THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN BEGINNING A RETREAT
Welcome to the Association Pian dei Ciliegi, which organizes meditation retreats in Vipassana (Insight) and Metta (Loving Kindness) for the development of Mindfulness and other human qualities through the practice of meditation. Vipassana mindfulness goes beyond the ordinary mindfulness we have in quotidian life, and may be developed to the point where it becomes a Spiritual Power that permits us to experience a Transcendent Reality known as the Unconditioned or Nibbana. The path progresses through the development of “insights”, experiences of wisdom, or an intuitive understanding into the three universal characteristics of existence: Impermanence (Anicca in the Pali language), Unsatisfactoriness (Dukkha) and the Absence of a Self (Anatta). The scriptures and commentaries list 16 levels of insights leading to the experience of the Unconditioned. This very real goal presents an enormous opportunity for human beings, and is within reach of all those who dedicate themselves to the practice with faith and determination, following the method and the indications of the teachers. We would like to stress the value of a retreat especially in the context of modern society where such an opportunity is hard to come by, for here we have the possibility to enter along a path of interior research traced by the Buddha himself, and which has been followed by many Noble Persons in the course of time.