About the project

DHAMMARAMA VIHARA project is supposed to serve the monastery occupants, who need a protected and quiet place for their meditation and study and wish to live in harmony with their environment, both social and natural. It is also intended for the lay people, who practise the Buddha´s teaching in everyday life and take part in workshops and intensive meditation retreats. These activities are going to take place in the monastery, too. Therefore the main aim of the project is establishing the Buddhist monastery AYUKUSALA DHAMMARAMA VIHARA. The monastery shall offer an opportunity for intensive meditation to everyone interested in original Buddha´s teaching.

AYUKUSALA DHAMMARAMA VIHARA is a buddhist monastery named "vihara" and a place like this is therefore supposed to be a shelter of Buddhist monks, who are called "bhikkhu-sangha" as a collective. The monastery shall be situated in the Czech Republic. Thus it is meant for the Czech Theravada monks, who are organized in the Ayukusala Central European Sangha (ACES). Monks of ESA order must serve the needs of the Czech Buddhist community. But they can also look after the spiritual needs of other Central European nations, which depends on their language limitation.

As we learnt from our experience in the traditional Buddhist countries, we expect the monastery to have a harmonizing effect both on the immediate vicinity and on the Czech public as well. Moreover, the establishment of a Buddhist monastery and a meditation centre in the Czech Republic shall contribute to a better understanding among the various spiritual and other cultural traditions in the Central Europe.

The History of the Project

The Dhammarama Vihara project was developed first in the discussions of the first Czech Ayukusala Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka in 1998. These monks were Venerable Ayukusala Thera (Dr. Mirko Frýba) and Venerable Dhammakusala (Michal Horák). After their return Michal Horák and Zdeněk Trávníček decided to offer this monks´ community project to the Czech and Slovak public. The project was administered by International Buddhist Donation Fund by 2005.

Thus the Dhammarama Vihara project has been progressing since 1998, when the Czech Buddhist monks returned from their meditation and life coping methods´ training from Sri Lanka and Burma. This training is lead by Dr. Mirko Frýba, former senior lecturer of psychology at Berne University in Switzerland, Masaryk University, Brno and Palacky University, Olomouc (both in the Czech Republic) and at Peradeniya Univrsity, Kandy in Sri Lanka. The method of the training is described in the books from Mirko Frýba: The Art of Happiness, Teachings of Buddhist Psychology (Shambhala, Boston 1989), and The Practice of Happiness (Shambhala, Boston and London 1995).

So far the temporary visits of the Buddhist monks in the Czech Republic have been realized as a part of the project. These monks took part in the lecturing of meditation and happy life coping to the Czech lay meditators, but they also trained and supervised the lay meditation instructors. Also there have been some Czech, Slovak and German monks and nuns ordained in Europe.

In 2005, Dhammarama, the non-profit organization was founded after the termination of cooperation with International Buddhist Donation Fund. After that, in 2006 and 2007 Dhammarama went into the partnership with the local meditation groups (Bodhi Brno, Bodhi Olomouc and Dhamma-Cakka Praha) and it organized a visit of two Buddhist monks in the Czech Republic - Venerable Ayukusala Thera and Venerable Uttaranyana Sayadaw from Birmingham Buddhist Vihara and it also held some weekend and long-term intensive meditation retreats.