Following are sample itineraries of recently completed pilgrimages. You can review these schedules to get inspiration when creating your own!
A pilgrimage that explores all the sites connected to the lineage of S.N. Goenka. This includes monasteries, pagodas, caves, ordination halls, and other places that are related to the lives of Ledi Sayadaw, Saya Thet Gyi, Webu Sayadaw, and Sayagyi U Ba Khin.
Some pilgrimages can have a large and expansive focus, while others, such as this, narrows the parameters to arrange the trip according to single theme or person. In this case, the inspiration is the 20th century monastic Webu Sayadaw, believed by many to have reached full enlightenment. This pilgrimage will visit a large variety of places connected to Webu’s life, practice, and teachings, as well as contemporary sites where his teachings still flourish today.
Suitable for beginners as well as experienced meditators, this type of pilgrimage can provide an extensive overview of a number of special Buddhist sites throughout the country. Pilgrims can explore far off the beaten track as they learn the history of these places and how they have contributed to contemporary Burmese Buddhism.
Far off the normal meditator travel circuit and yet home to a unique form of Dhamma practice and devotion, this trip heads into the temperate climate of Shan State, visiting a number of towns and villages and learning how the faith has developed in this northeastern region of Myanmar.
A pilgrimage is different than other trips. It is not backpacking, sightseeing, or a typical package tour. As the famous religious scholar Huston Smith once commented, "The object of pilgrimage is not rest and recreation or to get away from it all. To set out on a pilgrimage is to throw down a challenge to everyday life."
“To hear of the Buddha from living lips in this country, which is full of his influence, where the spire of his monastery marks every village, and where every man has at one time or another been his monk, is quite a different thing to reading of him in far countries, under other skies and swayed by other thoughts." Harold Fielding, 1898
"It is important that the pilgrim receives support to overcome cultural, language and religious barriers. It is easy with a Western mind to discard the many ways in which Dhamma expresses itself." Mårten Berg, Swedish pilgrim, 2014
A Golden Path...
Myanmar Pilgrimage co-founder Joah McGee began writing about Burmese Buddhist sites as early as 2008. In 2013, he launched an unprecedented project to create a "Meditator's Guidebook," called Shwe Lan Ga Lay ("The Golden Path"), as this Elephant Journal article describes. Volunteer-led and freely available, the work represents years of research, interviews, site visitations, and much more.
Myanmar Pilgrimage tours have been carefully crafted in the wake of this comprehensive research, providing pilgrims a rare look into the Dhamma of the Golden Land.
On the Path in Myanmar...
Access to information about Dhamma practice in Myanmar has often been hard to come by in the West. For this reason, since 2012 Joah has maintained a blog and regularly shares various details through a number of social media outlets, so that yogis everywhere may benefit from certain knowledge and experiences that formerly one could only gain through traveling to the Golden Land. Click below to read more about Buddhist practice and life in Myanmar.
Join Your Pilgrimage...