"The Environment in the Monastery"
|Flowers are laid for Yaw Sayadaw at Shwe Oo Min Monastery|
The following narrative continues the story of a Mexican meditator who has been in Burma for many years. This is the fifth entry, and the beginning post can be found here.
"After water festival I still wanted to keep meditating, so I asked the teacher if I could go to another centre in Kalaw. In this new monastery we could keep practicing the same method. However, I was still a bit confused about the method at Shwe Oo Min. I thought that perhaps I should do a little bit of samathā because my stability of mind was not very strong. When I felt lost in the practice I used to follow the instructions of my old teachers.
Some other foreign yogis also came to Kalaw to practice, meanly because the heat in the hot season in Yangon is very strong. The weather in Kalaw was wonderful, very similar to Mexico City so I felt like coming home. In the monastery a single monk was living there, and he granted us an interview everyday. By that time we were only four yogis. We were sharing our experiences and he would respond with some advice. I learned some good things in this meeting but what I liked the most was the environment that we built together. It was very nice and friendly. We made a good dhamma team.
This monastery in Kalaw allowed me to deepen my practice because it is very free. The monastery itself is beautiful, it is surrounded by nature and yogis can follow their own timetable and choose places where they wish to meditate. This freedom gave me a lot of comfort and security in the practice.
At Shwe Oo Min I used to follow the timetable that was programmed for yogis. However, I did not find it skilful to follow all the time. Sometimes to allow the mind to be more relax and open helps awareness to work naturally instead of an artificial timetable. This natural work of awareness start to happen in Kalaw due to the freedom that the monastery gave to the yogis. I found it incredibly useful for deepening the practice. Slowly I started to see the hindrance that did not allow me to progress in the practice and this realization helped me to change my attitude and behaviour. I felt a lot of freedom when this behaviours change, bliss and calmness in the mind."
The next entry can be found here.