Katina Ceremony (October 8th, 2023)


Dear Devotees of Georgia Buddhist Vihara and Friends,

The Katina Ceremony of Georgia Buddhist Vihara 2023 will be held on October 8th. We warmly invite all of you to join us and participate in various meritorious deeds. We appreciate your generous support thus far in various ways during this Katina Season, and we are grateful if you could support us further to make this meritorious event a success. Below are the ways that we seek your support, and we hope you consider donating (dana) via the following signups.

Stupa Enshrining

For those who missed the enshrining ceremony of the stupa, there is the opportunity to donate any small items you wish to be enshrined until the Katina Day.

Shramadana/Volunteering (September 30th)

We are planning to have a shramadana in preparation of the Katina Ceremony. If you would like to help us please stop by anytime between 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. In addition, stupa construction is also going on every day. Please find a time and day according to your schedule to participate in this meritorious deed through gifts of labor.

Katina Ceremony Day Schedule: (October 8th)

Cheewara Pandu Peweema (9:00 AM)
We encourage all of you to come and participate during the Katina Robe Coloring using tree barks and medicinal herbs.

Besajja Pindapatha (10:00 AM)

We would like to encourage all of you to sign up for the Besajja Pindapatha and participate in this great meritorious deed using the link below:


If you would like to bring items to place under the Kapruka, below are the much-needed items for the temple:
Paper towels, paper cups, water bottles, Ziplock bags in assorted sizes, Tide/All detergent, dishwashing liquid, hand washing liquid, aluminum foil, kitchen towel, dishcloths, broom, dustpan & brush, tea candles, oatmeal, almond milk (nonperishable), cleaning liquid, air fresheners, Clorox wipes, paper plates, disposable spoons, trash bags (large and 13 gal).


If you would like to offer Pirikara for the participating Bhantes, you are most welcome to. We will have approximately 16 Bhantes attending the Katina.

Katina Day Dawal Dana

In appreciation and gratitude for everyone's support during the Katina Season, the Katina hosting family and friends will be providing lunch for all devotees.
However, we have some items that we need you to generously provide. Please use the following link to confirm your participation and contribution:

Overnight Pirith Chanting & Stupa Enshrining Ceremony (September 23rd - September 24th, 2023)


Dear Devotees of Georgia Buddhist Vihara and Friends,

You are cordially invited to participate in this meritorious occasion!
An Overnight Pirith Chanting Ceremony will be held at the Georgia Buddhist Vihara to invoke the blessings of the Triple Gem upon all beings! Followed by a ceremony next day morning to Enshrine Buddha Statues inside the new Pagoda.
It will take place from Saturday, September 23rd 6:30 PM to Sunday, September 24th 7:00 AM, followed by the offering of the morning dana to the Maha Sangha and all participants.

The schedule is as follows (September 23rd):
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM – Dinner
7:30 PM - 8:00 PM  – Atavisi Buddha Pooja
8:15 PM Onwards – Pirith Chanting

(September 24th):
7:00 AM – Morning Dana for Maha Sangha and Attendees
8:00 AM – Enshrining Ceremony

To confirm your participation and contribution to dinner, snacks, or morning dana please use the following link. Please indicate as a comment if you are only participating for the morning Dana & Enshrining Ceremony.

The Pirith Chanting will also be live-streamed via GBV YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/GeorgiaBuddhistVihara

GBV Overnight Pirith Chanting (September 23rd, 2023)

 Dear Devotees of Georgia Buddhist Vihara and Friends,

You are cordially invited to participate in this meritorious occasion!
An Overnight Pirith Chanting Ceremony will be held at the Georgia Buddhist Vihara to invoke the blessings of the Triple Gem upon all beings!
It will take place from Saturday, September 23rd 6:30 PM to Sunday, September 24th 7:00 AM, followed by the offering of the morning dana to the Maha Sangha and all participants.

