Mother Earth on Fire
There has been an estimated 83% increase in forest fires in the Amazoncompared to the same time period in 2018, according to Reuters. Brazil’s space research center INPE said 72,843 wildfires have been detected so far. Since August 15, INPE said satellite images spotted 9,507 new forest fires, mostly in the Amazon basin. The rain-forest – known as the world’s lungs – produces a fifth of the world’s oxygen, comprises at least 40% of Earth’s rain-forests, and is home to three million species of plants and animals, and indigenous people. Preserving it is critical to the fight against global warming.

Oh our dearest Mother Earth! What an apocalypse that we all are encountering today! Amazon rain-forest is called the lungs of the mother earth and it is now in the verge of inevitable extinction. Whosoever involved in this will be marked as the perpetrators of obliterating the Mother Earth. Oh wicked humans, how insane and selfish you have become today! How long it must have taken to grow these lush green emerald amazon inhabiting millions of rare species so far? This can be worse than all the wars that we humans have created so far. Oh world leaders, nature lovers, please do something to stop this right away. Dear fellow humans, we all have to contribute in every single way to reinstate the forests all over the world if we are to survive on this earth. For sure, our future generation will suffer the most by this dastardly act of insane, selfish people who keep burning the forests everywhere in the world. They deny the very existence of our future generations. How can we individuals help ourselves towards the environmental protection? (Bhante Sumitta)
NASA has recorded over 2500 forest fires in this year alone in the Amazon rain-forest and the presence of a staggering volume of Carbon Monoxide concentration at an altitude of 18000 ft.

Meanwhile in another report it is said more than 72000 fires have taken place in Brazil this year alone and more than 50% of them were in Amazon. The world leaders and numerous environmental organizations from all across the world have expressed their serious concerns regarding the current situation. The European Union has warned the Brazilian government of facing rigorous economic sanctions if the government does not take immediate actions to deal with the situation.
City of Sao Paulo which is located some 1700 miles away experienced a sudden darkness by "a combination of a wild fire smoke, dense rain clouds, and a cold front' (Accuweather). After intense international condemnation, the Brazilian Government has finally deployed some 40000 military personals to dowse the raging Amazon fire which has already burnt and obliterated 1000s of forest acres so far.
Deforestation, Agricultural Burning, Dry Season and Jair Bolsonaro (Brazil's current president) have been mentioned as the main culprits for the loss of this invaluable world heritage. 


How to Donate?

Please check some of the following organizations by clicking on them if you wish to help:
Some useful ways to preserve the environment are mentioned in a Malaysian led organization's blog as follows:
Less meat, no food waste: Opt for meat-free meals even just once or twice a week. NEVER waste your food as you waste all the resources that grows that food and decomposing food waste becomes a very significant source of methane.
Buy local: Skip the imported supermarket goods and go visit your nearby pasar pagi. Support produce that didn’t have to go through a whole factory packaging process and being shipped across continents, just to end up a pile of discarded plastic in the landfills. 
Wield your power: Serve justice to those who continuously destroy the Earth, even here in Malaysia. Write in to your local representative (whose job is to serve the rakyat), call out shady companies polluting rivers, and do your part.
This writer believes that you can also help conserve the environment by:
Avoiding use of plastic - every plastic is an environmental hazard.
Adjusting to paperless bills and opting for electronic bills and paperwork - every paper contributes to cut a tree. 
Planting more and more trees can help our world to preserve the biodiversity and save numerous fauna and flora. 
Trying to use less technological and other man-made equipment that can harm the nature can be another way to help our already debilitating environment. We should try every possible way both individually and as a community to keep the environment clean and safe.
Thai Ecology Monks:
In a bid to protect the all important forests in Thailand, the Buddhist monks have taken a very effective way to protect the trees by wrapping the trees with their sacred robe. This beautiful act of the Thai monks have attracted the attention of the world ever since and hopefully the other religious and community leaders too will find some unique ways to protect their nature. Read Susan Arlington's Journal article on "The Ordination of a Tree: The Buddhist Ecology Movement in Thailand" for more information.
Greta Thunberg's Powerful Message:

