Retreats in tb

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yagmort
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Re: Retreats in tb

Post by yagmort » Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:56 pm

dzoki wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:58 am
...Some urban "yogis" that I have met tell me that retreat practice is outdated and it is better to "integrate" with daily life...
i always get strange feeling of a fraud when i hear that. to me it sounds like a self-deceiving desire to make spiritual things 'tasty' by adding wordly 'spice'. as for me i don't believe in liberation with your comfy home slippers still on. the whole world today is so permeated with seeking of recognition, competition, success, wealth, influence, likes, facebook, instagram etc. that it makes me wonder why would anyone want integrate their practice with such a daily life? and if their daily life is already quite removed from all those mundane things i outlined so they became a social hermits of a sort then why not let it go altogether? just imho, and probably very biased one.
dzoki wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:58 am
..My root guru told: "Practitioners who hope to reach the goal without dedicating to intense practice are laughable."...
is it the same who spend 16 years in retreat? if you don't mind me asking Dzoki who are these masters?

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Miroku
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Re: Retreats in tb

Post by Miroku » Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:02 pm

yagmort wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:56 pm
dzoki wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:58 am
...Some urban "yogis" that I have met tell me that retreat practice is outdated and it is better to "integrate" with daily life...
i always get strange feeling of a fraud when i hear that. to me it sounds like a self-deceiving desire to make spiritual things 'tasty' by adding wordly 'spice'. as for me i don't believe in liberation with your comfy home slippers still on. the whole world today is so permeated with seeking of recognition, competition, success, wealth, influence, likes, facebook, instagram etc. that it makes me wonder why would anyone want integrate their practice with such a daily life? and if their daily life is already quite removed from all those mundane things i outlined so they became a social hermits of a sort then why not let it go altogether? just imho, and probably very biased one.
Well, retreats are far away from outdated, but I am pretty sure that a lot of work can be done when we manage to integrate our practice into daily life. Be it the simple mindfulness, to mantra recitations, or using breaks to do some short practices. However, for that steady daily practice is needed. And also some level of stability.
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

n8pee
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Re: Retreats in tb

Post by n8pee » Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:27 pm

the whole world today is so permeated with seeking of recognition, competition, success, wealth, influence, likes, facebook, instagram etc. that it makes me wonder why would anyone want integrate their practice with such a daily life? and if their daily life is already quite removed from all those mundane things i outlined so they became a social hermits of a sort then why not let it go altogether?
What if your daily life consists of caring for children, maintaining a harmonious relationship with one's spouse, and doing good work for one's employer with the motivation to provide value and please the minds of one's customers?

I think that is how one could integrate practice with daily life.

My family gives me more opportunities to practice the dharma (for better or worse!) than I would ever receive in a retreat setting. Granted, I hope greatly for the time when retreat is possible as that affords one the opportunity to work much, much more deeply with one's own practice. But in the end, you still return to the world.

Varis
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Re: Retreats in tb

Post by Varis » Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:30 pm

yagmort wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:56 pm
it makes me wonder why would anyone want integrate their practice with such a daily life? and if their daily life is already quite removed from all those mundane things i outlined so they became a social hermits of a sort then why not let it go altogether? just imho, and probably very biased one.
The point of vajrayana is to integrate sense objects into the path.
Anyways, I believe Sakyapas place strong emphasis on daily practice outside of retreat.

yagmort
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Re: Retreats in tb

Post by yagmort » Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:37 pm

i am not saying daily practice isn't necessary or should be substituted with life long retreats.
i am saying daily life back in tibet is a very different thing that what western society have now.
so when a practitioner from tibet says integrate daily life it's not at all the same when such words come from a western practitioner, and this is what dzoki give as an example by saying "urban yogis". i've heard such things quite a few times as well. as for daily practice iam sure many do their daily part of practice i just don't believe it suffice. meditate for half an hour in the morning and then turn you mind into "profit" business-oriented mode. mixing oil and water imho. again my apologies if i sound accusing, i am not. just can't apply this for myself.
n8pee wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:27 pm
What if your daily life consists of caring for children, maintaining a harmonious relationship with one's spouse, and doing good work for one's employer with the motivation to provide value and please the minds of one's customers?

I think that is how one could integrate practice with daily life.

