbra wrote:I could easily afford a Greyhound anywhere in the country given a little time to save up, but once I'm there I'm not so sure about Taxi's, etc.

Don't quote me but I've heard tell that some of these individual centers will/can pick you up at the station...try asking them...


That's true Venerable!
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

Sayagyi U Ba Khin


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UNHCR Syria Emergency Relief AppealTyphoon Haiyan Relief AppealKiva: (person to person micro-finance)

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