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Entries in Shwedagon Pagoda (16)


This Way

Scene from Shwedagon a few days prior to the Tazaungdaing Festival (see Tazaungdaing). I imagine these two statues are pointing (with painted fingernails) to something really important. Couldn't figure out exactly what. The temple they are pointing to contains a beautiful statue of Buddha, much (to my eye) like the one shown in the background of the image. [NOTE: Day three of Rohtasu week; I'm doing a lot of sitting].


Shwedagon Roses

Heading out in a bit to the airpot to start the journey north to the Htamanthi WS. Planes and boats and legs. Image above is from yesterday's visit to Shwedagon. [NOTE: Am moving out of internet contact and this will be my last post for a couple of weeks].

More Peaceful Countenance

Another exquisite statue of Buddha at Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon (see Peaceful Countenance). The red lips, saffron scarf and elaborate golden urna were what originally prompted taking the picture. [NOTE: Posting the image, I discover that the simple eyes are still captivating. Hard to pull away].   


More Shwedagon

Another image from Sunday's visit to Shwedagon Pagoda. The gold stupas had already started to glow in the evening sun. I am currently in Nay Pyi Taw, the capital city, for meetings with the Forestry Department.


Sunset at Shwedagon

Arrived yesterday to Yangon. First stop after dropping the bags at the hotel was the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda complex. Temples look great. Lots of re-gilding work, painting, and fixing-up going on. Full of tourists, and monks, and nuns, and sweeping brigades (see Sweeping Shwedagon). There are even a few ATM machines in the temple complex now and some advertising (sigh). And then the sun started to go down. [NOTE: Wish you had been there].


Re-Visiting Shwedagon

Took 18.5 hours of sitting on a plane, but I made it to Yangon this morning and will fly to Sagaing Division tomorrow to start fieldwork. I will definitely go to bed early tonight, but I want to try to get on the right time zone. Best way I know to get over jetlag is to walk up the street to Shwedagon Pagoda (see Sunday at Shwedagon and several other posts). This is one of my favorite places in the whole world. [NOTE: Was wonderful, but I am still very sleepy].


Dharma Week: Day 5

Original Post: Sunday at Shwedagon
Date: September 9, 2008 at 11:17AM

[NOTE: Posted from my hotel in Mexico City. Off to Guerrero tomorrow by bus at 5:30 AM. Had a wonderful meeting this afternoon with my friends at GEA (see Meeting in Acateyahualco)]. 


One Sunday in early January of 2005, I spent a quiet morning at the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar.   There is a palpable serenity and magic here, which, I am convinced, is at least partly due to the eight strands of Buddha's hair that are enshrined on the site.  There is also an impressive banyon tree (Ficus religiosa) which is said to have been grown from a branch of the original tree in Bodh Gaya under which Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment. [NOTE: The monks are "bathing the Buddha" with little cups of water]. 


Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas

Beautiful gathering of auspicious beings in a side altar at the Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar (see Sunday at Shwedagon and This Moment in Myanmar).

All Buddhas throughout space and time,

Bodhisattvas, Mahasattvas,

Wisdom beyond wisdom,

Maha Prajna Paramita


[NOTES: Just so you know, an eko embodies the Mahayana practice of transferring the merit accrued from sutra chanting. According to Suzuki Roshi, "The eko is- After reciting sutra, we-[it is] a sort of explanation of why we recite sutra". And a mahasattva is a "great" bodhisattva, one explicitly defined by his/her devotion to the salvation of all beings. And Maha prajna paramita means "the perfection of great wisdom"].


Bathing The Buddha

On one of my first trips to Myanmar, maybe in 2004, I walked up to Shwedagon Pagoda (see Sunday at Shwedagon, Shwedagon Buddha, and Pause to Reflect), located the correct altar for the day of my birth (Thursday), timidly approached it, filled a plastic cup (a yellow one) with water, poured it over the head of the little white Buddha several times, and fell, for one brief moment in time, into a sea of emptiness. [NOTE: The nat statue (see Nat Worship) behind the altar is considerably larger and more carefully rendered than the statue of Buddha being bathed]. 


Evening at Shwedagon

The sun starts to go down in Yangon, and the temperature drops, and the lights come on - and everything takes on a whole new aura. The monk seated in the corner continues to chant and count his mala (see Sunday at Shwedagon).