Vipassana meditation is a simple technique of purification of the mind which enables each individual to confront his/her problem and suffering without stress or conflict, to be fully involved in human relationships and the ever-changing nature of life, joyfully and with a balanced state of mind, and to lead a peaceful, productive and socially responsible life.
It is the tool with which the mind becomes becomes cleanse of the gross impurities of greed, attachment, anxiety, fear, selfishness and insecurity. This facilitates the unraveling of the knots of tension and stress and the development of true understanding, wisdom and self-reliance.
Vipassana is an ancient method of meditation developed 2,500 years age by the Buddha and preserved in its pristine purity in Burma Thailand, and Sri Lanka for the past 2,200 years. Suffering, a universal illness of mankind, is no respecter of race, colors or creed and requires a universal cure, applicable to all beings transcending every difference the practice is now taught in different countries to student of all ages, denominations and nationalities It is providing for very large numbers of people a stable and intensely practical foundation for their day to day living.
The basis of the practice of Vipassana is Sila, moral conduct. Sila is strengthened through Samadhi, Concentration of mind. And the purification of the mental processes is achieved through panna the wisdom of insight . Student who enroll for a ten day training course will spend the first three days learning to concentrate the mind by observing the inhalation and exhalation of the breath observing the inhalation and exhalation of the breath (Anapana) and the consequent sensation arising.
For the remaining seven days they are then shown how to penetrate their physical and mental structure,profound understanding of themselves and each other. Each day's progress is explained more fully by an hour's evening discourse.
Experience has shown that within a ten day period the meditation technique can be grasped and the mind can achieve a degree of concentration and subtlety. A structured timetable and strict adherence to a few straightforward but very important rules is essential, however
To achieve a state of mind perfectly attuned and in balance, it is essential to start with a sound and stable base of conduct. For the duration of the course, therefore, each student is asked to observe the five precepts as follows :
To refrain from killing.
To refrain from stealing.
To refrain from sexual misconduct.
To refrain from lying.
To refrain from the use of alcohol or drugs -including tranquillizers and sleeping pills.
If a student is on medication or has a query about the fifth precept, they are requested to consult the management before enrolment. No smoking, please.
For their own welfare and guidance, students are asked to surrender themselves completely to the teacher and to the discipline of the course thus enabling them to draw maximum benefit from the training period.
The effectiveness of Vipassana meditation lies in the purity of the technique. During the training, therefore, any other from of religious practice which the student may be using should be put aside. Students should follow the instruction given by the teacher daily and practice only what they are instructed.
The exclusion of sensory input which could prove a distraction to students is essential if the mind is to acquire the necessary degree of concentration and sharpness. Playing or listening to music, receiving visitors or leaving the hermitage are therefore not permitted and we request that all talk and discussion be limited to the teachers.
Reading should be limited to books on Vipassana (Insight meditation)
Limited accommodation may mean that students will be sharing rooms. Restricted space and the close proximity of other people requires that Yoga or other forms of physical exercise such as Tai Chi, etc. is not practiced out of consideration for fellow students.
A high standard of personal cleanliness is essential and we recommend that loose, comfortable white clothing be worn. Please ensure that your choice of dress is simple, modest and covers you properly. Shorts and short skirts are not permitted.
Continuity of the practice both within meditation hours and in leisure time is of primary importance. To facilitate this training of the impartial observation of the phenomena of mind and matter, the major part of the course will be held in noble silence. Further details will be given by the management on enrolment in the course.
Shopping is limited to emergencies. Students should bring everything they need with them, toilet goods, washing powder etc.
Simple vegetarian food is provided - breakfast and lunch. Large numbers preclude the possibility of special catering. Any student who is required to follow a special diet for medical purposes should consult the management before enrolling.
The teacher will be available for personal discussion on the technique at a specified time each day. Students are requested to give the teacher their full consideration and to limit the discussion to this period. It is most important that the teacher has proper time for rest, meditation and personal needs in order to serve the students as fully as possible .
It is only by taking a disciplined approach and the exertion of maximum effort that the student will achieve a good grasp of the practice and gain benefit. The emphasis during the ten days is on WORK. A golden rule is to work as if one was alone on the course, ignoring any distractions and inconveniences encountered, with one's mind turned totally inwards. We request that each student read the above rules carefully and only apply to enroll for a course if they are fully prepared to submit to the discipline.
The timetable outlined below, if followed meticulously, will enable the student to develop a sharp and concentrated mind, the tool for his work. It should be stressed again, however, that it is the continuity of the practice and this alone that enables one to penetrate the subtle layers of mind and matter and start the process of loosening and unraveling the congestion of stress and emotion, which is a common source of suffering and unhappiness.