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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.

7 Day Self Retreat with Steven Smith @ online
Oct 15 – Oct 21 all-day

This 7-day supported self-retreat will be run via Zoom. This course is designed for Steven and co-teacher Darine to support yogis to do a retreat at home, with as much participation in a silent container as they can-given their particular home circumstances. The request is that yogis shift from their daily life schedule to a home retreat. The expectation is that yogis participate in the guided sittings, interviews, Dharma talks and as much of a home meditation retreat schedule as they can.

For experienced yogis who can follow a full-time schedule:
6am to 12pm – 6 hour mindfulness block
Yogis can make their own schedule around instructions, guiding sittings and talk.
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.

SEEING SECURITY EVERYWHERE: Finding Refuge in the Storm of Uncertainty (2021) @ Online
Jun 11 – Jun 20 all-day

Rainbow over the Ocean at Hapu’u bay in North Kohala


Finding Refuge in the Storm of Uncertainty

June 11-20, 2021

Online Intensive Meditation Retreat

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

Pari Ruengvisesh, and Darine Monroy


In the Attadanada Sutta, the Buddha is quoted as saying,

Not harsh, not greedy, not perturbed, everywhere in tune:

This is the reward — I say when asked — for those who are free from pre-conceptions.

For one unperturbed — who understands — there is no accumulating.

Abstaining, unaroused, they see security everywhere.


Join this group of teachers for a supported Self-Retreat during this period of time where the unresolved harm of the past, the instability of the present and the undependability of the future has been brought into intense focus. How can we find peace amid the volatility, compassion amid the tragedy, loving kindness amid the anger? During this era of tumult, possibility, hope and fear, we encourage our students to take the time to heed the call into silence and exploration – to use it as an opportunity to develop the beautiful qualities of mind that we know are available to us in any moment but which do not arise easily without training.


Jan 17 @ 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

2 – 3:30 Hawaiʻi  / 4 – 5:30 California / 7 – 8:30 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.