Who can take a course?

Courses are for children and young people aged 8 to 18 years. Anyone in this age group who sincerely wants to learn how to meditate is warmly welcome to apply for a course.

The residential courses for those who are 12 years or older are single-gender in order to preserve the serenity of the sessions. Thus, boys and girls have separate spaces.

The one-day courses are available for 8–15 year olds, or 8–18 year olds, depending on the number of teachers available.


Who teaches the course?

S.N. Goenka (1924–2013) was recognised as one of the world’s foremost teachers of meditation. He began conducting meditation courses for adults in India in 1969, and in 1979 he started teaching in other countries. In his lifetime he conducted hundreds of meditation courses. He appointed more than 800 assistant teachers, who now conduct courses on his behalf.

The programme of Anapana meditation courses for children and young people began in India in 1986. Since then tens of thousands of children and young people around the world have participated in the courses.

Today, specially trained Children’s Course teachers conduct the courses on behalf of S.N. Goenka. They are assisted by other meditator-volunteers, all of whom have completed at least one ten-day Vipassana meditation course, and who are certified to work with children.


When and where do the courses take place?

Courses run throughout the year and all details can be found on the course schedule page.

Courses take place at Dhamma Mahi meditation centre, near Auxerre, in Yonne. You can read more about this centre here. Other rented venues around the France have been used for one- and three-day courses.


How is the course structured?

Residential three-day courses begin on the evening of the first day and end at midday on the last day. One-day courses normally run from 10 am to 4 pm.

The children adhere to a code of moral conduct for the duration of the course, which provides a strong foundation for their meditation.

They listen to MP3 recordings of instructions and short talks given by S.N. Goenka. The schedule consists of half-hour meditation sessions interspersed with creative and physical activities.

The Children’s Course teacher conducts the meditation sessions and gives individual guidance or explanations as necessary. Other course volunteers are on hand to supervise the children, to look after their material needs, and to organise activities.


How much does the course cost?

In keeping with the Vipassana tradition, all courses are run solely on a donation basis, and are therefore free of charge. All expenses are met by donations from those who, having completed a course and experienced the benefits of meditation themselves, wish to give others the same opportunity. In this spirit, children and parents may give a donation at the end of the course if they wish. Any donation should only be what the giver may comfortably afford.


What kind of food is served on the course?

All of the food on the course is simple, wholesome and tasty vegetarian food. Some examples are: tomato and lentil sauce served with spaghetti; curry, dahl and rice; baked potatoes served with beans, hummus, and coleslaw; nut loaf served with potatoes, vegetables and gravy.

Sometimes, if there is time, the students will bake pizzas or cookies during the course, which everyone enjoys afterwards.


How do I get to the course?

For directions on how to get to Dhamma Mahi, please visit this page.

Directions to the various rented course sites around the country are given during the application process for the particular course in question.


Schedule for 1-day course

09.45Introductory speech by Manager
10.00Anapana, followed by clarifications (10 min.)
10.40Break and refreshments
11.00Meditation, followed by clarifications (15 min.)
12.45Meditation, followed by clarifications (15 min.)
13.30Discussions (interviews, consultations) in small groups / activities
15.45Clarifications in the meditation hall followed by group meditation
16.30Speech (End-of-Day Talk) and Metta
End of courseSnack


Schedule for 3-day course

Day 0

19.30Welcome and introductory speech by Manager


Days 1 and 2

07.00Wake up
08.15Breakfast (followed by calm activities)
09.00Meditation - followed by short clarifications by the CCT (teacher for the children’s course)
09.30Discussions (interviews, consultations) in small groups / activities / beverages
11.30Clarifications by the CCT
12.00Lunch followed by rest period / calm activities
13.30Meditation - followed by short clarifications by the CCT
15.00Clarifications by the CCT
16.00Discussions (interviews, consultations) in small groups / activities / beverages
17.30Meditation - followed by short clarifications by the CCT
19.00Questions / Answers (possibly followed by Meditation)
19.30Stories / calm activities


Day 3

07.00Wake up
08.15Breakfast (followed by calm activities)
09.00Speech (End of course Talk) and Metta
09.30End of course – Tidying and cleaning the centre