Courses for Children and Teenagers


“Meditation is great. When I meditate I feel happy and calm and like I’m the only one in the room. I try very hard to keep my attention on my breath and keep my eyes closed."

For individual children or young people please read below.

What is Anapana meditationBack to top

Anapana is the observation of natural, normal respiration as it enters or leaves the nostrils. It is a simple technique that helps calm and concentrate the mind. In addition, Anapana helps children to better understand themselves and how their minds work. They gain mastery over their impulses and actions and develop an inner strength that helps them choose right and appropriate actions over wrong actions. It provides them with a tool to deal with agitation, and the fears, anxieties and pressures of childhood and adolescence.

Why sit a courseBack to top

Regular practice of Anapana gives many benefits:

  • Improved concentration and memory
  • Increased awareness and alertness of mind
  • More self-confidence
  • Greater capacity to work and study
  • Increased goodwill for others

Who can sit a courseBack to top

Courses are for children and young people between the ages of 8 and 18 yrs. There are separate courses for older and younger children. Residential courses for 12+ are separate for boys and girls. The courses are generally residential and held over two days, but one day courses are also offered. Details can be found in the schedule. Please apply via the schedule.

Who teaches the courseBack to top

S.N. Goenka was recognised as one of the world’s foremost teachers of meditation. He began conducting Vipassana courses in India in 1969 and in 1979 began teaching in other countries. Since then he has conducted hundreds of ten-day courses, and appointed more than 800 assistant teachers who are conducting Vipassana courses in centres and rented venues worldwide. The programme of Anapana courses for children has been running since 1986 and thousands of children in India and around the world have participated. Specially trained Children Course Teachers oversee the courses assisted by other meditator volunteers all of whom are correctly certified to work with children.

Where are courses runBack to top

Most courses are run at Dhamma Dipa the UK’s main centre for meditation in this tradition. Dhamma Dipa is situated in rural Herefordshire and you can read more about the centre and its facilities here. Other rented venues around the UK are also used for courses and information on these can be found in the schedule.

When are courses runBack to top

Courses run throughout the year and all details can be found in the schedule.

How to apply for courseBack to top

If you would like to apply for a course you can do so below:
Online Application

How to apply to serveBack to top

To serve you must have completed at least one 10 day Vipassana course as taught by S.N. Goenka. The Vipassana Trust has a Child Protection Policy and, as part of this, it aims to put Children’s Course servers through a criminal records check. It takes a number of weeks to do this, so we encourage applicants to apply well in advance of the course. See the instructions labelled "Apply To Serve" here.

How a course is structuredBack to top

Residential courses begin on the evening of the first day and end at midday on the last day. One-day courses normally run from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.

The children adhere to a moral conduct for the duration of the course, to provide a strong foundation for their meditation. They listen to tape or video recordings of instructions and short talks given by the teacher, S.N. Goenka. The day consists of half-hour sessions of meditation, interspersed with creative and physical activities.

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

How much does it costBack to top

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 the meditation for 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.

How to get hereBack to top

For comprehensive directions on how to get to Dhamma Dipa please visit this page.

How to continue meditatingBack to top

This is a short MP3 audio(10 min) for use by those children and teenagers who have attended an Anapana meditation course. Click here for the audio.

How can I find out moreBack to top

There is an international website that contains lots of excellent information including several films. Please click here. There is also Anapana News, the newsletter for Anapana course students. It comes out about twice a year and is sent to children and young people who have completed a course.

It has stories about Anapana meditation, helpful words from S.N. Goenka (the teacher of the technique), course dates, games and other useful information. Please click to open a previous issue:

Issue 3

Issue 4

Issue 6

Issue 7

How to organize a courseBack to top

One day courses can be organised at suitable rented sites like schools and community centres.

A course venue should be quiet and removed from any other activities taking place in a given location, so there is minimum distraction to the students. There should be space inside for meditation, somewhere for the students to eat and a space for indoor creative activites. It is also good to have space, outside or inside, for games and physical activities.

There is no cost for the courses. Ideally an organisation or group with a desire to run a course will have an adult who has completed a 10 day Vipassana course as taught by S.N. Goenka, but this is not essential. The Vipassana Trust’s Children’s Course committee would provide the necessary volunteers to run a course.

The Vipassana Trust has a Child Protection Policy and puts course servers through a criminal records check.

Following a course, it is beneficial for the group / organisation to give the students the opportunity to sit for 10 minutes as part of their daily schedule. Participation in this by the children / young people should be voluntary.

In special cases, it may be possible to organise 2-day residential courses.

Should you want to explore the idea of organising a course, contact Arvin Barkhordarian on 01600 890966.


Video: The Wild Mind