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Dolores Watson met Bhante in 2009, while Bhante was teaching at IMS in Barre, Massachusetts. She asked him to be her teacher and Bhante accepted.  Later, Dolores spent three days driving all the way from New Orleans to meet Bhante at Bhavana Society in West Virginia. The culmination of this meeting was the establishment of Flowering Lotus of which Bhante Buddharakkhita became a Spiritual Advisor. However, both Bhante and Dolores are no longer affiliated to Flowering Lotus Meditation Centre. She founded Radiance Retreat Center in Magnolia, Mississippi, where Bhante is the current Spiritual Advisor.

After ten years, their friendship culminated into the arrival of Dolores to the Uganda Buddhist Centre to show her support for Bhante and his Dhamma activities in Uganda, Africa.  Dolores came along with her friend, Dawn Perryman to Uganda on the night of August 3, 2019.

On the following morning, Dolores and Dawn distributed items that they had carried to UBC’s women economic empowerment group and teenage girls. Some of the items offered included clothing, detergents, chocolates and sanitary towels. The two demonstrated to the young girls how to use the sanitary towels that they offered.

On August 6, 2019, Bhante took the visitors to the Peace School, where they interacted with the children and the staff. On their arrival to the school, two children offered them flowers, a moment which was very humbling and touching for Dawn and Dolores. Dawn and Dolores also offered chocolates and candies to the children, and had a grand tour of the whole school while Bhante Buddharakkhita highlighting the development plan of Peace School.

Remember: Peace School is an education program of the Uganda Buddhist Centre, established to provide holistic and high-quality education while embracing African values, Buddhist values and the Uganda National Curriculum to children.

Thereafter, they were taken to St. Paul Bulega Primary School and Bugabo Primary School, where they had a grand welcome and cultural entertainment by the Primary Six pupils. Bhante has offered boreholes to both schools, thus providing access to safe and clean water for children and the nearby communities.

Later in the afternoon, they travelled to Ssese Islands to see the land that Bhante is planning to buy for expansion and establishment of a retreat center.

Together with Bhante, Dolores, Dawn and other UBC members visited the Source of River Nile, the longest river in the world. While in Jinja, they also visited the Palace of Obwa Kyabazinga Bwa Busoga (Busoga Kingdom).

Dolores’ visit to Uganda coincided with her 77th birthday on 12th of August. The UBC team and members of the community surprised her with a birthday celebration gifts. She was moved to tears by the generosity of the UBC members. On the same event, Bhante offered gifts including umbrella trees for both Dolores and Dawn to plant at UBC.

Dolores had plans to travel to Kenya and Rwanda, but she canceled the trips on the grounds that she needed more time to experience Uganda. In the afternoon, Bhante took Dolores and Dawn to visit Golden Hearts Kindergarten and Day Care Centre in Kasenyi, Entebbe. The school was established by Counsel Joseph Kalemba, a volunteer legal adviser at UBC.  Later on, Dolores donated USD 1,000 towards the installation of a borehole. Moreover, in appreiciation of Kalemba’s legal advice, Bhante donated USD 312 towards plastering the floor of classrooms.

UBC team and the local communities, are eternally grateful for her continued generosity towards the Centre.

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As we join the rest of the world to overcome hunger and malnutrition, the UBC organized its campaign of the “Third Walk to Feed the Hungry” on Sunday, August 18, 2019.

The walk was led by Bhante Buddharakkhita and over 500 people including UBC members, people from the village, children from 3 local schools, and distinguished guests participated in this campaign.

Hunger and malnutrition are a very big global challenge. In the villages surrounding the UBC, many children including orphans cannot afford a square meal.  Some children in schools cannot afford lunch and yet they have to study the whole day. The causes of hunger include endemic poverty, wastage of food and lack of knowledge of the potential foods available in Uganda. Poor people cannot afford food rich in health-sustaining nutrients. According to the Buddha, “Hunger is the worst diseases, conditioned things the worst suffering. Knowing this as it really is, the wise realize Nibbana, the highest bliss.” (Dhammapada 203). Certainly, if one is hungry, one cannot listen to the Dhamma thus hindering one’s spiritual growth and development.

To overcome this challenge, Uganda Buddhist Centre started a program called, ‘Hunger Relief Program’, which offers nutritious food to over 50 children monthly from Bulega village.

