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06.04.2014
Spread out over an area of 2.5 hectares, the Jodhpur Vipassana Centre is situated at the foot of an outcrop of Aravalli range of hills, interspersed with sand dunes and sandy hummocks partially covered by natural vegetation of mostly thorny bushes. 10-day courses are an introductory course to Vipassana Meditation where the technique is taught step-by-step each day. Temperatures are extreme throughout the period from March to October, except when monsoonal rain produces thick clouds to lower it slightly. Dhamma Suvatthi, meaning 'Welfare of Dhamma' is situated in the ancient capital city of Shravasti, the city so often mentioned in the life of the Buddha. Please carefully read the Introduction to the Technique and Code of Discipline which you will be asked to follow during your course.
If your application is accepted then we require you to confirm you will be attending in order to secure your place in the course. All ten day courses begin on the evening of the first day and end on the early morning of the last day. 10-day Courses are an introductory course to Vipassana Meditation where the technique is taught step-by-step each day.
20-day Courses are open only to serious Old Students committed to this technique who have completed a minimum of five 10-day courses , one Satipatthana Sutta course, given Dhamma Service at least one 10-day course, and have been practicing regularly for at least two years.
30-day Courses are open only to serious Old Students committed to this technique who have completed a minimum of six 10-day courses (one since their first 20-day course), one 20-day course, one Satipatthana Sutta course, and have been practicing regularly for at least two years.
45-day Courses are open only to persons involved in Dhamma Service and Assistant Teachers who have completed a minimum of seven 10-day courses (one since their first 30-day course), two 30-day courses, one Satipatthana Sutta course, and have been practicing regularly for at least three years.
Children's Courses are open for all children aged 8-12 years old who wish to learn to meditate.
Teenagers' Anapana Courses are available for teens in different age ranges from 13-18 years old. Old Student Short Courses (1-3 days) are for any student who has completed the 10-day course with S.N. Best viewed using Firefox or Chrome browsers with 1024 x 768 (or higher) screen resolution. This is a letter sent earlier this week from Darwin barrister and art curator Koulla Roussos to the management of the Vipassana Meditation Centre at Woori Yallock in Victoria after her attendance at a course there from the 11th to 22 March 2015. I want to thank you for the opportunity this recent course provided to me to become more familiar with the theory and practice of meditation. I also want to raise some concerns I have about the way the course was structured and delivered. The first concern I have is the separation of the participants into two groups according to biological sex. Not only do myths regarding “male” active libidinous desire get perpetuated, but also the female “passive” seductress stereotype become entrenched.
The segregation of the sexes either denies the existence of the homosexual participant, or assumes that same-sex desire is weaker, and more capable of being suppressed, or alternately, that gay people have superior will power and self-control. The second concern I have is the extent of authority and dominance the male teacher exercised over the meditation hall space which was shared equally by both male and female students.
I gathered from one of his onscreen jokes that she was his wife and her role was supposed to be as his female counterpart and yet she was marginalised and remained outside the video camera frame for the great majority of the screening.
It is remiss of the centre to practice enlightenment in a way that reinforces the inequality of mainstream society. Considering the reality that many female practitioners who attend the centre for meditation may have been scarred mentally, physically and spiritually by male-perpetrated violence, and continue to be subjected to the risk of personal and political gender specific violence, such sexist practices risk deepening these wounds and make a mockery of the enlightenment aims of Vipassana.
Having shared my thoughts and experience with you, I invite your response with the view of generating a debate on what measures if any should be adopted to enhance the autonomy of all participants. Leave a comment Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Not already subscribed?


