as-myanmar-opens-up-spiritual-tourists-journey-in

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

as-myanmar-opens-up-spiritual-tourists-journey-in

Postby Ben » Sat May 26, 2012 4:53 am

Some of you will find the following news article interesting, particularly the video footage and interview with a young Christian woman who is attending a vipassana retreat at the main Mahasi Sayadaw Centre in Yangon, Myanmar.

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/05/2 ... ourney-in/

Your thoughts and contributions are welcome.
kind regards,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Heraclitus


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Re: as-myanmar-opens-up-spiritual-tourists-journey-in

Postby cooran » Sat May 26, 2012 5:39 am

Hello Ben,

Thanks for the video and article. Memories - I WILL get back to Myanmar again someday ... Bagan is calling.

I wonder how meditation for non-buddhists - if large numbers go to Myanmar - will alter the way the Burmese population regards Buddhism. Is it a good thing? Will the money and different lifestyles they bring with them encourage young Burmese away from their current beliefs and lifestyles?
Who knows ...

Non-buddhist insight meditation is of benefit to many here in Australia ....

with metta
Chris
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---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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Re: as-myanmar-opens-up-spiritual-tourists-journey-in

Postby hanzze_ » Sat May 26, 2012 5:47 am

Is it a good thing? Will the money and different lifestyles they bring with them encourage young Burmese away from their current beliefs and lifestyles?

No and it's not a matter how they call them selves. The destruction has already begun. Modern people have much to less respect and to much ideas of what is good for "poor" people.
But its a good sample to understand things, you can observe what was happened in our countries in some about 200 years in countries like Burma in just 10 years. So if you like to see a different way of live you need to be fast, if you like to keep different ways alive, do not touch even tell somebody. It's like if you had seen a beautiful flower or a wonderful place. Never tell anybody about it.
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Re: as-myanmar-opens-up-spiritual-tourists-journey-in

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat May 26, 2012 7:48 am

If you like to see a different way of life, just act differently.

Don't be fast, slow down and be mindful of the present.

If you want to keep the different way of life alive, tell everyone about it, but don't forget to lead by example.
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Re: as-myanmar-opens-up-spiritual-tourists-journey-in

Postby retrofuturist » Sat May 26, 2012 7:55 am

:goodpost:

Metta,
Retro. :)
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: as-myanmar-opens-up-spiritual-tourists-journey-in

Postby hanzze_ » Sat May 26, 2012 8:08 am

:goodpost:

But what if those who think that they do in this way actually eat all the forest away? I actually see it just passing away and people running around in euphoria. Its a tricky spiral. They exchange support, one give the motor saw, the other the mental healing wisdom, but both use it against it's propose.

I guess that is the problem, when support is just a deal and not given freely as Dhamma should be.

anicca?
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Re: as-myanmar-opens-up-spiritual-tourists-journey-in

Postby Ben » Sat May 26, 2012 8:22 am

Hi Chris,
cooran wrote:I wonder how meditation for non-buddhists - if large numbers go to Myanmar - will alter the way the Burmese population regards Buddhism. Is it a good thing? Will the money and different lifestyles they bring with them encourage young Burmese away from their current beliefs and lifestyles?
Who knows ...

Non-buddhist insight meditation is of benefit to many here in Australia ....

with metta
Chris


When I was in Myanmar, 18 months ago, I was the only westerner on the 30-day course I attended. There was one Japanese student and there were a number of Hindi speakers though I wasn't sure whether they were from Myanmar's Indian community or they had traveled from India. I didn't meet any "spiritual tourists", very committed and long-standing practitioners and teachers within my own tradition aside.
My experience was that when Burmese people learned what I was doing in Myanmar they were extremely interested and grateful. Some offering me gifts. I found that the Burmese are just very eager to share their culture and religion with foreigners.
kind regards,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Heraclitus


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Re: as-myanmar-opens-up-spiritual-tourists-journey-in

Postby hanzze_ » Sat May 26, 2012 9:59 am

I read one interview with Steve und Rosemary Weissman (vipassana teaching married couple), which shows the curiosity and its effects very well (free translated):

...
Question: You empathic the practice in daily life and the development of ethical conduct. Is that also a way of so called engaged Buddhism? Glassman Roshi says that enlightenment is seen in the deeds for others. How do you see that?

