SILENT MEDITATION RETREAT and full moon day blessing with Bhante Debongshi & Rev. Sik Shan Tek
Two-days Residential Meditation Intensive Program Saturday, Dec 2, 2017 7:00 a.m. Breakfast 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Instructions, Sitting & Walking Meditation 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Lunch and Silent Rest 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Sitting & Walking Meditation according to instructions 3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Silent Break 3:30p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Sitting & Walking Meditation according to instructions 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Tea Break, Fruits and Snacks 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Art of Conscious Living Dhamma Seminar & Q/A 8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Metta Meditation (Loving-kindness Meditation) Take Rest
Sunday, Dec 3, 2017 4:30 a.m. Wake up 5:00 a.m. - 7:00 a.m. Sitting & Walking Meditation according to instructions 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. Breakfast and Silent Rest 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Sitting Meditation and Metta 10:00 a.m.- 11:30 a.m. Full Moon Day Blessing ceremonial and Dhamma Talk 11:30 a.m. Lunch 12:30 p.m. Sharing of merits & Metta (Loving-kindness) with all beings Program ends
Every hour during the meditation period there will be a 5 to 10 min break. Boarding and lodging are free, only voluntary donations are accepted. Since we only have limited number of seats and beds, participants are advised to bring their own sleeping bags and cushions. Intended participants are advised to register early. Part-time participation is also possible.
At Lotus Blooming Buddhist Charitable Foundation 471 Elgin Mills Rd W Richmond Hill, ON L4C 4M3 (416) 302-8822
From the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh he spent his early years in India. Bhante studied and practiced Dhamma for over thirty years and has been trained in two major vehicles (Theravada and Mahayana), particularly in Vipassana and Zen Meditation. According to Theravada tradition Bhante received ordination in 1987. He was educated in the University of Dhaka in Pali Literature and Philosophy, studied Tripitaka for nine years in Moanoghar Pali College and acquired Sutta, Binaya and Abhidhamma Titles from Bangladesh Sanskrit and Pali Education Board in 1991. In 1994 he undertook a pilgrimage to India and Thailand. After Bangladesh Bhante moved to South Korea. He studied there Mahayana Buddhism for three years and has completed 16th monastic education in Korean Buddhist Jogye Order in 1998. He was trained at Jikjisa one of the Korean oldest and well-known monastery in Korea. In beginning he stayed at Heinsa for a short period where six huge, 802 woodblock Tripitaka Koreana have been preserved.
1998-2000 He taught Theravada Buddhism at Lotus Lantern International Buddhist Center, in Seoul and later moved to Kanghwa-do (worked as mentor), and exclusively involved in Vipassana meditation that helped people to incorporate the physical health and mental wellbeing. He did collaborate with social workers and psychiatric professionals to discuss treatment ideas and progress. He also helped to establish and then became the first non-Korean Incumbent of the Sang Youn Sa Zen Center in Suri Mountain, Gunpo-si. It was founded by the Zen master Dr. Ki Youn Lee Sunim where he trained his non-Korean students. He also undertook a pilgrimage to Singapore and Thailand. Through yoga and meditation Bhante helps students to go beyond their emotional and physical pain improve their lives. He has travelled to Thailand, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan for Buddhist conferences, retreats, and pilgrimages. He also attended number of Vipassana courses taught by S.N Goenka in Japan, USA and Canada. Bhante lived in the forest Mountain and practiced Vipassana in the Theravada forest tradition. He would go on an alms round traveling through the rural side of the country in quest of suitable setting for deepest practice of meditation. He frequently stayed in forest and cemetery using a technique called Asuvanussati (contemplation on impurity, life and death) to explore the true nature of life, to experiment and ultimately defeat the fear of ailments and death. He keeps strictly to the original Vinaya rules, laid down by the Buddha as the Monastic code of discipline. He lives very simple life following the monastic rule of eating one meal a day and carries only basic needs of three robes and alms-bowl. In 2000, Bhante