The schedule is as follows:
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM –  Dinner
7:30 PM - 8:00 PM  –  Atavisi Buddha Pooja
8:15 PM Onwards – Pirith Chanting

Please use the following link to sign up to confirm your participation and to indicate if you wish to provide dinner and snacks: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090C4AA9AA22A1FF2-44344636-pirith

The Pirith Chanting will also be live-streamed via GBV YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/GeorgiaBuddhistVihara

Upcoming Events - Katina Season 2023

GBV Stupa/Pagoda Fund


Atthi Dinnan: for those who believe in giving

Dear Devotees and Friends, 

We were given a very rare and once in a lifetime opportunity to construct a Stupa or Pagoda in our Georgia Buddhist Vihara temple with blessings of the resident monks (maha sangha). The merits gained are enormous, in addition to the 18 benefits, by donating to such a noble project. 

This project was initiated since 2015, when we finished our second Katina, and throughout 8 years we have donated over $80,000 in cash to initiate this project. In addition, the Kotha (Pinnacle) was built in Sri Lanka and brought over to the temple.

We were blessed to get the most difficult part of hiring the experts such as qualified architects, structural engineer and a site engineer to draw the plans and get it approved from city and county authorities in a very short time. We were fortunate enough to find a very reasonable contractor who agreed to complete the footing, foundation and inner walls, accessibility landings, and stage 1 & 2 of the Stupa/Pagoda with the funds provided.

Rejoice the merits of this project's progress through the following page.

To complete the rest of the project we need to raise another $60,000 as soon as possible. Therefore, we look forward to your kind participation, generosity and support.

You can also donate your effort through shramadana (gifts of labor) whenever you have time to contribute to the building of the stupa. Even moving one brick will produce enormous merits.

To complete the rest of the project we need to raise another $60,000 as soon as possible. Therefore, we look forward to your kind participation, generosity and support.

Tiles will be laid on the stupa's upper level (Salapathala Maluwa) by September 25th, 2023. Anyone who wishes to have their name engraved on a tile can donate before September 20th, 2023.

Please fill in the following form to sign up for contributions and donations made to GBV Stupa/Pagoda Fund. Donations can be made by:

  • Checks by mail to 3153 Miller Rd, Stonecrest, GA 30038 to be received before 20th September 2023
  • Cash or checks provided in-person, please enclose it in an envelope and write "GBV Stupa/Pagoda Fund" and hand it to Bhante Wajirabuddhi Thero or the resident monks. 
  • If using Zelle, please send it to gbvihara@gmail.com.

With the blessings of this enormous meritorious deed, may you attain the ultimate bliss of awakening as you wish!  

This retreat helped me to reduce stress and anxiety.

 Kalana Karunanayake

These past few days have been good because I learned a lot
about Buddhism. I learned the importance of being mindful
and present in the moment. It helped me to be more aware of
my thoughts and feelings. I also realized how good meditation
is and its ability to help reduce stress and anxiety. On the first
day, I barely got any sleep but it was okay because the nice tea
helped it out. The candle meditation was good because I
learned that even if you don't like someone, you still have to
wish them that they have a good day without problems. Also, I
saw that it felt much better when I did the meditation because
it cleared all my useless and distracting thoughts. After the art
class started, I learned about the importance of
impermanence. Impermanence is the awareness that you and
everything will disappear someday and you cannot do
anything to stop it. The whole world is not permanent, you are
not permanent, I am not permanent. Everything you think will
disappear one day. Even your thoughts are not permanent.
Our group was supposed to represent a Buddhist topic and
draw something to represent it. We drew pictures of
something that represents impermanence. I drew a waterfall.
It represents impermanence because the waterfall is changing
every minute. I think someone in my group drew a candle that
burned out. It represents that the candle will always burn out
just like everything will burn out too.