Purpose of Walk to Feed the Hungry

The “Walk to Feed the Hungry” campaign is intended to create awareness about global hunger and resources to develop sustainable food security system. The gift of food is the gift of life.”

The walk campaign was started by the Buddhist Global Relief (BGR) chaired by Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi in New York, USA. Ven. Buddharakkhita is a Spiritual Advisor at BGR and he has led a couple of walks since their inception. Ven. Buddharakkhita introduced these kind of solidarity walks in 2015 in Uganda. Since then, the number of participants has been increasing.

This year’s walk featured the feeding of over 500 people by the Sri Lankan community in Uganda. Furthermore, Kamal and his Sri Lankan friends demonstrated the number of foods wasted in Uganda such as potato leaves, banana flowers, cassava leaves and green papaya.

Part of the cultural show included a poem presentation on how hunger affects mental and physical health by Bugabo Primary School. Finally, Venerable Bhante Buddharakihtta gave a brief talk on the significance of the walk before he flagged off the walk.

 

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With the generous donations from VietCare.org (Vietnamese organization), the children of Lake Side Primary in Gerenge have a sustainable future of plentiful clean and safe water. We are drilling a borehole to provide the school with safe and clean water. The school has been relying on water from the lake and sometimes rain water catchment systems.

The borehole will benefit over 150 school children and hundreds of households neighboring the school. This new borehole is expected to be completed towards to the end of August 2019.

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In our previous newsletter, we posted part of Bhante Buddharakkhita’s talk on Defense Mechanisms. We discussed repression and aggression. In this newsletter, we take you through Projection as the third defense mechanism. Read more here.

Again, when the bhikkhus are reproving a bhikkhu for an offence, he attributes an offence to the reprover himself, saying; you have committed such and such an offence. Make amends for it first.

Here is a bhikkhu saying first make amends before you come to me. Of course, the instruction that the Buddha gave is that first learn yourself before you reproach another person. That is the instruction we have even in monastic tradition. Before you go to reproach another bhikkhu or person you make sure you are clean. So, no wonder this monk is saying make your amends first before you come to me. The Buddha goes on that;

“I say this person is similar to the wild colt when told go forward, and when spurred and incited by its trainer loses its thigh from the chariot pole and crushes the chariot pole. There is such a kind of a person here like a wild colt. This is the third fault of a person.”

This in modern terms, we call it projection. This is more of a person defending oneself against one’s conscious qualities whether positive or negative by denying their existence in oneself while attributing them to others. This is very common during retreats. It takes the form of judging others. Usually, when we judge, we start judging others. These qualities we don’t like in ourselves. We judge others because they are doing something, we don’t like ourselves.

Let me start with an example. As a lay person, I went to a boarding school. They taught us that we have to be smart; combing hair and in uniform. When you are not smart, the teacher will say you are not allowed to go to the parade. Even day schools, smartness was very important. When I became a monk first time in 2001 in California, I was given these robs. These robs were not easy to put on. I am telling you, this is a rob; it is not a dress. It is like a bedsheet (audience chuckles). So, you have to wrap it around yourself. You think you practice mindfulness? You put on this; it keeps falling apart. You don’t want to do it in public. I think Guy can relate to it since he has been a monk. Every time I was so disappointed with this thing falling off. You have to be mindful to keep it on. Otherwise it will fall apart when you have just ordained. There is even the tie-full rob; you go to the public and you are always worried that it may fall apart (chuckles). You haven’t seen me tie it around because we usually do that when going out. This is even terrible. Your arms always have to be raised so that your robs don’t fall off. Now, I got the trick how to tie it together. When I learned it, it became my judging point when I see monks who don’t do it properly. I started judging other monks because there is not a lot to do in a monastery. I was so preoccupied because I didn’t want this rob to go off. So, whenever I go to a monastery, the first thing is to look at the monk whose rob is going down; whose rob is uneven. I was struggling with judgment in first two years. I asked myself, did I become a monk to judge? Or I came to attain liberation? I found out I am actually here to attain liberation. I don’t know if I can finish this story. Maybe I break it apart because it is very interesting. Sometimes the monk was senior than me. And I look at how is his rob his uneven and how it is falling off. That is where I learned that actually when I judge others, it is because I don’t like this behavior in me. Here are the solutions I came up with. I am sharing with you. They are around six of them. These are from my practice and consolidating Buddha’s teaching.

