Place for Month Long Retreat

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Place for Month Long Retreat

Postby Clarence » Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:56 pm

Hi all,

I hope you can help me. I am looking for a place to do a month-long retreat. I have done several 10-day retreats and would like to do a little more. It doesn't have to be perfect or taught by the greatest master alive. Just a place where I will be able to get good and regular instructions and can focus most of my time on practice without having to worry about outside distractions. It doesn't matter where that is either. As long as the teacher can speak English or German I should be fine.
What do I want to learn? Well, I would like to focus on Jhana practice. However, if you feel that is unwise, and you think you know a place where the focus is different, please don't hesitate to mention it as I am fully open to any suggestions. I have been wanting to do this for a while so getting the go ahead :tongue: of the misses is exciting and I am looking forward to your answers.

Many thanks,

Clarence
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Re: Place for Month Long Retreat

Postby Goofaholix » Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:59 pm

It doesn't matter where it is? and you'd like to do jhana but that doesn't matter either?

If you aim at nothing you are bound to hit it, it would pay to be more specific.

The only place I know of where you can do a 20 day jhana retreat anytime and expect regular instruction is Pa Auk. However if you want to do vipassana there are lots of places in asia, in the west there are lots too but retreats run on a schedule so you usuually can't start and stop when you want.

It doesn't sound like you'll want to stay in a monastery as a guest rather than on retreat as community activities may cut into your meditation time too much.
"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: Place for Month Long Retreat

Postby JustThis » Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:46 am

This is the only place where I have done a self retreat (vs group) so I have nothing to compare it to. Extremely quiet when I go in the winter, maybe 10-12 people. Very comfortably, you set your own schedule, probably expensive, the teachers are listed, you interview 2X a week but can always ask for an appointment or leave a note if you have a question. Their retreat facility has a 3 month group retreat which can be broken into smaller time spots if spaces are available.


http://www.dharma.org/ims/fr_general_i.html
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Re: Place for Month Long Retreat

Postby befriend » Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:27 am

if you want to do samatha vipassana together which will lead to jhana go to MIssouri. ive never been but apparently its rare NOT to enter jhana during a short retreat. its a monastery with a maha thera monastic and a nun. he specializes in metta which leads to jhana. i practice this myself. and find it very powerful. i practice metta yet still have vipassana insights. because its vipassana and samatha simultaneously. the website is dhammasukha.org.
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Re: Place for Month Long Retreat

Postby Clarence » Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:22 pm

Goofaholix wrote:It doesn't matter where it is? and you'd like to do jhana but that doesn't matter either?
If you aim at nothing you are bound to hit it, it would pay to be more specific.

Thanks. Good points. I was trying to be open but I guess I went a little overboard. However, no, it doesn't matter where it is since I am willing to travel. Preferably Europe as that would leave more time to practice and less to travel but Thailand, India, Nepal, Myanmar, U.S. are also fine.
Yes, I would like to do Jhana practice; however, I am not the most knowledgeable so I am open to any suggestion and if you think I should pursue Vipassana, please don't hesitate to tell me as that might be exactly what I need. I don't know what I don't know so it is hard to be more specific.

The only place I know of where you can do a 20 day jhana retreat anytime and expect regular instruction is Pa Auk. However if you want to do vipassana there are lots of places in asia, in the west there are lots too but retreats run on a schedule so you usuually can't start and stop when you want.

Yes, I like Pa Auk. I did a 10-day retreat with Sayalay Sushila some time ago. She was very good. I was a bad student though as I daydreamed most of the time.
Would you mind naming some of the Vipassana in Asia? I found through wanderingdhamma.org that Ajahn Tong has a few places which offer 26-day retreats. Also, Wat Pa Ban Tad with Phra Martin is an option. However, that might be too much of a change at first. I like to think that I would practice 24/7 when in retreat but I might just spend most of my time daydreaming if I don't have regular interaction with an instructor.

It doesn't sound like you'll want to stay in a monastery as a guest rather than on retreat as community activities may cut into your meditation time too much.

True. Although I greatly admire the monk life, I think the month I have will be better spend meditating. However, that does not mean I am in any way opposed to offering alms and doing some chanting twice a day. That might turn out very beneficial.

If I need to be more specific. Please let me know as I appreciate the replies and want to keep them coming.

