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Offlinemichael_lifshitz
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Buddhist retreats?
    #6041871 - 09/08/06 06:54 PM (14 years, 8 months ago)

The other thread brought up a question in my mind.

Has anyone participated in any retreats for over a month?

I was thinking next year of maybe going somewhere for 1-3 months or so, whatever would make most sense. I am thinking of going to some sort of buddhist retreat. I have a couple of concerns.

First of all, it has to be good, and worthwhile, and I'm sure some are better than others, so finding a good one would be nice. I want to learn and be involved, and work, and meditate, and talk to people who know. And immerse myself in this environment fully for however long I am there. I want to still feel love and compassion from the teachers and colleagues though, and thus I don't know how much I would like a very formal zen monastery. Something along the same lines with less strictness. I do not want to sit for 7 hours a day meditating and be whipped if I stop. I still do want the real deal, just not the formal zen real deal. There are other forms of buddhism.

My other concern is cost. Preferably somewhere where a lot of the payment is done through working at the monastery or something. Or even low costs, but I cannot afford to pay thousands of dollars.

Does anyone have any experience? Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Thank you.
:heart:


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Offlinecapliberty
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Re: Buddhist retreats? [Re: michael_lifshitz]
    #6041942 - 09/08/06 07:22 PM (14 years, 8 months ago)

I advise this retreat to all canukers, I call it the medicinal marijuana retreat, its easy, go up to North Vancouver, take the ferry, go to the inner districts, find a dealer and buy yourself a fat sack of cannabis, then go find yourself a cheap motel within the city and get to blazin, the inner city motels are kinda cool anyway, they only cost around 25-30 dollars a night and they're kinda big rooms with nice old style bathrooms, perfect place for a stony evening, also the city is such a cool place to roam around, everyone is pretty mellow up there. Also if you can sneak yourself up one of those high rises you can get clear view of the whole city plus the water while getting ripped, what better retreat is that, you can rent a car or drive your own car and it will only take you about 4-5 hrs from seattle to get their, I estimate the medicinal marijuana retreat to cost about 100 for sack, 60+ on a room, and about 60+ on gas, so your getaway would cost about 200-350 for 3-6 night stay.


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OfflinePed
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Re: Buddhist retreats? [Re: michael_lifshitz]
    #6042211 - 09/08/06 08:58 PM (14 years, 8 months ago)

Nice one capliberty, that made me laugh. Sounds like a great time.

With regards to Buddhist retreats, I'd suggest a retreat offered through the New Kadampa Tradition. They're not nearly as formal as Zen-style retreats. They have a a slight social element to them. The first day or so are very social, very light, and the remaining days are totally silent: only the teacher speaks at certain times. There are between four and five sessions a day, ranging between an hour and two hours each, and they involve discourses in Buddhist thought, worlview, and psychology, as well as time for simply sitting.

The New Kadampa Tradition was founded in 1977 by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, who studied alongside the Dalai Lama in Tibet prior to the occupation. Although the Dalai Lama and Geshe Kelsang now have their varying opinions and approach, on the whole both teachers offer the same Tibetan Dharma. The NKT delivers this Dharma with the westerner in mind; you'll find their retreats to be as liberating as they are relaxing.

Where abouts are you located? There is an NKT has Dharma Centres in every state, most Canadian provinces, and many countries around the world. You can check out their website at http://www.kadampa.org.


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InvisiblethatiAM
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Re: Buddhist retreats? [Re: Ped]
    #6042405 - 09/08/06 10:16 PM (14 years, 8 months ago)

Why do you feel the need to go to a retreat? I felt this at one time, also. I wanted to go live in the forests. Not enough to seriously consider it, but it was sort of a dream.

Likely you will bring all your beliefs and controlling tendencies with you. Your life as it stands now is the perfect environment to guide you into awakening. This pain is a blessing to goad you into evolution.