My family gives me more opportunities to practice the dharma (for better or worse!) than I would ever receive in a retreat setting. Granted, I hope greatly for the time when retreat is possible as that affords one the opportunity to work much, much more deeply with one's own practice. But in the end, you still return to the world.
i don't have an answer for this, bro. as i said i don't believe liberation is possible within those settings. it doesn't neglect the fact you still can practice and gain experience and prgress on the path. as an example you can see stories of Tharchin Repa who abandoned his worldy life in order for his life became that of a yogi. he did so after raising his son who later joined him by becaming one of his students. another story is Govind Lama from Kinnaur, who left his family when he came to know his wife was pregnant. he left his family to his brother and left. i am not sure if i would do the same, but it shows those guys definitely were not into all this integrate daily life thing. i think i am closer to them in my thoughts of how things are.

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Re: Retreats in tb

Post by Miroku » Tue Jan 29, 2019 4:30 pm

yagmort wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:37 pm
i am not saying daily practice isn't necessary or should be substituted with life long retreats.
i am saying daily life back in tibet is a very different thing that what western society have now.
so when a practitioner from tibet says integrate daily life it's not at all the same when such words come from a western practitioner, and this is what dzoki give as an example by saying "urban yogis". i've heard such things quite a few times as well. as for daily practice iam sure many do their daily part of practice i just don't believe it suffice. meditate for half an hour in the morning and then turn you mind into "profit" business-oriented mode. mixing oil and water imho. again my apologies if i sound accusing, i am not. just can't apply this for myself.
Oh I didn't say that you said it either. Just that I believe this possibility for integrating practice into daily life is there.
Yes things are very different on the outer level, however very essential methods can be applied to turn daily life into practice. Be it just being mindful, or checking you motivation, etc. In essence really the life is not that greately different anywhere. The enemy is the same only just this time there is more to be distracted with.
However, if we do it our life will grately change or will have to be changed in order to do it. Less social media time, more practice, etc.
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

n8pee
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Re: Retreats in tb

Post by n8pee » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:32 pm

i don't have an answer for this, bro. as i said i don't believe liberation is possible within those settings. it doesn't neglect the fact you still can practice and gain experience and prgress on the path. as an example you can see stories of Tharchin Repa who abandoned his worldy life in order for his life became that of a yogi. he did so after raising his son who later joined him by becaming one of his students. another story is Govind Lama from Kinnaur, who left his family when he came to know his wife was pregnant. he left his family to his brother and left. i am not sure if i would do the same, but it shows those guys definitely were not into all this integrate daily life thing. i think i am closer to them in my thoughts of how things are.
The importance of retreat for profound transformation and realization is well-established. However a practitioner should integrate dharma into daily life and activities when not in retreat. Also retreat is not always readily accessible for all - that doesn't mean daily life is a vacation from dharma whilst one awaits the opportunity to go into retreat.

Sennin
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Re: Retreats in tb

Post by Sennin » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:56 pm

Another thing that is important to all retreat, sessions and practice in general is the pivotal point of reflecting on impermanence, so no matter what isolated environment one is in or not, one must train the three doors to never give into indolence or sloth and give rise to supreme bodhicitta.
"One should always recite mantra, purifying the body."
--Cakrasaṃvara Tantra

n8pee
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Re: Retreats in tb

Post by n8pee » Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:05 pm

This thread also reminds me of this gem from Berzin's publishings of the late Serkong Rinpoche:
Although full-time tantric meditation retreats continued over long periods are beneficial, most people do not have the luxury to undertake them. Therefore, Rinpoche felt it narrow-minded to think that we can only do this type of retreat if we have three months or more of free time. Retreat does not mean a period of cutting ourselves off from others, but a period of intensive practice to make our minds flexible with a practice. Doing one session each morning and night, while leading a normal life the rest of the day, is perfectly acceptable. Rinpoche himself did many of his retreats in this manner, without anyone ever knowing that he was doing one.

