With Vipassana meditation slowly gaining popularity all over the world and India, there’s a good reason why those with a restless mind should give it a go. Vipassana is an ancient meditation technique that teaches one how to ‘see things as they are.’ This form of meditation is all about focusing on your breath which sharpens the mind to such an extent that you slowly begin to feel small ripple-like sensation on every square inch of your body.
Fortunately, there’s no dearth of centres in our country to learn this form of meditation. From big cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata to smaller ones like Jaipur, Dehradun, Sonepat also have institutes that take you in for the 10-day course.
Dhamma Sikhara, Dharamshala
Dhamma Sikhara literally means the ‘Peak of Dhamma’ and is one of the most beautiful Vipassana centres in North India, located at the foothills of the Himalayas. Situated in Dharamshala, adjacent to Dharamkot village above McLeod Ganj, the centre spreads across acres of magnificent deodar and cedar forests area with the Dhauladhar Range looming in the distance. The centre can accommodate about 90 students at a time and conducts two 10-day courses every month between April to November.
Dhamma Laddha, Ladakh
What’s better than meditating in the lap of the Himalayas surrounded by pristine beauty on all sides. Dhamma Laddha offers a unique experience to meditators, being located in the Saboo region of Ladakh. The centre offers 10-day beginner courses as well as short-term courses for old students.
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Dhamma Giri, Igatpuri
Dhamma Giri is the first Vipassana meditation centre set up by S.N. Goenka in India in the year 1974. It is the Vipassana headquarters and one of the largest meditation centres in the world attracting thousands of people from across the globe. Getting a booking here is a task; so, if you’re really interested, be sure to book your place at least 5-6 months in advance.
Dhamma Bodhi, Bodhgaya
Bodh Gaya in Bihar is where Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment. Therefore, there cannot be a better place for learning this ancient technique of meditation. Situated near the ancient Magadha University with vast agricultural fields surrounding the centre, Dhamma Bodhi can accommodate 80 meditators at once. There’s single and double room cottages as accommodation for them.
Dhamma Thali, Jaipur
After the centre at Igatpuri, Dhamma Thali in Jaipur is the biggest and the oldest Vipassana centre in India. It was set up in the year 1977 with the idyllic Aravali Hills forming its backdrop. Spread across an area of 1.6 hectares, Dhamma Thali can easily accommodate 200 students. Just like all other centres, this one too is clean and well-maintained and offers freshly prepared vegetarian meals throughout the course.