January 2009 course:
"A year ago, I read a book on vipassana meditation which inspired me to take January 2009 course. I am Christian and come from Pakistan. I am a teacher in a high school and couldn't afford to do this course but I was accepted in the course under free Buddhist Homelands Scheme. I would like to state that the impact of the course has been phenomenal. It has changed my entire life. I AM really blessed. Brother Andrew, thank your very much indeed." - N, Pakistan.
"I live in the western part of Texas, 3-4 hours from any Sangha, and deeply appreciated your course, with the different types of meditation, and the depth of information on the elements of Buddhism. I will definitely remain connected to your program, and hopefully will have the joy of meeting you some day. Your kindness and clarity opened many doors and windows in a shuttered life, and gave further impetus to pursue the path revealed by the Enlightened One. I will commit one day at a time, one breath at a time, and with the help of your light reach some degree of insight. At times I feel suspended between the demons of lust and greed, but meditation does bring hope that these arrows may someday turn to flowers. Thanks again for a wonderful and enlightening course." -J, USA
"I just want to thank you very much for the course and everything you are doing for that and for us. So, thank you very much :-). I'm very happy and glad that I could participated the course! I have participated the course already twice before, but it is for the first time I finished it. I feel that it is vital for me to continue with meditation etc. First two attempts were not probably serious enough. Now I feel that there is no other way. I was forced to participate the course for the third time because, even if I have everything (great family, friends, good job and enough money) I don't feel happy (it is much more better now :-)). So, that is my short story. I like vipassana meditation and especially metta, mudita etc. meditations. I am very happy that these meditations are part of our training also. Thank you very much again Andrew and I wish you all the best!" - J, Czech Republic
"Many thanks for your work with the Vipassana Fellowship. I've enjoyed and greatly benefited from the course. It can be difficult to know where or how to begin this kind of practice and the availability of such a vipassana course online was just what I needed. Thanks again." - A, USA
"Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this course. Before, I was trying to develop insight without a proper base and this course gave me a necessary patience to develop concentration using the samatha techniques." - J, UK
September 2008 course:
"I was a member of your September 2008 course. Sorry for the late feedback. I should say, I am in the process of gaining wisdom and knowledge from the course. Surprisingly, during the course, I had found it hard to realise the treasure that was hidden inside the course. As the days keep progressing, and as I keep contemplating about the dhamma teachings, subtle changes in my personality keep happening. One thing for sure, this is something that is going to stay with me for my whole life. Please keep up the wonderful work that you have been doing by conducting such courses." - R, India
"Thank you very much for the course - I got a lot out of it and found it really did effect my perception of life and deepen a spiritual connection and a desire to progress further." - R, UK
"Just wanted to say thank you very much for your support during this wonderful Vipassana course. I think your vision to take a 2500 year old spiritual tradition and then teach it an authentic yet high tech. way, true to the tradition, is an outstanding achievement. I would (and do) recommend people, who are genuinely interested in establishing themselves in a Buddhist practice, to look at this Vipassana Fellowship Course. I have personally found the course to greatly assist me in the integration of the Dhamma into my life. It gives me a daily focus that shows up as equanimity, joy and purpose. " - W, Australia
"I just wanted to say you for putting on the Vipassana Fellowship course. I was excited to find an on line option that would let me explore meditation and this course certainly exceeded my expectations. ... I very much liked the daily readings ... I've always wanted to develop my ability to be more compassionate but as your basic geeky engineer it's not in my nature, although, I know I do better than a lot of people. So I thank you for helping me to focus on compassion and loving kindness as it fits with my aspirations. ... Thank you very much for the guidance you provided to myself & the others through this course. You have much to be proud of. If you ever set up a retreat in Canada or the Northern US I'd appreciate knowing as I think I might be able to muster enough courage to attend." - L, Canada
"I have been on a journey for the last three and a half years. Some steps has been the logical effects of prior events, others like this class have been pure leaps of faith. I want to again thank you for making this leap more meaningful then I could have every hoped!" - P, USA
