MAHASI MEDITATION CENTER
Buddha Sasana Nuggaha
16 Sasana Yeiktha Road
Tel: 50392 / 52501
Cable: Mahasi Yangon
Buddha Sasana Nuggaha
Organization was founded in 1947 in Burma (now Myanmar) with the object of
propagating the Buddha Sasana (i.e. Teaching of the Buddha) through
scriptural learning and practice of Vipassana (Insight) meditation.
None-profit in character, it operates the Mahasi Meditation Center with
subscriptions from its members and voluntary donations (Dana) from devout
Buddhists throughout the country.
Mahasi Sasana Yeiktha
This meditation center was opened two years
after the establishment of the above Organization, with the most Venerable
Mahasi Sayadaw as its Principal Preceptor. It is located on approximately
twenty acres of quiet pleasant garden land in Hermitage (now
Sasana-yeiktha) Road, Bahan Township of Rangoon (now Yangon, off Kaba Aye
Pagoda Road). There are over one hundred buildings on the grounds for
housing the meditation teachers and Yogis (meditation trainees) both
Bhikkhus and laity, men as well as women and providing complete retreat
How to reach the Center
The Center is within easy reach, only about
twenty minutes drive by taxi from the Yangon Mingaladon International
Airport, or about ten minutes by car from the Tourist Center in downtown
Yangon. It is shown in Tourist guide maps and there is a prominent
signboard at the junction of Kaba Aye Pagoda and Sasana-yeiktha Road to
guide the visitor.
Admission And Entry Visa
Foreign Yogis seeking admission should be
ready and willing to undergo full-time Vipassana meditation for about six
to twelve weeks which is considered and appropriate period of retreat for
one to gain a basic knowledge and experience of Vipassana meditation.
Yogis from abroad
intending to meditate at the Center should contact the organization in
writing beforehand furnishing such particulars as their knowledge of the
Buddha-dhamma and previous experience (if any) of Buddhist meditation, the
name and address of the center where they have mediated and the Mediation
Teacher under whom they have been trained.
On receipt of such
information the Organization will issue to acceptable person a
"Sponsorship letter" to be attached to his or her application to the
Myanmar Embassy or Consulate nearest to one'’ residence.
Then only, issue of
a "Special Entry Visa" for meditation for a period of six to twelve weeks
will be considered by the authorities. Candidates are advised not to come
with a Tourist Visa of seven days as it cannot be extended on any grounds.
Processing of a Special entry Visa usually takes three to four weeks as it
involves 2 or 3 government departments.
It should be noted
that the period of stay granted is normally intended for the practice of
intensive Vipassana meditation only.
Preference will be
accorded to those applicants who are recommended by the Organization and
teachers known to Mahasi Meditation Center.
Boarding and lodging are free for foreign
Yogis for the entire period of their stay and practice at the Center.
Accommodation for Bhikkhus (monks) laymen, Thilashins (nuns) and woman
Yogis is separate and assigned on arrival. Rooms are either single or
double and furnished with bed and bedding. Toilets and washing facilities
are adequately provided. The Organization endeavors to provide single
rooms for foreign Yogis wherever possible, but if sufficient single-room
accommodation is not available, yogis are expected to share the same room
with another Yogi. Yogis should provide themselves with daily personal
requisites such as toiletries, towels, their regular vitamins and mineral
supplements and medicines. They should also provide themselves with their
own meditation cushions if they are in the habit of using them.
Either vegetarian or non-vegetarian
breakfast and lunch are served in Myanmar style. Breakfast is at 5:30 a.m.
and lunch at 10:00 a.m. There is no evening meal, all the Yogis at the
Center, observing the Precept of abstaining from food after 12 noon. But
soft drinks, jelly and Su-tu-ma-du, an emulsion containing honey,
molasses, ghee and sesame oil) may be taken. Yogis will find this diet
regime definitely helpful for meditative practice.
There is a dispensary at the center for
treatment of minor aliments open every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday form 4
to 6 p.m. Cases needing special attention will be treated at the State
Hospital. Yogis preferring treatment at a private clinic will themselves
have to bear the necessary expenses for the same.
Climate Condition of Yangon, Myanmar
Rainy season starts towards the end of May
and lasts until first or second week of October with an average rainfall
of 80-100 inches. Cool season begins about the month of November and lasts
until the middle of February. Night temperature varies between 55-56
degrees F. Dry weather prevails from middle of October until end of April.
Maximum temperature in the months of aril and May could reach 103-104
Satipatthana Vipassana Meditation
Satipatthana Vipassana Bhavana is insight
meditation through mindfulness and is practiced with a view to positive
realization of the truths of impermanence, suffering and impersonality of
all conditioned mental and physical phenomena, especially of those
phenomena as manifested in the Yogi’s own person. This way was taught by
the Buddha for all who seek to grow spiritually and eventually attain
enlightenment. It should not be confused with "Samantha Bhavana" which
aims at tranquillity of mind and acquisition of certain psychic or occult
Program of Meditation
There are no periodically scheduled or
weekend Courses, but the Center is open throughout the year to receive
those who are prepared to undertake full-time Satipatthana Vipassana
meditation for six to twelve weeks.
All lay Yogis are
expected to observe the eight Precepts throughout the length of their
stay, which will be explained by the Meditation Teacher at the time of
introduction. The observance of those moral Precepts conduces to the
development of Vipassana Insight knowledge.
At the time of their
induction, a tape-recorded talk on Satipattana Vipassana Meditation, its
purpose, method of practice and benefits derived there-form is played for
the new Yogi.
The Daily Program of Meditation Practice
The day starts at a 3 a.m. and continues
until 11 p.m. with breaks for meals, bath etc. almost the entire day is
spent in silent individual meditative practice diversified with group
sitting in a meditation hall. Individual sitting meditation is alternated
with walking meditation.
interviews with the meditation teacher are scheduled at regular intervals
to enable the Yogis to report their meditational experiences and to
receive necessary guidance by their teacher for further progress. In
addition, Dhamma discourses will be given from time to time to the
practicing Yogis by the senior meditational Teachers. These discourses are
meant to assist the Yogis in deepening their meditation practice.
In this way each
Yogi will receive personal attention and guidance throughout the entire
course of meditation and will have an opportunity of gaining sufficient
personal knowledge and experience of Satipatthana Vipassana Meditation
through all stages of progressive Vipassana insight.
instructions and discourses for foreign yogis will be given through the
medium of English of which the Yogis should have at least a working