The Christmas and New Year period is often characterised as a time of excess but for thousands of young people from Yangon, the 2009/10 festive season was one of reflection and meditation.
More than 4000 participated in a youth meditation and moral training course held at the Chekinda Yama Monastery in Hmawbi, Yangon Division, from December 14 to January 4, according to its organiser, the Venerable Dr Chekinda, who is a professor at the International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University in Yangon’s Mayangone township.
“The purpose of conducting this youth meditation training is to develop the participants’ mental abilities and enhance their future prospects,” the Venerable Chekinda told The Myanmar Times earlier this month.
“I have organised these training programs annually since 1999,” he said. “Children are the future. That’s why I try and organise these courses regularly at my monastery, providing free food and accommodation for the participants.”
He said while great emphasis was placed on physical and emotional development, little attention was being paid to spiritual development – something Venerable Chekinda said he is trying to redress.