A secluded endeavor...

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

A secluded endeavor...

Postby SeekingDharma » Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:37 am

I have been wanting to join a retreat for some time, but my current circumstances do not allow it (and likely won't for at least a few years). I can get away for a day or two per month, though. Does anybody have any recommendations on how to maximize this time? Should I simply seclude myself and meditate as much as possible on the breath?? Should I keep to a particular schedule or set some sort of goal?

Any help or references are appreciated, since I can't join any new retreats I think this is my best route...but I'd like to have a bit of understanding on how to best proceed.

:meditate:
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Re: A secluded endeavor...

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:07 am

Hi SeekingDharma,

If you look around you may be able to find monasteries or lay organisations that offer weekend retreats, sometimes as an option to stay for the first weekend of a longer retreat. I've done a number of two and three day retreats, and while longer retreats do allow a deeper level of calm 2-3 days is still extremely helpful.

:anjali:
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Re: A secluded endeavor...

Postby SeekingDharma » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:35 am

mikenz66 wrote:Hi SeekingDharma,

If you look around you may be able to find monasteries or lay organisations that offer weekend retreats, sometimes as an option to stay for the first weekend of a longer retreat. I've done a number of two and three day retreats, and while longer retreats do allow a deeper level of calm 2-3 days is still extremely helpful.

:anjali:
Mike


Hi Mike,

I have tried that in the past, but coordinating with my schedule presented problems. I want to keep an eye out for these opportunities, buti have more "last minute" chances that I could head into a secluded area without any contact ahead of time.
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Re: A secluded endeavor...

Postby Aloka » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:49 am

Hi SeekingDharma,

As you live in California, maybe you could try making enquiries at Abhayagiri Forest Tradition monastery ?...


http://www.forestsangha.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=35:abhayagiri-monastery-usa&catid=15:monasteries&Itemid=9

with kind wishes,

Aloka
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Re: A secluded endeavor...

Postby santa100 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:20 pm

If you only have 1 or 2 days, then training alone isn't a bad idea. Don't forget to do walking meditation after a long period of sitting meditation just to make sure the body won't fall into drowsiness. Also, spend some times in the evening to either read suttas or listen to online Dhamma talk. Good luck..
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Re: A secluded endeavor...

Postby Goofaholix » Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:48 pm

SeekingDharma wrote:I have been wanting to join a retreat for some time, but my current circumstances do not allow it (and likely won't for at least a few years). I can get away for a day or two per month, though. Does anybody have any recommendations on how to maximize this time? Should I simply seclude myself and meditate as much as possible on the breath?? Should I keep to a particular schedule or set some sort of goal?

Any help or references are appreciated, since I can't join any new retreats I think this is my best route...but I'd like to have a bit of understanding on how to best proceed.


There really is no substitute for doing at least one intensive retreaat of at least a week or 2, it really helps get your practise established.

In your situation I'd recommend making mindfulness of your daily activities your primary practise, be determined and keep coming back to that, just notice what you're doing and what you are aware of every moment of the day as mmuch as you can, notice how the quality of awareness and your mind states fluctuate.

It might be helpful to make a bit of a game of it, every day choose one thing that you do regularly and determine to make a note of it each time you do it, like walking through doors, or getting up from a chair, this will help establish your mindfulness.

If you live with other people then probably the best way for you to get meditation time is to wake up an hour or two before they do and mediate then. I wouldn't get hung up on how much sitting you do or don't do though, if you are putting your effort into mindfulness of daily actrivities then this is probably more important.
"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: A secluded endeavor...

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:02 am

Greetings,

mikenz66 wrote:If you look around you may be able to find monasteries or lay organisations that offer weekend retreats

:goodpost:

Yes, this is what I was going to recommend.

I've stayed at a monestary for a weekend or a few days at a time. Just arrange it in advance at a monestary and they'll be happy to oblige.

Metta,
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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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