Saturday, 21 April 2018

Cetana Village

In 2012 Sayadaw U Uttamasāra established Cetana Village ( Saytanar, the Burmese pronunciation of this Pāli word, is more commonly used at Thabarwa Center.

In Pāli, cetanā means “intention” or “mental volition,” but in Burmese the term largely carries a wholly positive meaning, and when referring to the neutral or negative implications of cetanā, other terms are used instead. Therefore Saytanar village is commonly translated to English as Goodwill or Mercy Village.) on about sixty acres of land, about fifteen minutes’ walk from the monastery. The story behind it is a bittersweet tale that eventually comes full circle through the power of the Dhamma. The indigent village residents petitioned the sayadaw to purchase their village land; with that money, they planned to make a go of it elsewhere. But many of them found that the cost of land and rent was prohibitive wherever they looked, and so, unable to move, they ended up requesting to stay on in the village that they had only recently sold. In response, the sayadaw created 225-square-foot (15 x 15) parcels, which he gave out free to those families, and continues to offer to others in need. To qualify, no proof of indigency is required. Applicants must simply pledge to fulfil one, unmonitored condition: to meditate for seven continuous days at the monastery. About 15,000 people from 3,000 families now live in Cetana Village, and there’s now a meditation hall, schools serving 800 children with a volunteer staff, a market, public toilets and several hand-pump water wells.

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