Sunday, 5 March 2017

Mandalay Dhamma Practice: Fantasy Meets Reality



“I did a solo pilgrimage to Myanmar, and it had a profound effect on my practice, particularly how I saw the Dhamma integrated in everyday life there. One story that brings that to light happened at Shwegyin Monastery. Having been told about the site, I visualized myself sitting serenely on an ancient teakwood veranda as dedicated novices intoned Buddhist suttas, plunging me deeper into concentration and insight. Instead, I found myself meditating uncomfortably on an uneven surface, getting devoured by mosquitoes, awkwardly trying not to get in anyone’s way, hot and sweaty, and amidst the flashing bulbs of cameras aimed by tourists. I was unhappy and couldn’t focus…that is, until I reflected on the fact that I was only unhappy because of the peaceful image I’d already built up in my mind. But the reality was before me! Once I realized that, I let go, and embraced and observed that reality, and Burma taught me yet another lesson.” 

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American meditator