- It’s better to go in the winter than spring or summer. There are many mosquitoes in the area where the center locates. I took the course in January, so it’s fine. But many students, including me, got mosquito bites on the few days when the weather wasn’t very cold. So, I guess it would be much worse when the weather gets warmer in the summer time.
- Here is a list of things that I suggest one should bring along to the 10-day course.
- There are many Vipassana centers in other locations that have better facilities and more private space for the students. And many of them have discourse in English, as well as English-speaking instructor. Go to Vipassana meditation homepage and click on the links on the left for more information http://www.dhamma.org/.
- I would suggest one to listen to the English discourse if one understands English good enough (ie: no need to read subtitles when watching a Hollywood movie). It is better listening to the original lecture of Goenka than listening to a book-reading translation by some Cantonese speaker. If one worries that he/she might not understand the English discourse because of the Buddhism terminologies in Pali, check out this list of words. While this is not a complete list, this is all you need to begin with and to understand the English discourse. And don’t worry about the Indian accent, one will get used to it very soon. 🙂
- The center serves vegetarian meals all 10 days at 6:30am, 11:00am, and 5:00pm. If, due to health problem, one needs special arrangement on food, let the center knows and it will work out with you.
- If one has problem crossing her/his legs for a long period of time, tell the center about the problem. It will make special arrangement for the situation.
- One should definitely use her/his chance to ask teacher questions during the Q&A sessions. Don’t hold up to any question in mind, for it will be very much a distraction during meditation. By clearing up all the questions, one can focus and concentrate much easier during meditation (well, that’s definitely my case)