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Pa-Auk or Panditarama ?

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Pa-Auk or Panditarama ?
Answer
9/18/12 2:17 PM
Hey, planning on taking a retreat for a few months sometime late november/early december of this year. I've received sponsorship/invitation letters from two monasteries, both in Burma: Panditarama and Pa-Auk Forest Monastery. I learned about each of them from members of this forum and was wondering if anyone has any experience with these two places or have been to them/heard anything etc., to help me decide which one I should retreat to. Thank you!


P.S. - here are links to both of them

http://www.paaukforestmonastery.org/aboutUs.htm

http://www.panditarama.net/

RE: Pa-Auk or Panditarama ?
Answer
9/18/12 5:08 PM as a reply to Brian K..
If you find yourself attracted to jhana practice, if you find that your mind tends towards one-pointedness, I'd say go to Pa Auk's monastery.

If on the other hand, you're attracted to the style of practice described in MCTB, constant mindfulness, constant noting, open awareness, perhaps even to an attitude of a warrior-meditator, I'd say Panditarama's better since they claim to teach in the mahasi tradition.

Disclaimer: I've never been to either of these places.

RE: Pa-Auk or Panditarama ?
Answer
9/18/12 9:32 PM as a reply to Brian K..
While at Chanmyay Yeiktha, I talked to a Chinese monk about my interest to go to Pa Auk. He told me he met people with experience at Pa Auk and they told him they didn't progress very fast. He said that Pa Auk ask of people to master the 4th Jhana before they start Vipassana. I also remember stumbling on a youtube video of a Western monk criticizing Pa Auk, arguing that the approach was based on sub-sub-commentaries, or something to that effect. I'm just repeating what I heard.

For someone who isn't in the dark night already and is in good mental health, pumping up concentration before doing insight might be a good idea. Otherwise, trying to do too much concentration practice while in the dark night might create more problems and tension than anything.