anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.

anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby konchokzopa » Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:04 pm

Hi i would like to know about good monasteries for long meditation retreats and possible ordination in Sri Lanka. lineages? where is a good place for westerner where the abbot is qualified and speaks english? visa issues? etc...

your help is greatly appreciated :anjali:
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby konchokzopa » Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:49 pm

im looking for especially a place that where you can ordain, where there is an english speaking abbot or english speaker and a good meditation teacher monk that focuses on shamatha and gaining acces to the four material and immaterial jhanas.
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby cooran » Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:34 pm

Hello Konchokzopa,

This might be worth considering:

http://www.nissarana.lk/

With metta,
Chris
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby konchokzopa » Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:07 am

seems very good but doesnt say anything about wether is possible to ordain or not.
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby Rob1980 » Sat Nov 02, 2013 12:41 pm

Na Uyana is a place that foreigners in Sri Lanka can ordain at. There is a strong emphasis on meditation.

There is some information on their website: www.nauyana.org

Best of luck with your search.
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby konchokzopa » Sat Nov 02, 2013 2:53 pm

thank you i actually found out about that place yesterday :smile:
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby perkele » Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:51 pm

Rob1980 wrote:Na Uyana is a place that foreigners in Sri Lanka can ordain at. There is a strong emphasis on meditation.

There is some information on their website: http://www.nauyana.org

Best of luck with your search.


Hi Rob,

it is a bit surprising to me that you would still recommend that place after your own experience there.

I would at least recommend to the OP at this point to carefully read the thread here of three months ago, about "The Nude Monk's Burning Robes": http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... 40#p253921

As you said there:
Rob1980 wrote:Anyway, it was enough for me to be extremely disillusioned with monasticism in general and I disrobed in August 2011, just before the end of the vassa.


So how has your attitude changed? Would you go back there?

I am quite puzzled here about your recommendation. Sure, the facilities may be good. It may be a beautiful place. But when giving recommendations I think one should also warn of possible dangers that one might be aware of.

I would be glad if you could shed some light on this. It's unfortunate that the discussion back then was cut short, so we could not get a fuller picture of your perspective on these things. Maybe it might be helpful also for others possibly in doubt to know more about your reasoning in still recommending Na Uyana as a place to ordain.

Kind regards
perkele

:anjali:
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby konchokzopa » Sun Nov 03, 2013 12:38 am

well, that was an interesting conversation, after reading nirosh's and rob's comments i would not want to go there. sounds like a place to stay out of. sad.
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby Rob1980 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:25 pm

There are monks who find Na Uyana a very good place and there are many benefits from ordaining there. There is a good training of the vinaya and there is some good instructions of meditation, at times. I have a very good friend from the UK who is still there and has been there for 3-4 years and, as far as I know, will continue his nissaya there until he is 5 vassa. There are other foreign monks there too who are fully aware of this 'Naked monk book' but continue to stay there because very few of the claims in the book have been substaniated or they simply don't believe what has been written.

Many forest monks, and I include myself here, tend to be very idealistic and although they let go of gross sensual desires(to an extent) by giving up things such as sex, comfort, choice etc, in it's place they take up views. And have views about all aspects of monasticism, what the Buddha taught, the commentaries, without really knowing for themselves. I should also add that many people become monks out of simply aversion to lay life, and they bring this aversion to monasticism, getting directed to the abbott, other monks, teachers etc. You can see this aversion and vindicativeness throughout the book and also in Nirosh's posts. I think the point I am trying to make is don't belive everything you read, go to Na Uyana and see for youself whether you feel comfortable there. Keep an open mind, talk to other foreign monks and ask about their lives there. You will get far more insight there than just reading people's opinions or rumours on a forum. I am not sure who Nirosh is and it may well be he is not who he says he is, so I would not take what he says seriously.

My experience of Na Uyana was mixed, my first two years there were very peaceful and there is no reason why yours couldn't be the same. I think in many ways the reason why I became disillusioned is because of my own idealism and expecting senior monks to be all wise and never to get angry about anything. It wasn't so much what I read in the book that disturbed my mind but more how I felt deeply let down by being suspected of writing the book and the general lack of leadship in addressing the paranoid atmosphere that prevalied after the book first came to light. I think this was the catayst that made me forget about the good monks and the good things that Na Uyana had and focus on the rumours that were going around and the paranoid atmosphere. It just didn't seem healthy anymore to stay and there didnt seem any other viable options. Perhaps I should have gone to Ajahn Brahm's monastery to get outside of that enviroment but the doubts had been buildnig for a while and for better or for worse, I disrobed.

