Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Mogok Monastery in Taunggyi

Although this Mogok branch is just north of downtown Taunggyi, its compound is slightly set back from the main road, allowing for a secluded atmosphere. Thus, its quiet and spaciousness make it feel further away from the downtown setting than it actually is, and it has many towering trees to its northern side. The center can be reached on foot through pleasant backstreets around the foothills of the mountain. A new dhamma hall was recently built that fits over 500 yogis, which is filled to capacity at Water Festival. It is quite spacious, light, airy. 

There are elaborate paintings and statues towards the front of the hall that one sees after paying respects to Buddha, the Mogok Sayadaw, and current monastery Sayadaw. The monastery has many new sitting cushions, each one inscribed with the name of its donor (they have different colors and patterns to better set them apart).
At present, foreigners are invited to register for Mogok courses but generally aren’t allowed to stay at the center other than when at a course. However, foreign meditators can use the facilities at any time for dhamma practice. With its convenient location and new hall being very conducive to practice, it’s a great place for one-day or half-day self-courses when you find yourself in this "City of Cherry Blossoms." 

Novices in Shan State use a local tractor to get around