Vital Information About Buddhist Retreats
Retreats are an awesome way of initiating a personal exploration of yourself and Buddhism. A high number of Buddhist monasteries and dharma centers have been set up in the West, offering several sorts of retreats for Buddhist newbies. There are ”intro to Buddhism” workshops, and weekend retrests that concentrate on Zen arts including haiku or kungfu; retreats into the wilderness; retreats for silent meditation; retreats for families. You can go to a distant, exotic location for a retreat, however, you can find retreats within a short distance from your home.
Going for a ‘beginner’ retreat is a perfect way to start an individual experience of Buddhism separate from books. You will be with other beginners and matters such as how to meditate or temple protocols will be explained. Many Buddhist centers that provide retreats will help you determine which retreats suit beginners and which need prior experience.
What should I expect on a Buddhist retreat?
Let us begin with the negatives. You should know that a Buddhist retreat isn’t a spa, and your accommodations are not likely to be luxurious. If you value being in your own room, ask if that’s possible before you enrol. You may be sharing lavatory facilities with other retreaters. In addition, some retreat centers might expect you to assist with the chores like cleaning, cooking, and dishwashing during your stay. Monks with clanging bells might walk the rooms before the day breaks to call you to a chanting service or sunrise meditation, so do not count on sleeping in.
You also need to know that you’ll likely be expected to participate in the religious observances of the temple or monastery. Postmodern Westerners habitually dislike rituals and greatly resist taking part in them. After all, you enrolled to commune with the Superior Being or learn tai chi not chant unfamiliar rite or make homage to golden Buddha figures. Ritual is a portion of the Buddhist experience. But read about Buddhism and rituals before ruling out their retreats since you may have to take part in a ritual.
On the advantage side, if you’re serious about taking the spiritual path, there’s no better way to begin than with a newbie Buddhist retreat. During the retreat, you can find a profound depth and passion for spiritual practice that you have never encountered before. You’ll be shown aspects of yourself and reality that might surprise you.
Where do I find Buddhist retreats?
Finding Buddhist retreats is, unluckily a challenge. There’s no one-stop directory that makes it effortless to find out what is available. Start your search with Buddhanet’s World Buddhist Directory to search for dharma centers and monasteries by location of sect and then visit individual sites to see every center or monastery’s schedule of retreats. It’s also possible to find retreats advertised in Buddhist publications.
It is important to know that some spiritual websites or magazines can give the impression they’re Buddhists but are not. This does not imply those retreat centers aren’t lovely places to visit, simply that they’re not Buddhist and won’t give you the real experience of Buddhism you are seeking.