Retreat Centers

User avatar
TharpaChodron
Posts: 747
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:13 am
Location: California

Retreat Centers

Post by TharpaChodron »

I'm sure this has been asked a million times before, sorrry, but is there an age limit or similar rules and limitation to moving and living at a retreat center? Is it a possiblilty once one is past age 65 to move to one?
User avatar
bryandavis
Posts: 250
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:47 pm

Re: Retreat Centers

Post by bryandavis »

It will be dependent upon the rules of the dharma center that has the retreat facilities available.
User avatar
TharpaChodron
Posts: 747
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:13 am
Location: California

Re: Retreat Centers

Post by TharpaChodron »

bryandavis wrote: Tue May 28, 2019 3:36 pm It will be dependent upon the rules of the dharma center that has the retreat facilities available.
oh, I guess I meant Dharma center. Do you know of any "typical" rules in this regard?
User avatar
heart
Posts: 5044
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:55 pm

Re: Retreat Centers

Post by heart »

TharpaChodron wrote: Tue May 28, 2019 3:47 pm
bryandavis wrote: Tue May 28, 2019 3:36 pm It will be dependent upon the rules of the dharma center that has the retreat facilities available.
oh, I guess I meant Dharma center. Do you know of any "typical" rules in this regard?
You have to work a lot, as far as I have seen the situation isn't ideal for older people at this point.

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)
philji
Posts: 801
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 2:26 pm

Re: Retreat Centers

Post by philji »

In theory seems a great idea, in practice not always. Dharma centres can be very busy places with as Magnus says above lots of work/ help needed.
Schrödinger’s Yidam
Posts: 7149
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:13 am

Re: Retreat Centers

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

heart wrote: You have to work a lot, as far as I have seen the situation isn't ideal for older people at this point.
And they’re always in need of money. So your kids won’t appreciate you giving their inheritance away.

I’m a retiree and I moved into one. But I don’t have a family and a minimal pension. I work a lot here. I like being part of a community. I’d be lonely otherwise. So I’m happy. Somebody else might hate the same situation though.

I suspect there will be a few years where the dilettantes like me will retire to Centers. And then we will all die and find out how well we did with our practice! :twothumbsup:
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
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)
User avatar
bryandavis
Posts: 250
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:47 pm

Re: Retreat Centers

Post by bryandavis »

An option would be, and this is if it is ones wish, to enter retreat. Most dharma centers with retreat housing options would be happy to take your money on a long term monthly basis. Also many centers will have retreat housing that is much less than renting an apartment, paying a home loan, etc.

You can find something for 600 or less a month im sure as far as space is concerned. Then add 200 at least for food. Then health insurance. Many retreats require you prove you are insured.

If you have no debt and an residual income, or Social Security etc. Then just spend your life in retreat.

If some philanthropist wants to set up a trust fund for me of 800 to 1000 dollars a month I will gladly enter a retreat situation for as long as Im alive.
Nicholas Weeks
Posts: 4206
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:21 am
Location: California

Re: Retreat Centers

Post by Nicholas Weeks »

TharpaChodron wrote: Tue May 28, 2019 3:04 pm I'm sure this has been asked a million times before, sorrry, but is there an age limit or similar rules and limitation to moving and living at a retreat center? Is it a possiblilty once one is past age 65 to move to one?
Have you lived in a six month or longer retreat before? You may not like it for the rest of your days.

Has your guru suggested that option?
May all seek, find & follow the Path of Buddhas.
User avatar
TharpaChodron
Posts: 747
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:13 am
Location: California

Re: Retreat Centers

Post by TharpaChodron »

bryandavis wrote: Tue May 28, 2019 8:37 pm An option would be, and this is if it is ones wish, to enter retreat. Most dharma centers with retreat housing options would be happy to take your money on a long term monthly basis. Also many centers will have retreat housing that is much less than renting an apartment, paying a home loan, etc.

You can find something for 600 or less a month im sure as far as space is concerned. Then add 200 at least for food. Then health insurance. Many retreats require you prove you are insured.

If you have no debt and an residual income, or Social Security etc. Then just spend your life in retreat.

