The need for a Dhamma House
Around the world, meditators have established over 150 Vipassana centers. Most of these are in the countryside, an hour or more by public Transportation from the nearest city. There is good reason for the choice of location: Further from urban areas land is cheaper and the atmosphere is quieter, more conducive to meditation. But in fact cities are where most Vipassana meditators have their homes and spend their lives. And while they are happy to travel a few hours to attend a retreat, equally important to them is having support where they live.
They need a place where they can sit in silence with other meditators even for just an hour, where they can set aside daily concerns and distractions. They need an environment where they can focus on the reality within, develop equanimity and cultivate good will toward all beings.
This is why many major cities today have what meditators call a Dhamma House. What this is can vary greatly. In some cities it might simply be a room in an old student’s home. In others it might be a more elaborate standalone facility offering a range of services to meditators. But everywhere, step through the doorway and you are in an island of peace and harmony. And when you step back outside, you take a little of that with you.
The Austin Dhamma House
The Austin Dhamma House was established in 2014 and provides meditation and Dhamma service opportunities to old students in the Central Texas region. Weekday, weekend and 1-Day Courses for Vipassana Meditators in Austin and adjoining areas are currently organized at the Austin Dhamma House. It houses a reference library for old students and offers public events like Children and Teen Courses for the benefit of the local non-student community.
Group sittings and 1-day Courses are valuable opportunities to strengthen your practice of Vipassana. By sitting with fellow students who are practicing the same technique, you can meditate more seriously and gain support that will help your individual practice. All meditation events are only for old students. Old students are those who have completed a 10-day Vipassana Meditation course with S.N. Goenka or his assistant teachers.
Weekend Group Sit Schedule
9:00 am – 10:05 am – followed by a 10-15 minute break
10:20 am – 11:25 am – followed by snacks and short cleanup.
Meditation Mailing List
The best way to ensure you know about upcoming 1-day courses, changes to the group sit schedule and other announcements is to subscribe to the Austin CTVA mailing list by sending a blank email to [email protected] Mails are usually sent once a week with upcoming schedules and announcements.
Students with questions about their practice can send an email to [email protected] to be put in touch with an assistant teacher.
All events are held at the Austin Dhamma House at 1105 E Applegate Drive, Austin, TX 78753 unless mentioned otherwise.
We need your help to manage parking and minimize the disturbance to our neighbors, please :
- Park in one of the adjoining streets the Dhamma House
- Do not park in any of the areas marked in red below
- Avoid streets that have multiple cars parked already
- If 2 cars are parked back to back on the street then please avoid parking another car close by
- Double check that you are not blocking driveways or thoroughfare
- Do not walk over the neighbors lawns or property
Questions: For questions about group sittings and 1-Day Courses in Austin, please send an email to [email protected]
We hope to see you soon!
Group Sit Guidelines
- Please try to arrive on time for group sittings. There is a fifteen minute break every hour. If you sit part-time, please arrive and depart during this break.
- Please observe noble silence during the 1-hour sittings
- Please follow the same modest dress code observed at centers
- Group sittings are open to those who have taken a 10-day course with S. N. Goenka or one of his assistant teachers
- The five precepts of wholesome conduct are to be observed in the place where group sittings are held
- Participants at group sittings should practice only the meditation technique taught by S.N Goenka
- No need to knock, even if you are running late. Please open the door and take a spot in the Meditation Hall. The two rows to the left are for female meditators. The two rows to the right are for male meditators.
1-Day Courses are for old students who have completed at least one ten-day course with S.N. Goenka or his assistant teachers. 1-Day Courses are an ideal way to refresh your practice. 1-Day Courses are typically conducted by an Assistant Teacher who is available to answer meditators’ questions during lunch-interviews. When an assistant teacher is not available to conduct the course, an Old Student will play the 1-Day Course instructions.
- Prior registration is not required.
- Part time students are welcome.
- Bring a cushion and non-perishable vegetarian lunch for yourself. Some cushions are available.
- Please arrive on time so that you do not disturb others.
- There is a 10 minute break after each sitting. If you are coming part-time, please try to arrive during this break period or during the lunch break.
- Noble silence and all the other rules of a 10-day course are followed.
Time-Table for One-Day Course
8:30 – 9:00 Registration/Setup
9:00 – 9:50 Course Opening – Anapana Instructions
9:50 – 10:00 Break
10:00 – 11:00 Group Sitting
11:00 – 11:10 Break
11:10 – 12:00 Vipassana Instructions
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch Break & Interviews with AT (at 12:30, if present)
1:00 – 2:20 Meditation period
2:20 – 2:30 Break
2:30 – 3:30 Group Sitting
3:30 – 3:40 Break
3:40 – 4:05 Discourse & Metta
4:05 – 4:30 Cleanup
The Austin Dhamma House is maintained and managed by local old students. There are multiple short term and long term Dhamma Service Opportunities available to old students. If you would like to volunteer for any of these activities, or if you would like to be updated about future volunteer activities, please contact us at [email protected] for more information.