  • The first one is MYB—Mind Your Business (audience chuckles). It worked. Every time I would see a monk with robs going and sometimes stepping in robs, I would say mind your business. You came here to liberate yourself not to judge monks. It worked. You can use it next time you see yogi walking slowly or too fast. You can use it in anyway, I have no copyrights.
  • Another one which is very helpful—non-judgment day is here. You know I was born in Uganda. It is a Christian country, so I learn about judgements days coming. So, what I do is just play with it. Non-judgement day is here. That also worked.
  • Another one, you can use some teaching by Anne. It is called reflection on the law of Kamma. Anne gave a talk on that. That is my Kamma. If I put on a rob so smartly, it is my kamma. If others put it badly, it is their Kamma. It has nothing to do with me. That is kind of mind your business. If they put on a rob in a bad way, it is not going to affect my kamma. So, reflection on law of Kamma also helps. I am not going to talk about Kamma. I think she did a very good job.
  • Another, it also works. If you have a judgmental mind or projecting others. You don’t want to eat too fast but others eating too fat. These things actually happen during retreats.
  • Reflect on your thoughts first. Have you never done anything wrong? You do of course many things wrong. Why are you a fault finder? Trying to find what others are doing wrong. It happened to me when I was in Burma in 2003. I was meditating for two months with Sayadaw U Pandita. This is a big retreat at the end of the year bringing monks, nuns and lay people together. It is wonderful. They taught us how to do walking meditation. I started doing walking meditation; lifting, moving and placing. I had of course done walking meditation in our monastery in California. But all of a sudden, I saw a monk coming close to me. He was taking pictures with a digital camera, all my moves; lifting, moving and placing. I said, we are not supposed to take pictures. The monk took all these pictures. I was wondering what I did wrong that this monk took pictures. During evening time, as monks don’t do dinner, we give to other people out of compassion. But we go for juice though. All monastics will sit together and take juice. The monk pulled out a camera, and I said you are doing wrong. You see, he didn’t mind his business. He said you should walk like this. He started running back all the pictures showing me exactly how my feet were raising and not going properly. Amazing! What yogis go through? He was judging my walking. I thought I was doing it well. I went to Burma after a three months long retreat at forest refuge. I had done retreats and I knew how to walk (chuckles). Look at what you are doing. I think he was not doing it right. But because he wanted to do it right, he doesn’t want to go wrong, and thought I was doing it wrong that is why he took pictures. Find out what you are doing wrong before you go to others to point out what they are doing wrong. That also works.
  • Another one is more of discernment—judgmental mind; you become a judge. You judge others. We call it judging mind. What if you shift your understanding to what we call judicious? To be judicious is not the same as to be judgmental. Judicious is more of discernment. You need some wisdom and understanding to be judicious. So, you want to be judicious but not judgmental. With judgment, we are acting on our prejudices. With judiciousness, we are bringing in wisdom to discern what is skillful and unskillful. That is the difference.
  • Finally, whenever judgment comes, make a note of judging, judging, judging. Not so loud but a soft mental note. ‘Oh, this is my judging mind’. That works.

 

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On July 28, 2019 the UBC celebrated the purchase of 2 acres of land stretching from the east to the south of the Centre.  The purchase was finalized on Wednesday, July 24, 2019.

This newly purchased land sits just adjacent to the Temple’s perimeter walls in the east with a breathtaking view of Lake Victoria in the south. These 2 acres are covered with pine trees and eucalyptus which makes it perfectly convenient and conducive for a forest monastery. UBC now sits on 4 full acres of land, with prospects to further expand in the future. Before the purchase of this land, UBC’s master plan for development called for more land for both residential and office space, and other programs such as Peace School, youth and women economic empowerment program.

We are eternally grateful to all our supporters for this great achievement. The next step is to raise funds to build accommodation for the Abbot and other monastics on the newly acquired land.

A blessing and purification ceremony for the land was conducted on Sunday July 28, 2019. Members of UBC, Burmese community, Sri Lankan community in Uganda and the nearby communities participated in this event led by the Most Ven. Bhante Buddharakkhita, Ven. Sangharakkhita and Ven. Dhammakami, the nun. They led the chanting to bless the land, taking refuge and the five precepts, meditation and Bhante Buddharakkhita delivered a Dhamma talk on the importance of giving. He emphasized the five kinds of giving which including; giving time, effort, respect, space and materials things. In his talk, Bhante used an African proverb to reflect on the Dhamma teaching of Dāna (giving). The proverb goes that “No one is too rich to receive, and no one is too poor to give. Giving brings happiness and peace to both the giver and the recipient.”

