Goenkaji’s Birth Centenary

In 1924, in the old royal capital of Myanmar, an Indian merchant family celebrated the birth of their son, Satya Narayan Goenka. This year marks the centenary of Goenkaji’s birth, and we look back to his long life to gain a better understanding of the teaching as well as inspiration for practicing and sharing Vipassana meditation. In this rapidly transforming world, Goenkaji became a leading advocate for a meditation teaching preserved in Myanmar that not only changed his own life, but had a profound impact on millions of other people around the world.

Although we do not normally celebrate birthdays at centers, this is an important event to recognize and pay respects to our teacher, without whom Dhamma Dharā and the other centers around the world would not exist. Most old students never met Goenkaji personally, but we recognize him as our teacher and every time we sit a course or group sitting, we are close to him. Our gratitude toward him is boundless, and many of us have dedicated our lives to helping others get this technique.

Celebrating Goenkaji’s centenary is not a blind rite or ritual but an opportunity to develop our quality of gratitude toward the person who gave us Dhamma. At Dhamma Dharā, we will express our gratitude to Goenkaji during the weekend of October 7 and 8 by sitting a 1-day course, and offer a program to recognize Goenkaji and all that he has done to spread Dhamma to millions of people around the world.

A tentative schedule is:

  • Saturday, October 7
    • 1-day course
  • Sunday, October 8
    • Morning chanting
    • Three group sittings
    • A program of panels throughout the day featuring Goenkaji’s senior students
    • Evening video
    • Server’s Metta

Covid permitting, it will be wonderful to once again see the Dhamma Hall and Pagoda completely filled with grateful old student.