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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.

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.

Dec
6
Sun
Vipassana Hawaiʻi Sunday Sitting ~ Online @ Online via Zoom
Dec 6 @ 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:

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:
Dec
13
Sun
Vipassana Hawaiʻi Sunday Sitting ~ Online @ Online via Zoom
Dec 13 @ 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:

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:
Dec
14
Mon
Metta Oli – The Karaniya Metta Sutta in Hawaiian @ Online
Dec 14 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

We are profoundly excited and honored to invite you to a very special one-time event!

A Hawaiian Language Karaniya Metta Sutta

Come Hear the Story

Come Learn the Chant

An Online Zoom Session

Monday, December 14th

2pm Hawaiʻi

Earlier this summer, Vipassana Hawaiʻi and the Buddhist Study Center of the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaiʻi gathered together a wonderful group of people to develop a Hawaiian language translation and chant of the Karaniya Metta Sutta– the Buddha’s words on loving-kindness. Esteemed translator Puakea Nogelmeier teamed up with our dear colleague Jake Davis to build a nuanced and sensitive translation directly from the Pali language source material. Kekuhi Kealiikanakaole, an eminent cultural practitioner from Hawaiʻi Island, added voicing to the words to create a living, breathing oli – a chant that embodies the practice of loving-kindness itself.

The result of their efforts has culminated in a wonderful document that describes the process of the translation as well as a voiced oli that people can learn, practice and share – and which we hope will become a living part of Hawaiian Buddhism for a long time to come.

You can learn more about the project, read the translation, and hear the oli HERE.

We hope you can join us for an online gathering to help us celebrate the fruition of this wonderful effort.

During our time together online, Jake will share a bit about the place of the Karaniya Metta Sutta in the world of Theravada Buddhism, Puakea will share some insights from the process of translation, and Kekuhi will instruct and guide us in learning the chant for ourselves.

This event is offered free of charge but we ask that you consider making a donation to the ongoing and vital work of Puakea‘s and Kekuhi‘s organizations during your registration.

If you cannot make it to the event directly, please register anyhow and you will have access to a recording of the event and be able to make a contribution to our colleagues’ work.

Please pass this email along to anyone who you think may be interested in joining us!

*

Kekuhi Kealiikanakaole has trained in the tradition of Hula ʻAihaʻa* & Hula Pele*, chant & ritual for 39 years under Hālau O Kekuhi*, named for her grandmother, Edith Kekuhi Kanakaʻole. She has co-produced some of the Hālau O Kekuhi’s most significant contributions to oral and ritual arts stage performances.

In an effort to service people beyond the walls of the Hālau, Kekuhi has developed Ulu Ka ʻŌhiʻa-Hula Consciousness Seminar & Hālau ʻŌhiʻa-Hawaiʻi Stewardship Training to teach basic Hawaiʻi practices that can connect anyone, anywhere, to their inner and outer landscapes.

Puakea Nogelmeier is Professor Emeritus of the Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. A prolific composer, a kumu hula, and a dedicated educator, researcher and writer, Puakea directs Awaiaulu, a training project for Hawaiian translationand resource development.

Jake Davis began practicing vipassana meditation 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.

Dec
20
Sun
Vipassana Hawaiʻi Sunday Sitting ~ Online @ Online via Zoom
Dec 20 @ 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:

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:
Dec
27
Sun
Vipassana Hawaiʻi Sunday Sitting ~ Online @ Online via Zoom
Dec 27 @ 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:

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:
Dec
29
Tue
Luna Llena, Atención Plena, Amistad Buena: Vipassana en Español @ Online
Dec 29 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Luna Llena, Atención Plena, Amistad Buena

Un Programa de Vipassana en Español

con Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey y Darine Monroy

Martes, 29 diciembre, 2020

3 – 4:30 Hawaiʻi  / 5 – 6:30 California / 8 – 9:30 Nueva York

*

Ven a reunirte con dos maestros de Vipassana Hawai’i, Jesse y Darine, para un programa de meditación y enseñanzas Budistas durante la noche de la luna llena.

Si ya tienes experiencia con la práctica de vipassana, ven para el apoyo y sentido de comunidad y para aprender aspectos más profundos de la tradición. Si no sabes nada de meditación, ven a aprender esta práctica antigua que ha apoyado a personas incontables por miles de años a llegar a un estado de mente tranquila, cariñosa, y pacífica.

