Shwe Gu Lay Pagoda
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Meditation and Buddhism in Myanmar (Burma)

Visitors to Myanmar (Burma) of any faith cannot help but appreciate its beautiful temples, pagodas, statues and monasteries, the reminders of Buddhism’s influence throughout the country since ancient times.

Myanmar is a very spiritual country. The majority of Myanmar’s population (almost 90%) is Buddhist. Theravada "teaching of the elders" Buddhism is the main form practiced in Myanmar.

Many people come to Myanmar to learn about Buddhism, to engage in deep understanding and to seek answers to the problems of modern life.

You might like to learn more about Buddhism during your visit, or about Meditation, a form of mental concentration practiced by Buddhists. Here you will find information about where you can go to learn about both.


Meditation in Myanmar (Burma)

Many Burmese people practice meditation. Insight Meditation or Vipissana, "to see things as they really are," is the most common form in Myanma. Although a technique developed by the Buddha, you do not need to be a Buddhist to practice meditation.

All that we are is the result of what we have thought:
it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts…
If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought,
happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.


- Gautama Buddha, Dhammapada

You can learn the ancient art of meditating at one of the many meditation centers in Myanmar that welcome overseas visitors. They insist on all guests completing at least a 10-day residential class, before allowing visitors to do shorter courses or day classes. This is to ensure that you have time to really get into it, so you can experience the benefits of meditation, continuing your practice for the remainder of your trip, and possibly, for the rest of your life.

For short courses, a tourist visa will be all you need. If planning a course of more than 28 days, you will need a 90-day meditation visa. A letter of invitation from the meditation center will be required along with your application.

  • Shorter courses and day classes are available to children (8-16 years) and teenagers (17-20 years).
  • Most classes are in English.
  • You may have opportunities to ask questions and have private interviews with the teacher.
  • There is a strict code of discipline all visitors must adhere to. This includes silence, staying on-site for the duration of the course and eating only at certain times during the day.
  • Men and women are separated during their stay.
  • Single rooms are usually kept aside for foreign visitors, where possible.
  • There is no charge for the courses, accommodation or food. Donations are accepted at the end of your stay.

Meditation Centers to Contact in Myanmar

These three centers are a good place to start. They have meditation centers in Yangon as well as other towns in Myanmar (Burma):

Dhamma Joti Vipassana Centre
In Wingabar Yele Monastery Compound – a 15-minute walk from the Shwedagon Pagoda’s eastern entrance, central Yangon.
http://www.joti.dhamma.org/

Wingaba Yele Kyaung
Nga Htat Gyi Pagoda Road,
Bahan Township, Yangon, Myanmar
Tel: (1) 549 290

Contact: Mr. Banwariji Goenka, Bandoola International Ltd
Office No. 134, Shwebontha Street, Yangon, Myanmar
Tel: (1) 72467, 248 174, 248 175, Fax: 289 965
299, Bosundat Street, Yangoon, Myanmar
Tel: Res. [95] (01) 524 983; Off. 281 277

General Info: info@joti.dhamma.org
Registration:   registration@joti.dhamma.org

Vipassana Meditation as taught by S.N. Goenka in tradition of Sayagi U Ba Khin

There are also Dhamma centers in other areas:

  • Dhamma Maku?a, Mogok
  • Dhamma Ratana, Mogok
  • Dhamma Ma??ala, near Yetakhon Hill, Mandalay
  • Dhamma Ma??apa, Mahã Aung Mye Township, Mandalay
  • Dhamma Mahimã, Ye Chan Oo Village, Pyin Oo Lwin
  • Dhamma Nidhi, Inn-ta-kaw, Bago Division

Chanmyay Yeiktha Meditation Centres
Vipassana using the Mahasi Sayadaw method
Email: chanmyay@mptmail.net.mm 
Web site: www.chanmyay.org

Yangon:

Chanmyay Yeiktha Meditation Centre
55A Kaba Aye Pagoda Road
Kaba Aye P.O. Yangon 11061
Tel: (01) 661479, Fax: 01- 667050
Teacher: Ven. Sayadaw U Janaka

Hmawbi Township:

Hmawbi Chanmyay Yeiktha Meditation Centre
No. 588, No. 3 Block, Hmawbi Township, Yangon
Tel: (01) 620-321
Teacher: Ven. Sayadaw U Janaka

There are also Chanmyay Yeiktha centers in: Pyin Oo Lwin, Hinthata and Nay Pyi Taw (Naypyidaw).

Mahasi Sasana Yeiktha Meditation Centre
This center is centrally located and popular with foreign visitors.

