1-3 month retreat recommendations (Asia/USA)
07 Feb 2017 10:17 #105945
Hello forum dwellers.
tl;dr: please recommend good places to retreat 30-90 days.
I apologize in advance if this question was asked. I ran several searches and browsed the forum but couldn't find a proper, in depth thread on the topic.
Please feel free to direct me to such a thread, if it exists.
I'm currently looking for a meditation center or monastery for a 1-3 month retreat starting mid-May. Length will vary depending on factors out of my hands atm.
Interested in Mahasi-style teachings, but open to suggestions.
I'm not looking for a place to coddle me, but would prefer not to go anywhere where conditions are extremely poor.
I'd prefer to do this in Asia for financial reasons. I should mention that I can't enter Malaysia.
My practice in a nutshell, in case that's relevant: 4~ years of quasi-daily practice and 15+ retreats (3-10 days long). Theravada tradition, some open awareness, a smidgen of body scanning (Goenka style) but mostly focusing on the breath while allowing my mindspace to expand and allow observation of whatever pops up. Recently read a few practice-altering books (including MCTB) and working towards attainment of J1 (believe I should reach it soon, based on the goings on when I'm on the pillow).
Here are the places I'm currently considering. If you have any insights regarding any of these, or recommended places that are not on this list, I'd love to hear your input.
Pa-Auk (Burma) - heard great things about this place. However, I feel extremely uncomfortable entering Burma since the state is currently conducting a genocide against its Muslim population. Clearly, the monastery has nothing to do with this, but I'd still rather disassociate myself. Open to changing my mind about this.
Panditarama Lumbini (Nepal) - Unfortunately they will only start accepting yogis mid-June, which is rather late for me. Still, if I hear warm enough recommendations I may consider postponing my plans in order to go.
IMS (Insight Meditation Society)/Forest Refuge (US) - Heard great things, the only issue is that staying there would be too expensive for me. Suggestions?
Bahavana Society (US) - Don't know enough about them. Anyone has any insights?
BCBS (Barre Center for Buddhist Studies)(US) - Same as above.
Gaia House (UK) - Same as above.
Honorable mention: MBMC (Malaysian Buddhist Meditation Centre) (Malaysia) - Supposed to be great, unfortunately I cannot enter Malaysia with my passport so this is out of the question.