Kadampa Buddhism

The New Kadampa Tradition - International Buddhist Union
Founded by Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

Meditation Retreat

Sometimes it is helpful to do a meditation retreat. This can just be one day, or a weekend, or longer if you have the time.

On retreat we stop all forms of business and extraneous activities in order to emphasize a particular spiritual practice.

There are three kinds of retreat: physical, verbal, and mental.

We engage in physical retreat when, with a spiritual motivation, we isolate ourselves from other people, activities, and noise, and disengage from extraneous and meaningless actions

We engage in verbal retreat when, with a spiritual motivation, we refrain from meaningless talk and periodically keep silence.

We engage in mental retreat by preventing distractions and strong delusions such as attachment, anger, jealousy, and strong ignorance from arising, and by maintaining mindfulness and conscientiousness.

If we remain in physical and verbal retreat but fail to observe mental retreat our retreat will have little power. Such a retreat may be relaxing, but if we do not prevent strong delusions from arising our mind will not be at peace, even on retreat. However, keeping physical and verbal retreat will help us to keep mental retreat.

A schedule for a meditation retreat can be found in The New Meditation Handbook.

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