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:

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.


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.

VBS @ GBV on Sunday, July 28th

Georgia Buddhist Vihara is conducting its debut summer learning program, Vacation Buddhist Studies (a.k.a. VBS).  VBS program is designed to have the light of Dharma for the children who stay in town during the summer vacation. Venerable Bhantes are expected to provide insights into practical aspects of kids’ life, friendship, positive relationships, guidance on putting dhamma into practice, Buddhist Ethics and precepts, techniques to use when difficulties arise, and encouragement to keep moving forward through dhamma discussions.

All Kids and parents are welcome to participate in VBS sessions conducted on following dates between 1:00pm - 5:00pm.

Program: (Afternoon)
1:00 - 1:45 - Kids Yoga.
2:00 - 2:45 - Arts for Kids by Bhanthe Piyananada.
3:00 - 3:45 - Sinhala Language.
3:45 - 4:00 - Snack Break.
4:00 - 4:15 - Vandana
4:15 - 5:00 - Dhamma Studies and discussion by Bhante Deepankara.

The VBS is completely free, open to all, please sign-up for headcount.

Vassana Special Dhamma Sermon Sessions with Asala Poya Program on July 20th, 2019

Asala Poya Program on July 20th

Asala Poya program - Saturday July 20th, 2019

The Asala Poya will be observed on Saturday the July 20th-2019 from 7.30 a.m to 6.00 p.m at Georgia Buddhist Vihara.
Asala Poya commemorates the following significant events in Gautama Buddha Shasana.
§  Conceivement of Queen Mahamaya with Gautama bodhisattva.
§  Mahabinishkramanaya-Prince Siddhartha leaving the palace to seek the enlightenment.
§  Dhamachakkakpawathwana deshanawa- Conducting the first sermon after enlightenment by the Gautama Buddha.
§  Conducting the Yama-mahapelahara at Gandamba mango tree, to control Theerthaka.
§  Birth of Prince Rahula.
§  First Dharma Sangayana at Rajagahanuwara -sapthparni cave by Rev. Mahakashyapa arahath and 500 of arahath monks, with the sponsorship of Ajasath king,.
In addition to other kusal karma, a special poya program will be held with four Dhamma sermons (Deshana) by venerable resident monks at Georgia Buddhist Vihara throughout the poya day.

Morning Program
7:30 – 8:30 a.m.
Observance of the Eight Precepts, Buddha Pooja.
Heel Dana (Sponsored by Kumudu and Kalinga Panditharathne family)

8:30 – 9:45 a.m.
Dhamma Sermon is by Venerable Panamwela Wajirabodhi Thero
Dhamma Sermon is sponsored byNuvindu Fernando (Son of Suresha and Dilhan Fernando)
9:45 –10:00 a.m.
10:00 –11:00 a.m.
Dhamma Sermon is by Venerable Moragahakande Piyanada Thero
Dhamma sermon is sponsored by- Mr. Gundasa Jayasinghe & Mrs. Indrani Perera
11:00 –11:15 a.m.
Buddha Pooja (Will start at 11.00 a.m.)
11:30 –12:00 nn
Dana offering to the Bhantes and those who observe eight precepts (Sponsored by Lasantha and Wathsala Rathnayake family and friends)
12:00 –1:00 p.m.
Afternoon Program 
1:00 – 3:45 p.m.
Dhamma sermon is by Venerable Panamwela Wajirabuddhi Thero
Dhamma sermon is sponsored by- Drs. Ranga & Ayesha Jayasinghe
3:45 – 4:00 p.m.
4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Dhamma sermon is by Venerable Okkampitiye Deepankara Thero (in English)
Dhamma sermon is sponsored by- Mr. Niroshena & Dr. Erosha Jayawardane
6:00 p.m.
Termination of the Sil and Gilanpasa Pooja

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

Rains Retreat Observance Invitation (Vas Ārādhanā), July 16th at 7pm

Rains Retreat Observance Invitation

(Vas Ārādhanā)

