Concentration/Shamatha-only retreats

A T, modified 5 Months ago at 9/23/23 10:55 AM
Created 5 Months ago at 9/23/23 10:55 AM

Concentration/Shamatha-only retreats

Posts: 11 Join Date: 9/23/23 Recent Posts
Many years ago I attended one of Shinzen's retreats in California, and it was an awesome experience. 

I want to go on retreat again, but one focused purely on concentration/shamatha this time. Perhaps along the lines of the Fire Kasina practice, though in my case I want to use Noting practice with Metta as the object. 

Anything in this vein you folks could recommend? 

I'm based in North America, but travel is not an issue. 

Thank you!
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Jim Smith, modified 5 Months ago at 9/23/23 1:53 PM
Created 5 Months ago at 9/23/23 1:53 PM

RE: Concentration/Shamatha-only retreats

Posts: 1624 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
A T
Many years ago I attended one of Shinzen's retreats in California, and it was an awesome experience. 

I want to go on retreat again, but one focused purely on concentration/shamatha this time. Perhaps along the lines of the Fire Kasina practice, though in my case I want to use Noting practice with Metta as the object. 

Anything in this vein you folks could recommend? 

I'm based in North America, but travel is not an issue. 

Thank you!


If you have something very specific that you want to pursue, such as what you describe, some retreat centers will let you do a solo retreat. That would be my advice, find a retreat center near you that would let you do a solo retreat.
A T, modified 4 Months ago at 9/25/23 9:49 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 9/25/23 9:49 PM

RE: Concentration/Shamatha-only retreats

Posts: 11 Join Date: 9/23/23 Recent Posts
Thank you
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Josef C, modified 4 Months ago at 9/26/23 8:41 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 9/26/23 8:35 AM

RE: Concentration/Shamatha-only retreats

Posts: 85 Join Date: 6/16/20 Recent Posts
If concentration is what you are after you cannot go wrong with Shaila Catherine. She is the go to person when it comes to shamatha and jhana. Based on her website she will be having a concentration focused retreats and there are some requirements but you can inquire with her if possible :https://shailacatherine.com. Good luck !
A T, modified 4 Months ago at 9/26/23 10:10 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 9/26/23 10:10 PM

RE: Concentration/Shamatha-only retreats

Posts: 11 Join Date: 9/23/23 Recent Posts
Thank you Josef. The one you mentioned aligns quite well with my timeline.
User 08, modified 4 Months ago at 9/27/23 1:02 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 9/27/23 1:02 AM

RE: Concentration/Shamatha-only retreats

Posts: 57 Join Date: 7/31/23 Recent Posts
Hi Josef, have you gone on any of Shaila's retreats? If so, how were they?
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Josef C, modified 4 Months ago at 9/28/23 7:34 AM
Created 4 Months ago at 9/28/23 7:34 AM

RE: Concentration/Shamatha-only retreats

Posts: 85 Join Date: 6/16/20 Recent Posts
Hello!Sadly  I have not yet attended any of her retreats but I have heard good things about her emoticon 
jhanic ceramic, modified 4 Months ago at 9/28/23 1:44 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 9/28/23 1:44 PM

RE: Concentration/Shamatha-only retreats

Posts: 40 Join Date: 7/25/23 Recent Posts
There's a concentration retreat in early July 2024 being offered. I went to it last year and I'll be going again. Teachers are pretty good, but most dharma talks will be geared towards beginners: https://insightmeditationsociety.my.site.com/IMSPORTAL/s/sign-up-for-retreats

Sign up starts October 17th. 
A T, modified 4 Months ago at 10/17/23 2:48 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 10/17/23 2:48 PM

RE: Concentration/Shamatha-only retreats

Posts: 11 Join Date: 9/23/23 Recent Posts
Josef - thanks again for your recommendation. I'll be attending the upcoming retreat. Looking forward to it!
Robert L, modified 4 Months ago at 10/17/23 5:39 PM
Created 4 Months ago at 10/17/23 5:39 PM

RE: Concentration/Shamatha-only retreats

Posts: 59 Join Date: 2/10/19 Recent Posts
Tranquil wisdom insight meditation uses metta as the object. If you look up TWIM or Dhammasukha.org, they have retreats that you might find useful. 
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Raphael Scullion, modified 3 Months ago at 10/29/23 1:11 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 10/29/23 1:11 PM

RE: Concentration/Shamatha-only retreats

Posts: 5 Join Date: 11/15/20 Recent Posts
We're organising a peer-to-peer retreat centered around fire kasina (but open to other practices) in January 2024.

