Vipassana was introduced to Colorado in 1982 by the students of S.N Goenka.Â The first course was held at a retreat center in Cedaredge, Colorado. The Cedaredge courses continued every summer for many years. At present, courses are conducted at a retreat center in Elbert, Colorado, about 90 minutes south-east of Denver.
From the time of the initial course up until now, the development of the practice of Vipassana has grown greatly in the Rocky Mountain area and continues to do so. Current efforts are ongoing in the search for a property in order to establish a permanent meditation center for the region.
Vipassana meditation is a technique to see things as they are, without any judgment. Vipassana was taught in India more than 2500 years ago.
An intensive ten day residential course is to be undertaken by new students for learning the technique. Instructions are provided by S.N Goenka via Audio-Visual tapes. Assistant Teachers are also present to provide guidance and answer the questions.
It is recommended to apply 1 – 2 months in advance due to huge waiting list. For registering check the course schedule for knowing the available dates and register for the courseÂ either online, by fax, or by mail. To request an application packet by mail, pleaseÂ contactÂ http://www.dhamma.org/en-US/schedules/noncenter/rockies.us.
Each student who attends a Vipassana course is given this gift by a previous student. There is no charge for either the teaching, or for room and board. All Vipassana courses worldwide are run on a strictly voluntary donation basis. At the end of your course, if you have benefited from the experience, you are welcome to donate for the coming students, according to your volition and your means.
Course Period, Accommodation, Food and Class Strength
The ten-day course is the minimum as it provides an essential introduction and foundation to the technique. To develop in the practice is a lifetime job. Experience over generations has shown that if Vipassana is taught in periods of less than ten days, the student does not get a sufficient experiential grasp of the technique.
Most Courses have 50 – 70 participants
As the courses runs on the rented sites at present, most rooms are of dormitory style with shared bathrooms and basic amenities. Women and Men are housed separately.
The menu is a tasty and nutritious vegetarian menu. Special diets due to medical conditions and serious allergies can be accommodated with advance notice. Please discuss any dietary issues with the Registrar during the registration process.
Confirmation for Enrolled Students
Due to limited accommodation and long waiting lists, students are requested to seek confirmation of registration 3-4 weeks before the course begins. Also, if the student is unable to attend the course, then he or she is requested to inform the registrar as soon as possible in order to provide chance to another person in the waiting list.
Arrival and Departure for Enrolled Students
All students are asked to arrive between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. on the day the course begins. After registration is completed, a light meal and orientation will precede the start of the course. The course will end at approximately 7:30 a.m. on the last day, day 11 of the course.
IMPORTANT: All new students, as well as old (returning) students, are required to remain until the very end of the course. When silence ends on the 10th day (metta day) the course is still in progress, and all students are required to remain until the next morning.
Items to be carried by Students
Personal food, cell phones, pagers, laptop computers, palm pilots, music, reading materials, journals to write in, or art supplies are not allowed.
- Warm blankets or sleeping bag
- Pillow (not the same as your meditation cushion)
- A pillow case
- 2 sheets (one bottom sheet to keep mattress clean)
- Even if you are using a sleeping bag, please bring a sheet to keep the mattress clean.
Please bring your own meditation cushions, as cushions at the course sites are limited. You will be very happy that you brought some! Meditation floor mats will be supplied for each student, but you will certainly want additional cushions.
Students will also want to bring a shawl or blanket to use in the meditation hall (most students like a light shawl even if the weather is warm) that is separate from their sleeping blankets.
Please bring enough warm and comfortable clothing for the entire duration of your stay. Most people find that loose clothing is more comfortable for meditation. For laundry there are no washing machines, only limited hand washing facilities and clothes lines for drying. All students should observe the rules for modest dress as outlined in the Code of Discipline. Shorts, tank tops, transparent, tight or revealing clothing, etc. are not permitted. Tights or leggings should be worn only under a knee length top or skirt/dress.
For those unfamiliar with Rocky Mountain weather, it is usually unpredictable, quickly changeable, and sometimes extreme. Therefore, please bring clothing for both warm and cool, as well as rainy conditions, regardless of the time of year or weather reports. As the saying goes, “if you don’t like the weather just wait an hour!”
- Warm hat
- Warm socks
- Comfortable walking shoes, with good traction for uneven walking trails
- House slippers and/or quiet slip-on shoes are useful inside
For the comfort of the other students, please do not bring any perfumes or scented creams, powders, shaving lotions, etc. Some students are very sensitive to smells during a course and this can become a source of irritation.
- Toothbrush and Toothpaste
- Bath soap
- Unscented deodorant
- Shower sandals (flip-flops)
- Shaving supplies
- Feminine hygiene supplies
There are only limited hand washing facilities for doing laundry, and only clotheslines for drying. Please bring enough clothes for the entire course, and/or laundry detergent for hand washing your clothes.
- Unscented mosquito repellent
- Small travel alarm clock
- Laundry soap
- Sunglasses, sunblock lotion and sun hat
- Nalgene type water bottle with your name on it
For Directions to the Centre visitÂ http://www.rockies.us.dhamma.org/courseDirections.shtml
For Ride Sharing visitÂ http://rides.server.dhamma.org/rockies.us