'I remember a quote from Ajahn Brahm which went something like, "It is not the place that makes the people, it is the people who make the place"
And there are good people at Na Uyana; I still think if I was to recommend someone to get some experience as a forest monk in Sri Lanka, Na Uyana would be my first option. There are good monks to associate with and good monks who visit from time to time. You are given far more freedom than you would in any monasteries I have ever come across.

I plan to go back sometime to visit old friends and pay my respects to the elders there. And as I said in my posts before, the senior monks there were kind and accomodating to the foreign monks there including myself. Whether their apparent kindness was with ulterior motives I can never be certain. The only ever serious problem I had was with another foreign monk.

I am not sure whether this answers any of your questions, but I would recommend you check out Na Uyana if you plan to go to Sri Lanka and have interests in long-term retreats and monastic aspirations.

I edited a video some time ago of Na Uyana which gives you a glimpse of life there if you are interested:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-sk9SGaZUk

With metta

Rob :anjali:
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby BlackBird » Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:48 pm

I went to Sri Lanka to ordain a few years back, but failed to find a suitable place for what I wanted to do, I spent ~2 months at Nissarana Vanaya - Meetirigala under the Venerable Dhammajiva Thero. He speaks fantastic English and the monastery is fantastic, very well funded by Sri Lankan standards. The monks there keep very good Vinaya by and large and as a part of the Galduwa tradition (Sri Lankan forest tradition) it has a good reputation amongst the pious Sri Lankan laity.

Ven. Dhammajiva will give you a meditation subject in line with your prior experience - For instance if you've already been practicing anapana he will continue to help you foster that, if you've been working with rise and fall of the chest he'll help you with that (that seems to be the preferred method there - As Ven. Dhammajiva spent many years in Burma under Ven. U Pandita if I recall correctly.

Personally I am trying to get rid of my debt so I can find a suitable place to ordain again in the next few years and if I chose Sri Lanka I would be more inclined to try and nag the hell out of Ven. Nyanananda 'till he relents and ordains me, as a Venerable monk of the Thai tradition told me he doesn't usually ordain people but if I rocked up and explained my situation (that I don't want a traditional mahavihara teacher) and nagged him enough he probably would.

So it depends really on what your practice involves. At the time in Sri Lanka I grew quite disconcerted by the fact that every Dhamma talk seemed to return at some point to the doctrine of flux - One that I think is logically and fundamentally opposed to the Buddha's teachings, but for one who does not have such qualms I think Meetirigala could be a good gig.

I also went and stayed at Kanduboda, not the old one but the new one under Ven. Pemasiri. Ven. Pemasiri is quite famous in Sri Lanka and his centre is very well funded and the conditions are excellent. It's not in the forest though so you do have to put up with some occasional noises such as tooting horns and the Muslims with their loud speakers blasting the call to prayer and various music through out the village at times in the evening. There's a lot, and I mean ALOT of westerners at Kanduboda, which can be a massive relief for those who start getting culture shock. I got a bit of that at Meetirigala because with my internal strife my meditation wasn't going well, so I began to lament the fact that nobody besides the teacher spoke English and I was very lonely. At Kanduboda there were a lot of people I could talk to. There was even a New Zealand monk there so I could relate kiwi stories with him, the only problem I found with the place is that the vinaya wasn't up to par for my wishes, I have no intentions of divisive speech so I'll leave it at that.

There are a lot of pious sinhalese lay people, and they bemoan the fact there aren't more good monks, there is a lot of sangha corruption in sri lanka which the laity are all too aware of. But they are also aware that the Buddha spoke prophetically of this age of degradation and said that even when the Sangha was filled with immoral monks who didn't practice his teachings that a gift to the Sangha was still of immeasurable value - So many sinhalese are very generous with their dana. Be careful not to take up any offers of people to be your dayaka unless you're absolutely sure you'll be staying in the robes. I did this by accident as much as by simple ignorance and I ended up upsetting an entire extended family who refuse to speak to me now because in their eyes all their hard earned gifts they gave to me (just things like food, mosquito repellent, a clock etc) were worthless when I stopped being an anagarika and returned to the lay life.

