Author Topic: Meditation Retreats  (Read 6434 times)

ChrisA

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Meditation Retreats
« on: March 29, 2011, 05:14:11 PM »
Hi there,

I've been meditating reguarly for the last 3 years. I've decided I'd like to go on a retreat, probably for 3 or 4 days. Does anyone have any recommendations for good retreats in the UK?

Thanks,

Chris.

Matthew

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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
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Re: Meditation Retreats
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2011, 08:46:02 PM »
Chris,

Not too sure who is doing 3-4 day retreats these days. Have you looked around the web and found anything?

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

ivana

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Re: Meditation Retreats
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2011, 09:19:44 PM »
Hi Chris
Sorry I do not have an experience with short meditation retreat. I looked at internet. I got ideas:

http://www.bonhays.co.uk/
http://www.gaiahouse.co.uk/page.php?id=101
http://www.dhamma.org/en/schedules/schdipa.htm (scroll down)

Remember let us know how it was after your retreat.
Take care
Ivana

ChrisA

  • Guest
Re: Meditation Retreats
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2011, 04:35:15 PM »
Cheers, they look like good places - I may go to one of the shorter ones.

I did a search myself but wanted to see if anyone on the forum had been on one themselves they could recommend.

Best,

Chris.

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Meditation Retreats
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2011, 09:22:17 AM »
Ivana - good hunting :)

Chris,

This one is worth a look: http://www.gaiahouse.co.uk/course.php?code=11149

gaiahouse are great and Ken Jones who is leading it is a great guy.

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

wildfox7

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Re: Meditation Retreats
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2011, 07:54:57 AM »
Chris,
Let me suggest some things to clarify your decision process.  Look for a 'weekender' that includes Fri or Mon, usually around a holiday.  These are low intensity affairs, so the risk of a bummer is near zero.  You will find a mix of newbies like yourself and oldies wanting to pep up or regularize their practice.  Since it is only a few days, do not worry over things that may distract you.

1.  Assuming you are an employee or student on a schedule, choose one within a couple hours transportation.  Don't worry about arriving 'on the button'.
2.  Choose between Theravada style or zen style meditation.
3.  Prefer western teachers over Asians.
4.  Your goal should be to invigorate your practice to the point that you will sit twice a day every day, after the retreat.
5.  Be prepared to cheerfully and silently comply with any special rules.  No smoking or drugs, etc.
6.  During the retreat, use the meditation methods prescribed by the teacher.  After the retreat, you will do what you like.


Renze

  • Member
    • Ungrounded
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Re: Meditation Retreats
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2011, 12:43:35 PM »
Wildfox,

Thank you for your informative reply. I've been meditating for a few years now but never been on a retreat. I feel I should do one this year. Your point 6 is particularly why I have been hesitating. I started out meditating in the mahasi sayadaw vipassana method, but moved on to shamatha meditation. The problem for me is, I can't find a shamatha retreat in my country. I want to start out with a short retreat in my own country. There's a very active vipassana organizaton that organizes many retreats here. The question is, will a retreat like this help me in my practice?

ChrisA

  • Guest
Re: Meditation Retreats
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2011, 12:26:23 PM »
Thanks Wildfox and Matthew, I'll consider all your advice.

wildfox7

  • Guest
Re: Meditation Retreats
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2011, 10:58:30 PM »
Renze,

Consider a solitary self-retreat, if you have the discipline.  If you do not live alone, house sit for a friend who is away for a long holiday.
Write yourself a day schedule for eat-sleep-meditate that you believe you can keep.  It's ok to have idle time or unscheduled naps.  6 to 10 hours meditation per day.  Anapana can take you all the way.  If it gets weird on you, stop if it feels uncomfortable, and take long walks.  If you need a guide, read "Faith in Mind".  Make friends with your isolation.  (I have been a hermit for 9 years.)

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Meditation Retreats
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2011, 11:25:19 AM »
Renze,

Consider a solitary self-retreat, if you have the discipline.  .....

Good advice.

Wildfox - to clarify, when you say, "Anapana can take you all the way", are you talking of mindfulness meditation as described in the Anapanasati Sutta or are you talking of Anapana "a la Goenka"? They have quite different meanings and both are used by forum members.

Matthew
« Last Edit: April 14, 2011, 07:14:18 PM by Matthew »
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Renze

  • Member
    • Ungrounded
    • No hope
Re: Meditation Retreats
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2011, 09:44:39 PM »
Thanks for the advice. I might try a one-day self-retreat this friday, just to see how it goes. Do you mean 6-10 hours of continuous sitting? That sounds like a big challenge :)

I have no problem with isolation. But I am worried that sitting for this long will induce mania. I'm a little sensitive to this, I've had hypomanic episodes before.

Edit: I practice mindfulness of the entire sensation of breathing, not just the nose or belly :)

Alexanderjohn

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Re: Meditation Retreats
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2011, 09:10:28 AM »
I wouldn't sit 6-10 hours continuously if I were you, you may implode. Take breaks but just make unwavering mindfulness the focus and purpose of your day... :)

ivana

  • Guest
Re: Meditation Retreats
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2011, 09:54:48 AM »
I've had hypomanic episodes before.

Edit: I practice mindfulness of the entire sensation of breathing, not just the nose or belly :)

Sorry I am not sure about a good advise.
Take care
Ivana
 

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Meditation Retreats
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2011, 11:58:52 AM »
Renze

The  6 - 10 hours would be scheduled during the day. For example:

6.00 wake, shower, stretch, walk

6.30 - 7.30 sit

7.30 - 8.30 mindfully, quietly and slowly prepare and eat some wholesome breakfast

8.30 - 10.30 sit with walking meditation breaks every 40 minutes or hour

10.30 - 11.30 rest or read a text

11.30 - 1.00pm mindfully, quietly and slowly prepare and eat some wholesome lunch

1.00pm - 3.00pm sit with walking meditation breaks every 40 minutes or hour

3.00pm - 4.00pm rest/read a text/take a mindful walk

4.00pm -5.00pm sit

5.00pm - 6.000pm   mindfully, quietly and slowly prepare and eat some wholesome supper

6.00pm - 7.00pm sit

This is just an example, make yours to include that which is beneficial to your mindfulness and to balance your mania. It could include some painting time for example. The most important thing is to be mindful in all your activities including mindfulness of feelings of getting manic. If that starts happening then rest.

Relax into whatever you go with. Don't make it a marathon without being too easy on yourself. The middle way :)

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

thomas

  • Member
Re: Meditation Retreats
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2011, 12:31:11 PM »
That looks like a good itinerary
back to the breath... and back to the breath....  and back to the breath.... and back to the breath..... and back to the breath

Renze

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    • No hope
Re: Meditation Retreats
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2011, 02:38:14 PM »
Thanks, Matthew. I wanted to do a 'pilot' mini-retreat today, but it didn't work out well. But at least I learned a lot from it. I need to plan and prepare more carefully. I was able to sit for 2 hours, with a 30 minute walking meditation break. So your example schedule could work for me. I learned not to do any normal daily stuff like going to the supermarket, because that felt a little weird with my mind empty from a long meditation session. I must also turn off my phone  :D