Sunday, 21 December 2014

Patipatti Side of Webu Monastery in Ingyinbin




In interviews with people who were around Ingyinbin at the time of Webu Sayadaw, Shwe Lan Ga Lay has worked to reconstruct a typical day at the monastery: Webu would start his day early and take his breakfast, and offer a plate of food to the Buddha statue in his residence at the San Kyaung building; his attendant recorded that he offered rice three times per day, at dawn before breakfast, after receiving alms, and before lunch. He would then tour his compound and provide instructions to the monks, nuns, and lay yogis and supporters. He would then start his alms round at either seven or eight in the morning (earlier for summer to avoid the scorching heat), which would usually last three to four hours depending on the quantity of food that was donated. After eating lunch, he would give a discourse, and then find some time to do some sweeping. From noon until around 4 pm he would spend time alone in the San Kyaung building, often resting, meditating, and bathing. It was also during this time where he would receive visitors who had made the trek to Ingyinbin to pay respects to him. Between 4:30 and 5 pm he accepted offerings of medicine, jaggery, candy, and juice, and oversee any other activities that needed his attention, such as the nuns’ retaking of sīla, a practice that happened periodically. He would give another Dhamma talk in the evening, this one to many more people who would gather in the main Dhamma hall. He would again retreat in solitude, where it was widely believed he would continue his teachings to invisible beings. 

From watching this 90 second video, filmed during the Pariyatti pilgrimages of 2014, one is struck by the deep serenity and silence found still on these grounds today. This was certainly true of Russell Quinn, who decided to forgo the rest of the pilgrimage in order to ordain as a monk and stay here for ten days.