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Retreat Centers

Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 3:04 pm
by TharpaChodron
I'm sure this has been asked a million times before, sorrry, but is there an age limit or similar rules and limitation to moving and living at a retreat center? Is it a possiblilty once one is past age 65 to move to one?

Re: Retreat Centers

Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 3:36 pm
by bryandavis
It will be dependent upon the rules of the dharma center that has the retreat facilities available.

Re: Retreat Centers

Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 3:47 pm
by TharpaChodron
bryandavis wrote: Tue May 28, 2019 3:36 pm It will be dependent upon the rules of the dharma center that has the retreat facilities available.
oh, I guess I meant Dharma center. Do you know of any "typical" rules in this regard?

Re: Retreat Centers

Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 5:16 pm
by heart
TharpaChodron wrote: Tue May 28, 2019 3:47 pm
bryandavis wrote: Tue May 28, 2019 3:36 pm It will be dependent upon the rules of the dharma center that has the retreat facilities available.
oh, I guess I meant Dharma center. Do you know of any "typical" rules in this regard?
You have to work a lot, as far as I have seen the situation isn't ideal for older people at this point.

/magnus

Re: Retreat Centers

Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 5:54 pm
by philji
In theory seems a great idea, in practice not always. Dharma centres can be very busy places with as Magnus says above lots of work/ help needed.

Re: Retreat Centers

Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 6:38 pm
by Schrödinger’s Yidam
heart wrote: You have to work a lot, as far as I have seen the situation isn't ideal for older people at this point.
And they’re always in need of money. So your kids won’t appreciate you giving their inheritance away.

I’m a retiree and I moved into one. But I don’t have a family and a minimal pension. I work a lot here. I like being part of a community. I’d be lonely otherwise. So I’m happy. Somebody else might hate the same situation though.

I suspect there will be a few years where the dilettantes like me will retire to Centers. And then we will all die and find out how well we did with our practice! :twothumbsup:

Re: Retreat Centers

Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 8:37 pm
by bryandavis
An option would be, and this is if it is ones wish, to enter retreat. Most dharma centers with retreat housing options would be happy to take your money on a long term monthly basis. Also many centers will have retreat housing that is much less than renting an apartment, paying a home loan, etc.

You can find something for 600 or less a month im sure as far as space is concerned. Then add 200 at least for food. Then health insurance. Many retreats require you prove you are insured.

If you have no debt and an residual income, or Social Security etc. Then just spend your life in retreat.

If some philanthropist wants to set up a trust fund for me of 800 to 1000 dollars a month I will gladly enter a retreat situation for as long as Im alive.

Re: Retreat Centers

Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 9:14 pm
by Nicholas Weeks
TharpaChodron wrote: Tue May 28, 2019 3:04 pm I'm sure this has been asked a million times before, sorrry, but is there an age limit or similar rules and limitation to moving and living at a retreat center? Is it a possiblilty once one is past age 65 to move to one?
Have you lived in a six month or longer retreat before? You may not like it for the rest of your days.

Has your guru suggested that option?

Re: Retreat Centers

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 2:09 am
by TharpaChodron
bryandavis wrote: Tue May 28, 2019 8:37 pm An option would be, and this is if it is ones wish, to enter retreat. Most dharma centers with retreat housing options would be happy to take your money on a long term monthly basis. Also many centers will have retreat housing that is much less than renting an apartment, paying a home loan, etc.

You can find something for 600 or less a month im sure as far as space is concerned. Then add 200 at least for food. Then health insurance. Many retreats require you prove you are insured.

If you have no debt and an residual income, or Social Security etc. Then just spend your life in retreat.

If some philanthropist wants to set up a trust fund for me of 800 to 1000 dollars a month I will gladly enter a retreat situation for as long as Im alive.
Sounds enticing, but I don't know if retiring in a full time retreat would be a good option for me. Anyhow, I have a long ways till I could do that. If all goes as hoped, I should have a pretty decent retirement income with pension, savings and social security, though, but who knows really.

