Meditation Retreat

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 Sunday, February 17, 2012 from 7:30am to 5pm.  This is our first day-long meditation retreat of 2013, and I invite you to attend the first of our monthly meditation retreats. This 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:


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 – 10:30 am: Break (coffee/tea) and personal reflection/reading

10:30 am – 11:00 am: Metta ("Loving-Friendliness") meditation 

11:00 am - 11:45 am: Preparing lunch & Buddha Puja/chanting

12:00 pm – 12:45 pm:  Lunch (self-service)


12:45 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 led by Ven. Wajirabuddhi Thera. The topic of the discussion will be the Kakacupama Sutta (The Simile of the Saw Discourse) - Majjhima Nikaya #21. I have attached a PDF file link  of this sutta to this message mn-21-kakacpama-sutta-the-simile-of-the-saw (1)     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.

*5:00 pm - 6:00 pm: Special service: Transference of merit ceremony/Buddhist Memorial Service for Ron White (Shelby Failing's stepfather) as well as basic meditation instruction.



Participants will need to bring (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 Sunday, February 17 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 (

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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