April 2008 course:
"Very well paced and complete introduction. Back in the busy world it helped me renew and entertain the flame. Thank you." - R, Canada
"I found the course immensely valuable, and have signed on to the Parisa membership and am grateful to be able to do so. ... Thank you for your gift to us." - S, USA
Comments from our 2007 participants:
"It has already made a significant change to my own well-being and hopefully as a result, that of those around me." - J, UK
"I really think this is just such a wonderful use of modern technology and the Internet, as it has provided someone like myself with access to a teacher who would not have it otherwise...I thought it was a great combination of the fundamental teachings, presented in a very 'user-friendly' format." - P, USA
"I liked that the information you gave was short and to the point, full of good wisdom, without rambling on and on. It kept me looking forward to the next reading, without feeling overly committed for a beginner. And the other part is what I was really looking for.... how to integrate what I learned into the acts of daily living. Over the years I have read so many books on Buddhism... but yet did not have the drive or commitment to put all that knowledge into daily practice. Your daily lessons helped me do that. So thank you for that. You helped me accomplish that goal.... ongoing goal, that is." - M, USA
"From what I've read and studied so far, in just three months I have learned so much about myself and why I do what I do, and how I can change it. Your daily writings really helped me find direction... But the most helpful thing I've found so far is meditating. I never thought I could do it at all, but that is where most of my insight has come from. And that is directly thanks to you... Thank you so much for all the help. And your answers to my questions were so kind and gentle - I have even learned to be kinder to myself! You will probably hear from me sooner or later with some questions - hope you don't mind!" - J, USA
"I remain grateful to you for giving the opportunity to learn and practise vipassana. It is a well constructed course indeed. Combining equally the samatha practice with vipassana really made me understand the essence of the meditation practice in daily life." - A, India
"I LOVED the course. I am a long time meditator and decided that I wanted more authentic meditation & guidance. This was MORE than what I could have imagined. I could go on and on, but what else can I say." - M, USA
"In all honesty, I think its excellent, especially for people like me who due to work and family constraints can't get out on a retreat. I think that I probably gained more from starting with your 3 month course than I would have by starting on a 10-day retreat anyway." - P, France.
"Thank you for your kindness, wisdom and generosity in offering the course. I enjoyed it very much and it has helped me to begin to build a daily meditation practice. I thought the course was very well constructed. The materials were well-written - clear, simple, concise and easy to understand but uncompromising in the information they provided. I looked forward with pleasure to reading each day's teaching. I also found the audio guided meditions very useful at the beginning of each section...
I was thoroughly pleased by all aspects of the course. I have recommended it and will continue to recommend it to others as a valuable, enriching and rewarding experience. I look forward to taking another course soon - either repeating this one or taking a continuation course."
- Judy, July 2004
"The course has been very helpful for increasing my understanding of Buddhism and helping develop my meditation practice. I would certainly consider taking a refresher course."
- Carolyn, April 2004
"I am more peaceful and happier than before I began the course (Of course, I am really still at the beginning) but I am able to see, just to see. To see what? That I do not have to be asleep to life, afraid of life, afraid of reality."
- Janie, April 2004
"I benefited greatly from the course. I'm most grateful to you for providing it and for the gentle yet well thought out answers to everyone's questions."
- Deborah, April 2004
"It is undeniable that for us lay meditators, the practice must be done at the place and time where we are, rather than on a retreat, cut off from the world. Hence this course becomes all the more important, as it is the only way we can learn to follow the Dharma as part of ordinary life. I would heartily recommend this course for all beginners to meditation, as well as those who might have lost track and want to reconnect with the essentials."
- Joy, May 2004
"I would like to thank you very much, it was a fantastic course and I have I learned a great amount. I am now back in the habit of meditating and I am determined not to stop again."
- Tony, July 2004
"For me the course has definitely been very useful. I know now how one-sided my meditation was and I think that the course has taught me how I can stop that happening again."
- Francine, July 2004
"It has opened up a whole new world to me."
- Gary, July 2004
"Thank you for three wonderfully inspiring months." - D, Germany.
