Buddhist Monk Returns to Golden Door Spa for New Year Workshops

Start the year on a happier note with Buddhist monk Bhante Sujatha, who will be guiding guests through loving kindness and meditation workshops January 29-30, 2011 at Golden Door Spa at The Boulders Resort.

A miracle happened around this time last year. I actually turned off my computer for an entire day.

That, and I dipped a toe into the quiet practice of mediation led by a Buddhist monk.

Like most hot-blooded Americans, I am married to my job. The irony is that my self-spun profession is to advocate wellness and beauty from within. And I, like most hot-blooded Americans, often get so wrapped up in what I’m doing that I forget to practice what I preach. Guilt, stress and a battling barrage of thoughts (You’re not good enough! Yes you are! No you’re not!) keep me teetering on the precipice of … well, something. In fact, a dear friend recently squinted her eyes at me and said, “How long are you going to keep peering over the edge of that mountain and just jump off?” Okay, I get it.

So when my adventurous friend Sally sent me an email asking if I would actually like to go to the meditation workshop that I was quacking about, I fell out of my tree house and landed with a thud and a “Sure. Why not?”

Bright and early on a crisp fall Sunday morning, I shut down my bull horn (my computer, that is) and headed out to Golden Door Spa at the achingly scenic Boulders Resort for a meditation class with Buddhist monk Bhante Sujatha.

A sitting-room-only crowd of about 25 gathered in a fitness studio in the spa to listen to this smiling, seated monk. For the first hour of the workshop, Sujatha spoke of his calling to teach people how to be happy. No easy feat in our worn and weary Western society. As he shared anecdotes about his experiences and students, he would pepper the stories with the transformations he had witnessed that came through the silence of mediation. During the latter portion of the session, he led us through a Loving Kindness Mediation, a practice that cultivates healthy self love.

I got the scoop on Sujatha later from the Golden Door spa director. Born in Sri Lanka, Sujatha decided when he was 11 that the monastery was the place for him. After graduating, he taught meditation for a while in Australia and came to the United States in the late 1990s, landing in all places, Michigan. He lived and taught there for several years helping to establish a temple in a mainly Sri Lankan community. He eventually realized that the people he was living among “got it” and he could teach the typical stressed-out, overworked Westerner how Buddhism could bring peace and happiness to their lives. He now teaches out of his home base at the Blue Lotus Buddhist Temple in the outskirts of Chicago.

Buddhist Monk Bhante Sujatha returns to the Golden Door Spa for two unique workshops on January 29-30, 2011. And speaking from experience, you don’t want to miss this chance to take in all this worldly, peaceful and at times, very funny spiritual healer has to share.

Each session is $25. Dates and times are as follows:

  • Healing Through Loving Kindness: Saturday, Jan. 29, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Vipassana Meditation Workshop: Sunday, Jan. 30, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Space is limited and will likely fill up fast. To register, call the spa at 480.595.3500.

Golden Door Spa at The Boulders Resort is located at 34631 N. Tom Darlington Drive, Carefree, Ariz. For more, visit goldendoor.com.

For more on Bhante Sujatha or to purchase his “Putting Out the Fires in Your Mind” guided meditations on CD, visit bluelotustemple.org.