VIPASSANA NEWSLETTER The International Meditation Centres IN THE TRADITION OF SAYAGYI U BA

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*VIPASSANA NEWSLETTER* The International Meditation Centres *IN THE TRADITION OF SAYAGYI U BA KHIN* //May the Pure Dhamma Long Endure// -------------------------------------------------------------- Published by IMC Heddington January 1995 (2536 BE) Vol. 12, no.1 Copyright by Sayagyi U Ba Khin Memorial Trust International Meditation Centre United Kindom --------------------------------------------------------------- TEACHERS: IMC-Heddington (UK) IMC-Perth (Western Australia) IMC-USA (North America) IMC-NSW (Eastern Australia) IMC-Austria *MOTHER SAYAMAGYI & SAYAGYI U CHIT TIN* IMC-Yangon (Myanmar) *MOTHER SAYAMAGYI & SAYAGYI U CHIT TIN SAYAGYI U TINT YEE SAYA U MAUNG MAUNG* --------------------------------------------------------------- **SCHEDULE OF COURSES FOR 1995** ------------------------------- *IMC - HEDDINGTON (UK)* //Please see last page for contact address// _MOTHER SAYAMAGYI & SAYAGYI U CHIT TIN:_ April 7 - 17 (Water Festival) May 26 - June 5, June 9 - 19, July 28 - August 7, October 20 - 30 _REGIONAL TEACHERS:_ January 13-23, February 24 - March 4 Mr. Roger Bischoff June 30 - July 10 Mr. James Emery September 1 - 11 Mr. Kedar Dwivedi ------------------------------- *IMC - Perth (Western Australia)* //Please see last page for contact address// _MOTHER SAYAMAGYI & SAYAGYI U CHIT TIN:_ February 24 - March 6 _REGIONAL TEACHERS:_ January 13-23 Mr. Roy Millman February 3-13, April 7-17, May 12 - 22, June 9 - 19 Mr. Peter Nyunt July 7 - 17, August 11 - 21, September 15 - 25 Mr. Peter Nyunt ------------------------------ *IMC - NSW (EASTERN AUSTRALIA)* //Please see last page for contact address// _MOTHER SAYAMAGYI & SAYAGYI U CHIT TIN:_ February 3 - 13 _REGIONAL TEACHERS_ January 13-23 Mr. David Robb April 14-24 Mr. Richard Walsh (Water Festival) June 9 - 19 Dr. John Price July 14 - 24 Dr. Mark Peterson August 18 - 28 Mr. Richard Walsh October 13 - 23 Dr. John Price *Melbourne:* June 30 - July 10 Mr. Richard Walsh -------------------------------- *IMC - Austria* //Please see last page for contact address// _MOTHER SAYAMAGYI & SAYAGYI U CHIT TIN:_ September 1 - 11 _REGIONAL TEACHERS:_ April 7-17 Mr. Franz Neuner (Water Festival) July 21 - 31 Mr. Franz Zelsacher _Weekend courses:_ January 20 - 22 Mr. Franz Neuner March 10 - 12 Mr. Franz Zelsacher May 12 - 14 Mr. Erich Kucher June 9 - 12 Mr. Franz Neuner ---------------------------------- *IMC - USA* //Please see last page for contact addresses// _MOTHER SAYAMAGYI & SAYAGYI U CHIT TIN:_ September 22 - October 2 _REGIONAL TEACHERS:_ January 13-23 Mr. Craig Storti April 7 - 17 Mr. Michael Kosman (Water Festival) June 9 - 19 Mr. Craig Storti ---------------------------------- *ASIA* //Please see last page for contact address// _MOTHER SAYAMAGYI & SAYAGYI U CHIT TIN:_ JAPAN: April 27 - May 7 ---------------------------------- *EUROPE* //Please see last page for contact addresses// _MOTHER SAYAMAGYI & SAYAGYI U CHIT TIN:_ HOLLAND: June 23 - July 3 SWITZERLAND: July 14 - 24 _REGIONAL TEACHERS:_ HOLLAND: February 24 - March 5 Dr. Matthijs Schouten SWITZERLAND: April 7 - 17 Mr. Walter Klingler BELGIUM: September 1 - 11 Dr. Matthijs Schouten DENMARK: October 27 - November 6 Dr. Matthijs Schouten ---------------------------------- *SPECIAL DAYS 1995:* JANUARY 19th Sayagyi U Ba Khin's Demise Day JANUARY 23rd Sayagyi U Ba Khin's Demise Day (Myanmar Date) MARCH 12th Mother Sayamagyi's Birthday MARCH 15th Full Moon of Tabaung MARCH 19th Mother Sayamagyi's Birthday (Myanmar Date) MARCH 26th Sayagyi U Ba Khin's Birthday APRIL 12th-16th Myanmar Water Festival April 17th Myanmar New Year, Sayagyi U Chit Tin's Birthday MAY 13th Buddha's Day, Full Moon of Kason JUNE 12th Mahasamaya Day, Full Moon of Nayon JULY 11th Dhammacakka Day, Full Moon of Waso OCTOBER 8th Abhidhamma Day, Full Moon of Thadingyut NOVEMBER 6th Festival of Lights DECEMBER 7th