How do I learn Vipassana?
New students learn Vipassana by taking an intensive, residential ten-day course. Instructions are provided by S.N. Goenka on video and audio tapes. One or more assistant teachers are also present to provide guidance and answer any questions about the technique.
After reviewing information about the program, course requirements, and the Code of Discipline, you can check the Course Schedule to see which dates are available and register for a course online.
How much does a course cost?
Each student who attends a Vipassana course is given this gift by a previous student. There is no charge for either the teaching, or for room and board. All Vipassana courses worldwide are run on a strictly voluntary donation basis. At the end of your course, if you have benefited from the experience, you are welcome to donate for the coming course, according to your volition and your means.
Are there courses shorter than ten days?
Actually, the ten-day course is the minimum; it provides an essential introduction and foundation to the technique. To develop in the practice is a lifetime job. Experience over generations has shown that if Vipassana is taught in periods of less than ten days, the student does not get a sufficient experiential grasp of the technique. Traditionally, Vipassana was taught in retreats lasting seven weeks. With the dawning of the 20th century, the teachers of this tradition began to experiment with shorter times to suit the quickening pace of life. They tried thirty days, two weeks, ten days, down to seven days–and they found that less than ten days is not enough time for the mind to settle down and work deeply with the mind-body phenomenon.
How many students attend each course?
Course size varies, ranging from approx 20 to 90 students. Courses that fall during a holiday generally have higher attendance.
What are the accommodations like?
Accommodations are simple rooms with a single bed. The Men’s residence has rooms with attached bath for senior old students, as well single rooms adjacent to an attached bath house with private showers and changing rooms. The Women’s residence has single rooms all with attached baths.
What kind of food is served?
The menu is a tasty and nutritious vegetarian menu. Special diets due to medical conditions and serious allergies can be accommodated with advance notice. Please discuss any dietary issues with the Registrar during the registration process.
Please find below the information for those who have been accepted for a meditation course at Dhamma Siri.
If you have any further questions regarding the courses, please do not hesitate to contact the Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-972-346-8020.
If at any time you need to cancel the course, you may do so using the link in your acceptance letter, or by sending email to Registration@siri.dhamma.org.
Code of Discipline
If you have not already done so, please read the Code of Discipline.
This document contains important information about the content, structure, and rules of the course. By submitting your application, you have agreed to follow the “Code of Discipline” during this course.
No shorts, tank tops, tights or revealing clothing.
Tights or leggings should be worn only under a knee-length top or shirt. Please read the “Code of Discipline” carefully and note the rules regarding clothing.
Please anticipate your individual needs in this environment. The rooms and the meditation hall are climate-controlled by central heat and air conditioning. Many people like a sweater, shawl or light blanket in the meditation hall. As outdoor shoes are not worn in the meditation hall, dining hall or residential quarters, it is advisable to bring shoes that are easy to slip on and off.
Bring sufficient clothing for the duration of your stay. Although automated laundry facilities are not available, facilities are available for hand wash and line dry.
No perfumed or scented creams, powders, shaving lotions, etc.
Bring all items necessary for personal hygiene such as:
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Bath soap
- Shampoo / conditioner
- Shaving/Sanitary supplies
A single extra long twin sized bed with a mattress, pillow, and blank is provided.
Students and volunteers must bring bed sheets and a pillow case. Mattresses are extra long twin, 38″ x 80″.
The meditation hall is carpeted and a cotton meditation cushion is provided. Meditation benches are also available. You may bring your own meditation cushion if you desire. Please request a chair if you need one on the first day of the course after your arrival.
All cell phones, palm pilots, pagers and other communication devices will need to be checked in with the management on the first day. Checked items will be returned when the course is over.
It is advisable to bring a watch and/or a non-ticking alarm clock. You may want to bring a flashlight and a small umbrella. Bring walking shoes if you want to do any walking exercise during the course.
Arrival and Departure Times
Please arrive between 1.00 and 5:00 PM for the registration period on the day the course begins. A light meal will be served at 5.00 PM and orientation will follow at 6.00 PM. If your arrival will be delayed past 5.00 PM on the day the course begins please contact the Meditation Center at 1-972-962-8858, extension 1. If you have not arrived by 6:00 PM, and we haven’t heard from you, we will assume you are not coming, and your seat may be given to another student.
The 10 day, 20 day, 30 day, 45 day and Satipatthana courses will end at approximately 7:00 AM on the last day, followed by breakfast and clean up. Please plan any flights for after 10:30 am on the last day, to allow time for transportation to the local airports.
The 1 day, 2 day and 3 day courses will end at approximately 5:00 PM on the last day, after a short clean up.
All new students, as well as returning students taking a full course, are expected to remain until the very end of the course.
It takes a tremendous amount of planning and expense to organize each of our 10-day residential courses. The courses at Southwest Vipassana Meditation Center are usually between 30 and 100 students and are run strictly on a donation basis. These courses are the only events at the facility; so it is essential to know the exact number of participants for each course.
If for any reason you will not be able to attend, it is essential for you to cancel, even if it is the day of the course. You many cancel by sending an e-mail to email@example.com, or by calling the Registrar at 1-972-346-8020.
Unless otherwise specified online registration is available for all courses. Please follow the steps below:
- Read the Code of Discipline
- Select a course from our schedule and fill out an online course application
Register via Fax or Mail
You can also register for a course via fax or mail. To contact the Registrar, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 1-972-346-8020.
- One form per course: You must submit a separate form for each course for which you apply.
- One form per person: Each individual must submit their own application (i.e. one form per person).
