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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.

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

Dhamma: Pure, Deep, and Simple

An Online Meditation Retreat


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.

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.

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.