Moreover, Bhante Buddharakkhita offered food items (sugar, rice and soap) to members of the youth and women economic empowerment program, and other people from the village. He also offered chocolates and candies to over 100 children.

Furthermore, along with the blessing of the land, there was a celebration to remember the passing away of Moe Moe’s mother, Daw Win Yee who passed away April 29, 2019. Moe Moe is a Burmese lady who has continuously supported the Uganda Buddhist Centre since its inception in 2005. She offered alms to the venerable Mahāsanghas and to over 100 children from the neighboring villages who participated in the event. Moe Moe also offered food items which included posho flour, milk and sugar to the staff and children of the Peace School. We are so grateful for her endless support. May her generosity be a cause and condition for her happiness and freedom from suffering! We also send our merits and metta to her departed mother. May she attain final liberation!

On the same day, the Sri Lankan Buddhist community in Uganda led by Kamal and Dhammika who have also supported the UBC from the beginning, offered robes to the Mahāsangha (Great community of monks and nuns), food items like rice, sugar and other items.

Dr. Juuko Ndawula and his family, donated food items to the temple, an act that rarely happens since the temple began. The local people have now started to learn and appreciate the Buddhist culture of generosity to the monastics. Traditionally, the temple survives on the charity and generosity of lay devotes for material requisites. However, since the temple began in Uganda, people have always expected and sought to the temple for material support. Thus, the act of Dr. Juuko and his family, is a significant sign that the local lay followers have now started to understand the traditional culture and practice of Buddhism. We thank Dr. Juuko and his family for being an example to the rest of the community in Uganda.

 

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The Buddha never used words such as defense mechanisms. However, the modern psychologists use these words in the exact manner as the Buddha explained these mental attitudes in the discourses. Defense mechanisms are unconscious protections against stressful situations and they play significant roles in keeping us with safe limits. They are not something that you call useless. They have their role to play, to help us from situations of stress, distress and harmful thoughts. When we are in danger, we need immediate protection. But the problem is over-using them and not knowing how to use them. Defense mechanisms are analogous to wearing shoes. You put on your shoes to walk in muddy areas. You go and walk in the woods. These shoes protect you from muddy areas, thorns and elements. But if we over-use, or misuse or abuse them, especially if you come back with your shoes, you mindlessly enter the meditation hall with your shoes on, and you go the dining hall with the mud on your shoes. You go to your room, and take shower with them, and you go to bed with them. Can you imagine what will happen? First, your bed sheets will get dirty. You have to keep on washing them every day. And you go in shower with muddy shoes, your fellow yogis are going to complain—who brought this mud in the meditation hall?
It is very clear these defenses or coping mechanisms have a place to play in life, but the problem is to use them when they are uncalled for.

Sometimes there are techniques we use in mindfulness—coping mechanism. But the thing is that coping mechanism and defense mechanism are similar and they are also different. Copying mechanisms are conscious while defense mechanisms are mostly unconscious. You can really apply coping mechanisms like mindfulness in which actually you deal with the situation and you allow yourself to embrace the emotion and be aware of it and investigate it. However, defense mechanism can be mindlessly pushing the experience so that you do not have to deal with it. These defenses or defensiveness are: repression, aggression, projection, regression, compensation, denial, mental isolation and physical isolation.
That is when defense mechanism is not serving. Because you are thinking chairs are going to protect you.

1.Repression.

We are going to use the discourse itself. I think we better begin with the discourse; it is called Wild Colt. So, the first one, I am just reading from the word of the Buddha.

“And what bhikkhus are the eight kinds of persons who are like wild colts and the eight faults of a person? Here, when the bhikkhus are reproving a bhikkhu for an offense, he exonerates himself by reason of lack of memory, saying I don’t remember. I don’t remember committing such an offense. I say this person is similar to the wild colt that when told go forward, and when spurred and incited by its trainer, backs up and spins the chariot behind it. There is such a kind of a person here like a wild colt. This is the first fault of a person.”