Watch live streaming of this event on YouTube

Dhamma Talks In English Vassana 2019

Dhamma Talks  In English Vassana 2019

  1. The intention is prior to Kamma  (7/17/19)
  2. Beautiful Mind (7/18/19)
  3. The uncontrolled mind leads to harm (7/19/19)
  4. Hatred leads to violence (7/21/2019)
  5.  "As Wind overthrows a week Tree"(Vato Rukkham'va Dubbalam) DM 7 (7/23/2019)
  6. " Spiritual Strength is undefeatable"
  7.  See real as real not Unreal (7/25/19)

Santhushi Dharmawardhana

 I cannot beat myself up for making mistakes.
By: Santhushi Dharmawardhana

So… what will the retreat be like? Will things be hard? These were my questions before the retreat. During the retreat, I realized that things will be a bit hard, but I cannot beat myself up for making mistakes. After the retreat, I was worried about how to write my journal. Now here I am, writing it. Writing the journal is not too hard. The only hard part is being truthful. Anyway, this is my 2019 Youth Summer Retreat experience.
Day 1 May 29th, 2019
Today was the first day of the retreat. I was excited and a little nervous because this was my first retreat. The day before I had a fever, so my parents were deciding whether or not I should come.  I really wanted to come, so in the end, they finally gave in. Two of my friends the same age as me also came to the retreat. We observed and learned about the 10 precepts.
The 10 precepts are:
1. I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures.
2. I undertake the precept to refrain from taking that which is not given.
3. I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual activity.
4. I undertake the precept to refrain from wrong speech.
5. I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicating drinks and drugs which lead to carelessness.
6. I undertake the precept to refrain from eating at the forbidden time (i.e., afternoon).
7. I undertake the precept to refrain from dancing, singing, music, going to see entertainment
8. I undertake the precept to refrain from wearing garlands, using perfumes, and beautifying the body with cosmetics.
9. I undertake the precept to refrain from lying on a high or luxurious sleeping place
10. I undertake the precept to refrain from accepting gold and silver.

When Lokku Hamuduruwo told us the 10 precepts, I was worried that I would break one of these precepts. At night I thought that I would have trouble sleeping on the ground, but it was actually not that bad. I couldn’t wait for the next day.

Day 2 May 30th, 2019

Today we woke up early in the morning and drank tea. To my surprise, I was not that sleepy and I had slept comfortably. The tea helped me stay awake for the rest of the day. After tea, we took candles in our hand that lit up in the darkness. It was a very beautiful sight to see. We went into the Shrine Room and did a group meditation. It was a very calm and peaceful morning. After the meditation, we ate breakfast and then did the Vipassana meditation in the Shrine Room. I found this meditation a bit hard, and my mind wandered off sometimes. Then, we had a break time. During this time, I rested a bit because I was not feeling very good. After the break, we had meditation instruction. We did walking meditation. In the walking meditation, we had to focus on moving our feet slowly. This meditation was not too hard for me. I was able to concentrate and balance through most of the meditation. Next, we did the Metta Meditation in the shrine room with Lokku Hamuduruwo. This was also a meditation that I found not too hard. After that, Mr. Steve taught us ways we could sit comfortably during meditations and told us stories. We also did the Metta Meditation with Mr. Steve. Lokku Hamuduruwo chose me, Thevin, and Iedishe Akka to prepare the Buddha Puja today. After the Buddha Puja, we ate lunch prepared for us by Kisa nanda. At work period we were allowed to either help in the kitchen or clean the forest area behind the temple. I chose to clean up the forest area. I pulled out the weeds near the statues. Then, I raked the leaves. I felt glad that we were doing something outside. After the work period, there was a Dhamma session. There was one for the new kids and one for the people who have done the retreat before. I was in the session with 6 other kids. We had an introduction to the Abidharma from Deeptha Uncle. We learned things like Classification of Mind, Classification of Mental Factors, Classification of Matter, The difference between knowledge and wisdom, four steps to Nibbana, Paramatta, and more. These were deep and a bit hard to understand, but after the discussion, I thought about these things and was able to understand a little better. For example, we are made from the five aggregates. Isn’t it deep? About halfway through the second break, my father came to pick me up because I was too sick to continue the day in the temple. I was told that I would be returning tomorrow.

