December 2017 Update

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December 2017

Moment by moment remain alert, 
guard your sanity. 
Strive to avoid and fend off 
the reactions of craving and aversion. 
–S.N. Goenka

Greetings from Dhamma Patapa

Last month’s Annual Old Student Meeting focused on Friendship on the Path: Taking a closer look at our conditioning in communication, gender identity, and race. We explored the questions: How are we creating an atmosphere of psychological safety and support for “good friendship, good companionship, and camaraderie” at Dhamma Patapa? Old students shared their experiences with these sensitive topics and how they have navigated them within the practice of Vipassana. Trust and Committee members also made presentations about the past year and goals for the next. 

Comments received from those who attended about what they enjoyed the most included:
    “Fellowship – meeting old and new friends
    Courage to discuss these topics
    Open Space Activity
    Topics were thought provoking
    Learning about center development
    Spending time with center management”

We hope you’ll be able to join next year’s Annual Old Student Meeting next year November 2-4, 2018.

The new female residence was completed in time for the 20-day course in October. Eight more private bedrooms are now under construction on the men’s side of the center. Again, each room will have its own bathroom and meditation cell. These buildings will help complete phase three of construction; accommodating 70 students, with 50% of students having a private room. If you are interested in giving Dana in any amount, you may visit our website (username: oldstudent; password: behappy). If you would like to discuss offering an old student loan (interest or interest free) please contact the center at 912-588-9807, and they will put you in touch with a member of the finance committee. 

The construction is being handled by a licensed contractor and several teams of subcontractors. If you have carpentry skills and would like to contribute Dana by way of offering your abilities, there are still many other projects around the center to be attended to. The next winter Dhamma service period begins on January 7th.

Wherever you are, whenever you come back, may you continue building Dhamma within yourself. Be happy.

Winter Dhamma Service Period January 7-17, 2018
Includes 1-Day Course January 13th

The winter Dhamma service period begins on the 7th of January. Dhamma Service Periods (DSPs) are an opportunity to give our Vipassana Center some of the extra attention it deserves!  There is always a long list of projects giving old students an opportunity to contribute and serve at Dhamma Patapa. In addition to sitting together three times daily, we also enjoy three meals. The service periods also offer time in the evenings to listen to inspiring talks, watch Dhamma films, and build friendships. Giving Dhamma service is a great opportunity to grow in our own practice by applying it in a working environment. Please join us at Dhamma Patapa for inspiration and growth in your practice. If you do not have time to stay for the entire period, you are welcome to come for just a few days, even an afternoon. All old students are welcome!

On Saturday, January 13th, a 1-day course will be held for those attending the service period or for those old students who are able to just come for the day. You may apply here.

First Special 10-Day Course April 11-22, 2018

Special 10-day courses are open only to serious Old Students committed to this technique who have completed a minimum of five 10-day courses, one Satipatthana Sutta course, given Dhamma Service at least one 10-day course, and have been practicing regularly for at least two years.

Applications must be submitted well in advance as processing may take some time. Students who speak neither English nor one of the other announced course languages may apply for the course, however, acceptance into the course will depend on the availability of required course materials, suitable translators and permission of the teacher conducting the course.

Dhamma Patapa has a newly updated website!

Click here to take a tour.

Words of the Buddha

He speaks the truth, is devoted to the truth, reliable, worthy of confidence. He never knowingly speaks a lie, neither for the sake of his own advantage, nor for the sake of another person’s advantage, nor for the sake of any advantage whatsoever. What he has heard here, he does not repeat there, so as to cause dissension there.  Thus he unites those who are divided, and those who are united he encourages.  Concord gladdens him, he delights and rejoices in concord; and it is concord that he spreads by his words.  He avoids harsh language and speaks such words as are gentle, soothing to the ear, loving, going to the heart, courteous, dear, and agreeable to many.  He avoids vain talk and speaks at the right time, in accordance with facts, speaks what is useful, speaks about the dharma and the discipline; his speech is like a treasure, uttered at the right moment, accompanied by arguments, moderate, and full of sense.  This is called right speech.

