Peter Kowalke

Peter Kowalke

Meditation and Research in Burma

By on February 7, 2015

The story for the past month has been one of work. After some travel in Laos and Cambodia, since mid-January I’ve basically been resting and working in Bangkok in preparation for the next flurry of activity. It has been a time of heavy work and long days in front of the computer, with light does of social time helping the Ramakrishna Vedanta Association of Thailand (RVAT) and attending social functions.

The work primarily has been my freelance media work, with lots of writing and some new clients that continue both to pay the bills and help me refine my craft.

As is commonly said, the best way to become excellent is to practice, practice, practice. So while I have been writing, editing and producing media for much of my life, surprisingly I still find myself getting better as I churn out articles both for traditional media outlets and unbylined copy for clients who need writing and media produced.

There also has been a fair amount of mundane catch-up work such as putting a new system in place for sharing photos, and things like more Facebook and social media participation.

The next flurry of activity starts next week when I head to Burma (Myanmar) for a few weeks. I’ll be on the road from Feb 11 until Feb 27, when I return to Bangkok for another heavy dose of work.

I’ve been to Burma before, so much of the sightseeing and tourism is already in my past. This visit to Burma is mostly a work trip centered around improving my meditation practices.

I’ll be spending roughly 12 days in intensive meditation at the¬†Panditarama Shwe Taung Gon Sasana Yeiktha forest monastery just outside of the economic capital of Burma, Yangon (formerly known as Rangoon).¬†Panditarama is a Theravada Buddhist monastery that works from the Mahasi Sayadaw method of Buddhist meditation.

I call this “work” because it is more than just a break from writing and worldly life. The visit to the monastery in Burma serves many purposes, the main goals being spiritual development, but also improving my relationship coaching practice and understanding Buddhism better for my work as an assistant secretary for RVAT. As with most activity in my life, the visit to the monastery serves many purposes.

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Peter is a relationship coach, writer/producer, and R&D monastic. He splits his time between San Francisco and Asia. Read more about Peter.