Listen 14 min
Vipassana Meditation Information
10-DAY COURSE SCHEDULE:
For the first three days, one only observes the natural breath in order to concentrate the mind. Then, on the fourth day, with a sharpened awareness, one begins the actual practice of Vipassana. Students are directed to notice sensations that come up, from head to toe, without judging them, but simply be aware of them and continue observing changes from head to toe. Students are observing the changing nature of body and mind, constantly changing, and in this way actually experiencing the universal truths of impermanence, suffering and egolessness.
Men and women are separated at all times except in the hall; men sit on the left, women on the right.
For the entire ten days there is no talking, reading, phone calls, computers, books, munchies, and you are not to look at or motion to anyone at any time. You are simply being with you, focusing on awareness and equanimity.
Vipassana begins at 4:30 each morning and ends at 9 or 9:30 each night. You can sit in your room or in the hall. You sit with your eyes closed. You may not sit outside because of the distractions to the senses. There are three one-hour mandatory sits in the hall for everyone; otherwise, you may sit in your room.
Each evening, about 75 minutes of video instructions are provided by S.N. Goenka. He is an amazing teacher and tells delightful stories as well. One or more assistant teachers will be present to provide guidance and answer any questions, privately at lunchtime or at the end of each day in the hall.
Each mealtime and rest or walking time is about two hours.
The course includes delicious vegetarian meals and, in most facilities, your own private room. There is no charge for either the course or the room and board. At the end of the ten days, if you are able, you may donate something so others may attend.
Further Information from Patricia DeWitt:
A good book on Vipassana is The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation as Taught by S. N. Goenka, by William Hart.
Three documentaries on Vipassana:
- The Dhamma Brothers, filmed in a violent, maximum-security prison in Alabama, available on Netflix
- Doing Time, Doing Vipassana filmed in a men’s prison in India
- Free Behind Bars, filmed in a women’s prison
In the Alabama and India prisons, the Vipassana courses are ongoing.
The Vipassana facility closest to Bozeman where I “sit,” as they call it, is in the state of Washington, and their website is www.kunja.dhamma.org. That site lists all the worldwide locations and the courses offered at each.