Meditation Centers - Your Experiences?

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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Yttrium
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Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:34 pm

Meditation Centers - Your Experiences?

Post by Yttrium » Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:04 pm

I am planning a retreat for max. 3 monthes. What are your experiences with meditation centers? E. g. what to expect, what not? What about Na Uyana? For those intending to go to Srilanka, I can provide experiences about Kanduboda, Nilambe, Nissarana. I am grateful, if you name forums, websites, etc., writing about above mentioned topic! I am particularly interested in places in South East Asia and Srilanka. Thanks for your hints!

tamdrin
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Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:34 pm
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Re: Meditation Centers - Your Experiences?

Post by tamdrin » Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:49 pm

I live in Thailand but I have not attended any courses at a meditation center.


Pa Auk in Myanmar is supposed to be good.


You can see what the Venerable Sayadaw teaches in books like this:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qwl-bq ... 0hEdi/view

Virgo
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Location: United States of America

Re: Meditation Centers - Your Experiences?

Post by Virgo » Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:03 am

Hello,

Here are some other Pa Auk monasteries and centers:

https://www.paaukforestmonastery.org/connect

Here is a list of Mahasi centers:

http://www.mahasiusa.org/ww.html

And here are some Thai meditation centers:

http://www.sawadee.com/thailand/meditation/

I have meditated at Wat Mahathat and I can recommend it.

:anjali: Kevin
The Hunger Site

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Meditation Centers - Your Experiences?

Post by JamesTheGiant » Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:14 am

I much prefer monasteries, and not retreat centers. At a monastery you have a mix of intense solitary meditation, and chores you must bring full mindfulness to, and people you must practise kindness and tolerance with.
It's more balanced, you get the opportunity to practise many aspects of the dhamma, not just focus on meditation.
There is the added benefit that there are many monasteries, while there are only few retreat centers.

budo
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Re: Meditation Centers - Your Experiences?

Post by budo » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:23 am

In my opinion, paid retreats are kind of a scam.

First, there is the bootcamp effect, which means you'll experience new highs you've never experienced but you will lose all of that within a week of returning home. So it will not lead to any lasting changes. I've seen this bootcamp effect in many fields, not just meditation.

Second, unless you know the dhamma very well you're unlikely to attain anything. Even if you attain jhanas, odds are you won't properly utilize those jhanas for seeing dependent origination. That process takes real inner commitment that a retreat can't provide.

It's a paradox, if you knew what you needed to do a retreat would be irrelevant. If you're going on a retreat hoping to attain something, then you don't know what you need to do.

Having said that, if the retreat is free then it could be of some utility. If it's an expensive retreat, you're being scammed.

Yttrium
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Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:34 pm

Re: Meditation Centers - Your Experiences?

Post by Yttrium » Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:43 pm

JamesTheGiant wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:14 am
I much prefer monasteries, and not retreat centers. At a monastery you have a mix of intense solitary meditation, and chores you must bring full mindfulness to, and people you must practise kindness and tolerance with.
It's more balanced, you get the opportunity to practise many aspects of the dhamma, not just focus on meditation.
There is the added benefit that there are many monasteries, while there are only few retreat centers.
What does the time table look like?

Yttrium
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:34 pm

Re: Meditation Centers - Your Experiences?

Post by Yttrium » Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:55 pm

@budo: "That process takes real inner commitment that a retreat can't provide." How can you go for a retreat without inner commitment? What minimum knowledge of the Dhamma would be appropriate? If you reach jhana and do not know what to do - in a center normally is a teacher available and will help you out.

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JamesTheGiant
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Location: New Zealand

Re: Meditation Centers - Your Experiences?

Post by JamesTheGiant » Sat Jun 15, 2019 8:39 pm

Yttrium wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 3:43 pm
What does the time table look like?
5:00 am
Morning meeting – chanting and silent meditation

6:30 am
Daily cleanup – chores around the main area of the monastery

7:15 am
Breakfast – usually tea and cereal

8:15 am
Work period – chores and general maintenance of the monastery

10:45 am
Meal offering
After the kitchen wash-up
Personal practice – individual meditation and study time

5:00 pm
Tea

7:30 – 8:40 pm
Evening meeting – chanting and silent meditation

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