***First, everyone: please reply and send me an email that you received this message so I know you are joining the retreat. If you are too busy to attend, that is ok, but please let me know.
There are some folks who are in different countries so please do everything on your own schedule. No need to follow USA time zones. You can be flexible - just try to get the schedule completed within a 24hr time-period. Please note you can send your interview reports to me the next morning.
With this email are some links that you will need to review.
It all starts Friday night when you watch a Talk on the orientation and metta instructions.
Please do a 30-minute sitting at the end- or for some people returning with experience you could just sit and meditate and refresh yourself with the method. Also for people returning meditators please take up your meditation where you left off, whether it is using the Friend, or doing Directions.
Then the next morning you will take the precepts and refuges. Please say these out loud to yourself, or in front of a Buddha every day, before you start your day (Buddha is optional). You can print out the page from the support docs on the links below and you should do that. There is an audio in which Bhante gives the precepts. You can listen to that and follow along and repeat after him if that is helpful for you. All of these will be linked on your Online Retreat Schedule.
Meditation is best done in the morning when you are alert. Try to get a sitting in in the morning and one in the afternoon or evening. A 30min sitting and without moving is first goal. You should be sitting for 45 minutes for at least one sitting by the 3rd day. Some people who have lots of time to sit and walk, even up to 5X per day. But, at the least, two sittings, and one walking, is the absolute minimum. Remember to do at least one walking with each sitting. 15-20min is fine. Walking can be very important. Keep your meditation going with the spiritual friend during your walking.
Try to turn down or eliminate your inputs from the internet: Facebook etc. Stay away from your smart phone if you can. No TV or going out if you can. Replace that with taking walks (you can drive to a park to sit or walk). Get plenty of sleep. Let your family members know you are going to spend some time with yourself for the week. Just do the best you can. These are only suggestions to make it easier for you to get deeper.
We are following 5 precepts and determining that we will be loving and kind to ourselves and to everyone we meet. Some people like to take 8 precepts and that's fine and can be helpful, but please never disrupt your family business by doing this because we don't want to cause any issues with the people we live with.
Every day you will do walking and sitting - you need to watch a talk at night - there is the link on the support page for the talks. If you can't listen to the whole talk then just leave it and listen to the next one, the next day. But please try to listen to at least the part where Bhante reads the sutta and comments on it. There is a Q&A after the main sutta talk and you can stop right there. Don't stay up late watching talks and then be tired the next day. Nor writing your report late at night. Get plenty of sleep and do your report the next morning.
Smile all the time and when you need to go to a previously arranged Dentist appt. then radiate loving kindness to everyone you see. When out and about, you don't stay with the spiritual friend in a formal way. Just radiate loving kindness.
You send your Daily Response for each day
Just do your sittings, talks, and also daily, please send me your Daily Response Form where you will tell me about your sitting, and ask questions. Send once each 24 hr period -- when you find it convenient to work on it. Email me now any questions you have. Or at any time during the retreat. Also, I will ask questions on your interview form, reply back quickly. There will be things that arise in your meditation that I will want to know about so I can give you further instructions.
Bhante will give you the instructions for meditation in your first video. Attached is the "Guide to Tranquil Wisdom Meditation (TWIM) You can listen to the book now as well -check your schedule page.
PLEASE Read the book by Saturday night- it will answer so many questions!
THIS IS YOUR PROGRAM -
YOU WILL RECEIVE ANOTHER WELCOME EMAIL THIS FRIDAY