A special opportunity for practice is now available in Thailand. This retreat will be taught by a colleague of mine and I would highly recommend it

Vipassana Illawarra was formed in late 2008. A friend asked if I would be willing to teach a mindfulness meditation course in the Illawarra/Wollongong area of New South Wales Australia as there were no courses of this kind available. I agreed to conduct a course and so Vipassana Illawarra was born. The first 4 week course was held in Oct 2008. Since that time many courses have been run with a great interest in meditation shown by the local community.

Our aim is to provide various opportunities for people to come together and learn the practice of Vipassana meditation. At the present time three, four week courses (1 night per week) are offered within the Wollongong area. The four week courses are sometimes followed with a half day Saturday meditation session for those who wish to gain more experience in the practice. From time to time weekend retreats and longer residential retreats are scheduled. Two similar courses per year are also offered at the Buddhist Library, Camperdown, Sydney. It is our endeavour that the class participants will come away with a practical experience of meditation as well as a basic understanding of the principles of meditation enabling them to apply what they have learnt to the ups and downs of daily life.

Vipassana Illawarra is associated with our sister groups in Sydney, Australia, The Buddhist Library and Association of Engaged Buddhists. It is also internationally connected with Vipassana Hawaii in Hawaii, USA, where Grahame is one of the Guiding Teachers and Little Bang Meditation Group led by Pandit Bhikkhu in Thailand. Retreats of various lengths are conducted in all of these places. All are welcome to attend. See linked websites for information on retreats.

www.vipassanahawaii.org

www.littlebang.org

www.buddhistlibrary.org.au

www.engagedbuddhists.org.au

What is Vipassana Meditation and why should we bother?

Vipassana meditation means to “See Clearly”. It is an ancient Buddhist practice which comes from the time of the Buddha’s “awakening” 2600 years ago in Bodha Gaya, India. Known more commonly these days as “mindfulness meditation” this practice has proven to have great relevance and effectiveness for our present day lives. This relevance has nothing to do with Buddhism per se or becoming a Buddhist but has shown to be beneficial for everyone in all walks of life. Vipassana meditation is a simple and direct practice of cultivating self awareness leading to greater understanding (insight) into the nature of our own minds. In practice, participants are asked to develop mindfulness (attentiveness) of their own mind and body. This enables practitioners to “see clearly” and reduce negative states of mind while promoting positive states of mind which leads to greater happiness and freedom.

Meditation Method

There are many traditions of Vipassana Meditation found in the world today. Vipassana Illawarra concentrates mainly on the “Mahasi Sayadaw” style as our primary teaching method. The late Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw was a renowned Buddhist monk and meditation master from Myanmar (Burma). Much of the popularity of meditation in the west today has been inspired by his simple, direct explanation of the Buddhist teachings.


gain insight through meditation