—Anguttara Nikaya 10.176, trans. Nyanatiloka Mahathera

Old Students who live within 1-2 hours of Dhamma Patapa

Each year the Center Plan includes the long-term idea of building a strong old student community close to the Center in order to support and sustain Dhamma Patapa for the years to come. The Second Nature Land Cooperative next to the center is growing, however, many old students may not be able to move to the area.

If you are an old student who would like to become more active in the Center’s activities, or if you have ideas for developing and implementing a plan to engage existing old students who live relatively close to the Center, please contact the Inreach/Outreach coordinator at

Service Opportunities

Dhamma service is one of the most valuable experiences for a student of Vipassana. Dhamma service provides a way to apply Vipassana while interacting and working with other meditators. Many old students have found such service also strengthens their meditation practice and provides an opportunity to express their gratitude by helping people without expecting anything in return. 

All courses at Dhamma Patapa require old students to facilitate the smooth running of the courses. Dhamma service can be provided in the following three ways: short-term, sit-and-serve program, and long-term service. (Read on to learn more about the many ways to serve at the center.)

Short-Notice Server Roster (SNSR)

What it is: The SNSR is comprised of servers in the Southeast region who are willing to be a part of an e-mail list that we will use when we need Dhamma workers.

What it is not: By joining the SNSR you are not committing to serving on short-notice; only to receive the e-mails we send when needing Dhamma workers.

If you are interested in joining the roster, please e-mail with the subject titled ‘Short-Notice Server Roster’

Upcoming non-center courses

Old students are welcome to check the website for non-center courses announced by local group sitting hosts. These announcements may be for 1-day courses, children’s courses, or extended group sittings.

Specifically for Central and South Florida area old students: you may subscribe to receive a list of future courses and announcements by sending an email to

A 1-day self-course will be held on Saturday, January 20 from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm in Merritt Island, FL. Click here for more details.

A 1-day course will  be held on Sunday, January 28, in South Bay, FL. Send an email to for the invitation with details.

Check out these and other non-center courses on the Old Student section of the website (username: oldstudent, password: be happy)

View Non-Center Courses

Entrance to new women’s residence 

Technology tools Mobile App

The Mobile App for iOS devices, iPhones and iPads is now available for download at and at the iTunes Store. Note that a download link to the App is also available at the bottom of the front page of the website for the convenience of students. The Mobile App provides information about Vipassana Meditation as taught by S.N. Goenka in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin and makes it easy to discover and apply for courses worldwide. Old Students in this tradition will be able to use this App to support their daily practice and further their lifelong development in Dhamma. General features:

  • Learn more about Vipassana Meditation
  • Find locations near you that offer Vipassana Meditation courses from a complete worldwide listing or map of over 300 locations spread across 80+ countries
  • Locate Vipassana Meditation courses using search criteria such as dates, regions, and instruction languages
  • Apply and register to attend a Vipassana Meditation course

Features for Old Students (accessible by logging in as “oldstudent” and password “behappy”):

  • One hour group sitting recordings in 25+ different languages
  • Play group sitting recordings with an option to log your daily sittings does not collect this data. All logged data is only stored locally on your device.
  • Old Student reference materials to guide your practice including the 10-day discourse summaries

NEW!  Dhamma Discourses:

A new website has been established  to make discourses available to old students as they continue to grow in Dhamma. The site provides authenticated access to the authorized materials of Goenkaji, while discouraging the use of unauthorized copies on the internet.  Old students in our tradition can access the site using the usual username and password.

During Goenkaji’s lifetime, he allowed old students to distribute discourses in different languages at no charge or minimally charge only for the cost of hard media.  Similarly, this website will enable old students to obtain electronic access to the discourses for the 10-day, 3-day, and Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta courses in all available languages free of charge. 

