The Northern Insight Meditation Center welcomes all who are
willing to learn the Vipassana-Meditation Practice to develop the mind. May you
be happy, free from suffering, diseases, grief, troubles, difficulties and
danger and be protected from all misfortune.
INSIGHT MEDITATION AND THE TECHNIQUE PRACTICED
Mental Development is a personal experience. It does not matter if you are
Buddhist, Christian, Jewish or Moslem. Nor is it important what nationality or
color you are, as each person in the world is longing for a better life. The
Insight Meditation Technique taught here is the way to prepare a path to a
better life of peace through the right understanding about one self.
MEDITATION is the English word for MENTAL-DEVELOPMENT.
There are two kinds of Meditation
Tranquil - or Samatha Meditation develops concentration (samadhi) on
one object to help calm the mind.
Vipassana - or Insight Meditation develops self understanding through
The Teaching and Practice at Wat Ram Poeng (Tapotaram) is based
on THE FOUR FOUNDATIONS OF MINDFULNESS.
Contemplation of the body
Contemplation of feelings
Contemplation of the mind
Contemplation of mind objects
Wat Ram Poeng offers a 26-day basic course in Vipassana
(Insight) Meditation under the guidance of a Teacher on an on-going basis. For
meditators who have completed the basic-course, a 10-day Insight Meditation
Retreat can be taken which builds on the 26-day basic course.
For those who do not have time to join the full basic course, the Monastery
offers the chance to try out the practice, but for not less than 10 days.
If you wish to join the Insight-Meditation course offered here, please come to
the administration office with your intentions and further arrangements can be
made. Once you have received official permission, please prepare the following
The customary offering for the opening ceremony
eleven white lotus (or other white flowers)
eleven yellow or orange candles
eleven incense sticks
A completed application form
Your valid passport and visa
Two passport photos
Two photocopies each of a valid passport and visa with entry stamp
A working alarm clock or timer. You must be able to set the timer to five
At least two sets of white clothing, which can be purchased from the Temple
For men: Loose, modest, non-transparent white trousers and shirt. White
underwear is a must.
For women: Loose, modest, non-transparent white sarong or trousers, a loose
white shirt with sleeves and a white `sabhai' ( a white scarf, which is worn
over the breast and around the shoulder). White underwear (inc, bra) is a
All personal items, such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, etc. should be
purchased beforehand. However you can buy some essentials at the Temple's
GENERAL RULES FOR MEDITATORS
What does it means to stay in a MONASTERY?
Inside of the Monastery, the 8-EIGHT-PRECEPTS are followed. Please read these in
the "Opening Ceremony" notes. As well, the following points should be noted
You and your clothing must always be clean, proper and
hygienic. You have to wear white clothing by day and night.
Please keep your room clean and tidy.
The Precept: to refrain from killing / destroying living creatures is in
itself an order not to attract insects or animals to stored food. Stored food
leads to killing, which makes the precept of not killing easier to break,
inadvertently or otherwise.
Keep the bathroom and toilet clean in order to prevent fungi
Meditators are not allowed to talk about their personal
meditation practice or experience. Do not discuss or compare your meditation
practice with each other. Your experience is your own and may not be the same
You are not allowed to mix the practice with other techniques.
You are only allowed to smoke cigarettes in your room, but
sure it's better to avoid that burdensome habit.
No kissing, hugging, holding hands, massaging or any other
physical contact is allowed. No sun-bathing.
While taking a bath or sleeping, make sure that the door, and
window/curtains are closed and locked.
The Meditators rooms are for their privacy. Visitors are not
allowed to enter the Meditators' rooms.
Meditators should not visit others in their rooms. Men are not
allowed to enter women's rooms. Women are not allowed to enter men's rooms.
No socializing, gossiping etc.
No reading; this includes BUDDHIST BOOKS. No writing (letters,
dairies etc.). No listening to radios - tapes - CD's etc. No telephone-calls
during your practice. Please leave mobile phone at the front office.
Meditators are not allowed to leave the Monastery area without
the permission of the Teacher.
If you are tired during day-time, you may lay down and rest in
your own room, but meditators are not allowed to sleep during day-time.
Please unplug all electrical appliances when not in use and
turn off all lights, fans, etc., when leaving your room.
Temple Authorities reserve the right to refuse entry or expel
in the case of disrespect regarding the rules or instructions.
Upon completion of the course, meditators must pay respect to
the Teacher at the Closing Ceremony and gain further advice from him/her about
Meditators are responsible for the loss or damage of Temple
All Temple properties must be returned and the meditator's
room cleaned before leaving. Consider yourself as the next person to use the
room. Don't forget to give back the key to the office.
Each evening before WAN PHRA-BUDDHA DAY meditators must share
the ceremony in the VIHARN - main Temple - to renew the precepts.
Donations are appreciated. All donations should be made at the
Temple-office, where an official receipt can be obtained.
The bell or your alarm-clock should wake you up for practice.
Starting with the mindful prostration, you continue with the mindful walking
practice and then sitting practice.