Sayagyi U Thet's Day ---------------------------------- *SPECIAL DAYS - part 1*[*] *WATER FESTIVAL & the Myanmar New Year* The Myanmar Water Festival which lasts four days (five in leap years) usually falls around the middle of April and is immediately followed by the New Year day. The New Year day is also called Mangala Akhar Daw and is comparable to the Western "New Year". The crossing into the new year is used by pious Buddhists to acquire merit. Although people celebrate in a frolicsome way, drenching each other with water, some time is also spent with religious observances. These include making offerings to the bhikkhus; washing the Buddha statues; listening to discourses on the Dhamma; paying respects to the Pagodas; meditation; cleaning the monasteries, water tanks and resthouses; washing the heads of senior and respected people; paying respects to grandparents, parents, teachers and other people worthy of respect; and listening to and reciting the parittas. The reciting of the Mangala sutta is con- sidered especially important at this time as it deals with the different blessings of life and is an auspicious beginning of the new year. The Myanmar kings used to have the great canon fired five times to announce the beginning of the Water Festival and the advent of the New Year day. Every household kept flowered branches of the Eugenisa Grandis in little vases and as soon as they heard the shots they all poured the water out making the sincere wish: "May all beings be well, may all beings be happy!" *BUDDHA DAY - The Full Moon of Kason* This day is celebrated in all Buddhist countries as Buddha Day. It is a day of supreme importance in the career of Buddha Gotama. When he was the ascetic Sumedha he received on this day the sure prediction from Buddha Dipankara that after four incalculable time spans and one hundred thousand world cycles he would become a Buddha by the name of Gotama. This is also the day of the year on which Buddha Gotama was born into his last life and the day on which the Bodhi tree under which he achieved Awakening germinated. On the full moon of Kason the Buddha attained Supreme Enlightenment (//Samma-Sambodhi//) under this Bodhi tree in Gaya and again on the full moon of Kason forty-five years later he breathed his last and passed into //Maha-Parinibbana// under the twin Sal trees at Kusinara. In Myanmar, this day is celebrated with some special customs in addition to the //Uposatha// day observances. The pouring water for the Bodhi trees is of special significance. The girls and boys form a pro- cession, the girls carrying water on their heads in earthenware pots and the boys dancing and playing music. When the procession arrives at the Bodhi tree, the girls, one after the other, water the Buddha's tree. In addition, groups of people recite the first words of the Buddha after his Awakening,: the //Udana//, and the Dependent Origination (//Paticca Samuppada//) and also the //Patthana//. *MAHASAMAYA DAY - The Full Moon of Nayon* On this day the Buddha had arrived in his country of origin and was residing outside the town of Kapilavattu. In the evening Devas and Brahmas, arrived at different times at the assembly of the ten thousand universes closest to our universe, and the Buddha then gave the dis- course of the Great Occasion (Mahasamaya). In this sutta he mentioned the names of the Brahmas and Devas as and when they arrived and taught the Dhamma in six suttas. All the beings present were of one of six different mental dispositions and the six suttas were suited to these. The Buddha created an identical image (//Nimmitta//) of himself and taught posing and answering questions (see also the Dhammadana Series 9, //The Great Occasion//). In Myanmar, this day is celebrated especially by the recitation of the //Mahasamaya sutta//, apart from the customary religious observances performed on //Uposatha// days. At this time the examinations for the //bhikkhus// are held in which their proficiency in