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Information and conditions of participation
for our meditation courses

To ensure that you get the most out of your course participation in our monastery, please read the following information in advance.

What is awareness meditation?

In each of our seminars we practice meditation in presence and pure awareness (in short: awareness meditation). We are completely present in the present moment and aware of what is happening. In this way we strengthen the consciousness that is present in all living beings. By strengthening consciousness we develop the ability to clearly perceive life in the present moment, in our bodies, in our minds and in the environment around us. This leads to the development of joy in living in the present moment, appreciation and gratitude for everything that life gives us and increasing serenity in everyday life. In the course of long-term practice we discover that the nature of our true self is completely free. We experience the natural peace of pure awareness and unconditional loving kindness for all people and all living beings. Ultimately, the realization of our true nature leads to the end of all suffering.

What awareness meditation is NOT:

1. Awareness meditation is not an opportunity to collect esoteric or supernatural experiences,

...but it is the development of pure awareness that helps us to recognize the very concrete reality in the present moment.

2. Awareness meditation is not a means of curing physical or mental illnesses

... and it is not an escape from the difficulties of life,

…but it helps us to overcome suffering when facing unpleasant experiences.

For whom awareness meditation is suitable:

Awareness meditation is generally suitable for people of all ages, all faiths and all social and cultural backgrounds. However, special caution is required for people with serious mental illnesses or other mental disabilities (see note below). No previous knowledge or experience is required to take part in our courses.

Important note for people suffering from severe mental illness:

Awareness meditation is an effective method to overcome the sufferings in life and find inner peace and calm. Through the practice of meditation we can increase our self-confidence, learn relaxation techniques and develop the ability to deal calmly with life's challenges. However, awareness meditation is not a cure for mental illness and cannot replace professional medical therapies. In order to practice awareness meditation effectively and safely, a certain level of psychological stability is required. If you have any doubts about whether participation is suitable for you, please contact us in advance for advice and support.

 

While attending our meditation courses at the monastery, you must continue to take any medication prescribed by your doctor. This is crucial to ensure your psychological stability and health. Do not stop taking medication on your own. We recommend that you speak to your doctor about attending the meditation courses.

Behaving in the monastery

All people who participate in our meditation courses commit to following the following five basic rules during their stay in the monastery:

 

1. Protect life - do not kill living beings

2. Protect other people's property and practice generosity - don't steal

3. Respect the celibacy of people living in the community - refrain from sexual action

4. Speak only the truth - don't lie.

5. Mindful consumption – Eat vegetarian, do not drink alcohol and do not consume drugs or other mind-altering substances. Exceptions to this rule are medications prescribed by a doctor. These must continue to be taken. In this case, please inform the course leader before registering.

 

In addition, the following rules of conduct must be followed:

Luggage and valuables

The monastery and the Dharma-Lichtung e.V. association accept no liability for lost luggage. We recommend that participants bring as few valuables as possible and carry them with them at all times.

Leaving the monastery during your stay

If you would like to leave the monastery grounds during the seminar, please inform the course leader in advance.

Clothing

Clothing should always cover the upper body and knees.

Noble silence

Please observe the silence times at night (from 9 p.m. until after breakfast the next morning), during meals and during the midday rest period.

Meditation hall

You are not allowed to enter the meditation hall wearing shoes. Please remain quiet and switch off your mobile phones and other electronic devices. When sitting, your feet must not point towards the Buddha. Do not turn your back to the Buddha. Only monks and nuns are allowed to enter the altar stage. Only monks and nuns are allowed to use the bells and drums during the designated times (meditation, chanting and ceremonies).

Working meditation

Participation in the working meditation is mandatory. Participants are responsible for keeping their bedrooms tidy and clean.

Daily schedule

All participants participate in all activities of the community throughout the day. In case you cannot participate for medical or other reasons, please inform the course leader before the activity begins.

 

Exemple daily schedule:

05:30 Wake up

06:00 Sitting meditation, Chanting

07:30 Breakfast

08:30 Working meditation

10:00 Dharma talk

11:00 Cooking

12:00 Lunch

14:00 Deep relaxation

15:00 Walking meditation

16:00 Dharma sharing

18:00 Dinner

19:30 Sitting meditation, Chanting

21:00 Noble silence

 

The daily schedule may vary according to the seminar.

Course financing - Dhana

The Dharma (the teachings of the Buddha) is not for sale. Therefore, all events at our monastery are on a donation basis (Dhana). The meditation courses can take place thanks to donations from participants in past courses. We are given the opportunity to participate in a course thanks to other people's generosity who have already practiced meditation in the monastery. In the desire to make future seminars in the monastery become possible, course participants can make a donation at their own discretion and according to their means.

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