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Oct 16, 2009

Vipassana in China

"I have a great dream that a time will come when these two great ancient countries-China and India-will unite together on the platform of Vipassana to serve humanity, " Sayagyi U Goenka told a large group of Chinese Vipassana students from mainland China, Taiwan and Malaysia, during a discourse at the Global Pagoda in October 2003. (The New York China Vipassana Trust, USA, is involved in Vipassana courses serving China).

In the discourse, Goenkaji highlighted the importance of sharing Vipassana in the country with the world's largest population. He said: "In the past, these two countries joined together to serve humanity. Once again, history must repeat itself and it's going to repeat itself. When these two spiritual powers unite together, all the religions of the world will join hands."

Entrance to the Hong Kong Vipassana Centre
 Clearly, Goenkaji foresees that more people practicing Vipassana in China will not only yield great benefits to Chinese society, but also serve as a pivotal engine for the world to benefit from Vipassana.

Vipassana courses began in mainland China in 1999.

The first ten-day course was held from April 20 to May 1, 1999 at Bailin Monastery, a well-known centuries-old monastery located about 150 miles south of Beijing. 117 students, consisting of 61 women and 56 men, completed the course.

Upon completion, all the participants, including the conducting assistant teachers, felt great joy at having participated in such a historic event. After the course, some students volunteered to serve future courses and a few students offered potential course sites for the next ten-day course. The seed of Vipassana was planted in China.

Since then, the number of ten-day courses has grown rapidly from two in 2000 and 2001 to five in 2002 and nine in 2003. So far, courses have been held at various temples and monasteries in different parts of China. These locations include Hebei Province in northern China, Fujian Province in south-eastern China, and Sichuan and Hubei Provinces in central China.

The growth of Vipassana courses will accelerate this year, with the construction of four new sites that will be used exclusively for Vipassana meditation practice. Plans are already in place to quickly develop these sites into Vipassana meditation centers managed according to the same guidelines as other Vipassana centers in the rest of the world.

The four new sites are located in Fujian, Hebei, Sichuan and Xinjiang. The Fujian site will be ready for courses in early March, and already 19 ten-day courses are scheduled for this year. The other three sites are slated to be ready for courses from the latter half of this year.
(from Vipassana Newsletter issue February, 2004)
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One of Goenkaji's most cherished wishes is to see Vipassana spreading in China, a country that he calls the "abode of the largest number of human beings in today's world, and the cradle of a great human civilization since ancient times."

In 2002, four ten-day courses were conducted in China. The New York China Vipassana Trust provided Dhamma servers, including cooking staff for all courses.

The first two courses were held in August and September at the Tou-Tor-Si (Temple) in Wen Zhou, Zhe Jiang Province, a new location on the southeast coast of China.

The third and fourth courses were held in October and November at Si-Zhu-Si in Huang Mei, Hubei Province, a site used last year for one course. Before 2002, seven ten-day courses have been conducted in three monasteries in four years.
(from Vipassana Newsletter issue, January 2003)
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Vipassana in China
(from Vipassana Newsletter issue, May 2005)
25 ten-day courses and two Satipatthana courses were successfully organized in China in 2004. These courses were held at four different sites: 17 ten-day courses and two Satipatthana courses at Jileso, Fujian Province, 6 courses in BeiDaiHe, Hebei Province (near Beijing) and one course each at Shijiazhuang, Hebei Province and at Urumqi, Xinjiang Province.

In addition, a group of Chinese students sat a ten-day course at Dhamma Tapovana, Igatpuri, India. This year, the NY China trust has scheduled 20 courses, including two Satipatthana courses, at Ziguosi, Fujian Province.

Courses may also be held at Xian, ShaanXi Province, Chendu, Sichuan Province and at other sites. NY China Trust has received tax exemption 501-c3 status from the US government. Therefore, donations from old students in the US are income tax deductible.

For details, visit www.dhamma.org (Worldwide Vipassana course locations) or Chinese website.