"First of all I think it's brilliant that your course exists and also that you give so generously of yourself when it's running... I think I benefited a great deal from the practice which I did engage in and I know that a period of meditation each day makes a great difference both to me and the people around me so I plan to carry on with regular practice. The two courses I've done with you - or those parts of them that I've done - have been incredibly helpful in moving me in the right direction, so thank you for all your work and support." - V, England.
"I had previously taking the online course. With this repeat that I have just completed, I feel strengthened in my resolve to practice more consistently and deeply and have also attained both a better understanding of and more ease with my practice. Thank you so very much for this opportunity." - R, USA.
"The course developed by you is like a ladder and build the confidence step by step. I like vipassana practice. This course brought lot of change in my life. I am continuing this practice. Now I can sit for 30 minutes without any problem with concentration." - S, India.
"I find that I need every encouragement to keep up a daily practice, and the course has been a great way to make meditation a daily habit. For that, I am very grateful." - B, Canada.
"Thank you for your loving guidence in the past 90 days. You have guided me to the path and I am joyful to be experiencing the first few steps." - D, USA.
"I have completely enjoyed the course... thank you for a wonderful course." - L, USA.
"I would like to thank you for the opportunity to practise your course. It helped me to improve my meditation practise a little and I liked the way how it is given." - R, Ukraine.
"I have enjoyed the course, as I mentioned, I really enjoyed the chants. I liked the progression from focused breath-counting to choiceless awareness. I needed to go 'back to basics' and practice counting the breath. I hadn't done that in a while. I've become more active in the Buddhist sangha [here], spurred on by your course... Thank you very much for the wonderful course." - L, USA.
"The meditation teachings you have conducted on-line have been all that I hoped and imagine they could be. I agree with all of the comments others have made on the class and many have said it better than I can, but let me mention some of ways in which I am most grateful. Firstly, I am pretty much home-bound and quite limited in what I can do physically - the class was what I have been looking for for years - basically an internet Sangha. I have so longed for a teacher and to feel connected with others who are learning and practicing the dharma. To have found that is wonderful, but to also have found such a great teacher - not just A teacher is - well - neat. Andrew, I have told you that I think you are a good teacher and that is my highest praise- by that I mean you know what you are teaching, you seem to know your students, you know how to teach and you care. I am very grateful for the lessons which are clear and precise and anticipate the arising questions and misunderstandings of the students, and I am grateful for your detailed, personal, patient and clear answers to my many questions. I also benefited greatly from other's questions - primarily in knowing that others were struggling too, that they were out there, and from their interesting questions and your detailed answers. The class was conducted with empathy and metta.
I should say that I did also learn a lot. Some of the meditation techniques I had experienced previously from books and tapes and a local class, but your teachings seemed more clear and I feel more comfortable with them. In addition to getting what I think is a really good understanding of the meditations you presented, I learned what the various methods are intended to foster and feel more comfortable about choosing a practice method - knowing what I am trying to do and which meditation will be good for that. This was all kind a blurry mess prior to the class. I have learned to have patience with myself." - C, USA.
"I loved the course! ...thanks again for the well designed course and it has added greatly to the quality of my living and the skillfulness of my thinking!" - J, USA.
"I have found the course very helpful -- and an inspiration. Thank you!" - P, USA.
"Thank you again for the course. I am signed up for the next. This is one of my mainstays. When I am in contact with the course, it helps me. It is my dharma group. Your support and guidance is invaluable. Thank you kindly. I am waiting for the book of lectures to come out." - A, Canada.
"Thank you for your efforts in creating this course and making it available to meditators world-wide... Overall I thought the course extremely well produced and written." - T, USA.
"Once again, your course and personal comments were an important part of my practice. Most helpful. Thanks again! As with the last time, though, I found myself entering the Choiceless Awareness section full of eager anticipation but completely without time... having a million things to do to prepare for my departure [overseas]. Would it be excessive for me to take the course for a third time to see if I can get all the way through to the end? (laughter)" - J, Canada.
"It was the first time I participated in an On Line Course and was pleasantly surprised at how good it could be. I found Andrew most helpful on the few questions I did ask, and often wonder how he made the time to be so genuinely patient and helpful. The Meditation CD is great; the guided meditations were a very good way to introduce a technique and I love the Chanting... If allowed I will certainly be joining your course again, I know if done with right effort it could be a life changing experience. On Line Meditation courses are very important to people like me who have no teacher within reaching distance." - S, Ireland.
