For a long time, I had been fed up of working and really wanted to retire early. My time working in Singapore had become boring and soul destroying, I was desperate for a change. During my 10 year stay in Singapore, I had returned to Myanmar yearly to do a meditation retreat. I started to become frustrated with the approach at the Vipassana Retreat that I wanted to find another Monastery.
I found a monastery called Thabarwa, which was the perfect combination of meditation using a more natural way with volunteering to help poor people within the community. I then decided to ”retire early” and ordain as a monk at the monastery.
I know these retreats very well. These 10 day Vipassana retreats are all over the world, I must have attended at least 10 all across South East Asia. For me they really didn’t work, as created more tension in my body than any peace in my mind that I strived for.
I focused so much on sensations in my body, even if they just didn’t exist. This was also responsible for creating tension in other areas of my body. This attachment to the sensations was huge and meant I was blocking out any other sensations.
Another problem for me was the silence, the noble silence it is called. In our meditaton retreat, we prefer to have noble speech as this is more natural and meditators are in a better place to use the skills they learn in their daily lives.
Compared with the 10 day retreats where there is complete silence, we only run for seven days and we observe noble speech. This makes it less strict. We also vary meditation methods, for example walking, sitting and standing meditation.
Once you reach the Dhyāna state of being, your mind is transferred elsewhere. You are free from cravings and delusions in your day to day life (Nirvana can be reached mortals) You would enjoy peace and a calm mind all the time.
After you die your energy stays in the universe and you will not be reborn.
I don’t think any of my friends are in Nirvana, although they would never tell anyone. An enlightened person would never have the craving to tell anyone.
No, he is my teacher, we are all our own God. Divine energy is inside all of us.
You need to be mindful of the impermanence of everything. You are a result of past actions that arise and disappear constantly. These actions are either physical or mental.
Examples of mental nature are conception (opinions and understanding) and consciousness (feelings, taste, hearing). Your opinions are always changing from results of past actions. Sounds you hear are always coming up and passing away and no one sound is the same.
Physical nature is made up of four elements. Your body is also made up of these 4 elements. We are all the same and at the right time you body will pass away, just like everything else.
Not necessarily, you need to meditate in a mindful way. Focusing too much on certain parts/aspects of your body such as the breathe in itself creates attachment.
In the 10 perfections of Buddhism, two are focused on Love and compassion. Meta says that you should love and be kind to everyone, even if you hate them. In Buddhism there is no hate, just misunderstanding.
Secondly Dana focuses on giving. This intimates that the other person’s needs are more important than yours. So you must always give what you have.
Since the very start when the land donor invited me to the site to lead the first discussions and meditation sessions I’ve been here. In the early days there was nothing here. I had to sleep to on wood outside under the stars. Times were very difficult as we didn’t have any running water or much food so people couldn’t stay very long. As we got more funding, we have been able to build more facilities for people to feel comfortable when they attend retreats.
Ghosts are all around us, however normally they can’t harm us. If you have bad karma or not a morally correct person they can potentially harm you. They’ll enter your body and take your soul.
Alternatively if you are mindful and do good deeds for people, they can appear in front of you. When you are with them, share your merits (A well known chant in Buddhism) and you can release them from the ghost relm.
There are lots of rules that Monks need to obey. The worst one for me was not being able to drive! Once I put on a disguise and drove as I needed to drive the monastery’s bus to the certain location. Luckily nobody saw me!
Another difficult rule is that monks aren’t able to touch money. We have assistants who are always with us, who deal with the money.
It comes down to attachment. Avoiding the potential to being drawn to ”Sensuas Pleasures”’ In the four noble truths, the guidelines we live our lives by, the first noble truth is attachment is suffering. Whereever there is attachment, there is desire and where there is desire there is suffering.
The first obvious difference is the colour in the robes. In Myanmar Nuns wear pink robes and Monks wear orange robes. There are also rules which differ, for example Nuns are not allowed to sleep under a tree (dates back along time ago where it was dangerous for nuns to sleep alone out in the wilderness).
Monks are more important than Nuns. Buddha positioned Monks with more reference bec