Welcome to the North American Vipassana Prison Website
Vipassana Meditation As Taught By S. N. Goenka in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin
This is a special website related to the courses in Vipassana Meditation as taught by Mr. S.N. Goenka that are conducted from time to time within prisons and other correction environments. Vipassana meditation as taught by S.N. Goenka has been successfully offered over the last 25 years within prisons located in India, Israel, Mongolia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Thailand, U.K., Myanmar and the United States. Since all courses are 10-days in length and residential in nature, they are held within the walls of a corrections institution with the teachers and the volunteers who are managing the courses living with the prisoners for the duration of the course.
As with all Vipassana courses in this tradition, there are no charges for these courses to the students or the corrections facility – not even to cover the cost of food and accommodation. Expenses are met primarily by donations from people who, having completed a course and experienced the benefits of Vipassana, wish to give others the opportunity to also benefit. However, in the case of courses in prisons, donations can also be accepted from individuals, charitable institutions and governmental entities who wish to contribute toward the rehabilitative goals of these courses.
Because of the focused and intense nature of these courses there are certain requirements that must be observed within the prison during the course and that require cooperation between the prison staff and the Vipassana volunteers. It is also required that one or more personnel from the correction facility staff take a 10 day course at one of our established meditation centers before a course can be conducted at that facility. This requirement is necessary so that there are responsible correction staff members who are directly familiar with what the inmates will experience in the course and understand the reasons for the course requirements and its rules and regulations.
By way of background, Vipassana, which means to see things as they really are, is one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation. It was taught in India more than 2500 years ago as a universal remedy for universal ills, i.e., an Art of Living. For additional information, corrections officials are invited to contact the Vipassana Meditation Rehabilitation and Research Trust for North American Correctional Facilities in the United States or the appropriate Vipassana representatives in other countries.