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Mahasi Center Recommendation?

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Mahasi Center Recommendation?
Answer
1/27/17 9:49 AM
Hello, 

I am planning to visit Myanmar for the 3 rd time. I have been practicing Mahasi technique at Panditarama Forest Center on my previous trips, and I would like to try another monastery.   


My Options Would be Mahasi Sasana Yeiktha Yangon, Chanmyay Myaing meditation center in Pyin Oo Lwin, and Chanmyay Yeiktha Hmabi center.  (I am open to other centers as well)

Anyone been to any of these centers? Which one would you recommend for foreign meditators?

I'm drawn towards Mahasi Sasana Yeiktha, although I am a bit concern about the location since it is in the heart of Yangon, my understanding it's part of the technique to observe noise, although I prefer calmer center since I will be traveling from NYC emoticon

Recommendation is much appreciated

With Metta 
Sausan

RE: Mahasi Center Recommendation?
Answer
1/28/17 8:16 AM as a reply to sausan.
Hi there. 

I'm afraid I can't help you with a recommendation, but I would like to know your thoughts on Panditarama Forest Center for a first time retreat destination in Myanmar. I will be retiring in 2018 and a three month Mahasi-style retreat has been in my plans.


Jeff
Philadelphia, PA

RE: Mahasi Center Recommendation?
Answer
1/31/17 7:24 PM as a reply to sausan.
Recent 4 month intensive at Chanmyay Yeiktha Hmawbi. Large property with beautiful gardens, comfortable accommodation. 4 out of 5 star meditation center. 95% of yogis there are foreigners, mostly Asians. Good place to go if you are working on higher paths and totally autonomous in your practice. There are no interviews.  The abbot does not speak English. Only Chinese and Burmese.

Not a place to go if you are still trying to crack the egg.
Awesome place if you are near to become nobody for good.

Noise is ubiquitous in Myanmar.
Hmawbi is surrounded by villages that blare techno and Burmese chanting simultaneously from time to time.
Advanced insight workers will not privilege one experience over another. Noise is a perception. The ears only hears sound, investigation of the sensations and reactionso are excellent objects to penetrate anicca, dukkha, anatta.

The good news is the "sounds" at Hmawbi are 75% birds and crickets.

Pwin Oo Lwin is similar situation. Not much instruction. 

Mahasi Sasana yeiktha used to hand out certificates for stream entry. It was the place for a gold standard in reaching 1st path. And Still is.
They inforce 19hrs a day minimum by mindfulness police. And lots of interviews with teacher. This is fiercely respected technology for Awakening.

Panditarama forest center is good for beginners too, as they give interviews, and they enforce the mindfulness. At Panditarama, you don't have much chance to slack off or they will ask you to leave or just not renew your visa.

No place is perfect. That is the point of enlightenment.
When making your choice, go where you are most challenged to grind up against craving and aversion. Don't give the ego anywhere to hide.

May you experience the Peace beyond all concept.

-Thomas

RE: Mahasi Center Recommendation?
Answer
2/10/17 7:48 AM as a reply to Thomas Jackson-Brown.
Thomas or anyone else,

You must have been on retreat during the presidential election and all the crazy events leading up to it. What is it like coming out of a 4 month retreat and catching up with world and national news? What is it like just catching up with news with your friends? Was this a big deal for you? 

I've been able to do two and three week retreats and, while I don't think of news while on the retreat, I do find myself eager to get caught up when I get out. However, 4 months is a long, long time, at least for a householder. 

Also, how would you deal with getting prescriptions filled, financial things like taxes and other prosaic things while away. They would not necessarily be a problem on a short retreat but could be on a longer one? Thanks in advance.

Jeff

RE: Mahasi Center Recommendation?
Answer
2/10/17 9:57 AM as a reply to Thomas Jackson-Brown.
Dear Thomas, I just saw this for some reason. 

Thank you so much for your detailed information about the centers. 

I feel that I will go ahead practice at Mahasi Sasana Yeiktha to start with then I can visit Chanmay when I feel I have more established technique.  

Interesting you mention about the idea of being nobody for good, as I recently moving towards the idea of being anonymous and losing interest pursuing worldly achievements. I can't really explain this state to some of my friends and family here in NYC.


I am looking forward to this journey next months.

May Peace be with you

Thanks again
Sausan 

RE: Mahasi Center Recommendation?
Answer
2/10/17 4:33 PM as a reply to sausan.
I stayed at the Yangon Mahasi centre for 1 month, I found it pretty tough but that doesn't mean you will. The foreigners meditation hall has air conditioning which is a first. 

