New England Buddhist Vihara and Meditation Center

Information about this center is no longer updated. This data was last updated on 3 July 2018.

Phone: 508-839-5038
[flickr_set id="72157621939129718"] History A small group of Sri Lankans and Venerable Aluthgama Dhammajothi, (under the guidance of Venerable Kurunegoda Piyatissa of the New York Buddhist Vihara in Queens), first established the New England Buddhist Vihara and Meditation Center (NEBV & MC) on November 22, 2003 at a residence in Northboro, Massachusetts. At the time, Venerable Dhammajothi traveled every month from the New York temple to serve the growing NEBV & MC community. After two years of this arrangement, a Sri Lankan MIT professor generously provided a vacant house in Weston, Massachusetts as a temporary residence to firmly establish the center. For about a year, Venerable Dhammajothi resided in the Weston home, offering meditation services to a small number of members. After pursuing many potential locations, on November 4, 2006 Venerable Dhammajothi and his supporters purchased a residential house in Framingham, Massachusetts as the permanent residence for the center. Description On a dead-end residential street in Framingham, Massachusetts, the New England Buddhist Vihara and Meditation Center is located on a half-acre of land in a 140 year old house. The white aluminum siding with green shutters and the Ford Contour in the driveway offer little indication of the four resident Sri Lankan monks and meditation center within. The main entrance of NEBV & MC opens into a modest kitchen, with a refrigerator stocked with small containers of food prepared by lay members of the center. To the right of the kitchen is a dining room and small library. Among the Buddhist books and scriptures is a shelf of children's books, indicative of Venerable Dhammajothi's love of teaching youth. Beyond the dinning room is a small meditation room where sitting cushions can be placed before the altar. A golden Buddha statue sits among a dozen or so smaller white plaster Buddhas, still wrapped in cellophane. Offerings of flowers, incense, and fruit spill out around the altar onto the carpeted floor. The monks enjoy the lush backyard where members have planted flowers, and turtles have come to lay their eggs. Leadership Venerable Dhammajothi has been a monk in the Theravada tradition since the age of thirteen. Earning various degrees in education in Sri Lanka, Venerable Dhammajothi has enjoyed over twenty-five years as a teacher and high school principal. In 1993 he moved to the United States in order to help cultivate the New York Buddhist Vihara in Queens, New York. Twice a month on Sundays Venerable Dhammajothi returns to this center to teach Buddhism and Sinhalese language to American-born children of Sri Lankan descent. Venerable Dhammajothi lives with three other Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi monks. From time to time, visiting monks will also stay at the center. Partnerships Venerable Dhammajothi works closely with the New York Buddhist Vihara in Queens, New York, where he travels twice a month to teach dharma and Sinhalese language classes to children. Venerable Dhammajothi also serves as the spiritual director for the Buddhist community of Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. Many of the larger NEBV & MC events are held at Galvin Chapel at Babson College. Demographics NEBV & MC serves over one-hundred families throughout New England. While some members live within walking distance of the center, others travel hundreds of miles to participate in large celebrations. Members identify as Sri Lankan, Vietnamese, Bengali, Indian, and American. Activities and Schedule The center offers a weekly sitting meditation and a dharma talk in English on Wednesday evenings. Every full moon is observed at the temple with a day-long celebration and dharma talk. The full moon in the month of May (Vesak in Shinalese) is an especially important holiday, recognized as the day of Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and physical passing. Just before the full moon in July, members participate in the Kathina Ceremony, offering robes to the monastic community and supporting those who will take precepts on that day. NEBV & MC also celebrates the Sri Lankan New Year on April 14 with a blessing ceremony and the Sri Lankan Day of Independence on February 4. Additionally, Venerable Dhammajothi makes personal visits to members in need. At Babson College, Venerable Dhammajothi offers Dharma School and Sinhalese language classes for chidlren on the first and third Saturdays of the month, respectively. Venerable Dhammajothi spends the second and fourth Saturday of the month teaching Buddhism to children at the New York Buddhist Vihara. Throughout the year, the center sponsors various lecture series on Buddhism, dance performances, and cultural activities throughout the Greater Boston area. As the Buddhist chaplain at Babson College, Venerable Dhammajothi is also frequently invited to deliver dharma talks and speak at interfaith forums.