and (IMHO): support and increase consciousness.
A balanced awareness grounded in the present moment leads to a growing sensitivity and understanding of the nature of life allowing for wisdom and compassion to emerge.
Through metta meditation the qualities of kindness and compassion unfold and an attitude of openness and respect in relationship to ourselves and others develops. We practice moment to moment awareness in sitting and in walking meditation, as well as in all other activities.
The cultivation of an altruistic motivation is an essential aspect of the practice.
During residential retreats the five basic rules of conduct are to be adhered to. They include abstaining from purposely killing or harming any being, from stealing, from any sexual activity, from lying and from taking drugs or alcohol.
Except for instructions, discourses and individual or group interviews with the teachers.
The retreats take place in complete silence.
Important: Silent Meditation retreats may not be suitable for people with a psyciatric clinic history.
The cost of these events is kept reasonably low by the organizers of Vipassana retreats and seminars, so that everyone wishing to participate is able to do so. All courses are non-profit making events. The course fee covers room and board, travel expenses of teachers and staff and of all management and administrational expenditures only. The people who help with organization, management and cooking for retreats often do this on a voluntary, unpaid bases.
Teacher fees: According to this Buddhist tradition the teachings cannot be measured by material values and are therefore given entirely free of cost, the teachers demanding no fee whatsoever. To cover the cost of their livelihood and to ensure the continuation of their teaching activities, the teachers entirely depend on voluntary donations by the course participants at the end of retreats.
Fred von Allmen has been engaged in Buddhist studies and meditation since 1970. He has practiced under teachers of both the Tibetan and the Theravadin tradition in Asia, Europe and the USA and has spent many years in retreat. In addition he has been engaged in the study of Buddhist philosophy and psychology in the Tibetan tradition. Since 1984 he has been teaching meditation retreats and Buddhist workshops worldwide. He is the author of three books in German and a co-founder of the Meditation Center Beatenberg in the Swiss Alps. He is married and lives in Switzerland.
By Fred von Allmen
Free Guided Meditations mp3 for download: (some in German some in English) http://fredvonallmen.ch/de-Audio-Video-Vortraege-Dharma-Vortraege
a very good one in German is: http://fredvonallmen.ch/xs_daten/Vortraege_Fred/Vipassana_Anleitungen/1._Anleitung_Vipassana.mp3