Recent retreat experience

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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mikenz66
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Re: Recent retreat experience

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:29 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Mike,
mikenz66 wrote:
retrofuturist wrote: Have you got some ideas on how you're going to put this advice into practice?
A very simplistic example: when typing, for example, one isn't going to be able to follow "raising finger, lowering finger, pressing key...". But one can see whether what one is trying to do is causing agitation, will lead to good outcomes, etc.
It's interesting, because that type of contemplation/reflection you provide in your example potentially falls under the scope of cittanupassana and dhammanupassana, so even though it won't involve any of the techniques you apply under retreat conditions, it can still be satipatthana-bhavana.
Sure. That's what I meant. The wisdom part is the same, but not necessarily the specific techniques.

:anjali:
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Re: Recent retreat experience

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:31 am

Greetings Mike,

Sweet. Yoniso manasikara is cool. 8-)

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Recent retreat experience

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:36 am

Goofaholix wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:I mentioned these issues at a meeting of a small insight group last week and unhesitatingly the oldest person there (recently retired) said: "Meditation on death is pretty effective motivation." :shock:
Complacency is probably a closer word to what your teacher was trying to convey than laziness, we don't pay attention to what we don't value.
Sure, complacency is a good description of the problem. However I tend to think of laziness as the result of complacency. And in terms of action (or not...) "lazy" is the opposite to "effort", which is what needs to be applied.

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Re: Recent retreat experience

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:51 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Mike,

Sweet. Yoniso manasikara is cool. 8-)

Metta,
Retro. :)
You mean pay attention wisely? Yes.

[Personally I don't use Pali in a practice context. For me it requires a lot of effort to translate. I actually spend a lot of time looking up Pali terms when reading this board... :reading: ]

:anjali:
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Re: Recent retreat experience

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:03 am

Hi Chris,
cooran wrote: Sounds like a productive retreat. A little on the corruptions of insight by Mahasi Sayadaw:

The Progress of Insight (Visuddhiñana-katha) by The Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw translated from the Pali with Notes by Nyanaponika Thera http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... gress.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Yes, also, perhaps more readably at: http://aimwell.org/Books/Mahasi/Progress/progress.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I don't like to assume I'm really at any particular stage, but I think the following is worth keeping in mind no matter where one is:
http://aimwell.org/Books/Mahasi/Progres ... .html#Path" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Mahasi Sayadaw wrote:V. Purification by Knowledge and Vision of What is Path and Not-path

While engaged in noticing, the meditator either by himself or through instructions from someone else, comes to this decision: "The brilliant light, and the other things experienced by me, are not the path. Delight in them is merely a corruption of insight. The practice of continuously noticing the object as it becomes evident — that alone is the way of insight. I must go on with just the work of noticing." This decision is called purification by knowledge and vision of what is path and not-path.
cooran wrote: Some years ago, I found that there is nothing like working in the Emergency Dept. of a large metro hospital and being confronted daily with all aspects of dead bodies, dying people, and grieving rellies. It certainly brings about an 'urgency' in ones practice.
Indeed it must!

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Re: Recent retreat experience

Post by Goofaholix » Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:55 am

mikenz66 wrote:Sure, complacency is a good description of the problem. However I tend to think of laziness as the result of complacency. And in terms of action (or not...) "lazy" is the opposite to "effort", which is what needs to be applied.
If you were truly lazy you'd be at home with your feet up watching coronation street.

I don't think anyone who can do mahasi style practice 10+ hours sitting and walking over several weeks or days could really be considered lazy, however despite that level of effort being applied in a sustained way I've found myself that I can get complacent.

It's not a lack of effort, I can put forth quite sustained effort on retreat, it's the forgetting that each and every moment is precious and worthy of renewed attention.

So it's not so much the effort it's how we're applying the effort that is important I think, wrong effort can be just as unconducive as no effort.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

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Re: Recent retreat experience

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:48 am

Hi Goofaholix, You make some very good points here.
Goofaholix wrote: If you were truly lazy you'd be at home with your feet up watching coronation street.
:shock:
Goofaholix wrote: I don't think anyone who can do mahasi style practice 10+ hours sitting and walking over several weeks or days could really be considered lazy, however despite that level of effort being applied in a sustained way I've found myself that I can get complacent.
I guess you're right. I did think you were just being picky about the English terminology (and as you know, being picky about English tends to be a bit pointless in a Thai context where sometimes you're lucky to get any at all...)

So what you say here is quite correct:
Goofaholix wrote: It's not a lack of effort, I can put forth quite sustained effort on retreat, it's the forgetting that each and every moment is precious and worthy of renewed attention.
And, I might add, in my case the choice to apply just sufficient effort in a way that gives enough concentration to be reasonably comfortable, i.e. the wrong effort of your next sentence:
Goofaholix wrote: So it's not so much the effort it's how we're applying the effort that is important I think, wrong effort can be just as unconducive as no effort.
Thank you very much for your really helpful comments!

:anjali:
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Re: Recent retreat experience

Post by retrofuturist » Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:12 am

Greetings Mike,

Sounds like it was a productive retreat then.

:thumbsup:

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Recent retreat experience

Post by amtross » Sun Jan 22, 2012 6:55 pm

When I was hiking the appelachian trail (from GA to ME), there was a saying: "Never stop at a shelter while its raining if you want to go any further that day". When you're hiking in the rain, it usually isn't that bad but once you get in a comfortable spot it's almost impossible to talk yourself into going back out into the rain. I think the practice can be like this...

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mikenz66
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Re: Recent retreat experience

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:18 pm

Beautiful simile Amtross... :heart:

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Re: Recent retreat experience

Post by carlosm » Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:28 pm

Thanks mikenz66 for this post, really gave me a lot to think about. I also suffer a bit form complacence, and I'm just at the beginning of the practice, I spend a lot of time in calm states instead in put effort in going forward in the path.
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Re: Recent retreat experience

Post by DNS » Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:01 pm

I agree with the other posters; that it sounds like a productive retreat. I am sure we all have to go through many a retreat like that to get closer to our goal(s).

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." Chinese proverb

The blind sea turtle similie

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Re: Recent retreat experience

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:23 pm

Thanks all. I've learned to accept over the years that just learning one little thing from a retreat is progress...

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