"Every single day 200 species extinct from this earth. There is only 67% chance of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees. On January 1, 2018, there 420 gigatons of Carbon Dioxide left to emit to stay within that target, and we are already down to less than 360. If we continue at the same emission level as now, we have less than eight and half years until that budget is over according to the IPCC from the SR15 report and that is 67% chance."
Greta Thunberg - How to Mitigate Climate Change
Climate activist Greta Thunberg on the #1 thing people can do to help mitigate climate change. Extended interview: https://on.cc.com/34FXXrp . Posted by The Daily Show on Thursday, September 12, 2019
Picture Courtesy:
    Spiritual Evenings on Saturdays
    Lankarama Buddhist Institute


    Our Meditation Instructor
    Bhante Sumitta 
    (Doctoral Candidate & Adjunct Faculty
    at the University of the West):

    Yoga + Meditation Schedule at Lankarama:
    every Saturday - 4PM-6PM
    Venue
    Lankarama Buddhist Institute
    398 Giano Ave
    La Puente CA 91744

    Bhante Sumitta has been conducting meditation at the Lankarama Buddhist Institute for the past few years and his simple and practical way of meditation has been helping many individuals and groups in the Los Angeles area. 
    He has attended a number of Retreats conducted by very well trained Burmese and other Meditation teachers in different Retreat centers in California, Sri Lanka and India.His teaching and guidance are basically aimed at the introductory level of meditation and practitioners can advance to the next levels of meditation later on with other senior meditation teachers. 

    He conducts 
    • Ānāpānasati  Bhāvanā (Contemplation on Breathing)
    • Mettā Meditation (Contemplation on Loving Kindness)
    • Guided Meditation






    Our Yoga Instructor
    Mark Ragsdale 
    (PhD student at the 
    University of the West):

    Yoga + Meditation Schedule at Lankarama:
    every Saturday - 4PM-6PM

    Venue
    Lankarama Buddhist Institute
    398 Giano Ave
    La Puente
    CA 91744
    Mark is a very experienced Yoga instructor who has been working with us for years. He is such a kind hearted gentleman who has been helping the community with his skillful Yoga exercises to help individuals from all age groups.  

    Mark has a wide range of Yoga exercises to help benefit our community to improve their general health and meditation. 


    We wanted him to help our community to sit properly on the floor to meditate for a longer time and it eventually worked in such a way that the Yogis found their general health improving in due course. His Yoga style definitely suits the people who like to follow simple Yoga practices to help themselves to benefit their general health and also their meditation sessions.








    Dhamma Talk Schedule at Lankarama:
    every Saturday - 6PM-7PM
    Venue
    Lankarama Buddhist Institute
    398 Giano Ave
    La Puente CA 91744

    The Resident monks of the Lankarama Buddhist Institute and other invited monks will deliver a special Dhamma Talk on Saturday to enhance the Dhamma knowledge of the community. This is a wonderful opportunity for the people around La Puente city to learn more about the Buddhist Suttas and the doctrinal teachings to eventually apply to their own lives as Buddhist followers. 


    The medium of the Dhamma Talk will be either Sinhala or English and we will update you in advance regarding this. 


    Bodhi Vandana & 
    28 Buddha Vandana 
    at Lankarama:
    every Saturday - 6PM-7PM
    Venue
    Lankarama Buddhist Institute
    398 Giano Ave
    La Puente CA 91744


     Bodhi Vandana event is a very special ritual among Buddhist community especially among the Sri Lankan Buddhists. They pay respect to the Bodhi Tree while making a circumlocution and chanting some beautiful Pali stanzas. Bodhi Tree is very specific among the Buddhists as it was helpful for the ascetic Siddhattha Gotama to achieve the Supreme Enlightenment under the sacred Bodhi Tree. It's said that the Buddha also paid respect to the Tree after the Enlightenment by gazing at the Bodhi Tree for seven days. Ever since the Buddhists pay respect to the Bodhi Tree and practice while taking a meditative walk along with a rhythmic chanting. 
    A Pali Stanza to pay homage to the Bodhi Tree:

    "Yassa mūle nisinno'va 
    Sabbāri vijayaṃ akā
    Patto sabbaññutaṃ satthā
    Vande taṃ bodhi pādapaṃ." 

