Utopian Avenue

Utopian AvenueWhen I was seventeen, not long after I started to question life's purpose, I wrote a song called "Utopian Avenue," about a place where a road exists with people walking and talking. Where everyone is kind, Where there is no need for money,Where there is no need for weapons, Where there is no need for cold weather jackets,Where there is no need for raincoats,Where there is plenty of water. Shortly after I ordained in 2001, the construction for The Pa-Auk Road began. Before that, it was just a dirt road. Besides the meditation hall which was finished a year […]

Muddy Waters Blues

Muddy Waters BluesEvery so often the water tank on the mountain goes empty and the water looks like this!It is only iron oxide but it is a bit freaky especially when it is black color, which it was for a short time. I tried to capture the black, but I was a little late.:-) Maymyo area has calcium carbonate in its water.Nauyana, Sri Lanka has a mountain water spring….ahhh! This was posted on Google+

Sunday night we had an English Dhamma-talk with Sayadaw U Kovida. The new FM Transmitters were used …

Sunday night we had an English Dhamma-talk with Sayadaw U Kovida. The new FM Transmitters were used for simultaneous Vietnamese (102 MHz) and Chinese (101MHz) translations. We also used one transmitter for our weekly "monks' rules" class for the Vietnamese group. I'm a happy camper! The idea was to have the translators speak quieter so the rest of the group can hear the original English speaker. There is still the noise of two or three translators speaking during the English, but they speak in a normal voice instead of speaking to a crowd of people. The Vietnamese translator likes it […]

Robe Offering

Robe OfferingLast night was the recitation of the rules (patimokkha) for the Uposatha. These days, we get some type of gifts after the meeting. The Thai donors, who are often seen on the daily meal donation board came with a bunch of slippers (flip-flops) and custom made robes from Thailand for Pa-Auk. I would guess that 600 robes were offered last night since they are aware of our numbers. Pa-Auk robes are often custom made because the factory brand robes are often not sewn according to the monk's rules, although that is changing. Sadhu for the Thai donors!This will be […]

A Dying Breed

A Dying BreedAs Myanmar modernizes and loses its culture, these pony-carts become more rare to see. In 2001, when I first came here, they were common to see. Now, I think I have seen this two or three times in Pa-Auk over the past two years. I remember the American monk who told me about Burma in 1999, when I was just starting my journey, and still in the continental USA.He said, "It is like no other country…They still use ox-carts!" They do still have ox-carts, but they are rare to see these days compared to 2001, which does not […]

I just got 1 otoscope and 4 portable FM transmitters that I requested. Transport, as always, was the…

I just got 1 otoscope and 4 portable FM transmitters that I requested. Transport, as always, was the most complicated task! These should help make things easier. I love making great ideas come to life, especially my own ideas! (Merit).Currently, if we want a doctor to look inside our ears, we need to take a half day trip into Mawlamyine city to see an ear (ENT) specialist. The current volunteer doctors on Wednesdays and Sundays simply use a normal flashlight (UK "torch") to look inside the ear. Sanitary, but not effective.There are also roughly 100 plastic funnels for the device […]

Kuti Construction

Kuti ConstructionNormally, a kuti is a small empty hut. However, these days, at Pa-Auk, many really-really nice kuties are being built. I grabbed this photo when I saw a monk fiddling with pictures of a kuti his family is building for him.  This was posted on Google+

Alms Round in Intakkaw

Alms Round in IntakkawHere is a picture from my Intakkaw trip last year. The girl on the bicycle was actually a kitchen worker for the monastery. She helped prepare breakfast for us and also prepared the food we collected each day, mixed with some subsidized food from the Abbot's family. She was probably on her way to the local market to get some fresh vegetables to add to our lunch that we were in the process of collecting. The lady making a donation is usually one of the first donors on our route. This was posted on Google+

A View Of The Sangha Hospital

A View Of The Sangha HospitalHere are some pictures of the Sangha Hospital Ward on Mawlamyine. The hospital does not smell like a hospital because of the open air design. The last picture is the dining hall.Sangha hospital is a free monk ward. This was posted on Google+