Kyaswa Monastery Self-Retreat for Experienced Yogis
The Sagaing Hills of Burma (Myanmar), January 12 – 26, 2019
Because of the experimental nature of this retreat we are not totally clear on all the costs. Though the group will be small, many of the same expeneses will likely be necessary. A fee of $500 per person should cover the basic costs of the retreat. Participants are also encouraged to offer an additional amount as a donation on the registration form for meal dana and unforseen expenses. We do not plan to coordinating meal dana on-site this year and hope that we can gather all the necessary funds before arriving in Burma. Our meal costs are unkown at this point but I would expect around $150 per day for all yogis and monastics during the retreat. As much as you can give will be appreciated and will certainly be used. Any remaining funds will be distributed to the MettaDana Projects.
(If you are already registered and are expecting a refund for the extra amount, one will be forthcoming!)
(We discovered last year that our cook of many years was dramatically overcharging us so it is going to take a bit of time to figure out our expected costs this year. One of the assistant cooks from the past few years along with his assistant will be returning to support us in the kitchen.)
We are all still going to be expected to wear the appropriate dress-code and in fact we should probably consider ourselves under closer observation that usual because of the unique aspects of this retreat--with no monastic oversight. All yogis should plan to be on their best yogi-behavior and maintain appropriate conservative Burmese monastic decorum during our time there.
We must ask that all participants be committed to practicing satipathana vipassana in the method described by Mahasi Sayadaw as their primary orientation for practice during our time together. While we will not hold that commitment as strictly as some institutions, among other things this means that yogis should 1. Not use the nose as the primary anchor for the breath, but the abdomen; 2. should not practice in U Tejaniya's style of cittanupassana as a primary method; 3. not be practicing concentration techniques for the attainment of jhana; 4. be committed to alternating periods of sitting and walking meditation; and 4. not practice other Buddhist or non-Buddhist practices from other traditions. We understand that the contemporary western yogi often has a range of tools from different traditions at their disposal and while we don't want to entirely take away a supportive tool that may be very helpful to you, we are primarily committed to protecting and respecting the integrity of the monastery that is our host. If you have any questions about this, please don't hesitate to contact Jesse and check in about it. If you need a refresher on the Mahasi Method, please go to this link.
We will still plan on dustributing uniforms and visiting the school on the final day of the retreat, the 25th, which is always a great treat. And of course the reminder: there will be no dhamma talks and no instruction. Jesse will be available for interviews in the afternoons. We will offer a metta chant each night. We will post a basic schedule for background support as needed. We may have to inquire a bit about the appropriateness of a few silent group walks through the hills.
For more information, go to our googledoc
and to register please visit the registration page here, (note that the "base" and "base +15%" may still be on the page because a few yogis have already registered in that way and we cannot delete it until we switch their registrations around)
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Jesse Maceo Vega Frey is a teacher of Vipassana meditation within the broader context of the Theravada Buddhist tradition. His teaching aims to inspire the skills, determination, and faith necessary to realize the deepest human freedom. His approach is rooted in the tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma and encourages an exploration of the relationship between ethics, insight, and action. Long-time student of Michele Mcdonald, he is the resident teacher for Vipassana Hawai’i and when off-island teaches mostly in the US and Canada. Jesse was a co-founder of The Stone House, a center for spiritual life and social justice in Mebane, NC, was a long-time board member of the Buddhist Peace Fellowship, and continues to be a faculty member of the Center for Whole Communities.
Thanks to Jeremy Lipkowitz for the use of his photographs.
Please note our Cancellation Policy:
If you cancel more than 45 days prior to the retreat: We will refund all fees less PayPal fees - usually $100.
If you cancel 14 - 44 days prior to the retreat: We will refund all fees less $200.00.
If you cancel less than 14 days prior to the event: Unfortunately we cannot afford to offer a refund. Last-minute cancellations are costly and sometimes mean that others cannot attend the retreat. If there are extreme circumstances and we have someone else to fill your spot, we may be able to support some kind of refund.