But if you do choose to become a monk, this can work very much in your favour as you will have absolutely no problem obtaining any requisites you need for the holy life, and quite possibly some things you don't need, which can then be passed on to the Sangha at large. It can cause issues though because other monks can become jealous of the rich Suddha who has all these dayakas tending to his every need, especially because you will be newly ordained or even just an anagarika (as I was) and you will have all these people wanting to help you (it can actually be a hinderance to one's practice) - So my advice in such a situation would be to share anything you don't desperately need with the community and that way any immoral monks will see you as a benefit to them rather than a thorn in their side. Not to put you off, but there are a lot of scurously monks out there (although the Galduwa has a lot less of such monks) I heard stories from Western monks while there of incidents of suddha monks being poisoned or threatened in one case death threats to leave town, because the local temple felt the western monk with his actual precept keeping and meditation would result in less spoils of dana for them. So in your travels just be careful not to piss anyone off haha, work that metta meditation to the max and try not to step on any toes, always always be humble, Sri Lanka like other Asian nations (although less so) has a culture of non-confrontation, criticisms are made indirectly - Especially in the Sangha, so do not speak harshly or criticically of anyone or their ideas to their face, find ways to suggest alternatives in manners that do not insult a person's precious sense of pride or 'face'.

Ultimately it's a case of having realistic expectations of what you're going to find. As Rob points out in his post above. You will find most monks are just average human beings, like all of us they are affected by greed, hatred and delusion, and while some are working hard on cutting those roots off, many others are not. Those who are of such a high calibre of bhavana are usually tucked away in remote areas such as Laggala (which I had the pleasure of visiting), so you'll do best if you don't go in thinking it's going to be like it is in the Suttas.

Anyway that'll do for now, if there's anything else you want to know just ask :)

metta
Jack
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'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby Rob1980 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:01 pm

Blackbird? Was it yourself who went with a Sri Lankan layman called Chaminda to visit a New Zealand monk called Bhante Guttasila in Luggala? I remember him telling me of a westerner coming to visit him whilst he was there, I can't remember whether he said his name was Jack or not.

The chances of Ven. Nanananda letting any monks or layman stay, let alone ordaining anyone, are extremely remote. I had a good monk friend called Ven. Yogananda( Sri Lankan) who built up a very good relationship with him a couple of years ago and even he was not permitted to stay there for an extended period. His health was on the slide then, so I doubt that it has got any better since. But no harm in asking I suppose.
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby BlackBird » Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:55 pm

Yeah Rob, I met Chandima towards the end of my stay in Sri Lanka (I think he posts here sometimes) and we went and visited a couple of monks in Laggala, including a very senior Kiwi monk who's name escapes unfortunately escapes me, but I enjoyed spending a night in Laggala, this senior Kiwi monk, Chandima and I stayed up 'till about 3 in the morning talking about Dhamma, New Zealand & ideas about ordaining - Bhante was really intent on getting me to go have a stay at Na Uyana, he even suggested we travel there together and he'd introduce me to Ven. Ariyadhamma, I would have taken him up if it were not for the lack of time I had (I think it was a Friday and I was leaving on the Tuesday) I was very grateful for both Bhante & Chandima's hospitality and although he hasn't responded to a message I sent a year or so ago enquiring about things, I hope he is succeeding in his endeavours. Laggala was beautiful, a perfect area of seclusion, there's about 6 or so self contained Kutis dotted throughout the hills, some only take 20 minutes to reach from the road, others (such as Senior Kiwi Bhante's) took us over an hour and a half of trekking through forest. It took Bhante 40 minutes or so to reach the point where people would bring Dana for him each morning, and he would just come and pick it up. Another thing that really appeled to me there was the climate, which was a good amount cooler than the low lands at night, even requiring a blanket to keep warm - So for a southern man who's used to the cold, it felt much better on one's constitution. Also being dry for most of the year (there is only one season of rains rather than two in Southern Lanka) there weren't any mosquitos hovering around all the time, I didn't get bitten once while there - Not even at the bathing pool. The only thing that put me off slightly was that there were orphaned juvenile and bull elephants roaming the area however who were quite angry and Bhante said he'd been charged on several occasions by the elephants, narrowly escaping on one occasion. Apart from that, I think Laggala would be perfect, and I really dream about being able to live there once I've finished 5 or 10 vassas.

