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Bring Friendly Determination to Practice

Whether you choose to sit one, two, four or eight sessions of formal practice a day, and whether they are 15, 60 or 120 minute sessions, remember that it’s the quality of kindly determination (adhitthāna) and your follow-through that will infect your retreat with a continuity of wholesome intention. The same applies to whether or not you can apply skillful restraint and renunciation to your schedule. Restraint is for the purpose of exploring, of strengthening determination, and as a vehicle to discover what generosity and compassion are. In as much as possible it will help to remove ‘shoulds’ from your intentions and supplant your intention with kindness and investigation.
      Your Home Retreat may look more like a formal residential retreat or it may be much more engaged with work and family activities which necessitates less formal practice. The form doesn’t matter as much as the quality of your intention, focus and follow-through. And just like on a formal residential retreat, balanced effort is needed to avoid over- efforting or laziness. The same applies to Home Retreat. To best serve our need for balance of our spiritual faculties (indriya) and the needs of our bodies, we have to prioritize our intention towards general and specific types of attention and to make sure it is coupled with friendly
 
kids-yelling-in-back-seat-of-car
determination. Without a determined effort towards continuous attention imbued and saturated with a friendliness for self and others we will burn out. Continuous attention is supported on Home Retreat by emphasizing sampajañña in all activities of daily living coupled with increased formal vipassanā practice, again, with a firm determination and a friendly gentleness.

Bring Friendly Determination to Practice

Whether you choose to sit one, two, four or eight sessions of formal practice a day, and whether they are 15, 60 or 120 minute sessions, remember that it’s the quality of kindly determination (adhitthāna) and your follow-through that will infect your retreat with a continuity of intention. The same applies to whether or not you can apply skillful restraint and renunciation to your schedule. Restraint is for the purpose of exploring, of strengthening determination, and as a vehicle to discover what generosity and compassion are. In as much as possible it will help to remove ‘shoulds’ from your intentions and supplant your intention with kindness and investigation.
      Your Home Retreat may look more like a formal residential retreat or it may be much more engaged with work and family activities which necessitates less formal practice. The form doesn’t matter as much as the quality of your intention, focus and follow-through. And just like on a formal residential retreat, balanced effort is needed to avoid over- efforting or laziness. The same applies to Home Retreat. To best serve our need for balance of our spiritual faculties (indriya) and the needs of our bodies, we have to prioritize our intention towards general and specific types of attention and to make sure it is coupled with friendly determination. Without a determined effort towards continuous attention imbued and saturated with a friendliness for self and others we will burn out. Continuous attention is supported on Home Retreat by emphasizing sampajañña in all activities of daily living coupled with increased formal vipassanā practice, again, with a firm determination and a friendly gentleness.
 
kids-yelling-in-back-seat-of-car

Determination (adhitthāna): 1. Foundation: Four Foundations of an Arahat’s mentality. 2. Determination, resolution. 3. Perfection of Resolution (paramis). Buddhist Dictionary. Nyanatiloka.

Spiritual Faculties: (indriya) and Five spiritual faculties (indriya-samatta): 1. Equilibrium, Balance, or Harmony of the Faculties, relates to the five spiritual faculties: Faith, Energy, Mindfulness, Concentration, and Wisdom. 2. The spiritual faculties are more important to the practice of vipassanā than this definition seems to imply. Balance of the mind/heart opens oneself to enlightenment. The practice of meditation is a constant process of refining of our intuitive abilities through the understanding of the Three Characteristics and only when the spiritual faculties are balanced can this occur. allan cooper 3. SN 48.10. Indriya- vibhanga Sutta: Analysis of the Mental Faculties. 4. Buddhist Dictionary; indriya-samatta. p. 67.

Abbreviations in footnotes: AN: Aṅguttara Nikāya, DN: Dingha Nikāya, MN: Majjhima Nikāya, SN: Saṃyutta Nikāya