Vipassana Meditation Course: Part 3

Day 3: The Schedule

This is the daily schedule for this course:

4:00AM – Wake up

4:30AM to 6:30AM – Meditate individually in room or the meditation hall

6:30AM to 8:00AM – Breakfast

8:00AM to 9:00AM – Group meditation

9:00AM to 11:00AM – Meditate in room or in the meditation hall according to the teacher’s instructions

11:00AM to 12:00PM – Lunch

12:00PM to 1:00PM – Rest and interviews with the teacher

1:00PM to 2:30PM – Meditate individually in room or the meditation hall

2:30PM to 3:30PM – Group meditation

3:30PM to 5:00PM – Meditate in room or in the meditation hall according to the teacher’s instructions

5:00PM to 6:00PM – Tea time

6:00PM to 7:00PM – Group meditation

7:00PM to 8:30PM – Evening discourse

8:30PM to 9:00PM – Group meditation

9:00PM to 9:30PM – Question and answer session

10:00PM – Lights out

 

This is my daily schedule for this course:

4:00AM – Remain sleeping

4:30AM to 6:30AM – On day three one of the teacher’s assistants comes into my room to make sure I am awake. For the rest of the course I make an attempt. Some days I manage to meditate for an hour. Other days I meditate for a few minutes before giving up and going back to bed. My roommate follows the same pattern.

6:30AM to 8:00AM – Breakfast. My favorite part of the day.

8:00AM to 9:00AM – Group meditation is mandatory. No way around it.

9:00AM to 11:00AM – I do manage to meditate during this time. It is what I’m here for after all.

11:00AM to 12:00PM – Lunch. My second favorite part of the day.

12:00PM to 1:00PM – During this time I usually make a few laps around the parking lot/meadow before heading to my room to stretch. It turns out that sitting perfectly still for hours at a time will do a number on your legs. I am determined to prevent any injuries. I would really hate to have to bow out of some future activity because the ol’ meditation injury is flarin’ up.

1:00PM to 2:30PM – My roommate has claimed this as her nap time. It usually turns into my sit-quietly-and-drink-tea time. I can only meditate for so many hours per day.

2:30PM to 3:30PM – Group meditation

3:30PM to 5:00PM – My meditation mojo is strong during this time.

5:00PM to 6:00PM – We are only served two meals per day at this course. During this time we are allowed two pieces of fruit and as much tea as we can drink. Returning students, those who have previously completed a 10 day course, are not allowed any fruit. They can only drink ginger tea or lemon water. I make a mental note to never register for another course.

6:00PM to 7:00PM – Group meditation

7:00PM to 8:30PM – The evening discourse is a video lecture from S.N. Goenka, the man who founded these courses. It is during this time that we receive instructions and explanations about the particular technique of meditation taught at the course. It’s nice to get more clarification, but the videos are so long. Mr. Goenka has a tendency to tell a lot of stories.

“There is a story in my country,” he begins.

‘Please,’ I silently beg, ‘no more stories from your country.’

8:30PM to 9:00PM – This group meditation flies by. Only thirty minutes?!? Easy peasy.

9:00PM to 9:30PM – At first I thought I would stay for the question and answer session, but on the first night I notice that people are approaching the teachers to ask their questions individually. I thought it would be more of a raised hands type situation. So I bolt. Every night I am in bed by 9:05PM. Every single night.

10:00PM – Lights out

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