Do-it-yourself retreat?

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

Do-it-yourself retreat?

Postby zangskar » Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:23 pm

Rent a cabin or pitch a tent somewhere far out in the woods, or maybe just turn off all phones and unplug the doorbell and stay at home. Then use some digital device to act as Master of Retreat, sounding a bell and a prerecorded instruction according to a programmed schedule? Maybe just for a weekend to start with.

I just thought of trying, and wonder if any of you practice 'marathons' or mini "sesshins" something like this?

Any ideas?

Best wishes
Lars
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Re: Do-it-yourself retreat?

Postby Paul » Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:15 pm

I do this all the time and consider it invaluable.
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"Do not block your six senses; delight in them with joy and ease.
All that you take pleasure in will strengthen the awakened state.
With such a confidence, empowered by the regal state of natural mind,
The training now is simply this: lets your six senses be at ease and free." - Princess Parani
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Re: Do-it-yourself retreat?

Postby zangskar » Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:30 pm

Hey Paul If you don't mind me asking; do you have a totally strict or slightly more relaxed schedule, do you vary between seated and walking meditation, have you prepared meals in advance, and this sort of thing. I realize this will to some extent be individual and also depending on exactly what type of meditation or other practices are done, but I'm just looking for some inspiration and different viewpoints.

I guess my plan right now is to just have some small taste of success in being able to complete one weekend retreat. I think I should try a strict schedule in terms of what is done and at what time, to avoid my tendency at procrastinating things. But then the contents of the discipline to be relatively light, for instance not prepare meals in advance but prepare meals as a break from seated meditation, of course keeping as mindful as possible while cooking. To have some longer periods of walking meditation, as well as some hatha yoga, and so on. But of course no music, internet surfing, TV, daydreaming, etc.

Best wishes
Lars
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Re: Do-it-yourself retreat?

Postby Paul » Sat Nov 05, 2011 4:51 pm

zangskar wrote:Hey Paul If you don't mind me asking; do you have a totally strict or slightly more relaxed schedule, do you vary between seated and walking meditation, have you prepared meals in advance, and this sort of thing. I realize this will to some extent be individual and also depending on exactly what type of meditation or other practices are done, but I'm just looking for some inspiration and different viewpoints.


I tend to do it when possible in an actual Buddhist centre. This means that I have my meals brought to me.

As far as a schedule goes, the traditional routine is to have three sessions in the morning and three in the afternoon evening. I just meditate for an hour or ninety minutes at a stretch, stop and read for 20 minutes, do prostrations or whatever and then meditate again.

It is important to be able to deal with getting too spaced out, too uptight or getting doubts. How to deal with any of these will depend on what you're doing.
Image

"Do not block your six senses; delight in them with joy and ease.
All that you take pleasure in will strengthen the awakened state.
With such a confidence, empowered by the regal state of natural mind,
The training now is simply this: lets your six senses be at ease and free." - Princess Parani
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Re: Do-it-yourself retreat?

Postby zangskar » Sat Nov 05, 2011 6:59 pm

Thanks, Paul.
Best wishes
Lars
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Re: Do-it-yourself retreat?

Postby sangyey » Sat Nov 05, 2011 10:23 pm

Paul, when you say you do 90 minutes of meditation in each session do you do 3 30 minute sessions morning and then afternoon or is it actually 90 minute sessions and then 3 of those in the morning and afternoon?
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