Arrival and Departure time

Arrival time: Please arrive between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. on the day the course begins.

This allows time for you to check in, fill in the information form for the conducting teacher, get your accommodation, unpack and begin the course without rushing. Late arrivals make it difficult both for the students and for the staff. If you have an emergency and are unable to arrive at the requested time, please notify us as soon as possible.

To ensure you are rested before the course starts, students arriving from a long trip are requested to plan enough time to recover from jet lag before coming to the Centre.

A light meal will be served at 6:00 p.m. followed by a pre-course orientation. Afterwards, participants will receive the first meditation instructions.

Departure time: You are expected to stay until the course is completed at approximately 6:30 a.m. on the last day of the course (Day 11). Please make your travel arrangements before the course starts, or after 6:30 a.m. on the day the course is over.

At the end of the course, there will be a clean-up period to get the centre ready for the next course. We are letting you know right away, as some students have said that they would like to be notified in advance so that they can plan their return accordingly.

Health and Emergency Contact

VALID HEALTH INFO:Your application for the meditation course has been accepted based on the information you gave on your course application form. This information must still be valid when you arrive at the Centre. If there is any significant change in your physical or mental health, or your medications, please notify us immediately, because we may not have the time or the resources to reassess your application when you arrive at the Centre.

If you are currently taking medication, please remember to bring enough for the entire course. If you have a medical condition, we ask that you bring your health insurance card and any relevant documents, lists of medications, etc. so that they can be easily accessed in case of emergency.

Even if you have no health problems and are not taking medication, it would be wise to bring your health insurance card, since a sudden illness or an accident can happen to anybody.

If you live outside the province of Québec, before coming to the Centre you should find out what healthcare treatment is covered by your insurance.

ARRIVING HEALTHY: For the health and safety of all the students, it is important that you are in good health when you arrive at the center. If you are sick, or should become ill as the course date approaches, we ask that you reschedule for a future date. Anyone who arrives sick will not be accepted.

BECOMING SICK DURING THE COURSE: We regret that we do not have the facilities or resources to take care of those who fall ill during the course. If necessary, a sick person will be asked to leave the course as soon as possible.

EMERGENCY CONTACT: On all courses students are asked to provide emergency contact information when they arrive at the course site. If you fall ill and are unable to independently return home you should expect to contact the emergency contact person you provided and should so advise them of this possibility prior to the course.

During the course, in an emergency, your family or friends may phone the course organizers at 819-423-1414.

FOR YOUR INFORMATION: Volunteers serving at the centre are not health professionals; they call Info-Santé if they have any questions and dial 911 in case of emergency. The nearest hospitals are located in Gatineau-East (Buckingham, QC) and in Hawkesbury (ON) appx 40 minutes away. 

Notice to participants with family or friends on the course

When spouses/partners, family members or friends come to courses at the same time, we sometimes find that difficulties arise. We well understand the natural inclination to want to communicate with those we are close to; nevertheless, we wish to emphasize the importance of the guidelines stated in the Introduction to the Technique and Code of Discipline booklet.

*There should be no physical contact whatsoever between students while at the centre.

*Silence between participants must be respected during the first full 9 days of the course. Students may not communicate with each other by speech, gestures, written notes, eye contact, etc. Any communication or contact with a fellow student will be a disruption to you and others.

Please understand that these guidelines are implemented in all Vipassana Centres. They were specifically designed so that you and everyone else attending the meditation course can obtain maximum benefit from this meditation practice. It is important to make a firm determination to follow them.

If you feel that this will be difficult, and it will be a distraction to have those you are close to on the same course, perhaps it would be better to apply for separate courses.

Accommodations

PLEASE NOTE: You will possibly be accommodated in a shared room.

Meals

Students may not bring food to the Centre and will have no access to the kitchen. Meals are prepared by volunteers and are served buffet-style in the dining rooms. Since it is not possible to comply with special requests or to take into account the food preferences of every student, students are asked to kindly accept the simple vegetarian food served. Fasting is not permitted. If you must follow a special diet, prescribed for medical reasons, or if you have allergies or food intolerances, you must state this when registering (in the Comments section at the bottom of the application form), so that organizers have enough time to study your application and see whether they can accommodate it. If information of this kind is provided too late, or only when you arrive at the Centre, we may not have the time or the resources to consider it and assess your participation in the course.

Smokers

Smokers are reminded that smoking is not permitted at the Centre, and if the student arrives with cigarettes, they must be deposited with the management.  In addition, since most accommodation is shared, and since all students meditate side by side in the meditation hall, it is requested of smokers to make an effort before arrival to eliminate cigarette odours from their personal belongings. All items being brought to the Centre (clothing, shawls, blankets etc.) should have been washed, or at least aerated, before arrival. 

What to bring

PLEASE BRING THE FOLLOWING:

BEDDING: pillowcase, sheets, and warm blankets.

Even if using a sleeping bag, please bring a pillowcase and a sheet to cover the mattress and pillow covers.

FOR MEDITATION:

  • one or more cushions to sit on (please do not use the sleeping pillows provided by the centre as meditation cushions);
  • a shawl or light blanket, because you cannot bring your sleeping blanket into the meditation hall.

CLOTHING AND FOOTWEAR:

  • enough comfortable, non-binding, noiseless clothing for the duration of your stay (washer and dryer are not available to do your laundry and manual-laundry conditions are not ideal);

    All students must comply with the Centre's dressing code as outlined in the Code of  Discipline booklet: tight, transparent, revealing or otherwise striking clothing such as shorts, short skirts, tights and leggings, and sleeveless or skimpy tops should not be worn.
  • warm clothes;
  • rubber sandals for shower and bathroom;
  • one pair of quiet indoor footwear;
  • rubber boots and an umbrella may prove useful.

FOR COURSES IN WINTER:

  • Indoor wear: Bring warm clothing for walking around in this vast centre. Students will walk from one section to another through hallways and stairwells that are not as well heated as the bedrooms and meditation halls.
  • Outdoor wear: Bring very warm outdoor wear and footwear with good traction or crampons. This is especially important for male students since they have to go outside to reach the meditation hall. (In winter, women meditate in a hall which is in the same building as their residence.)

TOILET ARTICLES:

  • towel;
  • bath soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, unscented deodorant, shaving and sanitary supplies, facial tissues, etc.

Please do not bring any perfumed products.

OTHER ARTICLES:

  • bottle for water;
  • flashlight and extra batteries;
  • small battery operated alarm clock (you may not use your cell phone or palm pilots as an alarm clock);
  • laundry soap;
  • in summer, unscented mosquito repellent.

PLEASE DO NOT BRING THE FOLLOWING ITEMS :

Personal food, cell phones, personal digital devices, laptop computers, jewellery or other  unnecessary valuables, intoxicants, non-prescription drugs, tobacco, musical instruments,  cameras, radios, incense, crystals, writing materials, books and other reading materials,  religious objects such as amulets, rosaries, blessing cords, pictures, etc.

If you arrive at the center with any of these items you will be asked to surrender them for the duration of the course.

WE PROVIDE:

• MEDITATION CUSHION: a large base cushion for every student. A limited supply of smaller sitting cushions (flat and puffed cushion.)

• BEDDING: a sleeping pillow for each bed. A limited supply of extra blankets.