Poya Program and Two-day Retreat on November 16th & 17th

Dear friends of GBV,



We are organizing a two-day retreat for the November Poya Program (Il Poya) with Bhante Thapovanaye Sutadhara from Ventura Buddhist Society, California.  We invite all devotees to attend this two-day retreat conducted by this very knowledgable monk and reap benefits. We will also have a kids program on Sunday, November 17th in place of the dhamma school.

Please take your breakfast prior to arrival at the Vihara.  Venerable Bhanthes will have their breakfast early in order to start the program on time.  Saturday program will be conducted in Sinhalese. The Sunday program will be conducted in English. Kids Program is from 2:00 p.m to 5:00 p.m.

Please note that there will be only Bhante Sutadhara who will be at the Vihara on Sunday as the other three monks have to leave for another event.


Schedule (Saturday, November 16th)
Time Event
8:30 am Observance of Eight Precepts and/or Five Precepts and
start of Noble Silence other than for Dhamma discussions and questions
8:45 am Dhamma sermon
10:00 am Break
10:15 am Meditation
10:45 am Buddha Pooja
11:00 am Dana offering to the Bhantes and
those who observed eight precepts and Lunch Break
12:30 pm Discussion on Benefits of Metta Meditation
1:00 pm Metta Meditation in practice
1:30 pm Sermon on mindfulness and its benefits
2:00 pm Vidharshana Meditation
3:00 pm Tea Break
3:30 pm Walking Meditation
4:00 pm Dhamma Discussion by a venerable Bhanthe
5:00 pm Observing the five precepts for those who want to and punnyanumodana

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Schedule (Sunday, November, 17th)
Time Event
The schedule will be the same as Saturday until 12:30 p.m.
12:30 pm Sutra Discussion on Dependent Origination.
2:00 pm Kids Program with a discussion on kindness to oneself, family and others.
3:00 pm Break
3:30 pm Metta Meditation for kids
4:00 pm Discussion on Refraining from harmful actions for oneself and others and
the benefits of Seela (virtue, moral discipline) in the long run.
4:30 pm Mindfulness Meditation
5:00 pm Five precepts and Punnyanumodana (Sharing of Merits)

We are kindly asking kids to not bring any electronic devices (cell phones, video games, etc.)  to keep the distractions to a minimum.

May the Triple Gem bless you all.

Bhante Wajirabuddhi,
Ajith & Shyamalie Wijeratne (the Sponsors and Organizers of the event)

Exploring Buddhism with abbot of GA Buddhist Vihara


Katina Ceremony - October 13th, 2019 (Sunday)



Dear Devotees and Friends of Georgia Buddhist Vihara,

We would like to extend a warm invitation to all of you to participate for the upcoming Katina ceremony and all the events at Georgia Buddhist Vihara as scheduled for 12th (Mahapirith followed by Dammachakkapawathwana Suthra Deshena) and 13th (Katina ceremony) of October 2019.

We encourage all of you to participate for these events with your fullest potential and gain as much as merits to all of your lives.

Saturday, October 12, 2019 - Mahapirith 
3.00 pm - 4.00 pm - Refreshments
4.00 pm - 4.30 pm - Evening Buddha Pooja
4.30 pm - 6.30 pm  - Mahapirith and Dammachakka Suthra Deshana
6.30 pm - End of the program.

Sunday, October 13, 2019 - Katina Ceremony
5.30 am - 6.00 am   - Bringing the Katina Cheewara to the temple and handing over to Mahasanga
7.00 am - 7.30 am   - Morning Buddha pooja
7.30 am - 8.15 am   - Offering Heel dana to Mahasanga
8.30 am - 9.45 am   - Dhamma Discussion
10.00 am - 10.30 am - Pindapatha pooja-Offering needy items to Mahasanga
10.45 am - 11.15 am - (Dahawal) Buddha Pooja
11.15 am - 12.00 pm -  Offering Dana to Mahasanga
12.00 pm - 1.30 pm  - Luncheon
1.45 pm onwards     - Katina Ceremony-Welcome speech
                                Offering the Katina Cheewara to Mahasanga
                                Offering Pirikara to Mahasanga
                                Vote of thanks-Pinanumodana
                                Katina Anisansa Dharma Deshana
                                Evening Buddha Pooja
                                End of the Pinkama

Please use the following link to find the information to sign up for all the Buddha Poojas and other items for both days.



