I heard that there must be a monastery around/ in Taipei which offers a 1 week course in order to learn more about Buddhism and meditation. Has anybody heard about this and can tell me their adress/ or mayby even knows the schedule?
I have a friend who goes on retreats at a nunnery outside Taipei on the way to Pingshi, but its not for 1 week, its usually 49 days at a time. I’ll try to find out more details and post them here.
Not quite sure by what you meant by monastery, I certainly hope its not because you feel like you’ve been a naughty girl
A heap of good links here:
And this is for a Vipassana centre in Taiwan:
Here’s a course schedule:
Vipassana is heavy duty but a worthwhile thing to do. Ten days of meditation, 12 hours a day, no talking smoking drinking singing nor sex, naturally enough. Nothing but meditation and focus for ten straight days. First sit kicks off at 4 in the morning and the final one finishes at 9:30pm.
I’ve done two, the first in India and the second in Australia. I’d very much like to do another but somehow when I hit Thailand on my paltry Chinese New Year hols my mind strays from the path as it were and I never seem to quite have enough time to sit and meditate for 10 days. Pity because the outcome is truly amazing.
I have heard they do run shorter (and indeed longer) courses in English.
I’ve also heard of another place - possibly on that first link - where you can just go and hang out at a monastery obligation free as it were.
Dharma Drum does courses and are quite popular with foreigners. Towards the Zen end of the Buddhist spectrum, I think.
You should easily find their contatc details by doing a search here or on Google. Might even be dharmadrum.org , but that’s just a guess.
That was the name I was after.
It was in the first link.
Thanks a lot all of you for your help. I think the dharmadrum.org is mainly that what I was searching.
A friend of mine did a 10 days course about vipassana and he quit it earlier. He was aswell instructed by videotapes like they do it in Taiwan and he said that he got so aggresive after 3 days because of this videotapes that he left earlier…and you did enjoy the 10 days with videotapes?
I’ve done Vipassana as well.
Would agree that sometimes the video tapes were the most annoying aspect of the 10 days, though not always. First, the video tapes are only like 30 minutes long (if I remember correctly), so it’s hardly like 10 days of suffering through long-winded speeches by Goenkaji, though it may feel like it at times. I would think that your friend was driven crazy by something quite other than the videotapes, though they might have been the proverbial straw. I found that after sitting with your own head in silence for the entire day they were a pleasant distraction.
The thing that I mostly was annoyed about the tapes was that Goneka would go on about how the emphasis was on the meditation, and that this wasn’t religion but the truthful path etc… etc… but would then go on to take pot shots at other religions and then expound on various aspects of Buddhist doctrine, I’d studied Buddhism before and done other meditation courses, so a little doctrine doesn’t bother me, in fact I enjoy learning about that stuff. But, it seemed a little contradictory to say the least.
But, on the positive side. Completing the 10 days is a very difficult thing to do, and some people are in no condition to do it a the time that they attempt it, but the actual meditation is very powerful and it can be great experience. I wouldn’t recommend it for people’s first encounter with meditation, they usually run out crying and screaming on day 3 and a half.
Though I would recommend it for4 someone who has a full grasp of what 10 days of silent meditation entails and knows how to make the most of an experience.
I looked at the whole thing with a positive outlook despite some aspects of it. Certain things were off-putting or I found troublesome, but I chose to give the meditation a chance and didn’t dwell on the indoctrination aspect, or the elder-students’ gestapo-snitch-monitoring behavior (granted some of that is necessary or else all the beginners would be running around having smokes and saying “I don’t know how long I’m gonna last”), and came away having learned a lot and having an overall positive feeling toward the organization and the meditation technique.
Granted, after about a week of being returned to the free world, I was forced to get extremely drunk and take up smoking again just so I could turn off that extra-sensory switch that was turned on through intense meditation. Since then, I’ve decided that surrounding myself with “like-minded” individuals who could help my dharma practice was soemthing that could wait until I’m a liitle older, but hey, I encourage anyone else who wants to to go down that path to do so. Just don’t turn out like one of them ‘Spiritual Materialists.’
I found the tapes to be a very weelcome relief indeed.
My first Vipassan was out in the back blocks of Gujarat in India. The only non-Indian on the course I got to sit on my bunk and listen to the English version alone with one of the snitches - oh, and the rats that would run around under our feet and jump from bed to bed :shock: . I was quite young at the time and kept engaging the snitch in debates over the philosophy and so on.
I found the course really brutal. The Indians sat like trojans while I was shuffling around all over the shop. Every morning the village behins us cranked up the hits of Bollywood at an ear splittinfg level. I also had to contend with some chap around my age who’d swallowed every known cricketing and hockey (field) statistic ever known regarding the Indian and Australian teams. I hate both games. Damn near eft on umpteen occasions only to be talked into staying each tiome by the very patient runner of that particular sit.
Glad I did it though. The second was much easier.
Like Akosh, I’ve turned my back on meditation to some extent and in fact this thread’s making me re-think it.
I just stumbled upon this thread.
Just to comment on the “video tape” vipassana retreat: you know, this is Taiwan. They believe that TV is “it” and just playing a video again and again will do. From what you say I can ask, do you really think that is a master? My best advice to anyone sincerely interested in meditation is to go to Japan. There are really no serious masters in Taiwan, it is all a big ego deal here. (Just as many other countries btw). I went to a buddhist centre here, and the first thing I was told on introduction was how many doctors and PhD’s they have. Many people in monasteries just have found an escape from ordinary life. Their minds are numb. On the other hand, Japan has got some excellent zen monasteries but you must watch out for the not good ones. Most purely Japanese monasteries are monk-factories where each individual is molded to the “master’s” ideal, beware of this type of place, it’s artificial. But of course it depends on what you look for. Again, lots of so-called masters are totally clueless, even in Japan. It depends on luck, but I think you also must be guided from within to find what you really need. Another thing I can recommend is to attend a kyol che in Korea (up to half a year if I’m correct). Finally: check out the teaching of master Aziz.