22 episodes

The origins of the meditation and mindfulness movement that have swept the world can be traced back to 19th and 20th century Burma (Myanmar). And still today in the 21st century, the Buddha's teachings of liberation animate a contemporary generation of Dhamma seekers in this small Southeast Asian country. In this podcast series, we will be holding in-depth discussions with a wide range of practitioners-- foreigners and local Burmese, lifelong monastics to lay practitioners, and including authors, scholars, meditators, teachers, pilgrims, and more--to highlight the depth and diversity of Buddhist practice to be found in the Golden Land and explore how the Dhamma has been put into practice by those seriously on the Path.

Insight Myanmar Insight Myanmar Podcast

    • Buddhism
    • 5.0 • 14 Ratings

The origins of the meditation and mindfulness movement that have swept the world can be traced back to 19th and 20th century Burma (Myanmar). And still today in the 21st century, the Buddha's teachings of liberation animate a contemporary generation of Dhamma seekers in this small Southeast Asian country. In this podcast series, we will be holding in-depth discussions with a wide range of practitioners-- foreigners and local Burmese, lifelong monastics to lay practitioners, and including authors, scholars, meditators, teachers, pilgrims, and more--to highlight the depth and diversity of Buddhist practice to be found in the Golden Land and explore how the Dhamma has been put into practice by those seriously on the Path.

    Zaw Win Htet, Part 1

    Zaw Win Htet, Part 1

    “My grandmother is the main character of this story,” Zaw Win Htet informs us as he begins the interview. An educator and amateur historian, Zaw shares how the bedtime stories she told him every night animated his life’s journey of discovery. Combining academic study with oral history, lived experience and a family lore steeped in deep Buddhist faith, Zaw weaves together his own life, his local region, and some of the most revered Dhamma teachers of 20th century Burma.
    The first of a two-part interview, this one covers such topics as the ancient origins of the Chaung Oo and A Myint villages, the intimate relationship between Zaw's family and the revered Maha Bodhi Ta Htaung Sayadaw, and his grandmother’s personal encounters with Ledi Sayadaw.
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    If you would like to support our mission, we welcome your contribution. You may give via Patreon, PayPal, Go Fund Me, CashApp, or Venmo; in all cases, simply search “Insight Myanmar.” You may also give by credit card by going to our website, www.insightmyanmar.org/donation (http://www.insightmyanmar.org/donation).

    • 2 hr 9 min
    Intersection of Dhamma & Race: Insights in an Unjust World

    Intersection of Dhamma & Race: Insights in an Unjust World

    This is the third in our ongoing “Intersections of Dhamma and Race” podcast series. At this time of increased tensions, there is a sore need for personal reflection and introspection, deep and active listening of “the other”, and communication across all boundaries and communities. And when we do this based firmly on the bedrock of the Buddha’s timeliness teachings of liberation, the possibility of living through these difficult days together, while advancing on the Path, converge.
    On this episode, we are treated to a reflective and introspective look at how Black practitioners have applied Dhamma wisdom through the pain of racism and prejudice. The guests include:
    ·     Bhante Panna on the experience of being a Black monk in Cambodia and Thailand.
    ·     Tricea Dawkins on starting up a meditation practice while being a medical worker on the front lines of the pandemic.
    ·     Esly Caldwell on the wisdom of karma and the power of metta at a time of racial strife and ongoing protests.
    ·     AB Johanne on how vipassana meditation helped her develop compassion and awareness.
    ·     Keven Porter on how a daily meditation practice has changed his life, and the intersection between economics and race.
    If you would like to support our mission, we welcome your contribution. You may give via Patreon at https://bit.ly/2XEjw9c (https://bit.ly/2XEjw9c).

    • 1 hr 18 min
    Melissa Coats

    Melissa Coats

    The story of Melissa Coats is a tale of finding balances. It relates to navigating her identity, being half-white and half-Korean, and her practice, going back and forth between being a lay practitioner and Buddhist nun, in both secular and religious communities. It speaks to her life, alternating between progressive enclaves in California and a more conservative Burmese Buddhist life in Myanmar, between a fusion of traditional Chinese Medicine and Buddhist meditation integrated into Western life in the United States, and seeking out their respective origins in China and Myanmar.
    She talks of beginning her meditation by taking vipassana courses in the S.N. Goenka tradition, and then learning under Ruth Denison and at Spirit Rock before ultimately traveling to Burma, where she has stayed at Panditarama, Pa Auk, Brahma Vihara, and Shwe Oo Min. Melissa’s story also addresses the balance she actively seeks between having male and female teachers. Melissa’s journey has already been a long one for someone so young, and it is still unfolding. 
    In a world where meditation centers and entire countries are shut down due to the pandemic, this talk gives the listener a virtual tour into the meditative and Buddhist world of Myanmar.
    If you would like to support our mission, we welcome your contribution. You may give via Patreon at https://bit.ly/2XEjw9c (https://bit.ly/2XEjw9c).

