Friday, 17 January 2020

A Dhamma podcast with Ashin Sarana

What a great talk with Ashin Sarana yesterday! We started by learning about his earliest interest in Buddhism and spirituality. Who would have thought that an early fascination with magic and Chinese action movies were the entryway for this Czech monk into the Dhamma. U Sarana went on to describe his (mostly unsuccessful) search for a Buddhist friend in his youth, and his eventual decision to leave his girlfriend in Europe for novice ordination in Sri Lanka followed by a three year degree in Buddhist studies. Now almost a decade in Myanmar, he came just as the internet became available in a country just beginning to open up, and while Facebook was exploding. He joined the social network initially only to make Burmese friends, as a way of practicing his written Burmese ability, and from there began to use the online platform as a way to answer wide-ranging questions on Burmese culture and history, meditation practice, and the Pali scriptures. This unwittingly led to a controversial incident last month in which he found himself the center of attention in his role to speak out against monks touching money, and U Sarana discusses this matter in detail on the podcast. He also mentions a number of other wide-ranging activities, such as his translation of 20 hours of Dhamma talks of Sayagyi U Ba Khin which were recently unearthed, his creation of two picto-dictionaries for English/Burmese/Singhalese/Czech, his upcoming video Dhamma series, his assistance on the Shwe Lan Ga Lay meditator's guide, his new meditation monastery, his search throughout rural Myanmar for a true arahant, and much, much more.

We are finalizing our podcast feed and hope that it will be live in the next few days! Stay posted for more information.

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