Students undertaking a meditation course should come prepared to abide by the course guidelines. One should come with the understanding and intention to enter a retreat and remain at the Centre for the duration of the retreat.
The training, if followed diligently, will result in a calmer mind through the gradual eradication of impurities and, ultimately, in the realisation of the 'Nibbanic Peace within'.
It is essential to start with a stable and sound base of conduct. For the duration of the training, each student is asked to observe the following five precepts:
1. To refrain from killing
2. To refrain from stealing
3. To refrain from sexual misconduct (here total celibacy)
4. To refrain from lying
5. To refrain from the use of intoxicants and drugs
In order to experience the benefits of the technique, Students are expected to follow the instructions given by the Teacher. During the period of training students will have to give up their previous practices and all spiritual activities. Students should not wear or bring with them spiritual objects or reading material of any kind.
Throughout the course, the emphasis is on investigating the truth for oneself by practising the technique. Observance of noble silence throughout the training period will be very beneficial and conducive to a better appreciation of the teaching. This means that the students should not talk amongst themselves, but they may of course speak to the Teacher and staff at any time.
There are daily interviews with the Teacher where each student is given personal guidance. Students should give a true and accurate account of their experience.
How much does it cost?
There has never been any charge for the Buddha's Teachings. However, there is a suggested donation of £250 for a ten-day course, which is put towards the cost of food and accommodation.
What about food and accomodation?
Wholesome and tasty vegetarian food is provided and those who follow a diet for medical reasons will be accomodated as far as possible. The accomodation is mostly shared. If you have any special needs, please let us know.
How can I be sure I am capable of doing the meditation?
For a person who is genuinely interested, meditation (including Noble Silence) is not difficult. If one follows the instructions diligently, one can be sure of tangible results. The day's schedule is neither too severe nor too relaxed but follows the Middle Path. Sayagyi U Ba Khin taught his students to work with "zestful ease".
Do I have to be a Buddhist?
No, you only need an open mind and the intention to give the technique a fair trial.
Can I come for a shorter period?
It is possible to come just for the first weekend and practise the first two steps of morality and concentration.