The Training Rules and all the other requests concerning behaviour need to be seen as basic requirements to establish the necessary atmosphere and conditions for spiritual growth.
The tenor of Satipanya takes the Monastic Code (vinaya) as its model.
You will have no difficulty with our way of life so long as you come with the clear intention to study yourself and not to disturb.
The Training Rules:
Basic Moral Code
Not to harm any living beings, but to care for them.
Not to take what is not freely given, but to practise generosity.
Not to indulge in erotic or romantic delight, but to develop goodwill.
Not to use wrong speech, but to speak honestly, kindly and at a suitable time.
Not to take substances that cloud the mind, but to treasure a clear mind and pure heart.
Not to over-eat, but to see food as nourishment for the body.
Not to oversleep, but to give the body and mind necessary rest.
Not to indulge in entertainment, but to devote oneself to the practice.
Not to indulge in self-beautification, but to accept the body as it is.
To cherish the Noble Silence.
Especially for those who may not have been to a meditation centre before—silence is the golden rule—it means to seek solitude together.
To support the practice we ask you not to bring such items as: alcohol, musical instruments, radios, mp3 players, ipods, pets and recreational drugs. (Habitual smokers may smoke off property.)
The training rule not to indulge in self-beautification is an undertaking not to wear jewellery or cosmetics. And to dress modestly: 'Not revealing or emphasising a person’s figure' (OED). In other words not to excite in others erotic of romantic desires which can become a great hindrance to concentration.
Concerning the Spiritual Training Rule: Not to over-eat.
We do not take a meal after lunch in accordance with the customs of the Theravada School of Buddhism. During the Mahasi Course there is only a biscuit offered and during other courses a sandwich of bread and jam. This can be attenuated for those with a medical condition such as diabetes.
For those who have never fasted even for half a day, be assured this will not cause a physical catastrophe. Indeed, such beginners are pleasantly surprised by the benefits of giving the digestive system a rest. We also practise this in empathy with those in the world who at present starving or suffer from undernourishment.
Keeping in touch:
Please inform all necessary persons that you will be 'in silent retreat' and only wish to be disturbed in exceptional circumstances or emergency. Email, telephone and mobile use will only be allowed in such circumstances.
Finally, we understand that newcomers may find this sort of 'regime' difficult and that it may take a little time to adjust.