Finally: A 7 Days (8 Night) Retreat... But What to Do?

James Mattson, modified 1 Year ago at 11/5/22 10:46 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/5/22 10:46 PM

Finally: A 7 Days (8 Night) Retreat... But What to Do?

Posts: 3 Join Date: 6/4/18 Recent Posts
Hey everyone,

So I've been knocked off the meditation pedestal since I started having kids! Lol. Old story. Anyway, I've managed to keep up daily practise in good measure, but progress basically stalled out (which is fine, honestly... one human can only handle so much change at once). 

I haven't been able to get away for a retreat in a long time but I'm going to finally get my chance in January. I'll be able to get away for a solid 7 sitting-days retreat (arrive day 0, sit 1-7, home 8). It's at a Buddhist retreat centre, I'll have a private cabin, meals provided. So it'll be conducive and supported but self-guided.

This is a super precious opportunity for me, because I don't know when I'll get my next opportunity. But that's making it somewhat difficult for me to choose what I should spend the time doing. I'm considering concentration practices, like mindfulness of breathing or possibly fire kasina (which I've never tried before). But then there's good old fashioned mahasi. I've also had good mileage from choiceless awareness stuff in the past. Or even trying something else entirely (eg: centering prayer, metta, gratitude practise).

So what you would you do if this was your first retreat in years and you didn't know when your next one was going to be?
shargrol, modified 1 Year ago at 11/6/22 6:23 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/6/22 6:23 AM

RE: Finally: A 7 Days (8 Night) Retreat... But What to Do?

Posts: 2378 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
What is showing up in your daily sits? What do you want to work on?
Rousseau Matt, modified 1 Year ago at 1/8/23 4:54 PM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/6/22 12:14 PM

RE: Finally: A 7 Days (8 Night) Retreat... But What to Do?

Posts: 136 Join Date: 5/1/22 Recent Posts
I was always told, if you forget what to do, all else fails concentrate on your breath
Thor Jackson, modified 1 Year ago at 11/7/22 11:14 AM
Created 1 Year ago at 11/7/22 11:14 AM

RE: Finally: A 7 Days (8 Night) Retreat... But What to Do?

Posts: 5 Join Date: 11/7/22 Recent Posts
Everything you have ever read, or other people have ever read or writen about transendence of the physical body, all boils down to CONCENTRATION. One pointed concentration. Extreame, precise, consistent concentration.  Concentration is the tool, that develops AWARENESS. If you are not doing that, in one form or another, you will get nowhere. If you are not doing that CONTINUOUSLY every moment you are awake, YOU WILL NEVER REACH ENLIGHTENMENT in this lifetime.
Continued, unbroken, one pointed concentration, every moment of your awake time will garantee you become awakened to the fact you are not your body. In VERY short order. Can be done in a week, if you are determined enough. As Daniel has stated, focus on it like a rabid dog. I don't think he has reached what he thinks, but his recomendation is acurate. I just think he stops doing it after retreats and home exercises. 
The key to this whole thing is continuity. Continuous one pointed concentration, which builds and builds power over time, until a certain threshold is reached that finally breaks the barrier of perception. It breaks the perception of space and time.
It is the simplist thing ever to do, but also the hardest. Focus on one thing and ignore EVERY thing else. Also, make sure that ONE thing eventually turns out to be the REAL you, inside your head. Use anything else as a training wheel, but when you get good at concentrating, focus on your "I" inside your head. The REAL you, the one behind your eyes that looks at everything. Your true center of being.  

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