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CALENDAR

* BLACK LIVES MATTER *

It is obvious. It is urgent.

Because statements matter less than action, we simply want to make it clear that we are open to invitation and direction from black leadership on ways we can use our skill set and infrastructure to support the ongoing work of the movement to defend black lives.

All inquiries can be sent here

May we be free from all forms suffering and oppression. May we be or service to the spiritual and social liberation of all beings.

PROGRAMS

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 a 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 online for our Sunday sittings.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most in-person programs for this year have been cancelled. Please check in for updates to our online offerings.

Sep
4
Fri
Peaceful and Free: Renunciation, Kindness, and the End of Grasping @ Online
Sep 4 – Sep 13 all-day

PEACEFUL AND FREE:

Renunciation, Kindness, and the End of Grasping

Septeber 4-13, 2020

Online Intensive Vipassana Meditation Retreat

with Michele McDonald, Steven Smith, Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey,

Pari Ruengviseh, and Darine Monroy

(This retreat is open only to students who have sat a multi-day in-person retreat with at least one of these teachers)

***

When you’re dedicated to renunciation
and seclusion of the heart;
when you’re dedicated to kindness
and the end of grasping;

when you’re dedicated to the ending of craving
and clarity of heart;
and you’ve seen the arising of the senses,
your mind is rightly freed.

For that one, rightly freed,
a mendicant with peaceful mind,
there’s nothing to be improved,
and nothing more to do.

As the wind cannot stir
a solid mass of rock,
so too sights, tastes, sounds,
smells, and touches—the lot—

and thoughts, whether liked or disliked,
don’t disturb the poised one.
Their mind is steady and free
as they observe disappearance.

~Sona Sutta AN 6.55

Many of us find ourselves perpetually tossed around by the tumult of the vicissitudes of life. The flux of pleasure, pain, gain, loss, praise, blame, fame, disrepute keeps us unbalanced and anxious. We grasp onto pleasure to create security in joy. We defend against the unpleasant to find safety. We delude ourselves in fantasy to avoid the hardship of life. These tactics are understandable but they do not ulitmately provide safety. In the end, they recreate the dynamics of our own suffering and oppression.

The Buddha taught a radical and simple approach to investigative, tender relationship with all of the experiences of the senses in order to liberate ourselves through the understanding of their nature as impermanant, undependable, and selfless. Through this practice of mindful presence with all phenomena we encounter the possibility of peace – of a mind and heart freed from the disturbances of attachment and aversion.

Join this dedicated group of teachers and fellow-travellers as we create together the protective conditions and apply the practical approach of liberation in this very life. This is a supported self-retreat where you will be largely responsibible for protecting the conditions of your own practice. Teachers and sangha will be there to provide structure, instruction, and support for your journey.

While your individual daily schedule may vary from other yogis, every participant in this online course will be offered:

~ Daily practice instructions

~ Interviews

~ Dhamma talks

~ Group chanting in the evenings

Instructions, talks, and chanting will be offered live and will also be recorded so that yogis in various time zones can listen and watch at their convenience.

We understand that the conditions of seclusion may vary greatly for all of us and so we cannot expect the same degree of support that we might have at a retreat center. Part of the value of self-retreat is the ability to integrate our practice into our daily lives. At the same time it is very easy for the protection of the container to fall apart entirely and without that protection our practice will not have the conditions in which to flourish. Please take the conditions of your life seriously during the period of this retreat and be honest in your decision about which track to sign up for.

***

This retreat will allow for 2 tracks of participation:

1. Full-time yogi. Full-time yogis are expected to commit to a protected period of renunciation and seclusion during your time on retreat. This includes the capacity to mostly stay in silence during their days, and not have any major work, family, or outside responsibilities. We understand that given the reality of their lives, yogis will likely need to cook, clean, and maybe answer a few emails, etc from time to time. Nevertheless, their fundamental orientation for this time should be as yogis. Full time yogis will be included in the regularly scheduled interview process and will be invited to ask questions during any Q&A sessions that may be offered.

2. Part-time yogi. Part-time yogis can enjoy all of the online meditation sessions with instructions and in silence and are invited to come to the Dhamma Offerings each evening. Understanding the reality of daily life, these yogis can spend a large portion of their time attending to household responsibilities or work needs as may be required. Part-time yogis will not be included on the interview schedule and are asked to refrain from asking questions during any Q&A periods. We will try to accommodate separate Q&A sessions if possible.

