Taungpulu Images

When I was in Yangon/Rangoon last time a Burmese fellow gave me a CD full of old pictures of the late venerable Taungpulu Sayadaw and other monks in the Taungpulu tradition. I've picked out a few of my favorite ones, and include them here. They offer a glimpse of a world that is very alien to the mainstream of modern Western culture, even of modern Western Buddhism.

Taungpulu Sayadaw

Sayadaw and venerable friend

A formal act of the Sangha, in the rain

Forest group

On the road (the monk in front is a young Sayadaw U Jotika)

Taungpulu Sayadaw with the Dalai Lama?

Creating a new sima boundary,
with a young Jack Kornfield observing (among others)

Highway procession, in Burma


My preceptor, ven. Hlaing Tet Sayadaw,
and my teacher, ven. Pakhokku Sayadaw
(both of the Taungpulu tradition)

Strewn with flower petals

Sayadaw and female disciples

Sayadaws at an ordination ceremony
(a young Paññobhāsa in the background)

Red carpet treatment at an Asian airport

Creating the sima at Boulder Creek

Sayadaw and umbrella bearer

Surreal Buddha


  1. Thank you for posting the photos. I probably met venerable Pakhokku Sayadaw but at the time I understood little of the men in robes. Will have to look through some old picture albums. I forwarded the link to family members.

    Crazy busy in Fremont

  2. Awesome. Thanks! There is something raw & archaic about that kind of Buddhism that i deeply love & respect...

  3. Great pictures! Thank you for sharing.

  4. ... I wonder if the 'Inexplicable' photo is a picture of some blessing ceremony for the building project. Is this even Burma, though? I just cannot even imagine a building project like that in Burma and two or three of the monks appear to be from the Thai tradition. Could that be in America?

    1. I'm pretty sure that the picture was taken in America. One guess is that the place they are sitting on is completely surrounded by water, and they were using it as a water sima before the khandha sima was established. Other than that I have no idea.