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Reading MCTB before or after first retreat?

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Hello everyone!

My previous experience is only with one 3 month Kriya yoga course. Intense but not like a Vipassana.

Then a little more than one year ago I finished a 10 day Goenka retreat but the method didn't stick with me and I haven't practiced since.

Now in about a months time I plan on taking the 21 day basic course at Print Chom Tong Insight Meditation Center in Thailand.

I haven't read Daniel Ingrams book and my queation is whether it would be more beneficial to read it before the course, or to do it "blank" so to speak, and read it after?

What are your opinions? Thank you for your time.

RE: Reading MCTB before or after first retreat?
Answer
1/29/14 3:31 AM as a reply to David Middle Last.
Is this even a debate!? Read the entire book before the retreat!!!

RE: Reading MCTB before or after first retreat?
Answer
1/29/14 7:23 AM as a reply to Tom Tom.
Before! Three times! ;)

And The Reformed Slacker's Guide to Stream Entry!

And Practical Insight Meditation ten times!

And, And...

D

RE: Reading MCTB before or after first retreat?
Answer
1/29/14 11:35 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Wow, ok, I thought maybe it would be good to do the retreat without previous expectations on what is going to happen and to evaluate with the help of the book after. Thanks to both of you for clearing that up, I will get on straight away!

Thanks especially to you Daniel for answering personally. I have the PDF version downloaded from your website. It says 2007 3rd edition. My mother has a print edition that says printed first in 2008 and I noticed that some page numbers she gave me (Daily Life And Retreats) are completely different. Which version is the most recent?

And are any of the other books you mention available to download? I am traveling at the moment with nothing but an iPhone.

RE: Reading MCTB before or after first retreat?
Answer
1/30/14 6:14 AM as a reply to David Middle Last.
B4

RE: Reading MCTB before or after first retreat?
Answer
1/30/14 10:44 AM as a reply to David Middle Last.
David Middle Last:
Wow, ok, I thought maybe it would be good to do the retreat without previous expectations on what is going to happen and to evaluate with the help of the book after. Thanks to both of you for clearing that up, I will get on straight away!

Thanks especially to you Daniel for answering personally. I have the PDF version downloaded from your website. It says 2007 3rd edition. My mother has a print edition that says printed first in 2008 and I noticed that some page numbers she gave me (Daily Life And Retreats) are completely different. Which version is the most recent?

And are any of the other books you mention available to download? I am traveling at the moment with nothing but an iPhone.


You can find all three books here - eBooks and Resources scroll down to see that section
Read MCTB twice if you can...the vocabulary and concepts you gain the first time will allow you to dig deeper and understand it better the second time around....if you have time. Reformed slackers guide is the second must read and if you have time. Read the two books by Mahasi Sayadaw too, they are short and will reiterate what you have learned.
Good luck,
~D

RE: Reading MCTB before or after first retreat?
Answer
2/1/14 5:31 PM as a reply to David Middle Last.
Hey,
here's sort of a dissenting opinion:
I did my first noting retreat in without having read the book. So I had not much faith, so I was somewhat lazy, but the retreat was still highly impressing. After that I read the book. After that I did some more retreats, in most of which I was highly unbalanced, and I attribute some of that to reading the book. It can indeed make some people practice future-goal oriented and in a tense way, although that's clearly discouraged in the book.
Also note that the Ajahn Tong tradition is a bit different from the Mahasi approach, so maybe keep that in mind when you're there and try to match your experience against the book.