The center property, located in Claymont, Delaware, 117 miles south of New York City and 118 miles north of Washington, DC, was purchased in 2013 by the Mid-Atlantic Vipassana Association (MAVA).
MAVA is a non- profit 501(c)3 organization whose sole purpose is providing instruction in Vipassana meditation. In 1997 a group of students in this meditation tradition coordinated the first Vipassana meditation course in the region and formed the Delaware Valley Vipassana Association. In 2002 other students began supporting courses in Virginia, and in 2006 courses began in Chestertown, MD. These courses were conducted in summer camps in the off season. In 2005 the Delaware Valley Vipassana Association changed its name to Mid-Atlantic Vipassana Association with the intention of establishing a permanent center for the region. The MAVA area includes Pennsylvania, southern NJ, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and the greater Washington, DC area.
Dhamma Pubbananda means Joy of the East, and is the first urban center in North America. It is situated on 13 acres in a quiet residential neighborhood with easy access to public transportation: bus and Amtrak.
At the time of purchase the property and buildings required extensive renovations. In November 2014 Building 1 was completed and the Center opened with the ability to serve 15 students for 10 Day and 3 Day courses. In December 2016 Building 2 was completed which added a kitchen and two dining halls. Student capacity increased to 60 students and 14 servers.
Currently Phase 3 of the masterplan is underway. This includes completion of Building 3 and 4 which will provide 60 single rooms with en suite bathrooms, and 60 meditation cells. The total number of students will remain at 60 using the current student spaces for administration and server accommodations. Phase 4 will add a new Dhamma Hall and Teacher residences.
Approximately 20 10-day courses are scheduled at Dhamma Pubbananda per year. The Center also offers courses for children and teens, as well as courses for students who have already taken a 10-day course.