Remembering Burmese Meditation Master, Sayadaw U Pandita
by Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan
Sayadaw U Pandita was probably the most influential elder of the Insight Meditation tradition in modern times. I first heard his name in the mid-8os, when I practiced at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. Resident teachers Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Salzberg often shared stories of practicing with Sayadaw. In the 90s I moved to Asia, and started to take annual retreats in Burma, first at centres led by other teachers in the Mahasi vipassanameditation tradition, then at Panditarama, Sayadaw U Pandita’s Rangoon centre. Later I also attended retreats at Hse Mine Gon, U Pandita’s forest meditation centre in central Burma.
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The following was sent to VIMS after the practice Day with Ajahn Sudanto at Goward House.
What a satisfying way to spend a gorgeous summer day. Perfect environment at Goward House for walking meditation on such a day, as Ajahn Sudanto pointed out.
We were privileged to be led by Ajahn Sudanto, who leads a small group of monks in a Refuge in Washington State. It is non-residential in case anyone plans on visiting. Billed as a meditative practice day, it turned out to be considerably more than that; the Ajahn recounted his background as a young man just out of University and his first encounters with Buddhist teachings. He mused about impermanence, self and not self, and the joys and frustrations of meditation practice and enjoined us to be patient with ourselves. He mentioned an experience with a large image of a (Chinese) ‘laughing Buddha’ both amusing and, after consideration, enlightening.
I personally enjoyed his relaxed, somewhat informal demeanor, though never losing an aura of seriousness; for example the simplicity of his announcing a session of walking meditation and right away setting off himself through the assembly and out into the garden.
Many thanks to both the Abbot and to the team who looked after the logistics of the event.
A grateful participant
Saturday Morning Sit-In led by Brock Brown
First Saturday of the Month
The Sit-In takes place on first Saturday of the month from 9:00
a.m. to noon. There are three 45-minute periods of sitting meditation,
which start on the hour, alternating with 15-minute periods of walking
meditation. Stay for the whole morning or join us for just a sitting or two.
We begin all sittings on the hour, so feel free to slip in quietly a few minutes
before the hour during walking meditation.
Place: 4013 Magdelin St
TOUCHING THE EARTH
We are a group of like-minded people interested in and exploring the interface between our Buddhist-informed practice and the challenges to our environment, especially around the issue of climate change. We are helped by the work of Joanna Macy and other engaged Buddhist teachers in our study, discussion and mutual support. For more information contact Lawrie Thicke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Great talks available from teachers who have visited Victoria and offered dharma talks at evening sessions and retreats sponsored by Victoria Insight Meditation Society. See Dharma Talks. Excellent resource for Beginners.
Salt Spring Island Vipassana Society
Location: Stowel Lake Farm
All day December 27, 2016-January 1, 2017
Annual New Year’s Retreat
With Heather Martin
Our longest running annual retreat falls at a fitting time of year for rest and recuperation following the stimulating Christmas season. As we prepare to enter a new year, it is also the perfect time to reconnect with our wise hearts and calm minds, to release the old and resolve for the new.
Thursday March 9 – Sunday March 19, 2017
Experienced Practitioner’s Vipassana Retreat
With Heather Martin
This retreat is offered for experienced meditators. Your practice should be established, and relatively self-supporting. The prerequisite is a minimum of four week-long residential retreats in this tradition. The schedule allows for self-direction over lengths of practice periods of sitting and walking. There will be an exploration of more nuanced and in-depth aspects of these profoundly liberating teachings. Due to the maturity of the practitioners, this retreat is usually very settled, intimate and a great opportunity for developing collectedness (Samadhi), as well as insight (Vipassana).
Go to www.ssivipassana.ca for rates, info & registration details, as well as scholarship applications for financial assistance.