Theravada Buddhist Temple and Vipassana Meditation Center

Theravada Buddhist Temple and Vipassana Meditation Center

The Georgia Buddhist Vihara is dedicated to the promotion of the Theravada Buddhist teachings through the practice of meditation, study of Buddhist scriptures, Dhamma School for children and regular religious ceremonies. The Vihara was established in 2000 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Sunday, December 1, 2013




Unduva Full Moon Poya Program will be held on on Sunday, Dec 22, 2013, from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm at the Georgia Buddhist Vihara. We invite you all to join the program. You can see whole program end of the article.




MORNING PROGRAM

7:30am – 8:30am: Observance of the eight Precepts, Buddha Puja and Heel Dana.
8:30am – 9:00am: Tea & coffee break
9:00am – 10: 00am: Vipassana Meditation.
10:00am-11-am: Sutra Discussion: Maha-Assapura Sutta: (English)
11:20am – 12:00 Noon: Dana offering to the monks and those who observe eight precepts.
AFTERNOON PROGRAM
12:00Noon – 1:00pm Luncheon
1:00 – 4:30 pm Discussion will be base on Abhidhamma by Dr. Deepta Jayaratne
1:30-4:00pm Dhamma Class
2:30 – 2:45pm: Break.
5:30 pm: Termination of the Sil Gilanpasa Pujava

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Il  Full Moon Poya  Program will be held on on Sunday, Nov  17 , 2013, from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm at the Georgia Buddhist Vihara.  We invite you all to join the program.


MORNING PROGRAM


7:30am – 8:30am: Observance of the eight Precepts, Buddha Puja and Heel Dana.

8:30am – 9:00am: Tea & coffee break

9:00am – 10: 00am: Vipassana Meditation.

10:00am-11-am:  Sutra Discussion: Maha-Assapura Sutta:  (English)

11:20am – 12:00 Noon: Dana offering to the monks and those who observe eight precepts.

AFTERNOON PROGRAM

12:00Noon – 1:00pm Luncheon

1:00 – 4:30 pm Discussion will be base on Abhidhamma by Dr. Deepta Jayaratne

1:30-4:00pm  Dhamma Class

2:30 – 2:45pm: Break.

5:30 pm:  Termination of the Sil Gilanpasa Pujava

Thursday, October 3, 2013



Vap  Full Moon Poya  Program will be held on on Sunday, Oct  13 , 2013, from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm at the Georgia Buddhist Vihara.  We invite you all to join the program.


MORNING PROGRAM


7:30am – 8:30am: Observance of the eight Precepts, Buddha Puja and Heel Dana.

8:30am – 9:00am: Tea & coffee break

9:00am – 10: 00am: Vipassana Meditation.

10:00am-11-am:  Sutra Discussion: Mahatanhasankhaya Sutta:  (English)

11:20am – 12:00 Noon: Dana offering to the monks and those who observe eight precepts.

AFTERNOON PROGRAM

12:00Noon – 1:00pm Luncheon

1:00 – 4:30 pm Discussion will be base on Abhidhamma by Dr. Deepta Jayaratne

1:30-4:00pm  Dhamma Class

2:30 – 2:45pm: Break.

5:30 pm:  Termination of the Sil Gilanpasa Pujava

Saturday, September 21, 2013



Speech to the Plenary Session of the International Buddhist Confederation, New Delhi, India on September 11, 2013.

By Dr. Ananda W. P. Guruge  (USA/Sri Lanka)

Let me begin by expressing my grateful thanks to Venerable Lama Lobzang and the Asoka mission for the steps take to establish the International Buddhist Confederation. An organization as envisaged with a wide range of objectives is a vitally necessity as we advance into the twenty-first century.

Buddhism had existed for over two thousand six hundred years and during this period it had spread to a significant part of the world. The colonization of traditionally Buddhist countries by Britain and France enabled the Western missionaries and administrators to discover Buddhism and its culture. It found a nursery in the academia of Europe and North America and an enormous contribution has been made by scholars in the study and publication of Buddhist literature in Pali, Sanskrit, Chinese, Tibetan and Vietnamese and research in its philosophy, history, archaeology and socio-spiritual impact.

It is more recently that Buddhism in practice became worldwide due to three factors: (1) the importation of labor from China and Japan to USA in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, (2) the interest taken by an increasing body of intellectuals in Europe and Northern America who found Buddhism to be an alternative to Christianity and adopted it as their personal religion, and (3) the immigration of a multitude of ethnic Buddhists from. Tibet as a result of the ideological transformation of China, from Korea and Vietnam as a result of the two wars and from Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Taiwan due to expanding opportunities for economic improvement. As such Buddhism is the fastest growing religion in the Western world today.

As numerous as professed Buddhists in these countries, who are mainly from Asia, are those who find in Buddhism a variety of special activities fulfilling their spiritual needs such as meditation, chanting, retreats and monastic experience. A fair number of these, whom we would call the friends of Buddhism, remain culturally Christian or Jewish while associating closely with Buddhist institutions and the Sangha. Some even call themselves by such terms as Jubus (Jewish-Buddhists) to indicate the dual interest.

What has this recent development done to Buddhism as a whole? Buddhism is so widely known in the world today that the knowledge of the Buddha and the basic doctrines of Buddhism is indispensable as an integral aspect of cultural literacy. Hardly is found an educated person in any country who is devoid of some familiarity with Buddhism. A question that has become very difficult to answer under such a context is “What is Buddhism?” How can it be defined?

When Buddhism was confined to the traditionally Buddhist countries of Asia, each community had a clear idea of what Buddhism meant to it. The Buddhists in countries in East Asia, which continue to have the largest Buddhist populations, practiced Mahayana Buddhism, studied Mahayana sutras as preserved in the Chinese Tripitaka and worshipped the Bodhisattvas. Meditation as in Chan, Son, Zen or Thien or the repetition of formulae like NamoAmatafo, NamoAmidabudsuor NamoAmitaphat in Pureland Buddhism orNamomeoorengokyeo in Nichiren Buddhism divided them into recognizable groups. Tibet and Mongolia followed the Vajrayana tradition, in which mantras (incantations like Om manipadme hum), mudras (gestures of worship) and mandalas (graphic aids to meditation) constitute the main elements of worship. The countries of South and Southeast Asia had preserved a form of early Buddhism with its scriptures in Pali, which is currently identified as Theravada. It lays emphasis on intellectual study and discussion by both the Sangha and the laity, the observance of additional precepts on special days by the laity and self-cultivation.

Each tradition, school or sect of Buddhism had its own Sangha, who, though based on the same principal rules of Vinaya, dressed differently and differed in the ways they were prepared for their spiritual role. Their temples and shrines varied in architectural design and each had special shrines as pagodas, chortens and stupas. Even the Buddha was presented in physical characteristics specific to each ethnic group. The Bodhisattvas were distinguished by particular iconographical features and all traditions did not have equal prominence give to such icons as Amitabha Buddha, Medicine Buddha, DhyaniBuddhas, Avalokitesvara, Kwanying, Maitreya and Taras. Each also had different rituals and forms of worship.

This diversity of Buddhism was hardly known or recognized by the Buddhist populations of the world as they developed in isolation and without any interaction among them. It was only at the end of the nineteenth century that the different traditions, schools and sects developed some contacts among them due to the efforts of AnagarikaDharmapala of Sri Lanka who set up the Mahabodhi Society as the first ever international Buddhist forum in 1891, his address to a sizeable Western audience in the Parliament of World’s Religions in Chicago in 1893 and the American Theosophist Colonel Henry Steel Olcott’s initiative to get Buddhists of different countries to agree on a Platform of Fourteen Points which he formulated in 1894.

