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Asking for your help again

This time without a poll.

I have an opportunity to attend a meditation retreat this weekend. I will have to use $125 from my savings to cover the registration fee.

At first I was excited because it is in my town so I will not have to spend any money to cover travel costs. And then I started thinking that $125 is a lot of money for anything at this time.

Then I started analyzing the program. It is not residential, which means that I will return home on Friday and Saturday nights, and it doesn't begin until Sunday afternoon (which will give me a chance to get to church). I will have to bring my lunch on Saturday or the organizers have suggested "lunch at local restaurants." The teachings will be led by a minister, based on the work of Pema Chodron (of whom I am a fan).

In the past I attended three meditation retreats. They were residential, meaning I stayed immersed in the environment for the entire program. They were mostly silent, even throughout the meals (which were all provided, and amazingly vegetarian). Each retreat was led by Buddhist practitioners.

I was going to register, but hesitated when I started thinking I should save my money for a more expensive, all-inclusive residential retreat. I got a lot of satisfaction out of them before. I'm also hesitant about having the retreat broken up across three days the way it is currently organized, because I am accustomed to total immersion in a retreat. And there's something about travelling to another city to immerse myself in the experience (I love road-tripping). I convinced myself that I could learn more about Pema by re-visiting her website, or reading the books I already have.

But then I'm afraid I might be passing up an opportunity to learn, and to engage in a community of like-minded people. We may not share the residential experience, but I may make meaningful connections regardless. But do I want to spend $125 to do so?

I can't decide, and they're waiting for an answer. Help.



  1. Can you afford it?

    If yes, splurge but don't go out to eat or treat yourself later to make up for it.

    If you cannot, then don't. :)

  2. Given the amount of debt you are trying to pay off and what seems to be some hesitation on your part, i'd say no. It's not much money but it's easy to make that rationalization over and over, driving yourself further into debt. Once your debts are paid off you can go to as many retreats as you want, I'd use that thought as motivation.

  3. which option will you regret, going or not going?

    Choose the option with no regrets.

  4. It's your choice, but when I think of retreats, I think about being away for a set period of time, removed from your normal settings. You've been to 3 already, so you know foundational stuff, how much will it help you, especially having to come home to your everyday life every night. Will that take away from what is suppose to be a relaxful weekend?

  5. I agree with simplelivin' in that the powerful effects a retreat can have on you could possibly be negated by coming back to reality and responsibility each night. I would save up for the residential one and get what you are really needing.


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