Day 3 May 31st, 2019

I came back today. I still had to follow the 10 precepts at home. I came back at around 11:30 am. Everyone was surprised to see me because they did not know that I would be coming back today. I had missed the temple visit yesterday to a Cambodian temple. My friends told me that it was a very big, beautiful, and colorful temple. I was sorry I missed it, but I found out that we were going to have another temple visit today. We followed the same schedule as yesterday. Today in the Dhamma session, we learned more about the Classification of Mind, Classification of the Mental Factors, Classification of matter, The 12 links, the Eightfold Path, the Five Aggregates, and
Dasa Akusal.

Dasa Akusal is:

Sexual Misconduct
Rough Speaking/harsh Speaking
Frivolous talking/Gossip
Wrong and Distorted views

We visited a Vietnamese temple today. The temple was big and pretty there was a lot of nature. There were peacocks and lots of statues. A very sweet and kind Bhikkuni told us about the temple and what the statues represent. There was a very young kid named Riley. He had lots of... enthusiasm. The rest of the day went on like yesterday.

Day 4 June 1st, 2019

Today was the last day of the retreat. Surprisingly, when I was waking up, I was feeling drowsier than yesterday morning, but the drowsiness left in a few minutes. We did the morning group meditation, ate breakfast, did more meditation, had break, had a work period where I worked deeper in the forest and had a Dhamma session. In today’s Dhamma session, we reviewed everything we had learned during the retreat. In the end, Kumara Uncle took pictures of us and a group picture of everyone. After the retreat, I felt calmer.

 In my opinion, the retreat was an amazing success, and it taught me lots of new things. Taniya Nanda and Chapa Nanda helped wake us up, made food for us, and more. Kumara Uncle took our pictures and helped make the designs on our T-shirts. Devika Nanda helped organize the morning when we came to the temple. Deeptha Uncle and Mr. Steve were great teachers and a lot of help, of course, the Bhantes, and others. I thank all these people who helped organize the 2019 Youth Summer Retreat. I also thank my parent who encouraged me to participate in this event. I hope that I will have this opportunity next year. May you all be well and happy.

Poson Poya Program on June 15th

Poson Poya Program will be Observed on Saturday, Jun, 15th, 2019 from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm at the Georgia Buddhist Vihara. We invite you all to join the program.

Morning Program
7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Observance of the Eight Precepts, Buddha Puja and Heel Dana
(Self Serving)
8:30 – 9:45 a.m. Dhamma Desanawa by Bhante Piyananda
9:45 –10:00 a.m. Break
10:00 –11:00 a.m. Bhavana by Bhante Wajirabuddhi
11:00 –11:15 a.m. Buddha Pooja (Must start @ 11.00)
11:30 –12:00 nn Dana offering to the Bhantes and those who observe eight precepts
12:00 –1:00 p.m. Luncheon
Afternoon Program 
1:00 – 3:45 p.m. Sutra Discussion by Bhante Deepankara
(PDF Link in Pali-Sinhala, Please bring your favorite reading device)
3:45 – 4:00 p.m. Tea & coffee break
4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Dhamma Discussion (Cont.) 

6:00 p.m. Termination of the Sil and Gilanpasa Puja

Sign up for the program

Sign Up!

Nelitha Kulasiri

My Experience of the 2019 Youth Retreat
                                       Nelitha Kulasiri
This year was my third retreat at the Georgia Buddhist Vihara. The retreat is an event where we take the 10 precepts for 3 days.  Throughout those three days we practice mindfulness, loving-kindness, learn about the Dhamma and practice various meditations. It is a very calming and spiritual experience. This retreat is different than previous retreats for a few different reasons. This year Uncle Deeptha, Venura, and Thai were all becoming Novice Monks. Thai and Venura had been ordained a couple of days ago, under the names of Bhante Saddhaloka and Bhante Pannaloka, and would remain as novice monks for two weeks. Bhante Deepaloka (Uncle Deeptha) disrobed at the beginning of the retreat. Another good thing that will happen this year is temple visits. Temple visits are where we go visit other temples in the area, for example, Cambodian or Vietnamese temples. Unfortunately, because of the increased number of people, we could not go last year. This year however we will be able to.

