Dhamma Siri Southwest Vipassana Meditation Center Kaufman, Texas, USA
The Vipassana Meditation Center of Kaufman, Texas.
Vipassana is one of India's most ancient meditation techniques. Long lost to humanity, it was rediscovered by Gotama the Buddha more than 2500 years ago. The word Vipassana means seeing things as they really are. It is the process of self- purification by self-observation. One begins by observing the natural breath to concentrate the mind. With a sharpened awareness one proceeds to observe the changing nature of body and mind and experiences the universal truths of impermanence, suffering and egolessness. This truth-realization by direct experience is the process of purification. The entire path (Dhamma) is a universal remedy for universal problems and has nothing to do with any organized religion or sectarianism. For this reason, it can be freely practiced by everyone, at any time, in any place, without conflict due to race, community or religion, and will prove equally beneficial to one and all.
I'll probably never forget the initial shock that came with the discovery that not more than three miles, as the crow flies, from where I now sit; there is, almost completely hidden from the native residents of Kaufman, Texas; a fairly large meditation center tucked away at the end of a dead end dirt road that most of the folks in and around Kaufman, Texas; have never bothered to go down. If a Kaufman resident has went down that dead end road, then they probably realized their error, and turned around before they ever got to the Vipassana Meditation center. If they HAD got all the way to the drive that leads to the center, then they still wouldn't have been able to see just what all is back there; but I, one who could walk there, or ride a bicycle there within an hour's time; HAVE seen it. I wouldn't have been any more shocked if an elephant had dropped out of the sky and landed ten feet in front of me, than I was when I made that discovery.
Vipassana Meditation Center, Kaufman, Texas
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One Hot Texas Summer's Day
We'd been out and about, the boss, and I; into the DFW Metroplex, and all around Kaufman County too. It was over, well over a hundred degrees outside; and I was a bit befuddled by the notion that there could be some sort of "medication center" out in an area that is, basically, my back yard. We turned right off of the dead end dirt and rock road next to a sign that said Vipassana Meditation Center, and noticed a newly constructed house, then a long drive to what appeared to be. . .some sort of business or school in the middle of nowhere. A hundred or more yards past the turn off from the dead end road there was a little parking lot on gravel, and there were all sorts of expensive looking German autos with out of state plates on them. It was then that we realized that we'd found something completely unexpected in what we'd thought of, the boss and I, as "our" territory.
We'd known from their initial phone call to the boss that Kaufman Air Systems had already been out there, and told them something about having to order a part. But I'd quickly, upon seeing the strange single file line of people walking moon eye'd and somewhat aimlessly, decided that Kaufman redneck air conditioning mechanics, the ones that aren't named WTS, had been so freaked out about the place and the people that they'd probably just thought up an excuse to get out of there, and back into a world that they'd be more comfortable in.
"Todd, what the hell is going on here? Look!! There's people just walking around EVERYWHERE! Look at them! I'm not getting out of the van! Go see if you can find something out!"
The boss was properly stunned by a very non East Texas typical community in the middle of nowhere, and very, very close to our own homes, he and I live on the same street; and we'd the neither of us ever imagined such a place so close to home. I got out and approached the first person, the only person out of many, that even looked at me.
"Hey, we got a call about an air conditioner that wasn't working?"
See, I'd been to California a few times before, and there was something about the guy that I addressed, besides the near glazed over look, that screamed "California."
"Just follow the stone path, dude, and you'll see a sign that says 'office,' go in there, man; and somebody will know what the deal is, man."
So I like, totally followed the stone path, man, just like I was told, man ; and I found the office. I went inside and found some rather "hippie elite" looking folks who told me that, yeah, they had an air conditioner for me to repair in the hundred plus degree heat.
"Do you know what kind of place this is, Sir? It's a meditation center, okay? I just wanted to let you know that you shouldn't talk to any of our guests, some of them haven't spoken a word in weeks."
That was all groovy with me because it was about a hundred and ten degrees outside; and I was itching to get on with my day. Turns out that I was able to get everything done standing in the Texas sun behind the men's dorm, which when I did enter, so as to operate the thermostat, I was asked to remove my shoes. Perhaps I'm overly compliant, and the boss man, when he finally did become curious enough to get out of the van and have a look see; said,
"I ain't taking my boots off for nobody."
But anyway, I fixed it, no big deal; easy job, and please give me a glass of water.
I couldn't have been more impressed with the Spartan dorm rooms, no television, or radio; controlled mass media lies are not allowed at the Vipassana Meditation Center, and so I know that that place is doing wonderful things for people, it allows them to clear the garbage out of their heads, and assess reality for a change. I don't watch television or radio at all either; but my head probably has all sorts of crap in it that shouldn't be there, and I want that crap out of there, and for the same reasons as the men and women who come for the ten day minimum course at the Kaufman, Texas; Vipassana meditation center. I might see about checking into the place myself sometime. It's literally within walking distance of where I sit, for a person that's not too lazy or out of shape; and it would be like visiting a foreign country and getting some exposure to a completely different culture.
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