Nisala Jayagoda's Retreat Experiences

My experience at the Temple during the 3 day retreat

By Nisala Jayagoda

When I first came to the retreat, I had no idea what to expect. I wasn’t sure if I could stay 3 days without technology, not sit in knee-height chairs, wake up at 5 a.m.! At the beginning it seemed like a normal Sila day, but when we started to meditate, I felt it was different. It was different because I did not have the thoughts of the normal hustle and bustle of my daily life clouding my mind. Later we went to the Vietnamese temple, which I though was one of the highlights of the day. In the shrine room, there were huge drums and huge bells which they stuck against before each Buddha Puja. Later in the day we did the Atavisi Puja, which I have not done in a very long time.

The next day we had to wake up at 5 a.m. in the morning, which surprisingly, was very easy. In the morning we had meditation, which was even easier than the day before because my mind was completely calmed and most of my muscles were still resting and were not painful. During the Sutra discussion I learned that the Buddha had explained many scientific rules and theories well before modern science. We finally had an Abhidhamma session and it went really deep into the workings of the mind. It brought my attention to question the reality of all material things in this world. Abhidhamma is also one of Buddhas precious teachings, which agrees with all modern sciences.

The last day was the most interesting day. We woke up at 5 a.m. again, and got ourselves ready for the morning meditation. Since this was the last day of the program, we had to compress the entire schedule into 13 hours. We had the normal meditation time, but crunched everything else. We skipped the work period, which disappointed me a bit, since that was my way to release my pent-up energy. But that sacrifice allowed us to pay a visit to the Cambodian temple. The Cambodian temple resembled our Sri Lankan temple very much, with the exception of an outdoor shrine room. When we came back, we had a 3 hour Abhidhamma session, which I enjoyed thoroughly. We concluded the day with Atavsi Puja. At the end we took part in a group photo. When I came home, the first thing I did was sit on a couch to take a well deserved nap. But I still feel that I needed the simplicity of the retreat, in order to calm my racing mind about the things that I will do over the summer. I would definitely recommend anyone to go to this retreat.

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Side note: I would personally like to thank Venerable Vajirabuddhi, Venerable Vajiraboddhi, for devoting their valuable time and effort to make this program a success. I would also like to thank all the parents and Mr. Steven, who volunteered to support this event in many ways.

With Mettha,
Nisala Jayagoda
Georgia Buddhist Vihara


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