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Shwe Oo Min Dhamma Sukha Forest Center
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9/13/15 10:23 PM
         I just finished reading Awareness Alone Is Not Enough by Sayadaw U Tejaniya, the current teacher at Shwe Oo Min Dhamma Sukha Forest Center in Yangon, Burma, and former student of Shwe Oo Min Sayadaw (one of the first students of Mahasi Sayadaw). It has become one of my favorite meditation books so I was curious if anyone has been to this center and/or been taught by anyone from this lineage?
         It seems like Tejaniya has developed his own style and that the training at the meditation center is a bit unconvential and free-form (they do 'conversational vipassana', there's not much emphasis on postural style during meditation, added mental labeling is considered to be distracting from very subtle and quick mental phenomena, curiosity/interest/active wondering during meditation is considered to be highly important for vipassana, etc. etc.)

From Wikipedia:

      "Sayadaw's teaching style differs in emphasis somewhat from the style of Vipassana meditation generally practiced in Myanmar. Rather than making a single primary object the focus of awareness for meditation, Sayadaw Tejaniya believes awareness must first pay attention to the presence of defilements in the meditating mind—greed, aversion and delusion—which can make themselves subtly present while meditating and diminish the effectiveness of the practice. As Sayadaw Tejaniya has said, "Don’t reject any object that comes to your attention. The object of attention is not really important; the observing mind that is working in the background to be aware is of real importance. If the observing is done with the right attitude, any object is the right object." 
     Sayadaw Tejaniya places less emphasis on form—the sitting posture or the specific method of walking—recommending instead a more natural pose closer to how yogis act in real life. In his words, "Meditation is not just about sitting on a cushion. No matter what posture you are in, if your mind is aware with understanding, you are meditating."
     In addition to Sati and Viriya (mindfulness and perseverance), Sayadaw feels it is important for yogis to engage in Dhamma Vicaya (investigation of phenomena) of an almost scientific sort, which he believes is the most productive route to knowledge of the world as it really is. Sayadaw is particularly concerned with helping yogis build skills they can and will continue to use throughout their lives."

RE: Shwe Oo Min Dhamma Sukha Forest Center
Answer
9/14/15 9:31 AM as a reply to Nik.
Don't know where you're located, but Sayadaw U Tejaniya seems to go on 'tour' every other year or so. This year, he taught for several weeks at both IMS and Spirit Rock. You could try to go on retreat at one of these, next time he's in town. I'm told the style during those retreats are much as he advises at his monastery. There's also many "interviews" with groups of yogis, which you can download and listen to from DharmaSeed (from several past retreats).

RE: Shwe Oo Min Dhamma Sukha Forest Center
Answer
9/14/15 2:05 PM as a reply to Nik.
I think many dharma teachers who teach at IMS are practicing with him right now.  When I was about to move back to Bangkok and asked my teacher whether she had any teachers to recommend, she actually recommended him to me.  Part of it was because, if I understand correctly, he actually lived as a lay person for a while before ordaining, contrary to many monks around this region.  Thus, he might understand lay people lives more.  I ended up never going to his monastery though, because I feel that there are many Thai revered teachers as well, and I don't want to communicate through a translator when I can speak Thai.

RE: Shwe Oo Min Dhamma Sukha Forest Center
Answer
9/14/15 8:05 PM as a reply to Julie V.
Cool cool, yeah I'll be over in Asia for the next year or so, so I was thinking of heading to Burma in the late summer. Long term vipassana retreats in the U.S. are a bit out of my price range I think. Looks like I could save a few thousand if I were to do a 3 month retreat in Asia versus at IMS, but then again I guess there could also be more communication issues.

Did you have a favorite monastery/teacher in Thailand Julie? I'll be going through there this winter so would love some good suggestions.

RE: Shwe Oo Min Dhamma Sukha Forest Center
Answer
9/14/15 8:57 PM as a reply to Nik.
The center I go for a long retreat right now is in Saraburi called Photipakkhiyadhammasatan.  This is a center in Mahasi Sayadaw tradition, and there is a daily interview everyday.  However, I don't think it would be appropriate for foreigners, as I don't think there is a translator there and the teachers can't speak English.  In daily life, I'm practicing with Ven. Vimokkha Metino or his students.  This is in a Thai forest tradition, but the teacher is very flexible with any styles. Ven. Vimokkha can speak English and does teach in foreign countries.  However, I haven't been to his monastery, and I don't think there would be anyone there that can offer an instruction for a long retreat.  They only offer a weekend retreat in Thai during the third week of every month.

