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Retreat choice

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Retreat choice
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1/6/20 7:09 AM
I've got an opportunity to go on retreat in April, which I'm very much looking forward to. However, I'm not sure which of two options I should take. There is a Goenka 10-day reasonably close to home, which will save me money (less missed work, plus I can take a cheap train instead of a flight). The alternative is a 14-day Mahasi retreat. I'm hoping that I can get some advice here about which of the two would suit my needs better.

My goal is to get to stream entry as soon as possible, but I also want to be realistic and proceed intelligently rather than rushing. I have read and heard a lot of people who feel that the Goenka technique is a great way of getting to A&P, which might make that a better choice for now. However, I think from my reading that the Mahasi style is a faster way to power through the stages, and it's also the style that l've been working with recently, so I think it suits me. All else being equal, my inclination would be to go for the Mahasi retreat, because I'd really like to see how far I can get with two full weeks of 24/7 noting, but I'm willing to listen if anyone thinks that's a less-than-ideal way of moving forward.

If it helps: I've been practicing for years, but I don't have anything concrete to show for it -- I'm not even one hundred percent sure I've learned the first knowledge, much less any of the subsequent ones. For the last couple of months, my practice has consisted of about an hour of choiceless noting, followed by spending the day trying to keep noting whatever I perceive whenever I can note it. Any opinions or ideas that you could provide me would be very helpful here. 

RE: Retreat choice
Answer
1/6/20 8:29 AM as a reply to Ram Subramanian.
I would go to where there the best teachers are, regardless of meditation method. 

RE: Retreat choice
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1/6/20 8:30 AM as a reply to shargrol.
p.s. No need to "power through" using noting practice, just calmly and patiently note some aspect of experience that is occuring in the present moment. The path takes care of itself, no need to force anything. 

RE: Retreat choice
Answer
1/6/20 10:28 AM as a reply to Ram Subramanian.
First 2 reteats for me were Sri Goenkaji's and third was at IBMC Kathmandu (noting based) all in timeframe of 1 year.

* As Shargrol said - Good teacher makes lot of difference, in Goenkaji retreat with only ATs that is a limitation (Or that was my experience and also what has been mentioned many times in forum).
* My practice started with retreat itself so Noting retreat would have been lot harder for me initially compared to Goenka retreat. In some ways the first 2 retreats created base for third retreat and there was lot more growth and maturity during the Noting retreat.
* During first retreat I crossed A&P and landed in Dukkha nanas in full glory (which resulted in second retreat within 3-4 months). Having help of a teacher would be absolute blessing during that phase which was not available. I am so incredibly thankful of MTCB and this forum which allowed me to continue making progress thru the period of immense pain.
* Also as Shargrol said there is strong urge to work through and make progress but just continuing to practice to best of ones ability is good enough, progress happens by itself. (Slowly realizing that )

There is no wrong decision, may you have fruitful retreat whatever choice you make.

Metta.

RE: Retreat choice
Answer
6/18/20 5:05 PM as a reply to Ram Subramanian.
Hi Ram, were you able to go through with this retreat ? How did it go ?

Cheers emoticon

RE: Retreat choice
Answer
6/19/20 2:35 AM as a reply to Olivier.
No, it was cancelled due to the pandemic. I managed to get about two to three hours a day of good practice in the month between being laid off and getting a new job, but no retreat in the end.

Of course, nothing lasts forever, as this crowd knows as well as anyone. I'm sure I'll get a chance to go once it's safe again.

RE: Retreat choice
Answer
6/20/20 8:32 AM as a reply to Ram Subramanian.
Have you considered a home retreat? I was able to do this for three weeks in May and it was wonderful. I had access to a teacher over Zoom, consulting once every three days. You could make it as long or as short as you need. 

RE: Retreat choice
Answer
6/20/20 11:02 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel Carrington:
Have you considered a home retreat? I was able to do this for three weeks in May and it was wonderful. I had access to a teacher over Zoom, consulting once every three days. You could make it as long or as short as you need. 

Laurel's idea is a good one. IMS has been offering home retreats with teachers. I have already taken 3 this year for a a week  each.