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Advice for a solo retreat?

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Advice for a solo retreat?
Answer
10/28/11 4:56 AM
I'm planning a solo retreat in a remote location, where I will be working for three hours every morning clearing trees and practicing vipassana the rest of the time. I intend to follow the Thai monastic schedule, as it allows for a work period in the morning. I will arise around 4.30am to meditate, prepare breakfast and lunch etc.

Does anyone have any advice for what to expect, pithy slogans to hang on the wall etc? I'm a little concerned that practice would proceed better with something to break the silence now and again. Unfortunately, I am away from home at present so do not have any copy of the suttas etc to chant. There will be no electricity, so listening to pre-recorded dhamma talks is out.

I will be living by the 8 precepts during this time.

Any advice of a practical nature (easy-to-prepare, but nutritious foods etc) would be much appreciated also.

With lovingkindness,
Luckee

RE: Advice for a solo retreat?
Answer
10/28/11 6:13 AM as a reply to Luckee Simpleton.
Does anyone have any advice for what to expect, pithy slogans to hang on the wall etc?

Note: "expecting". Consider reading first dozen or so pages of this link book before going.

Any advice of a practical nature (easy-to-prepare, but nutritious foods etc) would be much appreciated also.
all in one pot:
Rice
beans
tomato paste
canned coconut milk
lime juice
salt

eggs
instant grits

black or green tea
honey
almond milk (has lots of vitamins)


Water filter?
If water is heated by propane, make sure there are enough propane tanks (i.e., take a 25-lb spare)
Otherwise/and: metal pots for the wood stove (is there one?)
metal trivet or brick to rest on the wood stove (?) on which to keep things warm without scaulding
leatherman multitool
a few nails


(cold area?)
wool/synthetic: hat,scarf, sweater, long underwear, socks

Gentle soap for all purposes (you, dishes); washcloth, strong line for hanging out cleaned items, clothes pins
basic oil/lotion (for your skin after washing)
Vasoline (for scratches/cuts to hands from clearing) and gloves
toilet paper, zip lock bags, and paper bag (if you have to carry out paper materials, if no wood stove...)
flash light
"Strike anywhere" and regular matches, lighter on a cord to wear around your neck (have always handy - if in cold area)
candle lantern
duct tape
gauze
a couple nested bowls, a spoon and napkin (oryoki is a good way to stay in mindfulness at all times of the retreat opportunity; like breathing meditation for your hands and mind at meal times)

Not a sutta, but a short evening mantra if needed:

Let me respectfully remind you
Life and death are of supreme importance
Time swiftly passes by and opportunity is lost
Each of us should strive to awaken…
Awaken…
Take heed.
This night your days are diminished by one.
Do not squander your life.




Enjoy.

RE: Advice for a solo retreat?
Answer
10/28/11 7:56 AM as a reply to Luckee Simpleton.
I'm planning a solo retreat in a remote location, where I will be working for three hours every morning clearing trees and practicing vipassana the rest of the time.
Will you be using a chainsaw?

Because I do not use now a chainsaw regularly (i.e., daily, weekly) I would not clear with a chainsaw on such a retreat. Meditation and mindfulness can suspend/delay common sense/even strong habits or retain the mind in new ways - especially if a person doesn't have a stable practice in which they've seen their own stages of mind and can anticipate any consequences of awareness in each "stage".

Then there are the inherent issues with using a chain saw, now combined with being in a remote location alone. While living in a remote, largely solitary place, thoughtful friends in similar habitats have cautioned me, chainsaw accidents are not "if", but "when". That's a little alarmist, but I get their point seriously (a point which some illustrate with scarring).

That said, they are great practical tools. So, if you are chainsawing, hopefully you have a hard hat with face guard. Maybe do a lot of jumping jacks before picking up the chainsaw - just enliven the "normal" mind.

Best wishes.

RE: Advice for a solo retreat?
Answer
10/28/11 8:09 AM as a reply to Luckee Simpleton.
Luckee Simpleton:
...pithy slogans to hang on the wall etc?

***ATTENTION!***

RE: Advice for a solo retreat?
Answer
10/28/11 8:36 AM as a reply to Jill Morana.
Hi Luckee,no slogans on the wall, just clear white wall emoticon
The meditator

RE: Advice for a solo retreat?
Answer
10/28/11 10:10 AM as a reply to The Meditator.
The Meditator:
Hi Luckee,no slogans on the wall, just clear white wall emoticon
The meditator

blank is nice too

RE: Advice for a solo retreat?
Answer
10/29/11 5:33 AM as a reply to Luckee Simpleton.
A mp3 player with AA batteries or solar charger could do the trick for dharma talk. A variety of white noise, nature sounds, etc. could be a nice distraction when your mind is ready to explode. If I was to hang a quote on the wall it would be this one from Jack Kornfield: Rest your mind in awareness.

RE: Advice for a solo retreat?
Answer
10/30/11 4:28 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
All advice noted and much appreciated Katy. Thankyou.

RE: Advice for a solo retreat?
Answer
10/30/11 4:42 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
katy steger:
Will you be using a chainsaw?


Probably. However, my work on the land is in trade for use of a well-stocked yurt and facilities. The owners are understanding about meditation in general, and intensive retreats, so will be accommodating if I need to reduce my hours or skip a day's work if necessary. Thanks.

I like the poem.

RE: Advice for a solo retreat?
Answer
10/30/11 4:47 PM as a reply to Simon T..
Simon T.:
A mp3 player with AA batteries or solar charger could do the trick for dharma talk. A variety of white noise, nature sounds, etc. could be a nice distraction when your mind is ready to explode. If I was to hang a quote on the wall it would be this one from Jack Kornfield: Rest your mind in awareness.


Thankyou. A solar charger is a sweet idea.

RE: Advice for a solo retreat?
Answer
10/30/11 4:48 PM as a reply to Jill Morana.
TJ Broccoli:
The Meditator:
Hi Luckee,no slogans on the wall, just clear white wall emoticon
The meditator

blank is nice too


Thanks y'all.

RE: Advice for a solo retreat?
Answer
10/31/11 12:26 AM as a reply to Luckee Simpleton.
Notice every single sensation arise and vanish from the moment you awaken in the morning to the last waking moment as you fall asleep.

"All the constituents of being are impermanent: work out your salvation with diligence!"

Regardless of what it is, notice it come and go.

Space
Effort
Expectation
Boredom
Sights
Sounds
Breath
Thoughts
Comparison
Judgement
Wanting
Fatigue
Energy
Enthusiasm
Fear
Doubt
Confidence
Ease
Peace
Happiness
Pain
Everything all together!

All of it, whatever it is, completely and totally passes each moment. Know this directly for all things, and profound insight is at hand.