August 2019 Update

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August 2019

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In-breath, out-breath— 
if you keep unbroken awareness, 
the knots of kamma will be sundered, 
leading to the highest welfare. 

–S.N. Goenka    

Servers Needed for August and September Courses

Click here to apply

Update on Center Expansion

“In an ideal Vipassana center each student would have its own private room and its own meditation cell.”
– S. N. Goenka 

The second female 8 room residence will soon be built. The building will be the same as the first two 8 room residences. The only major change is to use central air conditioning instead of the PTAC (motel style) air conditioners. The building will be placed along the tree line behind the female quad and the first female 8.

The anticipated schedule is to begin sometime in October / November and finish in March / April 2020.  There are a few projects that can be done in late June and early July that would give us a head start for construction to begin in October.

The estimated total cost for the projected building design and driveway is $320,000. As of this writing, $80,000 in cash is available to begin the project. Old students who have the volition and the means may arrange loans to the center for the remaining $240,000. The terms for old student loans would be amortized for ten years with an interest rate of 0 to 5% with a minimum of  $20,000 to help reduce paper work for the finance committee.  In the absence of old student loans, financing will go through a bank for a ten year loan.

For those  who wish to contribute with Dana or student loans, you  may visit the 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.

All construction projects are made possible through the generosity of grateful old students who wish to help the  spread of Vipassana in the Southeast.

Golden Jubilee Celebrations
Mark 50th Anniversary of First Vipassana Course Goenkaji      Taught Outside of Burma

“A Store-House of Answers by Mr. S. N. Goenka”
– from the Vipassana Research Institute


“In the course of his Dhamma work, beginning in 1969, Goenkaji has been asked thousands of questions, by Vipassana students and others all over the world. The questions range a fascinating spectrum from what is Dhamma, Vipassana meditation, aim of life, human misery, God, rebirth to insomnia….   The answers and questions have been broadly categorized under various sections based on the nature of the question.  It must be remembered, however, that Goenkaji’s favorite answer is always: “You must experience the truth yourself. Only then it becomes a truth for you. Otherwise it is only someone else’s truth”. To Vipassana students, Goenkaji has always emphasized that the real answers can only come from continuous and correct practice of Vipassana.   The Q & A Bank, therefore, serves as a guide and inspiration to Vipassana students, and an encouragement to non-students to undertake a Vipassana course, and directly experience its immense benefits.   Abandoning false illusions, moving towards the truth, may we keep walking step by step, advancing towards the true goal. May all beings be happy!” 

Questions have been classified alphabetically
Annual Children’s Course

“We saw them making a serious effort to learn and practice anapana for the first time.  We saw them experience the resulting peace from their own effort.  So many even inquired on how to maintain the momentum of their practice after they left the course.” – Children’s Course Teachers

Dhamma Patapa’s Annual Old Student Meeting
(All old students are welcome)
November 1-3, 2019 

We hope you’ll be able to attend this year’s Annual Old Student Meeting! 

As in year’s past, this is a special time for old students to gather to get to know one another in a more relaxed setting. There is also the opportunity to learn more about the center and participate in group discussions.  The theme this year is “Fifty Years of Gratitude” Marking the 50-Year Anniversary of the First Vipassana Course Goenkaji Taught Outside of Burma.

There will be a talk reflecting on the “From the Buddha to Us”, a slide show on Goenkaji’s life, as well as an afternoon devoted to discussing topics chosen by old students in attendance in small group settings.  For the full agenda, please click here.

As in the past, we’ll begin with a fun and unique icebreaker that fuses some Pali words and individual introductions. During the annual Trust meeting, Trust and Committee members will make presentations about the past year and goals for the next.  There will be ample time to visit with other old students and ATs, sit together, and enjoy delicious meals at a more leisurely pace.

Benefits of attending that old students have commented upon are enjoying meeting with old and new friends, discussing thought provoking topics, learning about center development and spending time with center management.

 The Annual Old Student Meeting is truly a wonderful time to either attend or serve, to strengthen one’s practice, and expand one’s Dhamma community. We hope to see you!

You may apply here
CLARIFICATION: Some people who apply to attend the Annual Old Student Meeting have been confused about the designation of “server”, as they are accustomed to attending courses and/or serving when they come to the center. An additional source of confusion is with the application process which only allows students to apply to serve. Unless we contact you directly about serving in the kitchen, you will be enrolled to attend the meeting.

Corporate Matching Donations

Now OS can match their donation through their company.  If your employer participates in matching donations for non-profit organizations, please speak with your human resource department to see if our partners work with your employer. If your employer works with another donation-matching organization, then please let us know and we can complete the appropriate forms.

1. GuideStar (Amazon Smiles)

2. Benevity Cause Portal

3. Network for Good

4. Bright  Funds

5. Your Cause NPO Portal

Openings On the Dhamma Patapa Management and Maintenance Team

Dhamma Patapa is looking for mature, serious, old students who would like to join the management, maintenance, 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.  Ideally, students would have long-term service experience at this or other centers. 

If interested, please inquire with center management at to set up a conversation as a first step as these positions require some time to develop a relationship with the center.

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

In order to strengthen the Vipassana old student community in South Florida, regular quarterly 1-day courses will be held at the Jupiter Civic Center. These courses will be conducted by local assistant teacher(s). The next 1-day course will be held October 20th  with others planned for January 12th and April 12th. 

For more details, please check the non-center courses tab on the Old Student section of the website (username: oldstudent, password: be happy)

View Non-Center Courses

South Florida Course Held July 14th

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 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 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.

Words of the Buddha

The fool thinks one has won a battle
when one bullies with harsh speech,
but knowing how to be forbearing
alone makes one victorious.

Sayutta Nikaya 1.189

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.)

Idaho Center, Dhamma Pasava,  Requesting Servers to Help with Straw Bale Construction

Come Help Build Dhamma Pasava’s Second Residence

What: Straw Bale Construction & Natural Plastering of the 2nd Residence (no previous experience needed)
When: August 19 – September 10 (come for whatever time you can – even one day will help!)
Where: Intermountain Vipassana Center
8414 S Blaser Hwy, Lava Hot Springs, Idaho 83246 (1 ¾ to 2 hours from SLC, 35 minutes from Pocatello)

Please apply online.

For those willing to come for the whole period, the center would be willing to help with transportation costs. If help is needed with transportation costs, please email BEFORE making travel arrangements.  Learn more about strawbale/plastering:
Help will also be needed to prepare meals and snacks. PLEASE help spread the word about this wonderful Dana opportunity!

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’

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 for Android is now available by going to 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!   ‘Group Sittings Near Me’ Feature on Mobile App

 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 Mahasatipahana 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

International Vipassana Newsletter

The July 2019 issue of the International Vipassana Newsletter is available online. For your reading in this issue:

Feature Article:  The Flowering of the Dhamma
Goenkaji was unaware of it, but almost from his first course in 1955, Sayagyi U Ba Khin was training him to become a teacher of Vipassana. When the opportunity arose for him to go to India in 1969, Sayagyi realized that here at last was a way for Myanmar to repay its debt for the gift of Dhamma. This was why he told Goenkaji, “I am going with you.” He would be with Goenkaji in spirit throughout the years ahead.

Chronology-The Second Decade
From 1980 to 1989, Goenkaji began training meditators to conduct Vipassana courses as his representatives. He kept on deepening his understanding of the theoretical…

Also on our website:
Chronology-The First Decade
Interview with Rivers Cuomo
How Silent Meditation Helped Me Succeed at Work

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 2019 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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