samatha retreats/teachers

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
diamind
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samatha retreats/teachers

Post by diamind » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:59 am

Are there any teachers or monasteries in Thailand or Burma that specifically teach samatha practice or are know to be expert in this practice? I'm looking for a teacher and a place to practice.

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pilgrim
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Re: samatha retreats/teachers

Post by pilgrim » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:12 am

Pa Auk sayadaw in Burma. His students also teach in monasteries in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Malaysia

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Dhammanando
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Re: samatha retreats/teachers

Post by Dhammanando » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:58 am

Though it isn't quite what your asking for, the Samatha Trust — a UK-based but Thailand-derived lay meditation group — will be holding its next online course from the 9th October. The course is free of charge, with instruction via weekly Skype interviews with one's teacher and uploaded instruction files.

https://www.samatha.org/online-course

I think that for most people this might be a better way of going about things as hardly any of the really good meditation teachers in Thailand speak English.

diamind
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Re: samatha retreats/teachers

Post by diamind » Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:58 am

pilgrim wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:12 am
Pa Auk sayadaw in Burma. His students also teach in monasteries in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Malaysia
Anything else you can tell me about Pa Auk Sayadaw?

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mikenz66
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Re: samatha retreats/teachers

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:04 am

diamind wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:58 am
pilgrim wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:12 am
Pa Auk sayadaw in Burma. His students also teach in monasteries in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Malaysia
Anything else you can tell me about Pa Auk Sayadaw?
Here is a book based on one of his meditation retreats:
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/know-see.pdf

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Mike

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Polar Bear
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Re: samatha retreats/teachers

Post by Polar Bear » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:45 am

diamind wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:58 am
pilgrim wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:12 am
Pa Auk sayadaw in Burma. His students also teach in monasteries in Sri Lanka, Thailand and Malaysia
Anything else you can tell me about Pa Auk Sayadaw?
Nikki Mrghafori who seems like a great lay teacher has good things to say about him in her interview with Spirit Rock:
SR: Can you speak a little about your study with Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw?

NM: I studied with him at the Forest Refuge [in Barre, MA] the two times that he came there. For a total of six months, I sat with him. And he is a most amazing human being and teacher, and I hold him in highest regard. I have a lot of affection for him as a teacher and a lot of metta and devotion, even though as a scientist, I’m not a devotion-driven person. He’s an amazing human being and brilliant--very thorough in his teaching. He demands a lot from his students, and yet he is filled with so much metta that is completely palpable. He’s very inspiring and I feel so lucky for my good fortune to have been able to study with him.

He really wanted me to ordain and become a nun. Pretty much every day I would go for an interview and he would make a cutting gesture on his head and say, “You must shave; you must shave.” he would say. And then one day he didn’t do it. So before I got up, I said “Sayadaw! Sayadaw! You forgot something today! You forgot to tell me to shave my hair and become a nun.” And he burst out laughing.

SR: That’s sweet.

NM: Yes and another story just came to mind from when I studied with him for the first time in 2008. So again, multiple times I would go to sit with him, and during the interview he would say, “You must teach Dhamma. You must teach Dhamma at the university.” At that point, I had no intention of ever teaching. Since it wasn't appropriate to say ”no”, I would say, “Thank you, Sayadaw, but you know I’m a computer scientist. I’ve been trained as a computer scientist and I teach computer science at the university.” And so again, a few interviews later he would say, “You must teach.” So he’s the one who planted the seed for me to become a teacher. He really changed the direction of my life, both personally in how he taught me, and in helping insights arise that may not have arisen otherwise. This was done through his teaching, through his real caring, and mentoring. He mentored me as if his life depended upon my liberation--that’s the level of commitment he had. He had complete commitment and trust in my ability and was committed to my awakening and liberation.

He changed my life in both my personal practice and also by planting the seed of sharing the Dharma, which I never thought I would. So it’s really because of him that the wheels slowly started to churn and turn in that direction.

https://www.nikkimirghafori.com/single- ... -Interview
A little about her from the site linked above:
Nikki Mirghafori is of Persian heritage and immigrated to the US in her teens. She was introduced to contemplative practices and yoga in the early 1980s, to meditation in 1991, and to Theravada Buddhism in 2003. She has practiced jhanas and a detailed analytical method of vipassana under the guidance of Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw, who instructed her to teach.

In addition to Pa Auk Sayadaw, she has practiced with other monastic teachers such as Bhikkhu Analayo, Ajahn Succitto, U Tejaniya, and Tsoknyi Rimpoche (Dzogchen), as well as highly respected Western teachers, such as Joseph Goldstein, Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg, Guy Armstrong, Gil Fronsdal, and Steven Tainer (Chan). She particularly appreciates and enjoys the depth of long retreat practice.
She also mentions in some talk on audiodharma if I remember correctly he taught her to recollect her past lives and to awaken the dhamma-eye.

In Venerable Bhikkhu Anālayo’s conclusion to his latest book on Satipatthana he writes:
“In the past I had the good fortune to encounter other practitioners who had attained levels of awakening. These were found among followers of several mainstream vipassanā traditions, such as those taught by Mahāsi Sayādaw, S.N. Goenka, and Pa Auk Sayādaw. Still others did not follow any particular tradition. I do not have any doubt that each of these vipassanā traditions is capable of leading to the breakthrough to stream-entry, just as I do not have the slightest doubt that what I present here has the same potential. Thus what I have described here is not meant to supersede other meditation traditions, but rather intended as offering yet another option for progress on the path. In short, my motivation is to enrich, not to compete.”

