2456 Thu 30 Nov 2017 LESSON
Information about Meditation Centers and other important places in Sri Lanka for visiting Western Buddhist lay practitioners.
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outline displays the publication of books in the Devan±gari-script
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Below is a picture taken in 2008 in Sri Lanka. The monk in the picture
saved those cows from slaughter. And after he saved their lives, this
was what one grateful cow did.
I think this is more than sufficient to show that animals do not just
behave instinctively, have no emotion, and are meant to be meat and milk
machines to serve us. No doubt some people do not even have gratitude
like this cow.
From Bangalore, Karnataka we went for Swimming
Championship including Ocean Swimming. I made it a point to meet this
Venerable Monk. I was lucky to stay in his Monastery for three days. Now
on 25th January 2017 all my 25 swimmer friends wish to meet him.
I need the address of that Monastery.
Fascinating 6th c AD forest monastery in a
thick forest mountain. Calm and quiet, Arankele was the abode to a most
famed Buddhist monk Arahat Maliyadeva who, along with other monastic
monks lived nearly 2,000 years ago. The sylvan environment of this
monastery will relax and refresh you completely and is also home to
archeological findings. Stretching out on many acres of a forest canopy,
there are stone carved caves used for meditation, long pathways across
the dense forest.
The monastery, identified as one of the
significant Buddhist sites in Sri Lanka, is built in the 2nd c BC and
lies in the midst of Yala National Park. In ancient times, this rock
temple said to have been occupied by a total of 12,000 Arhants;
enlightened Buddhist monks. Inside the monastery there are a number
archeological ruins ,including rock caves, Stupas , chapter houses,
Image Houses, Bodhi Trees and ponds and The caves’ inside have been
built to make it suitable for the monks to live.
One of the less visited but most legendary
ancient sites of Sri Lanka. The Ritigala , nestles deep inside the
Ritigala Strict Nature Reserve, is a partially excavated ruins of
anextensive BuddhistMonastery. It was abandoned following invasions in
10th and 11th centuries and today holds special appeal with its curious
blend of nano-safari and archaeology. Walking around the beautiful ruins
does certainly give you a feeling of adventures in search of mythical
pasts; it is easy to imagine yourself as Indiana Jones whilst clambering
over the overgrown relics of a forgotten time.
An ancient monastery, dates back to 3rd c
BC, had been re-discovered in recent past.
The monasteryis a very beautiful place with extraordinary tranquility
and peacefulsurrounding as it has been built in a land of boulders that
provides caves, which had been converted into isolated facilities for
meditation.Kudumbigala is one of the most interior monasteries, where
Theravadhi Buddhist monks are even today occupying under very basic
Information about Meditation Centers and other important places in Sri Lanka for visiting Western Buddhist lay practitioners.
Updated: January 2005.
Sri Lanka there are many meditation centres and monasteries, only some
of these are suitable for Western Buddhist lay practitioners who do not
intend to become monastics or stay long time in the country. The
following information is particularly intended to western lay Buddhists
who are new to Sri Lanka and who wish to stay in a meditation centre in
Sri Lanka for a limited period of time. The centres have been arranged
according to districts. A separate paper, much moreextensive, has been
written for Western bhikkhus, those who aspire to become bhikkhus, or
are very serious about their practise and are intending to stay a longer
period of time. It is called:
about Meditation Centers, Forest Monasteries, and other important
places in Sri Lanka for Western bhikkhus and serious lay practitioners.
If one would like to visit a forest monastery during one’s stay in Sri
Lanka then this last paper will provide one with useful information.
The forthcoming book “Sacred Island” by Ven. S. Dhammika (to be
published by the B.P.S.) gives exhaustive information regarding ancient
monasteries and other sacred sites
an pilgrimage places in Sri Lanka.
The best places for those who are new to Sri Lanka and wish to do a
retreat are the ones given under the Colombo District and Kandy
Districtheadings, i.e., Kanduboda Vipassana Meditation Centre, Kanduboda
New Meditation Centre, Nilambe Meditation Centre, Pāramitā
International Meditation Centre, and Dhammakū2a Vipassana Meditation
Most meditation centres for laypeople charge a small amount of money
for the lodgings and food. In monastic meditation centres like Kanduboda
there are no charges, but a donation is appreciated.
