Sunday, 9 February 2014

Burma Yatra #2, Day 9

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 9 towards Monywa, go here. To learn about current pilgrimages you can join, see here.

Today was Ledi Sayadaw day.


Hotel Chindwin, where the pilgrims stayed in Monywa



The shrine at Hotel Chindwin, where the yogis stayed in Monywa
After a morning group sit at the local center (complete with monkeys just outside the front gate), we headed to a couple of caves where Ledi Sayadaw had spent some time.

Upon emerging from one of the caves, we were greeted by a wizened old Sayadaw and his attendant. The Sayadaw had a multihued pile of cats and kittens contentedly sleeping on his feet...

The next stop was Maha Ledi monastery. Although it was no longer dense jungle, it was sweet to be able to sit where Ledi Sayadaw had spent so much time. There were multiple marble slabs engraved with the writings of the prolific Sayadaw - meadering amongst these large slabs was literally 'going through' his works!


Just some of the Pali-carved tablets at Maha Ledi Monastery
In the building where Ledi Sayadaw used to practice walking meditation, a previous visit by SN Goenka is honored
The afternoon brought a bit of a change in pace. The activities were optional, and had a distinctly different feel than the places we've been to so far. It was a study in the extremes. The first was a pagoda with hundreds of thousands of Buddha statues. The colors/decorations were more like those one might find in India than in Burma.

We passed by an area where someone planted thousands of Bodhi trees, some with their own Buddha statue at the base.

The last stop of the afternoon was to a place with the largest standing and reclining Buddha statues in Burma.

The day wrapped up with several big changes. Our bus had broken down earlier in the day (fortunately while no pilgrims were in it), and was actively being fixed along the side of the road.

(What the Burmese can do with old vehicles and limited resources is pretty amazing...)

A few pilgrims did not feel good, so a change in travel plans had to be made.

As always, anicca (anatta, dukkha)...


One of many statues of the great monk
For more photos of the visit in Monywa, see here. To read about the next stop, Ingyinbin, go here.