Terms and conditions
In order to achieve the objectives of Vipassana meditation, a student should follow the terms and conditions of the course.
There are five important precepts included in the Code of Discipline for new students:
1. To abstain from killing any being.
2. To abstain from stealing.
3. To abstain from all sexual activity.
4. To abstain from telling lies.
5. To abstain from all intoxicants.
In addition to the Code of Discipline, a student is expected to accept a teacher (or assistant teacher), the Vipassana technique, and execute all other meditation techniques, rites, and/or any form of worship. Religious objects, crystals, and talismans are strictly prohibited during the course, as well as any form of intoxicants and drugs.
Clothes worn during the meditation should be clean, modest, and comfortable. Music, reading, and writing are not permitted.
All students must observe Noble Silence. The Nobel Silence has been invented in accordance to prevent telling lies. The Noble Silence will be started at the end of zero day and ends at the afternoon of day ten. During this time you will have a right to communicate with teacher (or assistant teacher) during two periods per day. In the case of questions concerning practical issues, you will have the opportunity to make a written request and leave it in the appropriate place. The usage of cell phone, Tablet PC, laptops is strictly prohibited.
The Noble Silence is not as awful as it might seem. In fact, it helps to save your energy for concentration on the training.
The Vipassana meditation courses, accommodations, and food are free of charge. A small expense fund is required if you are going to outsource your laundry or purchase bottled water or juice.
Vipassana courses depend on voluntary donations from the people who have attended the course. You can use donation boxes for donations in smaller amounts of money, or deliver a donation to administrator who will be on the premises on the last day of the training.
I advise you to ask for a receipt for your donation and prepare a printed visit card with your name and email address, because he might tell you that he will send the receipt by email. Ask him when he will be able to send the receipt and take his personal telephone number to call him in case he forgets to do it.
The most critical for me was the first day of the course. I choose the Vipassana meditation center close to Pushkar, Rajasthan State, and attended the course at the end of September.
I wasn’t used to the heat at over +35 degrees C (+95 degrees F) overall, and especially in the premises without air conditioning. The temperature one degree higher would make impossible for me to continue the training.
Another huge constraint for me was long hours sitting in the meditation postures. I used to stay in meditation postures for 30 minutes or so, but a 12-hour training session at the Vipassana felt like torture.
So, to be able to successfully succeed in a Vipassana course, it’s essential to start preparation for it as early as possible, at least one-month prior.
*Note: This article is based on my personal experience and thoughts after my first 10-day meditation course of Vipassana, and is not presented to be an absolute truth. – Jacklyn A. Lo, Author of Redemption novel, http://rbjal.com/
Next article will tell about practical advices and where to go for retreat.