Debongshi was invited to visit USA by Cor. Kirti Ranjan Chakma one of Dhamma devotees who lives in California. Seeing the interest of Dhamma in Buddhist community there, he stayed for a few months. Then he moved to Washington DC. A few months later he was invited to come to Detroit by Wat Lao Buddhist Temple where he worked as Secretary for two years and collaborated with different communities, Sri Lankan and Korean communities in particular. Bhante taught meditation at Great Lakes Buddhist Temple, Michigan, Mu Moon Sa Korean Temple, Rochester, Wat Lao Buddhist Temple, Detroit, and strongly involved in psychotherapy activities that help integrate the physical health and mental wellbeing. Having spent for four Vassas (Rains Retreats) there in USA, then in 2004 he moved to Canada. After years of public service, he decided to establish a Center for grater benefit, where he could regularly teach his simple technique of meditation. After ten years in GTA he then moved to Hartsmere, McArthus Mills and established Dhammanjali Meditation Center, a non-profit charity, in February, 2014. It was a far remote woodland in Hasting County. Supported by many devotees and friends like Professor Aditya Kumar Dewan, Dr. Le ba Ton Nu, Dr. Alan McAllister of Bancroft, Ven. Shengguang Shi (Sifu) Abbot of the Chan Buddhist Society of Cobourg and Venerable Thay Thong Tri Bhante has developed number of relationship with different communities there in MacArthur’s Mills. Currently Bhante moved the Center to Regina, teaches meditation and share his extensive wisdom with the communities. A spiritual teacher at heart, Bhante encourages others to develop the qualities from the enlightened teaching of Buddha in order to foster peace and harmony in Canada, and around the world. His simple yet insightful technique of meditation has a universal appeal to students. It involves wisdom, genuine understanding, compassion and mental purification that help students to make their life happier, healthier and more expressive.
It was a great moment of success marking the opening of a new meditation centre in Regina. We celebrated DMC’s third anniversary February 25, Saturday, with an event attended by local dignitaries and members of Regina’s developing spiritual community. Speaking at the event, Mayor Michael Fougere noted that “this centre is here for peace, tranquility, and meditation,” and that while “there is lots of turmoil, division, and conflict within our world, it’s a breath of fresh air to know that in Canada and in Saskatchewan, we have a great place that really is here for tolerance and understanding.” “I have a suspicion” mused Hon. Minister Mr. Ralph Goodale, “[that DMC] will become a very important part of this community as the years go by and more and more people learn about the benefits of participating in the contemplation and meditation that the centre offers, in terms of peace, equilibrium, and enlightenment.” “Dhammanjali Meditation Center is a blessings for the people of Saskatchewan”, according to Hon. Mark Docherty, MLA Regina. “It will ensure social harmony among many communities based on the Buddha’s teachings and his timeless wisdom.” “Canada has been maintaining our openness and inclusively. Our multi-culturalism is a good thing” said Hon. Erin Weir MP, “we can go further than that to help people, and recognized the DMC has the potential to become a spiritual hub”. “When I did little bit of research on good work done by inclusive community beings to DMC,” said Hon. Chief Mr. Evan Bray, Regina police service, “I feel the DMC community has demonstrated each and everyday men and women at work like Regina police service. Things like kindness, compassion, teachings, truth, respect, peace and inclusiveness. That is what is important to this community and important to us.” “It’s a great achievement and an opportunity for the Reginian, Chakma people in particular to have a meditation centre of their own,” Dr. Aditya Dewan DMC’s Director said. “Now they will not have to go to the temples belonging to other communities.” “This is a good opportunity”, added Dr. Talukdar, DMC’s Patron, “to connect with each other in the area, to work together to improve the community life in our world.” “The only path to well-being and happiness… lies in the purity of the mind, which is produced through the regular practicing of mindfulness meditation.” We continue to develop our good relationships with our members from different backgrounds and enjoy and respect the multicultural community we serve. We would like to extend our sincere thanks to everyone who participated in this remarkable day.
