Wednesday, 1 October 2014

A Cold Glass of Sugar Cane Juice

“At the very end of our stay in the Sagaing Hills we started venturing further and exploring deeper into the maze of paths, walkways, stair wells, caves, statues, pagodas, monasteries and trails. This was one of my favorite parts of the trip. Almost every turn would take you into a new fascinatingly architectured set of buildings, a series of interconnected stair wells or a little monastery hidden in the hillside. At one place we were invited in for tea and snacks and told about the history of that particular monastery. I found I took so many pictures because everywhere I looked there was something amazing and beautiful. At one point just when we thought we were surely lost we came up a large grand stair way and walked into a room with the mummified body of a Monk that had died about 30 years earlier. There was another monk there who explained to us that nothing had been done to preserve the body. This was amazing considering the remarkable condition of the corpse. We were even more amazed when he told us that the hair and nails are still growing and he cuts them on a fairly regular basis. On the way home we would always stop for a cold glass of sugar cane juice.” 

Dylan Fry, Canadian yogi

A Commemoration to Sayagyi U Goenka by U Thein Zan, the son of Sayagyi U Ba Khin

U Thein Zan, the only son of Sayagyi U Ba Khin, finished his long-awaited memoir on his great father's life last year. The book is currently being translated into English, and U Thein Zan has also been an extraordinary help to Shwe Lan Ga Lay. As U Thein Zan holds the entire English diary that U Ba Khin wrote throughout his life, he is the living authority on his father's life. 

In commemoration of the passing the great lay meditation teacher Sayagyi U Goenka, U Thein Zan has made the above poster, and has offered to share it with meditators and monks around the world for inspiration.

Strange But True

The following message is from the Czech monk U Sarana, who has expressed his wish to share these documents:
"Yesterday I came across a bizarre similarity between a fantastic story described in ancient Pali texts and a personal experience of a Bangladesh monk. I think you may also like to read it. My great thanks goes to Mr. Binh, who donated me the book with the (true) story."
The documents in question can be found here, here, and here.

Monday, 29 September 2014

The Burma Dhamma Facebook Page

For those who would like to see all Burma Dhamma posts in their Facebook feed, you can "like" us here!

The Golden Land of Myanmar

The Golden Land of Myanmar from Drow Millar on Vimeo.

This is a film made by Daw Sanda Wadi, an American nun who has been living in Southern Burma for some time, with help by director Drow Millar. A copy also appeared on the website of Tricycle magazine, with this introduction:

"The Golden Land of Myanmar journeys to a place in the world called Suvanabhumi, the Golden Land in the Mon State of Myanmar. This beautiful and auspicious land has remained a hidden treasure, unseen and untouched by the modern world. The film explores several ancient Buddhist pagodas that have only recently been rediscovered and renovated. Surrounding these beautiful historic sites are the monasteries and communities of simple village people who have scarcely changed their way of living over the centuries. It remains a true sanctuary, protecting and nurturing the practice, devotion, and principles of Buddhist doctrine and philosophy. Travel to a timeless place of peace, tranquility, and compassion for a rare glimpse into the majestic depths of an ancient Buddhist land, the Golden Land of Myanmar."
Daw Sanda Wadi has also authored the short book of her experiences From One to Nun, and she has added the following short film synopsis:
"After having traveled to Asia in 2002, and spending time at a remote monastery in the south of Burma, (Daw Sanda Wadi) Shoshana Cathy Korson accepted an invitation from a Venerable monk to ordain as a Buddhist nun in his monastery. She now considers Burma her home and this film has developed over her many years of living in the monastery.So much has been reported about the politics in Myanmar while the sublime and serene life go under reported. It is her love for the simplicity, beauty and refinement that Myanmar so exquisitely exemplifies that drew her to the creation of this film.

The film journeys to a place in the world called Suvanabhumi, the Golden Land the Mon State of Myanmar. This beautiful and auspicious land has remained a hidden treasure, unseen and untouched by the modern world. The film explores this magical land with rare, never before seen beautiful footage of the communities, country side, and the many ancient Buddhist pagodas recently rediscovered and renovated by the abbot of the monastery, the Venerable Kyaithisaung Sayadaw."
The film is being screened at various festivals, including BuddhaFest, Buddhist Festival 2014, Buddhist Film Festival Europe, among others. 

Sunday, 28 September 2014

A Voice in Svay Pak (Myanmar)

This beautiful collage of music and image shows precious and graceful scenes from throughout Myanmar. It is made by Tony Anderson.

"They are humble, ordinary folk."

“In Burma the nuns do not dress in orange like the monks, but in a color, which might be described as apricot or pale salmon pink. No special respect is paid to them as it is to monks, and they are not members of the Sangha or Order as they were in Buddha’s days. They are humble, ordinary folk. Perhaps for this very reason, those we met were altogether charming. They slept only three to four hours at night and spent the rest in meditation. But during the day they meditated for only short 20-minute periods after worshipping at the shrine. They occupied the rest of the time mainly reciting the Abhidhamma.” Marie Byles, Journey Into Burmese Silence.