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 Vancouver Island Vipassana Association

Vipassana meditation in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin
as taught by S.N. Goenka
October 2013 Fall Newsletter http://www.modana.dhamma.org

Satya Narayan Goenka's Demise

Our beloved Dhamma teacher, Goenkaji, age 89, peacefully passed away Sunday, September 29th, at 10:40pm Indian time. He was at home in his residence in Mumbai.

Goenkaji had eaten dinner and was in a very jovial mood afterwards. Sometime after dinner he didn't feel well and the doctor taking his blood pressure and it started dropping. It went down very suddenly; then he passed away.

His tireless efforts and his remarkable vision have borne fruit all over the world. He was an extraordinary teacher, and we are filled with deep gratitude for his amazing legacy.

We can express our gratitude to him for sharing the Dhamma with us by our continued meditation practice and our efforts to share the Dhamma with others.

May he be happy, peaceful and liberated.


30th January 1924 - 29th September 2013


1 Day Courses

The last 1 Day course of the year to be held at Dhamma Modana will be on October 12, 2012. In November, 1 Day courses will resume for the rest of the winter in Victoria, Duncan, and will start on a monthly basis in Nanaimo. Please see website for details: Old Student page-tab Resources -first link-One Day Courses.


Vipassana Meditation Course at Spruston Bible Camp near Nanaimo, BC August 8-19, 2013

At this rustic and secluded site at the bottom of a small valley surrounded by forest, volunteers gathered several days before the course began to create a temporary meditation centre. A huge tent was erected for the Dhamma Hall, electrical systems were set up in the tent, audio and TVs installed, dividers and serving counters were built in the kitchen, supplies were trucked in from Victoria and cushions were brought from Vancouver. Menus were reviewed; bulk food and countless other supplies needed for a course were purchased and delivered. Perishables were purchased every day throughout the course because there was no walk-in cooler at the site.

This course could not have run without the incredible help of a large number of volunteers - the 6 full-time meditators who served the course and the18 part-time meditators who planned and help with the setup, takedown and gave part-time service during the course.

46 students sat the course and said they found the site very peaceful and conducive to meditation. Both New and Old students were very appreciative of the opportunity to sit on Vancouver Island.

The expenses for the course were $13,650 and the income for the course was $11,350.

Read more on the Blog, a tab on the Old Student page of the website. See below for passwords.


The Need for Dhamma Modana

Right now, there are long wait lists at Dhamma Surabhi and frequent requests on the Dhamma Modana website for courses on Vancouver Island. Hosting an off centre course is obviously very labour-intensive. The need for a new centre is pressing.


Water for Dhamma Modana

Last year a well was drilled on the upper plateau where the meditation centre will be built. They drilled almost 500 feet, and found no water. This cost $20,000. This year, an experienced water technician did a study on the upper plateau and suggested a shallow well be dug. There were many indications that water would be found. However, once the test holes were dug, it was discovered that the topography is such that water cannot percolate through the hardpan.

After further searching and consideration, a shallow well was dug in the lower area near the entrance to the land. A crew of meditators installed the well rings in the hole, and sealed the well. Read more on the Blog, on the Old Student page of the website. See below for passwords.

This well will produce enough water for a meditation centre of 75 people. It is 600 meters from the building area, and will cost approximately $25,000 to put in the pump, the piping, and the electrical system.

At this point, the Trust has approximately $50,000 left. Bringing water to the meditation area will be the last major project the Trust will be able to undertake before significant donations are received to further develop the centre.


Financial status of Dhamma Modana

Now that the rezoning has been completed, and the plans have been designed, the Trust will develop the centre in several phases. Developing this new centre to serve students is a big financial challenge. This growth can be achieved only through the continuing support and generosity of grateful Old students.

Last year, the construction of the infrastructure began. The road was widened to accommodate the BC Hydro lines that were put in and the building site was cleared.

Currently the VIVA trust has $50,000 in the bank. We have spent $100,000 on infrastructure, and need another $350,000 to complete it, by putting in the septic system, setting up a water system, and finishing the pump house.

To complete the infrastructure, including architectural plans and permits, it will cost approximately $500,000. This is our next step. Please refer to the Old Student section of our website at http://www.modana.dhamma.org for financial estimates of construction.

Click on the Old Student tab; the username is oldstudent, the password is behappy.

Financial contributions may be made in any of several ways. Please go to the Donation page in the Old Student section of the website.

We regret that we cannot include a direct link because doing so would bypass the passwords required for the Old Student page (see above).

This project provides a unique and rare opportunity for Old Students to directly take part in an extraordinarily meritorious effort.


The Value of Monthly Donations

It's very important to establish a strong monthly donation income stream. Regular monthly donations of $20 or $30 will have a huge impact over time as financial institutions are more willing to lend us money based on regular monthly donations. Prior to the Spring newsletter, there were 17 Old students giving a total of $900 a month. Now there are 26 monthly donors, giving a total of $1,090/mo. This is wonderful!

It would be great to increase this to $5000 per month! Many small contributions would do this. This is how both the Georgia Centre and the Toronto Centre have expanded so rapidly.

Monthly donors have commented that their monthly donations are affordable and convenient because they are automated to come either out of their bank account or off their credit card. They report feeling connected in an ongoing way and are really happy to think about their donation contributing to the evolution of the centre on Vancouver Island.

To contribute monthly or to give a one-time donation, please go to the website and using the passwords above, go to the Old Student section and visit the Donation page.

All donations are tax-deductible. If donations are contributed monthly, a cumulative annual receipt will be issued at the end of the year.

The teaching is given freely because it is considered a priceless gift. Donating towards the building of a house of Dhamma is also a priceless gift! The time is ripe!

Before giving, the mind of the giver is happy.
While giving, the mind of the giver is made peaceful.
After having given, the mind of the giver is uplifted.
Anguttara Nikaya 3.6.37


Pariyatti Pilgrimages

In Feb-Mar 2013 Pariyatti conducted a 21-day test pilgrimage for 30 pilgrims to the sites in India and Nepal related to the Buddha's life. Based on feedback from participants, the pilgrimage was considered a resounding success which motivates us to further develop this aspect of Pariyatti's services.

In winter 2013-14, Pariyatti will conduct a 21-day test pilgrimage to Burma. If there is sufficient demand we will offer three consecutive pilgrimages between December 2013 and March 2014. Each pilgrimage will be able to accommodate a maximum of 24 pilgrims. The first half of the pilgrimage will focus mainly on sites related to Vipassana meditation as taught by S.N. Goenka, and in the latter half we will branch out to visit sites that we hope will inspire attendees as we expose them to the Dhamma infused Burmese culture.

Find out more about Pariyatti's pilgrimage program

Vancouver Island Vipassana Association Newsletter

You are receiving this newsletter because you have taken a Vipassana meditation course in British Columbia. We send out a newsletter every spring and fall to keep students apprised of how the Vancouver Island centre is developing. If you would prefer not to receive the newsletter, please unsubscribe here.