Upul Nishanta Gamage
Upul, meditation teacher by the mountain at the Nilambe, Sri Lanka. The photo was taken after recording the second conversation in the film; “The Mountain” Photo: C. Neant Falk
“Are You A Monk, Upul?
Cecilia: Are you a monk?
Upul: No, I am a layperson.
Upul: Why? I don’t know, why. (Laughing.) I was born a layperson and still I am a layperson.
Cecilia: Well, you could become a monk, no?
Upul: Yes, I could become a monk. I had the ambition to become a monk, but you know, in Sri Lanka and in Buddhism, you need your parents´ permission to become a monk or to become a nun. And at that time my parents didn’t allow it, because I am the eldest son. But I figured that I could meditate as a layperson anyway, and I can help others as a layperson. So I carried on with my meditation and I am happy now about that decision.
Cecilia: Do you have a family?
Upul: Yes my parents, an older sister and two younger brothers.
Cecilia: Would you like to have a family?
Upul: Family means?
Cecilia: Like, wife, children…?
Upul: No. I don’t want that. It doesn’t mean I feel some resistance to it. But I don’t feel lonely. I am happy about myself, and I like to help others. If you are married, you have limited time for others.
Another thing is actually, I know why people are marrying, but I can’t understand, really, at a deep level, what marriage is. And what is wrong with being alone? But anyway, there is no conflict between being alone and living a married life. You can practice Buddhism as a single person or as a couple, there are no barriers. But for myself, I am happy about what I am doing here at Nilambe.”
/from the book “Your Mind is Bigger than all the Supermarkets in the World – Some guidance for a lost Westerner”
Upul Nishanta Gamage
is the main teacher at the Nilambe Buddhist Meditation Centre, situated near Kandy in Sri Lanka. Besides teaching at Nilambe, Upul Nishanta Gamage is also frequently teaching meditation in hospitals, prisons, schools, monasteries and at the Buddhist Publication Society in Kandy. Upul Nishanta Gamage is regularly invited to teach and give talks in Hong Kong, Germany, Switzerland and Sweden.
The Nilambe Buddhist Meditation Centre was founded by the late Godwin Samararatne, one of the best known meditation teachers in Sri Lanka in recent times. Here is the official website dedicated to Mr Godwin´s teachings.
Buddhist Meditation Centre
Upul, Resident Teacher and Manager
Nalaka, Office Manager