Steve: The Title of our last lecture in our 20-day-retreat was called "Make more". We good-by them in saying: "Make more!" We do not know what they will do in our society. But we encourage them to go on in making more in all possible sections. Once we had an manager in our course and he war really down but the retreat had changed him a lot. After three years we met him again and asked him what he is about. He said: "I am grown to a smuggler." We where shocked, but he laughed: "I smuggle food and useful things to Burma." Wonderful. That was somebody who had done more, inspired by us.

...


Even the most people would think, that is the way it should be, I was not about thinking "wonderful" when read this as both of them but so much effort into teaching people virtue as a very important necessary for effective ways of compassion and real success for the welfare of others. But at the point as they need to face the worldly pressure of that so called "engaged" Buddhism, they need to make a trade-off, of of their deep faith that virtue is the biggest help.
And that is what happens. Rather than people would adopt this ways of live, and focus on virtue they try to keep their ways alive and seek for possibilities to balance taking and giving for some better mental degrees and in this way they turn the way of destruction and new addiction on.
There are the lessons of gratitude and but we easily oversee the way leading out of them but even increase attachments as we do not like to have any dept.

So spiritual tourism is a way that will easily lead to close the doors as the intentions are often not like the way of life was there since a long time.

"Long have you thus experienced stress, experienced pain, experienced loss, swelling the cemeteries — enough to become disenchanted with all fabricated things, enough to become dispassionate, enough to be released."
— SN 15.14-19


Not to forget, that the invitation to spiritual tourism has its simply worldly causes and are just binding deals. Better than to show gratitude to a country, a nation or what every we might feel as secure as our subject to pay back is to develop virtue, concentration and discernment and show gratitude to our teachers till we are free of every dept.

Please do not regard this as a generalization but this things will go along the natural mainstream of humans. People just take and they take what they think that it will make them more happy, they do not easily take the medicine in the right way.
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Re: as-myanmar-opens-up-spiritual-tourists-journey-in

Postby Burmaman » Tue Jul 17, 2012 5:41 pm

This question of Myanmar now opening up is an interesting one. With neighboring Thailand getting some 14 million tourists per year and Burma/Myanmar only 400,000, they don't have the infrastructure to handle a major influx. One presumes then, slap-dash construction and the invasion of the modern world will begin to erode at the great idyllic charm of the country. It spoiled much of Thailand in less than a decade.

What we can do is see the country as conscious travelers instead of unconscious tourists and reflect the kindness of the Burmese back to them; travel as they live, understated and kind. Staying to study at a monastery or meditation center is one thing. But if you want to see the country as well -- and it is an amazing place -- you'll have to venture out, either alone or on a tour. I mentioned in an earlier post a tour service that enfolds serious vipassana practice into a wonderful tour with what looks to be the best guide in the country. Search Luminous Journeys to have a look. I think it's [url]luminousjourneys.net[/url]. I've looked for other meditation based tours to send my parents on, but have not found one like this. If anyone does, please let me know.

In short, we can do our part by encouraging and practicing 'conscious' travel. Maybe we can't win, but we can help.

Metta,
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Re: as-myanmar-opens-up-spiritual-tourists-journey-in

Postby Viscid » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:20 pm

The best example of a country who has successfully preserved their culture through sustainable tourism (so far) is Bhutan. The cost for the visa per day there is $200, and this limits the volume of tourists to those who can afford it.

Myanmar has an incredible opportunity to gain from the development of ecotourism and spiritual tourism industries, and with the right policies, taking Bhutan as an example, it can be done in a way which does not corrupt the country with western consumerism and harmful ideals.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
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