But the most significant development in modern times began in the middle of the twentieth century when waves of ethnic Buddhists migrating to the major cities of Europe, the Americas and the Oceania brought these many forms of Buddhism to co-exist side by side.  The rich diversity of Buddhism, which had developed in Asia during long centuries of independent growth, has given the impression of “many Buddhisms” and few other than serious scholars have a clear idea of the doctrinal and attitudinal unity which binds them together.

Outside these countries, it is in India that the variety of Buddhism has become significantly evident. Here we meet Buddhists from all Asian countries. As a result of the exile of His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, the presence of Tibetan Buddhism with outstanding educational, cultural and spiritual activitiesis remarkable. The development of holy shrines around Buddha Gaya and the increasing arrival of pilgrims to pay homage to the Buddha has made the diversity of Buddhism a reality in India.

It is true that several attempts have been made since Colonel Henry Steel Olcott to point out the unity within this diversity. Christmas Humphreys in Britain formulated in 1945 a twelve point document highlighting the common teachings of all traditions, schools and sects. More recently in 1997 the Sangha Council of Southern California and the American Buddhist Congress did a similar exercise in identifying a common base for all of them in ten points.

Many in the world today like to see the evolution of a unified form of Buddhism. Tricycle, the Buddhist periodical published in the USA, sees such unity as a combination of the Mahayana, Theravada and Vajrayana traditions.  There are others who advocate unity in the form of a Buddhayana or Ekayana. The ethnic Buddhists, on the other hand, are more conservative and favor the retention of their specific forms of Buddhism without any attempt at assimilation or interaction. This may be all right as far as the first generation of immigrants is concerned. What will happen in the future when the younger generations, with increasing exposure to science and technology, participatory democratic processes and new trends in spirituality, find dissatisfaction with what is taught and practiced as Buddhism by their elders? This is a tremendous challenge for the Buddhist leadership in general and the Sangha in particular in the twenty-first century. How should they prepare to face this challenge especially because the issue is the credibility of what Buddhism stands for?

It is in this context thatI see the relevance and the importance of the International Buddhist Confederation. The need for a unified front consisting of all traditions, schools and sects to grapple with this problem has been widely recognized and a significant international effort to foster unity, cooperation and interaction has been made through such organizations as the World Fellowship of Buddhists, the World Sangha Council, and Buddhist forums and summits convened by national and international bodies.

The World Fellowship of Buddhists brings together every two years representatives of all Buddhist traditions, schools and sects to consider ways and means of promoting the advancement of Buddhism in the world scene. It has already fostered a greater understanding and collaboration among diverse Buddhist groups. The World Sangha Council does similar work through monastics and has proved to be a very important forum to develop unity and cooperation. Similar efforts are being made by frequent conferences and seminars. But how successful are they in facing the challenge and what more has to be done? What is done by these organizations should have the desired impact at the grassroots level. The proposed International Buddhist Confederation has to evolve programs of action to encounter the challenges which Buddhism continues to encounter. It is the task before us in this Conclave as well as in the near future.

Thank you

Wednesday, August 28, 2013



Esala Full Moon Poya Program will be held on on Sunday, July 28 , 2013, from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm at the Georgia Buddhist Vihara. We invite you all to join the program.
MORNING PROGRAM
7:30am – 8:30am: Observance of the eight Precepts, Buddha Puja and Heel Dana.
8:30am – 9:00am: Tea & coffee break
9:00am – 10: 00am: Vipassana Meditation.
10:00am-11-am: Sutra Discussion: The Shorter Discourse On the Destruction of Craving: (English)
11:20am – 12:00 Noon: Dana offering to the monks and those who observe eight precepts.
AFTERNOON PROGRAM
12:00Noon – 1:00pm Luncheon
1:00 – 4:30 pm Discussion will be base on Abhidhamma by Dr. Deepta Jayaratne
1:30-4:00pm Dhamma Class
2:30 – 2:45pm: Break.
5:30 pm: Termination of the Sil Gilanpasa Pujava

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Georgia Buddhist Vihara

Meditation Retreat Program 2013

by
Bhante Henepola Gunaratana(August 24th through 25th)


Friday, August 23rd  

Around 7.00 PMArrival of Bhante Gunaratana Maha Thero

Friday, August 23rd  


3:00 - 5:00 pm

Dhamma Talk & DiscussionQuestion and Answer Session

(Youth & Adults can participate)


7:30 - 9:30 pm

Observing Precepts/Retreat Orientation


10:00 pm

Bed time(please bring your sleeping materials)

Program for Sunday, August 25th  (Nikini Poya)


4:30am

 Wake Up, Coffee/Tea & preparation for Silence Retreat

5:00 – 6:00

Group Meditation

6:30 – 7:00

Buddha Puja

7:00 – 8:00

Breakfast Provided by Meth and Indira family

8:30 – 10:00

Guided Vipassana Meditation

10:00 –10:30

Metta Meditation

10:30 – 11:00

Walking Meditation

11:00 – 12:00pm

Buddha Puja/Dana

1:00 - 2:00

Walking Meditation / Working (cleaning the temple,etc)

2:30 – 3:30

Meditation

3:30 – 4:00

  Break / Coffee-Tea

4:00 – 5:30

 Dhamma Talk & Discussion

5:30pm

 Sharing Merrits & End of Program

Bhante Gunaratana has been a monk for over 60 years and is the most senior Sri Lankan monk in the United States.  Knowledgeable in both Western and Buddhist psychology, he is the founder of Bhavana Society, a retreat and monastic center in rural West Virginia.  He is the author of a number of books, including Mindfulness in Plain English and Eight Mindful Steps To Happiness.  He actively conducts Vipassana retreats worldwide.

Program for Saturday, August 24th
For any inquiries or Dana arrangements on Aug 24th & 25th please contact Gayan Hapugoda at 404-573-7148. (gayan21@yahoo.com)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Three Noble Days

By Lakshika Panditaratne


We were fortunate to be given three noble days to lead a simple life, conquer our minds, and concentrate on Buddhism. We had to be mindful of every action we made-walking, sitting, and even eating. We were isolated from our normal lives and introduced to a much more humble lifestyle. Since this was my second time attending the retreat I had more experience and had an idea of what to expect. I planned to take full advantage of this opportunity this time and avoid the minor mistakes I made last time.

Day 1
Nangi and I arrived at the temple ready to begin the 2013 youth retreat. We started out the first day by observing the eight precepts. We then transitioned into Vipasana meditation (insight meditation), in which we concentrate on the breath. During the meditation I was mentally and physically restless. I kept shifting my posture and was unable to concentrate on my breathing. The work period came around, and Iedisha and I got together and cleaned the bathroom.

The work period was followed by the sutta discussion. During the discussion I learned that Lord Buddha told suttas to Venerable Ananda and the suttas were then passed down orally until they were finally written down. The sutta we discussed was called Cūlakammavibhanga Sutta, it focused on the concept of good and bad kamma. Kamma is basically a good or bad action that results in a reaction (in the same life or in a future life) based on that original good or bad action. The sutta explained the outcomes of good and bad kamma. For example, when one harms or injures a living being they will be born in state of deprivation. If they are born again into the human state then they will become sickly. In contrast, not harming or injuring a living being results in being healthy.

Later on, we visited the Cambodian temple. It turns out that the temple observed Theravada Buddhism, just as we do. However, I noticed a Laughing Buddha statue and the colorful luxurious aspects of the temple did not resemble our own temple.  We concluded the day with the Atavisi puja, which consisted of worshipping the twenty-eight Buddhas. The day went by smoothly, but the night was what was difficult to get through.