The place where the meditation centre is gives a good indication about
its climate. In the south-west low-country the climate is tropical,
i.e., hot and humid. The eastern low
country has a dry season
between May and October. The South West (roughly between Mātara,
Colombo, and Ratnapura) is the so-called “wet-zone” where two monsoons a
year take place (May-June, November-January). The so-called
“dry-zone” (this is an exaggeration as it can rain heavily here too at
times) is in the East, North, and South.
Only one main monsoon (Nov-Dec) takes place there.
deep South (the coastal area between Ambalantota and Pānama) and the
far North (Northern coast & Jaffna peninsula) are the driest areas
in S.L. The upcountry is the hill- and mountain-area in the center of
Sri Lanka (roughly between Mātale, Badulla, Haputale, and Ratnapura).
Here the climate is temperate and it can get cool at night. It is
generally a more agreeable climate than the low-country for westerners.
In the south-west up-country areas such as the Singharāja rainforest
and the Sri Pada Wilderness areas it rains the most, so much so that it
can be impossible to dry one’s clothes, etc., for days after washing.
The food is generally everywhere the same all the time in Singhalese
areas, fairly plain and simple. It can be quite spicy compared to
Western food. In the cities the food can be
more nutritious while
in poor rural areas the food can be quite un-nutritious. Many people in
Sri Lanka don’t eat meat or fish. In many meditation centres and
monasteries one gets no meat or fish. In some monasteries and meditation
centres small amounts of fish can be served (meat or eggs are hardly
ever given), but one can easily refuse without
Medical care and hygiene are not of the same standards as they
generally is in the west, but the doctors usually do their best to help
one and there are quite a few doctors and
dentists who have trained
and worked in the West. The monastery or meditation centre one is
staying in can help if one needs medicines or medical care. The best
the Apollo and Navaloka private hospitals in Colombo.
The medical care is supposed to be very good in these places, but it is
priced accordingly. The same doctors who work in
hospitals also work in government hospitals, but the equipment and
facilities in government hospitals are of a lesser standard. The
treatment in government hospitals
is free for Sri Lankan citizens, but foreigners have to pay for the treatment.
There are some good dentists, some trained in the West, in Sri Lanka
who can do the same work as dentists in the West but at a much cheaper
Sri Lanka is a great place for practising patience,simplicity, renunciation, and humility.
Conditions in meditation centres and monasteries can be very simple and
uncomfortable for those used to the luxuries and comforts of the west.
Meditation centres and monasteries are not rich in Sri Lanka and only
few places will have a car.
Public transport is cheap in Sri Lanka, but one needs to be prepared to
spend three or four times or more the amount of time getting to aplace
in Sri Lanka than it would take
in the West. Most roads are small,
badly maintained, and congested. The traffic can be very chaotic and
dangerous. It is not definitely advisable to drive oneself in Sri Lanka.
can rent a minibus or car with a driver for about rs. 3000-4000 a day
(including petrol). The hotel one stays initially can help oneto find a
car with a driver. Make sure to
ask for a driver who does not drink
or smoke. Drivers are likely to try to bring one to tourist shops from
which they will get a commission if you buy anything. The same applies
for hotels. Three wheelers are a convenient mode of transport for
shorter distances and in towns they can be quicker than cars. The price
for three wheelers is about rs. 20-25
a km, but a higher price will
generally be charged to Westerners. Make sure to settle the price
before getting into the three wheeler.
Loudspeakers can possibly be quite a disturbance in Sri Lanka, as in Asia in general.
There are only a few places which completely escape the sound of the
Paritta-chanting blasted from village-temples on Poya-days.
Sri Lanka used to be a British colony and there are many Singhalese
people who can speak English well, especially in Colombo and other big
towns, however, in remote
country-side areas it can be more
difficult to find English speakers. Nevertheless, in almost every
village there will be (or is supposed to be) an English teacher in the
school who will be keen to practise his English and can help with translating if necessary.
