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I went to a meditation retreat last weekend

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FreeState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-01-09 06:18 PM
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I went to a meditation retreat last weekend
It was my first "all day" retreat. It was actually a fund raiser for the Prison Meditation Project (http://www.prisonmeditation.org /) and The Crime Victims Fund (http://www.crimevictimsfund.org /). It was put on by a wide variety of Buddhist that go into the Prisons and teach meditation to prisoners. It was a lot of fun and a great experience that I would recommend to anyone interested in meditation. This was a silent retreat (meaning no talking unless it was part of the program)

Here is how it all went (9am-4pm)

Vipassana meditation
Metta (Loving Kindness)
Walking Meditation
Compassion Meditation
Yoga
Dana talk (giving to the fund raiser)
Lunch
Council (based on Buddhist Right Speech with Native American Spiral Council on the topic of Reconciliation)
Chi-gang
Chanting
Metta (with closing string ceremony - everyone was tied together and then each person made a bracelet out of the string with vows to three knots we tied in it )

It was a great experience for me. I had a very hard time meditating actually but I learned more about myself and why I was having problems meditating than I had in a long time. Im a very active busy person and when I try to slow it down both my mind and my body revolt - and while I wanted a peaceful meditation experience in the end what I needed is what I got. Sometimes we have to endure the rising and the falling before we can move on...

Anyone ever attend one of these type of events? What did you think?

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leftyladyfrommo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-02-09 09:57 AM
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1. Meditation can be like that - easy for a while and then very difficult.
You just have to stay with it and concentrate right thru the hard times. It goes on like that for years.
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-03-09 07:13 PM
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2. "Just Sit" sounds glib, but it's the truth
Stick with it. Do an occasional Zen retreat or all-day sit for some "hardcore" sitting. You have a lot of really good groups out your way.
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FreeState Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-04-09 02:50 PM
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3. Most of the people that put the retreat on are Zen practitioners
Im a Theravada follower but take what ever I can from any tradition. I was very impressed by the Zen practitioners - they were very open and friendly and helped a lot. After it was over and Noble Silence was ended it was great to talk with some of them and see the contrasts and similarities in practice. I really liked the Council part - which is one of the main tenants of the Zen Center most of them came from.

I have to be better at making sure I sit every day. Its a struggle for me to make time and get space to do so but its worth it.
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-05-09 07:49 AM
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4. I compare it to going to the gym
Some days it's so hard to do it, but you always feel better afterwards.

I'm lucky enough to ahve a whole "Meditation Room" at home. We changed out third bedroom into that, and I have it all "decked out" (except Haruka steals my incense!).

I'm Soto Zen, but there's something for else in every tradition, imo. It's whatever works for you.
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