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CALENDAR

MOVING FORWARD WITH MYANMAR

A military coup has overthrown the democratically elected government of Myanmar – the root of our lineage and Buddhist practice. Please check out the campaign we are running to help educate, gather resources, and promote a momentum of goodness around the world to begin the process of inspiring change.

READ OUR MOST RECENT UPDATE HERE

PROGRAMS

Vipassana Hawai‘i offers a variety of programs aligned with Buddhist Theravada 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.

Jan
15
Fri
Karuna (Compassion) Online Weekend Retreat @ online
Jan 15 – Jan 17 all-day

Teachings

This retreat period will focus primarily on the practice of KARUNA / Compassion, one of the four Brahma Viharas – the Divine Abodes – as taught by the Buddha and in the traditions of the Theravadan lineage.

The Brahma Viharas are a series of practices and teachings that ecompass the most highly regarded spiritual emotions in our lineage: Metta (lovingkindness), Karuna (compassion), Mudita (appreciateive joy) and Upekkha (equanimity). Together they form a comprehensive and perfectly balanced system of mind-cultivation: one that conditions the mind to be imbued with good-will and peace for all beings in the world (including ourselves) and all their range of joy and sorrow without hesitation or restraint. It is a coherent path that has the ability to develop the full range of love and wisdom necessary for the project of awakening.

We will offer a range of approaches to the Brahma Viharas to allow for a range of entry points according to individual conditions. Helping people both into the doorway of pure concentration as well as a more integrated approach that includes the sense-experiences and wisdom-inclined method of our vipassana practice are of the highest priority for our teachers.

Weekend Programs will Consist of:

  • Friday evening Dhamma Talk
  • Saturday Pratice Periods with recorded and live instruction
  • Saturday Q&A
  • Recorded Instructions on Sunday Morning
  • Sunday evening Sitting and Dharma Talk (open to the public)

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

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.

Teachers

Michele McDonald co-founded Vipassana Hawai’i in 1984 with Steven Smith. She has taught Insight meditation for thirty eight years. Beyond her commitment to the Vipassana Hawai’i Sangha, she teaches extensively throughout the United States, in Canada, Burma, and various locations around the world. Michele has been a quiet pioneer having being the first woman to teach a formal retreat in Burma, side-by-side with a senior monastic figure, Sayadaw U Lakkhana, Abbot of Kyaswa Monastery. Having worked with a wide range of Asian and Western teachers, Michele is most inspired by her practice with Dipa Ma and Sayadaw U Pandita and more recently in Burma with the Mya Taung Sayadaw. She appreciates teaching at many levels of practice and has enjoyed teaching three-month retreats for experienced students as well as developing meditation retreats for youth. Her style of teaching emphasizes helping individuals find entry points into stillness that are natural for them. She encourages an understanding of the path of insight and a gentle strengthening of mindfulness and concentration so that, ultimately, people can access the peaceful depths of their experience in every moment. Michele is thrilled when students begin to love their practice as their own.

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 divides his time teaching Vipassana and the Divine Abodes (loving-kindness, compassion, joy, equanimity) meditation retreats around the world, and assisting Burmese refugee communities along the Thai-Burma border. His long term vision for preserving the Dhamma is culminating in the beginnings of the Hawai’i Insight Meditation Center (HIMC) on the Big Island of Hawai’i’s remote North Kohala coast.

Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey’s teaching aims to inspire the skills, determination, and faith necessary to realize the deepest human freedom. He is a student of Michele McDonald and his approach is rooted in the tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma. As a teacher of Vipassana (insight) meditation within the broader context of Theravadan Buddhism his teaching encourages an exploration of the relationship between ethics, insight, and action. Perpetually intrigued by the dynamics between inner and outer change, Jesse is a writer of numerous essays and author of Insurgent Heart: A Vipassana Manual for the Guerrilla Yogi. Links to his writing can be found on his website: www.dolessforpeace.org as well as links to his weekly musical radio show, Mind to Mind: The Transmission. He is a spoon carver who loves to teach people about how to work with their hands and explore the relationship between labor, ownership, and kamma. He is the resident teacher for Vipassana Hawai’i and teaches around the world.

Jan
17
Sun
Vipassana Hawaiʻi Sunday Sitting ~ Online @ Online via Zoom
Jan 17 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Join the Vipassana Hawaiʻi teachers for an online Sunday Sitting program

It is a wonderful way to connect with community, practice together, hear the teachings, and deepen our understanding of the Dhamma.

Our teachers will take turns each week guiding meditation, offering talks, and taking the lead on questions.

