Vipassana Research Institute

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Vipassana Research Institute
Pictorial representation of a 10-day course conducted at Dhammagiri
Vipassana Research Institute

The clips below with captions helps one to get an outline of the daily schedule of a meditator in a ten day course.


The main centre at Dhammagiri, Igatpuri, Maharashtra offers 10-day residential courses to students interested in learning Vipassana Meditation.There are more than 100 centres spread round the world where Vipassana is taught in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin, as taught by S.N.Goenka.

    

Vipassana meditation is the essence of what the Buddha practiced and taught. It is a simple, practical way to achieve real peace of mind and to lead a happy useful life. Vipassana means 'to see things as they really are'; it is a logical process of mental purification through self-observation. Vipassana does not encourage people to withdraw from society, rather it strengthens them to face all the ups and downs of life in a calm and balanced way.

   

To learn Vipassana, there are three steps to the training. First, students practice Sila - abstaining from actions which cause harm. They undertake five moral precepts, practising abstention from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying and the use of intoxicants. The observation of these precepts allows the mind to calm down sufficiently to proceed further.

Second, for the first three and a half days, students practise Anapana meditation, focussing attention on the breath. This practice - Samadhi - helps to develop concentration and control over the unruly mind.

These first two steps - of living a wholesome life and developing control of the mind - are necessary and very beneficial. But they are incomplete unless the third step is taken : purifying the mind of underlying negativities. The third step undertaken for the last six and a half days, is the practice of Vipassana : one penetrates one's entire physical and mental structure with the clarity of insight.

 

 2500 years ago in India, a human being dedicated his life to help fellow beings emerge from the darkness of sufferingHis name was Gotama, the BuddhaThe Vipassana International Academy (Dhammagiri, Igatpuri) near Mumbai, India - main center for the practice and study of VipassanaThe meditation complex has been constructed on the highest part of the siteEstablished in 1976, Dhammagiri's activities have grown many-fold and the Campus has blossomed.Residences to accomodate meditators

Cottages with a tranquil environmentResidence - InteriorAll facilities for a comfortable stay helps meditators to learn Vipassana seriouslyThe hall with cushions laid down for meditationAnother hall adjacent to the main hallStudents going for meditation

Meditators on their way walk silently without talking to each otherStudents meditating in the HallGoenkaji, the Principal teacher teaching VipassanaHe learnt Vipassana from Sayagyi U Ba Khin, the respected lay meditation teacher from BurmaSaya Thetgyi, who taught Sayagyi U Ba KhinVen Ledi Sayadaw who taught Saya Thetgyi

Goenkaji learnt Vipassana for fourteen years and also assisted himGoenkaji travelled to India to teach Vipassana on his teacher's behalfThe timetable to be followed in a ten day course.At 4.30 a.m the meditation sessions startsStudents proceed for breakfast at 6.30 a.m8 a.m is the time for group siting in the hall

All the students assemble in the hall for group meditationThese joint sittings help to strenghthen their practiceThe pagoda beside the hall  for serious meditationExternally it has been remodelled and decorated in the Shwedagon pagoda styleThe pagoda is a hollow structure with cells for individual meditationCells are allocated to old students

The interior of a cellStudent can work independently and seriouslyThe bell goes at 11 a.m - time for lunchMeditators come out of the hall and proceed to the Dining hallWholesome vegetarian food is providedArea for students to relax for some time after lunch

Continuous gardening and landscaping have transformed the siteStudents continue their meditation in the afternoonGoenkaji's discourse in the evening clarifies many points for the meditatorsDiscourses by Goenkaji is available in Hindi as well as in EnglishBy 9.30 p.m the discourse and question time is overStudents retire and take rest after a demanding schedule


Vipassana Research Institute
Vipassana Research Institute