If some philanthropist wants to set up a trust fund for me of 800 to 1000 dollars a month I will gladly enter a retreat situation for as long as Im alive.
Sounds enticing, but I don't know if retiring in a full time retreat would be a good option for me. Anyhow, I have a long ways till I could do that. If all goes as hoped, I should have a pretty decent retirement income with pension, savings and social security, though, but who knows really.
User avatar
TharpaChodron
Posts: 747
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:13 am
Location: California

Re: Retreat Centers

Post by TharpaChodron »

Nicholas Weeks wrote: Tue May 28, 2019 9:14 pm
TharpaChodron wrote: Tue May 28, 2019 3:04 pm I'm sure this has been asked a million times before, sorrry, but is there an age limit or similar rules and limitation to moving and living at a retreat center? Is it a possiblilty once one is past age 65 to move to one?
Have you lived in a six month or longer retreat before? You may not like it for the rest of your days.

Has your guru suggested that option?
I have not done a retreat and haven't asked my lama about it either. Figured I'd test the waters here before asking a crazy question.
User avatar
TharpaChodron
Posts: 747
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:13 am
Location: California

Re: Retreat Centers

Post by TharpaChodron »

smcj wrote: Tue May 28, 2019 6:38 pm
heart wrote: You have to work a lot, as far as I have seen the situation isn't ideal for older people at this point.
And they’re always in need of money. So your kids won’t appreciate you giving their inheritance away.

I’m a retiree and I moved into one. But I don’t have a family and a minimal pension. I work a lot here. I like being part of a community. I’d be lonely otherwise. So I’m happy. Somebody else might hate the same situation though.

I suspect there will be a few years where the dilettantes like me will retire to Centers. And then we will all die and find out how well we did with our practice! :twothumbsup:
Sounds great what you are doing. I think I'd like to be a part of a Dharma community one day. I'm surprised there isn't already an existing Vajrayana retirement community somehwhere...
User avatar
TharpaChodron
Posts: 747
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:13 am
Location: California

Re: Retreat Centers

Post by TharpaChodron »

heart wrote: Tue May 28, 2019 5:16 pm
TharpaChodron wrote: Tue May 28, 2019 3:47 pm
bryandavis wrote: Tue May 28, 2019 3:36 pm It will be dependent upon the rules of the dharma center that has the retreat facilities available.
oh, I guess I meant Dharma center. Do you know of any "typical" rules in this regard?
You have to work a lot, as far as I have seen the situation isn't ideal for older people at this point.

/magnus
I'm sure you are right, maybe the work requirements for people could be modified. There's a lot of ways older people can be of help besides heavy lifting and the like.

My center has a lot of older people affiliated there, but I don't know what they are up to and it seems rude to ask such details of them. I don't even know if they live on site...I believe there are personal homes very close around the area where people in the Sangha live. But the real estate prices are quite exorbitant so they may have moved there long ago when things were more affordable.
Nicholas Weeks
Posts: 4206
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:21 am
Location: California

Re: Retreat Centers

Post by Nicholas Weeks »

TharpaChodron wrote: Wed May 29, 2019 2:10 am
I have not done a retreat and haven't asked my lama about it either. Figured I'd test the waters here before asking a crazy question.
Presuming you are in No. CA, take a look at what Vajrapani offers, both Group & Private retreats. This way you can dip your mind for a few days into a quiet locale.

https://vajrapani.org/faq/#private
May all seek, find & follow the Path of Buddhas.
User avatar
TharpaChodron
Posts: 747
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:13 am
Location: California

Re: Retreat Centers

Post by TharpaChodron »

Nicholas Weeks wrote: Wed May 29, 2019 2:33 am
TharpaChodron wrote: Wed May 29, 2019 2:10 am
I have not done a retreat and haven't asked my lama about it either. Figured I'd test the waters here before asking a crazy question.
Presuming you are in No. CA, take a look at what Vajrapani offers, both Group & Private retreats. This way you can dip your mind for a few days into a quiet locale.

https://vajrapani.org/faq/#private
Thanks for the link. I am in California (central) so not too far.
Schrödinger’s Yidam
Posts: 7149
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 6:13 am

Re: Retreat Centers

Post by Schrödinger’s Yidam »

There's a lot of ways older people can be of help besides heavy lifting and the like.
Here there’s a lot of cooking, cleaning & shopping. Then there’s filling & emptying water bowls, prepping butter lamps (yuck!). Then there’s event stuff like reservations, parking, setting up chairs, & cleaning guest rooms.

If you want excuses to not meditate you’ll never run out.

Also be ready for petty soap operas. These places are for the unenlightened. Best if you live off campus. You can drive away.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
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)
User avatar
heart
Posts: 5044
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:55 pm

Re: Retreat Centers

Post by heart »

TharpaChodron wrote: Wed May 29, 2019 2:21 am
heart wrote: Tue May 28, 2019 5:16 pm
TharpaChodron wrote: Tue May 28, 2019 3:47 pm

oh, I guess I meant Dharma center. Do you know of any "typical" rules in this regard?
You have to work a lot, as far as I have seen the situation isn't ideal for older people at this point.

