Any suggestions on where to go on retreat?

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Jason Schlesinger Jason Schlesinger 5 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #1841

    Any suggestions on somewhere I could go on a retreat? I would like to go for a month plus and study get some space to breathe and grow. I’d like to study in the tradition of TMI if possible. http://dharmatreasure.org/personal-meditation-retreats/ looks great although is full, similarly any idea if this will open up again soon? I’ve been practicing at home but honestly find the distractions of the city and not having a formal teaching structure along with some personal hardships very difficult. It would be nice to get away and really focus on my practice and have some guidance to in ensuring I have a strong foundation for practice when I go back home.

    #1842

    Hi Jason! Where are you located? If you don’t mind a bit of travel:

    There is a 1 month retreat going on this July on the top of Mount Tuam, Saltspring Island, Canada. Douglas Veenhof is leading it- he is how I became involved in Culadasa’s teacher-training as he referenced “The Mind Illuminated” many times. Cost for room and board will be $2100 CAD, we collectively make monetary offerings on top of that to Doug for guiding.

    The retreat centre was founded by Kalu Rinpoche (http://kkc-kdol.org/index.php/kdol) and has hosted several 3 year retreats over the years. It’s pretty much off grid, using solar power and well-water. It overlooks the ocean and bluffs of arbutus trees. You can also book directly with them for private retreats at very low costs. I believe they still have a $10 a night tenting option. ($12 with food).

    You can find out more about Doug’s retreat by emailing me (lakshmeshe@gmail.com) if it strikes your fancy! I have attached an image of a meditation hut on Saltspring, and also my favorite picture of the view from up there.

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    #1845
    Profile photo of Wiley Fox
    Wiley Fox
    Member

    Jason,

    I have been on 20 retreats of a week or longer. First thing to tell you is that no competent retreat will take you for a long retreat until you have done at least one or two retreats of a week or 10 days. It will be at least the fourth day before you get the feel of what meditation four to ten hours per day is like, and objectively evaluate your reaction to that.

    NanooNanoo on the Tibetan trip, too much cultural baggage for a first retreat experience. (Possible exception is Khenchen Thrangu organization, very good.) Keep your options open to leave a retreat whenever you like. Gurus are traps, in general.

    Go to Amazon and read the first review of TMI by “Hermit”. Google “first meditation retreat”. Your best source of retreat information is talking to someone who has been to a retreat at the location that you are considering, and get them to discuss in detail what they liked and disliked and noticed. Internet is useful for this, where you can find many reacting to their first retreat experiences. Whatever your choice, follow the meditation method being taught, or leave. Considering your continuing interest in TMI, I would look for extensive anapana practice and ignore whatever religious garbage being taught. For now, consider “meditation” and “religion” as two separate things.

    #1849
    Profile photo of Ivan Ganza
    Ivan Ganza
    Member

    Good points 😉

    If you have never been on retreat, best to test the waters with a 7 or 10 day retreat, before commit to a longer period such as a month.

    The person who decides about the month retreat will not be the person who experiences it.

    Retreat can be very beneficial but also extremely difficult when the deep inner stuff is dislodged. Wiley makes some good points. Retreat is hard enough without having to deal with religious and cultural baggage.

    Cheers,
    -Ivan/

    (DT Teacher in Training)

    #1850

    Good advice. I am planning on doing a handful of shorter retreats to prepare. Just being patient and allowing my life to stabilize. Obviously it isn’t ideal to go on retreat as an escape. Part of what I like so much about TMI is the lack of cultural baggage. I feel like one can learn about and practice morality while deepening their meditation without learning Pali or donning a robe.

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