2 hrs 28 min

Up In Flames Insight Myanmar

    • Buddhism

Nothing had ever prepared Bhikkhu Mokkhita for this--his monastery set afire, his name appearing on a blacklist and becoming the focus on a manhunt. Somehow, he made it through the numerous police checkpoints on the road to Yangon, and found a way to pass undetected through the enhanced airport security blocking entry into a waiting MAI flight. Back home now in Germany, Bhikkhu Mokkhita is left sorting out the trauma of his harrowing escape, and dealing with the fear of so many friends left there and now at risk.
Bhikkhu Mokkhita has deep roots with the Golden Land. After taking many vipassana courses in the S.N. Goenka tradition, he decided to travel to Burma to look for monastic teachers; eventually he left his marriage and medical career to ordain at Pa Auk monastery. Some years later, to repay the generosity of Burmese teachers and supporters, he collected donations from friends back home to build water wells, toilets, and school buildings at monasteries. This led to the establishment of his Muditā Foundation, which found its apex in Nyaungshwe under the growing reforms of the democratically elected government: a holistic living and education center which taught Buddhist meditation, yoga, computer and other skills, and provided free enrollment to anyone who wished to attend.
But his dream was literally set on fire. Bhikkhu Mokkhita suspects the blaze was started by someone connected to the military, as this gave them free reign to then accuse and arrest anyone they wanted for the arson. To make matters worse, Bhikkhu Mokkhita suspects the Sayadaw of the monastery as being complicit in the attack, perhaps covetous of all that those donations had come to acquire. The fact that a monk may well have been involved in the partial destruction and eventual takeover of the monastic school was devastating for Bhikkhu Mokkhita to process.
He feels that the monastic response to the military coup needs to be held under greater scrutiny. From his own perspective as an ordained Buddhist monk, he believes there should be “a sense of responsibility of sharing these democratic values of freedom.” However in his opinion, this ethical stand is not being taken as strongly as he would like to see on behalf of the Saṅgha.

Nothing had ever prepared Bhikkhu Mokkhita for this--his monastery set afire, his name appearing on a blacklist and becoming the focus on a manhunt. Somehow, he made it through the numerous police checkpoints on the road to Yangon, and found a way to pass undetected through the enhanced airport security blocking entry into a waiting MAI flight. Back home now in Germany, Bhikkhu Mokkhita is left sorting out the trauma of his harrowing escape, and dealing with the fear of so many friends left there and now at risk.
Bhikkhu Mokkhita has deep roots with the Golden Land. After taking many vipassana courses in the S.N. Goenka tradition, he decided to travel to Burma to look for monastic teachers; eventually he left his marriage and medical career to ordain at Pa Auk monastery. Some years later, to repay the generosity of Burmese teachers and supporters, he collected donations from friends back home to build water wells, toilets, and school buildings at monasteries. This led to the establishment of his Muditā Foundation, which found its apex in Nyaungshwe under the growing reforms of the democratically elected government: a holistic living and education center which taught Buddhist meditation, yoga, computer and other skills, and provided free enrollment to anyone who wished to attend.
But his dream was literally set on fire. Bhikkhu Mokkhita suspects the blaze was started by someone connected to the military, as this gave them free reign to then accuse and arrest anyone they wanted for the arson. To make matters worse, Bhikkhu Mokkhita suspects the Sayadaw of the monastery as being complicit in the attack, perhaps covetous of all that those donations had come to acquire. The fact that a monk may well have been involved in the partial destruction and eventual takeover of the monastic school was devastating for Bhikkhu Mokkhita to process.
He feels that the monastic response to the military coup needs to be held under greater scrutiny. From his own perspective as an ordained Buddhist monk, he believes there should be “a sense of responsibility of sharing these democratic values of freedom.” However in his opinion, this ethical stand is not being taken as strongly as he would like to see on behalf of the Saṅgha.

2 hrs 28 min