Day 1
Last night was the orientation of the 2019 Youth Retreat, where Looku Hamudurwo delivered the 10 precepts to us and told us how to conduct ourselves under these precepts. Today Looku Hamduruwo woke us up at around 4:30, and I had difficulty waking up that early. During the morning candlelight meditation, I found it difficult to concentrate, likely because of this tiredness. Afterwards, we did a breathing meditation, where I was still unable to focus because my mind kept wandering. After having breakfast, Looku Hamduro had us do a walking meditation, and I found this very calming and was able to concentrate. In walking meditation slowly walk around and focus on how we walk – our movements, how our heel meets the ground, etc. This meditation is a form of mindfulness meditation as we must be mindful of how we are moving. After lunch, we had an hour or so for “Mindful Work”. Similar to last year Looku Hamduruwo asked some of us to rake the leaves outside the shrine room in order to place the area look nicer. I enjoyed working together with everyone and making the temple a better place.
Since we cannot eat 3 meals, we are given a smoothie or yogurt in the afternoon. While having our smoothies, Thevin asked Uncle Deeptha an interesting question. He asked, “Let’s say you see four people tied down to a railroad track, and a train is speeding towards them. You can pull the lever and switch the train to an alternate track, however you see that one person is tied down to that track as well. Will you save the four people and kill only one person, or do nothing and let the four die?” The rest of us said to kill that one person and let four people live, however Uncle Deeptha said that we should do nothing. He said that by killing that one person, you further involve yourself in the Samsara Cycle. Those four people would die, not because of you, but because of their past karma. Although what he says may be true, I don’t think I’d be able to stand by and watch that happen.

Day 2
Today I awoke much more refreshed than yesterday, and I was able to concentrate much better during the candlelight and breathing Meditation. This morning Steve talked to us about the Loving-Kindness Suttra, and how we can apply it to our daily lives. I liked this, as it showed us that rather than being an abstract idea, loving-kindness can now be more meaningful to our lives. Later, with Venerable Deepankara, we had a very meaningful Dhamma discussion. We first talked about whether or not we should believe everything our elders tell us. We read a Suttra that the Buddha gave called the “Kalama Suttra”. In this Suttra, the Kalama people ask advice from the Buddha. They said, “There are some monks and brahmans, venerable sir, who visit Kesaputta. They expound and explain only their own doctrines; the doctrines of others they despise, revile and pull to pieces. Venerable sir, there is doubt, there is uncertainty in us concerning them. Which of these reverend monks and brahmans spoke the truth and which falsehood?”. To this, the Buddha explained that if what they say is evil or unwholesome, or will lead to evil and unwholesome things, then you should not follow it.
In this discussion, we also talked about abortion. Some of us said that it shouldn’t be allowed, as killing is killing. However, I believe that it should still be an option just not encouraged. Although it is true that it is wrong, just like the Buddha didn’t force his teachings onto people, we cannot make people do something that they don’t want to.
At the temple visit today we went to a Vietnamese Temple. It was very large and had peacocks walking around peacefully. This temple followed the Mahayana branch of Buddhism, contrary to our Theravada branch. The Bhikkhuni there explained to us the stories behind the statues and paintings of Bodhisattvas in their shrine room.

Day 3
Today is the final day of our stay at the temple. The beginning of the day went as all the previous days had gone. We did various meditation, which I was able to focus through, and began our work period after lunch. During the past two days we had been cleaning outside the temple and around the Mihinthalava statues, but today we began cleaning the path that we take during the Parahera. When we began, however, I found that we were not cleaning the short pathway that we take during Katina, but the long winding one that goes all the way around. This path had been blocked by a tree trunk, which we cut down. It was a lot of work, but everyone pitched in and helped. Parts of the path were almost completely covered with leaves and sticks. Unfortunately, we were unable to finish the entire path, but looking back I’m proud that we were able to make it look so much nicer. After the work session, we began our final Dhamma discussion with Bhante Deepankara. Today we discussed the Sigalovada Suttra, in which the Buddha discusses what defines good friends and bad friends and harmful things that can lead to you losing your wealth. This is a very important Suttra, although it didn’t quite resonate with me like the other Suttras did.
At the end of the retreat, we all do an Attavisi Buddha Puja (a puja to the 28 Buddhas). So after taking pictures, we prepared the Puja. It was during the Puja that we said the five precepts, and terminated our Dasasil. After finishing the Puja, Bhante Wajirabuddhi Thera asked some of us to come up and speak about our experiences, and how the Retreat could be improved. Overall I feel that this retreat has been very calming and educational, and I would recommend it to any young Buddhist. May you be well and happy.

