Pāli Workshops
with Sean Salkin

The aim of these workshops is to provide greater access to the words of the Buddha, which will enable a deeper understanding of the Buddha's teaching, the Dhamma. Goenkaji has emphasized that Pāli workshops such as these are very beneficial: they help meditators develop inspiration and understanding of the theoretical aspect of Dhamma. However, these workshops cannot take place at a Vipassana center, as centers are dedicated to the practice of Vipassana only. Therefore, a suitable off-center location is arranged for each course.

Sean Salkin studied Pāli for one year at the Vipassana Research Institute, Igatpuri, India, and then continued his Pāli studies at the University of Sydney. In his workshops he aims to give students a solid grounding in Pāli grammar and vocabulary so that they can continue their studies independently after the course. Emphasis is also placed on the correct pronunciation of Pāli words. The textbook for the workshop is A.K. Warder’s Introduction to Pali. The beauty of this book is that it introduces the student to the Pāli language using examples taken directly from the Pāli Canon. The workshop also focuses on Pāli passages heard in the discourses and chantings of 10-day Vipassana meditation courses. Other texts studied include the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta (the Discourse on the Setting in Motion of the Wheel of Dhamma, the first discourse of the Buddha).

Workshop Format

Vipassana meditation is an integral part of this Pāli workshop, which includes three daily group sittings and morning chanting. Participants will observe noble speech outside of meditation hours. There will be complete segregation of men and women during the workshop. The daily schedule of activities will be similar to that of a 10-day Vipassana course, however, there will be both study and meditation periods throughout the day. 

Day 0 Evening
6:00 – 7:00   Group Meditation
7:15             Opening Session

Regular Days

Morning
5:30 – 6:30    Group Meditation
6:30 – 7:00    Breakfast
8:00 – 9:00    Group Meditation
9:15 – 12:00  Workshop Session I
12:00            Lunch

Afternoon
2:30 – 3:30     Group Meditation
3:45 – 5:00     Workshop Session II
5:00 – 6:00     Tea/Snack/Dinner

Evening
6:00 – 7:00     Group Meditation
7:15 – 9:15     Workshop Session III

Closing Day Morning
5:30 – 6:30      Meditation
6:30 – 7:00      Breakfast
7:00 – 10:00    Site tear down & Cleanup

USA workshops

Location: Temecula, California

Accommodations: The workshops will be held at a private luxury ranch. Due to space limitations, sleeping arrangements at the site consist of dormitory style accommodations with bunk beds and mattresses on the floor. Toilets and showers are located in shared bathrooms. If you require private accommodations, tenting is the only option and these are available on site so you don't need to bring your own.

Cost: There are no charges for the instruction, textbooks, food, or accommodations. These expenses are met by past donations. However, there is a $25.03 administrative fee required upon registration, which is refundable if:

  • you are not accepted into the workshop
  • you are on the waiting list and do not get accepted
  • you complete the workshop and request a refund at the end.

Anyone may contribute to our General Pāli workshop fund to help finance future Pāli Workshops. All donations to Pariyatti are tax-deductible in accordance with U.S. tax law. 

Eligibility

  • Introductory workshop: Open to all old students of Vipassana as taught by S.N. Goenka who have completed at least three 10-day courses, served at least one 10-day course, and are trying to maintain their daily practice (if you are close to meeting the criteria and feel the workshop would benefit you, please contact us at pali-workshop@pariyatti.org about the possibility of enrolling). 
  • Old students who do not meet the enrollment criteria may also sign up to serve the course.

Code of Conduct

for students and servers

May your Pāli Workshop prove most beneficial to you. With best wishes for success, we offer you the following information. Please read it carefully before coming to the workshop.

The Five Precepts

The Five Precepts are the foundation of the Code of Discipline:
  1. To abstain from killing any being;
  2. To abstain from stealing;
  3. To abstain from sexual misconduct (meaning, at the Pāli Workshop, to abstain from all sexual activity whatsoever);
  4. To abstain from wrong speech;
  5. To abstain from all intoxicants.