    (Seated at whose base, the Teacher overcame all foes, attaining Omniscience, that very Bodhi tree do I venerate.)

    28 Buddha Vandana:

    This specific ritual is performed to pay respect to 28 Buddhas most of whom predicted that the Bodhisatva would become a Perfectly Enlightened One called Gotama Buddha one day. The monks and the lay devotees chant together during this event followed by yet another Puja to transfer merit to the deities. 

    Join us every Saturday  from 4:00 PM these days along with your family members and friends and enjoy the blissful moments at our temple. 

    Click here for more details.

    May All Beings Be Well & Happy & Healthy!!!
    Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu!!!

    Lankarama Buddhist Institute
    398 Giano Ave
    La Puente CA 91744
    Tel: 626-913-0775
    Saturday Dhamma School
    Lankarama Buddhist Institute
    Age Group: 5-15
    Open for Enrollment
    Dear Parents,
    • Do you want your child to be enriched with the spiritual education according to Buddhism? 
    • Do you want them to follow the path of your parents & grand parents?
    • Do you live closer to La Puente city, California?
    This may be a great opportunity for your child
    What we cover:
    • Life of the Buddha
    • Jataka Tales
    • Dhammapada stories
    • Buddhist role models
    • Buddhist chantings
    • Buddhist Cultural heritage
    • History of Buddhism
    • Core teachings of Buddhism


    Contact:
    Lankarama Buddhist Institute
    398 Giano Ave
    La Puente
    CA 91744
    Phone: 626-913-0775

    Nikini Full Moon Day 
    One Day Retreat (Free)
    August 31, 2019
    Lankarama Buddhist Institute

    Schedule:
    Morning

    • 08:30 AM - Observing Eight Precepts & Buddha Vandanā
    • 09:00 AM - Dhamma Talk by Venerable Dhammaratana
    • 10:00 AM - Mettā Meditation by Venerable Rakkhita
    • 11:00 AM - Buddha Vandanā
    • 11:30 AM - Offering of Lunch



    Afternoon
    • 12:30 PM - Walking Meditation
    • 01:30 PM - Ānāpānasati Meditation by Venerable Sumitta
    • 02:30 PM - Tea Break
    • 03:00 PM - Dhamma Discussion by Chandana Gamalath
    • 04:00 PM - Releasing of Eight Precepts
    Evening
    • 06:30 PM - Bodhi Vandanā
    • 07:00 PM - 28 Buddha Vandanā
    • 08:30 PM - Refreshments

    Lankarama Buddhist Institute
    398 Giano Ave
    La Puente - CA91744
    Tel: 626-913-0775

    Singing Little Star 

    This is a 5 year old little girl from Vietnam and she proves that she's much capable of what she's doing. It was impressive the way she was so much focused on her singing when others kept coming to reward her with some flowers and gifts. We wish her the best for a wonderful future!


    Mindfulness of the Breath - Ānāpānasati 
    by Venerable U Paññānanda (Intagaw-Pa Auk)

    What is Samatha?
    The word samatha (serenity) is a general term for concentration. The word is almost synonymous with concentration (samadhi).
    Samatha = Samādhi




    Samādhi

    Before we start to discuss about Samatha practice, we should know first what the concentration is. We can say that it is the mental ability to direct all your effort and attention on one thing without thinking of other things. It is the head of non-distraction(1). In texts, it is mentioned as 'mental one-pointedness' (One pointedness of the mind - cittassa ekaggatā)(2), so, Samatha meditation is to develop strong and deep concentration (one-pointedness) on one object.

    It is because a meditator has to develop deep and stable concentration by focusing on one meditation object that a meditator should determine to practice one meditation subject only. So, we would normally suggest leaving aside all other old practices while practicing the currently chosen meditation subject.

    Actually concentration is of many sorts (bahuvidho) and has various aspects. We shall confine ourselves to the kind intended here, calling the concentration profitable unification of mind (kusalacittekaggatā samadhi). Its function is to eliminate distraction. 

