A Surprising Encounter
“The last three evenings we were there, two young novices would visit us in the evening to keep us company and practice their English. We would sit with them and look through his small tattered English note book and they would help us learn new Burmese words. They were teenagers and had both ordained as novices about a year earlier. I asked them how long they wanted to be monks and they both said without hesitation that they would be in robes for their whole life.
“At one point we asked U Mandala about the Buddha relics that we had heard about. He very willingly agreed to take us to meet his teacher and meditate with the Relics. A few hours later we met him and he led us to one of the buildings adjacent to the main hall. We went in and paid our respects to his teacher who was sitting on a large chair. The old Monk had a childlike smile and explained to us that ‘the Webu Sayadaw method is to be aware of the breath all the time’ and encouraged us to try to achieve this. One of the younger monks was there and he lifted a large square box out of the corner that had about 10 cloths wrapped around it.
They placed it on a small table and one by one untied all of the cloths to reveal a dark colored wooden carved box. As they lifted off the lid inside was a small silver and glass container that contained many tiny spheres. We were encouraged to hold the container in our hands and meditate so we took turns doing this and felt a lot of uniform subtle sensation in our bodies. Afterwards they wrapped it all back up again and we thanked them and paid our respects to the teacher before leaving.”
Dylan Fry, Canadian meditator