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Dhammacari Vipassana Meditationszentrum (Germany)

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Hello everyone,

I´ll post some information about a Meditation Center in Germany that I visited last month (thanks Guillermo for the layout of the post, which I borrowed emoticon ). I think it´s a very interesting option for those living in europe looking for intensive mahasi-style retreat. The Vipassana course, which you have to take if it´s your first time in the technique of Ajahn Tong, last 15 days. The normal retreat last 10 days, but they offer longer retreats some times (there´s a 25 days retreat scheduled to the end of may).


* Location: Neufahrn NB, Germany

* URL: http://www.vipassana-dhammacari.com/

* Tradition: Ajahn Tong

* Meditation Techniques: Adaptation of the mahasi-style (bare insight). The exercice begins with a mindful prostration, proceeds with walking and then sitting meditation. You´ll start with 20 minutes or so, and the time will increase during the course, to up to one hour walking and one hour sitting with breaks of 20-30 minutes. You should walk and sit for the same amount of time. Depending on where you are by the end of the retreat, you may receive a strong determination exercice. You can find more info about the technique in general at http://wanderingdhamma.wordpress.com

* Accommodations: I think it´s worth mentioning that the center is a medium size house, in which every meditatior gets a private room with a toilet. There are maybe up to 8 rooms - I´m not sure anymore - so the number of meditators there is small. The hour is very comfortable, and well cared for. The food is great; milk and tee are available during the whole day.

* Physical Setting: Secludded place, near a village.

* Daily schedule

6.30 a.m. Breakfast
11.00 a.m. Lunch
6.00 p.m. Milk pudim is offered.
21:00 - 4:00 You may rest. Later in retreat you receive instructions as to how many hours (5 hours, then later 4, and sometimes, no sleeping).

There is also 1 hour work meditation in the hourse or in the garden, and the report with the teacher. The time will vary for each meditator.

* Cost: Dana basis
* Language: German, English.


Some extra info/comments:

- Good both for begginers and advanced practioneers.

- Every meditator will have a different timming and duration for the meditation. This can cause the meditation hall to be very noisy sometimes with alarm clocks going off. You´ll be encouraged by the teacher to meditate in your private room after some retreat time.

- It´s a very quiete area, but there will be working in the house during a part of the day. It doesn´t get too noisy thought.

- The teacher was great in my opinion. (There was some strong terminological differences, so I didn´t went far into discussing maps, but she had knowledge and gave me a brief explanation of them on the last day. She woundn´t discuss it during the retreat thought, and she woundn´t confirm any attaiments, even after the retreat.)

- Strong determination exercises are really something...

Overall a really great place to practice. Wish I had something like this back home in Brazil

RE: Dhammacari Vipassana Meditationszentrum (Germany)
Answer
4/11/10 1:44 AM as a reply to Bernardo V..
Hi Bernardo,

thank a lot for posting the info about this retreat center. Definitely I will consider going there for my next retreat!

Vielen Dank!

Saludos,

Guillermo

RE: Dhammacari Vipassana Meditationszentrum (Germany)
Answer
2/18/19 5:03 AM as a reply to Bernardo V..
Just want to honor this forum post with my own experience at dhammacari. As it was here I got the idea to go. Usually post over at KFD but there is lots of juicy activity over here so I might start to check in here as well.

Dhammacari is highly recommended by me. But there is a few things to be aware of that you can read about below.

The 2 weeks are over so it's time to get the retreat experience on print as best as I can before I forget it. What a wild ride it was! Dhammacari is a great! place to practice. Although there are some different opinions on practice by the teacher than the pragmatic practice community share. Write about in the end of the post.

In this tradition every session consists of three parts. First you do a mindful prostration where you mentally note every movement 3 times. It takes about 5 min. Was a great way to get in the mood for each session. Then you walk. I started with 15 min then the teacher increased that in 5 min steps until I reached 45 min. Which I stayed with for the last 5? days. She also gave instruction on how to note the steps starting with 1 and working up to 6 heel up, lifting, forward, lowering, touching and pressing. Every time you notice a phenomena you stop and note it 3 times then you note your position, standing and intention to walk and start again. Walking meditation was new to me and it was really a beneficial element. Many of the shifts between nanas came during it. Then you sit for the same length of time as the walking. Noting the rising and falling of the abdomen. After a few days sitting was also included as a note and I was given touching points to to touch with my awareness in a specific order increasing them up to 28. When a phenomena was noticed the rising, falling, sitting, touching was dropped and the occurrence was noted 3 times then you started from the begin with the anchor exercise.


write down what happened as well as I can remember in chronological order.

