A meditation teacher once told me that monks at a Zen center in the South of France regarded a ringing telephone as a “bell of mindfulness.” When the phone rang, they would pause and breathe deeply several times before answering, to bring their attention to the present. Callers knew the monks wouldn’t pick up immediately.
History is alive and all around you. The two-day Open History: Kyauktada Exhibition at Pansodan Scene Gallery featured not dusty tomes and the names of kings, but bus tickets, flyers, and photographs of places you can still drink tea in.
Few activities can summon sadness and regret as well as joy and inspiration, but listening to well-played music is assuredly one. To mark the memory of the Holocaust, the embassies of Israel, Germany and Poland are jointly presenting a special concert.
A pot, a plant, a little water, a little conversation. Well, at least, a monologue. As people flock to Yangon from the great outdoors states and regions all over the country, cramming their lives into little rooms, in concrete buildings, amid stony pavements, the sight of a growing thing is more than therapeutic.
It's just like old times. Students at Yangon University are again living on-campus in hostels, living side by side, eating and studying together, and talking endlessly. But nobody seems to play the mandolin to serenade the girls’ hostel any more, because the girls aren’t allowed out after six. So what’s the point?