Vipassana is taught in 10-day courses. It’s a meditation technique said to be based on the teachings of the Buddha. Like most world religions all the structure, rules, and documentation were made up by men hundreds of years after a historic figure existed. The doctrines of the belief system are then attributed to the object of adoration by way of the founder of the religion’s divine inspiration.
No judgment on that quirky fact about world religions, just want to let you know that you’re reading a completely secular take on meditation.
Vipassana courses are free of charge, but require agreement to a code of discipline. You’re given 3 opportunities to confirm your commitment before you surrender all belongings that aren’t clothes, toiletries, and a flashlight. You can’t read, write, sing, or exercise. The only permitted activities are meditation, walking around designated areas of the retreat center, and eating breakfast and lunch. There’s no evening meal.
After the introductory sit on the evening of your arrival (referred to as Day 0) “Noble Silence” begins. This means you can’t communicate in any way with those around you. No talking. No eye contact. No written messages or drawing pictures or making sounds. You’re told to behave as if you’re “the only person here.”