Free distribution is consistent with Goenkaji’s express and stated goal to support old students in developing their Vipassana Meditation practice. It will also help ensure that the spread of Dhamma continues in the purity that Goenkaji had envisioned and encouraged, and to which he dedicated his life.

Virtual Daily Group Sittings

The virtual group sitting program has been designed to provide motivation and support for old students in keeping up with their daily practice. In this program, you are ‘virtually sitting’ and meditating with fellow students and gaining strength from each other on a daily basis. When many meditators practice the same technique at the same time, it gives tremendous support and encouragement to all the participants. Although this program is particularly helpful for the old students who find maintaining their daily practice a challenge, it is also very helpful for the well established meditators. All old students are welcome to participate in this flexible and user friendly program to strengthen their daily practice. It has been designed to give you the flexibility to join late or leave early without worrying about disturbing the other meditators. These virtual daily group sittings are complementary and not a replacement for the existing weekly and monthly group sittings that are already happening in your communities. If you wish to participate in this program, please click on the following link to register for the Virtual Daily Group Sitting program.  Once we receive your information, all the necessary details about the program will be sent to you including timings of the virtual daily group sittings, various ways of connecting to these daily sittings etc.

Local group sitting news

Group sittings inspire and support both old and newer students who are growing in Dhamma. Please consult the website– (username: oldstudent password: behappy) for up-to-date information, times and locations of group sittings throughout the Southeast.

  • If you are interested in helping organize a 1-Day course in your area conducted by an Assistant Teacher, please send an email to with the subject line “1-Day course and your name”.
  • There are still many cities and towns in the Southeast region without local group sittings. If you would like to host an official group sitting in your area, download the application and guidelines here. Once official, the group sitting information will be posted on the website so more students may attend.
  • If you are not ready to host an official group sitting, but are interested in connecting with other interested old students in your area – please send an email to with your name, town and email address. We will add you to a confidential database and introduce you via email when new meditators enter your region.

Resources and Useful Links

Dhamma Patapa Website
Give Dana/Donation
Center Wish List
Long-Term Server Program
Vipassana International Newsletter
Pariyatti: Audio and Books

Dhamma Patapa Facebook Page 

Follow us on Facebook for updates on Dhamma Patapa:  (Log in to Facebook before clicking icon)

If you would like to contribute to the Dhamma Patapa Update, either with a recent photo of the center or an article idea, please email

International Vipassana Newsletter

The June 2017 issue of the International Vipassana Newsletter is now available online. For your reading in this issue:

Feature Article:  Realizing the Four Noble Truths

Excerpt from the third of three public talks given by Goenkaji at Yangon University in Myanmar, September 1991

Worldwide News:
A new center for Austria
Dhamma Mutta, Hong Kong
Dhammananda, India
Dharmashringa, Nepal

Also on our website:
Q&A- Questions and answers following the second of three public talks given by Goenkaji at Yangon University, Myanmar, in September 1991.

News item-  Update on Anapanain Maharashtra state prisons, India.

Grateful Commemoration- Dhamma friends who recently passed away.

To view or download the issue, go to our (username oldstudent, password behappy).

The online International Newsletter site is updated as we have new material to post. Every three to four months, we publish some of that material in a printable PDF issue. Please check regularly for updates, or subscribe to our RSS feed to receive notification automatically whenever we post something. You can also subscribe to receive email notification when a PDF issue is published.

Please also consider contributing material for posting. It could be a news story, photos, your own reminiscences or more. Write to

Copyright 2017 Southeast Vipassana Center, All rights reserved.
Southeast Vipassana Center

476 Rogers Break

Jesup, GA 31546
(912) 588-1033

This notice is sent to old students of Vipassana as taught by S.N. Goenka in the North American Old Student Contact Database. You may also receive occasional messages from centers and newsletters via this database.


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