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Hunting for a retreat in western US

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Hunting for a retreat in western US
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5/28/09 5:16 PM
Author: sean2.0
Forum: Places to Practice

I chuckled to myself when I re-read MCTB's section on the Three Characteristics, as it so accurately nailed where I am right now. Underlying much of my thinking these days is the desire to retreat and work on my meditation practice, which is both interesting and decidedly uncomfortable at present. I'm trying to set aside the time for retreats this year, and I would benefit from others' experience and suggestions.

I'd like to find a 9 or 10 day retreat. The only meditation retreats I've done were a couple of four-day meditation-and-yoga introductions at Shambhala Mtn Ctr during the past couple of summers and a five-day vipassana retreat at Spirit Rock last December. Both places were great, but Shambhala MC doesn't seem to offer extended vipassana retreats, and Spirit Rock is a long ways away and relatively expensive, though not out of the question on either score.

But this evening, I was web surfing and ran across this place (http://www.dhamma.org/en/schedules/noncenter/rockies.us.shtml) which tells me there is a 10-day retreat in August-September (which would fit my schedule) in Elbert CO (which is about fifteen miles from my house, as the crow flies). In terms of convenience, it seems an easy fit, but I'm not familiar with the organization, while parts of the website sound like Acharya Goenka is the teacher, some of the details seem to indicate that the retreat is taught by unnamed others, and evening dharma talks consist of playing recorded talks previously given by Acharya Goenka. I'm not sure what to think about that arrangement, if I've got it right.

At any rate, any familiarity with the organization, teachers, etc., would be greatly appreciated. And any other suggestions for places or organizations in the western US would also be welcome.

s2.0

RE: Hunting for a retreat in western US
Answer
5/29/09 12:35 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
http://dharmaoverground.wetpaint.com/page/S.N.+Goenka+Centers

http://www.cloudmountain.org in wa state is a possibility. also, http://tathagatameditationcenter.org is a mahasi-style practice temple in u pandita's tradition in san jose, ca. the big guy's gonna be leading a 30 day retreat there in june from the looks of it, but i hear he can be mean beyond belief so only go if you're ready to take it. there's also a shorter, half-month retreat in aug/sept that may suit your schedule better. might be worth the travel (it's a heck lot closer than burma)

edit: why will it only hyperlink the wetpaint url, that is so retarded

RE: Hunting for a retreat in western US
Answer
6/1/09 3:57 PM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Author: sean2.0

Thanks much for the ideas. The principal limitations to my practice at this point are my family and work commitments. Realistically, 9-10 days is probably as long as I can manage at this point. Of course, living with those limitations allows me to fantasize how much could be accomplished with longer periods of retreat, but I ascribe most of that to a "the grass is greener" mindset. I'll take what I can get.

RE: Hunting for a retreat in western US
Answer
6/1/09 5:07 PM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Hi Sean,

Time is only one variable which controls only one type of concentration which is only one factor for progress. The type which is increased with time can be supplemented via Holosync or some other similar technology. Also, a lack of time can actually be a good thing. It forces creativity, attentiveness and thus you'll be on the receiving end of Parkinson's Law.

Parkinson's Law basically dictates that a task will swell in perceived importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted for its completion. Think of a time in your life where you had a project or paper due and were able to whip the thing out at an inhuman speed in order to hit the deadline. The same principle applies to meditation.

Thus, resolve firm goals and cram them into every free space you find. Be creative and sit when you can. 30 minutes a day for the entire path is absolutely fine if you go about it the right way. Believe it!

Trent