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A review of the book 'A journey to Eternal Peace' by Sayadaw U Sandima of Theinngu32 monastery, Myanmar

Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:01 am
by theinngu32
I believe this incredible book has the potential to radically change the world.
The book is currently in the final stage of being translated from the Burmese language into English. It should be available in English, sometime next year.

Having spent some time over the past few years at the monastery of the Burmese monk, Sayadaw U Sandima, I finally had the great good fortune to read most of the translation into English on a visit in June this year. I can honestly say it is by far the best book I have ever read, and cannot see how, once it is in circulation outside of Myanmar, that it will not radically change the world*

Sayadaw U Sandima is a monk in his 60's, who doesn't suffer or want or need anything at all. He was born after the 2nd world war and was greatly affected by the deep suffering that he saw that man had inflicted on himself and others during the war. He decided that he would seek answers and find eternal peace within himself. At the age of 25, he achieved this state of eternal peace or Nibbana. Since then he has been dedicated to helping others realise it, with his team of nuns and monks teaching back to back intensive retreats for hundreds of Burmese students at a time.

The book defines the type of peace that can be achieved : peace for the moment, peace for a lifetime and eternal peace. It looks at how people commonly seek happiness through sense pleasures, and how peace attained in this way is only temporary and the ensuing problems, caused by greed, hatred and delusion (of how things really are), in the mind, reoccur again and again and again.
The explanations - which will be known of and understood - at least intellectually, by practising Buddhists, are clearly and brilliantly presented, so that any non Buddhist of average intelligence would be unable to argue with anything presented.

He also makes reference to the book, Jonathon Livingston Seagull, by Richard Bach - here Jonathon Seagull sees how limited most seagulls lives are - governed by the need to find food and survive. The fleeting fulfilment is countered by the effort and pain of the flight and fights to attain the food. Jonathon seeks to find a 'higher reason' for flying and the Sayadaw compares this to a human Jonathon - who seeks to find lasting fulfilment - peace- beyond the transitory happiness, gained at great expense, through sensory satisfaction.

Having explored the usual ways in which humans offset boredom and other unpleasant feelings, by indulging the senses - the book investigates the major religions. It explores, through questioning, the validity of the 4 major religions - Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Hinduism.
Firstly the Sayadaw asks if the Creator God in these religions is the same or different and shows that as there are differences in the creation in each religion, the Creator God must be different in each religion. If this is the case, he asks, which God is the real one? Surely it is vital to find out, and not just blindly follow one's tradition, as the consequences could be grave (non believers go to Hell etc). He points out the common doubts that a discerning person could have - if the Creator God is omniscient, why create suffering - sick, dying, poor people and people who don't believe in the Creator God and will be condemned, come judgement day, to Hell. He explores through questioning and logic, not through dismissal of others' beliefs - but the conclusion is clear - no one has ever seen this 'Creator God', wars and much suffering are caused due to beliefs - usually passed down through the generations, without wise questioning.

I really can't see how anyone who is open minded and averagely intelligent, could hold onto their belief in a Creator God, once they read and ponder this. At the very least a seed will be planted. So I feel that it really could have a profound - a very very profound effect on the world.

Then the book explores the Buddha's teachings - how things are the effects of causes and it is our intentional wholesome or unwholesome deeds that cause the fortunes and misfortunes - the happiness and the unhappiness in our lives. The remedy is also given - the path to eternal peace.

I didn't read the last chapter (it hadn't been translated during my visit) - which pointed out in a 'Do It Yourself' format (for Buddhists and non Buddhists alike), how to purify the mind, so it is free from greed, hatred and delusion, and is always in a state of perfect peace, whatever happens - whatever the external conditions.

Having done retreats with the Sayadaw, I know what his teaching entails and in 22 years of practising Buddhist meditation with different teachers, I haven't come across anything better, or anything that comes close - and the 500 odd Burmese who attend each retreat, would I'm sure, mostly all say the same. The retreats aren't advertised but are always over subscribed - given entirely, as is the custom in Therevada Buddhism, freely - on a donation basis.

I am hugely excited about it's publication in English (other languages to follow) and hope to help in it's distribution, with the aim of reducing suffering in this realm.

* For those who look at the well publicised troubles in Myanmar(Burma) and who may question the effect of these teachings within Myanmar, it is worth noting that during the Buddha's time, the extremes of the human condition co-existed - The Buddha and Devadatta (who committed the most heinous crime possible), the saints and the bandits..… and where there are the highest spiritual attainments, the opposite of the depths of suffering and moral depravity co-exist - so too in Myanmar, where the practise of meditation is taken very seriously by a bigger percentage of Myanmar citizens than in any other country that I am aware of. It seems there are many there who have realised one of the 4 stages of liberation.
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Re: A review of the book 'A journey to Eternal Peace' by Sayadaw U Sandima of Theinngu32 monastery, Myanmar

Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:03 am
by theinngu32
This review was written by Sheila Kirwan (not by Theinngu32 organisation )

Re: A review of the book 'A journey to Eternal Peace' by Sayadaw U Sandima of Theinngu32 monastery, Myanmar

Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:08 am
by Volo
Thanks for sharing! Is this book available for download? Or how to get it?

Re: A review of the book 'A journey to Eternal Peace' by Sayadaw U Sandima of Theinngu32 monastery, Myanmar

Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:53 pm
by theinngu32
At the moment it hasn't been published in English as the translation is not yet finished. It should be available sometime next year. They talked about it being available on Amazon. I also suggested that perhaps they could publish it in instalments ie the finished parts could be published. Now they are very busy delivering almost back to back retreats. When it does become available I will post on here

Re: A review of the book 'A journey to Eternal Peace' by Sayadaw U Sandima of Theinngu32 monastery, Myanmar

Posted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 4:51 pm
by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta
I think this is the Myanmar version (third edition) of that book

the cover
Image

the pdf
https://media.thitsarparamisociety.com/ ... book-4.pdf
Over 300 pages in Myanmar.

The title means something like "Unfolding the deep riddles of Jonathan Livingston Seagull".

I should try to read this, thanks.

❤️

Re: A review of the book 'A journey to Eternal Peace' by Sayadaw U Sandima of Theinngu32 monastery, Myanmar

Posted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:15 pm
by theinngu32
Yes - that's the book - wonderful!