It's not exactly in your neighbourhood, since it's in Poland, but if you're interested visit https://p2p-fire-kasina.onrender.com/ or dm me  for more info. emoticon
Derek2, modified 3 Months ago at 10/30/23 5:56 PM
Created 3 Months ago at 10/30/23 5:56 PM

RE: Concentration/Shamatha-only retreats

Posts: 229 Join Date: 9/21/16 Recent Posts
Seriously hardcore.

Let's see if we can turn your URL into a clickable link: https://p2p-fire-kasina.onrender.com
A T, modified 3 Months ago at 11/14/23 6:57 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/14/23 6:57 AM

RE: Concentration/Shamatha-only retreats

Posts: 11 Join Date: 9/23/23 Recent Posts
Posting a follow-up to this thread.&nbsp;<br /><br />I ended-up attending Shaila Catherine's 10-day jhana retreat held near Atlanta, Gerogia.&nbsp;<strong>I can whole-heartedly recommend Shaila's jhana retreats for anyone consdering attending in the future.</strong><br /><br />I did not know of Shaila or her work prior to attending the retreat, but I came out with a deep appreciation of her as a teacher.&nbsp;She is a devoted teacher, extremely knowledgeable about all things jhana, and very precise and meticulous in her instruction. As a complete newbie to anapansati, I had no trouble following and deepening my practice over the course of ten days.<br /><br />The retreat is structured very well, with LOTS and LOTS of time and opportunity to discuss aspects of your practice with Shaila, both as part of a group and during many 1:1 sessions. Calvin Center -- where the retreat was held -- is an absolutely idyllic place, very well-suited for focused attempts at deepening your concentration. The food could be a bit better tho ;)<br /><br />Anyway, thank you Josef C for recommending this particular teacher and program.&nbsp;<br /><br />If anyone has any specific questions, please feel free to ask and I'll try my best to answer.&nbsp;
shargrol, modified 3 Months ago at 11/14/23 7:59 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/14/23 7:57 AM

RE: Concentration/Shamatha-only retreats

Posts: 2291 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Very cool. Sounds like a great experience!

How did the retreat go for you? Any interesting experiences or new understandings about your practice? EDIT: I should also ask the classic question: if you were able to back in time and give yourself advice for the retreat, what would it be?
A T, modified 3 Months ago at 11/17/23 11:37 AM
Created 3 Months ago at 11/17/23 11:37 AM

RE: Concentration/Shamatha-only retreats

Posts: 11 Join Date: 9/23/23 Recent Posts
&gt;"Any interesting experiences or new understandings about your practice?"<br /><br />Definitely! Having the space to practice/test out my concentration skills, I learned that I'm capable of a lot more than I had initially assumed. I also developed a greater understanding of anapanasati technique itself.&nbsp;<br /><br />Despite a great experience overall, though, I realized that I find Insight practice to be much more fun/useful for *myself in particular*. I had always been fascinated with the idea of developing really, really strong concentration ability. But after having the chance to explore some of this under expert guidance, I decided that for now I'll stick to Insight.&nbsp;<br /><br />&gt;"if you were able to back in time and give yourself advice for the retreat, what would it be"<br /><br />I think the advice I'd give myself is probably what applies to a lot of retreats: go in with *strong intention* to make significant progress, but then allow yourself the space to fall short of that goal.&nbsp;<br /><br />The first few days I felt a tremendous amount of agitation because I felt I wasn't getting anywhere and I really, really wanted to! That wasted a few days until I recognized that I should just chill out and dilligently keep doing the practice, without any expectation of outcome.&nbsp;

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