Omandee Karunanayake

So...is life really that complicated?

In reality, not really. It just seems that way because of the involvement you have with other people. If you just ate, drank, and slept without worrying about anything but yourself, it would be so much easier. But in most cases that isn’t the situation. You have to go to school, learn, get a job, get married, have kids, earn money. If you think about it, it's actually very true. By going to the 2019 summer retreat, I found out that there isn’t that much to it. By spending time away from the hustle and bustle of my daily life I could spend time looking into myself and my imperfections. I think the retreat helped me learn not only independence but loving kindness towards each other. It was a life changing event for me and I hope you join next retreat as well!

Day 1
Today, this morning, we lit candles in the shrine room. It gave the room a very still but calm and serene feeling like an elephant in the room but less tense. While doing the meditation and Gathas, my mind couldn’t stay in one place much less hear what the Bhante was saying. Then after a while, my mind calmed down a bit so that I wasn’t thinking about everything in the world at a time. I started thinking, Is this what dreaming feels like?  And I realized that I got off track and I was like I did it again!  and I started beating myself up. Then I said okay that happens it's fine. After I got myself together, I listened. Bhante said that we must work on our imperfections and learn to fix them as soon as you see them arise. I learned that little things like waving and smiling can bring out the kindness in you. Later, after the Buddha Puja and the Abhidhamma class,  we visited the Cambodian temple. I thought it was nice and pretty. A kind monk greeted us to learn about their cultures. What surprised me the most was that the story of the Buddha was the same. I mean being in a secluded population of Buddhists, it shocked me that someone besides the people at the GBV knew this story. Anyways, I think this day at the retreat went well!

Day 2
Today I just could not stay awake this morning. As much as I tried my eyes just couldn't keep open. The other day, Loku Hamuduruwo was talking about the immediate benefits of meditation.  Honestly, I didn’t believe it then, but I tried it and it actually worked!! It was like magic! As soon as I put my heart into what I was meditating I was more aware of my surroundings which made me feel less drowsy.
During Abhidhamma, I was so lost in the knowledge that I was gaining that it was hard to processes. It was kind of like forgetting everything that you know about life and starting all over. That is how vast it was. But at the same time very logical. Somehow we got into the discussion “ What is the difference between knowledge and wisdom?” And Deeptha Uncle said, “Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is knowing that you shouldn’t put a tomato into a fruit salad.” Very deep, but so logical. I think I learned a lot about Dammah today. And I hope I’ll get better sleep so that I don’t fall asleep when I could be learning something!

Day 3
I can’t believe that it is the last day of the retreat! I woke up with little difficulty, although my back ached a little from sleeping on cement for the last couple days. After breakfast and the Buddha puja, we did the walking meditation for a little bit. First, the soles of my feet were hurting because of the small pebbles on the ground. But after a while, my feet got used to it and the pain withered away when I took my mind off of it and concentrated on walking. Then it reminded me of the time on the first day where Steve was talking about positions to sit in when meditating. He said if the positions are still uncomfortable to meditate on the pain. It just goes to show you that mindfulness can come in handy for a lot of things and situations. Not just at the temple. Later after the mindful working, we visited a Vietnamese temple. There were beautiful peacocks and a 4-year-old named Rylie. He had the strangest haircut but it looked really cool. Soon after, the sweetest nun came to greet us. We learned about the laughing Buddha who is the future Buddha. We also learned about bodhisattvas. I noticed it was much more feminine than our culture. They also pray in Vietnamese not Pali, which I thought was very interesting. When we got back we did the veneration to our parents. I have to thank my mother and father for pushing me to try harder and harder to achieve my goals. I couldn’t have done the retreat without them. I also want to thank Chapa Auntie, Tanya Auntie, Deeptha Uncle Bhante Wajira Buddhi, Bhante Deepankara, Devika Auntie, Suresha Auntie, Ms. Nyugen and Steve for making this retreat possible. Taking Dasa Sil, waking up at 5:00 AM, and sitting in one place for what felt like hours may have been a struggle but it definitely taught me discipline and loving kindness. I hope I can participate in the retreat next year as well!