Day 2
It was 5:00 when we awoke. We got ready and went to the shrine room and meditated. I was still unable to focus on the Vipassana meditation, but I enjoyed the Metta meditation (loving-friendliness meditation). The Metta meditation brought wholesome thoughts into my mind, and it created a sense of happiness.

During our sutta discussion we discussed a sutta called Sabbāsava Sutta. We didn't get a chance to finish the sutta, but I did learn that to abandon a taint (a bad thought) you have to mentally see/notice the taint. Then you must use that realization to abandon the taint. There are three types of taints to be abandoned by seeing -sensual desires, ignorance, and the taint of being (not wanting to reach nibbana).

After the sutta discussion we did an Abhidhamma session with Uncle Deeptha. Abhidhamma is one-third of the tripitaka (three main categories of texts that make up Buddhism). The other two categories that make up the tripitaka are sutta and vinaya. Abhidhamma is the psychological analysis of the deepest phenomena (the absolute science). Abhidhamma was taught by Lord Buddha and to this day no one can prove it to be wrong. During this lesson Uncle Deeptha discussed the five aggregates. Lord Buddha summarized the mental and physical phenomena into five aggregates. These aggregates are form, feeling, perception, mental factors, and the mind. These aggregates are then divided again into three parts: rupa (form), cetasika (feeling, perception, mental factors), and citta (mind). He also taught us about the mind. He said that in every mind a thought is generated, organized, and then the mind is distracted. Uncle Deeptha also explained that the good merits you earn can eliminate/cancel out the sins you have done. Once you have eliminated all of your sins then you may attain nibbana. We also acquired that there are nine different stages to attain nibbana; the last stage is the stage in which you become an arahath.

We later went to the Vietnamese temple. Based on the laughing Buddha statue outside and the drums and bells found in the back of the shrine one can tell that this temple observed Malayana Buddhism. While at this temple I learned that not all monks ordain for life, some ordain for months or even weeks. Once we returned to our own temple we did the Atavisi puja and went to sleep around 9:30-10:00.

Day 3
This time we woke up around 4:30 and headed to the shrine room to meditate. Logically, this being the third day of meditation it was also the best day of meditation. Lord Buddha once said, "Do not dwell in the past; do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment." It was very difficult to accomplish at the beginning of the retreat, but as we reached the end of it I was able to concentrate much better. On that morning I held the same posture for about 10 minutes, and I was concentrating so well on breathing that I could also hear/feel my heart pounding. It was an extraordinary experience, and I was proud of myself for making progress.

On this day Jeewaka and I were responsible for preparing the pujas. So, it was a different experience than the other two days. After the puja, lunch, and work period, we started the sutta discussion. We continued with the Sabbāsava Sutta. We learned that taints can be abandoned by restraining, using, enduring, avoiding, removing, and developing. An example of abandoning a taint by developing is when a taint is abandoned through the development of the mind.

Just as the day before, Uncle Deeptha came to teach us Abhidhamma. He taught us about the six roots of Buddhism.  There are three wholesome roots and three unwholesome ones as well. The wholesome ones include wisdom (amoha), compassion (adosa), and generosity (alobha). In contrast, the unwholesome roots are ignorance (moha), hatred (dosa), and greediness (lobha). These six roots of Buddhism are found in the 121 cittas. He also taught us about the five careers that Lord Buddha has forbidden-selling alcohol and drugs, poison, meat, weapons, and people. Additionally, he told us some of the qualifications of becoming a Lord Buddha: you must be blessed by a Lord Buddha, be of the male gender, be in priesthood, have the ability to attain nibbana in the current life, and have the eight paranormal abilities. He also said that you do not have to be in priesthood to attain nibbana. After the Abhidhamma lesson the retreat was basically over. So we observed the five precepts and headed home.

I was actually disappointed that the retreat had ended so soon. I liked how being at the temple made me more peaceful and calm. While at the temple I felt as if not even one minute was wasted.  By the third day I had gotten so used to the routine that I didn't want it to change. I knew that by going home I would be surrounded by so many temptations that will keep my mind racing. I hope that next year's retreat will be longer and allow us a longer time to focus and get closer to nibbana. I felt refreshed after the retreat, and I owe thanks to a lot of people for making it possible. I would like to thank Venerable Wajirabuddhi Thero, Venerable Wajirabodhi Thero, Mr. Steven, and Uncle Deeptha for assisting and guiding us through the three days. I would also like to thank the parents who provided dana and made an effort to make the retreat a success. Last but not least, I would like to thank my parents for allowing me and encouraging me to get closer Dhamma through this retreat. Thank you all for making these three days as successful as possible!

{Our Album}


The wholesome of side me

By Dunisha Panditaratne



I woke up at 6:00, feeling like I didn't want to leave home. I didn't want to wake up at five in the morning, and I certainly didn't want to give up my technology. This did not sound like something any kid wanted to do during their summer vacation, but I agreed to go.

Day 1
We started the retreat off with breathing meditation. I felt that it was easier to meditate, because there was no noise from downstairs to block my focus on breathing. Then we started walking meditation, I had to raise my foot, move it forward, and then place it on the ground. Right after the meditation we observed the eight precepts. Next we studied a sutta about kamma (actions). The sutta gave many examples of the results of good and bad kamma. For example, in the sutta it explained that if you kill a living being you will be sent to a place of deprivation. However, if you return to the human plain then you shall live a short life. If one abstains from killing and returns to the human plain, they shall live a long life. After we had discussed all 14 types of kamma, we visited the Cambodian temple and saw two different types of shrines. I learned about the “sëma” which is used in monk's higher ordinations and reciting Pathimokkha (Vinaya Book).  Placed flowers on tiny plates to offer to the 28 Buddhas. After the Atavisi puja we went to bed.

Day 2
We started our day with meditation as according to the schedule. It was harder because I had to wake up earlier today. Then Bhante told us how to focus our mind, and then I started to do better. Afterwards, we started walking meditation, and started  a Sutta studies about taints (Sabbasava Sutta.) Then we did an Abhidhamma session with Deeptha Uncle. I learned that even thinking an unwholesome thought can send you to a state of deprivation. I also learned about the 5 aggregates (foam, feeling, perception, mental factors, and the mind.) Then we went to the Vietnamese temple, and saw several difference shrines and Buddha's images and   peacocks. When we returned to our own temple, we did the Attavissi puja; then we went to bed. I realized the day went by smoothly, because I had received experience from the previous day.

Day 3
I woke up feeling sad that I had to leave, even though at first I didn't even want to come. We started the morning with Vipasana meditation (breathing meditation) and then we transitioned into loving-friendliness meditation (Metta meditation). Afterwards, we switched to standing meditation followed by walking meditation. Next, we finished the Sutta about taints to be abandoned. After the Sutta class we did Abhidhamma I learned that to become a Lord Buddha you must be blessed by another Lord Buddha, you must be male, and you must have the ability to attain Nibbana in that life. After doing the Buddha Puja and observing the five precepts the retreat had come to an end.

Due to the retreat I realized the deepness of Buddhism. It’s more than just mediating and wanting to reach Nibbana. It’s a long journey in which you must conquer you mind. I never realized how hard it is to control the mind. The mind is everywhere and in order to tame it you must practice mediation. Through the retreat I discovered the wholesome side of me. I am so fortunate to be able to attend this retreat and gain knowledge of Buddhism at such a young age. This would have not been possible without the Georgia Buddhism Vihara. I’d like to give special thanks Venerable Wajirabuddhi Thero, Venerable Wajirabodhi Thero, Mr. Steve, Uncle Deeptha, all the parents, and even my peers for making this an unforgettable experience. {Our Album}

Wednesday, July 17, 2013



Esala Full Moon Poya  Program will be held on on Sunday, July 28 , 2013, from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm at the Georgia Buddhist Vihara.  We invite you all to join the program.