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Re: Retreats in tb

Post by Adamantine » Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:56 pm

n8pee wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:05 pm
This thread also reminds me of this gem from Berzin's publishings of the late Serkong Rinpoche:
Although full-time tantric meditation retreats continued over long periods are beneficial, most people do not have the luxury to undertake them. Therefore, Rinpoche felt it narrow-minded to think that we can only do this type of retreat if we have three months or more of free time. Retreat does not mean a period of cutting ourselves off from others, but a period of intensive practice to make our minds flexible with a practice. Doing one session each morning and night, while leading a normal life the rest of the day, is perfectly acceptable. Rinpoche himself did many of his retreats in this manner, without anyone ever knowing that he was doing one.
Yes Acharya Lama Dawa Chodaak Rinpoche also encouraged his disciples to do 2-3 hours of practice in the early morning before work and 2-3 in the evening after, in which case one could consider themselves as being in a type of retreat mode. So certain aspects of retreat conduct could correspond in this context. If only doing an hour each, maybe not.. I know, that’s a lot to pull off!
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha

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Re: Retreats in tb

Post by zenman » Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:04 pm

Adamantine wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:56 pm
n8pee wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 7:05 pm
This thread also reminds me of this gem from Berzin's publishings of the late Serkong Rinpoche:
Although full-time tantric meditation retreats continued over long periods are beneficial, most people do not have the luxury to undertake them. Therefore, Rinpoche felt it narrow-minded to think that we can only do this type of retreat if we have three months or more of free time. Retreat does not mean a period of cutting ourselves off from others, but a period of intensive practice to make our minds flexible with a practice. Doing one session each morning and night, while leading a normal life the rest of the day, is perfectly acceptable. Rinpoche himself did many of his retreats in this manner, without anyone ever knowing that he was doing one.
Yes Acharya Lama Dawa Chodaak Rinpoche also encouraged his disciples to do 2-3 hours of practice in the early morning before work and 2-3 in the evening after, in which case one could consider themselves as being in a type of retreat mode. So certain aspects of retreat conduct could correspond in this context. If only doing an hour each, maybe not.. I know, that’s a lot to pull off!
So it seems that the concept of retreat can be rather flexible or rigid. In that case I've been on retreat for nearly 2 decades :sage:

smcj
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Re: Retreats in tb

Post by smcj » Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:12 pm

The previous Kalu R said that if one had the free time they should try to do four sessions of 1 hour each per day. He didn’t define that as a “retreat”, but it does represent a whole lot of practice. Think about learning a musical instrument at 4 hours a day practice!
1. No traditional Buddhist sect, Tibetan or otherwise, considers deities to be fictional. (DW post/Seeker242)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
4. Shentong] is the completely pure system that, through mainly teaching the luminous aspect of the mind, holds that the fruitions--kayas and wisdoms--exist on their own accord. (Karmapa XIII)

n8pee
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Re: Retreats in tb

Post by n8pee » Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:55 pm

The previous Kalu R said that if one had the free time they should try to do four sessions of 1 hour each per day. He didn’t define that as a “retreat”, but it does represent a whole lot of practice. Think about learning a musical instrument at 4 hours a day practice!
The old adage 'how does one get to Carnegie Hall?' comes to mind!

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Re: Retreats in tb

Post by Adamantine » Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:18 pm

smcj wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:12 pm
The previous Kalu R said that if one had the free time they should try to do four sessions of 1 hour each per day. He didn’t define that as a “retreat”, but it does represent a whole lot of practice. Think about learning a musical instrument at 4 hours a day practice!
Yes, as in Kalachakra ideally one is doing the 6 sessions daily once one had the Wang, however out of formal retreat this can be consolidated into an extremely short Guru yoga done 6 times throughout the day..

In a way, everything is flexible as this is the path of skillful methods, so you do your best according to your circumstances. Some types of retreat you simply need to devote to full time no matter what however.. as they involve daily elaborate tsoks, or are highly secret, or require living in charnal grounds..or are in a sealed room in total darkness etc.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha

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Re: Retreats in tb

Post by smcj » Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:57 pm

..or are in a sealed room in total darkness etc.
Yeah, kinda hard to do a dark retreat someplace where light gets in.
1. No traditional Buddhist sect, Tibetan or otherwise, considers deities to be fictional. (DW post/Seeker242)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
3. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)
4. Shentong] is the completely pure system that, through mainly teaching the luminous aspect of the mind, holds that the fruitions--kayas and wisdoms--exist on their own accord. (Karmapa XIII)

