Precepts & Rules
At Pa-Auk Forest Monastery, there is one basic rule of conduct which embodies the spirit and essence of all the other rules that follow: to act properly at all times, showing respect and consideration for one another. As the Buddha encouraged his followers, let us live "in concord , with mutual appreciation, without disputing, blending like milk and water, viewing each other with kindly eyes."
Meditators must strictly observe the fourfold purification during their stay in the Monastery. This purification consists of:
(1) The 227 rules of the Pātimokkha (and all other Vinaya rules) for Theravāda monks; the 10 precepts and 75 Sekhiya (training) rules (and all other Vinaya rules that apply) for novices; and the 8 or 10 precepts for laypersons and nuns.
(2) Restraint of the six sense faculties – of the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind.
(3) Purification of livelihood (Right Livelihood) – livelihood that accords with the precepts.
(4) Reflection on (and moderation in) the use of the four requisites – food, shelter, clothing and medicine.
The requisites and services available at the Monastery are offered by supporters, stewards and donors for the maintenance and benefit of the meditators. The offer is made on the understanding that the meditators support the Monastery's lifestyle and that they are willing to abide by the rules and regulations. (For details, please refer to Rules and Regulations for foreign meditators).
1. Meditation Method：While at the Monastery, all yogis will practise the meditation method taught by the Buddha (as referred to in the Theravāda Tipiṭaka) and as enunciated by The Most Venerable Pa-Auk Tawya Sayadaw, and taught by the Meditation Teachers. All yogis must attend group sittings at their respective mediation hall (unless permission is given by their Meditation Teacher to do otherwise).
2. Interview: All yogis must attend regular interviews with the Meditation Teacher on a schedule or time determined by the Teacher.
3. Daily Schedule： All yogis are to observe the Monastery daily meditation schedule. (For details, please refer to Daily Schedule below).
4. Seclusion & Noble Silence: As silence and seclusion are important aids to meditation, meditators are to observe noble silence. Socializing is not encouraged.
5. Attire: Theravāda monks and novices should wear only allowable robes, sandals, etc. Robes must be kept clean. Highly colourful robes (red, bright yellow, etc.) are not acceptable.
- Lay practitioners should dress modestly at all times:
Men – no bare shoulders, no bare calves, no bare knees; no shorts, no sleeveless shirts, vests or undershirts; no ripped or otherwise improper attire.
Women – no bare shoulders, midriff, calves or knees; no short skirts, no shorts, no sleeveless shirts or blouses; no thin, transparent, tight, revealing, brightly coloured or otherwise improper attire.
Pa-Auk Tawya comprises 3 monasteries namely, the Upper Monastery, the Middle Monastery and the Lower Monastery.
The main monastery is the Upper Monastery. This is of relatively recent origins, dating back to the early 1980s. It covers a range of hills along the Taung Nyo mountain range. This is where the large two-storey meditation hall and sīma, alms-giving hall (Piṇḍapātasala), refectory, clinic, sick-bay, library building (which houses the Saṅgha Office, computer room, dormitory), the Foreigners Registration Office, the reception hall and the dwelling of the Venerable Pa-Auk Tawya Sayadaw (collectively referred to as the Sayadaw kuṭi ), and over 250 kuṭis (single meditator huts), among others, are located. Only men reside in this monastery.
The Middle Monastery is situated on flat land and is relatively small. It has a modest meditation hall and sīma, a cetiya (pagoda), and a small number of kuṭis. Only bhikkhus reside in this monastery.
The Lower Monastery is the original monastery of Pa-Auk Tawya. The facilities include more than one hundred and eighty kuṭis, a new kitchen and, for the women, a large three-storey meditation hall Metta Vihari (with sleeping quarters on the ground floor) and a five-storey dormitory. Quarters for silashins/bhikshunis and female lay yogis are located only in this monastery. The office of lay administration (commonly known as the Lower Monastery Office), a clinic,and kuṭis for bhikkhus and male lay yogis. are also located here.
There is electricity supply in every kuṭi throughout the Monastery (Voltage is 220V AC). Efforts are made to improve the quality and constancy of the water supply.
The diet at Pa-Auk Tawya is vegetarian, including both while and whole-grain brown rice, with specially prepared food for the foreigners that contains less oil and spices than the regular food. Since the food is provided daily by that day's donors, there are no facilities for providing special diets. Lay meditators, however, may go to the market and get what they need, with permission from their meditation teacher.
There are three seasons in Myanmar:
Temperatures range from 15° to 40° Centigrade (59° to 104° Fahrenheit).
What to Bring
Theravāda bhikkhus need to bring the obligatory set of three robes: under robe, upper robe, and double robe, and an alms bowl. Other necessary items may be obtained/borrowed from the Saṅgha Office.
It is advisable to get your dental work done before coming.
For advice on suitable clothings, please refer to the Monastery Rules above and Information for Foreigner Meditators.
How to Get to Pa-Auk Forest Monastery from Yangon
(Yangon → Mawlamyine → Pa-Auk →Mudon)
- Mawlamyine is 301 kms (187 miles) southeast of Yangon, and the monastery is another 15 kms (9 miles) southeast of Mawlamyine. Air-conditioned buses to Mawlamyine /Mudon depart daily from the highway bus station in Yangon. You can buy tickets along the south side of Aung San Stadium, opposite the central train station. Note: If you take the Mudon bus, ask the driver to let you off at “Pa-Auk Tawya” (the bus goes right past the main gate of the monastery on the way to Mudon). From this point to get to the monastery proper, you can either walk or hire a vehicle.
- Travel options include a train service that goes direct from Yangon to Mawlamyine. If you take the train, be sure to go “upper class.”
- Contact persons in Yangon can help you get to the monastery. For a listing of contact persons, please check the contact information @Connecnt.