Concentration practice in home retreat

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John H, modified 11 Years ago at 4/22/11 3:59 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/22/11 3:59 AM

Concentration practice in home retreat

Posts: 34 Join Date: 10/8/10 Recent Posts
Hi everyone,

I've put this in the stream entry category as that's what I'll be gunning for next weekend when I plan to do a mini home retreat. I was wondering if it's worthwhile including concentration sits when doing a retreat? Or just noting non-stop?

Thanks,

John
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Bruno Loff, modified 11 Years ago at 4/22/11 6:21 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/22/11 6:21 AM

RE: Concentration practice in home retreat

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
John H:
Hi everyone,

I've put this in the stream entry category as that's what I'll be gunning for next weekend when I plan to do a mini home retreat. I was wondering if it's worthwhile including concentration sits when doing a retreat? Or just noting non-stop?

Thanks,

John


Just noting non-stop is good, you should aim for concentration (consistency, persistency) without absorption ("fixed" jhana).
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Ian And, modified 11 Years ago at 4/23/11 1:10 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/23/11 1:10 AM

RE: Concentration practice in home retreat

Posts: 785 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
John H:

I've put this in the stream entry category as that's what I'll be gunning for next weekend when I plan to do a mini home retreat. I was wondering if it's worthwhile including concentration sits when doing a retreat? Or just noting non-stop?

Depends on how you view "stream entry" and what is included in the realization of that process.

Noting, alone, doesn't necessarily involve arriving at any realization whatsoever. Noting, from my understanding of its practice, is meant to enhance mindfulness. If it is used for that endeavor, it can be a useful tool to help people increase sati / mindfulness.

Concentration, on the other hand, directly involves the process of realization (of whatever phenomenon is being contemplated). It is not necessary to burden oneself with the idea that they must be able to practice jhana (fixed concentration or absorption in a given object) in order to arrive at a realization. Being able to focus the mind and attention on those aspects of the Dhamma which bring about unconditional confidence in the Dhamma (lessening, or even removing, all doubt about what the Buddha taught) is all that is really required. And this doesn't necessarily need to be realized during meditation/contemplation (although, of course, it may be). One can arrive at a stream entry realization during normal everyday consciousness, in other words. So, don't limit your resources in this endeavor.
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Tommy M, modified 11 Years ago at 4/23/11 5:32 PM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/23/11 5:32 PM

RE: Concentration practice in home retreat

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Hey John,

I recently did a short solo retreat so here's one of the practice report videos I made if it's of any use to you:

Arran Retreat

As for getting stream entry, I think Ian, as usual, has given the most concise and useful advice you could get there. Noting accurately and consistently, building momentum with practice and getting to 'escape velocity' will increase your chances of becoming a path winner.

Good luck and be sure to let us know how you get on!

- Tommy
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John H, modified 11 Years ago at 4/25/11 5:27 AM
Created 11 Years ago at 4/25/11 5:27 AM

RE: Concentration practice in home retreat

Posts: 34 Join Date: 10/8/10 Recent Posts
Thank you all for your replies. My daily practice consists of a noting session in the morning and a concentration sit in the evening, so I will go for non-stop noting during the retreat and trust that I've built enough concentration from my daily practice.

I've been in equanimity since February, so it seems that I've not been able to gain enough momentum from my daily practice to get SE. This retreat is a rare opportunity for me to do some intensive practice, so I see it as the best opportunity I will have for the foreseeable future.

I'll let you all know how it goes!

Thanks,

John

P.s. Tommy - Thanks for the video link, I'll do my best to watch it before the weekend!

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