These Five Precepts are mandatory for everyone at a Pāli Workshop and must be observed scrupulously at all times. It is expected that those attending or serving a workshop are also trying to seriously maintain the Five Precepts in their daily lives.

Separation of Men and Women

While absolute separation of the sexes is not practical for the students and servers of a Pāli Workshop due to the close living and working conditions, this situation should not be misunderstood as an opportunity for men and women to socialize unnecessarily. This rule is all the more important for couples.

Physical Contact

In order to maintain the pure meditative atmosphere and the introspective nature of the practice, all Pāli students and servers must avoid all physical contact with other students and servers.

Noble Speech

When speaking, servers must practice Right Speech, refraining from:
  1. Speaking lies or anything less than the truth.
  2. Harsh language or rude words. Someone practicing Dhamma should always be polite and soft-spoken.
  3. Slander or backbiting. There should be no criticism of others arising from one’s own negative feelings. A problem should be brought to the attention of the person concerned or to the Pāli workshop teacher or course managers.
  4. Idle gossip, whistling or humming.

Noble Speech is, without a doubt, much more difficult than silence. It is therefore a very important training for anyone following the path of Dhamma.

Personal Appearance

Nothing should be worn which is tight, transparent, gaudy or revealing, or that might attract undue attention (such as shorts, short skirts, tights and leggings, sleeveless or skimpy tops). This attitude of modesty prevails at all times.

Smoking & Intoxicants

It is assumed that one who has accepted Dhamma is no longer involved in the use of intoxicants such as alcohol, hashish, marijuana, and so forth. The use of tobacco in any form is also totally forbidden, indoors or outdoors, either within or outside of the workshop site.

Food

The workshop provides simple, wholesome, vegetarian meals, without subscribing to any particular food philosophy.

Because meals prepared and served at these workshops are completely vegetarian, food containing alcohol or liqueur, eggs or food containing eggs (some baked goods, mayonnaise, etc.), or cheese with animal rennet, may not be brought to the workshop site. In general, any food from outside should be kept to an absolute minimum.

Pāli students and servers observe Five Precepts and may therefore have a meal in the evening if they wish. Fasting is not permitted.

Reading

Study books and course materials will be provided to at the workshop.

Outside Contacts

Pāli students are not required to divorce themselves entirely from the outside world. While attending or serving on a Pāli Workshop, however, they should leave the site only on urgent business and with the permission of the Pāli workshop teacher. Telephone calls and emailing should be kept to a necessary minimum.

Keeping the Pāli Workshop Site Clean

It is the duty of the Pāli students and servers to help keep the workshop site neat and clean. Besides the kitchen and dining hall, the residences, meditation hall, bathrooms, offices and other areas may need attention. Servers and students should also be prepared, if necessary, to do occasional chores unrelated to food preparation and cleaning.

Dāna

There are no charges at Pāli workshops, either for the teaching, or for board, lodging, or other facilities provided to students.

The teaching of pure Dhamma is always given freely. Food, accommodation and other facilities are offered as gifts made possible by the donations of students of the past. Pāli students and servers can develop their own dāna pāramī by giving donations according to their means, for the benefit of others. These Pāli Workshops are able to operate only by the donations of grateful students.

Upcoming Pāli Workshops

Introductory (USA): January 7 - 17, 2018
Intermediate (USA): January 17 - 21, 2018
These workshops will be conducted by Sean Salkin, B.A., Dip. Pāli (University of Bombay), M. Phil. (University of Sydney). Sean studied Pāli for one year at the Vipassana Research Institute, Igatpuri, India, and then continued his Pāli studies at the University of Sydney, where he also taught Sanskrit, a language closely related to Pāli. He has conducted two 10-day Pāli workshops for meditators in Australia, a 6-week non-residential Pāli course in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, and four Pāli workshops for Pariyatti.
Please note: An understanding of some basic grammatical terms would be useful for the course, such as verb, noun, adjective, first person, second person, third person.  It would also be useful if students are able to identify the subject of an English sentence and the object of a sentence.

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