    • 1 hr 46 min
    COVID-19 in Myanmar: Thabarwa Edition

    COVID-19 in Myanmar: Thabarwa Edition

    The sixth episode in our “COVID-19 in Myanmar” series, this is the first show in this series in which all the voices are from a single place—in this case, Thabarwa Monastery in Than Lyin.
    This episode departs from previous ones in more ways than this, however. As some of the interviews were collected right as the world began to shut down because of COVID-19, we realized that while not that long ago in time, they seem eons ago in other ways, as so much has happened since then.
    So besides their original talk, you’ll hear some updates from guests on how and what they’re doing now. This “before-and-after” approach allows the listener to follow their journey across time and see how their practice and mind have adjusted as the ground continues to shift under their feet... and also to learn what Dhamma wisdom has been gain along the way. 
    The guests include:
    Thabawa Sayadaw, from an April talk given to foreign meditators on how to overcome accusations and misunderstandings through continuously doing good deeds.
    Awbur Nyan, a musician and lay supporter of Thabarwa Monastery, on how Yangon has fared through the coronavirus and how Sayadaw’s teachings have helped her.
    Bhikkhu Varrapanyo on his decision to remain at the monastery throughout the pandemic, and how he is applying meditation instructions from his teacher.
    Khema Cari, currently residing at the Thabarwa center in Italy, on how centers around the world have managed.
    If you would like to support our mission, we welcome your contribution. You may give via Patreon at https://bit.ly/2XEjw9c (https://bit.ly/2XEjw9c). If you are in Myanmar and would like to give a cash donation, please feel free to get in touch with us.

    • 2 hr 8 min
    Myanmar Dhamma Diaries: An Assault on Faith

    Myanmar Dhamma Diaries: An Assault on Faith

    Sometimes a single moment can be so profound… or so complex… that it takes hours, or even days, following the encounter to get a handle on it. In the story that follows, that “moment” has been taking years to process.
    In this case, the actual moment in question is simple enough: Yonie, an African-American vipassana meditator in the tradition of S.N. Goenka, travels to Myanmar to pay homage to the lineage of his teacher and consider monastic ordination. Several days into his stay at a Yangon monastery, he is in the dining hall awaiting lunch, when a long-standing Burmese monk aggressively motions for him to leave, and when he doesn’t, the monastic hauls off and kicks him. This disturbing incident—which in terms of time, lasted no more than a minute—is astounding in its complexity, and poses many swirling questions to untangle and process. Our conversation unfolds with Yonie and I doing our best to explore its many threads, and includes such topics as global anti-racism, how Dhamma practice can inform one’s response to prejudice, the collective trauma of Burmese given their recent history, the indirect nature of Burmese communication, and much more.
    If you would like to support our mission, we welcome your contribution. You may give via Patreon at https://bit.ly/2XEjw9c (https://bit.ly/2XEjw9c). If you are in Myanmar and would like to give a cash donation, please feel free to get in touch with us.

    • 1 hr 35 min
    Intersection of Dhamma & Race: Episode #1

    Intersection of Dhamma & Race: Episode #1

    This is a very different kind of show than any previous episode we’ve brought you on the Insight Myanmar Podcast. Regular listeners may remember that a few months ago, we interrupted our usual run of sit-down interviews to produce a special series on the coronavirus pandemic in Myanmar. In these episodes, we checked in with a number of monastics and practitioners, and inquired how they as meditators were coping with the world shutting down. As we were working to respond to the relevancy of that moment— itself no easy task for a skeleton crew volunteer team— another historic moment engulfed the United States and resonated with people around the world: the Black Lives Matter protests over of the killing of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police.
    We feel the need is just as compelling to meet the demands of this moment as our recent podcast series, and so we are creating a new collection of episodes called “the Intersection of Dhamma & Race.” In this series, we are widening the scope of our usual programming to examine the overlapping lines of Dhamma practice, racism and social justice. Aishah Shahidah Simmons, a long-term Black American vipassana meditator formerly in the S.N. Goenka tradition and an award-winning cultural worker, joins our volunteer team as co-producer of this series.
    The United States has been witnessing an explosion of multiracial bravery inspired and led by Black individuals speaking truth to power, standing up against racism and for social justice, and within many different social and economic institutions, from well-known sports franchises to giant corporations. While these acts may at times be confrontational, they highlight uncomfortable and too-long-ignored truths that societies must finally face, both people as individuals, and collectively.
    In this same spirit, we hope that the following episode can be a platform for bringing a similar sort of conversation about entrenched biases, practices and attitudes within the vipassana and mindfulness communities. The guests include:
    ·     Victoria Robertson is the first Black American appointed Senior Assistant Teacher under S. N. Goenka. She speaks about her time attending and conducting vipassana courses in this tradition; how she learned to develop empathy for others; her observation that the White vipassana teachers were equipped to teach meditation, but weren’t able to apply those meditation practices to address racism; her leadership role in creating the one and only Global African Heritage course to date in this tradition, and the organization’s unwillingness to support her attempts to bring Dhamma to Black communities in inner cities. She is no longer a teacher in this tradition.
    ·     Joshua Bee Alafia is a Taoist and Insight Meditation Teacher, as well as an author and film director. He notes how the mindfulness community naturally mirrors the issues and complexes, including racism, that American society at large struggles with. He believes we will look back at this current time as the “Great Awakening” in American society, and that compassion and inner reflection are now sorely needed, because it takes courage to heal as individuals and by extension a society.
    ·     Wayne Smith is a professional cellist and a long-course vipassana student in the tradition of S.N. Goenka. Determined not to become bitter as a result of racism, his early meditation experiences brought him in touch with the ill will building up inside nonetheless—and taught him how it could be observed and let go of. He feels it is critical for White people to look clearly at their own white privilege and identify their involvement in perpetuating a racist system even by just passively participating in it. He finds meditation a valuable tool for this effort, as well as engaging in conversation and interaction across communities.
    If you would like to

    • 2 hr 25 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

modest mediator and Buddhist ,

Really interesting Race and Dharma episode!

Much appreciated in depth and sensitive examination of the intersecting between dharma, racism, and social justice. Just starting to dig into other episodes.

Digger.Diggs ,

Great podcast about Burmese Buddhism

A really nice podcast sharing stories about Dhamma practice in Myanmar.

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