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Tips & Techniques : Preperation for Vipassana Meditation

Tips & Techniques : Preperation for Vipassana Meditation

How to prepare before entering in Vipassana Meditation

Many people are worried about how to prepare for entering into Vipassana Meditation, including how to enable to take it through the entire period determined. As a result of an improper preparation, some cannot meditate as well as they should. One of the concerns is if the place or training center is suitable for the practice.. It should be considered as follows ::

  1. Not far from or close to a village or a community;
  2. Transport easily easy to get to;
  3. Be a quiet place;
  4. Not much noise or smell;
  5. Not a place busy with people coming and going;
  6. Not a recreation or attractive place causing the mind to be unsettled or easily bothered;
  7. Be full of shade of trees but sunlit, air easily ventilated, not too dry or humid; 10 Phra Athikan Somsak Sorado
  8. Less bothered by reptiles and pests;
  9. In the case of monks, no problem of almsgathering;
  10. Accommodation, facilities and things for living enough available such as meal, medicines and so on;
  11. There is a meditation master with goodmoral conduct who has sufficient knowledge of the Buddhist scriptures and experience of Vipassana Meditation, and is sophisticated and able to advise the right methods of the meditation and to balance the faculties of the meditator;
  12. Review the regulations of the place. For instance, how often the meal is provided in a day, vegetarian or simple, whether the supplementary drink is provided or not and when it isavailable. Some places provide meal for the monk and meditator once a day, but some do it twice a day. Some provide the supplementary drink, while some do not. Some allow the meditator to bring the drink by himself/herself. At Wat Bhaddhata Asabharam, the meal is provided for the monk once a day and twice for the meditator; the monk receives it with the Buddhist alms bowl. And the drink is available and the meditators are allowed to bring it themselves.allowed the meditator to bring by oneself;
  13. The regulation of sleeping varies from the places. Some places allow sleeping at day and meditating at night, while the others do not and have a limit to the amount of sleep, only four to six hours. So the physical and mental readiness is necessary, otherwise it will be difficult for the practice;
  14. To get ready, the practice schedule should be studied. The meditator should get up early ( 3:30 A.M. ) and go to sleep late ( 10:00 P.M. ). Those who are inexperienced and unfamiliar to the schedule should try to practice at least 6 hours a day. While those who are experienced should meditate continuously at least 18 - 21 hours a day;
  15. Talking may be allowed at some places, but in the course of practice at Wat Bhaddhata Asabharam, it is prohibited if not necessary, except in the time of interview;
  16. Whatever activities and movements generally are proceeded in a slow mode or manner such as standing, sitting, laying down, having a meal, drinking and so on. So it is important to accept the condition since the beginning, abandon all familiarity, and aim to contemplate the activities and movements consciously in no hurry;
  17. Normally led by defilements, the meditator needs to contemplate all the objects attentively to keep the sense-doors (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind) away from it. Doing well from the beginning on will cause the practice to develop rapidly;
  18. Cut down all kinds of worries and only concentrate on the present as the past is gone and one is not able to do anything, the future has not come yet and so there is nothing to worry about. The best thing to do is to focus on the materiality and mentality currently existing. Try to recognize the truth, do not seize or foresee such things:
    1. Worry about residence (Avasaalibodha), one is worried about one's house or residence that it may be unclean or messy as there is nobody taking care of it;
    2. Worry about patron (Kulapalibodha), one is worried about the sponsored family or people that one respects, and afraid that one is unable to keep contact with and get support from those acquaintances;
    3. Worry about gains (Labhapalibodha), one is worried about the income or one's usual benefits that may be reduced or lost because of one's absence;
    4. Worry about companions such as friends (Gaapalibodha) teachers, students, other acquaintances and so on;
    5. Worry about job (Kammapalibodha), one is worried about taking care of constructions, one's job, business, career,and so on;
    6. Worry about journey (Antadhanapalibodha), one is worried about one's planned business travel, overseas trip or vacation, and so on;
    7. Worry about relatives (Natipalibodha), one is worried that during one's absence one's parents, children, wife or husband, orclose relatives may get into some troubles or have some illness;
    8. Worry about illness (Abadhapaliodha), one is worried about the existing illness that it may become worse, or being ailing due to the change of weather;
    9. Worry about education or teaching (Ganthapalibodha), one is worried about not being able to catch up on the class or preach to the congregation;
    10. Worry about power (Iddhipalibodha), one is worried that one's authority will decrease or be transferred to others, or that one will lose the opportunity to succeed in any field as one is taking the course of practice, and so on.
  19. When determined to take the retreat, one should be ready to the following:
    1. Leave any uniform, title, rank, pride, and so on behind, and make oneself simple;
    2. Bring enough clothing and personal articles, the layman should wear white;
    3. Bring one's bed articles such as bed and pillow, sheets or blanket, if it is not available at the place or center;
    4. Leave all accessories behind, except a timer;
    5. Do not come with a severe illness or contagious disease and bring the medicines for it; one should inform the staff or administration of the place;
    6. Refrain from any activities as regards communication such as reading, writing, listening to the radio, watching television, making phone calls; if one brings communication tools , leave them at the administration of the place;
    7. Prepare flowers, joss sticks, and candles for paying respects to the Triple Gems and the master;
    8. Do register at the administration office and study the regulations of the place.


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