Author Topic: 7 Years in, and finally went on a retreat.  (Read 252 times)

Dharmic Tui

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7 Years in, and finally went on a retreat.
« on: June 07, 2018, 06:27:31 AM »
Hey All,

Just thought I'd share my thoughts and experience. As many of you know, I live in the sticks, and don't have any Theravadan Buddhists near by (there's some Tibetans and an SGI chapter, they're nice enough, however they're not quite compatible with me). I have essentially practiced Buddhism in a vacuum, with only resources like this Sangha, written print, and other online resources to get me by.

I finally managed to attend a 4 day retreat at a Thai Forest Monastery near Wellington, New Zealand, called Bodhinyanarama. Given the relative size of New Zealand and distance from the rest of the world, this facility is quite amazing. I highly recommend it to anyone living in NZ or visiting NZ.

The overall impression of my retreat was interesting. What I've come away with is a renewed sense of importance that my real progress needs to be made off the matt, and in my waking, living life. The meditation was what I expected it to be, an extended session of my normal daily practice, stretched out over 8hrs a day. It aided me a little having such a quiet, regimented and uninterrupted environment to practice in. The abbot Ajahn Kusala was available for Q & A, however ultimately most answers were already in the questions asked. The traditional regimen of rising at 5, meditation, having breakfast and doing chores is close to how I live already. It's also shown me though how important discipline is, so I will look to incorporate more of into my day to day life.

Anyway just thought I'd put that out there.

Take care

stillpointdancer

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Re: 7 Years in, and finally went on a retreat.
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2018, 11:57:44 AM »
My first retreat was my last as they had a no talking policy at breakfast (and other times). It reminded me of times when people have argued and refuse to speak, so kind of spoiled it for me.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

raushan

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Re: 7 Years in, and finally went on a retreat.
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2018, 11:14:39 AM »
Hi DT,

It was good to hear you finally managed to do the retreat. Your perseverance to stick with the meditation by your own I think is commendable.

It seems that Buddhism has been spread almost every part of the world.

garyatblackhouse

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Re: 7 Years in, and finally went on a retreat.
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2018, 09:29:43 PM »
Hi Tui,

I was going to use the word commendable also. Fair play to you. I did Goenka retreat from Dec '12 up until I began going to a Thai Forrest monastery in Ireland called Sunyata last year. Every time I go there I think to myself "This is the dhamma as it should be." Although, maybe it's just the approach that suits me at this time in my life. I'm grateful to what Goenka tradition did for me, but I am actually quite relieved and excited to have found the Thai Forrest tradition.

I live in the sticks also, the dhamma lead me to the sticks, but in Ireland everything is quite compact so nowhere is too far away! I'm glad you got to go on retreat and had a good experience after cultivating your practice for so long in your own space. I can resonate a lot with what you say about working off the cushion, I might even have been hanging out in the sticks a bit too much and now it's time to take what I've developing here to new and more populated places.

Thanks for sharing.

"If you haven't cried deeply a number of times, your meditation hasn't begun." - Ajahn Chah

Siddharth

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Re: 7 Years in, and finally went on a retreat.
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2018, 03:21:53 PM »
Hey DT,
Keeping on with practise for such a long period of time without much affirmation and guidance/ formal teaching is not just an act of perseverance, but in my opinion also courageous. You worked with your own understanding which is central..in my opinion.

Hope your journey is as frictionless as possible till you arrive at nirvana.
And what is good, Phædrus,
And what is not good...
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

BeHereNow

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Re: 7 Years in, and finally went on a retreat.
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2018, 09:33:11 PM »
Hi DT,

Congratulations on going on retreat! That is wonderful.

I agree that the hardest part of the practice, at least for me, is the application in everyday life.

Lately I've been practicing recognizing when I am resisting the present moment (which is much of the time!) and opening to that experience.  Releasing the resistance is a work in progress, and the more I'm able to do that the more seamless my on-the-cushion / off-the-cushion experiences become.

Best of luck integrating the fruits of your hard work!

Much metta,
Paula
"You are the Sky.  Everything else is just the weather." - Pema Chodron

Matthew

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Re: 7 Years in, and finally went on a retreat.
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2018, 03:36:30 PM »
Good you made this happen DT.

The key lessons you came away with are universally true:

.... What I've come away with is a renewed sense of importance that my real progress needs to be made off the matt, and in my waking, living life.

... It's also shown me though how important discipline is, so I will look to incorporate more of into my day to day life.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~