In the bigger meditation-centres and monasteries there usually are a
few people who can speak English, but in the more remote and smaller
places there might not be English
The greatest concentrations of meditation-centres and monasteries are
in the Western and Central parts of the country, esp. in Colombo and
Kandy districts. Due to the war there
are very few active
monasteries in the northern andeastern districts although there are
ruins of ancient ones in many places. In the highermountain areas there
are also few
monasteries as the Singhalese generally find it toocold up there.
Western Buddhists are usually treated with respect and wonder by
Singhalese as westerners are not Buddhist out of cultural reasons, but
out of a sincere desire to practice
the Dhamma. Most Singhalese are
Buddhists, but they are Buddhist because they are born so and not
really out of conviction. Most Buddhists in Sri Lanka (and other
in Asia) practice their religion in the same way as, for
example, most Anglicans would do in England. Most will only visit the
monastery a few times a year to offer food to the
dedicate the merit to their dead father or mother and perform some other
rituals. Not many Singhales laypeople meditate, even the practice of
most of the more
serious Buddhists consists mostly in observing the
precepts, chanting sacred chants, visiting the monastery on poya days,
and other devotional practices.
In general one can, and needs to be, more independent in Sri Lanka. If
one wishes to practice independently and is not looking for a big guru,
then Sri Lanka can be a great
place. The Singhalese, like Indians,
are more individualistic than the Thais, and leave more space to others.
There is not such a strong teacher-tradition in Sri Lanka as in
Thailand and Burma, but there are monks, nuns, and lay practitioners who
can give useful instructions and help one along the way.
The transliteration of Sinhala characters has been added when it was
known and considered useful. This makes it easier to pronounce the place
name and make oneself understood to the local people.
The character æ is pronounced as the Enlgish e in and or a in cat, ǣ is
pronounced long drawn like the a in taxi spoken by a New Yorker, a as
the a in another, ā as the a in art, i as the i in ink, ī as the ee in
eel, the u as the u in put, the ū as the u in prudent, e as the a in age
(but before a conjunct consonant as in endand thus the same as æ), and o
as the o in own (but before a conjunct consonant as in orange). The v/w
is pronounced mid-way between the English v and w. The w has been used
in this work. For more information on the correct pronunciation of
Sinhala, see W.S. Karuna til lake’s “An Introduction to Spoken Sinhala”
p. ix ff and the Guide to Pronunciation in“The Forest Monks of Sri
This paper is as comprehensive and exact as possible but things can change quickly.
Please send any suggestions with regards this list to:
PO Box 61
The capital of Sri Lanka. In general: a hot, humid,noisy, polluted, and sensual place.
Lanka Vipassana Meditation Centre.
108 Wijerāma Mawatha, Colombo 7. Tel. 011-2694-100.
This is a branch of Kanduboda in Colombo’s Diplomatic quarter. Ven.
Pemasiri used to stay here, but moved to a new place next to Kanduboda
in 2003 (see previous entry), his
place was taken over by Ven.
AriyavaKsalaLkara. The place has had many long-term Western monastic-
and lay-residents in Ven. Premasiri’s time. Good support, tidy, clean.
It is fairly quiet here for Colombo standards. Women stay in a separate
wing. There are no official courses but there is group-meditation.
There is no charge for the lodgings and food, but donations are welcome.
Pagoda Meditation Centre.
49/2, 1stCross Street, Pagoda Road, Nugegoda. Tel:
011-2812397. Website: http://groups.msn.com/PagodaMeditationCentre
A new centre started by Ven. Olanda Ānanda, a well-known senior Dutch
monk who speaks fluently Sinhala and has been teaching meditation for a
long time in Sri Lanka and
abroad. There is no accomodation to stay
yet, but visitors are welcome. Retreats are planned. Situated in a
fairly area in a suburb of Colombo.
Buddhist Cultural Center, (= B.C.C), 125 Anderson Road, Nedimala, Dehiwala,Tel.
