Recommendations for Online Spiritual Retreats
The appreciation of spiritual teachings online is very useful, especially in the West where work schedules and family and work commitments do not allow us to leave the city or go to a Dharma Center to make a spiritual retreat for several days.
Somehow this type of teaching and retreat requires more commitment because there is no teacher (in person) than the instruction and who is watching the development all the time. of topics and participants.
For example, there are online withdrawals of the most varied spiritual currents, we can find purification retreats through confession of faults, or withdrawals with comments from Sadhanas, retreats from silence and retreats to practice the Lucid Dream or the Yoga of the Dream.
discipline and honesty…
The important thing to consider is that the level and theme is consistent with that of our practice, of course it requires honesty on our part and especially remember that receiving advanced teaching without being prepared harms us more That's what benefits us.
This is how if we sign up for a Green Tara Retreat we must initially understand what Budha is about, what qualities it represents, if empowerment and Lung are required to receive the teaching.
Empowerment helps us to be an adequate recipient of what they teach us, for some practices it is a requirement, if we are going to learn the Obstacle-Free Sadhana from Guru Rinpoche we will need at the time to practice having received the empowerment of this Budha.
texts or sutras…
In the case of comments to texts or sutras, no special permission is required, what is needed is prior knowledge that will boost our understanding.
If, for example, we want to attend a comment from the LO JONG series of teachings, we must understand terms such as emptiness, dependent emergence, devotion to the guru and sustained attention.
Recall also that in the Retreats theoretical and meditation teaching is offered, simple breathing collection sessions can be included up to advanced tantra practices with generation and improvement states. (For the latter it is essential to have empowerment of the Budha with which we are going to practice).
Sometimes it is thought that empowerment is something like permission, this is a wrong point of view, it is actually blessings that will create a connection between us and the Buddhas so that the practice lacks external, internal and secret obstacles.
the importance of empowerment…
Serious Dharma schools or Institutes clarify when empowerment is necessary or not.
If we are receiving online teaching, we cannot receive empowerment because it is only in person .
In some ways, it is recommended that online withdrawals be from comments on texts or from Shila (ethics) that do not need any requirement other than discipline, commitment and attention.
A retreat that can be totally individual is to meditate and analyze our actions every moment and see if they are edifying or not.
Some practitioners make silence retreats at home, it is important to note that if in a dharma center this practice is very difficult, surrounded by family, friends and pets this goal becomes almost impossible. We must be honest and if we choose to withdraw from silence make sure that we foster the right conditions and circumstances.
Silence retreats require total detachment, our habits and most importantly our personal importance, in case of doing one individually we must ensure we are not wasting time.
Online retreats require commitment and discipline so if we are one of the practitioners who should be guided in meditation and that we get distracted or fall asleep reading sadhanas or spiritual texts, these retreats will not help us and we will run the risk of strengthening our personal importance instead of growing internally.
qualified dharma centers ...
As always, the recommendation is to approach qualified dharma teachers and centers that honestly evaluate what we can do with satisfactory use.
If they do not care if we learn properly, it is not a beneficial place for our practice, remember that no one can take care of our mind better than ourselves. Let's be responsible and careful with our spiritual practice. So is.
AUTHOR: Pilar V zquez, collaborator of the great family of the White Brotherhood