KARUNA BUDDHIST SOCIETY
Sakya Metta Buddhist Vihara
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(A non-profit American Theravada Buddhist organization founded in 2002 in California, USA and established "Sakya Metta Buddhist Vihara & Meditation Center" in 2008.)
KBS Temple hosts Buddhist holiday celebrations such as January 1 st New Year, Chakma Bijhu New Year in April 13th -14th , Kathina Dana (Robe-offering Ceremony) in October, Holy Vesak ceremony in May and the various Full Moon Days throughout the year. On such holidays, we welcome KBS devotees and friends to participate, and monks are must needed for the ceremony. Beside all these regular ceremonies, devotees invite KBS residential monks on their special event for blessing and spiritual guidance occasionally. In addition to annual holidays, KBS also celebrates with and supports each and every member at important times in their lives. We make special arrangements to serve the needs of our members, such as prayers for relatives who passed away, blessings on young people graduating or going to college, and other significant life moments like marriages. An officiating monk is an essential part of each ceremony, with marriages requiring two monks. The Temple also offers a youth program, where young men may undertake the role of a novice monk for a week or more. During this training, the novice monk is given the opportunity to experience the life of a monk living at the Temple, including the restraints of eating only one meal a day, drinking only water/juice after 12 noon, avoidance of alcohol, and maintain celibacy. Thus, monks perform all these religious activities and special events. The children are also offered a field trip to tour Buddhist temples in California. We also teach Chakma language, Chakma script, Pali reading, and other Buddhist studies.
1. Conduct Buddhist worship services: The Buddhist monk presides over our Saturday evening worship services, which includes officiating the prayer and meditation session, teaching Buddhist scripture and philosophy, and mediating the community discussion. These weekly gatherings usually have a duration of about four hours.
2. Special religious ceremonies: During Buddhist holidays, the KBS Buddhist monks help to arrange and serve as senior advisors of each KBS-hosted temple festival, officiating the ceremony and preaching Buddhist teachings for spiritual development. Also the Buddhist monks officiate special life events for our members, such as special prayers, blessings, funerals, social and cultural events and marriages.
3. Dhamma classes: In the interest of providing our children a solid spiritual foundation, the Buddhist monk teach weekly classes in Buddhist teachings. KBS Buddhist monks conduct Dhamma classes for senior and junior levels and also conducts Buddhist discussions with adults. Meantime we follow Buddhist Chanting book compiled by Venerable Upagupta Chakma our present abbot. This collection includes English translations and Romanization of all materials, to help our youth related to the Buddhist philosophies in their familiar school language of English. Venerable Ripon Chakma also teaches Chakma scripts and grammar, basic Pali language for KBS members.
4. Temporary Ordination Program: Our KBS Buddhist monks guide our young men in the weeklong or few days novice monk programs, as well as novice training for those who so desire. Devotees and close family relatives also accompany with them on those ceremonies for such trainings.
5. Spiritual services on a daily basis: Each morning, one family from our congregation prepare and bring food to the monks at the Temple, offering them their single meal of the day. With each offering, the monks conduct prayer, chanting, and spend time with the family, discussing their life happenings, concerns, and needs. In addition, the Buddhist monks are expected to be available at the Temple to devotees on a regular basis. As our spiritual pillars, they care for our people when life's events occur, both expected and unexpected. On Saturday Dhamma School classes, they learn Buddhism within the traditional Chakma context. It is customary for devotees to visit the Temple in the evenings for prayer with the monks. Outside of preparation for their teachings and other pre-arranged events, the Buddhist monks spend approximately 1-3 hours each day with our congregation families.
6. Teach Vipassana Insight Meditation: Teaching the process of meditation, known as Vipassana or insight meditation, is an analytical observation of the subjective experience, normally identified as self-discipline or self-purification. This analytical observation results in the depersonalization of experience which, in turn, leads to the extinguishment of ego in an individual. Vipassana meditation technique is world widely practiced ancient meditation technique discovered by Siddhattha Gotama Buddha in 2563 year ago.
7. Visiting afflicted people: In life, we all get sick at some points. At that time, we need spiritual presence and blessing more than ever. Buddhist monks are the powerful spirits for the Buddhist people. Our KBS monks visit sick people and conduct spiritual blessing, and counsel those who are in spiritual need.
8. Serving on occasional ceremonies: Throughout the life, we celebrate many special occasions where we expect the blessing from our spiritual leaders and only Buddhist monks can fulfil that. Venerable monks conduct spiritual services for funeral ceremonies, wedding ceremonies, house inaugural ceremonies, occasional blessing ceremony and any other special ceremonies that are required by the congregation