My Insight Experiences

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}

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