The Vipassana Meditation Center (VMC) of Shelburne MA offers 10-day residential, silent meditation courses twice monthly to the public without charge on an unsolicited, voluntary, donate-it-forward basis. VMC, in partnership with UMass Amherst, is reserving ten spaces for any UMass Amherst/5-College faculty, staff or student on three retreat courses each year, corresponding to the winter, spring and summer breaks. Typically, VMC retreat courses are waitlisted for three to six months in advance. Vipassana means “to see things as they really are” and is a way of self-transformation through self-observation. It focuses on the deep interconnection between mind and body, which can be experienced directly by attention to the physical sensations that form the life of the body, and that interconnect and condition the life of the mind. It is this observation-based, self-exploratory journey to the common root of mind and body that gradually dissolves negativities resulting in a balanced mind full of love and compassion. Rediscovered by the Buddha more than 2,600 years ago, the practice is taught in a non-sectarian format. For more information on Vipassana, please visit www.dhara.dhamma.org. To apply for any of the courses, please visit http://www.dhamma.org/en-US/schedules/schdhara, and select a course that is labeled “spaces reserved for the Five Colleges community in Western Massachusetts.” Please remember to identify yourself as a UMass Amherst/5-College faculty, staff or student in the application’s additional notes section.