The retreat started with 6h sleep at night and a rule against ever laying down before this time. Was hard in the mornings spent some breaks piled up against the wall half dozingly. Sloth and torpor anyone? Wanted to be a serious yogi and sit in my room ha ha. Told the teacher about my sleepiness and she suggested practicing in the hall. Did this most of time in the beginning and other yogis presence was beneficial.

Day 2? the teacher said I was concentrating to much and was becoming tense through forcing the mindfulness. Could feel this being true and relaxed, came in to the retreat with the intention to exert some “heroic effort” thanks Daniel Ingram emoticon . But realized that this was not synonymous with using the same kind of effort “aaarrrghh” that I used when I was gym yogi in the past ha ha.

Day 4? While walking, from nowhere came a strong sense of fear and discomfort that hit in the gut. Lasted only 10 minutes before the teacher knocked on the door and it was time for interview. Told her about it and she said I should note feelings but not get too involved as that would make the coming days very hard.

Day 5 In the evening dukkha broke lose was walking in my room and everything slowed down and I was feeling like a complete drunkard with heavy clouded head walking through syrup. Hard to walk straight. With feelings of unease twisting through the body. Did the next session in the hall and tried to control myself a bit more which worked to some degree. Didn't want to scare the other yogis. In the third session while walking suddenly a bubbeling happiness arose. Was walking towards a Buddha statue and stopped and noted happy, happy, happy with a big silly grin on my face. Took a walk before going to bed and everything felt magical and a bit manic with ideas springing forth one after another.

Day 6 Don't remember the days practice. Reported to the teacher about the bubbeling happiness and how I realized that yes it was happiness but I didn't like the “manic” part of it there was dukkha in the joy somehow. In the evening suddenly I experienced how the sitting became super easy and calm. Having a great distance to the pains and aches that had been bothering me so far. Felt like I sat still like a rock detached from the world. Very neutral feeling.

Day 7 Reported about my new found peacefulness in the morning. But in the day dukkha broke lose again not as strong as the day before. But was feeling disappointed that I had lost the calm and peace.

Day 8 In the sit before going in to the interview out of nowhere came a falling of the head like if I was going to sleep, but wasn't sleepy at all before. I was also tipping backwards, like losing balance. Felt surprised after every time a felling of “ what was that?” felt very happy and content also. Reported this phenomena the teacher didn't say much about it however. The mind was already spinning a little story though. Could this be fruitons?

Day 9 The same nicking of the head happened several times in other sittings and now I took the courage to tell the teacher that I was perplexed about what this was? Mentioned the frution word she was a bit avoiding and I told her that if she was not going to answer me I would ask people that would give a straight answer after the retreat. But somehow I was feeling that I knew what it was. She didn't fight back. But gave a talk about how I was grasping the experience and had a tremendous greed in my practice. Probably true. She also cut my sleep to 5h. Remember a bit of unease coming back in the day feeling a bit doubt if maybe I was deluded after all. Maybe I was just a greedy bastard ha ha.


Day 10 Wow this was far out. Did two wild sessions in my room before breakfast. Couldn't take one straight step or sit still for a even a few minutes. My body was twitching here and there while this driving restless knot was grinding in my gut. The head felt totally light and clear though at least compared to the heaviness of day 5. Did one sitting after breakfast before interview first very restless but out of nowhere a nick and another and another many with maybe 1 min interval. Felt very happy afterwards. So it was quite ironical to sit with the teacher and talk about the dukkha in the morning. She cut my sleep to 4h as well. This happiness stayed through the whole day. No calm mind though ideas coming and lots of them send emails to him, talk to her about that and so forth. Also composed the heel up, lifting, forwarding, lowering, touching, pressing vipassana song in my head. Or it kind of composed it self and then was hard to get out it came back until it was replaced by another melody the last 2 days.

Day 11 Dukkha came back in the morning not as strong unbalance and twitching as the day before but same tendencies. To be reset after breakfast by the nicks before going in to interview. Replaced by happiness. The teacher said it seemed like the past conditions from the rest of the retreat seemed to have cycled back 2 times during the last 2 days. Seemed true. Also told the teacher that I had been tired in the morning after only 4 sleeping. But the nicks seemed to reset my mind somehow and I now felt completely fine and how I've heard by other experinced yogis that this could be an indication of frution. She didn't disagree but didn't confirm either.

Day 12 Felt happy and was enjoying practice but felt finished and ready to go home. Also noticed a new phenomena at least 2 times during sitting with eyes closed the “light” went out. Like if someone was very fast pressing on the light switch in the room. But it went completely black. Reported this and she said the yes there is two was to experience this phenomena, don't remember her exact word, through the body and through the mind. This was through the mind.