La meditación vipassana es un método desarrollado por el Buda hace más de 2500 años. Una práctica sencilla y profunda, nos invita a mantener una atención muy íntima con la actividad de los sentidos en una manera cuidadosa, curiosa, flexible, y fuerte. Vipassana cultiva la tranquilidad de concentración tanto como la paz de la sabiduría para conocer con más y más claridad cómo son los fenómenos de la vida en realidad.

El programa será de una hora y media con 1/2 hora de meditación seguido por una plática de enseñanzas y tiempo para preguntas.

Pedimos a todos que sean hablantes nativos de Español y que no vengan para aprender el idioma.

Este programa se ofrece gratuitamente. En acorde con la tradición, Jesse y Darine no cobran por las enseñanzas y son dependientes en la generosidad de estudiantes para sostenerles. Si quieres ofrecer “dana” a ellos, tendrás una oportunidad después que el programa se acabe.

*

Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey espera que sus enseñanzas inspiren la capacidad, determinación, y fe suficiente para realizar la libertad más profunda del ser humano. Jesse es estudiante de Michele McDonald y su método es basado en la tradición de Mahasi Sayadaw de Myanmar. Así su objeto es fomentar una exploración de la relación entre la ética, la percepción, y la acción. Jesse es escritor de varios ensayos y del libro, Insurgent Heart: A Vipassana Manual for the Guerrilla Yogi (Corazón Insurgente: Una Manual de Vipassana para el Yogi Guerrillero) disponible gratuitamente por su sitio web. También tiene un programa musical de radio cada Domingo a las 10-12 de la mañana (Hawáiʻi) en la estación local cuál puedes escuchar aquí. Maestro residencial de Vipassana Hawái’i, viaja y enseña por todo el mundo.

Darine Monroy ha sido una estudiante de Michele McDonald y Steven Smith desde 2011. Tiene tres años entrenando con los maestros de Vipassana Hawaiʻi. Ha enseñado para Mindful Schools y ha cumplido el Entrenamiento Comprehensivo de Hakomi – una tradición somática basada en mindfulness. Nació y creció en Chiapas, Mexico, los retiros de meditación han sido de las experiencias mas poderosas de su vida.

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.

Jan
8
Fri
Metta (Loving-Kindness) Weekend Retreat @ online
Jan 8 – Jan 10 all-day

Teachings

This weekend retreat period will focus primarily on the practice of METTA / Loving-Kindness – 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.

 

Month-Long Intensive Supported Self-Retreat in the Brahma Viharas @ online
Jan 8 – Feb 5 all-day

Invigorating our Hearts is a month-long practice period that will take place in the beginning of 2021.

People are invited to join for Full-Time Intensive Retreat options or Weekend-Only options.

  • Weekend yogis are invited register for any OR all of the 4 Weekend sessions.
  • Full-Time Intensive Retreat yogis are invited to continue the weekendʻs teachings into the week and sit on self-retreat during the entire month (OR, if there is room, for any of the 4 weeklong periods within that month).

The Full-time Intensive Retreat option is only open to yogis who have previously sat multi-day in-person retreats with Vipassana Hawaii teachers.

Teachings

This retreat period will focus primarily on the practice 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)

Intensive Retreat Yogis:

  • Will be invited to join each of the weekend programs
  • Are expected to be mainly in silence – on a period of intensive retreat – during their chosen period.
  • Will be offered 2 interviews each week with a teacher (Tuesdays and Thursdays)
  • Will be offered a Q&A Session as a group each week with a teacher. (Wednesdays)
  • Possible daily yogi-held online sitting space
  • Will be otherwise self-directed during the weekdays

The Basic Program Schedule will be as follows:

January 8-10 (and following week)

METTA / LOVINGKINDNESS

*

January 15-17 (and following week)

KARUNA / COMPASSION

*

January 22-24 (and following week)

MUDITA / APPRECIATIVE JOY

*

January 29-31 (and following week)

UPEKKHA / EQUANIMITY

*

February 5th (Full-Time Yogis Only)

INTEGRATION / CLOSING

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.