How to be in solitary for 30 days or longer

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Mr.SeanStewart
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How to be in solitary for 30 days or longer

Postby Mr.SeanStewart » Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:24 pm

Hello friends,

just curious if you have some suggestions on how could some one create a situation where
one is left alone for 30 days or so without any human contact and interactions with the outside world
and can have meals prepared for ?

Ideally any where in burma or east asia.

Many thanks in advance

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Ben
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Re: How to be in solitary for 30 days or longer

Postby Ben » Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:40 pm

Yes, I attended a 30-day meditation retreat in Myanmar two years ago. However, within my tradition, a 30-day meditation retreat has some pre-requisites that require some years to complete.
It might be worthwhile considering joining a silent ten-day meditation retreat and doing two or three in a row, as many of my co-practitioners have done.
http://www.dhamma.org/ We have a number of meditation centres in SE Asia inc. Myanmar: http://www.dhamma.org/en/bycountry/ap/
kind regards,

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: How to be in solitary for 30 days or longer

Postby daverupa » Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:01 pm

Pack 30 sack lunches, take a month off work, and stay home.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Re: How to be in solitary for 30 days or longer

Postby Mr.SeanStewart » Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:16 am

Ben thanks so much.

I love Goenka's retreats have done a a few myself, however as you mentioned they dont accept me to do a 30 days,
also they would want you to follow their teachings thats why im wondering what other options are possible,

I know Ajan Brahm talks about going to a 6 months solidtude in a hut where some one was brining him food once a day
but not sure how he went about doing this,



Ben wrote:Yes, I attended a 30-day meditation retreat in Myanmar two years ago. However, within my tradition, a 30-day meditation retreat has some pre-requisites that require some years to complete.
It might be worthwhile considering joining a silent ten-day meditation retreat and doing two or three in a row, as many of my co-practitioners have done.
http://www.dhamma.org/ We have a number of meditation centres in SE Asia inc. Myanmar: http://www.dhamma.org/en/bycountry/ap/
kind regards,

Ben

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Re: How to be in solitary for 30 days or longer

Postby Mr.SeanStewart » Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:17 am

daverupa wrote:Pack 30 sack lunches, take a month off work, and stay home.



thanks for the suggesiton dave, however i dont think that would work best, home environment has a different energy to it,
also i dont live in a home now as im traveling in asia so my home is a hostel in thailand at the moment :)

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Re: How to be in solitary for 30 days or longer

Postby tsurezuregusa » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:37 am

Within the Mahasi Sasana Yeiktha there is a "solitary area" for advanced yogis.

These yogis do not participate in group sittings in the meditation hall and they do not eat with the other yogis in the dining hall. They keep to themselves. Meditate in their own room and breakfast and lunch is delivered to them. Although I practiced at the Mahasi center, I have not been at the solitary area myself. But I believe, it might be what you are looking for.

Unless you want to practice samatha jhana exclusively, than it might not be your right place. Also, I do not think the meditation teacher will put you there immediately after arriving at the center.

Kind regards,
Florian
My 'Mahasi Sasana Yeiktha' Facebook site

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Re: How to be in solitary for 30 days or longer

Postby Sekha » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:55 am

If you are in the south you may want to try this place:
http://www.dhammathai.org/e/meditation/page26.php

If you are near Bangkok, you can try this:
http://www.dhammathai.org/e/meditation/page13.php
You may also find other interesting places in the list on the left side

If you go to Myanmar, you can try Pa Auk. They will not force you to show up for interviews so you can practice as you please but right now it's the worst time of the year to visit Myanmar because it's very hot. Alternatively, you can try Pa Auk Maymyo a few miles before arriving in Pyin Oo Lwin from Mandalay, it will be cooler cause it's hilly.

You can also try Phyu Tawya near Yangon, where the monks practice the Goenka technique. That's where I'm headed myself in the next couple of days.
check out this link for further info, I think it's on page 18: http://www.keepandshare.com/doc/4778617 ... 7-meg?da=y

If you are not afraid of being surrounded by nothing less than sotapannas, anagamis and even some arahants, you can try one of the many Mahasi monasteries.
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org

As a sweet-smelling and beautiful lotus flower may grow upon a heap of rubbish thrown on the highway, so also, out of the rubbish heap of beings may appear a disciple of the Buddha, who with his wisdom, shines resplendent in wisdom. -/ Dhp 58-59

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Re: How to be in solitary for 30 days or longer

Postby Mr.SeanStewart » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:35 pm

tsurezuregusa wrote:Within the Mahasi Sasana Yeiktha there is a "solitary area" for advanced yogis.

