Following the orientation meeting, we had half an hour or so before gathering in the hall for the formal beginning of the course. After that, Noble Silence (no talking) was in place and we were all following the familiar Code of Discipline established for Goenka courses as follows:
- to abstain from killing any being
- to abstain from stealing
- to abstain from all sexual activity
- to abstain from telling lies
- to abstain from all intoxicants
- to abstain from eating after midday
- to abstain from sensual entertainment and bodily decorations
- to abstain from using high or luxurious beds.
One thing struck me from the beginning when we all sat in the hall together. With 19 people sitting in a room, you’ll usually hear sounds of individuals adjusting their position, rustling clothes and other “noises”. Not with this group! You could have heard a pin drop from across this large room. I knew I was in the presence of a group of seasoned Vipassana yogis!