***

This retreat is only open to students of Steven, Michele, Jesse, Pari, and Darine who have sat multi-day in-person retreat courses with them in the past.

We will be offering a shorter online program this fall for new students.

Please contact Vipassana Hawaii with any questions you may have regarding your participation.

If you are experiencing financial hardship and need scholarship support, please contact us.

We look forward to supporting you in the ways we know best during these challenging times.

Teacher Dana

In accordance with tradition, all Vipassana Hawai’i internationally respected teachers offer their teachings free of charge and are supported through the freely-offered generosity of students and supporters. Costs associated with retreats cover the growing expenses associated with online services, online storage, broadcasting equipment, and website administration – but do not support teacher time, training, effort, or energy. We believe that this commitment helps keep the purity of the teachings alive and thriving, as it has for millennia. They do not collect salaries in keeping with the time-honored tradition of sharing openly the chance for peace. This allows us to keep our registration fees as low as possible but also means that the livelihood of our teachers is precarious. As a result, we strive to give back in any for – including monetarily – so that they may continue their endeavors and share their wisdom. Vipassana Teachers must be supported in this way if we are to keep this tradition alive, healthy, and with integrity in the modern era. Dana, or generosity, can be offered by cash or check at the end of the retreat or online here.

Please note our Cancellation Policy:
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 usually mean that others whom we have already turned away can no longer attend the retreat.

Nov
27
Fri
Dhamma: Deep, Pure, and Simple – 2020 (online) @ online
Nov 27 – Dec 2 all-day

Dhamma: Pure, Deep, and Simple

An Online Meditation Retreat

with

Steven Smith, Michele McDonald, and Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey

November 27 – December 2, 2020

Come receive a pure and powerful Dhamma teaching and engage in the practice that awakens deeply embodied wisdom and kindness.

Our minds all have the ability to pierce through the delusions that enshroud us and to abide in the truth of reality in ways that are tender, clear, strong, and wise. But it will not happen on its own. It takes dedicated time and practice and the protective conditions under which we can meaningfully explore the nature of mind and body – and of our resistance to it.

Join this dedicated group of teachers and fellow-yogis for an intensive period of self-retreat supported by a range of online offerings. While your daily schedule will be largely up to you to decide, the program will also include:

~ Daily practice instructions

~ Dhamma talks

~ Q&A Sessions

~ Group chanting in the evenings

Instructions, talks, and chanting will be offered live and will also be recorded so that yogis in various time zones can listen and watch at their convenience.

We understand that the conditions of seclusion may vary between all of us and so we cannot expect the same degree of support that we might have at a retreat center. Part of the value of self-retreat is the ability to integrate our practice into our daily lives. At the same time it is very easy for the protection of the container to fall apart entirely and without that protection our practice will not have the conditions in which to flourish. But this is a period of renunciation and we expect that all participants respect the shared commitment of the other yogis during this time.

We ask that all participants be committed to the basic parameters of silence during this retreat and not have significant obligations outside of your responsibilities as a yogi.

This means not engaging socially, reading the news, engaging in outside work, etc. Of course there may be small chores of cooking and cleaning or the unexpected life situation that we may have to respond to. But in order to participate in the retreat, we ask that all retreatants maintain a baseline of silence and renunciation.

***

Please contact Vipassana Hawaii with any questions you may have regarding your participation.

We look forward to supporting you in the ways we know best during these challenging times.

If you are experiencing financial hardship and need scholarship support, please contact us.

Teacher Dana

In accordance with tradition, all Vipassana Hawai’i internationally respected teachers offer their teachings free of charge and are supported through the freely-offered generosity of students and supporters. Costs associated with retreats cover the growing expenses associated with online services, online storage, broadcasting equipment, and website administration – but do not support teacher time, training, effort, or energy. We believe that this commitment helps keep the purity of the teachings alive and thriving, as it has for millennia. They do not collect salaries in keeping with the time-honored tradition of sharing openly the chance for peace. This allows us to keep our registration fees as low as possible but also means that the livelihood of our teachers is precarious. As a result, we strive to give back in any for – including monetarily – so that they may continue their endeavors and share their wisdom. Vipassana Teachers must be supported in this way if we are to keep this tradition alive, healthy, and with integrity in the modern era. Dana, or generosity, can be offered by cash or check at the end of the retreat or online here.

