(Continuation of a series of blogs describing Vipassana Meditation and the retreat program. Unless otherwise noted, all information is taken directly from the Dhamma.org website.)
Complete separation of men and women is to be maintained. Couples, married or otherwise, should not contact each other in any way during the course. The same applies to friends, members of the same family, etc.
It is important that throughout the course students avoid any physical contact whatsoever with others of the same or opposite sex.
Yoga and Physical Exercise
Although physical yoga and other exercises are compatible with Vipassana, they should be suspended during the course because proper secluded facilities are not available at the course site. Jogging is also not permitted. Students may exercise during rest periods by walking in the areas designated for men or for women.
Religious Objects, Rosaries, Crystals, Talismans, etc.
No such items should be brought to the course. If brought inadvertently, they must be deposited with the management for the duration of the course.
Intoxicants and Drugs
No drugs, alcohol, or other intoxicants should be brought to the site; this also applies to tranquilizers, sleeping pills, and all other sedatives. Those taking medicines or drugs on a doctor's prescription should notify the teacher.
For the health and comfort of all students, smoking, chewing tobacco, and taking snuff are not permitted at the course.
It is not possible to satisfy the special food preferences and requirements of individual meditators. Students are therefore kindly requested to make do with the simple vegetarian meals provided. The course management endeavors to prepare a wholesome, balanced menu suitable for meditation, without subscribing to any particular food philosophy. If any students have been prescribed a special diet because of ill-health, they should inform the management at the time of application. Fasting is not permitted.
Dress should be simple, modest, and comfortable. Tight, transparent, revealing, or otherwise striking clothing (such as shorts, short skirts, tights and leggings, sleeveless or skimpy tops) should not be worn. Sunbathing and partial nudity are not permitted. An attitude of modesty prevails at all times. This is important in order to minimize distraction to others.
Laundry and Bathing
No washing machines or dryers are available, so students should bring sufficient clothing. Small items can be hand-washed. Bathing and laundry may be done only in the break periods and not during meditation hours.
Students must remain within the course boundaries throughout the course. They may leave only with the specific consent of the teacher. No outside communication is allowed before the course is completely over. This includes letters, phone calls and visitors. Cell phones, pagers, and other electronic devices must be deposited with the management until the course ends. In case of an emergency, a friend or relative may contact the management.
Music, Reading and Writing
The playing of musical instruments, radios, etc., is not permitted. No reading or writing materials should be brought to the course. Students should not distract themselves by taking notes. The restriction on reading and writing is to emphasize the strictly practical nature of this meditation.
Tape Recorders and Cameras
These may not be used except with the express permission of the teacher