Reply To: Arya Monasteries


AxelSnaxel had been unsuccessful in posting the details on his visit to Sri Lanka. I have mentioned this problem with the forum for the past week or so. My apologies again for the inconvenience. Unfortunately, I will leave tomorrow on a two-week trip and may not be able to do much about this issue until I get back.
– But I plan to post the weekly posts and keep up with monitoring emails and also forum issues.

The following is the message from AxelSnaxel. He is still in Sri Lanka on his visit, and my thanks to him for providing us with a detailed report.

Here’s an update after 2 months in Sri Lanka!

I have been incredibly blessed with my stay so far. I’ve been hosted by numerous Dhamma friends on the way and been taken good care of at every monastery i have visited. So far i practically haven’t spent any money, only on bus tickets and mobile data, which is ridiculously cheap. And i must say everyone I’ve met so far have been very nice and it’s a lovely culture.

And if anyone is interested in changeing ones livelihood towards Dhamma practice, I highly recommend coming to Sri Lanka and living as a lay person at a monastery. And there’s nothing binding, so you can do so for a few weeks during vacation or stay for how long you’d like, the head monks will happily help you get a residence visa. So if anyone is interested, again please contact me on whatsapp +4794164658, And i will help you out with finding a monastery and help you find accommodation with fellow Dhamma friends.

I’d like to make it very clear though, if you really want to become a monk. I advice to wind down a little bit, allow things to unfold naturally and begin with just being a lay person in a monastery. And then just see where that takes you. Because if you are coming into this with a lot of expectation on yourself, then you can make it something that’s easy and nice into something difficult. I certainly went in with a lot of determination and forcefulness with regards to: “I’m going to become a monk!” which made my have a lot of internal struggles with myself. It’s really important for this path to accept oneself fully, everything, and not but up any walls towards life.

So when it comes to my journey:
First i visited Dharmayai Obai and i stayed there for 11 days.
Here’s a good video of the place, although a little idealized
There’s about 40 monks there and 12 anigarikas. The place is still under construction and is a quite busy, with little time for meditation. Out of all the places, this one is the most “formal”/ritualistic. What’s very nice about the place is that there’s a very strong brotherhood among everyone there and everyone is always willing to help.
There’s about 4 Anagarikas and 5 monks that speak well English, so it’s easy to get around. Every Sunday there is held a english sermon by Amadassana Thero, which is very special to attend in person. This is definitely the highlight of being there. You can find the sermons here:
you can definitely attain sotapanna by listening to those.
I was also very lucky to be able to talk to Amadassana Thero personally 4 times, which was very good.
During my stay i was provided a 2m x 1m metal shed kuti, which was actually quite nice.
Overall i had a nice stay, but the place was not for me due to the rigidity, busyness and lack of time for meditation. Still i would highly recommend visiting the place.

Secondly i took a half a day visit to the branch monastary of Waharaka Temple in Anarudhapura
Sadly when i visited there most the monks where away for a special event, and only 2 where left. None of which spoke English. It’s quite a small place, but quite peaceful and conducive to mediation.

Thirdly i visited a monastary called Kaludiya Pokuna for 2 days
It’s located right next to a very old historical monastery where there used to be many Arahants. There i was provided with a kuti. Sadly the place is not an Ariya Monastery, but there were two monks who secretly practiced the real path to Nibbana and spoke decent English. The downside with this place is that there’s a lot of mosquitoes.

Then i stayed at Waharaka Temple for 12 days
The energy at that place was very special and i had some first jhana experiences due to it. there’s about 8 monks there. 2 of them speak good english and 3 of them speak it decently. I was given my own room and was given a lot of time for meditation and Dhamma study. However this place is not really for meditative practice, and the monks don’t meditate that much there. And since it is a Temple it is a little busy sometimes. Sadly the Monk who could speak the best english was very energy sensitive and for whatever reason my aura would make him trip and behave a little strangely, which made my stay quite confusing at times. Overall it’s a nice place to visit for some time, but since it is a temple it’s not optimal long term.

Then i went to Abhaya Theros mediation center for a retreat
I definitely recommend attending one of those, I have gone to one in Italy and one in the UK before this and it gives a very big boost to ones path. Generally Abhaya Thero is traveling around a lot so if your able to catch him near you i highly recommend going to such a retreat (given that you’re already sotapanna). He will be in Australia coming december and january, and will be holding several retreats there. Please message me if anyone is interested.
Anyways, this mediation center is also a place where you can stay whenever and as long as you’d like. There’s always a couple of monks there and the caretaker is very nice and speaks good English and knows some people that can explain dhamma well in English.

Lastly the place where I’m currently at and where i have stayed for 2 weeks now is this place
It’s a small monastery with 4 monks. 2 of them speak very good english and the other 2 speak it decently. This place is the best i have found so far and is really the perfect place for practice. It’s calm and quiet, the climate is perfect for a European and there’s almost no mosquitoes. The monks here are incredibly kind and give me a lot of space for my own practice and help me practice my Sinhala. So i think i will settle down here. There’s also more rooms available if any of you wish to come to Sri Lanka one day :)

I will say that there are more Ariya monasteries that i have not visited. But one of the monks here visited most of them and found this place the best for personal practice and being duty free. Having said that here’s a quick list if anyone is interested:

And this one which i will visit shortly next week