The program schedule will be (All Times Hawaii / GMT-10):

2:00 PM
Guided Meditation
2:30 PM
Dhamma Talk
3:00 PM
Q&A
*
Once you register, the link for the Zoom meeting along with the password will be sent to you.
*
Our Sunday Sittings are free and open to the public.
*
Please remember that, in accordance with tradition and out of an inspiration to protect the integrity of our teaching lineage, our teachers do not charge money for their offerings. They are supported entirely by dana: the freely offered generosity of students and supporters.
*
At any time, monetary donations to the teaching team can be made online here:
Jan
22
Fri
Mudita (Appreciative Joy) – Online Weekend Retreat @ online
Jan 22 – Jan 24 all-day

Teachings

This retreat period will focus primarily on the practice of MUDITA / Appreciative Joy, one of the four Brahma Viharas – the Divine Abodes – as taught by the Buddha and in the traditions of the Theravadan lineage.

The Brahma Viharas are a series of practices and teachings that ecompass the most highly regarded spiritual emotions in our lineage: Metta (lovingkindness), Karuna (compassion), Mudita (appreciateive joy) and Upekkha (equanimity). Together they form a comprehensive and perfectly balanced system of mind-cultivation: one that conditions the mind to be imbued with good-will and peace for all beings in the world (including ourselves) and all their range of joy and sorrow without hesitation or restraint. It is a coherent path that has the ability to develop the full range of love and wisdom necessary for the project of awakening.

We will offer a range of approaches to the Brahma Viharas to allow for a range of entry points according to individual conditions. Helping people both into the doorway of pure concentration as well as a more integrated approach that includes the sense-experiences and wisdom-inclined method of our vipassana practice are of the highest priority for our teachers.

Weekend Programs will Consist of:

  • Friday evening Dhamma Talk
  • Saturday Pratice Periods with recorded and live instruction
  • Saturday Q&A
  • Recorded Instructions on Sunday Morning
  • Sunday evening Sitting and Dharma Talk (open to the public)

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

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.

Teachers

Michele McDonald co-founded Vipassana Hawai’i in 1984 with Steven Smith. She has taught Insight meditation for thirty eight years. Beyond her commitment to the Vipassana Hawai’i Sangha, she teaches extensively throughout the United States, in Canada, Burma, and various locations around the world. Michele has been a quiet pioneer having being the first woman to teach a formal retreat in Burma, side-by-side with a senior monastic figure, Sayadaw U Lakkhana, Abbot of Kyaswa Monastery. Having worked with a wide range of Asian and Western teachers, Michele is most inspired by her practice with Dipa Ma and Sayadaw U Pandita and more recently in Burma with the Mya Taung Sayadaw. She appreciates teaching at many levels of practice and has enjoyed teaching three-month retreats for experienced students as well as developing meditation retreats for youth. Her style of teaching emphasizes helping individuals find entry points into stillness that are natural for them. She encourages an understanding of the path of insight and a gentle strengthening of mindfulness and concentration so that, ultimately, people can access the peaceful depths of their experience in every moment. Michele is thrilled when students begin to love their practice as their own.

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 divides his time teaching Vipassana and the Divine Abodes (loving-kindness, compassion, joy, equanimity) meditation retreats around the world, and assisting Burmese refugee communities along the Thai-Burma border. His long term vision for preserving the Dhamma is culminating in the beginnings of the Hawai’i Insight Meditation Center (HIMC) on the Big Island of Hawai’i’s remote North Kohala coast.

Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey’s teaching aims to inspire the skills, determination, and faith necessary to realize the deepest human freedom. He is a student of Michele McDonald and his approach is rooted in the tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma. As a teacher of Vipassana (insight) meditation within the broader context of Theravadan Buddhism his teaching encourages an exploration of the relationship between ethics, insight, and action. Perpetually intrigued by the dynamics between inner and outer change, Jesse is a writer of numerous essays and author of Insurgent Heart: A Vipassana Manual for the Guerrilla Yogi. Links to his writing can be found on his website: www.dolessforpeace.org as well as links to his weekly musical radio show, Mind to Mind: The Transmission. He is a spoon carver who loves to teach people about how to work with their hands and explore the relationship between labor, ownership, and kamma. He is the resident teacher for Vipassana Hawai’i and teaches around the world.

Jan
24
Sun
Vipassana Hawaiʻi Sunday Sitting ~ Online @ Online via Zoom
Jan 24 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Join the Vipassana Hawaiʻi teachers for an online Sunday Sitting program

It is a wonderful way to connect with community, practice together, hear the teachings, and deepen our understanding of the Dhamma.

