What to Expect on a Course
All courses offered are conducted by assistant teachers of S. N. Goenka using audio and video tapes of Mr. Goenka’s instructions and discourses. All ten day courses begin the evening of the arrival day and end early morning of the departure day.
Introduction to the Technique and Code of Discipline
It is essential that you understand the serious nature of the ten-day course before applying. Therefore, as part of the application process, all course applicants must read the Introduction to the Technique and Code of Discipline.
These ten-day Vipassana meditation courses are very serious, a deep operation of the mind. They can be a rigorous undertaking, both physically and mentally. They are residential, in a rural setting, and presuppose a high level of responsibility and maturity from each student. It requires students to spend most of their time alone, without speaking to other students, inside their own mind, meditating for up to ten hours per day over a period of ten days. While the course includes lectures, instructional tapes, a few meetings with the teacher, and some limited time for questions, the bulk of the ten days is spent within the autonomous, private sphere of a person’s own mind. The meditation course requires a reasonable capacity to maintain focus, cooperate in a large-group setting, follow detailed instructions, keep to a delineated time schedule, maintain silence, not disturb other students, and to work with a teacher with honesty and full cooperation.
How Courses are Offered
Courses are made possible by volunteers who serve the courses and by donations made by students who participate in them. The teachers conducting the course, the course managers and all those who work in the kitchen are all volunteers.
All courses at the Vipassana Meditation Center are run solely on a donation basis. Donations are accepted only from students who have completed at least one ten-day course with S.N. Goenka or one of his assisting teachers and have experienced for themselves the benefits of Vipassana. Thus Vipassana is offered free from commercialism.
Students taking the course for the first time may give a donation at the end of the course. You may give a donation, small or large according to your means and volition. You donate not with the idea of paying for what you have received, but to give someone else the same opportunity in the future. Each center is financially autonomous and these donations are the only source of funding; there is no wealthy foundation or individual sponsoring the courses. Returning students may give a donation at any time. Once you have completed one 10-day course in this tradition, you are welcome to apply for volunteer service at any center around the world.
The men’s and women’s residences have single, double and triple rooms with bathrooms. Due to limited availability, single rooms cannot be be reserved.
Please arrive between 2:00 and 5:00 pm. on the day the course begins.
This allows time for you to check in, get your accommodation and unpack. Late arrivals make it difficult for the staff to serve everyone efficiently and to start the course on time. If you have an emergency and are unable to arrive at the requested time, please notify us as soon as possible.
A light meal will be served at 6:00 pm. followed by a pre-course orientation.
Please make your return travel plans before arriving at the center, as you will not have access to your cell phone until after the course is completed.
You are expected to stay until the course is completed at approximately 7:00 a.m. on the last day of the course. Although the course ends at 7:00 a.m., please allow enough time to clean your room before you leave. We rely on students to prepare the center for the next course.
When making travel arrangements, please allow sufficient time for travel to and from the center.
After being accepted into a course, if your plans change in any way, please notify us immediately.
A Vipassana meditation course is very demanding both physically and mentally. It is important that you are prepared for the rigorous nature of the course. After you have completed the application process if anything related to your physical or mental health changes, please contact the center prior to the course.
For the health and safety of all the students, it is important that you are in good health when you arrive at the center. If you are sick, or should become ill close to the start of your course, we ask that you reschedule for a future date. If you should need to cancel from the course because of illness, your next course application will be given priority.
If there is any significant change in your physical or mental health, or medications, please notify the center registrar. If you are presently taking medication, please remember to bring enough for the entire course.
Please do not come to the center if you have any flu-like or cold symptoms prior to or on the course date. Also please do not come if you have had contact with someone with flu within 10 days of course start date. Let us know as soon as possible so that we can give your spot to someone on the wait list. If you need to cancel due to illness, you will be given priority on the next course.
A simple vegetarian menu, developed to satisfy the needs of most students, is offered at all courses. A sample menu is available. Please note, no outside food is allowed at the center and we are unable to accommodate special food requests. However, if you have food requirements because of a medically diagnosed condition such as diabetes or pregnancy, please contact the center immediately to see if we can meet your needs.