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You are browsing all posts tagged with the topic: retreats

Wildmind Meditation News

Dec 05, 2011

Getting far, far away from it all

Hilary Stout: On a Friday morning in October — Oct. 21, to be exact — Mark Trippetti, an advertising consultant from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, surrendered his laptop and iPhone to storage at a remote mountainside center in southern Colorado and prepared to drop out of human contact for a month.

The previous week he had begun the withdrawal process, leaving word with clients, cutting back his use of technology and giving up caffeine. Before checking out completely, he made one final call to his girlfriend, Jee Chang.

By careful design, Mr. Trippetti would not see or communicate with anyone until Nov. 20. At his spartan cabin …

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Mandy Sutter

Oct 07, 2011

Meditating with tinnitus

If you suffer from tinnitus – persistent ringing in the ears – you may wonder whether meditation is a good idea. And yet it can be a powerful tool in helping you come to terms with the white noise inside your head. Meditator and long-time tinnitus sufferer Mandy Sutter airs some of the issues.

Tinnitus can make meditation very difficult. And because meditation is mostly silent, it may seem that meditation can make tinnitus very difficult, too.

It’s certainly true that as soon as you sit down on the cushion and close your eyes, the tinnitus seems to get louder. It isn’t really getting louder: it only seems that way …

Mandy Sutter

Sep 25, 2011

The Closing Circle

Writer and meditator Mandy Sutter views the reporting-in process at the end of silent retreats with a mixture of dread and excitement.

Many Buddhist retreat centres embrace the custom of the ‘Closing Circle’.

This doesn’t mean sitting in the middle of a razor toothed torture ring that gradually closes in and squeezes the life out of you, like something out of a James Bond movie.

No. It’s worse than that.

It means that after spending, say, a fortnight in silence with thirty strangers, the group sits in a large circle on the last evening to share their experience.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not against hearing how everyone else got on. …

Wildmind Meditation News

Sep 25, 2011

Ten days in silence at a meditation retreat changed my life

Lena Vazifdar: The day I signed up for a silent meditation retreat, I had no idea what I was getting into. The first day, I piled into a red sedan in San Francisco with a 40-year-old hippie in a Hawaiian shirt, a 20-something product developer from India and a straight-faced, vegetarian Indian woman who had been meditating for years. I thought I was about to embark on a great adventure, but little did I know I was beginning the hardest ten days of my life.

I went into the experience with an open heart and mind. My knowledge of Vipassana meditation was…

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Wildmind Meditation News

Sep 04, 2011

Buddhism with peanut butter (a retreat experience)

Shefalee Vasudev (Indian Express):

A seven-day course in silent meditation is buttered bliss.

Are you a morning person?” she asked. The bristles of hair on her shaven head were golden, her skin alabaster and she wore androgynous clothes.

This was at an “Introduction to Buddhism” course at Tushita, a meditation centre in Mcleodganj, Dharamsala. I was taken aback to see a hundred-odd people trooping into the quiet retreat and felt momentarily lost in the crowd dominated by foreigners. Most looked like spiritual shoppers dressed in psychedelic tops, T-shirts and scarves with Om and other spiritual symbols, harem pants, shawls, silver jewellery, braided hair, ear and nose…

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Bodhipaksa

Aug 22, 2011

“Abiding in Ease, Here and Now”: An invitation to listen in on Bodhipaksa’s teaching

This is an invitation to download some free MP3s of my teaching.

This week I’m doing a lot of meditation teaching at Aryaloka Buddhist Center in New Hampshire, and I’ve been recording the meditation sessions and uploading them to a Dropbox account.

Most of the recordings are from 30 to 50 minutes long. I’ve been introducing the Mindfulness of Breathing, Development of Lovingkindness, and Walking Meditation practices. The overall theme is a phrase from the Pali canon, “Abiding in Ease, Here and Now,” and the meditations encourage a sense of spacious relaxation into the moment, with the emphasis on acceptance and equanimity.

If you’d like to download these, just post a comment below, …

Wildmind Meditation News

Mar 31, 2011

The monks and I: Teaching and learning in Thailand

Foreigners are being invited to teach English to Buddhist monks at two temples in Thailand — at a cost of hundreds of dollars.

And staff at one temple claim that many visiting instructors “experienced nirvana temporarily” during meditation sessions.

The temples, Wat Luang Phor Sodh in Ratchaburi and Wat Doi Saket in Chiang Mai, run slightly different programs, but essentially offer the chance to learn about Thai culture while teaching English.

Foreign teachers have to pay for their own lodging, food and other expenses, as well as their airfare to and from Thailand. And though all of the saffron-robed monk students are male, the temples welcome both men and women teachers.

“All English speakers are welcomed,” said Dr. Barton “Bart” Yanathiro, a…

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Wildmind Meditation News

Mar 10, 2011

Ten days without talking

Was it possible to survive 10 days of meditating in an Indian retreat without speaking, reading or making eye-contact with fellow guests?

I am sitting cross-legged on the floor in a large hall, surrounded by strangers. Sweat is running down my face, and my thighs are bleating in agony. I’m trying to meditate but my mind keeps calculating how long I’ve been here (about five hours) and how long there is to go (about another 100).

It is the first day of my silent retreat in Gujarat, India. I am not allowed to talk throughout the 10 days. In fact, I am not allowed to do much at all: I can’t make eye contact with my fellow meditators, or read, write, listen …

Wildmind Meditation News

Jan 25, 2011

The Guardian newspaper’s guide to meditation

Last weekend the British Guardian newspaper published a guide to meditation. Here are extracts, as well as links to the full articles…
1. How to meditate: An introduction
Rates of depression and anxiety are rising in the modern world. Andrew Oswald, a professor at Warwick University who studies wellbeing, recently told me that mental health indicators nearly always point down. “Things are not going completely well in western society,” he said. Proposed remedies are numerous. And one that is garnering growing attention is meditation, and mindfulness meditation in particular.

The aim is simple: to pay attention – be “mindful”. Typically, a teacher will ask you to sit upright, in an alert position. Then, they will encourage you to focus on something straightforward, like …

Wildmind Meditation News

Jan 11, 2011

Undoing exhaustion: Enjoy a meditation retreat

Some of us go to the beach or camping by a river or lake for our holidays.

Some of us stay home and read books.

The really exhausted ones, the spiritually exhausted ones, go on retreat.

That’s what I did between Christmas and new year.

It was billed as a yoga and meditation retreat.

On December 27, I loaded up with two unknown fellow retreaters and hitched a lift to Healesville, deep in a valley where prayer flags fluttered in the breeze, to a higgledy-piggledy arrangement of old wooden rooms that I suppose once constituted a mountain guesthouse. Buddha, in various statue forms, and a few of his followers have since moved in.

Each day began with a gong at what seemed to be some time …