Where to take a year off to meditate?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.

Where to take a year off to meditate?

Postby Bagoba » Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:23 pm

Hi guys,

So here I am, almost 34 yo in May, working as a sales rep for over 6 and a half years, making good money for myself and my employers, with good health but a tinnitus problem, no kids or wife, no house mortgage, my mind still racing like a monkey everytime I sit and watch my breath, still very highly attached to the senses, still very ignorant.

For a while I have been thinking about taking a year off as a sabbatical, at 1st it was to travel the world and so on, now I'm thinking about doing it to go to a monastery in Thailand or Sri Lanka (or else?), and start taking control of my mind and my sense doors more seriously and see how that goes.

Is there a specific place any of you truth seekers could recommend me for that purpose? Could I reside in a monastery as a lay follower until I decide to either go back or ordain? Or else what's the best way to go about it?

Metta,
Bagoba
"This path is a thorough investigation and understanding of the limitations of the mortal condition of the body and mind. Now you're developing the ability to turn away from the conditioned and to release your identity from mortality." Ajan Sumedho, "Mindfulness, the path to the Deathless." http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/deathless.pdf
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Re: Where to take a year off to meditate?

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:46 pm

http://www.sirimangalo.org/ is a very good center that tolerates visitors very well =]

Otherwise, depending on where you are in the world, it shouldn't be too hard to find a center.

http://www.buddhanet.info/wbd/index.php

This is a good way to find a center or monastery.

Good luck!
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: Where to take a year off to meditate?

Postby Bagoba » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:02 pm

LonesomeYogurt wrote:http://www.sirimangalo.org/ is a very good center that tolerates visitors very well =]

Otherwise, depending on where you are in the world, it shouldn't be too hard to find a center.

http://www.buddhanet.info/wbd/index.php

This is a good way to find a center or monastery.

Good luck!


Thanks Lonesome! I'll check it out. I reside in the south of France btw, there's a Zen center close to where I live (Hérault on the map) which I've never been to, but no theravada center is mentioned...
Last edited by Bagoba on Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"This path is a thorough investigation and understanding of the limitations of the mortal condition of the body and mind. Now you're developing the ability to turn away from the conditioned and to release your identity from mortality." Ajan Sumedho, "Mindfulness, the path to the Deathless." http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/deathless.pdf
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Re: Where to take a year off to meditate?

Postby Alobha » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:11 pm

I recommend that you visit the center before deciding whether or not to stay there for an extended period of time. While there certainly are many monasteries with a high standard, the question is how suitable the people and teacher(s) are for you (like their style of teaching, their personality etc + individual differences from monastery to monastery).

Buddhanet is certainly a good place to find out where you could go. Many places also have a homepage with dhammatalks, which might give you a chance to narrow down options. If you want to visit a place in France: I only heard good things about Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh http://www.buddhanet.net/masters/thich.htm. His main center "plum village" is in the north of France as far as i know :smile:

Best wishes,
Alobha

PS: Congrats on your plans to stay in a monastery for a longer time btw! Great opportunity to practice! :smile:
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Re: Where to take a year off to meditate?

Postby Bagoba » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:18 pm

Alobha wrote:I recommend that you visit the center before deciding whether or not to stay there for an extended period of time. While there certainly are many monasteries with a high standard, the question is how suitable the people and teacher(s) are for you (like their style of teaching, their personality etc + individual differences from monastery to monastery).

Buddhanet is certainly a good place to find out where you could go. Many places also have a homepage with dhammatalks, which might give you a chance to narrow down options. If you want to visit a place in France: I only heard good things about Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh http://www.buddhanet.net/masters/thich.htm. His main center "plum village" is in the north of France as far as i know :smile:

Best wishes,
Alobha

PS: Congrats on your plans to stay in a monastery for a longer time btw! Great opportunity to practice! :smile:


Thanks Alobha! :)

Yes I am aware of Plum center, it's actually in the south of France not very far from where I live (4h40 minutes by car), I have also heard very good things about it and about Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh of course... But I'm less familiar with Zen teachings...
"This path is a thorough investigation and understanding of the limitations of the mortal condition of the body and mind. Now you're developing the ability to turn away from the conditioned and to release your identity from mortality." Ajan Sumedho, "Mindfulness, the path to the Deathless." http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/deathless.pdf
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Re: Where to take a year off to meditate?