We truly appreciate your generous contribution to make this meritorious event (Kusala Karma) a success.

All are welcome.

Theruwan Saranai,

With Metta,

Bhante Panamwela Wajirabuddhi
and Ranga/Ayesha Jayasinghe Family (Sponsors 2019 Katina GBV)

Mihini Senanayka

The Retreat
Before the retreat, I wondered, what will the retreat be like? I realized
that the retreat would be a challenge for me because I don’t wake up that
early. I was a bit nervous about writing a journal because the hardest thing
was being truthful. I’m really excited and nervous but I think this will be a
fun, good experience.
Day 1: July 29, 2019
This morning we lit the candles in the shrine room. It was really calm.
When we did the meditation and gathas, my mind couldn’t stay in one
place. I couldn’t hear what the Bhante was saying. To keep my mind in one
place I focused on what Bhante was saying and everything settled down.
As I was listening, Bhante said, “We must work on our imperfections and
learn to fix them as soon as you see them arise.” We also observed the 10
precepts instead of the normal 5. When these 10 precepts were stated, I
realized I have broken some of them and will try not to in the future. After
the long day, we went to sleep. I thought sleeping on the ground would be a
problem. When you don’t think about it, you will fall to sleep quickly. Lights
out!
Day 2: July 30, 2019
Today we woke up really early. We all got dressed in our clothes
and brushed our teeth. Then we drank tea. We lit the candles in the dark
and did the meditation. It was calming and helped me stay awake.
Yesterday, my mind couldn’t stay awake because I wasn’t focusing my
mind into meditation. Now I feel improved on making my mind stable
and focused. I also remembered what Loku Hamuduruwo was saying the
other day. Loku Hamuduruwo was talking about the immediate benefits of
meditation, I put my heart into it and it actually worked! Abhidhamma today
was very interesting. Deeptha Uncle said that knowing a tomato is a fruit is
a knowledge. He also said that knowing not to put a tomato in a salad is
wisdom. It was really logical to me. I also realized there is a lot to learn
about in dhamma.
Day 3: July 31, 2019
The retreat went so fast! I learned a lot and can’t wait to tell my
parents and siblings about it! We ate breakfast and did the Buddha pooja.
After that, we did a little bit of walking meditation. My feet didn’t hurt
because I do gymnastics and I do all sorts of things to my feet. After we did
the mindful working, we went to a Vietnamese temple. We met a really cute
little boy named Rylie and saw the most beautiful peacocks ever. Soon, a

The Retreat
nun greeted us in the sweetest way. We learned that the future Buddha
would be the laughing Buddha and the Bodhisattvas. What’s different is
that they recite things in Vietnamese, not Pali. All these things at the retreat
I learned was really interesting. We went to the temple and recited gathas
to our parents. I gave a special thanks to my mom and dad for encouraging
me to make my dreams come true. This year’s retreat was fun and had lots
of things for me to learn. Next year, I am totally going to the retreat.

