“I learned a lot from this intense, focused course and feel my practice has deepened.”
“I felt inspired by the number of people there, all working seriously. The organisers and servers seemed to do a great job.”
“It was an honour and pleasure to serve the meditators and everyone concerned.”
“I did not know anything about the long-course centre before. Such a wonderful thing.”
A Special Course
The large Satipatthana course successfully completed in UK this September was special in a number of ways. It was the first course to be dedicated to Dhamma Padhāna, the European long-course centre (ELCC) which will be built alongside Dhamma Dipa in the coming months. The retreat, attended by over 200 serious old students and servers who travelled from 21 countries, was the largest residential Vipassana course to be held in Europe for 20 years. Dhamma Dipa’s new dining rooms were used for the first time and the old kitchen adapted to cater for large numbers. Small tent villages complete with their own temporary toilet and shower blocks were created. After weeks of rain, the weather was settled and fine. During this course, students were able to meditate on the Dhamma Padhāna land (in the new hall area), helping to generate a positive Dhamma atmosphere there for the benefit of future generations.
Inspiration from Goenkaji
Special arrangements had been made to enable Goenkaji to view the course in progress and give instructions via video uplink from India. On Metta Day students were able to see their teacher on the TV screens in the Dhamma Hall as he spoke directly to them.
“I am very, very pleased to understand that very soon Dhamma Padhāna, another big centre, will come up here. Quite a large number of students can’t come all the way to India to take long courses, so I see that this centre is a boon for you. And understand this centre is not merely an English centre, it is a European centre. Throughout Europe there are many centres and one long-course centre.
My metta is always with you. Let Dhamma Padhāna come up as quickly as possible for the good of many, for the benefit of many, for the liberation of many. May people grow in Dhamma, glow in Dhamma. Take advantage of this wonderful technique for your good and for the good of so many others.
May you all be happy, peaceful and liberated."
Building Dhamma Padhāna
In 2008 over 200 Vipassana courses are being held across the European region in 28 countries. With the construction of a dedicated long-course centre, the growth of Dhamma in Europe is entering a new phase. Dhamma Padhāna (Foremost in Dhamma) will be the first dedicated long-course Vipassana centre outside India.
The land where the centre is being built has been devoted exclusively to meditation and service for many years. The new centre will provide old students who wish to work more deeply with ideal facilities for serious meditation. Each student will live and meditate separately with single en-suite accommodation and a small private meditation cell in the two-storey pagoda. The first phase of construction for 50 students starts soon. By the end of 2009 the evolving centre will begin to offer a programme of both long courses and shorter old student courses. All old students are welcome to become involved in this auspicious project and develop their paramis:
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