Re: Retreat Centers

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 2:10 am
by TharpaChodron
Nicholas Weeks wrote: Tue May 28, 2019 9:14 pm
TharpaChodron wrote: Tue May 28, 2019 3:04 pm I'm sure this has been asked a million times before, sorrry, but is there an age limit or similar rules and limitation to moving and living at a retreat center? Is it a possiblilty once one is past age 65 to move to one?
Have you lived in a six month or longer retreat before? You may not like it for the rest of your days.

Has your guru suggested that option?
I have not done a retreat and haven't asked my lama about it either. Figured I'd test the waters here before asking a crazy question.

Re: Retreat Centers

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 2:14 am
by TharpaChodron
smcj wrote: Tue May 28, 2019 6:38 pm
heart wrote: You have to work a lot, as far as I have seen the situation isn't ideal for older people at this point.
And they’re always in need of money. So your kids won’t appreciate you giving their inheritance away.

I’m a retiree and I moved into one. But I don’t have a family and a minimal pension. I work a lot here. I like being part of a community. I’d be lonely otherwise. So I’m happy. Somebody else might hate the same situation though.

I suspect there will be a few years where the dilettantes like me will retire to Centers. And then we will all die and find out how well we did with our practice! :twothumbsup:
Sounds great what you are doing. I think I'd like to be a part of a Dharma community one day. I'm surprised there isn't already an existing Vajrayana retirement community somehwhere...

Re: Retreat Centers

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 2:21 am
by TharpaChodron
heart wrote: Tue May 28, 2019 5:16 pm
TharpaChodron wrote: Tue May 28, 2019 3:47 pm
bryandavis wrote: Tue May 28, 2019 3:36 pm It will be dependent upon the rules of the dharma center that has the retreat facilities available.
oh, I guess I meant Dharma center. Do you know of any "typical" rules in this regard?
You have to work a lot, as far as I have seen the situation isn't ideal for older people at this point.

/magnus
I'm sure you are right, maybe the work requirements for people could be modified. There's a lot of ways older people can be of help besides heavy lifting and the like.

My center has a lot of older people affiliated there, but I don't know what they are up to and it seems rude to ask such details of them. I don't even know if they live on site...I believe there are personal homes very close around the area where people in the Sangha live. But the real estate prices are quite exorbitant so they may have moved there long ago when things were more affordable.

Re: Retreat Centers

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 2:33 am
by Nicholas Weeks
TharpaChodron wrote: Wed May 29, 2019 2:10 am
I have not done a retreat and haven't asked my lama about it either. Figured I'd test the waters here before asking a crazy question.
Presuming you are in No. CA, take a look at what Vajrapani offers, both Group & Private retreats. This way you can dip your mind for a few days into a quiet locale.

https://vajrapani.org/faq/#private

Re: Retreat Centers

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 2:47 am
by TharpaChodron
Nicholas Weeks wrote: Wed May 29, 2019 2:33 am
TharpaChodron wrote: Wed May 29, 2019 2:10 am
I have not done a retreat and haven't asked my lama about it either. Figured I'd test the waters here before asking a crazy question.
Presuming you are in No. CA, take a look at what Vajrapani offers, both Group & Private retreats. This way you can dip your mind for a few days into a quiet locale.

https://vajrapani.org/faq/#private
Thanks for the link. I am in California (central) so not too far.

Re: Retreat Centers

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 3:18 am
by Schrödinger’s Yidam
There's a lot of ways older people can be of help besides heavy lifting and the like.
Here there’s a lot of cooking, cleaning & shopping. Then there’s filling & emptying water bowls, prepping butter lamps (yuck!). Then there’s event stuff like reservations, parking, setting up chairs, & cleaning guest rooms.

If you want excuses to not meditate you’ll never run out.

Also be ready for petty soap operas. These places are for the unenlightened. Best if you live off campus. You can drive away.

Re: Retreat Centers

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 9:23 am
by heart
TharpaChodron wrote: Wed May 29, 2019 2:21 am
heart wrote: Tue May 28, 2019 5:16 pm
TharpaChodron wrote: Tue May 28, 2019 3:47 pm

oh, I guess I meant Dharma center. Do you know of any "typical" rules in this regard?
You have to work a lot, as far as I have seen the situation isn't ideal for older people at this point.