With love,
Omandee Karunanayake

Youth Retreat 2019

Youth Retreat 2019

Devotees and Friends of the GBV,

We are happy to announce the dates for the Georgia Buddhist Vihara's 8th annual youth retreat. This year's youth retreat will commence on Wednesday, May 29th with a brief orientation for all participants and conclude on Saturday, June 1st. This is an excellent opportunity for young people to spend dedicated time learning about self-discipline, meditation, Buddhist teachings, and the Buddhist tradition. Young people will learn through first-hand experience the benefits of following the Buddhist path through a period of focused learning and practice.

The retreat is open to any young person between the ages of 12 and 25 years old. If you are interested in registering for the youth retreat or learning more about the retreat, please contact the Georgia Buddhist Vihara at gbvihara@gmail.com or 770-987-8442.

Please download the Retreat application for the GBV 2019.

Georgia Buddhist Youth  Retreat    (May 29th to June 1st, 2019)

Brief Orientation begins
On May 29th (Wednesday) at 7.30 pm

Daily Schedule
5:00–5:30am – Wake Up, Coffee/Tea.
5:30–6:30 – Group Meditation
6:30–7:00 – Buddha Puja
7:00–8:00 – Breakfast (self-service)
8:00–9:00 – Vipassana Meditation
9:00–9:30 – Break, Coffee/Tea
9:30–10:00 – Meditation Instruction
10:00–10:30 – Walking Meditation
10:30–11:00 – Metta Meditation
11:00–11:30 – Buddha Puja
11:30–12:30pm – Lunch
12:30–1:30 – Work Period
1:30–3:00 –Dhamma  session
3:00–3:30 – Break, Coffee/Tea
4:00–4:30 – Personal Reading and Reflection
4:30-    5:30- Sutta Discussion   
5:30–6:00 – Prepare for Temple visitation
6:00–7:30 – Temple Visits
7:30–8:30 – Atavisi Buddha Pujawa, Group Chanting (selected Sutra with English meanings) Metta Meditation
8:30–9:00 – Journal Writing; Prepare for Bed
9:00–Lights Out

General Guidelines for Retreat Participants

What Not to Bring

  • Do not bring illicit drugs, alcohol, or tobacco products.
  • Do not bring personal computers, personal gaming systems, cell phones, mp3 players, electronic musical devices, radios, musical instruments, newspapers, magazines and secular books to the center. Buddhist reading materials will be provided.
  • Do not bring clothing with distracting lettering.
  • Do not wear perfumes or deodorants with strong scents.
  • Do not bring pets.

What to Bring

  • Flashlight
  • Sleeping Bag, Pillow, Towel (shower facilities are available)
  • Toiletries (soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, razors)
  • Bring a cup (for tea/coffee and water), a plate, and a spoon and fork for eating.
  • Ear plugs if you are a light sleeper
  • Personal meditation cushion if you prefer (We have plenty of zafus, zabutans, and benches for everyone)
  • Modest clothing. (Even in the warmest of weather, tank tops and short shorts are not acceptable.) Do not bring t-shirts with commercial or political messages. You are requested to wear white clothing, if possible.
  • Work gloves, cleaning gloves, breathing mask (if working outside causes breathing problems) for the work period.
  • Each participant should complete the entire program to be obtained a  certificate 


Family Sponsorship

Each sponsoring family will need to arrive at the vihara by 6 am on their designated day in order to prepare the morning meal for the monks and retreat participants.

