This is the place for you to find out about the online retreat experience, and learn Metta using the "6Rs" as taught by Bhante Vimalaramsi. You may familiarize yourself with this practice by looking at the beginner page.
You can only take one online retreat every 6 months. Staff is limited and we want to give everyone an opportunity to experience at least one retreat within a reasonable time.
We teach Metta, as part of the Brahma Vihara Practice, which does lead to the experience of Nibbana, as explained many times in the earliest Buddhist teachings. Most of the suttas we will use and follow are in the Majjhima Nikaya as translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi from Wisdom Publications.
We are going to teach you what we believe the Buddha taught - as documented in the suttas themselves. Please open your minds and let go of other practices, as for many of you, this will be a new method. And it is going to take you places that you have always wanted to go but just didn't know how to get there!
You must wait 6 mos to sign up for another online retreat if you have already done one previously.
There are no prerequisites for a retreat.
DSMC Online Retreats -Program Description
The DSMC Online Retreat Project was started in 2005 by Sister Khema, in addition to the physical retreats already offered by Bhante Vimalaramsi. These retreats are designed to introduce people to a simple meditation practice called TWIM, short for Tranquil Wisdom Insight Meditation. This is a method that is found in the earliest Buddhist texts. The goal of this meditation is to slow down the mind's wild activity and uncover the joy and happiness which lies dormant inside each one of us. The Buddha said that there was suffering in life, but, he also gave us the method to end that suffering. You will learn to practice, what we have come to call the 6Rs, with this Loving Kindness meditation. This is the key to much faster progress. If properly applied these instructions will lead to the experience of awakening…Nibbana (freedom from unwholesome states)!
These retreats are designed so that you can continue working at your job and still learn to develop your mind during your spare time. You will experience how meditation can become an integral part of your life and how you can continuously purify and retrain the mind. Personal reactions begin to slow down and ego-free responses to life increase. This practice leads to a comfortable change in most people’s behavior.
Meditation is known to relieve stress, lighten life’s load, and bring relief in many ways. Beginners will find this online approach a nice way to learn such a practice. If the instructions are followed closely, the meditator will sharpen their observation power and go deeper than ever before. You will start to see how your mind actually works.
"I felt a lot of relief during this meditation. There was a moment where everything became a little bit lighter... It felt very healing and I thought I was going to breakthrough if that word makes sense... At that point I started to tear up, but not out of sadness, maybe more out of relief or joy." J. G. Michigan
We will be working our way through, what is called in Buddhism, the Brahma Viharas (Divine Abidings). We will begin with METTA as our meditation object. METTA means LOVING KINDNESS (Metta) MEDITATION. You will start by creating the proper conditions so that you can move through the levels of understanding. These levels are called Jhanas. The way we teach you Following the instructions closely, you will likely experience them for yourself in this short period of time. We will also experience COMPASSION, JOY, and EQUANIMITY along the way. Nibbana is the ultimate goal of this practice. Each retreat is eight days long with one additional Q&A day added for additional practice.
YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES FOR THE RETREAT
• You agree to take 6 Precepts in the morning and to read a few supportive verses which help you to set up a proper moral and ethical mental environment to support your practice which is very important.
• You agree to sit in meditation twice each day for a minimum of 30 minutes (AM and PM) and to take a short walking meditation daily for at least 15-20 minutes, as a minimum. Many people take a lunchtime walk or after an evening meal; whatever is possible is fine.
Suggested Sitting and Walking Goals
Day 1-2 Sitting Twice for 30 minutes and Walking Twice for 15 minutes
Day 3-4 Sitting Twice for 45 minutes and Walking Twice for 15-20 minutes
Day 5-9 Sitting Twice for 1 hour and Walking Twice for 15-20 minutes
As your meditation progress you may sit up to 2-3 hours but this will come on its own.
• You agree to listen to one Dhamma talk each evening given by Audio or Video format (your choice) online. Talks are taken from a retreat collection by our Abbot, Venerable “Bhante” Vimalaramsi. These talks are given in clear and simple English.
• You agree that each day you will answer a few short questions in a Daily Interview report and send this report to your guiding teacher.
• AND LASTLY, to make the most progress on your retreat, you agree to stop watching TV, reading newspapers, books, magazines, or spending time on the internet with movies or other forms of entertainment for the period of your retreat. Only use information when it is necessary for your profession and not otherwise. This helps your mind stop thinking so much.
OUR AGREEMENT WITH YOU
• To monitor your progress each day.
• To coach you on your next step in the meditation.
• To help you stay on track the best you can and answer all your questions.
Please don't be traveling while on retreat. You can figure 2-4 hours for sitting, watching talks, and writing your short interview report each day.
"Of all the things I learned this week, maybe the most valuable is not to get too serious and force things." D.S. New York
Lastly, concerning our Online Retreat Programs:
This is a Dana project at our center and is totally supported by your grateful donations given at the end of the retreat. This is how the Maha Sangha (Buddhist monks and nuns worldwide) are supported so that they can learn and provide the Buddha Dhamma for you. This is how they secure their basic requisites of Food, Shelter, Clothing, and Medicine for their survival in our tradition. Your dana contributions pay for online connections, heat and cool the space needed for this and other research and preservation programs to continue. There are many ways to help DSMC and you may inquire from us what is needed in the way of Volunteer work to help for each season of the year. All contributions are appreciated and any form of help is welcomed. The gift of the Dhamma is always free.
