The concept of an "Urban Retreat"

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

The concept of an "Urban Retreat"

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jun 03, 2009 4:46 am

Greetings,

Something interesting I just received from the FWBO-oriented Melbourne Buddhist Centre via e-mail.

You are invited to come and attend the International Urban Retreat

that will be held at the Melbourne Buddhist Centre from 20 to 27 June.
The Urban retreat is open to anyone who knows the Metta Bhavana and Mindfulness of Breathing meditation practices. It will provide an encouraging environment for everyone at all levels of experience, who has a desire to deepen their practice in their everyday lives. Over 30 other FWBO centres spanning 14 countries around the world will be participating. Worldwide we are expecting over 1000 people to be involved. This will create a greater sense of being part of a wider community of FWBO practitioners.

The theme of the retreat is “life with full attention”.

For those who haven’t done an urban retreat before, it typically starts with a day at your local centre, during which participants are encouraged to think about how they would like to practise in the next week, and to become aware of what may help or hinder that. Suggestions will be given on various ways to support you in this. Collectively we will commit ourselves to this week of practice through an aspirational puja.

The urban retreat enables people to gain confidence that they can really practise amidst their daily lives, along with getting to know people at their local centre.

If you don’t live near the centre or are unable to attend both Saturdays, then it is possible to participate through the online version: www.theurbanretreat.org


What do you think about the concept of an Urban Retreat?

Is there an application for such a thing within Theravadin circles?

Metta,
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: The concept of an "Urban Retreat"

Postby Individual » Wed Jun 03, 2009 5:47 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Something interesting I just received from the FWBO-oriented Melbourne Buddhist Centre via e-mail.

You are invited to come and attend the International Urban Retreat

that will be held at the Melbourne Buddhist Centre from 20 to 27 June.
The Urban retreat is open to anyone who knows the Metta Bhavana and Mindfulness of Breathing meditation practices. It will provide an encouraging environment for everyone at all levels of experience, who has a desire to deepen their practice in their everyday lives. Over 30 other FWBO centres spanning 14 countries around the world will be participating. Worldwide we are expecting over 1000 people to be involved. This will create a greater sense of being part of a wider community of FWBO practitioners.

The theme of the retreat is “life with full attention”.

For those who haven’t done an urban retreat before, it typically starts with a day at your local centre, during which participants are encouraged to think about how they would like to practise in the next week, and to become aware of what may help or hinder that. Suggestions will be given on various ways to support you in this. Collectively we will commit ourselves to this week of practice through an aspirational puja.

The urban retreat enables people to gain confidence that they can really practise amidst their daily lives, along with getting to know people at their local centre.

If you don’t live near the centre or are unable to attend both Saturdays, then it is possible to participate through the online version: http://www.theurbanretreat.org


What do you think about the concept of an Urban Retreat?

Is there an application for such a thing within Theravadin circles?

Metta,
Retro. :)

I think it would need to be an environment that is shielded from the noise of the city, has enough plants and flowers, and has rooms that are large and high enough so as to avoid the feeling of being cramped. A small, undecorated apartment next to a highway wouldn't work, but it seems like a penthouse with thick windows could be just as serene as a forest hut.
The best things in life aren't things.

The Diamond Sutra
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Re: The concept of an "Urban Retreat"

Postby pink_trike » Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:07 am

Individual wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,
Something interesting I just received from the FWBO-oriented Melbourne Buddhist Centre via e-mail.
The theme of the retreat is “life with full attention”.


What do you think about the concept of an Urban Retreat?

Is there an application for such a thing within Theravadin circles?

Metta,
Retro. :)

I think it would need to be an environment that is shielded from the noise of the city, has enough plants and flowers, and has rooms that are large and high enough so as to avoid the feeling of being cramped. A small, undecorated apartment next to a highway wouldn't work, but it seems like a penthouse with thick windows could be just as serene as a forest hut.

Hi Individual,

Practice is far more than just meditating - and meditation can be beneficial and effective in any environment, even noisy urban areas. The idea behind urban retreating is that we practice with whatever is on our plate right in front of us in any given moment no matter where we find ourselves appearing. Extending our practice into all of life, moment by moment. Very few people in urban environments have the luxury of retreating to pretty rural environments with plants and flowers and quiet. There isn't any escape from the world during our life, no matter where we run off to hide - but we can train ourselves to reintegrate into the messiness of the world with clarity and compassion.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.
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Re: The concept of an "Urban Retreat"

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:38 am

i remember haikuin (i know he's zen not theravada but anyways) saying something about anyone can go off an meditate alone in a nice place, the real work is maintaining that in the city/crowds
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: The concept of an "Urban Retreat"

Postby appicchato » Wed Jun 03, 2009 11:47 am

retrofuturist wrote:Collectively we will commit ourselves to this week of practice through an aspirational puja.

