The solitary lifestyle

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
P0sey
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The solitary lifestyle

Post by P0sey » Thu Sep 17, 2015 4:28 pm

"328. If for company you find a wise and prudent friend who leads a good life, you should, overcoming all impediments, keep his company joyously and mindfully.

329. If for company you cannot find a wise and prudent friend who leads a good life, then, like a king who leaves behind a conquered kingdom, or like a lone elephant in the elephant forest, you should go your way alone.

330. Better it is to live alone; there is no fellowship with a fool. Live alone and do no evil; be carefree like an elephant in the elephant forest"

Any brothers here who live the solitary lifestyle ? How did you managed the problems you had in meditation ? How much do you practice everyday ?
Any suttas or books on how to deal with meditation and cravings when alone ?
Im interested in attempting a 1 week forest retreat by myself where im going to go deep into my practice , any advice ?
Also are there any suttas or texts where is being talked about what a yogi does when in a solitary retreat ? Could really use those .

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SDC
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Re: The solitary lifestyle

Post by SDC » Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:20 pm

P0sey wrote:Any brothers here who live the solitary lifestyle?
Yes and sisters too.

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rowboat
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Re: The solitary lifestyle

Post by rowboat » Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:57 pm

P0sey wrote:
Im interested in attempting a 1 week forest retreat by myself where im going to go deep into my practice , any advice ?
Also are there any suttas or texts where is being talked about what a yogi does when in a solitary retreat ? Could really use those .
It will be a lot easier if you are already well established in mindfulness & concentration before you set out. The same is true of course for day-to-day living. If you wake up half-aglow you naturally want to reestablish that luminosity right away, and then you find there is less disruption from the vagaries of life.

Please tell someone exactly where you will be and for how long so if anything goes wrong you don't perish.
Rain soddens what is covered up,
It does not sodden what is open.
Therefore uncover what is covered
That the rain will not sodden it.
Ud 5.5

SarathW
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Re: The solitary lifestyle

Post by SarathW » Fri Sep 18, 2015 1:04 am

You have to have a teacher before you undertake a solitary lifestyle.
Do you have a teacher?
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Ben
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Re: The solitary lifestyle

Post by Ben » Fri Sep 18, 2015 1:18 am

If you are not established in practice then I recommend you attend some residential retreats which are conducted in 'noble silence'.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

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dhammacoustic
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Re: The solitary lifestyle

Post by dhammacoustic » Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:24 am

P0sey wrote:Im interested in attempting a 1 week forest retreat by myself where im going to go deep into my practice
Excellent.
any advice ?
No, but when you get back, I'll probably ask you for advice. Let's hope you wash away some dust, return with insight.

:anjali:
Uppādā vā tathagātanaṃ anuppādā vā tathagātanaṃ, ṭhitāva sā dhātu dhammaṭṭhitatā dhammaniyāmatā idappaccayatā. Taṃ tathagāto abhisam­buj­jhati abhisameti. Abhisam­bujjhitvā abhisametvā ācikkhati deseti paññāpeti paṭṭhapeti vivarati vibhajati uttānīkaroti. ‘Passathā’ti cāha; ‘avijjāpaccayā, bhikkhave, saṅkhārā’. Iti kho, bhikkhave, yā tatra tathatā avitathatā anaññathatā idappaccayatā-ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, paṭiccasamup­pādo.
:heart: namō tassa bhagavatō, arahatō, sammā sambuddhassā

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tiltbillings
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Re: The solitary lifestyle

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Sep 18, 2015 4:57 am

P0sey wrote: Im interested in attempting a 1 week forest retreat by myself where im going to go deep into my practice , any advice ?
Before attempting that is would be better that you do a guided, structured retreat. All too easy when by yourself to get waylaid by any number of surprising, subtle things.
>> 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

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acinteyyo
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Re: The solitary lifestyle

Post by acinteyyo » Fri Sep 18, 2015 6:03 am

Hi P0sey,
keeping in mind what you posted in your first post I respectfully want to discourage you from dwelling alone in the forest or the like.
P0sey wrote:I am 22 years old , I found out about Buddhism about 5 months ago . I started with a book and I dont know why but everything was clicking with me and now I have a full library . I am definitely not an advanced practitioner...
It is not recommended to do such things as a beginner without proper training and experience in the Buddhist practice.

Also don't forget the Buddha's advice to Ananda.
SN45.2 wrote:I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was living among the Sakyans. Now there is a Sakyan town named Sakkara. There Ven. Ananda went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, Ven. Ananda said to the Blessed One, "This is half of the holy life, lord: admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie."

