Words will fall short to explain the greatness of Vipassana. To understand its greatness, we have to learn this meditation technique and take it out in our lives. Only then can we know its greatness in the true sense. Due to its amazing effects and benefits, Vipassana Meditation Centers are in more than 90 countries of the world today.
Vipassana Meditation Center
Vipassana Meditation Center is the place where Vipassana meditation is taught and practiced. Anapana course of 3 days is also offered at some Vipassana Meditation Centers. To learn Vipassana, we have to attend its 10-day course.
Vipassana is a kind of meditation technique in which we destroy the impurities hidden in the depths of our subconscious mind. It is an ancient meditation technique of India which was extinct from India. About 2500 years ago, Gautam Buddha rediscovered it.
As mentioned earlier, there are Vipassana Meditation Centers in more than 90 countries of the world. The specialty of these centers is that the atmosphere here is very calm and pleasant. If we visit any Vipassana Meditation Center in the world, then there will be greenery, trees, plants, birds, and animals.
These centers are set up in a quiet environment away from the commotion of the city. This is so that the students who come to learn Vipassana can get a calm and pure environment.
In this article, we will learn about Vipassana Meditation Centers in detail. We will discuss the rules and timetable of these centers.
Rules of Vipassana Meditation Center
If you go to any Vipassana Meditation Center of the world, the rules of the center are the same. Whether you are from any part of the world, whether you are a woman or a man, you are of any caste or religion, these rules apply equally to everyone.
The area of men and women are separate at these centers. Male students who come to the course are not allowed to enter the women’s area, similarly, women are also prohibited to enter the men’s area.
The 5 Precepts
There are 5 precepts for all the students attending the course. It is compulsory for all students.
1. Abstain From Killing
This precept inspires us to become non-violent. It teaches not to harm any creature (human, animal, or bird). We should follow it during the Vipassana course and even after the end of the course.
- Motivates us to become vegetarian
- Teaches you to stay away from war
- Instills kindness and compassion in us
- Teaches us the lesson of peace
2. Abstain From Telling Lie
This is a very important precept. Students follow it during the course, but after the completion of the course, there are many difficulties in following it in ordinary life.
- Inspires us to be truthful
- Teaches us to follow the path of truth in every situation
- Makes us strong
3. Abstain From Stealing
This precept teaches us that we do not have any right over what is not ours. It has a profound and good effect on our style of living and mind. To follow the path of Vipassana, it is mandatory to follow this precept.
- Keeps us away from theft
- Motivates us to remain virtuous even in bad circumstances
- Instills a sense of self-respect in us
4. Abstain From Intoxication
Not only on the path of Vipassana but also in ordinary life, we should follow this precept. This precept means that we should not consume alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, etc. By consuming these substances, we not only have a bad effect on our body and mind, but also affect the health of others.
Vipassana is a meditation technique to strengthen the mind. All its practice rests on peace of the mind and equanimity. Consumption of these substances makes our mind disturbed so that we lose the equanimity of the mind. All our practice becomes useless. Therefore it is very important to follow this precept.
5. Abstain From Sexual Activities
This precept is very important. It is directly related to our body as well as the mind. Adultery is a disease of the mind whose roots are very strong. After the completion of the course, students face difficulties in following this precept. But by constant practice of vipassana, this disease of the mind is controlled.
Rules Applicable To Students At The Vipassana Meditation Center
1. Noble Silence
This is the most important rule of the Vipassana Meditation Center. Students coming to the course have to follow this rule prominently.
In Noble Silence:
- Students can’t talk to each other
- Eye contact is also not allowed
- Students can not even speak in gestures
- Can not even speak in writing
Note: Students can talk to the Dhamma Sevaks to solve the questions related to the Vipassana Meditation Center arrangements. If there is any question related to Vipassana meditation, it is allowed to talk to the teacher (between 12:00 to 12:30 pm).
2. No Exercise
Students are not allowed to do any kind of exercise. Any other kind of meditation is also prohibited. Walking is allowed only.
3. No Rituals
It is strictly prohibited to commit religious acts. Students cannot do any kind of worship or chanting. This is one of the main rules of the Vipassana Meditation Center.
4. No Outside Communication
Mobiles and laptops are deposited at the time of registration only. There is no question of external contact.
