The Mahamevnawa tradition

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The Mahamevnawa tradition

Postby Maitri » Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:59 am

Hello,

There is a tradition called the Mahamevnawa lineage from Sri Lanka that has become active in my area recently. I tried to look up some more information about them, but their main page is in Sinhalese. Does any have personal experience with or currently practice in this tradition? They seem very earnest in their application of Dhamma.
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Re: The Mahamevnawa tradition

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:53 am

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: The Mahamevnawa tradition

Postby theravadin » Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:01 pm

Dear Dhamma friends,

If you have any question regarding Mahamevnawa, feel free to ask. I am working as a volunteer for their Florida branch.

metta!
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Re: The Mahamevnawa tradition

Postby Maitri » Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:36 pm

theravadin,

Thanks for your response. I was just curious to know what you feel sets The Mahamevnawa tradition apart from general Sri Lanka Buddhism. I have read about the founder of the tradition. It appears that The Mahamevnawa tradition is not so Sri Lankan focused but uses the suttas as a basis for everything. I'd like to hear your experience, if you care to share.
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Re: The Mahamevnawa tradition

Postby theravadin » Tue May 22, 2012 12:40 pm

Dear maitri,
sorry for the long absence. Your question is a very good one. Below is a link which discusses the relationship of Sri Lankan Buddhism in general and what sets Mahamevnawa apart. I hope it will help:

http://tinyurl.com/mahamevnawa

Let me know if you have any other question.

with metta!
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Re: The Mahamevnawa tradition

Postby Travis » Tue May 22, 2012 3:30 pm

:goodpost:

Welcome Theravadin! I've been a big fan of your blog for some time. It's good to see you on Dhamma Wheel. I look forward to reading what you have to say in the future :twothumbsup:

-Travis
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Re: The Mahamevnawa tradition

Postby theravadin » Wed May 23, 2012 1:22 pm

Thanks Travis, that's very kind! I am really glad if it inspired your "dhammanandī" ;-)
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Re: The Mahamevnawa tradition

Postby Maitri » Mon May 28, 2012 3:29 pm

Theravadin,

Thank you so much! This is what I was looking for about the tradition.
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Re: The Mahamevnawa tradition

Postby Maitri » Tue May 29, 2012 12:37 am

Hello,

I read over the blog posting and it's an excellent summary of the tradition. Very pithy and easy to follow!

I don't want to change the topic too much, but could you elaborate on this portion:
) Ordination, monasteries and nuns. At the current moment Mahamegha/Mahamevnawa is still (almost) only a Sri Lankan movement. However there are signs that that is about to change. In Sri Lanka itself they have over 40 branch monasteries and half a dozen more overseas. The overseas monasteries are where the Sri Lankan monks trained in this inspiring culture of “Let’s listen to the Buddha himself for a change” meet the Western Buddhist world (or Asian Buddhists if you include Korea and other countries). There are about 600 monks affiliated with Mahamevnawa in Sri Lanka including 4 nun training centers.


What is the status of the nuns in the The Mahamevnawa tradition? Are these 8/10 precept nuns or are there fully/higher ordained Bhikkhuni's as well. Personally, I strongly support the revival of the Bhikkuni tradition.

Again thanks for information- your blog is great!
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Re: The Mahamevnawa tradition

Postby retrofuturist » Tue May 29, 2012 1:04 am

Greetings Theravadin,

Thanks very much for the write up!

I am very pleased to see that the Mahamevnawa tradition has developed this way and is being well received in Sri Lanka. I can particularly relate to its mode of practice and seeing things written in your blog that so perfectly mirror my approach to the Dhamma is inspiring - drawn by a common light I suppose... I do hope this movement extends overseas with similar success.

To see such focus on the Buddhavacana in a country where it has been so badly neglected fills me with joy.

:buddha2:

This made me laugh out loud (even down to the point of the awesomeness of the Samyutta Nikaya)...

Vipassana. Exactly as in the suttas. Here is a little story which will give you a good idea of Mahamevnawa’s philosophy on this topic: One day a monk came to Ven. Gnanananda and asked him for advice for his vipassana or insight meditation. He asked whether Ven. Gnanananda had some kind of special technique or system which he could recommend (similar to the Burmese Vipassana). Ven. Gnanananda agreed very positively, took the visiting monk with him to his hut and opened the door. In the back of the hut was a copy of the Suttapitaka. He pointed to it and said: “This is my teacher who knows all about Vipassana. Everything you need you can find in there. In particular the Samyutta Nikaya (the grouped discourses) has a lot of great advice on insight meditation. All you need is right there.” – the monk was disappointed, so the story and left. It is actually very impressive (though a novel idea if you have been practicing with some kind of Burmese Vipassana which I guess many of you have) that someone would take the Suttas themselves literally as blue print for insight meditation. To understand how this works let me give you an idea: Say you learn the Anatta Lakkhana Sutta by heart (or close to its meaning) and then in your mind repeatedly go over it (in that sutta the Buddha talks about the non-self characteristic of all sense impressions as a tool to attain complete liberation and freedom of the mind). While doing so your mind enters a deeply concentrated state. Now, still investigating according to the direct advice of the Buddha you practice vipassana. Et voila. I think if you boil it down to one idea, it is that “yoniso manasikara” in this sense is understood to mean “careful or radical investigation” rather than “direct attention” (which would be more the commentarial reading anyway).

...

But there is no rush or “hunt for experiences” on the other hand, rather an emphasis on building a proper foundation, step by step.

