Wednesday, 4 February 2015

U Sarana to visit Sagaing Hills



Readers of this blog may find that many of our entries share information about the Dhamma in Burma which is basically unavailable anywhere else on the Internet, and which even many printed books do not carry.  Most of these posts are excerpts from the upcoming meditator's guidebook to Burma, Shwe Lan, for which hundreds of specialists and volunteers have given their time for more than two years. For Shwe Lan, hundreds of monasteries, pagodas, meditation caves, and other Buddhist sites were visited in Myanmar, and dozens of interviews were conducted with noted scholars, writers, monks, nuns, and meditation teachers. Many of the blog posts are but a small window into the breadth of information that is being compiled and revised in the Shwe Lan draft, to be freely shared with seekers on the Path.

With this in mind, it is with great joy that we announce that the monk U Sarana has volunteered to take a one week fact-finding mission in the Sagaing Hills. He will go with another monk who is familiar with the mystery and legends surrounding the Hills, both of whom will be supported by a local lay woman, who will look after their daily needs. They will spend an intensive week visiting more sites from morning until night, and conducting interviews with monks who have lived in these Hills for many years. Surely, they will find much precious information that has never been known about this area of the Golden Land where, more than any other, Vipassana practice has flourished for centuries. What is more, U Sarana is known for being particularly devoted to his Buddhist studies, Vipassana practice, and monastery responsibilities, and very rarely ever leaves his monastery. So it is all the more remarkable that for the first time, he has offered not only to leave his monastery, but also to go all the way to Upper Burma! This is a rare event indeed. His findings, research, documentation, and photos will eventually appear in Shwe Lan as well finding their way on this blog, to benefit all meditators.

U Sarana's trip expenses will be covered by the generous dana that meditators around the world have given Pariyatti to fund this volunteer project. All dana received goes directly to project expenses; which in this case will cover the travel expenses from Yangon and throughout Sagaing for these three researchers. His lay supporter has estimated that the total cost for this week trip may be $600-700. For those meditators who have found inspiration from this blog and would like to see this continue, and who moreover would like to gain merit by being involved in this kusala project, financial dana may be offered to Shwe Lan via Pariyatti's page here. Scroll to the bottom of this link and there is an option for giving dana through one's credit card.

For those without financial resources but who would also like to be involved in this wholesome project, please send us an email directly.