Poll The fruits of Retreat.

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

What fruits have you experienced as a result of retreat.

1) Very Positive
20
71%
2)Positive
7
25%
3) Negative
0
No votes
4 Neutral.l
1
4%
 
Total votes : 28

Re: Poll The fruits of Retreat.

Postby Goofaholix » Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:20 am

PeterB wrote:For the second poll I considered having above the" Very Positive " option an " Essential" option.but seemed to have the potential to be divisive.
As there was the possibilty that it would be interpretated not simply as essential for that individual, but for for everyone.


When I first started practise rightly or wrongly I viewed the life of the Theravadin monk forsaking homelife as the standard of Buddhist practise handed down by the Buddha, after all what we are seeking to achieve is supposed to be something you dedicate your life to because it isn't something that comes easy.

Doing regular intensive retreats instead as a layman I think is a good compromise on that, giving the chance to experience elements of the monastic life for periods of time while still being engaged in the outside world.

I don't think one really can understand the mind and how dukkha works unless one has spent weeks or months looking at it with no distraction and no escape.

I realise that some people are just beginning and others have commitments that prevent them for the time being, but talking about Buddhism on the internet is no substitute, though it can be a good complement.
"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: Poll The fruits of Retreat.

Postby PeterB » Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:09 am

And mine....and I know two people who on seperate occasions did just that....one went back some months later..
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Re: Poll The fruits of Retreat.

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:39 am

mikenz66 wrote:One of my Dhamma friends likes to use a rachet analogy. Daily practise done well prevents slipping back, but it is difficult to really rachet forward without retreats. At least that's our experience.


I've found that progress is proportional to time spent practising - and on retreats we tend to spend more time practising.

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Re: Poll The fruits of Retreat.

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:41 am

Goofaholix wrote:I don't think one really can understand the mind and how dukkha works unless one has spent weeks or months looking at it with no distraction and no escape.


I've found that there can be quite a lot of distractions on retreat - unless it's a solitary retreat. ;)

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Re: Poll The fruits of Retreat.

Postby PeterB » Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:04 pm

I have found more distractions on a solitary retreat than a group retreat...chacun a son gout and all that...
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Re: Poll The fruits of Retreat.

Postby Goofaholix » Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:41 pm

Spiny O'Norman wrote:I've found that there can be quite a lot of distractions on retreat - unless it's a solitary retreat. ;)


True, but the distractions experienced on retreat are much closer to the root cause of distraction, whereas the distractions of daily life tend to distract you from distraction itself.
"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: Poll The fruits of Retreat.

Postby Phra Chuntawongso » Sun Feb 13, 2011 1:28 am

What you put into your practise is what you will get out of it.
I have been on retreats where some of the yogis seem to think having a chitty chat about dive islands they have been to or or planning to go to are brilliant.Which country they are going to next,etc.
My advice is that no matter where you go to practise, put your heart into it.
The good thing about retreats is that you will(hopefully) have good teachers, who can guide you in your practise.This is invaluable, especially for newbies.Once you get past the early wake up call, and the not eating after midday stuff, if you practise according to your teachers instructions, results will begin to show.
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Re: Poll The fruits of Retreat.

Postby phil » Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:06 am

Goofaholix wrote: I realise that some people are just beginning and others have commitments that prevent them for the time being, but talking about Buddhism on the internet is no substitute, though it can be a good complement.


Not all devoted lay followers of the Buddha talk about it on the internet, Goofaholix. But I have often wondered just how much using the internet interferes with the meditation practice of people who are not on retreats. I live in a quiet residential area and tend to get up very early so am able to meditate an hour each morning. But if I use the internet the night before it interferes, definitely. There are many degrees of renunciation. Giving up the internet completely would have a dramatic impact on my ongoing development of understanding, I think. The cost of losing the chance to discuss Dhamma (since I don't have Theravadin friends here) would be outweighed by the weaking of the hindrances, I think. The hindrances are definitely fuelled by using the internet a lot. In any case, please don't present diligent lay practice without retreats as being equivalent to talking about Buddhism on the internet. :smile:
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Re: Poll The fruits of Retreat.

Postby Ben » Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:32 am

Phra Chuntawongso wrote:My advice is that no matter where you go to practise, put your heart into it.

