The Intermountain Vipassana Association’s meditation center in Lava Hot Springs is expanding.
Just recently, the center finished construction on a lodging residence for students and are currently working on another lodge.
The Intermountain Vipassana Association is one of around 200 meditation centers in the world, and it’s right here in southeast Idaho.
The course is completely free and runs off donations, but only people who have completed the course can donate.
Students are expected to put away phones, books and everything else and commit to ten days of meditation. That might seem like a long commitment, but Brett Morris, an instructor at the center, says that’s just the beginning.
“The ten days is kind of the minimum amount necessary to really see the benefit from this and take it back into your life and apply it in your life,” Morris said.
The center is one of eight in America that teaches Vipassana meditation, which was rediscovered more than two thousand years ago by the Buddha.
Vipassana means to see things as they really are. The practice is meant to help people find inner peace.
“We react to the world not so much on what’s outside, but actually from physical sensations in the body,” Morris said.
Morris describes Vipassana as being able to understand and react to your emotional response to an external cause, like an insult.
“In this meditation, we learn to start observing these sensations in the body, so we’re no longer kind of a slave getting pulled here and there by these sensations, we can actually choose how we decide to respond to them,” Morris said.
During the course, students must observe what is called Noble Silence, meaning they can’t communicate with anyone except the teacher.
“The reason for that is so you can really just go inside and take these ten days to really focus on yourself,” Morris said.