"Thank you for another inspiring course... New format is pleasant to eye and ear. In particular, the chants I appreciated a lot." - M, Switzerland.
"I have found the entire course to be of value." - J, USA.
"The 'In Practice' section is wonderful and I can imagine that most people really put this to good use, too. It is an absolute treasure for beginners who want to find out as much as possible. I was in it for hours, totally fascinated. Sometimes my search brought forth what I was looking for, other times it produced nothing, but often I just read at random and found in almost every comment something that was useful... As much as I read, I never once detected that you work with that good old 'cut and paste' method lazy moderators often make extensive use of. Each of your replies seemed individual and personal. This is one of the things that impressed me most with your work.
... Your audio guidelines are invaluable for getting into the swing of things. I always listened to them several times first, then listened to them a couple of times whilst on the cushion, then set about constructing my own session. Without this help I would have been hopelessly lost. The chants are beautiful. You have given us a wonderful treat here! How nice to hear the Pali pronounced properly and the chants in proper rhythm. I listened to them quite regularly, every morning actually, after reading the texts and have now committed them all to memory quite naturally
... By opening up this world of meditation to us as you have, you have prepared those beginners amongst us to set out on this adventure and begin investigating what seem to be unlimited, exciting, and challenging possibilities. It is difficult for me to imagine that meditation could become drudgery; that is not what you have taught us. You have taught us that it involves work, and that this work can, indeed, be arduous, but that it can bring much joy and great reward, as well, especially if we view it as an integral component in 'Practising Dhamma'. This is a particularly important reminder for me, because I love academic exercises, intellectualising, and all the rest, and often forget the real world. But, strangely enough, I don't think that is a real danger any more. From the beginning of the course onwards, and throughout all your comments, you have have never left out the 'real world' context, and now I fully realize that meditation, real world and study of the Dhamma are components that MUST go hand in hand." - L, Germany.
From the courses in 2001:
"Thank you very, very much for the course. Being a serial stream enterer I found it of immense value to have a daily commitment... My practice has deepened immeasurably." - J, UK.
"Thank you for another beautiful course: this summer I've realized how important your course and web site are, because I feel I went down a very un-metta road and I've realized how important to one's self and to all life is the practice of skillfulness." - D, USA.
"I also would like to again tell you how grateful I am for the course. I have to say that I have absorbed a thimble full and will be back for more in the future. But what I have absorbed is life changing. The work you are doing is so important." - J, USA.
"Thank you for the tremendous amount of work, commitment and care you have put into this project. I have found your email replies to meditators on the course very helpul. They have assisted me to not be so rigid in my thinking and attitudes and to test out possible lines of thought more subtly." - S, UK.
"The course worked brilliantly for me, making a huge difference in perspective, ability to deal with various tough things." - V, UK.
"Just a few words to thank you for all the help and guidance. I feel that the meditation practice has made a tremendous difference in m life. I really appreciate all that you have done to make the course what it is. I would love to be able to join you on a similar course next year." - M, Ireland.
"I thank you once again for a skillfully crafted meditation course. It has already had an impact on me and I expect that there will be much more." - G, USA.
"I've been deeply affected by the knowledge gained through this course. Combined with some prior reading and practice, it's as though I've stumbled upon a treasure of unsurpassed beauty and meaning. One of the most important additional wonders is that there are many others who have too, who are also treading the path, and with whom one may share experience. This creates a sense of community and belonging." - J, USA.
"I can't thank you enough for this course. It is exactly what I needed... What I will miss is the daily lectures which were the pivotal point of my day... I like the way you explain things, because you keep to the essence which is very important to me (that the fundamentals are kept too) but at the same time you maintain flexibility and have a lucid way of describing concepts in a language a western mind can grasp. These are important considerations in a vipassana course. I also liked the balanced approach. I have taken a [different vipassana] course and it was fundamental to get me back into a spiritual vein, but I find your course much more rounded. That is just a personal point of view; but there is a need for it out there. I liked the structure... I also think that I got a better understanding of the techniques than I ever did in the 10 day course...I will miss...the sense of sangha that I have got from this course." - A, Canada.