Ven. Gnanananda has actually prepared an excellent book on Satipatthana where he does just this...

Similarly to the practice of the early Buddhist Sangha. Mahamevnawa’s teaching style is very unique. The monks will read from the Suttas, helping to explain the Sutta by quoting from other relevant passages in the discourses of the Buddha, keeping their own commentary to an absolute minimum. Suttas are picked depending on occasion and level of training of the audience. The Suttas are read in Sinhala or English (in the native language of the audience) to facilitate true undestanding of the meaning with occasional reference to Pali when deemed helpful.

Sri Lanka has now produced two awesome Nananandas. 8-)

Mudita,
Retro., inspired :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: The Mahamevnawa tradition

Postby polarbuddha101 » Tue May 29, 2012 2:32 am

I just found out they have a branch within 20 miles of where I live. I'll have to go check it out sometime. Although they do seem to be rather lacking in the multicultural department

There are some foreigners of other religions who have learnt the Dhamma through the monastery. They have become faithful towards the Triple Gem and become Buddhists after learning the Dhamma.


http://mahamevnawa.us/about-us/

I like their style of teaching though so I'll just have to deal with being a foreigner in my own country I guess :lol:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: The Mahamevnawa tradition

Postby theravadin » Wed May 30, 2012 8:19 pm

@maitri:
What is the status of the nuns in the The Mahamevnawa tradition? Are these 8/10 precept nuns or are there fully/higher ordained Bhikkhuni's as well. Personally, I strongly support the revival of the Bhikkuni tradition.


Good question. I know of a Dhamma friend (girl) who went to one of their centers for a month last November. She was lucky as they had a Canadian girl there getting ready for ordination so she had someone who could translate for her. A recent youtube video which you can find here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amGlsry6GBY, is from an ordination ceremony. I did not see the whole thing, but it looked like a real samaneri ordination. It might still be that they are "officially" regarded 10 sila nuns, but could be that they themselves practice full bhikkhuni sila. I have seen similar approaches in Sri Lanka before. But again, I don't know exactly, but I could ask someone and let you know. If you head over to this website (which seems to bit out of date, but still interesting) you can find some more pictures from their nunneries: http://www.buddhavision.com/asapu_main.html (at the bottom of the page there is a navigation bar).

@retro:
To see such focus on the Buddhavacana in a country where it has been so badly neglected fills me with joy...Sri Lanka has now produced two awesome Nananandas.


Could not agree more! Thanks for the kind words... BTW, you will probably be not surprised, that both Nyanananda's know each other personally. And that the Gnanananda sent me to the Nyanananda when I met him and asked for a good teacher. Even though they might not agree on everything a 100% both of them have done an incredible service for the Buddhasasana...

@polarbuddha:
I just found out they have a branch within 20 miles of where I live. I'll have to go check it out sometime. Although they do seem to be rather lacking in the multicultural department


Yes. Language (and culture) are a formidable barrier ;-) Luckily I was told that Ven. Gnanananda has realized that the foreign branches which started due to demand by Sri Lankan expats are turning out to be a training center (slowly) for the monks as other countries are interested but the monks, obviously, cannot learn all language of the world. So the emphasis is now on training the monks to speak English to communicate the Dhamma well. This means that anybody who is interested to help out is highly welcome even though it means a lot of patience and work at this point. The best thing of course would be to eventually have foreigners ordain, go through their rigorous training in Sri Lanka and start Sangha's in their native countries - similar to what was done in the Ajahn Chah Sangha. Humble beginnings, I guess. If you need a contact for the Californian branch, let me know, I could get you in touch with a Dhamma friend of that group.


BTW, The best English Dhamma talk collection from monks of Mahamevnawa (Toronto, their oldest foreign branch) can be found here:

http://mahamevnawa.ca/index.php/dhamma-talks

(you can actually see the progress of English, over the years, of these monks as they deliver the Dhamma talks)

I like their style of teaching though so I'll just have to deal with being a foreigner in my own country I guess


So very true. I guess that is how the first Chinese Buddhists must have felt as well, ;-)
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Re: The Mahamevnawa tradition

Postby MahamevnawaFlorida » Sun Nov 10, 2013 11:33 pm

polarbuddha101 wrote:I just found out they have a branch within 20 miles of where I live. I'll have to go check it out sometime. Although they do seem to be rather lacking in the multicultural department

There are some foreigners of other religions who have learnt the Dhamma through the monastery. They have become faithful towards the Triple Gem and become Buddhists after learning the Dhamma.


http://mahamevnawa.us/about-us/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I like their style of teaching though so I'll just have to deal with being a foreigner in my own country I guess :lol:


Namo Buddhaya! My name is Bhante Saddhasara, I am a Mahamevnawa monk. I am curious to know which branch you are close to, maybe I can help to introduce you to someone who could help you get benefits from our center.
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Re: The Mahamevnawa tradition

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:04 am

Bhante,

Thank you for posting and for making yourself available to our members. Do you know if there are any branch monasteries closer to NYC than the Edison NJ branch?
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Re: The Mahamevnawa tradition

Postby MahamevnawaFlorida » Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:50 pm

Namo Buddhaya!

Hi Khalil Bodhi,

We do not have a branch in NYC. We have only four branches in US. 1.Edition New jersey. 2 Torrance, California 3. Tampa, Florida. 4. Washington DC.
But we would like to conduct an English Meditation program in NYC.

http://mahamevnawanj.org/
http://www.mahamevnawa.us
http://mahamevnawawashingtondc.org/
http://mahamevnawaflorida.org/

with Metta

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