Sponsoring families will also be responsible for preparing the lunch meal.

Sponsoring families will be responsible for preparing evening nutrition and leaving it for the participants to consume later in the evening.

It is preferred that sponsors adhere to the following guidelines for providing meals during the retreat period:

All meals should be vegetarian.

Food for the morning meal should be light and consist of cereal, oatmeal, muffins, bagels, fruit, yogurt, or pancakes.

Food for the lunch meal should be more substantial since this will be the primary meal until the next morning meal.

Evening nutrition could consist of homemade juices, milkshakes, soup, etc. Please be mindful that retreat participants have taken the 10 precepts which stipulate that no solid, substantial food should be taken an afternoon.

Vesak Celebration 2019 on Saturday, May 18th

Vesak 2019 will be celebrated on Saturday, May 18th, 2019, from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm at the Georgia Buddhist Vihara. We invite you all to join the program.

The Vesak celebrates three events of the utmost significance in the life of Prince Siddhartha who became a Buddha – His Birth, his attainment of Enlightenment, and his passing away. Georgia Buddhist Vihara warmly invites you to be a part of the triple commemoration. Vesak full moon day has been for centuries regarded as the Buddha Day. For it was on a Vesak full moon day, that the Sakyan prince Siddhartha Gautama was born, in Lumbini Park, on the frontier of Nepal, attained Enlightenment, under the Bodhi tree in Gaya, and passed away in Kushinara. The Buddhists all over the world celebrate with devotion the Triple Anniversary of Vesak. To a true follower of the Buddha, there is no greater day than Vesak day which also symbolizes peace, love, compassion, and piety.

Morning Program
7:30 am Observance of the Eight Precepts, for both adult and young; Buddha Pooja and Heel Dana
8:30 am Significant of Vesak by Bhante Wajirabudddhi 
9:30 am Bhāvanā by Bhanthe Deepankara
11:00 am Buddha Pooja
11:30 am Dana offering to the Bhanthes and those who observe eight precepts.
12:00 nn Lunch Break
Afternoon Program
1:00 pm Dhamma Q & A session for children by Bhante Deepankara
2:00 pm Vesak Damma Talk by Bhante Dhammaloka
4:30 pm Vesak Celebration Program by Dhamma School children
Dress Code -  White Lama Saree for girls and white national for boys. ( White Pants and a shirt for Boys acceptable if you do not have a white National ) 

*  Dress code for parents -  White 

 *   Printed Bhakthi Gee lyrics will be provided ( No need for parents to print) for Kids.

1.Muditha Group  - ( Grade K - 3 )       Bhakthi Gee - Peli Peli sedi

2   Karuna Group       ( Grade 4-6 )      Bhakthi Gee -  Bo Athu Ithi Neni Nemi 

3   Metta Group       ( Grade 7- up)       Bhakthi Gee -  Meth Mal Pibidewa

4   Parents             ( Grade ??? )           Bhakthi Gee   -   Dhanno Budunge and Jayasiri ma    

Bring Flowers for Evening Pooja  
*  If possible bring a Vesak lantern. 

Please ensure that the kids have a full lunch as we will only provide a small snack before the program starts 

6:00Pm    Wesak Dansala

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Remembering the Departed of the Easter Sunday Attacks in Sri Lanka at 5:00 pm on Sunday 28th

Remembering the Departed of the Easter Sunday Attacks in Sri Lanka at 5:00 pm on Sunday 28th, April 2019 at Georgia Buddhist Vihara

Please join us in extending our deepest sympathy to those individuals who lost loved ones in this past weekend's bomb attacks that targeted multiple locations across Sri Lanka. These attacks targeted innocent worshipers and foreigners. The Georgia Buddhist Vihara will conduct a special religious program on Sunday, April 28 at 5:00 pm. This special ceremony will be held in observance of the seventh day after the attacks, in accordance with Buddhist practice. We welcome the community to join us to share our condolences with those family members and friends who lost loved ones in this devastating attack and transfer merits to these departed friends and loved ones.