My Path Towards Nirvana


Day 1
Today was a very exciting day for me because I will be getting
ordained. My family and I were going to the Burmese temple for
Thaththi and I to get ordained. When we arrived at the temple, we saw
that many more people were going to be ordained as well. That made
me feel slightly more comfortable about becoming a novice monk. The
ordination ceremony was longer than what we thought it was going to
be, especially because all the novice monks had to dress up as
Burmese princes. The people shaving our heads also ended up
cutting our heads a few times. We also had to shower using a garden
hose, which felt extremely uncomfortable. After the novice ordination
ceremony was over, me (now as Bhante Paññāloka) and Thaththi
(now as Bhante Deepāloka) ate lunch as an alms round in the alms
bowls. Eating in the alms bowl was like eating in an actual bowl, and it
felt much more normal than I thought. After lunch, the higher
ordination ceremony took place, but we weren’t allowed to be there.
Before leaving, we were offered essential items and toiletries.
Afterward, we went back to the Our temple to perform evening pooja
and go to sleep.
Day 2
Bhante Deepāloka woke me up this morning at 5:50 to get up
and taught me how to put on my robes. Disappointingly, I wasn’t able
to fully understand his directions and needed someone else’s help for
me to put them on. He then told me that I needed to learn 3 sutras for
the Buddha pooja: Mangala Sutra, Ratana Sutra, and Karaniya Metta
Sutra. He told me in the meantime I could use a recitals book to read
it. Breakfast was very normal, as we served ourselves normal food in
regular plates. It turns out that we don’t need to always eat in an alms
bowl. Knowing this, I felt a bit more comfortable overall being here.
After breakfast, I expected to do some meditation, but instead the
Bhantes gave us a choice to read, study, meditate, etc. I ended up
reading multiple Dhammapada verses until lunch. After eating lunch,
I went back to reading in the shrine room until the evening pooja.

My Path Towards Nirvana

Day 3
Bhante Deepāloka woke me up again, but I didn’t actually get up
until 6:10. I was still able to get ready in time for the morning pooja.
Today’s breakfast had paratha and dal, so I ate that for all of
the breakfast. In the library, I ended up finding a book on jātaka stories
with multiple volumes. For some reason, volume 1 was missing, so I
grabbed volume 2 for me to read. The book translated all of the pāli
words into English, including all of the names. I found most of the
characters’ names very strange, like Delightful, Good speaker, etc.
Later in the day, Bhante Deepankara gave a few Dhammapada
stanzas for me to read. I wasn’t able to read them fully, but I still was
able to remember most of the stanzas he gave me. Bhante Deepāloka
came into the shrine room and saw my sleeping bag was still out, so
he taught me how to fold up my sleeping bag. I thanked him as he
went to the other side of the room and started reading on a small
chair. Today, Santhushi and her family came over to offer dana. After
offering dana, Santhushi and Damsas asked me some questions
about how it was like being a novice monk. Damsas then found a book
in the library and pointed it out to Bhante Deepāloka, saying that it
was a book he read about the life of Buddha and his teachings. After
examining it and showing it to me, Bhante Deepāloka said that it was
a good idea to use in next year’s dhamma school. After they left, I
went back to reading in the shrine room until the evening, when we did
the evening pooja, showering, and going to sleep. Strangely, I found
multiple spiders in the shower, as they built their webs there as
permanent residences.
Day 4
Again, Bhante Deepāloka woke me up and I got ready for the
morning pooja as normal. After breakfast, I started reading some
jātaka stories when I realized that I had run out of jātaka stories in
volume 2. When I went to go get the next volume, Bhante Deepankara
gave me a few more verses to memorize. He also said that I could

My Path Towards Nirvana
utilizes these verses in a dharma discussion tomorrow. Realizing that
there was a Dharma discussion tomorrow, I decided to study these
verses especially hard. I studied and read until the evening pooja, and
followed the schedule from there.

Day 5
Today is a very special day, which was very exciting for me. The
reason why is because today was the day when Thai was becoming
ordained, and the retreat kids (plus some new ones) are coming as
well. Sadly, today was also the last day that Bhante Deepāloka was
staying as a monk, During breakfast, I accidentally picked an overripe
strawberry, and Bhante Wajiribuddhi told me that just as I need to pick
the best strawberry from the worst, I need to pick the best friends from
the worst. I found it very nice that he was able to give advice with a
strawberry. Later, after lunch, Thai came over to the temple to get
ordained. The ordination technique for him was much different than at
the Burmese temple. He shaved his head without being cut and took a
shower in the bathroom. He then got dressed in the robes and started
reciting the permission to get monk-hood. When the retreat children
came, they were very intrigued to find me and Bhante Saddhāloka
(Thai) as novice monks. The uncles and aunties came upstairs and
offered us gilanpasa. After that, everyone went to the shrine room for
some of them to “retreat from sensual pleasures”. They ended up
taking the same 10 precepts that novice monks had to take instead
of the normal 8. Bhante Wajiribuddhi then pointed us to the crowd and
said, “These 2 novice monks have become ordained after attending a
retreat, so I am very excited to see how many monks will be ordained
next year.” After the pooja, Bhante Wajiribuddhi invited me to do a
dharma talk. I was anxious about giving a dharma talk, but I eventually came
to a topic on why we are here. I told all the participants that they were
here because of the fact that this was a great opportunity for them to
learn to practice dharma. I then pointed out that if they wanted to,
they could have refused the retreat, but they decided to make the
choice themselves to join the retreat. After the talk, everyone
unpacked their things and went to sleep.

