Joining retreats of different traditions

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A fool from HK
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Joining retreats of different traditions

Post by A fool from HK » Mon Jan 05, 2015 5:00 am

Hi Friends,

I need some advice from you.
I wish to join Ajahn Brahm's retreat in Mar-2015 during his tour in HK.
But I have another Mahasi retreat to join in Apr-2015 in Macau.
I afraid that if I join both of them will make me confused.
May I have some advice from you?
Thanks.
:anjali:

SamBodhi
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Re: Joining retreats of different traditions

Post by SamBodhi » Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:29 am

I don't think this is going to confuse you too much. If the second retreat gives interviews with the teacher, you might want to tell them what you learned in the previous retreat so that you are both "on the same page" so to speak. Any difference is going to much more subtle and easy to deal with using some work on your part. I imagine this is the case for everybody on retreat, but with different subject matter. For instance, you may find yourself thinking, "Watching the breath at the tip of the nose is so different from Metta meditation. Why is that?" And the person next to you is thinking, "Popcorn and jellybeans are very different, but they are both called 'food.' Why is that?" Thought arising and thoughts falling away. No difference.


with Metta,
SamBodhi
"An inward-staying
unentangled knowing,
All outward-going knowing
cast aside."
--Upasika Kee Nanayon

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mikenz66
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Re: Joining retreats of different traditions

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:44 am

Hi FFHK.

I don't see any problem as long as you just go with the instructions at each retreat and don't waste time arguing (internally) with them.
My normal practice is Mahasi but I found a weekend with AB in HK back in 2007 very helpful.

There is a group that used to meet in TST who you might come across at the AB retreat. Not sure if they are still active but I spent some time with them back in '07.

Mike

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mikenz66
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Re: Joining retreats of different traditions

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:12 am

Some additional thoughts.

I think it's helpful to recognise that the AB and Mahasi approaches are designed to do different things, at least initially - clearly the ultimate goal is the same. AB teaches getting very focused on one object, usually the breath, in order to develop deep concentration. Mahasi's approach us to develop the ability to focus on ever-changing objects. They are incompatible in the sense that mixing the instructions in one session will make no sense. It would be like trying to play soccer and rugby in the same game. However, doing them in separate sessions or retreats is not really a problem. To continue my simile, both rugby and soccer will improve you'd skill with balls....

Mike

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tiltbillings
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Re: Joining retreats of different traditions

Post by tiltbillings » Mon Jan 05, 2015 7:47 am

Basically, when you are at the Ajahn Brahm retreat, just do the practice as they teach it, and when you are at the Mahasi Sayadaw retreat, just do the practice at they teach it. And when on you own afterwards, you can take from each that which you find useful, or you can opt to go wholly with one or the other. What you are doing is a good thing, actually. Each has something good teach you.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

A fool from HK
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Re: Joining retreats of different traditions

Post by A fool from HK » Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:19 am

Thanks everyone!
:anjali:

hermitwin
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Re: Joining retreats of different traditions

Post by hermitwin » Mon Jan 05, 2015 5:04 pm

Wait for Aj Brahm, its worth waiting for.

If you do attened mahasi retreat, dont believe everything they tell you esp concerning jhana.

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Joining retreats of different traditions

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:38 pm

Don't believe everything you read or hear is generally good advice.

Check it out for yourself by doing the practice as instructed.
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mikenz66
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Re: Joining retreats of different traditions

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:38 am

hermitwin wrote:Wait for Aj Brahm, its worth waiting for.

If you do attened mahasi retreat, dont believe everything they tell you esp concerning jhana.
Certainly, I've found that it's generally best to ignore criticism of approaches that the particular teachers or students are not familiar with. Best to try out the instructions and make up your own mind whether it is suitable.

:anjali:
Mike

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