Bhante H. Gunaratana

Year of birth : 1927


“ The essence of our experience is change. Change is incessant.nMoment by moment life flows by and it is never the same. ”

“ You cannot condition Enlightenment. Nibbana is an unconditioned state. A liberated person will indeed be generous and benevolent, but not because he has been conditioned to be so. He will be so purely as a manifestation of his own basic nature, which is no longer inhibited by ego. 

" A thought springs up in your head and half a second later, it is gone. In comes another one, and that is gone too. A sound strikes your ears and then silence. Open your eyes and the world pours in, blink and it is gone. People come into your life and they leave again. Friends go, relatives die. Your fortunes go up and they go down. Sometimes you win and just as often you lose. It is incessant: change, change, change."

Books by the Master

" The Path of Serenity and Insight " ... " The Jhanas in Theravada Meditation " ... " Mindfulness in Plain English " ... " Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness: Walking the Buddha's Path.. " ... " Journey to Mindfulness: The Autobiography of Bhante G " ... " Beyond Mindfulness in Plain English " ... " The Four Foundations of Mindfulness in Plain English " ... " Bhavana Vandana: Devotions for Meditation " ... " Meditation on Perception: Ten Healing Practices to Cultivate Mindfulness "


Bhante Henepola Gunaratana is a Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist monk. He is often affectionately known as Bhante G. 

Henepola Gunaratana was born in 1927 in the small Sri Lankan village of Henepola. He was ordained as a monk at the age of 12, and received his education at Vidyasekhara Pirivena, a monk's school at Gampaha. He received upasampada when he was 20, in Kandy. He received his higher education in Sri Lanka at Vidyalankara College in Kelaniya and the Buddhist Missionary College (an affiliate of the Maha Bodhi Society) in Colombo. After his education, he was sent to India for missionary work as a representative of the Maha Bodhi Society. He primarily served the Untouchables in Sanchi, Delhi and Bombay. 

He also served as a religious advisor to the Malaysian Sasana Abhivurdhiwardhana Society, Buddhist Missionary Society, and Buddhist Youth Federation. Following this he served as an educator for Kishon Dial School and Temple Road Girl's School. He was also the principal of the Buddhist Institute of Kuala Lumpur. 

Bhante Gunaratana came to the United States at the invitation of the Sasana Sevaka Society in 1968 in order to serve as the General Secretary of the Buddhist Vihara Society of Washington, D.C. He was elected president of the society twelve years later. While serving in this office, he has conducted meditation retreats and taught courses in Buddhist Studies.

Gunaratana earned a bachelor's, master's and doctorate in philosophy at American University. He has also taught graduate level courses on Buddhism at American University, Georgetown University, Bucknell University and the University of Maryland, College Park. He also lectures at universities throughout the United States, Europe and Australia. He is the author of the book Mindfulness in Plain English.

Bhante Gunaratana is currently the abbot of the Bhavana Society, a monastery and meditation retreat center he founded in High View, West Virginia.