Monday, 24 March 2014

Abhidhamma Course at Sitagu during 2014 Rains Retreats

An older female yogi pays respects as monks walk past her

There is a belief in Burma that the Abhidhamma is so important, that when the Buddha's teachings start to disappear from the world, this will be the very first to be lost. Therefore, the need to preserve the Abhidhamma takes on a considerable importance in order to preserve the Sasana.

There is also an old tale, likely more mythology than reality, about a ship carrying the three books of the Tipitika crashing in the waters. Each one was saved, with the Abhidhamma Pitika going to Burma, the Vinaya Pitika going to Thailand, and the Sutta Pitika going to Ceylon (Sri Lanka). This ancient tale is often repeated today in Myanmar, as if to describe the great importance it plays in dhamma practice and Buddhist life in the Golden Land.

Study of Abhidhamma is possible only under the assistance of a skilled teacher, for the material is so dense that many first-time readers struggle to understand its profound meaning. While Abhidhamma study is to be found throughout modern Myanmar, it is rare to find an opportunity to do so in English.

This is where the extraordinary opportunity being provided by Sitagu Academy Rector Dr. U Kumara comes in. For the first time in the Academy’s history, a two month Abhidhamma course will be offered in June and July to 20 foreign meditators.

For more information about this course, and to register, please see here.

Sandals laid out neatly reflect the discipline found among young novices at Sassana Won Saung in Hmawbi

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