This meditation centre was opened in 1950, with the Most Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw as its Principle Preceptor. The most Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw started the teaching of the Mahasi method of insight in 1947 and taught for 33 years until his death in August, 1982. The centre has prospered with up to 500 meditators (yogis) practicing intensive meditation daily at the centre. It is located on approximately twenty acres of quiet pleasant garden land in Hermitage. There are over one hundred buildings on the ground for housing the meditation teachers and meditators both monks, nuns and laity, men as well as women and providing complete retreat facilities.
Location: The centre is only about 20 minutes by taxi from Yangon’s Mingaladon Airport, or about 20 minutes by taxi from the Tourist Centre in downtown Yangon. It is shown on tourist guide maps and there is a prominent sign board at the junction of Kaba-Aye Pagoda Road with Sasana Yeiktha Road.
Accommodation: Boarding and lodging are free to foreign meditators for the period of their practice at the centre. Accommodation for Bhikkhus (monks), Thilashins (nuns) and women meditators is separate and assigned on arrival. All rooms have bedding and mosquito nets. Wherever possible single rooms are provided for foreigners, but they may have sometimes to share. You should provide your own toiletries, towels, vitamins and medicines, and cushions if you need them.
Medical Care: There is a dispensary at the Centre for treatment of minor ailments open every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 4 to 6pm. Cases needing special attention will be treated at the State Hospital. Meditators preferring treatment at a private clinic will themselves have to bear the necessary expenses.
Programme of Meditation:There is no periodically scheduled or weekend Courses, but the Centre is open throughout the year to receive those who are prepared to undertake full-time Satipattana Vipassana meditation for six to twelve weeks.
All lay Yogis (meditators) are expected to observe the Eight Precepts throughout the length of their stay, and these will be explained by the Meditation Teacher at the time of induction. The observance of these moral Precepts conduces to the development of Vipassana insight knowledge. At the time of their induction, a tape-recorded talk on Satipattana Vipassana Meditation, its purpose, method of practice and benefits derived there-from is played for the new meditator.
The Daily Programme of Meditation Practice: The day starts at 3 am and continues until 11pm with breaks for meals, bath, etc. Almost the entire day is spent in silent individual meditative practice alternating with group sittings in a meditation hall.
Individual interviews with the meditation teacher are scheduled at regular intervals to enable the meditators to report their meditational experiences and to receive necessary guidance by their teacher for further progress. In addition, Dhamma talks will be given from time to time to the practising meditators by the senior meditation Teachers.
In this way each meditator will receive personal attention and guidance throughout the entire course of meditation and will have the opportunity of gaining personal knowledge and experience of Satipattana Vipassana Meditation through all stages of progressive vipassana insight.
NB All instruction and discourses for foreign meditators will be through the medium of English which the prospective meditator should have at least at working knowledge.