Vipassana Meditation Centre coming up near Pallavaram

The Hindu, 19th Sept. 2000
By Our Staff Reporter

CHENNAI, SEPT. 18. When the world continues to look for gurus in the Indian subcontinent, the `Vipassana' method of meditation gains a strong foothold in Chennai with the upcoming meditation centre `Dhamma Setu' near Pallavaram.

The Vipassana Meditation Centre, to be inaugurated on September 28 by Vipassana Acharya S.N.Goenka, is located in Pazhan Thandalam, Thirumudivakkam village. In its natural and peaceful atmosphere, it has been touted as the `place ideally suited for the practice of Vipassana Meditation'. Adequate facilities such as a main hall, residences for teachers and accommodation for around 120 male and female learners have been provided.

Residential courses will be conducted at this new centre, beginning September 29. These courses, which are conducted free of charge, follow a regular ten day schedule that includes observing silence, practicing abstention and meditation in order to develop control over the mind.

This unique meditation technique, is said to be one of India's most ancient methods of meditation, aiming at helping individuals to `achieve real peace of mind and to lead a happy useful life'. Vipassana means `to see things as they really are' and is a logical process of mental purification through self- observation. It is also the essence of what the Buddha practised and taught during his forty five year ministry.

Over the years, the technique, which is non-sectarian, spread to the neighbouring countries of Burma, Thailand, Sri Lanka and now it has entered the `Western' world, having made a mark in Germany, USA, UK and France, apart from Australia and New Zealand.

Acharya Goenka, who distinguished himself as a pioneer in industry in Burma during his early twenties, remained unhappy and suffered from crippling migraines until he met Sayagyi U Ba Khin, a Vipassana teacher. The practical and result-oriented nature of the technique he learnt under the master appealed to him and soon he too was appointed an Acharya. Since then, he with the help of more than 500 assistant teachers and thousands of volunteers have shared this technique with the people of 80 countries.

During his Chennai visit, the Acharya will give a series of lectures on `Dhamma in Life', `Dhamma in Education', `Vipassana Meditation for Professionals' and `Dhamma in Business' on September 29, 30 and October 1 and 2.

Those interested in enrolling in the meditation courses can contact the administrative offices at 73, NSC Bose Road, Sowcarpet, Chennai - 600 079, Tel: 5358316/5359839, Fax: 5357278; 149, Eldams Road, Teynampet, Chennai - 600 018, Tel: 4334545/4344504, E-mail: meridian@md3.vsnl.net.in


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