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Panditarama-Lumbini communication

Panditarama-Lumbini communication
1/4/20 11:50 AM
For those who are familar with this center i wanted to ask a question about scheduling and availabilty. I emailed them about a week ago about retreat availability in janurary and february. After my first email i got a reply with a general list of guidelines, asking me to review them, and whether or not they were a agreeable to me. I simply replied - yes these guidelines were agreeable to me. I understood their reply as a general yes and that they are allowing me to come. After a day or two of no follow-up, i emailed them the list of dates i was planning on attending (Jan 20th-Feb15th.) However after two days i have not gotten a confirmation. As i have to begin to make travel preparations im getting a bit worried. Should i just show up? Is this center reguarly full? Will there even be space if i just show up? I dont want to spend over a thousand dollars in travel and precious time just to be turned away at the door. Are they known to be vague in thier communications or are they usually intimately involved in scheduling retreats with a western yogi? Unfortunately almost every major retreat center in the usa is full around this time of year and due to life circumstances i may not get another opportunity to go on a retreat for many years. If it makes any difference i plan to follow instructions to a tee and put in effort to spend every waking hour in mindfulness. Should i tell them that or will it just make it more unlikely of them receiving me? Thanks in advance for any advice.
 Edit: I forgot to add that i did a 45-day retreat at IMS-forest refuge several years ago with sayadaw vivekananda so i am familiar with his teaching style and the kind of practice he expects of his students. I mentioned this to them in my first email.

RE: Panditarama-Lumbini communication
1/5/20 7:32 AM as a reply to vilin bhakta.
I haven't been to this center, but for what it's worth I'd send them another email and subsequent emails 1-2 a week until they confirmed - I wouldnt risk just turning up personally;


Awaiting reply to my previous email. As soon as you confirm available dates I will book all my travel arrangements etc. Looking forward to joining the retreat.'

RE: Panditarama-Lumbini communication
1/5/20 12:18 PM as a reply to vilin bhakta.
Hi vilin bakhta,

I got a mail from the nun there for new-year's a few days ago, so you should probably insist.

But from having spent a month there in september/october, I would say that, although my retreat experience is limited, in retrospect, in my view, the benefits from having gone to this specific center did not justify the enormous amounts of co2 dropped in the atmosphere collectively by us all foreign retreatants come to nepal as "meditation tourists" of sorts. There's a real ethical problem there.

May I suggest that, if at all possible, avoiding the long flight from USA to Nepal would be a good thing, given that the most pressing issue of our time is the ungoing climate catastrophe. Since there are many retreat centers in your country, perhaps you could wait until a spot opens ? Both teachers spend a few months a year abroad, giving retreats.

Realize that I'm not trying to guilt you into not going there. Your intentions are certainly honorable. I'm a bit uneasy about telling people this, because it might be detrimental to this center, which relies so much on the fact that foreigners come there because it's got a solid reputation. But ... seeing the ecological state of Nepal and in particular their capital city Kathmandu, currently first or second most polluted city in the world, really made me rethink of the morality of my presence there. Actually, to be perfectly honest, I think that truly opening up to the situation that Life, as well as our human systems, are in (you have heard of how much death is being caused by our overconsumption) . to the degree of economic/climactic inequalities which exist in countries such as nepal, has had a much stronger effect on me than those 350+ hours of meditation practice... You are interested in doing good through your meditation practice, through realizing the truth of existence, for the benefit of all - so please consider this point with care. Sure, many westerners like going there for things such as trekks and don't give one thought to their ecological impact, but this doesn't have to be us.

Of course, if you're sure, then just email them again ;) 

Best wishes for your practice and life,