"Again I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the course. The structure and discipline have been like a miracle for my practice. Theravada appeared in my life in late '67, early '68 and was my first life changing event. This course has changed my life again. I am so very happy. Even when studying other kinds of Buddhism or other religions, I knew Theravada Buddhism was my only choice. I was very limited in what I knew for so many years, and found many westerners trying to combine all kinds of stuff into a simple Buddhism which confused and frustrated me. What you have offered me is so real, and I'm filled with gratitude." - K, USA.
"Thank you just doesn't seem enough for all you have done. I do not come across people like you often...your generosity and your love and your wisdom are inspiring... The only time I missed a sitting is the day I had to work a double shift and had not slept for 40 hours." - P, USA.
"In your lessons on the last few days you talked about the inadequacy of words. In trying to give my feedback on the course I am faced with a similar predicament - the feelings my heart is swelling with are too much for words to express. So I keep it simple. Your course is a self-less expression of your love and compassion and I could feel it in each word you spoke to me through your lessons and the great pains you took to explain the questions I put to you..." - V, India.
From the courses in 2000:
"I just wanted to thank you very much for offering the on-line course and giving me a chance to participate. You introduced me to several new kinds of meditations, and the course has helped me to establish a regular daily practice, which was my primary goal. I have reached the point where I feel uncomfortable if I don't meditate. I want to increase the amount of time, but right now I am happy that at least I make some time every day to meditate." - P. (Turkey)
"Thank you so much for the on-line meditation course. I have been trying to establish a regular meditation practice for over 10 years(!), having joined various groups and attended various retreats during that time. Although I have had flashes of inspiration and dedication over the years, I feel I have taken a greater leap towards commitment during these 10 week than at any other time in my life. Awareness of change makes me reluctant to make any grand claims for my continuing commitment to the Dhamma, because I have lapsed before. However, the on-line course has led me to the point where I want my practice to be at the centre of my life, and not the periphery - and I can only hope this inspiration continues. There are so many aspects of 'worldly' life that seem to entice one away from the Path (like Mara's daughters!) but I believe I now have more strength, confidence and clarity of purpose as a result of the OMC to withstand this." - C. (UK)
"This note is to express my deep gratitude for your instructions on one of the best Meditation courses I ever participated in." - S. (USA)
"Thank you so much for the meditation course. What a wonderful way to use the internet technology to share the dhamma. My practice has really been floundering the past six months or so. Your course helped me get back on track." - E. (USA)
"Thank you for a very informative course. It has helped take my practice to a more disciplined and fullfilling level. The course content was easy to follow and certainly encouraged further studies on the subject. I wish there were a 53-letter word to express thanks without leaving any doubt as to the depth of the feeling of appreciation. Short of any such word. Thank you. Should there be a follow up course; please count me in!" - L. (Canada)
"I found the course structure very good and found the format useful in that I could find answers to the queries I had from your replies to the emails of others. This also helped clarify exactly what I was doing. For myself as a complete beginner I feel the course was pitched at the right level. Also, by learning about potential problems and of others' difficulties helped me to persevere with difficult bits which may have otherwise got the better of me (had I done it outside of the structured 10 week course). Over the period I have definitely noticed a greater ability to concentrate and there have been some subtle changes socially and towards family... Anyway, thank you again for the introduction to the theravada tradition and it has, I hope, established a routine which I can continue with and work on for years to come." - J. (UK)
"It was a very useful course. The technique that you have taught us is indeed valuable, and will remain with us. It has given us a perspective, which we didn't have before." - L. (USA)
"I'm just in from watching a magnificent full eclipse of the moon. It was a beautiful sight in a clear African night, and an experience I will always remember. Pretty much the same can be said about your meditation course. I think it has been a wonderful experience, and one that will stay with me for the rest of my life. The course has been interesting and challenging with a very nice progression, and with excellent advise given whenever any of us have needed that. It has been the perfect way of learning while living in a country with no meditation teachers in the Buddhist tradition. On a more personal level, I think the course has helped open doors in myself that have not been opened before. I am a different person than when I started the course, and feel that I am slowly, slowly making some progress in a direction that feels right. I hope, and I think, that it is not only me who is benefitting from this, but also those close to me. This is only a beginning, of course, but I truly look forward to continue travelling on this road. Next week, I want to start going through the course again from the beginning, and don't be surprised if you see me signing up again for another course!" - K. (Zambia)