Day 13 spent it mostly chilling out walking in the forest doing some gardening preparing to return back home the day after. Had a perplexing last talk with the teacher in the evening. She had mostly seemed very happy with my practice so far but now she took a more distant stance. Telling me that if I did the course again in this tradition I should tell the teacher that I been with her and the basic course was not finished but I could now do it with 2 days less. She said that I didn't have to understand what this meant but the teacher would and that there was a strong attachment, greed left in me. She didn't explain this further though. She also said that now that I had tested both samatha and vipassana I should now make a choice about which was the road to end all suffering. She also said that I should get a teacher whichever path I took because it's so easy to get deluded.

This brings us to her stance on concentration and energy practice. She strongly believes that this is another path than vipassana and is very cautious about it. She gave me several scoldings on how as a vipassana yogi, on this retreat at least. It was my duty to bring the energy and concentration down and how I will burn myself on that path. If I continue with this I must get a teacher as it is very dangerous accordingly to her. It has been running very strong in me through out my 4,5 years of spiritual practice. Having had both a shaktipat Guru 1,5 year and a kriya yoga teacher 1 year as certainly fueled it even more. Managed to see how I'm unintentionally is interested in the energy when it arises. But it seemed very hard to bring it down. Here in this community there is said that concentration is good and it is what is lacking in most yogis to bring on attainments so I'm a bit confused. Have a hard time buying her words about this actually. I said to her that I truly believed that my past practicing had helped during the retreat and she only seemed to partly, hesitantly agree

However Hildegard is a great teacher that has an air of teaching out of experience about her. I certainly felt that she has realized something through her practice. I feel that you can confidently lay your practice in her hands during the 2 weeks retreat at least. Dhammacari vipassana center is highly recommended.

So now what. What happened? Was this stream entry? I guess time will tell. What makes me hesitant is this bubbling happiness it has a bit of A &P feel to it. But maybe this is normal? Helped getting this down on print though emoticon.

With Lots of Metta
Jyet

PS talked to my teacher, Ron Crouch, and he said that it's almost 100% sure it's stream entry. Felt that I knew that inside emoticon

RE: Dhammacari Vipassana Meditationszentrum (Germany)
Answer
1/30/13 7:12 AM as a reply to Bernardo V..
You can read an interview with the principal teacher Hildegard Huber here:
interview
It's in german though. It seems to contain an indication of her emphasis on the practice.

RE: Dhammacari Vipassana Meditationszentrum (Germany)
Answer
2/18/19 8:49 AM as a reply to Jyet.
Head drops are a standard mid-Equanimity phenomenon. See MCTB.

RE: Dhammacari Vipassana Meditationszentrum (Germany)
Answer
2/19/19 2:55 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Thanks for your comment Daniel. This is however a retreat post from 2012. Reread it and edited slightly and that made it seem recent.

Contemplating it now in hindsight I do still feel that something shifted after that retreat. Which was a culmination of five years of obsessive seeking. Spending one year in India and had done a month with Leigh Brasington before this retreat. Adding to the confusion between shamata and vipassana paths. Was it SE, no idea but the obsessive spirituality subsided in the months afterwards. Or maybe it just found a new outlet as I funneled all my energy into studing for and starting a new work career.

However I can now feel how the drive for spirit is again winning over the the need/drive to work so we'll see where it takes me this time. Feel a pull to spend the next winter hanging around Ramanas ashes. It's so easy to BE there at the foothills of that holy mountain. Maybe too easy because most of it leaves when I go back to Europe. If you ever pass by there in your new free life it would be interesting to hear what you think/feel about the energy, it's quite something in my experience.

I'll however make a mental note of trying to be a bit more humble and balanced when I visit a retreat center the next time. Feel a bit of shame reading my post. But that's all good, learning to be with shame is good practice. 

RE: Dhammacari Vipassana Meditationszentrum (Germany)
Answer
2/23/19 11:30 AM as a reply to bernd the broter.
new link: https://www.ursachewirkung.at/meditation/885-aller-mangel-in-uns-ist-heilbarq

translated excerpt:

Why do you teach buddhist insight meditation?


You don't choose that. It teaches through me. My previous life was not "fruitful". I knew indeed, it was there, but I didn't see it. You have to look closely, then you see it. I hesitated in the beginning and was fearful of teaching, wanted to hide instead, but now there is no "I" anymore that could experience this conflict. Now I want to show the way to this experience to as many people as possible.

You often said "it". What is "it"?

With "it", I mean life, the way, dhamma - the teaching of the buddha, freedom of suffering, nirvana, the divine.... Many terms, but it's all one. One can only experience that trough practice. Then no doubt will be left.

[...]

Is it (meditation) as easy as it sounds?


Oh no. Freeing ourselves from suffering is the hardest work we can do. The way is arduous, but it's actually possible to gain the fruit, freedom of suffering.