* www.chinese.dhamma.org
* Hong Kong Vipassana Centre
* Vipassana in Taiwan
* Vipassana in Mongolia
* Vipassana centres in USA / North America
* Vipassana courses worldwide

* How to reach Global Vipassana Pagoda, Gorai / Borivali, Mumbai, India

Oct 5, 2009

Global Pagoda and Kamma - The Real Inheritance

The Global Pagoda in Mumbai, India, shares with all beings the priceless Dhamma inheritance from the Buddha: Vipassana.
Practice of Vipassana gradually and steadily cleans the foggy dust and impurities that cloud the mind. One then more clearly sees the true mirror of reality of one's life as it is, not as delusions make it out to be.

The following are excerpts from discourses given by Sayagyi U Goenka for long course students:

Kammassaka, bhikkhvave, satta kammadayada, kammayoni, kammabandhu, kammapatisarana, yam kammam karonti-kalyanam va papakam va-tassa dayada bhavanti - A.X.206
O meditators, beings are the owners of their deeds, the heirs of their deeds, born of their deeds, kin to their deeds; their deeds are their refuge. Whatever actions they perform, whether good or evil, such will be their inheritance.

Kammassakā: beings are the owners of their deeds.
The law of paticca samuppāda (dependent origination) is the universal law of cause and effect: As the action is, so the result will be. Mental volition is the driving force for action at the vocal or physical level. If this driving force is unwholesome, the vocal and physical actions will be unwholesome. If the seeds are unwholesome, then the fruits are bound to be unwholesome. But if this driving force is wholesome, then the results of the actions are bound to be wholesome.
For a Vipassana student who develops the ability to observe this law at the level of direct experience, the answer to the question "Who am I?" becomes so clear. You are nothing but the sum total of your kamma, your sankhāra. All your accumulated actions together equal "I" at the conventional level.

Kammadāyādā: the heirs of their deeds.
In the worldly, conventional sense, one says, "I received this inheritance from my mother or my father or my elders," and yes, at the apparent level this is true—but what is one’s real inheritance? Kammadāyādā. One inherits one’s own kamma: the results, the fruits of one’s own kamma. Whatever you are now, the present reality of this mind-matter structure is nothing but the sum total of and the result of your own accumulated past kamma. The experience of the present moment is the sum total of all that is acquired, inherited kammadāyādā.

Kammayonī: born of their deeds.
One says, "I am the product of a womb, I have come out of the womb of my mother," but this is only apparent truth. Actually, your birth is because of your own past kamma. You come from the womb of your own kamma. As you start understanding Dhamma at a deeper level, you realise this. This is kammayonī, the womb which every moment produces the fruit of the accumulated kamma.

Kammabandhū: kin of their deeds.
None other is your relative, not your father, your mother, your brother nor your sister. In the worldly way we say, "This is my brother, my relative, or my near or dear one; they are so close to me." Actually, no one is close to you; no one can accompany you or help you when the time comes.
When you die, nothing accompanies you but your kamma. Whomever you call your relatives remain here, but your kamma continues to follow you from one life to another. You are not in possession of anything but your own kamma. It is your only companion.

Kammapatisaranā: their deeds are their refuge.
Refuge is only in one’s own kamma. Wholesome kamma provides a refuge; unwholesome kamma produces more suffering. No other being can give you refuge. When you say "Buddham saranam gacchāmi" (I take refuge in Buddha), you understand fully well that a person by the name of Gotama the Buddha cannot give you refuge. Your own kamma gives you refuge. Nobody can protect you, not even a Buddha. Refuge in Buddha is refuge in the quality of Buddha, the enlightenment, the teaching that he gave. By following the teaching, you can develop enlightenment within you. And the enlightenment that you develop within you, that is your wholesome kamma. This alone will give you refuge; this alone will give you protection.

Yam kammam karonti—kalyānam vā pāpakamvā—tassa dāyādā bhavanti: Whatever actions they perform, whether good or evil, such will be their inheritance.
This should become clear to one who is on this path. This law of nature should become very clear. Then you will become inspired to take responsibility for your own kamma. Remain alert and on guard each moment, so that every action, physical or mental, is wholesome.

You will not be perfect, but keep trying. You may fall down, but see how quickly you get up. With all the determination, with all the inspiration, with all the encouragement, get up and try again. This is how you become stable in Dhamma.

May all beings be happy
----* Directions to reach Global Vipassana Pagoda (Gorai / Borivili ) Mumbai, India
* Online application for beginner's 10-day Vipassana courses
* Global Pagoda developmental projects


Kamma - The Real Inheritance
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