So, the Buddha here was using the word “fault” instead of “defensiveness” or defense mechanism. This is what the Buddha say the first way this bhikkhu is defending himself. Maybe I should explain what an offense is. In monastic tradition, we keep many rules. We keep 227 rules for monks and nuns keep more. When you transgress some rules, especially the first for rules, you cease to be a monk. The next 13 rules, you can make amends but you need a quorum of 20 monks to confess. There are other offenses where it requires one to one, maybe your fellow monastic. Others are just training rules and others just part of the discipline. There are various offenses, but this seems to be one to one—one monk maybe observed that he has transgressed from a certain moral conduct. But the bhikkhus here says “I don’t remember.” In modern psychology, they call it repression—you suppress it.

Maybe you have pain in this retreat and you can’t face it. You may just actually forget about it. But is forgetting about pain going to solve the problem? No. it is not going to solve the problem. So, we need to be realistic and we have to apply mindfulness. Whether it is physical pain or emotional pain, we have to practice mindfulness. We also have to be aware and understand that we are trying to repress it—suppress it, which is actually doing it more consciously; repression is unconscious. Suppression is actually trying to push away things that you don’t want—bottling them. In your meditation, maybe you have experienced those situations where you remember difficult memories in your child, and you try to suppress them, you don’t want to face them. Of course, the good thing about mindfulness is that its function is non-forgetfulness while repression is actually trying to forget. The function of mindfulness is of course to guard the mind from difficult mental defilement, but also it has this function of non-forgetfulness. If you practice mindfulness, you will be more aware of this defensiveness or protection that you are trying to put on. You should be able to really address the issue at hand— whether it is emotional or physical pain. Sally yesterday gave a talk on mindfulness of mind states—a wonderful talk. All the teachers here have been giving techniques of how to deal with difficult situations. Maybe it is a yogi job, very difficult. So, what do you do? Maybe it brings a lot of anger because you are working with somebody who is working too fast and you cannot speak. Then there is that kind of frustration—you get frustrated that you cannot talk. Usually these things happen when you really cannot come out of the situation easily. Then you can easily get a protection and just suppress things. But I think there should be a way how we can deal with these kinds of situations instead of suppressing or repressing. We find some ways of dealing with it.

But here is the question; most of the people say you Buddhist, you meditators, you don’t talk about expressing anger; you don’t talk about suppressing anger, or repressing it. What do you do? The answer is, we try to dissolve—it is about dissolving. It is not about suppression, or expressing or repressing. It is about dissolving. I always use analogy of; let’s say this is ice; there is a way to make it disappear. Either you can heat it; smash into pieces. You will use a lot of energy to hammer it. But with knowledge and wisdom, we can say, hey wait a minute. This piece of ice got into this state because of temperature. It was put into a refrigerator, then it solidified. How about putting it in temperatures lower than the ice. You then bring it from the refrigerator, and put it out. The causes and conditions for the arising of this ice is temperature so if you put it in the opposite temperature, it starts melting; it dissolves. So, most of the difficult situations we get into is because we are not mindfulness. When we have a situation and you put it in front of mindfulness, it dissolves. Most of the difficult situations we go through—I am talking about this already which includes full understanding, mindfulness itself and many other mental factors.

Most of the time I advise people to practice mindfulness to overcome anger. They say no, how can mindfulness help me overcome anger. They think they need something extra. Actually, mindfulness is very powerful. I used this analogy of ice to actually remind you that most of the problem we go through is being forgetful. Mindfulness itself means to remember. Modern psychologists even talked about repression that it pervades all other defensive mechanisms because it is about forgetfulness and pushing away things. So, this is a major defense mechanism.

2. Aggression—being aggressive.
This is assaulting the sources of frustration. May be the object of anger, so we are aggressive, that is a defense mechanism or defensiveness. I don’t know if you have ever used it. Have you ever used these mechanisms? It is very common. We can put it in simple terms because it sounds so psychological. We can maybe say ‘acting out’.
According to the Buddha;

“Again, when the bhikkhus are reproving a bhikkhu for an offense, he castigates the reprover himself. What right does an incompetent fool like you have to speak? Do you really think you have something to say? I say this person is similar to the wild colt that when told go forward, and when spurred and incited by its trainer, leaps back and the thereby damages the rail and breaks the triple pole. There is such a kind of a person here like a wild colt. This is the second fault of a person.”

