What is Vipassana


What does Vipassana mean
Vipassana (Pali: Vipassanā; English "insight") is often translated as "seeing things as they really are". Meditators train their ability to concentrate and perceive, and use this ability to observe and explore their own physical and mental reality.

How to learn Vipassana
The technique is usually learned in 10-day courses. In this tradition alone, there are several hundred thousand participants each year in over 150 meditation centres worldwide. The demand for course places is big. In Europe course places are often booked up within minutes.

The tradition - some milestones

563 BC – 483 BC

Siddhartha Gautama

Known as the historical Buddha. He is considered the founder of the Dhamma Teaching and the Vipassana Technique.

304 BC – 232 BC

King Ashoka

Ruler of the Indian dynasty of Maurya. He sent Dhamma messengers to various countries. Among others, to present-day Myanmar.

1846 -1923

Ledi Sayadaw

Monk from Myanmar, who made Vipassana practice accessible to monks and lay people alike.

1899 -1971

Sayagyi U Ba Khin​

Myanmar government official and Vipassana meditation teacher. He also taught Vipassana practice to students from the West. Among his most famous students was S.N. Goenka.

1924 -2013

S.N. Goenka

Businessman from Myanmar of Indian origin. He was appointed as a teacher by U Ba Khin in 1969 and brought the technique through India to the world. Founder of this tradition.


The tradition today

There are over 150 meditation centers worldwide. Each center is organized by its own association. The responsible teachers for Austria are Heinz Bartsch and Brunhilde Becker.

On the picture some association members with architects from mia2.


Key facts

Registered office

Association status
The association is registered as a non-profit organization.

Board of Directors
Chairwoman: Dr. Sabrina Schindler
Chairwoman deputy: Hannes Anderle MAS
Treasurer: Mag. Irene Weberberger

The Board of Directors is newly elected at the end of each business year. The term of office is one year.


Extract from the statutes of the association

Purpose of the association

"The purpose of the association is to promote health as well as a positive personal development through learning the Vipassana meditation technique (according to S.N. Goenka). This technique is accessible to all people."

"Based on an increase in the ability to concentrate, the regular practice of this meditation leads to the development of mindfulness and calmness and supports a relaxed mental and physical condition."

"The association exclusively and directly pursues charitable purposes according to §§ 34 f AO. It is selflessly active and not profit-oriented."

The development of the association

In Austria, Vipassana meditation courses in this tradition have been offered since 1997. The first course took place in a catholic youth hostel in Upper Austria. The Association for Vipassana Meditation was founded in Vienna in 2008 to meet the increasing demand for Vipassana courses in Austria. In the past years, about 5 courses per year were held with about 120 to 140 participants and a team of about 20 helpers per course. Today, on average, more than twice as many interested people apply as there are course places available in Austria. The supply of suitable course locations was always very limited, so that it became increasingly difficult to meet the annually growing demand for course places. For this reason, the search for a Vipassana centre of our own in Austria had been going on for about 10 years. Since suitable existing properties could not be found, a new building-land for a centre was also considered from 2015 onwards. With the acquisition of the property near Rechberg, the main focus is now being invested in the concrete planning and realisation of a Vipassana centre in Austria.