Author Topic: Shamatha self retreat  (Read 1611 times)

Ayala

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • Insight Meditation
Shamatha self retreat
« on: April 06, 2015, 02:33:18 PM »
Hi!
I've started a self Shamatha retreat and I'm not sure about the amount of meditation hours to do. I've started from 6 and went up to 10 (in a week and a half), but after doing 10 hrs yesterday, I had a lot of stress and restlessness this morning, and had to get out to town to get some air (and some chocolate and cigarettes..).
I'm thinking about going with 8 hrs, would that be sufficient for a progress?
What about going out to town every few days for a couple of hours? would that mess up my progress?
Thanks!
:)
Ayala

Alex

  • Member
Re: Shamatha self retreat
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2015, 04:02:27 PM »
Wow, you must be very motivated and disciplined to do this on your own! Doing an organized retreat is easier for me, because then I can simply follow the schedule, without worrying if I'm making the “right” choices. You also seem to be very focussed on progress and on doing things “right”, but I don’t know if there’s a “right” answer to your questions…

Quote
Quality over quantity
Quote
Don’t count the things you do, but do the things that count.

In my understanding, an hour more or less will not make a measurable difference, and certainly not as much difference as the quality of your awareness (open, relaxed, welcoming, exploring, investigating,…) can.
If 8 hours is what you’re thinking about for your retreat, why don’t you just try that and see how it works for you.
Are you a bad meditator when you only do six? Are you a good meditator when you do 10 hours?

You’re also wondering if ‘going to town’ is supportive of your self retreat.
From what you write, ‘going to town’ seems to be a distraction from your restlessness.
In relation to your restlessness, ‘going to town’ can either be a mindful choice (I see and respect this restlessness and I make a conscious choice to distract myself for a few hours) or an automatic reaction (Damn this restlessness! What did I do wrong? I need to get away and smoke some cigarettes).

Bring awareness to whatever you do, off the cushion as well, so also to this restlesness. Explore what leads to the wish to go into town. Explore your intentions. Go to town, or don’t. Explore what going or not going does. It’s all part of the practice.

Ayala

  • Member
  • Write something about yourself here
    • Insight Meditation
Re: Shamatha self retreat
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2015, 10:04:49 AM »
Wow, thanks Alex for your answer! It really helps me seeing things in a more relaxed way. I guess my attachments to what seems to be 'right' and 'wrong' enhance my restlessness..
I will try to continue with more compassion for myself and relaxation.
Thanks!
Ayala

Alex

  • Member
Re: Shamatha self retreat
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2015, 11:13:29 AM »
I will try to continue with more compassion for myself and relaxation.

Sounds great!
May you have a fruitful retreat,
Alex

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
42 Replies
23241 Views
Last post June 10, 2011, 02:37:36 AM
by Jeeprs
6 Replies
4919 Views
Last post August 11, 2010, 09:34:12 PM
by Maria-Yasmine
27 Replies
8221 Views
Last post May 18, 2011, 05:14:28 AM
by Morning Dew
4 Replies
1920 Views
Last post September 24, 2011, 05:50:37 PM
by Vivek
11 Replies
2959 Views
Last post November 23, 2015, 07:15:03 AM
by Brainbug
3 Replies
1003 Views
Last post August 10, 2019, 05:59:18 PM
by VipassanaXYZ
9 Replies
816 Views
Last post May 08, 2020, 04:00:12 PM
by NewPathForward