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Offlinemichael_lifshitz
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Re: Buddhist retreats? [Re: thatiAM]
    #6042595 - 09/08/06 11:39 PM (14 years, 8 months ago)

To answer Ped first, I live in Ottawa, but would be willing to travel if nessecary. Also, the retreat you mentioned, the silence especially, does not seem like what I want. I do want time to really talk to people about things, and learn from others, especially teachers. Some days of silence would be nice, but I don't know how much I would enjoy months of it. I may have misunderstood what you said.

Also, to thatiAM, I do not feel a need to go to a retreat. I simply feel I would learn a lot about myself and the world, and others, and everything, by taking some time away from everything to simply contemplate. I do not even think I would enjoy it at first, I am not the type to enjoy taking time away for too long. But I feel that really getting into a full routine and different style of life for a period of time like a couple of months, could be very beneficial to my understanding of things overall.

I am learning much from my life as it is, this is simply an idea that appeals to me at the moment. I feel I would learn from it. I am not saying it is better or that I need it.


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InvisiblethatiAM
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Re: Buddhist retreats? [Re: michael_lifshitz]
    #6042684 - 09/09/06 12:11 AM (14 years, 8 months ago)

Good luck with it, learn a lot :smile:


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OfflinePed
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Re: Buddhist retreats? [Re: michael_lifshitz]
    #6042821 - 09/09/06 01:07 AM (14 years, 8 months ago)

>> Some days of silence would be nice, but I don't know how much I would enjoy months of it.

Oh no, these retreats do not last that long. The longest retreat open to the general public is about five or six days. Longer retreats are done in conjunction with specific guidance from your teacher. Typically, two or three of those days will be silent, sometimes none at all. One of my roomates used to be part of the NKT community in Ottawa. Since moving to Calgary, she's been involved with the local community here. She has lots of goods things to say about her old Ottawa friends.

Here is their website: http://www.meditateinottawa.com/. Click on "Retreats and Special Events". You may also wish to check out some of their evening classes and get a feel for things.


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Offlineeve69
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Re: Buddhist retreats? [Re: thatiAM]
    #6043669 - 09/09/06 11:02 AM (14 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

thatiAM said:
Why do you feel the need to go to a retreat? I felt this at one time, also. I wanted to go live in the forests. Not enough to seriously consider it, but it was sort of a dream.

Likely you will bring all your beliefs and controlling tendencies with you. Your life as it stands now is the perfect environment to guide you into awakening. This pain is a blessing to goad you into evolution.




New Kadampa Tradition is a cult of the worst sort. Steer clear away. Best to follow traditional retreats.


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InvisibleSinbad
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Re: Buddhist retreats? [Re: michael_lifshitz]
    #6043850 - 09/09/06 12:28 PM (14 years, 8 months ago)

Before you even contemplate going anywhere near an NKT center, get informed about the contraversy surrounding this tradition at

http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/index.php?showtopic=147
http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/index.php?showtopic=34974

Read the whole thread so that you can be informed enough to make an educated decision. My advice is to stay far away from associating with this tradition.

Good luck with finding a retreat place though. I find most Zen center's  to be cheap and accomodating for the pursposes your after.  :cool:


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Edited by Sinbad (09/09/06 12:58 PM)


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OfflineQuoiyaien
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Re: Buddhist retreats? [Re: eve69]
    #6043857 - 09/09/06 12:31 PM (14 years, 8 months ago)

Check out Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia for some good retreats.  Its like $5 a day i believe for any period of residency.  I believe it was established by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.  Check it out here .

:heart: Peace :heart:

:hippie:


Edited by Quoiyaien (09/09/06 12:39 PM)


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InvisibleSinbad
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Re: Buddhist retreats? [Re: Quoiyaien]
    #6043864 - 09/09/06 12:33 PM (14 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

Quoiyaien said:
Check out Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia for some good retreats.  Its like $5 a day.  I believe it is of the Tibetan Buddhist lineage.  Check it out here .