Our teachers will take turns each week guiding meditation, offering talks, and taking the lead on questions.

The program schedule will be (All Times Hawaii / GMT-10):

2:00 PM
Guided Meditation
2:30 PM
Dhamma Talk
3:00 PM
Q&A
*
Once you register, the link for the Zoom meeting along with the password will be sent to you.
*
Our Sunday Sittings are free and open to the public.
*
Please remember that, in accordance with tradition and out of an inspiration to protect the integrity of our teaching lineage, our teachers do not charge money for their offerings. They are supported entirely by dana: the freely offered generosity of students and supporters.
*
At any time, monetary donations to the teaching team can be made online here:
Jan
29
Fri
Upekkha (Equanimity) Online Weekend Retreat @ online
Jan 29 – Jan 31 all-day

Teachings

This retreat period will focus primarily on the practice of UPEKKHA / Equanimity, one of the four Brahma Viharas – the Divine Abodes – as taught by the Buddha and in the traditions of the Theravadan lineage.

The Brahma Viharas are a series of practices and teachings that ecompass the most highly regarded spiritual emotions in our lineage: Metta (lovingkindness), Karuna (compassion), Mudita (appreciateive joy) and Upekkha (equanimity). Together they form a comprehensive and perfectly balanced system of mind-cultivation: one that conditions the mind to be imbued with good-will and peace for all beings in the world (including ourselves) and all their range of joy and sorrow without hesitation or restraint. It is a coherent path that has the ability to develop the full range of love and wisdom necessary for the project of awakening.

We will offer a range of approaches to the Brahma Viharas to allow for a range of entry points according to individual conditions. Helping people both into the doorway of pure concentration as well as a more integrated approach that includes the sense-experiences and wisdom-inclined method of our vipassana practice are of the highest priority for our teachers.

Weekend Programs will Consist of:

  • Friday evening Dhamma Talk
  • Saturday Pratice Periods with recorded and live instruction
  • Saturday Q&A
  • Recorded Instructions on Sunday Morning
  • Sunday evening Sitting and Dharma Talk (open to the public)

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

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.

Teachers

Michele McDonald co-founded Vipassana Hawai’i in 1984 with Steven Smith. She has taught Insight meditation for thirty eight years. Beyond her commitment to the Vipassana Hawai’i Sangha, she teaches extensively throughout the United States, in Canada, Burma, and various locations around the world. Michele has been a quiet pioneer having being the first woman to teach a formal retreat in Burma, side-by-side with a senior monastic figure, Sayadaw U Lakkhana, Abbot of Kyaswa Monastery. Having worked with a wide range of Asian and Western teachers, Michele is most inspired by her practice with Dipa Ma and Sayadaw U Pandita and more recently in Burma with the Mya Taung Sayadaw. She appreciates teaching at many levels of practice and has enjoyed teaching three-month retreats for experienced students as well as developing meditation retreats for youth. Her style of teaching emphasizes helping individuals find entry points into stillness that are natural for them. She encourages an understanding of the path of insight and a gentle strengthening of mindfulness and concentration so that, ultimately, people can access the peaceful depths of their experience in every moment. Michele is thrilled when students begin to love their practice as their own.

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 divides his time teaching Vipassana and the Divine Abodes (loving-kindness, compassion, joy, equanimity) meditation retreats around the world, and assisting Burmese refugee communities along the Thai-Burma border. His long term vision for preserving the Dhamma is culminating in the beginnings of the Hawai’i Insight Meditation Center (HIMC) on the Big Island of Hawai’i’s remote North Kohala coast.

Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey’s teaching aims to inspire the skills, determination, and faith necessary to realize the deepest human freedom. He is a student of Michele McDonald and his approach is rooted in the tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma. As a teacher of Vipassana (insight) meditation within the broader context of Theravadan Buddhism his teaching encourages an exploration of the relationship between ethics, insight, and action. Perpetually intrigued by the dynamics between inner and outer change, Jesse is a writer of numerous essays and author of Insurgent Heart: A Vipassana Manual for the Guerrilla Yogi. Links to his writing can be found on his website: www.dolessforpeace.org as well as links to his weekly musical radio show, Mind to Mind: The Transmission. He is a spoon carver who loves to teach people about how to work with their hands and explore the relationship between labor, ownership, and kamma. He is the resident teacher for Vipassana Hawai’i and teaches around the world.

Jan
31
Sun
Vipassana Hawaiʻi Sunday Sitting ~ Online @ Online via Zoom
Jan 31 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Join the Vipassana Hawaiʻi teachers for an online Sunday Sitting program

It is a wonderful way to connect with community, practice together, hear the teachings, and deepen our understanding of the Dhamma.