Important Places At Vipassana Meditation Center
At every Vipassana Meditation Center in the world, we get to see some common places:
This is the place where students practice Vipassana. This is the most prominent place of Vipassana Meditation Center. The atmosphere of the Dhamma Hall cannot be described in words. As soon as we enter the Dhamma Hall, the positive energy starts to flow in our mind and body.
In Dhamma Hall, new and old students practice Anapana and Vipassana for 10 days daily for 10 hours. Every Vipassana Meditation Center has one or more Dhamma Halls and the capacity of those halls varies. Normally the capacity of Dhamma Hall varies from 50 to150 students.
The pagoda is the place where there are small cells (cabins). In these cells, students practice Vipassana. There is no arrangement of lights and fans in these cells. The atmosphere of these cells is filled with positive energy. The experience while doing meditation here is unforgettable.
In the early days of the course, these cells are given only to the old students for practice. From the sixth or seventh day of the course, new students are sent to Pagoda for practice.
Note: During group meditation, all students (new and old) have to practice in Dhamma Hall. Students can use the pagoda to practice the rest of the time.
This is also a major place at the center. Here the arrangement of stay of the Vipassana Teacher is done. Students are prohibited from coming here. Only Dhamma Sevaks can come here for necessary work.
Daily Timetable Of Vipassana Meditation Center
The timetable of the Vipassana Meditation Center is very strict. Let’s take a look at the timetable:
- Wake Up (4:00 am): From 4 o’clock in the morning, the students’ activity starts at the Vipassana Meditation Center. The big bell rings at 4 o’clock. After that, the Dhamma Sevak takes a small bell in the hand and plays it outside the room of each student so that no student remains asleep. By 4:30 am, students have to reach the Dhamma Hall (Meditation Hall) after being fresh.
- Meditation In Hall (4:30 to 6:30 am): In Dhamma Hall (Meditation Hall) all the students have to do the given practice. For the first three and a half days, students are practiced Anapana. The practice of Vipassana begins on the fourth day. Instructions are given in the recorded voice of S.N. Goenka. Students have to do meditation according to his instructions.
- Breakfast (6:30 to 8:00 am): It is breakfast time. In the meantime, if the students want, they can take a bath. Breakfast consists of regional things as well as fruits, milk, tea, and coffee. Every student is given a fixed seat for breakfast and lunch. During the entire course, students have to sit in their seats and have breakfast and lunch. Students can relax in the room after breakfast or take a walk.
- Group Meditation In Hall (8:00 to 9:00 am): This is the time of group meditation. Instructions are given in the voice of S.N. Goenka for practice. This group meditation is for one hour. Teachers are also present in group meditation.
- Meditation In Hall (9:00 to 11:00 am): There is a 5-minute break after group meditation. Then the students have to come back to the Dhamma Hall and practice meditation.
- Lunch (11:00 am to 12:00 noon): It is lunchtime. In the dining hall, students have to sit and eat in their seats. Food is vegetarian but it is nutritious and pure. There is no limit to the quantity of food. Students can eat as much food as they want. After the meal, the students have to wash their dishes and put them back in the right place.
- Rest (12:00 noon to 1:00 pm): This is a time of rest. Students can relax in their rooms or take a walk. If a student has to meet the teacher and ask a question, then he/she can meet the teacher in the Dhamma Hall between 12:00 noon and 12:30 pm. This is the time to meet the teacher.
- Meditation In Hall ( 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm): After rest, the students have to gather in the Dhamma Hall at 1:00 pm and practice meditation. This practice goes on till 2:30 pm.
- Group Meditation In Hall (2:30 to 3:30 pm): This is the time of group meditation. Teachers are present in the Dhamma Hall. Instructions are given for practice in the voice of S.N. Goenka. Students have to practice by following those instructions. During group meditation, students are not allowed to open their eyes and feet.
- Meditation In Hall (3:30 to 5:00 pm): After group meditation, there is a break of 5 minutes and students have to come back to Dhamma Hall and practice. Teachers are not present in the Dhamma Hall. Students have to practice in the presence of Dhamma Sevaks.
- Tea Break (5:00 to 6:00 pm): This is the time of tea break. A light breakfast, tea, and coffee are provided in the dining hall. But this arrangement is only for new students. Old students are not allowed to eat anything after lunch. Old students cannot even take tea or coffee in the evening.
