Buddhist temples vs. Buddhist Meditation retreats?





I had a great experience at a meditation retreat inspired by Buddhist beliefs. I got a lot out of it! So much in fact, that I thought I would join a Buddhist “church” of sorts.
However the experience was nothing like that of the retreat. It was so dissapointing! It was like any other Christian church I had been to… just change a few names around, and it was the same service.
Why are there Buddhist churches/temples… when retreats seem to offer so much more?


  1. Please don’t pigeon hole all Buddhist centers. I belong to the Amithaba Foundation in Rochester NY. I went to the Zen center and did not like it. I kept searching until I found The Amithaba foundation. There are different sects of Buddhism just as there is in any religion.
    You need to keep looking, there is Zen, Theravada, Tibetan, Mahayana so many more…
    it was most likely just the one you went to…
    And Retreats are usually for a function… like learning one book or one practice. The every day temple may not be interesting enough for you… as there are practices that we do every week, prayers, mantra’s etc… the retreats are for the special things…

  2. The mental “Boost” you gain from a retreat is the energy supply you will need in the daily world. Its great that you realised and noticed that a Buddhist centre/church is no different from a church or temple of any other faith. Meditation retreats help you focus your mind and bring about peace from within… and it helps you deal with the chaos from without, and get a much better grip on life.
    Most people get disillusioned and disappointed in place of worship because the people are NOT kind and holy to them, but the fact of the matter is… Places of worship actually attract the worst of humankind, but difference is they are the ones who want to make themselves better. So in a way, the church/temple is the actual training ground for cultivators while a Retreat is a Battery Recharge Room haha. Protestant Christians too have such a service, they call it a Revival Service I think…
    So… dont get too disappointed, apply all that you have gained in your retreats and when the ooportunity arises again, go recharge your batteries and you will see yourself gain a better and more expansive insights into your own mental and spiritual progress or development.
    good luck

  3. Buddhism is not a religion. It is rather a vision. There is no God in Buddhism and its all about the human mind. Obviously, a retreat where one explores the mysteries of the mind would be more interesting than going to a temple. However, in a Christian church service, if you are atuned to the presence of the Holy Spirit, you’ll be on top of the world, for that matter, if you are a tuned to the Holy Spirit, you don’t need to play around with your mind (which can be dangerous – have you heard of those whose minds have traveled out of the body and not been able to return?) you can have an elating spiritual experience right throughout, no matter where you are.

  4. 5 precept for retreat or maybe 10 and monastery 200 and up. precept; dont lie, dont steal, dont kill , dont have inappropriate sex..ect…

  5. It depends where you are in the world as to what takes place in a temple on special occassions (births, deaths, opening a new shop, blessing a new car etc.)
    Meditation retreats were initially for pilgrims and have more and more become aimed at backpackers traveling through Asia to ‘find themselves’ (snigger!). Most practicing Buddhists would be aware of the work of the retreats but only attend one themselves maybe once in their lives for a few days only.
    A retreat concerns itself with the spiritual side of being, a temple has to also include the day to day physical needs of those living in the temple and surrounding area. It usually comes down to money and being passive participants to a lot of Pali chanting, which even the chanters hardly understand! Oh well….

  6. Why Why Why???
    Why do you need to go anywhere?
    retreat to your Mind!
    the brain is the most powerful thing in the Universe!
    Try that!
    “religion is Spiritual fraud”; “religion is the Worse invention of humanity” – Jesus Christ
    Create a private, personal, direct, divine relationship with Our Creator and save your Soul from religion.
    Only with Our Creator’s Love and Peace will we be Truely Free!
    Without God, there is No Love; Without religion, there are No Wars!

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