What is Vipassana?
The term 'Vipassana' literally means "to see things as they really
are". Vipassana is regarded as a type of Buddhist meditation
technique, through which a person stills the mind and achieves a sort of
equanimity and composure. It is said that Lord Gautama Buddha, Himself,
made use of this meditation technique. The technique of Vipassana is 'to
watch your breath with awareness'. In Vipassana, a person is just
required to be aware of his breathing and not try to control it.
Vipassana International Academy
The first Vipassana meditation center in India, for teaching the
technique, was set up at Igatpuri by S.N. Goenka. The center was given
the name of 'Dhamma Giri: Hill of Dhamma'. Today, it is known as
Vipassana International Academy and has the distinction of being the
principle center of Vipassana meditation in the world.
Students from various parts of India as well as abroad come to the
academy and attend its courses. Vipassana Research Institute (VRI)
stands adjoining the academy. It was set up in 1985 to carry out
research into Vipassana meditation.
The Courses at Goenka Vippasana Center, India
The first course at Vipassana International Academy was held in October
1976. Since that year, the number of courses offered at the academy has
grown year by year.
The ten-day course is the main course offered at the Vipassana
Meditation Center of Igatpuri. They are taught by Goenkaji himself.
One-day Course & Group Sittings
This courser is only for those students who have completed a ten-day
course with Goenkaji or any of his assistants.
Satipatthana course is for those students who have completed at least 3
ten-day course and have practiced regularly for the past one year.
For this course, a student must have completed at least 5 ten-day
courses and 1 Satipatthana course and practiced daily, for the past two
For this course, a student must have completed at least 1 twenty-day
course and participated in a full-time Dhamma service in at least one
This course is for those who have completed one long course or are
qualified for long course since the last five years.
S.N. Goenka was taught Vipassana by a Burmese Vipassana teacher,
Sayagyi U Ba Khin. In order to fulfill the wish of his Guru, he set up a
Vipassana Meditation Center at Igatpuri.
The ten-day residential course for learning Vipassana can be undertaken
by any individual, regardless of the caste, religion, economic
background, etc. You will be required to practice 10 hours of meditation
and maintain complete silence. Complete abstinence from actions like
killing, stealing, lying, sexual misconduct and the use of intoxicants
is to be maintained. Along with that, the first three and a half days,
you will have to practice anapana meditation, which means focusing
attention on the natural breath. The next six and half days will be
spent in practicing Vipassana.
How to Reach Goenka Vipassana Center, India
The nearest airport is at Nashik city. It is well connected with most
of the key cities in India.
The railway station at Igatpuri is serviced by a limited number of
trains. You can also catch a train from the Nashik railway station.
Direct bus services are available to both Nashik as well as Mumbai. You
can also hire a taxi for the purpose.