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:49 pm

I wouldn't recommend this unless you've already done a few 1-2 week retreats close to home.

If then you want to take a year off and be a dhamma bum in asia then yes that would be a great idea, there are lots of centres you could go to so I wouldn't worry about commiting to spend a year in one place or ordaining, travel around, spend as long or as little time in erach place as you want, look upon it as an adventure and a chance tolet go of your attachments.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Where to take a year off to meditate?

Postby Bagoba » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:21 pm

Goofaholix wrote:I wouldn't recommend this unless you've already done a few 1-2 week retreats close to home.

If then you want to take a year off and be a dhamma bum in asia then yes that would be a great idea, there are lots of centres you could go to so I wouldn't worry about commiting to spend a year in one place or ordaining, travel around, spend as long or as little time in erach place as you want, look upon it as an adventure and a chance tolet go of your attachments.


Thanks Goofaholix! I've already been on a few retreats close to home, they were Vajrayana retreats lead by tibetan lamas and mostly based on chanting saddhanas and visualisation / dissolutions of deities, never did an actual vipassana retreat which seems to be what I'd be leaning towards at this time...

Also I was wondering, as I took refuge in the 3 Jewels about 7 years ago, with the Kagyupa lineage of tibetan buddhism, is that ok to try a different approach with Theravada and the Vipassana method now? Or let's say that at some point in the future I'd like to ordain, could I do so under a different tradition than the one I initially took refuge in in this life? I'm rather confident that the answer is yes, since the 3 Jewels are the same no matter which tradition, but I just want to make sure... :)

Thanks...
Last edited by Bagoba on Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"This path is a thorough investigation and understanding of the limitations of the mortal condition of the body and mind. Now you're developing the ability to turn away from the conditioned and to release your identity from mortality." Ajan Sumedho, "Mindfulness, the path to the Deathless." http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/deathless.pdf
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Re: Where to take a year off to meditate?

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:33 pm

Bagoba wrote:Also I was wondering, as I took refuge in the 3 Jewels about 7 years ago, with the Kagyupa lineage of tibetan buddhism, is that ok to try a different approach with Theravada and the Vipassana method now? Or let's say that at some point in the future I'd like to ordain, could I do it under a different tradition than the one I initially took refuge in in this life?


That kind of thing makes no difference from the Theravada / Vipassana POV, if you were going the other way it might be a problem.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Where to take a year off to meditate?

Postby Bagoba » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:36 pm

Goofaholix wrote:That kind of thing makes no difference from the Theravada / Vipassana POV, if you were going the other way it might be a problem.


You mean if I had taken refuge under the Therava tradition but then wished to ordain under the Vajrayana tradition?
"This path is a thorough investigation and understanding of the limitations of the mortal condition of the body and mind. Now you're developing the ability to turn away from the conditioned and to release your identity from mortality." Ajan Sumedho, "Mindfulness, the path to the Deathless." http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/deathless.pdf
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Re: Where to take a year off to meditate?

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:41 pm

Bagoba wrote:
Goofaholix wrote:That kind of thing makes no difference from the Theravada / Vipassana POV, if you were going the other way it might be a problem.


You mean if I had taken refuge under the Therava tradition but then wished to ordain under the Vajrayana tradition?


yes
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Where to take a year off to meditate?

