Category Archives: Personal Experiences

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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Time with a Western Forest Monk in Sri Lanka

      I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in a rural village near Tissamaharama in southeast Sri Lanka between 1994 and 1996. I feel fortunate to have been sent to a Buddhist country as that was my first … 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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Entrepreneurship as a Meditator

I practice acupuncture and while there are a few paid positions here and there, most practitioners run their own practices. I have run my practice for the past 9 years and have earned my living while supporting my two daughters. … 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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Yoga as a Support for Sitting

I’ve practiced yoga for many years and have found it to be very complimentary to vipassana. I’m lucky to have a studio just 2 minutes away and have been pretty consistent this last year and a half. Goenkaji had talked … 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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What Happens at Death?

I was inspired to share this article written by Goenkaji which describes what happens at the time of death. Reading this always brings the reflection that we could die at any time (Maranasati) and is a reminder to pay attention … 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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Conspiracy Theories and Dhamma

We live in an incredibly complex world brought to our attention by the vast flow of information available. No longer are we confined to a narrow range of media sources. The internet has opened us up to a vast information … 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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Funny Course Story

I remember a 20 day course I sat in Sri Lanka back in the late 90’s. On day 5 as we were going for tea, there was a sign posted by the dining hall which said something like, please be … 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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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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The Role of the Rich White Guy

     On a fundamental level, I think everyone wants to feel loved. The paradox is that in order to get others to love you, you must love them first. To be able to love someone else, you need to … Continue reading

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The future I live in now

When I was a young adult the ‘future’ held the promise of transformation of a better life to the one I was living. Everything was in the future: work would only happen if I could get the funding; the places … Continue reading

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Year 2 as a Delaware High School Teacher

Life keeps moving along. I’ve got some good news to report. Dhamma Delaware is working on a huge expansion which will increase capacity from 15 to around 60 students. After a year away from the Center, I’ve accepted an invitation … Continue reading

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A lovely hug

Even before Joely or JJ, my daughter, was born nearly two years ago, I struggled with  prioritising making two hours available for meditation every day. But most days, first thing before the day had begun, I would make sure I … Continue reading

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Love the World, Don’t Try to Change It

As a youth, I wanted to change the world. More accurately, I wanted to fix it to my desired state, and be the glorious hero. On my quest, I acknowledged the failures of our world, developed the ego required to … Continue reading

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Everyone Can Be Happy If We Stop Trying to Win

Survival of the fittest is awesome because it turns everything into a game. If I’m bigger, faster, and stronger, I will win and survive. I can spend my whole life playing endless games to acquire wealth, fame, and power. Unfortunately, … Continue reading

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Love People, Fight Harmful Qualities

It’s extremely easy to react negatively to adverse situations and blame others for our circumstances, but the anger we project on others only makes situations worse. If we want to live in a loving environment, we need to love the … Continue reading

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Connecting the Dots

While I’ve experienced the benefits of meditation with my own experience, it bothers me that I can’t figure out the connections. When I’m meditating 2 hours a day, my life trends upward. If my wife or I start missing our … Continue reading

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