On 30thSeptember 2018 the first ten-day Vipassana Course in Applecross came to a happy end. Nearly fifty students and nine course servers attended the course which was held at Hartfield House.
The venue which normally serves as a hostel and event centre proved a very suitable place to meditate. The unheated meditation hall was insulated with curtains and equipped with some portable radiators. This made the hall look cosy and feel warm.
Female students stayed in the main building in standard 1, 2 or 3-person rooms or dormitory. Extra room was created by converting the conference room into an 8-person dorm for students and the lounge into a dorm for servers. Female students had access to a comfortable dining room, indoor laundry/sitting area and two sanitary blocks.
Male students were accommodated in a separate bunkhouse with 1, or 2-person rooms and one 5-person dorm. Male servers stayed in the lounge, converted in a 3-person dorm. Meals were served in 2 shifts in a small dining room which offered a majestic view on the glen in which Hartfield House is situated. The indoor sanitary facilities were supplemented with outdoor, roofed-over latrines.
Servers had access to a well-equipped, professional kitchen, office, laundry and an interview room. They received excellent support from external Hartfield House staff and local neighbours.
A fairly sized walking area surrounded by mountains and meadows with highland cows and deer offered space to exercise. The remoteness of the venue granted a quiet and peaceful place to meditate. Access to the centre was facilitated by minibus transport from Inverness and ride sharing.
What people said about the course
Susanna, student: “I am a Buddhist, trying to practise meditation for over 15 years without significant result, till I learn this technique, with joy and equanimous I am walking with confidence every step on the way now. Bliss.”
Dunia, student: "This course has completely changed my life. It's a pivotal time, there's a before and an after. I had so much negativity and clatter in my head and heart and now I am full of love and equanimity. I am eternally grateful to the organisers, assistant teacher, servers, Goenka and all the teachers that came before him. May you all be happy!!!"
Lisette, server: “Serving was just what I needed to experience. The teaching of metta that explains how you can only give with the right intention when you take care of yourself first is a great guide to balance your actions in a daily life setting. Besides that the team of servers and managers was a pleasure to work with and I hope to see everyone next year in Applecross again!”
Patricia, student: "It's so enormous, yet so simple. I feel I have been given an insight into me, I am on a journey, it's not easy, but I am learning to observe my feelings (mostly) and not get embroiled in the pain and distress of them. It is truly a 'gem' to take refuge in this teaching."
Get in contact
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