Message Boards Message Boards

Retreat Centers

Shwe Oo Min - good for stream entry? Anyone been or have any information?

Toggle
Hello dhamma friends!  I am planning a 3 month retreat that I will begin around October of 2019 and after stumbling upon Shwe Oo Min Dhammasukha Meditation Centre and the teachings of the resident teacher, Sayadaw U Tejaniya, I am very interested.

Website: http://ashintejaniya.org/centre

My goal for this retreat is stream entry.  I am looking at other options as well, such as Panditarama in either Myanmar or Nepal, but am leaning a bit away from those because of how strict they are (or so I have read).  I'm looking at Pa Auk as well, but thinking that I'd like to get stream entry first before going there.  I have searched the forums and haven't been able to find too much information on the Shwe Oo Min center.

Has anyone been and can provide any feedback or answer some questions please?  Here are a few questions I have:
  • Are other practices allowed?  I have been loving practicing the breath meditation as taught by Thanissarro Bhikku and Ajaan Lee Dhammadaro - I can have some really tough times in the dark night and am thinking that being able to practice a technique that feels so refreshing for my mind could be really useful.
  • How strict is the schedule?  Would it be ok to skip the walking meditation after lunch for a nap? How about practicing yoga?
  • Any feedback on the food?  Healthy?
  • Thoughts on the technique taught? I understand that Tejaniya's teacher's teacher was Mahasi, but that the approach is a bit different.  I'm currently reading "Awareness is not Enough" and really enjoying it.  Seems like the way he teaches would resonate well with me but would like to hear from others.
  • Is walking meditation on your own or more like it is practiced in the zen tradition?
  • How do the interviews work? How frequently? How was your experience of this?
  • Any other information or food for thought you think would be good to know?
I want to really go for it and get this stream entry thing done.  Currently I'm ramping up my concentration practice and working on sila, after making it up to equanimity and spending some time there before falling back into the dark night with insight practice.  My job is crazy right now and I've backed off of insight a bit as I was having a lot of dark night bleed through, in addition to dealing with some health problems (which is improving a lot and hopefully will be 100% by fall of next year). 

My aim is to build a strong foundation for liberating insight through practicing more concentration and virtue, as well as reading lots of dhamma books, and then I want to just blast through this shit and give insight everything I got when I go on retreat emoticon I'll be doing a 10 day retreat with Shaila Catherine in May focusing on jhana practice and concentration which I am very much looking forward to as well.

Anyway, any and all information would be very much appreciated.  

With metta,
Francis

Two of my teachers before coming to the pragmatic dharma scene had practiced with Swee Oo Min. I cannot answer all your questions but here's a few.
- It is more laid back, relaxed, than Mahasi style. 

- They don't really care what object you focus your mind on. They are more interested in asking you about the quality of the mind that is focusing on the object. They will typically ask you about this, especially whether there is greed, aversion, or delusion in the mind that focuses. If the answer is yes, then they say to simply know this. They really focus on the third foundation, citta-nupasana, contemplating the mind, especially looking whether greed, aversion or delusion is present. 

- They are not strict with the schedule. Whatever you do, they just send you back to your own mind. "What is your mind doing in this very moment?"  "Know this". 

- If you give a phenomenological description of your experience, they will typically ask "how is your mind relating to the experience?"

I am not a stream-winner yet so I won't comment on that other than say I think the method and style is legit and effective to further one's practice.

Best wishes in your practice.

Hi Ben!  My apologies for the very delayed response here.  Thank you so much for your reply though - this was very helpful for me to read.

I've been reading more by Sayadaw U Tejaniya and the way he teaches resonates with me.  May I ask who your teachers are that studied under Shwe Oo Min?  I'm curious to know more about the tradition and lineage here.

I'd also still love to hear from anyone who has actually visited the center, but any and all information is greatly appreciated!  Thanks again.

