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Thread: Preparing for my first retreat

  1. #1

    Preparing for my first retreat

    I'm planning on going to my first retreat next weekend and I'm actually really nervous. Is there any steps I can take beforehand to prepare for the experience?

  2. #2
    Yes. Relax, go with the flow, sit.

    Repeat as necessary.

    In all seriousness, before heading to a long retreat, one can get nervous or resist mentally. Once, at a certain point during a week long Sesshin here in Japan, I was feeling edgy, bored, homesick, nervous. I realized that there is a kind of button inside us whereby we can switch off a lot of that, and replace it with "go with the flow", acceptance, joy, relaxation, energy and such. In fact, finding that "button" might be one of the main reasons for going to a retreat in the first place!

    I am sure other folks will have tips for you based on their experiences.

    Gassho, Jundo

    Last edited by Jundo; 11-22-2015 at 03:07 AM.

  3. #3
    I tried to participate in the Zazenkai last night and failed--does one need to register ahead or is participation restricted to long time members? Until I hear differently I will catch the videos. So last night I watched the video from last week. I AM looking forward to the retreat, but for sure because of my health, I can not do the whole thing. Where do I find the schedule and I think I ran into it while looking through postings.

  4. #4
    Oh by the way I've read Thich Nhat Hanh's PEACE IS EVERY STEP, but in watching the videos, I think I had the wrong idea about the process. What does this mean and what does my mind do while doing it, and what is walking meditation mean, terms. Mine will be indoors here in South Dakota--can't see the logistics of taking a computer into deep snow here in South Dakota.

  5. #5
    My first Zen teacher, a monk named Myong Haeng Sunim, once told me that his first retreat was a 90 day retreat in a temple in Korea before he became a monk. Anytime I feel apprehensive about a retreat, I think about that and how my retreat probably won't be as difficult as doing a 90 retreat as my first retreat was for him. It makes it feel less overwhelming.



    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Relax, go with the flow, sit.

    Repeat as necessary.
    Short and sweet and very true. Enjoy your first retreat Loren. =)



  7. #7
    Hi Loren,

    Just have some chocolate, enjoy a cup of tea and go smiling to your retreat. Retreats are great experiences when you just let go and enjoy the ride.

    When you return, please tell us how it was!


    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  8. #8
    Hi lorenmarie,

    I hope you have a wonderful time! Love to hear about it if you feel like sharing when you get back.

    sat today

  9. #9
    Hi Lorenmarie

    What jundo says

    In my first few retreats, around the third day I would be fighting the urge to jump up and run! It can be challenging the first time but really, shake it off, breathe a few times and just sit.

    Eventually it can be pure delight once you don't fight and just float along.

    Enjoy your retreat.


    Sat today
    Ongen (音源) - Sound Source

  10. #10
    Are there specific things you are nervous about, Lorenmarie? I know in my case, I have been eyeing the Zen Center in my state (about 2-3 hours South of my house) for awhile, but wasn't able to get away due to family and work obligations... and then I found Treeleaf... but I find myself still worrying a bit about the upcoming retreat. Things like, can I sit right, will I distract others, will I fall asleep in the AM sit!! Will I be able to keep on schedule. Can I follow the movements and ceremonies, including the Oryoki part. If I were going to a Zen Center, I know I would be wondering what to bring and how to dress, etc. Now that my kids are older, I am planning to try to start going there for some longer retreats soon, providing I can get through the upcoming one here.

    (And then there are the things to try to plan specific to online sitting, such as: will I be interrupted... can I find a good space in my small cluttered house to sit... will my data modem work, and will I run out of data and get an overage surcharge (big $$!) )

    Of course over-planning probably defeats the point, but it's nice to be prepared :-) Enjoy your experience and please tell us about it afterward!


  11. #11
    Retereat is not retreat.That is just your image.Throw your image and just be there every moment.If you throw your image ,you can feel calm,and get good feeling.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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