- Changing courses: If, after submitting a course application, you wish to change your original course date for a different one (at another time), it would be helpful if you would submit a new application. This will save the registrar time and avoid possible confusion in the system.
Please make sure you inform the Registrar of your travel plans. If your plans change (e.g. missed a flight, found alternative transportation etc) or are delayed in anyway, please inform both the Registrar at email@example.com and Transportation at firstname.lastname@example.org . You may also call 1-972-962-8858 for all updates to your transportation information.
Plan to arrive at the Center no later than 5:00 PM on the day the course starts. The course ends on the morning of the last day. Students can expect to leave the center between 8 – 10.
- Ride Share Board
- Shared Shuttle from Dallas
- Arrivals by Airplane
- Arrivals by Bus / Rail
- Arrivals by Taxi
- Driving to the Center
If you need a ride or can offer rides for others to get to the course site, please follow the ride share board instructions on your Acceptance email. This volunteer-run board may help you find a ride to the center with other students. Please consider offering rides if you will have extra space in your vehicle. Sometimes people cannot attend simply because they lack transportation.
If enough participants need rides, the Center may arrange for a shuttle to reach/ depart from the Center and Dallas.
YOU MUST INFORM REGISTRATION IF YOU NEED THE SHUTTLE. Please provide all the Arrival and Departure information requested below.
- Arrival location (Airport – DFW or Love Field / Bus Station / Train Station),
- Airline / Bus / Train operator
- Flight number
- Cell phone number
- Destination (Airport – DFW or Love Field / Bus Station / Train Station / Other)
- Airline / Bus / Train operator
- Flight number
If you do not inform registration that you need the shuttle, you will need to make your own arrangements to arrive at and depart from the center (see next few sections for helpful tips).
The Center will make the reservation on your behalf with the shuttle company. There may be more than one shared shuttle van, depending upon number of participants and arrival times. The van can accommodate a maximum of ten passengers and the cost is shared equally by those on board.
Shuttle Fares – (current rates may vary:)
- From DFW airport per person for one through ten passengers are usually: One – $101.00, two – $55.50, three – $40.50, four – $33.00, five – $30.00, six – $28.30, seven – $24.30, eight – $21.25, nine – $19.00, ten – $17.00.
- From Love Field airport directly to the Center, the fares per person for one through ten passengers are: One – $76.00, two – $43.00, three – $32.00, four – $26.50, five – $23.50, six – $21.00, seven – $19.50, eight – $18.50, nine – $16.50, and ten – $14.50.
- Please add a tip for the driver; suggested tip is $2 per bag, with a minimum of $3. You will pay the driver on arrival at the Center. You can pay either in cash or by credit card.
When you confirm your attendance with your travel details, Registration will give you further instructions via email about transportation assistance.
Note: The final departure time(s) and location of the pick-up points for the shuttles will be published by the Transportation team only two to three days before the course begins, once we have travel details from most students requesting a ride.
IF YOU MISS THE SHUTTLE
If you miss the shuttle, you must do the following two things:
1) Call the primary shuttle driver to inform him of your new flight arrival time. The driver will assist in getting you on another shared shuttle to the center or book you on a regular full-price shuttle, depending on what is available when you get in.
Or if you miss the shuttle and are unable to contact the driver, call Go Yellow Checker Shuttle service directly to make a reservation on your own. You will pay a fare of $101. If for some reason, the shuttle reservation agent says Kaufman is not within the service area, please let them know the Dispatch manager has agreed to this.
2) Be sure to also call the center at 1-972-962-8858, to inform that you have missed the shuttle and when you expect to be arriving.
Please try to arrive in Dallas before or around 12:00 noon on the day the course begins. Your departing flight should leave after 12:00 noon on the last day of the course, to allow time to get to the airport.
Please see the Shared Shuttle to / from Dallas section, if you are interested in sharing the cost of transportation to reach the Center.
There are also numerous other taxi and shuttle services from both airports, however most of them are likely unfamiliar with getting to the center as it is about 60+ miles away. The few that are familiar are listed on this page.
- From Downtown Dallas Bus/Rail Stations only:The Greyhound, Megabus and Amtrak stations are located in downtown Dallas and the shuttle can pick you up from here. INFORM REGISTRATION if you plan to take the shuttle. Please see the Shared Shuttle to / from Dallas section for more information about the shuttle.
- From Terrell Greyhound Bus Station:If you take a Greyhound bus to the city of Terrell (approximately 20 miles from the Center), you can take the STAR public transportation service.Contact the STAR service at least 24 hours but not more than two weeks in advance of the trip date at 1-877-631-5278 between the hours of 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM CST to make a reservation from the bus station to the Meditation Center.The rate is approximately $5 one way (Current rates may be different). You will need to provide the address of the Center when you book your reservation with STAR: 10850 Country Road 155A, Kaufman, Texas 75142.
If scheduling permits, subject to availability of driver and bus, STAR Transit may provide “same day” service at a higher fare rate. Contact STAR for these rates.
Hiring a private taxi to the Center is another convenient option though more expensive compared to the shuttle (even if you take a full-fare shuttle by yourself). There are many taxi services in Dallas. Cathy LaBombard of Freedom Taxi at 1-214-244-5434 has served the center for several years, and can provide taxi service at the meter rate (approximately $110) plus a tip. Current rates may be different.
For driving directions to and maps of the Center please refer this page for directions to reach the center by car.
NOTE: GPS systems do not always give the correct directions. Please compare any GPS directions with the directions provided by the website.