Now, with this kind of background of the discourse, maybe we can relate to it very well. In the course of our meditation, so many things happen. Maybe not on this retreat but many years ago I heard that IMS (Insight Meditation Society) had a problem with the windows especially when weather changes. Sometimes some yogis wanted it cool; and some yogis from Uganda I think so like it hot. Can you imagine two of you sitting there, one yogi from Uganda and another one from Finland; one student wants the window open another one wants it closed. What is going to go around? You are all meditating well, but you see somebody opening that window, I am telling you; all the techniques you have learned about mindfulness can go out through the window. You can act out and slam it. I know you are good yogis you cannot do this kind of thing. But I am just trying to create some kind of imagination. The example about the window has actually been here. Maybe thigs are now different but there used to be a little bit of conflict regarding those windows. Now it is not there but used to be. This is very common trying to assault the source of frustration. Of course, there were no physical blows, but I know it was unpleasant. People forgot to note unpleasant and pleasant (audience chuckles).

Now you can do a few things to deal with these things of being aware of aggressiveness; you can be aware of it. Of course, mindfulness helps; metta (loving-kindness) also helps. Oh, poor thing coming from hot place; maybe needs a little bit of help. I told you last time it is better with metta always. If there is something coming out and you feel a little bit of aggression but you are afraid because you cannot talk to somebody, you try to practice and apply metta. Whenever there is a kind of urge or impulse to deal with unpleasant stuff, when I see the object or somebody who caused the problem, I found out this teaching is very helpful. When you are angry with somebody, ask yourself; which aggregate are you angry with? Is it form? Feelings? Am I angry with perception? Guy gave a talk about aggregates and told us that there is no self. In those five aggregates, there is no self. And then you find out you are angry with non-self, not with the self. A little bit of theoretical understanding of Buddhism helps. Okay, who are you angry with? With the nose? With the hair? This teaching is not from this Ugandan monk it is from Visudhimagga—the path of purification. It is a book by a monk called Venerable Buddhagosa. It is a very beautiful commentary. I think this is his PhD. It’s a book for meditators written for a meditator that next time when you get angry with somebody, instead of attacking the person, just ask yourself these questions; are you angry with consciousness? Are you angry with perception? When you go through these, your anger will go out through the window. This man reminds me of a Russian proverb which says that when you get angry with somebody, roll your tongue eleven times (Bhante demonstrates how to roll the tongue—audience chuckles). My friends I tried it. It works. When you reach the sixth time, seventh time, eighth time, you forget about anger. You maybe enjoy your saliva. Most of the time we get angry because we actually buy time; we don’t have enough time; we go on autopilot; we go with our defense mechanism; but here is allowing time.

The instructions you have already got from here are the same. When anger arises, you come back to the body. When you come back to the body, you give yourself time. I don’t have time to talk about biology, this is already explained in biology. It is explained in biology what they call sympathetic nerve system and parasympathetic nerve system. So, giving yourself time, allows the nerve system to go back to normal. So, this works by asking questions; you know all the five aggregates. You keep on asking.

There is more to talk about acting out. There is also what we call acting in. Acting out is of course to others, but this is a side information. It is not given in the discourse. Sometimes we are aggressive towards ourselves. It is called acting in. It can be remorse, guilt; self-blame. This is very common. Maybe in a retreat here; or maybe you are doing a yogi job and your fellow yogi is not cooperating; always doing the task slowly. Let me give another example. You sign up for a yogi job you didn’t like. What will happen? You start “Oh I would come late at IMS during the open day and maybe get another job”. So, you start hurrying these kinds of remorse.

In monastic tradition, since we keep so many rules, we deal with remorse and guilt. Many times, there are situations that do not support the way you keep them; traveling a lot; you go to non-Buddhist countries where they do not know you are a monk, you are bound to encroach some of the minor rules. Now, should we find out there is a sense of remorse and guilt, we acknowledge that we have done something unskillful. The next stage we determine not to do the same thing again. The third thing, we amend not end, according to the Dhamma; either we take the precepts again or we say sorry; the fourth is to do what is skillful or wholesome. I wanted to give that as a side information because in modern psychology, we have things like passive aggression where you don’t take responsibility.

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After participating in the celebrations of the United Nations Day of Vesak, Bhante paid a courtesy visit to the Most Ven. Dr. Ashin Nyanissara (Sitagu Sayadaw) at Sitagu International Vipassana Academy (where Sitagu Sayadaw resides) in Sagaing, Myanmar. Bhante delivered copies of a book that highlights Sitagu Sayadaw’s visit to Uganda in April 2017.

