kieranperez

Retreat Survey

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How many of you that are on this forum have actually done a retreat? 

Please list how many you have done, how many you have coming up that you are genuinely planning on attending, how long each retreat was, and also what kind of retreat/intensive it was.

Total Retreats for me: 2

Retreat #1 April 2021: Virtual online 3 day meditation retreat (good way to dip my toe in the water. 

Retreat #2 April 2021: Peter Ralston's last Insight & Enlightenment Intensive. 7 days total.

Upcoming Retreat #1, August 2021 (signed up): 7 day Rinzai Zen sesshin 

Upcoming Retreat #2, September 2021 (signed up): 7 day Rinzai Zen sesshin

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Posted (edited)

Total for me: 4 

Retreat #1 Sept/Oct 2018: 14 days consciousness workshops facilitated by Brendan Lea

Retreat #2 Sept/Oct 2020: 9 day online vipassana retreat lead by Shinzen Young

Retreat #3 Dec/Jan 2020/2021: 11 day online vipassana retreat lead by Shinzen Young

Retreat #4 April 2021: 8 day online vipassana retreat lead by Shinzen Young.

Upcoming Retreat #5 Oct: 2021: 14 day Contemplation Intensive facilitated by Brendan Lea.

Also trying to join a residential monastery program from Nov 2021 - April 2022 where I can still work my remote job while living in a more relaxed but still strict monastery setting. It would have retreats thrown in. Still attempting to work those details out.

After all of these retreats Ive realized trying to do manual practice without ever attending retreats is severely lacking. The back to back meditation retreats were absurdly powerful. 

I remember Leo saying in one of his old blog videos (one on YouTube not actualized.org) that we should be doing these type of retreats quarterly and if that our life circumstances wouldn’t allow for that, to figure it out so we could. Still “figuring it out” haha but damn he was spot on. 2020 was one of the most healing, “consciousness expanding” years of my life because of those retreats. 

Edited by Consilience

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1 hour ago, Consilience said:

Also trying to join a residential monastery program from Nov 2021 - April 2022 where I can still work my remote job while living in a more relaxed but still strict monastery setting.

What monastery are you checking out? That'd be great if you can find a monastery that gives that kind of flexibility as well as have a job that'd be flexible enough to get in serious practice. 

1 hour ago, Consilience said:

14 day Contemplation Intensive facilitated by Brendan Lea.

I might volunteer to help out with logistics there. Don't think I'll attend cause of cost. Would love to help though. 

1 hour ago, Consilience said:

Retreat #3 Dec/Jan 2020/2021: 11 day online vipassana retreat lead by Shinzen Young

Retreat #4 April 2021: 8 day online vipassana retreat lead by Shinzen Young.

This isn't his home practice stuff is it? I've heard good stuff about it. What is your experience with working with him?

1 hour ago, Consilience said:

After all of these retreats Ive realized trying to do manual practice without ever attending retreats is severely lacking. The back to back meditation retreats were absurdly powerful. 

100% agreed. There's a power and potency in a retreat/monastic container that's just so helpful that it's rather foolish to try and do that on one's own. 

1 hour ago, Consilience said:

doing these type of retreats quarterly and if that our life circumstances wouldn’t allow for that, to figure it out so we could.

Yep. The life circumstance thing is a big one. I've been pretty lucky in that I can probably do a few a year.e

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6 hours ago, kieranperez said:

What monastery are you checking out? That'd be great if you can find a monastery that gives that kind of flexibility as well as have a job that'd be flexible enough to get in serious practice. 

It's called Monastic Academy Center for Mindful Learning.

 

6 hours ago, kieranperez said:

I might volunteer to help out with logistics there. Don't think I'll attend cause of cost. Would love to help though.

That would be great. As I understand it, you'd also get to participate free of charge. If you have the time why not? 

 

6 hours ago, kieranperez said:

This isn't his home practice stuff is it? I've heard good stuff about it. What is your experience with working with him?

