Introduction To Samatha Meditation: A Course in Sri Lanka

Meditation Retreat in Sri Lanka 2017

We are pleased to announce that there will be a seven day beginners Samatha meditation retreat in Sri Lanka from Friday 8th September to Saturday 16th September taken by Keith Munnings. This event will take place at the Ambuluwawa Retreat Centre, (elevation ~1500’) Gampola, that belongs to Sri Subodharamaya in Kandy. This will be the 7th course of this kind run in Sri Lanka. The first of these was in 2011/12 taken by the late Lance Cousins.
 
There have been meditation practices around for thousands of years and some of these were used and developed by the Buddha. In particular, he advocated the use of breathing mindfulness as a technique that is suitable for most people and which, when cultivated and developed, is of great benefit. It helps to bring about both calm (samatha) and insight (vipassanā) which, when combined together, bring about greater happiness and freedom and, ultimately, liberation. In this school of Samatha practice, the emphasis is primarily on developing ever-deeper states of calm through mindfulness of breathing so that insight might arise naturally. However, both calm and insight come into play and either may take precedence at any given time. So, in order to assist the development of the practice, meditators regularly report to a meditation teacher who can offer individual guidance.
 
Alongside the practice of developing the sixteen stages of breathing mindfulness, meditators may also be encouraged to pursue other areas of development. These might include such things as walking practice, mindful work, physical activities, Dhamma discussion and maintaining periods of silence.
 
Places are strictly limited to around 12 in total due to accommodation constraints. One to two external participants from abroad may join at the cost of £200, particularly to meet the teacher’s air-fare. The cost for locals would be RS12,500. Prices include the possibility of a return transport to Colombo.
 
There is a pleasant guest-house about 30 minutes from this centre, where familiar tourists could stay and may contribute by joining us for chanting etc with no formal charge. Apart from opportunities to explore Sri Lanka, flights can be booked locally to Asia often cheaper than from the UK.  There will probably be one monastic who will not offer money. Those wishing to sponsor a monk may do so at the cost of £50 as a donation.  I'm available to provide feedback for inquiries. Rajith rajith@mac.com.
 
Keith Munnings lives in Derbyshire, England. He has practised Samatha meditation since 1973 and has taught the practice for over thirty years. This has included running a number of one-week residential practice weeks in mid-Wales and he has taught weekly Buddhist meditation classes and run study groups in Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham and Stockport.  Keith was involved from the early days of developing the Samatha Association in the UK and took responsibility for running programmes of mindful work sessions as an adjunct to meditation practice and as a means of completing building work and decoration of the meditation centres in Manchester and mid-Wales. In recent years he has been working in hospitals and universities as a volunteer Buddhist Chaplain and has been involved in developing training programmes to develop the pastoral skills of those interested in this work. Keith has a large family and enjoys life as a grand-father.