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photo by Ralph Davis

Vipassana Hawai‘i offers a variety of programs aligned with Buddhist Theravadic teachings  in Hawai‘i, the US mainland, Canada, and Southeast Asia. Whether you are a beginner or an seasoned yogi, we provide a diverse range of practice opportunities throughout the year. Click through to learn more about us, or to join our Hawai‘i sangha at Sunday sittings.

Upcoming Retreats

June 29 – July 1, 2018

Wise and Compassionate Presence

with Mary Grace Orr

Kahumana Organic Farm & Cafe

Retreat now filled. 

This weekend retreat, suitable for both beginners and experienced students, will focus on mindfulness as a path to insight and to opening the heart.  We will have a special emphasis on the practices of gratitude as a way of supporting wisdom and compassion.  The retreat will be held in silence, with periods of sitting practice as well as walking practice.  There will be opportunities to speak with the teacher.

July 20 – 26, 2018

Four of this, Eight of that, Five of this, Seven of that: The Buddhas path to mental wellness.

With Grahame White

Palolo Zen Center, Honolulu, Hawai’i

In our everyday life, we often find that there is mental agitation, upheaval, and conflict. To come out of this, the Buddha advised that we try our best to walk the path that he discovered under the Bodhi Tree. He offered advice and encouragement for us to achieve our goal of mental wellness. This course will explore the many useful practices, in meditative terms, given by the Buddha. This retreat is suitable for new and old students alike.

Now open for registration.


August 10 – 19, 2018

Affectionate Awareness as a Path to Liberation

With Michele McDonald and Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey

Vallecitos Mountain Ranch, New Mexico

Waitlist only.

Develop your heart’s capacity for clarity and kindness with this unique integration of Metta (lovingkindness) and Vipassana (insight) practices. Experience the richness of quietude in the beautiful Vallecitos wilderness while cultivating the wisdom of Vipassana and the tenderness of the 4 Brahma Viharas: Unconditional Love, Compassion, Appreciative Joy, and Equanimity.

August 24 – September 2, 2018

Vipassana Retreat at Sea to Sky

With Michele McDonald and Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey

Waitlist only.

Vipassana meditation (Insight or Mindfulness practice) is the moment-to-moment investigation of the mind/body process through calm and focused awareness. As insight deepens, wisdom and compassion arise.

Sea to Sky Retreat Centre is a secluded 40-acre site of extraordinary natural beauty in British Columbia’s coastal mountain range.

Sponsored by BCIMS  Sea to Sky Retreat Centre, Daisy Lake, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

September 13 – 22, 2018

Freedom Through Understanding: Insight as a Path to Peace

With Michele McDonald and Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey

True North Insight, Arnprior, Ottawa, Canada

Waitlist only.

The teachers will be offering Vipassana practice rooted in deepening our understanding of mindfulness as the intention to understand our experience rather than to judge and control it.
Learn to develop a field of awareness that can be narrowed or broadened, that can incline toward clarity or compassion, depending on the needs of the circumstance. Learn to move with courage toward difficulty when mindfulness and equanimity are strong, and to infuse one’s awareness with gentle care when the challenges seem overwhelming.
The practice is grounded firmly in the Theravada teachings of the Buddha and offered in the spirit of our times. All four foundations of mindfulness will be taught so that yogis can access deeper levels of insight and peace.

October 19 – October 27, 2018

Seven-day retreat

With Steven Smith

Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Centre

Medlow Bath – Blue Mountains Australia

Filled. Waitlist only.

Anchored in the Theravadan Buddhist Burmese lineage of Mahasi Sayadaw since 1974, Steven Smith was trained and sanctioned as a teacher by the late revered monk and meditation master Sayadaw U Pandita. Steven teaches Vipassana and the Divine Abodes (loving-kindness, compassion, joy, equanimity) in meditation retreats in Asia, Hawai’i, North America and Australia. He co-founded Vipassana Hawai’i in 1984 and in 1995 founded the MettaDana Project for educational and medical projects in Burma. Also in 1995 Steven helped establish the Kyaswa Valley Retreat Center in Burma, headed by the late Sayadaw U Lakkhana, Abbot of Kyaswa Monastery.

This retreat is suitable for beginners and experienced meditators.

October 26 – 28, 2018

Day of the Dead Weekend

With Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey

The Sacred Falls International Meditation Center, Hauula, Hawai’i

Not yet opened.

November 9 – 11, 2018

Topic to be announced

With Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey

Lanai, Hawai’i

Not yet opened.

November 23 – December 1, 2018

Dhamma: Pure, Deep, and Simple

With Steven Smith and Michele McDonald

Palolo Zen Center, Honolulu, Hawai’i

Not yet opened.

December 29, 2018 – January 8, 2019

 New Year’s Abiding in the Wild: Nurturing Love, Awareness, and the Heart’s Deep Release

Vipassana Retreat with Mindful Movement

with Steven Smith and assisted by Jake Davis

Mindful movement with Julie Seibt

Jungle Yoga, Thailand

Now open.

We will begin each day sitting together in the stillness of this remote jungle lake, as dawn slowly brings on the indescribable jungle chorus of cicadas and gibbons. Together, we will learn to cultivate seamless awareness in all sense fields, nourished by dedicated cultivation of the ‘divine abidings’: unconditional friendliness, wise compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity. In each moment of returning gently to the present, we develop the ability to abide with clarity and kindness in the midst of both subtle and strong emotions.

January 12 – February 2, 2019 

Kyaswa Monastery Fusion Retreat

with Sayadaw U Pannananda, Sayalay Ma Kamala, and Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey 

The Sagaing Hills of Burma (Myanmar)

Now open for registration.

This unique 3-week retreat offers a rare opportunity to practice Metta (lovingkindness) and Vipassana (insight) methods with skilled Burmese monastic and Western lay teachers in the Sagaing Hills of Upper Burma. The first 5 days will focus on Metta practice to lay the foundation for a deeper emphasis on Vipassana during the rest of the retreat. 

Filled with centuries-old pagodas, monasteries, and nunneries, the Sagaing hills are regarded as the spiritual heart of Burma and one of the most important practice centers of Theravada Buddhism. Kyaswa Monastery is itself a 600-year-old practice and study center that plays a vital role in the health and vibrancy of nearby Wachet village

If you are interested in or have questions about any of the upcoming retreats please feel free to contact us by email.

Please note our Cancellation Policy:
If you cancel more than 45 days prior to the retreat: We will refund all fees less paypal fees – usually $50.00- $100.00
If you cancel 10-44 days prior to the retreat: We will refund all fees less $200.00. Cancellation insurance recommended.
If you cancel less than 14 days prior to the event: Unfortunately we cannot afford to offer a refund. Last-minute cancellations are costly and sometimes mean that others cannot attend the retreat. 
* Daylong retreats within Hawai”i comply with a different cancellation policy, as noted on the registration pages.