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Re: Retreats in tb

Post by Adamantine » Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:10 pm

smcj wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:57 pm
..or are in a sealed room in total darkness etc.
Yeah, kinda hard to do a dark retreat someplace where light gets in.
:lol: well there’s always blindfolds.. although this would get pretty uncomfortable after a few days. :tongue:
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha

Varis
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Re: Retreats in tb

Post by Varis » Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:43 pm

yagmort wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:37 pm
i am not saying daily practice isn't necessary or should be substituted with life long retreats.
i am saying daily life back in tibet is a very different thing that what western society have now.
so when a practitioner from tibet says integrate daily life it's not at all the same when such words come from a western practitioner, and this is what dzoki give as an example by saying "urban yogis". i've heard such things quite a few times as well. as for daily practice iam sure many do their daily part of practice i just don't believe it suffice. meditate for half an hour in the morning and then turn you mind into "profit" business-oriented mode. mixing oil and water imho. again my apologies if i sound accusing, i am not. just can't apply this for myself.
I think what you're saying runs contrary to the view of Vajrayana, and sounds more like common Mahayana. I think you should ask your Lama about this.

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Re: Retreats in tb

Post by Adamantine » Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:57 pm

Varis wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:43 pm
yagmort wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:37 pm
i am not saying daily practice isn't necessary or should be substituted with life long retreats.
i am saying daily life back in tibet is a very different thing that what western society have now.
so when a practitioner from tibet says integrate daily life it's not at all the same when such words come from a western practitioner, and this is what dzoki give as an example by saying "urban yogis". i've heard such things quite a few times as well. as for daily practice iam sure many do their daily part of practice i just don't believe it suffice. meditate for half an hour in the morning and then turn you mind into "profit" business-oriented mode. mixing oil and water imho. again my apologies if i sound accusing, i am not. just can't apply this for myself.
I think what you're saying runs contrary to the view of Vajrayana, and sounds more like common Mahayana. I think you should ask your Lama about this.


This quote is attributed to Chatral Rinpoche. I can’t imagine anyone more of an exemplar of Vajrayana or Dzogchen either:

“Support and take refuge in those spiritual masters who focus their practice in solitary retreat. Before one attains enlightenment, one should also enter into solitary retreat to focus on one's practice under his or her close guidance and mentorship. If not, it will be just like now, where everywhere is flooded with Khenpos who give empty talks. Those ignorant ones, who run after fame and fortune, and establish their own factions, will cause people to have aversion for Buddhism and lead to the extinction of Buddhism sooner or later. Hence, it is said that the authentic Dharma is not in the monasteries, it is not in the books and not in the material world, but within the mind. There is a need to awaken it through practice and to realised (actualised) it, in order to be called the continuation or preservation of the Dharma."
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha

Varis
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Re: Retreats in tb

Post by Varis » Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:10 pm

Adamantine wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:57 pm
This quote is attributed to Chatral Rinpoche. I can’t imagine anyone more of an exemplar of Vajrayana or Dzogchen either:
I'm not saying that solitary retreat is useless, but what Yagmort is saying is defeatist. I'm saying that attainment through practice in daily life is possible, especially with Vajrayana because it utilizes sense objects whereas common Mahayana renounces them. Don't forget that Vimalakirti was a merchant and a householder, despite that he was an enlightened Bodhisattva as it says in the Vimalakirti Sutra. Dhilipa was a seed oil merchant, and the way Bhana taught him was through seed pressing analogies.

As for what Chatral Rinpoche said, he was a Nyingmapa yogi, it should be no surprise he put strong focus on retreat. But I bet if you'd ask a Sakyapa they'd give you a different answer, neither of which would be wrong.

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Re: Retreats in tb

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:28 pm

It is harder to practice in daily life and actually get somewhere. That doesn't make it any less important that people do it...in fact i'd argue the opposite.

So it's great to have an ideal, once one is old enough, in enough of a situation that one cannot just up and leave...

At that point, there's a lot less choice than where was (or than you thought there was) when you were young and the world seemed full of all these possibilities of the Exact Right Way for you to be practicing.

Remember that the whole total free will notion is non-Dharmic anyway.
His welcoming
& rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
Knowing the dustless, sorrowless state,
he discerns rightly,
has gone, beyond becoming,
to the Further Shore.

-Lokavipatti Sutta

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