NOTE: Always start with 'mindful walking', then when you stop walking, take
your place immediately for the sitting practice.
The bell rings for breakfast. It is your responsibility to
follow the bell and arrive in the dining hall on time, because prayers are
chanted before each meal.
Alms-food is considered sacred.
Take only as much as you will eat.
Late-comers will not be served.
Eat slowly, mindfully and preferable alone.
To EAT ALONE means no talking. Do not make any conversation during or after
meals as doing so is disruptive to mindfulness.
Wash your dish and glass immediately after eating. Take care of the rubbish
and put it in its place near the sink.
After breakfast, CLEANING - WASHING - BATHING MAY BE CARRIED OUT.
Then, it is again time for practice, until the bell rings.
The bell rings for lunch.
Afterwards, it is time for Practice until REPORTING
Sleeping time may begin while dressed in your white clothing.
Once a day you REPORT to the Teacher.
Here an example
SAWASDEE - KA, AJAHN SUPHAN (women)
SAWASDEE - KRAP, AJAHN SUPHAN (men)
"You told me to do the first walking step acknowledging RIGHT goes thus, LEFT
goes thus for 20 min. I was asked to do 20 min SITTING, observing and
acknowledging the rising and falling of the belly as rising and falling. In
total, I was told to do 7 hours. I did 8 hours.
The practice is both easy and difficult. Walking is easier than sitting, and
pain is a problem, with cramped legs when thinking. I never imagined, that 20
minutes sitting could be so long. I have had doubt, anger, impatience and I was
always looking at the timer. Sometimes I felt a little bit tired, sometimes the
thinking became like a movie."
If the Teacher wants to know more, then he will ask you. Give short answers.
So no STORY about the pain, anger, or thinking is necessary. You do not have to
find excuses as to why you are not perfect. You must just learn to understand
your imperfection. Be patient with yourself.
When you start the basic course, to learn the Vipassana Meditation, you are all
YOGIES = Meditation students.
Acknowledging is the heart of insight meditation. It is the
continual work of mindfulness to be aware and acknowledge. Insight meditation
through the four foundations of mindfulness focuses on the body, feeling, the
mind and mind objects. The body postures are standing, sitting, walking and
Mindfulness of the body is the acknowledgement of the bodily
movement such as the rising/falling of the abdomen when breathing and the
right or left foot when stepping.
Mindfulness of feeling is the acknowledgement of the happiness
or suffering which appear while we are concentrating on the rising/falling.
When happiness or suffering happens we stop acknowledging the rising/ falling
to acknowledge the feelings. For example, when we feel the pain in any part of
the body, we acknowledge "pain, pain, pain". For a while before we resume
Mindfulness of the mind is the acknowledgement of our
thoughts. While we are acknowledging rising/falling, our minds may think of
work or home. We have to stop acknowledging rising/falling and acknowledge
"thinking, thinking, thinking" for a while before we resume acknowledging
Mindfulness of mind objects is the acknowledgement of the five
hindrances: like, dislike, drowsiness, anxiety and doubt. These exist in the
minds of people of all nations. While we are concentrating on rising/falling,
one of the hindrances such as pleasure may occur in the mind. We have to stop
acknowledging rising/falling and acknowledge " pleased, pleased, pleased"
instead. If it is displeasure which occurs, we acknowledge "displeased,
displeased, displeased." If it is drowsiness that occurs, we acknowledge
"drowsy, drowsy, drowsy." If it is anxiety that occur, we acknowledge
"anxiety, anxiety, anxiety." If it is doubt that occur, we acknowledge "doubt,
doubt, doubt." After we acknowledge the hindrances for a while, we resume
The present moment is immensely important to meditation
practice. Acknowledge the body/mind in the present moment develops and
strengthens momentary concentration. Without acknowledgement of the present
moment, meditation practice cannot progress because momentary concentration
Continuity is also important. Be mindful from the moment you
wake up till falling asleep at bedtime. We have to acknowledge our daily
activities. Once we rest after sitting we may do some work or talk without
mindfulness. When that happens the mind, not acknowledging, wanders away, gets
distracted, and thus the momentary concentration which has been developed will
The goal of insight meditation is to gain a clear, complete
understanding of the three obvious characteristics: impermanence, suffering
and non-self. Having gained an insight into the three characteristics, the
meditator realizes that everything in this world is transient, subject to
suffering and uncontrollable because it is not-self. Thus the mind abandons
the desire to acquire, the desire to have and the desire to be.
Lord Buddha gave five purposes for insight meditations
To purify the mind.
To get rid of sorrows and lamentation.
To get rid of physical and mental sufferings.
To understand the truth of life.
To extinguish suffering and gain nibbana.
THE OPENING - CEREMONY
The following is the translation is of the Opening Ceremony.
The Teacher or assistant will speak the PALI-words one by one and you have to
repeat them in turn.
It would be a benefit to read the translation before the ceremony.
HOMAGE TO THE TRIPLE GEM
With hands joined together in anjali, recite the passage in Pali:
I undertake these Eight precepts.
I undertake these Eight precepts.
