2-Day Self Courses

Dec 07 — 09, 2018 (Female)
Jan 25 — 27, 2019(Male)
Feb 1 — 3 (Female)
March 29 — 31 (Male)
April 5 — 7 (Female)


Apply here


The New York Vipassana Association (NYVA) is pleased to be able to support old students in their practice by offering two-day weekend courses in 2019. Starting at 5PM on Fridays and ending at 5PM on Sunday, these single-gender courses have the distinct advantage of offering many old students in the region the opportunity to engage in serious, sustained meditation over the course of several days without conflicting with most people’s work schedules. On the other hand, given that there are few assistant teachers in the region, many of these weekend courses will be organized as self-courses, and thus require students to be able to work independently. The courses are small, with a maximum capacity of 26 students and 6 servers.

In 2017, we piloted a couple 2-day weekend self-courses and received positive feedback from old students. So far in 2018, we have 3 courses scheduled, however should they go well, we plan to hold a 2-day weekend self-course almost every month for the rest of the year.

Self Courses

Before filling out the application form, please verify whether the course you are applying for is indeed a self-course. If it is, it’s important to understand that these courses are only open to old students who feel they are disciplined enough in their practice to work independently.​ If you do not feel that you can practice seriously without requiring assistance, we recommend that you enroll in a different course.

Beyond the absence of an assistant teacher, these courses will also have no instructions, except for the few minutes of guidance provided by Goenkaji at the beginning of his group sitting recordings. There will also be no instructions for both the opening formalities and the metta session at the end of the course, however students are expected to perform these silently and independently.

While there will be servers and a course manager available to help you with any physical needs, a student should be confident that they will be able to handle any storms that arise during the course without any assistance. The course manager is not an assistant teacher, and therefore cannot provide any guidance regarding the meditation technique.


  • Have sat a course in the last 2 years
  • Have not practiced any other technique of meditation since their last 10-day course in the tradition of S.N. Goenka

Accommodations & Facilities

These courses will take place at Major Bowes Retreat Center, a rented facility in Westchester, NY, approximately 50 minutes to 1 hour by car or train from NYC.

Residential Building


The retreat center is situated in a quiet residential neighborhood, surrounded by large trees, and green shrubs and consists of three heated facilities:

  1. One dining hall/kitchen
  2. An open dormitory equipped with two showers, 4 toilets and sixteen single beds, adjacent to a spacious meditation hall
  3. A supplementary dorm room that can fit approximately 10 students, with one toilet and 1 shower

Students are expected to bring outdoor shoes, flashlights and their own bedding (including blankets).

Pathway from one dorm room to the dining hall



Simple vegetarian meals will be offered for breakfast and lunch. We will not be able to accommodate any special food preferences. Since this course is only open to old students, all students will be expected to abide by 8 precepts, including no meal after 12pm. Tea will be served at 5pm.


3-5 PM: Set-up (All participants are welcome to come early and help set-up)
5-6 PM: Students arrive
6-7 PM: A light dinner is served
7-7:30 PM: Orientation
8-9:00 PM: Course begins with silent opening formalities and Anapana
9:30 PM: Lights out

4:00 AM: Morning wake-up bell
4:20 AM: Second morning wake-up bell
4:30-6:30 AM: Meditate in the hall or in rooms
6:30-8 AM: Breakfast Break
8-9 AM: Group sitting in the meditation hall
9-11:00 AM: Meditate in the hall or in rooms
11:00 AM-1:00 PM: Lunch break
1-2:30 PM: Meditate in the hall or in rooms
2:30-3:30 PM: Group Sitting in meditation hall (switch to Vipassana)
3:30-5:00 PM: Meditate in the hall or in rooms
5-6:00 PM: Tea Break
6-7:00 PM: Group sitting in the meditation hall
7:15-8:15 PM: Evening Discourse
8:15-9:00 PM: Final sit
9:30 PM: Lights out

4:00 AM: Morning wake-up bell
4:20 AM: Second morning wake-up bell
4:30-6:30 AM: Meditate in the hall or in rooms
6:30-8 AM: Breakfast Break
8-9 AM: Group sitting in the meditation hall
9-11:00 AM: Meditate in the hall or in rooms
11:00AM-1:00 PM: Lunch break
1-2:00 PM: Group sitting in the meditation hall
2-2:30 PM: Final Metta
2:30-3:30 PM: Noble Chatter
3:30-4:00 PM: Announcements
4-5 PM: Clean-up (Optional)

Directions & Transportation

TRANSPORTATION: Major Bowes Retreat center is located 50 minutes to one hour by train or car from NYC. The address is 9 Allapartus Road, Ossining, NY 10562


Coming from NYC:
Take the Taconic State Pkwy N before merging onto NY-9A N/Briarcliff Peekskill Pkwy N via EXIT 5. Turn right onto Croton Dam Rd/NY-134, before turning left onto Allapartus Rd. 9 Allapartus road will be on the right.

Driving directions from the West:
Take I-84 eastbound before taking exit 20 for I-684 toward NY-22/White Plains/Pawling. Turn right onto NY-35 W/Cross River Rd. Then turn left onto NY-100 S before turning right onto NY-134 W. Finally, turn right onto Ossining Road and look out for Major Bowes Retreat center on your right.


There are regular trains (every hour) leaving from Grand Central on the Hudson Line. Please get off at the Croton-on-Hudson stop. If you need a ride from the train station, please let us know in advance and we will come pick you up at predetermined shuttle times.

If you have questions regarding the course and/or course site, please do not call Major Bowes directly. Please use the contact information provided below.

With kind regards,

The Registration Committee
New York Vipassana Association (NYVA)
Contact number: 917-475-6672

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