MORNING PROGRAM


7:30am – 8:30am: Observance of the eight Precepts, Buddha Puja and Heel Dana.

8:30am – 9:00am: Tea & coffee break

9:00am – 10: 00am: Vipassana Meditation.

10:00am-11-am:  Sutra Discussion: The Shorter Discourse On the Destruction of Craving:  (English)

11:20am – 12:00 Noon: Dana offering to the monks and those who observe eight precepts.

AFTERNOON PROGRAM

12:00Noon – 1:00pm Luncheon

1:00 – 4:30 pm Discussion will be base on Abhidhamma by Dr. Deepta Jayaratne

1:30-4:00pm  Dhamma Class

2:30 – 2:45pm: Break.

5:30 pm:  Termination of the Sil Gilanpasa Pujava

Tuesday, June 11, 2013



Poson Full Moon Poya  Program and  Dhamma class will be held on on Sunday, June 30 , 2013, from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm at the Georgia Buddhist Vihara.  We invite you all to join the program.


MORNING PROGRAM


7:30am – 8:30am: Observance of the eight Precepts, Buddha Puja and Heel Dana.

8:30am – 9:00am: Tea & coffee break

9:00am – 10: 00am: Vipassana Meditation.

10:00am-11-am:  Sutra Discussion: Maha-Saccaka Sutta: The Longer Discourse to Saccaka (English)

11:20am – 12:00 Noon: Dana offering to the monks and those who observe eight precepts. The Daval Dana will be kindly provided by Mr. & Mrs. Weliwita (Uditha & Ruwani), in memory of Ruwani's Father, to the Ven. Maha Sangha & to all the people observing Sil on Poson poya day.

AFTERNOON PROGRAM

12:00Noon – 1:00pm Luncheon

1:00 – 4:30 pm Discussion will be base on Abhidhamma by Dr. Deepta Jayaratne

1:30-4:00pm  Dhamma Class

2:30 – 2:45pm: Break.

5:30 pm:  Termination of the Sil Gilanpasa Pujava

Sunday, June 2, 2013


Georgia Buddhist Vihara’s Youth Retreat 2013
(July 12th, 13th, & 14th,  2013)



Retreat Application Form for Youth Summer Retreat

You must print and complete the following forms to apply for the summer retreat program. Please note that space is limited for 15 participants on a first-come, first-serve basis. This retreat is for males and females who are between 15 and 25 years of age.  

All forms must be completed in full and must be submitted on or before June 25, 2013. You may deliver the forms in person to the Georgia Buddhist Vihara, you may mail the completed forms to the Vihara (3153 Miller Road, Lithonia, GA 30038), or you may scan and email completed forms to Justin Howell (justinhowell2112@gmail.com). An email confirmation will be sent once your application has been received.


Participant’s Name: ______________________________________________

Participant’s Age: _______________________

Parent’s/Guardian’s Name: __________________________________________________

Address: ________________________________________________________

Parent’s/Guardian’s Email Address: ___________________________________________

Home Phone: __________________________ Cell Phone: ___________________________

Business Phone: ____________________________________

Emergency Contact: __________________________ Phone:_____________________________

 By signing below you are giving permission to participate in all activities related to the weekly retreat at the Georgia Buddhist Vihara. By signing below, you (as the participant) understand all requirements to participate in the retreat. By signing below, you are giving permission for the retreat participant to be transported in temple and/or personal vehicles of those who are acting as retreat coordinators while attending a retreat at the Georgia Buddhist Vihara.

 ________________________ ______________________
Signature of Participant Date


_________________________ ______________________
Signature of Parent/Guardian Date

(if participant is under 18 years old)

Medical Information

Does the participant have any medical or health issues that we should be aware of? If so, please describe: ______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

Allergies: ___________________________________________________________________________

Chronic disability or illness (past or present): _______________________________________________

Name of Family Doctor: ________________________ Phone: ________________________________

Insurance Plan Name: _______________________ Group Number: ___________________________

Member Number: _______________________________

Dietary Restrictions

Describe: _____________________________________________________________________________

Medications

I would like for the participant to be given the following medications:

Name of medicine: ____________________ What is the medicine used for: __________________

Quantity of be given: __________________ Times to be given: _____________________

All medicines should be clearly labeled with the participant’s name, name of medication, what it is to be used for, quantity to be given and time to be given. The Georgia Buddhist Vihara does not assume responsibility for administration of medicine beyond oral medications. In case of emergency, I hereby give permission to the physician named above, or, in his or her absence, to any other physician, to provide treatment.

_________________________ ______________________

Signature of Participant Date

_________________________ ______________________
Signature of Parent/Guardian Date

(if participant is under 18 years old)

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Georgia Buddhist Youth  Retreat    

(July 12,13 &14)

Daily Schedule

  • 5:00–5:30am – Wake Up, Coffee/Tea.

  • 5:30–6:30 – Group Meditation

  • 6:30–7:00 – Buddha Puja

  • 7:00–8:00 – Breakfast (self-service)

  • 8:00–9:00 – Vipassana Meditation

  • 9:00–9:30 – Break, Coffee/Tea

  • 9:30–10:00 – Meditation Instruction

  • 10:00–10:30 – Walking Meditation

  • 10:30–11:00 – Metta Meditation

  • 11:00–11:30 – Buddha Puja

  • 11:30–12:30pm – Lunch

  • 12:30–1:30 – Work Period

  • 1:30–3:30 – Sutta Discussion

  • 3:30–4:00 – Break, Coffee/Tea

  • 4:00–4:30 – Personal Reading and Reflection

  • 4:30-    5:30-      Abhidhamma session by Dr. Deeptha Jayaratne

  • 5:30–6:00 – Prepare for Trip

  • 6:00–7:30 – Temple Visits

  • 7:30–8:30 – Atavisi Buddha Pujawa, Group Chanting (selected Sutra with English meanings) Metta Meditation

  • 8:30–9:00 – Journal Writing; Prepare for Bed

  • 9:00–Lights Out
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General Guidelines for Retreat Participants

What Not to Bring
  • Do not bring illicit drugs, alcohol, or tobacco products.

  • Do not bring personal computers, personal gaming systems, cell phones, mp3 players, electronic musical devices, radios, musical instruments, newspapers, magazines and secular books to the center. Buddhist reading materials will be provided.

  • Do not bring clothing with distracting lettering.

  • Do not wear perfumes or deodorants with strong scents.

  • Do not bring pets.
What to Bring
  • Flashlight

  • Sleeping Bag, Pillow, Towel (shower facilities are available)

  • Toiletries (soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, razors)

  • Bring a cup (for tea/coffee and water), a plate, and a spoon and fork for eating.

  • Ear plugs if you are a light sleeper

  • Personal meditation cushion if you prefer (We have plenty of zafus, zabutans, and benches for everyone)

  • Modest clothing. (Even in the warmest of weather, tank tops and short shorts are not acceptable.) Do not bring t-shirts with commercial or political messages. You are requested to wear white clothing, if possible.

  • Work gloves, cleaning gloves, breathing mask (if working outside causes breathing problems) for the work period.

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Family Sponsorship Form 

  • Each sponsoring family will need to arrive at the vihara by 6am on their designated day in order to prepare the morning meal for the monks and retreat participants.

  • Sponsoring families will also be responsible for preparing the lunch meal.

  • Sponsoring families will be responsible for preparing evening nutrition and leaving it for the participants to consume later in the evening.