Please note our Cancellation Policy:
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 usually mean that others whom we have already turned away can no longer attend the retreat.

Jan
1
Fri
Returning to Presence: A New Years Retreat @ Online
Jan 1 – Jan 2 all-day

Returning to Presence

New Year’s Vipassana Retreat with Mindful Movement

January 1-2, 2021

Led by Steven Smith and Jake Davis

with Mindful Movement offered by Sarah Davis

*

Fifteen years ago, Steve and Sarah launched our annual retreat at a remote jungle lake in Thailand, bringing together Steven’s decades of teaching Vipassana with Sarah’s seamless addition of mindful movement. We are so grateful that Vipassana Hawaii’s New Years retreat has been held in this sacred wilderness space every year since, with tireless support from Jungle Yoga and from many dear friends.

Although we cannot be at the lake in person this year, Steven, Sarah, and Jake will invite us into a sacred online space that evokes the stillness of the remote jungle lake, the morning chorus of cicadas and gibbons, and the gathering together of spiritual friends to mark the turning of the year.

Each year brings new life changes and new faces, new challenges, and new opportunities. The New Year’s retreat offers an opportunity to mark these changes and bring in the new year with the peaceful blessing and deep rest of silent retreat.

Together, we will learn to cultivate a continuity of silent practice that allows insight awareness in all sense fields to grow in strength and depth. This insight practice will be nourished also by dedicated cultivation of the “divine abidings”: unconditional friendliness, wise compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity. Together, these practices will cultivate our pāramī or “spiritual perfections”, bringing a balance of generosity with renunciation; wisdom with patience; resolution with equanimity.

Mindful movement sessions will feature simple movements and poses, conscious natural breathing, and the development of a deep, kind embodied presence – so that the practice is a seamless element with the rest of the retreat and offers greater embodiment throughout the daily retreat practice.  
It is suitable and adaptable for all.

*

Steven V. Smith 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 Sayadaw U Lakkhana, Abbot of Kyaswa Monastery. This partnership helped usher in the beginnings of Vipassana Hawai’i’s Fusion Dhamma approach combining traditional and contemporary teaching styles in the same retreat. Anchored in the Theravadan Buddhist Burmese lineage of Mahasi Sayadaw since 1974, he was trained and sanctioned as a teacher by revered monk and meditation master Sayadaw U Pandita. Steven dedicates his time teaching Vipassana and the Divine Abodes (loving-kindness, compassion, joy, equanimity) in meditation retreats around the world.

Sarah Davis practiced many styles of yoga in the past 20 years in India, the US and Europe. For more than a decade now she has dedicated herself to the profound yet intuitive teachings of Rossella Baroncini and Vanda Scaravelli, which she feels blend seamlessly with the teachings of the Buddha. 
She is thrilled to be returning to teaching with Steve!

Jake Davis began practicing at age 14, with Steven and Michele, and went on to spend nearly a decade practicing, studying, working as an interpreter, and training as a monk under the eminent meditation masters Sayadaw U Pandita and Sayadaw U Lakkhana of Burma. He brings together intellectual training including study of the Pāli texts, and a PhD in Philosophy and Cognitive Science, with ongoing training in retreat practice and teaching.

*

Scholarships

If you are experiencing financial hardship and need scholarship support, please contact us. Scholarships are available upon request. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. We look forward to supporting you in the ways we know best during these challenging times.

Teacher Dana

In accordance with tradition, all Vipassana Hawai’i internationally respected teachers offer their teachings free of charge and are supported through the freely-offered generosity of students and supporters. Costs associated with retreats cover the growing expenses associated with online services, online storage, broadcasting equipment, and website administration – but do not support teacher time, training, effort, or energy. We believe that this commitment helps keep the purity of the teachings alive and thriving, as it has for millennia. They do not collect salaries in keeping with the time-honored tradition of sharing openly the chance for peace. This allows us to keep our registration fees as low as possible but also means that the livelihood of our teachers is precarious. As a result, we strive to give back in any for – including monetarily – so that they may continue their endeavors and share their wisdom. Vipassana Teachers must be supported in this way if we are to keep this tradition alive, healthy, and with integrity in the modern era. Dana, or generosity, can be offered by mailing a check at the end of the retreat or online here.

Cancellation Policy

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 usually mean that others whom we have already turned away can no longer attend the retreat.