"First of all I 'd like to thank you for your time and commitment to the practice. It's the third time I've participated - and it always provides great benefits." - P. (UK)
"Thank you once again for a great course.It must have taken a huge amount of hard work and a selfless desire to make this course as well as it is, and no amount of compliments can thus do justice." - R. (India)
"As the course draws to a close this week I feel I must drop you a note to thank you for the guidance you have given me through your daily lessons. I felt that I was floundering in my meditation practice before and needed direction. You have given me that and I now feel a new enthusiasm and feel that the 'road map' you have given us for our future endeavors in finding our way has been invaluable. I will want to audit your next course beginning in the spring. Thanks again for your coaching. It has been greatly appreciated." - C. (USA)
"So far all I want you to know is how deeply thankfull I am with you. You have been my guide and my inspiration. And your teachings wont be easy to forget." - A. (Colombia)
"Thank you so much for the course and your guidance, explanations and teachings. I only wrote to you with a simple question once, but I learned a lot from your replies to questions from other participants. I had "studied" Buddhism on my own and practiced for about two years when the course started... The course gave me a better perspective of the Teachings. The gradual introduction of the new subjects and practices made me feel as if I was progressing! It would probably have taken me another two years or more to reach this point otherwise. Oh, I know this road in not easy by any means and I make no claims of having travelled more than one step on it, but ... It really has made a difference in daily life. That much I do know. I have gained more confidence and faith to continue... I found the course just right with regard to the length of the daily lessons and practices. I work full time, but could fit the sessions in quite well. (Maybe the dishes or some other chore had to wait for a while sometimes.)" - I. (Canada)
"I'd like to thank you for the course in which I have just participated. It will go on making a difference to me for a very long time." - P. (Ireland)
"I benefitted immensely from this experience... I want to compliment you on the course materials. They have been helpful, to the point, and enlightening... I expect to continue to learn from the materials as I work through them again (and again, and again, ...)... I have also been grateful for the e-mail responses to questions from my fellow participants. They have often anticipated my questions and raised issues that I had not thought about on my own... I believe that for me the course has provided a valuable framework for self discipline. I had been practicing what I now understand is a form of the free choice awareness flavor of vipassana for about 9 months prior to the start of the course. I now have a much larger repertoire of types of meditation and I have an appreciation of the value of a varied practice. The larger context of Buddhist belief and practice that the course addresses also helps create context for me. That is all very useful. What is special about using the course is that it reminds me of the importance of varying my practice and not becoming "stuck" in one particular style. It also re-introduces and re-teaches helpful techniques." - K. (USA)
"This course affected me profoundly. I meditated before this course, but now many doubts about my meditation practice are gone. I very much appreciated the clarity and simplicity of your explanations of methods of meditation and sensed an authority behind it, without the pretense. As a scientist, I highly value a good method - this is a key to discovery, if you ask the right question. Such feeling of "a good method" I had with your instructions on how to meditate... I very much enjoyed day-to-day structure of the course and was looking forward to starting the day with an up-lifting passage from the computer. Some of these passages sounded so true and beautiful, that I had tears in my eyes (from joy, gratitude). It was a great help to be in contact with you and to ask you all these questions. I am so grateful I could participate." - M. (Switzerland)
"Thank you very much for this course. It was very valuable for me to participate in it. I feel the knowledge I've got from you has really changed me. The point is that the course was my first experience of the buddhist meditation. I appreciate deeply you've become my first meditation teacher. I am going to continue my practice and count on your support." - M. (Russia)
"The course has been wonderful and I've told several friends about it. It is imaginative, supportive, and as intimate as the net can be... I open my heart and send you all best wishes and thanks." - S. (USA)