That issue has occurred to me as well; I particularly notice the absurdity of segregating the sexes in Japanese onsen.
For some Westerners (and perhaps some Eastern cultures) the segregation of the sexes seems strange. Male and females are segregated largely because the female teachers can keep an eye on female students for any difficulties that may arise during the course and ditto for male students. Vipassana is an effective way to observe and eradicate these scars, and mental conditioning.
Crikey is an independent news website featuring commentary on politics, media, business, culture and technology. Dhamma Thali (the Place of Dhamma) is one of the many centres around the world dedicated to the practice of Vipassana meditation as taught by S. Delhi, Jammu, Kolkata, Kalka, Haridwar, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Thiruvanathpuram, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Puri and Gauwhati etc. It is a popular tourist destination, featuring many palaces, forts and temples, set in the stark landscape of the Thar desert. It is also referred to as the Blue City due to the indigo tinge of the whitewashed houses around the Mehrangarh Fort. During these periods of heavy rain, however, the generally low humidity rises and this adds to the normal discomfort from the heat. The Centre was established in June 2003 in the serene surrounding of the historical Jetvan where Lord Buddha stayed for 25 rainy season retreats.
All correspondence will be through e-mail if you give an e-mail address in your application. Meditation centers are dedicated facilities where courses are held regularly throughout the year.
The courses begin after a 2 - 4 pm registration period and orientation, followed by 10 full days of meditation, and end the morning of the 11th day by 7:30 am.
Students who speak neither English nor one of the other announced course languages may apply for the course, however acceptance into the course will depend on the availability of required course materials, suitable translators and permission of the teacher conducting the course. The difference is that in the taped evening discourses the Satipatthana Sutta is carefully examined. The comfortable environment produced a quiet and contemplative state which was conducive in part to restful enlightenment.
I have given this much thought since leaving the centre in the hope of resolving these issues for myself, however they continue to bother me.
Unless I misunderstand, and I invite you to clarify this for me, the separation of the sexes is designed to minimise the “distraction” possibly stirred by sexual tensions arising between members of opposite sexes.
If the latter is the case, then the centre has higher expectations of queer participants than of the straight majority. The male teacher had control of the equipment: he was able to monitor the air-vents, the projector screen, and the operation of the DVD. This was particularly striking given that women in fact formed the majority of participants. This period has been found to be the minimum necessary for new students to understand the technique and its benefits through their own experience.
Jodhpur lies near the geographic centre of Rajasthan state, which makes it a convenient base for travel in a region much frequented by tourists. The nine acre meditation centre is situated across the road from the Jetavana Archaeological Park, next to a government rest house, and down the road from several monasteries. Due to the large volume of applications, it may take up to two weeks before receiving notification. Before meditation centers were established in this tradition, all courses were held at temporary sites, such as campgrounds, religious retreat centers, churches and the like.


This is the principal text in which the technique of Vipassana is systematically explained.
All old students are welcome to apply to attend these courses, including those where it has been some time since their last course.
I understand the whole purpose of Vipassana is to cultivate an alertness and attentiveness towards meditation free from sensual stimuli, however I believe the separation of the sexes merely entrenches heteronormative myths and stereotypes that are prevalent in mainstream society and from which the Vipassana retreat could be expected to offer a respite. A centre whose aim is to “enlighten” should employ practices that demonstrate the same expectations of all participants. Great attention needs to be given to all the messages which through their transmission only entrench the myth of male superiority, misogyny and the subjugation of women.
I was able to quell a panic attack, and made myself mentally fit so as to complete the course only to see if these practices were going to change or continue.
However it is difficult for one teacher to watch over 50 or more students and it is preferable to have a male and female teacher if possible. To apply for a course please read the Code of Discipline and then find a convenient date in the Course Schedule, and submit an online application form. All expenses are met by donations from those who have already completed courses, experienced the benefits of Vipassana and wish to give others the same opportunity.
As limited seats are available at the Centre, prior registration is a must for interested participants. As the exact boundaries of the original Vihara are unknown, it is quite likely that Dhamma Suvatthi is located on a section of the original grounds of the Vihara.
Today, in regions where centers have not yet been established by local students of Vipassana who live in the area, 10 Day meditation courses are held at non-center course sites.
These courses are open to serious old students who have sat (not including courses served) at least three 10-day courses, have not been practising any other meditation techniques since last 10-day course, have been practising this technique of Vipassana for at least one year, and who are trying to maintain their meditation practice and the five precepts in their daily lives, at the very minimum from the time of applying to the course. Furthermore, Mr Goenka appeared on screen during the discourse sessions clearly accompanied by a female associate. This was a distraction to my meditation practice, and it is unfortunate that more thought had not gone into the organisation of the retreat in a way that did not reinforce the negative experiences of women and gay people. But with meditation, I think that non-attachment also means non-attachment to liberal western constructs of the world.
The teaching is universal and not connected with any religious organisation and can be practised by anyone without conflict with existing religious beliefs or absence of beliefs. Neither the teacher nor the assistant teachers receive remuneration; they and others who help on the courses volunteer their time freely. It appears that what you experienced was your mental contents arising with all the negative conditioning. For those who are not familiar with Vipassana Meditation, we recommend clicking on About Vipassana for a detailed introduction. This is what you learn at Vipassana…….how to remain equanimous with your changing sensations and mental contents. At present there is no regular transport facility available at Chopasani village for reaching the Centre. My overall impression is that these guidelines were made with the sincerest motivation to create as much peace and happiness for as many as possible for as long as possible. You comment that many females who attend these courses are scarred from traumatic experiences.
Transport from Chopasani Village (to reach the Centre) however can be made available, if informed earlier.



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