/magnus
I'm sure you are right, maybe the work requirements for people could be modified. There's a lot of ways older people can be of help besides heavy lifting and the like.

My center has a lot of older people affiliated there, but I don't know what they are up to and it seems rude to ask such details of them. I don't even know if they live on site...I believe there are personal homes very close around the area where people in the Sangha live. But the real :smile: estate prices are quite exorbitant so they may have moved there long ago when things were more affordable.
In my part of the world (Scandinavia) if you are at the center the requests for help with this and that will never end because if you don't do it someone else have to drive up there and do it. So you doing it will always be the best solution. :smile:

Don't be shy asking these questions, it is the only way to know. Also listen to smcj, he is already there. :smile:

/magnus

Re: Retreat Centers

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 1:48 pm
by humble.student
TharpaChodron wrote:Sounds great what you are doing. I think I'd like to be a part of a Dharma community one day. I'm surprised there isn't already an existing Vajrayana retirement community somehwhere...
I was just going to say that I saw there is indeed such a place in France, I saw an ad in a dharma centre's book catalogue last week. Given that it's in France, it probably includes 3 square meals and a bottle of wine a day... Joking aside, I would surprised if there wasn't already something like that in the US somewhere.

Re: Retreat Centers

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 1:49 pm
by Nemo
This is an important topic. I have spent a few years of my life looking after practitioners who did not give this subject any attention. Too old to work some have been pushed out of temples and monasteries.

I'm not sure a center is the best idea for retirement. They are often periodically filled with mentally unstable people, constantly in states of financial distress and under strict hierarchical command. Even your sex life and dating are controlled. Like it or not all your life decisions and spending will be scrutinized. If you have other means I would suggest living NEAR a retreat center. They are places to learn. If you love solitude and have made friends with yourself they may not be ideal locations for retreat.

My ideal solution would be one seen in old Tibet. Freehold town homes on an edge of the property. Living beside practitioners is sublime. Shared accommodation is not IMO. I don't know of anywhere in North America where this is done though.

Re: Retreat Centers

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 9:36 pm
by TharpaChodron
smcj wrote: Wed May 29, 2019 3:18 am
There's a lot of ways older people can be of help besides heavy lifting and the like.
Here there’s a lot of cooking, cleaning & shopping. Then there’s filling & emptying water bowls, prepping butter lamps (yuck!). Then there’s event stuff like reservations, parking, setting up chairs, & cleaning guest rooms.

If you want excuses to not meditate you’ll never run out.

Also be ready for petty soap operas. These places are for the unenlightened. Best if you live off campus. You can drive away.
Too funny. I remember Leonard Cohen was asked about his time at Mount Baldy and he said, in a nice way, that the monastery is for sick people, and he made it sound quite noble. Excuses not to meditate, ha.

Re: Retreat Centers

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 9:40 pm
by TharpaChodron
heart wrote: Wed May 29, 2019 9:23 am
TharpaChodron wrote: Wed May 29, 2019 2:21 am
heart wrote: Tue May 28, 2019 5:16 pm

You have to work a lot, as far as I have seen the situation isn't ideal for older people at this point.

/magnus
I'm sure you are right, maybe the work requirements for people could be modified. There's a lot of ways older people can be of help besides heavy lifting and the like.

My center has a lot of older people affiliated there, but I don't know what they are up to and it seems rude to ask such details of them. I don't even know if they live on site...I believe there are personal homes very close around the area where people in the Sangha live. But the real :smile: estate prices are quite exorbitant so they may have moved there long ago when things were more affordable.
In my part of the world (Scandinavia) if you are at the center the requests for help with this and that will never end because if you don't do it someone else have to drive up there and do it. So you doing it will always be the best solution. :smile:

Don't be shy asking these questions, it is the only way to know. Also listen to smcj, he is already there. :smile:

/magnus
I'm sure especially if you are handy then your help is always needed, too. :)