Aotearoa/New Zealand is a country with a rich cultural heritage and is also a popular tourist destination. The New Zealand Vipassana centre, Dhamma Medini, welcomes all. Despite our diverse beginnings and our unique lives, when we come to a Vipassana course we are united by a common cause, a common purpose—to come out of our suffering.
Although this teaching comes from Gotama the Buddha, it is presented in a non-sectarian format. The Buddha was not interested in converting people. He had found the Path to the end of suffering and his only interest was to share this with others. It is the same today. The cause of suffering lies within each of us and we only need to look inside to find its solution. This works for anyone regardless of their origins or traditions. And that is what you will learn here.
When we count up the native languages of the people on our courses, the number often reaches a dozen. We have the facilities to provide the evening discourse and daily instructions in almost 50 languages. When you first apply for a course, you will be asked about your native language and other languages you might also know. You may be asked to complete a language assessment form as part of the processing of your application. This allows us to determine if we have the facilities to serve you on the course and provide you with the materials you will need. We also usually hold annual bi-lingual courses in French and English, and also Mandarin and English. At these courses we ensure there is an interpreter for those students who need it.
People of all sexual orientations and gender identities are welcome to our courses.
The campuses at all the meditation centers in this tradition are segregated into male and female sides. This extends to the residential accommodation, the walking areas, the bathrooms, the dining rooms and within the meditation hall. This structure is designed to reduce the tension that derives from the mixing of male and female genders.
We recognize this doesn’t work for everyone and that sometimes members of the LGBTIQ community may not feel comfortable on either side of the compound, or having to identify as male or female. With that in mind, you are welcome to let us know about your sexual orientation or gender identity beforehand. This will help us to arrange a space for you where you can feel safe and focused on the course. You can share this information by writing on the application where we ask, “Is there anything you wish to add?” We may contact you so that together we can make a plan that works for you. Your private information will be respected and kept confidential.
Physical Health Needs
Some applicants may have a special requirement due to a health issue, a physical limitation, pregnancy or a dietary restriction. We are prepared to accept most people with special requests, but we need to know the extent of someone’s requirements before they arrive. If you have dietary restrictions, please mention this in your application and we will contact you with the menu and allergy information that would be relevant to you. Quite often someone may ask for back support or a chair to meditate in due to physical limitations. We are happy to provide whatever you need to meditate comfortably. Sometimes people ask for a private room for personal or medical reasons. Most of the rooms here are private, but there are no rooms with attached bathrooms. If you feel you need particular accommodation for any reason please tell us in the application where we ask, “Is there anything you wish to add?” We will contact you and work out a plan.