Chanmyay Yeiktha, Hmawbi

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hanmyay Yeiktha, Hmawbi, was founded in October 1994.

After about 20 years teachings in Chanmyay Yeiktha, Yangon, the development of Yangon city and so the increase of the number of the cars passing along the road, beside which Chanmyay Yeiktha is located, had been started disturbing the meditators who need a quiet location for practice.

U Sein Win and Daw Sein Hmi are the first ones who donated a land for Chanmyay Yeiktha, Hmawbi.

This is a new, modernized center, a branch of Chanmyay Yeiktha, Yangon. It is located in a cooler and quiet farming region about 45 minutes drive to the North of Yangon. It is situated on about 18 acres of gardens with many large shady trees and bordered by small, typical Myanmar villages.

The buildings have two, four or rooms, attached bathrooms with western toilets and showers and inset screens on the windows and doors. whenever available, foreign meditators have private rooms and walking areas.

We have a large, peaceful meditation hall which is divided for men and women and is conducive for meditation. Also, an unique feature is the installation of many wooden platforms with shelters and walking paths under the trees to provide yogis with solitude and outdoor meditation.

All other facilities and schedules are as in Yangon.
Potential meditators are requested to register at Chanmyay Yeiktha, Yangon before going to Hmawbi.

3:30 am - Walking and sitting meditation.
5:30-6:00 am - Breakfast bell - after breakfast, continue sitting and walking
10:30 am - Lunch bell - after lunch, continue sitting and walking
5:00-6:30 pm - Drinks -after drinking, continue sitting and walking
9:30 pm - Rest or continue sitting and walking.
Be prompt for meals. Be at the refectory by 5:30 and 10:30 am. During meals and drinks, be totally silent. Make little or no noise when eating. Yogis may not fast for longer than one day. If you are sick, please inform us promptly. Interview and Dhamma talk days and times will be posted in the refectory. Check the notice board every morning.
All yogis must come for all Dhamma talks and interviews unless instructed otherwise.
All yogis must observe eight precepts, including not eating after 12 noon.

Please come slightly early and wait mindfully nearby in view of the teacher.
Please enter the interview room before the previous yogi has finished.
Women should always have another person present.
Be respectful towards the teacher and listen carefully.
Enter and leave slowly and mindfully, bowing down 3 times before and after the interview.
You may make notes, but just points to remember, not essays.
Please report in the following order:
Sitting times (duration), objects noted and new or difficult experiences.
Walking times (duration), objects noted and new or difficult experiences.
Daily activities- eating, bowing down, activities in the room, etc. and any new experiences.

Dhamma Talks:
Be prompt.
Arrive and depart slowly and mindfully.
Sit respectfully but comfortably. Keep your eyes open and listen attentively. You
may make brief notes, points to remember.

Miscellaneous Rules:
Please always use a flashlight at night.
You must not leave the monastery compound without permission from your meditation teacher and Sayadaw.
If you are last to leave the meditation hall please switch off the lights.
Upon final departure you may change from observing 8 precepts to 5 precepts.

Before your retreat please complete the following:
Fill in the registration book. Deposit valuables for safe-keeping at the office, such as money, passport, air tickets, electrical items, camera, etc. Finalize all business deals, shopping and communications, both international and within Myanmar. Inform us if you wish us to hold your mail and phone calls during your retreat, unless urgent.

Dress Code:
Monks - must wear the robes neatly and tidily and according to the Vinaya at all times. Must wear the upper robe whenever outside the kuti.

Men - we recommend the Myanmar longyi (sarong) or loose trousers, plain shirts, preferably white without motifs or advertisements.

Nuns - must wear the robes neatly and tidily at all times.

Women - We recommend (and can supply) a brown longyi with a plain white or light colored shirt blouse with a brown sash over the left shoulder. Long hair must be tied back when outside the room.

Meditation Technique:
We teach and practice in accordance with the Satipatthana Sutta as expounded by the Buddha. We follow the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition. Venerable Chanmyay Sayadaw, (Sayadaw U Janaka) is our Meditation master. The resident Sayadaw and meditation instructors are teaching in accordance with the above mentioned. Please follow ONLY this technique as instructed, letting go of previous practices. Mixing techniques hinders one's progress.

Daily Activities:
One important aspect of our practice is to slow down and observe ALL actions and movements throughout each day. Even when walking between buildings we are still practicing intensively and not looking around. We are attempting to gain and maintain the continuity of mindfulness. Exceptions: Teachers (resident monks), managers, helpers and those who are not on intensive retreat.

Meditation Places:
The meditation hall is the best place to develop mindfulness, concentration and insight. The bedroom can be too distracting. Yogis must not practise in their rooms unless instructed. You may use the platforms built under the trees, but please bring your mosquito net into your room at night.

Noble Silence:
At all times- this means not talking with other yogis. You may speak to the teachers or manager if you have any problems. Meditation hall, refectory and your room are TOTAL-SILENCE places. Yogis may speak with visitors at the pavilion for a short time only.

3. NO MEDITATING in the room without permission, except between 9:30 pm and 3:30 am. The meditation hall or outside platforms are the best places to practice.
4. Respect your room-mate. Be quiet with bags, doors, etc.
5. Always keep the room CLEAN AND TIDY.
6. Always keep the bathroom clean and mould free.
7. Reading and writing must be kept to an absolute minimum.
8. Yogis may only change rooms with permission from Sayadaw.
9. When not in the room LOCK THE DOOR and keep the key safely.
10. Bring your clothes and mosquito net in at night for safety.
11. Dry your underwear inside and in a discreet place.
12. Keep the outside light on at night for security. Switch it off in the morning.
13. Do not use the monastery blankets or pillows as sitting cushions.
14. No vigorous exercising or jogging. 10 or 15 minutes of slow, private and mindful stretching is OK.
15. Do not feed the dogs. The resident dogs are fed by the kitchen volunteers.
16. No dogs allowed in the rooms or on the porch / verandah.
17. Return ALL borrowed items to the storeroom, second floor (upstairs) in Iddhipada Kyaung (chaung).
18. Please wash the sheets, pillow case, mosquito net, longyi, etc.

19. Leave the room clean for the next yogi.

20. If anything is not working such as door locks, water taps or light switches, please inform the retreat managers.

The most important factor in this meditation is to be mindful of and to observe any mental state, such as thinking, wandering mind, imagining and planning whatever thought, good or bad, you must be mindful of it, note it until it has disappeared.

Awareness of daily activities.
There are many actions and movements that we do everyday. One must be mindful of all of these actions and movements for the whole day. You must be mindful of, you must be aware of them as they really occur so that we have continuous, constant and sustained mindfulness, which is the cause for deep concentration and clear insight. To be aware of all of these activities we have to slow down all actions and movements as much as possible.

Please do not talk, do not indulge in talking.
Talking is the greatest danger to our meditation. Talking disturbs the other meditators' progress in concentration as well as insight.

During your intensive practice, you are not allowed to read or write. Reading and writing disturbs your concentration as well as insight. Except for some notes about your experience, you should not write anything and you should not read any books.

All meditators must come to the meditation hall to practise. We are inspired by our co-meditators' effort. If you meditate in your room, you don't take meditation seriously, sometimes you might lie down or do actions and movements quickly, unmindfully. Do not meditate in your room. Either you come to the meditation hall or you may sit on the platforms (outside) and make progress day by day.

Excerpts from a talk delivered to the foreign meditators in Hmawbi Chanmyay Yeiktha, November, 2000.