"I wanted to express my gratitude for the opportunity of learning so much from this meditation practice. Your patient and complete responses to each question were also extreemely useful. In fact, I believe I learned more by assimilating the responses to questions because they deal with the incorporation of unconditional love, empathy and compassion into our lives, especially in those difficult situation where love appears so difficult to feel and offer. I have learned that we are only responsible for ourselves. No matter how difficult it is, we are only able to change our own behaviour and our beliefs... I wish you well and send you my profound gratitude for your precious gift. I thank you for this course. I consider it a gift that will keep on giving for the course of my life..." - F. (Canada)
"Thanks for introducing me to a new way of thinking. What a wonderful place to live if we could all be trained to think Buddhist. I still attach no labels to myself but will try to take on board your teaching and incorporate at least some of it into my life. It seems to somehow coincide with how I wanted to live my life anyway and has given me a foundation of knowledge that I hope will continue to grow... As far as all the support and content I felt it was very comprehensive and I would have changed little of it. I'm glad I did your course." - J. (UK)
"Thank you for openness and patience. Probably I wasn't a good pupil, and will have to start all anew. However I won't be able to live as I used to! You showed me the Way and helped to make a first step. Now this Way starts right under my feet!" - A. (Russia)
"I found the course helpful, informative and very practical. The daily readings were inspiring and the large roster of rotating questions and answers provided very real solutions to difficulties encountered while trying to meditate. I appreciated the holistic approach. The course tone was compatible with my religious beliefs and offered a gentle, supportive introduction to topics on Buddhist beliefs and practices. When I started to investigate meditation, I came across resources that were very limited and dogmatic. Your course provides an abundance of insightful, practical information. Your dedication to the course and web site is remarkable. On the few times that I asked for your help, you answered promptly. The answers were helpful and I always felt you were there to provide ongoing and sincere assistance to any difficulty." - C. (Canada)
"Congratulations on a wonderful course! Even at my ripe age of sixty-nine years, I gained enormous pleasure and uplift by introducing the principles of the course - in all it's aspects - into my daily life. I shall continue to work on the 'archives' and hope to re-join one of your future courses. Many thanks indeed." - D. (Scotland)
"Thank you for providing the online meditation course it has taken me to another level in my meditation practice... I have learnt to be gentler with myself, I have experienced the value of meditation and will continue to work with vipassana meditation on a daily basis." - Y. (USA)
"I deeply appreciate the time, effort, and love that went into this course. It was very helpful." - O. (USA)
"Thank you for allowing me to participate in the course, I found it very helpful. I was amazed at how in depth the course was. You do a great service to many." - P. (Canada)
"Just a note to let you know your time, energy, knowledge and wisdom are most definitely appreciated by me. I thank you for making such an invaluable tool available for people seeking more insight into life and self. Especially at no cost! May your efforts continue to prosper abundantly and may you be blessed beyond measure as you share and live this marvelous practice." - D. (USA)
"I just wanted to write and say thank you for allowing me to sit in on the OMC. I very much enjoyed it and I feel that I have progressed further than I did last time. Perhaps I'm a slow learner? Anyway, I feel that I have learnt to 'let go' and to just accept that this is where I am on my spiritual journey right now and that it's not a race." - G. (UK)
"Firstly, my sincere thanks for what has been an impressive, well thought out and very thoroughly supported programme. The course has met my needs very well providing a structured grounding and deepening to my practice of meditation. I have appreciated the day by day framework - this has helped me to keep engaged when distractions could have easily diverted me. In this respect the course adds a very valuable extra dimension to what can be gained from books or retreats. I have found the content to be interesting and well presented and the tone of your advice and encouragement has always felt balanced and helpful. ... I am very grateful for the course and am very aware of the hard work, and commitment that you have devoted to both producing and supporting it." - M. (UK)
"As we come to the close of the course, I wish to thank you. With your help, my practice has improved and stablized. I consider you my first real "teacher". Your very organized approach to the course has added clarification and order to the confusion in my mind from all the various books I have read on Buddhism. I feel much less out of touch with others involved in Buddhism." - P. (USA)
