Vipassana Meditation Centre
Vipassana Meditation as taught by S.N. Goenka
in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin
How the Swiss Vipassana Association was founded:
Mr. S.N. Goenka gave his first course in 1969 in India. A growing number of western people attended the next courses . To meet the request of students in the West, Mr. Goenka had visited Europe and the United States several times since 1979 to give classes. First they were held in different rented places like holiday houses, youth hostels and pensions. As the demand for classes grew, a growing number of Meditation Centers were created worldwide. At the same period, S.N. Goenka nominated Assistant Teachers, as he couldn't give all the necessary classes himself.
The first 10 days course given by S.N. Goenka in Switzerland was in 1980 in Hoch Ybrig and was attended by 120 participants. The course was followed by the speech “ The Art of Lliving”, which since has been translated into several languages.
The last time S.N. Goenka visited Switzerland was at the World Economy Forum in Davos in February 2000; he was invited together with other spiritual leaders. Later on he gave a speech to about 700 people in Zurich.
In 1986 the Swiss Vipassana Association was founded. Ever since 2 to 3 Vipassana Meditation Courses were given every year in rented places. Many Swiss Students also attended classes in foreign centers, for example in the neighbouring France, Germany or other countries.
The Swiss Vipassana Association is a nonprofit organization, exempt of taxes and has its seat in Zurich. All old Students can participate at the Trust meetings which take place about every other month at the Meditation Center. Once a year there's a General Assembly.
The Meditation Center “Dhamma Sumeru”
In 1999 the Vipassana Association Switzerland could buy a former children's holiday home in Mont-Soleil near St. Imier and transform it into an own Center. It was bought for CHF 420'000.- and was paid with donations and interestfree loans from old students and a mortgage.
"Dhamma Sumeru" means “The heavenly mountain of Dhamma” in Pali, the ancient Indian language that was spoken at the time of Buddha.
After purchasing the house, many renovation works had to be done. Whatever possible is done by volunteers, like for instance the cooking, teaching or cleaning work, in and around the house. All the costs are covered by donations.
In the center there's room for 55 persons. The first 10 days course took place in April 2000 and was fully booked. In the second year (2001) eight courseswill be held, later there will be more courses as far as the demand exists.
In successive steps the heating system and the roof have to be changed. Further the toilets and showers as well as the kitchen have to be renovated and another staircase for a better gender seperation have to be built.
Constitution of the Swiss Association
You can download the constitutions as a PDF.