Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Renovation at the Dhamma Hall in Webu Sayadaw Monastery in Ingyinbin

The following message has been prepared by Australian meditators looking to renovate the Webu Sayadaw Monastery in Ingyinbin, Sagaing Region, Myanmar.

"The Webu Meditation Monastery at Ingyinbin, is the site where Webu Sayadaw is said to have become at Arahat. Sayagyi U Ba Khin also spent time meditating there. See further information here: https://ingyinbin.wordpress.com/the-monasteries/pattipatti-monastery/

Webu Sayadaw and Sayagyi U Ba Khin are important to present day students of S.N. Goenka and Vipassana for many reasons out lined in a talk by Australian Vipassana & Area Teacher Patrick Given-Wilson, which can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUFi_rAVx8c

Every year in March or April a 10-day Vipassana (Goenkaji) course for locals is conducted at the Webu Meditation Monastery in a large open Dhamma Hall. The course is held to commemorate Webu Sayadaw and is attended by approx. 200 students. There are some extraordinary buildings and architecture at the Monastery and some are in need of repair. The hall is large, beautiful and is very solid. It is currently leaking and so the roof and gutters urgently needs fixing to prevent further damage. Then the entire interior and exterior need patch and painting before the March Course. The Monastery currently does not have the funds for this work, so an opportunity exists for foreign students who would like to contribute, to give Dana. We have noticed that many foreign students are now visiting the monastery and using the facilities.

An estimate of $2500 - $3,000 AUD to do the work has been provided, and we are in the process of liaising with locals who can do the work. We have shared this info with a few meditators and half the funds have already been donated.

To get the work done in time for the course, so it looks and feels refreshed - and before the upcoming wet season, we aim to provide any dana collected to the Monastery in the next 10 days. If you are interested in contributing, please feel free to contact me or you can simply transfer funds as per details below.

Bank details for Dana transfers:

Daniel Georgeson
Westpac Bank
Account # 678789
BSB # 734-000
Tag as "Ingyinbin" or "Webu Monastery"

Note: Receipts or tax invoices not available. Any Dana will be converted to Kyat and 
provided directly to the abbot of the Webu Meditation Monastery.

Contact: dan.georgeson@gmail.com

Friday, 18 January 2019

Ledi Sayadaw and Mahasi Sayadaw... sharing a home?

On a visit with Myanmar Pilgrimage to the Pyinmana monastery where Ledi Sayadaw lived between 1914-16, we were taken into the inner shrine area where Ledi resided, wrote, and meditated. Here we found two photos: one of Ledi, and the other of an elder Mahasi Sayadaw. In the West such a side by side juxtaposition would be comparable to the American baseball fan hanging Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees pennants in his house (e.g., that of two opposing teams). But in Myanmar, there is nothing the slightest bit out of the ordinary by this arrangement, in which the current monastic resident merely wishes to show his great respect for the two meditation masters, scriptural scholars, and Burmese Buddhist reformers.

Where the lineage lines outside of Myanmar can appear as fixed and rigid, these hard lines are transposed within the country as being dotted instead of solid, and fluid rather than set. Here, it is well understood that spiritual masters usually develop through a variety of influential teachers (either living or in the past) as well as contemporaries, and in many cases charting clear causal lines of influence can be somewhat arbitrary or artificial. That is why, then, it is completely normal to find a portrait of Mahasi Sayadaw in the monastery where Ledi lived and taught for two years, and just a drive away from the site where he ultimately passed away and was cremated.

This site is called "Zingyan Monastery", the Burmese word zingyan indicting a walking meditation path, so the site name suggests that this is where Ledi practiced mindful walking. The current abbot kindly showed us the very path where the great Ledi's feet once tread. Passing through a row of trees on either side and heading towards the ruins of an old water tank that captured and stored rain water, the modern yogi can retrace Ledi's very footsteps while following his instructions of mindfulness. The last picture is the Burmese plaque still standing of the donor who sponsored this practice area for Ledi.

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Dhamma for Everyone

The Buddha taught his teachings of liberation to all who wished to learn, from king to pauper. So also, the volunteers behind the Shwe Lan Ga Lay meditator's guidebook to Myanmar project have endeavored to provide information freely to any spiritual seeker coming to the Golden Land, from those who wished to renounce everything and become a monastic, to those active in business and other worldly affairs who are only able to arrange a brief Dhamma trip. 

We are very happy that our work has been used to guide the short pilgrimage of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. He, like many other readers, were able to visit and meditate in remote monasteries and sacred caves, as well as to give dāna (donation) on monks' alms rounds and at Buddhist nunneries. 

May we share our merits with all who have contributed in some way to support this project, and may the knowledge we are providing help to inform and inspire many more Dhamma seekers to come. 

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Status update on the state of Sayadaw U Tejaniya's health

The following was written by Ma Thet, updating the health of Sayadaw U Tejaniya following his 2nd round of chemotherapy on October 10: 

Dear all,
Sayadaw began his 2nd round of oral chemotherapy on 10th Oct and is well on his way to another week off the drugs.
He has been prescribed some multivitamins by Dr Khin Khin Win and says he feels much less tired as a result. His fingertips are beginning to feel the occasional zingy sensation. Sayadaw remains in good spirits. He is also receiving acupuncture treatment from a Korean bhikkhu as well as reiki from Brother Kim Wei (currently ordained as Bhante Mangala). Sayadaw is also learning reiki from Bhante Mangala.
Brother Kim Wei arrived in Dhammavibhajja on 10th Oct in order to give reiki to Sayadaw through his 2nd round of chemotherapy as well as to ordain as a bhikkhu. Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu! 🙏🙏🙏 Ordained as Bhante Mangala (meaning blessings), he is teaching Sayadaw as well as some of the other bhikkhus reiki.
Sayadaw has also cancelled his trips to Thailand and India which were scheduled for Oct/Nov 2018. He will be back in Singapore for a review in Dec 2018.
For those who have been asking how to send dana for Sayadaw, please tap the button "read more journal entries" and the information is provided in 2 of the previous journal entries. Tribute donations made to the Caringbridge site help to upkeep the Caringbridge site. Thank you all for continually supporting Sayadaw.Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Sutta Study with Dr. Nandamālābhivaṃsa

The following message concerns registration in the free sutta course led by one of Myanmar's premier monastic scholars.


2019 Feb - Sutta Course by Venerable Sayadaw Dr. Nandamālābhivaṃsa

Dear Dhamma friends,Hope this mail finds you very well and happy in the Dhamma.

This is Bhikkhu Rāhula and Caraṇapālī (Heidi) writing concerning Rector Sayadawgyi Dr. Nandamālābhivaṃsa’s coming English Dhamma Course in February 2019.

Below are some details of the course:

Topic: Pārāyana Vagga

Date: 7th- 20th Feb, 2019 (please arrive the latest on the 6th evening)

Location: Dhammavinaya center, Hlegu [near Yangon]

Language: English

Open to: International Dhamma students who are interested and have some basic Dhamma knowledge

If you are interested in joining the course please fill in and submit the following form.

Registration for limited spaces will be opened until end of January 2019 on a first-come first-serve basis, once the course if full, applications will be kept in waiting list.

After submission, if you need to edit or update any information on your form such as the date of arrival or departure, you can come back to this email and click edit response to update your information.

If you have any trouble filling in the form or if you need a visa sponsorship letter, please kindly contact us at:


Thank you very much for your attention.

Sending our best regards and looking forward to seeing you in the course.

Bhikkhu Rāhula & Anāgārika Caraṇapālī

See here for more details: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfPN4T3a7dgWOIfFLDVLajdCXIqSk56N6r7ZZguwPtSlxtjXA/viewform?c=0&w=1&usp=mail_form_link

Saturday, 6 October 2018

"The Meditator's Guide to Burma, Part 2".... moves to layout!

The Meditator's Guide to Burma, "The Golden Path" or Shwe Lan Ga Lay, was begun in April 2013, originally believed to only take a few months in duration to complete. Envisioned as 14 separate chapters, the dana project was intended to help spiritual seekers find access and gain understanding to some of the country's special Dhamma locations.

In 2015, Part 1 was released, with four completed chapters, providing a cursory look at planning and arriving in the Golden Land. As the years stretched on and the core team of volunteer contributors persevered in the work, the five new chapters included in Part 2 took shape as something above and beyond-- clocking in at nearly three times the site, the team undertook intensive research to provide unprecedented access and information about important Burmese and Shan Buddhist sites far outside of the normal tourist-- and even known meditator-- path.

As Jenny Phillips, creator of The Dhamma Brothers comments, "A Myanmar Guide for Dhamma Seekers, with its hauntingly beautiful photographs, is much more than a travel guide. It becomes a deeply experiential inner map toward finding wholeness beyond our limited sense of self in a world of impermanence and interdependence.” Or as the American nun Sayalay Daw Candavatī, creator of the documentary, The Golden Land of Myanmar, puts it: "You, dear reader, dear seeker, have a treasure before you. This book is a gift of untold blessings as you step into the world of a unique spiritual journey that is found with such depth in Burma. You have no idea how much this book will help you."

Four main regions are included in this work... Shan State, Around Mandalay (see above image), Around Yangon, and Mandalay. Each region is then broken further in terms of towns and districts, uncovering a plethora of pagodas, caves, meditation centers, monasteries, nunneries and much more which give a different glimmer into the wealth behind Myanmar's nearly 1,000 year Buddhist history. From anecdotes to monastic biographies to poetry to history recounted to original artwork and photography, there is certainly something in these pages for everyone.

Hundreds of pages are devoted to such topics as the lineage behind S.N. Goenka, particularly Webu Sayadaw, Saya Thet Gyi, and Ledi Sayadaw; the early days, education, and first teachings of Mahasi Sayadaw in Seikkhun; the unique development and practice of dhamma as found among the Shan people; the ethno-religious connotations behind such historically significant sites as Maha Muni Pagoda and the five Buddha images of Inle Lake; the development of Buddhist monastic education as practiced at Mahagandayone Monastery in Amarapura, and much more.

The volunteers behind this effort seek no renumeration, and the electronic copies will be freely available when layout is completed. However, no physical copy is as yet possible, and donors interested in helping in this area are encouraged to write at burmadhamma@gmail.com.

May all volunteers be happy, peaceful and liberated!

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Spring Break... Forever?

Kory Goldberg describes his experience upon encountering Myanmar Spring Breakers during this Dhamma pilgrimage:

“We visited [Thanboddhay] pagoda and had a great spontaneous meeting with a group of 300 college students. Unlike the stereotypical partier college students in the West, this bunch of kids was gentle and child-like and infused with Dhamma—so much so that they wanted to take refuge in the Triple Gem and recite the Five Precepts together!”