"Your course is wonderful! I am very new to meditation and now feel I have a solid understanding of the practice... I thank you for all you time and energy!!! I feel like I'm on my way to a meaningful practice and will continue to use the web site and future courses to help!!" - P. (USA)
"Firstly, many thanks for the hard work and support that you have given in producing this course. It has been very clear and well structured, and just about every question that I had was already answered by the "in practice" section. Very impressive... Keep up the good work..." - P. (Switzerland)
"I too want to thank you for this course and am sorry it will soon end. It's excellent. I will miss the accountabiity I had to my fellow silent members to practice diligently. I've kind of gotten everything and understand that it is a process of 'getting it' and I've been exposed to how to initiate the process so I can continue to develop it on my own for years to come because it is now part of my lifestyle and I feel awkward without meditation. I hope I can take the course again. (1) because there is far more information than one can absorb at one time and (2) I'm a different person because of this course so I would be starting from a different place next time" - S. (USA)
"Thankyou for providing this wonderful course. It has helped me so much and has given me a firm base on which to build my meditation practice... Thankyou once again for your generosity in providing this course, this opportunity." - A. (UK)
From Earlier Courses:
"The course itself was much more than I had expected and an invaluable aid in 'fleshing out' what I had read about meditation prior to the online course. The course showed great patience in detailing easily manageable steps, in defining terms, and in offering other resources. I especially appreciated the patience and understanding in your responses to the e-mail questions." - S. (USA)
"Thank you for a most wonderful course! I must admit that I did not have any expectations from this course to begin with. I had decided to approach the material in the spirit of openness and discovery. The journey has been spiritually very uplifting!. I liked the way I could comprehend and practice the material and still retain my agnostic view-point about Buddhism. I now have the motivation and desire to go deeper into the concepts discussed in the course." - C. (USA)
"I hope I can convey the enormous gratitude I feel for the course, your excellent, generous and caring responses to me and to others. In the past I have done non-residential weekend retreats and worked alone for years (on and off) , but now I feel as though I have some support for going forward with much greater clarity, regularity, and depth." -S.(Canada)
"I'd like to thank you so much for the amount of effort and dedication you invested - I really never expected that level of communication to take place. The course itself, I believe, has helped finally turn me from being a person with wavering commitment to Buddhism into someone who is now eager to grow in the right direction. It was my first experience of having a teacher and Sangha - I've always made excuses before for not making it to classes. Being quite shy in public situations - this seemed an ideal opportunity to test the water somewhat. Learning from books can be useful, but also ambiguous, and having the opportunity for feedback was priceless. The whole course was clearly structured, with inspiring quotations which help increase motivation, which can often be a problem at seven in the morning! The course has really helped me from a somewhat stagnant position, to a position of confidence and motivation - thank you." -P. (UK)
"I thank you for sharing with me your wisdom and knowledge. I feel blessed. I have tools to use and increased awareness to apply. The opportunity you have provided to me, in my time and place, has been invaluable. Hurrah, for the internet, and bless you for using this technology in such a magnificent way." - M. (Canada)
"My practice became much more disciplined and focused; that is to say, I felt like my meditation was moving in the right direction." - C. (Canada)
"It has helped my practice immensely." - J. (USA)
"Although I have had a regular practice since 1972, the course has certainly enriched and reinforced my meditation experience." - R. (USA)
"The course was very important and useful for me." - J. (Mexico)
"I thoroughly enjoyed it, and found it to be very helpful in my own practice. It was presented in a logical, orderly manner, and covered many areas that I was aware of but not really familiar with." - H. (USA)
"It helped me perfectly to acquaint myself with the practical aspects of the meditation." - Z. (Czech Republic)
"Prior to the course, I had practiced vipassana meditation in a limited way, although I was unaware of that until I was exposed to so much more! I feel I have gained not only more knowledge of the many dimensions of vipassana, but have reaffirmed my commitment to pursuing this path now." -J. (USA)
"This course, to date, has been the best experience for my practice. I had been studying meditation and the Dhamma for about a year before the course started... It has also deepened my commitment to practice. There was more material covered than I expected, which boosted my energy to keep up." - M. (USA)
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Accepting Oneself by Ayya Khema