I’ve been working on setting up an Independent Study through Naropa for the past couple of months. I haven’t mentioned it on the blog yet, because it’s been far to uncertain. Here’s what I’ve wanted to do: Get credit for an intensive vipassana retreat while I’m in school. The only way I could do this is by writing a proposal (which includes research and a final paper), getting a teacher to be on board, and then getting the puppy approved.
It’s in the very early stages now, but it looks like I have a teacher behind me, and the retreat picked out. I’m signed up to attend a 6-week retreat (Sept 23-Nov 4), at IMS. Here’s what my teacher had to say to my initial proposal:
I know about this retreat and that it is no vacation, and I think it is very worthwhile. The main focus and essence will of course be on how it impacts you personally. But as you say, the wider implications need to be brought into a paper. I have a few ideas in terms of research and paper that we could discuss when I see you (such as material by Mahasi Sayadaw himself: I have one called “A Discourse on Dependent Origination”, but there may be more available). Six credits is unusual for independent study, so we might need to beef up the paper a bit [shit]. However, all research will need to be prior to and after the retreat, since you won’t want any of that on your mind during the retreat. In any case, just go ahead and sign up for office hours whenever you can. – Sarah
I can’t tell you how much this opportunity means to me.
UPDATE – 02/01/05: “Welcome back to IMS! This letter confirms your registration for the Three-Month Retreat – Part 1 from 9/23/2005 to 11/4/2005″ I’m officially in the course on the IMS side. Now I just need to handle the school side!
UPDATE – 02/08/05: Had a second meeting with my teacher today, and she is fully supporting my Independent Study proposal. Looks like I’ll be writing a 15 page research paper in order to get full-credit for the retreat. Should be fun…
UPDATE – 06/08/05: Everything is finalized both on the school-side and the meditation center side. I bought my plane ticket yesterday, and am getting ready to roll!
UPDATE – 08/11/05: It’s roughly 6-weeks until the 6-week retreat. I’ve collected most of the notes I need for my paper and have a rough outline. I’ll probably start writing in the next week or so… Also, just remembered that I wrote a little post on GenSit.org about this upcoming retreat, entitled, 42 Days as a Monk… It’s pretty short, but I figured I’d cross reference it here.
UPDATE – 02/04/06: It’s been a few months since the end of the retreat now. I wrote four “Retreat Reflections” aftwards and posted them here: