Buddha image
New Dhamma Hall
Tathagata Meditation Center
Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammasambuddhasa
1215 Lucretia Ave., San Jose, CA 95122, Tel: 408 294-4536

 

RETREAT RULES AND REGULATIONS


In order to make spiritual progress during the retreat, meditators need to have faith and efforts. Faith in the teacher and the method will inspire meditators to practice. The faith, however, is not sufficient. Meditators need effort and perseverance in order to progress along the spiritual path leading to enlightenment and emancipation. Therefore, faith and efforts are indispensable qualities for the practice during the retreat. Vipassana practice is the way of self-reliance according to the Buddha’s teachings.

For the retreat to be smooth and fruitful, TMC asks all meditators to observe all TMC’s rules and regulations, especially those of the retreat. They seems demanding but they are created for the benefits of all meditators who decide to practice wholeheartedly. The goal of the retreat rules is to minimize distractions for all meditators.

Following are the retreat rules:

  1. Registration / Check-in: All participants must submit a signed application and check in with retreat registrar or coordinator at the TMC office upon arrival.

    The check-in helps TMC staff arrange room and board accordingly. If meditators arrive during sitting meditation period or Dhamma talk, just quietly enter the meditation hall and find available seat to sit down and check in later when the office is open.
  2. Practice: Meditators must follow the meditation teacher’s instruction, not their own way of practice. They should practice diligently from 5 AM to 10 PM every day.

    In order to be able to penetrate the reality, meditators need to be quiet, externally and internally. Therefore, they should observe noble silence and be mindful. In addition, they should avoid doing things causing distraction for oneself and others during the retreat as follows:
    1. Refrain from talking and making noise. If need to communicate, please contact retreat coordinator during the office hours.
    2. Avoid greeting each others.
      Avoid working, showering during the sitting meditations and Dhamma talks.
    3. Carry out assigned tasks with mindfulness to keep mind from disturbance.
    4. Avoid physical exercises, yoga or taichi, listening to radio, music, reading books, making telephone calls.
    5. Look down while practicing sitting, walking, standing meditations or doing tasks.
    6. Minimize the use of medicine since during the retreat practice, the mind is extremely sensitive.
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  4. Precepts: Meditators should observe eight precepts. Monk and nun meditators follow their monastic disciplines.
  5. Interview: Adhere to the interview schedule.
  6. Interview is an opportunity for meditators to report experience from the practice to meditation teachers so that they can guide meditators to further progress. Meditators are advised to do the following:
    1. Observe the interview schedule.
    2. Observe the interview time allowed to each meditator.
    3. Just report the experience from the practice, not asking or talking about the Dhamma.
    4. When interview time arrives, just knock on the door and enter to see the meditation teacher. Previous meditator must leave since his or her time is up. Therefore, meditators should use their interview time wisely.
  7. Meal: Meditators refrain from taking food after lunch except for medical reason and only take refreshment when needed. Should meditators need a certain diet, they must bring their own foods.
  8. Health: Meditators must basically possess a good health. Meditaion practice is not suitable for those who are not mentally stable.
  9. Room: Meditators share room at TMC as assigned. Female and male meditators stay in separate quarters. Any change in sleeping location must be consulted in advance with the retreat coordinator.
  10. Task Assignment: To help maintain low cost for retreat, meditators are assigned tasks during the retreat. Please follow and complete assigned tasks so that the retreat could progress smoothly.
  11. Personal Items / Daily Necessities: Meditators bring their own sleeping bags, blankets, clothes, medicine as well as other daily necessities.
  12. Retreat Donation: Meditators are required to contribute $25 a day to cover retreat expenses such as food, traveling expense for meditation teacher and his staff, utilities and toher expenses.
  13. Others: Meditators need to observe also the following rules:
    1. Refrain from seeing meditation teachers besides interview. This is to protect meditation teacher from exhaustion caused by unnecessary visiting which can be postponed until the end of the retreat. In case of urgency needing to see the teacher, please contact his attendant for proper arrangement.
    2. Female meditators leave door open after entering teacher’s room and keep an appropriate distance between meditator and teacher so that they could help to keep the Teacher’s precepts intact.
    3. Show respect to the meditation teachers or monks by waiting for them to exit the meditation hall after each sitting meditation or Dhamma talk before leaving except when they remain for further meditation.
    4. Avoid stretching legs toward the Buddha shrine to show respect to the Buddha statue.
    5. Conserve water.
    6. Park car properly
    7. Observe non-smoking regulation.
  14. Office Hours: Office opens from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM. daily. However, meditators should feel free to contact retreat coordinator in case of urgency. Telephone use is only recommended for emergency.