Aaron Cashman

Dali Lake Dec 2016

Introduction by Ryan Shelton: After making the move to Delaware in 2014, I met Aaron at a small Dhamma gathering. We were both in our 30s working on establishing our real world lives after years of seeking and exploring throughout our 20s. We both bought homes with our partners that we had introduced to Vipassana. Integrating Eastern values into a Western life can be confusing and complicated, but our friendship helps remind me that it’s not only possible, but can be exciting and energizing.

Dhamma Story: I had just completed a one-month yoga retreat near Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, when I first heard about Vipassana.  I was in my early 20’s and had been going through a years-long existential crisis.  On the last day of the retreat, I met a girl named Vikky, who was the first person to tell me about Vipassana.    I was instantly moved and intrigued by her description and knew that it was for me.  So, weeks later, I was back in Seattle and signed up for my first Vipassana course.  In January 2002, I sat my first Vipassana course at Dhamma Kunja.  I had quit my job just prior to the course and was so inspired by my first 10-day that I decided to serve the following course.  I then continued to stay on for the next six months- and even helped to co-manage the center with my Canadian dhamma friend, Malcolm.  At the end of my six month stay at Dhamma Kunja, the Meditation Now tour arrived at Dhamma Kunja and Goenkaji personally gave a public talk and Vipassana instructions to the 10-day course students at the center.  After being assured that the center was in capable hands, Malcolm and I decided to follow the second half of the Meditation Now tour.  We heard many public talks and sat several one-day courses throughout the US and Canada.  We concluded our long journey east from Dhamma Kunja by sitting our first Satipatthana course at VMC soon after Goenkaji had returned to India.  What a year 2002 turned out to be.  Completely life-changing in every way.  Deep gratitude to Goenkaji, Dhamma Kunja and the Triple Gem for my new life path, which continues to deeply inform everything that I do to this day- almost 16 years later.  I had just completed a one-month yoga retreat near Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, when I first heard about Vipassana.  I was in my early 20’s and had been going through a years-long existential crisis.  On the last day of the retreat, I met a girl named Vikky, who was the first person to tell me about Vipassana.    I was instantly moved and intrigued by her description and knew that it was for me.  So, weeks later, I was back in Seattle and signed up for my first Vipassana course.  In January 2002, I sat my first Vipassana course at Dhamma Kunja.  I had quit my job just prior to the course and was so inspired by my first 10-day that I decided to serve the following course.  I then continued to stay on for the next six months- and even helped to co-manage the center with my Canadian dhamma friend, Malcolm.  At the end of my six month stay at Dhamma Kunja, the Meditation Now tour arrived at Dhamma Kunja and Goenkaji personally gave a public talk and Vipassana instructions to the 10-day course students at the center.  After being assured that the center was in capable hands, Malcolm and I decided to follow the second half of the Meditation Now tour.  We heard many public talks and sat several one-day courses throughout the US and Canada.  We concluded our long journey east from Dhamma Kunja by sitting our first Satipatthana course at VMC soon after Goenkaji had returned to India.  What a year 2002 turned out to be.  Completely life-changing in every way.  Deep gratitude to Goenkaji, Dhamma Kunja and the Triple Gem for my new life path, which continues to deeply inform everything that I do to this day- almost 16 years later.

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About Ryan Shelton

In March of 2010 I discovered a path to peace and happiness through a 10-day Vipassana meditation course in the tradition of S.N. Goenka. After establishing my personal practice, and witnessing how it changed my way of life, I'm now curious to explore how the growing community of meditators can help to support each other and make the world a better place.
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