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I have recovered from the disease of Alcoholism. I believe there is only one person really,.. everybody. And that peace of mind is everything. -So treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself, because your neighbor IS yourself. I think most of recovery is what I would call common sense, but that learning to be ordinary is a true gift very few people acquire. My ambition is to accept everything unflinchingly, with compassion, and therefore be intrinsically comfortable in my own skin, no matter what. I am comfortable being uncomfortable and am willing to go to any lengths to improve my life. I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's best kept secret a lot of the time. (In my opinion). I just try to do what works, no matter what it is.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Recommended Retreats 2007

Any one of the Ajahns leading retreats at amaravati would be good. In theory anyway. An Ajahn is just someone who has been a 'proper' monk or nun for 10 years.
Obviously a lot depends on the individual. So just try one and see what you make of them

I like thanissara as she used to be a monastic.
She is doing 2 retreats in Gaia house this year. They would both be very good I reckon. I like her partner Kitissaro as well, but he's off doing a retreat this year so you'll have to wait till 2008 to get a retreat with him! Shame!
The only problem about gaia house is that it takes for bloody ever to get there by train, and the train fare is NOT cheap!! I think going by car I probably even worse in terms of traffic. Oh well.

But I rate thanissara as she lives with kittisaro.

I like (sister) Ajahn Upekkha who is doing a retreat 27th Dec till 1st of Jan 2008. She's what I would call a 'heart' teacher. She know her stuff too mind.

I'm not crazy about Ajahn Sucitto, (16th-25th Nov 2007) but there's no denying he knows his stuff. I see him as a bit 'clunky' socially. But he's got a really excellent grasp of the methods and details of the practice. He teaches extensively. I just don't 'warm' to him or something.

I think I like sister Ajahn Metta (19th-21st Oct 2007) but my memory is lousy so I don't remember her very well.

Sister Ajahn Candasiri (28th-30th Sept 2007) is an old hand. Very gentle and unassuming. But I think I prefer the slightly more energized 'wilder' types. That's just me. She knows her stuff though, and she keeps her skills hidden under her hat, so to speak. No doubt she has had a very weird journey since she's been doing all this stuff.

Luang Por Sumedho (7th-16th Sept 2007) is very advanced no doubt. Again for some reason I'm not drawn to him. Although I can see he's very far down the road. It must be weird seeing the world through his eyes. It would be an experience to do a reteat with him, but he always 'sells out' very quickly. Theres a lottery for places to be drawn on the 1st of jan if you feel like trying for it.

Ajahn Sundara sounds interesting (13th july to 17th July 2007) as she has a colorful past and has traveled quite a bit.

Again, for reasons I can't really explain I find a lot of the non monastic teachers at Gaia house a bit disappointing. They have a completely different presence. The monastics seem to have much better/ stronger energy. But what do I know? That's just my guess. I'm not exactly an expert!

If I wanted to get 'in' with a bunch of monastics today, I would just spend weekends as a visitor at amaravati so I could get to know the nuns that way. I would go there for weekend retreats.
But I would LOVE to get to know the monks at Harnham. I would go up at an unpopular time. December is good because its freezing. And I would see what happens. For all I know they get LOADS of visitors, but I have a feeling they are a cool bunch. In it for pretty good reasons. Just a hunch though. Again, what do I know!

You know, the thing is just to try things out yourself and see what works.

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