Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sramadaana at Willies Meditation Center

Willies mediation center, even though operated by Sri Lankan Buddhist bukku, serves people of all the faiths by providing facilities and support for mediation. In the modern fast running society many people benefit from meditation when dealing with mental fatigue and stress resulted during day-to-day life. They try to achieve their internal happiness through meditation since money has failed badly in doing that.

DAANA Texas Chapter together with Sri Lankan Student Association of University of Houston (SLSA) and members of temple committee will take part in a shramadaana (volunteering work) to develop the Willies meditation center, which is still under development. Great support of well-wishers of the meditation center has brought it to near completion. It will be of immense pleasure for Rajans to participate in such a deed.

Date: Saturday, September 5
Time: 8:00 a.m. (There is a one hour drive from Houston. Please plan to leave early.)
Venue: Willies Meditation center in North Houston (Please see below for directions.)
18581 FM 1097, Willis , TX 77378

Driving directions to Meditation Center:

  • Driving towards I45 North, take exit number 94: FM 1097 exit.

  • At the intersection, turn right to FM 1097 (East).

  • Pass the first yellow blinking light and one more traffic light.

  • At the next light, take a left (Highway 75 and FM 1097 joins).

  • Take an immediate right (FM 1097 goes alone).

  • Pass railway crossing and drive about 8 and a half miles.

  • Take a left at 18581 FM 1097 (You will see a Buddhist flag on the mailbox.)

Rajans in Texas Ready for More Action

After a brief silence Texas Chapter of DAANA has planned to organize and take part in several community service activities and some other projects. The goal is to enjoy by helping others as Rajans have always done.
  • Volunteering (Sramadaana): On Saturday, September 5th, at Willies Meditation center in North Houston together with Sri Lankan Student Assoc. of University of Houston (SLSA) and Temple members.

  • Blood drive: On Sunday, October 18th, at Houston Buddhist Vihara, together with Sri Lankan American Assoc. of Houston (SLAAH)

  • Volunteering program in Greater Houston area: November/December

More details of these events will be published on this blog and are available through and members of DAANA Texas Chapter. Participation of Rajans and well wishers is highly appreciated and will be critical to the success of all the events.

In addition, please keep your calendars open for the next get-together of DAANA Texas Chapter, which will be held somewhere in September or October. Any suggestions on where and how this should held are welcome from the old Rajans.

Final Stage of DAANA Book Drive

Texas Chapter has undertaken the responsibility of sorting and shipping of books to conclude the DAANA Book Drive by December. Collection of items for the Book Drive is open till end of October. Your contribution is highly valued and participation is greatly appreciated. Please contact DAANA to inform if you can contribute with anything listed here.

DAANA $tore is open 24/7 for business. Entire revenue will be dedicated to fund DAANA activities.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Eye Opening Damma Talk on 'Mindfulness'

In the monthly damma talk held at Houston Buddhist Vihara on Saturday 6th June, meditation master from Mitirigala Nissarana Vana, Sri Lanka, Ven. Uda Iriyagama Dhammajiva presented a simplified overview of mindfulness or awareness in the context of 'kayanupassana' or 'contemplation on the body'. His clarifications were fitting for both the advanced meditators and children. In 'kayanupassana' meditation, one closes all the six 'doors' one has except mind and body. This eases gaining of awareness over the body by taming her mind. Mindfulness can be practiced even in our everyday lives; undistracted dinning is an example.

The event was well organized by Rajans in Texas with the help of community of Houston Buddhist Vihara. Apart from learning damma, many made use of this as an opportunity to meet fellow Sri Lankans and Rajans. Meeting a senior Rajan that moved to Houston recently is among the rewards DAANA had from this event. Development of awareness on the activities of DAANA among the Houston community would be useful in executing future activities in Texas.

DAANA Texas chapter is thankful to its members and all the others who supported this invaluable cause.

Monday, June 1, 2009

DAANA Texas Chapter Sponsors Damma Talk

Rajans in Texas are sponsoring the June damma talk at Houston Buddhist Vihara. For many from Dharmaraja College organizing damma talks is not something new. This is a good opportunity for building the strength as a group while serving the community. Organizing the function, arranging the necessary supplies and coordinating food preparation for the attendees are among the major responsibilities undertaken.

A well known meditation teacher from Mitirigala Nissarana Vana, Sri Lanka, Ven. Uda Iriyagama Dhammajiva will deliver the monthly damma talk. Ven. Dhammajiva has practised as a meditation master for over a decade and is meditation teacher and Deputy Abbot of Mitirigala, a monastery in the strict forest tradition in Sri Lanka. He trained under Ven. Matara Sri Gnanarama Mahathera (Sri Lanka) and Sayadaw U. Panditabhivamsa (Burma).

Particulars of the event are:

Date: Saturday, 6th June
Time: 7.00 p.m. - 8.30 p.m.
Venue: Houston Buddhist Vihara (HBV)
8727 Radio Road, Houston TX 77075

With the support of all the Rajans in Texas a well-organized evening of damma is expected to be achieved.

“Kalena damma sawanam - etham mangala muththaman,
Kalena damma sakachcha - etham mangala muththaman”

- Maha Mangala Sutta

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Texas Rajans to Cricket Semis!

Winning Team:
Back: (L-R) Manthinda D, Milinda A, Lasitha L
Front (L-R): Ranil B, Sanka T, Kosala S, Asanka S

Cricket is not what Rajans in Texas do best but yet they proved that they are among the best even in cricket. Members of DAANA, Texas chapter participated in a six-a-side cricket tournament organized by the Sri Lankan community in Houston area on Memorial Day, 25th Monday. Without any preparation they managed to reach the semi finals of the tournament that had six competent teams.

The climax was reached in the last ball of the last over in the final qualifying match that determined who would be in the semi finals. Chasing 68 runs in the five-over match, Samaraweera brothers had brought Rajans close to the victory requiring only four off four balls. Kosala fell at this stage when he tried to clear the boundary for a six. Sanka went in to the middle to join Asanka to score four runs off last three balls. Even though, the plan was to give the strike to the in-form batsman, two balls were bowled without the bat meeting the ball. Tournament regulations did not allow byes! Sanka faced the last ball and he was yet to play a legal shot. Against the disciplined bowling attack, only a boundary could win the match and nobody in the ground was expecting one. Against all the odds, Rajans won the match qualifying for the semis with the four runs scored in the last ball!

Hope sporty trend of Rajans will continue throughout North America!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Word on Our First Ever (Official) Gathering

It was such a wonderful evening with all the school 'stuff', the way it used to be decades ago. Even though, we missed some of out Rajans in Texas, we came to know at least one new Rajan. Best of all was that we felt as if we were back in class with our good old friends on top of Lake View, even though, the ones around us were Rajans spaning decades or generations. We are Rajans and that all matters...

As it was warned, there were no pauses in flooding of stories from good old days. Had those been recorded, it would have filled a large portion of the Dharmaraja archives.

Families also had a chance to get to know other Rajans and their families in Houston area, and of course their own Rajan.
It was just before saying good bye, all the serious discussions took stage. It is not a news; all the Rajans in TX are ready for action.

Houston Get Together on 4/26/2009 at Sanka's place

L-R:Lasitha L, Manthinda D, Milinda A, Prasad S, Asanka S, Sanka T, Kosala S, Ranil B.