April 2018 Update

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April 2018

SEVC Header

If you have to look at faults, then look at yourself. 
If you have to look at virtues, then look at others. 
If you do this, you will keep progressing. 

–S.N. Goenka

Newly completed men’s residence

Continuing Center Expansion

2018 is a milestone year for Dhamma Patapa in a number of ways. This celebrates the tenth year of providing people of the Southeast region the opportunity to taste and grow in the practice of Vipassana. From small beginnings, Dhamma Patapa has grown exceptionally rapidly and flourished into a vibrant Dhamma center. There continue to be long wait lists for most courses.

In July 2016, we wrote to you to share design plans along with our hope to build more private residences. Less than two years later, we are happy to announce that two new residences have been built  – each containing eight private rooms with their own meditation cell and bathroom. These additional buildings greatly enhance Dhamma Patapa’s ability to provide better accommodations.  There are still some shared residences on both the women’s and the men’s sides, however, we are that much closer to the ideal center where each student has their own private room and meditation cell.

While this is a huge step in the right direction, the Center Development Committee and the overseeing Southeast Vipassana Association, also known as the “Trust”, recognize that there is still a way to go before we can entirely alleviate the cramped conditions for students and servers. A balanced approach is necessary for the continued expansion of Dhamma Patapa.  The current addition of more residential rooms has reduced overcrowding on the women’s side and added more spaces on the men’s side to enable registration to accept more male students.  The next plans need to ensure that we expand the server’s quarters and dining spaces and the Dhamma Hall in tandem – or as close to in tandem as possible.

There is also a pressing need for kitchen and administrative space. With this in mind the Trust is now focused on building another two residential units of eight for both men and women. This would not only provide more and better accommodation for students but would also free up accommodation spaces for both male and female course servers. When the current course servers’ sleeping areas are removed from the kitchen block, additional food prep and pantry space will become available.

With architectural drawings complete and local contractors now familiar with the buildings, the Trust has adopted the mindset that we will continue in our ongoing building mode as long as funds become available. Ideally, the goal would be to complete these buildings in the next year or two.  

Having accomplished this goal, the Trust would then focus on the mammoth task of building a new meditation hall with adjoining Assistant Teacher residences, adding a commercial kitchen to the current meditation hall which would then be converted into a dinning hall which, incidentally,was the original design. If you would like to view the master plan with the current Dhamma Hall converted to the dining hall with the addition of a new kitchen as well as the new Dhamma Hall complex and all of the residences, please click here.  The Center Development page on the website is also a resource that gives context as to where we began and the vision for the future.

While to some this all may seem a highly ambitious goal, the experience of the past ten years has demonstrated that the generosity of grateful old students makes these Dhamma intentions realistic and achievable.

All construction projects are made possible through the generosity of grateful old students who wish to help the spread of Vipassana in the Southeast.  For those who wish to contribute with dana or student loans, you may visit our website (username: oldstudent; password: behappy) or call the center at 912-588-9807.  If you would like to donate construction skills or for any questions, please contact the center at 912-588-9807.

Local Group Sittings

Local group sittings inspire and support both old and newer students who are growing in Dhamma. Goenkaji emphasized that daily sittings play an important role in producing the beneficial effects of Dhamma in our day-to-day life. Local group sittings help provide motivation and support to old students in keeping up with their daily practice.  Please consult the website– (username: oldstudent password: behappy) for up-to-date information, times and locations of group sittings throughout the Southeast.

When you attend these group sittings, you are meditating with fellow students and gaining strength from each other on a regular basis. When meditators practice the same technique, it gives tremendous support and encouragement to all the participants. Although these group sittings are particularly helpful for the old students who find maintaining their daily practice a challenge, they are very helpful for the well established meditators as well.

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 sevagroupsittings@gmail.com with your name, town and email address. We will add you to a confidential database and introduce you via email when new old students enter your region.

If you are interested in helping organize a 1-Day course in your area conducted by an Assistant Teacher, please send an email to manager@patapa.dhamma.org with the subject line “1-Day course and your name”.

Also – there is a page on the old student section of the Dhamma Patapa website that lists all of the non-center courses taking place throughout the Southeast region.  Just log in to the old student section of the site (login oldstudent, password behappy) and click on non-center courses.  Here’s a link to that page as well.