My Path Towards Nirvana

Day 6-8 (Retreat)
Day 9
After the retreat ended (with Deshan staying for 4 more days),
we went along with our normal routine. After the pooja, breakfast was
slightly different. We sat at the front table (Deshan sitting on one of the
small ones) and ate in the alms bowl, like in the retreat. Though, after
breakfast, we went upstairs and started reading. A little while later,
Bhante Deepankara gave us three more verses for us to study and
remember. We studied that for the rest of the day, though we were
only able to remember 2 of them that day.
Day 10
Bhante Wajiribuddhi woke us up at around 6:30 AM, which felt
very strange to me because I was used to Bhante Deepāloka waking
me up at 6:00 AM. After we woke up and followed our normal morning
routine, Bhante Deepankara came in to check on our stanza progress.
We told him that we only got 2 stanzas complete, but that we would
have all 3 finished by today. He nodded and went out. A few hours
passed as we helped each other memorize the last stanza when I
looked out the window and saw the flowers. I noticed that some were
drooping. I decided to go outside, with Bhante Saddhāloka and
Deshan following close behind. I examined the soil and noticed it was
dry. We decided to water the plants for today because of how hot it
was. After that, we decided to start reading. While we were reading,
we noticed some cars starting to come in. We checked outside to find
that it was the construction people and some of the uncles coming to
construct the patio. Bhante Wajiribuddhi came upstairs to tell us that
we were basically on “break” for the rest of the day.
Day 11
Today, I woke up the latest, which ended up making me later
than I would’ve wanted to be. I joined the pooja slightly late but was

My Path Towards Nirvana
still able to perform most of the morning routine normally. Bhante
Deepankara came back to us to see if we memorized the stanzas. We
recited them to him (and their meanings), and he was pleased. He
then told us that we should start trying to memorize some of the
sutras. He told us the sutras to start memorizing and we started to
memorize them. We also watered the plants again today.

Day 12
Today was the day that Deshan was leaving. The other Bhantes
figured this out when he said that he was going to be having dinner
tonight. When they realized this, they told him, “Well, your last lunch
here also has to be the best one as well.” Later, in the evening, all of
the construction crew came over, along with some of the parents as
well. Bhante Saddhāloka said that he was sad to see Deshan leave,
and wanted to say goodbye. No one left until midnight, and some
didn’t leave until 1:00 the next morning.
Day 13
With Deshan being gone, Bhante Saddhāloka said that it was
quite sad seeing Deshan leave, but said that we should just focus on
the sutras given to us to study. I agreed with him as we just focused
on our studies. Today, I decided to do walking meditation as well.
While I had previously done walking meditation, I wasn’t focused fully
on it until now, when I learned some new techniques. While walking
on the sand path, it started to rain. Knowing this, I decided to bring my
meditation inside to be able to continue. When I came back to the
library, I found Bhante Wajiribuddhi carrying a box. Being curious, me
and Bhante Saddhāloka asked him what it was for. He said that he
was donating some books to another temple. He then asked us if we
could help in putting some books in the box. We happily agreed and
did that for the rest of the evening.

