Vipassana Mcditation Course
     
 
Mental Development is a personal experience.  It does not matter if you
are Buddhist, Christian, Jewish or Moslem.  Nor is it important what nationality or color you are, since each person in the world is longing for a better life.  The Insight Meditation technique taught here is a way to prepare a path to a better, peaceful life through clear understanding about oneself.
‘Meditation’ is the best word in English for the concept of Mental Development. 
There are two kinds of meditation: 
-
Tranquil, or Samatha, Meditation, which develops concentration (Samadhi) on one object to help calm the mind.
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Insight, or Vipassana, Meditation, which develops self-understanding through Mindfulness Training.
The Teaching and Practice at Wat Tapotaram (Rampoeng) is based on the Four
Four Foundations of Mindfulness:
 
1. Contemplation of the Body
2. Contemplation of the Feelings
3. Contemplation of the Mind (Thought)
4. Contemplation of Objects of the Mind
 
Wat Ram Poeng offers a 26-day basic course in Vipassana (Insight) Meditation
under the guidance of a Teacher on an on-going basis. For meditators who have completed the basic course, a 10-day Insight Meditation retreat can be taken, which builds on the 26-day basic course.
 
For those who do not have time to join the full basic course, the Monastery offers
the chance to try out the practice, but not for less than 10 days or more than 6 weeks, without special permission.
 
If you wish to join the Insight Meditation course offered here, please come to the
administration office with your intentions, or contact us using one of the methods listed on the first page (telephone is best), and further arrangements can be made.  Once you have received official permission, please prepare the following items:
Requirements:
The customary offering for the opening ceremony:
1. Eleven white lotus flowers (or other white flowers).
2. Eleven yellow or orange candles.
3. Eleven incense sticks.
 
In addition:
1. Your valid passport and visa.
2. Two passport photos.
3. One photocopy of the photo, signature and visa pages of your valid passport.
4. A working alarm clock or timer.  You must be able to set it to increments of five minutes.
5. At least two sets of white clothing.
For men: Loose, modest, non-transparent white trousers and a shirt. White
 
underwear is a must.
 
For women: Loose, modest, non-transparent white sarong or trousers, a loose
   

white shirt with sleeves and a white ‘sa-bai’ (a white scarf, which is worn over the breast and around the shoulder).  White underwear (inc. bra) is a must.

Personal items (soap, shampoo, toothpaste, towel, sandals, etc.)  Some
essentials are available at the Temple Shop.
General Rules for Meditators:
What does it mean to stay in a monastery?
Inside the monastery, the Eight Precepts are followed.  Please read these in the ‘Opening Ceremony’ section.  The following points should also be noted: 
1. You and your clothing must always be clean, proper and hygienic.  You need to
wear white clothing day and night.
2. Keep your room neat and tidy. (The First Precept, to refrain from destroying
living creatures, implies that we shouldn’t create situations in which it is easy to destroy living creatures.  Having food attracts insects and animals to our rooms, so we should refrain from having it there, since it makes the First Precept easier for us to break.)
3. Keep the bathroom and toilet clean, in order to prevent fungi and bacteria.
4. Meditators are not allowed to talk about their personal meditation practice or
experience.  Do not discuss or compare your meditation practice with each other.  Your experience is your own, and may not be the same as others’.
5. You are not allowed to mix the practice with other techniques.
6. You are only allowed to smoke cigarettes in your room, but it would be better to
avoid that burdensome habit.
7. No kissing, hugging, holding hands, massaging or any other physical contact is
allowed.  No sun-bathing.
8. While taking a bath or sleeping, make sure that the door and window/curtains
are closed and locked.
9. The Meditator’s rooms are for their privacy.  Visitors are not allowed to enter
the Meditator’s rooms.
10. Meditators should not visit others in their rooms.  Men are not allowed to enter
women’s rooms.  Women are not allowed to enter men’s rooms.
11. No socializing, gossiping, etc.
12. No reading—this includes Buddhist books.  No writing (letters, diaries, etc.).
No listening to radios, tapes, CDs, etc.  No telephone calls during your practice.  Please switch of mobile phone during the course.
13. Meditators are not allowed to leave the Monastery area without the permission
of the Teacher.
14. If you are tired during the day, you may lay down and rest in your room, but
meditators are not allowed to sleep during the day.
15. Please unplug all electrical appliances when not in use, and turn off all lights,
fans, etc., when leaving your room.
16. Temple Authorities reserve the right to refuse entry, or to expel anyone in the
case of disrespect regarding the rules or instructions.
17. Upon completion of the course, meditators must pay respect to the Teacher at
the Closing Ceremony, and gain further advice from him/her about the practice.
18. Meditators are responsible for the loss or damage of Temple properties.
19. All Temple properties must be returned and the meditator’s room must cleaned
before leaving.  Imagine you are the next person who will use the room.  Don’t forget to return your key to the foreign office.
20. Each night in Wan Phra (Buddha Day), meditators have to join the ceremony,
is called “Wain-tien” or “Padakkhina”, walking around the pagoda 3 times to worship the Triple Gem, at 8:00 P.M. in the main hall.
21. Donations are appreciated.  All donations should be made at the Temple office,
where an official receipt can be obtained.  
Daily Routine:
4:00 A.M.  The bell or your alarm clock wakes you up for practice.  Starting with the Mindfulness Prostration, you continue with mindful Walking and then Sitting practice. 
NOTE: Always start with ‘Mindful Walking’, then when you stop walking, take
your place immediately for the sitting practice. 
6:00 A.M. The bell rings for breakfast.  It is your responsibility to follow the bell and arrive in the dining hall on time, because prayers are chanted before each meal.  Late comers will not be served.
Alms food is considered sacred; take only as much as you will eat.  Eat slowly, mindfully, and preferably alone.  This means no talking—does not make conversation during or after meals, as doing so is disruptive to mindfulness.
Wash your dish and glass immediately after eating.  Take care of your rubbish; there is a place for it near the sink where you wash your dishes.  After breakfast, you may clean, wash and bathe.  Then, it is again time for practice until the bell rings for lunch. 
10:30 A.M. The bell rings for lunch.  Follow the same guidelines as breakfast.  Afterwards, it is again time for practice until Reporting. 
Reporting:  This is typically at two o’clock for Foreign Meditators, but may change depending on the Teacher’s schedule.  Please check the whiteboard in the Teacher’s Office each day, in case the reporting time has been changed. 
10:00 P.M.   Sleeping may begin, while dressed in your white clothing.