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No Vipassana Meditation For Roundeyes In China


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According to the China page on the Vipassana society website:

"All courses are open to Chinese & Oversea Chinese only"

This is a racist restriction, and for some reason China's the only place where the Vipassana society applies it. I've emailed them a couple of times to ask why, and had no reply.

I think the Vipassana society does great work. But I also think it shouldn't practice racism, and should at least justify its regulations where they appear to be on shaky moral ground.

If you think that's a reasonable point of view, perhaps you could drop them a line to support it:

Removed the email addresses - shouldn't be posted without the owner's consent. Should be available via above link for anyone who wants them.

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Have removed the email addresses, but they can be found on the page linked.

I also suspect courses with 'obvious' foreigners might attract more attention from the authorities - overseas Chinese might be ignored, but foreigners in religious settings do tend to raise eyebrows. Obviously could be made clearer though.

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You could always go to Taiwan to do Vipassana courses in Mandarin

Thanks for the suggestion. But a long way to go when I'll probably be in Fujian next month...

I don't particularly want to do it in Mandarin. I've heard all the discourses & instructions twice before (a lot of them 3 times - twice in English, once in Mandarin.)

Anyway, the webmaster (email at the bottom of the Vipassana home page) is looking into the situation. If he can't do anything about it himself I'll ask him to raise it at one of their committee meetings. The Chinese only restrictions is completely inconsistent with the policies of centres in other countries, many of which offer courses in several languages specifically so that foreigners can take part. And if the rationale for the restriction is based on language, it should be stated in those terms (& probably relaxed somewhat for people who've attended the same courses in the past).

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Let us know what they say - I can see there being some kind of reason behind this, but it does look pretty bad. A 'Chinese speakers only' or 'due to legal reasons we can only accept . . . .' would be wiser.

As would repeating the same rules in the English & Chinese versions of the page :wink: Which probably means I could apply in Chinese & they'd only find out I was 'paler than average half overseas uyghur' when I turned up on the doorstep :D

I'll report back when I hear something.

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