  • It is preferred that sponsors adhere to the following guidelines for providing meals during the retreat period:

    • All meals should be vegetarian.

    • Food for the morning meal should be light and consist of cereal, oatmeal, muffins, bagels, fruit, yogurt, or pancakes.

    • Food for the lunch meal should be more substantial since this will be the primary meal until the next morning meal.

    • Evening nutrition could consist of homemade juices, milkshakes, soup, etc. Please be mindful that retreat participants have taken the 10 precepts which stipulate that no solid, substantial food should be taken after noon.


In This Issue:


1. Conversation with a Buddhist Monk
2. New homes for shrines to Buddhist tradition Church finds families for antique altars
3. Temple/Center/Website- of the Week:
 The Seattle Buddhist Temple
4. Book/Movie Review: Graceful Simplicity: The Philosophy and Politics of the Alternative American Dream
 ...by Jerome M. Segal


-------------------------------


1. Conversation with a Buddhist Monk


By: Donna Parker-McNeil, Staff Reporter, Atlanta, Georgia


http://www.gbvihara.org/the_message_interview.htm


In an effort to provide our readers with a personal portrait of Buddhism The Message sat down with Ven. Panamwela Wajirabuddhi a.k.a. Bhante of Georgia Buddhist Vihara Inc. Bhante is a Buddhist Monk residing at Lithonia, Georgia. He is a humble man of medium stature, shaven head, and clothed in the traditional garment - an orange colored robed. On this day Bhante is willing to share his faith, beliefs, culture and customs with us and to teach us about the life and lessons of the Great Buddha.


We feel especially privileged to have access to such insightful knowledge and trust that sharing it with you, our readers will assist us in the process of building a strong, cultural bridge.


Buddhism is an ancient philosophy that dates back to 500 BCE. It is based on the teachings and thoughts of a man, born into royalty, but who left his noble lineage behind in order to attain enlightenment and became the Buddha (enlightened one). In North America there are an estimated 1.3 million Buddhists. Most Buddhists in North America are Asian immigrants. However, there are some Westerners who practice this faith in order to escape from materialism and also to seek enlightenment. 


The Message (M): Who is Buddha?


Buddhist Monk (BM): The Buddha was a normal human being, who was a prince and due to succeed his father king Suddhodana. They belonged to the Shakyan clan, a warrior group in a place close to the border of modem Nepal and India. He grew up in the luxury of the royal family, but he soon found that the  worldly comfort and security does not bring true happiness. At the age of29, he renounced the princely lifestyle and left the palace to find an answer to human pain and suffering and the cause of birth and death, all of which every human being dislikes to face. In the first part of the next six years he went to different renowned teachers without obtaining an answer. He also subjected himself to extreme modes of living, which also brought no adequate answers. Then he abandoned the extremes life styles and tried to remain in the middle (call the middle path). At the end of the period, he suddenly came across the answer to the so far unknown tragic recurrent cause of birth, suffering, pain and death of every human being on earth. This finding is called enlightenment and the person is called "Enlightened One" or "Buddha".


The ex-prince lived for another 45 years as a mendicant, begging his food, having no personal belongings. He taught his discovery of salvation, the Dhamma (doctrine) throughout northern India. Even though the Buddha was born as a normal human being, he later became an exceptional human being, because he developed his mind to the maximum level possible through meditation and self-understanding. At the age of 80, the Buddha passed away not to be reborn again call Nirvana (see below) at Kusinara (in modem Uttar Pradesh in India).


The Buddha taught all different classes of men and women, Brahmins and outcasts, wealthy and beggars, ascetics and robbers, kings and peasants, without making any distinction between them. In order to teach the Dhamma (teachings), he had


to face a big challenge to overcome the existing harmful dogmas of their society. The society was rigidly controlled according to caste, color, religion, sex, belief and hierarchical customs.


After Buddha was enlightened, he expressed the invalidity of the caste systems and other discriminatory practices against any type of human beings. Politicians, wealthy people, high rankers and others carried out these harmful practices. He treated every human being equally by using specific features, which varied in accordance with the impermanence of all living beings. Buddha's comment was, "No one becomes an outcast by birth, no one becomes a Brahmin (the higher ranking and spiritual advisers at that time) by birth, one becomes an outcast or Brahmin only by deed." If someone can maintain five precepts: abstaining from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying and taking intoxicant alcohol and dangerous drugs, he is the higher-ranking person. Whosoever is not maintaining those five precepts then that person is the outcast (Vasala) and not those who are born in specific families and labeled as outcasts.


M: Why are there images of Buddha that look so differently?


BM: When different countries created images of Buddha, the basic structure was similar because it was derived from the history of Buddhism, pertaining specially to the figure of the living Buddha in different postures, such as sitting cross legged, looking down with half closed eyes with his hands resting gently on his lap. The latter is called. Samadhi Muddra (meditation posture), which is quite common and found everywhere. There are other different types of the Buddha's statues with walking posture, preaching posture and sleeping posture. Furthermore, you may have noticed also different looks in the Buddha's face. These differences are a result of the different cultural backgrounds in different countries. The images created by the artists follow the basic structure of the Buddha while the general features correspond to those of the local peoples' faces and the rest of the body. His compassionate looks tend to produce in us peace and calm within.


M: Do Buddhists worship the statue of Buddha?


BM: No! In his teachings Buddha has clearly stated not to worship him. We use the statue as a symbol of virtue and morality. All religions use symbols to express various concepts. In Christianity the presence of the cross is used to symbolize his sacrifice. In Sikhism, the sword is used to symbolize spiritual struggle. We do not worship the statue of Buddha. But we admire his virtues and the associated practices may tend to look like worshipping him. There are many such virtues as loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic delight, equanimity, charity, generosity and patience. So we put Buddha's image in front of us and recall his great qualities into our mind, and also it is object of meditation.


M: Did the Buddha believe in a god or gods?


BM: Actually Buddhism does not go along with the concept of an absolute creator or god. Before Buddha's era, people used to worship many gods; people thought the natural objects such as mountain, water, sun, moon and other powerful people were taken to be gods; e.g. Indra and Prajapati were considered to be gods. Later the concept of multiple gods became part of their belief and it revised the concept of a single god. Then they began to believe that there was only one creator or god. Then the Maha Brahma concept arose. People then believed he was the only god who had executive powers. Buddha did not accept any of those concepts.


The Buddha said, "Many who are scared seek the protection of rocks, forests, trees, groves; seeking their refuge. No one can achieve liberation by beliefs only. By seeking their refuge, no one can overcome suffering" - (DP.II8). Buddha did declare the presence of the deities and other beings living at different levels of enlightenment. The deities are claimed to be some sort of living creatures operating at a higher state than humans. In his teachings the Buddha says that human beings can develop their minds to the maximum potential, because no other being can attain the higher levels of enlightenment and reach Nirvana (state of no rebirth and no suffering). Otherwise man creates heaven and hell himself through his own body and mind. The Buddha pointed out that you should beable to find your salvation by yourself.


M: What does the concept of Salvation mean in Buddhism?


BM: In Buddhism salvation means to gain one's liberation from recurring agony, disquieting mental pain, anguish, repeated rebirth, etc. Every human being is affected by these qualities and by practicing Sila (morality), Samadhi (meditation) and Pañña (the knowledge gaining insight) is only way to liberate from the sufferings. Salvation may be obtained by each individual through the practice of morality, meditation and wisdom. An outsider cannot take someone into Nirvana, where there is ultimate happiness. A teacher is able to show the path to salvation, but the individual has to follow the required path. Similarly if someone wants to swim, that individual has to train and practice in a swimming pool.


