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3 Month Solo Retreat Advice

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3 Month Solo Retreat Advice
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10/31/17 7:26 AM
Hi there, 

I have the good fortune of going on a fully supported 3 month retreat from Jan 1 - March 31. The gist of me writing is to ask the community for advice about how to make the best of my time without burning out in vipassana. I don't know if I have the mental fortitude to note 18+ hours a day for 3 month's straight by myself. 

I have done a 2 month retreat in the Mahasi tradition at a retreat center in Nepal. Having other yogis do the practice with me was very supportive. So really I am looking for anything that anyone has to offer in terms of keeping balance over long months of solitude. What worked for you and what didnt? 

Some questions that I'm mulling over:
How should I schedule my time? 
Should I keep that schedule rigid? 
How much should I sleep? 
Should I add chanting/yoga? 
Should I "ease" into it and then pick up the pace towards the latter half of the retreat? 
Reading?

Best, 
John

RE: 3 Month Solo Retreat Advice
Answer
10/31/17 10:02 AM as a reply to John.
How did you manage a 3 month, fully supported solo retreat? What/where are your settings?

I've never done 3 months solo, so I have no advice to give, but good luck and I'm interested in the results. 

RE: 3 Month Solo Retreat Advice
Answer
10/31/17 11:25 PM as a reply to John.
In Saints and Psychopaths Bill Hamilton warns that people shouldn't take the length of time as a license to waste time in it, so make sure you are doing great practice in that time. His experience was that on a long retreat the mind can come up with interesting, very creative thoughts and you get nowhere in 3 months. Do solid practice without even thinking about how long you have. It's the solid practice that will get you through.

This problem can happen even in 1 hour meditations where the mind only starts getting going towards the last few minutes. All that's infront of you is the next breath.

RE: 3 Month Solo Retreat Advice
Answer
11/1/17 12:03 AM as a reply to John.
Cool John, that will be amazing.
I believe you should make a schedule, starting at 4am and ending at 9pm, or later of course, over time your sleep requirement should lessen. Listen to your body, but get at least four or five hours.
Mixing in some walking meditation and asana wouldn’t hurt either. I think Richard’s advice is very good too.