Dear Friends, In this Issue...
  • Words from The Requisites of Enlightenment
  • AGM & Dhamma Modana Trust Retreat Summary
  • Questions-and Answers
  • Dhamma Modana Virtual Monday Group Sittings
  • Virtual Group and Day Sittings & Pariyatti Free Resources
Words from The Requisites of Enlightenment by Venerable Ledi Sayadaw 


Annual General Meeting & Trust Retreat Summary
 

The 2022 Vancouver Island Vipassana Trust Retreat was held at Dhamma Modana over the weekend of August 26-28th; 21 old students were present. Some of the weekend highlights were: meditating together, guided walking tours of the buildings and properties and breaking into smaller groups to reflect on and review events and developments since moving to the Duncan area in the Autum of 2018. A common agreement was reached that Dhamma Modana has accomplished and graduated out of the Phase One stage of development.

 

Phase one was a flexible planning schedule followed over the first 4 years completed by meeting several criteria. Hosting a full schedule of back to back courses with two annual work periods, proving and establishing itself as financially efficient, and perhaps most critical, proving that a sufficient number of volunteers were available to run courses and maintain the Centre.  New dialogue and conversations around the next planning stages were raised on the heels of the agreement that the Phase One goals had been realized. Ideas were discussed around hosting a visioning meeting and re-establishing a planning team to examining the ground work and infrastructure needed for further expansion and growth.


Another smaller but important discussion, and a topic that has been raised many times over the last several years, was the idea of Dhamma Modana hosting 1-day Children's Courses. As a "local" Centre, Dhamma Modana promises to be an ideal location. Parents and care givers live in closer proximity to the centre and would be able to drop their children off for courses. Parents do not need to be old students to register their children for a course.  Holding children's courses are known to be a lot of work (but gratifying!) to be successful and will require a small group of committed old students to make this a reality. If you are interested please email [email protected].

Current projects tackled during the work period include: upgrades and maintenance to the septic system, repairs to the roof drains, work on the fencing project, and connecting Cabin 2 to the main septic system. There is a continued need for old students interested in coming to help with small labour and maintenance projects during the Between Course service periods. Email [email protected]

Questions and Answers

September 2022

Question: I would like further clarification on what Goenkaji means by “combining” techniques. This is strictly in terms of the vipassana meditation technique and Sila, right? I am just curious because I follow other self-help teachings that I find do not diminish my Sila and help me in my life.

Answer: In today’s over busy world it’s common to see techniques promoted that address almost every conceivable aspect of human behavior. Many of these offerings draw on a compilation of previous approaches that have been synthesized and repackaged as the latest and greatest.

What Goenkaji offers in the 10-day course is a framework, or lifestyle, that is timeless and applicable to everyone, everywhere: Sila, Samadhi, and Panna.

His recommendations to avoid combining techniques is really two-fold. The first is to avoid, as you accurately mention, mixing actual mediation techniques, and choosing one that is suitable and developing in it. The reason for this is clear, first off some techniques are quite powerful and mixing them is akin to mixing chemicals together without any idea of what may happen. Adding to this is, if a person is mixing then how is it possible to define where any benefit may be coming from? We encounter, from time to time, students who are confused. It can be difficult to straighten them out, so to speak, this resulting from combining actually meditation practices.

The second part of his recommendation is to apply the framework of Sila, Samadhi and Panna to any philosophy or technique being offered to assess it. Is there money involved? Can it withstand scientific rigor? Is one asked to believe in order to get results?

Finally we suggest that each old student in this tradition will decide what is best for themselves based on their own experiential wisdom and not because they were TOLD to do so. Certainly the world is evolving and many of us are actively participating in groups, learning to communicate more effectively and to approach problems and conflicts in new way. These often hard-learned clarities only strengthen our sitting meditation practice as we see again and again how flawed we are, and how our mental conditioning is so much stronger than we realized. Those of us who have devoted our lives to solely practicing the technique of Vipassana have found that it is the best tool for us to rectify this.

Dhamma Modana Centre Update

Local Support Team & In-Between Courses 

Dhamma Modana has a team of local old students who step in to support and fill management responsibilities. The local support team is looking to train interested old students who are able to attend a minimum of 2 - Between Courses per year, no prior experience required but in-person training will be provided.  Between courses can be viewed at Dhamma Modana's Course Schedule. Training will include duties such as, welcoming new servers to the centre, communication with management and centre teacher, overseeing and assigning tasks.

Opportunities

If you live within a 2 hour drive from the Centre and are interested in serving on the Local Support Team, please contact [email protected]
If you are interested to stay longer at the centre in the sit, serve, serve program please contact [email protected].

Dhamma Modana Virtual Sitting

Weekly Group Sitting / Dhamma Modana / Followed by Q&A and Discussion

Dhamma Modana's weekly group sittings are on Mondays, 7pm-8pm, followed by Q&A.  
All old students are welcome to join through the link or by calling in. 

Link:  Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
Phone:  +1 647-317-5363   Canada, Toronto (Toll)
Conference ID: 843 089 335#


Links and other group sittings can be found by going to the Dhamma Modana's Webpage, (Old Student / Group Sittings)
 

Update, Tri-Cities Local Group Sitting moved to Wednesday! New Fall schedules of weekly group sits and monthly 1-day courses can be found on Dhamma Modana's webpage.

Dhamma Modana, August 28, 2022

Pariyatti Free Resources & Newsletters

We recommend using Pariyatti.org as a resource, not only for the purchase of books but also for its large archive of free downloads. These include audio, video and text.

Be sure to check out their Free Resources section.

You may enjoy and be inspired by the Daily Words of the Buddha in your inbox each morning. A lovely way to start the checking email part of your day.

Visit Pariyatti’s archive of featured articles. You can read the latest December Pariyatti newsletter,  available for download here.
Dhamma.org App

There are many audio, video and written resources now available on the Dhamma.org app to support your practice, including:
  • Self course FAQs for doing your own self course
  • On the Subject of Happiness
  • Video documentaries “From Myanmar to the World” and many more
More Resources

For more resources, visit the Dhamma Modana website. To access the Dhamma Modana old student website and all Vipassana related sites, the username is: oldstudent and the password is always the same. 

How are we doing? 
We're interested to have your thoughts about this newsletter and general feedback. Please send them to [email protected].

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Dhamma Modana is exploring ways to support old students to continue grow and walk on the path together.  One way to support each other is to share our experience and insights with each other.  
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This notice is sent to old students of Vipassana as taught by S.N. Goenka in the North American Old Student Contact Database. You may also receive occasional messages from centers and newsletters via this database. If you are an old student you can subscribe to the newsletter here. 

Best wishes,
Vancouver Island Vipassana Association
Dhamma Modana
2359 Calais Rd
Duncan, B.C. V9L 5V5
Canada
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