The visit also intended to once again invite Most Ven. Sitagu to Uganda in the year 2020, and to update Sitagya Sayadaw on the construction plans at UBC. Construction of decent accommodation for both monastics and laities was postponed as there was a timely need to acquire more land for UBC. Resources were used to purchase land adjacent to the Centre for expansion. The price of land in Garuga area (where the temple is situated) keeps skyrocketing every day, so buying it now is timely and an indispensable investment. Construction is expected to start as soon as funds are available.

 

Furthermore, 5 children are expected to travel to Myanmar to train as novice Buddhist monks under the guidance of Most Ven. Dr. Sitagu Sayadaw.

Bhante later witness a convocation of Diploma graduates at SItagu International Buddhist Academy (SIBA). During the convocation, Sitagu Sayadaw asked his audience to repeat after him 3 times:

  • Ethical conduct supports wisdom; wisdom support Ethical conduct
  • Ethical conduct supports wisdom; wisdom support Ethical conduct
  • Ethical conduct supports wisdom; wisdom support Ethical conduct.

 

 

He added that,

To achieve wisdom we have to practice Vipassana (insight meditation) in order to uproot greed, hatred and delusion. Insight meditation is the way to peace. Without insight meditation we cannot achieve peace!

He established Sitagu International Vipassana Academy to training people in Vipassana meditation.

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Thousands of delegates attended the 16th United Nations Day of Vesak (UNDV) celebrations held in Ha Nam Province in Vietnam from May 12-14, 2019.

Bhante Buddharakkhita participated in this year’s celebrations and represented Uganda at this auspicious occasion.

In his speech, Bhante invited celebrants to take a moment of silence to remember and pray for people who perished in the recent series of bombings in Sri Lanka. “I would like us to spend one minute in silence to remember the tragedy that happened in Sri Lanka just recently. Death is certain, life is uncertain”

Given the big mess happening all around the world, this year’s main discussions centered on “Buddhist Approaches to Global Leadership and Shared Responsibility for a Sustainable Society. Delegates extensively discussed solutions to the UN’s sustainable development goals, placing emphasis on mindful leadership for sustainable peace, global education in ethics, harmonious families, healthcare and sustainable society, and responsible consumption.

Bhante said that “The world is a global village. What happens in Africa, or another continent affects Asia, America and other parts of the world probably the whole universe. What happened in Sri Lanka is affecting all societies in the world.”

The Buddha’s timeless message is a message of “peace and ultimate happiness”, Bhante said. It is this message that inspired Bhante to go forth as a Buddhist monk.

Bhante also spent a few minutes of his speech to invite Buddhist monks, nuns and others to join him in Africa to spread the noble teachings of the Lord Buddha for the happiness and wellbeing of all.

“I am alone. Please come join me in Africa to spread the Dhamma”, Bhante cried out.

He expressed that there is a greater need for Buddhist monks in Africa, and less of them in traditional Buddhist countries. He reminded his audience that “Buddhism is very powerful, but we are weakening it by only focusing on traditional Buddhist countries. There are bigger parts of the world where Buddhism is not established such as Eastern Europe, South America, and Africa.

Bhante also invited the next United Nations Day of Vesak to be conducted in Africa.

Bhante also recognized the coming and support of the Most Ven. Dr. Ashin Nyanissara (in presence) to Uganda in 2017, and other Sri Lankan monks who came in 2016. There were also other monks who came from Germany, Myanmar, India and Bangladesh.

During the event, Bhante met with Most Ven. Dr. Ashin Nyanissara (Sitagu Sayadaw).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To listen to Bhante’s speech during the 16th UNDV, please follow this link

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Recently, we have experienced heavy soil erosion which has left bumps and rough surfaces on the temple grounds. Furthermore, the grounds have been left bare making it muddy and slippery during rainy seasons. To eliminate all these environmentally unfriendly effects, we have embarked on paving the compound.

Due to limited financial resources, we have only been able to pave 154 square meters over the total 750 square meters. We are therefore taking it in phases. But our plan is to pave the entire compound.

We would like to take this chance to invite you to support this effort. The remaining part will cost USD 7,000 to be paved from the face of the temple stretching down to the gate area.

If you would like to make a donation towards this effort, please follow the link below.

Thank you!

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