These yogis do not participate in group sittings in the meditation hall and they do not eat with the other yogis in the dining hall. They keep to themselves. Meditate in their own room and breakfast and lunch is delivered to them. Although I practiced at the Mahasi center, I have not been at the solitary area myself. But I believe, it might be what you are looking for.

Unless you want to practice samatha jhana exclusively, than it might not be your right place. Also, I do not think the meditation teacher will put you there immediately after arriving at the center.

Kind regards,
Florian


thanks for the good news sounds like exactly what im looking for , can you tell me which Yeiktha center? there seems to be a few of them


• Chanmyay Yeiktha, Yangon

• Chanmyay Yeiktha, Hmawbi

• Chanmyay Yeiktha, Pyin Oo Lwin

• Chanmyay Yeiktha, Taunggyi

• Chanmyay Yeiktha, Hinthata

• Chanmyay Yeiktha, Leway

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Re: How to be in solitary for 30 days or longer

Postby Mr.SeanStewart » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:39 pm

Sekha wrote:If you are in the south you may want to try this place:
http://www.dhammathai.org/e/meditation/page26.php

If you are near Bangkok, you can try this:
http://www.dhammathai.org/e/meditation/page13.php
You may also find other interesting places in the list on the left side

If you go to Myanmar, you can try Pa Auk. They will not force you to show up for interviews so you can practice as you please but right now it's the worst time of the year to visit Myanmar because it's very hot. Alternatively, you can try Pa Auk Maymyo a few miles before arriving in Pyin Oo Lwin from Mandalay, it will be cooler cause it's hilly.

You can also try Phyu Tawya near Yangon, where the monks practice the Goenka technique. That's where I'm headed myself in the next couple of days.
check out this link for further info, I think it's on page 18: http://www.keepandshare.com/doc/4778617 ... 7-meg?da=y

If you are not afraid of being surrounded by nothing less than sotapannas, anagamis and even some arahants, you can try one of the many Mahasi monasteries.



Hi Sekha, thank you so much for your valuable post, specially he PDF document is incredibly helpful as im about to visit burma for first time and had no idea what to expect.

I have been practicing under goenka for 3 years with great success but im eager to do longer retreats and also to have a direct teacher/student relationship so thats why im seeking other organisations, I have my sponsorship with Chanmyay Yeiktha organization, so this looks like will be my starting place and also will be visiting pau-auk.

i dont know what are sotapannas , or anagamis, but i assume they are highly evolved people ? i am very eager to meet arhats do you have some suggestions on where i can meet them? thank you so much for your help!

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Re: How to be in solitary for 30 days or longer

Postby tsurezuregusa » Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:20 pm

Mr.SeanStewart wrote:thanks for the good news sounds like exactly what im looking for , can you tell me which Yeiktha center? there seems to be a few of them ...

Actually, it is none of the meditation centers you listed. It is the

Mahasi Sasana Yeiktha
16, Thathana Yeiktha Road, Rangoon, Yangon, Burma

For pictures of this meditation centre, please see:

http://tsurezuregusa.de/weltreise-in-bi ... n-myanmar/

this site is linked with Bing maps, so you can see where it is in Yangon.

This https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FodxsYKHE4 is a short video tour I made of the meditation center. At 20:45 min you can see the entrance to the solitary area.

Kind regards,
Florian
My 'Mahasi Sasana Yeiktha' Facebook site

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Re: How to be in solitary for 30 days or longer

Postby Sekha » Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:49 pm

i dont know what are sotapannas , or anagamis, but i assume they are highly evolved people ? i am very eager to meet arhats do you have some suggestions on where i can meet them? thank you so much for your help!

well, I meant that ironically. One friend of mine, of a rather credulous temper, has been a monk for about 13 years. He was ordained in Myanmar in the Mahasi tradition, which he has followed for over 10 years, as a monk. Towards the beginning of those 10 years, after a few retreats, it was declared that he was had become a sotapanna, and he has believed it for the remainder of those 10 years. He has met a lot of other people who also believed they were sotapannas, for the same reasons. One of his friend even made him believe for years that he was an arahant, and it is likely that the guy was actually parajika.

