MettaDana and Kyaswa Retreat update
Aloha and Big Thank You’s from all of us from the Kyaswa Fusion Retreat and the MettaDana Project!
We are joyful that this year marked the 20th anniversary of our annual retreat at Kyaswa Monastery and of the community development programs funded by the MettaDana Project.
We had a terrific year for both the retreat and MettaDana. Since it’s not always easy to convey the depth and breadth of our thanks in words, we wanted to share some images that we hope will convey the unique quality of our time there as a way of expressing our gratitude to those who support these programs and to others who may be interested in joining in the future!
This year’s programs came off with a lot of grace and we felt the spirit of Sayadaw U Lakkhana everywhere. There was a great shared sadness by all for Sayadaw’s death last year but with it has arisen a deepening appreciation of his generosity and vision. The community of monks, nuns, staff of 20 years, and the people of Wachet around the Monastery were incredibly supportive of this transition and Kyaswa Monastery is now in very capable hands of Sayadaw U Saddhamma, who proved a gracious and kind host for our programs.
Steven and Michele were very happy to be teaching the retreat together again and Fran and Jesse had a great time managing the retreat. Jake Davis and his family came to Wachet for the duration of the retreat and Jake was able to help integrate the yogis, and our team with our new monastic teacher, Sayadaw U Pannananda, during this important transitional period.
Sayadaw U Pannananda’s presence and teachings were deeply appreciated by all of us. Yogis valued his sincere, clear, and often humorous approach to teaching Dhamma. Many commented on how approachable he was and how profoundly encouraging he was during interviews. Sayadaw came to every 4am sitting and every 9pm sitting, and many days yogis would find him standing outside of the hall after the mid-morning sitting with baked treats from the village in hand – his dana for the yogis! We could not be more happy with his continuation of the Kyaswa teaching lineage. We look forward to many years of continued Dhamma practice with him.
Our many relationships have deepened over the years and the projects with the Wachet Village School, the Wachet Jivitadana Sangha hospital, and various nunneries we support are all going well. Four wonderful acupuncturists came this year to work at the hospital and continue the training program of Burmese acupuncturists. In addition, we helped 2 Swedish medical students prepare for a 3 month research project in Wachet to examine the medical needs of women in the area – hopefully to help guide new MettaDana programming in the future!
This year a group of Burmese doctors collected money to fix 5 defunct kutis and another donor friend offered to fix the old Dhamma Hall on the upper level of the retreat center. Without this kind of help it would be impossible to maintain the upkeep of the grounds and buildings.
We want to thank all who gave to MettaDana this year, all those who participated in the retreat, as well as those who donated for the maintenance of upkeep of the retreat center that we now have greater responsibility over. The inspired donations of groups and individuals to the MettaDana Project and the participation in the Kyaswa Fusion Retreat this year and for the past twenty years make possible the flourishing of this unique and valuable contribution to contemporary Dhamma teaching.
We hope you will continue to join in our work and our vision and take joy in the broad field of merit we are all a part of in Wachet.
aloha and mahalo,
The entire Vipassana Hawai‘i and MettaDana Project team