By Venerable Dhammapiya

By Myint Tun ( PDF )

By Win Pe

Win Pe

Attempting Mindfulness
On Bagan's Beach
Chasing the Mind
The Crowing of Sulamani Ceti
The Descent from Tavatimsa
The First Utterance
Kyeik-htee-yoe Zedi

How to span the distance

from mind to sensation
as I sit, sit in meditation
trying to catch the frisky mind
as it slants off into false paths
With my notions dancing behind,
or running ahead into the past,
or back into a future that is not yet mine.
Slow, heavy thoughts that seem fast
because they are a shoal of concepts
swimming around in a signified net
when the enterprising mind should try
to watch sensations as they rise,
pause and vanish in a trice,
unattached, in neutral mode,
then in its own way, by and by,
knowledge will put you on the Road.


(September 1999)


(November 1997)

I sat beneath a stunted htanaung
on a sandy beach of the Ayeyarwady
and watched the distant pagoda on Tant - kyi - taung.
I revered the Attributes of Buddha’s glory
and His Compassion which showed the Way
to ease the suffering of the Three Worlds.
The Ayeyarwady’s waters were at their low,
baring an extensive bank of sand,
whose waters at the full would be a raging flow.
I remember visiting my cousin at Magwei
on a houseboat moored to Ayeyar’s bank
and the river only a stone’s throw
from the platform of the Myathalun.
Now a thrown stone would fall on sand.
The Ayeyarwady has changed its course.
So time passes and say what we may
the river is its own resource.
In like manner meander our days.

The mind, they say, is like a monkey.
It keeps swinging from branch to branch.
It keeps leaping from tree to tree.
How shall we catch it on the run?
Some say this thinking is unsound,
This attempt to catch it on the run.
They said the mind is like the ground.
You have to dig a hole to get at it.
The deeper you go the closer you get
To what is that which forms the basis
To what is you, that is your Self.
But the Self is only a self-construct,
A hut built with the ridge-pole lust.
The mind, in brief, is only a process
Whose swift flow we should try to match.
We can only do that with mindfulness,
Sans lust and anger, wise, detached.
Bhavita bahu likata.
Thus non-self is realised by the ariya.

Chasing the Mind

(July 1998)


October 1998

That night when the Bodhisat set forth
to renounce the world to save mankind
from old age, illness, death and birth,
he took kantaka, his faithful horse,
the devas held the hooves so they not be heard.
Channa accompanied him, his birth-mate.
Thus they went out of the city gates.
When the morning star rose in the sky
they reached the border river Anoma.
The Bodhisat gave Channa his princely robes, his jewelled sword-belt, and with his sword
cut off his long and graceful locks and threw the ribboned locks into the sky
Whereupon they rose to Tavatimsa abode
to be enshrined in the zedi Sulamani.
Later, in Bagan, King Sithu built a shrineand named it for the Sulamani.
But centuries later relentless Time
Consumed the zedi's original htee.
Now with reverent generosity,
We have with wondrous ceremony,
put up a crown with burnished gold.
May the htee be there for ages untold.

In partial payment of the debt of gratitude
owed to His Mother, Buddha, Enlightened, Holy,
in the sixth year of His ministry
ascended to Tavatimsa and the celestial multitude.
So great is the debt to a mother it is said
only that owed to milk from a single breast
can be repaid, the rest remains.
So for the three months of the season of rains
Buddha preached to His Mother, Celestial One,
the Abhidhamma, profound as the ocean,
deeper even than its depth.
And when the momentous task was done
He descended to our realm
to be greeted with coloured lights and gems.
Thus was He portrayed in Bagan
by an unknown master of that time.
What skill, what magic artistry
inspired and guided by what reverence
produced for us those shapely lines,
those harmonious colours so intense
they thrill us today and will hence.
Further to the merit the master has attained
we share with him whatever merit we have gained.


(From a wall painting of Bagan)
(September 1997)


(October 1997)

"When composite - natures are manifested
To the strenuous meditative holy man
Then all doubts vanish
For things and causes are known 
"When composite - natures are manifested
To the strenuous meditative holy man
Then all doubts vanish
For the destruction of causes are known
"When composite - natures are manifested
To the strenuous meditative holy man
Then he stands and smites Mara’s host
As the sun enlightens the firmament"
The Blessed One penetrated the causative process
Thus there is origination
Of this whole aggregation of sorrow
Thus there is cessation
Of this whole aggregation of sorrow
Whatsoever has an origination
Thereby also has a cessation
I come for refuge in the Blessed One

Once again I see its form from afar

Through a gap in the foliage beside the jungle track,

A round gold pearl on green velvet

Or with the sun on it, a morning star.

And I know I have not far to go,

After climbing steep slopes and ladder steps

At places with names like "Grandpa Turns Back".

Then I take the final long climb,

Go through a bend and again it is there,

A huge rock like an orb outlined

Against the brilliance of the tropic blue sky,

Perched on the edge of a precipice,

Barely touching the rock on which it sits,

Gently rocking to each desperate try

To push it into the gorge below.

It enshrines a Sacred Hair

And is crowned with a zedi of lacquered gold.

The marvel in the jungle to which people go

To revere the wish-granting Kyaik-htee-yoe.

Kyeik-htee-yoe Zedi

(December 2000)

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(From Myanmar Perspective Magazines)