Before You Book
Prospective travelers should keep in mind that a pilgrimage is different than a tourist trip or backpacking. The intent is not merely to see exotic sites, take photographs, and buy souvenirs, but also to appreciate Burmese Buddhist culture and most importantly, to grow in the Dhamma, or the teachings of the Buddha. If more interested in a standard tourist package, we recommend going with a more conventional Myanmar tourist agency. For those wishing to grow spiritually and experience the way that Myanmar society follows the Buddha's teachings, we welcome you.
To see Myanmar Pilgrimage's mission statement, see here. To learn more about monastic culture and Burmese Buddhism, download Shwe Lan Ga Lay, the free meditator's guide produced by the founders and guides at Myanmar Pilgrimage.
Following the Dhamma is a practice of renunciation, and joining a pilgrimage, which itself is a break from the normal flow of life, allows one to detach from one's usual patterns and cravings. Before beginning your pilgrimage, take a moment to consider the extent to which you wish to renounce the more worldly needs for that of the pilgrimage experience. For example, past pilgrims have chosen to skip dinners, avoid all forms of entertainment, restrict or limit internet usage, increase meditation time, only speak about topics related to the Dhamma, etc. While we will provide your "outer pilgrimage", we encourage you to consider what sort of "inner pilgrimage" you would like to set up for yourself.
One note, keep in mind that maintaining physical health, especially important during busy pilgrimage days, is essential, so do not go so far into austerity that you jeopardize your well-being! Consider wisely what minimum you need to ensure basic health, and within those boundaries, what discipline is best for you.
If you are flying long-distance, consider undergoing a jet lag program so that you have full energy at the start of the pilgrimage. If you have more flexibility in time, it can be wonderful to take a meditation course in Myanmar prior to your pilgrimage, as this will prepare the mind for the special sites and experiences to come.
All of our programs have optional early-start periods, so if you'd like to arrive in a relaxed manner and see more sites, see here. Similarly, if you are in need of any transportation, accommodations, or have other requirements, please contact us and we can make any needed reservations.