Regarding Ven. Nyanananda. Ah well, if and when I return there I will seek some other place. I was talking with Bhante Mettavihari, who's digs I was staying at - He is an incredibly busy monk with his television network but he found the time to give me a bit of council and he strongly recommended I ordain in either Meetirigala or Na Uyana, but explaining that I just want the freedom to do my own meditation work without a teacher with a strong Mahaviharan bent (which is unfortunately the rule and not the exception in SL) he suggested that perhaps if things really didn't work out with Galduwa he said he sometimes ordained Westerners in his own Amarapura group. I know by and large Amarapura doesn't keep the greatest vinaya, but as long as those present at my ordination weren't parajika I'd be more than happy to ordain with them, because I know they'd largely leave me to my own affairs. Ideally I'd like to find a monk who would let me do my own thing with meditation and sutta study but would be strict on vinaya and would be good council in keeping me in the holy life and making sure I learn the subtleties of being bhikkhu. I imagine that actually this is probably much more easier to find within Thailand or in the Ajahn Chah tradition, but we'll see.

I'm still 3 or 4 years off being able to repay debts and thus to ordain so plenty of time to consider these things but Sri Lanka really is quite an ideal country in terms of support for one earnestly striving for Nibbana.

with metta
Jack
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'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby Rob1980 » Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:30 pm

The New Zealand monk was Bhante Guttasila, a great monk who ordained in the Dhammayut sect in Thailand, I think he has over 40 vassas. He visited Na Uyana quite a few times whilst I was there and I had some very insightful Dhamma discussions with him, a real privilege. I also met Ven. Nyanadipa who is another great monk who lives in Sri Lanka. There were a lot of senior western monks living in Sri Lanka whilst I was there and more seemed to be moving from Thailand to Sri Lanka to find more seclusion. Having senior monks, especially westerners, to talk to was extremely useful in my practice.
I don't know what the format was at Nissarana Vanaya but at Na Uyana during my four years there I probably saw the meditation teacher, on average, once every 2 months. One is given a lot of freedom there, so one needs to be self-motivated and have self-discipline, and to keep that going on a day to day basis can be difficult. So having a teacher can be useful, even if it is just for motivation and energy. The good thing about Na Uyana is that they teach Samatha, and it is not until one has very strong concentration that they will look to put you on the Pa Auk course or the vipassana that Pa Auk Sayadaw teaches. So I wouldn't worry about being around monks with a mahavihara bent. I expect you have read a lot of Ven. Nyanavira's work by the sounds of things.

I think that Sri Lanka is the most ideal place these days for monks looking for a balance between mediation and living as a forest monk. In Thailand the emphasis seems to be more on living and maintaining the discipline as a forest monk whereas in Burma the emphasis is on meditation and monasteries can seem like monastic meditation centers. Sri Lanka strikes a good balance if one finds a suitable place to ordain. I also think that Sinhalese culture is more amenable to westerners than Thai culture, but that is probably due to the influences left by the colonial powers.

I never went to Luggala, I never had enough stability in my practice to maintain such an extended period of seclusion. Solitude is not for the faint-hearted!

If you are in New Zealand there are some Ajahn Chah monasteries which look very tranquil places, Ajahn Chandako's place and another one near Wellington. Have you been to any of these?

With metta

Rob
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby konchokzopa » Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:01 pm

blackbird, can you ordain at nissarana vanaya - meetirigaala ?
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby BlackBird » Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:44 pm

Of course you can. Provided you're virtuous, good at keeping the precepts, not one who gets into conflict or argument, of few wishes and that you learn to conduct yourself in a manner fitting of a recluse. Before I left I had asked them if I could ordain, and they told me I could and that I would spend a further 3 months over the rains in brown (their anagarika step 2 as it were) then after I would recieve the Pabbaja - The going forth.

By Sri Lankan standards the food is excellent, nobody speaks english bar the chief lay anagarika and Bhante Dhammajiva however and unless there are fellow Westerners staying there - These two will be your only point of conversation. Gradually the others will attempt to communicate with you in Sinhalese and as I knew about 60 or so words we got by with pointing and smiling.

metta
Jack
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'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby BlackBird » Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:59 pm

Rob1980 wrote:The New Zealand monk was Bhante Guttasila, a great monk who ordained in the Dhammayut sect in Thailand, I think he has over 40 vassas. He visited Na Uyana quite a few times whilst I was there and I had some very insightful Dhamma discussions with him, a real privilege. I also met Ven. Nyanadipa who is another great monk who lives in Sri Lanka. There were a lot of senior western monks living in Sri Lanka whilst I was there and more seemed to be moving from Thailand to Sri Lanka to find more seclusion. Having senior monks, especially westerners, to talk to was extremely useful in my practice.
I don't know what the format was at Nissarana Vanaya but at Na Uyana during my four years there I probably saw the meditation teacher, on average, once every 2 months. One is given a lot of freedom there, so one needs to be self-motivated and have self-discipline, and to keep that going on a day to day basis can be difficult. So having a teacher can be useful, even if it is just for motivation and energy. The good thing about Na Uyana is that they teach Samatha, and it is not until one has very strong concentration that they will look to put you on the Pa Auk course or the vipassana that Pa Auk Sayadaw teaches. So I wouldn't worry about being around monks with a mahavihara bent. I expect you have read a lot of Ven. Nyanavira's work by the sounds of things.

