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Vipassana 10 day retreat

Hi, just wanted to ask if any of you done a 10 day Vipassana retreat. I'm just considering to signup as my first retreat after a year in the practice. This is in the tradition of S.N. Goenka. Thanks for the input.

Comments

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

    I have not personally, but a friend of mine just got back from one and has mixed feelings about it. I think it depends on where you go and who is helping run the course, because some of the "assistant teachers" tend to give very basic stock answers to questions. If you're new to the style of meditation and to noble silence, then you may also find it frustrating that you can't discuss with your fellow meditators or journal or anything like that, and the staff may not necessarily be super helpful.

    However, from what I understand, if you have a decent amount of experience in the tradition and can be a little "self sufficient" when it comes to monitoring experiences, the retreats are more valuable. But jumping right into the deep end can be difficult for even the most earnest newcomers.

  • Thanks for the input. I can't say I have enough experience but I manage to sit twice a day for an hour. Still got to work more on concentration, Indeed, my mind still in wild and need to tame. I tried to limit on multiple or excessive thinking and noticed improvements. I'm just curious if vipassana could tame it more.

    Invincible_summer
  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran

    @mockeymind said:
    Hi, just wanted to ask if any of you done a 10 day Vipassana retreat. I'm just considering to signup as my first retreat after a year in the practice. This is in the tradition of S.N. Goenka. Thanks for the input.

    I've done this, it was fantastic. I did it after about a year as well. Goenka is a great teacher. The chanting gets annoying though :)
    I slept in a tent I brought. 10 days is long enough to get results but not too long.

  • mockeymindmockeymind Veteran
    edited October 2015

    @Earthninja - Thanks, How did the retreat helped you in your practice. How's the mind with the ten days duration, did it resist the intense training? at what day the mind totally gave in. Is it just sitting or with walking?

    They called it non-sectarian or non-religious, why there is chanting then. I know there wouldn't be a problem for us buddhists, but for the others? Also, I heard that not all of the students made it to the last day. Appreciate the input.

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Funny you should mention this. I was just reading about a similar retreat in Australia. Not sure if it's exactly the same where you are @mockeymind but this may give you some idea.

    http://thenewdaily.com.au/life/2015/10/24/silent-retreat-australia/

  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran

    @mockeymind said:
    Earthninja - Thanks, How did the retreat helped you in your practice. How's the mind with the ten days duration, did it resist the intense training? at what day the mind totally gave in. Is it just sitting or with walking?

    No it's just sitting, first 3 days is just concentration of breath. Last 7 is the Vipassana. You get a break to walk around after each sitting. :)
    The hard part is waking up at like 4am with the bell haha.
    The sittings were fine. They do sittings of determination which are hard. But it was a good test.
    Mind was fine, day 6 was a hard day for the mind. I didn't want to sit, I think I only did a few that day :)

    They called it non-sectarian or non-religious, why there is chanting then. I know there wouldn't be a problem for us buddhists, but for the others? Also, I heard that not all of the students made it to the last day. Appreciate the input.

    It is "non religious" but they still take refuge with Buddha, sangha etc.
    the chanting is more Goenka singing.
    It goes on forever and he doesn't have the best voice.
    It's hard when your legs are screaming and he is singing hahah.
    It's excellent training.

    I have zero problems sitting for an hour or more now. I would love to do this course again. each year of possible.

    The food was great! Also the nighttime discourses are fantastic.

    The meditation room was warm and comfortable!

    ***tip**** grab like 3-4 cushions at the beginning! Your legs will scream on just one cushion haha.

    The silence was also a great thing.

  • I've been to a number of 10-day retreats in the tradition of S.N. Goenka. I think that you will find such a retreat beneficial. I think that these courses will be helpful for most people -even complete novices - but I would urge those new to meditation to find a comfortable posture before attending a course to avoid unnecessary physical difficulty. Also, those with very challenging mental states (schizophrenia, for example) may not find it a suitable practice.

    The technique is taught in a systematic, logical way with evening taped discourses by Goenka-ji that help to illuminate the practice . Before the first such retreat I attended (about 20 years ago) I had been sitting for about one hour a day (half hour at either end of the day), and, though I found it difficult to sit for such long periods of time everyday, I was able to do it. This past summer, I attended my latest 10 day course at the age of 58, and I was a little concerned because, physically, I had had a tough year. However, to my surprise, the physical pain was a non-issue, and I think that I became aware, for the first time, how much my mind had been interfering in my practice of "just sitting."

    I am very grateful to this practice. I have to say, however, that as much as Goenka-ji calls the course "non-sectarian," as it references the 8-Fold Path and 4 Noble Truths, etc., it feels pretty Buddhist to me!

    The chanting doesn't/didn't bother me much at all, and I have come to like it (most of the time, but once in awhile, I feel a deep aversion, so that changes, too). It's all about the vibrations. And, as he says on the tape, you don't have to like it, but he has to do it because it's his job as a teacher (or words to that effect).

    I also really appreciate the Noble Silence during the retreat.

    It's just best to go into it with the intention to follow the schedule and the rules. Of course, being humans and imperfect, we slip up now and then, but taking it seriously is the best path to the least amount of suffering.

    Another tip: Sit as much as possible in the Meditation Hall (even at the 4 am sitting). You often have the option to sit in your own quarters, but the Meditation Hall, in my experience, is almost always the better option.

    Earthninja
  • Thank you all. May our practice merits all beings.

    Earthninja
  • @Bunks - It is the one in Ontario Canada. I live in Toronto.

    EarthninjaBunksInvincible_summer
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran
    edited October 2015

    @mockeymind said: Hi, just wanted to ask if any of you done a 10 day Vipassana retreat.

    I haven't done a Goenka retreat, but I have done 10-day plus meditation retreats in other traditions. I'd recommend it, a lot can happen in 10 days, it's a great opportunity to deepen your practice and see what the possibilities really are.
    But be gentle with yourself. If at some point you need some time out, then take it.

    lobsterBunksmockeymind
  • rohitrohit Maharrashtra Veteran
    edited October 2015

    Yes, i did and it was fantastic but did not have regular practice. Center matters and Igatpuri is best place in India among different centers of vipassana institute established by master Goenka ji.

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