Location and how to get there: The international center for meditation was founded in 1956 with the support of the Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw. It is about 30 km east of Colombo. Up to 70 meditators can be accommodated. For many years, Western monks, nuns, laymen and -women have come here. The center is near the road and surrounded by coconut plantations. Threre are a number of branch monasteries spread over Sri Lanka.
How to get there: From the central bus stand in Colombo between 1 and 1 ½ hours by bus No 224 (Colombo/Pugoda) to Kanduboda. The route from Katunayake International Airport is longer; there is no direct bus connection. It takes about 1 hour by taxi from the airport to Kanduboda. The tourist information at the airport or in Colombo can name the approximate cost of fare.
Teacher and Tradition: Ven. M. Upali Thera. Intensive Vipassana meditation in the Mahasi tradition.
Meditation technique: Observation of body, feeling, mind, and mind objects. Primary object of meditation during sitting is rising and falling of the abdomen. Several times per week there is an interwiev with the meditation teacher.
Language(s): English and Singhalese. Often translation into German is possible.
Dates and rules: Individual instructions, hence no special dates need to be observed. Stays from a few days to several weeks are possible. Laypersons live according to the eight rules of virtue and are asked to wear only white clothing.
Lodging: Single rooms are available for all meditators. Men and women live in separate quarters. Monks live in a large house with rooms and several kutis (bungalows).
Food: Mornings and noons nourishing vegetarian meals. At other times, coconut milk, rice soup, and tea.
Costs: Lodging, food, and services are offered for free according to Buddhist tradition. This has been possible throughout the years because of the support through laypersons and donators from Sri Lanka and other countries. Donations are received gratefully.
What to bring: Please bring passport with valid visa, hygiene articles, flip-flops, alarm clock, flashlight, umbrella, writing pad and pen, insect repellant, and possibly light sleeping bag. Also bring two to three sets of white upasaka clothing (white shirt, white sarong or trousers)
Note: For longer stays, support in obtaining visa is possible.
Reading recommendation for beginners:
The Buddha and His Teaching – Ven. Narada
What the Buddha Taught – Ven. Walpola Rahula
The Dhammapada – Ven. Narada
The Satipatthana Vipassana Meditation – Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw
Further recommendations for reading:
The Path of Purification – Ven. Buddagosa
A comprehensive Manual of Abbhidhamma – Bhikkhu Bodhi
An Introduction to Theravada Abhidamma – Prof. G.D. Sumanapala
In This Very Life – Ven. U Pandita