the Pali language and the scriptures is tested. In olden times kings used to perform the ground breaking ceremony on this day, as it marks the beginning of the rains and therefore the beginning of the ploughing and planting season. [*] to be continued in the forthcoming issues ---------------------------------- *CENTRE & GROUP REPORTS* *IMC - HEDDINGTON* We have been privileged to have Mother Sayamagyi and Sayagyi U Chit Tin staying at the Centre for the past two months. The stu- dents benefit immensely from the inspiring example set by our Teachers. We are also fortunate to have had the Teachers guidance in the daily running of the Centre. During this period three courses have been led by Mother Saya- magyi and Sayagyi U Chit Tin. These have been very well attended with a large number of new students, particularly from the UK. The Teachers have been assisted by regional teachers Mr. Roger Bischoff and Mr. Horst Jughard. A major internal renovation and refurbishment of the existing Dhamma Hall will be carried out during the next few months. The project will be co-ordinated by IMC Builders. It will include in- stalling new parquet flooring and underfloor heating and replacing the existing windows. The upper floor will be removed allowing for a new higher ceiling. The inner walls will be plastered to provide a smooth finish and a new standard-height doorway put in. Everyone is very happy that we are now in a position to upgrade this important facility at the Centre. Completion is planned in time for the Water Festival Course in April. We have had many Dhamma service days recently giving students the opportunity to work together, contributing a variety of skills and enthusiasm. The front hall of the main house has been repainted. In an exceptionally mild winter we have accomplished a number of tasks in the grounds. Hedges have been trimmed, trees pruned and flower beds prepared for the spring. Over a thousand multi-coloured tulip bulbs have been planted in the Pagoda beds with a border of 300 coloured primulas. Early flowering primulas have been planted in the urns and the splashes of yellow, pink and blue look very colourful. A new bed has recently been dug adjacent to the copse and planted with old fashioned roses. Two childrens classes are now held regularly on Sundays. The older children take the Three Refuges and the Five Precepts and meditate together for the first ten minutes of the session. A superbly colour illustrated copy of.the Dhammapada is then read aloud by each child in turn. The children can also discuss their meditation. From time to time they join for a brief period in the Pagoda sittings. *IMC - WA* Ten day courses and Anapana weekends are held monthly at the Centre and both have been well attended. Interior plaster-work repairs in the Pagoda are nearly completed and plans are being made for the cells to be painted. The painting will be carried out by students giving labour Dana. The orchid house has been fitted with an automated sprinkler system and doors have been fitted to its entrance. The Dhamma Hall rose garden has had concrete footings poured for the brick garden edges to be rebuilt. Preparations are in progress for the planting of a new lawn in this area. All of this work is being carried out by students. With the hot summer months approaching, a fire drill was orga- nised to ensure that everyone at the Centre was familiar with the fire-fighting procedures. A demonstration of the operation of our auxilliary pump was given and all fire hoses were tested to ensure that all buildings were covered in the event of a fire. Weekly "workbees" have been held to undertake various garden and maintenance projects, such as planting of flowers, pruning and tidying around the buildings. We are all looking forward to the visit of our revered Teachers, Mother Sayamagyi and Sayagyi U Chit Tin in January 1995. *IMC - USA* Two courses have been held in America since the last report. Mother Sayamagyi and Sayagyi U