At the depth, given that, as soon as there is appearance of the five aggregates, it is possible to focus mental concentration on phenomena, the training into vipassanā can be followed anywhere. It is therefore useless to mention specific spots, as all the spots of the universe are involved, as much those that one knows as those that one doesn't.
Of course, some other factors are also necessary:
On one hand, one must benefit with auspicious conditions. That is to say, not to have to worry about basic vital needs (food, lodging, health, clothing) and it does also involve a favourable climate. However, a beginner won't feel well at ease with all kinds of environments. From the first periods of his training, he will need a relatively calm environment. That is to say quite and silent.
To the one who simply wants to train from time to time, in his country, any house, flat, pagoda, place, cellar, hut, shelter, tent, or specific location in a forest or a mountain can be quite suitable.
However, when we wish to have a stable and fruitful experience of vipassanā, that is to say some concrete results, it is essential to be provided with the following factors:
Apart from the casual retreats, we could almost say that such a place (see the preceding paragraph) cannot be found in Europe and in all cases with the greatest difficulties in Western countries (owing to the first mentioned reason, notably). On the other hand, in certain Asian countries, the problem doesn't take place.
For a casual training, one can quite easily stay at home or go to a spot surrounded by nature. Otherwise, there do exist some centres in which it is possible to find someone who is able to teach the basis of a training into vipassanā. These spots do have at disposal a meditation room or hall being accessible to all those who wish to develop the inner vision.
Origin: Text wrote for the Website
Author: Monk Dhamma Sāmi
Translator: Thierry Lambrou
Date of translation: 2002
Update: 2005, June the 17th