Meditation & Mindfulness in Mon State (3 nights)

RAN 410-201
Highlights
  • Guided practice of various forms of meditation at a Mon Monastery
  • Golden Rock
  • Hands-on weaving workshop
Program Overview
Country: Myanmar (Burma)
Depart: 11/05/2017 0830
Return: 11/08/2017 1330
Duration: Overnight
Difficulty: Easy
Capacity: Min 15 / Max 40
Category: ILLUMINATE: History / Culture
Program Fee
$480 (early booking: $453)

Field Class Conflicts
  • PHIL 372 Meaning & Truth in Religion
  • SPCM 434 Intercultural Communication (Sect 2)
  • FIN 310 Financial Markets & Institutions
  • MGT 340 Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship (Sect 2)
  • ECON 370 Comparative Economic Systems

Set off for this four-day spiritual awakening along the scenic old Dhammazedi Road through the countryside heading to Mon/Kayin state. Travel first to Bago, the capital of Mon kingdom in the former days, to see the Kha Khat Wain monastery – one of the biggest in the country. Continue on to Kyaiktiyo basecamp. Here participants will start with an introduction to the mediation and mindfulness sessions that will take place over the next few days. At this time, participants will receive their personal Yawgi Longyi (dress code for meditation).

Afterwards, traverse the path followed by spiritual pilgrims to Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, commonly known as Golden Rock. One of the most important pilgrimage sites for Burmese Buddhists, Golden Rock is a large rock with a small pagoda built on top. The pagoda is balancing on the edge of a mountain and looks as if it could tumble into the ravine below at any moment. Luckily, as legend would have it, a few strands of Buddha’s hair have been precisely placed in the pagoda to prevent the rock from falling. Surrounding Golden Rock are numerous local tea shops, rest places, monasteries, as well as many souvenir shops.

The following morning, travel towards the colonial city of Mawlamyine, where the group will pass the area supposed to be the seat of the last capital of the Mon kingdom. This city, called Suvannabhumi, has been recently excavated by Burmese archaeologists in the hopes of determining the exact location of the ancient city. On the way, pass the city Thaton, which is famous for its durian fruit and betel nut, a staple of Mon state.

On arrival to Mawlamyine, visit a local house where a home-cooked lunch of Mon specialties will be served. In the afternoon, explore the nearby village of Hpa Ouk, which is famous for weaving of traditional Mon-style sarongs for men and women. The cotton originates from the middle of the country, while all kinds of herbal plants are used to dye the fabrics in the typical colors for the Mon national dress. Learn this art and create intricate patterns in a special hands-on workshop facilitated by the expert weavers living here.

After the weaving session, visit Mon Museum, which houses interesting displays of Mon culture, and the Seindon Mibaya Monastery (Queen Seindon Monastery). In the evening, participants will don their longyi and relax in a guided sitting meditation session at the monastery.

On the morning of the third day, voyagers will participate in an almsgiving for the monastery monks before heading out to Shampoo Island and U Na Auk village.  Mr. Na Auk was a Mon trader living in this area during the British period. He has been a symbol of patriotism, and was known for his trading skills and kindness to his fellow country citizens.

Enjoy a one-hour walking meditation session at the monastery on the final morning before beginning the journey back to Yangon.

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Travel to Bago (~1.5hrs)
  • Kha Khat Wain Monastery
  • Arrive Kyaiktiyo basecamp
  • Introduction to meditation
  • Golden Rock
  • Overnight at hotel

Day 2

  • Breakfast
  • Travel to Mawlamyine
  • Lunch
  • Hpa Ouk village
  • Weaving workshop
  • Mon Museum
  • Guided meditation at the monastery (~1hr)
  • Overnight at hotel

Day 3

  • Breakfast
  • Alms giving
  • Standing meditation practice at monastery
  • Lunch
  • Boat to Shampoo Island
  • U Na Auk village
  • Overnight at hotel

Day 4

  • Breakfast
  • Walking Meditation at monastery (~1hr)
  • Travel back to Yangon (~4.5hrs)

*Please note: dates, times, and activities are tentative and subject to change.

Meals Included

Day 1: none
Day 2: breakfast, lunch
Day 3: breakfast, lunch
Day 4: breakfast, lunch