Chit Tin concluded their course in California at the end of their visit and returned to England in late September. A 10-day course was held at IMC-USA November 4-14 with the largest number of new students in several years. We have undertaken a number of projects in anticipation of winter: painting in certain of the new buildings has begun; and the parking lot has been cleared of leftover construction materials. A truckload of topsoil will be brought in for the Center flower gardens and a number of bulbs will be planted around the Pagoda. Other improvements to the Center include a new washing machine and dryer. We are happy to have a new caretaker at IMC-USA. The new buildings are functioning well and we look forward to spending winter on our hilltop. *IMC - NSW* In response to our invitation, the Venerable U Jagara Bhivamsa visited the Centre on Sunday 16 October, accompanied by the Venerable U Jotika. A wonderful Burmese lunch was prepared for the Sayadaws and served with other offerings from families. This was the first time the new Dhamma Hall had been used for such an occasion. About forty students including children came, and after the //Bhikkhus// had been served, lunch for all was served in the dining marquee. After lunch U Jagara gave us the precepts followed by an inspiring talk based on the texts of the two Burmese language plates on the wall behind the Teachers seat. It was a joyful and happy day for everyone. We are now holding courses at the Centre approximately every two months. Many students contribute in all kinds of ways to make this possible, in the continued absence of a full time manager. Since the last Newsletter two courses have been held at the Centre. Both courses were well attended. Many people have offered to assist with preparation for the Teachers visit in February. Projects, include finishing the painting of the exterior of the Dhamma Hall; improvements to the Teachers rooms; the installation of air-conditioning in the Teachers quarters and the ladies rooms, and several garden and landscaping projects. *IMC - AUSTRIA* Since the last Newsletter we have been primarily occupied with the construction of the Dhamma Hall. To commence the project, on the morning of August 17th Mother Sayamagyi and Sayagyi U Chit Tin sprinkled water from the shrine room at the corners of the projected Dhamma Hall followed by members of the Austrian Gesellschaft. The Hall is situated on the plateau below the Pagoda where the marquee for the Pagoda opening was. It will be 16m long and 9m wide surrounded on 3 sides by 2m wide verandah. It will have a traditional Austrian style roof covered with reddish roof tiles. There will be two small rooms at the end of the Hall to contain heating equipment and storage. It is planned to have underfloor heating combined with radiators. The floor will be parquet. On Abhidhamma Day, October 19th, early in the morning, we had a traditional early morning sitting with an offering of fruits and flowers followed by the breaking of the ground ceremony. Between mid-October and mid-December, the basic structure of the Hall was erected. The first building phase is now finished and the walls can dry out over the winter. The weather has been perfect all the time, and we could always work as scheduled. Weather chronolo- gists have reported that it was the mildest autumn for over 50 years. At the end of the winter, building work will recommence. We are grateful to our Teachers for giving us the opportunity to participate in this benefical undertaking of building a Dhamma Hall at IMC-Austria. The projected costs for the Dhamma Hall are ATS 1,600,000. Dana of ATS 418,000 has been received and further ATS 115,000 pledged. A loan of ATS 493,700 has been taken out to cover the balance. In autumn we planted 13 conifers on the West side of the Centre and 27 shrubs alongside the fence between the entrance gate and the side building. This gives the entrance a nicer look and provides us with more privacy. All