October 2019 Update

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October 2019

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 Live the life of Dhamma,
keep far away from evil,
keep unsullied the flow of mind,
and brim over with happiness.

–S.N. Goenka

Fall Dhamma Service Period November 4 – 13th

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 

Construction for the second female 8 room residence is underway.  A new driveway, site clearing and a privacy fence have all been completed. 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 finish in March / April 2020.  

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. The balance will be financed through a contractor bank loan. This way we will only borrow the funds that we need to complete the female 8 residence.  Loan activation will begin after we have used up the $80.000 we had dedicated to the project as cash on hand.

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.

We’ve been noticing a Barred Owl frequenting the area around the meditation hall.

The weather has shifted towards fall with mornings in the 60’s and the leaves are starting to change. We welcome this cooler weather after an unusually warm summer. 

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

Vipassana Wisdom: 10 Influential Sayings from S.N. Goenka

              – compiled by Elyane Youssef


Below are 10 of his sayings that have personally influenced me during the course:

“When a problem arises in daily life, take a few moments to observe your sensations with a balanced mind. When the mind is calm and balanced, whatever decision you make will be a good one. When the mind is unbalanced, any decision you make will be a reaction. You must learn to change the pattern of life from negative reaction to positive action.”

“You must not allow people to do wrong to you. Whenever someone does something wrong, he harms others and at the same time he harms himself. If you allow him to do wrong, you are encouraging him to do wrong. You must use all your strength to stop him, but with only good will, compassion, and sympathy for that person. But you cannot have good will for such a person unless your mind is calm and peaceful.”

“Remaining in ignorance is harmful for everyone; developing wisdom is good for everyone. A Christian will become a good Christian, a Jew will become a good Jew, a Muslim will become a good Muslim, a Hindu will become a good Hindu, a Buddhist will become a good Buddhist. One must become a good human being; otherwise one can never be a good Christian, a good Jew, a good Muslim, a good Hindu, a good Buddhist. How to become a good human being—that is most important.”

“Nobody causes suffering for you. You cause the suffering for yourself by generating tensions in the mind. If you know how not to do that, it becomes easy to remain peaceful and happy in every situation.”

“The first step toward emerging from suffering is to accept the reality of it, not as a philosophical concept or an article of faith, but as a fact of existence which affects each one of us in our lives.”

“To be truly religious we must develop the religious attitude: purity of heart, love and compassion for all. But our attachment to the external forms of religion leads us to give more importance to the letter of it than the spirit. We miss the essence of religion and therefore remain miserable.”

“Whatever necessities you require, work to get them. If you fail to get something, then smile and try again in a different way. If you succeed, then enjoy what you get, but without attachment.”

“If you make a mistake you accept it, and try not to repeat it the next time. Again you may fail; again you smile and try a different way. If you can smile in the face of failure, you are not attached. But if your failure depresses you and success makes you elated, you are certainly attached.”

“Learn to observe objectively whatever is happening. If someone is angry and tries to hide his anger, to swallow it, then it’s suppression. But by observing the anger, you will find that automatically it passes away. You become free from the anger if you learn how to observe it objectively.”

“We are influenced by the people around us and by our environment, and we keep influencing them as well. If the majority of people, for example, are in favor of violence, then war and destruction occur, causing many to suffer. But if people start to purify their minds, then violence cannot happen. The root of the problem lies in the mind of each individual human being, because society is composed of human beings. If each person starts changing, then society will change, and war and destruction will become rare events.”

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 manager@patapa.dhamma.org to set up a conversation as a first step as these positions require some time to develop a relationship with the center.

New convection oven

Corporate Matching Donations

Feedback from an old student:  If you use Amazon Smile, all orders need to be from smile.amazon.com instead of just amazon.com.  You could bookmark smile.amazon.com as a reminder. 

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 Smile)

2. Benevity Cause Portal

3. Network for Good

4. Bright  Funds

5. Your Cause NPO Portal

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

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 courses will be held February 20th and April 19th 

A 1-day course for old students in the Carolinas was held in Greensboro, North Carolina, on Saturday, October 12th.  Plans are underway for another course in January 2020 to support students in this area.

For more details, please check the non-center courses tab on the Old Student section of the website (username: oldstudent, password: be happy).  Soon – these courses will also be listed on the regular course schedule page.

View Non-Center Courses

South Florida Course Held October 20th

One old student wrote: “Have attended a lot of courses including two 45-day courses.Learn new every sit.  This one day sitting made it crystal clear that deep mind’s sankharas manifest on the physical body parts as sensations.  Observation of these manifestations with equanimity (without I, me and mine sense ) frees up the mind from the old sankharas.  This is the scientific process of mental purification which every human being needs in order to be happy. It was so good. Thanks to all organizers.” 

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 group-sittings@patapa.dhamma.org 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.

Words of the Buddha

Difficult is life for the modest one
who always seeks purity,
is detached and unassuming,
clean in life, and discerning.

Dhammapada 18.245

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 group-sittings@patapa.dhamma.org

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.)

Jamaica Planning First Vipassana Course

Plans are underway to hold the first Vipassana course in Jamaica with a target date of Spring 2020. A number of suitable venues for anywhere between 60-120 students have been identified. Priority will be given to people from Jamaica or those of Jamaican heritage.

Any old student with the time and volition to help is warmly invited to join in the planning and preparation for the course. Also, since there is no established trust in Jamaica as yet, seed money is needed to get started. For more information and details on how to donate please email the organizer, Thea at tara.orasi@gmail.com

Dhamma Nandanavana
First Meditation Center in Colombia
San Antonio del Tequendama
Cundinamarca, Colombia

From Colombia, we share the great joy of experience the wheel of Dhamma spinning in cities like Bogota and its whereabouts. Since last year, we have been building Dhamma Nandanavana, the first Colombian meditation center, situated in San Antonio del Tequendama. Right now we are developing the first phase of construction, which will allows us in conditioning the terrain for providing courses for at least 30 women and 12 men, with all the requirements that this infrastructure demands.

Let’s fill ourselves of great joy to contribute to Dhamma, so it keeps benefitting more and more people!

Online donation: https://www.vipassana-colombia.org/donacion-en-linea
More info: finanzasvipassanacolombia@gmail.com or vipassanacolombia@gmail.com


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’

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!   ‘Group Sittings Near Me’ Feature on Dhamma.org Mobile App

 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 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 manager@patapa.dhamma.org

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 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 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.