Recommend a monastery

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ivory, modified 5 Years ago at 6/25/17 11:28 PM
Created 5 Years ago at 6/25/17 11:28 PM

Recommend a monastery

Posts: 199 Join Date: 9/11/14 Recent Posts
Can anyone recommend a monastery in the US where I can take up residence for three months or so? I just got laid off and think it's a good idea to seize this opportunity to get this dark night shit handled. My lease is up in two months so that would be the ideal time to go.

I'd like to find a monastery with a teacher who knows what dark night is and can help me get through this.

Ideally the monastery would meditate a good deal of time each day and balance things out with work practice, socializing, and some time for liesure so I don't get depressed.

Feedback and advice is appreciated.
Mettafore, modified 5 Years ago at 6/27/17 2:01 AM
Created 5 Years ago at 6/27/17 2:01 AM

RE: Recommend a monastery

Posts: 170 Join Date: 3/24/14 Recent Posts
I don't know personally of monasteries in the USA. However, if you are planning a 3 month retreat, you may as well head to Asia, right? Sure, intitially the plane tickets may be expensive, but the overall trip may be much cheaper due to lower costs of living. Plenty of great places in Burma and Thailand as far as I know.

Just a thought.
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 5 Years ago at 6/28/17 3:00 AM
Created 5 Years ago at 6/28/17 3:00 AM

RE: Recommend a monastery

Posts: 3231 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
I second the go to Asia sentiment. Barriers to doing that?
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Noah D, modified 5 Years ago at 6/28/17 6:31 PM
Created 5 Years ago at 6/28/17 6:30 PM

RE: Recommend a monasteryv

Posts: 1198 Join Date: 9/1/16 Recent Posts
Wat Suann Mokh 
http://www.suanmokkh-idh.org/idh-wat.html
Buddhadasas monastery 
they don't "do" dark night there though.  But you can learn skills to get to eq & beyond. 
if you want to go email me at seattlespuds@gmail.com.  I will connect you with my teacher who lives in Thailand.
Don, modified 5 Years ago at 7/1/17 5:05 PM
Created 5 Years ago at 7/1/17 5:05 PM

RE: Recommend a monasteryv

Posts: 16 Join Date: 5/10/17 Recent Posts
Dai Bosatsu Zendo in the Catskills has a yearly kessei (3 month training period) which is highly regarded.
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ivory, modified 5 Years ago at 7/21/17 11:24 AM
Created 5 Years ago at 7/21/17 11:24 AM

RE: Recommend a monastery

Posts: 199 Join Date: 9/11/14 Recent Posts
Sorry for the late response. At first I was a little hesitant to go overseas but now I think it would be an interesting adventure. Thailand sounds awesome.

I will check out the Buddhadasas monastary and get back to you Noah D (Spud).

I wonder how much it will cost to put myself up in a Monastary for three months. Any ideas? I have some money saved which, if the cost of living is cheap, I should be fine for that time period.

Any other thoughts or tips from anyone?

I've never stayed in a monastary for an extended period of time and know nothing of what it's like or what to expect. And, as of now, the only monastary I know of in Asia is the Buddhadasas monastary. LOL.

Thanks everyone!
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Nik, modified 4 Years ago at 12/5/17 8:33 AM
Created 4 Years ago at 12/5/17 8:32 AM

RE: Recommend a monastery

Posts: 53 Join Date: 8/12/14 Recent Posts
I'm currently in Myanmar and have been staying at a meditation center (Sayadaw Tejaniya's center) for quite some time this year, so I hear a lot about the SEasia meditation scene from other meditators. Based on what I've heard... it sounds like the quality of Suan Mokh has waned since Buddhadasa died (obviously haha), but I haven't been so I can't give your

If I were you, I'd go to one of the Mahasi centers in Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, or Sri Lanka. You can also find Mahasi - family techniques (i.e. Chan Myaing centers in Myanmar or Chom Tong centers in Thailand). Panditarama (Myanmar), Panditarama Lumbini (Nepal), MBMC (Malaysia) are some of the most well regarded centers. Panditarama is notoriously strict (personally I don't think I could handle the schedule without good sati/samadhi momentum already).

I also highly recommend dropping by Sayadaw Tejaniya's center for a bit if you are in Myanmar. The approach is more about building wisdom/skillfulness into the practice in order to handle the practice in daily life. The teaching is reminiscent of the 'Actual Freedom Technique'-- both work with the mind/defilements more than the Mahasi technique. Tejaniya warns against having super strong samadhi without any real wisdom--- the strong samadhi can amplify neurosis/mental states and can lead to some bad psychological issues. So, yeah, the Tejaniya approach can be built into other practices to help balance things out in a good way (whether you're doing Mahasi, Pa Auk, whatever... a lot of people pass through here and it seems to augment their practice quite quite a bit). What's also nice is that you can speak veryyy openly about your life with this teacher... if you were to bring up drug experiences, the fact that you frequent dharmaoverground, etc. at these other centers, you can expect a very close minded response (the folks at Panditarama Lumbini won't be too happy for example).
Mettafore, modified 4 Years ago at 12/5/17 11:12 AM
Created 4 Years ago at 12/5/17 11:12 AM

RE: Recommend a monastery

Posts: 170 Join Date: 3/24/14 Recent Posts
@Nik
Thank you for the info on Sayadaw Tejaniya. I might check out his teachings.

@ivory
My experience so far is Goenka, Panditarama Lumbini, Chom Thong and Pa Auk.

I personally wouldn't recommend Panditarama, but that's just me. The style was way too aggressive for me. In Chom Thong you actually have both choices. You can go to the international centre where foreigners teach or learn from the monastics such as Ajahn Thong (the abbot), Ajahn Narvi (German Thai) or Ajahn Suksan (Thai ussually a nun translates). 

For Pa Auk, for less than one month retreats you can ussually show up. For more than that better to get a 3 month meditation visa.

If you haven't already, a month long retreat at a Mahasi style place like Chom Thong may be good for stream entry. Later on, you can pivot to another place.

Everywhere, it is donation based. There is no "recommend" donation. Technically, you could live there for free. 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask here or PM me.