Vipassana Center

Dhamma Dhara : Massachusetts

One of India’s oldest meditation technique is Vipassana. Gautam Buddha rediscovered this long lost technique 2500 years ago. It purely means to see things they really are. It is the process of self- purification by self-observation. One begins by observing the natural breath to concentrate the mind. With a sharpened awareness one proceeds to observe the changing nature of body and mind and experiences the universal truths of impermanence, suffering and egolessness. This truth-realization by direct experience is the process of purification. The entire path has nothing to do with any organized religion or sectarianism and rather it is a universal remedy for universal problems. This is the main reason why it can be freely practiced by anyone or everyone at any time at any place and will prove equally beneficial to all.

Vipassana focusses on self transformation through self observation. It focuses on the deep interconnection between mind and body, which can be experienced directly by disciplined attention to the physical sensations that form the life of the body, and that continuously interconnect and condition the life of the mind. The mental impurity of the body is dissolved through the observation based, self explanatory journey to the common root of mind and body, resulting in a balanced mind full of love and compassion.

The scientific laws that operate one’s thoughts, feelings, judgements and sensations become clear. Through direct experience, the nature of how one grows or regresses, how one produces suffering or frees oneself from suffering is understood. Life becomes characterized by increased awareness, non-delusion, self-control and peace.

About the Course

The courses offered at the Vipassana meditation centre are conducted by assisstant teachers of Shri S N Goenka using audio visual tapes of Mr. Goenka’s instructions and discourses. The ten day course begins from the evening of the date of arrival and ends in the morning of the day of departure

The meditation hall during a ten-day course.

The Vipassana Meditation Center has been offering meditation courses since 1982. Courses are made possible by volunteers who serve the courses and by donations made by students who participate in them. The teachers conducting the course, the course managers and all those who work in the kitchen are all volunteers.

The meditation hall during a ten-day course.

All courses at the Vipassana Meditation Center are run solely on a donation basis. Donations are accepted only from students who have completed at least one ten-day course with S.N. Goenka or one of his assisting teachers and have experienced for themselves the benefits of Vipassana. Thus Vipassana is offered free from commercialism.

About the Centre

The Shelburne center, founded in 1982, was the first center in North America. The original facility was merely a roomy, comfortable two-story house and barn on eight acres of meadowland. In 1989, a group of meditators donated an adjoining seventy acres of land. Today the center consists of 108 acres and many new buildings have been added, including a bathhouse, two dining rooms, meditation hall for 200, a 140 cell pagoda, separate residences for men and women and a center manager’s house.

Outside the men's residence

The men’s and women’s residences have single, double and triple rooms with bathrooms. Single rooms cannot be be reserved.

Outside the new woman's residence

In the summer months, some male students may be housed in outdoor tents and cabins. Indoor accommodations are first reserved for students who must be inside due to physical or health limitations, so please come prepared to be accommodated outdoors.

Men's Residence, Spring 2009

Tents are on platforms measuring 8”² x 10”² and 10”² x 12”² and are large enough to stand up in. Cabins are partitioned to accommodate four people. They are unheated and have no source of electricity.

Outdoor Cabin, Men Only

Dhamma Dharā is located in the town of Shelburne, Massachusetts, approximately 6 miles west of the the town of Greenfield, 6 miles east of the village of Shelburne Falls, in the western part of the state.

Our address is: 386 Colrain-Shelburne Road, Shelburne, MA 01370, USA

For students already enrolled in a course, or considering applying for a course: Ride Share information will be included in your acceptance letter.

By Car

MapQuest directions to the Vipassana Meditation Center (fill in your starting location and press “Get Directions”)

From BOSTON: (2 hours) Either take Interstate 90 West (Mass. Turnpike) to Interstate 91 and head north on I-91 to Exit 26 (Mohawk Trail), or take Route 2 West to I-91 and head south to Exit 26. Then follow the map below.

From NEW YORK: (4 hours) Take Interstate 95 North, then Interstate 91 North to Exit 26 in Massachusetts, and then follow the map below. By bus, take Peter Pan to Springfield, then switch over to Vermont Transit, to Greenfield. See below for additions information.
MapQuest directions from New York City to the Vipassana Meditation Center

From MONTREAL: (5 hours) Cross the Champlain Bridge and take the Eastern Townships Autoroute 10 to Exit 22. Then follow Autoroute 35 South through St. Jean and the Philipsburg border-crossing to U.S. Interstate 89 South. At White River Junction, switch to Interstate 91 South, and in Massachusetts get off at Exit 26 onto Route 2 West (Mohawk Trail) and follow the map below.

From BRADLEY AIRPORT [BDL](Hartford/Springfield): MapQuest directions from Bradley Airport to the Vipassana Meditation Center

From I-91 EXIT 26 in Massachusetts: Follow Route 2 West (Mohawk Trail) towards North Adams. After about three miles you will see a Greenfield Co-operative Bank ATM on your left. Take the very next right-hand turn onto Colrain-Shelburne Road, approximately 100 feet after the ATM. (Signs point to Colrain and Jacksonville, VT.) Follow this road for about two miles until you see the Vipassana Meditation Center sign on your left.


Course Schedule:

Leave a Comment