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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Meditation in Sri Lanka

Meditation Centres in Sri Lanka

Kanduboda Meditation Centre -Delgoda

Located 16 miles from Colombo, accessible by bus route 224 (Colombo/Pugoda).
Started in 1956, and offers Vipassana instruction in the style of Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma.

The centre can accommodate up to 70 meditators at a time. Accommodation, meals and services are offered free of charge, the centre being funded by donation. Meditators must dress in white throughout their stay (White clothing is available for foreigners). Meditators can stay for a number of weeks or months, and help can be given with visa extensions. It is recommended that meditators undergo an initial training period of 3 weeks at the centre. Tuition continues throughout the year, but as the centre can be full at times (particularly around poya days) it is wise to telephone ahead.

Tel/fax 94 01 570306


Nilambe Meditation Centre -Nilambe

The teacher, until his death in March 2000, at this centre was Godwin Samararatne, a layman with extensive experience of teaching both in Sri Lanka and abroad. Godwin's style was firmly within the Buddhist tradition but with an emphasis on metta (loving-kindness) and mindfulness in daily life. The emphasis at the centre under teacher Upul Gamage continues to stress these aspects. The centre is in beautiful surroundings above a tea plantation outside of Kandy.

The centre is easily reached by bus from Kandy. Buses for Galaha pass Nilambe Office Junction (about 17km). From there it is a steep walk (or rickshaw ride) through tea plantations to reach the centre. Alternatively, taxis or autorickshaws are available from Kandy. It is a good idea to contact the centre in advance to let them know when you will be arriving. Advice can also be sought from the Buddhist Publication Society in Kandy. (Autorickshaws are often available from the bottom of the office junction, at Nilambe, but the gate half way up the tea estate road is locked most of the time. You can try calling Nalaka on 0777-811653 to get more information, or to get the gate opened in the non meditation times if you cannot walk the last mile.)

Meditators stay from one night to several years, and the centre can help long term meditators with visa extensions. Accommodation at the centre is in single or shared rooms. The centre has no electricity supply, and conditions are adequate but basic. Although this is a lay centre, often there are members of the Sangha undertaking personal retreats at Nilambe.

The centre charges 400 Sri Lankan rupees per day (about GBP 1.90 sterling, USD 3.70 at Feb 2007 rates) to foreigners to cover accommodation and food. Sri Lankans may offer donations instead. The majority of longer-term meditators are Westerners, but many Sri Lankans also use the centre (particularly around Poya days). Teaching is available in English and Sinhala from the resident teachers. There is a good library of books and tapes in English and Sinhala.

Contact: Telephone (94)777-804555 between 6pm and 9pm,

Dekanduwala Meditation Centre -Kananwila

This is a newer Vipassana centre catering mainly to Sri Lankan meditators. English and Sinhala are both spoken by the monk-in-charge, and foreign meditators are welcome. Transport regularly leaves the BCC in Dehiwala (outskirts of Colombo) to go to the meditation centre, and the BCC should be able to arrange an interview with the teacher beforehand should this be required. The meditation centre is also accessible by bus from Colombo. The centre is under the direction of Ven. K Wimalajothi.

Inquiries and bookings should be made through: Buddhist Cultural Centre, 125 Anderson Road, Nedimala, Dehiwala.

Dhamma Kuta

A meditation centre which follows the instruction of S.N.Goenka. Regular 10 day courses in Goenkaji’s vipassana method take place at the centre. Please telephone for dates. Instruction is with the aid of tapes, and assistant teachers are in attendence. Goenka follows the technique introduced by U Ba Khin of Burma. After instruction in Anapanasati (mindfulness of breathing), the meditator moves on to a form of 'sweeping' meditation, whereby mindfulness of the sensations arising and ceasing in the body lead to an understanding of anicca (impermanance), and through that an understanding of dukkha and anatta. Instruction is available in Sinhala and English. No fees are charged, donations welcome. See for more details on this and other Goenka centres worldwide.

 Tel: [94](081) 238-5774
 Tel: [94](060) 280-0057
 Fax: [94](081) 238-5774

Mailing address:
Vipassana Meditation Centre
Dhamma Kuta
Mowbray, Hidagala, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
c/o Mr. Brindley & Mrs. Damayanti Ratwatte

Web Site:

Lewella Meditation Centre

A centre for experienced male meditators, and for the study of Buddhism, situated on the outskirts of Kandy. In addition to rooms within the centre several individual retreat kutis (huts) are available on the edge of the Udawattakelle forest reserve.

Contact :


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