26234, 734256 Fax. 736737. Director: Ven. Vimalajothi. Comprehensive
selection of Buddhist Books. There is a branch-bookshop at the junction
of Baudhaloka Mawatha and
Sarana Road in the All Ceylon Buddhist
Congress compound, and 2 smaller centres, one in Kelaniya, and another
near Lake House alongside the Cetiya opposite the Hilton.
Affiliated to this place is a meditation centre in Horana outside
Colombo: Dekandūwala Meditation Centre. See under Colombo District
International Buddhist Research and Information Center
(IBRIC) / Nārada Center, 380/9, Sarana Road, Colombo 00700 Tel 689388. e-mail
Prof. Bhikkhu Dhammavihari’s and Ven. Mettavihari’s place. On the
ground floor there is a Buddhist book shop with a wide selection of
Vishva Niketan International Peace Centre. 72/30 Rawatawatte Road, Moratuwa.
Affiliated to the Sarvodaya movement, they have programs for males and females of all religions.
Mostly flatland with some small hills, rubber estates and paddyfields. A hot and humid climate.
Siyane Vipassana Meditation Centre or Kanduboda Vipassana Meditation Centre.
Kanduboda, DelgoQa. Tel. 011-2445518; 011-2570306.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
A meditation centre and monastery with a long tradition of offering
meditation-instruction to Westerners. The main teacher and head monk is
who is very experienced in the Mahāsi tradition. Women have a separate area to stay in.
There are a few large buildings with rooms and some ku2is. It is close
to a small road and surrounded by coconut plantations and a few village
houses. The teaching is in the
Mahāsi tradition. The daily schedule
and discipline is more relaxed than in the Mahāsi centres in Burma.
More individual meditation than group meditation. There is no charge
for the lodgings and food, but donations are welcome.
The centre is approximately 20 kms east of Colombo.
the CTB Bus Station at Olcott Mawatha, Pettah, take the 224 bus which
stops outside the monastery; also the 207 bus from Gampaha goes there.
Some of the buses to Kirin
diwella are passing near Kanduboda (but
this is not a good option, as they are infrequent). Kanduboda has more
than 25 branches throughout the country. Most are of no significance
Sumantiphāla BM. Hibatgala Rd, Kanduboda, DelgoQa. Tel: 011-2402805.
A new meditation centre has been opened in 2003 on the land right next to Kanduboda.
Lay people can build ku2is and have access to them for life. This might
interest to those who may want to meditate but not become a monk.
Thirty ku2is have been built already.
The head of the new centre is Ven. Pemasiri, a popular and experienced
teacher in the Mahāsi tradition who is helpful and friendly to
foreigners. He used to stay in Kanduboda VMC and then in Lanka Vipassana
Centre. (See next entry.) Besides the Mahāsi method he also teaches
other traditional methods of meditation. The place is mainly for
but monks do visit and stay here for limited periods. The female yogis and nuns have their own separate area.
The facilities are nice and spacious.
Kananwila, Kahatapitiya, Horana. Inquiries and bookings should be made
through Ven. Vimalajothi at the Buddhist Cultural Center; see Colombo
above. The place is situated on a hill-top. Both small houses (ku2is)
and rooms are available for lay-meditators. Good facilities, nice
meditation hall, quiet, nice views. Westeners are welcome to stay here.
It is about 20 km south-east of Colombo. There is probably a charge for
the lodgings and food.
The ancient capital of the hill country. A fairly large town with the
temple of the tooth-relic and the two headquarters of the Siam Nikaya.
There are some forests left on the hills and mountains. Temperate
climate, cool atnight.
Lewella Meditation Centre,
160 Dharmashoka Mawatha, Kandy 20000, Tel. 08-2225471.
Fax 08-2225471. A meditation centre in a suburb of Kandy (1,5 km away
from the centre of town) connected with Nilambe, mainly for lay-people,
both Westerners and Singhalese.
There is a house with a few rooms near a road and 4 ku2is in the
shrubby forest on the slope above the house near the eastern edge of the
Udawattekele. Group-meditation in evening. Yoga-classes. Relaxed
atmosphere This placeis in a town-area and can therefore be a bit noisy.
There is a 400/- a day charge for lodgings and food.
