Spiritual Community

When mindfulness is applied to ordinary experience, the true nature of oneself is realized, resulting in diminished suffering and an increased satisfaction with life. The meditation techniques taught at CMV are from the Buddhist Vipassana tradition as taught to Bernard Uhe by his teacher, Shinzen Young (see www.shinzen.org) and www.basicmindfulness.org). Bernard teaches Vipassana meditation techniques with an emphasis on insight into impermanence. The experience of impermanence has been referred to by the mystics of many traditions throughout history. In the Christian tradition, it is referred to as the acquisition of the Holy Spirit or de Spirito de Santo. Bernard has successfully used these techniques to help people suffering from phobias and chronic pain.


The Native American Spiritual Path (Red Road) Sweat Lodge ceremony is also part of the center’s spiritual practice. Sweat Lodge, originally called Inipi in Lakota and Temazcal in Spanish, is a purification ceremony that reconnects us to the five basic elements — earth, wind, fire, water and space—resulting in an increased appreciation and caring for Mother Earth (Nikunsi K'un) and what she provides. The ceremonies are held in a traditional way as taught to Bernard by his teachers from the Iron Circle Nation. Local Ecuadorian sundancers and shamans who are following the Red Road often lead the Sweat Lodge ceremonies.

Involvement with the local community is an important aspect of the center. The weekly meditation classes are free and open to the public. The monthly scheduled Sweat Lodge ceremonies are also open to the public.


CMV has had the privilege to plant six peace vases in Ecuador. These are part of The World Peace Vase Program, a vision of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche to plant peace vases around the world in order to restore peace; harmony and well-being (see www.siddharthasintent.org/peace).


The Founding of CMV: 

Helmut Uhe and Bernard Uhe are the founders of Centro de Meditacion-Vilcabamba (CMV). In 1991, Bernard began practicing Vipassana meditation under the direction of his teacher Shinzen Young. In 1992, he was introduced to the Red Road (the Native American spiritual path) and started doing traditional Sweat Lodge Ceremonies with the Iron Circle Nation. 

After years of meditation practice, retreats, teacher training and Sweat Lodge ceremonies, Bernard decided he wanted to give to others what was given to him by his teachers. Continuing to practice, study and work, Bernard started saving money to build a meditation center. He joined with his late father Helmut Uhe who was a Vajrayana practitioner from the Nyingmapa Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, with the intention of helping his father build a center in the Mountains of Trinity County, California.


During a trip to Ecuador, Bernard had the opportunity to do a Sweat Lodge ceremony that was led by a local sun dancer in Vilcabamba. It was in that ceremony that Bernard realized he wanted to build a meditation center in Vilcabamba rather than in California, and his father agreed.
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