Only few of the many meditation centres in Sri Lanka are suitable for foreigners. The reason is, foreign guests usually cannot speak Sinhalese and and are not able to stay for a longer period of time.
Most meditation centres only expect donations and do not give recommendations on the amounts. But some lay meditation centres charge a small amount of money for accommodation and food. Generally, food will be fairly simple local cuisine, this means, it can be quite spicy. The diet is usually vegetarian, but not vegan. This means, eggs could be served.
Guests can not expect comfortable rooms, they should bring basic requisites with themselves, for example bed-sheets, towels, soap. It’s very important to have an own torch, because some centres don’t provide electric currents, in others guests could face power cuts.
Participants usually wear white clothes which decently cover the whole body.
Female guests can take part in meditation classes, too, but males and females must accept to be separated.
Nilambe Meditation Centre, situated in the hills overlooking the Kandy valley, is recommendable for those guests who are less experienced in taking part in meditation sessions. The founder, Godwin Samararatne, was an experienced layman himself.
Lewella Meditation Centre in the outskirts of Kandy, with some huts (kutis) near the Udawattekale sanctuary, is for experienced male meditators and also for studying Buddhist scriptures.
The Dhammakuta Vipassana Meditation Centre in Peradeniya near Kandy, here Vipassana meditation is taught according to the Burmese meditation tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw, but more relaxed than in the centres in Myanmar.
Another famous Vipassana Mediation Centre also welcoming foreigners is in Kanduboda in Colombo District, 20 kms away from the busy capital. Kanduboda is a monastic meditation centre, where ten day classes are held according to traditional strict rules. It is more suitable for those more experienced in Buddhist contemplation techniques.
Dhamma Sobha is another Vipassana Meditation Centre in the tropical humid part of the low country. It's situated at Kosgama near Avissavella
Dhamma Anuradha is a Vipassana Meditation Centre in the dry zone, located at Kurundankulama near Anuradhapura.
Begun in 1993, Dekanduwala Meditation Centre, belonging to the Buddhist Cultural Centre network (BCC) is pleasantly situated on a hilltop near Horana, about 30 km south-west of Colombo.
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