M: What does Buddhism mean to you?


BM: Buddhism is a way of life to me. It is a very simple way of living. Easily I can be satisfied with whatever I get, and I expect to do some service to others. I don't harm others intentionally, I respect  others and live very peacefully. Those are some benefits I get by practicing Buddhism.


M: Do you have dietary restrictions?


BM: Yes! I take 2 meals a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, I take only liquids such as soft drinks, milk and water in the afternoon. I depend entirely upon food offered to me by others. I am expected to take any foods offer to me; I generally get vegetables, but rarely devotees offer non-vegetarian foods. I am obligated to eat any foods given to me and should not refuse anything given to me. According to the Buddha's teaching, the only foods we can refuse are animal derivatives, where the animal has been intentionally killed to provide material specifically for our consumption.


M: Do Buddhist pay tithes?


BM: No! Buddhists are not compelled to offer any amount of money or help in other ways. All contributions towards the temple are voluntary. If there are special needs such as capital expenditure for construction and other maintenance work, then the devotees provide them voluntarily. The existence of the temple is met exclusively by voluntary


efforts of its devotees.


M: Is it difficult to practice Buddhism in America?


BM: No! Buddhism is derived from what happens in nature. The ordinary happenings and the other apparent aspect of nature have been critically analyzed to derive its conclusion. Therefore it is not difficult for anybody to practice wherever they are.


If we maintain its simplicity, then it is not a hard to practice Buddhism in America. However if we are looking for more worldly pleasure and joy, which incidentally are considered to be transient, they lead to pain and suffering. If anyone is after transient qualities, though pleasurable, such acts make it difficult to practice Buddhism anywhere. The main purpose of Buddhism has been to find out the consequences of adherent to transient and pleasurable activities.


Even in the USA we wear our regular robes and go from place to place and state to state as part of our services. Incidentally, passers-by look at us as being strange and sometimes ask questions. I have had some funny experiences though. Once when I was living in Los Angeles, I was walking down the street and a Mexican gentleman asked me, "Hey man! Why are you wearing a blanket?" I laughed and briefly explained to him that this blanket was my robe. Usually when people ask questions like that I don't go into detail about who I am and what I practice.


M: What is the significance of the color of your robe?


BM: We actually wear brown, orange or yellow. The color helps us to remember the season of autumn. The falling down of leaves and changing color of the leaves in Autumn indicate the impermanence of life and all other things, living and non living, which we naturally assumed to be permanent. Similarly, a beautiful red flower one day becomes brown or exhibits other fading shades and then becomes a dying object. No one is able to prevent these changes by any means. Similarly and also shown scientifically day after day all things are changing and nobody can stop such change, which is a good indication of impermanence.


Buddha said there are three characteristics of the life. The first is 'Anicca,' meaning impermanence; everything on this earth is changing continuously. The second is 'Dukkha,' meaning suffering such as birth of a child, getting old, becoming sick, etc. The third is 'Anatta,' meaning no-self or absence of a true self entity. The conditions in life are always changing and are in a transitory state. Therefore neither living beings nor physical objects can be considered to be permanent.


M: What Does Buddhism offer to the world?


BM: Buddhism offers much to the world: peace, happiness, living without fear and worry, being compassionate to every living beings, not harming any living things including plants (e.g. unnecessarily cutting down and destroying plants are also unwholesome acts), expression of love and kindness to every individual; also encouraging people to abstaining from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, and taking intoxicant alcohol. If the people were to observe the previous five precepts, most of the unwholesome acts or evil behavior will disappear. For a start, we can gain peace and happiness by practicing the five precepts.


Only through special type of meditation discovered by the Buddha can Buddhism offer


solutions to human problems. It can help to eliminate greed, hatred and delusions (misinterpretation of things and of acts presumed to be wholesome at the common level of the mind's operations). By practicing meditation one can gain peace, calmness, happiness, humbleness, selflessness and elimination of egotism.


During the early stage of meditation one must set aside a certain specific time so as to calm one's mind. During this special time once must look into one's mind and notice what comes and goes into and out of it. Then one can critically analyze the subject matter. Over a period of many sessions, one discards harmful unwholesome thoughts, retains and fosters good wholesome thoughts and ignores those which have neither of the other two qualities. Through this demanding process of training of the mind and gradually improving it in stages, one will be able to extend the practice of meditation to all times, even while having a conversation, washing dishes, etc.


However when one is doing risky acts like driving or using tools one should be mindful only on the subject concerned and nothing else. This is referred to as full awareness or mindfulness, which was introduced by the Buddha. The development of mindfulness is the ability to focus on what one is doing. If one has no training in concentration to be mindful, as explained above, then it is difficult to pay attention to what is really happening at that specific moment. We start the meditation process using the breath as the tool to stay with the present moment. At our Vihara we have meditation practice for beginners and advanced meditation every Saturday afternoon. 


M: Are there different Sects of Buddhism'?


BM: Partly yes, partly no, because there are some differences in the modes of practice to suite various cultures and localities. We of course meet and mix very well and support each other. Similarly, the following analogy illustrates the point.


There are many different rivers, some famous and others not so famous, some wide and


some narrow, some beautiful with huge waterfalls and others without. But the water of all rivers flows to end in the Ocean. Then the river waters mix with the salt water to give the single taste of salt.


Similarly, in Buddhism, Theravada, Mahayana, Zen, Vajrayana, etc., are sects of Buddhism, but all of them abide by the same primary fundamentally Buddhist way of life. As the taste of the multiple river-water in the ocean became the single salty taste, the fundamental practice of Buddhism in the various sects is similar. Thus the fruits of the Buddhism from different sects impart the same expression of calmness, of loving kindness, of joy and of peacefulness and ultimately lead to the same attainment of Nibbbana  (the ultimate eternal happiness).


Published in the March and November 2002 issues of ‘The Message – North America’s only Multi Faith Newspaper.’ P.O. Box 1322, Powder Springs, Atlanta, GA 30127 – Tel: (678) 363 6190


 

 

Thursday, May 16, 2013


Georgia Buddhist Vihara Wesak, the Triple Anniversary Program, Will Be Observed On Sunday, May 26, 2013




The Georgia Buddhist Vihara wishes you a happy and peaceful Wesak!.

Wesak full moon day has for centuries been regarded as the Buddha Day. For it was on a Wesak full moon day that three major events occurred in the life of the Sakyan prince, Siddhartha Gautama.   On the Wesak full moon day Siddhartha Gautama was born in Lumbini Park on the Nepal frontier; on this day Prince Siddhartha became the Buddha by attaining Enlightenment under the Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya; and, finally, the the Buddha passed away near Kushinagara.  For this reason, Buddhists from all over the world celebrate with whole-hearted devotion the Triple Anniversary Day of Wesak. For the true follower of the Buddha and the Buddhist path, there is no greater day than Wesak poya which symbolizes peace, love, and piety.

This year, the Georgia Buddhist Vihara’s Wesak program will consist of various opportunities for devotees to attend and participate in this great day of auspiciousness.  Participants will have the opportunity to make Wesak lanterns, Sunday school children and community elders will perform traditional devotional songs, an award ceremony for Sunday school children, and the offering of dinner for participants (dansala).  Participants will have the opportunity to observe the eight precepts (Sil) as part of the Wesak program from 7:30am till 5:00 pm.  All participants are welcome and encouraged to be on time.



