Vipassana was taught more than 2500 years ago by Gotama the Buddha. Since then this technique of meditation has been continually passed on from teacher to student.
S.N. Goenka learned Vipassana from the great Burmese meditation teacher Sayagyi U Ba Khin.
„The time clock of Vipassana has now struck … we have no doubt whatsoever about definite results accruing to those who would with open minds sincerely undergo a course of training under a competent teacher – I mean results which will be accepted as good, concrete, vivid, personal, here-and-now; results which will keep them in good stead and in a state of well-being and happiness for the rest for their lives. “ Sayagyi U Ba Khin
1950 Sayagyi U Ba Khin establishes the Vipassana Association of the Accountant General’s Office where lay people can learn Vipassana.
1952 The International Meditation Centre in Rangoon opens for Burmese und foreign students.
1955 S.N. Goenka receives Vipassana from Sayagyi U Ba Khin.
1969 Sayagyi U Ba Khin appoints Goenkaji as Vipassana Acariya (Teacher of Vipassana). Goenkaji travels to India to teach Vipassana to his parents. After these initial small courses the interest starts growing so that Vipassana is taught to a growing number of Indian and foreign students.
1971 Sayagyi U Ba Khin dies.
1974 Near Bombay land gets donated for the construction of the first Vipassana meditation centre in India.
1979 Goenkaji conducts the first courses in Europe, the USA and Canada. In the following years he conducts courses in many other countries including Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
When Vipassana spread more and more it became impossible for Goenkaji to conduct all courses by himself. Hence all talks and instructions were recorded on tape.
Since 1982 Goenkaji appointed Assistant Teachers to conduct courses on his behalf. Today there are many hundred courses held each year in centres and rented places all over the world.
Vipassana centres emerge worldwide
„The clock of Vipassana has struck in many places. For many years now devoted students from many countries have been working eagerly to make Vipassana available to others. With the opening of many centres worldwide their efforts now come to fruition.“ S.N. Goenka
At the end of the 1970s students of S.N. Goenka founded the „Vipassana International Academy“ in India. This centre named “Dhamma Giri” (Hill of Dhamma) is located on the outskirts of the town Igatpuri some 130 km northeast of Mumbai (Bombay).
When the demand for Vipassana courses grew new centres emerged throughout India as well as in many other countries all over the world. At all centres there are usually two or more 10-day courses held per month. From time to time there are special courses for old students and a few centres offer long courses (20, 30, 45 or 60 days). Also many students stay for a longer period of time at a centre to alternately meditate on some courses and serve on others.
A complete list of all centres worldwide as well as contact addresses and information about courses can be found in the Vipassana Newsletter and at www.dhamma.org.