- Group Meditation In Hall (6:00 to 7:00 pm): There is a group meditation of 1 hour after the tea break. Students practice meditation in the presence of teachers. Instructions are given in S.N. Goenka’s voice. Students practice by following the instructions.
- Vipassana Discourse By S.N. Goenka (7:00 to 8:15 pm): This is a very important time. This is the time of the discourses of S.N. Goenka. Recorded videos of S.N. Goenka are used for discourse. He talks about Anapana to Vipassana in his discourse. He answers the questions that arise in our mind in the discourse itself. He explains ways to face the difficulties encountered during practice. Through his discourses, we get to know a lot about our body and mind.
- Group Meditation (8:15 to 9:00 pm): There is a break of 5 minutes after the discourse. The group meditation takes place in Dhamma Hall after the break. In this group meditation, students practice as per the instructions of S.N. Goenka.
- Question Answer With Teacher (9:00 to 9:30 pm): The day ends after group meditation. All students go to their rooms and relax. Students who have to ask any question from the teacher can meet and ask the teacher between 9:00 to 9:30 pm.
This is the daily timetable at every Vipassana Meditation Center of the world. There is no change in it.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: Is the course always on at the Vipassana Meditation Center?
A: Yes. Courses are open throughout the year. The new course starts with a group of new students only a few days after the completion of a course.
- Q: How to apply for the course?
A: It is very easy. To apply for the course, we have to apply on the official website of Vipassana. While applying, we can choose our desired center.
There are also some personal questions in the application form. We have to answer them. All our answers are completely confidential. While coming for the course, we have to bring our identity card (Voter ID, PAN Card, Aadhaar Card, Driving License, or Passport).
- Q: If a student needs to have dinner due to illness or medicine, what will he/she have to do?
A: If dinner is very necessary, the student can meet the teacher and take his/her permission. But for this, medication and medical prescription have to be shown.
- Q: What are the medical arrangements at the Vipassana Meditation Center?
A: The center has complete first-aid arrangements. If a student falls seriously ill, then a doctor is called from outside and full medical treatment is done.
- Q: If a student reaches the center after starting the course for some reason, is it accepted?
A: This is not often seen. Students are informed about 25-30 days before the start of the course. Students have ample time to prepare for the course.
However, if for some reason a student reaches the center after starting the course, then the teacher decides whether to include him in the course or not. This decision is made by the teacher.
Vipassana is an incomparable spiritual path. It is completely based on the science of the conscious and subconscious mind. Modern science has also accepted the benefits of Vipassana.
To learn Vipassana, we have to attend its 10-day residential course. This course is conducted at various Vipassana Meditation Centers. This center is a special place away from the clamor of the city. Greenery, trees, plants, birds, and animals are seen here. Vipassana Meditation Center is situated a little bit from the city so that the students get a calm and pure atmosphere.
In addition to 10-Day Course, other courses of Vipassana are also conducted at some Vipassana Meditation Centers. The rules of centers are the same all over the world. The rules and timetables here are very strict. Students have to follow those rules and timetable under any circumstances. Dhamma Sevaks are posted at the centers so that the rules and timetable of the center are not violated.
There is a Dhamma Hall (Meditation Hall) for the practice of Vipassana at the center. Students do meditation in this hall every day. The atmosphere of the hall is full of positive energy. Along with the Dhamma Hall at the center, there is also a Pagoda where students practice Vipassana.
There is a good arrangement of students’ stay and food at the center. If a student has any problem related to the system, he/she can contact the Dhamma Sevaks and explain his/her problem.
If you also want to live a life of happiness, peace, and bliss, free from the impurities of your mind, then apply for a course at your nearest Vipassana Meditation Center today.
Famous Vipassana Meditation Centers In India:
- Igatpuri Vipassana Center (Dhamma Giri)
- Jaipur Vipassana Center (Dhamma Thali)
- Delhi Vipassana Center (Dhamma Sota)
- Mumbai Vipassana Center (Dhamma Pattana)
- Bangalore Vipassana Center (Dhamma Paphulla)
- Kolhapur Vipassana Center (Dhammalaya)
- Pune Vipassana Center (Dhamma Punna)
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