Please note that we will conduct interfaith services for the departed, please bring flowers, for further details, you may contact Mr. Kumara  4045128361 and Dr. Ajith 7705459947

5:00 pm - Welcome speech and video presentation
5:15 pm - Interfaith services, Buddhist, Catholic, Jewish, Islam, and Hindu
6:00 pm - Extending condolences by city officials and friends
7:00 pm - candle lights and serving snacks

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Bak Poya Program on April 27th

Bak Poya Program will be observed on

Saturday, April 27th, 2019, from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm

at the Georgia Buddhist Vihara. 

We invite you all to join the program.

Morning Program
7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Observance of the Eight Precepts, Buddha Puja and Heel Dana
(Self Serving)
8:30 – 9:45 a.m. Bhavana by Bhante Wajirabuddhi
9:45 –10:00 a.m. Break
10:00 –11:00 a.m. Dhamma Desanawa by Bhante Deepankara
11:00 –11:15 a.m. Buddha Pooja (Must start @ 11.00)
11:30 –12:00 nn Dana offering to the Bhantes and those who observe eight precepts
12:00 –1:00 p.m. Luncheon
Afternoon Program 
1:00 – 3:45 p.m. Sutra Discussion by Bhante Deepankara
(PDF Link in Pali-Sinhala, Please bring your favorite reading device)
3:45 – 4:00 p.m. Tea & coffee break
4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Dhamma Discussion (in Sinhala by Bhante Wajirabuddhi) 
4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Dhamma Discussion (in English by Bhante Deepankara)
6:00 p.m. Termination of the Sil and Gilanpasa Puja

Sign up for the program

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Sri Lankan New Year 2019

Every year Sri Lanka celebrates the New Year which falls on the 14th  of April. The Sri Lankan New Year is a time where family and friends come together to celebrate and participate in traditional events associated with the beginning of a new year. There are many different events that are carried out at auspicious times during this festive season. Boiling milk over a clay pot signifies the welcoming of the New Year and the prosperity as well. The New Year festivities commence with the traditional lighting of the oil lamp. Gifts such as new clothes and money are exchanged and the entire family gathers around the dining table where traditional food such as Kiribath (milk rice) and other delicacies are shared. Activities such as pin the tail on the elephant, sack race and tug of war are some of the games that are enjoyed by both the young and the old during the New Year celebrations.

On behalf of the Georgia Buddhist Vihara and the Sri Lankan Community in Georgia,
We wish all our friends and well-wishers a very happy Sinhala & Tamil New Year and cordially invite you to the Sri Lankan New Year Celebrations at 10.00 A.M. on Saturday 14th April 2018 at the Georgia Buddhist Vihara, Lithonia GA.

Celebration Menu Sign Up Form

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Games & Activities Sign Up Form

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Time Event
10:00 am Arrival and preparation
11:00 am Buddha Puja11.30 am
11.30 am Dana for the Maha Sangha
12:00 nn Lunch Break
1:00 pm Celebration Assembly Lighting the traditional oil lamp and Pirith Desana
2:00 pm Singiti Avurudu: Performing by Sunday School Children

Madin Poya Program on March 9th

Madin Poya Program will be observed on

Saturday, March 9th, 2019, from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm

at the Georgia Buddhist Vihara. 

We invite you all to join the program.

Morning Program
7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Observance of the eight Precepts, Buddha Puja and Heel Dana (Self Serving)
8:30 – 9:45 a.m. Bhavana by Bhante Deepankara
9:45 – 10:00 a.m. break
10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Dhamma Desanawa By Bhante Piyananda
11:00 – 11:15 a.m. Buddha Pooja (Must start @ 11.00)
11:30 – 12:00 nn Dana offering to the Bhantes and those who observe eight precepts
12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Luncheon
Afternoon Program.
1:00 – 3:45 p.m. Sutra Discussion Bhante Deepankara/Bhante Piyananda
3:45 – 4:00 p.m. Tea & coffee break
4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Dhamma Discussion (in Sinhala by Bhante Bodhi
4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Dhamma Discussion (in English by Bhante Deepankara)
6:00 p.m. Termination of the Sil and Gilanpasa Puja

Sign up for the program

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