Our teachers will take turns each week guiding meditation, offering talks, and taking the lead on questions.

The program schedule will be (All Times Hawaii / GMT-10):

2:00 PM
Guided Meditation
2:30 PM
Dhamma Talk
3:00 PM
Q&A
*
Once you register, the link for the Zoom meeting along with the password will be sent to you.
*
Our Sunday Sittings are free and open to the public.
*
Please remember that, in accordance with tradition and out of an inspiration to protect the integrity of our teaching lineage, our teachers do not charge money for their offerings. They are supported entirely by dana: the freely offered generosity of students and supporters.
*
At any time, monetary donations to the teaching team can be made online here:
Feb
7
Sun
Vipassana Hawaiʻi Sunday Sitting ~ Online @ Online via Zoom
Feb 7 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Join the Vipassana Hawaiʻi teachers for an online Sunday Sitting program

It is a wonderful way to connect with community, practice together, hear the teachings, and deepen our understanding of the Dhamma.

Our teachers will take turns each week guiding meditation, offering talks, and taking the lead on questions.

The program schedule will be (All Times Hawaii / GMT-10):

2:00 PM
Guided Meditation
2:30 PM
Dhamma Talk
3:00 PM
Q&A
*
Once you register, the link for the Zoom meeting along with the password will be sent to you.
*
Our Sunday Sittings are free and open to the public.
*
Please remember that, in accordance with tradition and out of an inspiration to protect the integrity of our teaching lineage, our teachers do not charge money for their offerings. They are supported entirely by dana: the freely offered generosity of students and supporters.
*
At any time, monetary donations to the teaching team can be made online here:
Feb
14
Sun
Vipassana Hawaiʻi Sunday Sitting ~ Online @ Online via Zoom
Feb 14 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Join the Vipassana Hawaiʻi teachers for an online Sunday Sitting program

It is a wonderful way to connect with community, practice together, hear the teachings, and deepen our understanding of the Dhamma.

Our teachers will take turns each week guiding meditation, offering talks, and taking the lead on questions.

The program schedule will be (All Times Hawaii / GMT-10):

2:00 PM
Guided Meditation
2:30 PM
Dhamma Talk
3:00 PM
Q&A
*
Once you register, the link for the Zoom meeting along with the password will be sent to you.
*
Our Sunday Sittings are free and open to the public.
*
Please remember that, in accordance with tradition and out of an inspiration to protect the integrity of our teaching lineage, our teachers do not charge money for their offerings. They are supported entirely by dana: the freely offered generosity of students and supporters.
*
At any time, monetary donations to the teaching team can be made online here:
Feb
21
Sun
Vipassana Hawaiʻi Sunday Sitting ~ Online @ Online via Zoom
Feb 21 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Join the Vipassana Hawaiʻi teachers for an online Sunday Sitting program

It is a wonderful way to connect with community, practice together, hear the teachings, and deepen our understanding of the Dhamma.

Our teachers will take turns each week guiding meditation, offering talks, and taking the lead on questions.

The program schedule will be (All Times Hawaii / GMT-10):

2:00 PM
Guided Meditation
2:30 PM
Dhamma Talk
3:00 PM
Q&A
*
Once you register, the link for the Zoom meeting along with the password will be sent to you.
*
Our Sunday Sittings are free and open to the public.
*
Please remember that, in accordance with tradition and out of an inspiration to protect the integrity of our teaching lineage, our teachers do not charge money for their offerings. They are supported entirely by dana: the freely offered generosity of students and supporters.
*
At any time, monetary donations to the teaching team can be made online here:
Feb
28
Sun
Vipassana Hawaiʻi Sunday Sitting ~ Online @ Online via Zoom
Feb 28 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Join the Vipassana Hawaiʻi teachers for an online Sunday Sitting program

It is a wonderful way to connect with community, practice together, hear the teachings, and deepen our understanding of the Dhamma.

Our teachers will take turns each week guiding meditation, offering talks, and taking the lead on questions.

The program schedule will be (All Times Hawaii / GMT-10):

2:00 PM
Guided Meditation
2:30 PM
Dhamma Talk
3:00 PM
Q&A
*
Once you register, the link for the Zoom meeting along with the password will be sent to you.
*
Our Sunday Sittings are free and open to the public.
*
Please remember that, in accordance with tradition and out of an inspiration to protect the integrity of our teaching lineage, our teachers do not charge money for their offerings. They are supported entirely by dana: the freely offered generosity of students and supporters.
*
At any time, monetary donations to the teaching team can be made online here: