About OBV

Oxford Buddha Vihara is a centre for the teaching and practice of the Buddha’s message in the UK.

About the Vihara

Oxford Buddha Vihara was founded in 2003 by Venerable Dr Khammai Dhammasami from Shan State in Myanmar and has since developed into a thriving community of monks and lay Buddhists from many countries and cultures, welcoming visitors from all faiths and none.

In keeping with the tradition of SE Asian temples, the vihara and its monks rely on the generosity of those who support them through donations – this may take the form of food, medicine, money, time and work.

Meet the Sangha

Venerable Dhammasami

Venerable Dr Khammai Dhammasami is from Shan State in Myanmar. He is OBV’s  abbot, the Buddhist chaplain to Oxford University, a member of the Oxford Council of Faith, a fellow of Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies, and a world council member for Religion for Peace (UN NY).

Venerable Pannavamsa

Venerable Mahasena

Venerable Baddiya

Your support is appreciated

Vihara Etiquette

Greeting people

Many people, when they arrive at the Vihara, will greet each other by placing their hands together over their hearts and making a slight bow from the waist, in the Asian tradition.

Some use the standing bow. Others prefer to bow three times from kneeling. The bowing represents respect for the monastic life and is not a statement of deference to the individual. There is no need to bow if you don’t want to.

Bowing to Buddha figures

Most of the statues you will see at the Vihara are representations of the Buddha in different postures. Some visitors like to bow towards the Buddha figure three times from kneeling when they first enter the room where the altar is located.

Traditionally this is a way of paying respect to three things: the Buddha and his example of awakening; his teaching; and the community of people following his teaching. Others bow down to corresponding principles of awareness, truthfulness and selflessness. If you do not feel like bowing then please do not feel you have to.


Shoes are left at the door or just inside the door. This helps keep the carpets clean and is considered a sign of respect to the Vihara.

Upcoming Events

May 23, 2024

Monthly Day Retreat - May

Dear Dhamma friends, This is an announcement of our upcoming monthly one-day retreat on Saturday, May 25th, starting at 8:30 […]

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May 23, 2024

Invitation to Vesak/Visakha Puja Ceremony

Dear Dhamma friends, We would like to invite all to join us for the Vesak/Visakha puja ceremony, taking place at […]

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March 31, 2024

Invitation to the OBV Lunar New Year Blessing Ceremony - Sunday, 14 April 2024

The Lunar New Year, held in April, is an ancient annual festival for Thai, Burmese, Sri Lankan, Laotian, Cambodian, Nepalese, […]

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