noselfnofun

Is doing a long two year intensive retreat a good idea?

19 posts in this topic

Hi guys, I am in two minds about making my next step in life and would like to see what your guys opinions are. So basally I want to spend two years just focusing purely my spiritual growth in an ashram or monetary. I also want to travel around the Himalayas afterwards. I work as an apprentice in the film industry. I have had to borrow some money off my parents to be able to afford to live as the apprenticeship dose not pay that great. However I could not get the idea of going off to a monastery for a couple of years out of my head. The apprenticeship is now coming to an end so I have two options, go off and do the two years immersing in spirituality or continue my carrier getting that off the ground. I have a lot of experience doing meditation retreats so going of for two years living like a monk would not be a shock to the system. 

I’m 28 and fear that if I go off to the monastery I will be jeopardising my finances and carrier but if I stay in the job I have it will jeopardise my spiritual growth to some degree. I know you can off course balance your life and grow a lot with a job, What do you guys reckon would be the best option? Go off now to the monastery or wait a few years until I have control of my finances then go off? 

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@noselfnofun do it. heal everything you need to heal and learn to find peace and contentment in the present moment. then live the rest of your life feeling every second at its peak.

that's what i did and that's what i would do if i were you. if you have the chance, then embrace it completely. very few people have this opportunity.

the "perfect moment" to go will never come. there will always be something to let go.


unborn Truth

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@noselfnofun@ajasatya How exactly does one go about doing this? Do you need to apply for a position in a monestary online? I've thought about doing the same thing a lot, but i never really understood how.


Everything is an assumption.

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@Psyche_92 it depends on the monastery. it's easier with ashrams, where you can just sign up as a volunteer and they may provide you with shelter and food.


unborn Truth

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The idea that your spiritual growth is linked to isolation and ashram stuff is a myth.

If you're more uncomfortable continuing to live a western life, that is the best path, life is the path.

It won't stop throwing at you challenges, and those are the real lessons, not to hide yourself in a cushy ashram doing nothing all day.

Study the story of enlightened masters, they weren't avoiding life.

Their students though ...


If you want the moon, do not hide from the night
If you want a rose, do not run from the thorns
If you want love, do not hide from yourself

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@ajasatya Thank you for your reply, yes I agree there will never be a right time. Sounds like you had a very positive time in healing yourself, inspiring to hear, thank you. 

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@Shin For sure, I have definitely thought that and thats another reason why I'm in two minds about going, I don't want to bypass the normal everyday challenges of western life. There is amazing growth in that also. On the other hand two years is not that long and I would be back to normal western life. I guess maybe the best awnser would be to only go if I feel I have a healthy balanced life so I know I'm not bypassing any underlining issues, would you agree?    

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@Shin lots of projections. if it worked for you, great. but most people (me included) need a different routine for this kind of work.

disciplining the mind is a hard task by itself and it's even harder when immersed in our culture full of distractions. why make things harder for yourself? go to a quiet place where it's easier to be mindfull of your daily activities. all activities are simple. clean this, do dishes, water plants etc, always taking humble babysteps.

and about the "enlightened masters", lots of them did go to isolated places to get started. dogen zenji and ramana maharshi are great examples.

"avoiding life"? living in such isolated places will make tons of shit come up to the surface very quickly. it's far from avoiding life. it's more like going straight to what matters as fast as possible.


unborn Truth

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1 hour ago, ajasatya said:

@noselfnofun do it. heal everything you need to heal and learn to find peace and contentment in the present moment. then live the rest of your life feeling every second at its peak.

that's what i did and that's what i would do if i were you. if you have the chance, then embrace it completely. very few people have this opportunity.

the "perfect moment" to go will never come. there will always be something to let go.

This

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@ajasatya Do you mind sharing your experience living in an ashram/monastery? what sort of benefits did you get from it ?  

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As Leo Gura does, you can plan 2~4 10-day solo retreats per year.

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On 02.01.2019 at 6:58 PM, noselfnofun said:

What do you guys reckon would be the best option?

To listen to what you truly authentically desire.

If you desire spiritual growth way more than financial independence your job will screw you up, if vice versa - monastery. If you want both equally then do both.

The fact that you posted this topic means that you are not in touch with what you truly want.

Going to the monastery is not some fun side-project, it's a practical step that helps to pursue your awe and curiosity about your true nature and authentic desire for liberation. I once heard an enlightened dude telling a story how he decided to go to the monastery, he was deciding between killing himself and going there, do you think you can doubt in such a situation what option you should take?

You're not going there to have some fun to tell your friends afterwards, that's like going to college for a prestigious degree that you hate.


 

 

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2 hours ago, noselfnofun said:

@ajasatya Do you mind sharing your experience living in an ashram/monastery? what sort of benefits did you get from it ?  

  • detachment from social status
  • detachment from looks
  • detachment from material abundance
  • detachment from neediness
  • detachment from gross experiences related to high excitements
  • detachment from goals and success
  • detachment from family
  • detachment from spiritual beliefs
  • detachment from logic and conceptualizations
  • detachment from past and future

unborn Truth

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@Privet Yeah thats the problem, I'm not following my hearts true desire, it is a difficult decision as my whole family hate the idea of a monastery as they don't understand that side of life. But sometimes you have gotta do what you. 

Yeah I have lived in a monastery before on intensive retreats for some time so know what to expect.

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@ajasatya Amazing thank you, would you say its stayed with you in your normal life now you are back?

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1 minute ago, noselfnofun said:

@ajasatya Amazing thank you, would you say its stayed with you in your normal life now you are back?

yes, because it's a matter of practice.

you cannot change what you fundamentally are, which is Truth. you are, were and always will be Truth ITSELF. but the mind twists things up if it becomes complacent, unfocused and undisciplined. that's why we call it "training" in zen. monks go to monasteries to train their ability to be present. dogen zenji once said "enlightenment and practice are one".

so, wrapping it up. you have to keep up with the practice and that's your responsibility.


unborn Truth

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1 hour ago, Privet said:

@noselfnofun If we ignore circumstances like parents or money what would you choose? And why?

I'd be off  hhaha, I wouldn't return until enlightenment.

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@ajasatya Yeah definitely, thank you so much for your responses. In my current situation I can do around 2 to 3 hours of practice a day. Rupert spira's events and a self realisation fellowship centre are only a block away from where I live also so I am super lucky in that respect.  So I can live a happy balanced life in or out of a monastery its just I loved the challenge so much when I do go on intense retreats I would love to do a longer time there. I will definitely be doing one I think.  Ultimately its just fear that holds us back. 

 

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