Monday, 18 January 2016

A Bit of Freedom



"Pa Auk Meditation Center is a great place if one does not need much support and is advanced enough in their practice to meditate without much guidance on their own. The Center is so large and mainly populated by Burmese thus all the daily Dharma talks are in Burmese and so are the study groups. One can interview with a teacher a couple of times a week, so some quick guidance but even then one might have a hard time understanding the teacher's English. Aside from the regularity of the sitting times, a foreigner can be lost in a sea of silent meditators and no one to go to for support. It is a very beautiful setting and quiet and conducive enough but one needs self motivation and independent effort. 

Many people make their lives here so the level of mindfulness outside the meditation hall is mediocre as people hurry about and chat here and there. Overall, Pa Auk Main Center is a wonderful opportunity to do long term practice and go deeper with ones' practice if one is already well established. Be prepared for very basic conditions such as no fans in the meditation hall and very basic food. One might also be sharing a room which at other centers is not the case. One might take on 10 precept ordination as monk or Sayalay which is a rare opportunity for a foreigner. One can stay as long as one likes and has quite a bit of freedom while at the center."

Sayalay Sukha (Sarah Wilds)