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Welcome.

Ven
Henepola Gunaratana

Bhante Henepola Gunaratana Mahathera is the founding abbot of the Bhavana Society. Born in rural Sri Lanka, he has been a monk since age 12 and took full ordination at age 20 in 1947. He came to the United States in 1968. “Bhante G” (as he is fondly called by his students) has written a number of books, including the now-classic meditation manual Mindfulness In Plain English and its companion Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness. Bhante G regularly leads retreats on vipassana, mindfulness, metta (loving-friendliness), concentration, and other topics both at the Bhavana Society. 

Bhante Gunaratana is an internationally recognized author and meditation teacher. Prior to coming to the United States, he spent five years doing in missionary work with the Harijanas (Untouchables) of India and ten years in Malaysia. He has taught in a number of settings, including the Buddhist Vihara of Washington D.C. where he served as president, the American University in Washington D.C. where he served as Buddhist chaplain and also earned a Ph.D. in philosophy, and at meditation centers worldwide. Bhante G has a strong scholarly background and lifelong commitment to dhamma.  

In 1985, Bhante G co-founded the Bhavana Society and became its abbot. He wanted to teach meditation in an environment allowing for longer retreats and intense practice free from the trappings of a city vihara. He continues to teach in the direct, compassionate style that characterizes his books and articles. Bhante G conveys a well-rounded approach to Buddhist Dhamma, touching on all aspects of the Noble Eightfold Path. He emphasizes metta bhavana (the cultivation of loving-friendliness) as a basis for samma-samadhi, or right concentration. As a teacher, he is known for his emphasis both on samadhi and on metta as part of spiritual training.

In 1996, Bhante G received the title of Chief Sangha Nayaka Thera for North America. This acknowledged his status as highest-ranking monk of his sect in the United States and Canada. Originally published in 2003, his autobiography, Journey to Mindfulness, was updated in 2017 with an “Expanded Anniversary Edition” adding five new chapters. In 2005, the Sri Henepola Gunaratana Scholarship Trust was founded under his guidance. This trust provides educations for poverty stricken children in rural Sri Lanka. 

Bhante G continues to write books and articles, lead retreats, and teach at the Bhavana Society. On the occasion of his 90th birthday, December 7th, 2017, Bhante G decided that he would no longer accept invitations that require long-distance travel. He says, “Thank you all for your kind consideration. With Metta, Bhante Gunaratana.”

PODCAST PLAYLIST

Bhante G's Four Foundation of Mindfulness Series - August 26, 2020 (ongoing)

DateSutta / Q&AVideo
2020.0826Sutta Study -- Day 1, "Four Foundations of Mindfulness"watch
2020.0827Q&A -- "Consciousness"watch
2020.0828Sutta Study -- Day 2, "Four Foundations of Mindfulness"watch
2020.0829Q&A -- "Impermanence & non-self"watch
2020.0830Sutta Study -- Day 3, "Four Foundations of Mindfulness"watch
2020.0902Q&A -- "Suttas exploration"watch
2020.0903Sutta Study -- Day 4, "Four Foundations of Mindfulness"watch
2020.0904Q&A -- "Anapanasati"watch
2020.0905Sutta Study -- Day 5, "Four Foundations of Mindfulness"watch
2020.0906Q&A - "What makes a sincere meditator?"watch
2020.0909Sutta Study -- Day 6, "Four Foundations of Mindfulness"watch
2020.0910Q&A - "The four postures, expanded"watch
2020.0911Sutta Study -- Day 7, "Four Foundations of Mindfulness"watch
2020.0912Q&A - "Meditation questions answered"watch
2020.0913Sutta Study -- Day 8, "Four Foundations of Mindfulness"watch
2020.0916Sutta Study -- Day 9, "Four Foundations of Mindfulness"watch
2020.0917Q&A - "Ananda's Enlightenment"watch
2020.0918Sutta Study -- Day 10, "Four Foundations of Mindfulnesswatch
2020.0919Q&A - "Impermanence is the ticket"watch
2020.0920Sutta Study -- Day 11, "Four Foundations of Mindfulness"watch
2020.0923Q&Awatch
2020.0924Q&Awatch
2020.0925Sutta Study -- Day 12, "Four Foundations of Mindfulness"watch
2020.0926Q&Awatch
2020.0927Sutta Study -- Day 13, "Four Foundations of Mindfulness"watch
2020.1001Sutta Study -- Day 14, "Four Foundations of Mindfulness"watch
2020.1002Q&Awatch
2020.1003Sutta Study -- Day 15, "Four Foundations of Mindfulness"watch
2020.1004Q&Awatch
2020.1008Sutta Study -- Day 16, "Four Foundations of Mindfulness"watch
2020.1009Q&Awatch
2020.1010Sutta Study -- Day 17, "Four Foundations of Mindfulness"watch
2020.1011Q&Awatch
2020.1015Sutta Study -- Day 18, "Four Foundations of Mindfulness" - Five Aggregateswatch
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