Mr. Goenka first visited North America in 1979 to conduct a Vipassana course in Montreal, Canada. Thereafter, Dhamma has grown steadily in both U.S. and Canada, stimulated further by Mr. Goenka’s 4-month tour in 2002. By 2017, 16 Vipassana centers and 9 non-center locations are established in North America, offering 10-day and long courses, serving thousands of students each year. To read the detailed account of the spread of Vipassana in North America, please click here.
Courses in Correctional Institutions
The first Vipassana course in a jail in North America was conducted in 1997 in a low security correction facility in Seattle, Washington; followed by 20 more courses there, and one in San Francisco Jail (in 2001). Two significant courses were held in 2002 at W. E. Donaldson Correctional Facility in Alabama, a maximum-security prison noted for being a violent and brutal facility, with significant benefits. The local administration there is now considering establishing a permanent Vipassana ward.
Two feature films ‘Changing from Inside’ and ‘The Dhamma Brothers’ document the significant changes achieved by Vipassana in the above prisons. Research indicates that the practice of Vipassana reduces incidents of indiscipline, aggression and other anti-social attitudes in the prison and increases general psychological well-being.
Courses for Business Executives
In 2002, Mr. Goenka conducted the first course exclusively for business executives and government officials in North America. Since then, executive courses have been held at several centers in North America, leading to very positive results and the spread of Dhamma in the business community. This continent has proven to be a very fertile field for the spread of Dhamma. The sizes of the Vipassana courses at both center and non-center course locations have grown larger every year and the need for new centers continues to increase.
Centers in United States
Massachusetts - Situated in Shelburne Falls (established in 1982), Dhamma Dhara has a meditation hall for 200 students and a meditation cell complex. It serves the most densely populated area of the USA. To improve the accommodation facilities, forty single rooms with attached bathrooms were completed in 2012.
Central California – The Center, Dhamma Mahavana, is situated in North Fork (established in1990) amidst 109 acres forest area near the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The meditation hall accommodates 120 students. A new Pagoda with cells was built in 2011.
Southern California - Dhamma Vaddhana, established in 2010 and situated in High Desert Los Angeles, amidst 154 acres of land caters to 60 students. Courses are also conducted in temporary facilities in Occidental.
Northern California - Established in 2009 , Dhamma Manda is situated near Kelseyville amidst 17 acres of forest land.
Texas - Situated in Dallas, Dhamma Siri is located half way between the east and west coasts. Established in 1990, the center is situated on thirty-four acres of agricultural land near the end of a quiet rural road. The center has a two-storey meditation cell complex for 100 students and serves over 1000 students annually.
Washington - Dhamma Kuñja, established in 1991, is situated amidst 50 acres of land in the shadow of the Cascade Mountains between Seattle and Portland.
Illinois - Established in 2004 and situated near Chicago, Dhamma Pakasa caters to 50 students. Surrounded by trees, grass and spring-fed ponds, the center provides a supportive atmosphere for meditation.
Georgia - Dhamma Patapa, established in 2008, is situated near Jessup amidst 40 acres of woodland. Set in a secluded rural area and surrounded by forty acres of beautiful pine, oak, and mixed hardwood forests, the center caters to 60 students.
Delaware - Dhamma Delaware is located in Claymont on 13.8 acres of land. Established in 2014, the center regularly offers 10 day & other courses and caters to around 72 students per course.
Idaho - Established in 2016, Dhamma Pasava, sits on a 256 acres of land near a small resort town of Lava Hot Springs. The center is centrally located in the Intermountain Region, less than 2 hours from Salt Lake City.
Wisconsin: Established in 2013, with a capacity of around 45 students per course, Dhamma Visuddhi is situated on 15 acres of forested property on the bluffs overlooking the Red Cedar river and the town of Menomonie.
In addition to permanent centers, regular courses are conducted in nine non-center locations, where old students offered their land or found a rented place to conduct courses. To read the detailed account of one such non-center location in Hawaii, where old students selflessly serve to enable others to participate in the course, please click here. Other states where courses are conducted in non-center locations include Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, New York and Oregon.
Centers in Canada
Courses are conducted in Canada in five centers and one non-center location.
British Columbia - There are two centers in British Columbia. Dhamma Surabhi, established in 2002, on a 56 acre of forested property near Merritt, caters to 60 students. The second center, Dhamma Modana, is nestled in Cowichan Valley on a 137 acre property, near Duncan.
Alberta - Established in 2001, Dhamma Karuna with a capacity for 80 students, is located on 8.5 acres of land on the outskirts of Youngstown, Alberta – a small farming village in the Canadian Badlands.
Quebec - Situated near Montreal, in a tranquil, open valley surrounded by forest, Dhamma Suttama caters to 150 students per course. Acquired in February 2011, the new center continues to uphold the mission of the former Sutton center established in 1999.
Ontario, Egbert - Established in 2003 and located near Toranto, Dhamma Toraṇa has over 140 acres of beautiful woods, open spaces and ravines.
Courses are also conducted in non-center locations in Manitoba.