Dhamma Sukha Mission Statement
Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center’s mission is to research, practice, preserve and teach original Buddhist teachings and meditation as found in the earliest Buddhist texts to ease suffering and promote peace in this world.
Deep in the heart of America, among the forest and rolling hills of the Ozarks, we wish to welcome you to a new and rare experience in Basic Buddhism right here in America. Beyond stress-filled routines of mainstream society, Dhamma Sukha teachers guide you to learn the Tranquil Wisdom Insight Meditation (TWIM) practice and Loving Kindness Meditation (Metta) presented in a manner that will truly delight you. In this beautiful forest retreat setting, a unique opportunity is offered for you to practice meditation under the guidance of a new American tradition in Buddhism called Buddhist American Forest Tradition. Here you will receive the support of a teacher whose experience and clear understanding of the Pali Suttas is expressed in concise and easily grasped English. This practice leads to the Ultimate Experience of Nibbana.
We are honoured to invite you to Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center (DSMC) located in Iron County, MO just outside of the town of Ironton. This is a different experience than usually found within the United States. Here, you will learn a very practical meditation that can be easily carried over into daily life to help you in today's stress-filled world. During this kind of meditation it is not uncommon for you to momentarily see and experience actual relief from suffering and confirm a true understanding of how relief works. Perhaps you will deepen an already established personal practice. You might find for the first time that you can take the meditation off the pillow and carry it with you. Certainly you will discover a new depth of understanding the Buddhist teaching.
In Pali, ‘Dhamma Sukha’ means ‘Happy Teachings’. By visiting, listening to live Dhamma talks, asking questions, and developing a very useful meditation practice, we know you will find more joy and happiness in life. Our teacher, Bhante Vimalaramsi, now retired, is a Mahāthera American Buddhist Monk teaching a Metta –Samatha-Vipassana approach called Tranquil Wisdom Insight Meditation. (TWIM) follows the concise instructions found in the Pali Suttas.
Ven. Vimalaramsi is the author of the well-known book "The Anapanasati Sutta: A guide to Mindfulness of Breathing and Tranquil Wisdom Meditation". He has also authored "Life is Meditation, Meditation is Life" and “The Breath of Love” a book revealing the TWIM practice, Metta instructions, Forgiveness approach, Walking meditation; and also recently “Moving Dhamma: Volume One” which is followed by a "Moving Dhamma Volume Two" both of which contain the most used Suttas from the Majjhima Nikāya and their explanations by Bhante. All are available online through Amazon. Other articles are found at the Dhammasukha.org website.
Additionally you may find extremely useful the book The Path to Nibbana by senior student David Johnson. This book is a complete guide to TWIM and highlights all of the steps along the way; all the way to Nibbana.
Parts of this approach have now been translated into 12 languages including Spanish, Korean, Burmese, Indonesian, Dutch, French, German, Norwegian, Romanian, Russian, Vietnamese, and English. Many parts have been translated into Spanish to assist Hispanic countries.
A combined approach of study where one listens in the evenings directly to Dhamma talks from the suttas along with the teacher’s commentary and Q&A sessions combined with personal practice is the pattern of training. Students observe how mind operates during both sitting and walking meditation. They uncover insights and test what was heard from the texts for themselves. Each day they interview with a guiding teacher who monitors their progress and may suggest testing certain solutions for any difficulties. Eventually, after some time, they begin to follow the suttas for themselves and their meaning comes alive crystal clear after certain parts have been redefined into easier terminology. In this way students are guided by the voice of another as the Buddha suggested.
This practice never becomes boring. Its just easier to understand each time one goes to the cushion. In the proper frame of mind one sits just to find out what happens next. Please join us.
The Center endeavors to foster a deepening personal spiritual meditation practice following the precise instructions the Buddha left for us to bring peace and tranquility into our daily lives and the world.
We seek compassionate community engagement through understanding clearly the true nature of our experience in this existence and offer to share this knowledge with any who wish to learn more about it.
We compassionately serve others through the development of this location for the deepest work and develop future supports for the greater Buddhist Sangha at large.
We strive to create a supportive environment for meditation practice, Buddhist studies, research, and writing by monastics and lay persons alike and to provide an opportunity for compassionate service and charity work for the community at large.
DSMC seeks to create an island of tranquility for all.
More about the work of Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center
The training offered at DSMC and closely researched and examined in a study park environment concerns Breathing and Loving Kindness Meditation, Forgiveness Meditation, and Walking meditation. There is a clear emphasis here on understanding the complete Buddha Dhamma. The project is dedicated to supporting people who want to reweave the Dhamma Cloth so that the inter-relationships of all its parts become clear again for future generations.
The center strives to provide a structure and guidance for those wishing to live the Buddhist 8-Fold Path in the noblest form. To this end, the Buddha's teachings are clearly taught by facilitating weekly meditation sittings and Dhamma talks, weekend retreats, private retreats group and online retreats, and periodic supportive group events with our resident teacher, Venerable Bhante Vimalaramsi and other guiding monastics. This includes the development and free distribution of books, CDs/MP3s, and DVDs.
The center also offers support for guest monastics from various traditions and countries wishing to learn and present TWIM Meditation in clear English and to give Dhamma talks using the original framework the Buddha used for his discourses. Monastics may attend rains retreat periods or stay from 3 months to one year, under the supervision of our Abbot.
Traditional Buddhists are offered a two week to one month temporary ordination program while training with this meditation. Asian communities often offer this to lay people in Southeast Asian countries but this has not evolved systemically in the US. This is done upon approval by the Abbot after reviewing prior background and meditation experience.
Lay people may pursue programs with the goal of leading and helping to guide meditation groups in their communities and are offered various support programs.
Tranquil Wisdom Insight Meditation as found in the original Buddhist Pali texts was carefully preserved by the Theravādan monastics tradition for centuries. These texts include specific lessons on meditation, called Suttas, that the Buddha originally taught his disciples. Once we understand clearly the meanings for certain terms, the meditation comes together like a beautiful weaving.
DSMC follows the tradition of not charging for the Buddhist teachings. The center exists solely on the donations (called Dana) given in support for the monastics and the work of the center . Retreat fees only cover the actual cost of the room and board. This keeps the project alive and growing for future generations. The goal is to receive the amount needed for covering operation costs and continuing the slow gradual development of the center for the future. All suggestions are welcome and we invite you to contact us.
Our center is supported through such contributions and the pledges and kindnesses of students and supporters of the Dhamma.
*** We are a Missouri 501 (c) (3) Religious non-profit corporation with articles that read: "...for religious, charitable, and educational purposes....", and all donations "are" fully deductible under the IRS code 170 according to the designation of churches. Founded 4-4-2003.
Statement about Equality at Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center
Some of our students have communicated some distress at how classical Buddhist Temples treat the LGBTQ crowd. The Buddha was open to all people to practice Dhamma. He dismissed the Hindu Caste system as wrong - he promoted equality for all as we do here!
Here is a letter from one of our students stating his support of our programs.