Many thanks to all!
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Re: Place for Month Long Retreat

Postby Clarence » Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:25 pm

JustThis wrote:This is the only place where I have done a self retreat (vs group) so I have nothing to compare it to. Extremely quiet when I go in the winter, maybe 10-12 people. Very comfortably, you set your own schedule, probably expensive, the teachers are listed, you interview 2X a week but can always ask for an appointment or leave a note if you have a question. Their retreat facility has a 3 month group retreat which can be broken into smaller time spots if spaces are available.
http://www.dharma.org/ims/fr_general_i.html


Thank you Just This. That is also something worth looking into.
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Re: Place for Month Long Retreat

Postby Clarence » Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:32 pm

befriend wrote:if you want to do samatha vipassana together which will lead to jhana go to MIssouri. ive never been but apparently its rare NOT to enter jhana during a short retreat. its a monastery with a maha thera monastic and a nun. he specializes in metta which leads to jhana. i practice this myself. and find it very powerful. i practice metta yet still have vipassana insights. because its vipassana and samatha simultaneously. the website is dhammasukha.org.


Thank you. I will look into it.
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Re: Place for Month Long Retreat

Postby Goofaholix » Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:31 pm

Clarence wrote:Yes, I would like to do Jhana practice; however, I am not the most knowledgeable so I am open to any suggestion and if you think I should pursue Vipassana, please don't hesitate to tell me as that might be exactly what I need. I don't know what I don't know so it is hard to be more specific.

Yes, I like Pa Auk. I did a 10-day retreat with Sayalay Sushila some time ago. She was very good. I was a bad student though as I daydreamed most of the time.
Would you mind naming some of the Vipassana in Asia? I found through wanderingdhamma.org that Ajahn Tong has a few places which offer 26-day retreats. Also, Wat Pa Ban Tad with Phra Martin is an option. However, that might be too much of a change at first. I like to think that I would practice 24/7 when in retreat but I might just spend most of my time daydreaming if I don't have regular interaction with an instructor.


If you aren't that knowledgable and you aren't sure whether you want to practise jhana and you daydreamed through most of your last retreat then I wouldn't recommend you try to do a jhana retreat, it really doesn't sound like you are ready for that, and 20 days is too short to get results anyway. If you do vipassana now you'll learn much about the mind, learn to start letting go, establish a discipline, then maybe you can give jhana a punt in 5-10 years time.

I wouldn't recommend Wat Pa Ban Tad as it's not a retreat centre, though with Luangta having passed away it's probably much much quieter than it used to be. Ajahn Tong's approach might be good for you as they do push you a bit, or if you really want to be pushed then go to Panditarama. I'd also recommend http://sayadawutejaniya.org/ though it's the other end of the spectrum from jhana.
"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: Place for Month Long Retreat

Postby Clarence » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:37 pm

Goofaholix wrote:If you aren't that knowledgable and you aren't sure whether you want to practise jhana and you daydreamed through most of your last retreat then I wouldn't recommend you try to do a jhana retreat, it really doesn't sound like you are ready for that, and 20 days is too short to get results anyway. If you do vipassana now you'll learn much about the mind, learn to start letting go, establish a discipline, then maybe you can give jhana a punt in 5-10 years time.

Okay. I can understand that. Of course, I did progress since but you are probably right.

I wouldn't recommend Wat Pa Ban Tad as it's not a retreat centre, though with Luangta having passed away it's probably much much quieter than it used to be. Ajahn Tong's approach might be good for you as they do push you a bit, or if you really want to be pushed then go to Panditarama. I'd also recommend http://sayadawutejaniya.org/ though it's the other end of the spectrum from jhana.

Wat Pa Ban Tad is not a retreat center? A monastery where I can practice is fine as well. Though, like I said, it is probably a little too spartan to start with.
Ajahn Tong sounds good as well. Haven't been able to find a website for their retreats though.
Panditarama sounds severe though definitely an option.
Sayadaw U Tejaniya's center sounds like a good place to go. Truth be told, the visa situation in Birma is such that I think I would prefer Thailand.

BTW, thank you Goofaholix for answering my questions. I hope others will chime in with ideas as well. Surely there are more places to be found besides what has been mentioned here. Maybe I put it in the wrong forum?
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Re: Place for Month Long Retreat

Postby mirco » Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:00 pm

You can do a retreat at the Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center
http://www.dhammasukha.org/About/retreatinfo.htm

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Re: Place for Month Long Retreat

Postby Clarence » Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:19 pm

Thanks Mirco. Looks like a happy bunch. Befriend mentioned the same place.
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