Sunday, June 27, 2010

NTUBS & NUSBS Meditation Retreat 2010

On 20th to 27th June 2010, during their holidays, 15 young people went overseas and stayed at Santi Forest Monastery, Ulu Tiram, Johor for a meditation retreat joined-organised by NTUBS and NUSBS. This is a break from the usual tradition of organising a retreat in the busy city of Singapore. It allows a change in environment from noises of cars and aircons to noises by the wildlifes in the forest and natural shades, which definitely is more condusive to meditation.

We toiled, worked, and pushed hard everyday on our meditation practice, having 5 hours of group sitting (with monks), 2 hours of chanting, 3 hours of group sitting (by ourselves), totalling in 10 hours of opportunity per day to hone our meditation skills! The 2-3 hours talks and group Q&A sessions by Bante Seng everyday are the most interesting, enlightening and inspirational part of the day. He teaches us always, if possible, quoting the words of the Lord Buddha himself, from the suttas. Everyone benefits from the group Q&A too as many of the questions asked by eager students are the questions in everyone’s mind.

Bante Seng managed to finish a basic (intermediate) meditation course including, Anapanasati (mindfulness on breathing), Metta (loving kindness), Asubha (on the loathsome, to combat lust), Buddhanussati (Contemplation on the Buddha), The 5 subjects for frequent recollections, How to overcome sleepiness, How to remove distracting thoughts, and much more......

The atmosphere is verrrrrry nice there, too a while to get used to washing our own clothes and the 4-5 hours of sleeping time there, but it is wellllllllllllll worth it.

Santi Forest Monastery allows most of us to take turns and join in the Pintapata (alms collecting) as a kapiya (helpers) for the monks. Other than that, a special experience not to be found in city monasteries is living in a Kuti, a small hut in the forest. (to experience and overcome laziness, pain and fear) The experience is very close to what is available in the early Buddhism and for that we hope that we will be able to follow the footsteps of the Buddha and Arahants to be free from all suffering.

Finally, we are grateful to Bante Seng for teaching us and guiding us with patience and tolerance, Santi Forest Monastery for providing the opportunity and grounds for the making of merits, Sis Meng Hui from NTUBS and Bro. Xin Zhao from NUSBS for co-organising the event. Sadhu to all.

Hopefully next time we have a retreat there, you guys will not miss it!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is a Sima Consecration at Santi Forest Monastery, Ulu Tiram, JB on 16 Dec 2012.

For more details, view Haasadhammo Bhikkhu's postings on Facebook.