Since 1989, meditators in Hawaii have organized 10-day Vipassana courses for a growing number of participants. Starting from 2007, the location has been a 3.2-hectare (8-acre) farm on the Big Island of Hawaii, located about 31 kilometers (19.5 miles) from Hilo International Airport. The owners are old students who are away part of the year; they offered the use of their property because they saw that it would work well for courses, lower costs and lessen the effort involved.
The course site is in a quiet area with views of the Pacific Ocean. Accommodation is in tents, set up under canopies to keep them cool. A larger tent serves as the meditation hall. There is plenty of water. Solar panels supply electricity, while propane fuels the kitchen and hot water supply.
Until 2013, Hawaii hosted only one or two 10-day courses a year. But in the past five years the number of meditators doubled, and people recognized the value of more frequent opportunities for serious meditation. As more funds became available and more people became involved, the way opened to do more. This past February, the Hawaii Vipassana Association decided to add six 10-day courses to its schedule for the current year—one every month from June to November—as well as shorter courses for old students.
To prepare for the courses, volunteers worked hard to build new bathrooms They added a shade cloth to the meditation tent, improved walking trails, upgraded the kitchen and workers’ accommodation, and more. Throughout this time there were also frequent group sittings at the site.
As a result of all this work, the site is able to welcome up to 75 people for courses. If all goes well, the Association will again offer more courses in 2014.
Website of the Center:
Volunteers building the new bathrooms
(Courtesy: International Vipassana Newsletter, June 2013 issue)