What made him change his mind was when he decided to try the Pa Auk technique. So he went there and got quickly disillusioned. Now he knows that he has been fooled for almost a decade, and he has seen other people arriving at Pa Auk believing they were nothing less than anagamis who hit the wall of reality pretty hardly. I think the Pa Auk sayadaw wrote a book seeking to demonstrate that the teaching of Mahasi Sayadaw is bulls**t and that what they take for Nibbana is actually what the abhidhamma calls bhavanga citta.

Welcome to the huge mess that has arisen in the Sasana.
You may eventually learn to truly appreciate the simplicity and straightforwardness of Goenka's teaching.

I understand what you want to do, and I have been in a very similar quest for the past few years. Just be careful and don't believe what everyone says. There is a telling simile in the gospel about recognizing the quality of a person (applicable to a meditation technique) as compared to a tree. In short, a good tree produces good fruits, a bad one produces bad fruits. Just observe what long-term practitioners become, if they get rid of their grossest defilements, or if they are still easily prone to negativity, egocentricity, superiority complexes etc.

You may also wish to try this place in Malaysia http://www.sasanarakkha.org/ , where you can meditate in the conditions you are looking for, except that you won't have a teacher, but I guess you already know how you have to practice. The only thing is you will have to exchange a few emails and meet the chief monk if they think you are a serious practitioner.
I have also spent many months in this place, and as a matter of fact I will be back there within a few weeks: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sitavana- ... 29?fref=ts send me a PM if you are interested.
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org

As a sweet-smelling and beautiful lotus flower may grow upon a heap of rubbish thrown on the highway, so also, out of the rubbish heap of beings may appear a disciple of the Buddha, who with his wisdom, shines resplendent in wisdom. -/ Dhp 58-59

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Re: How to be in solitary for 30 days or longer

Postby Chi » Sat Nov 23, 2013 7:50 am

Thank you Sekha for all your kind advice and thoughts.

First, I agree the simplicity of Goenkaji's teaching is wonderful. It's pure. I've sat several courses and spent significant time at a Dhamma Center as a long-term server. Still, I feel having to wait for 2 years to take a long retreat is too much. Of course, long retreats can be quite challenging and psychologically disturbing at times, but the Buddha never made people wait until they were "ready." I've seen young monks in Burma sit for several months...surely, they are not ready for everything they will experience. Who is ever ready to have their identity shattered over and over again, to have their egos rocked day and night?

Second, does the first experience of cessation not mark the start of life as a sotapanna? Do you have a link of Pa Auk's critique of Mahasi's teachings? Almost certainly, Mahasi was confident and accurate in his teachings regarding the path to Nibbana/cessation. Aware and equanimous...if a practitioner keeps developing these qualities, regardless of technique, he is bound to be a noble person, no? The monk teachers in Mahasi's tradition I have met have been some of the best I've been around, especially Sayadaw U Thuzana. I've only practiced intensively in Goenka and Mahasi traditions, so my experience is limited, but I know when I was at Panditarama a couple years ago, I made good progress. Long retreats are awesome :)

Third, what are the accommodations like at the Malaysian retreat centers. I see the pictures on Sasanarakka's website shows a large dormitory for lay practitioners. Is it the same for long-term retreatants? How was your experience at Sitavana? Must have been good if you are going back there.

Thank you for your input.
Do Good, Avoid Evil, Purify the Mind.

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Re: How to be in solitary for 30 days or longer

Postby Sekha » Sat Nov 23, 2013 7:35 pm

I think it was a wise choice from Goenkaji to ask for people to get established in the technique and to have cleaned up their daily life before going for longer retreats. Some people however may already have their life pretty clean and perhaps could sit sooner, but there is no easy criteria to recognize them. So, there's one rule for all.

I don't know if that book by PAS was ever translated into English. I doubt it. If one develops the necessary qualities, one makes progress. But one should not backslide, which can happen if the practice is not intense enough, and some techniques may be more appropriate to particular cases than others. But rare are the people who can give reliable advice here. One has to see for oneself.

At SBS, you are in a dormitory if you attend one of the big retreats that happen every once in a while, but otherwise they allocate you a tiny kuti where you just have enough space to lie down. Most monks have the same kutis, from what I have seen. My experience at Sitavana was rather good, but in the end I didn't get along with the resident monk very well. He made another Australian resident monk leave. But the place is terrific for the peace and seclusion, while being easily accessible with a vehicle.
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org

As a sweet-smelling and beautiful lotus flower may grow upon a heap of rubbish thrown on the highway, so also, out of the rubbish heap of beings may appear a disciple of the Buddha, who with his wisdom, shines resplendent in wisdom. -/ Dhp 58-59


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