Sunday, 8 November 2015

Shwe Wa Win Mogok Monastery in South Dagon, Yangon

This center is overseen by the venerable Dr. Asabha, one of the few Mogok senior teachers who is fluent in English This allows the yogi an unparalleled-experience of learning the Mogok tradition directly from a very experienced practitioner. Yogis learn samathā and vipassana, and study the Law of Dependent Origination. There are two Dhamma talks given daily towards this end, with ample time available for Question and Answer to ensure understanding. The typical schedule with Dr. Asabha includes six hours of sitting meditation, four hours of walking meditation, and one hour of lying meditation. However, this is adjusted based on his teaching schedule, with daily hours scheduled to discuss the theory in depth.

Prior to the construction of this site, Dr. Asabha provided translation for his teacher U Sobhana, who oversaw Shwe Myint Mo Kyaung (5 Quarter, No. 1 Kyaung Taik, Tel 01-571258). Built in the 1990s, this is a modern meditation center with several multi-storied buildings, and comfortable single-room accommodation. Four hundred yogis usually reside here for courses, with as many as 700 coming for Thingyan. Dr Asabha still divides his time between the two sites, and so is able to continue to help out with translation for those foreign yogis who go there. However, to have more access to the good doctor’s time, one is encouraged to come to his new monastery.

The center itself was donated in 2000, with new construction taking place in subsequent years. The compound itself is relatively small, at just under one acre. There are large dormitory style rooms, and they are building modern single-accommodation rooms with private bathrooms as they hope to welcome more foreign yogis in the future. There are several Dhamma Halls as well, including a smaller one that they hope to make available to foreign yogis. A newer one is now being built that has a wonderful replica of a Bodhi tree at the front. All Dhamma Halls are built on the upper floors of their respective buildings, allowing splendid views of the surrounding countryside. The roof on one five-story building even has a large—although fake—tree in its center, giving the meditator a simulation of sitting beneath the Bodhi tree. Another unique feature about the Shwe Wa Win monastery regards its integrated location with the surrounding community of South Dagon. Neighborhood life teems throughout the monastery grounds, and this being far removed from the downtown areas, the foreign yogi is able to venture into a traditional setting of Burmese life where few have done so before.

Dr. Asabha travels frequently to give Dhamma talks, and also oversees a community clinic opened on Sundays that one may give dana towards. He is open to welcoming foreign yogis and guiding their progress, and extended stays are possible for those with correct visas (as is temporary ordination). One may also join a structured retreat, which vary from 7 days to one month in length. Capacity is 300 yogis, although usual numbers are just over 100, with about 20 monks and novices living there full-time.

Address: Maha Bandoola Road 104 Ward South Dagon.