As early as 8am on Saturday 23 March 2019, we saw many adults in full white clothing, slowly walked into Buddhist Maha Vihara, Brickfields for a 1 day Mindfulness & Loving Kindness meditation retreat organised by Buddhist Institute Sunday Dhamma School.
There was a total of 90 participants comprised of BISDS past & current teachers, students and staff as well as devotees registered for this inspiring meditation retreat conducted by Bhante Saranapala from Toronto, Canada.
Bhante is widely known as "the Urban Buddhist monk" in Canada. He honed his skills as Meditation Master and Spiritual Counselor.
The program started with Buddha Puja and observance of 8 precept lead by Bhante Saranapala before he shared on mindfulness meditation and his experiences. The meditators had 1 hour experience of mindfulness meditation practice guided by Bhante before they break for vegetarian lunch. Yes indeed! group reflections while eating was observed by all before eating to remind that we take the food only to keep the body alive in order to practice the holy life.
Bhante continued the program by sharing Loving Kindness meditation and its benefits in great details. He inspired the group to wish happiness, love and compassion to all sentient beings and to cultivate Metta without expecting anything from others. He shared that loving kindness helps to improve the mind to higher level and with practice one begin to see every issue at higher level and be able to see things as they really are. He encourages everyone to radiate Metta upon waking up every morning.
Bhante guided the class for 45 mins of meditation on loving kindness before the mindful sipping of warm herbal tea during the short break. He than continued the program by demonstrating various methods of teaching meditations to students & youth. Since Bhante is also the Director and Principal of Sunday Dhamma School in West End Buddhist Temple and Meditation Center of Greater Toronto, he shared the class with a video on the operations and activities of the Dhamma School.
The program ended with presentation of monks requisites and navakamma, followed with chanting of blessings from Bhante.
We concluded the day with sharing of merits and group photography.
By Sis Jacqueline Ee