Month Long Solitary Meditation Retreat

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Re: Month Long Solitary Meditation Retreat

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:50 am

twelph wrote:. . .

All in all I was extremely over-prepared for the trip

. . .
Probably not. Before doing a solitary retreat, it probably would do well to do some structured retreats with a teacher.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Month Long Solitary Meditation Retreat

Postby twelph » Sat Aug 25, 2012 6:54 am

tiltbillings wrote:
twelph wrote:. . .

All in all I was extremely over-prepared for the trip

. . .
Probably not. Before doing a solitary retreat, it probably would do well to do some structured retreats with a teacher.

Hmmm, all I was talking about were supplies and the actual camping aspect of the trip. I was trying to establish that any difficulties I had were not because I was uncomfortable because I forgot something.
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Re: Month Long Solitary Meditation Retreat

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:01 am

twelph wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
twelph wrote:. . .

All in all I was extremely over-prepared for the trip

. . .
Probably not. Before doing a solitary retreat, it probably would do well to do some structured retreats with a teacher.

Hmmm, all I was talking about were supplies and the actual camping aspect of the trip. I was trying to establish that any difficulties I had were not because I was uncomfortable because I forgot something.
I know that is what you meant, but I would also say that you were not really prepared for such a serious undertaking, but often the only way to find out is by trying.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Month Long Solitary Meditation Retreat

Postby Ben » Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:12 am

tiltbillings wrote:I know that is what you meant, but I would also say that you were not really prepared for such a serious undertaking, but often the only way to find out is by trying.

I agree.
kind regards,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


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Re: Month Long Solitary Meditation Retreat

Postby twelph » Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:31 pm

Ben wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:I know that is what you meant, but I would also say that you were not really prepared for such a serious undertaking, but often the only way to find out is by trying.

I agree.
kind regards,

Ben


I have (in my own home) been able to dedicate a couple days in a row of no distractions in order to just study and meditate. This felt like a natural extension of that, though near the end of the two weeks I definitely felt like I was pushing my limits. I agree that with a teacher and in a group I would have been able to muster up more discipline and would have probably progressed further, but I have no regrets and look at the experience in an overall positive light.

The only way to judge my progress is to discern whether or not I am clinging to the causes of suffering more or less. It feels like the latter.
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Re: Month Long Solitary Meditation Retreat

Postby James the Giant » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:02 am

twelph wrote:...I succumbed to desire and drove down the mountain to acquire an internet connection...

I know, I saw you logged in during the time you were supposed to be on retreat!
Well, big ups to you for making two weeks. That's something to be pleased about.
Any plans to do a retreat in more comfortable surroundings, perhaps a meditation centre or monastery?
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
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Re: Month Long Solitary Meditation Retreat

Postby Ben » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:27 am

twelph wrote:
Ben wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:I know that is what you meant, but I would also say that you were not really prepared for such a serious undertaking, but often the only way to find out is by trying.

I agree.
kind regards,

Ben


I have (in my own home) been able to dedicate a couple days in a row of no distractions in order to just study and meditate. This felt like a natural extension of that, though near the end of the two weeks I definitely felt like I was pushing my limits. I agree that with a teacher and in a group I would have been able to muster up more discipline and would have probably progressed further, but I have no regrets and look at the experience in an overall positive light.

The only way to judge my progress is to discern whether or not I am clinging to the causes of suffering more or less. It feels like the latter.


Hi Twelph

It sounds like you are making great effort at home, practicing Dhamma in day-to-day life. It is not to be understated how important that is in the long term. The sort of preparation that I would normally recommend for someone wishing to do a month-long silent retreat would be years of sustained practice in daily life and a number of shorter retreats. I would also recommend someone wishing to do a solo retreat to have some experience in attending a number of retreats in a supported setting such as a monastery or meditation centre. The reason being that having developed some depth of experience and experience of the sorts of things that arise and pass away on retreat, you are in a far better prepared for when intense experiences (whether they are intensely pleasurable, painful or delusion-inducing) occur when you are on your own and in the absence of the support of a teacher or guide.
kind regards,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
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Re: Month Long Solitary Meditation Retreat

Postby twelph » Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:52 am

James the Giant wrote:
twelph wrote:...I succumbed to desire and drove down the mountain to acquire an internet connection...

I know, I saw you logged in during the time you were supposed to be on retreat!
Well, big ups to you for making two weeks. That's something to be pleased about.
Any plans to do a retreat in more comfortable surroundings, perhaps a meditation centre or monastery?


Yes, I'll probably do a Goenka retreat or stay at Wat Metta next time. My vacation was moved forward unexpectedly this time, leaving little time for arrangements. Next time will probably be better planned.
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Re: Month Long Solitary Meditation Retreat

Postby Sambodhi in Oz » Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:25 pm

Hi,

I would also recommend doing a retreat in Goenkaji's tradition. You could find more details on below website :

http://www.dhamma.org/en/bycountry/na/

These are run purely on a non obligatory donation basis and you could contribute by doing dhamma service after the first 10 day course. The decipline is pretty strong here and teaching logical and lucid with pretty long hours of meditation in a day ie about 10 to 12 hours in a day.

Metta

Parth
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Re: Month Long Solitary Meditation Retreat

Postby Ryuejaku » Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:58 am

twelph wrote:Due to financial constraints, my aspirations to visit Myanmar for a month to go on a retreat will have to be put on hold. So, next week I will be going camping on public use land in Colorado for a month with the sole purpose of intensive meditation. I have all my supplies ready, and am pretty excited. I've stayed at several monasteries for a month or so, but nothing that can be considered a retreat. Therefore I understand I should be gentle to myself, especially without a teacher present. I don't foresee any huge problems, but who knows. I plan on trying to follow a retreat schedule if possible and refrain from eating past noon. The two books that I will be studying are "In the Buddha's Words" by Bhikkhu Bodhi and "Dhamma Everywhere" by Sayadaw U Tejaniya. I'm already intimately familiar with the latter, but I find re-reading it over and over has helped re-align my meditation habits whenever I develop some sort of obstructive view about how I'm supposed to be practicing.

Anyways, the purpose of this post is to ask if anyone might have any suggestions for me? The stronger the feeling that I have everything figured out, the more usually goes wrong :) .


Good Luck Good Skill Hope all goes cool & you attain/realize Nirvana.
50-70 more not bad in no rush
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