D.S. Senanayaka Maw/Trincomalee Street. Near Trinity College.
Burmese vihāra on a major and noisy street right in the center of
Kandy. One or two Burmese monks are residing here. Laypeople can get a
room against a small payment and the place is popular with western
Buddhist Publication Society (B.P.S.), PO Box 61, 54 Sangharaja
Mawatha, Kandy. Tel: 081-2237283. The B.P.S., founded by Ven.
ÑāSaponika, has a big bookshop with large assortment of Buddhist books.
There is also a reasonable reference library upstairs.
Forest Hermitage, Udawattakele, c/o Buddhist Publication Society, PO
Box 61, Kandy. Tel: 07777-65944. The Hermitage of Ven. ÑāSatiloka, Ven.
ÑāSaponika, and Ven. Bodhi. Laypeople visiting the Forest Hermitage need
not pay the fee for the Udawattakele sanctuary. It is a small place
about 20 minutes walk from the entrance of the forest. If one wishes to
visit then it is recommended to write or telephone beforehand to the
resident bhikkhu, Ven. ÑāSatusita.
Hills and mountains covered with tea plantations and forests. The higher one goes the cooler it gets.
Nilambe Meditation Centre, Galaha, Kandy. (Mr. Upul Gamage: 0777-804555.)
The major lay-meditation centre in Sri Lanka for western travellers.
Many westerners, both male and female, come here, but there are also
some Sinhalese. There is a 400/- a day charge for lodgings and food.
There is a strong daily schedule and little talking.
Situated in tea-estate-country on a mountain-range above Peradeniya.
Quiet area. Cool, wet climate, beautiful views. Relaxed and friendly
atmosphere. Godwin Samararatne, the respected and internationally known
meditation teacher, was long connected to this place and passed away in
early 2000. The resident teacher for Singhalese meditators is Mr. Upul
Gamage. Other teachers also come occasionally.
There is no resident teacher for westerners at the moment.
About 20 kms south of Kandy. From Kandy take a bus to Galaha and get
off 17 km after Peradeniya at the Nilambe Bungalow junction (conductors
know the place). From there it is a steep 40 min. climb through tea
plantations. Follow the white arrows.
Pāramitā International Buddhist Centre. No. 07 Balumgala, Kadugannāwa,
recently built meditation centre on the hill above the point where the
Kandy-Colombo road starts going down the mountains (where the old road
goes through the rock); 20 km west of Kandy. There is a good library. A
comfortable place especially built for westerners who like good
facilities and food. Various teachers come for visits and sometimes
retreats are held, but normally the emphasis is on practising and
studying by oneself. Ven. Sīlananda is the resident teacher and main
organizer. Some noise from Kandy-Colombo road. There is a charge for
lodgings and food.
Dhammakū3a Vipassana Meditation Centre. Mowbray, Galaha Road,
Hindagala, Perādeniya. (Nr. Kandy) 081-2234649/081-2385774-5/070-800057.
A meditation centre where 10-day Vipassana Meditation courses are given
in the tradition of Sayagi U Ba Khin, as taught by S.N. Goenka. On a
mountain, beautiful views, cool. Only courses, no permanent residents.
It is better to book well in advance as the courses are often booked
out. About 5 km from Peradeniya towards the south. Take a Galaha bus
from Kandy. One can not visit here without an appointment. There are no
fixed charges for the courses, but donations are welcome.
Konāravatta Meditation Centre.
Atanvala. South of Kaikawala/Rattota. Tel: 066-2233450.
30 km north-east of Kandy, 12 km from Mātale. New, scenic 16 acre place
on the slopes of the Knuckles Range. Belonging to ex-Nyanasīha bhikkhu
(Germany), now Peter.
Laypeople can build their own meditation huts here.
If Peter is not there then the caretaker is Chandrā.
Friday, June 25, 2010…
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by the persecution of Cambyses. This tradition would justify the
portrayal of Buddha with woolly hair. Historical documents do not
invalidate this tradition…There is general agreement today on placing in
the sixth century not only Buddha but the whole religious and
philosophical movement in Asia with Confucius in China, Zoroaster in
Iran. This would conf…