Author Topic: Retreat recommendations?  (Read 2699 times)

Kris

Retreat recommendations?
« on: February 13, 2010, 10:41:44 PM »
Hello everyone,

I attended a 10-day Geoenka retreat three months ago and have also been practicing about 1-2 hours a day after that (and actually experience some really nice results). However due to the cult like style of the retreat and all the criticism from experienced meditatiors of Goenka's retrets (especially after reading this article , I will not attend another Goenka retreat. Therefore I would like to know what good vipassana retreats are recommeded. I live in Sweden and could go anywhere in europe but recommendations of retreats in asia are welcome as well.

Best regards,

Kriss

« Last Edit: February 13, 2010, 10:50:15 PM by Kris »

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Retreat recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2010, 11:02:45 PM »
Hi Kris,

Welcome to the forums.

What sort of retreat/time/place/budget did you have in mind. You can do one at home from $1 a day to one in a four star hotel at $500 a night.

Warmly, in the Dhamma,

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

Kris

Re: Retreat recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2010, 01:25:37 PM »
Hi Matthew. Thank you!

I primarily want some good instructions on samatha and vipassana meditation (e.g. the different stages of samadhi, what vipassana actually is and how to practice it correctly) and at the same time be able to sit with other meditators in a relaxing and nice environment for a weekend or 10 days. I have a medium budget (I rather spend some money for some good instructions and preferable by a live teacher than "just" listening to a recording as in the Goenka retreat) and I'm quite flexible when regarding time/place. I basically felt that the Goenka retreat was a useful experience but I don't have the necessary faith in Goenka and his assistant and managers to back. Should I turn to some pure buddhist organization to get some proper vipassana instructions?

Regards

Kriss


kidnovice

  • Member
    • Theravada: with nuts and bolts from Goenka-ji, and fine tuning from Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Re: Retreat recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2010, 05:02:38 AM »
Its hard to offer many recommendations as I'm not too familiar with Dharma options on your side of the globe. However, when I asked myself what center I'd be interested in visiting outside of America, I immediately thought of Ajahn Sumedho's Amaravati Monastery in England.

This monastery is in the thai forest tradition (e.g., Ajahn Chah), and all the monks and nuns I have met in this tradition are absolutely lovely people--and truly profound. If I happened to be in England, that's where I'd go!  I highly recommend checking out their website (here is the link: Amaravati). Its very informative, and you can listen to some talks, which really gives you a flavor of the teachings/tradition.

Best of luck,
Dylan
May we cultivate the serenity to accept the things we cannot change; the compassion to change the things we can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

sublime

Re: Retreat recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2010, 01:06:28 PM »
Looks like a good place, thanks. I will surely visit there soon.

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Retreat recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2010, 03:47:14 PM »
Amaravati is a great place to do a retreat. Be prepared for not very comfortable dormitory rooms, a wonderful shrine hall, beautiful surroundings and a fairly relaxed approach. Go when the weather is not too cold. Contact the guest monk in advance and tell him what sort of retreat you want to do and that you want to have some instruction and the opportunity to discuss Dhamma with some experienced practitioners.

If you can take a month off I would thoroughly recommend sitting a Dathün (Tibetan: "Month-sit") at Dechen Choling, the Shambhala International Centre near to Limoges in France. There is one taking place from March 7 - April 5, 2010. I used to live in this centre and it is a great place to sit a retreat. The container is excellent and, though I do not know the teachers leading this retreat personally, the centre is excellent.

Alternatively check out the retreat schedule at Plum Village, Thich Nath Hahn's centre near Bordeaux.

Europe is absolutely full of possibilities.

Warmly,

Matthew
« Last Edit: February 15, 2010, 03:50:07 PM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Kris

Re: Retreat recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2010, 09:37:49 PM »
Thanks for the advice! The Amaravati place looks really nice, and even more important - the staff looks happy!  :D

I will probably have a 30day sitting sometime the future, but I'm feeling a little cautious after the Goenka retreat (which also was my first retreat ever).. maybe because it was held deep in the Swedish forests in cold and dark november  ::)

I actually found a Buddhist center in my home town yesterday and registered for a weekend intro course/retreat Feb 26-28. I'm really looking forward to meeting some like-minded people!

 

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