Maintaining good mental health is equally as important as maintaining good physical health. If you are to pursue a successful life, one’s psychology is a key focus. It governs all other areas of life. Strategy shows our psychology is responsible for 80% of success while other aspects like natural and social environment etc. is responsible for 20% of success. You can imagine how hard it is to remain mentally healthy. The Buddha pointed out it’s possible to find people in the world who are physically well for maybe a month, for years, even for a hundred years; but hard to find a person who is mentally well even for a moment. The mind and body are separate mechanisms of our life, but they are also deeply interconnected. Therefore, when you are mentally ill it affects your physical health. In order to accomplish your goals it is important to have to be optimistic and a healthy mindset. I am referring to a positive mental attitude. When the mental attitude gets stronger it changes your emotions and your psychology improves, that means the mental health improves. You will notice that the people with a positive mental attitude are always happy, energetic, resilient, and successful. They actively engage in the path of success, have passion for knowledge, and have awareness to self and the world. They offer constructive answers frequently rather than posing difficult questions. They can easily pursue a better life because of their healthy psychology. But those who are mentally ill have a deficit in their psychology and have great difficulty in life. They are doubtful in almost everything. The people with doubtful attitudes tend to believe that negativities are unavoidable, one way or another causes them to accept it as true and undermine all of their ability. Gradually this negative habit develops on itself and turns to depression. That’s how the pessimists look at the conflict of life and in way they judge the world. On the other hand with positive mental attitude the optimist tends to look at hardship as a test, as impermanent, as a blessing, failure as to promising victory. So they find the way out as they wait for their success. If you think you’re caught up by any negativity, it is important to change the habit primarily by focusing on a goal. Get advice from optimistic people on how to train yourself to be more positive and stay determined to achieve a healthier life. May all beings be well and healthy!
If you want to pursue a happy life it is important to remain healthy. As you can imagine, it is very hard to focus mentally in life when your physical health is ill. Your ability of understanding during spiritual practices also becomes hindered. Looking after your body takes a few simple things, following a daily routine, moderating food, eating lots of fresh vegetables, avoiding junk food, continuing regular exercise, practicing meditation, getting enough rest, and drinking at least 6-8 classes of water daily. Let’s not forget a clean environment is one of the important parts of a healthy life. So keep your environment clean. Ultimately, if you fail to do these common things your physical health will deteriorate and this will affect other aspect of one’s life. If you devote at least an hour a day to maintain your physical health, the body will be balanced and full of energy. The Buddha used to walk daily and traveled far and wide by foot to teach others regardless of the season. He was able to do so because he maintained a balanced lifestyle. While listening to Dhamma, the King Kusala often fell asleep because of ill health. He even had had to retire for some time from his Royal duties. The Buddha advised him to moderate food and follow the eight moral precepts. According to the advice of the Buddha, he moderated eating, observed the eight precepts on every uposatha day, and practiced meditation which gradually improved his health. After getting better he came to pay respect to the Buddha. On that occasion the Buddha uttered thus, “Oh great king; health is the utmost gain, gratitude is the greatest wealth, the trustees are the most excellent kin, and Nibbana is the supreme bliss.” These are the blessings that bring true happiness. My daily mindfulness practice includes morning and evening meditation, mindful work, cleaning, organizing personal tasks, gentle yoga, mindful walking. I look forward to do these activities every day. It helps me both mentally and physically. When I ignore doing my practices, for even a day, I grow lazy. I notice my physical condition becomes slothful and inactive. The daily disciplinary activities help to boost my energy. Being in good health is a great deal, it empowers you in every engagement in life. If you are in poor health, it should be your key objective to build up your health, by doing the simple things as I mentioned above. I guarantee if you maintain these simple things, it will improve not only your physical health, but also all areas of your life.
Remain with the Dhamma as an island, the Dhamma as your refuge, without anything else as a refuge.