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November 10, 2017
Venerable Henepola Gunaratana 90th Birthday 7 December 2017
BGKT Buddhist Group of Kendal (Theravada) (founded in September 1991) is fortunate that Venerable Dr Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Mahanayaka Thera Aggamaha Pandita Abhidhaja Maharatthaguru DLitt DLitt (1896-1998) one of the world's most senior Theravada Buddhist Monks, and Venerable Henepola Gunaratana Maha Thera (an internationally respected meditation master and author) agreed to become BGKT's founder spiritual advisors.

Venerable Ananda Maitreya died in 1998 aged 101. Venerable Gunaratana will celebrate his 90th birthday on 7th December 2017.

Venerable Henepola Gunaratana was born in Sri Lanka. He became a Novice Monk at the age of 12 and received full ordination in 1947 at the age of 20. He moved to the USA in 1968. He is Head of the Bhavana Society (which he co-founded in 1985) in West Virginia USA. In 1996 he was awarded the title Chief Sangha Nayaka (Head Theravada Bhikkhu [Buddhist Monk]) of North America. He has led meditation retreats, and taught Buddhism in the USA, Canada, Europe, and Australia.

His biography is:
Journey to Mindfulness: The Autobiography of Bhante G. Bhante Henepola Gunaratana. Boston (USA): Wisdom Publications, 2003. (ISBN 0-86171-347-8)
http://www.wisdompubs.org/book/journey-mindfulness

For more information about Venerable Henepola Gunaratana see the Bhavana Society website:
http://bhavanasociety.org/teacher/bhante_henepola_gunaratana

Venerable Henepola Gunaratana's Publications are listed on The Bhavana Society's website:
http://bhavanasociety.org/list/category/Books/

His best known books are the In Plain English series published by Wisdom Books:
http://www.wisdompubs.org/author/bhante-gunaratana

BGKT is very grateful to Venerable Henepola Gunaratana for his inspiring example and visits to our group. Upasika Panna received her name from him when she took the Eight Lifetime Precepts (an expansion of the Ajivatthamaka Sila), at Gaia House in England in 2007. He also gave Upasika Canda her Buddhist name and the Panca Sila (Five Precepts) at a retreat in for BGKT and Keswick Buddhist Group (Theravada) in Cumbria in 1995.

The Eight Lifetime Precepts (an expansion of the Ajivatthamaka Sila) are explained in:
Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness: Walking the Path of the Buddha. Bhante Henepola Gunaratana. Boston (USA): Wisdom Publications, 2001. (ISBN 0-86171-176-9), "Higher precepts for Lay People" pages 123-126.
http://www.wisdompubs.org/book/eight-mindful-steps-happiness

The Bhavana Society website has pages on The Eight lIfetime Precepts:
http://bhavanasociety.org/resource/taking_the_eight_lifetme_precepts/
http://bhavanasociety.org/page/lifetime_precepts/
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