February 2019 Update

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February 2019

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 Dhamma must develop in our lives, it must become alive, it must become an indivisible part of our lives; only then it truly starts giving benefit. Each individual must know if this change is taking place in himself or herself. No other person can make an apt evaluation and judgment.                 
 –S.N. Goenka

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

Excerpt from January 4, 2004 – Delhi


Dear students!
Two things are very important for you to truly bring meditation practice (sadhana) into your lives. One point is to have learnt this practice in a Vipassana course, or to have ripened in practice over a number of Vipassana courses, along with not missing your morning and evening daily sittings once you return home. If you miss them, you will not get the desired benefit from these courses. Otherwise, these ten-days here will turn into just a mere ritual. 

In the same way as you give food to the body two or three times a day to sustain it and keep it healthy, so also the mind needs its sustenance. These morning and evening sittings are the food which keeps the mind healthy and strong. Without this, the mind will grow weak and unhealthy and you will be deprived of the benefit that accrues from the practice. 

The second important point to remember is that even though you may sit for Vipassana meditation daily in the morning and evening, you must also check whether it is manifesting in your daily life. Keep checking repeatedly. For instance, a meditator (sadhak) sees that previously he used to get angry in a certain situation; but now in a similar situation, when he becomes aware that anger has arisen, he sees that it is not as strong, not as intense. In addition, it does not remain for as long as it did previously. This is an improvement. 

You must keep observing yourself repeatedly whether there is any improvement or not. In addition to anger observe the other defilements. For example, previously you may have become agitated in certain situations, and now agitation has indeed arisen again in a similar situation. But has it come with the same intensity, or is it less? Is there any improvement? In this way, keep checking yourself. 

Perhaps ill will has arisen towards someone. It used to arise in the past, and now once again it has arisen. But does it remain in your mind for as long as it did previously, or does it dissolve more rapidly? Keep checking. How soon did you become aware of it? First of all, how soon did you become aware that you did something wrong; you became angry and generated ill will and hatred? Secondly, and of equal importance, how soon did you start generating a feeling of loving-kindness (metta) and goodwill towards the person to whom the ill will, anger and animosity had arisen? Having wounded someone with your harshness, anger, ill feeling and hatred, now it is important that you apply a healing balm. How soon did you start giving that same person metta from your heart; ‘may you be happy, may you be peaceful’. You will now come to know how strong this metta within has become. 

If you are boiling in anger and you utter the words, ‘May you be happy’, it will not generate any goodwill. Calm the mind, quieten it, then metta can arise. Once the anger has gone and the mind is calm, then you can remember this person towards whom you expressed anger, spoke harsh words, generated ill will and as you remember him, you can generate goodwill and a loving feeling: ‘May you be happy, may you be at peace’. If this happens, then you are indeed developing Dhamma in your life. 

On the one hand, if you sit for a 10-day course but do not practice Vipassana daily in the morning and in the evening when you return home, then it will not give the proper benefit that it should. On the other hand, certainly it is good if you are practicing daily in the morning and evening, but if you are not checking whether Dhamma is manifesting in your live or not, then still your practice is incomplete. 

To read the full text, please click here.

2019 Children and Teen Courses

On April 7, a children’s course will be held in Alpharetta, GA, for children and teens ages 8-15 years. For more information and to apply, please click here.  

The annual children’s courses at Dhamma Patapa will be held June 21 – 23 for children and teens ages 8-17 years. Applications will be accepted beginning March 21 on the course schedule page.

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 first 1-day course will be held April 14th with others planned for July 14th and October 13th. 

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

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.

Spring Dhamma Service Period is April 8-17 

Includes 1-day course on April 14

The Spring Dhamma service period will begin on the 8th of April. 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 Sunday, April 14th, 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.

You’re invited to apply to serve full-time or part-time for the Spring Dhamma Service Period April 8-17.  We hope to see you!

The Winter Service Period had a fairly large turn out with fourteen full-time servers.  We were fortunate to have long term servers who were able to lead teams in deep cleaning different areas of the center.  The landscape committee did a great job improving the aesthetics of the Men’s 8 and in front of registration. Construction began on the kitchen expansion project. 

The 1-day course had about twenty participants with most of the Winter Service Period attendees sitting as well. The Operations team served in the kitchen to let the maximum students sit the course.

Words of the Buddha

When faced with the vicissitudes of life,
one’s mind remains unshaken,
sorrowless, stainless, secure;
this is the greatest welfare.

Sutta Nipāta 2.271

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.)

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!  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 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 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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