Plans for U Mandala in Australia
As noted earlier, U Mandala of Ingyinbin is confirming his plans to travel to Australia. On invitation from a Mexican yogi, he will first stay at Earth Home Thailand in Maejo village near Chiang Mai, where natural building techniques are practiced. The founder of Earth Home Thailand felt a strong desire to visit the ancestral home of the venerable Webu Sayadaw in December 2013, and spent three weeks there volunteering to build a natural home that is now used by monks as a meditation chamber. Pariyatti pilgrims donated further dana so that the program could continue, in the hopes that Burmese farmers and lay supporters in the area can learn and promote this practice in the remote village. The links between Earth Home Thailand and Buddhist Burma are indeed only growing stronger, as the Dutch monk Bhante Agga spent much of last year living in a forest near Maejo and being supported by the Earth Home Thailand family.
U Mandala will then go to Australia on his own, and he hopes to meet with Australian meditators and Buddhists who have visited his home village of Ingyinbin, or who venerate the great Webu Sayadaw.
In his own words he has shared: "I will long stay in Australia because I want meditation. I am interested in attending Sayagyi U Goenka meditation centers because I want to practice meditation there. As for me, all life was spent on pariyatti. Now it is time for me to start to practice patipatta with more digiligence so I will go to away my birth place to do this. I want libration from samsara."
U Mandala first learned anapana meditation as a 17-year old novice in Ingyinbin from Webu Sayadaw, and has gone on to be the most senior monk at the monastery, only after the head Sayadaw. He is in charge of the monastic education for all novices as well as village children, instructing them not only in basic educational skills but also in Buddhist scripture, as well as continuing the anapana meditation promoted by Webu Sayadaw. He has also been the single Ingyinbin resident with the foresight for many years to greet and welcome foreign meditators who wished to come to pay respects to Webu Sayadaw, and has lovingly cared for them during their stay. Last year, he even helped to ordain one such visitor. Thus, after such heavy responsibilities for these many years, he views his visit to Australia as a chance to focus entirely upon the patipatti (meditation) practice.
Plans are still being made for his schedule in Australia. It may include a Dhamma talk and Question and Answer about Webu Sayadaw. Meditators who wish to make merit by offering lunch to U Mandala or who wish to invite him to their homes may do so, and dana to support his stay may be collected in Australia. Please contact burmadhamma@gmail and we will relay your request to U Mandala.