Vipassana Center

Dhamma Mahavana : California Vipassana Center

Dhamma Mahavana , or “The Great Forest of Dhamma” is a large meditation center in the woods near Fresno, in central California, situated on 109 acres of forested property in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

Groves of oak, pine, cedar, and manzanita reinforce the California Vipassana Center’s name of Dhamma Mahavana means “The Great Forest of Dhamma” in pali language. Stands of oak, pine, cedar, and manzanita occupy the bulk of the 109-acre site, and are complemented by a tranquil pond and a broad meadow. Wildlife abounds.

The meditation hall (known as the Dhamma hall) sits on a hill at the back of the Center property. It can accommodate up to 125 students.

Deer sightings are occasionally seen at the center during a course. In the summer season students may choose to stay in tents during their course.

The area where the center is located is hot in the Summer and cold in the Winter, but the buildings have air conditioning and heating. The food is vegetarian and healthy. Fully Vegan Dinner is offered to first time students, but returning meditators are expected to, like Buddhist monks, not eat after the middle of the day.

“vipassana” is a Pali word that means “spiritual insight” or “To see things as they really are”, Pali is an ancient Buddhist language, similar in function as Latin is to Catholicism).

Vipassana Meditation is one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation. Vipassana was taught in India more than 2500 years ago , Vipassana Meditation was the technique Buddha used to achieve enlightenment.

Southern California Vipassana Center


California Vipassana Center is in the Sierra foothills south of Yosemite. Dhamma Mahavana is a four hour drive from San Francisco and a five hour drive from Los Angeles, with bus, rail, and air connections an hour away in Fresno.

California Vipassana Center Website :

Please check the course schedule for the current list of courses


According to the tradition of pure Vipassana, courses are run solely on a donation basis. Donations are accepted only from those who have completed at least one ten-day Vipassana course. Someone taking the course for the first time may give a donation on the last day of the course or any time thereafter.

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