Friday, 28 February 2014

Burma Pilgrimage #2, Day 19: "Quite a Lovely Experience"

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 two days prior as they explored Mingun, go here. To read about the first yatra from Day 1, and read the journal entry in order, start here.

You can also consider joining a later pilgrimage in Burma.

"The last (full) day started with a group sit at Kaba Aye monastery. This houses relics of the Buddha, Sariputta, and Moggallana.

Kaba Aye Pagoda Trustees hold the sacred relics above the heads of pilgrims, giving each a chance to meditate underneath
These are usually under lock and key, so Snow had pre-arranged for an appointment for them to be unlocked for a group viewing.

As we started to trickle into the small chamber, a few ochre robed bhikkus and many white-clad Cambodian pilgrims swarmed up to the front, and started chantings and paying their respects. (A co-pilgrim wryly noted later that it's a chanting country - if it's not chanting via loudspeaker, then it's background chanting; if not that, then it's someone right next to you...)

After some initial confusion, in gentle Burmese fashion, the pagoda trustees and Snow patiently waited for the Cambodian group to finish before our group started. There was some jostling from our Cambodian brothers and sisters at the beginning - was great to be able to use this as part of the practice. After all, it's not much different than been jostled on a bumpy 'bus' ride... it's all just matter bumping back and forth, and it settled down with time.

An unexpected benefit from waiting was that the pagoda trustees allowed us to sit for a while with the unlocked relics - quite a lovely experience..."

To read about the final day of the second pilgrimage, go here!

A close up of the relics

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