Shanthi Vihara, Nottingham
Shanthi Vihara and Meditation Centre, based in Nottingham, is a registered charity in England and Wales. We are a proud Buddhist society, providing religious services and aiding the development of other services, particularly in Sri Lanka, as well as within the community, irrespective of their individual religion and beliefs. A sacred place of teaching; we focus on the practice of mindfulness through meditation and host a programme monthly, designed for children, where they can develop spiritual practices and disciples by understanding cultural and traditional values.
Buddhism is unique as a religion. In fact, it is not a religion in the strict sense of the word; being more a philosophy and science. Surrounding the core of Buddhism, religious practices have been built, adapting to the cultural values of each country, this being made possible by the liberal attitude inherent in the doctrine. Sri Lanka takes pride in having preserved Theravada Buddhism in its’ pristine form and Sri Lankan culture is intertwined with Buddhism. Sri Lankans world-over seek the sanctuary of a Vihara which is, not only the place of worship and the fountain of knowledge but also their cultural centre. Shanthi Vihara fulfils these needs by providing various activities, the most important being the ‘Daham Pasala’.
What is our goal?
Our goal is to provide a place of worship, for Buddhists, and a centre of meditation, for anybody interested. Another goal is to give direction to the younger generation by the establishment of the Dhamma School, to teach them Buddhism as well as Sinhala language and cultural practices of Sri Lanka.
What are our plans?
Our Plan is to move to a purpose built centre with emphasis on the practice of Meditation. We plan to have many courses in Meditation including residential courses. We hope to support people with mental problems with meditative practice.
Children and youth living away from the Motherland face the prospect of forgetting their roots and the Daham Pasala prevents this from happening. Not only they are taught Dhamma but also Sinhala Language, one of the most beautiful and versatile languages in the world. They are trained to take part in cultural activities like traditional dancing. The dedicated staff do a wonderful voluntary job.
In addition to organising religious celebrations like Vesak, Poson, traditional rituals like Vas and Kathina, Shanthi Vihara also organises cultural events like Sinhala and Tamil New Year Festival. Even Sri Lankans’ craze for cricket is not forgotten.
However, Venerable Amitha’s foremost aim is the spread of the practice of meditation far and wide. Meditation, a practice originating in India over 3000 years ago, was revolutionised by the Buddha. He introduced a new type of meditation, Vipassana, which is shown to be far superior to other types. Vipassana, Mindfulness Meditation, helps one to live in the moment (not, for the moment), not getting depressed about the past or anxious about the future. Of late, there has been a tremendous world-wide interest, more so because of the ever-increasing scientific data showing benefits of Mindfulness Meditation. Though the Buddha showed it as a means to ‘Ultimate Detachment’, it is bringing so much of worldly benefits that some governments have already adopted it as a part of policy to improve performance of students as well as to improve behaviour of those in correctional facilities.
We aim to deliver a better understanding of the spiritual aspect of an individual’s life, regardless of their faith or belief, by encouraging the practice of mindfulness, meditation and cultivating healthy lifestyle choices which ultimately benefit and improve the overall happiness and wellbeing of each individual.