Saturday, 23 January 2016

Shwe Lan Ga Lay: "More Than a Guidebook"




American nun Sayalay Sukha, a resident nun at Pa Auk, has read a draft chapter of Shwe Lan Ga Lay, and shares the following comment on the soon-to-be-released work:


"You are also inviting/sharing about Buddhism, an incredible path that offers an alternative, a way out of the massive suffering that most Americans experience on a daily basis. A way out of delusion. Wow, that is no small offering! Thus this book could even appeal to many who know very little about Buddhism but have picked up the book for a different reason.

What I am saying is that the topic you have chosen is so rich and multi-layered and could not only serve as a guide on how to not offend the Burmese when eating a meal with them but could be a doorway to freedom for those who are lost and seeking inspiration from others who have found a way into seeing their inherent goodness and true nature. That is the second theme that I was wanting to convey. That this could be more than a guidebook. Through the path of Buddhism and what the Buddha had to offer and through the eyes and embodiment of a people, country and culture who live Buddhism and has so much more inner joy than most Americans I know, we have much to learn! How does a people who live so simply, with so little and in such basic/stark conditions end up so happy? And how does a culture with so much, so abundant in food, amenities, luxuries, etc, end up so unhappy? Isn't that part of the teachings of the Buddha?

Again, this book is very timely. There are just more and more people who are going to discover the treasure of Myanmar and are going to come and use what is offered, thus this is very critical that as 'embassadors' for our fellow Americans we set the tone for our fellow Westerners and make sure that Myanmar is safeguarded and our fellow Americans are noteworthy travelers. This is an incredibly well-kept secret but not for much longer. As people are more and more lost, dissatisfied, disenchanted with their lives and hungry to return to their hearts, they are looking for such opportunities. 

Did you know that this year, there were 300 people on the waiting list, wanting to attend the 10 day Burmese-led monastic retreat at Spirit Rock Meditation Center? Five years ago, this kind of retreat would barely fill up. Also with U Tejanyia coming to America now and offering retreats and his oh-so-approachable and recently published books, the word is out! People are hungry, people are waking up, people need places such as these to get quiet and find themselves again. It is becoming a hot and in demand necessity for our Western brothers and sisters. In that sense, do not take this book lightly. This book could be the next bible for those who are ready to make the shift in their life."