Author Topic: I wish to do a 10-day course alone  (Read 5220 times)

johnnytheswede

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I wish to do a 10-day course alone
« on: April 07, 2008, 03:29:09 PM »
At the 10-day course I attended it was mentioned the possibility of doing a 10-day course on my own if I could find someone who will cook for me and maintain the "ground services". My wife has agreed to do this and we have decided to take two weeks of our summer vacation where I will do a 10-day course and she will do her usual practices and support me.

I now remember that there were some instructions at the original 10-day course I attended, but I cannot seem to find them. What I can recap out my memory is:

1. The first 3 and a half days goes to sharpening the mind through anapana sati (mindfulness of breathing.)
2. Vipassana then starts with the ususal body scanning being built up in steps of more and more directed orders of body-parts.

We will of course not answer telephone during these two weeks and generally be in "retreat mode".

I can also infer more details from the 11 discourses by Goenka (which are published on the web) but can anyone please fill me in with more details on this subject? Help very much appreciated.

Best regards
Johnny



Flipasso

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Re: I wish to do a 10-day course alone
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2008, 09:20:45 PM »
I didn't attend a Goenka's, but I remember reading that in "The discourse summaries" or the "Art of Living".
I have the discourses on video I can send them to you via rapidshare.com.

johnnytheswede

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Re: I wish to do a 10-day course alone
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2008, 07:03:12 AM »
Thank you for your offer, however, I do believe that the summaries (which I have in text) are sufficient for my needs. I will not look at videos, I will just read the summaries to tape (or something) before the 10-day period and listen to them (spoken with my own voice) in the evenings after each day's practice.

No, what really wanted was some more specific/detailed information about the practice, you know "on the first day, focus on the breath, on the second day, focus on the area under the nostrils and feel who the breath affects it, on the third day focus on the area under the nostrils and just notice any sensation there..." Things like that.

Thank you for replying anyway.

Have anyone here done a 10-day course alone?

Best regards
Johnny

pamojjam

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Re: I wish to do a 10-day course alone
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2008, 09:39:50 AM »
Hi Johnny,

I did many self retreats of various lenghts and formats on my own. Just as example in himalayan caves having stuffed my rucksack with food for 10 days.

However, giving specific instructions for self retreats I've a bit difficulty with. Because there are really good reasons to have a meditation guide in the beginning and until you really know what you're doing - become sort of your own guide.

Nobody can predict what will happen in your case and give instructions on all possibities, and often enough one has to depend on creative coping skills out of one's own extensive meditation experience, and the original scriptures.

In nature on your own without the usual human distractions you can go incredible deep very fast. Therefore I would like to recommend to you knowing the in and outs of Vipassana by doing more guided retreats first. Since you ask for instructions I must asume you haven't.

Anyway, the very best..
« Last Edit: April 10, 2008, 09:47:00 AM by pamojjam »

Matthew

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Re: I wish to do a 10-day course alone
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2008, 09:53:11 AM »
Hello Johnny,

Don't not answer the telephone. Unplug the telephone.

I second everything Pamojjam said.

In the Dhamma,

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

anicca

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Re: I wish to do a 10-day course alone
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2008, 10:50:29 AM »
From the sounds of your post you've only completed 1 ten day course. The instructions given for a 'new student' on a ten day course are designed to help you move step by step from gross awareness to a more and more subtle awareness. When you go back as an 'old student' you are given different instructions designed to take you deeper into the practice.

I would highly reccommend getting more established in the technique before attempting a ten day retreat on your own, the Assistant Teachers and Dhamma Centres are their for a reason. Having said that I've often conducted solo, or with my partner (who also sits), three hour sits where we do an hour of Anapanna followed by two hours of Vipassana.

I personally think trying to do a ten day sit in your own home would be pretty hard to do, there would be too many distractions and easy ways out.

Stefan

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Re: I wish to do a 10-day course alone
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2008, 04:35:16 PM »
I second everything Pamojjam said.

Me too.

I personally think trying to do a ten day sit in your own home would be pretty hard to do, there would be too many distractions and easy ways out.

Yeah don't do it at home.

And if you still decide to do it, then contact an Assistant Teacher first and talk to him/ her about that (as is advised by Goenkaji for this case). First of all, he/ she'll know about it and will do the "teacher thing" (which also works on long distances!). And then you have someone whom you can contact if things are going "wrong". Somewhere else I told the story about a friend who freaked pretty badly as a result of meditating (or better: as a result of things she did wrong while meditating) ... it IS serious, be careful.

Metta to you, Stefan
« Last Edit: April 10, 2008, 04:45:49 PM by stefan »
anicca

Matthew

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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: I wish to do a 10-day course alone
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2008, 04:45:43 PM »
But not too careful.

:)

In the Dhamma,

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

Stefan

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Re: I wish to do a 10-day course alone
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2008, 04:47:01 PM »
 ;D , not too careful ....
anicca

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: I wish to do a 10-day course alone
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2008, 04:50:52 PM »
not too tight ... not too lose :°

Happy meditation, johnny.

In the Dhamma,

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

Flipasso

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Re: I wish to do a 10-day course alone
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2008, 11:01:20 PM »
I'm not experienced in meditation, but I'm warned about the hazards of doing intensive "wrong" practice.
You should be too.
Now it's up for you to decide.

[my attitude changed a bit since the last post]

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: I wish to do a 10-day course alone
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2008, 10:03:41 AM »
Solitary retreats are not harmful if you are using basic calming and awareness techniques.

In the Dhamma,

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

Stefan

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Re: I wish to do a 10-day course alone
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2008, 01:44:55 PM »
... if you know how to ...
anicca

johnnytheswede

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Re: I wish to do a 10-day course alone
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2008, 03:13:44 PM »
Thank you for your comments, they are sinking into me now as I write.

I am a bit of a stubborn type so I am inclined to go ahead and not be "too careful" and do a retreat, however I have made no final decision yet, I believe I will seek more support first, like for example getting in touch with a teacher in my neighbourhood and see if he or she could be there (by the phone) for evening talks or something. (As was suggested above.)

I might change my intention of doing a full Vipassana reatreat into simply doing a shorter retreat with only calming techniques (like anapana sati). What do you think of that?

Best regards
Johnny

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: I wish to do a 10-day course alone
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2008, 03:45:29 PM »
You can never do too much calming meditation. The biggest hurdle on the path for westerners is our ingrained cultural ideas and bias towards "progress" which often leads us to think the wrong way about meditation and try and move on from calming techniques and get higher up the "meditators food chain".

I have done a 30 day retreat which consisted purely of calming meditation for 14 hours a day.

Driving a car afterwards, someone pointed out to me that the reason every one behind us was beeping their horns was because I was driving at ten miles an hour. It seemed like a rollercoaster. I accelerated to thirty and felt like I was flying a rocket.

There is no seperation really between calming and awareness meditation except for the level of active awareness one applies to objects other than the breath. So even if you just do calming meditation you will also be increasing your awareness in the background.

In the Dhamma,

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

sandip250382

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Re: I wish to do a 10-day course alone
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2008, 02:25:17 AM »
I didn't attend a Goenka's, but I remember reading that in "The discourse summaries" or the "Art of Living".
I have the discourses on video I can send them to you via rapidshare.com.
Can you kindly send me the rapidshare links? Thanks in advance.