Author Topic: how should i go about attending my first meditation retreat?  (Read 248 times)

Follow Your Heart

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how should i go about attending my first meditation retreat?
« on: January 06, 2021, 05:22:03 AM »
hey guys,
i've been meditating for about a year and a half now. I'm not trying to pursue enlightenment right now, but more so building a foundation for the future (im 16 right now). what are the basics there is to know about going to my first meditation retreat?

thank you so much!

Siddharth

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    • unlearning, relearning and letting go
Re: how should i go about attending my first meditation retreat?
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2021, 10:55:05 AM »
there are many types of meditation retreats, and each has it's own set of caveats. some are intense, some, not so. You will get better help here if you'd specify which retreat you are planning to attend.

Regards,
Siddharth
And what is good, Phædrus,
And what is not good...
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

Alex

  • Member
Re: how should i go about attending my first meditation retreat?
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2021, 07:27:01 PM »
hey guys,
i've been meditating for about a year and a half now. I'm not trying to pursue enlightenment right now, but more so building a foundation for the future (im 16 right now). what are the basics there is to know about going to my first meditation retreat?

thank you so much!

Hey FYH

Are you asking advice about how to choose a first retreat?
In any case, respect for following your heart at such a young age!  ;)

Kindly
Alex

Follow Your Heart

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Re: how should i go about attending my first meditation retreat?
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2021, 12:16:45 AM »
Hey Siddharth,
im probably going with a vipassana retreat, 3-5 days

Hey Alex,
appreciate it bro! i'm gonna go with vipassana, but also open to suggestions. how was it for you in your first retreat?

thanks again guys

Alex

  • Member
Re: how should i go about attending my first meditation retreat?
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2021, 05:51:53 PM »
i'm gonna go with vipassana, but also open to suggestions.

I would say, follow your heart  :D What are you currently practicing?

how was it for you in your first retreat?

My first retreat (2007) was a 5-day vipassana retreat in tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw (using ‘noting’ technique). I didn’t have previous vipassana experience, so didn’t know what to expect. I was drawn by the notion of "exploring one’s own reality".
So I followed instructions, as best as I could, and took it really seriously in order to maintain mindfulness between meditation sessions as much as possible. After 2-3 days we were invited to increase the discipline, and – for example – take some time to explore and be with pain before shifting position. I remember the last meditation on day 4, my whole body was sore and tense, as if I was a solid block of granite. But I had strong resolve, and I managed to not give in to the desire to move, and made it to the end of the session. The first session next morning started out more or less the same, but then, suddenly, there was an experience of release! Waves of wellbeing flowing over me. It was a beautiful experience, and the sense of relief stayed with me for a good few days. I remember crying every time I realized that it was possible to be free from stress, anxiety, depression after all... there was a way!

Thanisaro85

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  • When thoughts, sensations, feelings arise,know it
    • Reverend father Jaran, Pramote. Theravada
    • Still breathing.
Re: how should i go about attending my first meditation retreat?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2021, 03:47:12 PM »
Hi FYH,

Like Siddharth has mentioned, every retreat can be different, different monastery offer different itinerary.

The one i attended, required us to wake up 3am, chant some verses of parittas. Follow by 1 hr of walking meditation, 1 hr of sitting meditation. Then 1 hr breakfast. Advise not to talk so we can remain mindfulness.
7 to 12pm ( 2 hrs w.meditation, 2hrs s.meditation.)
Lunch 1 hr.
1 to 4 pm( 2 hrs w.meditation, 2hrs s.meditation.)
4 to 5pm - Area cleaning our room, gardens.
5 to 6pm, tea break.

6 to 10pm ,  2 hrs w.meditation, 2hrs s.meditation.).
10 to 11pm, wash up, wash our clothing. Sleep.

What to expect.
1. Mosquitoes bite depend on where you go. Bring insect repellent if needed.
2. Whole body aching like Alex has experienced. The pain for my lower back almost broke me down.
3. Mind fogging due to continuous concentration.



Perhap before going, u might wanna try meditate at home for 2 days base on the schedule i provided. Check the centre itinerary and make adjustments accordingly.
A Mind Unshaken, when touches by worldy matter, sorrowless, secure and dustless, this is the ultimate great blessing~ Mangala Sutta

Dhamma

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  • May we all fulfill our deepest wish for happiness
    • Zen/Tibetan/Theravada
Re: how should i go about attending my first meditation retreat?
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2021, 07:20:40 PM »
It was a beautiful experience, and the sense of relief stayed with me for a good few days. I remember crying every time I realized that it was possible to be free from stress, anxiety, depression after all... there was a way!

