Vipassana Retreat with Elio Guarisco in Bologna

3-9 June 2019

vipassana elio guarisco bologna

The Vipassana retreat led by Elio Guarisco (biography on, organized by Gelegling Bologna, was held at the “Villa Imelda” Spirituality Center near Bologna June 3-9, 2019.

At the retreat was a Vajra sister from Australia and also some of Elio’s Vipassana students who had participated in the first retreat in 2016 at the Ronzano Hermitage in Bologna. Elio Guarisco’s extraordinary forty-year spiritual experience as a meditator made the retreat a profound experience. Next year another retreat will be organized.

Elio Guarisco has studied Buddhism in India since 1974 directly under the guidance of Satya Narayan Goenka (1924-2013), the greatest exponent of the meditative Vipassana tradition, and a student of Sayagyi U Ba Khin (1899-1971).

On his return from India he deepened his practice of Vipassana meditation with Western teachers who had trained at the School of Sayagyi U Ba Khin (1899-1971), including John Earl Coleman (1930-2012), Robert Harry Hover (1920-2008) and Ruth Denison (1922-2015). He became an authorized instructor of Vipassana and in 1976 he organized J.E.Coleman’s first retreat in Italy in Pavia.

Short historical notations

Tradition has it that Vipassana is one of the oldest meditation techniques of India.

The Burmese Sayagyi U Ba Khin is the first great lay master to spread and retransmit the Vipassana, and his pupil, S. N. Goenka, reintroduced it to India in 1969.

In the 20th century Vipassana meditation was taught by Sayagyi U Ba Khin (1899-1971) – a pupil of Saya Thetgyi (1873-1945), who was a pupil of the monk Ledi Sayadaw U Ñaṇadhaja (1846-1923) – and his disciples Satya Narayan Goenka (1924-2013) and Daw Mya Thwin, known as Mother Sayamagyi (1925-2017).

Goenka followed his first Vipassana course with Sayagyi U Ba Khin in 1955.

In July 1967 U Ba Khin formally commissioned Goenka to transmit Vipassana to the world.

In 1979 Goenka began to travel, making Vipassana known throughout the world.

On April 23, 1969, U Ba Khin wrote a letter in which he commissioned the following disciples to spread Vipassana in their countries of origin: Leon E. Wright, John Earl Coleman, Robert Harry Hover, Ruth Denison, Forella Landie, J. Van Amersfoort .

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