I think that Sri Lanka is the most ideal place these days for monks looking for a balance between mediation and living as a forest monk. In Thailand the emphasis seems to be more on living and maintaining the discipline as a forest monk whereas in Burma the emphasis is on meditation and monasteries can seem like monastic meditation centers. Sri Lanka strikes a good balance if one finds a suitable place to ordain. I also think that Sinhalese culture is more amenable to westerners than Thai culture, but that is probably due to the influences left by the colonial powers.

I never went to Luggala, I never had enough stability in my practice to maintain such an extended period of seclusion. Solitude is not for the faint-hearted!

If you are in New Zealand there are some Ajahn Chah monasteries which look very tranquil places, Ajahn Chandako's place and another one near Wellington. Have you been to any of these?

With metta

Rob


Hi Rob, how could I forget the name of Bhante Guttasila. He was such a pleasure to stay with and talk to, clearly the product of many long nights of metta bhavana haha. Yes, re: Na Uyana these were the very points he raised, he felt I would have much greater freedom to do my own thing than at Meetirigala where Bhante Dhammajiva likes to meet with you weekly (sometimes even bi-weekly) and discuss your progress and instructions.

Some would really benefit from the much closer relationship with the teacher and the smaller environment ala Meetirigala, while some I think would benefit from the vastness of Na Uyana.

I think it was Bhante Guttasila who told me that Na Uyana would be ok for someone who follows Ven. Nyanavira's framework. He was a contemporary of Ven. Bodhesako in the days of the Island Hermitage so it was cool hearing some personal accounts of someone I hold in such high regard. While Pa Auk is taught at Na Uyana, it was made clear that if I didn't want to follow that framework that would be OK.

I totally agree about Sri Lanka being the prime rib of countries in which a recluse can lead the holy life, you sum up my thoughts nicely there.

Regarding NZ, Ajahn Chandiko's place in Auckland is a work-monastery as it is in it's infancy and there is much that needs to be done. There is very little time for meditation and it's not the place for ordination. Bodhinyanarama in Wellington on the other hand has been around for 30+ years, it's well established and I have spent about 3 months there over the last 5 years it provides a lot of space for temporary daily seclusion, although there is a lot of proximity to lay people who's practice is not always on very solid foundations, which in my experience did lead to some back sliding at times in myself by bad-association. However for one who does not seek out friendships of such nature it wouldn't be a problem. I would love to go and stay there now as the chief editor of the Path Press - Ven. Nyanasuci is living there. Bodhinyanarama would be my spot of choice at the moment but that may change in the 4 or so years it will take to be free enough to finally make the move.

Regarding Laggala and seclusion, you're right - It's not for the faint hearted, and perhaps my judgement is clouded by the fact that I try and meditate in a suburban environment with cars going by and a house mate who is always walking by opening doors shutting them sitting down next to me and clicking away on a laptop, all of which has helped equanimity, but it has led to a strong desire to be a free of such impediments too when the opportunity arises. Even in Meetirigala you had the noises of the forest - Monkeys were particularly noisy at times with their calls and booms, but no monkeys to be found in Laggala. I think while I was going through a very difficult time in Sri Lanka - My disillusionment with Mahavihara practices - The same practices that I had clung to so religiously- Coupled with my lack of being able to meditate effectively because I was so upset with being 'stuck' in a place where I couldn't practice as I wished, I looked towards the lay life as a solution to my problems and thus the justifications began. What's different now is that I have come to see the lay life as the antithesis of Dhamma, and I have discovered what true refuge is like, I defer to the Buddha in all things (as long as I'm mindful) and it is only being close to the Dhamma that makes me happy and easeful, so for me - I think Laggala in the warm dry forests of northern Sri Lanka would be perfect for me once I've graduated to Majjhima-bhikkhu status.