That is so beautiful. This has left in me tears.  I am so happy that you felt such happiness.

I am scared of retreats because I have neck-induced migraines that make me nauseous. They come and go. I can go weeks where I only have mild migraines, but what will I do if I get a terrible migraine when at a retreat?

Peace and enlightenment.
You are already Buddha

May we see clearly the emptiness of all phenomena

raushan

  • Member
  • from India
    • S. N. Goenka switched to Samatha Forest Tradition
Re: how should i go about attending my first meditation retreat?
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2021, 01:58:38 AM »
Hi Dhamma,

You should try a few yoga postures to see if it helps you with the migraine. Don't try by yourself by watching youtube videos. I would suggest learning yoga from an expert.

Also, when you have the migraine see what kind of sensation it is generating in the body. Try to be aware of it. I have seen Ajahn Brahm video where one of his student was able to get rid of panic attacks by understanding how the panic attacks were generating.

Dhamma

  • Member
  • May we all fulfill our deepest wish for happiness
    • Zen/Tibetan/Theravada
Re: how should i go about attending my first meditation retreat?
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2021, 05:14:53 PM »
Hi Dhamma,

You should try a few yoga postures to see if it helps you with the migraine. Don't try by yourself by watching youtube videos. I would suggest learning yoga from an expert.

Also, when you have the migraine see what kind of sensation it is generating in the body. Try to be aware of it. I have seen Ajahn Brahm video where one of his student was able to get rid of panic attacks by understanding how the panic attacks were generating.

That was super kind of you to respond.

I also get nauseous at times during my migraines (not all the time). But it can be severe until the headache subsides.

I don't want to sound like I am using my illnesses as an excuse for not doing a retreat. I also suffer from vagal afib for many years, along with arthritis.

I have a yoga ball that I use to stretch my back. 

I did some Tsa-Lung exercises, and they made my headaches worse.

I will keep on trying to find help.

Thank you so much.

Peace and enlightenment.
You are already Buddha

May we see clearly the emptiness of all phenomena

Siddharth

  • Member
    • unlearning, relearning and letting go
Re: how should i go about attending my first meditation retreat?
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2021, 07:23:39 AM »
Hey Dhamma, I have suffered(still dealing with) from neck discomfort issues, and headaches as a side effect. A good physiotherapist, and better posture when using phone, sleeping and on the desk are some of the things that helped me. You might benefit from that as well.
Regarding yoga aslo, there are certain movements which help and some that worsen the pain for me, so guidance of some expert/experienced person is not to be ignored.

Metta and regards,
Siddharth
And what is good, Phædrus,
And what is not good...
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

raushan

  • Member
  • from India
    • S. N. Goenka switched to Samatha Forest Tradition
Re: how should i go about attending my first meditation retreat?
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2021, 10:15:44 AM »

That was super kind of you to respond.

I also get nauseous at times during my migraines (not all the time). But it can be severe until the headache subsides.

I don't want to sound like I am using my illnesses as an excuse for not doing a retreat. I also suffer from vagal afib for many years, along with arthritis.

I have a yoga ball that I use to stretch my back. 

I did some Tsa-Lung exercises, and they made my headaches worse.

I will keep on trying to find help.

Thank you so much.

Peace and enlightenment.

Hi Dhamma,

I can understand it must be difficult for you to go through all this. You shouldn't put yourself into too much discomfort so it's fine if you aren't attending retreats.

I have seen S N Goenka videos. His migraine got cured by vipassana but I guess it won't be applicable to everyone as it's not a proven method. If you know Jordan Peterson her daughter had rheumatoid arthritis. She told in a podcast that She followed the carnivore diet and it cured her rheumatoid arthritis.

Also if you know about this organization https://www.ishafoundation.org/About-Us/contact-us.isa#US

They really have Yoga experts teachers. Yoga does have healing power.

All these are just information I know. I don't have direct experience. It's just you can explore in these directions if you want.

All the best.

Kindly
Raushan

Alex

  • Member
Re: how should i go about attending my first meditation retreat?
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2021, 02:10:53 PM »
Hey Dhamma

Sorry to hear you’re suffering from migraine and that up to now it has been an obstacle to benefit from the fruits of a retreat.
Finding the right therapy that body works for you is not easy. If you’re looking for things to try gentle methods like Feldenkrais of “fascia work” (don’t know if the latter is an official term) might intrest you.

... but what will I do if I get a terrible migraine when at a retreat?

A good question. What would you do?
Maybe you can look after yourself, do what your body needs, and continue to cultivate mindfulness in whatever posture is comfortable? How would it be for you to be aware of the physical sensations of migraine when mindfulness and metta are strong?

Kind regards
Alex

 

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