– S.N. Goenka
The Appearance of Dhamma in a Quiet Forest in Georgia
The past several years have been a time of continued growth for the Southeast Vipassana Center, Dhamma Patapa. Collectively, the students of the Southeast region have created a home for the serious practice of Dhamma in rural Georgia. In its brief existence, Dhamma Patapa has undertaken an ambitious program of courses, completed a successful beautification project, built a new Dhamma hall, new male and female residences, new dining annexes, two Assistant Teacher residences, expanded parking lot, an administrative office, and added three Long Term Server cabins. Several thousand students have come to either sit or serve at Dhamma Patapa, all of whom have made important contributions to this flourishing new Center. Requests for enrollment in courses far exceed the Center’s capacity.
Continuing to expand the Center is an ongoing process ultimately realizing the full potential of Dhamma Patapa — “The Majesty of Dhamma.”
This requires the dynamic involvement and enthusiastic support of the Old Students in the Southeast region.
Future Student Residences
As finances become available, future student residences will include a private meditation cell and bathroom. Most residences will be units of eight, however, we may also supplement with quad residences as necessary. Click here to view the gallery of future plans.
The Vision: A Thriving Center of Dhamma
Ultimately, the Southeast Vipassana Center will comprise a cluster of buildings constructed around a new meditation hall and Assistant Teacher residences. New dining hall/kitchen facilities will be incorporated into the plan. Various groupings of residences will connect with covered and screened walkways offering protection from weather and insects.
The final goal is to have a Center that will accommodate approximately 90 students with individual rooms and baths, housing for Assistant Teachers, course servers, and long-term servers. These buildings will be neatly tucked away in a forested area on the highest elevation on the property with consideration for the least amount of environmental impact.
Construction to date has been a stepping stone to the ultimate Center vision with some of the buildings expected to have a different end use in the final version. Careful planning to ensure that all these parts fit together in efficient ways has been foremost.
The realities of a limited budget and the effort needed to build an entire Center have forced the Center Development Committee to think with great creativity and flexibility. You may give a Donation/Dana for future expansion projects. In the past, once construction is underway, additional Dana has always come forth. Monthly pledges – ongoing donations – also need to increase to cover student and bank loan payments. These critical financial components are all necessary for projects to move forward to successful completion. Old Student volunteer construction work can also be a great help by keeping construction costs down.
Exterior view of the current Dhamma Hall when later reconfigured as the Dining Hall
The entrance to Dhamma Patapa
As with all Vipassana Centers, Dhamma Patapa is growing solely because of the time, effort, volition and resources freely given by Old Students. For those who wish to be part of this growth, there are many ways to participate. Dana is always welcome and necessary for continued operation and expansion. Loans for construction can provide leverage for taking large steps. Committee work which can be done from afar alleviates some of the workload from the students who manage the Center. And, of course, Dhamma Patapa depends upon volunteers who serve on site whether in the kitchen, working outside on landscaping, managing courses, or maintaining the infrastructure.
There are openings and many opportunities to help expand Dhamma Patapa and the teaching of Dhamma. While volunteers with construction skills are especially helpful, there are plenty of opportunities for people with other skills: cooking during work periods; sewing curtains; landscaping; construction site clean up; assembling furniture; installing shelving; painting new signs; etc. Those interested in construction work may apply here.