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Retreat at Sirimangalo, Ontario, Canada (Ven. Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu)?

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Fellow practionners,

This is my first post here although I have been read lots of discussions in the past year. As background, it might be useful to know that I have practised vipassana under the Goenka lineage for 15 years and have switched to Mahasi style noting since having attended a 30-day retreat at Tathagata Meditation Center in San Jose (CA) last spring. I live in eastern Canada.

I am looking into going on retreat for approx. 20 days this fall. Ideally, I would like to practise independently but second best is a place that practises Mahasi style noting.

An easy option is Sirimangalo in Hamilton Ontario, the center established by Ven. Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu, as seen on YouTube. https://www.sirimangalo.org/ 

I have come to understand this Center is in the Ven. Ajahh Tong lineage. I have also read here of DO that an Ajahn Tong center in Germany does a few things quite differently: "scripted" or systematic "calling" of the verious nanas through the retreat, non-stop day and night meditation near the end of the retreat, etc. 

I would like to know if any of you have attended a retreat at Sirimangalo, either as a first vipassana retreat or after having practised under different traditions beforehand? What are your thoughts about it? Recommendations? Hesitations?

Metta

Hey Ben,

Were you able to find anything on Sirimangalo, or maybe you've even gone by this point? I'm interested too, but haven't been able to find a whole lot of info either.

Hi Ben,

I've only learned about Yutthadamo bhikku a few weeks ago and must say I like his video's.
From what I've seen he seems sincere in his practise and that would no doubt spill over in his teaching,

I've done a retreat in germany a few years ago. I experienced no set script.
Just a gradual deepening in meditation instruction. 

Looking back I can see how the teacher may have waited for clue's to halt or increase instruction based on where I was on the Nana's. But I wouldn't have known if I didn't read about them and compared notes with what others experienced.

What you could do is go on his on-line meditation app. meditation.sirimangalo.org
Maybe ask this in the chat there... There's bound to be a few peole there who may help you..

For me I found the retreat in germany (which may or may not resemble what Yutthadhammo Bhikku teahces) intensive but totaly doable for someone who never meditated before. It gave me a firm grasp of what to do and how to do it. I've recently started to get a more regular dailypractise going. Found that the prectise I learned there is solid enough to  get/keep me going.

If it's the easier option I would definetly check it out. especially as he states again and again dana is entirely optional. I.E you aren't expected to offer any dana..
With Love
Eelco

@Ben G, I attended a few retreats at Sirimangalo in Ontario, Canada with Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu.  My background is similar to yours: I meditated many years on my own (doing concentration type meditation), then frequented Goenka retreats and then progressed to the Mahasi noting style.  I also attended a 30-day retreat at TMC in 2013 and many more after that and for a short while I meditated at Panditarama Forest Meditation Ctr. in Myanmar.  My experience at Sirimangalo was significant and valuable.  I enthusiastically recommend it.  Since you attended TMC, it's pretty much similar:  continous walking/sitting noting-style meditation and meditate while eating, during activities of daily life, etc, 8 precepts, only eating after sunrise and before noon, only sleep 4-6 hours per day and only at night.  I found meditating at TMC easier since there were many yogis doing formal meditation around and for me that was a supportive atmosphere.  At Sirimangalo you go to your room to meditate alone, so you need to be a bit more disciplined and it's up to you to do the work.  They only have 4 rooms so it's pretty much that many yogis at any one time.  It's a silent reatreat, they provide the food, there is a washer/dryer available to use, communal bathroom for the yogis.  You can offer dana if you feel inclined to do so, but there are no fees.  You have an interview with Bhante on most days for 5-10 minutes and he pretty much only discusses your practice.  Other than that, he doesn't meditate with you or eat meals with you like they do at TMC.  Now-a-days I noticed he gives a dharma talk to his students around 9 PM, but when I took my first course with him I didn't get any of that.  It's a hard retreat, but if you're looking for a real Mahasi Sayadaw type of retreat in a geographically conducive location with a serious teacher who gives clear teachings in a language you can understand and a serious course, I can vouch for that.  Good luck to you with your practice _/\_

RE: Retreat at Sirimangalo, Ontario, Canada (Ven. Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu)?
Answer
12/6/17 8:09 PM as a reply to Aurora Schatzberg.
Aurora Schatzberg:
 It's a hard retreat, but if you're looking for a real Mahasi Sayadaw type of retreat in a geographically conducive location with a serious teacher who gives clear teachings in a language you can understand and a serious course, I can vouch for that.  Good luck to you with your practice _/\_
Thanks Aurora! This is some great feedback!

I was planning on a retreat at Sirimangalo this past november but landed a job I could not refuse instead. Your response is positively convincing, and Sirimangalo will remain a goal next time sufficient time frees up!

I'm curious to know your thoughts on Bhantes' openess to discuss fruition (including things like fruition lengthening practises for example) and post 1st path experiences/practice?


Thanks also to Eelco on this precious info about the German Ajahn Tong center. 

Best wishes.

Hi Ben, in response to your inquiry, when Bhante was asked a similar question, his reply was:   “We discuss meditators' experiences openly with them, but we try not to make assumptions about the nature of those experiences, since it's easy to misjudge one's own experience, even more so someone else's.”   I don’t think I have anything to add to it that would possibly be beneficial. Be well _/\_