Students enlightened after visit from Sri Lankan Buddhist monks
Students were given a fascinating insight into Buddhism when two monks visited the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL).
Venerable Konwewe Ariyarathana, from London Buddhist Vihara in Chiswick, gave an hour-long talk and presentation to around 70 students and staff at the College.
He was accompanied by Venerable Ragama Sugathananda, Chief Incumbent of the Senehasa Foundation, a charity run by Buddhist monks in Kurunegala, Sri Lanka.
During the talk the monks, who follow the oldest form of Buddhism called Theravada, explained how the religion was founded and its history, philosophy and traditions.
They also spoke about life as a Buddhist, including the robes they wear, education, prayers, meditation, chanting, blessings, services and supporting their communities.
Construction students Josh Crowe and Ethan Johnstone, both 17, were among those who attended the talk at the Tottenham Centre on 19 June.
Josh said: “I didn’t know much about Buddhism before today. It was inspirational hearing about their way of life and how different it was to the way we live.”
Ethan added: “It was amazing to find out about their lifestyle and how simple it is compared to our own, and that they seem so happy with what they have got.”
College Director Marcia Summers, who arranged the event, met Mr Sugathananda on a charity trip to Sri Lanka in 2014 and Mr Ariyarathana this year.
Marcia and her son Joe have supported the Women’s Development Centre and women's refuge in Kandy since 2013 through the UK charity Shining Life Children’s Trust.
Marcia said: “We were delighted to welcome Konwewe and Ragama to the College to give a talk to our students and staff.
“They gave a captivating and informative talk on Buddhism that gave a real insight into the religion, which sparked a lot of interest among their audience.
“It was great to see so many learners from different backgrounds and college courses attend the enrichment activity, which promoted tolerance and peace in currently challenging times."
The College is planning to arrange a visit to London Buddhist Vihara following an invitation by Mr Ariyarathana, who it is hoped will return to run meditation sessions with students.
- Last Updated: 21 June 2017