retreat

  • A Raucous Silence Paid Member

    There’s one on every meditation retreat: the roommate who crinkles potato chip wrappers all night, keeping you awake; the meditator on the next cushion who squirms nonstop; the know-it-all who flaunts his “enlightenment.” If this sounds familiar, be prepared to laugh uproariously in recognition. If it doesn’t—well, watch and learn. More »
  • Trying Not to Itch Paid Member

    Three days into a weeklong Vipassana retreat at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, just north of San Francisco, California, I notice myself itching, unbearably. I’m not the only person distracted by the desire to scratch. Someone else leaves a handwritten note on the staff bulletin board confessing discomfort. The senior teacher responds by devoting an entire dharma session to “the itch,” the gist of which amounts to the following: observe the body’s suffering and let it go. The aching knee, the tickle in the back of the throat—just sensory experiences. Name, but refrain from scratching at all costs. More »
  • A 3-Year Retreat Paid Member

    Back in the old days when there were fewer distractions, you wouldn't miss as much spending a few years in a mountaintop cave. But these days... but 28 people did just that in Australia recently (except for the cave and mountaintop parts.) From the Buddhist Channel. Plus, new treatments for Parkinson's disease at Taiwan's Tzu Chi Hospital. More »