I’ve been listening to Cetin Cetintas talking about this amazing country Myanmar and the monastery for many years and finally I am lucky enough to be here. Myanmar is a beautiful country as much as I got to see it on our way to the monastery.
In the monastery there are two sections; men and women. Men’s section is a half an hour walk to women’s. In women’s section the majority of the women are nuns but they welcome yogis like me as well as long as you accept living according the rules.
It’s really a great feeling to be together with so many people that have good intentions; to be a better person, to get enlightened, to be free of this world…There are no distractions coming from the outer world so it means you can really focus on your meditation practice.
There are 5 meditation sittings in a day starting at 4 am; each one is 1.5 hours long. You have breakfast at 5.30 and lunch at 10 am. You have personal time and interview time in between but they encourage you to continue meditation practice also in your personal time. Interview is where you ask the meditation teacher questions or let him know how you are doing.
Before I came here my mom asked me how much time I will spend here and when I said 2 months she said “i would have lost my mind.” I laughed then but now I realize she said something right without realizing it. Loosing the mind, loosing all its modifications and finding the truth that is behind all these. It is really why you come here.
Life in monasteries are fascinating. Everyday from 4 am in the morning till 7.30 the same group of people show up in the group sittings and sit on their mats hours and hours long. In the breaks some of them continue to do walking meditation; some rest and go back to sitting meditation. And then it all starts over next morning and the next morning… All these people searching for the truth tirelessly every single day. Some of them been here for years. They left everything behind to find their true selves. They have breakfast, lunch and cleaning time together and the rest of the day just for practice. There is no entertainment (music, watching movies etc.), they are not even allowed to look in the mirror so you get distraction neither from the outside or from yourself. And you follow the same schedule every single day, you get on your mat relentlessly, until hopefully one day you find what you’re looking for.
You need to spend enough time in a monastery because the experience really starts after you get used to everything; after you get your routine.Then every day becomes a meditation by itself.
It has been more than 2 weeks and until today I haven’t realize that after the first couple of days, I just been going back and forth from my room to meditation hall. And it is so strange you seem like doing not much on the outside but on the inside there is so much going on that’s why i feel like being here for a long time and also for a short time.
I have a 23 years old nun roommate from Indonesia. We don’t talk much maybe max 10 minutes a day so it won’t affect our meditations. Not talking is really good so you don’t have to be anyone while communicating, you
don’t have new thoughts/modifications on your mind and also you keep all that energy for yourself. And also it makes it easy to watch your mind. In the monastery you don’t have to be silent; i mean it’s not obligatory. When a noun is in “noble silence” she puts a sticker on so people don’t communicate with her unless it’s necessary. When we came here first, i went to the men’s side for 5 minutes (yes i saw Cetin in his monk rope with his head shaved😊), it was so quiet and there are 800 monks living there. Well on the female side things are a little louder and we are maximum 200 people 😄
I don’t know, like i said it’s a strange feeling living here. when i walk to the meditation hall i can see the main gate of the monastery in the distance; it’s like 5 minutes walk but it seems so far away as the time passes. On the first day i went to the little shops on the outside to buy things and when i came back my roommate said “so quick”. Now i understand why 😄
Slowing down everything as much as you can; your life, yourself, your mind…So in this stillness you can hear your true self💕