Alodawpyie Meditation Center

Many religions in this world seek happiness and peace. Lord Buddha advised us that meditation based on mindfulness is the way to cessation of sufferings. Anyone, regardless of his or her faith, could practice meditation. One notion is that meditation is neither a remedy to cure disease, nor a path to success and fame. The sole purpose of meditation is to understand oneself and to gain inner peace enabling him or her to live together with others harmoniously.

Two Methods

There are two methods of meditation: Samatha and Vipassana.


Samatha means concentration, calmness, or tranquility. The goal of Samatha meditation is to attain peace and happiness through the highest level of concentration, which is the state of Jhana. In Samatha meditation, the meditator must focus his or her mind on a single meditation object. Lust, greed, hatred, desire, conceit, ignorance, lamentation, depression and so on, are mental defilements and the causes of sorrow, yet they become tranquil when one's concentration becomes deeper. Then, the meditator feels calm, tranquil, happy, and peaceful. After the participant reaches the concentration of fifth Jhana, he acquires five kinds of direct knowledge, called Abhinñña 1, which is the ultimate goal of Samatha meditation. However, all the attainments of Jhana concentration, including Abhinñña, can be lost again for a number of different reasons.
There are 40 'meditation objects' described in the Theravada scriptures2. Among them, Anapana is the most common. Sit cross-legged in a quiet place, placing the right hand on top of the left. Relax your body and close your eyes. Then, focus your mind on the tip of your nose. As you breathe, mentally say 'in' and 'out' as you inhale and exhale. Focus your mind and observe only the single object of your meditation. When other thoughts such as sounds, smell, discomfort, and so on occur, do not allow the mind to follow them. Bring focus back to breathing, and attempt to concentrate on it completely. Practice doing this again and again, many times. It may take several days or months, depending on your effort. When you can concentrate your mind on the tip of your nose for one hour, you can enjoy a special experience in your life.


Literally, Vipassana means "seeing things clearly". The foundation of this method is mindfulness, and so the meditator must try to be mindful of each and every bodily and mental process. When mindfulness is constant and powerful, the concentration also becomes deeper and stronger. As one continues to practice Vipassana, realization or penetrating insight become clear, and things become seen as they really are. Then, the 13 stages of insight knowledge3 appear and after achieving the final stage of that knowledge, the meditator attains the enlightenment of Soapatti Magga: understanding the four noble truths. On continuing to practice, he or she will gain three other enlightenments too: Sakadagami, Anagami and Arahatta.

The goal of Vipassana meditation is to attain these four stages of enlightenment. After a meditator achieves one of these four enlightenments, the attainment can never be lost. However, one who practices mindfulness meditation may or may not obtain Jhana and Abhinñña.
The meditator must be mindful on both mental and physical process which occur during meditation. There can be a variety of meditation objects in Vipassana: happiness, sorrow, anger, stiffness, numbness and so forth. However, for the beginner, there should be only one primary object. It should be a physical object which is quite obvious; such as, breathing in and out, or the rise and fall of the abdomen. (Observing breathing in and out is the same as in Samatha practice.)
On practicing the rise and fall of abdomen, focus your mind on the navel and say mentally 'rise' when your abdomen rises and 'fall' when it falls.
You must not attach the mind solely to the rise and fall of abdomen - secondary objects coming through the six senses must be observed during meditation. When your mind loses concentration, observe it mindfully and think: 'wandering... wandering.' When the wandering stops, return to your primary meditation object. If anger should arise, notice it mentally, saying 'anger… anger.' Should you feel happy, observe the sensation and think: 'happy ... happy'. If an itch somewhere on your body distracts your attention, focus your mind on the very spot and note it, thinking: 'itchy ... itchy'. When pain arises, tell yourself: 'pain.. pain' the same way. If the pain becomes intense, you may choose to observe it as your primary meditation object until it is released. Then, return your focus to the primary object. Remember that the point here is just 'to know pain,' but 'not to release it'.
You may try the body scanning method after you have established strong concentration using the inbreath-and-outbreath method, or by the rise and fall method. With your mind, observe the current status of the many parts of your body, working from the top of your head to the sole of your foot, and back again. For example, focus your mind on the middle of head, and observe the sensations. If you feel something there, just observe it (e.g. if vibration, know it as a vibration, etc.). When you have completed your observation or determined that there is nothing to observe, follow along the front, back, and sides of your body, until reaching the bottom of your foot.
Do this repeatedly, and many, many times. It may take a couple of days and even months, depending on your effort. The deeper the level of observation, the better your insight will become. The more you can learn to notice each movement of the body and mind in detail, the more mature your concentration will become.
As you progress further and further, you will come to understand things as they truly are, and finally attain enlightenment. At the very least, you will learn to control greed, anger, ignorance, and other causes of suffering, so that you can lead a good, healthy, and happy life.


Adhitthana means determination. Before Adhitthana, to build your self-confidence about the practice you are about to undertake, reflect on the many people who have gained a perfect spirituality and inner peace through meditation. Tell yourself: "if I can do it as well, I also am sure to have this kind of spiritual life."
Then, choose a special place that is clear and quiet, ideally a separate room if possible. Prepare a comfortable cushion (or a chair if sitting on the floor cross-legged is difficult). Identify four days in a week that will be good for you, and select an hour's window of time each day, such as 6:00-7:00 AM or 6:00-7:00 PM. Then, do Adhitthana by telling yourself mentally 'I shall sit here, four days a week, at the chosen time (e.g. 6:00-7:00 AM ) for one hour.' And do not break your Adhitthana.
Do Adhitthana meditation as often as you can. Every time you are successful, your spiritual power will become higher and you will enjoy a special experience.


Morality, Sila in Pali, is the very first step and is the most important part of meditation. Mindfulness, concentration, and insight cannot be improved if you meditate without Sila. A meditator needs to be in a state of mental purity, so he must observe at least five precepts. After sitting down at the place of your Adhitthana, fold your hands and tell yourself: 'I will observe the precepts of no killing, no stealing, no adultery, no lying, and no using intoxicants.' Or you may decide to take eight precepts if you are very serious in your practice. The three additional precepts are: 'no eating after 12:00 PM, no watching shows, playing music and beautifying myself, and no using luxury beds. Replace the third precept with 'no sexual activities of any sort' instead of no adultery. During Adhitthana days, you must strictly adhere to all the precepts you have taken.
Established well in Sila and in developing concentration, the meditator strives constantly to increase his or her Insight Wisdom.


1. Iddhividha = the supernormal powers, Dibbacakkhu = the divine eye, Dibbasota = the divine ear, Paracittavijanana = knowledge of others' minds, Pubbenivasanussati = recoflections of past lives.

2. Kasina (Whole or Totality) 10, Foulness 10, Recollections 10, Illimitables 4, Perception 1, Analysis 1, Immaterial states 4

3. 1. Analytical Knowledge of mind and body, 2. Knowledge of cause and effect condition 3. Knowledge of comprehension 4. Knowledge of rise and fall (tender phase) 5. Knowledge of rise and fall (mature phase) 6. Knowledge of fearfulness 7. Knowledge of danger 8. Knowledge of disenchantment 9. Knowledge of desire for deliverance 10. Knowledge of reflection 11. Knowledge of equanimity toward formation 12. Knowledge of conformity 13. Knowledge of emergence