Buddha Sasana Nuggaha Organisation
No 16, Sasana Yeiktha Road, Yangon, 11201, Myanmar
Tel: 01 541971, 595918
Fax: 289960, 289961
Email: mahasi-ygn@mptmail.net.mm
Website: www.mahasi.org.mm/
Satipatthana Vipassana meditation

Other Meditation Centers in Myanmar (Burma):

Yangon:

Saddhamma Ransi Meditation Centre
7 Zeyar Khemar Road,
Mayangone 7SHP, Yangon, Myanmar
Teacher: Ven. Sayadaw U Kundala
Vipassana / Mahasi Sayadaw method

Shwe Oo Min Dhamma Sukha Yeiktha
'The International Centre'
Aung Myay Thar Yar Road
Gone Tala Poung village
Mingaladon township
Yangon, Myanmar
Tel. +95-1- 636402
Email: headway@mptmail.net.mm
Cittanupassana Vipassana Meditation Method
Teacher: Ven. Sayadaw U Tejaniya

Shwe Oo Min Dhamma Thukha Yeikta
The ‘Burmese Centre’
North Okkalapa, Yangon
Tel: 664807
Cittanupassana Vipassana Meditation

Other Areas:

Panditarama Forest Meditation Centre (Shwe Taun Gon)
Centers catering especially for Westerners.

Teacher: Ven. Sayadaw U Pandita
Vipassana using the Mahasi Sayadaw method
E-mail: com2panditarama@gmail.com
Website: www.panditarama.net

Shwe Taung Gon Forest Center
80 A, Thanlwin Road
Shwe Gon Dine P.O., Bahan
Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)
Tel: (951) 535448, 705525
40 miles (about an hour’s drive away) from Yangon.

Hse Main Gon Forest Center
Hse Main Gon, Bago Township, Myanmar (Burma)
Phone: +95 949 450 787, +95 953 008 85, +95 953 025 00

There are also Panditarama Shwe Taung Gon Yeiktha branches in Hse Main Gon, Pyin Oo Lwin, Mawlamyaing and Thanlyin.

Lashio:

Mann Ai Khur Tai Temple
Dhamma Yeiktha Street, Lashio
Northern Shan State, Myanmar
Contacts: Zao Sra Pannavamsa, Zao Gandhama
Tel: 82-23618
Theravada tradition
Affiliation: Moe Kut, Mahasi
Teacher: Sao Gandhama

Sagaing:

Mahavijayaransi Vijjalaya & Mahaatularansi Dhamma Yeiktha
Kya-Swa Chanung
Sagasaing Hills, Sagaing Township, Myanmar
Tel: 0011 95 72 21541
Fax: 0011 95 72 22034
Email: ulkyaswa@myanmar.com.mm
Teacher: Ven. Sayadaw U Lakkhana

Vipassana using the Mahasi Sayadaw method

Mawlamyine:

Pak Auk Forest Monastery

c/- Major U Khan Sain
653 Lower Main Road
Mawlamyine, Mon State, Myanmar
Tel: 032 22132
Teacher: Ven. Pa Auk Sayadaw
Pak Auk method of meditation


Learning about Buddhism in Myanmar

These are schools and scripture learning centers where visitors to Myanmar can learn more about Buddhism. They teach classes in Buddhism knowledge in theory and practice to foreign visitors.

International Theravada Buddhist University
Dhammapala Hill
Mayangone, Yangon, Myanmar
Tel: 095-1-665673 / 095-1-660171
Fax: 095-1-665728 / 095-1-660789

The International Theravada Buddhist University offers the opportunity to study canonical texts and practice meditation in the Burmese tradition. A one-year diploma, a degree course and post-graduate courses are offered according to demand. Classes are in English and other languages are taught as part of the program.

International Institute of Abhidhamma
Associate member of International Theravada Buddhist University

Branch Office (II) Sadhukari Dhammaryone,
No. 295-297, Bo Aung Kyaw Street,
Yangon, Myanmar
Tel: 254102

Centre for Buddhist Studies (Sagaing)
Mahasubhodayon Monastery
Sagaing Hills, Sagaing, Myanmar
Phone: (+95) 72-213 11

Short courses for study and practice.
Abhidhamma Buddhism classes are held in November on various topics.

Sitagu International Buddhist Academy
Sagaing Hill,
Sagaing City, Myanmar (Burma)
Tel: 95-72-21611 / Fax: 95-72-21587

World Buddhist Meditation Institute
5 Pan pin Kone,
Naga Hlaingu East Pagoda Road,
Mayangone Township, Yangon, Burma

Mahasantisukha Buddhist Missionary Centre
Natchaung Ward,
Tamway Township,
Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)


For ideas on where to stay in Myanmar (Burma), be sure to check out our featured hotel recommendations.

Start exploring our What to See & Do section for more ideas on where to go and what to do while you're in Myanmar!

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