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Scholar to bring message of peace

Bhante Wimala, a world-renowned scholar and author in Buddhism, will visit USF Saturday to deliver a speech titled “Inner Peace and Outer Harmony.”

The event is coordinated by USF Friends of Sri Lanka and the newly formed Lotus Buddhist Society of USF.

Faculty adviser Manjriker Gunaratne said Wimala’s message is of peace and inner harmony, and is important in the modern state of the world.

“The reason for (Wimala’s visit) is because of the troubled times,” Gunaratne said. “After the (Sept. 11) incident, we thought of helping people heal their wounds with a message of peace.”

Wimala has traveled throughout the world teaching about peace. He has visited five continents and brings a message of accepting others. Gunaratne said this kind of international experience, as well as his philosophical approach, makes Wimala an excellent choice to address the Tampa community.

“His main message is how the message of Buddha can be used effectively to achieve peace among different groups of people,” he said. “(He teaches) how to achieve harmony among different groups of people in a society by developing one’s own self and developing peace within one’s self.”

In Wimala’s book, Lessons of the Lotus, he teaches a message of “compassion in action.” The lotus plant is a symbol of peace in Buddhism that grows from murky marshes into a beautiful flower. Wimala teaches that every person has the power of transformation which can be cultivated from within. His philosophy is that by changing the self, one may change the world.Student Joseph Sosa said he is not Buddhist, but appreciates the Buddhist message and the importance of a speaker such as Wimala.

“For us here in Tampa, it means a lot, because we don’t really get that exposure to the Buddhist culture,” he said. “It’s more about the way of life and how people have these amazing abilities within us.”

Sosa said Wimala’s message is important and that it can be used throughout a person’s daily life.

“He’s going to be talking about finding inner peace, being satisfied, teaching us to learn more compassion to others, and to help those in need,” he said. “(It is) about who we are.”

Wimala’s lecture will be held Saturday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Marshall Center Room 270.

  • Contact Rob Brannonat oraclerob@yahoo.com