Sunday, 20 October 2013

Vipassana: Ch.4: daily schedule, faculty, practicals, lectures, facilities and food

Having safely made my maiden voyage safely – It dawned on me how meticulous and precision engineered the course was – from the schedule, faculty, practical experiments, theoretical lectures, facilities, nutritional requirements, administration ... They were all essential, efficient and highly commendable.


The following timetable for the course has been designed to maintain the continuity of practice. For best results students are advised to follow it as closely as possible.

4:00 am     Morning wake-up bell
4:30-6:30 am Meditate in the hall or in your room
6:30-8:00 am Breakfast
8:00-9:00 am Group meditation in the hall
9:00-11:00 am Meditate in the hall or in your room/cell according to the teacher's instructions
11:00-12:00 noon Lunch break
12noon-1:00 pm Q&A with the teacher / Rest
1:00-2:30 pm Meditate in the hall or in your room/cell
– (I slept through this sometimes … out of sheer fatigue)
2:30-3:30 pm Group meditation in the hall
3:30-5:00 pm Meditate in the hall or in your room/cell according to the teacher's instructions
5:00-6:00 pm Tea break
6:00-7:00 pm Group meditation in the hall
7:00-8:15 pm             Teacher's Discourse in the hall
– (Fantastic Lectures – Watching in Hindi is better than watching the English Version -there’s Russian too!) 
8:15-9:00 pm Group meditation in the hall
9:00-9:30 pm Question time in the hall
9:30 pm   Retire to your own room

To register yourself for a ten-day course, please click on and choose a center near you.

The Faculty –

The faculty consisted of a married couple of advanced practitioners Mr. & Mrs. Mali – who were referred to as Assistant Teachers – they conduct the course and assisted us with individual counseling during training.

The course is taught directly by Late Sh. SN Goenka in a series of audio and video lessons – using of technology to ensure undiluted transmission of this knowledge.

Practical Experiments –

We begin with being completely silent – “Arya Mouna” – no talking, no writing, no reading, no sign language is allowed, the only communication allowed is with the teacher and about 4 helpers.

As you can see in the Schedule – we spend most of the time practicing the meditation techniques – The Basics of the Technique are – Breath Awareness, Sensation Awareness and Noble Silence

However, there are new nuances introduced on each day – that make the course both interesting and exploratory.

Theoretical Lectures –

Late Sh.SN Goenka talks and speeches are both enlightening & entertaining – lots of stories and anecdotes - that provide the mind with “food for thought” – while we practice the Vipassana technique.

“He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know.” – LaoTzu

Goenkaji himself clearly states that the technique is paramount and these lectures by themselves are of no real purport – other than like giving a child (the mind) toys to play with – while we work.

After each lecture the assistant teacher (Mr. Mali) takes one-to-one questions which are conducted on a first-come-first served basis.

Facilities -

The facilities are not air-conditioned – but very clean, hygienic and considerately appointed – You get a single 6’X10’ room with an attached bathroom, a specific seat in lecture hall and a meditation cell allotted to you for the duration of the course. There is an inexpensive laundry service available as well!

Food – simple vegetarian meals provided. The course management endeavors to prepare a balanced, wholesome menu suitable for meditation. If any students have been prescribed a special diet because of ill-health, they should inform the management at the time of application. Fasting is not permitted.

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