Friday, 1 April 2016

Ingyinbin Journal: "I Would Stay Here Unmoved"

John, a meditator from New Zealand, spends extended periods in Ingyinbin each year, the home of the revered Webu Sayadaw and with his friend Ashin Mandala. This winter, he has decided to keep a journal, which he has kindly offered to share with us. His journal alternates between observation and poetry, between meditation practice and commentary about Burmese Buddhist society, from his learnings and his questions. The full collection of his musings can be found here.

6 January

Walk from one monastery to the other along the grooved tracks used by carts and motorcycles.
Eyes downcast; nothing
in the fields, feet dust-covered;
mind undisturbed.
It is in the ordination (sima) hall where our teacher U Ba Khin was ordained for one week where we sit. Recently refurbished, it sits under three tiers of manufactured tile sheets - clean, and the pigeons like to roost there at times, although they prefer the shallow stone shelves high on the pagoda, where their ongoing commotion reminds us of the rumbling of a train, like those passing in the distance from time to time. Birds chatter throughout the morning and, sitting late in the hut, we hear the hollow wood struck, followed by a metal gong, struck in twos, and next across the road the pariyati [side] bell, struck repeatedly in threes. The dogs howl bark and whimper en masse - their lunch too! One sits with the body welling pleasantly and the mind settled in a place where it feels content to remain:
Birds continue to clamour,
dogs howl when the meal bell is struck, pounding wood:
I would stay here unmoved.

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