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Massachusetts retreats
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11/15/19 4:46 PM
I'm thinking of doing my first retreat in about a year. I'd like to get up to 3 hours of sitting  on my own first. I do 2 sittings of 1 hour  concentration  practice now .and I am  beginning mahasi sayadow  type practice. I'd like to get up to 1 hour a day with that.  My asana is a sitting position with hands on knees and I dont use the back rest.      I love in southern NH near Massachusetts.   ... I know there is the IMS  enter and a goenka retreat within 80 miles.     has anybody used them?   Can I use a  chair?   It seems people  only make progress when they do several  1 hour sittings a day for several days.

RE: Massachusetts retreats
Answer
11/20/19 12:17 PM as a reply to Matthew Jon Rousseau.
I worked for a bit with Chris Crotty from the Boston Meditation Center, who's authorized to teach in a Mahasi lineage, and found him easy to work with.  They do quarterly retreats: https://bostonmeditationcenter.org/day-programs/residential-retreats/ .

You could also check out the following:

Newburyport Insight Meditation Center - https://www.imcnewburyport.org/

Cambridge Insight Meditation Center - https://cambridgeinsight.org/product-category/retreat/

Wonderwell Mountain Refuge - https://www.wonderwellrefuge.org/schedule/

Kripalu in Stockbridge MA - https://kripalu.org/ 

Pointing out the Great Way - https://pointingoutway.org/retreats/calendar 

Forest Monastery in Temple NH - https://forestmonastery.org/ 

RE: Massachusetts retreats
Answer
12/23/19 11:56 AM as a reply to Matthew Jon Rousseau.
Hey Jon,

I'm a meditation newbie compared to most in the community here, but I can say that the Goenka centers are great for getting established in the practice and building up physical / mental endurance at the start. The center near you in Shelburne Falls is terrific and run by caring and dilligent people. It was the first Goenka center in the West, I believe. 

I sat my first 10-day course on July 31st, and since then I've already sat two more and served two courses, so I spent a lot of time at that center this fall. The retreats have been hard but full of learnings.

I'm personally unsure whether I want to stay in the Goenka tradition, and some people have advised me that it may not be the best way to generate insight over time. I may branch out and explore other lineages. However I'm grateful I started there because it's given me some insight into what this is all about (morality, concentration, insight, loving kindness). The rigor of the retreats (10+ hours per day of sitting meditation on the daily schedule) has been terrific for my practice. Goenka himself (who delivers the course through video and audio recordings) is an inspiration. 

Yes, you will be able to use a chair. I recommend sitting on the floor as much as possible, but it's not realistic for me (and many people) for 10 hours per day, so the best thing in that situation is try to sit more and more on the ground, but mixing in with sits in the chair to rest hips / back.

With Metta, 
Sam