Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

5 things about meditation retreats that might surprise you


  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited July 2015

    That is real talk!!!

    Should be required reading for newbies.

    I always hated meal times. :angry:

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited July 2015

    I'd like to add a 6th!

    "It's nearly always easier than you think it will be"

    I can't remember how many times I've heard someone say "OMG, 7 days of just meditation?? I don't know how I'm going to do this. This is going to be SO hard!"

    Then after the retreat is over the same people usually say "Wow, I don't know why I was making such a fuss, it wasn't that hard!"

    As for # 4, I only found that to be true when they are serving 15 bean soup or something like that. :)

  • No. 7 would be often having to share dormitories with snorers. ;)

  • Invincible_summerInvincible_summer Heavy Metal Dhamma We(s)t coast, Canada Veteran

    @Vastmind said:
    Fortunetly, I live about 90 mins away from the monastery [...]
    Living close to a monastery.... That's love !! :awesome:

    90 minutes is "close?" Sheesh... is that highway driving too??

  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran
    edited July 2015

    Yep. It's an easy do...we leave around 6am to make it it to 730 am walking meditation. We leave around 3-4 pm., Sometimes earlier (skip lunch or rec time) if someone in the carpool has somewhere to be. :smile: I've been back at home as early as by 5.
    I will put Cedric on front street right now though...he keeps bailing out on the 5 am sitting bec he can't be up at 3 am in order to leave...lolololol. So yeah, the sitting...well...that's a work in progress for us to make, hahaha. After a long week at work, I like the morning/scenic drive out there.

    I think it's even steven with the church thing. By the time Family leaves church, stays around and chews the fat, then...goes out for Sunday eating...It's all day. I don't mind spending that time driving to get to where I want to go.

  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran

    Here's the usual routine for Sundays, thought it can change.

    Oh, and the bell rings every 15 mins. ;)

    Tentative schedule for Sunday:
    5:30am- Sitting meditation & chanting
    7:00am - Breakfast
    8:30am- Walking meditation
    9:45am- Dharma talk
    11:30am- Precepts recitation (1st Sunday - The Five Mindfulness Training, 3rd Sunday - The
    Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings)/ Dharma sharing (2nd, 4th, 5th Sundays)
    1:00pm - Formal lunch in the Rising Tide Meditation Hall (2nd, 4th, 5th Sundays)

    • Lunch in the dining hall (1st and 3rd Sundays)
      2:00pm - Total relaxation (if conditions are favorable :))
  • Rowan1980Rowan1980 Keeper of the Zoo Asheville, NC Veteran

    And this is why I will be sticking to weekend retreats for the first few times! :lol:

  • mmommo Veteran

    I am yet to experience all these above. I have booked a retreat in new year. :o And looking forward to see how it is. May be shower might be the one I can think of, as I like to take long showers. I may need to practice finishing it in short time like 10mins or so.

  • I've only done short retreats (1 - 3 days) and they were great. But would imagine that the challenge sets in around Day 5. Funny article. Thanks for posting

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Of course we had it tough. :p

    The last group retreat I went on, I was excluded from (probably something I said). So basically I had booked the travel ticket for a week long silent retreat quite near the coast. Sadly I was preparing my visiting schedule when it was deemed that my visit was not suitable for beginners.

    I went anyway.

    However so as not to contaminate the advanced practitioners, I ended up in a small fishing tent in the middle of nowhere, with a summer sleeping bag. My first night I engaged in shivering meditation [NB. must master tumo some time] ...

    As I did not have a stove, I lived on muesli and sardines [traditional Lobsterian nutrition]. The local land owner came to give me permission to stay and even make a fire if I wished. However never felt the need.

    I had a great time and came back just before the snow ...

  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran

    Hahaha... ^^^^^ throwback thread :)

  • I will agree with one thing from the article sure enough. The Zazen hall is the loneliest place on earth. People who are used to "team building" retreats or weekly meditation classes are in for a real shock. Also, if you're expecting a bunch of enlightened, compassionate, friendly encounters with the monks, you'll be disappointed. They're way too busy running the retreat to pay much individual attention to the guests.

    But it's something I think every Buddhist should experience at least once, especially if you don't live near a temple or group.

  • @lobster said: the middle of nowhere....

    You had a nowhere with a middle in it?! Sheer luxury!

Sign In or Register to comment.