I wrote more about it with some photos and the schedule here if it interests you:

https://whatitalkaboutwhenitalkaboutcrystals.wordpress.com/2016/08/07/mahasi-yeiktha/

RE: Mahasi Center Recommendation?
Answer
2/10/17 6:43 PM as a reply to Joe.
Joe:
I stayed at the Yangon Mahasi centre for 1 month, I found it pretty tough but that doesn't mean you will. The foreigners meditation hall has air conditioning which is a first. 

I wrote more about it with some photos and the schedule here if it interests you:

https://whatitalkaboutwhenitalkaboutcrystals.wordpress.com/2016/08/07/mahasi-yeiktha/
Thank you for writing up your experience! I enjoyed reading it! Getting sick like that sounds brutal! emoticon

RE: Mahasi Center Recommendation?
Answer
2/12/17 3:11 AM as a reply to Kilroy Was Here.
HI Jeff,

This most recent retreat was actually 5 months. 1 month at Chanmyay Yangon then transferred to Hmawbi forest center for remaining 4 months.

The mind flashed from time to time about world events which I knew were occurring during the retreat. Actually had a vision that Trump was president which was amusing at the time. When I took a rest to review after some major breakthroughs around the 3 month period I overheard about the election news, and some family news about my grandmother dying while I was in silent retreat. I don't really have sticky emotions anymore, but did experience very brief shock and sadness, then back to quiet calm.

For a successful long term retreat it's good to have received prior instruction on technique and mastered the basics or at least test driven them before coming to Burma for the real adventure and mental road trip. Even then it's about 50/50 chance of actually experiencing the fruit of one's labor, either due to not applying the technique properly, time ran out on visa, health issues, or loss of clear motivation due to unsuitable guidance. 

Before going on retreat wrap up ALL worldly affairs. Filled prescription supplies for the duration, filed taxes, debts, family affairs, etc.
All loose ends. Don't leave anything you could potentially worry about back home left undone. It will undermine your efforts while on retreat. Retreat time is more precious than any other time in our life.  Imagine the chance to experience true deep freedom. For thousands of years people have sacrificed their lives for this experience. It is the highest and best use of this life.

Sincerely,

Thomas

RE: Mahasi Center Recommendation?
Answer
2/12/17 6:52 AM as a reply to sausan.
HI Sausan,

I have spent three weeks at the Yangon Mahasi Sasana Yeikhta a couple of years back. Noise is definitely not an issue, the compound is very large and isolated. A plus of that monastery is that they have air-conditioned meditation rooms, which during certain seasons in Yangon is definitely welcome. Two problems I found there: the meditators quarters (at least for foreign males) are not just Spartan - they are completely dilapidated - almost everything is broken, falling apart, rusted and often doesn't smell like roses either. Secondly, after the death of Mahasi the center seems to have lost its leadership and sense of purpose. Compared to other centers in Burma everything is carried out in a strange and mechanical way – a felt a bit like a spaceship drifting in space with its crew dead onboard but with the robots still cleaning the place, wiping the floors and changing broken lightbulbs.

RE: Mahasi Center Recommendation?
Answer
2/13/17 2:01 PM as a reply to sausan.
I understand you are looking for a center in Myanmar.
However, if you are willing to consider other places, the best mahasi center I know of is in Germany.
The practice conditions are ideal. It is silent, the teachers are qualified, there are daily interviews, and the food is very good.
http://www.vipassana-dhammacari.com/main_eng.html
Regards,
Bernardo

RE: Mahasi Center Recommendation?
Answer
2/14/17 9:00 AM as a reply to Bernardo V..
Bernardo V.:
I understand you are looking for a center in Myanmar.
However, if you are willing to consider other places, the best mahasi center I know of is in Germany.
The practice conditions are ideal. It is silent, the teachers are qualified, there are daily interviews, and the food is very good.
http://www.vipassana-dhammacari.com/main_eng.html
Regards,
Bernardo


How would you rate it in comparison to Wat Chom Thong?

RE: Mahasi Center Recommendation?
Answer
2/14/17 12:18 PM as a reply to Mettafore.
I have been to Thailand, but not to Wat Chom Tong, so I can't really compare.
However, I don't see any reason to go all the way there with a center like this closer to home; unless you are also planning on doing some sightseeing or tourism.