The New Jersey Buddhist Vihara is dedicated to serve Buddhists, as well as non-Buddhists in the United States, essentially for religious, cultural and social purposes. The proposed new building, the NJBV Meditation & Activity Center, will serve everyone -- irrespective of age, gender or creed. The Meditation Center will teach and practice traditional meditation techniques, and will also be a center for intellectual pursuits, including the study and practice of meditation and inter-faith dialogue. As part of our mission, we will encourage scholars and practitioners of all faiths and denominations to visit and interact with us.
The overall goals of the NJBV will be to serve all of humanity at a time of need - particularly when one is emotionally distressed. It will cater to a wide range of people, from pregnant mothers and young children to adolescents, adults and the elderly.
For people who undergo stress in all stages of their lives-- be it acute, episodic or chronic - the NJBV will be a healing center. Some of our stress management programs will be aimed at curbing emotional distress: a combination of anger, irritability, depression and anxiety, constant worry, poverty, egotism, dysfunctional family life, unhappy relationships and childhood trauma.
Death is a common perimeter that all of us have to face. Dealing with death, and going through the process of losing a loved one, is one of realities in life we all have to experience. Our programs focus on how to overcome the sorrow and sadness from the loss of our loved ones.
In recent years, the media have been saturated with articles on the problems facing today's teens, including drugs, alcoholism, school drop outs, teen pregnancies, gangs, violence in schools, sexually transmitted diseases, poverty, racism, suicides, HIV/AIDS, illiteracy and truancy.
We will have ongoing programs to meet the needs of all of the above. We will cater to those who feel isolated and lonely or who complain that “nobody is listening, and nobody really cares.” Instead, we will listen to their needs and provide a place for them in finding consolation.
Divorce is another form of stress and grief on all parties involved. The breakdown of a family is one of the most pressing issues facing the current generation, followed by violence in neighborhoods and communities, along with poverty and global warming. Shocking statistics tell us that within the United States, the divorce rate hovers around the 50% mark. This is a phenomenon that is gaining momentum all over the world. We will offer classes, workshops and interact with parties involved in divorces. The anger management programs will make a difference to our day-to- day life.
Old people have been held in great respect by Buddhists who have traditionally looked after them with devotion, but unfortunately socioeconomic problems are eroding this. They need to be cared for, have a social network and be happy during the golden years of their lives. We will have programs designed to entertain and care for them.
This project is something that we could complete in a short period of time. The overwhelming support from our temple community is encouraging and the vision they have makes the difference with regard to funding the project to completion. .
Therefore I only request you to participate with loving kindness and compassion. (Metta and Karuna).
Ven Bhanthe Hungampola Sirirathana Nayaka Thero
Chief Incumbent of New Jersey Buddhist Vihara and Meditation Center