Visit Sri Lanka with Bhante Sujato

Early Buddhist Meditation: a ten-day residential course on theory and practice ( face to face)

We are on the verge of finalising the program for the above course led by Bhante Sujato.

The total duration will be 12 days including the date of arrival and the date of departure.

Destination: Colombo, Sri Lanka
The venue: Nāgānanda International Institute for Buddhist Studies (NIIBS),
Manelwatta Bollagala, Kelaniya, Sri Lanka
Dates: 16th to 27th June 2022

Here is a sneak peek just for you.

This is a structured residential course in a classroom environment. It is designed to be relatively demanding and aimed to build on the knowledge of Buddhism and meditation practice. We assume a capacity for learning and critical understanding, and a willingness to dedicate time and effort to learning.

The capacity to listen to others and to articulate our own understanding is an essential part of learning. Each day there will be a discussion with an assigned task, and the goal will be to work together to achieve the task.

However, we also acknowledge the differences in individual learnings. Nothing on the course is mandatory, and if at any time you feel uncomfortable or at a loss, please let us know. We are here to help!

Each day will provide the following learning opportunities.


These will cover the main topics for the day. The main teachings will be by Bhante Sujato. Students are encouraged to ask relevant questions.

Phones, laptops, and other devices are not to be used during the teachings. If you want to take notes, use pen and paper. If you want an exemption, ask first.


The daily task will usually be to put together a short passage, around 2–500 words. Invite the perspectives of each of the students in your discussion group. The purpose is not to get the one right answer, but to reflect the experiences of each student.

Make sure to listen to each other. Don’t speak too much, and encourage those who are quiet—they are often the ones with something to say.

Each group should select one group leader who guides the discussion and writes the assigned passage. Any device or medium may be used for writing. Everyone on the course should take a turn at being the group leader.

The final passage must be copy-edited by at least one other group member for spelling and grammatical errors! It’s the Dhamma, don’t be sloppy!

Background reading:

As much as possible, complete the readings for the entire course before the start of the course. At the very least, complete the important readings, which are emphasized in bold.

There will be some time for reading during the course, but your comprehension will be improved by the work you put in beforehand.

The teachings will not necessarily cover all of the readings, depending on time.

All readings from the Pali canon are based on the translations by Bhante Sujato at SuttaCentral.

Application of the teachings in meditation:

There is time set aside for meditation. This may be in a group or alone.

Any meditation method is fine. However, see if you can apply the learnings of the day.

Obviously, this will be more relevant on some days than others.

Time will be allocated to have individual meditation interviews with the teacher. (for interested participants).

During the meditation periods, stay silent out of respect for yourself and others.

**The full program including the learning outcome for each day and the reading list will be sent to the registered participants.

Your decision to join this course will help not only you but will also give hope to 1 in 8 families in Sri Lanka who are dependent on tourism and have been negatively affected by the pandemic.


I’m really excited by this program! Putting together the details now, and looking forward to making a deep dive in some important topics.


The destination: Colombo Sri Lanka. This Resplendent Isle is home to 21 million people and six World Heritage sites. Sri Lanka is famous for its rich biodiversity, best quality cinnamon and tea exportation.

During a 12 year-long famine, in the 1st century BC, the entire Tripitaka was transcribed to ola leaf manuscripts in Sri Lanka for the preservation and for the use of future generations. It is said that 500 scholarly monks congregated at Aluvihare Rock temple to perform the difficult task of first reciting the doctrines and agreeing on an acceptable version before transcription.

With diverse cultural and religious elements across the nation, Sri Lanka is said to be the only country in the world where you can see the world’s largest land mammal, the elephant, and the largest marine mammal, the blue whale, in a single day.

The travel advice for Sri Lanka has been reviewed and the caution level lowered due to the reduced impacts of COVID-19. To travel to Sri Lanka, you must show a negative COVID-19 (PCR) test report in English when checking in. The test must be taken within 72 hours of your departure or you won’t be able to board your flight. You’ll no longer need to undergo COVID-19 (PCR) testing on arrival or quarantine if you are fully vaccinated. Source: (

WHO Covid situation reports for Sri Lanka:

The venue: Nāgānanda International Institute for Buddhist Studies (NIIBS) in Kelaniya is less than 10 km from Colombo. NIIBS is a Buddhist University recognised by the Sri Lankan government as a degree awarding institute. NIIBS aspires for the development, protection and dissemination of Buddhist culture. Visit:

The resource: contains early Buddhist texts, known as the Tipiṭaka or “Three Baskets”. This is a large collection of teachings attributed to the Buddha or his earliest disciples, who were teaching in India around 2500 years ago. They are regarded as sacred canon in all schools of Buddhism.