My Path Towards Nirvana
Day 14
After following the normal schedule, I decided to work on Metta
meditation this time. I sat and meditated for a while before getting
back up and going back to the library. This evening, I was happy to
see my older sister coming over with Shanali and Sumudhu auntie
with the intention of doing the evening pooja with us. After the evening
pooja, we were tasked with giving the pirithnulas as well with Bhante
Deepankara. I didn’t know how to tie the strings properly, so the
strings got tangled within both themselves and the opposite ends. It
was honestly quite embarrassing. I also gave a dharma talk as well.
Afterward, they offered us gilanpasa and left.
Day 15
Today, after eating breakfast, we went to the Burmese temple
with Bhante Deepankara for a dharma talk. He had to give a simple
talk because of the fact that most people there were not older than the
age of 7 years. Afterward, the senior monk of the temple had asked
Bhante Deepankara for permission to keep me and Bhante
Saddhāloka for the evening. He said yes, and that he was picking us
up around 6:00. We spent the evening there watching meditation
videos and talking to 2 laymen about the different Buddhist cultures. I
enjoyed being exposed to different kinds of Buddhist cultures that I
hadn’t had known about previously.

Day 16
Today, we were woken up early because of the fact that today
we were going to a dana for in Tennessee. After eating breakfast, we
packed up our stuff and headed out for the dana. After sleeping for a
few extra hours on the way, I started to read about a new book that

My Path Towards Nirvana
Bhante Saddhāloka got me. I was very impressed with the amount of
detail listed in it. It was about the Buddha’s entire life and how he lived
before, during, and after the quest for enlightenment. When the
Buddha pooja was over, another guest monk started giving a dharma
talk. They had also mentioned that we were here for a graduation
ceremony. Afterward, they invited me to give a dharma talk as well. I
gave a dharma talk about anger. I also had mentioned that if they ever
get frustrated with college, they need to practice and cultivate loving-
kindness and compassion as well. After the dana. , we recited some
more pirith and blessed everyone there. Afterward, we left for our
temple.
After coming back from the dana, me and Bhante Saddhāloka
had realized that we were going back to our normal lay life. I was sad
to be leaving but was excited for the next year when we would be
coming back to become monks again. The valuable lesson I learned
during monkhood was mainly discipline. I learned that with proper
discipline, your life could become much more peaceful and spiritually
successful. I want to thank Bhante Manijothi for ordaining me and the
Burmese community for supporting me through my ordination. I also
want to thank Bhante Wajiribuddhi, Bhante Deepankara, and Bhante
Piyananda for teaching and guiding me with compassion and
patience, along with my family for encouraging me to pursue the path
towards monkhood. Finally, I want to thank all the uncles, aunties, and
my friends for giving dana and encouraging me to continue my path to
the fullest extent.
With all the merits I gained, I would like to share them with my
family, friends and whoever else would like to rejoice them with the
the intention of attaining Nirvana as they wish.

Special Poya Program by Bhante Bandarawela Seelawiweka of Virginia Beach Buddhist Temple - September 14 - 15, 2019


Binara Poya Program - Saturday September 14th, 2019


The Binara Poya will be observed on Saturday the September 14th-2019 from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm at Georgia Buddhist Vihara. A special poya program is going to be held by Venerable Bhante Bandarawela Seelawiweka of Virginia Beach Buddhist Temple.

Additionally, there will be two Dhamma sermons to be held on Sunday, 15th of September at 9.00 am - 10.30 am and 1.30 pm-3.00 pm.

We are anticipating to start the program on time at 8.30 am on September 14th, so please ensure to have breakfast by your own prior to coming to the program.

Binara Poya (Full moon day) commemorates the establishment of Bhikkuni Order (Admission of Nuns to the Buddhist Order) in Gautama Buddha Shasana.On the initiative of the Maha Prajapati Gotami, after many requests by her, the Buddha allowed the woman folk to enter the order.

The enlightened one laid down eight important rules and conditions called Garudharma, or Code of Conduct, the Bhikkunis (Nuns) were instructed strictly to follow them.

