• About Us

    Pa-Auk Forest Monastery (Pa-Auk Tawya in Burmese) is a Buddhist monastery in the Theravāda tradition, with emphasis on the teaching and practice of both Samatha (tranquility) and Vipassanā (insight) meditation. Founded in 1926, it is situated in a forest along the Taung Nyo Mountain range, near the village of Pa-Auk, 15 kiilometre southeast of Mawlamyine, Mon State, Myanmar. The Monastery provides a conducive setting for the long-term practice of meditation.The number of residents varies seasonally from approximately 1000 to 1800 (during festive periods). This includes more than 300 foreign monks, nuns and lay practioners, originating from over 20 countries.


    This Monastery is the main centre at the core of the Pa-Auk Group comprising over 40 branches and associate centres. Of all the branches and associate centres, 29 are located within Myanmar, including Thanlyin, Pha-Ann, Mandalay, DaWei, KuMei and Pyin Oo Lwin (or Maymyo); the others are located internationally spread over Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Nepal, China, Taiwan, and USA.

  • The Abbot

    The Principal Teacher

    The Most Venerable Pa-Auk Tawya Sayadaw Bhaddanta Āciṇṇa

    The Most Venerable Pa-Auk Tawya Sayadaw Bhaddanta Āciṇṇa

    ("the Sayadaw"), is the Abbot and principal teacher of Pa-Auk Forest Monastery, Mawlamyine, Myanmar. (Sayadaw is a Burmese honorific title meaning "respected teacher").


    Born in 1934, the Sayadaw was ordained as a novice monk (sāmaṇera) at age ten. He studied the Pāli Texts under various teachers and passed the three Pāli language examinations while still a novice. At age twenty, the Sayadaw received higher ordination as a bhikkhu. He continued his studies of Pāli Texts under learned elder monks, and passed the Dhammacariya examinations at age twenty two. This is the equivalent to BA in Buddhist Pali Studies and it confers the title of "Dhamma Teacher".


    In 1964, the Sayadaw intensified his meditation practice and began to practise "forest dwelling". While he continued with his studies of the Pāli Texts and investigation into the Dhamma, he sought out and gained instructions from revered meditation teachers of those times.


    In 1981, the Sayadaw became Abbot of Pa-Auk Forest Monastery, at the invitation of Venerable Aggapañña (the previous Abbot). Since 1983, both monastics and laity have been coming to study and practise meditation under the Sayadaw. Foreign meditators began to arrive at the Monastery in the early 1990's.


    In 1997 the Sayadaw published his magnum opus, a massive five-volume work titled The Practice that Leads to Nibbāna, explaining the entire course of teaching in detail and supported by copious quotations from the Pāli Texts – it is currently available only in Burmese and Sinhalese. The Sayadaw’s teachings have been published (in English ) in several books which are highly regarded internationally (see Books by The Most Venerable Pa-Auk Tawya Sayadaw).


    The Sayadaw is both a highly esteemed Dhammācariya (Dhamma Teacher) and an accomplished Kammaṭṭhānācariya (Meditation Teacher). He speaks fluent English and has lectured and led retreats in Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Germany, UK and USA.

    In public recognition of his achievements, the government of Myanmar bestowed upon him the title "Agga Mahā Kammaṭṭhānācariya", which means "Most Highly Respected Meditation Teacher" in 1999. In 2009, the Sayadaw was bestowed the title of "Shwekyin Nikāya Rattaññūmahānāyaka" at the 17th Shwekyin Nikaya Saṅgha Conferencce in Myanmar.