Myanmar has long been a closed country with traditional values. While the greater openness it is now experiencing allows for more travelers to access its Dhamma treasures, there is also a danger that commercialism will change its core values. At Myanmar Pilgrimage, we are committed to providing authentic, off-the-beaten track Buddhist experiences, while also carefully ensuring that local culture and customs are respected. Towards this end, guides provide educational talks on Myanmar background and context, and take care to ensure that pilgrims will be properly informed as to appropriate behavior and dress when entering pagodas, monasteries, or rural villages.
Before we ever considered bringing meditators to these special sites, our team conducted almost five years of intensive research. This included not only the future pilgrimage sites, but also on such topics as Buddhist monastic discipline, cultural features, food and health, and much more. (A free published book can be found here, and a regularly updated blog can be read here)
All tourists are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the tours we offer to ensure a right fit with their expectations and reasons for visiting Myanmar. Those interested in a more conventional tourist experience, with a greater focus on shopping or following the standard traveler route, may want to consider other providers.
At Myanmar Pilgrimage, we hope to foster a wholesome reciprocal interactive exchange between the foreign meditator and the local monastic or lay Buddhist. We hope that visitors may be inspired and educated about Burmese Buddhist culture and practice, and that equally, local practitioners and monastics gain from meeting those interested in learning about the Buddha's path.
To read more about why we feel a pilgrimage to Myanmar particularly is so special, see here!
A Good Pilgrimage
It is our genuine hope that all travelers will complete their pilgrimage having gained some insight into the Dhamma as it exists in Myanmar, and that this will go on to inspire their practice as they return home. This has certainly been true for past pilgrims who have gone with us, and some Testimonials can be read here.
For some meditators, the initial taste eventualy leads to wanting to seek even more, after the pilgrimage has completed. Several pilgrims have ordained as monks or nuns following their trip, while others come back for several months' intensive practice at a monastery of their choice. After getting an overview of the sites from the pilgrimage, meditators have been able to go back and spend time at the site and with the teacher of their choosing.
Whatever your ultimate aspirations, we hope that Myanmar Pilgrimage will provide you with an experience that leads you further along the path of spiritual development and inspiration.