Answers to some common questions.
What is Triple Gem of the North?
Triple Gem of the North is the parent organization focusing on Buddha and his teaching and mindfulness. Here is their website. They have a temple in downtown Chaska, MN
In 2017 Triple Gem purchased the Metta Meditation Center which was formally the Holy Spirit Retreat Center. The Center has become the primary residence for the monks although they work at both sites throughout the year.
That is a really huge cross on the edge of the parking lot.
This cross was originally installed by the Catholic Sisters who managed the Center for many years. For many of our guests, this is a powerful symbol of peace and love. We keep the Cross as a welcome to all who visit the Center.
As you wander the grounds you'll also find statues of St. Francis. Another wonderful symbol that fits well with the Buddha's teachings on Metta: May all living beings be well, be happy, be skillful, and peaceful.
How much does it cost to come to a retreat/meditation/seminar?
Activities offered by the monks are based on the concept of Dana or generosity. It is up to you to decide the value of the experience or insight you are receiving and then to give accordingly.
Here are some guidelines that may help you.
- If you attend a three-day conference what does it cost you for registration and lodging?
- Do a search for "meditation training" to see what a similar retreat might cost.
- If you attend a one-day seminar at a local hotel what would you pay?
- If you attend on-going classes to learn a craft such as woodworking, painting, or ceramics, what do you pay?
- If you stay in an AirBnB or hotel for a night, what would you normally pay?
Your support maintains the building, supports the monks, and covers other expenses in running the organization. Please be generous with your gifts.
There are several ways to give Dana (including shopping on Amazon.com). Check out this page to learn how.
I'm not Buddhist. Can I still use the Metta Meditation Center?
Absolutely. The Center is available to all individuals, groups, and organizations who support peace and goodwill toward others including non-profits, family reunions, corporate meetings, and anyone looking for a quiet, peaceful retreat center.
Where can I learn more about Buddhism?
The monks are always open and willing to answer any questions you may have. There is also a book list on the Triple Gem website that you can use to learn more about Buddha and his teachings.
Where can I learn more about meditation?
The best way to learn about meditation is to simply do it. You can:
- Come to one of the many meditation classes. Here is a list of classes offered by Triple Gem of the North.
- Do a web search for "Meditation" and the city you live in. There are meditation classes and sessions offered by many different organizations.
- Try meditation in the privacy of your home. You can use these meditation videos recorded during Bhante Sathi's classes.
What happens during a retreat?
Each retreat has its own agenda but generally it includes these activities
- Sitting meditation sessions
- Walking meditation
- Guided discussion - The teacher asks a specific question and then each person gives her or his answer.
- Q&A - During the retreat participants write down questions and put them in a basket. During the Q&A the teacher reads and answers the questions.
- Mindful meals - Each person selects their own food. The meal starts with a Pali prayer (translated into English) and each person focuses on each bite of food. Because the focus is on eating there is very little talking if any.
Normally the day ends at 9:00 pm and begins anew at 6:00 am. There is often an hour of free time each day.
Although retreats are done as a group, the emphasis is on personal improvement and introspection. Most people attend a retreat to learn more about themselves and improve their own unique life skills.
Here is an article, Mindful in Janesville, written by a person after attending a retreat at the Center.
When addressing the monks, what is the difference between the titles Bhante and
Bhante means teacher. When addressing a teacher directly you can simply call him Bhante. If there are monks present then use their name along with bhante.
Bikkhu is a monk or priest who follows all Buddhist precepts as a full member of the Buddhist community (sangha).