How & Why Do We Practice Buddhism? | Panel Discussion

Event Details

By Bhante Sumitta |

Dhamma USA is organizing this special venture to benefit the many enthusiastic learners of Buddhism relating to contemporary other issues. Every Thursday, at 6:00 pm PST, some guest speakers from around the world will share a Special Guest Lectures on various topics related to Buddhism and Life in general every Thursday through Dhamma USA YouTube channel and Facebook page & other social media Groups. We welcome the lay Buddhist scholars and practitioners around the world as resource persons to join us in this wholesome venture.

Join us through our social media network on every Thursday at 6:00 PM Pacific Time.

Lecture 20 | January 26, 2023 | How & Why Do We Practice Buddhism? | Panel Discussion

Date: Thursday / Friday


6:00 PM PST (Thursday)

9:00 PM EST (Thursday)

6:30 AM IST for India & Sri Lanka (Friday)

9:00 AM Malaysia/Singapore (Friday)

8:00 AM Indonesia (Friday)

Event Date:

January 26, 2023 (Thursday)


6:00 PM PST (Thursday)

9:00 PM EST (Thursday)

6:30 AM IST for India & Sri Lanka (Friday)

9:00 AM Malaysia/Singapore (Friday)

8:00 AM Indonesia (Friday)

Platforms to Join:

Dhamma USA YouTube Channel

Dhamma USA Facebook Page

Dhamma USA Facebook Group | Buddhist Youth Federation

Dhamma USA Facebook Group | Dhamma Global

Dhamma USA Facebook Group | Early Buddhist Discussion & Forum

Dhamma USA Twitter

Dhamma USA Linkedin

For More Info:

email Dhamma USA |

Learn About Our Panelists:

Bhante Sumitta (Host)

Bhante Sumitta, a traditionally trained Sri Lankan Buddhist monk who has completed 41 years in the ordained life, is currently living in USA and is the founder of “Dhamma USA”, a US based 501-c-3 nonprofit organization engaged in community care and spiritual care activities.

Bhante is actively involved in social welfare and spiritual care programs in California and other states by conducting Dhamma Talks, Sutta Discussions, Meditations and Pali Language Classes apart from helping many under privileged families and children in Sri Lanka.

Dhamma USA is also helping children education projects in India. Bhante Sumitta’s PhD Research topic at the University of the West and is “Philosophy of Arahanta Ideal as Depicted in Mahaniddesa”. At his school, University of the West, Bhante Sumitta started “UWest Pali Society” to promote Pali studies and Buddhist Art & Culture. A weeklong Budart Exhibition was co-organized by Bhante Sumitta along with Budart.

Currently he works as Faculty at Right Mindfulness Training Academy and he has also worked as an Adjunct Faculty at the University of the West in several Departments teaching Ethics in Buddhist MinistryFundamentals of BuddhismIntroduction to Buddhist Psychology and more. He works as a prison care volunteer for Engaged Buddhist Alliance in Southern California apart from teaching at Home Boys Industries in Los Angeles from time to time. He works with many Buddhist temples in Los Angeles with his Dhamma Sharing and meditation classes to help the community.

He is a frequent visitor to Chicago Buddhist Vihara, Long Island Meditation Center in New York and Empty Cloud Monastery in New Jersey to conduct Dhamma talks and practice meditation. Prior to arriving at United States, bhante Sumitta had been working at the Bhiksu University of Sri Lanka as a Senior Lecturer in English.

He has completed 2 Bachelor Degrees and 3 Master Degrees prior to pursuing his doctoral Degree at the University of the West.  

Download Resume of Venerable Sumitta


For More About Bhante Sumitta

Ananda Mahinkanda

Founder / Chairman, Samahitha Nature Foundation | Vice President, Finance and Operations, Pure Prescriptions Inc.

Ananda Mahinkanda is a Nature Lover, Animal activist and a strong promoter of Companionate and Healthy Living. He is a Senior Accountant and Management Consultant by profession and has worked in many different parts of the world namely, South Asia, Middle East, Africa and North America. However, his passion now is to promote and educate general public about Human Health, Animal Welfare, Environment and the damaging impact of Animal Eating to our day-to-day life. He has gained a wealth of experience and knowledge by regularly participating at the well-known annual workshop “Vegan Summerfest’ held at the University of Pittsburg, Johnstown, USA. 

He has given many presentations at National TV programs and Social Media platforms in Sri Lanka on the subject. He is also the founder of Samahitha Nature Foundation of USA, a nonprofit organization and the Adviser to the  Nonviolence Society of Sri Lanka established for the same purpose. He is an experienced meditator and an ardent Buddhist practitioner, as well.

For more about Ananda Mahinkanda:

Tom Moritz

Thomas Daniel (“Tom”) Moritz
1968 ½ South Shenandoah Street
Los Angeles, California 90034 1 310 963 0199

Major Areas of Professional Activity:

Knowledge Management / Informatics:

Since completing a graduate degree in 1974, I have been committed to the sharing of knowledge resources as broadly and equitably as possible and particularly committed to the application of new and emergent digital technologies to support knowledge sharing.

