Insight Meditation Retreat Rules
Phat An Temple - MN
All participants must read through and comply with the following provisions:
1) Master Assistant (MA):
a) MA is also a practitioner.
b) All requests to contact the Master should go through the MA.
c) MA should only see the Master when needed or by request.
d) MA helps keep the Master’s bedroom clean and tidy during and after the retreat.
e) New yogis should seek guidance from MA, or directly from the Master.
a) Daily schedule: 5:00AM-9:30PM.
b) Wake up time: 4:30AM.
c) All activities should be refrained at 10PM.
a) Security is all yogis’ responsibility.
b) The temple shall not be held liable or responsible for any lost or damages (assets, injuries or life threatening …).
c) Valuable and personal belongings should not be brought along during the retreat.
d) Any suspicious activities should be immediately reported to the Board of Representatives (BR).
e) All doors should be closed/checked before night rest.
4) Sleep Areas:
a) All yogis’ responsibility to keep the sleep areas clean and tidy.
b) All rooms upstairs are living facilities exclusively reserved for monks.
c) Yogis must accept the BR’s lodging arrangement. Yogis should not change the assignment without BR’s consent.
a) One of the most basic human virtues, also identified with personal quality of generosity, especially one of the preliminary steps of Buddhist practice is the practice of donation. We encourage yogis to practice the dana with wisdom before, during and after the act.
b) Legs, as stretching, must not be pointed toward the Master or the altar.
c) Cushions and blanket covers should be kept neat, tidy and organized at all times.
d) Yogis work together to share the responsibility to preserve and protect the properties of the temple and keep living areas clean and neat at all times.
e) Personal hygiene should be done during walking meditation periods.
f) Bath times should be discussed/compromised among yogis to avoid/reduce waiting. Showers should not be taken during night rest (9:30PM-5:00AM)
g) Toilets should be kept clean and sinks to be wiped off dry after each use.
h) Beverage cups should be covered, named, and disposed of by the end of a day. The beverage table should be cleaned at the end of each day.
6) Noble Silence:
a) All yogis have to observe the "noble silence" — that is, silence of body, speech and mind, and only when necessary. Yogis could contact the BR for any inquiries, and/or to discuss with the Master.
b) Noise is also a subject of Vipassana. As the level of noise tolerance of each yogi is different, try not to "make noise".
c) Yogis should enter the meditation hall (and close the door) quietly. Be aware of each movement to minimize the impact to others.
d) If someone by your side snores or breaths loudly, give them a slight tap.
e) Yogis must not chant audibly during sitting time.
f) Yogis should preserve noble silence during and after meals.
g) Long conversation will be warned by the BR for the benefits to the practice of the individual as well as the entire group.
h) During walking meditation hours, a bell will ring 3 times. The process repeats every 15 minutes. While the bells are being played, all activities should be stopped; individual’s mind and body should be observed simultaneously for 10-15 seconds.
i) All the electronic gadgets, especially phones, must be in silence mode (beeping watches/clocks; cell phones on airplane mode, mute and no vibration).
j) Yogis should be at the meditation hall a couple minutes before the sitting hour starts.
k) Yogis should follow the daily schedule: should not do the walking during sitting time. If walking is needed, please do so in a different room.
l) Yogis should try to look down while meditating (walk or sit).
m) Greeting is also not necessary.
7) Kitchen/Food Service (FS):
a) Our FS will need help and cooperation from servers in the kitchen. In order to prepare/provide meals efficiently and in a timely manner, FS needs your ideas, your help and your acceptance of the FS’ decision.
b) Yogis should not arbitrarily work in the kitchen. Yogis should use meditation time appropriately and productively.
c) FS should not ask meditators directly for help. All arrangements should go through BR.
d) Food servers should work in noble silence. However when a communication is needed, please be mindful with a minimally adequate volume.
8) Dhamma Interview: (refer to instructions on Dhamma interview)
a) Yogis must follow the Dhamma interview protocol.
b) Dhamma interviews and discussions should be performed in a designated room.
c) Interview time is limited up to 15 minutes each.
d) Interview time should be a priority for registered yogis.
e) Visitors can request, through MA exclusively, to visit the Master in his open time.
f) Yogis and visitors should not absolutely advance to the Master’s room without MA’s consultation.
9) Evening Dhamma Talk:
a) Yogis should suggest the content of daily Dhamma talk. All suggestions will be reviewed and submitted to the Master by the MA.
b) Yogis and all participants have to ensure the Master has enough time for the Dhamma talk’s preparation.
c) There is a one-hour Dhamma lecture in the main hall every night.
d) The Master might conduct a Q&A and/or an open Dhamma discussion/interview, upon request, after the main nightly lecture.
e) BR will monitor and remind the Master and yogis the time as well.
The provisions mentioned above, not deemed to restrict the freedom of each individual’s meditation method, but to provide a clear distinction between the dos and don'ts during meditation retreat, are attempts to improve efficiency and help experiencing the usefulness of the practice, not only for the benefit of each individual but for the whole group also. These provisions must be agreed, supported, and complied comprehensively by all participants during the meditation retreat.
Suffering is inevitable, especially when interacting in a community. Please take this as an opportunity to observe your mind and body to explore and improve individual’s Insight wisdom.
MAY ALL BEINGS BE HAPPY AND PEACEFUL.