Most meditation classes consists of a period of sitting meditation followed by a period of walking meditation (usually outdoors, weather permitting) and ending with another session of sitting meditation. Meditators who want to sit for a longer period of time may do so and forego the walking meditation. Usually there are 3-5 such classes held each day during formal retreats as well as weekly evening meditation sessions when retreats are not in session.
Those students practicing unique tantric forms requiring secret mudras and mantras may go to one of the private meditation areas or chapels. This system enables students with very different levels of experience and types of practice to practice together. Learning to respect each other’s work is very important. During retreats, the meals and physical work period spent cooking, cleaning, or working on various temple projects are all part of the meditation experience. You learn how to make your life a meditative experience and meditation becomes your life. Of course, maintaining silence is another essential component. Eliminating all non-essential chatter is also part of the practice.