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#1 Michael N

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Posted 03 January 2008 - 03:28 AM

Hello all:
I'm new to this board. So please forgive my questions if they seem naive.
My past history of meditating has been in the vein of Centering Prayer which I believe would be similar to TM.

I'm interested in the study of Vipassana. Could anyone recomend any literature for a newcomer, a course or a course of action that would not involve a retreat or visiting a hall weekly?

There seems to be a few schools of thought to Vipassana. Some seem to believe that its useless to study it without total imersion in a retreat environment and doing anything other than that is actually counter productive. Others seem to promote the idea that a study can be integrated into daily life.

Any opinions are appreciated
Thanks
Mike biggrin.gif



#2 RobertK

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 01:43 AM

Welcome to the forum Mike!
I would be in the second category, who believe that study can and should be integrated into daily life. After all laypeople in the Buddha's time lived normal lives, meditation centers are a new development in Theravada buddhism
There are many books by Nina van Gorkom, a member here available for free download at vipassana.info and zolag.co.uk or that can be purchased at amazon.com.
Or you can add comments to some of the old threads on this forum.
Robert

#3 Michael N

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 01:20 AM

QUOTE(RobertK @ Jan 4 2008, 01:43 AM) View Post

Welcome to the forum Mike!
I would be in the second category, who believe that study can and should be integrated into daily life. After all laypeople in the Buddha's time lived normal lives, meditation centers are a new development in Theravada buddhism
There are many books by Nina van Gorkom, a member here available for free download at vipassana.info and zolag.co.uk or that can be purchased at amazon.com.
Or you can add comments to some of the old threads on this forum.
Robert



Thanks for your welcome and the information. It seems to be a very detailed forum.

Mike

#4 Bhikkhu Pesala

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 09:09 PM

My view is that nowadays retreats are essential. However, a retreat is a learning process, not an escape from life. Attend a ten day retreat once a year, or do a longer retreat of one or two months if you can, but the important work is in integrating what you learnt on retreat into your daily life. If you gained any insight, it should bring about real improvements in life style and mental attitude.

#5 Michael N

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 03:23 AM

QUOTE(Bhikkhu Pesala @ Jan 6 2008, 09:09 PM) View Post

My view is that nowadays retreats are essential. However, a retreat is a learning process, not an escape from life. Attend a ten day retreat once a year, or do a longer retreat of one or two months if you can, but the important work is in integrating what you learnt on retreat into your daily life. If you gained any insight, it should bring about real improvements in life style and mental attitude.



Does it make a difference which retreat one attends and does it have to be ten days?


#6 Bhikkhu Pesala

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 05:49 PM

QUOTE(Michael N @ Jan 8 2008, 03:23 AM) View Post

Does it make a difference which retreat one attends and does it have to be ten days?

If one is sick, does it make any difference which doctor one visits, and how long the course of treatment is?

If one visits the wrong retreat centre, and practises with an unskilled teacher, then one might gain little or nothing. Hopefully, though, most teachers will offer impartial advice and instruction. Even with no teacher at all, if one has a sound basic knowledge of Buddha's teaching on Vipassanā, one can practise properly. Ten days is suggested as a minimum to learn any method and give it a fair trial, but it is not a magic number. Some meditators might not know how to practice correctly after many retreats, while others learn quickly.

Ten days has become a convenient standard as it means taking just one week off from work, plus two weekends. That is the most that many lay people can spare. In my view, a Bank holiday weekend (3 days) is too short period to gain deep concentration, but even one day is better than nothing. If you can meditate seriously for one full-moon day every month, you should soon get some worthwhile results. If you're not working, retired, or self-employed, perhaps you can manage two or three months.