Good talking to you Rob :)

metta
Jack
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby anupa » Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:54 pm

Is vimmutti (Tan Ajahn Chandako's temple) still a working monastrry?How many hours of meditation for a day would I get if I were to go there now?
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby melancholy » Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:05 pm

konchokzopa wrote:Hi i would like to know about good monasteries for long meditation retreats and possible ordination in Sri Lanka. lineages? where is a good place for westerner where the abbot is qualified and speaks english? visa issues? etc...

your help is greatly appreciated :anjali:


i am a foreigner who is living in sri lanka for a long time. it is a complex matter answering your questions. i must confess years back i thought it would be like in the books but it was not trust me :). also people talk about long meditation retreats but depends on how good you are as a meditator. anyway what do you mean by “abbot is qualified” qualified according to the dhamma or by his own claims or the fame he has due to some reasons such as claims by his close followers?
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby BlackBird » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:59 pm

anupa wrote:Is vimmutti (Tan Ajahn Chandako's temple) still a working monastrry?How many hours of meditation for a day would I get if I were to go there now?


Yes, you wouldn't get much time to meditate I don't think. You'll probably be working 6 to 8 hours a day.

metta
Jack
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
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Re: anyone know about Sri Lanka?

Postby melancholy » Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:52 pm

BlackBird wrote:Yeah Rob, I met Chandima towards the end of my stay in Sri Lanka (I think he posts here sometimes) and we went and visited a couple of monks in Laggala, including a very senior Kiwi monk who's name escapes unfortunately escapes me, but I enjoyed spending a night in Laggala, this senior Kiwi monk, Chandima and I stayed up 'till about 3 in the morning talking about Dhamma, New Zealand & ideas about ordaining - Bhante was really intent on getting me to go have a stay at Na Uyana, he even suggested we travel there together and he'd introduce me to Ven. Ariyadhamma, I would have taken him up if it were not for the lack of time I had (I think it was a Friday and I was leaving on the Tuesday) I was very grateful for both Bhante & Chandima's hospitality and although he hasn't responded to a message I sent a year or so ago enquiring about things, I hope he is succeeding in his endeavours. Laggala was beautiful, a perfect area of seclusion, there's about 6 or so self contained Kutis dotted throughout the hills, some only take 20 minutes to reach from the road, others (such as Senior Kiwi Bhante's) took us over an hour and a half of trekking through forest. It took Bhante 40 minutes or so to reach the point where people would bring Dana for him each morning, and he would just come and pick it up. Another thing that really appeled to me there was the climate, which was a good amount cooler than the low lands at night, even requiring a blanket to keep warm - So for a southern man who's used to the cold, it felt much better on one's constitution. Also being dry for most of the year (there is only one season of rains rather than two in Southern Lanka) there weren't any mosquitos hovering around all the time, I didn't get bitten once while there - Not even at the bathing pool. The only thing that put me off slightly was that there were orphaned juvenile and bull elephants roaming the area however who were quite angry and Bhante said he'd been charged on several occasions by the elephants, narrowly escaping on one occasion. Apart from that, I think Laggala would be perfect, and I really dream about being able to live there once I've finished 5 or 10 vassas.

Regarding Ven. Nyanananda. Ah well, if and when I return there I will seek some other place. I was talking with Bhante Mettavihari, who's digs I was staying at - He is an incredibly busy monk with his television network but he found the time to give me a bit of council and he strongly recommended I ordain in either Meetirigala or Na Uyana, but explaining that I just want the freedom to do my own meditation work without a teacher with a strong Mahaviharan bent (which is unfortunately the rule and not the exception in SL) he suggested that perhaps if things really didn't work out with Galduwa he said he sometimes ordained Westerners in his own Amarapura group. I know by and large Amarapura doesn't keep the greatest vinaya, but as long as those present at my ordination weren't parajika I'd be more than happy to ordain with them, because I know they'd largely leave me to my own affairs. Ideally I'd like to find a monk who would let me do my own thing with meditation and sutta study but would be strict on vinaya and would be good council in keeping me in the holy life and making sure I learn the subtleties of being bhikkhu. I imagine that actually this is probably much more easier to find within Thailand or in the Ajahn Chah tradition, but we'll see.

I'm still 3 or 4 years off being able to repay debts and thus to ordain so plenty of time to consider these things but Sri Lanka really is quite an ideal country in terms of support for one earnestly striving for Nibbana.

with metta
Jack


hi jack, appreciate your inclination :anjali:. why not ordain in ajahn chah tradition, probably in thailand, complete 5 rains with a very good training and then go to sri lanka to live as an independent monk. many foreign monks who ordained in foreign countries live freely in sri lanka meditating with the happiness of seclusion. for such monks the support from the donors is plenty.
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