Sadhu!
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Re: Poll The fruits of Retreat.

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:11 am

I mostly do solo retreats, but when I do them, they're very rewarding.
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Re: Poll The fruits of Retreat.

Postby rowyourboat » Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:07 am

Hi WitF

I hear a lot of people use the term 'rewarding'. I have often wondered what that meant. Eating a bar of chocolate can be 'rewarding'! Having a new experience can be rewarding. I personally would take it to mean that I had something I could take away from the retreat, for my personal practice at home- some insight or some state of samadhi that I could work on further at home. What did you mean by 'rewarding'?

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Re: Poll The fruits of Retreat.

Postby PeterB » Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:04 am

PeterB wrote:This follows a useful suggestion from Phil. Just to make it clear it refers to any organised Vipassana or Samatha retreat.



I dont want to get all anal, but I would just bump the above..." organised" whether solo or group implies "under a teachers direction..."
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Re: Poll The fruits of Retreat.

Postby Ben » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:00 am

Hi Matheesha,

rowyourboat wrote:Hi WitF

I hear a lot of people use the term 'rewarding'. I have often wondered what that meant. Eating a bar of chocolate can be 'rewarding'! Having a new experience can be rewarding. I personally would take it to mean that I had something I could take away from the retreat, for my personal practice at home- some insight or some state of samadhi that I could work on further at home. What did you mean by 'rewarding'?

with metta

Matheesha


I think we can infer from WTF's post that by 'rewarding' she probably means 'positive' or 'productive'. At least, that's how I read it.
kind regards

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Re: Poll The fruits of Retreat.

Postby rowyourboat » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:56 am

Ben wrote:Hi Matheesha,

rowyourboat wrote:Hi WitF

I hear a lot of people use the term 'rewarding'. I have often wondered what that meant. Eating a bar of chocolate can be 'rewarding'! Having a new experience can be rewarding. I personally would take it to mean that I had something I could take away from the retreat, for my personal practice at home- some insight or some state of samadhi that I could work on further at home. What did you mean by 'rewarding'?

with metta

Matheesha


I think we can infer from WTF's post that by 'rewarding' she probably means 'positive' or 'productive'. At least, that's how I read it.
kind regards

Ben


Thanks Ben,

Positive and productive are equally vague terms to me (perhaps a cultural gap in knoweldge showing here :tongue: ), but can we say with some precision what it means?

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Re: Poll The fruits of Retreat.

Postby Ben » Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:20 pm

Hi Matheesha

Well, I don't want to put words into WTF's mouth. So, as to the specifics of her experience, I will let her speak for herself.
kind regards

Ben
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Re: Poll The fruits of Retreat.

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:38 pm

I came out of retreat with a more peaceful mind. It started off really difficult and then I was able to get a lot of work done. Finding out why I thought it was difficult was probably the most eyeopening experience. The more I could clear my head, the more insight would just come, and I found myself with less stress in general.
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Re: Poll The fruits of Retreat.

Postby rowyourboat » Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:41 pm

Wizard in the Forest wrote:I came out of retreat with a more peaceful mind. It started off really difficult and then I was able to get a lot of work done. Finding out why I thought it was difficult was probably the most eyeopening experience. The more I could clear my head, the more insight would just come, and I found myself with less stress in general.


Sounds like you had a very useful experience - I think you developed some mindfulness and concentration and insight by the sound of it. I think in being able to define it, it becomes possible to work with it to develop it further, read about it etc. Otherwise it becomes 'something which happens when on retreat. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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Re: Poll The fruits of Retreat.

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:11 pm

Goofaholix wrote:
Spiny O'Norman wrote:I've found that there can be quite a lot of distractions on retreat - unless it's a solitary retreat. ;)


True, but the distractions experienced on retreat are much closer to the root cause of distraction, whereas the distractions of daily life tend to distract you from distraction itself.


Yes, I know what you mean. However I'm usually a solitary practitioner, and find it quite distracting trying to meditate with other people around.

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Re: Poll The fruits of Retreat.

Postby Goofaholix » Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:14 pm

Spiny O'Norman wrote:Yes, I know what you mean. However I'm usually a solitary practitioner, and find it quite distracting trying to meditate with other people around.


Sounds like something worth investigating.
"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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