International Meditation Centres in the Tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin

Shwedagon Pagoda
International Meditation Centre Myanmar

International Meditation Centre UK

International Meditation Centre USA

International Meditation Centre Austria

International Meditation Centre 
Australia NSW

International Meditation Centre
Australia WA

Webu Sayadaw & Sayagyi U Ba Khin

IMC Yangon

International Meditation Centres in the Tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin

The world is now facing serious problems threatening mankind. It is just the right time for everyone to take to Vipassana meditation and learn how to find a deep pool of quiet in the midst of all that is happening today – Sayagyi U Ba Khin

Sayagyi U Ba Khin_modified head shadow

Sayagyi U Ba Khin

mothersayamagyi

Mother Sayamagyi

What is Buddhist Meditation?

Buddhist meditation consists of two steps: calmness of mind and insight (Vipassana). The student is helped to develop calmness and concentration by encouraging him to focus his attention on a spot at the base of the nose. In this way he can be aware of the in-breath and the out-breath. When the mind is given only one object it gradually becomes calm and steady.

Respiration mindfulness has several advantages:

There is no reason why a good student in meditation should not be able to secure a concentrated mind in a few days of training. Little by little all conscious awareness of breathing stops. The student becomes mindful only of a small point of light and warmth. At this stage the mind becomes one pointed and clear and unwavering.

It is a common belief that a person whose power of concentration is good can achieve better results. There are definitely many advantages that accrue to a person who undergoes a successful meditation retreat. It doesn’t matter whether this person is a religious person, a business person, a politician, a worker or a student.

International Meditation Centres

IMC UK

International Meditation Centre
Splatts House, Heddington, Calne, SN11 0PE, UK
Tel: +44 1380 850 238
Email: imcuk@internationalmeditationcentre.org
Web: http://www.internationalmeditationcentre.org/uk/introduction.html

IMC Australia NSW

International Meditation Centre
PO Box 3059, Bonnells Bay, NSW 2264, Australia
Tel: +61 2 4970 5433, Fax: +61 2 4970 5749
Email: 10days@imcnsw.com
Web: http://www.imcnsw.com/

IMC Australia WA

International Meditation Centre
1525 Jacoby Street, Mundaring, WA 6073, Australia
Tel: +61 8 9295 2644, Fax: +61 8 9295 3435
Email: imcperth@iinet.net.au
Web: http://www.imcperth.org/

IMC Austria

International Meditation Centre
St Michael 6, 9130 Poggersdorf, Austria
Tel: +43 4224 2820, Fax: +43 4224 2820 32
Email: mail@imcaustria.com
Web: http://www.imc-austria.com/

IMC USA

International Meditation Center
4920 Rose Drive, Westminster MD 21158, USA
Tel: +1 410 346 7889
Email: imc@ubakhin.org
Web: http://www.internationalmeditationcentre.org/usa/introduction.html

IMC Myanmar

International Meditation Centre
U Khin Zaw, 31A Inya Myaing Road, Bahan Post Office, Yangon, Myanmar
Email: ukhinzaw01@gmail.com
Web: http://sayagyi-u-ba-khin.net/imc-myanmar/

Worldwide Contacts

  Belgium

  Canada

  Germany

  Italy

  Japan

  Moldova & Romania

  Netherlands

  Singapore

  Switzerland

  Ukraine

  USA West Coast

The Essence of Buddha Dhamma in Meditative Practice

A text by Sayagyi U Ba Khin in ten languages – click on language to download.

Words of Appreciation

“Meditation can take the edge off a hectic urban life”

Carl Honore wrote in In Praise of Slow: “My mind is learning to be quiet and still for longer. I feel less impatient and hurried. In fact, I am so relaxed I do not want to leave. Without my realizing it, my brain has also been engaged in some very useful Slow Thinking. By the end of the week-end, ideas for work are bursting up from my subconscious mind like fish jumping in a lake. Before returning to London, I sit in the car and scribble them down. Is it possible to transfer that meditative calm from a retreat to the real world? The answer turns out to be a qualified yes… Meditation can take the edge off a hectic urban life.”

“I will be eternally gratefull”

For many many years I have lived in a state of unrest and unhappiness. There have been times when this has been unbearable and I was driven to dark places. I don’t as yet know how the teachings and practice experienced during the past ten days will help me. What I do know is that this is the start of a long journey, but it is a start. I also know that I have some hope and for that I will be eternally grateful.” Michael L. Kent

“Active loving kindness”

Even a person who does not accept the major premises of the Buddhist faith will, if he follows instructions given at the centre faithfully, experience a deep and invigorating calm. A calm possibly deeper than anything he has previously experienced. The atmosphere of tolerance and active loving kindness that surrounds the visitor to the Centre does much to strengthen the appeal of the mental and spiritual discipline. Elisabeth K Nottingham, Canada

“Wish to leave suffering behind”

In vipassana meditation I first discovered that all the suffering such as worries, fears, anger, ill will and all this longing are impermanent. They come and go. This experience allowed me to come out from under their influence a little. Then I discovered that this very change is suffering. There is nothing in mind and body I could rely on. Because everything is changing. Mind and body are changing. This made the wish to leave all this behind come up in me. To escape from it all. I wonder whether it will be possible for me. R. B., Wiltshire

“I’ve noticed a clarity in my thinking”

It has been four years since I first came to the IMC UK. Since then I have been sitting one course each year. I wanted to write about how the experiencee here has helped me on a practical level in my day to day life.