Sciences: Biology and conservation


In a variety of roles, I have a substantial record of successful administrative experience,
working in both the public and private sector in increasingly complex organizational frameworks including libraries, project work and professional organizations. I have successfully accomplished staff re-organizations, re-designs of organizational space, financial restructuring and recovery from disaster.
Currently chief administrator for an academic research institute with a staff of >240 and a budget of $25M.

Development: Gifts/Grants/Contracts:

For 25 years, involvement with successful solicitation of grants, contracts and gifts in both the private and public sectors. Frequent service on visiting committees, site visit panels, advisory committees and regular participation in peer review activities (including reviews of
scholarly papers and grant proposals).


Personal Chronology:

2009 – Interim Director of Public Programs, Internet Archive
2006 – 2008 Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles
1999 – 2006 American Museum of Natural History, New York
1986 – 1998 California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco
1981 – 1986 University of Washington, Seattle (& Friday Harbor, Washington)
1978 – 1980 University of Washington (Jackson School of International Affairs/ Chinese Regional Studies) / WESTFORNET (US Forest Service)

1976-1978 Miscellaneous Temporary/ Part-time Employments (Seattle, Washington)
1976 National Academy of Sciences (contract employment)
1975 – 1976 US Department of the Interior (2 temporary appointments)
1974 Pratt Institute (Graduate School of Library and Information Science) (MLS)
1973 US Department of the Interior / George Washington University (Graduate Study Chinese)
1972 Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service (BSFS)

For more about Professor Tom Moritz:

Margaret Meloni

Dr. Margaret Meloni (Entrepreneur, Buddhist Practitioner, Advocate for What Death Dhamma)

Margaret Meloni is a businessperson, Buddhist practitioner, and an advocate
for what Death Dhamma. The practice of inviting the awareness of death into
your life.
While navigating the demands of everyday life: family, friends, work, and
studying for her Ph.D.(in Buddhist Studies); she realized that more significant
challenges were coming.
The people she loved were going to die. Her mother-in-law was in her nineties,
her parents were approaching their eighties, and her husband had already
outlived his father.
She knew that death would come but was fearful that she would be
Death did come, and it was her Buddhist practice that sustained her as she
grappled with the loss of her closest family members. She learned that death is
a friendly companion. Now that she has made friends with death, she works to
help others accept death as an essential part of life.

For more about Dr. Margaret Meloni :

Olga Klimova

Olga Klimova is a self-taught visionary artist whose creative process serves as a catalyst for personal transformation and social change. She translates her meditative insight into a visual narrative, exploring both light and dark sides of life, existentialism, dualism and unity, juxtaposed with fragile beauty. She often shows close links between internal and external worlds, bringing attention to the necessity to explore both. Olga utilizes complex layered techniques in showing multi-dimensional structures of mind and matter.

Today, Olga travels North America with her installations, exhibits her art internationally, teaches in Europe and USA while maintaining her home base in New York, USA. In 2015 she became one of the instructors of the Vienna Academy of Visionary Art.

For more about Olga:

Jayanta Fernando

  • 1975 from SL to Bahamas with 2 kids – 7 years there. Volunteering for kidney foundation
  • 1984 – returned to NJ. Joined as a Banker (1984-2015). WF Bank.
  • At 65, when 2 kids passed medical school. Kidney specialists. Quite a coincidence.
  • Worked so hard. Tough life. 3 jobs. Long drive. Took care of kids. Never forgot to exercise. Not enough sleep but exercise was the key.
  • Volunteering at Abused Women’s Organization – “Shelter Our Sisters”
  • Volunteering at Disabled Handicapped Organization – “Spectrum for Living”
  • Volunteering at Holy Name Hospital – New Jersey
  • Volunteering at Hack & Sack Hospital – New Jersey
  • Assistant Living seniors – Care 1 Caupla
  • 3 Water Projects with Mahamewnawa Asapuwa – Pure Water for all to help kidney prone areas in SL.
  • $45000 in donation
  • Library Project with Dhamma USA
  • 20 scholarships for young adults
  • 300 reading glasses, umbrellas to remote school
  • Donating bagels to senior centers.
  • Continuous practice of generosity to various Buddhist temples
  • Practicing Dhamma, listening to Dhamma regularly.

Professor Elenice De Souza Oliveira (PhD.)

I am Elenice de Souza Oliveira. I was born in Brazil and I reside in NJ. One of my passions is to learn and practice mindfulness and meditation. My goal is to share and expand these practices in my professional field of my field of Criminology and Social/Criminal Justice. My PhD is in Criminal Justice and Criminology. I am grateful to all teachers that have helped me to become awake in each moment.

Currently I am a Professor in the Justice studies Department at Montclair State University in New Jersey.

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Event Category
Event Location
Dhamma USA YouTube Channel
Event Start
Jan 26, 2023 at 18:00
Event Ends
Jan 26, 2023 at 20:00