Personal retreat schedule

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Andre Pais, modified 5 Years ago at 3/24/17 3:51 PM
Created 5 Years ago at 3/24/17 3:49 PM

Personal retreat schedule

Posts: 14 Join Date: 3/27/15 Recent Posts
Hi guys/gals.

I'll be doing a personal retreat. I'm putting the details bellow as to receive some advice and perhaps inspire some of you to do something similar. It will be a night retreat, since I seem to be more sensitive and open during the night.

A brief explanation of some specifics will be at the end of the post. Thanks!

~

5 days | 13H of daily meditation

Overall Structure

Day 01 | SIT - noting the breath
Day 01 | UP - open noting

Day  02 | SIT - 6 senses noting
Day  02 | UP - open noting

Day 03 | SIT - open noting
Day 03 | UP - not me, not mine, not a self

Day 04 | SIT - 3 characteristics
Day 04 | UP - is this happening to me? / impersonal field of experience

Day 05 | SIT - is it me? is it mine? is it a self?
Day 05 | UP - desire/aversion as selfless & baseless

~

Daily Schedule

waking up
    SIT 7 - 9pm [2H]
breakfast (45')
    SIT 9:45pm - 0am [2H15]
break (15')
    SIT 0:15 - 2:30am [2H15]
lunch (90')
    SIT 4 - 6am [2H]
break (15')
    SIT 6:15 - 8:30am [2H15]
dinner (75')
    SIT 9:45am - 12pm [2H15]
sleeping

* SIT | formal meditation (sitting/walking).

* UP | breaks, meals, showering, dish washing, etc.

* not me, not mine, not a self | during the UP moments and following the rhythm of the breath, seeing all experience as not "me", not "mine", not "a self" (I changed "not self", which may mean only my self, to "not a self", meaning any possible self - mine, other's or objects.

* is this happening to me? / impersonal field of experience | in line with the previous point, inquiring if the experience seems to be happening or belonging to someone, and instead seeing it as an impersonal, causal field of experience.

* is it me? is it mine? is it a self? | similar to the "not me, not mine, not a self", but in here the attempt is not to affirm, but to question it instead. If something seems to come forward as representing or being a self, that something is to be observed, investigated and discarded.

* desire/aversion as selfless & baseless | seeing that all desire and aversion that arise always make reference to a self. One is to observe and let go of such tendencies by seeing desire and aversion as organic, causal arisings devoid of identity or base.

* [ ] | between brackets is the duration of the sitting - changing between 2H (45+45+30) and 2H15 (45+45+45).
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ivory, modified 5 Years ago at 3/24/17 9:31 PM
Created 5 Years ago at 3/24/17 9:15 PM

RE: Personal retreat schedule

Posts: 199 Join Date: 9/11/14 Recent Posts
I have a feeling you're trying to do so much because you're trying to achieve some result (such as enlightenment). It's difficult to investigate without genuine curiosity.

You have no control over what's arising on a moment to moment basis. Desire, restlessness, emotions all come and go. That's when you study those. You can't schedule it.

For me curiosity about the nature of reality comes up (it also arises on it's own) when the mind is sufficiently settled. That's when I investigate impermanence and selflessness.

When I'm restless or attached to some end result I focus on relaxation until I feel relaxed.
When emotions are present I just notice them without becoming entangled.
When curiosity about anything arises I follow that curiosity and investigate.
When none of this is the case I work on building concentration until I become curious.

If it still seems that there's a you inside of a physical body experiencing an objective world of things "out there" then that is the illusion you need to break down through investigation. The 3Cs point the way.
J C, modified 5 Years ago at 3/27/17 3:39 PM
Created 5 Years ago at 3/27/17 3:39 PM

RE: Personal retreat schedule

Posts: 644 Join Date: 4/24/13 Recent Posts
ivory:
You have no control over what's arising on a moment to moment basis. Desire, restlessness, emotions all come and go. That's when you study those. You can't schedule it.

There's something to be said for both approaches. I think either the choiceless awareness approach where you just note whatever comes up or the approach of scheduling specific things to look at can be helpful.

It is true that you have no control over what arises moment by moment. But you can still schedule and plan specific things to look at during meditation sessions.

If you're going to plan it out like that, I would make sure to devote some sessions to just 4th jhana, and some sessions for each of the 3Cs individually. Take one day for impermanence, one day for restlessness, one day for no-self, in that order.

I would also urge you to reconsider your plan of doing the retreat at night and sleeping during the day. I can pretty much guarantee that that schedule will negatively affect your meditation. It's important to be very well-rested and get enough sleep during retreats. Getting under 8-9 hours of sleep means that you can't concentrate as well and that will make it difficult to make progress. (Some people claim to "need less sleep" on retreat while others don't - personally, I'm highly skeptical of any such claim and suspect it's only sleep deprivation that makes them think that. Your body just needs sleep, retreat or not.) And you just won't be able to sleep as well if you sleep during the day.
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Bruno Loff, modified 5 Years ago at 3/28/17 7:14 AM
Created 5 Years ago at 3/28/17 7:14 AM

RE: Personal retreat schedule

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
A classic text in DhO is Tarin Greco's "A Reformed Slacker's Guide to Stream Entry", by which I abided when I got my own stream entry on the 5th day of my second 10-day retreat. Here is a link to the web archive version of it: link

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