Goenkaji visited Taiwan for the first time in 1995 to give a series of Dhamma talks. Such was the response to his first series of Dhamma talks that a ten-day Vipassana course was organised a few days after the talks. More than 200 students participated in this first course.
The enthusiasm for Dhamma continued to grow. There was no fixed site for the courses in the first two years. Courses were held in monasteries and schools. Since most Taiwanese speak and understand only Mandarin and Taiwanese, the translation of ten-day discourses was the first important step. Along with ten-day course material even Satipatthana discourses were translated into Mandarin. Thus both ten-day and Satipatthana courses could be given in Mandarin.
Some publications of the Vipassana Research Institute were translated and published in Mandarin. Among these are "The Gracious Flow of Dhamma" and the Art of Living, "The Discourse Summaries" is now ready for publication. Two documentary films--"Hill of Dhamma" and "DoingTime, Doing Vipassana" are available with Chinese subtitles.One can get information about Dhamma activities in Taiwan on the Chinese website.
Two Vipassana courses were held in an elementary schools for teachers, the participating teachers were asked about their experience by the Department of Education of the Provincial Government. The teachers felt that the course helped them to become emotionally stable and mentally strong to deal with students in a more positive manner. In short, they became better humans and better teachers. The Department of Education now awards a ten hour study credit to the school teachers who participate in the ten day Vipassana course during their summer vacation. (All school teachers in Taiwan have to earn a twenty hour study credit in their vacation.)
In May 1998, a Vipassana student offered his farm house for holding Vipassana courses on a two years' free lease. This new site in the Taichung county is at a convenient distance from most of the island and the weather is pleasant throughout the year. This farm house was converted into a facility for holding Vipassana courses for about 70 students. Goenkaji gave Anapana and Vipassana in a three day course at this site on his third visit to Taiwan in August 1998. In the same month, one of the largest Vipassana courses outside of India was held in a school in Kaohsiung. There were 375 students, another 50 students gave voluntary Dhamma service in this course.
Till February 1999, more than 70 Vipassana courses have been held in Taiwan. The Taiwan Vipassana Centre plans to buy a suitable plot of land for a permanent centre by the end of 1999 and start organising courses by the summer of 2000 at the permanent site.
In the last three years many Taiwanese have come to Indian centres, mostly to Dhamma Giri, to attend Vipassana courses. In January 1999, twelve Taiwanese participated in the thirty day course at Dhamma Giri.
May peace and harmony prevail in the island of Taiwan.
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