Shinzen Young Retreat Reviews

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Peter 5 years, 1 month ago.

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    I’m debating on whether or not to sign up for a Shinzen Young Retreat. I’d like to hear any feedback or reviews. Whether or not it’s worth the price?

    As a baseline to compare against, how does it compare to Goenka’s 10-day retreat? What similarities, what differences?

    Any input would be great.



    Chris Gagne

    Hi Peter!

    I met Shinzen a couple of months ago and thought very highly of him. I am not particularly familiar with his practice, but as with Culadasa’s he is highly regarded. I’ve not been one to one of his retreats, either.

    That said, if his retreats are similar to Culadasa’s former group retreats, I think they’d be well worth the price. A Goenka retreat will be very inexpensive (I donated $240 or so which was their cost for the 10-day retreat), volunteer-run, and highly regimented. I don’t know if it is possible to evaluate the assistant teacher(s) before you apply. You will mostly be learning from watching Goenka on video and will have very little interaction with the teachers. There is effectively zero Q&A. There have been reports of people who have attended Goenka retreats and experienced significant psychological distress without receiving enough support, one of which recently led to a suicide.

    I’d recommend going to the Shinzen retreat if you can afford it, especially if you are newer to meditation. Shinzen won’t be around forever (though I am highly optimistic that he’ll be around for many years to come), whereas Goenka retreats will almost certainly endure for a long time with few if any changes to the format.


    Blake Barton

    Hi Peter,

    I have done four retreats with Shinzen, and they were a positive experience. I have not done a Goenka retreat although I have talked to friends who have. Shinzen retreats are not nearly as strict as the Goenka retreats. Some of his techniques, like focus in, help to build introspective awareness. You can also do your own thing if you wish, like TMI practice. However, I recommend learning his techniques while you are there, so you will have additional tools in your toolbox.

    His retreats also have challenges, like the opportunity to do some lengthy sits in the afternoons, and an all night meditation. However, everything is optional.

    Blake – Dharma Treasure Teacher



    Thanks! The registration filled up much faster than I thought it would’ve and missed the opportunity. Will keep your inputs in mind for the next sign up.

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