Conduct at Tushita Hermitage Ashram
for 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 are asked to be willing to follow the teacher’s guidance and instructions; that is, to observe the disciplines and practices as the teacher asks, without ignoring any part of the instructions, nor adding anything to them. This acceptance is from your discernment and understanding, not blind submission. Such confidence in the teacher and the technique is most helpful for practices in meditation and breathing.
Other Techniques, Rites, and Forms of Worship
During the retreat, please suspend all other meditation or breathing techniques and healing or spiritual practices. This is not to condemn any other technique or practice, but to give yourself a fair chance with the IAM Meditation and IAM Breathing practices in their essence.
One-to-one sessions with the teacher (optional)
The one-to-one sessions and group talking times are for clarifying the different practices and for questions arising from your experience of them.
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.
Donation/Koha (IAM Meditation residential retreats only)
Apart from the registration/administrative cost, the 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.
During the IAM retreats light stretching, light yoga exercise and walking meditation will be done as part of the retreat programme. Please set aside other exercise routines during retreat time.
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, and comfortable.
Laundry and Bathing
Please bring sufficient clothing for the whole retreat. 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 left with the service team until the course ends. In case of an emergency, a friend or relative may contact the service team.
Music, Reading and Writing
The playing of musical instruments, radios, etc., is not permitted. Journal Writing is permitted only to document the feelings and questions that may come up. This is done for the purpose of helping to discourage distractions, and staying focussed on the retreat itself.