The daily routine consists primarily of periods of alternating sitting meditation and formal walking meditation of one hour each for ten to twelve hours a day.
Meditators report almost daily their meditation experiences to the teachers in a structured way.
Dhamma talks are given almost every day. Meditators observe Noble Silence and the Eight Precepts. This includes no solid food after noon. Meditators are expected not to leave the compound of the meditation center, to keep communications with the outside world to a minimum, and not to read in order to fully focus their attention on the meditation process. This includes mindfulness in all daily activities.
Clothes should be comfortable and modest, i.e. not revealing or enticing. Please avoid bare shoulders, and short trousers and skirts.
It is expected that the meditators follow exactly the instructions of the meditation teacher and not to not practise other medition methods.
Specific to the medition method of the late Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw is the observation of the rising and falling movement of the abdomen as the primary object during sitting meditation. All bodily and mental occurrences should be observed and labelled. Labelling means making a mental note of the occurrence observed. For example: if thoughts occur, become aware of them and label them as "thinking, thinking". Labelling helps the meditator to stay in the present and increases the precision of the observation.
The principle of labelling also applies to the walking medition and all daily activities.
A typical day during a retreat begins at 4 a.m. and ends at 10 p.m. During this time one-hour periods of sitting meditation alternate with one-hour periods of walking meditation, only interrupted for breakfast, lunch, and a tea-break in the afternoon. In the evening there is usually a Dhamma talk.
Intensive meditation practise requires mental stability. Meditation practice is no substitute for medical treatment or psychotherapy. In case of special requirements regarding diet or limited mobility please contact the respective center. If you take medication regularily please continue to do so during retreats.
The centers and the teachers decline all liability for any damage occurring to a person or to possessions in connection with the retreat.