I undertake these Eight precepts.
imāni attha sikkhāpadāni silena sugatim yanti silena bhogasampadā silena
nibbutiivi yanti tasmā silam visodhaye These Eight Precepts have morality as a vehicle for happiness, good fortune,
and liberation, Let morality therefore be purified.
REQUESTING THE KAMMATHANA
Sitting in a kneeling position, with both hands together in anjali, recite the
following passages in Pali:
1. Paying Homage and offering oneself to the Buddha imāham bhagavā attabhavam tumhākam pariccajāmi Holy Sir, the Lord Buddha, the Blessed One, may I humbly offer my body and
mind to your for the purpose of practicing Insight Meditation.
2. Paying Homage and offering oneself to the Teacher imāham ācariyā attabhavam tumhākam pariccajāmi Venerable Sir, Teacher, may I humbly offer my body and mind to you for the
purpose of practicing Insight Meditation.
3. Requesting the Meditation Exercise: nibbanāssa me bhante saccikaranathāya kammatthānam tehi Venerable Sir, please give me the instruction for Insight Meditation so that
I may realize Nibbana.
4. Extending friendship to yourself aham sukhito homi niddukkho homi avero homi abhayā pajjo homi anigho homi
sukhiattānam parihārāmi May I be happy, free from suffering, free from enmity, diseases and grief,
free from troubles, difficulties and danger and be protected from all
5. Extending friendship to all beings Sabbe sattā sukhitā hontu averā hontu abhayā pajjā hontu anighā hontu sukhi
attānam pari hārāmi May all beings be happy, free from suffering, free from enmity, diseases and
grief, free from troubles and difficulties and be protected from all misfortune.
6. Practice the exercise of mindfulness of death (maranasati) thus:
Our lives are transient and death is certain. That being so, we are fortunate to
have entered upon the practice of Vipassana on this occasion, as now we have not
been born in vain and missed the opportunity to practice the Dhamma.
7. Resolving to the Buddha and his disciples: Yeneva Yanti Nibbānam Buddha Desanca Sāvaka Ekāyanena Maggena Satipatthānā
Sanninā Ti The path taken by all Buddha's and their Two Chief Disciples, their great
disciples and their Arahant disciples to Nibbana, the path which is known as the
Four Foundations of Mindfullness and is the path comprehended by the wise, I
solemnly promise to practice to attain that Path, the Fruition and Nibbana,
according to my own initiative, from this occasion onwards.
8. Imāya dhammānudhamma patipattiyā rattanatayam pūjemi
With this practice of Dhamma, worthy of Dhamma, I worship the THE TRIPLE GEM
Asking for Forgiveness
It is advisable, in the Teachings of the Lord Buddha, that when
a person has done wrong to another - by thought, word or action - to ask for
forgiveness of the wronged person. One should not have thoughts of revenge
against the former, but should forgive the other for their wrong doing.
If a person undertakes the meditation practice with thoughts of anger, hatred or
revenge against the Teacher, he will not be able to progress in the meditation.
Therefore, it is advisable to beg forgiveness from the Teacher before beginning
the meditation practice, during the course of the practice (when wrong doing has
occurred) and upon completion of the practice, when taking the Closing-Ceremony.
To ask forgiveness, with hands joined together in anjali, recite the following
passage in Pali
Forgive me (us), Venerable Sir, for all wrong doing done
carelessly to the Reverend One by way of the three doors -mind-speech-body.
The Teacher then responds
Aham Khamāmi Tayāpi (Tumhehipi) me Khamitabbam
I forgive you (you all), you should forgive me.
The disciples then responds
Khamāmi (Khamāma) Bhante I (We) forgive you, Venerable Sir. Then the disciples prostrate three times.
The steps of the Closing Ceremony is similar to the Opening
- Homage to the Triple Gem.
- Requesting the Three Refuges. Change "ATTHA SILANI to PANCA SILANI".
- Change Eight Precepts to Five Precepts.
THE FIVE PRECEPTS
To undertake the Five Precepts, with the hands joined in anjali, repeat each
precept after the leader in Pali:
1. Pānātipātā Veramanī Sikkhāpadang Samādiyāmi
I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living
2. Adinnādānā Veramanī Sikkhāpadang Samādiyāmi
I undertake the precept to refrain from taking what is not
These Five Precepts have morality as a vehicle for happiness,
good fortune, and liberation, Let morality therefore be purified.
ADDITIONAL ADVICE TO FOREIGN MEDITATORS
In Thailand, the feet are considered to be the lowest part of your body.
Therefore, it is rude to point your feet at anyone. While sitting and during
meal times, please be aware of this and sit with your legs either crossed in
front of you or to the side.
Be also aware that it is rude to point your feet at any Buddha images.
The mats in the temple are to be used by the monks only, please do not use or
Do not touch the top of any Thai person's head, as this is also considered
Don't hang your under wear and socks outside. Let them dry in your room.
Should you wish to leave the meditation practice earlier than planned, you
must inform the office or the Teacher, so that a Closing Ceremony for you can
be arranged. It is very disrespectful to leave the Monastery without informing