Thursday, 20 February 2014

Burma yatra #2, Day 10

The following excerpt was written by an American yogi about the pilgrimage in Burma. The first pilgrimage has ended, and the second one has just begun! To read about the previous day, go here. To read about the first pilgrimage group's experience on their own Day 10 towards Monywa, go here

You can also consider joining a later pilgrimage in Burma yourself.

Snow shares about the treasures stored in Sain Pyin Gyi

On the way to Ingyinbin today, we heard about the interwoven causes that led to the birth of this yatra. With the tugging of a single thread, the fabric pattern changes...

We stopped at Ledi Sayadaw's birthplace on the way - one of the sweetest experiences yet. Two villagers waited in the hot sun for our arrival, and once we got close, they jumped onto their motorbike to lead us. Men, women, and children were gathered for the warm welcome, complete with press (!) and Sangha 
representatives from the eight monasteries in town. 

Branden is interviewed on camera
Local camera crews

The villagers had prepared all the food for Sangha dana. After offering (already set up) tables of food, we were handed pails from which to serve the monks. It was a gathering to behold - a bunch of foreigners standing with silver pails and ladles around maroon robed monks. One of the villagers spoke fluent English, and others kindly helped guide the process. Many of them sat shyly around, but cameras were clicking both ways...

A Mexican yogi makes fast friends
Foreign Meditators preparing to serve monks living at the monastery where Ledi Sayadaw was first ordained as a novice

The offering table to monks
One of the goals of the village is to build a collection of marble slabs carved with Ledi Sayadaw's writing. With the hope to preserve these for future generations, the group was able to give enough dana for the carving of five full slabs.

After offering robes, always a touching moment, everyone present joined in the reciting of refuge and five precepts. It was lovely to be carried by the voices of all the villagers, chanting as one. Before we left, we were shown some village treasures - a beautiful silver and bronze kamawa, and sat briefly in the room where Ledi Sayadaw was ordained.

The site where Ledi Sayadaw was ordained
The site where the final Ledi Sayadaw stone inscriptions will be displayed

Ingyinbin is very special. There are small dusty roads upon which not very fast motorbikes travel. Somewhere in the distance, there's a loudspeaker that plays music, and every once in a while it sounds like a monastic is talking to the public.

We set up for the night in a couple of buildings on the Patipatti side of Webu Sayadaw's monastery. The hall where he lived and passed into nibbana is a stone's throw away, and where group sits are held. 

"The Lake of Victory," the pond that Webu Sayadaw instructed the father of the boy who asked him about his attainments to make.
The kuti where Webu Sayadaw is believed to have reached nibbana

On the way in, we heard of the kindness of Webu Sayadaw to the villagers, who have apparently not forgotten this, and take especially good care of the monastics.

To be able to walk where Webu Sayadaw lived, taught, and passed, and to sit in a place permeated with his vibrations... So very, very special."

To see Day 11, go here.

A large statue of Ledi Sayadaw graces the monastery

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