The primary goal of VI is to offer opportunities for the practice and study of Vipassana(Insight) meditation in the Illawarra and Sydney areas. To facilitate this goal various classes and retreats have been designed to support people in this undertaking. Programmes below give details of what is offered.
For those new to meditation our introductory class is the ideal way to learn how to meditate and also learn a little about the theory behind meditation. People who have attended previous classes are more than welcome to drop in to any or all of these sessions to sit and refresh their practice.
SAMPLE OF 4 WEEK INTRODUCTORY CLASS:
The aim of this course is for its participants to learn Vipassana (insight) meditation techniques that develop the mind as well as gaining some understanding of basic theoretical principles that support the meditation practice. Meditation can help us to develop the ability to identify the negative tendencies and misconceptions of the mind, such as greed and anger. Meditation can also enhance concentration and attention skills and reduce mental agitation leading to a quietening of the mind. Long term benefits of meditation include early identification of negative patterns of mind and increased ability to access and utilise meditation skills and apply them to any aspect of daily life. Greater awareness and balance of mind supports the emergence of positive states of the mind, such as wisdom, loving kindness and compassion. The participants will acquire the skill and confidence to practise meditation in daily life. Each week will discuss topics such as the difference between concentration and mindfulness meditation, why we are motivated to practise meditation and how to practise successfully.
What is Vipassana (Insight) meditation and how is it practised? In this session, the meaning of Vipassana meditation will be explained and beginning instruction including skilful attitude towards practice will be given. Also the difference, similarities and purpose of concentration and mindfulness meditation will be discussed and practiced
How to practice successfully.
As practice unfolds certain obstacles may appear to the meditator. In week five skilful ways of overcoming obstacles to practise will be discussed. The cycle of conditioning will also be explained to clarify how we get caught in the cycle and how we can get out of it.
Why should we bother?
The Buddha pointed out the Four Noble Truths as the facts of life. In week three the first three of these Truths will be discussed so we can have an appreciation of why we should bother to meditate.
The Path to Happiness – the Noble Eight Fold Path
The Buddha gave a complete guide to happiness: the Eight Fold Path. In this session, the practical aspects of the Eight Fold Path will be discussed and skilful ways of utilising the eight steps will be explained. We will also discuss what to expect in our meditation and learn different techniques to ensure that mindfulness is applied “on the cushion” as well as “off the cushion”.
One of the greatest delights for me in my meditation practice over the years has been to practice as a group of likeminded people. There is such a good energy generated by sharing this experience with others. Community sittings are held monthly and run from 8:30-10:30am. The morning program will consist of sitting and walking periods as well as practice discussion with the teacher.
Day long retreats are held at the beautiful Govinda Valley Retreat Centre, twice a year. These retreats run from 9am til 4pm and consists of periods of sitting and walking meditation as well as interview guidance from the teacher. These retreats are suitable for both beginners and more experienced students. Lunch and afternoon tea are provided.
We also offer occasional residential weekend retreats in the beautiful Southern Highlands. These retreats are suitable for both beginners and more experienced students. They are a time to settle in and experience fully the aims of the practice.
A number of longer retreats are led by Graham and his colleagues in Hawaii and Thailand throughout the year. Please click on the links below for Vipassana Hawaii and Little Bang Meditation Group for information on these retreats.