Morning Program

8:30 – 8:45 a.m.    Observance of the Eight Precepts
8:45 – 10:00 a.m.  Dhamma Sermon
10:00 –10:15 a.m. Break
10:15 –10:45 a.m. Bawana (Meditation)
10:45 –11:00  a.m. Buddha Pooja
11:00 a.m. –12:30 p.m.  Dana offering to the Bhantes and those who observe eight precepts and break

Afternoon Program

12:30 – 1:00 p.m. Reciting qualities of Buddha (Buduguna sajjayana)
1:00 – 3:00 p.m.   Dhamma Sermon
3:00 – 3:30 p.m.   Break
3:30 - 4.00 p.m.    Meditation (Vidarshana)
4.00 - 5.00 p.m     Dhamma Discussion
5.00- 5.30 pm       Punyanomodana

Participation Sign Up:





Dana Sign Up:
https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090c4aa9aa22a1ff2-invitation6




Atavisi Buddha Pooja - Vassana Season (July 16 - October 13, 2019)


Atavisi Buddha Pooja is offering obeisance to 28 past Buddhas including the present Gautama Buddha. This ancient devotional practice increases our affinity with infinite virtues of Buddhas and deepens and our commitment on the Path. Among all the venerations/worships, venerating Buddha is the greatest among all.




Aaloka Pooja - August 17th 2019, 7pm




Dear Friends in Dhamma,

We would like to extend a warm invitation to all the Devotees & friends of Georgia Buddhist Vihara to participate in the special candlelight offering (Aaloka Pooja) event on August 17th from 7 pm at Georgia Buddhist Vihara.

Agenda:

6.00 pm - 7 pm - Evening snack & Tea

7.30 pm - 9.00 pm - Buddha Pooja & Dhamma Deshana by Venerable Bhante Dhammaloka & Bhante Deepankara

9.00 pm - Lighting up the tea lights

9.30 pm - Dinner

Please find the following link to find more information & sign up (we truly appreciate your sign up in advance, as it facilitates arranging refreshments and organizing the event).




We hope to see you all at this great Meritorious event.

Thank you,
With Metta,

Rev. Banthe Wajirabuddhi -Georgia Buddhist Vihara
Ranga & Ayesha Jayasinghe Family (Host family- Katina 2019-Georgia Buddhist Vihara)

Nikini Poya Program- Saturday August 17th, 2019



Dear friends in Dhamma,

The Nikini Poya will be observed on Saturday the August 17th-2019 from 7.30 am to 6.00 pm at Georgia Buddhist Vihara.

Nikini Poya (Full moon day) commemorates the following significant events in Gautama Buddha Shasana.

Attainment of Arahatship by  Buddha’s chief attendant, reverend Ananda Maha Thera.
Conducting the first Dhamma Sangayana (the first Sangha Council) led by reverend Maha Kassapa Maharahathan wahanse with the sponsorship of King Ajasaththa at Saptaparni Cave in Rajagrha following three months of reverend Gauthama Buddhas passing by (Piriniwana).
Observing "Pasu Vas" or the commencement of the Vas period by those who had not started the period of rains retreat on the Esala Full Moon Day.
Giving advice on Meditation to the reverend Rahula Thero (the son of prince Siddharatha) by reverend Gauthama Buddha, preaching "Rahulovada Sutta" and attainment of Arahathship by reverend Rahula thero at the end of the discourse.

Morning Program

7:30 – 8:30 am - Observance of the Eight Precepts, Buddha Pooja.
Heel Dana (Sponsored by Nanda/Amarasinghe family & Duleeka/Prabath Kasthuriarachchi family)

8:30 – 9:45 am - Dhamma Sermon

9:45 –10:00 am - Break

10:00 –11:00 am - Bawana (Meditation) by venerable Banthe Panamwela Wajirabuddhi

11:00 –11:15 am - Buddha Pooja (Will start at 11.00 am)

11:30 –12:00 noon - Dana offering to the Bhantes and those who observe eight precepts (Sponsored by Ranga & Ayesha Jayasinghe family and friends)

12:00 –1:00 pm - Luncheon

Afternoon Program

1:00 – 3:45 pm - Sutra discussion by venerable Banthe Okkampitiye Deepankara

3:45 – 4:00 pm - Break

4:00 – 6:00 pm - Sutra Discussion Continued

6:00 pm - Termination of the Sil and Gilanpasa Pooja

We invite all the friends and Devotees of Georgia Buddhist Vihara to join the program.

Please sign up if you are planning to participate in order to facilitate the morning and dawal dana.


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