/magnus
I'm sure you are right, maybe the work requirements for people could be modified. There's a lot of ways older people can be of help besides heavy lifting and the like.

My center has a lot of older people affiliated there, but I don't know what they are up to and it seems rude to ask such details of them. I don't even know if they live on site...I believe there are personal homes very close around the area where people in the Sangha live. But the real :smile: estate prices are quite exorbitant so they may have moved there long ago when things were more affordable.
In my part of the world (Scandinavia) if you are at the center the requests for help with this and that will never end because if you don't do it someone else have to drive up there and do it. So you doing it will always be the best solution. :smile:

Don't be shy asking these questions, it is the only way to know. Also listen to smcj, he is already there. :smile:

/magnus
"We are all here to help each other go through this thing, whatever it is."
~Kurt Vonnegut

"The principal practice is Guruyoga. But we need to understand that any secondary practice combined with Guruyoga becomes a principal practice." ChNNR (Teachings on Thun and Ganapuja)
humble.student
Posts: 288
Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:35 pm

Re: Retreat Centers

Post by humble.student »

TharpaChodron wrote:Sounds great what you are doing. I think I'd like to be a part of a Dharma community one day. I'm surprised there isn't already an existing Vajrayana retirement community somehwhere...
I was just going to say that I saw there is indeed such a place in France, I saw an ad in a dharma centre's book catalogue last week. Given that it's in France, it probably includes 3 square meals and a bottle of wine a day... Joking aside, I would surprised if there wasn't already something like that in the US somewhere.
User avatar
Nemo
Posts: 1546
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:23 am
Location: Canada

Re: Retreat Centers

Post by Nemo »

This is an important topic. I have spent a few years of my life looking after practitioners who did not give this subject any attention. Too old to work some have been pushed out of temples and monasteries.

I'm not sure a center is the best idea for retirement. They are often periodically filled with mentally unstable people, constantly in states of financial distress and under strict hierarchical command. Even your sex life and dating are controlled. Like it or not all your life decisions and spending will be scrutinized. If you have other means I would suggest living NEAR a retreat center. They are places to learn. If you love solitude and have made friends with yourself they may not be ideal locations for retreat.

My ideal solution would be one seen in old Tibet. Freehold town homes on an edge of the property. Living beside practitioners is sublime. Shared accommodation is not IMO. I don't know of anywhere in North America where this is done though.
User avatar
TharpaChodron
Posts: 747
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:13 am
Location: California

Re: Retreat Centers

Post by TharpaChodron »

smcj wrote: Wed May 29, 2019 3:18 am
There's a lot of ways older people can be of help besides heavy lifting and the like.
Here there’s a lot of cooking, cleaning & shopping. Then there’s filling & emptying water bowls, prepping butter lamps (yuck!). Then there’s event stuff like reservations, parking, setting up chairs, & cleaning guest rooms.

If you want excuses to not meditate you’ll never run out.

Also be ready for petty soap operas. These places are for the unenlightened. Best if you live off campus. You can drive away.
Too funny. I remember Leonard Cohen was asked about his time at Mount Baldy and he said, in a nice way, that the monastery is for sick people, and he made it sound quite noble. Excuses not to meditate, ha.
User avatar
TharpaChodron
Posts: 747
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:13 am
Location: California

Re: Retreat Centers

Post by TharpaChodron »

heart wrote: Wed May 29, 2019 9:23 am
TharpaChodron wrote: Wed May 29, 2019 2:21 am
heart wrote: Tue May 28, 2019 5:16 pm

You have to work a lot, as far as I have seen the situation isn't ideal for older people at this point.

/magnus
I'm sure you are right, maybe the work requirements for people could be modified. There's a lot of ways older people can be of help besides heavy lifting and the like.

My center has a lot of older people affiliated there, but I don't know what they are up to and it seems rude to ask such details of them. I don't even know if they live on site...I believe there are personal homes very close around the area where people in the Sangha live. But the real :smile: estate prices are quite exorbitant so they may have moved there long ago when things were more affordable.
In my part of the world (Scandinavia) if you are at the center the requests for help with this and that will never end because if you don't do it someone else have to drive up there and do it. So you doing it will always be the best solution. :smile:

Don't be shy asking these questions, it is the only way to know. Also listen to smcj, he is already there. :smile:

/magnus
I'm sure especially if you are handy then your help is always needed, too. :)
Post Reply

Return to “Nyingma”