Guidelines for self retreat

Here are a few guidelines re self-retreat structures:

1) Put something of a schedule in place

Sitting, walking, times to eat, times for Dhamma reading and listening. NB setting parameters that are doable, ie not overly heroic.

2) Choose one or two Dhamma themes to reflect on (eg Dependent Origination, Mindfulness of Breathing, Aging & Death…).

See if you can find one or two books to go through steadily, reflectively, that explore the same areas. Have a notebook handy for jotting down thoughts to follow up. 

3) Don’t watch TV, follow the news on the internet or listen to the radio for the period of the retreat. Put an auto-response on your email account. 

4) Tell family & friends you are doing this retreat for x no. of days

Ask them to leave you in peace. Otherwise, especially at this time of pandemic, people will worry and want to see if you are OK if they haven’t heard from you. 

5) Keep the food for your meals as simple as humanly possible. 

I hope these guidelines are useful.

All good wishes,

Amaro Bhikkhu
23 March 2020