Sunday, 30 June 2013

Hell Scenes at Mogok Vipassana Center in Mandalay

Mandalay's Mogok Vipassana center has one room that is dedicated to graphic depictions showing the various Buddhist Hell worlds, as a way to encourage moral behavior and ward off people from committing akusala actions. Here are two photos that show these paintings. The first one first portrays someone who offered food to monks with wrong intention, and a woman who committed adultery. The second one shows someone who spoke false words, and someone who took bribes.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Ko Kyaw Ngwe Soe

Ko Kyaw Ngwe (pronounced "John Wayne"... well, almost) has been a dhamma friend and guide for so many of us that have come to the Golden Land. Currently he is having some serious health problems. If you are a friend of Kyaw Ngwe and Ma Khaing, and wish to know more about his health status, please send an email to burmadhamma@gmail for more information.

Kyaw Ngwe driving his van in Upper Burma

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

A gracious gift from Nature's Gift Photography

Work on the upcoming meditator guidebook to Myanmar, known as Shwe Lan Ga Lay, has been in full swing. As it is a dana project, contributors are all giving their skills in kind, and thus far a team has been assembled of editors, writers, artists, designers, researchers, and others. We're very happy to announce that Zach Hessler at Nature's Gift Photography has offered to donate any prints we wish to use from his Myanmar photo gallery for our guide. This will allow readers to enjoy his colorful and artful photographs as they use the guide to develop in meditation and learn about Burmese culture. Zach is a meditator with many years of experience of visiting the country and any purchases from his Myanmar collection goes to support local Burmese charities, such as Compassionate Hands.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Questions about Burma

Ever have any questions about anything related to Myanmar? If so, now is your time to ask any and all questions, concerns, clarifications, inquiries, and confusions! For the upcoming Burmese Meditator Guidebook (Shwe Lan Ga Leh), we are trying to cover any and all questions that foreign yogis have when visiting The Golden Land so as to prepare them for a successful visit. This may relate to anything from simple logistics to Burmese Buddhist meditation practice to pagoda behavior to monastic discipline to cultural customs. Whether you have visited in the past, are planning an upcoming trip, have Burmese friends in your hometown, or are a Burma-phile and wish to broaden your understanding, ask away and we will do our best to make sure the upcoming guide covers your particular inquiries.

To pose your question, you can either email us directly at burmadhamma@gmail or go here.

Photos by Alex Bunjes

Western Exceptionalism

In the "Just For Laughs" category we can't pass up another fun poke at Westerners Behaving Badly (or at least Silly) In Asia. As Burma continues to open up further and as tourism numbers increase at a stunning rate, it's only natural that backpackers and other travelers increasingly bring their own worldview and attitudes to a country that was once much further removed from such contact. While much of this is good news and new opportunities will abound for locals, it also means that esoteric youths get to go through a 45 minute yoga routine by the water cooler in a terminal as stunned Burmese custodians and local travelers look on...