"Don't say that, Ananda. Don't say that. Admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life. When a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, & comrades, he can be expected to develop & pursue the noble eightfold path.
best wishes, acinteyyo
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

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Sekha
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Re: The solitary lifestyle

Post by Sekha » Fri Sep 18, 2015 6:12 am

P0sey wrote:How did you managed the problems you had in meditation ?
I just kept facing them and going through, they get weaker over time, so it gave me more motivation.
P0sey wrote: Any suttas or books on how to deal with meditation and cravings when alone ?
The Sekha Patipada is very useful.
P0sey wrote: Im interested in attempting a 1 week forest retreat by myself where im going to go deep into my practice , any advice ?
Sadhu. Just do it. And repeat as often as possible. I don't think there is any danger here. But if it doesn't work for you, it's a sign you should rather go for a group retreat and try again later.
P0sey wrote: Also are there any suttas or texts where is being talked about what a yogi does when in a solitary retreat ? Could really use those .
Not sure how relevant you will find these
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
But they might shed light on the negative advice given earlier
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

P0sey
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Re: The solitary lifestyle

Post by P0sey » Fri Sep 18, 2015 6:37 am

acinteyyo wrote:Hi P0sey,
keeping in mind what you posted in your first post I respectfully want to discourage you from dwelling alone in the forest or the like.
P0sey wrote:I am 22 years old , I found out about Buddhism about 5 months ago . I started with a book and I dont know why but everything was clicking with me and now I have a full library . I am definitely not an advanced practitioner...
It is not recommended to do such things as a beginner without proper training and experience in the Buddhist practice.

Also don't forget the Buddha's advice to Ananda.
SN45.2 wrote:I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was living among the Sakyans. Now there is a Sakyan town named Sakkara. There Ven. Ananda went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, Ven. Ananda said to the Blessed One, "This is half of the holy life, lord: admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie."

"Don't say that, Ananda. Don't say that. Admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life. When a monk has admirable people as friends, companions, & comrades, he can be expected to develop & pursue the noble eightfold path.
best wishes, acinteyyo

I am greatfull for your advice . I am planing the solitary retreat in november somewhere at the end (I really like the autumn) I already started planing for it and preparing for it , the moral side , taking the 5 precepts , eating vegan food , reading suttas every morning and every evning , a lil bit of chanting , taking the refuge in BUddha , dhamma , and sangha . I will amke sure I am not missing any detail about this . Regarding meditation , right now just metta everyday 30 mins or 1h , but at that time it will be alot of metta , basically even when I will go to sleep I will stay in metta , nothing but metta and mindfulness . NO VIPASSNA yet , I wanna build a strong foundation of metta . There is time until then I think its going to be perfect .

I am also reading about a yogi book and what practices they were doing the solitary ascetic lifestyle .

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Ben
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Re: The solitary lifestyle

Post by Ben » Fri Sep 18, 2015 6:51 am

Sekha wrote: But they might shed light on the negative advice given earlier
No one here has been negative.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

P0sey
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Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:59 pm

Re: The solitary lifestyle

Post by P0sey » Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:01 am

Sekha wrote:
P0sey wrote:How did you managed the problems you had in meditation ?
I just kept facing them and going through, they get weaker over time, so it gave me more motivation.
P0sey wrote: Any suttas or books on how to deal with meditation and cravings when alone ?
The Sekha Patipada is very useful.
P0sey wrote: Im interested in attempting a 1 week forest retreat by myself where im going to go deep into my practice , any advice ?
Sadhu. Just do it. And repeat as often as possible. I don't think there is any danger here. But if it doesn't work for you, it's a sign you should rather go for a group retreat and try again later.
P0sey wrote: Also are there any suttas or texts where is being talked about what a yogi does when in a solitary retreat ? Could really use those .
Not sure how relevant you will find these
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
But they might shed light on the negative advice given earlier
Tank you so much for these suttas , extremely helpful !

I have also found a zen or tibetan ? approach to solitary meditation . It could be useful for those interested
http://www.cuke.com/excerpts-articles/d ... ation.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Sekha
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Re: The solitary lifestyle

Post by Sekha » Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:42 am

Ben wrote:
Sekha wrote: But they might shed light on the negative advice given earlier
No one here has been negative.
Sorry, I should have chosen my words more carefully. In my mother tongue, this sentence would not have sounded that bad. I should probably have used the word "objections" instead of "negative advice". Sorry again for the inconvenience.
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Sekha
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Re: The solitary lifestyle

Post by Sekha » Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:58 am

P0sey wrote: at that time it will be alot of metta , basically even when I will go to sleep I will stay in metta , nothing but metta and mindfulness . NO VIPASSNA yet , I wanna build a strong foundation of metta .
Just another two cents. Be careful because according to the way your mind is internally wired at this moment, practicing Metta can induce cravings. The recommended method is to balance your practice with foulness of the body (32 body parts or staring at graphic pictures of rotting corpses, the latter having proven quite good for me to allay cravings of all kinds).

Also, something that would definitely help your practice are hatha yoga asanas in the slow and mindful style with breath awareness.
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Digity
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Re: The solitary lifestyle

Post by Digity » Sat Sep 19, 2015 6:35 pm

I'm a very introverted thinking type and being solitary/independent comes natural to me. It's sort of in my DNA. However, I tried to live a solitary life and felt that in the end I became too introverted and out of balance. After going through this experience I realized I needed to become more engaged with others and more balanced in my life. So, I'm learning to put myself out there more and develop parts of myself that I've neglected, since I've spent so much of my time developing my introverted thinking skills.

I understand that the solitary life is conducive to awakening, but you need to be balanced too. You need to make sure you got your "sh*t" together. If you don't then the solitary life can lead to problems....at least that's been my experience. So, be careful and make sure you're not following the solitary life so that you can hide from life and the people around you.

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