Excerpt From
Satipaṭṭhāna Meditation: A Practice Guide
Anālayo


Which I thought that was pretty cool and encouraging. Shaila Catherine who I also think of as an inspiring lay teacher trained under Pa Auk as well. So Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw has as solid a reputation as any meditation teacher from what I can tell.

He does teach according to the Visuddhimagga though, so some of the conceptual devices used could potentially rub a dyed in the wool Suttantin the wrong way.

:anjali:
Last edited by Polar Bear on Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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_anicca_
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Re: samatha retreats/teachers

Post by _anicca_ » Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:14 am

Wat Yan (Ajahn Suchart) is also samatha oriented.

I stayed there this summer. It is in a forest an hour from Pattaya.
"A virtuous monk, Kotthita my friend, should attend in an appropriate way to the five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self."

:buddha1:

http://vipassanameditation.asia

diamind
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Re: samatha retreats/teachers

Post by diamind » Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:52 pm

_anicca_ wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:14 am
Wat Yan (Ajahn Suchart) is also samatha oriented.

I stayed there this summer. It is in a forest an hour from Pattaya.
How long is the retreat? Whats it like there?

LuisR
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Re: samatha retreats/teachers

Post by LuisR » Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:07 pm

_anicca_ wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:14 am
Wat Yan (Ajahn Suchart) is also samatha oriented.

I stayed there this summer. It is in a forest an hour from Pattaya.
Is Ajahn Suchart the one that does the Dhamma in english Channel on youtube?

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_anicca_
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Re: samatha retreats/teachers

Post by _anicca_ » Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:20 pm

diamind wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:52 pm
_anicca_ wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:14 am
Wat Yan (Ajahn Suchart) is also samatha oriented.

I stayed there this summer. It is in a forest an hour from Pattaya.
How long is the retreat? Whats it like there?
They give you two weeks at first. It isn't a conducted formal retreat. It's all individual practice, essentially. You can either stay up on the mountain (Khao Chi-on) and you will be allocated a raised, wooden platform. There is no electricity or A/C on the mountain, so it is bordering on asceticism. Very intense, but a great experience. You have to walk up and down the mountain to the Wat Yan (you can also stay down here, where you will be given a room with doors and enclosure) to get the meal in the morning (we only ate once at around 8 AM. We were up at 4 AM). You also assist the monks on alms round.

You're basically living in the jungle. I will upload pictures and show you, but there were monkeys, snails, and all sorts of natural vegetation because the area is a nature preserve. There are no showers either, and water is limited, so you have to make do with the bucket of water in the bathroom to bathe.

It's incredibly picturesque and an experience, but it certainly takes adjustment.
"A virtuous monk, Kotthita my friend, should attend in an appropriate way to the five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self."

:buddha1:

http://vipassanameditation.asia

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_anicca_
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Re: samatha retreats/teachers

Post by _anicca_ » Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:29 pm

LuisR wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:07 pm
_anicca_ wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:14 am
Wat Yan (Ajahn Suchart) is also samatha oriented.

I stayed there this summer. It is in a forest an hour from Pattaya.
Is Ajahn Suchart the one that does the Dhamma in english Channel on youtube?
Yes, and I have been featured in several of his videos :)
"A virtuous monk, Kotthita my friend, should attend in an appropriate way to the five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self."

:buddha1:

http://vipassanameditation.asia

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_anicca_
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Re: samatha retreats/teachers

Post by _anicca_ » Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:37 pm

diamind wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:52 pm
_anicca_ wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:14 am
Wat Yan (Ajahn Suchart) is also samatha oriented.

I stayed there this summer. It is in a forest an hour from Pattaya.
How long is the retreat? Whats it like there?

https://imgur.com/gallery/1yEhn7K


Here are some photos from my time there.
"A virtuous monk, Kotthita my friend, should attend in an appropriate way to the five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self."

:buddha1:

http://vipassanameditation.asia

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mikenz66
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Re: samatha retreats/teachers

Post by mikenz66 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:26 pm

_anicca_ wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:37 pm
Here are some photos from my time there.
Thanks for that. It does look quite rugged, but nice. I guess those are insect traps on the piles, to stop ants, and so on...

Learning to take a shower from a bucket is a good skill, and for some Thai it's the preferred approach... It's something I've had to do in Thailand when showers have not worked properly...

:heart:
Mike

LuisR
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Re: samatha retreats/teachers

Post by LuisR » Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:40 pm

_anicca_ wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:29 pm
LuisR wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:07 pm
_anicca_ wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:14 am
Wat Yan (Ajahn Suchart) is also samatha oriented.

I stayed there this summer. It is in a forest an hour from Pattaya.
Is Ajahn Suchart the one that does the Dhamma in english Channel on youtube?
Yes, and I have been featured in several of his videos :)
Cool. I really like that channel. He answered a couple of my questions. I didn't realize people could stay there with him. how was it?

diamind
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Re: samatha retreats/teachers

Post by diamind » Sat Aug 04, 2018 1:25 am

_anicca_ wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:37 pm
diamind wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:52 pm
_anicca_ wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:14 am
Wat Yan (Ajahn Suchart) is also samatha oriented.

I stayed there this summer. It is in a forest an hour from Pattaya.
How long is the retreat? Whats it like there?

https://imgur.com/gallery/1yEhn7K


Here are some photos from my time there.
Thanks for he share. Certainly sorting out the men from the boys.

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