While planning a course menu, attention should be given to providing simplewholesome vegetarian meals at modest cost. Organizers should remember that asVipassana in this tradition is unique, no other philosophies or views should bepermitted on the course. This understanding precludes the designing of the coursemenu according to the cook’s notion of "raising consciousness through diet," orsimilar philosophies of "health foods," e.g., macrobiotics, organic foods, etc.Regarding requests for "special food," students should be reminded that courses arefinanced solely by donations and that on such courses students live on the charity of others. By taking only what is offered they are able to develop their p
s,particularly that of renunciation (nekkhamma).Ample nutritious food should be provided at mealtimes and students should eat atthese times only. This is an important part of the discipline.In cases where for strictly medical reasons special food may be a necessity, theyshould be cleared through the Teacher or assistant teacher before the course. Whileall efforts should be made to accommodate legitimate requests, it should also bekept in mind that a student must possess a minimum of physical and mental healthto take Dhamma. Organizers should not feel obligated to accommodate all specialcomplex food requests. It is left to the prospective students to decide if they canaccept what is offered.
Another very important point is that, from the moment the course begins to itscompletion, there should be no physical contact between persons of the same oropposite sex. This applies to the management as well. Needless to say, this will alsorequire the complete setting aside of all types of massage and/or healing practices.These guidelines concerning diet and physical contact, including such things asmassage, healing arts, yoga, tai chi, etc., exist not only when a course is in progressbut at all times at Dhamma houses and meditation centres. This is not meant as acondemnation of these practices, but during the training and at the training sites thepractice of Vipassana is to be maintained in its pristine purity.
FINAL WORD FROM GOENKAJI CONCERNING DHAMMA FUNDS
I would again like to emphasize that finances should be properly handled. Every centdonated by a student is sacred money and therefore should be used for Dhammawork only. Neither the Teacher nor the assistant teachers nor the trustees nor theorganizers of courses are the owners of such d
na funds. These funds should neverbe used for anybody’s personal benefit. For the Teacher and the assistant teachers,only the travel, food and medical expenses, when necessary, should be provided.Dhamma money should not be used for shopping, sightseeing or other personalmatters.May the above guidelines help in the spread of Dhamma.With affluent mett
, S.N. Goenka