In July 2014 a former Special Needs School known as the Youngstown Home was purchased as the new location for the Alberta Vipassana Meditation Centre (AVMC) – Dhamma Karuṇā – meaning the compassion of dhamma.
Dhamma Karunā is located on 8.5 acres on the outskirts of Youngstown, Alberta – a small farming village in the Canadian Badlands. This area is noted for its wildlife including waterfowl, deer, antelope and moose. It is also famous for some of the most important fossil deposits in the world, including the Bearpaw Shale. Youngstown is three to five hours by car from four major cities: Edmonton and Calgary in Alberta, and Regina and Saskatoon in the neighboring province of Saskatchewan. The compassionate (Karuṇā) Dhamma is available to all in this tranquil spot in the vast prairies. Additional information is available about Dhamma Karuṇā, including a detailed description of the facility and directions.
About 40 minutes driving distance from the centre are the two prairie towns of Hanna and Oyen. Both places have all the amenities necessary to supply the needs of the centre. The area surrounding the centre consists of large tracts of land used primarily for rural farming. The low population and habitation in the area emphasizes the vastness of the land and sky of the prairies and lends a feeling of peacefulness.
The Layout of the Centre
- The main building accommodates the kitchen, meditation hall for approximately 80 students, offices, quarters for teachers as well as the male and female dining areas.
- A separate two-story building has double and single rooms for up to 80 students and servers with 8 common bath areas.
- At the rear of the property is accomodation for long-term servers in a converted garage (3 furnished suites). A renovated ATCO trailer will provide two additional suites in late summer 2019. All have a small kitchen and private bathroom.
- The grounds of the Center are quite nice with many trees, bushes and shrubs around the main building. A generous lawn area is pleasantly landscaped for student walking areas.
The Center provides a quiet and secluded environment for the self-introspection that forms an integral part of a Vipassana meditation course. The photographs taken on the very first visit to the property can be found here. Much has been done since these first pictures were taken (thanks to our volunteers and where necessary, professional contractors).