There are several Buddhist traditions, and each has passed down a set of scriptures from ancient times. SuttaCentral is specially focused on the scriptures of the earliest period of Buddhism, and hosts texts in over thirty languages. We believe this is the largest collection of early Buddhist texts ever made. Visit:

The Teacher: Bhante Sujato is a skilful dhamma teacher and a diligent meditation practitioner with an immense capacity to help anyone who is keen to develop their path. Visit:

Your decision to join this course will help not only you but will also give hope to 1 in 8 families in Sri Lanka who are dependent on tourism and have been negatively affected by the pandemic.

A meaningful experience not to be missed. Registration is now open.

  • Accommodation and lectures will be at the NIIBS, Kelaniya, Sri Lanka (Covid bubble operation will be in place)
  • Dates: 16th June to 27th June 2022


This looks like an awesome course and a great way to support the SL people.
Well done all involved!


Thanks so much for the info. Where can you register?


Please use this link to register, many thanks.


The NIIBS is just 4.5km from the famous Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya. In my opinion this is the only interesting major Buddhist site in the greater Colombo Area. They have a great website.

And a photo gallery as well. You will probably recognize the wall paintings of the life of the Buddha.


Thank you all for your support, we already have some registrations and lots of enquiries.

If all goes well this will become an annual event that will empower many people and benefit SuttaCentral and NIIBS, a newly built Buddhist university in Sri Lanka.

Your help to circulate the details of this event with your networks within and outside this forum is much appreciated.
Hands and tree


I’m just now learning about this wonderful event and so wish I could participate. However living in the U.S.A. as I do the travel costs and logistics are prohibitively expensive for me unless it were part of a long stay in Asia, which obviously isn’t something prudent to be doing right now given the worldwide situation with COVID.

I do hope this course will be offered again, and also that Bhante Sujato will perhaps be able to offer some version of it online in the future. The curriculum is incredible! Meanwhile hoping that the June course is a great success. I visited Sri Lanka only once, in 2007, and have been yearning to return ever since.


Hey thanks Kevin!

You’re right about the travel, of course. We were thinking primarily of Dhamma practitioners who were already in Sri Lanka, either living or traveling, or else people who are looking for an excuse! I will be doing a shorter course with the Barre Center this year, so perhaps you’d like that.


Thanks very much Bhante! I will most definitely sign up for the Barre Center course!

1 Like

This is an exceptionally well-written and detailed syllabus, a masterclass in syllabus writing! :pray: This has inspired me to put more effort into writing syllabi for my college courses.

Unfortunately, I cannot attend this year because I committed myself to an outreach program. I will try to follow the readings as per the syllabus. As mentioned earlier, if this becomes an annual event, I will try my best to attend next year.


Amazing. I love Sri Lanka. Around the stupas there is very high energy of all faithful. I was blessed to go there to be blessed to give alms and meditate and see ancient rocks that had the form for alms bowls.

Btw my profile pic is in Sri Lanka


This sounds wonderful. Thank you for organizing! I hope it can become an annual event. It isn’t feasible right now, but I would love to attend in the future.


We are in discussions with the Sri Lankan airline to get discounted airfares for the course attendees, if the Sri Lankan airline is flying to your part of the world this might be of some interest to you.


Any hope for livestreams / youtube / zoom etc?


@Javier, no plans to live-stream or zoom, we hope to upload the disclosure to youtube afterwards. xo


I am very humbled by that! I have no experience in writing syllabi, and just did what I thought was right and hoped for the best. Nice to know I’m not completely off track!


Just in general - I’ve visited Sri Lanka twice as a monk, including the rains retreat 2014. It’s a beautiful country and there are some fantastic sites worth visiting. Highly recommended!


Those who have already registered or planning to register before the 25th of April will get a FREE tour to Anuradhapura (the first capital of Sri Lanka) including travel, 2 nights accommodation, breakfast, and visits to Buddhist sites.
Here is a new poster courtesy of Hao Teo. Thanks, Hao! :slight_smile:
EBM 7.pdf (14.0 MB)