    ====

    (1) ...avikkhepasisañca samādhi. (paṭisambhidāmagga pāli. a) mahāvaggo, b) Ñānakathā, 35. Samasīsaṭṭhañāṇaniddeso)
    (2) "Cittassa ekaggatā" is rendered as 'unification of mind' in the sense of harmony of consciousness and its concomitants in focusing on a single object. It is also rendered as 'one-pointedness of mind' in that sense, or in the sense of the focusing of a searchlight. This term is a synonym for samādhi (samatha = samādhi). 

    Sources:

    • A Companion Volume to Brief Discussion on Ānapānasati (Mindfulness of the breath) by Venerable U Paññānanda (Intagaw-Pa Auk)
    • Image taken at Lankarama Buddhist Institute, La Puente, California. 
    Rains Retreat 2019
    Lankarama Buddhist Institute
    398 Giano Ave, La Puente, CA 91744

    Weekend Program 

    All are welcome to join us in a series of events during this Vassāna Season (Rains Retreat) at Lankarama Buddhist temple. Rains retreat is the most active season in the Buddhist calendar considering the number of spiritual care activities taken place to benefit both the resident monks and the lay devotees. In the past, there have been numerous evidences to prove that the most number of Arahanta bhikkhus and bhkkhunis have appeared in the world during this particular season as the Buddha prescribed his Sangha members to focus more on their own personal spiritual achievement during the rains retreat. Due to heavy rains in India during this period, the Sangha members had a golden opportunity to practice to improve their own spiritual achievement. More often the monks and nuns have determined themselves to be serious in their practices and they have been duly rewarded subsequently. This observation of vassa (rains retreat) dates back to the Buddha's life time and the tradition has been well taken care of by the Buddhist community ever since.

    During the Rains Retreat 2019 at Lankarama, the resident monks and the devotees community have organized a series of spiritual care events to benefit both parties. Here follows the schedule of the Saturday event which is free and open to all those enthusiastic individuals:

    May All Beings be Well & Happy!!!




















    August 10, 2019 (Saturday)
    4:00 pm - Yoga Class conducted by Mark Ragsdale
    5:00 pm - Meditation Session conducted by Venerable Sumitta
    6:30 pm - Bodhi Puja conducted by Venerable Devananda
    7:30 pm - 28 Buddha Puja and Paritta Chanting conducted by the resident monks
    8:30 pm - Refreshments




    August 10, 2019 (Saturday)
    4:00 pm - Yoga Class conducted by Mark Ragsdale
    5:00 pm - Meditation Session conducted by Venerable Sumitta
    6:00 pm - Dhamma Talk on Hatthigamaka Sutta by Venerable Dhammaratana
    7:00 pm - Bodhi Puja conducted by Venerable Devananda to invoke blessings on Dr. Walter              Jayasinghe's Birthday
    7:30 pm - 28 Buddha Puja and Paritta Chanting conducted by the resident monks
    8:30 pm - Refreshments


    August 24, 2019 (Saturday)
    4:00 pm - Yoga Class conducted by Mark Ragsdale
    5:00 pm - Meditation Session conducted by Venerable Sumitta
    6:00 pm - Dhamma Talk on "5 Factors that one should always remember." Thana Sutta by Venerable Nagita නිතර මෙනෙහි කලයුතු කරුණු 5ක්  - ඨාන සූත්‍රය - අංගුත්තර නිකාය-පංචක වග්ග. Click here for ඨාන සූත්‍රය
    7:00 pm - Bodhi Puja
    7:30 pm - 28 Buddha Puja and Paritta Chanting conducted by the resident monks
    8:30 pm - Refreshments


    August 31, 2019 (Saturday) - Nikini Full Moon Day Schedule:

    Morning
    • 08:30 AM - Observing Eight Precepts & Buddha Vandanā
    • 09:00 AM - Dhamma Talk by Venerable Dhammaratana
    • 10:00 AM - Mettā Meditation by Venerable Rakkhita
    • 11:00 AM - Buddha Vandanā
    • 11:30 AM - Offering of Lunch

    Afternoon
    • 12:30 PM - Walking Meditation
    • 01:30 PM - Ānāpānasati Meditation by Venerable Sumitta
    • 02:30 PM - Tea Break
    • 03:00 PM - Dhamma Discussion by Chandana Gamalath
    • 04:00 PM - Releasing of Eight Precepts
    Evening
    • 06:30 PM - Bodhi Vandanā
    • 07:00 PM - 28 Buddha Vandanā
    • 08:30 PM - Refreshments

