Tushita Hermitage Ashram
Silent Insight Awareness Meditation (IAM) Retreats
Overall Principles of Conduct
*Maintain at all times a deep feeling of self-responsibility. If people are unsure what self-responsibility is, please feel encouraged to ask.
* Being the Living Environment of Renunciate Teachers, people are asked to maintain an emotional and intellectual feeling respect for all life-forms without distinction or difference.
*It is most fundamental to cease (or at least suspend during your time at the Hermitage), all expectations on others in order to simply observe how much we rely on others for our happiness.
Acceptance of the Teacher and the Technique
During the retreat, participants must declare themselves willing to comply fully with the teacher guidance and instructions; that is, to observe the discipline and to meditate exactly as the teacher asks, without ignoring any part of the instructions, nor adding anything to them. This acceptance should be one of discernment and understanding, not blind submission. Such confidence in the teacher and the technique is essential for success in meditation.
Other Techniques, Rites, and Forms of Worship
During the retreat, all other meditation techniques and healing or spiritual practices should also be suspended. This is not to condemn any other technique or practice, but to give a fair trial to the technique of Insight Awareness Meditation, in its purity.
Paticipants are strongly advised that deliberately mixing other techniques of meditation with Insight Awareness Meditation may impede and even reverse their progress. Despite repeated warnings by the teacher, there have been cases in the past where participants have intentionally mixed this technique with a ritual or another practice, and have done themselves a great disservice. Any doubts or confusion which may arise should always be clarified by meeting with the teacher.
Interviews with the Teacher
The interviews and question times are for clarifying the technique and for questions arising from the evening discourses.
Intention, Readiness and Responsibility for the Retreat
Please come with the intention of fully participating in all aspects of the whole retreat.
If you have been or are currently experiencing difficult psychological disruptions or instability in yourself, it will be unlikely that you will benefit from this kind of retreat. Our capacity as a nonprofessional volunteer organization means we cannot properly care for people with mentally or psychologically difficult backgrounds. Although the Insight Awareness Meditation is beneficial for most people, it is not a substitute for medical or psychiatric treatment and we do not recommend it for people with serious psychiatric disorders.
You will be asked to sign a waiver that you are undertaking this retreat on the basis of being responsible for yourself and will not hold the teacher or Tushita Hermitage Ashram liable for any accident, damage, loss, or injury, physical, mental or emotional, which may occur while attending the retreat, or as the result of later practice.
Retreats are run solely on a donation/koha basis. You are invited to offer a donation according to your means and the value of the retreat to you. This generosity – spirit of giving – allows for the continuing provision of these retreats for others.
The teacher and service teams volunteer their time and energy and do not receive payment.
We ask that you offer the donation in cash at the end of the retreat.
Paticipants are kindly requested to make do with the simple vegetarian meals provided. The retreat service team endeavours to prepare a wholesome, balanced menu suitable for meditation, without subscribing to any particular food philosophy. If any participants have been prescribed a special diet because of ill-health, please inform us at the time of your booking. Fasting is not permitted.
Although physical exercises are compatible with insight Awareness Meditation they should be suspended during the retreat because proper facilities are not available on site. Jogging is also not permitted. Participants may exercise during walking meditation time on the Hermitage grounds.
Religious Objects, Rosaries, Crystals, Talismans, etc.
No such items should be brought to the course. If brought inadvertently, they must be deposited with the service team for the duration of the course.
Intoxicants and Drugs
No drugs, alcohol, or other intoxicants should be brought to the Hermitage; this also applies to tranquilizers, sleeping pills, and all other sedatives. Those taking medicines or drugs on a doctor’s prescription should notify the teacher.
For the health and comfort of all participants, smoking(including vaping), chewing tobacco, and taking snuff are not permitted at the course.
Dress should be simple, modest, and comfortable. An attitude of modesty prevails at all times.
Laundry and Bathing
Particpants should bring sufficient clothing. Small items can be hand-washed. Bathing and laundry may be done only in the break periods and not during Formal meditation hours.
Participants must remain within the course boundaries throughout the course. They may leave only with the specific consent of the teacher. No outside communication is allowed before the course is completely over. This includes letters, phone calls and visitors. Cell phones, pagers, and other electronic devices must be deposited with the service team until the course ends. In case of an emergency, a friend or relative may contact the management.
Music, Reading and Writing
The playing of musical instruments, radios, etc., is not permitted. Journal Writing is permitted only to document the feelings that may come up. The restriction on reading and writing is to emphasize the strictly practical nature of this meditation.