What to Expect on a Course
Vipassana meditation has three practical aspects to develop. Firstly, throughout the 10 days you will follow Sīla, a code of conduct whereby you refrain from speech and actions that are harmful to yourself and others. Secondly, for the first three and a half days you will practice Anapana Meditation, the observation of the breath, to help calm down and concentrate the mind. And thirdly, from Day 4 onward, you will practice Vipassana, the meditation of mental purification by insight.
You will be given instructions regularly every day. As well, the teachers will meet with you in small groups to see that you are practicing correctly. There will be other opportunities to meet with them on your own if you wish. Every evening you will hear a talk of about one hour on the practice by our late teacher, S.N. Goenka.
On Day 10 you will learn a new meditation of Mettā, loving kindness, and then the rule of silence will end. You will then have time to talk to those with whom you have spent the last 9 nine days in silence.
At about 6:40 am on Day 11, after the final talk, the course is officially over. Breakfast is offered and students take the time to clean their rooms and help prepare the centre for the next group of students. Since the centre is maintained by volunteers, this help you give at the end of the course is very much appreciated. Most of you will have left by 9:30 am.
This course of meditation is a very serious undertaking. If you feel you are really ready to take this course, to work diligently on the course and to follow the instructions carefully, you will gain a great gift of wisdom. If you maintain your practice of meditation it will be a jewel and a refuge to you for the rest of your life.
A simple vegetarian menu, developed to satisfy the needs of most students, is offered at all courses. Each morning, oatmeal porridge, cold cereal, and toast are served as well as stewed and fresh fruit. Lunch consists of rice and vegetables, and a protein such as tofu, lentils, beans or paneer. This meal is served with a salad and condiments such as grated carrots and beets, garbanzo beans, sunflower seeds, raisins. At 5:00 p.m. a light evening snack is served of fruit and tea.
We regret we are unable to accommodate special food requests beyond the menu offered. However, if you have food requirements because of a medically diagnosed condition such as diabetes or pregnancy, please fully disclose your situation on your application form so we can see if we can meet your needs. Your cooperation in this matter is greatly appreciated.
Please do not bring any food to the center.