Monday, 30 March 2015

"Shwe Lan Ga Lay" Editor to visit Australia

The Editor and Author of the upcoming meditator's guide to Myanmar (Shwe Lan Ga Lay) has plans to visit Australia and New Zealand in May and June. His visit will coincide with that of the senior monk from Webu Monastery, U Mandala. For anyone Down Under interested in organizing or attending a presentation about Burmese Buddhism, lineages, traditions, meditation practice, culture, etc., please contact burmadhamma@gmail for more information. After almost exactly two years of work and with the help of several hundred volunteers, the first four chapters of Shwe Lan are scheduled to be released next week! This release will allow meditators, monks, and nuns to begin planning their Burma pilgrimages and meditation retreats.

Monday, 16 March 2015

A "Trip" to Burma

Julie Dierstein is a French meditator in the tradition of Sayagyi U Goenka, and has spent the last many months in Burma. She has taken long courses, stayed at Burmese monasteries, offered Dhamma service at monastic schools, and sat her own self-course. Her wonderful blog, complete with photos and commentary about her stay, can be found here.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

“The Best Friend Library Free Education Center”

A great blog to check out is that of Ashin Kovida, a Burmese monk living in Mae Sot. Now in Northern Thailand, he oversees a four story building on Bua Khun Road called “The Best Friend Library Free Education Center”. Founded in 2007, this library has become a safe haven for migrants and refugees from Burma and a meeting place for interested people from all over the world.

As explained on an interview on his blog, "In Mae Sot the Library door is always wide open. When you enter you will be greeted by young, friendly people, some of who arrived in the library a few years ago and never left." 

The Best Friend Library Mae Sot holds 3000 books, literature, research reports, news magazines, films and other materials about Burma for English speakers as well as books in Burmese and Burmese-minority languages. All classes and Internet access are free of charge. The Thai, Burmese, English and computer courses are running for three months, four times a year. Each trimester approximately 120 students of all ages attend. The classes are taught by migrants or foreign volunteer teachers.  Apart from that, The Best Friend Library is also running a “mobile library” with changing assortment of books each month in a local clothes factory with more than 1000 workers from Burma, and is exchanging books with the Best Friend Library in Nupo refugee camp. Ashin Issariya also supports three migrant schools in the area.  The Best Friend Library Mae Sot is completely run by donations. With rent, electricity, water and food it has running costs of around 500 € a month. Although it is supported with donations from friends, Ashin Issariya says it is not easy sometimes. Every donation for The Best Friend Library by means of money or manpower is very welcome.

Monday, 2 March 2015

"Thus, They are Healthy."

“In the village the air is fresh and free from the noisy and blurry sound of the vehicles. The village people are seen with smiling faces even though they aren't rich. Early morning the Wakame Kye villagers take their breakfast and then start their work, either on the farm or water. They are kind and humble, and working with their own effort without the help of machines. Thus, they are healthy. The city dwellers have all the facilities like hospital and others but facing lots of physical and mental stress. The village people have no proper standard hospital facility and rely on traditional root medicines. Also, what they eat is mostly grown freely.” Venerable Ariyajoti, Bangladeshi monk