Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Shwe Lan Excerpt: Shwe Yan Pyae Monastery

The Meditator Guidebook to Burma is in its final stages! As the guide gets closer to publication, we will begin to share excerpts of what yogis may expect... some sneak previews of what is to come. here is one paragraph taken from the Yawnghwe section, and in addition to the text also features original artwork designed by one of our arists:


Shwe Yan Pyae Monastery
This monastery is about two miles north of town, on the way to Shwenyaung, so easy to catch on your way in or out of the area. This is a real monastery, though you might not know it by the hordes of tourist buses that pile on and off here for photos. This is mainly due to its very photogenic elliptical windows, and the curious novices or graceful felines who always seem perched in them. Still, it is worth seeing, and the grounds date back to the 19th century. The plinth where the Buddha statues sit are gilded with glass mosaics and gold filigree, and make a nice place to pay your respects. The statue itself is nine feet in height, and is made of gilded bamboo strips. Also, a gilded Celestial Being can be found in the Sayadaw’s chamber, where the monastery keeps a chest with ancient palm leaf manuscripts, also gilded. Shwe Yan Pyae Monastery is also known for its teak pillars, and indeed there are 167 of them, with the front ones gilded and adorned with glass mosaics. More teak shingles were placed on the monastery’s roof, and the inner ceiling has beautiful teak carvings as well. Note also the two guardian chinthe on the eastern side and garudas on the west. Also make sure to see the long hallways with many thousands of miniature Buddha images set into the carved out spaces, and the beautiful tiles of the floor below. This is located in the small temple behind the yard, on the right from the wooden building, across from the Shan stupa. As the site can unfortunately be overrun by tourists these days, if you do go, it can be very nice indeed to do so with respect and veneration, as many foreigners do not go with this sort of mindful intention. It is also a good place to practice your meditator Burmese with the many novices.

Shwe Yan Pyae Monastery in Nyaunshwe

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