Nah just normal retreat schedule but all on zoom. It was honestly awesome getting to go so hard at practice while being in my personal space. It felt like it helped with the integration compared to when I went to Texas, for example. The home practice program does seem great though. I really appreciate how engaged he is with his community. 

My experience learning from Shinzen has been phenomenal. He is a serious, grounded, embodied meditation master and it shows with the way he gives talks, answers questions, and just his presence. Before going on the first retreat, I was honestly very confused about how to integrate many of the ideas presented in The Mind Illuminated, The Book of Not Knowing... Shamatha, jhanas, self inquiry, do nothing, vipassana, and then all of the Neo Advaita messages about stop seeking. Like wtf man so many competing messages :D But after coming out of that first retreat everything just clicked and in no small part because of Shinzen. His noting/labeling technique is extremely intelligent and effective. For me at least.
 

6 hours ago, kieranperez said:

Yep. The life circumstance thing is a big one. I've been pretty lucky in that I can probably do a few a year.e

My goal is a couple per year too, but at minimum 1. 

What about you man? How was the 3 day and intensive? 
 

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8 minutes ago, Consilience said:

It's called Monastic Academy Center for Mindful Learning.

Ah yes! Soryu! I didn't know that was something they offered. Very cool!

10 minutes ago, Consilience said:

What about you man? How was the 3 day and intensive? 

It was a very casual first toe in the water with Integral Zen and Doshin Roshi who is someone that knows me pretty damn well by now. I went to Peter & Brendan's IEW the next week which was great and many little insights. Though it was more focused I don't find the word "intense" really suits it well for me since I wanted to go there so bad I never thought of it as being so brutally tough or whatever. I imagine the 2 upcoming Zen sesshins will be more much more tough. Doshin is actually going to help me stay a little bit after at one of the monasteries (Yokoji in Southern California outside of LA) to get more of a hands on taste of monastic life which I'm still kinda considering despite the fear of getting pigeonholed. 

I'm curious, since you've sat with Shinzen (given that you can still really experience transference of states over video chat - thank you quantum mechanics!), does he have a pretty potent state he transmits that you can feel when you sit with him? I remember my first & only sit with Doshin I was literally seeing fractals on the ground and was like 'holy fuck! I didn't even take anything!' 

19 minutes ago, Consilience said:

That would be great. As I understand it, you'd also get to participate free of charge. If you have the time why not? 

Yeah, I already messaged Brendan. Apparently his prerequisite is having attended two consciousness workshops which wouldn't work for me since I've only been to one. I still threw the offer out there because I'd want to help them out and get some good growth since there would definitely be some solid work to do. 

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5 day Enlightenment Intensive 2019
3 Day Contemplation Intensive 2020
Contemplation and Satsang Workshop with Peter Ralston 2020
3 Day Intensive 2021
Upcoming: Residential Work with Peter Ralston 2021 (if Covid allows)

Overall I could probably widen my scope a bit, but as of now Peter's and similar work is blowing my mind.

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18 hours ago, kieranperez said:

It was a very casual first toe in the water with Integral Zen and Doshin Roshi who is someone that knows me pretty damn well by now. I went to Peter & Brendan's IEW the next week which was great and many little insights. Though it was more focused I don't find the word "intense" really suits it well for me since I wanted to go there so bad I never thought of it as being so brutally tough or whatever. I imagine the 2 upcoming Zen sesshins will be more much more tough. Doshin is actually going to help me stay a little bit after at one of the monasteries (Yokoji in Southern California outside of LA) to get more of a hands on taste of monastic life which I'm still kinda considering despite the fear of getting pigeonholed. 

Yes I imagine the sesshins will provide a whole depth of insight, appreciate, and understanding of the role of meditation on the "spiritual path." There is something profoundly powerful about the silence, stillness, boredom, and rigor of a meditation retreat setting. It molds the mind at such a deceptively deep way, especially if followed up with serious daily practice. 

