Recent retreat experience

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

Re: Recent retreat experience

Postby Goofaholix » Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:55 am

mikenz66 wrote:Sure, complacency is a good description of the problem. However I tend to think of laziness as the result of complacency. And in terms of action (or not...) "lazy" is the opposite to "effort", which is what needs to be applied.


If you were truly lazy you'd be at home with your feet up watching coronation street.

I don't think anyone who can do mahasi style practice 10+ hours sitting and walking over several weeks or days could really be considered lazy, however despite that level of effort being applied in a sustained way I've found myself that I can get complacent.

It's not a lack of effort, I can put forth quite sustained effort on retreat, it's the forgetting that each and every moment is precious and worthy of renewed attention.

So it's not so much the effort it's how we're applying the effort that is important I think, wrong effort can be just as unconducive as no effort.
"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: Recent retreat experience

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:48 am

Hi Goofaholix, You make some very good points here.
Goofaholix wrote:If you were truly lazy you'd be at home with your feet up watching coronation street.

:shock:
Goofaholix wrote:I don't think anyone who can do mahasi style practice 10+ hours sitting and walking over several weeks or days could really be considered lazy, however despite that level of effort being applied in a sustained way I've found myself that I can get complacent.

I guess you're right. I did think you were just being picky about the English terminology (and as you know, being picky about English tends to be a bit pointless in a Thai context where sometimes you're lucky to get any at all...)

So what you say here is quite correct:
Goofaholix wrote:It's not a lack of effort, I can put forth quite sustained effort on retreat, it's the forgetting that each and every moment is precious and worthy of renewed attention.

And, I might add, in my case the choice to apply just sufficient effort in a way that gives enough concentration to be reasonably comfortable, i.e. the wrong effort of your next sentence:
Goofaholix wrote:So it's not so much the effort it's how we're applying the effort that is important I think, wrong effort can be just as unconducive as no effort.

Thank you very much for your really helpful comments!

:anjali:
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Re: Recent retreat experience

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:12 am

Greetings Mike,

Sounds like it was a productive retreat then.

:thumbsup:

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Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Recent retreat experience

Postby amtross » Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:55 pm

When I was hiking the appelachian trail (from GA to ME), there was a saying: "Never stop at a shelter while its raining if you want to go any further that day". When you're hiking in the rain, it usually isn't that bad but once you get in a comfortable spot it's almost impossible to talk yourself into going back out into the rain. I think the practice can be like this...
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Re: Recent retreat experience

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:18 pm

Beautiful simile Amtross... :heart:

:anjali:
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Re: Recent retreat experience

Postby carlosm » Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:28 pm

Thanks mikenz66 for this post, really gave me a lot to think about. I also suffer a bit form complacence, and I'm just at the beginning of the practice, I spend a lot of time in calm states instead in put effort in going forward in the path.
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Re: Recent retreat experience

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:01 pm

I agree with the other posters; that it sounds like a productive retreat. I am sure we all have to go through many a retreat like that to get closer to our goal(s).

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." Chinese proverb

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Re: Recent retreat experience

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:23 pm

Thanks all. I've learned to accept over the years that just learning one little thing from a retreat is progress...

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