Open Positions for Management and Operations at Dhamma Patapa

Dhamma Patapa is searching for mature, serious, old students who would like to join the management and operations teams. These are unique opportunities to contribute to support the teaching of Vipassana and provide leadership for the Southeast Vipassana Center while developing one’s own practice within a structured and supportive environment.

For more information on open positions for Center Manager, Maintenance Coordinator, and Course Operations Coordinator, please click here.

“What I love about living next door to Dhamma Patapa”

In the years just before retiring I decided I wanted to live close to a Vipassana Meditation Center and be able to sit and serve courses. I thought about the centers in the U.S., weighing the pros and cons. I really hadn’t thought about Dhamma Patapa because I’d never even been to the Southeast much less to the center. Nothing was really clicking so when I retired I followed family to Raleigh, NC, thinking I would give the South a try. The closest center was Dhamma Patapa so I started sitting and serving there. Almost before I knew it, I was moving to Jesup, GA!

I rented in town and drove the fifteen minutes to the center to help out in the office and with whatever was needed. The house I had rented was large so I had some parties there, inviting my new-found friends at Dhamma Patapa to come and meditate, eat food, and sometimes, be serenaded by talented servers. I was just short of impetuous when I decided to build a small house at the Second Nature Land Coop, which is located on 42 acres of land adjacent to Dhamma Patapa. I say impetuous because the home I would build would use up my ‘house money’. I’ve always considered myself a California girl – the place I had spent most of my life and felt the most comfortable.. Yet here I was in the South, making a home for myself. Often I wondered if I was being naïve or if I was following my heart. I could hear Monty Python saying ‘and now for something completely different!’

Now I’ve been living here at the land co-op for over three years. There have been times when I wished I could pick my house up and just move it back to the West. But then I would realize that no matter where I live, there I am. If it’s taught me nothing else, meditation has taught me that all my complaints, worries, disagreements are all ‘me’ – just me. They don’t get left behind; they follow. And if the grass looks greener somewhere else, it probably isn’t.

So, what do I love most about living at Second Nature Land Co-op? It can all be summed up in one word – Community. My neighbors are all meditators and I get to meet people from all walks of life who are willing to give a 10-day meditation retreat a try. It is very inspiring! I get to wake up in the morning and walk the 8 minutes (or bike it in under 5 minutes!) to the Dhamma Hall to sit with the servers during courses and in-between courses. I can contribute my working hours to a cause – spreading Dhamma. I knew from the first course I sat in 2000 that meditation was the most powerful, life-changing answer to everything I had ever questioned.


Words of the Buddha

They do not lament over the past,
they yearn not for what is to come,
they maintain themselves in the present,
thus their complexion is serene.

Saṃyutta Nikāya 1.10

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 sevagroupsittings@gmail.com

New Appointments

Assistant Teachers
Joy Karow
Christian Karow

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 sevc.centermanager@gmail.com 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 south-florida-info@patapa.dhamma.org

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

View Non-Center Courses

Technology Tools

Dhamma.org Mobile App

The Dhamma.org Mobile App for iOS devices, iPhones and iPads is now available for download at https://www.dhamma.org/en-US/about/mobile-app 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 www.dhamma.org website for the convenience of students. The Dhamma.org Mobile App for Android is now available by going to https://www.dhamma.org/. The Dhamma.org 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 Dhamma.org 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: http://www.discourses.dhamma.org/

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.

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 manager@patapa.dhamma.org

International Vipassana Newsletter

The March 2018 issue of the International Vipassana Newsletter is now available online. For your reading in this issue:

Feature Article:  Suffering and Real Happiness

What is the impact of experiencing our own ephemeral nature? How does this realization lead to true inner peace? Sayagyi U Ba Khin explains in a lecture given early in his teaching years to a Western audience in Yangon, Myanmar. Extract from What Buddhism Is.

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Take a whirlwind trip around the world and find out about what Vipassana meditators were doing in 2017 or have planned for 2018. See our online issue for more.

Worldwide News:
Poland’s Dhamma Pallava Opens for Courses
Dhamma Korea is Growing
La casa del Dhamma, Medellín, Colombia
Nepal’s Dharmashringa Celebrates Buddha Purnima

Also on our website:
Interview with Rivers Cuomo
How Silent Meditation Helped Me Succeed at Work

Grateful Commemoration- Dhamma friends who recently passed away.

To view or download the issue, go to our website:www.news.dhamma.org (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 editor@news.dhamma.org.

Copyright 2018 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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