Postby Bagoba » Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:30 pm

Ok thanks
"This path is a thorough investigation and understanding of the limitations of the mortal condition of the body and mind. Now you're developing the ability to turn away from the conditioned and to release your identity from mortality." Ajan Sumedho, "Mindfulness, the path to the Deathless." http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/deathless.pdf
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Re: Where to take a year off to meditate?

Postby PadmaPhala » Sun Apr 15, 2012 7:36 am

a year?! I was thinking of 3 months... first.


Bagoba wrote:Hi guys,

So here I am, almost 34 yo in May, working as a sales rep for over 6 and a half years, making good money for myself and my employers, with good health but a tinnitus problem, no kids or wife, no house mortgage, my mind still racing like a monkey everytime I sit and watch my breath, still very highly attached to the senses, still very ignorant.

For a while I have been thinking about taking a year off as a sabbatical, at 1st it was to travel the world and so on, now I'm thinking about doing it to go to a monastery in Thailand or Sri Lanka (or else?), and start taking control of my mind and my sense doors more seriously and see how that goes.

Is there a specific place any of you truth seekers could recommend me for that purpose? Could I reside in a monastery as a lay follower until I decide to either go back or ordain? Or else what's the best way to go about it?

Metta,
Bagoba


first, calm down and remember that you need but the soil to meditate...

how far can you travel? what's your climate tolerance and preference?
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Re: Where to take a year off to meditate?

Postby Bagoba » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:00 pm

Hey there Vincenzi!

Well, if I ask my employer for a sabbatical, it's not going to be just 3 months, considering how hard it is to actually legally qualify for one and how long I'd have to wait for the next one, I would ask for maximum time, which is 11 months...

As far as climate goes, I'm used to the mediterranean one, which is kind of away from the extremes, lol.

I can travel as far as I want on this earth really! As for soil only needed, I agree, but an environment where the right effort can be sustained, it's a bit more tricky and actually what I'm after at this stage...

Thanks!
"This path is a thorough investigation and understanding of the limitations of the mortal condition of the body and mind. Now you're developing the ability to turn away from the conditioned and to release your identity from mortality." Ajan Sumedho, "Mindfulness, the path to the Deathless." http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/deathless.pdf
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Re: Where to take a year off to meditate?

Postby santisasana » Sun May 13, 2012 9:57 pm

Hello,

As you live in France, you may be interested in attending the vipassana retreats guided by Sayagyi Daw Sobhana, a Cambodian/French nun, disciple of Sayadaw u Pandita and Sayadaw u Thuzana. There are some this spring and summer...
http://santisantisukha.over-blog.com/ar ... 35806.html

May you find suitable conditions for your spiritual path.
With metta
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Re: Where to take a year off to meditate?

Postby Sambodhi in Oz » Mon May 14, 2012 2:32 am

Dear Bagoba,

Why don't you look at vipassana centres run by Shri S.N. Goenkaji, they run on tough discipline, you do 8-10 hours of meditation a day. Starting from a 10 day camp you go upto 60 day camp also. In between two camps ( since you can't do two camps on a back to back basis) you can do dhamma service and remain connected with teachings. The centres are run entirely on donation basis.

Which area of world are you located ? This is a great resolution, please don't let go of it and use it wisely.

Metta

Parth
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Re: Where to take a year off to meditate?

Postby Bagoba » Mon May 14, 2012 8:35 am

You guys rock...

I live in the south of France Parth...

Thank you for your words of encouragement and your most precious advices...

May you be well.

Bagoba
"This path is a thorough investigation and understanding of the limitations of the mortal condition of the body and mind. Now you're developing the ability to turn away from the conditioned and to release your identity from mortality." Ajan Sumedho, "Mindfulness, the path to the Deathless." http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/deathless.pdf
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Re: Where to take a year off to meditate?

Postby Sambodhi in Oz » Tue May 15, 2012 3:11 pm

Dear Bagoba,

Please look at following website for the locations in France.
http://www.dhamma.org/en/bycountry/eu/fr.shtml

Regards

Parth
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