Thursday, 23 February 2017

45-Day Course in the Tradition of Saya Thet Gyi



The "tazaung", referred to by modern yogis as "meditation center", is where Saya Thet Gyi began teaching Dhamma in small Pyaw Bwe Gyi village across from Rangoon River. One of his students was the future Accountant General U Ba Khin, who became Goenkaji's teacher. 

Every year, a 45-day course is offered at this tazaung by Anauk Sayadaw, in the tradition of Saya Thet Gyi. The Anauk monastery in Pyaw Bwe Gyi has a long history with Saya Thet's teachings. Foreign practitioners may be able to attend the annual 45-day course offered here, a unique opportunity to receive meditation instructions in the Saya Thet Gyi lineage, and in the very place where he lived and taught. 

The course consists of ten days of samathā practice in which the yogi observes the in and out breath (the first three days of which bathing is prohibited), and vipassana therafter. During this period, the meditator alternates between postures, with long practice periods taking place in the sitting, standing, and lying down postures. Yogis first focus on body feelings, and later instructions direct the practice to the Four Elements and the mind base, with encouragement to remain in one’s posture for longer and longer periods. Instructions initially lead yogis in scanning the body, and later, concentrating more deeply on specific areas, such as feeling the different parts of the skin, bones, blood, etc. As the practitioner is asked to observe the body, he is instructed to keep in mind the Three Characteristics. Monastics who successfully complete the course are eligible to lead seven-day retreats in this technique for other yogis.