the plants were donated. The rose beds were covered with branches of conifers to protect them from winter frosts. A wooden ceiling has been installed in the new bathroom by students. *GERMANY/SWITZERLAND* A well attended regional teacher course was held in southern Germany in November. We thank Mother Sayamagyi and Sayagyi U Chit Tin for their support, as the search for a place that meets the needs of a Centre continues. The German and Swiss groups continue to have meetings and group sittings together. A course site has been booked for a regional teacher course in April in Switzerland. *SINGAPORE* We hold our regular group sitting every Sunday from 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm. Sometimes students stay behind after the sittings to have Dhamma discussions. *THE NETHERLANDS AND BELGIUM* A weekend retreat was held in December in Zuidlaren. We con- tinue to hold our meetings and weekly group sittings, and make pre- parations for next years courses. *JAPAN* The group in Japan continues to meet twice a month for group sittings at the home of one of the students. New students as well as old students join our group sittings. We are still planning and preparing for the visit of our Teachers for the course here in Japan in the spring of 1995. *DENMARK* The weekly group sittings continue as usual. The meditation course has been scheduled from October 27 to November 6 1995 and preparations for the course have been started. There are plans to restart the study group from January 1995. *ITALY* The group in Italy meets every Tuesday and Thursday for group sittings at Bresseo ---------------------------------- Worldwide Contact Addresses in the Tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ *AUSTRIA*: International Meditation Centre, A-9064 St. Michael/Gurk 6, Austria;Tel: +43 4224 2820, Fax: +43 4224 28204 *EASTERN AUSTRALIA*: International Meditation Centre, Lot 2 Cessnock Road, Sunshine NSW 2264, Australia; Tel: +61 49 705 433, Fax: +61 49 705 749 *UNITED KINGDOM*: International Meditation Centre, Splatts House, Heddington, Calne, Wiltshire SN11 OPE, England; Tel: +44 380 850 238, Fax: +44 380 850 833, Email: CIS, IMC-UK,100330,3304 *USA (East Coast)*: International Meditation Centre, 438 Bankard Road, Westminster MD 21158, USA;Tel: +1 410 346 7889, Fax: +1 410 346 7133;Email: CIS, IMC-USA, 74163,2452 *WESTERN AUSTRALIA*: International Meditation Centre, Lot 78 Jacoby Street, Mahogany Creek WA 6072, Australia; Tel: +61 9 295 2644, Fax: +61 9 295 3435 *CANADA*: IMC-Canada, 336 Sandowne Drive, Waterloo, Ontario, N2K 1V8, Canada; Tel: +1 519 747 4762, Fax: +1 519 725 2781 *GERMANY*: Sayagyi U Ba Khin Gesellschaft, Christaweg 16, 79114 Freiburg, Germany, Tel: +49 761 465 42, Fax: +49 761 465 92 *JAPAN*: Sayagyi U Ba Khin Memorial Trust, Komatsuri-Cho 923, Kishiwada-Shi, Osaka-Fu, 596 Japan, Tel: +81 724 45 0057 *THE NETHERLANDS*: Sayagyi U Ba Khin Stichting, Oudegracht 124, 3511 AW Utrecht, The Netherlands, Tel: +31 30 311 445, Fax: +31 30 340 612 *SINGAPORE*: Sayagyi U Ba Khin Memorial Association, 9 Penang Road #07-12, Park Mall, Singapore 0923 Tel: +65 338 6911, Fax: +65 336 7211 *SWITZERLAND*: Sayagyi U Ba Khin Gesellschaft, Greyerzstrasse 35, 3013 Bern, Switzerland;Tel: +41 31 415 233, Fax: +41 61 691 8049;Email: CIS, 100256,3576 *USA (West Coast)*: IMC-USA, 77 Kensington Rd., San Anselmo, CA 94960, USA; Tel: +1 415 459 3117, Fax: +1 415 346 7133 *BELGIUM*: Address as for the Netherlands, Tel: +32 2 414 1756 *DENMARK*: Contact Address: Mr. Peter Drost-Nissen, Strandboulevarden 117, 3th, 2100 Kopenhagen, Denmark. Tel: 031 425 636 *ITALY*: Contact address: Mr. Renzo Fedele, Via Euganea 94, 35033 Bresseo PD, Italy. Tel: +39 49 9900 752 -------------------------------------------------- Published by the Sayagyi U Ba Khin Memorial Trust, United Kingdom Address as above, registered charity no. 280134 --------------------------------------------------

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