Teachers for the online retreats - check the TWIM Meditation Guides
ONLINE RETREATS- PROGRAM DETAILS
This program is offered by Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center as an outreach support program. Overseen by Most Ven. Bhante Vimalaramsi Mahathera, Abbot. the program takes 9 days and is done at home and online with an internet connection.
These Online RETREATS are given to introduce you to the practice of Tranquil Wisdom Insight Meditation (TWIM). This is a great way to get started with the practice before coming into the center to refine it. These retreats also boost the practice for anyone already practicing TWIM. Dates are posted on the website as they become available.
1. You are asked to agree to keep the BASIC precepts during the online retreats and continue these in life as close as possible if you find them useful.
2. Please do not listen to music during these retreats and refrain from other entertainment such as TV, RADIO, BOOKS, MAGAZINES, NEWSPAPERS, etc.) for the duration of the retreat. Please put your attention into your meditation and follow the guides instructions closely or it will not develop properly.
3. You will be learning a very nice form of engaged Buddhism in this retreat. The meditation will become interwoven into life if it is being done correctly. We encourage you to keep working, going to school, working at home, or doing whatever you normally do for work each day during this retreat. That’s fine. This will prove to you how the meditation can be used in daily life. As we go along, we will talk about how to continue your meditation following the retreat.
4. How should I be sitting? Sit in a way that your body does not have physical pain due to your sitting position. If you are accustomed to the floor, then sit on the floor. But if you are not, please sit on a chair. It is best to sit on a chair without arms so you do not lean down on them or lean into the back part of a chair! It's important not to cut off the natural energy flow of the back. You can put a rolled towel at the base of your back to keep you toward the front of the chair. The most important thing about sitting is to remain still while you sit on the floor, on a chair, a bench or a rock. DO NOT MOVE. You want to be comfortable so that you can sit longer to observe more about how mind’s attention moves.
5. Sitting Meditation You MUST agree to do the meditation sitting for 30 minutes minimum in the morning and 30 minutes at another time in the day(This is the minimum effective for progress. Sit longer if it’s going well and you have time to do it.) Plan to sit 45min the by at least the 3rd day, 1 hour the 4th and longer up to 2 hrs, if you are comfortable with that, later. At least sit twice per day - some people sit up to 5 times and walk 5 times!
6. Walking Meditation- Please do not do slow walking with this practice. Do natural walking to keep your energy up. In the middle of your day, during a lunch hour or break time, we suggest you take a short walk for 15-20 minutes and keep smiling. That should give you three short sessions per day as we go along. Try to make one session 1 hour or a little longer perhaps on the weekends as you progress.
7. Dhamma Talks- Each night you will be asked to listen to a Dhamma talk online from Bhante. This is the same as our retreats. The talk to listen to is on the schedule. Please do take notes during Dhamma talks to help you. They are filled with good information.
Transcripts are listed for the audio talks below right after the audio link.
8. Submit Interview Form once a day. You will answer some questions on an interview form and then submit to your teacher each day at some time during that 24 hr period.The guide needs to hear from you clearly once a day in order to monitor your progress. This helps the guide to know how best to help you.
9. Daily Reports are to be filled out for us to review and comment on your progress. See the schedule.
The Daily Sutta Talks Listing
Day 1 Friday - Orientation and Instruction Video -Watch Friday evening at your leisure. Do one sitting.
Day 2 Saturday - MN 2 The Buddha's advice on how to handle Distractions/Hindrances during practice
Day 3 Sunday - MN 111 Anupada Sutta - The levels of progress -What are the Jhanas?
Day 4 Monday - MN 10 The Four Foundations of Mindfulness - Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta - Part 1
Day 5 Tuesday - MN 10 The Four Foundations of Mindfulness - Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta - Part 2
Day 6 Wed - MN 43 The Greater Series of Questions and Answers - Mahāvedalla Sutta
Day 7 Thurs - MN 38 The Destruction of Craving (Seeing Dependent Origination) - Mahātaṇhāsankhaya Sutta
Day 8 Friday - MN 44 The Noble 8-Fold Path and DhammaDinna
Day 9 Saturday - MN 21 Taking Metta Meditation into Daily Life.
Day 10 Sunday - Optional Day - You can submit questions and an additional report.
10. At the beginning you have a choice to listen to the Audio collection or choose to follow a video collection for the retreat Dhamma talks. These are similar in content. The link for the videos to watch is here and listed on your program you will get: Youtube Online Retreat Playlist.
11. We will send you a book to read "Guide to Tranquil Wisdom Insight Meditation." Please have the book read by the 2nd day of your retreat. This short PDF will give you everything you need to know to get started and make fast progress.
12. LASTLY: This retreat is brought to you by Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center. DSMC support comes from donations for the work we do in these retreats, personal retreats and group retreats (All funds go to the center's expenses). The project’s sole purpose is to support the Dhamma. You can use paypal or a credit card through the support page. All donations are tax deductible in the USA and you will receive a receipt at the end of the year for any donations. Think about a recurring donation where every month you can help by having a small amount sent from your paypal account. We need support year around.
All forms of support are welcome here and if you want to come in to help on site, please let us know. We can always use some help to keep up the place. Also if you wish to pursue a personal retreat at the center following your online retreat there is more information about physical retreats located on our website.
More about Metta Meditation and the program:
More Metta videos and audios to listen to are here: http://talks.dhammasukha.org/meditation.html
Walking meditation instructions: Walking Meditation Audio
GO HERE FOR THE WHOLE DAILY SCHEDULE
The daily schedule covers your daily routine of meditation and videos or audios to listen to.