I guess I'm not very helpful to you.  You might have better luck finding translators in Myanmar, I feel. 

RE: Shwe Oo Min Dhamma Sukha Forest Center
Answer
9/17/15 12:44 AM as a reply to Julie V.
Julie V:
I ended up never going to his monastery though, because I feel that there are many Thai revered teachers as well, and I don't want to communicate through a translator when I can speak Thai.
FYI, he doesn't rely on a translator when speaking to English-speakers at his centre. I don't speak Burmese too, and have been communicating with him in English.

Anyway, if I were you, speak Thai and live in Thailand, I'd kick myself in the butt if I don't go and learn from Ajahn Promote! His background and teaching is very similar to SUT's. I'd also wouldn't miss the chance of meeting Ajahn Gunha from time to time to tell me what I need to do to progress spiritually.

RE: Shwe Oo Min Dhamma Sukha Forest Center
Answer
9/17/15 6:37 AM as a reply to Adam Lee.
Adam Lee:

FYI, he doesn't rely on a translator when speaking to English-speakers at his centre. I don't speak Burmese too, and have been communicating with him in English.

Good to know this.  I met him once at Cambridge Insight Meditation Center, so I assumed that he did not speak English.  Maybe I can try his center in the future if I have a chance.

Anyway, if I were you, speak Thai and live in Thailand, I'd kick myself in the butt if I don't go and learn from Ajahn Promote! His background and teaching is very similar to SUT's. I'd also wouldn't miss the chance of meeting Ajahn Gunha from time to time to tell me what I need to do to progress spiritually.

By Ajahn Promote, you mean Ajahn Pramote, right?  I heard of his name; he is very famous here.  I'm sure Ajahn Gunha will give me a very good guidance. However, I feel that because I'm living in Thailand, as opposed to coming here for just practicing, I am now practicing with whoever is more accessible to me and I have faith in.  One thing that I found very different about the way dharma talk is given in Thailand as compared to in the US is that most teachers just teach what students/ audiences need to hear at that moment.  I never saw any of my current teachers using a written script in fact.  Because of that, the instructions I have got so far feel really personal and have already been given lots of direct advices and suggestions.  With that being said, if I were to go to the North sometimes, I will try to visit Ajahn Gunha.  Thank you very much for all the valuable information.      

RE: Shwe Oo Min Dhamma Sukha Forest Center
Answer
9/17/15 8:41 AM as a reply to Julie V.
If I look those teachers up, do you recon I'd find a good Vipassana centre in Thailand for and English speaker?

RE: Shwe Oo Min Dhamma Sukha Forest Center
Answer
9/17/15 2:27 PM as a reply to Zyndo Zyhion.
Neem Nyima:
If I look those teachers up, do you recon I'd find a good Vipassana centre in Thailand for and English speaker?

I assume that these teachers must be accessible to English speakers, as Adam was the one who suggested them.  Therefore, they must be good starting points.  For other centers, you can probably find reviews of here on DhO.  I remember that when I first moved back here and tried to find teachers/ centers to practice, I found a pretty comprehensive list of centers in Asia to practice at for English speakers on some websites as well.

RE: Shwe Oo Min Dhamma Sukha Forest Center
Answer
9/30/15 12:07 AM as a reply to Julie V.
Julie V:

By Ajahn Promote, you mean Ajahn Pramote, right?  I heard of his name; he is very famous here.  I'm sure Ajahn Gunha will give me a very good guidance. However, I feel that because I'm living in Thailand, as opposed to coming here for just practicing, I am now practicing with whoever is more accessible to me and I have faith in.  One thing that I found very different about the way dharma talk is given in Thailand as compared to in the US is that most teachers just teach what students/ audiences need to hear at that moment.  I never saw any of my current teachers using a written script in fact.  Because of that, the instructions I have got so far feel really personal and have already been given lots of direct advices and suggestions.  With that being said, if I were to go to the North sometimes, I will try to visit Ajahn Gunha.  Thank you very much for all the valuable information.      

Right, Pramote Pamojjo.

Sory for the late reply. I was expecting an email notification, but none come. So I checked here. How do I get email notification. This site is rather confusing for me.