Friday, April 26, 2019

10 things You Must Pack For Vipassana Meditation: A Checklist!

I prefer travelling light – give me a small cloth bag and I’ll happily set all my stuff in... my stuff, which is already very basic to start with.

So when it came to packing things for the 10 day course in Vipassana, matters were no different. All I had with me was a small bag with only the basic required necessities inside - most of which came mentioned in their confirmatory email.

By the time the course ended and now when I write this article, I realized, the basic necessities is all that one would really need, ever, especially in a course like Vipassana. Our wants and wishes and desires, if any, don’t merit a space here.

Even if you’re used to travelling luxuriously, it’s best not to indulge in them for these 10 days.

After all, Vipassana is something that is meant to take us away from the wants of this materialistic world and put us in touch of that basic core that resides within.

Here’s a list of the things I had in my bag when I stepped out of my house towards the Gorai Pagoda, Vipassana center and as far as I know, this checklist is all you’d need to have you covered for

''What to Bring for your stay at Vipassana'':

What to pack for Vipassana: The only checklist you'll ever need!


1. ALARM CLOCK:

No forgetting this little piece of technology, alarm clock. It’s really a life saver because you won’t be having your mobile phones along with you, remember!?

Particularly because you've to get up as early as 4 in the morning everyday and after quick nap times during the day.

So when you are packing your bag, let the alarm clock be the first thing that goes into your bag. 

Though there’s a gong that is rung at the stroke of 4 in the morning everyday and the sevaks-sevikas ring a bell right outside your door in a bid to wake you up from your beauty sleep but still if one is not used to getting up that early in the morning by themselves, the alarm clock is a real friend in need.

2. PHOTO IDENTITY DOCUMENT AND A PRINT OUT OF THE CONFIRMATION FORM:

Carry a photo identity document like Pan card, Passport, Adhar card, etc.and latest passport size photo at the time of registration. Also pack in the print out copy of the confirmation form so that you don’t need to fill it again on arrival at the center.

Foreigners need to bring their passport, Visa documents and 2 passport size photographs.

3. SCARF /SHAWL:

The meditation room has a pretty good A.C. and if you are not a cold weather person, like me, having a scarf and a shawl handy helps to keep you warm and comfortable.

In any case, do carry a scarf to wrap yourself in.

I carried my scarf to the meditation room at all the times. Snuggling myself in it, helped me focus better on the meditation.

A coverlet / shawl comes in quite handy too. On the 4th and 5th day, I developed a sore throat and a mild temperature due to which I experienced discomfort owing to the chill of the AC in the meditation hall. Since I didn’t have a shawl with me, I took the coverlet provided in my accommodation room into the meditation hall and laid it around my body for the much needed warmth.

4. WATER BOTTLE / THERMOS:

You’ll need a water bottle to fill up during the break hours and carry you through the day and night. Hot water is available only during the meal times in the dining hall, so a thermos comes in handy in case you need to stack some hot water with you.

5. BODY CARE AND TOILETRIES:

Soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, face wash, shampoo – take them all along with you in the required quantities.

But if you do forget, like I did, you need not worry at all. The kind folks at the center are always there to provide you the things you need. You just have to to write it down on a paper (‘write it’ because of the noble silence observed and there is no talking amongst each other) and the things will be delivered to you right at your doorstep!

To all the women out there – carry your sanitary napkins as required. 

6. MEDICINES:

Take along an adequate supply of all medicines you are taking to last you for all the 10 days of the course.

7. MASSAGE TOOLS FOR BODY PAIN:

Your back and various other unknown parts in your body are going to hurt, really bad.

While the center does take full care of your comfort during meditation by providing cushions, pillows, a seating mat, and an added backrest if you may so need, but you can still take some additional massage tools like pain relieving massage balms / sprays along to soothe and relax your tired muscles.

I didn’t have any of these massaging tools with me – could’ve done with an Iodex rub on the back on the second and third day!

8. 4 PAIRS OF COMFORTABLE CLOTHING:

Carry very comfortable, loose clothing like pyjamas, kurtas, salwars and  palazzos… leggings will also do but tight clothing of any kind is still better avoided. At all times, remember the clothing should be modest to keep away from physical distraction between the genders.

9. CURIOSITY TO LEARN:

Not everything you’ll be packing in can be seen with your eyes. In fact, most of the things will be intangible. Like curiosity.

You’ll need a healthy dose of curiosity, playfulness, and open mindedness to take in whatever is being taught at the center.

Let the 10 days happen to you. So that, at the end of the course, you can decide for yourself if this is something that really resonates with you.

10. SINCERITY AND DETERMINATION:

Last but not the least, in the list of intangibles that need to be checked, are sincerity and determination.

Without these two, the ten days will seem like a freaking mountain put in your way; with these two, every mountain will be conquerable!

----------------------------------------------- **** -----------------------------------------------

Additional tips for students who wish to pursue the course:

1. Laundry service: is available at a nominal charge.

2. Medical issues: Applicants with any serious illness and pregnant women with any complications should take their Doctors advice to join the course. 

3. Lock: You can take a lock along but I didn’t use it after the first day since I wasn’t carrying any valuables as it is!

4. In the case, you forget anything: You need not worry! Inform the management at the center in writing and they will have you covered.

5. Things you CANNOT take along with you:

You will need to deposit following items with management during the course which are returned on the tenth day of the course – 

          - Cell phones & other personal electronic devices which will be returned to you on the 10th day of the course, one day before you leave for home.
          - Reading/writing material, musical instruments
          - Personal food items, tobacco in any form, non-prescribed drugs 
          - Scented toiletries or perfumes, religious or spiritual objects 
          - Jewelry or other unnecessary valuables.

----------------------------------------------- **** -----------------------------------------------

Have you attended a course in Vipassana meditation?
Is there anything you carried along with you besides the ones already mentioned above?
Write them down in the comments section!

Would you like to share this article with your friends?



11 comments:

  1. Yes! Finally someone writes about Top SHelf Bread.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great experience, Thanks for sharing about Vipassana meditation.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Informative post.
    Even I want to do Vipassana. Where did you go for this course. Can you share details or website?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Kislaya,

    I did an introductory 10 day meditation course at Gorai Pagoda, Borvili in Mumbai. Here's their website: http://www.pattana.dhamma.org/

    Details of my experience with this course to follow in this series of posts.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Loving your packing curiosity to learn along with sincerity and determination.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I want to Vipassana course. I have been to Golden Pagoda, Gorai.

    ReplyDelete
  7. vipasana is not easy, did you experience special moment after day 3rd? :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. @Mareta A few drops, here and there dear but not consistently, need to take the practice further.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Nice post, will love to go through your experience there.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Interesting read 👍 Arti. Thanks for sharing the checklist.

    ReplyDelete

Delighted you stopped by... Your suggestions, feedback are really appreciated. Thanks a lot :) Hope you visit again!

If you have asked a question, please give me at least 2 days to reply back. Thank you :)