With metta,
Francis 

The teacher I've done most of my retreats (years ago) was Bhante Khippapanno (Kim Trieu), a Vietnamese monk. He teaches in that style (Shwee Oo Min) and also in standard Mahasi style. He's an old monk but I think he still teaches, in the U.S.A. I also practiced a lot with a nun called Nanobhasi who trained a lot at Shwee Oo Min center, and with U Tejaniya. She also teaches both styles, Mahasi and Shwee Oo Min. She was ordained by Sayadaw U Kundala, a direct disciple of Mahasi Sayadaw.

Thanks for sharing.  I'll have to check them out in more detail when I have a bit more time!

With metta,
Scott

I do not have experience with Shwe oo Min but  aung thu kha they started "trial" accepting foreigners.
It starts with samahta and leads to vipassana

RE: Shwe Oo Min - good for stream entry? Anyone been or have any informatio
Answer
12/23/18 9:38 AM as a reply to Phyo Arkar.
Thank you very much for sharing.  Upon looking into this I found another thread you created about this place and your experience:

https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/7146949

Great writeup!  I am going to look into this more - could you recommend any books or videos though?

Hi,

I've stayed at shwee oo min for a week (six years ago) and sat a 10 day retreat with U Tejaniya in Germany a couple of years ago.

Before you go I would check whether u Tejaniya is actually there or not - he teaches abroad quite a lot.

The teachings are good, and have a different angle than the practice you may be used to. It is also a bit more laid back, so requires a bit more self discipline than a mahasi retreat. 

It is harder to reach stronger concentration with the method, so especially the first retreat I felt as if 'it didn't work' during the retreat but then saw the strong decrease in reactivity afterwards. 

They are results based, but see obsessing about mahasi maps as just more mental craving. It's all about practicing with a relaxed non craving mind in the moment. 

The (male) dorms that I stayed in at the time were quite disgustingly dirty. I've heard they were planning to add a new section to the meditation center for international yogi's with less strict non monastic rules. Not sure that it's done yet.

If you go there I would however go all in on their teachings. Generally mixing and matching and ignoring the teachings of the people and place that hosts you is a bad idea I think.

Good luck and have fun! 

The (male) dorms that I stayed in at the time were quite disgustingly dirty. I've heard they were planning to add a new section to the meditation center for international yogi's with less strict non monastic rules. Not sure that it's done yet.
I'm currently considering retreat here. I was hoping that a more recent visitor might be able to provide an update on the room situation. Staying in a disgustingly dirty room is concerning. I'm also interested to know if noise is an issue here and more specifically any difficulties related to sleeping well.

The website currently says:
> Sayadaw is recuperating from treatment and will away from May through to the end of June 2019 so the centre is not open to foreign yogis during this period.

I emailed asking about reopening and am awaiting response.

Jeff, thanks for sharing.  Unfortunately it seems SUT has cancer, so wishing him the best for his recovery.  If you find any other information or do happen to sit here, please do share!  My current plan is to stay at Vimutti monastery in New Zealand for a few months beginning later this year, and perhaps get to SE Asia.  After doing more research, the retreat I'm most interested in is the 26 day retreat at Wat Ram Poeng in Thailand.  If I make it to Myanmar I'll be sure to stop at SOM and will update this thread.

Edit- I forgot to mention I emailed SOM earlier this year and have yet to receive a response.  I never followed up though, so perhaps with some persistence you can get a reply.

Hello Oochdd, thank you very much for the information and advice!  This is good to know, and hopefully someone who has sat more recently could comment on the cleanliness. 

I very much like the relaxed approach, but the cost for this does seem to be concentration like you said.  Being a "try hard" yogi, perhaps this would be good for me though ;-p

What you said about going all in on the teachings is very valuable and I will keep this in mind - I did a retreat last month and did not follow the instructions, and learned this the hard way!

It sounds like you have some experience traveling for retreats, so if you have any other good recommendations for retreats in Asia/Oceania, I would be very interested in hearing more.

Thanks again for taking the time to share.