I left Yangon and arrived in Bangkok on Friday, 7 August. It was not convenient to write blogs in Yangon though I sometimes went to Internet cafes and wrote e-mails. Most of the time I was meditating at either Saddhamaransi Yeithka (about 4 months) or Mahasi Sasana Yeithka (3 weeks). I’ll write more about some that in later posts.
I learned a lot about meditation, the mind, the Dhamma, Buddhism as practiced in Myanmar and surprisingly I also learned a little about Mahayana Buddhism from 4 visiting Chinese Mahayana monks. I’ll write more about these topics in later posts.
I lost about 15 kg while in Myanmar. This is partly due to not eating in the afternoon or evenings while maintaining 8 precepts. It was also partly due to frequent bouts of travellers’ diarrhoea and having less exercise than usual at Saddhamaransi Yeithka. Even at Mahasi Sasana Yeithka the exercise was very low impact – slow walks and some yoga. Fruit is relatively expensive in Yangon right now with most of it being imported from China and Thailand. Most of the fruit trees in the Yangon area were destroyed in cyclone Nargis (May 2008). So the meditation centre monks, nuns and yogis sometimes didn’t eat fruit or if they did it was only bananas. Even so I had good health most of the time.
Now I’m staying at Suk 11, a hostel on Sukhumvit Road. It is comfortable, friendly and central. I may stay here until mid next week and then travel on to either Nong Khai or Cha Am for a week or two of quiet time to write. While in Bangkok, I’m looking for a notebook laptop to use for writing while travelling from here onwards (India, Sri Lanka, Nepal etc.).