Author Archives: Ryan Shelton

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.

Success vs. Love

One reason I believe daily meditation is hard is because it’s not simply about setting aside time in your busy day to sit. It’s about actively shifting the way you live your life. For decades, most of us have been … Continue reading

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Community Building Through Insight Timer

Insight Timer is a great free app used by over 3,000,000 meditators. The app supports many different traditions by giving access to many different teachers and their teachings. I use the app because it allows me to log my daily … Continue reading

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How Do We Live Loving Lives?

Since the first talk to my high school classes titled Are We Living Loving Lives? was well received, I gave a second talk that linked meditation to a life centered on truth and love. You can see the presentation slides here … Continue reading

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My Humble Authentic Voice

Goenka’s stories and discourses are so good that for years I found myself using his language and sharing his stories in casual conversation as if they were my own. Vipassana was so novel and different from anything I had ever … Continue reading

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A Missed Opportunity?

As the mindfulness movement grows, I wonder if the Goenka organization is missing an opportunity to lead. While focusing on preserving Goenka’s teachings and enforcing the 2 hour a day minimum, teachers from other traditions have shown that as little … Continue reading

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Love and Truth in My High School Classroom

With mass shootings and teen suicide on the rise, there is a need to discuss what is important in life, and what is not. Most of us are running around trying to accomplish short term goals not realizing that our … Continue reading

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People Can Change

Vipassana has a special message to share with the world; People can change. Youthful optimism transforms into frustration, stubbornness, and pessimism with age as individuals repeatedly run into the same barriers in their efforts to make the world a better … Continue reading

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I Believe

Dreams are a funny thing. When I believe my dreams are possible, I’m willing to sacrifice everything and work tirelessly to achieve them. When I submit to the struggles of life, I escape the difficulties through sensual pleasures and surrender … Continue reading

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Social Creatures

Meditating daily is great, but it’s not enough to be a healthy human being. SN Goenka made an amazing contribution to our planet by helping to spread the practice of Vipassana around the world, but after your 10-day course you’re … Continue reading

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Seeking Dhamma Wisdom

by Anonymous I’ve been around awhile – growing older and more comfortable with the process of living. I’m still unsure of exactly who I am but as I sit Vipassana courses I realize my uncertainties are less important than my … Continue reading

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Jamie Metzler

Introduction by Chris Hammond: I met Jamie around 2007. He had moved to Baltimore from Kansas City and was heading the registration for a local 3 day course I attended.  He later contacted me asking if he could sublet at my … Continue reading

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Dhamma at Work

By Maria D’Souza I’m navigating some challenging circumstances at work, which I’ve been viewing very negatively. As a result of these circumstances, I’ve strengthened my meditation resolve and have returned to regular daily sitting recently. Such a difference it makes! … Continue reading

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Balance

While meditating 2 hours a day for 6 years, I adopted some unhealthy patterns. I exercise less, spend less time developing relationships, go on less adventures, and I’m more passive when facing life’s challenges. By surrendering to dhamma, I surrendered … Continue reading

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Devika Patil

Introduction by Ryan Shelton: I met Devika through a mutual friend at Dhamma Delaware shortly after her first course. She started getting involved with dhamma service immediately and we became friends through our service together. It has been exciting to see … Continue reading

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Beyond Pleasure and Pain

Nibhana sounds awful. Why would I want to strive for a state beyond mind and matter? Isn’t that simply non existence? Why am I supposed to believe that this state is blissful? Couldn’t it just as easily be hellish? The … Continue reading

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Mark Hoefer

Introduction by Ryan Shelton: Mark and I had a lot in common when we met in 2012. We both worked for universities in the Research Triangle of North Carolina doing research related to applied math and physics. We were also serious … Continue reading

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A Social Approach

Expecting meditation to do all the work is isolating and incomplete. We must be able to process and integrate all of our experiential learning both on and off the cushion. As social creatures, we must be able to articulate our … Continue reading

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Chris Hammond

Introduction by Jonathan Penn: I met Chris when I was coming back to the DC area after sitting my first course in Australia. At the time I didn’t know whether there were even other old students or opportunities for group sittings … Continue reading

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Year End 10 Day Course

By Devika Patil 19th December 2016 evening : I receive the acceptance email for a 10 day course starting 21st Dec at Dhamma Siri, Texas. I am a little tense with last minute travel but I really want to attend … Continue reading

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Jonathan Penn

Introduction by Ryan Shelton: When I arrived in Delaware, Jon was already an established contributing volunteer for the Mid-Atlantic Vipassana Association. I appreciated his enthusiasm, positive energy, and support of everyone in the community. My dhamma relationship with Jon grew as … Continue reading

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Screen Time Dulls Sensations

It’s so easy to get sucked into technology. Waiting in the grocery store line? Why don’t I check my email. Unwinding from work? Let’s check out some Netflix episodes. Don’t want to do your actual work on your computer? Why … Continue reading

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Aaron Cashman

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 … Continue reading

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Distracted By Meditation

Somewhere along the journey of supporting the spread of Vipassana I started thinking like a worker instead of a dhamma worker. Presented with too much work for to little time, I returned to problem solving in my head instead leaving … Continue reading

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Nate Kretzschmar

Introduction by Ryan Shelton: I met Nate in 2008 on a random Saturday afternoon at a restaurant in Carrboro, North Carolina.  We hit it off immediately spending the next 14 hours on a wild adventure that included kick ball, dancing, amateur … Continue reading

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New Life Goals

Three years ago I had a mission: create a life near an urban meditation center and help dhamma spread. This mission drove my wife and I to move to a new city, support the birth of a new Center, buy … Continue reading

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Ryan Shelton

Introduction: This is the first post of the Friendship Chain. Dhamma Story: One of my biggest dhamma adventures was helping Dhamma Delaware become a Center. I was finishing graduate school at University of North Carolina, and I had a strong desire … Continue reading

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Friendship Chain

One of the most important assets on the dhamma path is friendship. In a world unfamiliar with the benefits of meditating 2 hours a day, it can be hard to find people to walk with on this life altering journey. … Continue reading

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Start Again

by Kendra Mulgrew she’s starting again with another chance of a new beginning after the end was found. & as always, the present chapter of the book she holds unfolding reads, “as it is.” for it this way for a … Continue reading

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Virtual Group Sittings

While Goenka’s Organization has done an amazing job introducing Vipassana around the world through 10-day courses, I always hoped they would find new ways to support old students with their daily practice. Today, I’m excited to see their new Virtual Group Sitting … Continue reading

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The Struggle to Stay Universal

One component of Vipassana that I’ve been attracted to is the universal nature of the practice. I thougth, “Everyone can observe breath and sensations to learn about themselves so there’s no reason to worry about forming a sect.” Recently, I’ve … Continue reading

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