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Buddhist teacher comes to USF

By Sherry Mims, University of South Florida Oracle Staff Writer, November 22, 2004

Scholar and humanitarian Bhante Wimala will discuss the importance of meditation in everyday life.

Florida, USA -- Last-minute homework. Thanksgiving. Final exams. Winter break. Those stressors can be bad for health, but not if students do something about it. That thing, according to Buddhist scholar Bhante Wimala, is meditation.

Wimala, a humanitarian worker who has traveled around the world to present Buddha's teachings to people, will give a speech at USF today entitled: "Practical Benefits of Meditation." Wimala has written several books, including Lessons of Lotus and Poems of Awakening and is finishing a new spiritualist book.

Wimala believes meditation should be pragmatic and accessible by emphasizing "the authenticity of experiencing a focus on 'be-living' rather than 'believing,'" according to his Web site.

Manjriker Gunaratne, engineering professor, meditation aficionado and adviser to Friends of Sri Lanka, the student organization sponsoring the event, said the meditation lecture would benefit everyone "from beginners to advanced."

"Wimala will talk about everyday aspects of meditation," Gunaratne said. "Even things you can use in a traffic jam."

According to an April 19 release from the American Medical Association, those "who practiced 15 minutes of transcendental meditation a day steadily lowered their daytime blood pressures over four months and ... pressures tended to stay lower."

The lecture on meditation will happen this evening in Phyllis P. Marshall Center Room 270 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and is free to all.

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