Doshin seems woke as fuck based on YouTube videos I've watched... His emphasis on shadow works seems particularly powerful as well. That's really awesome as well about getting the opportunity for monastic life. What do you mean about the fear of being pigeonholed? Like you somehow wouldn't be able to leave once you've committed? 

 

18 hours ago, kieranperez said:

I'm curious, since you've sat with Shinzen (given that you can still really experience transference of states over video chat - thank you quantum mechanics!), does he have a pretty potent state he transmits that you can feel when you sit with him? I remember my first & only sit with Doshin I was literally seeing fractals on the ground and was like 'holy fuck! I didn't even take anything!' 

Honestly he seems to hide it. There are times where it's very obvious shits being transmitted... Or it kind of slips through without him intentionally doing anything. But I think he's extremely conscientious about NOT transmitting anything because he doesn't want his community to fall into needing him. For the second two retreats, the morning meditations began 3:30am PST time and I'm not sure I could have made it through them without him leading the sits... Having his presence there really helped, but again, he does seem to hold back for the most part. 


However, based on some private exchanges I've had with him in one on one interviews, all I can say is his baseline state of consciousness is wildly higher than what he "gives off." But again I believe this holding back is intentional. Regardless, it does start to slip through, especially as the retreats progressed and momentum with the practice starts to build and especially during his evening talks. The mind starts to become more porous and sensitive to subtler "frequencies" of energy. Sorry I don't have more grounded language to use to describe that. 

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retreat #1 10 Day vipassana

Retreat #2 3 Day vipassana

Retreat #10 10 day vipassana

Ideally, I'd do 1-2 retreats a year. I've been researching darkroom retreats. If anyone has experience, please share.

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@Consilience apologies for never getting back to this.

On 6/28/2021 at 5:19 PM, Consilience said:

What do you mean about the fear of being pigeonholed? Like you somehow wouldn't be able to leave once you've committed? 

 

I'm concerned about the getting caught up in a collective agenda that is besides awakening. I'm very careful to notice what agendas certain organizations have and how they conflate that with realization. Whenever I see teachers that conflate realization with their political agendas as being one thing, that to me is a problem. I've looked into monasteries that are very heavy on BLM and what not though I've heard they may have very awake teachers when it comes to the depth of their insight, that still for me is a no go and a big red flag. Doshin has been incredibly helpful to me with this.

I also am concerned about getting paradigm locked within a particular framework such as Buddhism or yoga or whatever. I don't want to pretend that Buddhism or some tradition has it all down or pretend anyone or anything does. Personally I'm a bit allergic to surrendering to any dogma. That said, I can totally work within a particular framework and form of practice without dogmatizing it. I just don't want to be pressured to dogmatize it. 

On 6/28/2021 at 5:19 PM, Consilience said:

But I think he's extremely conscientious about NOT transmitting anything because he doesn't want his community to fall into needing him.

This is the same thing with Peter as far as I've heard. He stop transmitting back in the 90s because his students just got hooked on him. Which, to be fair, it's hard not to when you're really around a guy who is very powerful energetically. 

On 6/28/2021 at 5:19 PM, Consilience said:

The mind starts to become more porous and sensitive to subtler "frequencies" of energy. Sorry I don't have more grounded language to use to describe that. 

Yeah I definitely hear you there. 

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@kieranperez  One retreat.

I did a three-day, three-night solitary and silent retreat by myself in a cabin deep in the woods next to a river.  No TV, radio, internet, books, games, phone, etc, etc.  No distractions of any kind.  Basically, I meditated, ate, looked at the scenery, or slept the entire time.

I did not talk, nor ponder things.  The idea was just to be present and not think for three days.


Eric Putkonen - stopped blogging and now do videos on YouTube - http://bit.ly/AdvaitaChannel

                            - hosting satsangs in the St. Petersburg, FL area.

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