Poya Program and Two-day Retreat on November 16th & 17th

Dear friends of GBV,

We are organizing a two-day retreat for the November Poya Program (Il Poya) with Bhante Thapovanaye Sutadhara from Ventura Buddhist Society, California.  We invite all devotees to attend this two-day retreat conducted by this very knowledgable monk and reap benefits. We will also have a kids program on Sunday, November 17th in place of the dhamma school.

Please take your breakfast prior to arrival at the Vihara.  Venerable Bhanthes will have their breakfast early in order to start the program on time.  Saturday program will be conducted in Sinhalese. The Sunday program will be conducted in English. Kids Program is from 2:00 p.m to 5:00 p.m.

Please note that there will be only Bhante Sutadhara who will be at the Vihara on Sunday as the other three monks have to leave for another event.

Schedule (Saturday, November 16th)
Time Event
8:30 am Observance of Eight Precepts and/or Five Precepts and
start of Noble Silence other than for Dhamma discussions and questions
8:45 am Dhamma sermon
10:00 am Break
10:15 am Meditation
10:45 am Buddha Pooja
11:00 am Dana offering to the Bhantes and
those who observed eight precepts and Lunch Break
12:30 pm Discussion on Benefits of Metta Meditation
1:00 pm Metta Meditation in practice
1:30 pm Sermon on mindfulness and its benefits
2:00 pm Vidharshana Meditation
3:00 pm Tea Break
3:30 pm Walking Meditation
4:00 pm Dhamma Discussion by a venerable Bhanthe
5:00 pm Observing the five precepts for those who want to and punnyanumodana


Schedule (Sunday, November, 17th)
Time Event
The schedule will be the same as Saturday until 12:30 p.m.
12:30 pm Sutra Discussion on Dependent Origination.
2:00 pm Kids Program with a discussion on kindness to oneself, family and others.
3:00 pm Break
3:30 pm Metta Meditation for kids
4:00 pm Discussion on Refraining from harmful actions for oneself and others and
the benefits of Seela (virtue, moral discipline) in the long run.
4:30 pm Mindfulness Meditation
5:00 pm Five precepts and Punnyanumodana (Sharing of Merits)

We are kindly asking kids to not bring any electronic devices (cell phones, video games, etc.)  to keep the distractions to a minimum.

May the Triple Gem bless you all.

Bhante Wajirabuddhi,
Ajith & Shyamalie Wijeratne (the Sponsors and Organizers of the event)

Exploring Buddhism with abbot of GA Buddhist Vihara

The Retreat - Mihini Senanayka

The Retreat
Before the retreat, I wondered, what will the retreat be like? I realized
that the retreat would be a challenge for me because I don’t wake up that
early. I was a bit nervous about writing a journal because the hardest thing
was being truthful. I’m really excited and nervous but I think this will be a
fun, good experience.
Day 1: July 29, 2019
This morning we lit the candles in the shrine room. It was really calm.
When we did the meditation and gathas, my mind couldn’t stay in one
place. I couldn’t hear what the Bhante was saying. To keep my mind in one
the place I focused on what Bhante was saying and everything settled down.
As I was listening, Bhante said, “We must work on our imperfections and
learn to fix them as soon as you see them arise.” We also observed the 10
precepts instead of the normal 5. When these 10 precepts were stated, I
realized I have broken some of them and will try not to in the future. After
the long day, we went to sleep. I thought to sleep on the ground would be a
problem. When you don’t think about it, you will fall to sleep quickly. Lights
Day 2: July 30, 2019
Today we woke up really early. We all got dressed in our clothes
and brushed our teeth. Then we drank tea. We lit the candles in the dark
and did the meditation. It was calming and helped me stay awake.
Yesterday, my mind couldn’t stay awake because I wasn’t focusing my
mind into meditation. Now I feel improved on making my mind stable
and focused. I also remembered what Loku Hamuduruwo was saying the
other days. Loku Hamuduruwo was talking about the immediate benefits of
meditation, I put my heart into it and it actually worked! Abhidhamma today
was very interesting. Deeptha Uncle said that knowing a tomato is a fruit is
a knowledge. He also said that knowing not to put a tomato in a salad is
wisdom. It was really logical to me. I also realized there is a lot to learn
about in dhamma.
Day 3: July 31, 2019
The retreat went so fast! I learned a lot and can’t wait to tell my
parents and siblings about it! We ate breakfast and did the Buddha pooja.
After that, we did a little bit of walking meditation. My feet didn’t hurt
because I do gymnastics and I do all sorts of things to my feet. After we did
the mindful working, we went to a Vietnamese temple. We met a really cute
little boy named Rylie and saw the most beautiful peacocks ever. Soon, a

The Retreat
nun greeted us in the sweetest way. We learned that the future Buddha
would be the laughing Buddha and the Bodhisattvas. What’s different is
that they recite things in Vietnamese, not Pali. All these things at the retreat
I learned was really interesting. We went to the temple and recited gathas
to our parents. I gave a special thanks to my mom and dad for encouraging
me to make my dreams come true. This year’s retreat was fun and had lots
of things for me to learn. Next year, I am totally going to the retreat.

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