Inspiring will get them a lot further than aspirating...if I were asked that is... :quote:
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Re: The concept of an "Urban Retreat"

Postby Prasadachitta » Wed Jun 03, 2009 1:43 pm

appicchato wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Collectively we will commit ourselves to this week of practice through an aspirational puja.

Inspiring will get them a lot further than aspirating...if I were asked that is... :quote:


Hello appicchato,

I find aspiring very inspiring. Therefore those who aspire also inspire.

Take care

Gabriel
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332
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Re: The concept of an "Urban Retreat"

Postby kc2dpt » Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:33 pm

aspire - direct one's hopes or ambitions toward achieving something

aspirate - pronounce (a sound) with an exhalation of breath

however...

aspirational - the adjective form of aspiration which is the noun form of aspire, not aspirate

:rofl:
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
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Re: The concept of an "Urban Retreat"

Postby kc2dpt » Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:36 pm

I think the idea of that retreat sounds productive. It's really not much more than talking to your teacher about how to improve your practice in every day life. Except in this case it's an organized activity with many people participating at once.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
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Re: The concept of an "Urban Retreat"

Postby Jechbi » Wed Jun 03, 2009 3:34 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Is there an application for such a thing within Theravadin circles?

Try serving in the kitchen at a retreat center. Lots of traffic, lots of noise, lots of commotion. At first you find yourself shoulder-to-shoulder with people who moments ago were strangers. It's a great way to practice mindfulness.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: The concept of an "Urban Retreat"

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:59 pm

It's not really that new. Many Dhamma centers in the U.S. have been doing that for some years now. For example, a very popular retreat in many U.S. cities is the day-long retreat. Participants come in the morning, meditate, listen to Dhamma talks, have personal interviews with the teacher if necessary, lunch, more meditation, talks, and then it ends at about 5 to 8 pm in the evening.

Some have stretched that to two to three days, with some participants going back to their homes and others staying at the center. I think it is a great way to adapt to modern life and to include the Dhamma in everyday life.

:thumbsup:
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Re: The concept of an "Urban Retreat"

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Jun 03, 2009 8:02 pm

Individual wrote:but it seems like a penthouse with thick windows could be just as serene as a forest hut.

Thanks! That is the format we use at Vipassana Foundation. :tongue:
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Re: The concept of an "Urban Retreat"

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:16 pm

Hi
I know (cant remember the name of the centre) a centre in london, which use to be a court house runs retreats and the retreatants, can live onsite in one of the old cells, or go home and come back in the morning.
I did meet someone who done the non-residential side, and will have a look for the centre, all I remember is that it is a Tibetan group don't think it is FPMT but may be affiliated.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: The concept of an "Urban Retreat"

Postby appicchato » Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:23 pm

Peter wrote:aspirational - the adjective form of aspiration which is the noun form of aspire, not aspirate

:oops:
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Re: The concept of an "Urban Retreat"

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:29 pm

Here is the site
http://www.jamyang.co.uk/aboutus.html

stumbled into the london buddhist centre to start with and noticed they do the Urban retreats also
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: The concept of an "Urban Retreat"

Postby pink_trike » Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:20 am

A bit of word trivia: The words "aspire", "inspire" and "expire" are all expansions of the latin "spirare" which means "to breathe". Quality inspiration and aspiration both tend to naturally arise with conscious breathing which is undefiled by the tension's of mind that get played out in the somatic environment.

And with our final "expire" we no longer "in-spire" or "in-breathe". We are expired.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.
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Re: The concept of an "Urban Retreat"

Postby Nibbida » Tue Jun 16, 2009 4:25 am

Tina Rasmussen, a student of Pa Auk Sayadaw, did an "urban cave" retreat for one year in her condominium. She mentions this in her book with Stephen Snyder Jhanas Advice from Two Spiritual Friends

http://www.jhanasadvice.com/
"Dispositions of the mind, like limbs of the body, acquire strength by exercise." --Thomas Jefferson

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