    When I was eating lunch, I heard the Bhantes saying to pick
some food that you don’t like and you like. So I got rice
because I don't like it and I got yogurt and a ton of fruit. I was
so full but I knew I was not going to eat dinner so I ate it all.
Also, the Bhante said not to waste food so get the right
amount that you need. I was grateful that I chose to eat all of
my food because I was not hungry the rest of the time.
Then I had to leave the retreat because I got sick. I think it was
because I slept on the ground. After all, I do get sick from the
dust. I will have to come back another day. So the Bhante said
the 5 precepts to remove the 8 precepts so I could go home.
I missed the second day but I came back on the last day. I was
kind of disappointed because I missed it. Sadly, I missed the
meditation too. The Bhantes did the 8 precepts so I can
observe them again. For art class, I saw that they drew on
rocks when I was gone. I was asked to draw on a rock, so I did.
You were supposed to draw a Buddhist symbol. I drew the
Buddha meditating under A tree. Afterward, I was told to draw
a table and things on it. It had some items on it, I remember
there being an orange cloth and an oil lamp.
When the retreat was over, I think back and notice the change
from the beginning to now. When I first came here I thought
about what is the purpose of doing this retreat, then in the
end, I learned that the purpose was to clear your mind and
learn more about Buddhism. When I cleared my mind I was
able to focus much better. I think this can help you a lot with
schoolwork and other things you need to focus a lot on. I
recommend people to meditate more often, especially during
school because it helps more than you think. Also, I have
become a lot kinder because I meditated. I think I got a lot of
merits from paying attention and listening and even learning. I
learned so much from this and I hope everyone had the same
experience as I did. If you didn’t have the same experience,
you may not have paid attention. So you could focus and clear
your mind because your mind is going here and there. Next
year, I recommend you listen more. It might get hard to focus
but it is worth trying to. If you didn’t get the same experience
as me, you should continue meditating more at home and be
mindful of your surroundings. Thank you for reading about my

GBV Pagoda Keystone Laying Ceremony


My mind was surprisingly peaceful.



 Kaveesh Rathnayake

Overall the Dhamma retreat was a very mind-cleansing thing. That's not to say there weren’t a

lot of problems. The first day I had trouble sleeping because the lights in the room we were

sleeping were on and kept changing colors. Not to mention I was hungry because I was used to

eating dinner before I went to sleep. I went to bed and tried to go to sleep but I could not go to

sleep as there were RGB lights on in the room the entire time. I got up the next day with 0 sleep.

Luckily they had coffee during morning break and I drank the entire cup. I still found it hard to

focus during the meditation classes but by the time Breakfast had started, I was usually already

wide awake. Our schedule was mostly full of breaks, meditation, and a reading period. Luckily

the 2nd day they gave us smoothies in the afternoon so by the time it was time to sleep my

stomach was still full and I was able to get some sleep. The 3rd day was followed by the exact

same thing. I noticed that I started to get lots of cramps as I wasn’t used to sitting down in one

place for so long. After I drank the smoothie and went to sleep that day my stomach was

surprisingly full considering the fact that I drank the smoothie about 3 hours ago. That night I fell

asleep instantly and woke up refreshed in the morning. On the final day we did our usual

proceeding then it was time to go. We bowed down to our parents and chanted to conclude the

Dhamma Retreat. Something I noticed about the Retreat was that I found it much easier to

concentrate on things and my mind was surprisingly peaceful. Overall I think that the Dhamma

Retreat was a good life experience even with some of its cons.

My favorite part of the day was art class and the walking meditation....


 Senithu   Senanayake


When I had to wake up at 5:00 A.M. it was not that easy. After we got ready for the day, we were given a candle and proceeded to the shrine room to begin a long day. 

We meditated while listening to Bhante’s words and also did the walking meditation. After we offered food to the Buddha, we served ourselves breakfast and ate in silence. 
After, we participated in a session that discussed the Mangala Sutra and the Ratara Sutra. My favorite part of the day was art class and the walking meditation with Bhante Deepankara. 
We would walk outside with no shoes or socks. I liked that we could focus on what was going on around us since I usually don’t think about that. 
This meditation is good for being aware of your surroundings. The meditation really helped me because it made me more mindful and helped me be more aware of what’s around me. 
Then we proceeded with the Buddha Puja and had another silent meal afterward. Before we had meals, we would chant a gatha that basically said “I will not waste this alms given to me” and “I will only take as much as I can take”. 
This taught me to be more grateful of not only the food that I am given but also things like clothes and shelter. Next, I visited a Laos temple and a Cambodian temple. 
The Cambodian temple was interesting because their Buddha statue had different features than ours. 
In art class, we had to draw something on a paper that is related to Buddhism and teaches a moral. We also drew something related to Buddhism on a rock. 
The dhamma discussions we had taught me about a lot of things like being mindful and grateful. Throughout this retreat, I learned many useful things that I can use in my life for now on. Thank you to all the Bhante’s for teaching me and I will be back next year.

This has already made me a better disciplined person.........