:heart: Peace :heart:

:hippie:




Looks Good!  :thumbup:

One of Chogyam Trungpa's setups by the looks of it.


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Offlineeve69
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Re: Buddhist retreats? [Re: Sinbad]
    #6044284 - 09/09/06 03:18 PM (14 years, 8 months ago)

Personally I would recommend any of Namkhai Norbu's centers. You can study yantra yoga which is Tibetan Hatha yoga, Vvajra Dance, and a bunch of other things.


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InvisibleSinbad
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Re: Buddhist retreats? [Re: eve69]
    #6044287 - 09/09/06 03:20 PM (14 years, 8 months ago)

Most definitely! Namkhai Norbu's "Gar's" are amazing places to do practice, although im not sure there are any in Canada atm. Have to check that one out.


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Edited by Sinbad (09/09/06 03:40 PM)


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OfflinePed
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Re: Buddhist retreats? [Re: Sinbad]
    #6046306 - 09/10/06 12:23 PM (14 years, 8 months ago)

>> My advice is to stay far away from associating with this tradition.

Given the unfortunate disparity between our two traditions, I can appreciate where this is coming from. I hope that preoccupation with our differences does not obstruct the real meaning behind any choice of spiritual life: the cultivation and flourishing of wisdom and compassion in our hearts and in the world.


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InvisibleSinbad
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Re: Buddhist retreats? [Re: Ped]
    #6049041 - 09/11/06 07:23 AM (14 years, 8 months ago)

There is no conflict between our "two traditions" as i do not subscribe to any one tradition in particular.


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Edited by Sinbad (09/11/06 07:52 AM)


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OfflinePed
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Re: Buddhist retreats? [Re: Sinbad]
    #6049214 - 09/11/06 10:18 AM (14 years, 8 months ago)

I'm sorry, I was under the impression you were practising under the Gelug tradition.


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InvisibleSinbad
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Re: Buddhist retreats? [Re: Ped]
    #6049246 - 09/11/06 10:28 AM (14 years, 8 months ago)

Nope, although one of my teachers is from the Gelug tradition.


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Offlineeve69
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Re: Buddhist retreats? [Re: Sinbad]
    #6050368 - 09/11/06 05:47 PM (14 years, 8 months ago)

NKT is no longer a Gelug tradition since they refuse to not stop practicing Dorge Shugden as per the demands of the Dalai Lama. They are a cast away Buddhist renegade sect and evil, as they regularly threaten their acolytes with various vajra punishments for anything they feel like. I sdon't know why some people get into fractitious cults when there are real traditionas still around, but then some people like McDonald's over Ruby Tuesdays, or whatever. As long as people dig holes other people will fall into them. That's a fact.


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Offlineeve69
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Re: Buddhist retreats? [Re: eve69]
    #6050379 - 09/11/06 05:49 PM (14 years, 8 months ago)



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InvisibleSinbad
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Re: Buddhist retreats? [Re: eve69]
    #6050462 - 09/11/06 06:03 PM (14 years, 8 months ago)

Just to clarify, HHDL has not "demanded" anything, he only gives his heartfelt advice. He does not consider himself to be the "Buddhist" leader of the world, as some ppl have suggested, in fact he only considers himself to be a simple buddhist monk, as he has said himself many times.

Many people have great faith in His Holiness and his teachings, as do i, and as such his advice (which mirrors the advice of many many other teachers on this subject) resonates perfectly and deeply with the rest of the Tibetan Buddhist community (besides said tradition).

IMHO spirit worship of any kind should never be tolerated within Buddhism, as it is totally contradictory to the Buddha's teachings. This is all i have to say on the subject. I see no benefit in discussing this here any further.

This subject in all its colours has alreay been debated to death on the E-Sangha forums. If anyone is interested by all means read up on the subject here:

http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/index.php?showtopic=34974
http://www.lioncity.net/buddhism/index.php?showtopic=147

Please lets not turn this into an agressive debate. The shroomery is no place for such a discussion.  :heart:


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