Shwe Lan Excerpt: Monasteries and Meditation Centers

The Meditator Guidebook to Burma is in its final stages! As the guide gets closer to publication, we will begin to share excerpts of what yogis may expect... some sneak previews of what is to come. Here is an excerpt from a section that looks at Burmese monasteries and meditation centers, and includes an excerpt from a Canadian meditator who went on to ordain as a monk:
“There is a difference between being on a meditation course, and living the spiritual life.  When on a course, there is a time limit, a timetable, and these seemed to create tension in the way I worked.  Here one can let go of the work, and let things happen naturally, exerting effort without trying. Coming to a monastery allows you to experience this monastic life and its effects on meditation. Time seems to pass in a rich manner here, and it feels like my stay is always much longer than it actually is. Another difference is that at some monasteries there may not be a very exact meditation technique as one finds in a meditation center. Here it is more about adopting good mental qualities like respectfulness, diligence, gratitude, awareness – which then support your meditation however you wish to practice. The way of life is not focused on only sitting, but on meditating throughout the day while completing duties, chanting and also seated or walking meditation.” Canadian Monk

Airport seating at Mandalay Airport