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where to practice vipassanā?

The absolute requisites

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:

  • A qualified instructor. Here is meant an experienced person having developed the qualities that are required for being a competent instructor. This very guide will provide the yogī with the information which this latter needs. Those very information will enable him to follow the path of development of knowledge in every possible way. His role also lies in constantly putting the yogī back "into the saddle", as this latter could be diverted, unwillingly, to different practices (this thing also applied to some experienced yogīs!)
  • A complete availability. While starting a retreat, it is necessary to have done away, at first, with all responsibilities and obligations. That is to say, one must reduce the field of his activities to the strict minimum so as to freely and entirely commit himself to vipassanā.
  • A propitious spot. Naturally, one must benefit with a favourable environment, remote (in all cases not crowded with people), empty of any things likely to easily cause distractions or to create any kinds of troubles whatsoever.


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.

Go to a list of addresses of centres

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.

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Origin: Text wrote for the Website

Author: Monk Dhamma Sāmi

Date: 2001

Translator: Thierry Lambrou

Date of translation: 2002

Update: 2005, June the 17th