Wesak Program (Sunday, May 26)


07.30 amObservance of the Eight Precepts Observation (Sil), Buddha Puja and Heel Dana
08.30 amBreak for Tea/Coffee
09.00 amVipassana/Mindfulness Meditation guided by Bhante Wajirabuddhi Thera
10.00 amObservance of the Sil for children. Children will observe the Eight Precepts until 2 pm.
11.00 amBuddha Puja
11.20 amDana offering to the monks and those who observe Sil. Parents and other devotees will contribute dishes for the Dana. If you would like to contribute for the Dana, please follow the link to signup.http://www.gavihara.org/vesak13/signup.html
12.00 pmLunch for all program participants
01.45 pmTermination of Sil for Children
01:00 pmAbhidhamma teaching by Dr. Deeptha Jayaratne
02.30 pmBreak
02.45 pmGroup Dhamma Discussion by Bhante Wajirabodhi and Bhante Wajirakitti Theras (There will be a separate discussion for children and youth.)
04.00 pmTermination of Sil for adults,   Atavisi Buddha Puja, Pirith chanting, Dhamma talks.
05.00 pm Atavisi Buddha Puja to invoke blessings on  Tamara Jayatilake
6.00 pmCommencement of Bakthi gee and award ceremony
Speech by Ven.Panamwela Wajirabuddhi
Distribution of Awards to the Dhamma school children
Sadhu sadhu kiya Bakthi geetha from the youngest group of children in Daham pasala
Dam suwandai Bakthi geetha performed by The whole  primary class
Ven Wajirabodhi’s class presenting Bakthi geetha
Pearl Vidanage's Budhu bathi gee
Kusum pipeela song sung by the parents of Daham pasala
Danno budunge song performed by parents, Daminda's presentation
Selecting the best made Kudu (creativity effort, Kudu competition)
Dansala:  Providing dinner for all participants.








Sabbe sattā bhavantu sukhitattā!

May all beings have happy minds!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013



Bak Full Moon Poya  Program and  Dhamma class will be held on on Sunday, April 28 , 2013, from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm at the Georgia Buddhist Vihara.  We invite you all to join the program.


MORNING PROGRAM


7:30am – 8:30am: Observance of the eight Precepts, Buddha Puja and Heel Dana.

8:30am – 9:00am: Tea & coffee break

9:00am – 10: 00am: Vipassana Meditation.

10:00am-11-am:  Sutra Discussion; Cula Gopalaka  Sutta: The Shorter Discourse on the Cowherd (English)

11:20am – 12:00 Noon: Dana offering to the monks and those who observe eight precepts. For more information please feel free to contact the Vihara at 770-987-8442.)

AFTERNOON PROGRAM

12:00Noon – 1:00pm Luncheon

1:00 – 4:30 pm Discussion will be base on Abhidhamma by Dr. Deepta Jayaratne

1:30-4:00pm  Dhamma Class

2:30 – 2:45pm: Break.

5:30 pm:  Termination of the Sil Gilanpasa Pujava

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Upcoming Event: Wesak


Dear all,
Daham Pasala will be held on Sunday April the 28th. We hope that everyone attends. After Daham Pasala we will have a meeting to discuss the plans for Vesak Day Celebrations. Vesak is a very important day in Buddhism as we all know. It is important to remember and celebrate this festive day with traditional religious and cultural activities. We hope that everyone will take part and contribute to the activities by offering their ideas and support.

The current planned activities are:
-Hopper stall
Devotees will make hoppers to earn proceeds to support Georgia Buddhist Vihara. Please come and enjoy this delicious treat and support our values.

-Dan sala 

Sila Campaign
Bakthi geetha-Primary Daham pasala children have already been given the song and we plan to practice it on the 28th.Please encourage your child to memorize it. The Older kids will be trained by  Daminda and Sumudu Manamendra.It would be nice to have a parent Bakthi Geetha group as well.


Vesak latern(kudu) making and competition
We hope that everyone builds a Vesak Kudu. Please encourage the entire family to add to the creativity. Use the Vesak kudu as a family activity and build and decorate it to represent the family and share the beauty and brightness of light with everyone by bringing in the finished lantern to the temple to illuminate. Please join  by participating in a friendly competition afterwards. A contest will be held to pick the best one and the winner will be awarded a small prize.

Hope to see you all with your contribution of ideas and support to make this event a success,

