Equality policy

Vipassana Trust and Vipassana Trust (Dhamma Sukhakari)

Vipassana Trust and Vipassana Trust (Dhamma Sukhakari) welcome all to our courses. Whatever our race, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability or background, we come to a Vipassana course united by a common purpose—to solve the problem of our human suffering.

Non-sectarian technique

Although this teaching comes from Gotama the Buddha, it is presented in a non-sectarian format. The Buddha was not interested in converting people to a religion. He had found the path to end suffering and his only interest was to share this with others. It is the same today. The cause of suffering lies within each of us and we need to look inside to find its solution. The technique works for anyone, regardless of their background or traditions.

Health

A Vipassana course is a rigorous and demanding undertaking, and participants need to be in a good state of both physical and mental health.

Physical health

Some applicants may have a special requirement because of a health issue or physical disability. We are able to accept most people provided they are well enough to follow the full timetable and schedule. We need to know what they will require well in advance of their arrival so that we can accommodate them properly. We ask anyone with special needs to give full details in the section, “Anything you wish to add to the above information?” on the application form. If necessary we will then contact them to discuss how we might meet their needs.

Mental health

The course may not be suitable for people with mental health problems, past or present.  Applicants will be asked to complete a medical questionnaire in order to give us a more detailed picture of their condition and history.  We may then need to seek advice from a medical professional when considering whether it is in the applicant’s best interest to attend a course. We are concerned about the wellbeing of all participants, so we will not accept people on the course if we feel it is not suitable for them and that they may not benefit from it.

Learning disabilities

To participate successfully in the course, applicants with a learning disability or cognitive impairment need to be able to keep to the schedule and observe the discipline of the course. They also need to be able to listen to and understand instructions and advice, and to follow and apply them.  If in doubt we will contact them to discuss the course so that we can be certain that it is suitable for them.

Sexual orientation

People of all sexual orientations are welcome to our courses.

The campuses at all the meditation centres in this tradition are separated into male and female sides. This segregation extends to the residential accommodation, the walking areas, the dining rooms and the meditation hall. These arrangements are designed to reduce distractions that may arise from the mixing of genders, and for this reason, couples live separately. With same-sex couples it is impossible to provide the same degree of separation as is possible for mixed-sex couples, since both partners would be living in close proximity within the same area of the centre.  Therefore we ask that same-sex couples attend courses separately.  We appreciate this may cause disappointment, but it is necessary in order to provide the ideal environment for both partners to gain the most benefit from the course.

Course applicants have the opportunity to give us any relevant sexuality information in the section of the application that asks, “Anything you wish to add to the above information?” It is helpful for us to have the information in advance so that appropriate accommodation arrangements can be made.

Gender diversity

People of all gender identities are welcome to our courses.

Transgender participants will be accommodated on the male or female side of the campus, according to the gender with which they identify. If someone doesn’t conform to either of the binary gender identities and is concerned about having to identify as male or female, we nevertheless hope that they will be able to accept living either on the male or the female side for the duration of their stay at the centre.

Course applicants have the opportunity to give us any relevant gender information in the section of the application that asks, “Anything you wish to add to the above information?” It is helpful for us to have the information in advance so that appropriate accommodation arrangements can be made.

Confidentiality

The Trust is committed to ensuring that the privacy of all applicants and participants on courses is protected.  Any personal data will be handled with care to safeguard the student’s privacy, in line with our Privacy Policy.