UNTIL WE CAN SAFELY RETURN TO OUR PREVIOUS WORK - ALL DONATIONS BEING MADE NOW TO THE METTADANA PROJECT ARE BEING ALLOCATED TO ALLEVIATE THE SUFFERING OF THE HUMANITARIAN CRISIS AND SUPPORT THE PRO-DEMOCRACY MOVEMENT IN MYANMAR RESULTING FROM THE RECENT MILITARY COUP. More details about the work we are supporting can be found HERE on our website. Information below will help you understand the history of our relationship with good works in Burma - which are now largely on hold.

 

The MettaDana Project began in 1995 by Steven Smith, in collaboration with Sayadaw U Lakkhana, Abbot of Kyaswa Monastery. The initial goal was to give back to the culture that had given all of us such a wealth of wisdom via the teachings of the Buddha. Over time that giving back has included building and supporting hospitals, schools, and nunneries in Wachet Village, in upper Burma. It has also included helping the Saffron Revolution in 2007, supporting humanitarian relief after the devastating effects of Cyclone Nargis in 2008, aid for Burmese refugees in Thailand, developing multicultural curriculum and educational systems in light of the Rohingya expulsions, and much more.

MettaDana primarily operates from Kyaswa Monastery, founded in the 14th century and located in a remote northern area of the Sagaing Hills. The monastery is built on several levels cut into limestone hills rising from the banks of the Irrawaddy River. The highest levels overlook the river east to Mandalay and the Shan Plateau beyond. In addition to practicing and transmitting the Buddha’s teachings, monasteries in Burma have a long tradition of helping surrounding communities with some of the basic needs of life. The lay community both supports and is supported by the monastery in an interdependent and mutually beneficial relationship founded on “metta”- loving kindness, and “dana”- generosity. Kyaswa Monastery is firmly within this noble tradition.

Nearby lies the ancient village of Wachet, which in the 14th century was designated by the king as the food preparation center for the growing numbers of monks and nuns seeking solitude and inspiration in the Sagaing Hills. In fact, the village name derives from the Burmese words for “food preparation.” Now the village has 500 houses and 3000 people, and the monastery is actively involved in improving health and educational conditions.

Sayadaw U Lakkhana was a renowned meditation teacher and founder of the Wachet Jivitadana Sangha Hospital adjacent to the monastery. MDP’s efforts in the Sagaing Hills — the Wachet Village School, the Wachet Jivitadana Sangha Hospital, and support of the Thit Seint, Susitarama, and Shwebo Nunneries — would not be possible without Sayadaw’s participation and guidance.

Thank You for supporting the beautiful work we are trying to support in the country, culture, and community that has given us so much.

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