As the first meditation course was judged a success it was decided to hold regular courses. As there was no teacher Bhante Dhammika started conducting 10 day courses from the 1st of each month and gradually word spread that Nilambe was a pleasant place to meditate in. 1n 1979 Godwin Samaratatna retired from his job and came to Nilambe as a manager. Being a quiet, gentle and naturally meditative person, he gradually evolved into a teacher. Over the next 20 years Nilambe gained an international reputation mainly because of Godwin’s exceptional personality. Through various ups and downs the centre had to endure, and there had been a few serious ones, Godwin kept his balance, smiling through the difficulties, and the centre prevailed. Indeed it flourished. Now, over a decade after Godwin’s passing, people who benefited from his wisdom and compassion remember Nilambe with fondness. Many return periodically to revitalize their practice.
........ Initially, people came to Nilambe mainly to learn meditation but in time they came because of Godwin. By the mid-1980's he became so well-known that he started to receive invitations to teach in Switzerland, Germany, the U.K. and later in South Africa, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. He taught meditation to all sorts of groups, including Christian priests and pastors, and Chinese Mahayana Buddhists. Throughout the 1990's increasing numbers of both foreigners and Sri Lankans were coming to the expanding Nilambe Meditation Centre.
In all the years I knew Godwin I cannot remember ever hearing him say anything negative about anyone or ever showing the slightest trace of annoyance, anger or disapproval. I don't think this was because he was trying to be 'nice' or because he was blind to people's flaws - he could be uncannily perceptive about people. Rather it was because other peoples' negativity simply didn't affect him, even if he was on the receiving end of it. Nor can I ever remember him being impatient, depressed, angry or worried......
By Ven. Bhante S Dhammika
Uploaded from Godwin Home Page
There used to be a well on the Estate and he offered this for the meditators to use. When he visited, he could be seen walking to the well with a small bucket and a towel for a bath before lunch, like a simple village man. Those who saw him would not imagine that he was the owner of such a big estate. He very much enjoyed the simple lunch that is offered at Nilambe.
Based on an article from Dhammaja, the Nilambe Newsletter
- Upul Gamage