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.

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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:

i.dhamma.edu@gmail.com

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!” 


An Inyinbin Funeral


“When we arrived in the village center, we came across a large float built to hold a coffin. Venerable Yassa's aunt had recently died, and he was back in Ingynbin from Mandalay to participate in the funeral procession and practice the asubha contemplation. One of the pilgrims asked the monk of twenty-five rainy seasons how he felt. He admitted that he felt sad, but he did not cry since he had so much Buddhist practice under his belt. He said he felt happy also at this moment, for he had helped to teach Dhamma to his aunt, and he knew that she had lived a pure and virtuous life.

The procession itself was neither solemn nor sad, but rather festive with lots of joking and laughter... The float was then disassembled, the body removed from the coffin and placed on to the pyre. We then all moved to a nearby site where we were all given lychee juice while taking refuge in the Triple Gem and five precepts, followed by an asubha-based discourse.

Initially, I felt bad that we were given the seats of honor at a funeral of a person we did know and that the translations stretched out the event for our sake, but when realizing that all the locals were so pleased to have us there, all such thoughts vanished. As the chanting and discourse commenced, the smell of burning flesh wafted through the air. When the discourse was over, we met Yassa's cousin [the deceased’s son], also a monk, and uncle who we met earlier. This time, however, the elderly farmer was no longer grinning from ear to ear as the direct realization of what was happening began to sink in. His son, the monk, looked devastated, despite wearing the armor of a bhikkhu. We then walked over to watch the corpse burn and reflect on the vulnerability of life and inevitability of death.” Kory Goldberg, Canadian yogi

Monday, 30 April 2018

Playing in the Rain, in the (muddy) footsteps of Saya Thet Gyi

“I was in Yangon when Cyclone Nargis hit in 2008. It was terrible. As soon as I could, I headed to Pyaw Bwe Gyi to see how Saya Thet Gyi’s tazaung had fared. The dock on Yangon River had been torn away but was still—barely—standing. It will sound like I’m making this up but I swear I’m not: passengers literally had to crawl from the twisted wreckage of the dock onto the upper story of the ferry, because there were only a couple feet of empty space where the two came together. When I got to Pyaw Bwe Gyi the tazaung was in fairly good shape, although the village itself was not. The most curious thing was this Spanish yogi who had been there through it all. He hardly seemed to register what had taken place. He was continuing with his self-course undisturbed, and said that he had been taking his morning walk to breakfast when the worst of the cyclone struck. He found it rather amusing that my friend and I were making such a big to-do about the whole thing.” –American expat in Yangon, 2008

Below, village children play outside of Anauk Monastery, where Saya Thet Gyi taught until 1945.