Myanmar hma byaw dhala?
Trip Start Nov 21, 2006
44Trip End May 19, 2007
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ayan byaw deh (i m very happy).
originally planned: 5 days kyaukme, pyin oo lwin, down south, 1 week bago, hpa-an, mawlawmaing, 2,5 days yangon.
instead: 12 days kyaukme district, 1,5 days yangon =))
yeah thats travelling for me... dont grasp strongly at your plans and become restless in mind because you want to rush to this or that place. instead taking your time, travel slowly and enjoy. this brings me to how burmese (same like in chinese language) say "enjoy your meal", or "enjoy your hiking". they say "slowly slowly eat" ("pye pye sa ba"), or "slowly slowly hike" ("pye pye shaun ba") - chinese equivalent: "man man chi ba", or "man man zou ba".
it was a wonderful feeling to see my old friends (thura, "teacher", photographer) in kyaukme again. of course they were very big surprised. just one year ago. even the fruit vendor on the street remembered me =)
i also went trekking with thura again. this time together with an israeli guy, oren. 3 days trekking with sleeping in the mountain villages. from kyaukme to namhsan. first time for thura. and for foreigners. we ended up trekking 5 days =) why?
second village was very pleasant to stay longer and in the third village there was a traditional palaung wedding on the day we arrived...
on the second day, oren and me were teaching english conversation in the local school for two hours. the kids from 6 to 10y had a lot of fun. instead of copying english phrases from the blackboard and reciting them like buddhist prayings we did some simple question-answer games with the elders and the abc song for the youngers.
on day three we arrived in thuras uncles village. well timed, we were invited to join the palaung wedding feast. delicious food and very hospitable people. i would have loved to stay a few days in that lovely village.
day four, we finally arrived in namhsan after 7h trekking. unfortunately, we were the first tourists a very kind palaung lady and guesthouse owner had to refuse us because foreigners were only allowed to stay in the government run guesthouse around the corner. since the previous week. in her guestbook i read a message left by my ferry fellow alfredo 3 weeks ago.
i spent another night in namhsan and left after union day to kyaukme. the bus ride took 10 hours. for 75 miles (120 km). =))
talking to my "teacher" about buddhism was very enriching. the most inspiring part was that he has reached the mental development level of a so-called stream enterer to nibbana as a worldly person. no monkhood. just practise mindfulness (achtsamkeit oder geistesgegenwart) in your every doing. just make everything meditation.
so what is a stream enterer (in pali: sotapanna)? to use his words, he doesnt have any worries at all, because he has developped wisdom and a mind-eye which blows off all the worries in the moment they arise in his mind. the eye is like a bird waiting on the river to catch a passing fish (worry). the same goes for other mental defilements like anger. we ordinary peoples' bird is sleeping all the time. nice life, birdy.
for more information, look up "sotapanna" in wikipedia.