Aung San Suu Kyi won Burma last election twenty years ago but was never allowed to take power by Burma Military Junta.
This Nov. 7 Burma will have it’s first election after 20 years. Aung San Suu Kyi will be freed on 13 Nov, after the election.
Ancient Burma was known as Suvarnabhumi (Golden Land) while ancient Sumatra was known as Suvarnadvipa (Golden Peninsula).
Burma is the most religious Buddhist country in terms of the proportion of monks in the population (of which 89% are Buddhist).
Burma was the last country to hold Theravada Buddhist Council. The sixth council was attended by 2,500 monastics from 8 Buddhist countries.
The Council lasted from Vesak 1954 to Vesak 1956 (2 years), completed on the 2,500th anniversary of the Buddha’s Parinibbāna (passing away).
The purpose of the council was to preserve the Buddha’s teachings. There were monks who could recite the whole Tipitaka (16.000 pages).
Venerable Mingun Sayadaw U Vicittasarabhivamsa was the first to recite 16.000 pages of Tipitaka. A world record -> http://bit.ly/aBHkc5
But the most famous practice of Buddhism in Burma is not reciting Tipitaka, but it’s Vipassana meditation, Insight meditation.
Buddhism was spread to Burma by missionaries sent by King Asoka of India. But modern world of Buddhism owes a lot to Burma.
The first Indonesian-born Buddhist monk was ordained in Burma, Venerable Ashin Jinarakkhita. His preceptor was Mahasi Sayadaw.
Mahasi Sayadaw was the most respectable Vipassana master. He introduced Vipassana practice to laymen, a rare thing in the past.
Many believe Mahasi Sayadaw might have been enlightened, became an Arahat -the one that has complete realization of Nirvana.
Although Burma is governed by military junta, the practice of Buddhism in that country isn’t suppressed. Foreigners are welcome.
One friend went to Burma as marketing staff of pharmaceutical company. He loved Burma so much that he decided to stay there.
He studied Buddhism and especially Vipassana in Burma, quit his job and then returned to Indonesia to establish Buddhist books publisher.
According to Buddhism, there are two types of meditation: Samatha and Vipassana. Samatha is meditation that was based on concentration…
Reciting prayers, mantras, words, object visualization, concentration on breathing were categorized as Samatha Meditation.
Samatha meditation will result in calmness, bliss, peaceful state of mind. A very deep meditation will even enter ‘jhana’ state.
Vipassana meditation is not based on concentration. It is about the observation of body and mind without any force. Mindfulness.
With vipassana, we learn how to accept thing as it is, how to let go. Thus vipassana results in insight, wisdom.
The wisdom arised in vipassana is special, it’s wisdom acquired by experience. It is not wisdom as told by others, or scriptures.
Just like when you touch fire and you know by yourself that it burns, it’s not comparable with someone tell you that fire burns.
Or when you learn to swim and are amazed that you can float in the water, it isn’t comparable with being told that man can swim.
Three supreme wisdoms might arise in Vipassana for one that has practiced diligently: Dukkha, Anicca and Anatta.
Anicca=The impermanence of life. In vipassana, one will realize that everything is changing. Thoughts will rise and cease…
Change is taking place from moment to moment but in daily life we choose to ignore it. We try to preserve the permanent image of ourselves.
We try to think that everyone’s thought of ourselves is permanent. That people love us, that we’re going to stay the same forever.
In vipassana, we have to face the reality. We see our own thoughts, those that were avoided so far by us. We have to face them.
The hatred, fear, love, the feeling isn’t like what we imagine. There is no permanent feeling towards someone or things…
We will then realize our feelings are merely reactions to contacts. And that reactions are changing, very clear in vipassana.
After understanding anicca, the impermanence of life, one will come to dukkha, life is unsatisfactory. It is not pessimistic view of life.
Life is unsatisfactory because we tend to cling to things, which are impermanent. We’re bound to suffering when the time of separation comes
Separation with the ones we love is definitive. But we seldom dare to think about it, why? Bcoz we cling to the idea of permanency.
In vipassana, we can’t avoid it. That thought will come and we have to face it. We then have to accept: the relationship isn’t permanent.
You may say, “I can think about the impermanence of my relationship and I understand it, why I need meditation to tell me?”
The answer is you can’t get deep understanding of things only with your surface mind. In meditation everything turns much more clear.
In meditation, even subtle feelings can turn gross. The smallest detail turns big. Things that you try to hide emerge blatantly.
And at the end the knowledge of anicca and dukkha will culminate in the best kept secret: the Anatta, the delusion of existence of Self.
I can’t explain Anatta because only those who have attained the supreme truth, realization of Nibbana (Nirvana) could explain it.
If you want to know more ->The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation http://www.dhamma.org/en/art.shtml
Dalam bahasa Indonesia ->Seni Hidup: Meditasi Vipassana http://www.indonesian.dhamma.org/art.htm
All these Vipassana tweets were triggered by the election in Burma. May people of Burma finally find peace and democracy. They deserve it.