Shanthi Vihara & Meditation Centre held its Vesak day celebrations on 14th of May 2017 at St Patrick’s Church Hall in Nottingham. The event was organised under the guidance of Venerable Teldeniyaye Amitha Thero, the head of the Shanthi Vihara.
The religious ceremony began in the morning with Ven. Amitha Thero conducting the Buddha Pooja, and administering the Eight Precepts (Ata sil) to a large gathering of devotees appropriately wearing white attire, who spent the day paying homage to the Buddha, by observing and emulating the innumerable noble qualities of the Buddha. The devotees took part in devotional offerings to the Buddha, listening to sermons, practising meditation and engaging in Dhamma discussions.
Venerable Amitha Thero conducted a guided mindfulness session and then delivered a Dhamma sermon in the morning. Venerable Anamaduwe Vimalageewa thero, a resident monk, delivered a Dhamma sermon in the afternoon which were followed by a Dhamma discussion. After the completion of Vandana Puja and spiritual observances, choirs of male and female adults and the children of the shanthi Vihara Dhamma School sang the devotional songs raising the spirits of the gathering to new heights.
Heel Danaya/Morning meal was kindly sponsored by Mr. Chamara Perera and family while Mid-day meal for the Venerable monks, Upasika, Upasikas and participants was offered by Mr. Thejana Punchihewa and family. Mr. Sampath Fernando and family sponsored and organised a Dansela for all the participants in the evening.
The venue was colourfully decorated with Vesak lanterns, Buddhist flags and other decorations to create the calm and serene atmosphere for the day. The programme was highly successful with devotees participating to ‘observe Sil’ and attending with much devotion to commemorate the birth, enlightenment and the passing away of the Buddha.