Sudanthi

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


I heard thus. 
At one time the Blessed One was living in the monastery offered by Anaathapindika in Jeta’s grove in Saavatthi. At that time the brahmin householders of Veranjaka were resident in Saavatthi, having come to Saavatthi on some purpose. They heard that .the good recluse Gotama, the son of the Sakyas, who had gone forth from the clan of the Sakyas was abiding in the monastery offered by Anaathapindika in Jeta’s grove in Saavatthi. Such fame had spread about him, the Blessed One is perfect, rightfully enlightened, endowed with knowledge and conduct, is well gone. He is knower of worlds, and is the incomparable tamer of those to be tamed. He is Teacher of gods and men, is enlightened and blessed. To this world of gods and men, together with its Maaras, Brahmaas, the community of recluses, brahmins, gods and men, he declares a teaching by himself known and realised. It is good at the beginning, in the middle and at the end. It is full of meaning even in the letters and proclaims the pure and complete, holy life.It is good to see such noble ones. Then the brahmin householders of Veranja approached the Blessed One. Some worshipped the Blessed One, some exchanged friendly greetings with the Blessed One, some clasped hands towards the Blessed One, some announced their clan and name, and some were silent. They all sat on a side. Then those brahmin householders said thus to the Blessed One: Good Gotama, why do some beings go to loss, to hell after death and why do some others go to increase and be born in heaven, after death? O! householders, owing to misbehaving and not living according to the Teaching some go to loss go to hell and others conducting themselves well and living according to the Teaching go to increase and are born in heaven, after death..We do not understand this short exposition of good Gotama. Good if this short exposition be explained to us. The Blessed One said, then householders listen and attend carefully I will explain..
O! householders, threefold is wrong conduct by body, fourfold is wrong conduct by words, and threefold is wrong conduct by mind. Householders, what is the threefold bodily wrong conduct?. Here, a certain one is cruel, destroys living things, is with bloody hands. Engaged in destroying living things without compassion. From village or forest takes others’ possessions stealthily. Takes what is not given. .Misbehaves in sexuality, misbehaving with those protected by father, mother, mother and father, by brother, sister, relations, with those with a husband, becoming liable to punishment, or even those garlanded and made to promise. Householders this is the threefold bodily wrong conduct.Householders, what is the fourfold verbal wrong conduct? Here, householders, a certain one tells lies, in an assembly, at a gathering, amidst relations, gone to the guild, or in the presence of the royal family. Called upon to stand witness and asked to tell what he knows, not knowing would say I know. Knowing would say I do not know. Not seeing would say I saw, seeing would say, I did not see. Thus for his benefit, for another’s benefit, or for some small gain he would tell lies with awareness. Would slander, hearing here would tell it elsewhere to make a split here. Hearing elsewhere would tell it here to make a split there. Thus he disunites the united, fond of disuniting talks words to disunite.Would talk roughly, saying insolent words that are sharp and cursing. Words bordering on anger and not conductive to concentration. Would say frivolous, untimely, untruthful words, not in keeping with the Teaching and the discipline. Words that could not be treasured. Householders, this is the fourfold verbal wrong conduct. Householders, what is the threefold mental wrong conduct? Here, householders, one covets* others’ possessions, thinks may those things be mine. Is angry with a defiled mind, thinks may they come to destruction and not exist. Is with wrong, perverted view that there are no results for a gift and sacrfice. There are no results for pure and impure actions. There is no this world, no other world, no mother, father, no spontaneously arisen beings and no recluses and brahmins who have come to the right path and by themselves realising declare this world and the other world. Householders, this is the threefold mental wrong conduct O! householders, on account of this wrong conduct and not living in accordance with the Teaching, a certain one after death is born in loss and go to hell*1).
O! householders, right conduct by body is threefold, by words fourfold and by mind threefold. Householders, what is the threefold right bodily conduct? Here, a certain one abstains from destroying living things, throwing away stick and weapon ashamed abides compassionate to all living things In village or forest does not take what is not given, the possessions of others. Does not misbehave in sexuality, not misbehaving with those protected by father, mother, mother and father, brother, sister, relations, or with those with a husband, becoming liable to punishment, or even those garlanded and made to promise. Householders this is the threefold right conduct by body. Householders, what is the fourfold right conduct by words?. Here, householders, a certain one does not tell lies. In an assembly, a gathering, in the midst of relations, gone to the guild, or in the presence of the royal family, called upon to stand witness, when asked to tell what he knows, not knowing would say, I do not know. Knowing would say I know. Not seeing would say I did not see, and seeing would say, I saw. Thus for his own good or for another’s or for some small gain he would not tell lies with awareness. Would not slander, hearing here would not tell it elsewhere to make a split here. Hearing elsewhere would not tell it here to make a split there. Thus does not disunite the united, fond of uniting would talk words to unite. Would not talk roughly, saying polite loving words going straight to the heart, words pleasing to the populace at large. Not talking frivolously, would talk words that are timely, truthful and in accordance with the Teaching and the discipline. Words that could be treasured. Householders, this is the fourfold right conduct in words. Householders, what is the threefold mental good conduct? Here, householders, one does not covet others’ possessions, thinking may they be mine. Is not angry and not with a defiled mind, thinking may these beings be well and happy. Is with right view not perverted. There are results for a gift and sacrifice There are results for pure and impure actions. There is this world, and the other world There is mother, father, and spontaneously arisen beings. In this world there are recluses and brahmins who have come to the right path and by themselves realising declare this world and the other world. Householders, this is the threefold mental right conduct. On account of this right conduct and living according to the Teaching, a certain one after death is born in increase in heaven.
Householders, if someone living in right conduct, according to the Teaching, were to wish, may I be born with the warrior householders after death, there is a possibility that he will be born with the warrior householders, after death. What is the reason: It happens to him living in right conduct, according to the Teaching.. –may I be born with the brahmin householders after death,--with the householder stock after death, There is a possibility, that he will be born with the householder stock after death. .Householders, if someone living in right conduct, according to the Teaching, were to wish, may I be born with the retinue of the protecting gods – with the retinue of the gods of the thirty three,--with the Yaama gods,--with the gods of happiness, --with the gods attached to creating, -- with the gods attached to creating others, with gods holding brahma bodies, -- with the gods of lustre,--with gods of limited lustre,--with gods of limitless lustre,--with the radiant gods,-- with the gods of pleasantness,--with the gods of limited pleasantness,-- with the gods of limitless pleasantness,--with the gods full of happiness,--with the gods wielding power in space,--with the gods of non-destruction, --with the dissatisfied gods,--with the gods with insight,--with the gods of the highest heaven,--with the retinue of gods, in the sphere of space, in the sphere of consciousness, in the sphere of neither -perception -nor -non -perception, after death, there is a possibility, that they will be born, with the retinue of the gods in the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non- perception. What is the reason. It happens to those living in right conduct, according to the Teaching. If someone living in right conduct according to the Teaching were to wish, may I destroying desires, the mind released and released through wisdom, here and now realise and abide, there is a possibility that he should, destroying desires, the mind released and released through wisdom, here and now will realise and abide. What is the reason: It happens to those living in right conduct.
When this was said, the brahmin householders of Saalaa said thus to the Blessed One. Now we understand venerable sir. It is as though good Gotama has reinstated something that was over turned. Made manifest something that was covered. As though the path was told to those who have lost their way. As though an oil lamp was lighted for those who have sight to see forms. Thus in many ways the Teaching is explained. Now we take refuge in good Gotama, in the Teaching and the Community of bhikkhus. We are disciples who have taken refuge in good Gotama, from today until life lasts.

Friday, March 15, 2013




Brothers and sisters in the Dhamma....

I hope this message finds each of you doing well. I am writing on behalf of the Georgia Buddhist Vihara to invite you to the next vipassana (mindfulness) meditation retreat and noble day of silence on Saturday, March 30, 2013 from 7:30am to 5pm.  This monthly one-day meditation retreat will held at the Georgia Buddhist Vihara(3153 Miller Road, Lithonia, GA 30038).  For this retreat, all meditation instructions and discussions will be conducted in English. This retreat is open to everyone....those who are new to meditation as well as those who are experienced meditators.

Below is a tentative schedule of the day's events:

MORNING PROGRAM

7:15 am - Arrive at the vihara and prepare the space for breakfast.

7:30 am – 8:00 am: Observance of Refuge and the Eight Precepts, Buddha Puja ("offerings"), and traditional Buddhist chanting in Pali (with English translations).

8:00 am – 9:00 am: Breakfast (self-service) and clean-up

9:00 am – 10:00 am: Guided meditation instruction and vipassana meditation

10:00 am – 10:15 am: Break

10:15 am – 11:00 am: Metta ("Loving-Friendliness") meditation

11:00 am - 11:30 am: Preparing lunch & Buddha Puja/chanting

11:30 pm – 12:30 pm:  Lunch (self-service) & cleaning up after lunch

AFTERNOON PROGRAM
12:30 pm - 1:00pm: Personal reflection

1:00 pm – 1:30 pm: Walking meditation

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm: Vipassana meditation

2:30 pm - 3:00 pm: Break (coffee/tea) & personal reflection/reading

3:00 pm – 4:30 pm: Sutta Discussion. We will continue our study of the Buddha's teachings found in the Majjhima Nikaya ("Middle Length Discourses") by discussing the Alagaddupama Sutta: The Snake Simile Discourse (Majjhima Nikaya #22). You can find a translation of the text at the Access To Insight website by following this link: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.022.nypo.html Please print out a copy of the sutta and bring it to the Dhamma discussion.

4:30 pm - 5:00 pm:  Observance of the Five Precepts and Termination of the Eight Precepts, Buddha Puja, and concluding chanting/dedication of merit.

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PLEASE NOTE:

Participants are asked to bring two (2) food items, (1) a light breakfast food (e.g., fruits, bagels, etc.) and (2) a lunch dish (preferably vegetarian) to share with the resident monks and the retreat participants as a form of dana ("offering").  It is also customary to bring flowers, candles, or incense to place on the shrine as an offering. It is customary to wear white clothing when observing the Eight Precepts, though this is not a requirement for attendance.

During this special time, please consider making a monetary donation to the vihara as a form of dana (an offering that generates positive merits/kamma) so that we can continue to support the monks who make the teachings available to us and to keep the vihara open so that all people are able to practice and learn about the Dhamma (the Buddha's teachings).

I look forward to seeing you on Saturday, March 30 at the vihara.  I would ask that you RSVP (by email) in order to let us know that you will be joining us so we can adequately prepare for those who will be participating in the retreat. To confirm that you are planning on attending the retreat or if you have questions about our program, please feel free to contact me by email (justinhowell2112@gmail.com)


I hope that you will be able to join us for this day of quiet contemplation, meditation, and sutta study.  If you are unable to make this retreat, please know that we will be having regular, day-long vipassana retreats once a month throughout the year. Additionally, I would like to encourage you to join us for meditation, sutta study, and Dhamma discussion on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.  

May you, your friends, and family members be well, happy, and peaceful……

Justin Howell

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Justin Howell
Cell phone: 404.375.0264

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