When I first came here I used to suffer with severe irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). I had a long list of food I couldn’t eat for fear of setting off an attack. Unfortunately I suffered an attack on the first day of the course.

I was shown much care and kindness by the kitchen staff here, who ensured that I was given whatever food and rest I needed. As a result I was able to sit the full course without too much discomfort. I haven’t suffered an attack of IBS since that first course. In fact I can now eat whatever I want; that list of bad foods has long gone. I can’t explain how or why this has happened.

This is my experience – this is how it is. And I attribute this to my meditation and to the staff who provided a safe environment for me to sit the course.

I work as a software engineer and the past two years have been particularly trying. We’ve had a major system to implement, and due to the stress of it all, we have had members of the team leaving or going off sick. This left me with a workload of 2 – 3 people with which I have coped very well.

Since coming here, I’ve noticed a clarity in my thinking. I often arrive at solutions faster than my colleagues. My programmes are always written quicker and in a simpler way than others. My manager’s appraisal of me stated that I contributed to produce work of the highest quality under extreme pressure. Without a doubt, it is the mindfulness that I’ve learned and practised here that has enabled me to cope where others haven’t.

How lucky I am to be in a place where unconditional kindness, patience, peace and teaching are in such great abundance. You help heal my body, clear my mind and help me find a little more peace each time I am here. R.K.H.,  Leicestershire

Anecdotes

Mother Sayamagyi and Sayagyi U Ba Khin

When Sayagyi U Ba Khin first established the IMC in Rangoon he taught in aditthana* sittings that sometimes lasted well over an hour. He put a candle on a little plate and the group of close disciples were not allowed to move until the candle had burned down completely and the flame had gone out. Sometimes there would be just some liquid wax left in the plate and the wick continued to burn and flicker. Everybody was desperately waiting for the flame to go out. Then U Ba Pho, who was the jester of the group, one time, sneezed as strongly as he could directing the full force of the sneeze at the dying flame and the flame, finally, went out.

Everybody was greatly relieved and overjoyed and U Ba Pho was everyone’s hero.

Mother Sayamagyi after a time, approached Sayagyi U Ba Khin regarding the aditthanas. She explained to Sayagyi that she felt that everyone was sitting there just suffering excruciating pain and that they did not experience anicca anymore; that the aditthanas were not conducive to developing the mind. Sayagyi reflected on this and then agreed with Mother Sayamagyi. From then on the aditthanas were restricted to just the one hour.

* Aditthana: Meditating with the strong determination not to move, if possible.

Mother Sayamagyi’s Respect for the Teachings

Mother Sayamagyi used to come to the Dhamma hall for the beginning of every group meditation to recite the blessings and meditate with the students for a while. Then she would go to the pagoda and the assistant teacher would end the sitting. Mother Sayamagyi used to say that every time she came back from the pagoda to the walk-way joining her house to the Dhamma hall, the first thing she would do, was to check if the slippers of the assistant teacher were still there. If they were still there, she knew that the students were still meditating, and then she would take the utmost care not to make the slightest sound in order not to disturb the students.

Her respect and concern for the students went so far, that during the courses she would select her loungyis especially. She would only wear loungyis made of the softest cotton so that they wouldn’t make any sound when she walked. She was worried that the swish of the loungyi as she left the dhamma hall might disturb the concentration of her students.

When the conservatory was first used as a meditation hall and students were meditating there, Sayamagyi was very happy that now men and women were able to meditate in separate rooms. However, the buggy in which she went to the pagoda when it was raining had to pass in between the conservatory and the pagoda. Sayamagyi said, that she felt unhappy about having to go between the students and the pagoda and that she always bowed down a little. Even though she was the teacher, she felt that it wasn’t proper (akusala) to pass in front of the meditating students.

Mother Sayamagyi’s Lunch

When Mother Sayamagyi was in charge of the kitchen at the IMC in Rangoon, every evening she discussed the menu for the next day with U Hla Htun, the cook. They decided on quantities and early the next morning U Hla Htun would go to the market on his bicycle to do the shopping. A lady student, Daw Su Su, also came with her car every day and did some of the shopping.

Under Sayamagyi’s supervision U Hla Htun and his helpers cooked the curries, the soup and the salads. Mother Sayamagyi served the food and personally made sure that everyone was satisfied and had had enough to eat. When she went into the kitchen to fetch some food for herself after everyone had finished, she very often had difficulties finding anything to eat. She would lift the lid of one pot: nothing; the next pot: nothing; the salad bowl: nothing. She looked at U Hla Htun who shrugged his shoulders and with his bright smile would say “Koun bi”, “All gone”.

Sayamagyi didn’t mind. She felt happy that everyone else was satisfied. She simply asked U Hla Htun to fry two eggs for her and ate them happily with dry rice. Sometimes, she didn’t even sit down for the meal.

Mother Sayamagyi told us this story many times, again and again.

 

I Want to Ask a Question

International Meditation Centre
Splatts House, Heddington, Calne, SN11 0PE, UK
Tel: +44 1380 850 238
Email: imcuk@internationalmeditationcentre.org