Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka in the third century B.C and become an integral part of the country’s culture with a majority of Sri Lankans following the Buddha’s teachings. Meditation is an integral part of Buddhism, practiced to achieve a balance of mind which helps alleviate the stresses of modern life. Meditation is conducted at most Temples and Buddhist centres across the country while some of the Ayurveda and Yoga retreats conduct guided meditation sessions as an integral part of their holistic wellbeing programmes.
Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka in the third century B.C. when Emperor Asoka of India sent his son, Mahinda, to the island and introduced Buddhism to the reigning Sinhalese king Devanampiya Tissa (250BC – 207 BC). The king eventually became a powerful patron of Buddhism and established temples and the monastery of Mahavihara, which became the historic center of Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka. King Devanampiya Tissa followed the Indian emperor’s strategy of merging the political state with Buddhism. As a result, Buddhism became an integral part of Sinhalese culture and civilisation. Buddhism also had a great effect on the literary development of the island. It was in Sri Lanka that the oral teachings of the Buddha – the Tripitaka – were committed to writing for the first time. The language of these Buddhist scriptures, Pali, influenced the development of the Sinhala language. Since the third century B.C. to date, Buddhism continues to play an integral part in the lives of a majority of Sri Lankans in the country. In addition, the island’s Buddhist monks play a significant role in spreading Buddha’s teachings worldwide.
There are several Ayurveda resorts in Sri Lanka that emphasises positive health and the balance between mind and body through a combination of ancient philosophies such as - Ayurveda, Yoga, and meditation. Meditation sessions at these resorts are usually conducted by a Buddhist monk and if interested, guests can also participate in discussions on Buddhism and visit a nearby Buddhist temple.