    September 7, 2019 (Saturday)
    4:00 pm - Yoga Class conducted by Mark Ragsdale
    5:00 pm - Meditation Session conducted by Venerable Sumitta
    6:00 pm - Dhamma Talk on "Layman's Code of Discipline" Sigālovāda Sutta - Discourse to Sigāla (Dīgha Nikāya 31) by Venerable Unaliye Sirinanda.  Click here for Sigālovāda Sutta.
    7:00 pm - Bodhi Puja, 28 Buddha Puja and Paritta Chanting &  Deva Pūjā
    conducted by the resident  monks
    8:30 pm - Refreshments
    September 14, 2019 (Saturday)
    2:00 pm - Saturday Dhamma School - Orientation
    4:00 pm - Yoga Class conducted by Mark Ragsdale
    5:00 pm - Meditation Session conducted by Venerable Sumitta
    6:00 pm - Dhamma Talk on "Buddhist Concept of Prosperity & Welfare" Vyagghapajja Sutta" - 
                     Discourse to Sigāla (Dīgha Nikāya 31) by Venerable Rakkhita
                     Click here for Vyagghapajja Sutta.
    7:00 pm - Bodhi Puja, 28 Buddha Puja and Paritta Chanting &  Deva Pūjā
    conducted by the resident  monks
    8:30 pm - Refreshments
    September 21, 2019 (Saturday)
    2:00 pm - Saturday Dhamma School - Orientation
    4:00 pm - Yoga Class conducted by Mark Ragsdale
    5:00 pm - Meditation Session conducted by Venerable Sumitta
    6:00 pm - Dhamma Talk on "Seven Conditions of Welfare" Satta Aparihaniya Dhamma
                     by Venerable Sumitta      
                     Click here for Satta Aparihaniya Dhamma.
    7:00 pm - Bodhi Puja, 28 Buddha Puja and Paritta Chanting &  Deva Pūjā
    conducted by the resident  monks
    8:30 pm - Refreshments
    Anicca Vata Sankhara (Impermanent, in deed, are all formations)

    Late Venerable Aluthnuwara Sumanatissa Nayaka Thero

    Lankarama Buddhist Institute is organizing a series of meritorious events to transfer merits to the late Nayaka Thero who founded three beautiful temples - two in Sri Lanka and one in America. Venerable Nayaka Thero has served the Buddhist communities both in Sri Lanka and USA to a greater extent and he will be remembered and respected by the communities for a long time to come. He was a very compassionate and happy monk who helped the community for a long time. His service to his motherland was very well remembered when he led his community to build nearly 40 houses to the homeless people who were devastated by the deadly tsunami in 2004 in Sri Lanka. He founded Lankarama Buddhist Institute in 1991, which is one of the most beautiful temples in USA. His leadership was duly proved by the way he rebuilt the once dilapidated two temples in Sri Lanka -

    • Gangatilaka Viharaya, Iyyamporuwa & 
    • Vijayasundararamaya, Erewwala. 


    Today these two temples are rendering a great Dhamma service to many thousands in Sri Lanka thanks to the Nayaka Thero. Lankarama Buddhist Institute, La Puente, California was venerable Thero's Head Quarters from where he operated many of his religious and social welfare activities. Ever since this temple was established, numerous individuals in the area have been benefited due to various spiritual care activities that are conducted daily, weekly, monthly and annually. 

    When he untimely passed away three months ago in a Sri Lankan hospital, the community in both USA and Sri Lanka grieved profoundly. Lankarama Buddhist Institute is organizing a series of events to commemorate the late Nayaka Thero in order to transfer merits to him and to showcase their gratitude for his invaluable service to the community and to the Buddha Sasana. For more info on Nayaka Thero's service read this article.

    May Venerable Aluthnuwara Sumanatissa Nayaka Thero attain supreme bliss of Nibbana! 


    Here is the link for more photo updates of the event: 

    Here is the YouTube video dedicated to honor the Nayaka Thero: