In September of 2011, Paul and Susan Fleischman came to the Pacific Northwest to give a series of inspirational talks. The public engagements were aimed at describing the unique universal signature of Vipassana meditation from a scientific, 21st Century viewpoint. Their itinerary included the cities of Seattle, Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo, two small rural coastal
Communities: Powell River and Hornby Island; and a Day visit to Dhamma Modana, our Vancouver Island Vipassana Meditation Centre, now in its very youthful developmental stages.
As the events arose one by one, beginning in Seattle we all began to feel what a special time this was for us to come together in a more worldly setting, to meditate together, and take inspiration from talks based on a wealth of experience and insight into Vipassana meditation.
As an old student of Vipassana, of particular value for me were the Old Student events. We were encouraged to consider the practice of meditation as Dhamma Outreach. As we develop in Dhamma, through our own individual practices, we naturally share our learning, our considerate actions, and our Metta with the world around us. The talks amplified Goekaji’s valuable message: the importance of keeping one’s Sila strong, in order to give one the strength and determination to maintain a successful practice in ones daily life. The talks led us step by step through all the obstacles that meditators face, particularly in the Western world, illuminating the pitfalls that cause us to lose our strength or commitment. We learned how to face these challenges in order to make meditation the center of our life. Making meditation the center of one’s life is absolutely necessary for the continued development of one’s mental skills and progress on the path.
I think we all felt that the talks were tailored for each and everyone in the audience. We recognized that the gift of Vipassana is passed from one friend to another. We are here to turn the wheel; to keep the wheel turning! The Outreach events ended with the Buddha’s statement- Admirable friendship; friendship with the noble and the wise is the whole of the holy life; seek Dhamma friendships! From place to place, friendships were kindled, group sittings well attended, meals, walks and good conversation shared. The Dhamma was lived and expressed in a more worldly way; a very beneficial way for householders.