We have the power to understand the ways in which we cause ourselves to suffer and how we can create a more positive reality. When we take personal responsibility in our lives we can discover that when we are suffering, it does not mean that we must be inherently lacking in some way. Suffering can become a vehicle through which one can explore and understand the deeper self. Buddhism offers a unique perspective on suffering that actually provides a path out of that suffering, and an approach that gives the potential for opening doorways to the nature of our inner truths and peace.
Bhante Pemaratana, the Chief Abbot of the Pittsburgh Buddhist Center, comes to OMA to discuss this question: What Causes Suffering? Bhante was born in Sri Lanka, and came to the United States in 2008 to serve in the Pittsburgh Buddhist Center. He became a Buddhist monk in 1986 at the age of 10. His monastic training was under the tutelage of the most Venerable Attangane Sasanaratana Maha Thero at Sripathi Pirivena Monastery in Kuliyapitiya, Sri Lanka.
Bhante Pemaratana holds a bachelor’s degree with honors in Buddhist Studies from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka and a master’s degree in philosophy from the National University of Singapore. He has lectured at the University of Peradeniya and the Buddhist and Pali College of Singapore. He received a PhD in Religious Studies at the University of Pittsburgh in 2017.
In addition to his duties as Chief Abbot, Bhante offers workshops on meditation in the Pittsburgh area and provides spiritual counseling to help people deal with the challenging issues of life.
Anyone who wants to learn about meditation, whether you’re a novice or a long-time practitioner, may want to check out Bhante’s upcoming class series at OMA, Meditation: Theory and Practice.
See the Pittsburgh Buddhist Center for information on Buddhist activities in the region.