 Mihini Senanayake 

When I arrived at the temple for this year’s retreat, I felt different than I did at my first retreat in 2019. What I recently felt was a feeling of excitement and joy to be experiencing this wonderful program again. Not everyone gets to participate in such a thing, and I was grateful to be able to be participating in this year's retreat. The last retreat I went to, I was not the most excited since I knew it would be awfully hard for me to withstand such a punctilious schedule. This year, I was more invested in the Dhamma discussions and meditations. And so, I would like to talk about what I learned and my thoughts throughout the days of this retreat. 

    I never would have thought that waking up before 5 in the morning would be so easy. Whenever I woke up, I felt bliss in the air, and my mind was so peaceful and calm. I never felt groggy or had the desire to sleep more. The environment of the temple is part of the reason it was so easy for me to wake up at 4:30 a.m. After waking up, everyone would have a cup of tea and then start the morning meditation. I found the meditation so calming that my mind would stop thinking, and it would listen to the Bhante’s words. Some things that I found difficult at first was staying still, as my legs would start to hurt, or my back would start to lean forward without me noticing. My mind would start to wonder, and I would easily become distracted. Throughout the retreat, I found it easier for me to sit still and observe my surroundings and be able to stop my restless mind from thinking intrusively. 

    One of my favorite parts of this retreat was the Walking Meditation. The most important concept about it is being mindful and I really liked that I could concentrate on practicing it for the next three days. This meditation builds on itself and on you in a way that you become aware of everything. Of course, that level of meditation would take lots of practice, but what I learned what that it is most definitely possible for anyone if they really tried. At this retreat, everyone learned to become more aware of what actions they committed, what words that they spoke, and what thoughts they reminisced about. While doing this meditation I thought about the body parts, internally or externally, that would move. For example, when I inhale, I am aware that the air is entering my nostrils, going through my body to my lungs, and expanding my lungs. As I exhale, the air leaves without oxygen and is now carbon dioxide, and my lungs contract and wait for another breath. The idea of this is to be aware of the sensations you feel, not enjoying them nor disliking them. Just knowing that this is what is happening and that is how it is. At first, I thought I should concentrate on keeping my thoughts away, but what I learned from Bhante Deephankara is to let them happen. If you are aware of thoughts happening, you are practicing the concept of being mindful in this meditation. I could go on about the many different parts of this meditation, but I also want to talk about the principles we had to apply in this retreat. 

    There were several ideas that we had to be more aware of, such as talking too much or singing and dancing. For me, it was not hard to sing or dance but sometimes I would get too comfortable with a friend and talk too much. What I observed is that when I would be aware that I have the desire to share something with someone else, I realize that what I want is a useless thing. It enhanced my ability to internalize my thoughts and just be mindful of what is happening.  

Breakfast and lunch also helped me to internalize my thoughts. Being in the moment was one of the things we talked about in discussions, and I would apply that to this. While we ate, we were advised not to talk and to think about what was happening in the moment. I was learning to be mindful that I was consuming food and that I should be grateful that I have such a luxury in my life. Loku Bhante told us to not think about the past or the future, but to sense the feelings you are feeling at the moment, the thoughts that go through your head, and being mindful of every bite that is placed in your mouth.  

    I am so glad and thankful to have participated in this year’s retreat and will make sure to leave with the principles that I have practiced and the morals that I have learned. I will not let myself forget about the precious time I spent at the temple and will make sure to continue those practices in my daily life. This has already made me a better disciplined person and this experience will help me lead a peaceful life. Spreading loving kindness to everyone is something I want to do more of after this retreat. Practicing mindfulness and getting rid of attachments and selfishness will allow one to be happy, so I am glad that I know what I can do to become happy. There is more to these terms as they mean more meaningful things and so I hope that I will have a deeper understanding of Buddhism as I attend future retreats.  

    Before I can conclude my journal, I would like to thank Taniya Auntie, and all the Auntie’s and Uncles that provided help to make this retreat possible for us. Idesha Akka was also a big part of this retreat, and I cannot thank her enough for helping us make this retreat a great experience for everyone. And I cannot forget about my parents who work so hard so that I will be able to participate in incredible programs like this. I am incredibly thankful to everyone who made my participation a beautiful and blissful experience.  

With loving-kindness, 

Theruwan Saranai. 

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